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Open letter to science editors

 

San Francisco, February 25, 1974

Today we are going to consider a set of ideas that have at their core a completely unconventional picture of the planetary system.... Most scientists would say that this picture is totally impossible, because it violates many of the most firmly established principles of physics. To this Dr. Velikovsky would reply that there is overwhelming evidence that these events really did occur, and that if they cause difficulty for the scientists, it is up to the scientists to resolve their own problems.

No one who is involved in the organization of this symposium believes that Dr. Velikovsky's ideas are correct. Yet millions of people have read his books, and after more than 20 years of condemnation by the scientific establishment he still has a large and often devoted following. It is for this reason that we believe that discussion of his ideas at a meeting of the AAAS is a public service. It is in this spirit that we present this morning's symposium.

So began "Velikovsky's Challenge to Science," a symposium at the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Professor Ivan King continued his opening statement by outlining the day's format, "deploring" the length of Velikovsky's paper, and then introducing the first speaker, Norman Storer.

The papers by Velikovsky and Michelson are published in this issue. As noted elsewhere, Sagan has agreed to submit a paper to Pensée. We hope the other participants will also consider entering the public discussion in print. Here, however, we can only offer summaries of the proceedings, together with limited commentary.

NORMAN STORER, Professor of Sociology, Baruch College, City University of New York: The Sociological Context of the Velikovsky Controversy.

Professor Storer devoted the first two-thirds of his talk to sociological platitudes about science and scientists: members of the scientific community observe "standards of proper behavior" ("the norms of science") which include "universalism," "communality," "organized skepticism," and "disinterestedness." The "energy" that drives the social structure delineated by these norms is "professional recognition." "To be a scientist is not only to do what scientists do, but to accept what other scientists accept."

But the system doesn't always work. "While behavioral departures from normative standards may be deplorable, they are also to be expected." The "deviance-generating" circumstances involve "conflict between norms...... inability to obey a single norm," and the "irrelevance" of scientific norms so far as "crackpots" are concerned.

This brought Storer to "The Velikovsky Controversy," of which he summarized the very earliest events, assuming that "the history of the controversy since 1950 .... is well enough known to this audience to make it unnecessary for me to go into further detail here."

"So it was that, in what came to be regarded as a 'day of atonement' and as an effort to educate the public in the ways of science, no admission of a need for 'atonement' was made, and the peculiar ways of science in the Velikovsky affair were obscured in a fog of sociological 'explanation."'

He then began to list those factors which might account for the way Velikovsky was treated.

Possessed of what Professor Lynn Rose called a "pseudo-scientific hang-up about using moral terms," Storer did not speak of "justifying" the way Velikovsky was treated. Yet such was the effect of his paper. This led him through one false statement after another: "Dr. Velikovsky could be only marginally distinguished then from the myriad of crackpots who have always assailed science"; "Dr. Velikovsky did not possess credentials"; "his ideas seemed obviously in conflict with accepted physical facts and laws, and [he failed] to show how such apparent logical inconsistencies could be explained"; and "he sought vindication from the lay public through the popular press."

All this culminated in the following contention: ". . . it is far better that most claims about scientific truth coming from non-scientific sources be rejected out of hand ... than that each and every one be accepted seriously and patiently subjected to detailed testing."

Clearly it is not an either-or situation. As Rose remarked following the symposium:

It is just not the case that any new theory must either be 'rejected out of hand' or else 'accepted seriously and patiently subjected to detailed testing.' Any scientist who is unfamiliar with the arguments and evidences advanced in favor of a new theory, and who does not have the time or wish to take the time to acquire such familiarity, should not choose either of Storer's alternatives; he should simply tell the truth, namely, that he does not know. (Storer, of course, would not want to say that scientists should tell the truth or that they should do anything.)

Storer suggests that the Velikovsky affair was 'inevitable. 'But if the 'scholars' had behaved with propriety and had said 'I don't know' when they in fact did not know, instead of saying not only that Velikovsky was wrong (which they did not know) but also that his work should be suppressed, then there would have been no Velikovsky affair; that is, there would have been no book burning, no boycott, no censorship, no slander, no libel, no firings, or any of the rest. But they did not behave with propriety; they did not say 'We don't know, and they did do all of those things that constitute the Velikovsky affair.

Velikovsky has quite correctly described Storer's paper as an attempted 'whitewash' of scholarly misbehavior. He also put his finger on the essential nature of Storer's pseudo-objectivity: during the discussion period, just after Storer had objected to the use of words like 'should,' Velikovsky pointed out the difference between objectivity and neutrality. To treat a gross offender and the victim of the offense with neutrality is not objective and is not impartial; it is biased in favor of the offender. If the offender is not labeled an offender and the victim is not labeled a victim, then there has been no objective description of the realities--only a biased 'neutrality' masquerading as objectivity.

So it was that, in what came to be regarded as a "day of atonement" and as an effort to educate the public in the ways of science, no admission of a need for "atonement" was made, and the peculiar ways of science in the Velikovsky affair were obscured in a fog of sociological "explanation."

The first question from the audience following Storer's presentation recalled King's remarks at the start of the session: "Dr. Storer, I would like your comment on the introduction that Dr. King gave, which, to me, put this symposium in the context of the recognized scientists setting the layman straight on what is really going on, with no mention of the validity of some of Dr. Velikovsky's assertions--not that that makes his conclusions valid."

Storer offered this:

I don't think [King's introduction] needs to be read that way. As a matter of fact, my stance anyway is determined, dogged neutrality in this.... I don't think that the panel has been set up--it's not rigged--it's an occasion for the public to watch a scientific debate.

The next comment concerned the resistance of scientists to new ideas. Professor Mulholland approached the platform to say, "I think two examples [of ready acceptance of new ideas by scientists] are the discovery of mass concentrations on the moon and the internal heat. We have moved from the discussions of ... the evolution of the moon into a state of ... excitement that has totally rejuvenated the entire subject."

Velikovsky, a few moments later, had an opportunity to challenge this:

I would like to ask Professor Mulholland whether he knows who was the first to claim--in time--the heat [of the moon].... I would like to ask, also, whether there is an explanation for the mascons on the moon [other than that they result from encounters with other massive celestial bodies]. And besides, do you consider these two observations as fundamental theories?

Mulholland:

I regret to say I do not in fact know who might have [been the first to predict these findings] ... and I blushingly admit that [Dr. Velikovsky] has put his finger on a weak point in my statement, because what I gave as a response a moment ago were observations and determinations rather than theoretical suggestions.

