-- The Other Group --
the success and failure of arguments
countering alternative cosmologies

[started 2009.07.14, update 3/10, 11/11]

Ten Objections in Thirty Years

The following is an annotated (by me) version of Leroy Ellenberger's "Top Ten Reasons Why Velikovsky is Wrong," found at [http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/] and assigned to Bob Kobres as author via a Meta tag, although it is written by Leroy.

Originally written in 1997, and updated in 1999 (and extensively annotated by Leroy, making it almost unreadable) this list of "Top Ten Reasons Why Velikovsky is Wrong" is Leroy's accumulated cosmological wisdom. It is strangely out of date, but, in that Leroy still resurrects claims from this list, it is worthy of annotation, which I have done. A number of the objections, as corollaries to the big ten, are valid, and, although disputed by Velikovskians in the past, their arguments today hold no water. Things have changed, and Leroy is right at times. But mostly he is wrong.

Please note that I quote virtually no-one and provide no footnotes or references. I am either convinced or I am not; I'll tell why. My objections are set off from the original text and in bold (like here). I have broken up long paragraphs, especially where the original is amended with endless information in square brackets. I have also substituted 'and' for ampersands (which are not allowed in HTML), and munged email addresses. The interspersed comments obviously need expansion as yet.

Please note also that at this point you are still looking at a list of topics to address. A few have been addressed in other texts at this site, see the [opening] page for these.


.. original text starts here..

The following information is adapted and enhanced from a post to sci.skeptic and talk.origins on 14 Aug 1997 by Tim Thompson for Leroy Ellenberger who has no direct access to Usenet. Having discovered Elizabeth Anderson's 21 July 1997 request for information on Velikovsky on DejaNews, Ellenberger offers the expanded text of the postcard sent to 135 people in January 1997:

TOP TEN REASONS WHY VELIKOVSKY IS WRONG
ABOUT WORLDS IN COLLISION
By Leroy Ellenberger

DISCLOSURE: This Top Ten list is based on 30 years exposure to Velikovsky's ideas which includes 8 years as an insider at the Velikovsky journal Kronos (1978 - 1986), confidant to Velikovsky (4/78 - 11/79), invited "Devil's Advocate" at Aeon ('88 - '91), and 13 years as a turncoat/critic interacting with Velikovsky's defenders and/or successors at conferences, in private, and in Usenet ('94 -'96) and list-serve [sic] forums. I apologize for the stridency in what follows, but I continue to be passionate about the issues involved. I hope the tone of what I say does not obscure the accuracy of my analysis. (L.E., 11-XII-99)


Before I start in, let me point out that I will support my contrarywise findings mainly from a cosmology, chronology, and mechanics developed independently and prior to the edit of this document. In that that prior cosmology, to be found at [Recovering the Lost World], I made sense of all the objections put forth by Ellenberger. --jno

reason 10. The "sequence of planetary orbits" that conserves angular momentum does NOT conserve energy, creating an enormous energy surplus, far more serious than Rose's mere "energy disposal problem,"...

[in Editors of Pensee, _Velikovsky Reconsidered (1976)] which is an example of the _petitio principii_ fallacy (see Kronos II:4, p. 60 [and below]).

There is a need to address excess energy under plasma conditions. At any rate we are not talking about close encounters of planets of any kind. Considering that that the two major "contacts" by Venus were accomplished at distances of approximately 20,000,000 miles and 10,000,000 miles, we are certainly not about to calculate kinetic energy and momentum balances. A force which could move Earth 15,000,000 miles (from .83 to .99 AU) further out in its orbit in a matter of a half hour is something that will slam the momentum balance.

It is, in fact, almost inconceivable that a momentary impulse force could move the Earth 15,000,000 miles further away from the Sun. It would be easier to accept if we neglected the specifics of the replusive impulse followed by an attractive force, and looked only at the results: it slowed the planet in its travel around the Sun. The Kinetic Energy of its forward speed reduced by about 16 percent.

There is probably no way that energy balances and momentum balances can be performed when it is well known that the energy exchanges for repulsive and attractive electrical forces are so astoundingly large as to dwarf anything that could be accomplished through gravitational considerations. And we know nothing of the coulomb charges or the voltages involved. Since interplanetary arcs transfer charge, another inequality enters the formulations. I suspect that end states could be used to gain some information, since we know the orbital locations and the current spin of the planets. But informed estimates would have to be made of the initial spin, as with the energy transfer in interplanetary arcs.

[The excess energy produced by Velikovsky's sequence of orbits equals ca. 10,000 cal. per gram of Venus, Mars, and Earth, according to Rose and Vaughan in _Vel. Recon._ (reprinted from Pensee IVR VIII). This is enough energy to melt all three planets several times over, no trivial excess ostensibly to be dissipated by tidal friction.]

[However, Rose and Vaughan's "sequence of orbits" is incorrect, in a narrow sense, because Velikovsky actually believed, according to material deleted from _Worlds in Collision_ prior to publication in 1950, Venus originated from Jupiter close to Earth's present orbit, not at Jupiter's present orbit,...

