Hey! Randy

Science’s Most Hated Man

Posted by heyrandy on December 8, 2008

The Velikovsky Affair, 1966, 1978, Alfred de Grazia, ed. available on line free

There is in all the branches of science no name more despised than that of Emmanuel Velikovsky.  Velikovsky’s problem was he was not one of the establishment scientists.  Velikovsky was an outsider, a man who trespassed upon the sacred land of the specialist, an intruder in the temple of Scientism.  For these transgressions he will always be reviled, derogated, and dismissed as a crank.  His successes will never be properly acknowledged.

Velikovsky’s big heresy was to express a view of the cosmos that was not the establishment’s received wisdom of uniformitarianism.  It was Veikovsky’s view that ancient upheavals, worldwide in scope, affected the solar system and earth in particular and that these upheavals caused permanent, radical changes.

The book is a series of essays by Velikovsky supporters and one essay by Velikovsky.  While the book does tell of Velikovsky’s  many correct scientific predictions, the real story is in the revelation of the details of the scientific establishment’s treatment of Veikovsky:  it can’t be true because it was not discovered or predicted here by one of us.  It is the story of the seekers of truth rejecting truth because they are jealous of the one who found it.

The book reveals more than a little personal animosity by supposedly dispassionate scientists.  Velikovsky’s first book, Worlds in Collision, was given a hatchet job treatment by many of its establishment reviewers.  The reviews seem to have focused on denial rather than on evaluation of the evidence and reasoning.  This is not unusual; the establishment has a long history of using this tactic against mavericks.  However, more than one critic was embarrassed when they were forced to admit that they criticized the book without actually first reading it.  The old boy net in action.

This treatment backfired on the establishment.  The storm of criticism cause a great public curiosity about the book.  Sales exploded.   Velikovsky’s next book, Ages in Chaos, was ignored by the critics.  You can’t say scientists are not able to learn.

This is the real lesson of the book.  I do not have the expertise to evaluate Velikovsky’s as yet unproven claims, but it does not take a genius to see the injustice in Velilovsky’s treatment at the hands of “the impartial” scientific community.  Interlopers, beware.

It is important to realize that Velikovsky made his predictions without the aid research grants; expensive, exotic equipment; or even with any academic help.  This proved to be a real source of embarrassment to those who would later be Velikovsky’s critics.  The evidence Velikovsky marshals was available to all, but was ignored.  Velikovsky made his theories based upon ancient literary sources ignored by the professionals.  This all the more enraged the establishment .  This use of ancient sources has revealed a deep seated bigotry in the science establishment.  After all, what do those primitive people know?

Other critics dismiss Velikovsky’s success by saying that he made so many guesses that he was bound to  be right some of the time.  Those critics do not point to any Velikovsky failures.  Neither do the critics have much success with their own guessing.

Read the book and you just may love science’s most hated man.

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One Response to “Science’s Most Hated Man”

  1. The book is a good read. More about it, and the affair, can be found at The Velikovsky Encyclopedia

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