Thursday, November 07, 2013

Velikovsky Who?

The Surface of Venus

The following is a very brief review of the book Carl Sagan and Immanuel Velikovsky by Charles Ginenthal. This very brief review was originally at Amazon. I have only changed it very slightly here.1

Reading the reviews of this book is very enlightening it indicates a degree of Hero Worship that is quite remarkable.

We have in Charles Ginenthal's book a morality tale of the wicked Dr. Sagan versus Dr. Velikovsky a saint.

In pursuit of his morality tale Charles Ginenthal resorts to all sorts of devices to make Dr. Sagan look bad. Velikovsky's scenario as been disproved by so much evidence that the willingness of his supporters to "believe" is awe inspiring.

Charles Ginenthal's attribution of motives etc., too Dr. Sagan are quite revealing of his own psychology.

It is quite easy to demonstrate how biased, distorted Velikovsky's books are. To give just one example Velikovsky claimed that the Queen of Sheba in the Bible was the Queen Hatshepsut of Egypt.2

Charles Ginenthal has perfected those techniques and engaging in abuse of both scholarship and good manners that vastly exceeds anything that Dr. Sagan ever wrote or said. We have here an account of the "controversy" from the point of view of a committed "true believer" who shrinks at virtually nothing to blacken his enemy.

Only to Velikovsky's followers does there continue to be a "controversy", everyone else has moved on. The many positive reviews of this book make me wonder about the state of science education.

It is of interest that former Velikovsky acolyte Leroy Ellenberger has become the most ardent opponent of Velikovskian delusion and he is far more acidic, and contemptuous of Velikovasky's theories than Sagan ever was.3 

The reviews written since I wrote the above at Amazon are mostly masturbatory, ignorant celebrations of Velikovsky by die hard fans and acolytes. Of course what is obvious now is that aside from a certain fringe element Velikovsky is largely forgotten and deservedly so.

1. The book is published by New Falcon Publications, New York, 1995. The Amazon posting can be found at Here.

2. See Lorton, David,  Hatshepsut, The Queen of Sheba and Immanuel Velikovsky, ReocitiesHere.

3. For example see Ellenberger, Leroy, Top Ten Reasons Why Velikovsky is Wrong About Worlds in CollisionHere. Other of Ellenberger's writings are available on the web.

Pierre Cloutier

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