Part Five: Communicating a Scientific Model
I hope here to expound the ramifications of a coming cosmic debate in the sciences and humanities. All of the disciplines might be affected if, as a result of such a debate, there occurred a major shift away from the prevailing ideology of uniformitarianism in the direction of quantavolution or catastrophism.
I attach the word "cosmic" to the debate with three meanings. First, as I have implied, it is cosmic in that all fields of knowledge are involved. Second, I must have reference to something of great importance, else why call it "cosmic"? Third, the subject will have something to do with cosmology - the nature of the earth, the skies and humanity. Also, the processes of cosmic change, creation and destruction, and the rate at which great changes occur.
There remain then the words "coming debate." Debate requires two sides that are determined to confront one another on rational grounds. I must state that the cosmic debate is not in full swing. It is coming, approaching. The established and conventional theorists of the sciences and humanities are still reluctant to engage in debate on this delicate yet vital subject of the cosmos. No doubt you know how difficult it is for a minor candidate to get into debate with a major candidate in a political campaign. The major candidate has too much to lose and too little to gain in such an encounter. And so it is with established scientists and humanists. Scholars are only human, after all; I am tempted to say that they are only politicians after all. Why should they lend their ideas to attack, to change, to reconstruction?
I shall try to state the established position in respect to this cosmic debate and then set forth my own position. The established position, with some over-simplification for purposes of clarity, is as follows: the heavenly bodies as we see and experience them have proceeded unchanged and unthreatening for ages beyond human recall, perhaps for hundreds of millions, even billions of years. The earth, our globe, has existed in its present form for hundreds of millions of years; some say that the continents have been shifting at an unnoticeable pace that has accounted for large movements over many millions of years - continental drift, it is called. Present species, including mankind, have evolved over many millions of years from primitive ancestors, with excruciating slowness; mankind is now recognized to have developed over millions of years from recognizable club-wielding, stone-working hominid archetypes. Such are the components of what may be called the uniformitarian, or evolutionary cosmology.
Standing in contrast to this evolutionary position is one that may be called revolutionary, as Immanuel Velikovsky suggested to me a few weeks ago. Instead of being uniformitarian, it is catastrophic. It reviews first ages of nature and mankind, and draws several conclusions: The Earth has suffered wide-scale natural disasters in consequence of changes in the solar system. These disasters have happened within reach of human memory. Cultures everywhere have assigned disasters to the planets. Human nature was both physically and psychically affected by catastrophe. The human mind first, later, and always has suppressed its terrible memories of such events, and let them emerge in altered forms, sometimes benevolent, productive and artistic, at other times malevolent, destructive and deranged.
If these propositions of primevalogy are defensible, they will affect practically all areas of human knowledge. This is perhaps obvious. Some recognize, in the theory of revolutionary primevalogy, elements of the creation theories of the ancient religions - still held by a majority of people of the world, incidentally - those talked-about gods and floods and fire, and so forth. You know, of course, that this old view of cosmology affected every aspect of life, through, and science. Then, when the uniformitarian theory arose and supplanted the older theory in the minds of the educated, it too affected every part of society and science. Hence the present proposed revolutionary primevalogy may be expected to do the same. That is, it too will affect life, thought, and science in all their manifestations.
The first area of debate introduces issues of epistemology and ideology. Where did mankind achieve full awareness, the basic requirement for human memory, prediction, and control? Under what circumstances was awareness achieved? Whence came our capacity to abstract the categories of time, space and individuality? The assumption of revolutionary primevalogy is that humanity developed in great leaps, under circumstances of extreme physical and social stress.
From this field of psycho-sociology, one enters the field of language, linguistics, and symbols. Here, too, occurs a universal tongue. The biblical Tower of Babel story is not a unique representation of a unity and subsequent dispersal of languages groups. Does the behavior of "The Gods" cause language to diversify quickly, and yet at other times to freeze its forms of meanings?
Theology is the heir of terrible experiences. It was the conceptual battering ram that integrated animal and celestial operations. As the skies opened and engulfed mankind, the human mind responded and worked back and forth productively.
