Re: Velikovsky's [sic] was an imbecile

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu Jan 18 2001 - 02:50:14 MST

"John Marlow" <> writes:

> **Actually, quantum theory sounds a whole lot kookier than Velikovsky-
> -but it does seem to be correct. And I refuse to discount a theory
> based upon the opinion and characterizations of an individual who has
> examined said theory for a total of 4.3 seconds.

If you judge theories on how they sound, then you are going to make
many mistakes. Instead look at their predictions. Does it look like
all known orbital mechanics is dead wrong, the laws of thermodynamics,
energy conservation and momentum conservation are disobeyed by
planetary masses and that every culture in the world except for the
one at ground zero suffers collective amnesia of dramatic
world-spanning events? Also, consider whether they can be falsified -
can you prove that Velikovsky's cosmic billiards did not happen when
he can (in principle, since he is dead) always blame lack of evidence
or contradictions on collective amnesia, changes in physics or
catastrophes being brief. I guess this may take longer to evaluate
than 4.3 seconds, but not much longer.

If you do the same with quantum mechanics you get completely different
answers. They might be weird, but they actually fit with known facts,
only change the previously known laws of physics at certain scales and
the whole theory is quite falsifiable.

> *"I have already carefully read the first volume of the memoirs to
> “Worlds in Collision,” and have supplied it with a few marginal notes
> in pencil that can be easily erased..." --Albert Einstein, letter to
> Immanuel Velikovsky, March 17, 1955
> **Apparently Mr. Einstein thought the matter warranted a wee bit more
> than 4.3 seconds of "his" time--though it must be said that he did
> not support the Venus contention, and found parts of V's works to be
> fanciful, as of 1954-55.

Do you know that followers of Willhelm Reich also claim that Einsteing
approved of his theories of orgone power? The real story is that Reich
often dragged over his neighbour in Princeton (?) to show his latest
gadgets like orgone boxes and cloud/anti-UFO cannons, and the
peace-loving Einstein never had the heart to tell him he was a
crank. So his followers now claim Einstein supported Reich.

Anyway, even if Einstein had been the greatest admirer of Velikovsky
it doesn't improve the validity of his theories one bit. Arguments of
authority have no place in science.

Even an infinite posthuman lifespan is not long enough to consider all
forms of junk thinking - the cardinality of the set of incoherent,
unsupported or nonfalsifiable ideas is much larger than the
cardinality of its complement.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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