PETER HUBER, Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland: Early Cuneiform Evidence for the Planet Venus.

Professor Huber's objections to Worlds in Collision centered on three primary arguments: 1) "Venus was known shortly after -3000 and was in an orbit between the sun and the earth at least by - 1900." 2) "In the 16th century B.C. (-1580 to -1560), the observed motion of Venus agrees satisfactorily with that calculated from the currently accepted orbital elements:" 3) Ancient Chinese eclipse records show that the Earth's rotation was not disturbed by catastrophes in the seventh century.

1) Specifically, Huber contended that the Sumerian Goddess Inanna was the goddess of the planet Venus from ancient times. One text, dated ca. -1900, "casts King Iddindagan of Isin . . in the role of her mate Dumuzi.... It refers to the astral character of Inanna: 'when she, like sun or moon, steps to the sky,' and it even exhibits very clearly and repeatedly her dual manifestation as the evening star ('in the evening she is the strange star, the Venus star . . .') and as the morning star ('. . . the strange star, the Venus star, the queen of the morning'). Thus Venus must have been in an orbit between the sun and the earth around -1900."

Also, according to Huber, "a routine check of the Assyriological literature on the older periods turned up a big surprise ... tablets from level IV [at Uruk] ... sometimes juxtapose the symbols [for 'star' and for 'Inanna']." Tablets from level III mention "'star, Inanna, rising sun' and . . . 'star, setting sun, Inanna.' . . . Taken together, these archaic texts constitute evidence that Venus, the star of Inanna, was known shortly after -3000."

Huber stressed that "the Inanna symbol sometimes looks like the drawing of a comet," but he claimed that the similarity "is not borne out by the more elaborate representations."

Velikovsky commented, in the discussion period, as follows:

That Venus was observed before it came into conflict with the earth is clear from what I wrote. It did not come from Jupiter ... on the eve of [the first encounter]. It came thousands of years before, [during which time] it could be seen. However, you [Huber] are right: in that hymn to Inanna, Venus is referred to as connected with morning and evening.(*) But what ... else [is] in that hymn?--and I am very thankful to you for giving me the text of that hymn.... Now, "Inanna shines as bright as the sun." Is Venus shining as bright as the sun today? "Inanna ... is a star foreign to us ... at midday it shines as bright as the sun.

"Does it today?

*As Dr. C. J. Ransom points out, a body moving near the ecliptic on a comet-like orbit and passing inside the earth's orbit to reach perihelion would necessarily appear from time to time as a morning star and as an evening star.

Huber insisted that the word "bright" does not appear--that the correct wording is "sends out light like the sun." Velikovsky then recalled the many sources quoted in Worlds in Collision to the effect that Venus was "like a torch in the sky."

2) Huber's second point of discussion involved the so-called Venus Tablets of Ammizaduga. These tablets, he asserted, agree "satisfactorily with [the motion of Venus] calculated from the currently acceptable orbital elements." Such agreement would be difficult to obtain "if the orbital elements or the brightness of Venus had substantially changed between -1560 and -500."

Disregarding Rose's paper on the subject, he dismissed "astronomical impossibilities" as "scribal errors," cast aside certain texts because their "observational nature has been doubted," and casually remarked that 15 of the 50 events given in the tablets must be rejected in order to arrive at "agreement" with modern calculations: nine are "impossibly wrong for any chronology (presumably scribal errors), and six more are marginal."

Responding, Velikovsky reviewed his arguments, given in Worlds in Collision but not alluded to by Huber, as to why the Venus Tablets of Ammizaduga cannot be doctored up to fit uniformitarian assumptions. He made the further point that the calendar in use at the time of the records was one having 12 months of 30 days each, without any intercalary months, a point Huber disputed.

3) As to ancient eclipses, Huber argued that of "37 precisely dated eclipses" from -1719 to -480, "three ... are froth before the catastrophe of -686; one ... is described as total, and it is total also according to calculations. This means that the catastrophe ... did not happen."

A rather confused exchange on this point ensued, with Velikovsky dominating the microphone and attempting to ascertain which eclipses Huber was referring to. The discussion narrowed down to the one total eclipse, the data for which Huber said had not yet been published, so that the matter could not be pursued. Velikovsky then referred to his discussion of eclipses in a debate with the late Princeton astronomer, John Q. Stewart (Harper's, June, 1951), apparently securing Huber's agreement that he (Velikovsky) had been right in rejecting the three ancient eclipses cited by Stewart.

Finally, Velikovsky called attention to a paper in Nature (14 November 1970) in which F. R. Stephenson claimed to have established beyond all doubt the date of an "eclipse" recorded in a Ugaritic text. Stephenson places the event at May 3, 1375 B.C. and states that it "would appear to be the earliest for which there is a record." Velikovsky first pointed out that his reconstruction of history puts Ugarit in the ninth century, not the fourteenth, so that Stephenson's calculations in search of a fourteenth-century event were in vain. But most importantly, the Ugaritic report also states that

"The Sun went down (in the daytime) with Rashap [Mars] in attendance." Velikovsky emphasized that "we have exactly the same statement in Greek sources, referring to the date when Romulus supposedly was born. . ."

One of the more peculiar oddities of the day occurred when symposium organizer Owen Gingerich told a reporter that Huber "demolished Velikovsky. There was really no point in continuing after that." The statement was subsequently published in Science.

IMMANUEL VELIKOVSKY: "My Challenge to Conventional Views in Science."

Ivan King's introduction of Velikovsky was condescending:

Our next speaker on the program is Dr. Velikovsky. He has informed me that he has a prepared manuscript which he has got together in the interest of speaking clearly, so that everyone will understand what he has to say. [Velikovsky speaks with a heavy accent. ed.] I have already said that I regret the length of it, but we'll allow him time to go through this manuscript.

A more grudging and less graceful manner of yielding the platform to the featured speaker of the day could hardly be imagined. The audience remained hushed as Velikovsky approached the microphone, half expecting him to give King the tongue-lashing his remarks called for. But Velikovsky let the silence speak for itself for a long moment and then began his talk.

(Velikovsky's paper is published elsewhere in this issue.)

Following his address, Velikovsky was asked whether any of his predictions had turned out to be untrue. He answered that he knows of none, and then he reviewed the circumstances and content of the statement by H. H. Hess on March 15, 1963 (Pensée, Fall, 1972, p. 27). He concluded by asking anyone who knows of an erroneous prediction to "let me hear."