Precisely my findings, except for Saturn as the parent, not Jupiter. And I agree that Jupiter at that time was on an orbit mostly inside Earth's orbit. Thus it looked (to some) as if Venus sprang from Jupiter.

...as Rose and Vaughan figured. Furthermore, the "sequence of orbits", in a global sense, is fatuous and asinine because the seasonal rhythms preserved in the Newark Basin shales (25 million years worth, 200 million years ago;...

Tides are caused by the rotation of the Earth. Almost all of the tide sequences today are due to the Sun, not the Moon. So, of course you would have both daily and seasonal rhythms. The Earth still rotated on a daily basis, and traveled around the Sun. Tides would thus continue to happen. In having its rotational axis offset from Saturn, additional elements of daily rhythms would appear. The eliptical orbit of Saturn would have produced seasonal rhythms.

I think Ellenberger might have made a better case with a study of tidally-influenced reproductive behaviour of thousands of species living in coastal regions worldwide.

...[this]) show, according to Paul E. Olsen and Dennis V. Kent at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, that all the major planets were in the same orbits they have today; see Larry Krumenaker, "Rhythm Section: The pulse of planetary cycles...", The SCIENCES, Nov/Dec 1995, pp. 14-16. (10-XI-98)]

If this is a simulation, we are at a fantasy location for "data."

[This means that solving the "energy disposal problem" by having Mars interact with a large asteroid that was either ejected or sent on a long elliptical orbit is an irrelevant exercise, besides the fact that all conservative "sequence of orbits" scenarios begin with the untenable condition of Earth being closer to the Sun than Venus now is and,...

My finding also, that is, Earth was indeed closer to the Sun. In fact on an elliptical orbit with Saturn, I estimate that Earth would have come to about .54 AU of the Sun.

...thus, outside the Sun's "habitable zone"; see "The Habitable Zone", Kronos X:1, 1984, pp. 91-92. (5-V-99)]

The "habitable zone" is very much overrated. What, for example, would account for the tropical conditions in the remote past, or the glaciation of South America, Africa, India? The climate of Earth is almost completely determined by cloud cover and atmospheric water vapor. The "habitable zone" is 19th century science fiction.

[These realizations (i.e., that either Worlds in Collision begins with Earth at about the present orbit of Venus or with Jupiter near Earth's present orbit) render irrelevant Dr. C.J. Ransom's oft-recited rebuttal to Dr. M.M. Nieto at the McMaster Conference in 1974 that the Titius-Bode Law (or Bode's Law) can be modified trivially to show the present solar system orbits sans Venus (Pensee VIII, pp. 5-7) because when Venus was absent in Velikovsky's scenario either Earth was not in its present orbit or Jupiter was not, not to mention the alleged former location of Mars, according to Rose and Vaughan's "sequence of orbits" work cited above.

We simply cannot discuss locations or orbital parameters, since I hold to entirely different "sequences of orbits" where all the results match each changing event, and confirm all sorts of secondary inferred data. Bode's Law, is not a law. It is a mathematical approximation to current conditions, but has no basis in any underlying physics.

For all of Rose's and Ginenthal's perspicacious nit-picking criticism of outsiders over the years it is surprising they never publicly exposed (though either one or both may have found) this gross inconsistency in Ransom's supposed defense of Velikovsky.

Although Ransom's manipulation was conceived only to show Bode's Law is not a proper disproof of Worlds in Collision, many of Velikovsky's acolytes, including Lewis Greenberg at Kronos, erroneously took Ransom's demonstration as support for Worlds in Collision, which it is not.So much for peer review. It just may be so that, with a tip of the hat to an old David Steinberg routine, the pursuit of Velikovskian studies is moribund. (8-XII-99)]

Correct, in that it is neither one or the other. Bode's Law is just cute math.

[Thus, Rose's invocation, in _Sun, Moon, and Sothis_ (1999), of the "Velikovsky Divide" at ca. 687 BCE, beyond which retrojecting present orbits is supposedly not valid, is nothing but a red herring unless and until Rose, or someone, presents coercive physical evidence for Earth having been so close to the Sun prior to 1500 BCE because "There is no reason to believe in a phenomenon for which no physical evidence exists (Milton Rothman, _A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism_ (1988), p. 157).

I have actually done that, that is, developed the evidence. Are calendars physical? Are the testimony of hundreds of tribes testimony enough? What does Leroy want, a You-tube video?

Rose and Vaughan's _interpretation_ of the Venus Tablets as showing Earth's orbit with a greater eccentricity than now is simply not a strict enough criterion.

What does it mean to say, "not strict enough"? Strict enough for the validity of the Venus Tablets? Compared to the history of Assyria and Babylon, the Venus Tablets stand up. Compared to the dates from the Maya Chilam Balam, which even give the Julian calendar year in addition to the seasonal dates which can be checked against an ephemeris, and finally the narrative of the Sibylline Books, they stand up also.

