"Cosmic rays. . .
arriving from outside the earth, are very strong per particle, averaging
several billions of electron volts and sometimes carrying a potential of a
hundred billion electron volts. . . it is conceivable that, where a cosmic
ray or charge hits a gene of germ plasma, a biological mutation takes place,
comparable to the physical transmutation of the elements. After all, the
genes, like any proteins, are biochemical compounds composed of carbon,
nitrogen, and a few other elements. Should a somatic chromosome be hit by a
powerful charge, it might at worst cause disorganized growth and be the
origin of a neoplasms; but if the genes of the germ plasma should be the
target of a collision with a cosmic ray or secondary radiation, a mutation
in the progeny might ensue; and should many such hits occur, the origin
of a new species, most probably incapable of individual or genetic life,
but in some cases capable, could be expected" (emphasis added).
The sources and
consequence of excessive radiation were then elaborated upon. "Thus,
increased radioactivity coming from outside this planet or from the bowels
of the earth could be the cause of the spontaneous origin of new species.
Should an interplanetary discharge take place between the earth and another
celestial body, such as a planet, a planetoid, a trail of meteorites, or a
charged cloud of gases, with possibly billions of volts of potential
differences and nuclear fission or fusion, the effect would be similar to
that of an explosion of many hydrogen bombs [Cf. Worlds in Collision,
p. 368] with ensuing procreation of monstrosities and growth anomalies
on a large scale.
". . in catastrophic
evolution, the simultaneous mutation of many genes could produce a new
species at the first fertilization; all the offspring of a litter could be
affected similarly. . . .
The observation that
healthy species of animals, like mammoths, with no sign of degeneration
suddenly became extinct greatly troubled the evolutionists. This fact
is unexplainable by natural selection or the principle of competition;
not so by the catastrophic intervention of nature [Cf. W in C,
"The Mammoths"] . . . .
Natural selection had
its role, too, but not in procreating new species; it was a decisive
factor in the survival or dying out of new forms, in the struggle for
existence, not only between individuals, races, species, and orders, but
also against the elements. In natural selection all those forms were
weeded out that could not meet competition or the rapidly changing
conditions of a world in upheaval. . . .
The theory of
evolution is vindicated by catastrophic events in the earth's past; the
proclaimed enemy of this theory proved to be its only ally. The real
enemy of the theory of evolution is the teaching of uniformity,
or the non-occurrence of any extraordinary events in the past
[emphasis added]. This teaching, called by Darwin the mainstay of the
theory of evolution, almost set the theory apart from reality.
Great catastrophes of
the past accompanied by electrical discharges and followed by
radioactivity could have produced sudden and multiple mutations of the
kind achieved today by experimenters, but on an immense scale. The past
of mankind, and of the animal and plant kingdoms, too, must now be
viewed in the light of the experience of Hiroshima and no longer from
the portholes of the Beagle."
Moreover, it is now
becoming glaringly obvious that scholarly research and thinking of the
sixties and seventies both echoes and supports Velikovsky's contention
in Earth in Upheaval that evolution is a cataclysmic
process. What is regrettable and often unscrupulous is the fact that
many (not all) of those who espouse similar ideas are quite familiar
with Velikovsky's theories of evolution, yet never cite him.
In 1961, an article
titled "Stress, the Adaptation Mechanism, and the Metamorphic Evolution
of the Vertebrates" appeared in the November issue of the Journal of
the National Medical Association (pp. 582-592). The author, Dr.
Harold E. Lippman, also discussed the evolutionary process from the
cataclysmic viewpoint. Unlike Velikovsky, however, Lippman ignored
extraterrestrial phenomena as a factor responsible for terrestrial
upheaval resulting in biospherical and biological change. Instead,
Lippman endorsed Charles Hapgood's thesis that, owing to crustal shift,
the surface of the Earth was subject to rapid changes--a mechanism which
the former considered plausibly sufficient to force evolutionary changes
commentary on the subject of evolution both parallels and converges with
that of Velikovsky; and it is indeed unfortunate that the name of
Velikovsky or any reference to Earth in Upheaval is conspicuously
absent from the abundant bibliography found at the end of Lippman's
detailed presentation, since he is known not to be inimical to
Here, now, are some
relevant selections from Lippman's paper. As with the case of other
authors quoted in this section, the reader is encouraged to refer back
to the material in Earth in Upheaval for comparative purposes.