Theology was the original queen of sciences because of its promise to control mankind's response to the disorders of the heavens. The government of the passions, both personal and social, is a persisting problem. Political behavior and dogmatic and aggressive ideologies have their biological origins in the physiology of humans, but their historical origins are founded upon abrupt as well as continuous change in human ecology. When the skies fell, man was shocked into self-awareness, religion began, and with religion and from religion came politics - the organization and direction of human efforts towards the propitiation and control of the gods and the environment. The controversy that has attended the publication and testing of Dr. Velikovsky's theories itself presents issues of a fundamental kind in political science, the history of science, and philosophy. The experience is already well-documented, and will, when Dr. Velikovsky's archives are opened, be the best-documented case in the history of science. A philosopher, viewing this experience, cannot help but become agitated over the intellectual and moral rules under which scientists operate and govern themselves. But even more elemental is the philosophical question as to the origins of philosophy in the sublimation and rationalization of forms of thought and behavior originating under traumatic conditions in "times beyond recall".
A second category of knowledge to enter the approaching cosmic debate is history. No field of pre-history and ancient history can escape reappraisal.
The field of ancient Greek history will serve as an example. Gripped by the uniformitarian and evolutionary ideology, and therefore unimpressed by evidences of wide-spread, almost total, disasters that overtook the Minoan and Mycenean precursors of Greek civilization, most historians have accepted a theory that allows 500 years of dark ages. During this period they allege that one set of civilizations declined and the primitive new Greek civilization began.
Revolutionary primevalogy says that these dark ages were not 500 years long, but occupied about 100 years, and that what happened was the destruction of the great civilizations by natural causes, involving disturbances of the earth and the skies, and that the survivors of the catastrophe came out of a state of disastrous shock to reassemble the new civilizations of Homeric Greece. Those survivors behaved in ways that were full of contradictions and madness. And it was perhaps quite important, to the history of the Western mind, that the crazed survivors and their ideas and behavior have been taught to schoolboys for 2600 years as a model for manly behavior. Women's Liberation advocates, please take note. Educators, take note. Why have these models been allowed to persist? Is history but an obsessed recapitulation of disastrous experiences? Is it but a shell-shocked capering?
Call the roll of the ancient civilizations: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Palestine, Crete, Cyprus, the Aegean, Greece, the Etruscans, the Romans, the Megalithic pre-historic humans of Europe, the Olmecs and Mayans, the Peruvians, the North American Indians, China, India, Iran, and so forth. Wherever one ventures equipped with the revolutionary theory, old historical evidence is reshaped and new theories emerge. Matters large and matters small become involved. How did the ballgames of many cultures come to be invented and why were they religious? Why do modern Peruvian Indians put bowls on their heads when the earth quakes? Are ancient Meso-American statues wearing helmets because they are astronauts, as one popular writer has implausibly said, or to shield them from "flak"? Civilized centers known to us seem to connect with common centers that were obliterated in catastrophes, leaving behind many puzzling connections between the Orient, America, and the Mediterranean. All such problems extend beyond history into anthropology and other fields, of course.
A third large area of fuel for debate would be the humanities. There are many fields here and my breakdown of the fields cannot be very logical. Is costuming a field? Where did clothing originate, or the helmets we have been talking of? Clothing was born of disaster, says the Bible, of expulsion from the Garden of Eden, which may have corresponded to a tilting of the earth's axis and the coming of the cold seasons.
Certainly mythology is a humanistic field. It seems odd to me that no contemporary school of mythology, except of course the revolutionary school of which I speak, admits to the reality and historicity of myths. Or if one does, it waters down reality to most trivial occurrences before accepting it.
Robert Graves, in his famous collection of The Greek Myths, defines some thirteen types of expression that might be called myth, none of which approach our own. Mircea Eliade, the most distinguished mythologist of the moment, invented a phrase, illud tempus, "That Time", to refer to a point to which all myth connected with the cosmos went back. But he would not venture himself into the real precincts of That Time. He says, in effect, that everyone and everything can be referred back to that Time, but nothing really happened then. Strange indeed.
Certainly, much is to be done in the revision of mythology. Better than Freud, Jung and others, the revolutionary primevalogist can explain myth in the context of a human mind trying to cope with disastrous ecological experience. Mythanalysis goes hand in hand with a reconstructed natural history to permit great advances in translating symbols and making sense out of the apparently senseless. This will be true not only of so-called primitive and ancient myth. But also of the great bodies of material summed up in the Bible, the Vedas, the Koran, and other sacred religio-moral-historical works.
