Immanuel Velikovsky's writings


Dr. Velikovsky's writings in the 1940s through to the 1950s were quite controversial, to say the least...


What were they about? Well, to put it in a nutshell, he destroyed many peoples' beliefs in, and understanding of, and acceptance of, the many and various theories of the earth having been millions of years in the making since the last cataclysmic interaction between heavenly bodies - that is to say planet and comet collisions. He wrote three books which divided the "expert" world, and some of the teachers of the time heaped really nasty comments on these well researched works. The books were:

In my opinion, it is very well worth while reading his material, because it throws a very different view on the plausibility of the scriptural accounts of a number of events which have been pooh-poohed for a long time now as being impossible because of it being "known" by all the experts that the earth is millions of years older than biblical accounts suggest.

Before going any further, it should be acknowledged while I, the owner of this page, have complete faith in the accuracy of the biblical narrative, Dr. Velikovsky appears to accept it solely as an historical record which stands up through his investigations into similar narrives from many other primitive people of the first and second millenia before the "Common Era", i.e. B.C. I do not detect any evidence in Dr. Velikovsky's writings that he believes in "a God", or the Hebrew God, though he may, in fact have such beliefs. However it might well be that he regarded his personal beliefs as being irrelevant to the scientific evidence he was presenting to mankind for their evaluation.

A bit further down the page, I quote from his Foreword to "Ages In Chaos", to demonstrate the lengths to which those opposed to his theories (which he was perfectly entitled to put forward for discussion) went to discredit his after his first work was published.


Who was Velikovsky?


Immanuel Velikovsky was born in Vitebsk, Russia, in 1895, and studied at the universities of Moscow, Berlin, Vienna and Edinburgh. From 1921 to 1924 he edited, with Albert Einstein, the Scripta Universitatis atque Bibliothecae Hierosolymitarium, from which the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was to grow. In 1939 he emigrated to America where he lived at Princeton, New Jersey.

In 1960, he followed the three earlier books with Oedipus and Ahknaton.

He was married to Elisheva, and they had two daughters, Shulamith and Ruth.



Details from the Prefaces


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 which occurred thirty-four to thirtyfive centuries ago, in the middle of the second millenium before the present era; the other in the eigth and the beginning of the seventh century before the present era, twenty-six centuries ago...

Harmony or stability in the celestial and terrestrial spheres is the point of departure of the present-day concept of the world as expressed in the celestial mechanics of Newton and the theory of evolution of Darwin. If these two men of science are sacrosanct, this book is a heresy. However, modern physics, of atoms and of the quantum theory, describes dramatic changes in the microcosm - the atom - the prototype of the solar system; a theory, then, that envisages not dissimilar events in the macrocosm - the solar system - brings the modern concepts of physics to the celestial sphere...

The reader is not asked to accept a theory without question. Rather he is invited to consider for himself whether he is reading a book of fiction or non-fiction, whether what he is reading is invention or historical fact...

Ages in Chaos was conceived in the spring of 1940. It was then that I realised that the Exodus had occurred in the midst of a natural upheaval and that this catastrophe might prove to be the connecting link between the Israelite and Egyptian histories, if ancient Egyptian texts were found to contain references to a similar event...

Correct strategy requires that once a bridgehead is established it should be fortified. Is it good judgement, instead, to open a second front against a new adversary? After publication of Worlds in Collision,..., a wise and proper move would have been to strengthen my position by following with a volume of geological and paleontological evidence of the same dramatic events in the life of the earth...

I call Ages in Chaos the second front because, after having disrupted the complacent peace of mind of a powerful group of astronomers and other textbookwriters, I offer here major battle to the historians. The two volumes of the present work will be as disturbing to the historians as Worlds in Collision was to the astronomers. It is quite conceivable that historians will have even greater psychological difficulties in revising their views and in accepting the sequence of ancient history as establishes in Ages in Chaos than the astronomers had in accepting the story of cosmic disturbances in the solar system in historical times...

Should I have heeded the abuse with which a group of scientists condemned Worlds in Collision and its author?

Unable to prove the book or any part of it wrong or any quoted document spurious, the members of that group indulged in outbursts of unscientific fury. They suppressed the book in the hands of its first publisher by the threat of a boycott of all the company's textbooks, despite the fact that when the book was already on the presses the publisher agreed to submit it to the censorship of three prominent scientists and it passed that censorship. When a new publisher took the book over, this group tried to suppress it there, too, by threats. They forced the dismissal of a scientist and an editor who openly took an objective stand, and thus drove many members of academic faculties into clandestine reading of Worlds in Collision and correspondence with its author...

And here is a rule by which to know whether or not a book is spurious: Never in the history of science has a spurious book aroused a storm of anger among members of scientific bodies. But there is a storm every time a leaf in the book of knowledge has been turned over...

Earth in Upheaval is a book about the great tribulations to which the planet on which we travel was subjected in pre-historical and historical times. The pages of this book are transcripts of the testimony of mute witnesses, the rocks, in the court of celestial traffic. They testify by their own appearance and by the encased contents of dead bodies, fossilised skeletons...

I present here some pages from the book of nature. I have excluded from them all references to ancient literature, traditions, and folklore; and this I have done with intent, so that careless critics cannot decry the work as "tales and legends". Stones and bones are the only witnesses.Mute as they are, they will testify clearly and unequivocally. Yet dull ears and dimmed eyes will deny this evidence, and the dummer the vision, the more insistent will be the voices of protestation. This book was not written for those who swear by the verba magistri - the holiness of their school wisdom; and they may debate it without reading it, as well.

As owner of this web page, I would like to add a comment to that last sentence. It is reminiscent of the quotation from the last book of the New Testament - the Revelation, wherein we read (several times) "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear".

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This page last updated on 25th July, 1999.