At this point, Professor Sagan mounted the platform and was given the microphone. Said he:

I think I know a large number of predictions which are incorrect, and I also think I can show that the ones which are correct are not original with, Dr. Velikovsky, but I will get to that when it's my talk. What I would like to ask as just a specific question--in Dr. Velikovsky's presentation to us now, he has said that hydrocarbon clouds of Venus are consistent with all ultraviolet and . . . infrared observations, with refractive index, and with volatility. This is not my impression, so I would like to ask which organic compound has a refractive index of 1.44, as we know the Venus clouds do from the polarization data, has a 3.1-micron and 11.2-micron absorption feature in the infrared, and is able to explain the discontinuity in the water abundance above the clouds. I ask this because about a 75 percent solution of sulfuric acid explains all these very well, and I know of no organic compound which does, and I have read the papers by Burgstahler and Velikovsky in the latest issue of Pensée.

Velikovsky referred Sagan to a chart in the Winter, 1973-74 issue of Pensée, in which he had attempted to show the general compatibility of hydrocarbons with the refractive and spectral characteristics of the Venus clouds, adding further that "there are hundreds of thousands of organic molecules" which have not been investigated to determine their specific agreement with Venus' observed characteristics.

However, en route to making these points, Velikovsky embarked upon a circuitous series of observations, touching upon Sagan's remarks in Newsweek (Sagan "will have a hard time to prove" that Velikovsky's predictions were not original), Sagan's greenhouse explanation of Venus' heat ("unsupportable"), the question of water on Venus ("Sagan was proven wrong"), and more. This "answer" consumed at least 15 minutes of symposium time, and was interrupted by occasional shouts from the floor ("answer the question" and "we've forgotten [what the question is] by now").

This pattern of answers that grow increasingly rambling as time wears on--the 78-year-old Velikovsky had been forced to rest briefly in the middle of his prepared address--is one that by now has become familiar to Velikovsky-watchers, and it suggests certain format provisions that might profitably be made in future symposia. Velikovsky himself ought to become aware that he is not always his own most effective defender.

J. DERRAL MULHOLLAND, Professor of Astronomy, University of Texas (Austin): "Movements of Celestial Bodies--Velikovsky's Fatal Flaw."

King introduced Mulholland as a "celestial mechanician whose name is almost synonymous with high precision." That characterization would prove ironic before the day was out.

Mulholland prefaced his address with these words: "Before I am asked the question, I would like to point out that I first read Dr. Velikovsky's work in 1950 in Collier's magazine, and I have read [it] three times since, most recently yet this year. I found it very entertaining when I was 16, and I still do." (Collier's published two parts of a planned three-part popularization of Velikovsky's work put together by science writer John Lear. Velikovsky objected so strenuously to the way his work was handled that the third part never saw publication.)

Mulholland's formal paper began with a one-paragraph summation of the thesis of Worlds in Collision, including--in the very first sentence--the erroneous notion that both "Venus and Mars erupted into the sky." The error was repeated almost immediately in a statement that "finally the two giant comets settled into their present harmless orbits . . ."

Moments later, addressing himself to the question, "Did the Axis Tilt?", Mulholland scored the fact that Velikovsky's references from worldwide folklore are discordant as to the duration of unusually long periods of daylight or darkness. In Worlds in Collision ("The Darkness"), Velikovsky himself calls attention to this problem, remarking on the difficulty of recording time accurately under conditions of darkness, or disturbed (apparent) motion of the sun.

Again, Mulholland claimed that Egyptian sea voyages to southern latitudes easily account for "the objectionable feature of the tomb of Senmut, [which] seems to be that it shows the southern sky as seen from the southern hemisphere." Yet, as Velikovsky carefully explains (Worlds in Collision, "East and West"), the "astronomically objectionable" feature of the ceiling in Senmut's tomb is not simply that it shows the southern stars, but rather that it shows them as if they were in the northern sky, so that, as one source puts it, "Orion ... appeared to be moving eastward, i.e., in the wrong direction." Velikovsky suggests (Worlds in Collision, "East and West") that "the southern panel shows the sky of Egypt as it was before the celestial sphere interchanged north and south, east and west."

Mulholland went on falsely to attribute two assumptions to Velikovsky: 1) "that observations and clocks were completely accurate 27 centuries ago, and ... [21 that they were made and used at the sites where they were found." This injury was further compounded with a total misrepresentation: "On this basis, it is stated that Babylon has moved southwards by some 250 kilometers." And still another: "Velikovsky's interpretation [of a water clock found at the site of ancient Thebes] requires that Thebes have moved 1000 kilometers northward while the other near-eastern cities moved southward."

Reference to Worlds in Collision discloses that Velikovsky's statement about Babylon moving southward by 2 ½ degrees of latitude--not "250 kilometers"follows a statement that "gnomons or sundials"--not "clocks"--can be built with great precision. And the basis of the statement concerning Babylon is a series of documented sources ranging from Claudius Ptolemy to Kugler--not an assumption of any kind, much less one involving clocks. Furthermore, Velikovsky carefully avoids an "interpretation" of the Theban water clock; he comments (Worlds in Collision, "The Water Clock"): "Thus the water clock of Amenhotep III, if it was correctly built and correctly interpreted, indicates that either Thebes was closer to the equator or that the inclination of the equatox toward the ecliptic was less than the present angle of 23 ½°." [Emphasis added]

Under the heading, "The Day, the Month, and the Year," Mulholland sought to assemble evidence against the idea of important changes in the length of the day or the month within historical times. He cited a paper by Robert R. Newton dealing with ancient eclipse reports and emphasized that Newton's work yielded an average value for the length of the day only very slightly different from the present value over a period of 2000 years, "with small abrupt changes around the years +700 and +1300, but not earlier."

This is a questionable and misleading summarization of Newton's work, which has been the center of considerable scientific controversy for at least five years. In Newton's own words (Science 166 [14 November 19691, p. 825), his studies make it "almost certain that there have been large changes in the accelerations [of the earth and the moon] within historic times ... [and] known geophysical mechanisms explain neither the ancient value of [the lunar secular acceleration] nor the large change in [it] within historic times. . . ." Newton's article is subheaded: "Paleontology, satellites, and ancient astronomy yield accelerations that geophysics cannot yet explain."