When Rose admonishes "People who refer to years of 365 1/4 days or months of 29 1/2 days must have lived on this side of the Velikovsky Divide" (p. 118), he himself indulges in "sophistry and illusion" because he ignores the fact that the shafts from the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid point to ritually significant stars at the epoch of its conventionally-reckoned date of construction, ca. 2450 BCE, (see R. Bauval and A. Gilbert, _The Orion Mystery_, 1994), which alignments do not obtain "in the first half of the first millennium" (p. 272) where Rose would have it built. (2 XI 99)]

That's pure BS, though. The shafts do not point to anything significant in the skies; not now, not in 2450 BC.

[Postscript: As a purely academic point, Laurence Dixon recently published a set of orbits for Earth, Mars, and Venus based on Velikovsky's "sequence of orbits" that conserves both angular momentum and energy without using an extraneous asteroid (C and C Review 2001:2, pp. 40-41) in which Earth starts even closer to the Sun (semi-major axis = 0.58 A.U.)...

Likely, but I start at a much more reasonable 0.72 AU as an average orbit for earth.

...than in Rose and Vaughan's solution. (14 VI 02)]

reason 9. Orbit of Venus CANNOT circularize on Velikovsky's time scale, regardless what Einstein allegedly said in 1955; electromagnetism is no panacea and chaos theory cannot save the phenomenon, contrary to the wishful thinking of Bass.

Even the gravitational tugging on parts of eccentric orbits by external planets would accomplish the circularization -- if that is the only criteria. It is not "electromagnetism" that should be offered as a solution, but the simple harmonic interactions which determine the locations of planets on their orbits. A change in ellipticity does not change the orbital period. A look at Patten and Windsor will indicate the possible direction of inquiry, even if I do not agree with their results.

reason 8. Circular, resonant orbits of the moons of Earth and Mars betray no sign of recent disturbance,...

Oh yes it does. The Moon is the most disturbed satellite among any of the planets. But otherwise I agree: I do not think the Moon was ever disturbed, except in following the Earth to a new orbit. Velikovsky used data of Roman calendar months (and no other peoples') to signify orbital periods.

...indicated by Velikovsky, or later capture, as Van Flandern noted [to Ellenberger] in 1979 and of which Rose is willfully ignorant.

"Capture" of the Moon I am sure of. What Van Flandern notes -- in his book also -- is that capture is likely under certain conditions, and might be long-lasting in that it could represent periods of thousands of years. It is one of the main theses of his theory of comets and asteroids.

It turns out that the method of "capture" of the Moon was set up in the enlargement of the Earth's orbit in 2349 BC to make it very easy. The Moon wobbles in its orbit around the Sun, but it does not rotate around the Earth like a satellite.

[This point, extended to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, also applies to the "Saturn thesis" of Dave Talbott and his merry band of fellow amateur mythologists, with respect to the disruption of the "polar configuration" and the transition to the present Solar System (which transition also does not conserve angular momentum and orbital energy).]

Spin momentum was probably exchanged for orbital rotational momentum. That is the reason the outer planets spin as furiously fast as they do. But charge transfer should be counted in, since it is equivalent to adding mass. What Ellenberger, and everyone else, entirely fail to take into account is the absolutely stupendous momentary electrical forces which relocated the planets. And the relocation of the planets has nothing to do with their satellites, or I should say, the satellites have nothing to do with the relocation of the planets.

reason 7. Since close encounters drastically increase inclination, the small inclinations of the orbits of Venus and Mars belie the multiple near-collisions outlined by Velikovsky.

Close encounters do not "drastically increase inclinations." There were no close encounters, except for Mars, but at any rate, the change in inclination would have been minute. The carry-through (forward) momentum is absolutely enormous, even for a small planet like Mars. The "small inclinations" of Venus and Mars are enormous - measuring in millions of miles. But all orbits "intersect" when they cross at the same level with the Sun, even though they remain tens of millions of miles apart.

The problem here is that the whole idea of "close encounters" has given way to electrical interactions when plasmaspheres line up at very large separation distances.

[This point is obscured by the 2-dimensional n-body simulations that were performed on talk.origins in 1994 while testing Grubaugh's model of the "polar configuration"...

Grubaugh's model is unworkable, and always was -- did not anyone originally consider this? What a bunch of blockheads.

...presented in Aeon 3:3, 1993,; refuted by Dr. V. J. Slabinski in Aeon 3:6, 1994. Grubaugh's trivial modification intended to circumvent Slabinski's criticism was refuted by T. C. Van Flandern on talk.origins, 17 Dec 1994, message-ID: <3cvphu$kfl@nkosi.well.com>. The suggestion by Bass that tidal friction acts in the direction of stability in the "polar configuration" is irrelevant until it is shown that tidal friction in fact can stabilize the wildly unstable system.

[Talbott's 07/18/1996 discussion of these and related issues on talk.origins was hopelessly muddled and confused, as Paul J. Gans showed. Also, contrary to Talbott, there never was a challenge on talk.origins to simulate a particle librating about the L-3 position and Bass never showed that tidal friction could stabilize the "polar configuration". (2-V-00)]

Tidal friction can be disregarded when it becomes a balance of gravitational and electrical forces. Tom Van Flandern has shown that secondary objects traveling gravitationally with larger primary objects will remain at a distance, since the increase in speed which accompanies a "falling toward" will move the secondary object away from the primary. This in itself is probably enough to stabilize the polar configuration.