If the effect of massive collective shock is the suppression of memory, another effect is the partly conscious and vigorous design of methods for ridding humans of the impressions and anxieties bubbling up from the repressed memories. This is commonly accomplished by divisionary, symbolically loaded activity. The study of religious worship and rituals can view these human activities existentially - for their present functioning, that is. It can view them, too, with their prayers and liturgies, as endless repetitions, enforced through all succeeding generations, of the both terrible and life-saving human-making events of the disastrous periods of human history and pre-history.
The development of literature would be another diversion of anxiety. Every people has its songs and dances that sooth the uneasy breast. I studied one song that is found in the Odyssey of Homer, that I call the Love Song of Demodocus. It consists of a hundred lines of poetry describing an opera ballet. I believe that I have discovered in its plot a masking of the terrible planetary encounter between Moon and Mars that I mentioned a moment ago. According to the song, Aphrodite (the Moon Goddess) and Mars (the war god) are making love in the bed of the god Vulcan, who traps them by his electrical genius and then is persuaded to release them by the Earth-god Poseidon. Like religious observances, but much more roundabout, the song recalls the terrible days, and by recalling them in a disguised form, relieves the mind of the people concerning them.
What people do and do not forget, and what they should and should not forget, are of course important problems, and, if revolutionary primevalogy can throw light upon stress, memory, and forgetting, psychologists will be grateful, as was a German psychiatrist with whom I discussed last summer the question of controlling the memory of Nazism. On the one hand, Germans have to remember the Nazi experience in order to think straight and correct themselves; on the other hand they have to forget and distort it in order for life to be tolerable. But now, you see, we have entered the fields of educational psychology and political psychology.
And so we move into a fourth large category of the fields of knowledge, the social science. A related field of study is that of political institutions. How were the state, law and order, and administration invented? Do the circumstances of the origins of political institutions affect the ways in which these operate today?
To take one instance, the invention of kingship, what does revolutionary primevalogy lend to the study of kingship? A number of scholars have shown that the earliest kings were believed to be gods or closely identified with gods; these gods were celestial and planetary; the power of the king was as unlimited as that of the gods; and often, strangely, the kings would be put to death ceremonially upon the completion of that period of time.
It seems unlikely that a man would be made a god unless people had experienced the terrible turmoil of heavenly crashes and interventions upon earth, whereupon a strict imitation of the celestial model would be in order - obsessions transformed into institutions. But you see, an institution, defined as process, is nothing but a set of channels for routinized behavior.
There is probably much left of this primordial desperation, fear, and propitiation in modern kings and presidents. Why, after all, should not President Richard Nixon have been fired or retired like any ordinary employee or executive? The fears and anxieties surrounding his downfall were all too reminiscent of primeval methods of imitating gods out of terror of being punished.
I may read to you from the Lawbook of Manu, one of the ancient East Indian documents where the eight great gods that guard the points of the compass form also the eight divine parts of the king:
When the world was without a king
and dispersed in fear in all directions,
the Lord created a king
for the protection of all.
He made him of eternal particles
of Indra and the Wind,
Yama, the Sun and Fire,
Varuna, the moon, and the Lord of Wealth.
And, because he had been formed
of fragments of all those gods,
the king surpasses
all other beings in splendor.
Even an infant king must not be despised,
as though a mere mortal,
for he is a great god in human form  .
Lacking self-knowledge, and therefore lacking self-control, modern men and women and children repeat the same thoughts and mechanisms that produced the sacred absolute kings of the earliest empires.
Revolutionary primevalogy has also brought new insights to bear upon two well-debated older theories of human culture. One of these has held that human institution and manufactures developed in the world independently, although similarly, in different places of Asia, America, and Europe. The second theory has held that occasional encounters between separate peoples had to be the method by which so many features of so many cultures came to resemble one another. The revolutionary theory says "yes" and "no" to both the independent invention and the diffusion theory. The revolutionary theory alone can assert that at one time in the history of mankind, before a set of universal catastrophes occurred, a universal culture existed. Further, the drastic changes of the surface of the earth destroyed most of this grand ecumenical culture, leaving the remnants of humanity in their isolated locations, there to continue many of their old common practices and beliefs, but also there to reconstruct their cultures in accord with their separately-experienced disasters.
