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SIS Review Volume III Abstracts

SIS REVIEWVol. III:1 Click here for cost

(this issue also contains a report on the recently held conference held at Jordanhill College, Glasgow,

on 7th-9th April, 1978: ‘Ages in Chaos? – How valid are Velikovsky’s views on Ancient History?’

The Arrival of the Philistines and the Revised Chronology, by Dr. John J. Bimson

The arrival of the Philistines in Canaan is usually placed in the reign of Ramesses III, but this date has always been problematic as it makes several biblical references to the Philistines anachronistic. An earlier date alleviates this problem and bolsters the case for a revised Conquest date, also providing possible archaeological evidence of the biblical plagues.


‘Proofs’ of the Stability of the Solar System, by Dr. R. W. Bass

In 1773 Laplace published a theorem, later improved by Poisson, which was believed to show the stability of the solar system in the sense that the mean planetary distances would always remain bounded and that adjacent planets could not interchange their distances nor nearly collide. In 1784, utilising work of Lagrange, Laplace published another theorem alleging that the planetary inclinations and eccentricities must always remain small (if the eccentricities could become large, near-collisions could occur). Experts have discounted these results since 1989, ………………. In 1902 Moulton published an analysis of these theorems showing that the 1784 work was fatally flawed …………. In 1933, Brown and Shook stated that the theorems of Laplace and Poisson were ‘much over-estimated.’ ………….. The retreat became a rout when the Regius Professor of Astronomy of the University of Glasgow in a 1953 treatise on dynamical astronomy, spelled out the explicit quantiative details of Brown’s doubts ……………. In conclusion we combine these results with the consequences of [the] accompanying paper to provide proof that the astronomers who have asserted that Velikovsky’s central hypothesis is incompatible with Newtonian dynamics have been labouring under a radical misapprehension of the objective facts. ………….


A Philosophy for Interdisciplinary Studies, by Dr Hugo A. Meynell 

Readers of this journal know that an increasing number of scientists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines believe that Velikovsky has made discoveries of outstanding importance; or at least that his proposals merit careful consideration. On the other hand, an even greater number say, or have said, that he is a crank and that his theories are simply not worth serious examination. If this disagreement is to get beyond the stage of mutual mudslinging, it would seem necessary to clarify the question of when and why a theory which is radically at variance with accepted beliefs is to be taken as a possible candidate for being true, or at least closer to the truth than its rivals. Is there any general method of objective enquiry, that is, of the sort … which is liable to lead to the truth about things; and if so, what is it? …………….. 


SIS REVIEW Vol. III:2 Click here for cost 

Retrospect, by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky

To believe in the press, Dr. Velikovsky ‘came off a poor second’ at the AAAS symposium in 1974, where his arguments were ‘refuted in their entirety’ by speakers whose papers have now appeared in the one-sided book Scientists Confront Velikovsky. This latest episode in the ‘Velikovsky Affair’ is here put into context by Dr. Velikovsky himself.

A symposium on my work, titled ‘Velikovsky’s Challenge to Science’, was held by the American Association for the Advancement of Science on February 25, 1974 in San Francisco. One of the symposium’s panellists, Dr. Derral Mulholland, a specialist in celestial mechanics, endeared himself to me for a few moments by asking me in front of the audience not to place the crimes of the fathers on the shoulders of the sons, not to keep the present generation responsible for the present generation responsible for the vile actions of the leaders way back in the fifties. But in the course of that very symposium and in the three and a half years that have passed since then, the sons have exerted themselves to outdo their fathers. …………..


A Simple Investigation of the Thesis of Isotope Decay Constancy (using Cobalt-60 and an Alcomax Magnet), by N. J. G. Sykes

A basic tenet of radiometric science is that isotopes decay at a constant rate irrespective of any variation in the environment. This ‘decay constant’ is thrown in doubt by the results of a simple experiment described here.


An Alternative to the Ejection of Venus from Jupiter (in Velikovsky’s Catastrophic Theory of the Solar System), by J. C. Keister and Andrew Hamilton

The question of Velikovsky’s proposed origin of Venus by ejection from Jupiter has occupied a number of researchers and presented some problems. This paper suggests, as an alternative, that Venus’ origin lies elsewhere and that the ‘birth’ stories refer to a spectacular ‘close encounter’ with the giant planet. 


A Critique of Ramses II and His Time, by Peter James

Dr Velikovsky’s latest [book], Ramses II and His Time, is likely to be one of his most controversial works. In those chapters dealing mainly with archaeological questions Velikovsky continues to expose serious weaknesses in the conventinal scheme of chronology. Open-minded archaeologists should find the anomalies marshalled by Velikovsky a disturbing problem and it is hoped that not a few will be stimulated into considering alternatives to the presently accepted chronologies of Anatolia and Syria/Palestine. However, I am not so sure that the historical arguments for this part of Velikovsky’s reconstruction will really appear satisfactory to scholars and students of the ancient Near-East. ……….. Before offering some detailed critcisms, I would like to consider briefly the general principle of ‘ghost dynasties’ …………… 


The Place of Horemheb in Egyptian History, by Geoffrey Gammon

With the publication of Ramses II and His Time, Immanuel Velikovsky’s ‘Ages in Chaos’ series, devoted to a reconstruction of the ancient history of the Near East between the fall of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom and the conquest of Persia by Alexander of Macedon, is near completion [1]. ……….. This paper, which is intended as a postcript to an earlier article on the chronology of the XVIIIth Dynasty [3], examines the evidence for placing Horemheb at the close of this dynasty, rather than lowering his dates by over 100 years on the lines proposed by Velikovsky. ……………..


