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Immanuel Velikovsky

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posted on May, 28 2005 @ 06:22 PM
Has anyone read any of his books and care to share their opinion on his theories?
I've read Worlds in Collision and Peoples of the Sea and found them both very intresting. He makes some good points to back up his ideas but goes into such detail in areas that the books can get kind of boring. There are mistakes in his theories that have been proven since Worlds came out in 1950 but on a whole they seem plausible.
Some put his ideas in the same realm as Erich von Daniken (who has a following in his own right), but I feel he has better credentials and evidence to back them up.

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 06:32 PM
Velikovsky was on to something, even though some of his theories never panned out it does make sense that certain celestial events influenced Religoun and Culture here on earth. Infact I believe it is certain that the majority of our Myths, Legends and Theology of a fantastic nature comes from our uneducated observations of the Cosmos. I personally have not read any of his books but have read some articles on him. I might check his books out from the library now.

posted on May, 28 2005 @ 06:55 PM
I was led to Velikovsky some years back. He does read well and he does make more sense than Von Daniken.

Havent read him for quite some time, but alway mention him to others. I might also suggest you read Robert Ardrey (Shatner's favorite Author) who's written at least two fine books. One title I recall is "The Territorial Imperative". Wish I could recall the other. Excellent alternate origin-of-man theorizing.

Same person to turn me on to Velikovsky, pointed me toward "Holy Blood Holy Grail".... another excellent 'alternate theory' read.


posted on May, 28 2005 @ 09:47 PM
A B+ for imagination, an F in scholarship. And an F in history, too.

His books are full of his own interpretations, which contain glaring errors. As an example, the "planet Venus zooms by Earth and rains manna on the surface on the way to a stable orbit" ... simply didn't happen. During that particular time there were a lot of literate civilizations who wrote a lot of texts, and there's no way that they would fail to mention a large planet appearing in the sky and growing larger and then raining sticky stuff all around.

...or the earthquakes and other crustal problems associated with a large planet passing by the Earth (actually, at the distance he proposed, Venus and Earth would have smashed into each other and the point would be moot.)

Think of it as 1950's science fiction, and it's okay. But presented as "a book of fact," it's incredibly bad.

...and don't get me started on the cultural stuff. Unlike Velikovsky, I *can* read some of those languages (very very badly but I can read them.)

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 11:28 AM
I was led to this site as i was looking for more info on velikovsky and i can sefely say that its all rot.

Velikovsky was a fraud who used poor translations of ancient legends to justify his crazy ideas about venus being expelled from Jupiter and subsequently throwing mars out of orbit.

The stress such an expulsion would crate on venus would be enough to shatter the planet and give jupiter a ring system similar to saturns.

Fun but wrong.

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 12:02 PM
I've read one book each of Immanuel Velikovsky, Zecheriah Sitchin, and Erich von Däniken. In all cases, they present their case(s) based on -- to a large degree -- their interpretation of ancient myths and legends.

Sometimes this approach makes sense, if the "legend-evidence" (and I use that term advisedly) complements other data.

For example, Attic Greek legends talk about a "Great Stone God" arising out of the sea. Some people have said that the legends could be talking about some huge grey pumice-cloud; and therefore we can conclude that there was a huge volcanic eruption in ther sea. Well, we have a lot of other corroboration for exactly the same thing (the eruption of Thera which wiped out the largest Minoan culture outside of Crete). My point is that sometimes legends can provide some sort of corroboration for actual stuff that happened.

But with the three authors above, all the other data (archaeological, geological, and astronomical) contradicts their assertions. My colleagues on this thread -- Byrd et. al. -- have already discussed Velikovsky's errors; Zecheriah Sitchin is another case in point.

Sitchin, who has an undergrduate degree in economic history, presents himself as a renowned scholar of Sumerian and Akkadian languages, but he has never published in any scholarly journals, and all the other real scholars -- the folks who make the dictionaries and teach the courses at universities -- consider him a bozo. And, to top it off, basic astronomy, which is required to provide Sitchin with any credibility, completely contradicts most of his assertions.

