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Immanuel Velikovsky has been labelled a pseudoscientist by some (main article: Pseudoscience), and a genius by others. Han Kloosterman asked the rhetorical question: "Is Velikovsky a charlatan or a genius, or both?"[1]

Contents

Views

Dr Paul Federn

Brian Moore writes:[2]

"Another celebrated Freudian, Dr Paul Federn, recorded in 1947 [3][3] the following view of Velikovsky:
"A genius. A great man. An excellent psychoanalyst. An M.D. member of the Palestine group. Some revolutionary ideas that some people think are crazy, but he is a genius. Would not consider him for a teacher, but as an analyst I have sent him some of my most difficult cases."[4]

Scholars

Frederic B. Jueneman writes:

"In the field of Velikovsky's historical reconstructions, there are increasing numbers of scholars who are privately proclaiming him a genius for putting his finger on the perennial sorespot in Egyptian, Greek, and Anatolian chronology -- the roughly six centuries of dark ages of Mediterranean culture that abruptly stopped, had its long hiatus, and continued precisely where it left off as if nothing had happened. Velikovsky simply went to the heart of the problem and said that Egyptian chronology, the standard meterstick of the Middle East and Mediterranean civilizations, is in chaos and in error by as much as 800 years. [..]
"Quite frankly, in my view Velikovsky's efforts were not the labors of a pseudo-scientist, because his work has touched on too many things which preemptively have been proven correct, or with furthered knowledge might be proven one way or another. I am convinced that the major thrust of his opponents' arguments is that no one man can cut across so many disciplines with any authority or understanding at all, and in demeaning the man they merely demean their own inadequacy."[5]

Observer newspaper

Reporting on the 1974 AAAS conference, Scientists Confront Velikovsky', the Observer newspaper wrote:

"it wasn't Velikovsky's theories that angered the professors so much -- though they were heretical enough -- as the fact that thousands of their students swallowed them with an almost religious fervor, and saw the craggy, white-haired scholar as a wronged genius."[6]

Ragnar Forshufvud

"When in 1971 I first read Worlds in Collision it was like opening the doors to a new, fascinating world. As soon as I had read the book and considered its contents, I was convinced that Velikovsky's reconstruction of ancient astronomical events was essentially correct, and since then I have endeavoured to find explanations wherever Velikovsky's theories seemed to be afflicted with theoretical difficulties. [..] To me there is no doubt that Immanuel Velikovsky was one of the greatest geniuses that ever lived."[7]

Clark Whelton

"Once the panorama of human history has been seen through the prism of Velikovsky's genius, the implications of his work press in from all sides."[8] [..] "I believe Velikovsky to be one of the greatest geniuses of the millennium."[9]

Donald W. Pattern

"If Velikovsky's first paradigm was a serious and tragic misidentification, then his second paradigm was a stroke of a genius, a genius in cosmology, though not one in celestial mechanics. "[10]

Marvin Luckerman

"Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky died last November. Unlike his friends Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, Dr. Velikovsky went to his grave deprived of plaudits from his peers. It is my belief that he was, indeed, the last true Renaissance man: his genius will be recognized after his death even more than the famous painters of the nineteenth century."[11]

David Stove

Philosopher David Stove writes:

"Who is the most important thinker of the present century? Einstein, many would say. I am too ignorant, unfortunately, to judge whether that is true. Change the question a little: which thinker is the most important for the light he has thrown on human and terrestrial affairs? Freud? Wittgenstein? Konrad Lorenz? These answers I can judge, and I do not agree with any of them. My answer is, Immanuel Velikovsky."[12]

References

  1. Han Kloosterman, "Catastrophist Geology", Catastrophist Geology Year 1 No. 1 (June 1976)
  2. Brian Moore, "Causal Relationships: Freud, Stekel and Velikovsky", SIS Review Vol VII Part A (1985)
  3. Quoted in a letter from Dr Lawrence Kubie to Clifton Fadiman 23 Oct. 1947 and referred to in Recollections of a Fallen Sky: Velikovsky and Cultural Amnesia, the proceedings of the Lethbridge Symposium.
  4. Letter, "Lawrence S. Kubie to Clifton Fadiman", October 23, 1947. Online at the Velikovsky Archive.
  5. Frederic B. Jueneman, "Velikovsky: A Personal Chronological Perspective of His Final Years", Aeon III:1 (Nov 1992)
  6. "For the Benefit of the Press", Pensée Vol. 4 No 2: (Spring 1974) "Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered VII"
  7. Ragnar Forshufvud, "Dr Immanuel Velikovsky Tributers", SIS Review Vol IV No 4 (Spring 1980)
  8. Clark Whelton, "Dr Immanuel Velikovsky Tributers", SIS Review Vol IV No 4 (Spring 1980)
  9. Clark Whelton, "Velikovsky's "The Dark Age of Greece"", The Velikovskian Vol 1 No 2 (1993)
  10. Donald W. Patten, "Reviewing Velikovsky'S Venus And Mars Theories", The Velikovskian Vol 4 No 2 (1998)
  11. Marvin Luckerman, "In Memoriam" Catastrophism and Ancient History II:2 (Jun 1980)
  12. "Velikovsky becomes respectable", Quadrant 27 (10) (Oct 1983): 75-76. Reprinted in Kronos 9:3 (Summer 1984)

See also

  • Joseph F. Goodavage, "Immanuel Velikovsky: Genius vs. The Scientific Mafia," SAGA, (September, 1970), p. 93
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