"The path of
evolution has not always been slow and gradual. Modern embryology,
endocrinology and neurology furnish much data to support the concept
that the gaps in paleontology, the stark hiatuses in the geological
record, represent real leaps in evolution. The facts of the biological
sciences, interpreted correctly, mock the idea of 'missing links'. . . .
Natural selection, Malthusian competition, so well known in the market
place, are not the basic law in the world of nature. Much of the
validity of the concept 'survival of the fittest' lies in the fact that
adaptive intelligence enables survival."
maintained, "it must be concluded that adaptation rather than the
natural selection of small chance variations is the central fact in
evolution. . . . Rapid adaptation is metamorphosis. By rapid adaptation
to new environments some animals survived the repeated great extinctions
that have periodically depopulated our globe. New species resulted. So
it is that fossils found at the end of one epoch differ profoundly from
those found at the beginning of the next. These are the leaps that
correspond to the so-called 'gaps' in paleontology."
noted that "Man often tries to force data into molds that correspond to
his actual experience. This is the basis of the gradualism of Lyell
upon which Darwin based his hypothesis of evolution. This mode
conformed to the philosophy of Newton, mechanical materialism. It held
for a constant and invariable continuity of cause and effect. But, it
omitted many facts, and did not settle the question of change itself.
Change is intrinsically discontinuous."
Lippman then pointed
out the shortcomings of Newtonian philosophy in the modem day fields of
physics and chemistry where discontinuity and complex transformations
are highly prominent. "Thus, at every level of science below that of
life, metamorphosis is found. In each, discontinuous as well as
continuous phenomena exist. Since life includes all the lower levels,
should we not expect to find discontinuity in it? Why not metamorphosis
The concept of
metamorphic evolution is supported by much evidence of recurrent radical
changes in the earth's crust. . . . The recurrent extinctions of species
testify to abrupt changes in their environment. . . . These catastrophes
and sudden inundations and glaciations destroyed multitudes of living
things. The wonder is that organisms did survive the stress. . . . 'It
must be said, however, that biology, as a whole, denies Catastrophism
in order to save Evolution'."
comparison is then made by Lippman between embryological metamorphosis
and evolutionary change. "From the egg to the adult, development is so
full of transformations that leading embryologists have always noticed
the metamorphic nature of their science. . . . [and] the so-called
'gaps' in the [paleontological] record correspond to the leaps that the
embryos make as they climb up their ancestral trees."
"paleontological investigations reveal that continents (land, lakes, and
rivers) were often swept clean of almost all of their inhabitants. Then
previously unknown forms underwent adaptive radiation upon the
tabulae rasae. . . . The totality of the biological sciences can
only make sense through this concept of evolution by metamorphosis,
adaptive radiation, and stability [while] there can be little doubt that
the conditions during the great exterminations were those of cataclysmic
change and catastrophe."
In his concluding
remarks, Lippman showed that even a supposedly conservative
uniformitarian as Loren Eisely, "has pointed out [that] 'the rapid
fading out of archaeological evidence of tools in lower Ice Age times. .
. suggests that the evolution of the human brain was far more rapid than
that conceived of in early Darwinian circles. At that time it was
possible to hear of Eskimos spoken of as possible survivals of Miocene
men of several million years ago. By contrast to this point of view,
man and his rise now appear short in time--explosively short. There is
every reason to believe that whatever the nature of the forces involved
in the production of the human brain, a long slow competition of human
group with human group or race with race would not have resulted in such
similar mental potentialities among all peoples everywhere.