It would be unjust, of course, to infer from such remarks that Newton has sought to produce evidence for changes of the magnitude of those described in Worlds in Collision. Indeed, he has specifically endorsed a remark by Professor Otto Neugebauer (Isis 41, 1950, p. 245) concerning "the perfect regularity of celestial motion" during the eighth century B.C. At the same time, however, there is nothing in his published works to indicate that he has considered the possibility that the relatively "large changes" he reports could be residual effects of much more drastic changes of the type deduced by Velikovsky.

Mulholland himself reviewed Newton's 1970 book, Ancient Astronomical Observations and the Accelerations of the Earth and Moon, for Science (Vol. 172, May 14, 1971, p. 693) and wrote one sentence that emphasizes a point Velikovsky has been insisting on for a quarter-century--most recently in his response to Huber at San Francisco--about ancient eclipse records: in Mulholland's words, "Nearly always the date and location of the observations are unknown ... it seems clear that there is much room to suspect the classical results of serious bias." (But Mulholland recalled none of this when he might have come to Velikovsky's support against Huber's arguments.)

In San Francisco, as additional evidence allegedly attesting to a long and stable history for the solar system, Mulholland called attention to "a smooth sequence of angular momentum as a function of mass which is satisfied by nearly all of the planets ... [and] can only be related to the formation of the entire system. . . ." Unfortunately for this argument, the speaker had to note that certain planets fail to conform: Mercury, Venus, the Moon, and Mars!

The rotation of Mars, according to Mulholland, "is a small embarrassment" too. But "there is no dynamical basis for Velikovsky's conjecture that its 24-hour period is due to a close encounter with Earth."

It is fascinating to compare Mulholland's "no dynamical basis" with some "open questions" Michelson would raise later in the day:

Why are the planets situated at the distances from the Sun where we observe them to be, why are their masses distributed so, and what determines their rates of axial rotation, for example? As far as celestial mechanics is concerned any of the values known with such high precision could just as well be somewhat or even much different. The theory would work just as well--it simply does not discuss the matters.

Michelson goes on to cite a number of relationships between such quantities which indicate causal influences overlooked by celestial mechanics. One of these relationships ties together Earth's speed and orbital motion, Earth's radius, the masses of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, and the Earth-Sun distance. Concludes Michelson:

Where standard celestial mechanics neither finds nor explains such relationships ... electromagnetic influences can scarcely be overlooked. Velikovsky, led by entirely different and most unorthodox reasoning for astronomers, to far more startling conclusions, then declaring that the time has come to enlarge celestial mechanics to include electromagnetic effects, appears to increasing numbers of open-minded and objective scientists to have an entirely valid point.

Mulholland's long string of ill-conceived and misleading arguments served well to obscure a positive comment he offered early in his paper:

Velikovsky's challenge is not one to be decided on a basis of belief or unbelief... He strives, it seems to me, to build physically plausible solutions that involve testable ideas. He is not a mystic...

Are the explanations plausible? From at least one vantage point, yes indeed. If a planet-sized object were to pass close by the Earth, then giant tides would be raised, there would be global earthquakes, the north pole would change direction. The day, the month, the seasons, the year would all change. There is no faith here: these are unavoidable consequences of the laws of motion as we presently know them. We must accept that the dynamical aspects of Velikovsky's vision of hell on Earth are largely acceptable....

Further: ". . . The celestial mechanics of 1974 is a living, vital science that admits of non-gravitational effects, of electromagnetic interactions. . . ." (While an admirable ideal, as a statement of fact this is questionable. It would be interesting for Mulholland to produce some examples of such "living, vital" celestial mechanics.)

Nevertheless, Mulholland concluded:

Our knowledge of the factors, gravitational and otherwise, that influence bodies in motion absolutely denies that either Venus or Mars can have had Earth-crossing orbits within astronomically recent time.... I sympathize with Velikovsky's attempts to resolve the geological and cultural paradoxes, but their solution is not to be found in wars of the worlds.

CARL SAGAN, Professor of Astronomy, Cornell University: "An Analysis of Worlds in Collision."

As Science News later reported, "the most outspoken of the panelists ... was Cornell astronomer Carl Sagan, who in a detailed critique drafted ten new plagues for Velikovsky."

That Sagan would be his most outspoken critic in San Francisco was quite in accord with Velikovsky's expectations. The astronomer has a long record of taking pot shots at Worlds in Collision, delighting in his own colorful descriptions of a comet which "approached the Earth, by accident just at the Red Sea," and which then returned "to help Joshua, who needed two miracles," and so on.

Sagan's recent book, The Cosmic Connection, contains two references to Velikovsky: "There is an ongoing search, often unconscious, for a cosmic perspective for humanity. This can be seen in innumerable ways, but most clearly on the college campus. There, an enormous interest is apparent in a range of pseudoscientific or borderline-scientific topics--astrology, scientology, the study of unidentified flying objects, investigation of the works of Immanuel Velikovsky, and even science-fiction superheroes--all of which represent an attempt, overwhelmingly unsuccessful in my view, to provide a cosmic perspective for mankind (p. 59).

And again, discussing a suggestion that carbohydrates and hydrocarbons might be present in the clouds of Venus: "these last two materials were proposed by Immanuel Velikovsky in his speculative romance Worlds in Collision to provide manna for the Israelites during their forty years of wandering in the desert (p. 88).

Sagan's record of scientific responsibility vis-a-vis Velikovsky is ironical in view of the symposium organizers' rejection of Velikovsky's first (and only) suggestion as to whom he would like to participate on the panel in his defense. This suggestion was vetoed because the person in question did not have the requisite "academic credentials" in the physical sciences. Sagan, however, met the specifications of the organizers.

It did for a moment appear as if Sagan had attempted to turn over a new leaf at San Francisco. He prefaced his remarks with a brief dissertation on what science is, or should be; on why "emotions in the scientific community have ... run very high" regarding Velikovsky's work; on why science should keep an open mind with respect to new ideas. (However, this "new leaf" was not so radical as to entail an apology and public retraction of the astronomer's ridicule of alleged "Velikovskian frogs" before an internationally attended news conference at NASA Ames Research Center last December. He simply avoided repeating that particular fiction, generated by his own imagination.)

Sagan acknowledged that "I find the concatenation of legends which Velikovsky has accumulated stunning.... My own position is that even if 20 percent of the legendary concordances which Velikovsky produces are real, there is something important to be explained." However, as opposed to Velikovsky's view that the worldwide distribution of common elements in myths and legends is explainable only on the basis of common observation of global catastrophes, he expressed his own tendency to favor the "diffusion" theory.