Thor Heyerdahl and Barry Fell are two fascinating authors who are not quite mainstream because their assertions are not sufficiently corroborated by other data. But the big difference between Heyerdahl and Fell and the three frauds listed above is that the formers' hypothesis, although not corroborated by other data, is at least not contradicted by the data.

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 01:43 PM
Velikovsky's science was poor. His rethinking history however, all people can say is that it's "poor", and not cite examples and reasoning. When you can produce large works that are cohesive, it tends to be a valid alternative. When it disagrees with orthodoxy, it gets closed down by those who have no room for change in their thinking.

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:19 PM
Velikovski merely takes interpretations of ancient myths and states that the myths are misunderstood stories of actual astronomical events. THus when Jupiter throws a lightning bolt, its because the planet, jupiter, moved out of orbit, while humans were around, came close to the earth, and, because of the closeness, static electricity built up, and was discharged as super-bolts.

Or when venus does something its because that planet actually moved around the solar system, etc etc. He also supports a global flood, if I recall, which demonstrates that he's bollocks.

posted on Jun, 1 2005 @ 02:25 PM
Nairod says:

Velikovsky's science was poor. His rethinking history however, all people can say is that it's "poor", and not cite examples and reasoning.

Perhaps it's because Velikovsky's rethinking history was based on his "science" which, I'm sure we agree, was poor.

When you can produce large works that are cohesive, it tends to be a valid alternative.

Yes. If a person is producing a detailed discussion, it helps immeasurably if it's cohesive, including the scientific backing for the arguments. That's the main problem with people kike Velikovsky, von Daniken, and Sitchin: their works simply aren't cohesive; they fall apart when it comes time for substantiation.

When it disagrees with orthodoxy, it gets closed down by those who have no room for change in their thinking.

I disagree. Look at Wegener's "Continental Drift" hypothesis, first postulated in the early 1920's. It was shot down by the powers-that-be, but it wasn't because they had "no room for change in their thinking"; indeed, it was because Wegener could not model the mechanism for the actual movement of the continents.

But when the role of magmatic convection in the Earth's aesthenosphere was investigated and understood, the pieces fell in place, and now almost everyone accepts Wegener, although they no longer use the term "continental drift".

Science did exactly what it was supposed to do: it blew off a hypothesis until suffieicnt correlative data became available, and then the same boffins, given proper data, admitted that their initial rejection was incorrect and that it really appears that the hypothesis was a valid one.

The biggest tragedy of this late recognition, in this case, was that it came late. Alfred Lothar Wegener, one of the greatest scientists of the 20th Century, died heroically in an attempt to rescue his colleagues on an icepack in the frozen North, and never knew that his plate tectonics theory is a gaint marker in man's progress.

[edit on 1-6-2005 by Off_The_Street]

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 07:00 AM
By all means show where Sitchin of Velikovsky are not coherent in what they say, rather than stating it

posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 07:23 AM
Velikovsky has the dubious distinction of being one of the very few noted academics to be refused publication because his work violated 'accepted' scientific thinking at the time. When you read many of these posts you can see why. 'Accepted' science has boxes full of theories (which are, btw, set out as 'facts') that not only can't be proved but all indications seem to be untrue. But because we don't have an alternative they persist. Velikovsky was a brilliant academic who developed some alternative theories. I think you're selling him short. We could use the criteria presented on this thread to discredit alot of the science we routinely accept.

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 11:58 AM

(posted by ManInTheStreet)
(...)the big difference between Heyerdahl and Fell and the three frauds listed above is that the formers' hypothesis, although not corroborated by other data, is at least not contradicted by the data.

It is because the facts do not agree with Heyerdahl's theories that very few scholars nowadays believe that some continents were settled by people who crossed the high seas in rickety rafts. He DID manage to show that this was possible, by going from Peru to Polynesia (so maybe South Americans could have settled down in the South Pacific Islands), from North Africa to America (and so the Egyptians might've crossed the ocean in papyrus-reed boats and brought their pyramid-building skills to Central America) and from Iraq to the Horn of Africa, yet his so-called "diffusionist theories" of culture are rejected by many ethnologists because there is no linguistic evidence to back his ideas. No trace of the Egyptian language is to be found in America, nor did South American languages make any contribution to the ones spoken in the Pacific islands.