Something--some other factor--has escaped our scientific attention'."
"In Darwin's day the
paleontological 'gaps' were alleged to be due to the incompleteness of
the record. In today's excavated world this excuse is rather lame.
Today the facts indicate that evolution includes a series of leaps from
the simplest animal to man. . . . Metamorphosis, adaptive
radiation, and relative stability constitute the three phases of an
adaptive evolution. The decisive basic changes in [biological] level
could only result from the stimuli of catastrophic events [and] is it
not [also] evident, that disease, metamorphic in a negative sense, is
closely allied to the greatest advances in life?"
In spite of their
sound arguments, copious documentation, and persuasive reasoning, the
theories of both Velikovsky and Lippman failed to budge certain bastions
of uniformitarian thinking. In 1963, for example, Norman D. Newell,
then curator of the Department of Fossil Invertebrates at the American
Museum of Natural History in New York and professor of invertebrate
paleontology at Columbia University, summarily dismissed the work of
Velikovsky and Hapgood while not even giving Lippman so much as
Writing in the February issue of Scientific American ("Crises in the History of
Life"), Newell stated the following: "Now that we have learned that the
earth is at least five or six billion years old, the necessity for
invoking Cuverian catastrophes to explain geological history would seem
to have disappeared. Nevertheless, a few writers such as Immanuel
Velikovsky, the author of Worlds in Collision, and Charles H.
Hapgood, the author of The Earth's Shifting Crust, continue to
propose imaginary catastrophes on the basis of little or no historical
Additionally, Newell claimed that "although it is well established that the earth's crust has
shifted and that climates have changed, these changes almost certainly
were more gradual than Hapgood suggests. Most geologists, following the
'uniformitarian' point of view expounded in the 18th century by James
Hutton and in the 19th by Charles Lyell, are satisfied that observable
natural processes are quite adequate to explain the history of the
earth. They agree, however, that these processes must have varied
greatly in rate."
Thus, Newell attempted to deny catastrophic authenticity regarding extinction and
evolution by propounding the concept of "gradual catastrophes" or
"varying uniformitarianism," once again demonstrating how science can
squeeze or stretch pre-conceived notions into a procrustean bed of its
Newell could not accept violent and sudden global upheaval, whether terrestrially or
extraterrestrially induced, as an extinctive mechanism, even though he
was acutely aware of certain problems involving the subject of
extinction. "It is striking that times of widespread extinction
generally affected many quite unrelated groups in separate habitats.
The parallelism of extinction between some of the aquatic and
terrestrial groups is particularly remarkable" (emphasis
added).......... “Extinction is an evolutionary as well as an ecological
In the end, Newell
proposed diastrophism of the ocean basins as the key mechanistic cause
of extinction. Yet, his concluding remarks convey the distinct
impression that we are in the midst of a testimonium
catastrophic position of Newell, concerning extinction and evolution,
has not necessarily been sustained in other scientific quarters,
however. Professor 1. S. Shklovskii, a distinguished Russian
astrophysicist from the University of Moscow's Sternberg Astronomical
Institute, published a book titled Vselennaia, Zhizn, Razum
(Universe, Life, Mind) in early 1963 as well. In it, he
argued that whole species and genera of life on Earth may have been
destroyed during certain periods of intense cosmic radiation, while
simultaneously producing sudden bursts of mutation leading to the origin
of new life forms--the very view put forward by Velikovsky in Earth
drew the positive attention of Carl Sagan and the two collaborated on an
expanded version of the former's previously mentioned book. The result
was a co-authored publication, Intelligent Life in the
Universe, which appeared in 1966.
excerpts from the latter are especially germane to our present
"Mutations are caused
by a variety of factors: the natural radioactivity of the soil, the
waters, and the air; the cosmic ray flux; and a sizable remainder of
causes, largely unknown, possibly random chemical changes in the
hereditary material. All of the foregoing contribute to the I
spontaneous' mutation rate and are regarded as 'spontaneous' mutations.
