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To: Swordmaker; chilepepper
Einstein wrote the preface to Velikovsky's "Earth in Upheaval"

No he didn't.

and stated that it and his other work, "Worlds in Collision" were the most important works in science produced to date.

No he didn't.

Would you like to share any other hallucinations with us?

On the contrary, when Velikovsky gave Einstein a copy of his manuscript for "Worlds in Collision", Einstein's reply letter bluntly said:

"However it is evident to every sensible physicist that these catastrophes can have nothing to do with the planet Venus and that also the direction of the inclination of the terrestrial axis towards the ecliptic could not have undergone a considerable change without the total destruction of the entire earth’s crust. Your arguments in this regard are so weak as opposed to the mechanical-astronomical ones, that no expert will be able to take them seriously."
-- Albert Einstein, July 8, 1946 letter to Immanuel Velikovsky
And from an earlier letter after conversations with Velikovsky:

"The reason for the energetic rejection of the opinions presented by you lies not in the assumption that in the motion of the heavenly bodies only gravitation and inertia are the determining factors. The reason for the rejection lies rather in the fact that on the basis of this assumption it was possible to calculate the temporal changes of star locations in the planetary system with an unimaginably great precision.

"Against such precise knowledge, speculations of the kind as were advanced by you do not come into consideration by an expert. Therefore your book must appear to an expert as an attempt to mislead the public. I must admit that I myself had at first this impression, too. Only afterwards it became clear to me that intentional misleading was entirely foreign to you."

-- Albert Einstein, August 27, 1952 letter to Immanuel Velikovsky

(Emphasis in original.)

One test of a theory is how well does it make predictions about unknown but knowable things.

Unfortunately for Velikovsky's fanciful notions, the fact that he got lucky on a few of his imprecise predictions about Venus (e.g. "it's hot", etc.) -- albeit for the wrong reasons -- doesn't change the fact that most of his other associated predictions and proposed events/mechanisms (like Venus flying around the solar system like a mad billiard ball) are impossible pure twaddle and/or flat wrong.

See for example:

Immanuel Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision



Is the Planet Venus Young?

FAQ: Velikovsky Critiqued

Sounds like Velikovsky has made a theoretical slam dunk from the three point line to me.

Sounds like you're a poor scorekeeper due to your failure to understand the rules, to me.

To get the full flavor of Velikovsky's "crank" rating, see his 1946 paper arguing "the fallacy of the law of gravitation": COSMOS WITHOUT GRAVITATION: ATTRACTION, REPULSION AND ELECTROMAGNETIC CIRCUMDUCTION IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM . Arguing against the existence of gravity, per se, is itself a doozy catapulting Velikosky high up onto the list of all-time scientific cranks, but even the details of his paper are real knee-slappers. For example:

...the following facts are incompatible with the theory of gravitation:


5. The weight of the atmosphere is constantly changing as the changing barometric pressure indicates... The semidiurnal changes in barometric pressure are not explainable by the mechanistic principles of gravitation and the heat effect of solar radiation. The cause of these variations is unknown... One maximum is at 10 a.m., the other at 10 p.m.; the two minima are at 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. The heating effect of the sun can explain neither the time when the maxima appear nor the time of the minima of these semidiurnal variations.

One word: Tides. The tidal effect upon the atmosphere is indeed the result of "the mechanistic principles of gravitation". Velikovsky was just too ignorant to know it. Not, of course, that his lack of knowledge stopped him from claiming to have overturned much of conventional science and replaced it with his own fanciful (but totally unworkable) ideas.

I stand by my original assessment -- on scientific issues, Velikovsky was a dolt.

95 posted on 07/09/2004 3:01:39 AM PDT by Ichneumon ("...she might as well have been a space alien." - Bill Clinton, on Hillary, "My Life", p. 182)
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To: Ichneumon
When I noticed your FR handle,I thought I'd see what Google would turn up on the "dragon killer" for fun.

Your FR homepage was #2 on the Google search. :)

Please do define yourself though.Ichneumon the fly...wasp...dragon killer...mongoose.....what be you?

99 posted on 07/09/2004 3:54:30 AM PDT by Free Trapper (Because we ate the green mammals first!)
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To: Ichneumon
You miss the point entirely:

Einstein was Einstein because he entertained the possibility that Velikovsky was right. I have no doubt that Velikovsky was a smarter man than you are, or me for that matter. I consider "dolts" those who blindly follow the pack and never ask questions...have you ever asked yourself (i know, its hard in your case) *WHY* the most famous scientist in 1953 would even give Velikovsky the time of day? i'll tell you why -- because Velikovsky had the same kind of enquiring mind that Einstein did, and Einstein respected that...

One needs to be very, very careful with how one approaches "science", since scientists are just human beings -- with science, there is a very strong tendancy for anal retentive personalities to engage in the field -- for many, science is admired as a father/authority substitute, the same tendency many had towards supported Adolf Hitler or the tendency to support ANY person or institute in power.

101 posted on 07/09/2004 4:49:24 AM PDT by chilepepper (The map is not the territory -- Alfred Korzybski)
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To: Ichneumon
No he didn't.

That is strange. This is no hallucination.

Somewhere out in the garage, I have an original hardback copy of Immanuel Velikovsky's "Earth in Upheaval" with the Einstein forward. I read it... and have seen the Einstein forward quoted in other places.

Is it a fraud?

Is the report that one of Velikovsky's books was on Einstein's night table an lie?

I am open on the subject.

153 posted on 07/09/2004 6:33:40 PM PDT by Swordmaker (This tagline shut down for renovations and repairs. Re-open June of 2001.)
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