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Worlds in Collision by Immanuel Velikovsky
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Worlds in Collision

by Immanuel Velikovsky

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Showing 4 of 4
Not the easiest read ever but fascinating. I think his reasoning is, at times, seriously flawed and he hasn't convinced me but he puts up a good argument with lots of evidence from ancient writings, if you take them literally. Very interesting and does make you think if nothing else. ( )
  nwdavies | Aug 21, 2014 |
Worlds in Collision is a controversial book in which Immanuel Velikovsky argues that myths and legends from the worlds ancient cultures, suggest that the Earth has been subjected to global planetary catastrophes. By comparing ancient texts, Velikovsky argues that many cultures described the same cosmic scenarios, for example, that dozens of traditions describe the planet Venus as having once looked like a comet.

Before publication, scientists threatened the original publisher, Macmillan, with a boycott, resulting in the books transfer to Doubleday. Other scientists criticized the book as being unscientific (it's a history book!), though many boasting that they had not read it, with the irony being lost.

In 1974, the AAAS organized a conference on Velikovsky's work, which was widely reported as successfully demolishing the theories. Proponents disagreed. For example, Dr. Robert Jastrow of NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies wrote: "Professor [Carl] Sagan's calculations, in effect, ignore the law of gravity. Here, Dr. Velikovsky was the better astronomer."

Worlds in Collision tends to polarize people. Velikovsky certainly erred in some of his predictions, but others were surprisingly accurate, eg. (a) that the Earth has been subject to catastrophes (b) Venus would be found to be hot (c) Jupiter would be found to emit radio noise. While other prediction are apparently bunkum (eg. Venus was once a comet), it is interesting that NASA's Pioneer Venus Orbiter discovered that Venus has a tail (see New Scientist).

More details can be found at the Velikovsky Encyclopedia ( )
  veligood | Nov 22, 2008 |
First published in 1950, this book posits that "two series of cosmic catastrophes took place in historical times, thirty-four and twenty-six centuries ago, and thus only a short time ago not peace but war reigned in the solar system." Velikovsky adduces geologic and archeological evidence, as well as testimony from a variety of ancient documents usually taken as metaphorical, including the Old Testament. The similarity of motifs and observations in these documents which come from all five continents at roughly the same time cannot be explained by chance, he asserts. Velikovsky bemoans the fact that "traditions about upheavals and catastrophes, found among all peoples, are generally discredited because of the shortsighted belief that no forces could have shaped the world in the past that are not at work also at the present time..." He proposes that "[p]rior to the last series of cataclysms ... the globe spun on an axis pointed in a different direction in space, with its poles at a different location, on a different orbit..." The cataclysms, he suggests, were caused by close encounters between the Earth and Venus and Mars, Venus having started its celestial life as a comet sprung from Jupiter. His theories may sound outragous, but it is worth reading his carefully researched evidence, both historical and geological, for these conclusions.

My husband has what I assume is the typical rationalist's reaction of dismissal for Velikovsky's theories, feeling that such a book isn't even worth reading to see what his arguments are because they could only be ridiculous. Unfortunately, this attitude is identical to that held by most scientists since Velikovsky's time (with the notable exception of Einstein).

On the contrary, I think his evidence - especially that of the physical variety - is overwhelming and should be considered. In any event, it is an exciting and thought-provoking book.

(JAF) ( )
2 vote nbmars | Jul 11, 2007 |
To be fair, this work was first published in 1950. In spite of the name-calling, we ARE still slightly mystified about the relationship between Hydrocarbon and Carbohydrate, if any. It does not help to accuse Dr V of "scientism".
  keylawk | Sep 12, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Immanuel Velikovskyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schotman, Johan W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
To Elisheva [Velikovsky's wife]
Dedication
First words
Worlds in Collision is a book of wars in the celestial sphere that took place in historical times. In these wars the planet earth participated too. This book describes two acts of a great drama: one that occurred thirty-four to thirty-five centuries ago, in the middle of the second millennium before the present era; the other in the eighth and the beginning of the seventh century before the present era, twenty-six centuries ago. Accordingly, this volume consists of two parts, preceded by a prologue.
Quotations
The historical-cosmological story of this book is based on the evidence of historical texts of many peoples around the globe.

The night side of Venus radiates heat because Venus is hot.

Then there are physical problems [..] the theory of cosmic catastrophism can, if required to do so, conform with the celestial mechanics of Newton
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067181091X, Mass Market Paperback)

Mass Market Paperback: 389 pages Publisher: Pocket; 1st edition (August 1, 1977) Language: English

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:47 -0400)

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