The headline to this was decided because at the end of the piece he has a picture of Velikovsky's book jacket, Mankind in Amnesia. Andrew Fitts, a recently joined member of the society, is particularly interested in this aspect of Velikovsky's work – which we will all find out about in the course of time. The link is again to a posting by Tim Cullen at http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/lacunar-amnesia-in-academia/ … and is a lovely post that will resonate with Velikovskians, whatever their favoured subject. He quotes another author – and the quote, vital lies, the psychology of self deception, and we might add, mental gymnastics. We are all human and we are all guilty of doing it. Scientists are not supposed to do it – they are supposed to be objective (or that is the myth they like to spread across the hymn sheet). We laugh at politicians when they do it – why do we believe academics when they do the same thing?
He begins by defining a lacuna as a gap in knowledge or evidence. This is usually followed by ignoring the lacuna or the contrary evidence. It is the most obvious thing about academic science – the one thing they can be relied to do when faced with a radical theory or unexpected find that upsets a cosy consensus. Cullen calls them blind spots. Now, we are all aware how potentially dangerous blind spots in wing mirrors can be as driving instructors tend to hammer home this point. Don't go running down that cyclist on your inside, the one that has crept up on you at the traffic lights. If you are turning left you don't want him to end up underneath your wheels. They tend to go on and on about it until it sticks in your craw and you never forget the lesson. The blind spot is the space alongside your vehicle where the wing mirror cannot see because of the angle. In that small space a hazard might just present itself when you are not paying attention. Blind spots in academia are somewhat different – they are anomalies that are flagrantly ignored in the hope nobody has noticed. This is where the amnesia sets in – by ignoring something you are deliberate erasing it from your conscious mind. At that point it is buried by the process of amnesia. It may be that the odd academic has nightmares and these anomalies regurgitate themselves in a dream like state and he breaks out in a sweat – but don't bet on it. Self induced amnesia is a little different from the amnesia of Velikovsky, where something is suppressed because it is too painful to contemplate.
Cullen's arguments again revolves around the Heinsohn revision. Strangely, he does not mention Heribert Illig, the SIS member who came up with the idea of a massive dark age in first millennium AD European history – which Heinsohn took onboard and expanded. Nor does he mention the efforts of Steve Mitchell in SIS journals to evaluate Illig and the lesser revision as proposed by Hunnivari. A lot of effort has already been spent on this idea and Mitchell came to the conclusion there may have been an anomaly centred around comet Halley (one 76 year period may have been erroneously added). However, the discussion that ensued reached stalemate but accepted a 15 year difference existed between Roman and Byzantine dates (the latter based on data from Alexandria) and this may have been incorporated inadvertently by the monk, Bede, the man who established modern time, the link between the Roman past and the Anglo Saxon present (as then). Heinsohn's call is an interesting idea – but the devil is in the detail.