The Bible speaks of at least four universal disasters; the creation of the world itself, the drastic change of mentality and environment accompanying the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, the great flood, and the plagues and chaos of the exodus from Egypt. Those stories have a reality to them that the continuous efforts of modern evolutionary science have not succeeded in effacing. The task of revolutionary primevalogy is to resume once more, and with all the improved tools of the sciences and humanities, the reading and interpretation of the myths of creation and destruction from all over the world. The success of such studies would of course strongly impress the field of theology.
Besides anthropology and political science, other fields of social science where revolutionary primevalogy enters into debate occur readily. If the disasters were tied up with the creation of the human mind, then they would be intimately connected with psychology, which studies the human mind, and with social psychology, that treats of man and society. I have already mentioned the problems of stress and forgetting, collective amnesia, displacement of anxieties, the psychology of symbols, the origins of creativity. But I should mention as well the fascinating but dismal study of warfare, of destructive aggressiveness, of war formations, of armaments. Would not our ways of looking at and attacking the problems of human conflict change if we were to see them as primeval recapitulations of projections of the battles of the heavenly hosts? Gods made war, and men followed their example, rather than the contrary, as the apologists for the gods would have it. Again, as with the large picture, so with the small. Did Roman hegemony, based upon the legion, that was maneuvered around the short sword, to whose exercise they devoted themselves so tenaciously, express in that dedication the image of flaming Mars as a sword which various ancient cultures of the seventh and eighth century attested to seeing in the sky?
Nor can the field of sexology, even as developed by the Freudian psychologists, escape the debate, for it seems to me that the exceedingly ramified, refined, and violent manifestations of sexual behavior found in humans may in many respects be a secondary derivation from the catastrophic experience, rather than a primary result of biological and familial evolutionary development.
I shall pass over the field of economics with a hint of the revolutionary challenge to it. The biblical, and even worldwide, myth that work is a curse upon man laid by his Fall from God's Grace is more scientifically correct than, say the theory of Karl Marx that work is an imposition of the system of ownership, or the more generally accepted idea that human beings were born workers. Work, I would postulate, is a catastrophically indoctrinated obsession with routines and with the avoidance of future disasters. (You will understand, of course, that I have no prejudice against work, and am typically addicted to it.)
At the University of Lethbridge, early this years, I developed the question whether physical changes may have occurred in man during the catastrophes that occurred over the last 15,000 years. Here is an issue on the borderline of the anthropological sciences and the biological sciences. I reasoned that one or a combination of events must have happened to propel a large-skulled primate into the human being that we know: the annihilation of numerous "competing" subspecies; activation of glandular systems not apparent in fossils; obsessive social transference through many memorial generations; and conventional, but greatly speeded-up, mutation; such are the possibilities of explaining human history.
It may be understood, then, how the biological sciences will enter the debate: through direct challenges to Darwinian uniformitarianism; through new hypotheses handed over to the chemists of life and genetics, who are already making such rapid progress that they encourage revolutionary primevalogists to think in turn of the famous literary work of Ovid, not to mention a multitude of other ancient sources, where he catalogues a bizarre zoo of metamorphosed beings; and, of course, by way of the science of ecology that would have to gear itself to considerations of sudden and extreme adaptation of species to atmospheric, climatic, and soil changes.
Revolutionary primevalogy contemplates a history of life that stresses massive quantities of mutational stimuli, and the rapid proliferation and even more rapid extinction of species. At the time they took over the world's educational and intellectual establishments, the Darwinian evolutionists knew neither of mutation nor radiation. They furthermore denied gross and rapid changes of the earth's morphology and ecology.
This is the year of the ozone peril, however, with newspapers carrying the warnings of scientists that if aerial nuclear bomb testing is practiced, if regular super-sonic plane flights are scheduled, and if the use of aerosol sprays continues to grow, then a point will be reached within half a century when half the high ozone layer may be destroyed and with it earth's people and animals. It should be added that these points are disputed. The Pentagon says: not so! Others, too, are content with the potential of the ozone layer for replacement, barring extreme abuse. Still, solar and outer-space radiation may do the job of killing off the species, once the ozone's protection is removed. Once more, the fragility of the earthly ecology is highlighted.
Yet nothing that mankind can do is anything but a pale reflection of what nature has done repeatedly in times past. The ashes of the immense explosion of Krakatoa of 1883, a volcanic disaster that startled the world, now lay scarcely detectable on the floors of the Indonesian seas. Below it however, in the cores taken by oceanographers, are to be found six heavy ash layers, laid down within the past million years. By comparison with any one of these six disastrous events, the greatest historical explosion, that of Krakatoa, was insignificant. Sometime in the same period, another cosmic event scattered an estimated billion tons of meteorites or tektites over the island areas of the South Asia seas.
