Download e-book for iPad: The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of by Michael D. Gordin

By Michael D. Gordin

ISBN-10: 0226304426

ISBN-13: 9780226304427

Properly analyzed, the collective mythological and non secular writings of humanity exhibit that round 1500 BC, a comet swept perilously on the subject of Earth, triggering common traditional mess ups and dangerous the destruction of all existence ahead of settling into sun orbit as Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor.
 
Sound improbable? good, from 1950 until eventually the past due Seventies, an important variety of humans begged to vary, as they gobbled Immanuel Velikovsky’s significant best-seller, Worlds in Collision, insisting that maybe this polymathic philosopher held the major to a brand new technology and a brand new heritage. Scientists, nonetheless, assaulted Velikovsky’s e-book, his fans, and his press mercilessly from the get-go. In The Pseudoscience Wars, Michael D. Gordin resurrects the principally forgotten determine of Velikovsky and makes use of his unusual profession and strangely influential writings to discover the altering definitions of the road that separates valid medical inquiry from what's deemed bunk, and to teach how very important this query continues to be to us this day. Drawing on a wealth of formerly unpublished fabric from Velikovsky’s own data, Gordin provides a behind-the-scenes historical past of the writer’s occupation, from his preliminary burst of luck via his turning out to be effect at the counterculture, heated public battles with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, and eventual eclipse. alongside the way in which, he deals attention-grabbing glimpses into the histories and results of different fringe doctrines, together with creationism, Lysenkoism, parapsychology, and more—all of that have outstanding connections to Velikovsky’s theories.
 
Science at the present time is rarely universally safe, and scientists look themselves beset by means of critics, denialists, and people they label “pseudoscientists”—as visible all too sincerely in battles over evolution and weather swap. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously unearths the fabulous chilly struggle roots of our modern quandary and issues readers to another method of drawing the road among wisdom and nonsense.

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Extra info for The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the Birth of the Modern Fringe

Example text

In a jokey, informal letter, Shapley wrote to Thackrey suggesting that the latter had been hoodwinked into reproducing a piece of claptrap. ”36 Thackrey retorted hotly: “It seems to me that you are making both a personal and professional mistake—a gravely serious and dangerous one—by the totally unscientific and viciously emotional character of your attack upon Dr. ”39 In fact, in the entirety of the debate over Velikovsky, Shapley made only one public (in the sense of published) comment on Worlds in Collision, in the Science News-Letter (which he also happened to run) of February 25, 1950.

32 in 2012 dollars] each. ” So far, his censure was like McLaughlin’s and the others’. ”87 A boycott? Now this was bad. Boyd T. ”88 Harris immediately wrote back, asking for Herget to referee the final manuscript of an astronomy textbook by Wasley Krogdahl of Northwestern University and confessing that he “deeply regret[ted] that Macmillan published the Velikovsky book. ” So why boycott? ”89 Herget countered: “This would not be the first time that the rain has fallen upon the just as well as the unjust.

Putnam had related Velikovsky’s account of the Joshua story while the book was still in press—along with the surprising claim that Velikovsky believed that Central American myths of an especially long night, halfway around the world from the Middle East, were correlated with the Joshua story, thus indicating a common event. Allen enjoyed relating the anecdote at cocktail parties. When Macmillan began circulating materials about Worlds in Collision in late 1949, another editor at Harper’s, Merle Miller, recalled the story, obtained the page proofs of the book, and assigned Larrabee to serialize it.

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