To some extent, the word 'spontaneous' is a cover for our ignorance
of the ultimate causes of such naturally occurring, inheritable
changes. An increase in the background radiation intensity will
cause an increase in the mutation rate. The majority of mutations are
random, and hence deleterious. . . . On the other hand, mutations
provide the raw material on which natural selection acts. If there were
no mutations, there would be no genetic inventory of possible
adaptations to future environmental changes" (emphasis added).
reiterated his earlier suggestion, put forth with V. I. Krasovskii, that
the extinction of the dinosaurs may have been the result of an increase
in cosmic ray intensity, though the possible shortcomings of this
hypothesis were also recognized. It was conceded, however, that
“prolonged increase in the background high-energy radiation dose would
not necessarily be fatal to all living organisms. Perhaps such an
exposure would be favorable for the evolution of certain life forms and
the origin of some life-related substances during the early history of
the Earth" (pp. 99- 101).
A catastrophic end
for the dinosaurs was also proposed by Harold Urey seven years later.
In a letter to Nature of March 2, 1973 (pp. 32-33), Urey
theorized that the termination of various geological periods may somehow
be linked to past cometary collisions with the Earth, claiming that
"very violent physical effects should occur over a substantial fraction
of the Earth's surface" from such an event. Specifically, Urey felt it
"possible and even probable that a comet collision with the Earth
destroyed the dinosaurs and initiated the Tertiary division of geologic
Then, at the end of
his brief essay and almost in passing, Urey suggested--"It seems likely
that interesting studies could be made by biologists and
palaeontologists in regard to the selection of survivors of such
That Urey failed to
acknowledge either Worlds in Collision or Earth in Upheaval
is more than disingenuous.
late 1975 and early 1976, several highly significant items dealing with
evolution have appeared in the scientific and general literature. The
November-December 1975 issue of American Scientist (Vol. 63, pp.
673-680), for example, carried an article by J. W. Valentine and C. A.
Campbell titled "Genetic Regulation and the Fossil Record. " Some of
the passages contained therein are quite telling, especially the opening
appearance of higher taxa in the fossil record has been a perennial
puzzle. Not only do characteristic and distinctive remains of phyla
appear suddenly, without known ancestors, but several classes of a
phylum, orders of a class, and so on commonly appear at approximately
the same time without known intermediates. Darwin recognized that such
gaps presented a major obstacle to demonstrating that evolution
proceeded by the slow accumulation of change within lineages; he
attributed the lack of antecedents to the incompleteness of the fossil
record. Over a hundred years later, we still face the problem of
missing ancestors of many higher taxa. Indeed, our present knowledge of
the fossil record demonstrates even more clearly the episodic nature of
the origin of new higher taxa. If we read the record rather literally,
it implies that organisms of new grades of complexity arose
and radiated relatively rapidly" (emphasis added).
The authors then
proceeded to introduce certain earlier ecological explanations which had
been proffered as a solution to the evolutionary problem, but recognized
that "major problems still remain concerning the genetic mechanisms
involved" (emphasis added).
Valentine and Campbell again referred to the fossil record, noting that
"at some few times in the past conditions were particularly propitious
for significant changes in the regulatory apparatus of animal genomes."
Yet, they were quick to admit that "the conditions under which such
important regulatory changes occur are not completely understood and
indeed form a fundamental question in evolutionary biology.”
A detailed discussion
of evolutionary processes then followed and ultimately led the authors
to an interesting question for which they provided an interesting
answer: "Why did the major groups evolve just when they did, and why at
times did numbers of lineages independently give rise to major novelties
nearly contemporaneously? Perhaps an answer is furnished by the 570
million years or so for which there is a good fossil record. During
this interval, major changes in the structure of the biosphere and major
waves of extinction and diversification correlate with major changes in
the environmental regime that are in turn due to continental drift."
theory of drifting continents has now replaced Hapgood's shifting crust
theory, been given a cloak of respectability, and asked to perform a
catastrophic duty in the service of evolution--but gradually.