Even so Heyerdahl has something valuable to offer at a website such as this one, but in a completely different field: UFOlogy. Several passages in his The Kon-Tiki Expedition describe frightening nocturnal encounters with USOs (unidentified submarine objects) --balls of light that would silently appear under the raft, like underwater "foo-fighters", and go around in circles-- and are possible proof that there are, after all, underwater alien bases. The Kon-Tiki UFOs ought to be included in the lists of the all-time "classics" but maybe only the Norwegian UFOlogists are aware of them.

Apologies for the digression.

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:20 PM
I believe Copernicus and Galileo faced similar bans in their day...
I do not agree with much of Velikovsky's conclusions, but I am quite curious why his work would garner such a proscription. From my perspective, that actually lends some credence to his claims. But still, I think he is guessing as opposed to deducing, many of his assertions. And I have no comment either way on Zitchin, though I have read some of his Sumerian/Annunaki stuff and find it intriguing. I feel that he does know a fair bit about ancient Sumer, whether he has the letters after his name or not. It is amazing what good old curiosity can achieve. He could know more than some University grads, sheerly cuz he is so interested in it. I have a pretty eccentric view of the world, so his writings are not as crazy sounding to me as they likely are to most readers. Still, I would not go so far as to say I totally agree with or believe him. I just feel he isn't totally wrong, and that there is some truth in there. How much truth I don't have a clue.
Thor Heyerdahl opened a lot of eyes, and later research that I have read has convinced me that there was contact between ancient Egypt and the Americas. The name Lamerika, (my spelling is suspect) used in reference to a paradise across the western seas, is thousands of years old, for example.

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:43 PM
Ah...names from my 'Oh, wow' days...

Velikovsky, Sitchin, Hapgood et al have shaped my thinking going back 45 years. It's amazing how relevant these people are in the every day conversations of so many of us.

I am so happy to have read 'Worlds in Collision' in the dim dark past, so that I may understand the appearance of Sedna from out of the great black abyss. Red Dwarf coming into our back yard? No problem...Velikovsky saw it coming and told of the possibilty of a solar system knocked askew.

Ghosts and goblins still keep the kiddies awake at night? No problem...Charles Hapgood knows all about Voices of Spirit.

And Sitchin...well...if he doesn't fire up the imagination and put historical reference into the majority of religious malarky, then i'm a monkeys uncle...

Oh yea...Darwin was so afraid to publish his thougths it almost drove him mad...the wussy.

Better a dozen fearless Immanuels than one dry number cruncher. I don't care how wacky they get, if it's new and came out of someones brain with a pinch of "Eureka!" then I'll buy their books (if only for the sheer pleasure of an excursion from the bland).

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:46 PM
Macrento, I grew up in Micronesia (my father worked for the US Government when Micronesia was a UN Trust Territory. As a young boy I read "Kon-Tiki" and "Aku-Aku" and Heyerdahl was a real hero. In 1959 ( I believe, since I was around 14 or 15) we were in Honolulu, and my dad saw an article in the Star-Bulletin saying that Heyerdahl was giving a lecture at the Bishop Museum. He told me he was going tothe museum to "see a friend of his" (he didn't tell me whom) and asked if I wanted to go. I actually got to meet Heyerdahl, and it was probably a couple of days before I could wash my right hand. What a man!

Nonetheless, Heyerdahl was greeted with skepticism and rightly so; the fact that a thing is possible is not ipso facto evidence for its historicity. I am looking forward to the day (hopefully soon) when a broader capability of DNA typing peoples of the world will show any special correlation between Andeans and Polynesians; to me, that would be the best piece of evidence for Heyerdahl's assertions.

I wasn't aware of Heyerdahl's views of the submarine critters; I'll have to pull out Kon-Tiki and re-read it.

