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David Morrison

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Dr David Morrison

David Morrison is an astronomer (Ph.D. in Astronomy, Harvard University) who's paper appeared in the book, Scientists Confront Velikovsky.[1] although he did not take part in the corresponding 1974 American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting "Velikovsky's Challenge to Science", giving the talk "Planetary Astronomy and Velikovsky's Catastrophism", He is currently the senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.[2]


Morrison's paper

Based on an invited address given in 1974 at the McMaster University symposium on "Velikovsky and the Recent History of the Solar System", Morrison's paper notes:

"I should emphasize at the outset that the issue of conflict between Velikovsky and orthodox astronomy and geology is not catatrophism per se. It is obvious that the surfaces of the moon and planets have been scarred by tremendous explosions resulting from meteoric impacts; and terrestrial geologists have increasingly recognized in recent years the dominant role of sudden and violent events, such as volcanic eruptions and massive flash floods, in molding the surface of the Earth. Even in the field of celestial mechanics, there is no doubt about the occurrence of collisions among asteroids today, and among many more planetesimals at the time the solar system was forming. Further, it is not clear whether the orbits of the planets have always been where they are today, or whether subtle gravitational and tidal effects might not over hundreds of millions of years have altered the shapes of orbits significantly. The problem with Velikovsky's hypothesis is one of time scales [..] It is this concept of exceedingly recent catastrophism that separates Velikovsky so dramatically from the mainstream of science.."[1]

Selected bibliography

  • David Morrison, "Planetary Astronomy and Velikovsky's Catastrophism", in Donald W. Goldsmith (Editor), Scientists Confront Velikovsky (1977), Cornell University Press, ISBN-10: 0801409616, ISBN-13: 978-0801409615.
  • David Morrison, "Velikovsky: Cultures in Collision on the Fringes of Science", in Michael Shermer, Pat Linse, The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience, Published by ABC-CLIO, 2002, ISBN 1576076539, 9781576076538, 902 pages. p.473-488.
  • David Morrison, "Velikoysky At Fifty" Skeptic Magazine, Volume 9 Number 1 Spring, 2001
  • David Morrison, "Is the Sky Falling?", Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 1997. Online at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

See also

  • Ralph E. Juergens, "On Morrison: Some Preliminary Remarks", Kronos Vol. III, No. 2 Winter 1977 (Velikovsky and Establishment Science)
  • Ralph E. Juergens, "On Morrison: Some Further Remarks", Kronos Vol. IV, No. 2 Winter 1978 (Scientists Confront Scientists Who Confront Velikovsky)

External links


  1. a b Donald W. Goldsmith (Editor), Scientists Confront Velikovsky (1977), Cornell University Press, ISBN-10: 0801409616, ISBN-13: 978-0801409615. "Planetary Astronomy and Velikovsky's Catastrophism", by David Morrison
  2. David Morrison at the NASA Ames Research Center
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