To demonstrate the
weaknesses in Valentine's and Campbell's evolutionary reasoning, we need
only juxtapose some of their own statements.
"The processes of
global tectonics, now well established, have caused continents and ocean
basins to enlarge, to shrink or fragment, and to radically change their
geographic patterns, slowly but more or less steadily for the
last billion years, and probably for twice that time. . . . In the
fossil record, most species appear suddenly, because of the
scarcity of intermediate forms. Their direct ancestry may be unknown,
or even if an ancestor is suspected, descendants appear without known
intermediates. Furthermore, many such species do not exhibit any
significant skeletal changes during their known duration; eventually
they simply disappear, perhaps to be replaced in the record by
another species that also seems to appear suddenly. . . . It
may be that the episodic morphological 'jumps'--gradual but localized in
time--are commonly achieved by regulatory evolution" (emphasis added).
At this point, we
cannot help but wonder how major life forms, without antecedents,
requiring a "missing link" to explain their "sudden appearance," despite
their being set against a background of "slow but steady" geological
changes over a period of billions of years, could possibly have come
about from "uniformitarian evolution." The entire premise collapses
under the weight of its own empirical data--a veritable reductio ad
Also in late 1975, a recent book by Isaac Asimov-The Ends of the Earth-appeared on the
scene. Needless to say, it once again reflected Asimov's ambivalent
attitude towards Velikovsky's theories.
On the one hand, Asimov discussed the subject of evolution (pp. 279-283) in such a way as
to give the informed reader the unequivocal feeling that a close
paraphrase of Earth in Upheaval's section on cataclysmic
evolution was being presented.
"The chief source of energetic particles capable of affecting life on Earth's surface
generally is the cosmic ray particles. These are energetic enough to
force their way through both the magnetosphere and the atmosphere and,
in one way or another, to reach the surface of the Earth.
Occasionally, a cosmic ray particle, in passing through a living organism, may strike a
nucleic acid molecule directly, or create high energy molecules which
react with nucleic acid molecules, thus changing them indirectly.
In either case, the nucleic acids are changed [thereby ultimately altering) the chemical
nature of the cell in which the nucleic acid is contained. . . . If the
cell happens to be an egg cell or a sperm cell that goes toward the
formation of an offspring, that offspring will have the chemistry of all
its cells somewhat different from that of its parents."
Mutations would then be produced and while "most mutations produce changes for the worse. . .
occasionally one happens, by chance, to produce a change that is useful
under certain conditions, and the changed organism flourishes
and produces many offspring which flourish in their turn [emphasis
It is mutation building on mutation in a random way--and then the
useful ones being culled out by natural selection--that represents
the driving force behind evolution [emphasis added].
Cosmic rays are not the only causes of mutation. . . . There is no question, though, that
cosmic rays are an important cause and, in the long run, may be the
steadiest and most important driving force behind evolution
If, in other words, there were no cosmic rays, evolution would, at best, proceed more
slowly, and the chances are that something with as highly specialized a
brain and nervous system as man would not now exist on Earth.
The Sun and Supernovae are abundant sources of cosmic rays and "if, indeed, life
evolves primarily because of mutations induced by cosmic ray particles
we might say that the development of life depends on the death of
(As an aside, it should be noted that in the Spring-Summer, 1973 issue of Pensee,
"The Pitfalls of Radiocarbon Dating," p. 13, Velikovsky stated his
earlier belief that ". . . in the catastrophe of the Deluge,
which I ascribe to Saturn exploding as a nova, the cosmic rays
must have been very abundant to cause massive mutations among all
species of life. . ." [emphasis added].)