Regarding the problem of parallax in the "polar configuration," see Wayne Throop's analysis: ; the symbols are concentric circles that resemble lunar and solar halos, while the view from low latitudes would have been decidedly off-center.]

No, not at all that close. But, on the other hand it can be assured that the visible planets (and Earth) never lined up along a single axis. As, in fact, it is not a requirement.

reason 6. The debris Venus allegedly deposited in Earth's atmosphere causing 40 years of darkness after the Exodus left no trace in the world's ice caps or ocean bottoms,...

[See "Ice Cores", Kronos X:1, 1984, 97-102, or Appendix D at end of [this file].]

...a test ignored by Rose.

Agreed, and additionally there was no debris. Venus had a plasma tail. A few ions per cubic meter are not going to cause a single "trace" in ice cores. Nor would nano-sized particles in the stratosphere (from burning forests and savanas), which would easily block sunlight for 40 years. Even if these were deposited on the Greenland ice, as they fell to Earth, they could never be detected, for it would be done over an extended period of time -- perhaps even hundreds of years.

[and an example of negative evidence with which Velikovskians do not have a good track record of dealing. N.B.: The "Worzel Ash" touted by Velikovsky and his epigoni is known to be volcanic (to the exclusion of any other source) from eruptions in Central America, limited in extent (i.e., not global), and far older than 3500 years;...

Agreed, and inherently obvious. It's a dead issue.

...see "The Worzel Ash," Kronos X:1, 1984, 92-94 or section "The 'Worzel' Ash" in Mewhinney's "Minds in Ablation". (12-III-99) .]

[However, long overlooked by Velikovskians, but recently disclosed by Philip Plait, is the fact that for Venus to get close enough for its air to flow onto Earth, thereby depositing the raw materials for all that manna, requires Venus "to be closer than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) from the surface of the Earth" (BAD Astronomy, 2002, p. 181).

No way - no closer than 9,000,000 miles. The current plasma tail of Venus is 30,000,000 miles long and the edges sweep past Earth every year and a half. And, yes, ions do travel from one planet to another via their plasmasphere tails. The case for Mercury can be established. Mana aside (despite the fact that it is found in the legends of many peoples), I believe that Philip Plait has the brain of a hamster. I look at his writings will verify that.

Such an encounter would have sterilized Earth's biosphere and flung the Moon into interplanetary space. Neither happened and, in fact, ancient lunar calendars and observations show that the Moon's orbit has not changed significantly in the past 5,800 years. (14 VI 02)]

Disagree. "Would have" is pure speculation. And there are, in fact, no "early lunar calendars." The year has changed repeatedly, and so has the period of the Moon. The previously best observed year, from Babylonian sources, shows a lunar period of 30 days. Nearly every nation agrees.

reason 5. The bristlecone pine survived the global catastrophe at 3500 BP that Velikovsky claimed killed all trees, to which he replied [to Ellenberger on Palm Sunday 1978] "So? They survived," indicating a cavalier attitude toward disconfirming evidence.

Was there ever a reason to suggest that "all the trees died." That seems to be suggested from the age of Sequoia trees. Both also survived the north American conflagration of 12,000 BC which was reported on by Firestone et alii.

[See "Tree Rings," Kronos X:1, 1984, 94-97. Dennis Rawlins noted this "could stand by itself as a complete disproof of [Worlds in Collision]" in his critique "Freudian Astronomy or Do Planetary Orbits, Bristlecone Pines, and Velikovsky's Believers Suffer from Collective Amnesia?" ms. dated August 1972, distributed by Ellenberger in August 1990 at Reconsidering Velikovsky Conference, Toronto.

Velikovsky and his epigoni have no respect for the absolute-veto power of negative evidence....

"Negative evidence" (whatever that is) does _not_ disprove anything. And "complete disproof" is another desparate stretch. It means nothing. Only at the point where you have shown 50 percent of Velikovsky's propositions wrong, do you start to approach "disproof."

...because they have a quasi-religious belief/faith the events really happened whether Worlds in Collision or the assembly and dismantling of the "polar configuration".]

I should point out that phrasing like "complete disproof" has the same flavor of religious belief.

reason 4. The continuity of flora and fauna on islands such as Hawaii [first noted by Roger Ashton at San Jose, CA, Conf. in 1980 and later in C and C Workshop 1986:1, p. 5] shows they were not overrun by globe-girdling tidal waves at 3500 BP when the "Sun" stood still for Joshua, as Velikovsky claimed, an illusion produced by a post-perihelion comet passing *behind* Earth, as Bob Kobres explained for Phaethon; [see [here]].

Humans did not survive, yet their petroglyphs did. But the tidal waves happened in 3147 BC and again in 1492 BC.

