Biography of Famous Scientist Immanuel Velikovsky Part 4

About the famous scientist Immanuel Velikovsky, biography and history of the Biblical scientist.

IMMANUEL VELIKOVSKY (1895- ).

In the 25 years since the 1st publication of Worlds in Collision, many of these tests have been conducted--with very impressive results. One issue of the international quarterly Pensee contained an evaluation of nearly 40 predictions Velikovsky had made. Many marvel at the accuracy of these projections, yet, as Velikovsky hastens to point out, they were a "natural fallout from a single, central idea." Prof. H. H. Hess, former chairman of the space board of the National Academy of Science, commented to the doctor that while all of his predictions were made long before proof that they were right was at hand, "I do not know of any specific prediction you made that has since proven to be false." Among these correct prognoses: the extremely hot surface temperature of Venus (owing to its recent birth), the hydrocarbonaceous content of its atmosphere, and its disturbed rotation; the electromagnetic nature of solar flares; the existence of the Van Allen radiation belt; strong remnant magnetism on the moon, evidence of its recent heating, and the presence there of carbides and aromatic hydrocarbons; and radio emissions from Jupiter.

Central to Velikovsky's thesis is his view of the solar system--he sees it not as a group of independent, electrically neutral spheres which move in an endless uniformity through a space devoid of other matter and energy but rather as a dynamic, integrated system wherein all bodies constantly affect all other bodies and any change in any part of the system must be reflected throughout. On this subject, Velikovsky engaged in an ongoing debate with Albert Einstein right up to the latter's death in 1955. Einstein, though he accepted Velikovsky's evidence of recent catastrophes, was adamant in his conviction that the heavenly bodies are neutrally charged and that space is free of electricity and magnetism. But when, just a few days before he died, Einstein learned that radio noises had been detected from Jupiter, he offered to use his influence to arrange other experiments on Velikovsky's behalf. Albert Einstein died with Worlds in Collision open on his desk.

Perhaps most interesting among Dr. Velikovsky's contributions is his analysis of the reaction which his work evoked from within the scientific establishment. Mankind, says he, is a victim of "collective amnesia," unable or unwilling to face its collective heritage or to recall events which occurred only a few thousand years ago. We are all familiar with the phenomenon of repression. As a psychoanalyst, Velikovsky had been trained to treat his patients gingerly, guiding them, leading them, but never telling them exactly what he believed to be at the heart of the problem. This they had to discover for themselves. But one can't put humanity on a couch and gently guide it toward a rediscovery of its repressed past. So he told it like it was, with the result that he was attacked with all the fury of a patient who has been told that he wants to kill his father and sleep with his mother.

Yet try he must. "For" says Immanuel Velikovsky, quoting from Santayana, "those who do not remember the past are condemned to live it once more."

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