On the other hand, strangely enough, only forty-five pages after Asimov's above remarks, he
stated the following: "To shift the position of the axis [of the Earth]
appreciably is more than the known gravitational effect of other bodies
in the solar system can do. We might imagine some cataclysmic effect,
the passing of some planetary body near the Earth, that might produce
such results (effects such as those imagined by Immanuel Velikovsky in
his popular but scientifically worthless book Worlds in Collision).
There is no evidence, however, that such a thing has happened, and
if it did, the results would be so cataclysmic as to leave
drastic evidence in the fossil record" (emphasis added--see Earth
Even Lewis Carroll's Red Queen would have been stupefied!
The January 22, 1976 issue of Nature (pp. 177-179) likewise contained material that
inadvertently tends to support Velikovsky's proposed model for
In an article titled "Influence of ancient solar-proton events on the evolution of life," the
four authors--G. C. Reid, 1. S. A. Isaksen, T. E. Holzer, and P. J.
Crutzen--state their basic position at the outset: "There is mounting
evidence that past extinctions of faunal species have occurred in near
coincidence with reversals in polarity of the geomagnetic field. Could
the link lie in catastrophic depletions of stratospheric ozone caused by
solar-proton irradiation over a reduced geomagnetic field?"
A detailed discussion then follows, parts of which, as quoted below, should prove to be most
"Uffen has suggested [Nature, 19631 that the surface of the Earth could be exposed to
abnormally high fluxes of radiation during the periods of reversal of
the polarity of the geomagnetic field. . . . During these geologically
brief periods, the shielding effects of the magnetic field would be
removed, or at least severely weakened, allowing galactic cosmic rays to
have access to the entire Earth, instead of merely to high latitude
regions, and also causing the radiation belts to precipitate."
Furthermore, "this enhanced level of radiation could lead to increased
mutation rates among living species, thereby explaining sudden
appearances and disappearances of species from the palaeontological
These ideas of Uffen were studied in 1967 and found wanting. "Nonetheless, there is mounting
evidence that a correlation does exist between major faunal extinction
and geomagnetic polarity reversals. The validity of this correlation in
fairly recent geological time seems to have been well established by
studies of fossil species of radiolaria (single celled, marine
microorganisms). Using deep-sea cores obtained from a variety of
locations, Hays [19711 has determined that during the past 2.5 Myr eight
species became extinct, and that six of those disappeared in near
coincidence with polarity reversals" (also see Worlds in Collision,
Chapter 5; 1. Michelson, "Mechanics Bears Witness," Pensee VII
(Spring, 1974), pp. 19-20).
"During polarity reversals. the dipole component of the geomagnetic field probably
weakens or disappears for periods of a few thousand years, allowing both
solar protons and galactic cosmic rays access to much larger areas of
the Earth, and leading to much more severe effects on the ozone shield
than are possible at present. Biological species that had evolved over
the preceding several million years of geomagnetic stability may be
unable to survive the harsher ultraviolet environment, and would
presumably be replaced by other species with more adaptability."
". . . it is perhaps
worth speculating that [solar-proton events] may have had the dominant
role in some of the massive faunal extinctions that have occurred in the
distant past. For example, roughly one-third of all living species
became extinct at the close of the Cretaceous, which was a period marked
by a resumption of polarity reversals, following a very lengthy period
of normal polarity.
In conclusion, it
seems that current concern about possible anthropogenic destruction of
stratospheric ozone may be well founded, since it is possible that major
ozone depletions occurring in the distant past have had a profound
effect on the development of life as we know it. "
Finally, we come to the February 1976 issue of Harper's (pp. 70-75) which carried a
provocatively titled article-"Darwin's Mistake"-by Tom Bethel, an editor
of The Washington Monthly.
Initially intrigued by Norman Macbeth's recent book Darwin Retried, Bethel was drawn
into a more intensive study of the problem of Darwinian evolutionary
theory. A year later came the revelation of "Darwin's Mistake." Had
Bethel read Earth in Upheaval (pp. 249-255), however, he would
have realized that Darwinism had already been roundly challenged decades
prior to the Darwin Centennial celebration of 1959 and long before the
"important academic [Darwinist] debates of the 1960's."