[N.B.: Regarding "Joshua's long day", axial tilt as an alternative to a rotational effect is really no help, as Robert W. Bass explained at the Glasgow Conference, April 7-9, 1978 (S.I.S. Review VI:1-3, p. 74).

yes it is. There seems to be genuine confusion as to what would happen if the Earth were hit by a massive repulsive electrical force. All of the "objections" are still based on a scenario where Venus comes close to earth.

A tippe top motion (i.e., one in which the body inverts while the spin axis does not) as invoked by Peter Warlow in "Geomagnetic Reversals?" (J. Phys. A 11, 1978, pp. 2107-30, reprinted in S.I.S. Review III:4, 1979, pp. 100-12) is also untenable, as explained by then COMSAT astrodynamacist Victor J. Slabinski (J. Phys. A 14, 1981, pp. 2503-7, reprinted in S.I.S.R. V:2, 1980, pp. 54-6; and developed further in Kronos VII:2, 1982, pp. 94-96)].

Correct, the Earth is not a top, and Warlow was disproven on math matters, and as I have pointed out.

[Warlow's inversion would require the close passage of a body 31% more massive than Jupiter!

That reasoning only considers gravity. A repulsive electrical force would do -- from a great distance. The forces are so large that a planet more massive than Jupiter is simply not needed.

Rejecting a dynamo in the core as the source of Earth's magnetic field, Warlow believed, along with Velikovsky, that Earth's magnetic field was produced by the rotation of an electrically-charged Earth and that magnetic reversals happened when Earth turned over inside the electric field.

Magnetism is external; no-one has ever modeled an internal generator; and magnetism would never do. And Earth never turned over. Most of the anecdotes collected by velikovsky can be explained as impression dating to the events of 3147 BC.

While a charged, rotating sphere does create a magnetic dipole field, it would not resemble the geomagnetic field and its observed behavior. Of the more than dozen ways to create a dipole field, a core dynamo is the only way to produce Earth's actual field.

Really doubt that. All the magnetism comments are spurious and besides the point. These represent various guesses at a model.

Despite Warlow's failure to deliver his promised rebuttal to Slabinski, fellow S.I.S. member and retired British Aerospace systems engineer David Salkeld argued that Earth could be turned over by a gigantic "filament" of water, launched from Saturn by some "ejection process", impinging upon us (imagine a water stream from a hose interacting with a beach ball) for up to 13.8 days, a duration derived from the minimum torque in Warlow's invalid, simplistic analysis (Salkeld, C and C Workshop 1987:2, p. 30 and 1988:2, p. 20 and C and C Review XI, 1989, pp. 29-34).

what? This is just fantasy.

This cataclysm left no tell-tale mark on Hawaii or anywhere else and Salkeld cited no model-specific physical evidence in his favor. Evidently, he believes in the same "powerful forces of somewhat more benign nature" once fantasized by Earl Milton (C.S.I.S. Newsletter III:2 [1985], p. 3). Salkeld's insistence on an inversion lasting more than a day was beside the point because Warlow's motivation was to lend credence to "Joshua's long day" in Worlds in Collision (Warlow, S.I.S.R. IV:1, p. 8; Warlow to Sizemore, 4 Aug. '78; Warlow to Ellenberger, 19 Feb. '80); he used a day as the basis for evaluating the examples in his J. Phys. A paper; and his book The Reversing Earth (London 1982) illustrated a one day inversion (Ellenberger, Aeon 2:5, 1991, pp. 83-90 and 3:1, 1992, pp. 97-8). Richard Huggett reports "Warlow believed that the process of reversal would take about a day!" (Catastrophism: Systems of Earth History, New York 1990, p. 123).

Another false lead in the guesses after a model.

Peter James and Nick Thorpe also agree that Warlow envisioned a one day inversion while describing the paradigm shift from Velikovsky's planetary fantasy to Clube and Napier's Taurid complex-based "coherent catastrophism" (Ancient Mysteries, New York 1999, pp. 145-7). Why Warlow permitted Salkeld to persist in his delusion is not known. It is interesting to note that in the early 1990s Slabinski's refutation of Warlow was affirmed by an Israeli space scientist who knows him well in response to a query from Velikovsky's daughter Shulamit Kogan. In their unbounded enthusiasm for exploring Velikovskian speculations, armchair investigators such as Warlow and Salkeld are of a piece with Kingsley Amis' "Lucky Jim", revelling in pseudo-research, shedding new light on a non-subject! (22 VIII 02).].

reason 3. The year was not 360 d. between 3500 BP and 2700 BP, as Velikovsky claimed, because at 3200 BP [according to Joseph Needham] the Chinese reckoned the summer solstice recurred 548 d. after the winter solstice, i.e., 365.25x1.5=547.875, a datum smugly ignored by Rose in "From Calendars to Chronology," making the "Velikovsky Divide" a fraud and delusion,...