An Eighth-Century Date for Merenptah, by Dr. John Bimson

In Ramses II and His Time, Velikovsky dates the accession of Merenptah to c. 569 BC (table, p. 254). He interprets the mention of Israel on Merenptah’s ‘Israel stele’ as a reference to the deportation of the population of Judah, following Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC (pp. 189-196). At first sight the argument appears impressive. ………….. Geoffrey Gammon’s discussion of the problems surrounding Horemheb concludes with a provisional table of alternative dates for the XIXth Dynasty. These are not chosen arbitrarily, but derive ultimately from Velikovsky’s Revised Chronology for Dynasty XVIII ………….


SIS REVIEW Vol. III:3 Click here for cost

A Chronology for the Middle Kingdom and Israel’s Egyptian Bondage [Part I, dealing with the time of Joseph] , by Dr. John Bimson

In an objective appraisal of Egyptian chronology, new foundations must be sought which do not rely on ‘Sothic’ dating. Dr. Bimson shows how these can be supplied by synchronisms with biblical history and proposes a chronology for the Middle Kingdom of Egypt which provides support for Velikovsky’s view that this was the time of the Israelite Bondage and the famine of Joseph.


Khima and Kesil, by Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky

In the Tractate Brakhot of the Babylonian Talmud it is said that the Deluge was caused by two stars that fell from Khima towards the Earth. The statement reads:

‘When the Holy One decided to bring the Deluge on the Earth He took two stars from Khima and [hurling them against the Earth] brought the Deluge on the Earth.’ [1] 

[Note: the square brackets and text within the quotation are Velikovsky’s]

……………The Tractate Brakhot so explicitly points to the cause of the Deluge that, before classifying the narrative in Genesis in its entirety as folklorist imagery (which in part it most certainly is), we ought to inquire: Which celestial body is Khima? ………………


Hamlet and Meso-American Myth (Worlds in Collision and the Prince of Denmark: II), by Dr. Irving Wolfe

In an earlier contribution [SISR II:4], Dr. Wolfe proposed that the world’s most enduring narratives rest on ancient memories of momentous shared experiences. Here he suggests that this common denominator can be seen in startling parallels between unconnected traditions.


SIS REVIEW Vol. III:4 Click here for cost  

The Dresden Codex and Velikovsky’s Catastrophes, by Nancy K. Owen 

The Maya book known as the Dresden Codex demonstrates apparent calendrical irregularities. Taking Velikovsky’s Mars-catastrophe date of 23rd March 687 [BC] as a working hypothesis for the first (latest) number in the series, analysis of the tables suggests correlations with other significant dates in Velikovsky’s reconstruction.


Nebuchadrezzar and Neriglissar, by Carl Olof Jonsson

Velikovsky’s identification of the Hittite and Chaldaen empires in his reconstruction of the period of Ramesses II demands a fundamental re-ordering of the sequence of Neo-Babylonian rulers. This study of the question complements Peter James’ discussion in SISR III:2; an appendix deals with the ‘Apis stelae’ as the foundation of a chronology for Egypt in this period.


Radiocarbon Dates and Cultural Change, by Dr. Euan MacKie

If severe natural catastrophes as suggested by Velikovsky affected a wide area in the past, this is likely to have resulted in marked cutural discontinuities – rise and fall of cultures, movements of peoples, etc. In its important role of relative dating, radiocarbon appears to provide indications of this for the end of the Neolithic in Europe and the Old Kingdom (EBA) in Egypt.

A few years ago I suggested that C14 dates for cultural and environmental changes in the past might one day be able to confirm or disprove any hypothesis which proposed that there have been simultaneous and worldwide such changes, due primarily to natural causes [1]. There are now enough dates available, from archaeological sites at least, to make it clear that there were widespread cultural changes in Europe and the Mediterranean world, and possibly further afield, at at least one point in the third millennium BC. ………….. Nevertheless, there are several problems in using C14 dates in this way, ……….. 


Geomagnetic Reversals? by Peter Warlow [the paper was reprinted in facsimile from the Journal of Physics A, Math & Gen., 11 No. 10, October 1978, 2107-2130 by permission of the Institute of Physics. © Institute of Physics, 1978]

Data drawn from a wide range of disciplines suggests an unorthodox explanation of reversals of the Earth’s magnetic field: inversions of the Earth itself, possibly caused by the close passage of a cosmic body, can also explain numerous other phenomena in the Earth’s history.

……..The enigma of geomagnetic reversals and their apparent link with other phenomena, such as faunal extinctions, is shown to be explicable by treating these reversals as a relative rather than absolute effect. Instead of reversing the magnetic field, it is suggested that a reversal of the Earth itself in a particular manner is sufficient to account for the behaviour of the field in detail during a reversal, and for explaining the links with the various other phenomena. It is shown that a wide variety of data is compatible with this hypothesis, not only from modern geological and related investigations, but also from astronomy and from ancient sources. ……………


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