Then, in a statement punctuated by jokes--"The only thing that does not drop from the comet is cholesterol to harden Pharaoh's heart"--and inaccuracies--"The earth meantime had suddenly begun rotating again," Sagan gave his own version of the thesis of Worlds in Collision. (Velikovsky's rejoinder in the discussion period was "Let me quote one single sentence from [Professor Sagan's] new book: 'Jokes are a way of dealing with anxiety.' It is easy to put into a book something that is not there and then make a joke about it.")

Sagan continued:

My conclusion will be that where Velikovsky is original, he is very likely wrong; and that where he is right, the idea has been preempted by earlier workers. There are also a large number of cases where he is neither right nor original. The question of originality is, unfortunately, important because of predictions--for example, of the high surface temperature of Venus--which are said to have been made by Velikovsky at a time when everyone else was imagining something quite different.... As we shall see, this--and other similar things of priority--turn out to be not quite the case."

Sagan's ten points--the phrase "ten plagues" had been suggested by a remark King made following Sagan's talk--consumed some 37 manuscript pages. A brief enumeration follows. (This enumeration, by extracting the ten basic arguments from the nearly impenetrable mesh of error in which they were embedded, performs a considerable service for Sagan.)

1) The Ejection of Venus from Jupiter. The minimum kinetic energy required to eject Venus from Jupiter, based on an escape velocity of "about 70 km/sec," would be approximately 1041 ergs "equivalent to all the energy radiated by the sun in all directions in space in an entire year." Also, at least 10 percent of this energy would go into heating the ejected body, so that whatever its composition, it would have been completely melted.

2) The Statistics of Collisions. Five or six near-collisions of Venus and Mars with Earth involve joint odds of "1023-to-one against" any such sequence.

3) The Earth's Rotation. Once the Earth's rotation stops, how does it "get started up again, rotating at approximately the same rate of spin? The Earth cannot do it by itself, because of the law of the conservation of angular momentum."

Also, the body which acted to brake Earth's rotation could only do so at its very closest approach to Earth, so that "the full time available for the peak effect of the comet on the rotation of the Earth" is "under ten minutes"--which "could not have given Joshua's army much relief."

4) Lunar and Terrestrial Craters. The dating of lunar rocks is conclusive evidence against Velikovsky's claim that (in Sagan's words) "the Moon, not immune to the catastrophes which befell the Earth, had similar magmatic events occur on its surface a few thousand years ago, and that many of its craters were formed then." He continued:

Furthermore, and I think more powerful, if lunar craters were to have formed abundantly 2700 years ago, there must have been a similar production at the same time of terrestrial craters of the same size--larger than a kilometer across. Erosion on the earth's surface is inadequate to remove any crater of this size in 2700 years. Not only are there not large numbers of terrestrial craters of this size and age, there are a mere handful, so old that their nature has been debated for years. That is, the absence of abundant cratering on the earth disproves the idea that abundant cratering occurred on the moon 2700 years ago.

5) Vermin. "There is the peculiar idea that insects fell from the comet." But life forms on a planet such as Jupiter could not possibly be compatible with conditions on the Earth. "Are we to imagine that the entire terminal-electron-transfer apparatus [this refers to a class of enzyme proteins, such as cytochrome oxidase, essential to the respiratory chain in life processes. ed.] required to deal with molecular oxygen on Earth adventitiously evolved on Jupiter by Jovian organisms hoping some day to be transported to Earth?"

Next there is the problem of fly ablation. Small flies have just the same mass and dimensions as small meteors, which are burned up at an altitude of about 100 kilometers when they enter the Earth's atmosphere on cometary trajectories. Ablation accounts for the visibility of such meteors. Not only would cometary vermin rapidly be transformed into fried flies on entrance into the Earth's atmosphere; they would, as cometary meteors today, be vaporized into atoms and never "swarm" over Egypt to the consternation of the Pharaoh. Likewise the temperatures attendant to ejection of the comet from Jupiter ... would fry Velikovsky's flies. Impossible to begin with, doubly-fried and atomized, cometary flies do not well survive critical scrutiny.

6) Manna. "How much manna is required to feed the hundreds of thousands of Children of Israel for 40 years ... ?" He estimated 100 kilograms per person per year, or 4000 kilograms per person in 40 years. Hundreds of thousands of Israelites would thus have consumed more than one million kilograms of manna during their wandering in the desert. This amount must be multiplied over the entire surface of the earth, giving a figure of "several times 1017 grams." Further, the tail of the comet Venus would distribute the same matter all over the inner solar system, with the result that its initial charge of manna would have to be 1028 grams, and its initial over-all mass upwards of 1030 grams--greater than the mass of Jupiter. "Inter-planetary space should today be littered with manna."

7) The Clouds of Venus. "Velikovsky's idea that the clouds of Venus are composed of hydrocarbons or carbohydrates is neither original nor correct. The 'crucial test' fails." "The vapor pressure of simple hydrocarbons in the vicinity of the clouds of Venus should make them detectable. ... These molecules have been searched for... [and] none have been found. . . ."

On the question of the clouds, the evidence is strongly in support of a 75-percent solution of sulfuric acid. There is no organic compound that has been mentioned, nor can I find any, which simultaneously satisfied the criteria which I mentioned [referring to the discussion following Velikovsky's presentation].... The idea that there are tens of millions of organic compounds is certainly true, but is irrelevant, because absorption features like the 3.5-micron feature [of hydrocarbons] ... are due to the same C-H stretching vibration with a very small range of error permissible. The Venus feature is sensitive at about 3.1 microns; there are no organic compounds that can match it. Likewise, the 11.2-micron feature just is inconsistent with observations [of organic molecules].

8) The Temperatures of Mars and Venus.

Velikovsky's argument clearly implies that if you want to find a temperature anomaly in the solar system, go to Mars, not Venus. In fact, neither Mars nor Venus is an anomaly in the sense of giving off more heat than it gets from the sun: only Jupiter and the Jovian planets are. The argument of Velikovsky that Venus got hot by coming close to the sun ... can easily be calculated to see how long before it cools off. That period is years to months, and nothing like thousands of years.... If his theory is correct, it still cannot correctly explain the high surface temperature of Venus.

Sagan rejected Velikovsky's claim to originality in predicting the high temperature of Venus on the grounds that Rupert Wildt had devised a greenhouse theory for Venus as long ago as 1940. Said Sagan: "We now know that this argument is correct; it's correct for the right reason; it did not go far enough [did not predict the right temperatures] because it only included carbon dioxide and not other trace constituents." Also, "Velikovsky's objection to greenhouse models on Venus is fallacious.... The amount of sunlight striking the surface of Venus has been measured. It is entirely adequate to drive the conventional greenhouse.... There is no mystery about why the surface temperature of Venus is high, and it is not due to some past encounter."