Very clever, but the math doesnt add up, and certainly not in 3200 BP, which is a thousand years before the Chinese were keeping any sort of records. The axis went to (I suspect) 26 degrees after 3147 BC. Only in 1492 did the axis go to 30 degrees. The length of the year, in the meantime went to 240 days after 3147 BC (which is why the Chinese still devide the year into 60 day intervals), and to 270 or 280 in 2349 BC.

[in D.A. Pearlman (ed.), _Stephen J. Gould and Immanuel Velikovsky_ (1996) wherein Rose avers "I have always wanted revenge on the various villains of the Velikovsky Affair, whether from 1950 or from 1965 or from 1974" (p. 702). The book is a petty, ponderous, mean-spirited, wrong-headed, and vindictive collaboration of Ginenthal [compiler of _Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky_ (1990/1995)], Wolfe, Rose, Cardona, D.N. Talbott, and Cochrane].

reason 2. Magellan images of Venus [show 35+ km. wide craters and thereby] reveal a crust too thick to have been molten 3500 years ago, and if the 900 large craters on Venus were so young then Earth would be expected to have more than 20 craters of comparable size it does have.

Meaningless -- small craters are missing for good reason. They are not likely craters anyway. The small craters are missing because of the very thick atmosphere.

[NOTE Added by Tim Thompson: Also see my article "Is the Planet Venus Young?" .]

[The crust on Venus is so dry that it is far less viscous than wet terrestrial rocks would be at the same high temperatures (Mackwell, S.J., et al., LPSC XXV, 1994, p. 81). Thus, the craters on Venus can be a few hundred million years old, contrary to Ginenthal's dissembling. The conditions and processes on Earth that erase craters over geologic time are for the most part absent on Venus. Since the atmosphere below the clouds is stable against convection, i.e., the temperature lapse rate is subadiabatic (Seiff, A., in Hunten, D.M., et al. (eds.), Venus (1983), p. 215), no massive, on-going volcanism exists, as Velikovskians require. George R. Talbott's cooling model (Kronos IV:2, 1978), recently lauded uncritically by sci-fi writer James P. Hogan [author of Cradle of Saturn (1999), a naive homage to Velikovskian catastrophism] on WWW, is thus irrelevant because Talbott assumed on-going massive volcanism for which no evidence exists and other evidence contraindicates, e.g., the large craters and stagnant atmosphere below the clouds.

Wait, wait -- the Venus atmosphere is as impenetrable as a sea, not air. So a 2 mile per hour wind would scoure like sandpaper. Yet the 'craters' are still there.

Given the stagnation in the lower atmosphere, the enigmatic superrotation in the upper atmosphere can have nothing to do with a Velikovskian origin. Velikovsky's "youthful" Venus is a delusion so firmly held by true believers that Ginenthal led two audience rebellions against this speaker's keynote address at a meeting in Haliburton, Ontario, in August 1992 when the Pioneer and Magellan evidence disproving Velikovsky was presented. (6-IV-00)]

reason 1. Since Venus is too massive EVER to have had a VISIBLE tail,...

Whaoh - it has a tail, measured more recently than this Ellenberger essay.

...cometary behavior ascribed to the DEITY Inanna-Ishtar applies NOT to PLANET Venus, as Velikovsky and such naive epigoni as Dwardu Cardona, Cochrane, [Dave Talbott, Lewis Greenberg] and Lynn Rose claim, but to a real COMET, now defunct or absent, which was ALSO sacred to Inanna-Ishtar, as Clube and Napier propose in _The Cosmic Winter_ (1990); lesson: Inanna does not necessarily refer to Venus since she was ALSO associated with Moon, Sirius, etc. Thus, Inanna, NOT Venus, was hailed by the Mesopotamians as "Queen of the Zenith"

[--an allusion to Sirius, a position never occupied by Venus in the putative "polar configuration"].

Funny mix of epochs.

[Furthermore, the birth of the Greek goddess Pallas Athene from the head of Zeus cannot apply to Venus, as Velikovsky proposed, because the Greeks did not identify Pallas Athene with the planet Venus, as James Fitton explained in "Velikovsky Mythistoricus", Chiron I:1 and 2, 1974, pp. 29-36, which is an indictment of Velikovsky's methodology that has been totally ignored by Velikovsky's defenders although they have discussed other topics in Chiron. (17 VIII 98)]

I agree, Venus did not originate from Jupiter, but from Saturn. That is obvious, but because Velikovsky wrote "from Jupiter" that notion has become a trueism.

[The attempt to explain "a comet-like tail" on Venus as a natural consequence of her putative origin from Jupiter within the past 10,000 years by Charles Ginenthal in _The Velikovskian_ IV:2, 1998, 77-97, is hopelessly misguided on "on every . . . score", starting with the absence of any possible, feasible fissioning or other parturition process [about which Jim Hogan is clueless in Cradle of Saturn]; and see No. Ten, above. (10-XI-98)]

[N.B.: The very _raison d'etre_ for associating Venus with the Exodus in _Worlds in Collision_ has been refuted by Cardona, who recently revealed: "The comet CALLED Typhon [or Set] and the Typhon of Greek mythology are NOT the same.... [T]he comet [at Exodus] called Set/Typhon had nothing to do with the Greek demon called Typhon [which can be associated with Venus, according to Cardona].... It has never been ascertained on what evidence, if any, Rockenbach associated this comet with the Exodus" (Thoth II:7, April 15, 1998; reprinted in S.I.S. Internet Digest 1998:1, p. 15) (17-I-99).]