Bethel's statement that "Darwin made a mistake sufficiently serious to undermine his
theory" is true enough, but quite belated, while his observation that
"that mistake has only recently been recognized" is Bethel's mistake.
Darwin's theory of natural selection has finally been recognized for what it is--"The great
tautology." Both Darwinism and neo-Darwinism were "only able to explain
how horses and tigers became more (or less) numerous--that is, by
'differential reproduction.' This failed to solve the question of
how they came into existence in the first place" (emphasis added).
And therein lies the crux of the problem!
"What the theory [of
natural selection] so grievously lacks is a criterion of fitness that is
independent of survival." But, then the question arises as to what is
meant by fittest. "One organism may indeed be 'fitter' than another
from an evolutionary point of view, but the only event that determines
this fitness is death (or infertility). This, of course, is not
something which helps create the organism, but is something that
terminates it. It occurs at the end, not the beginning of life"
(emphasis in text). Thus the words of Bethel. who concluded his
discourse on a somewhat sentimental note.
"Darwin, I suggest, is in the process of being discarded, but perhaps in deference to the
venerable old gentleman, resting comfortably in Westminster Abbey next
to Sir Isaac Newton, it is being done as discreetly and gently as
possible, with a minimum of publicity."
All of this may be well and good. But, with Darwin "discarded," is it not time to
recognize the legitimate alternative--Cataclysmic Evolution--and
properly credit its primary proponent--Immanuel Velikovsky?
Since any reference to
Earth in Upheaval was consistently omitted by all evolutionary
discussants surveyed above, despite an obvious catastrophic propensity,
it is only fitting that Velikovsky himself have the last word.
Therefore, we quote from a recent speech of his, presented before that
August body of science--the AAAS- in early 1974.
"The victory of Darwin's
evolution by natural selection over a six day creation less than six
thousand years ago made it appear that evolution, the only instrument of
which is competition, is the ultimate truth. But by competition for
survival or for means of existence, never could such different forms as man
and an insect with many legs evolve from the same unicellular form, not even
in the six billion years that replaced the biblical six thousand. Mutations
were necessary, and today we know that by cosmic and x-rays, by thermal and
chemical means--conditions brought about in the catastrophes of the
past--massive mutations can be achieved" (I. Velikovsky, "My Challenge to
Conventional Views in Science," Pensee VII (Spring, 1974), p. II).
It is also worthwhile to
quote a passage from the "Preface" of Earth in Upheaval:
"Did the earth change in
a slow process, a year added to a year and a million years to a million, the
peaceful ground of nature being the broad arena of the contest of throngs,
in which the fittest survived? Or did it happen, too, that the very arena
itself, infuriated, rose against the contestants and made an end of their
American, March, 1976, pp. 60D-61. "Catastrophe theory has been
particularly interesting in its applications to the biological and social
sciences, perhaps because discontinuous and divergent phenomena abound
there. For example, Thom suggests applications not only in embryology
but also in the theory of evolution, in reproduction, in
the process of thought and in the generation of speech. For the living cell
and for the organism as a whole life is one catastrophe after another"
2. J. Eberhart,
"Of Life and Death and Magnetism," Science News, Vol. 109, March 27,
1976, pp. 204-205.
3. The New
York Times, March 26, 1976, pp. I and 19.
articles by Stephen Jay Gould in Natural History-Feb., 1975, pp.
14ff.; March, 1975, pp. 20ff.; Oct., 1975, pp. 24ff.; Dec., 1975, pp. 4ff.;
Jan., 1976, pp. 32ff.; April, 1976, pp. 24ff. The reader should be
particularly cautious of Gould, however. He is, by his own admission, "an
unrepentant Darwinian" and shows it. Moreover, Gould is prone to making bald
statements without documentary support. His cavalier treatment of Earth
in Upheaval is a case in point.
5. The New
York Times, April 18, 1975, p. 4.