9) The Craters of Venus. "There is simply the fact that radar observations of Venus have shown it to be saturation-cratered, and saturation-cratering can be understood only in terms of impacts. The impacts had to occur within a period of millions of years, not thousands of years."

10) The Orbit of Venus. In his spoken address, because of time limitations, Sagan deferred to the earlier arguments of Mulholland on this point. His written text, however, elaborates as follows:

The idea that Venus could have been converted, in a few thousand years, from an object in a highly eccentric orbit to its present orbit, which is one of the most perfectly circular in the entire Solar System, is at odds with what we know about the three-body problem in celestial mechanics. However, it must be admitted that this is not a completely solved problem, and that, while the odds are large, they are not absolutely overwhelming, against Velikovsky's hypothesis on this score. Furthermore, when Velikovsky invokes electrical or magnetic forces, with no effort to calculate their magnitude or describe in detail their effects, we are hard-pressed to assess these ideas.

Sagan proceeds to calculate the magnetic field strength "necessary to make a significant perturbation on the motion of a comet," arriving at a figure of 10 million gauss. (This compares to 0.5 gauss for the Earth's equatorial surface field.)

After running through his arguments, Sagan attempted to "guess" how Worlds in Collision became "so immensely popular." For one thing, "it is an attempted validation of religion.... Velikovsky attempts to rescue not only religion but astrology.... his work holds out a promise of the cosmic connectedness of mankind.... Some young people are put off by the occasional pomposity of scientists; or are concerned by what they apprehend as the dangers of science; or perhaps merely have difficulty understanding science."

In opening his presentation Sagan had let it be known that he would "illustrate the process of reasoned disputation" in an effort to show how scientists approach unorthodox hypotheses. Unfortunately, his example was not such as to leave unorthodox theorists with much faith in the scientific process. His 57-page paper is so thoroughly pockmarked with misrepresentations (some to all appearances deliberate), inaccuracies, and plain nonsense, as well as his own personal, knife-twisting brand of condescending ridicule, that an antagonist would be hard put to know exactly how to go about replying.

In fact, it is more than a little surprising that Sagan did, along his erratic way, happen upon a few questions which are indeed worthy of intense critical scrutiny within the Velikovskian context though Sagan himself contributed virtually no analysis of any value, owing to his unfamiliarity with, and lack of genuine scientific interest in, Velikovsky's thesis. (See accompanying article for a brief discussion of the more worthwhile points Sagan touched upon.)

As noted elsewhere, Sagan has agreed to publish a paper in Pensée. A detailed response to his arguments by Velikovsky or one of his supporters properly awaits that publication. However, the general nature of Sagan's reasoned disputation was clear to everyone possessing any familiarity with Velikovsky's work. A few examples are illustrative:

1) Concerning the thermal balance of Mars and Venus, Sagan weaves together such a tangle of untruths that they are difficult to unravel. First, we are told that Velikovsky overlooks the heating effect of Venus' expulsion from Jupiter, which would be a "good Velikovskian argument for the high temperature of the surface of Venus, but... this is not his argument." Then, "Velikovsky's argument clearly implies that if you want to find a temperature anomaly in the Solar System, go to Mars, not Venus." And finally:

Velikovsky proposed that Venus is hot because of its encounters with Mars and the Earth, and its close passage to the Sun. Since Mars is not anomalously hot, the high surface temperature of Venus must then be attributed to the passage of Venus near the Sun during its cometary incarnation. But it is easy to calculate how much energy Venus would have received during its close passage to the Sun and how long it would take for this energy to be radiated away into space.... There is no chance of any of the heat being retained at the present time in Velikovsky's chronology.

While making these statements, Sagan indignantly points to Velikovsky's remark in Worlds in Collision that "Mars emits more heat than it receives from the Sun"--a remark which is "not advertised very much these days," and which ought to have been heralded "as a refutation of Velikovsky's views."

The facts?

a) In Worlds in Collision ("The Thermal Balance of Mars") Velikovsky cited the work of researchers which seemed to show that Mars emits more heat than it receives from the Sun. Far from considering this a necessary conclusion from his theory, he pointed out that "Mars is a smaller body than the Earth; it has more surface per unit of volume, and it must have cooled down quicker [sic] than the Earth. . . ." His subsequent discussion takes the form of an attempted explanation for the then-supposed anomaly.

b) Sagan's statement that, on Velikovsky's theory, Venus' surface temperature must be "attributed to the passage of Venus near the Sun"--a statement coming as it does after Sagan's earlier contention that Venus would be molten upon its expulsion from Jupiter--is incomprehensible.

c) Further, Velikovsky does not ignore this molten condition as a basis for his claim about Venus' surface temperature. His statement in Worlds in Collision ("The Thermal Balance of Venus") is straightforward: "Venus experienced in quick succession its birth and expulsion under violent conditions.... [and] the core of the planet must still be hot."

d) In light of the above, Sagan's claim that to find a temperature anomaly under Velikovsky's theory one should "go to Mars, not Venus" is--again-incomprehensible.

2) On insects, the relevant passage from Worlds in Collision ("Baal Zevuv") follows:

Atmospheric and thermal conditions are so different on other planets that it seems incredible that the same forms of life exist there as on the Earth; on the other hand, it is wrong to conclude that there is no life on them at all.... Whether there is truth in [the] supposition of larval contamination of the Earth is anyone's guess. The ability of many small insects and their larvae to endure great cold and heat and to live in an atmosphere devoid of oxygen renders not entirely improbable the hypothesis that Venus (and also Jupiter, from which Venus sprang) may be populated by vermin.

At the very least Sagan is guilty of taking an admitted speculation--the refutation of which would have absolutely no evidential bearing on Velikovsky's thesis--and presenting it as a "major scientific flaw" (Sagan's words) in the thesis.

3) A number of Sagan's arguments are so ludicrous as to make an attempt at refutation embarrassing--e.g., his assessment of the quantity of manna required to satisfy the hypothesis, and his figuring of the 1023-to-one odds. (In the case of manna, if he ever makes a more considered effort to set up his problem, he is likely to come up with a figure on the order of ten modern supertankers' worth, rather than a quantity approaching the mass of Jupiter. Nor does his oddsmaking withstand analysis with any greater success.) Curiously, these two arguments, together with the insect matter, received some of the heaviest coverage in the scientific press--in part, it seems, because of their humorous value, and, in the case of the odds, because of the argument's superficially apparent weight.

