Worlds in Collision - Immanuel Velikovsky

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by alan halvorson, Nov 25, 2001.

  1. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

    Oct 2, 1998
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    I bought When Worlds Collide recently and got to thinking about a couple books, Worlds in Collision and its follow up, Earth in Upheaval, written many years ago by a Russian named Immanuel Velilovsky. Anyone read these? For many years I thought When Worlds Collide was based on them but eventually I found out differently.
    I used to buy a lot of sci-fi paperbacks way back in the sixties. I picked these up because the premise, to a naive teenager, was absolutely fascinating. Here it goes (I am recalling this from over 35 years ago, so bear with me): At the time of the Exodus (you know, when the Hebrews, led by Moses, left Egypt), a large body was ejected by Jupiter towards the inner solar system. Eventually it either hit, or came very close to hitting (I can't recall which), Earth! This encounter caused all sorts of havoc on our home planet. It was, according to Velikovsky, responsible for the ten plagues set upon the Egyptians by Moses and the later parting of the Red Sea. And many other things. Remember Joshua, who was said to stop the sun? This was worked in there too. Oh - this collision was also the source of our crude oil.
    Ok - he goes on. In time this large body settles into an orbit and becomes Venus. Ain't that cool? It gets better. Before settling into its current orbit, this future Venus knocks Mars out of its orbit in such a way that it, too, hits, or comes very close to hitting, Earth! This occurred several hundred years after the Exodus. How did anything survive? Eventually all planets settled down into their current positions.
    How does Velikovsky go about proving his premise? The book Worlds in Collision uses legends, writings and myths of ancient peoples from all around the world and tries to corrolate them with each other. The followup book, Earth in Upheaval, puts forth the physical evidence.
    I will confess that, in my early teens, I fell for this stuff hook, line and sinker. But it didn't take long for a teacher to wise me up. The physics of the whole premise is simply incredible, not to mention the time it would take for the planets to stabilize and the probability of not just one, but three collisions. We are, after all, from either Jupiter or Mars, an awfully tiny target. There is a whole litany of holes in this "theory".
    It didn't take me long to see the flaws and to abandon the whole thing, but many others still wholeheartedly believe in Velikovsky's conclusions even today. Not that many years ago, Reader's Digest ran a long article in support of Velikovsky.
    Despite the enormous flaws, I've always though the books would make a good movie, except that we've had a couple asteriod/comet hits Earth films recently and certainly don't need any more.
    Any comments?
  2. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

    Dec 1, 2000
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    Velikovsky's claims are pure rubbish. Most of them violate known laws of physics and he provides absolutely no scientific evidence for these claims. Old myths and legends are not a good basis for upturning current scientific understanding.

    As for a movie, I'd say absolutely not. I've never seen any decent asteroid/comet movie and there's been far too many of them anyway.
  3. Nigel McN

    Nigel McN Supporting Actor

    Oct 23, 2000
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    I actually know a guy who is working on a a report on various cultures and how they all recorded some form of giant explosion in history through their artwork, I remember when he showed the (big)folders to me that I thought of Velikovsky.
    you have to admit there are elements of Velikovsky's books that make you go 'wow, that really does resemble a jetfighter/spaceman/cockpit etc'
    theres also the element that Egypts history doesn't appear to be set in stone yet (another theory of V's) I was reading an article in some journal very recently about dates are still shifting and years dissapearing (If you don't know his theory was that some 800 years of Egyptian history is counted twice - leading to conflicting events, especially when dealing with other countries , like isreal 'who was the queen of sheba, etc'.
    never a dull read, interesting if even just for the pictures [​IMG]
  4. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

    Dec 11, 2000
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    Immanuel Velikovsky = Carl Sagan's whipping-boy... [​IMG]

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