Interesting. The axiomatic starting position for the Saturnians was recently voiced by Cochrane as:

"Ev: Velikovsky was certainly right to suggest that certain planets such as Venus and Mars moved in close proximity to Earth in recent times and caused major cataclysms. He erred in attempting to date such events to the middle of the second and first millennia BCE." [posted Tue Sep 20, 2011 5:25 pm]

Neither one of these is true, "close proximity" or "erred."

reason 0. The revised chronology fares no better because the 10th century BCE, where Velikovsky places the XVIIIth Dynasty pharaohs coeval with the Minoan eruption of Thera, contains no signal for this eruption [or any eruption in the Greenland ice cores].

noted, obscure

[Correction (8 VI 98): The GISP2 ice core from Greenland does contain a volcanic acidity signal at 962 B.C. However, this does not nullify the point because the eruption of Thera is associated with the reign of Thutmose III which began several decades later in Velikovsky's revised chronology, according to the chart by John Holbrook, Jr., in Pensee IV.]

[When Velikovsky affirmed the date for the Minoan eruption of Thera at 1500 B.C. (the date in the standard chronology), he overlooked the fact that his revised chronology required a 10th century date, as Jerry Pournelle first reported in Feb. 1975 Galaxy, pp. 82-83, by noting that the eruption is associated with Late Minoan I ceramic phase and also with the XVIIIth Dynasty and that, whereas Velikovsky dated Minoan Linear B writing to ca. 700 B.C., it "is contemporary with the Thera disaster which Velikovsky himself dates to -1500." Israel M. Isaacson, a.k.a. Eddie Schorr, on ceramic and other grounds reported the same deduction in Kronos I:2, June 1975, pp. 93-97. (18 VIII 00)]

[Furthermore, contrary to Velikovsky in _Ages in Chaos_ (1952), Hatshepsut of the XVIIIth Dynasty was not the Queen of Sheba who visited King Solomon, as explained by Egyptologist David Lorton (1984/1999) and Biblical Scholar John Bimson (C and C Review VIII, 1986, pp. 12-26), another datum on which Panglossian Rose is curiously silent. (3-XI-99)]

[Hatshepsut did not visit Jerusalem, as Velikovsky claimed, but rather a Semitic coastal trading settlement of northeast Africa, perhaps Somaliland, as indicated by the flora and fauna pictured by Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari which are diagnostic to a Gulf of Aden provenance to the exclusion of a Mediterranean one. (18 VIII 00)]

[These reasons present a prima facie difficulty for Velikovsky's position and support R.G.A. Dolby's arguments in S.I.S. Review I:3, 1976, 26-30 (adapted from Social Studies of Science 5, 1975, 165-175) and implicitly refute H. Meynell's reply to Dolby in which he claimed "...the impressiveness of Velikovsky's thesis is due as much to its coherence within itself as to its correspondence with ascertainable fact....that _one_ at first sight extremely improbable hypothesis, which should be liable to falsification in any number of ways, is in fact apparently confirmed in as many ways" (S.I.S. Review I:4, 1977, 5-8). The foregoing "Top Ten" would appear to contradict this assessment.]

[These "Top Ten Reasons..." also nullify Lynn Rose's willfully ignorant remark that Velikovsky's "theory is not in conflict with any clear-cut _facts_ unearthed by other disciplines and claims to the contrary have never been substantiated" ("The Censorship of Velikovsky's Interdisciplinary Synthesis", Pensee I, pp. 28-31; reprinted in Velikovsky Reconsidered (N.Y., 1976)).

This rosey outlook is contradicted by the absence of visible debris in the world's ice caps marking the first alleged Venus catastrophe (No. 6), continuity of flora and fauna on islands (No. 4), and the "survival" of the bristlecone pines (No. 5). In his 1950 review of Worlds in Collision in New Statesman and Nation, J.B.S. Haldane, citing Swedish varves and Atlantic bottom cores, noted "The data of geology absolutely negate the possibility of worldwide floods in the last 10,000 years"; but Velikovsky ignored this criticism when discussing Haldane's review in Stargazers and Gravediggers, pp. 199-202. (14 X 00)]

["But it is not possible to understand the relation of myth to reality without some INDEPENDENT knowledge of the reality" [emphasis added], TLS, 4-14-72. Jerome Lettvin expressed the problem as "You can't even guess what is meant [in myth] unless you know what is meant" in "The Use of Myth: The tales of the Makers are the first language of science," Tech. Rev., June, 1976, 52-59. The latter-day Velikovskians, esp. the "Saturnists" following Dave Talbott, have no appreciation of this requirement.]