4) Sagan repeatedly accuses Velikovsky of failing to discriminate between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates:

From Velikovsky's general thesis and the calculations just described above [concerning manna], it is clear that Venus should be saturated with Manna. Indeed, Velikovsky says that "the presence of hydrocarbon gases and dust in the cloud envelope of Venus would constitute a crucial test" for his ideas. We see here another example of his confusion between hydrocarbons and carbohydrates.

Actually, Velikovsky has consistently argued that hydrocarbons were delivered to Earth from Venus, with some of these hydrocarbons converted to carbohydrates ("manna") through reactions (bacterial or otherwise) in the Earth's atmosphere. The confusion appears to be in Sagan's own mind as to what Velikovsky has and has not said on this matter.

5) Sagan, in his most celebrated remark, contended that "where Velikovsky is original, he is very likely wrong; and that where he is right, the idea has been preempted by earlier workers. There are also a large number of cases where he is neither right nor original." This statement was cited in virtually every news account of the symposium; yet, it is flatly untrue, and Sagan did not attempt to document his claim. Such an effort to discredit another scholar's work is highly unethical, and deserves investigation by the official AAAS committee on ethics.

Not only did Sagan fail to acknowledge Velikovsky's dramatically successful prediction of such discoveries as the Jupiter radio emissions and the remanent magnetism in lunar rocks--predictions which went against all accepted thought--but the one or two cases Sagan did present in support of his contention were highly misleading. Thus, he failed to mention that, while Wildt once claimed possible temperatures on Venus ca. 135°C (not, incidentally, the several hundred degrees necessary to account for the incandescent condition on Venus which Velikovsky described), Wildt subsequently withdrew his claim in favor of the more accepted, cooler temperatures. Further, in stating that Wildt was "correct for the right reason," whereas Velikovsky's reasoning was wrong, Sagan was simply begging the question by--assuming the correctness of his own hotly disputed greenhouse theory.

6) Only so fecund a source of error as Sagan, it seems, could offer the following statement, wrong in virtually every particular: "in the famous letter to Science by Bargmann and Motz (1962) and in some of the correspondence of the late Harry Hess, Velikovsky's prognostication that the clouds of Venus were made of carbohydrates was hailed as an example of a successful scientific prediction." a) Bargmann and Motz made no mention of the clouds of Venus or their constitution; b) Hess never discussed the subject; c) Velikovsky's claim involved hydrocarbons, not carbohydrates.

Sagan's performance, ostensibly a model scientific discussion, left some in the audience enraged, many disconcerted, and the press largely happy for quotable quotes. And it left only a very brief period for discussion before the room had to be vacated. Velikovsky asked Sagan whether he would concede the possibility that there are hydrocarbons on Venus beneath the clouds. Sagan refused to answer, insisting that Velikovsky state how much, rather than ask for a yes-or-no answer.

Many who attended the symposium were understandably disturbed over the hit-and-run performance by Sagan, who took leave of the proceedings immediately after the morning session to tape an appearance on the Johnny Carson Show in Los Angeles.

King, who evidently learned of Sagan's scheduled departure only during Mulholland's talk, introduced Sagan by stating: "I wish to qualify ... what I said earlier. Unfortunately, Dr. Sagan will not be available--will not be able to be with us this evening on account of a previous commitment. . . ." [King did not, however, find Sagan's violation of a several-month-old arrangement "deplorable."]

At the close of the morning session an irate member of the audience got King's attention and suggested that Sagan should be asked to "make the sacrifice" of passing up his outside appointment in favor of completing the commitment to science implicit in his initial agreement to participate in the Velikovsky symposium. This prompted a short speech by King: "When I was describing the genesis

of this symposium, I [said] that the AAAS had put the symposium together out of a feeling that the work of Dr. Velikovsky was worth presenting at a public forum. What I did not mention at that time was that Professor Sagan is not only a vigorous defender of science, he is also a vigorous defender of scientific freedom. And the suggestion that we hold this symposium came originally from Professor Sagan."

A recent issue of Science adds an interesting footnote to a point disputed between Sagan and Velikovsky. Referring to the possibility of petroleum fires in Venus' lower atmosphere, Velikovsky noted that such fires would yield water as a product, following which the water would be dissociated in the upper atmosphere with much of the lighter hydrogen escaping. Therefore, claimed Velikovsky, one would expect to find oxygen in the upper atmosphere of Venus.

To this Sagan insisted that "there is none, as has been clearly shown by ground-based spectroscopic observations."

One month later Science (vol. 183, 29 March 1974, p. 1315) carried a report on "Ultraviolet Observations of Venus from Mariner 10: Preliminary Results," by A. L. Broadfoot, et al. In the words of the researchers: "The data revealed the presence of significant concentrations of hydrogen, helium, carbon, and oxygen atoms in the upper atmosphere of Venus."

"Many who attended the symposium were understandably disturbed over the hit-and-run performance by Sagan, who took leave of the proceedings immediately after the morning session to tape an appearance on the Johnny Carson show in Los Angeles."

IRVING MICHELSON, Professor of Mechanics, Illinois Institute of Technology: Mechanics Bears Witness.

(Velikovsky's letter to Goldsmith of January 21, 1974, indicates that at the time of King's visit to deliver the symposium invitation, the plan was to have two other speakers besides Velikovsky to balance three opponents on the panel. As it turned out, Velikovsky alone faced four opponents during the morning session at San Francisco. The one panelist with a constructive approach to his work, Professor Irving Michelson, was squeezed out of the morning program by the clock, and his paper had to be delivered--and even then only in part--in the evening, when the audience was considerably reduced from what it had been during the earlier session.)

Michelson's paper, published in this issue of Pensée, presented two surprises: 1) If the earth's specific electric charge--its total charge divided by its total mass--were equivalent to that calculated in 1960 for the sun by V. A. Bailey, an Australian physicist, then the earth's electrical energy would be essentially equal to its energy of rotation; and 2) the energy required to "produce the most drastic change of direction of [the earth's rotational] axis, viz., by interchanging the north and south poles ... happens to correspond closely to modern estimates of the energy of a single, moderately strong, geomagnetic storm."