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:49 PM
I agree with that, masqua. If I had a choice between a Carl Sagan book and a Sitchin book, I'd pick Zechariah every time. He is not as academically acclaimed for sure, but he's a hell of a lot more interesting. And his proposals are not impossible, despite what I hear some say. Sagan used to be one of the writers I admired and aspired to be more like, when I was a teenager. Now, I find his outlook and style to be desperately bland. It is now so terribly dull and tedious seeming to me that I doubt I could make it through another Sagan text. Life is too short.

[edit on 03 22 2005 by BlackGuardXIII]

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:57 PM
jtma508 says:

Velikovsky has the dubious distinction of being one of the very few noted academics to be refused publication because his work violated 'accepted' scientific thinking at the time.

I think it had more to do with the fact that he was not a "noted academic". Immanuel Velikovsky was a psychiatrist, who claimed some sort of expertise in mythology and astronomy, neither of which he had.

For example, he buttressed his claims that Venus was expelled from Jupiter with ancient Greek mythology, which asserts that the goddess Athena sprang from the head of Zeus. Velikovsky identifies Athena with the planet Venus, though the Greeks didn't. The Greek counterpart of the Roman Venus was Aphrodite!

Velikovsky identifies Zeus (whose Roman counterpart was the god Jupiter) with the planet Jupiter. This myth, along with others from ancient Egypt, Israel, Mexico, etc., are used to support the claim that "Venus was expelled as a comet and then changed to a planet after contact with a number of members of our solar system" (Velikovsky 1972).

Furthermore, although it wasn't until the actual landings of Russian probes in Venus that we knew for sure, but even in 1950 astronomers knew that Venus was a rocky planet like Earth and the Jupiter was a gas giant. Jupiter "giving birth" to Venus is like Bambi giving birth to puppies; it doesn't work.

That's why Velikovsky wasn't published in serious literature; the people who vet such stuff were real astronomers and mythologists. They could see that Velikovsky, although he might be able to prescribe for crazy people, didn't know doodly-squat about the subjects he was professing to write about!

[edit on 4-6-2005 by Off_The_Street]

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:59 PM
blackguard says:

It is now so terribly dull and tedious seeming to me that I doubt I could make it through another Sagan text.

No problem: Sagan, being dead, has pretty much stopped his writing.

"billions and billions"

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 01:15 PM
Thanks for the info. Off The Street, I didn't know the details, just that he proposed that Venus came from elsewhere and then settled in its present orbit, which I found highly suspect, since the orbits of the planets reflect a rough geometric order in their spacing from the sun, which suggests to me Venus has been in its present spot all along. One interesting thing I have read that makes more sense is the connection that I believe Sitchin made between Tiamat, Marduk, and the asteroid belt. If I recall, he felt that there had been a planet between Mars and Jupiter, which he claimed was Tiamat. He then went on to say that Tiamat was destroyed by Marduk? which is an as yet unknown planet or comet. This is all pretty sketchy in my memory since I read this stuff over 20 years ago, but I felt at the time it was a possible answer to the question of why there is no planet there, and also, it could explain the terribly destructive bombardment that Mars shows such massive scars from. And if I wanted to really reach, it could also explain one of earths ancient extinction level events, which would have done an efficient job of wiping the slate clean if there had been any civilizations in place at the time. I personally feel there is some basis in reality for the ubiquitous myths about the Gods destroying a great civilization long ago. There is enough time in earths history for that to have happened many times, and I have read enough about the subject to convince me that this has happened at least once. I believe that the ancient writers may very well be right when they describe this as the fourth or even fifth go round. Who knows? A million years can hide a lot.

posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 01:23 PM

Originally posted by Off_The_Street
blackguard says:

It is now so terribly dull and tedious seeming to me that I doubt I could make it through another Sagan text.

No problem: Sagan, being dead, has pretty much stopped his writing.

"billions and billions"

"There must be hundreds of them." A young Carl Sagan looking up at the stars.
I hope I did not offend anyone, by my critique of Mr. Sagan, and apologize if I did. I meant no harm, and I respect him as an astronomer and scientific teacher of high calibre. He brought space down to earth for millions of people, myself included. I just found that as I got older, my views have gone a different way, and I no longer agree with some of his beliefs. I am sure this has been a factor in my assessment of his writings, which are very popular and valuable.

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