[Their highly-touted inductive, "comparative method" of mythological interpretation/exegesis is seriously flawed to the extent it is not supported by independent evidence, preferably physical or explicit text, i.e., A=C, not A=B, B=C, therefore A=C, because such relations or identifications or equations in mythology, which are often metaphorical, are not necessarily transitive, as Hertha von Dechend explains, in effect, in Hamlet's Mill, Appendix 39: "Thus, it would be the very confidence in the custom of giving many names to the same topos -- and in 'synonyms' in general -- which enforces, so to speak, distorted translations" (p. 449).

Following Harald A.T. Reiche (classicist, M.I.T.), who was one of von Dechend's few academic exponents, my "Mongoose vs. Cobra" postcard (15-VI-93) observed: "Indeed, as scholars the 'Saturnists' are entirely too naive, literal and unsophisticated, as with Sun=Saturn. The notion of 'equation' and 'identity' deserves a more sensitive treatment. One must distinguish between substantive, functional, temporary, shorthand, and topographic 'identities' and consider the possibility that Semitic languages _lacked_ the sort of _precision_ that the Greeks and we routinely employ (cf the Luther-Zwingli debate concerning the Eucharist). 'Saturnists' don't know cow chips from kumquats when it comes to subtlety and nuance."

The reader will search in vain in Kronos, Aeon, The Velikovskian, Chronology and Catastrophism Review, and Usenet fora to find a "Saturnist" principal discuss these issues other than to label the writer "certifiable", or some other amateur psychological diagnosis. This lack of critical approach also applies to their intellectual allies which includes Dr. E.J. (Ted) Bond (philosophy), Prof. Lewis M. Greenberg (art history), [James McCanney (pseudo-scientist whose personal hero is T.J.J. See),] Dr. Hugo Meynell (religious studies), Dr. William Mullen (classics and coiner of "cenocatastrophism"), Dr. C.J. Ransom (physics), Mr. Martin Sieff (journalism), Dr. Brian Stross (anthropology), Dr. George R. Talbott (interdisciplinary science studies), Dr. Roger W. Wescott (linguistics), and Mr. Clark Whelton (dilettante) when engaged in and/or promoting Velikovskian and/or "Saturnist" studies. (7-XII-99)]

Lynn Rose says "To undermine [an] argument, we need simply identify [the] false premisses[sic]." His false premises include (a) equating Inanna solely with Venus, a crude, ignorant reductionism, (b) treating religious texts as historical evidence for actual events instead of metaphors,...

The use of metaphors, such as what we are so facile at, just didn't exist in antiquity, at least to about 1000 BC.

...and (c) over-emphasizing predictive power. In Kronos II:4, he should have said "to prove Velikovsky right you must assume Velikovsky right" and thereby ignore all the contrary physical evidence, which has priority over "historical" evidence which is subject to interpretation.

Since Rose denies the absolute veto power of relevant evidence, he ignores it when he cannot pervert it (e.g., with the Greenland ice core evidence in Kronos XII:1 and XII:2, 1987, whose outright fraud and mendacity were exposed in Sean Mewhinney, "Ice Cores and Common Sense," _Catastrophism and Ancient History_ XII:1 and XII:2, 1990; since ignored by Rose as of 12/99).

Sean is as wildly wrong.

When Rose says "Velikovsky's critics had no decent arguments against him" and Wolfe says "there is no reason why Velikovsky...should be wrong _a priori_," [in Pearlman (ed.)] they merely show they, too, along with Ginenthal are each TRULY "an ignoramus masquerading as a sage"--deluded beyond redemption.

[One of the gimmicks in Pearlman (ed.) is the classic Velikovskian tactic of turning a critic's words against him so that at every opportunity Henry Bauer is shown to be "an ignoramus masquerading as a sage", as Bauer showed Velikovsky to be in _Beyond Velikovsky_ (1984).]

[Clearly, the foregoing "Top Ten..." indicate that Velikovskian apologists such as Lynn E. Rose (philosophy), I. Wolfe (English and deconstructionism), and C. Ginenthal (education), by virtue of their lacking a proper, formal scientific background, operate from a profound depth of ignorance, not to mention an almost irrational pro-Velikovsky bias. (10-XI-98)]

[Clearly, the vaunted "interdisciplinary synthesis" of Velikovskians has failed to incorporate all the relevant data and, for as much as they accuse others of the _petitio principii_ fallacy (i.e., begging the question), they are past masters of it while not being able to see the forest for the trees. (3-XI-99)]

Comments/questions welcome: c.leroy (at) rocketmail (dot) com

For a review of Ruth V. Sharon, ABA: The Life of Im. Velikovsky, see J. Sci. Explor. 10:4, 1996, 561-569. For a copy, send $1.00 P and H and also get a copy of V's audacious 3-31-47 letter to Shapley sent with Cosmos w/o Gravitation (whose significance, contrary to G'thal and Rose, is that since it shows V. did not understand physics his challenge to science was presumptuous in the extreme), a letter curiously absent from _Stargazers and Gravediggers_ and Velikovskian apologetics [such as Pearlman (ed.)].

Leroy Ellenberger, Jan. 1997

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