These were of course startling announcements to those who understood their implications. Professor Mulholland, following Michelson's talk, immediately challenged the second point, but on false grounds. He declared, and was later reported in Science (25 March 1974, p. 1062) as "someone" who "said" that "one of Michelson's numbers was off by a factor of 1018."

In actuality, Mulholland was simply muddying the waters. He argued that the energy of a solar flare would be dissipated in all directions in space, so that the amount of the total intercepted by the earth would be only one part in 108 (not, incidentally, 1018, as given in Science). But of course Michelson had said nothing about a solar flare; his comparison was with a geomagnetic storm--a terrestrial effect of a solar flare. Michelson, fully aware of the irrelevance of Mulholland's remark, chose not to respond to it. (See accompanying text of Michelson's letter to Science.)

 

EPITAPH

 

The symposium clearly failed to meet the specifications originally set forth by Roberts, Sagan, Pensée (in our own symposium proposal), and the organizers themselves, namely, it was not "narrowly directed at some specific topic," but rather provided a forum for a broad range of claims and counterclaims, with little opportunity for detailed analysis of particular assertions. Nevertheless, certain gains were made.

Perhaps of most immediate interest are the two finds reported by Michelson--which suggest that the Earth's rotational energy might be intimately related to its electric energy, and that relatively little energy need be expended to effect radical changes in the orientation in space of the earth's spin axis. Many of the most vituperative charges leveled against Worlds in Collision by astronomers in the 1950's centered on the alleged impossibility of altering the earth's rotation or tilting its axis in any brief span of time. Michelson's findings are certain to be attacked in defense of conventional thinking, but if they stand the test of time, their importance to Velikovsky's work cannot be overemphasized.

But even the less friendly panelists offered some supporting remarks worth repeating here.

Mulholland agreed with Velikovsky to the extent that, "if a planet-sized object were to pass close by the earth, then giant tides would be raised, there would be global earthquakes, the north pole would change direction. The day, the month, the seasons, the year would all change ... these are unavoidable consequences of the laws of motion . . ." He also conceded that "the dynamical aspects of Velikovsky's (work] are largely acceptable."

Sagan came to the support of Velikovsky in laying to rest--belatedly to be sure--the objection that people would fly off the Earth if its rotation were slowed or stopped, and that stalactites in caves would give evidence of the fact if the Earth had stopped turning. Though these arguments were refuted years ago, the fact that a scientist of Sagan's standing in the establishment should finally concur is something of a milestone in the controversy over Worlds in Collision.

A number of issues raised at the AAAS symposium remain subjects for debate and further research.

  • Is the heat of Venus a surface effect only, in the sense of resulting from solar heating, as Sagan insists, or is it a surface manifestation of much higher temperatures in the interior of the planet, attesting to a recent origin?

     

  • Are there hydrocarbons in the lower atmosphere of Venus?

     

  • Is Venus in thermal equilibrium with its environment, or does it indeed radiate more energy than it receives from the sun?

     

  • Can American planetologists ever be cured of what G. J. H. McCall has aptly termed the "Imbrium Concept?"--"the concept of ballistic mega-cratering and mare-formation" on the moon, a concept which has an "umbilical stranglehold . . . on the minds of American scientists" ("A New Look at the Origin of Lunar Surface Breccias," in Astronomy & Space, Vol. 2, Patrick Moore, ed., New York, Neal Watson Academic Publications, 1973, p. 5).

     

  • How valid is the current method of estimating relative ages of planetary surfaces by counting craters? (On Mars, as just one example, only about one-third of the planetary surface is cratered to any remarkable density. Are we to conclude that the remainder of the surface is millions of times more youthful?)

     

In spite of all Velikovsky has written and all he has said in the course of a quarter-century to clarify his method of deriving world history from "mythological concordances," to use a phrase repeated several times by Sagan at the symposium, the point continues to escape most of his critics. Velikovsky opened his talk in San Francisco with a brief review of his method, including a statement crediting his psychoanalytical training for his ability to recognize widely differing ancient accounts from around the world "as so many variants of the same theme." In the following discussions with Sagan, he again explained why he rejects the diffusion theory: "The stories are told very differently [in different parts of the world] , but the theme is always the same."

Yet only a little later, Sagan was amusing himself and the audience with comments about manna falling from the sky only on six days out of seven, according to Exodus. Velikovsky had to explain once again that the underlying theme of the story is what he based his work on; unique local embellishments of the main theme are not significant.

(Sagan also seemed disturbed by the fact that Velikovsky attributes some, but not all, of the ten plagues of Egypt to fallout from Venus: ". . . Velikovsky is now asking to have it both ways. Some of the plagues come from space, and others do not. Now what is the decision as to which ones to accept and which ones not to accept based upon?")

It seems plain enough that Velikovsky's historical method requires further clarification, if only to defuse such objections.

 

Limited Bibliography of Symposium News Accounts

 

1. "Scientists in Collision," Newsweek, 25 February 1974, p. 58.
2. Melnick, N., "Brightest Stars in Science are Here," San Francisco Examiner, 25 February 1974, p. 58.
3. Alexander, G., "Controversial Author, Scientists in Collision," Los Angeles Times, 26 February 1974, part II, p. 6.
4. Hazelwood, J., "A Clash of Scientists," Oakland Tribune, 26 February 1974, p. 13.
5. Melnick, N., "Maverick Rips Scientists on Origins of Universe," San Francisco Examiner, 26 February 1974.
6. Petit, C., "Scientific Collision at the St. Francis," San Francisco Chronicle, 26 February 1974.
7. Sullivan, W., "Writer Collides with Scientists," New York Times, 26 February 1974.
8. Shurkin, J., "Blaze of Glory for an Old Man," Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 February 1974.
9. "Velikovsky and the AAAS: Worlds in Collision," Science News, 2 March 1974, p. 132.
10. Boffey, P., "'Worlds in Collision' Runs into Phalanx of Critics," The Chronicle of Higher Education, 4 March 1974, p. 1.
11. "Theories Disputed," Kansas City Star, 6 March 1974, p. 6c.
12. Chedd, G., "Velikovsky in Chaos," New Scientist, 7 March 1974, p. 624. Chedd's article is reprinted in full in this issue of Pensée.
13. Gillette, R., "Velikovsky: AAAS Forum for a Mild Collision," Science, 15 March 1974, p. 1059.
14. Foley, C., "'Heretic Scientist Relies on Ancient Lore," London Observer, 21 March 1974.
15. "Phenomena, Comment and Notes," The Smithsonian, April, 1974, p. 6.
 

PENSEE Journal VII

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