I am tempted to go on describing the amazing discoveries of contemporary oceanography, were our time not limited - for instance, the global cleavage of the earth. An immense fracture runs from the Arctic to the Antarctic and then splits into a double-fork to run around the other side of the globe. It would be well, also, to discuss the youngness and biological sterility of the ocean deeps. Since the species that inhabit the deeps are rather ordinary and few in number - Jules Verne to the contrary notwithstanding - one may wonder whether some intelligent and well-organized groups of people will one day achieve methods of breeding edible species for the deeps and feeding them in their habitat. Or whether oceanic bio-culture might not be accompanied by developments in thermal control, so that energy may be produced by thermal vertical differentials in the ocean, and so that climates may be moderated by current diversion. A new comprehension of why the oceans developed only in recent times will abet humanity's search for the earthly environment of the near future.
Almost without saying, now, we have passed from biology through the earth sciences, the sixth large grouping of fields of knowledge where important debates should shape up along revolutionary versus evolutionary lines. I have referred to issues of mineralogy, vulcanology, oceanography, and meteorology. Apart from the boundaries of fields, there stand some basic physical questions. Under the pressure of discoveries of the catastrophic events happening in the universe - pulsars, quasars, black holes, galaxy collapse, and so forth - scientists must begin to consider the morphology of the earth on a greatly magnified scale of forces. There have been some exertions of heat and pressure upon this globe through extraterrestrial and internal sources quite far from those normally taken into calculation by geologists in explaining surface rocks and features. The challenge that the nineteenth century genius, Ignatius Donnelly, put to the geological world, that the vast unstratified layers of clay, till, and stones that cover much of the globe are of extra- terrestrial and cometary origin, was not too well answered. But, with modern geochemical techniques, the challenge may be answered. That is, if the appropriate scientists will attend to the matter.
In completing a short agenda of debating topics in the earth sciences, it may be well to introduce the field of chronology. This has, of course, its several parts, which may or may not be necessarily related. There are historical techniques where no documentation exists and even the chain of memorial generations becomes broken. Datings are then made by examining the stratification of fossils and human products below the ground. Here, and far beyond, extend the working of chemical clocks, such as radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating, and so forth.
Geological and archaeological dating are achieved by the penetration of strata of earth and the remains of cultures, and assigning a later date to what is above something else. Archaeology has not sufficiently considered the causes of sudden destruction of ancient civilizations, and therefore has made many mistakes of time, nor has it concerned itself with very ancient civilizations and centers of habitation that may have been entirely erased. But these can be inferred in the future with fair validity. No one seems to have considered, for instance, whether the cave artists of the Dordogne in France, or the builders of Stonehenge megalithic monuments may not have been survivors of catastrophes of the second, third or other millennia before Christ. And that the centers from which they derived were much more highly developed artistically and technologically.
Nor has geology sufficiently pondered the effects of catastrophes in burning and flooding deeply huge areas, and in thrusting and folding great masses of land beneath and above other strata so as to create illusions of ages that did not exist. Nor for that matter have conventional geologists given us sufficient assurances that the fossil beds by which datings are made are not the result of fossil zoning, that is, the moving of fossil beds into other strata, or above and below them, by catastrophic earth and water flows. Indeed, far from feeling insecure in the face of criticism, geologists and archaeologists have been greatly heartened in their evolutionary uniformitarianism since World War II by the development of so-called chemical clocks. Often they abandon their former datings in favor of what they believe to be more accurate radio-chemical dates. Once having discovered that certain chemical elements are radioactive and decay into new elements, scientists have elaborated techniques for counting how much of a parent element is present in a certain things, how much of the daughter element is present in the things, and then how much time must have elapsed to produce that much of the daughter element. If uniformitarian theory held, then the measurement of the ages might be satisfactorily achieved. But a serious challenge may be leveled against the concept of chemical decay: why should we assume that an element decays today as it decayed a hundred million years ago?
Furthermore, in many cases, in applying specialized clockwork to given specimens, the history of the specimen is unknown. Today, the specimen may rest in a seemingly new bed; but this may be only the latest of various beds that it has occupied over the ages. The earth's surface, alas, may be a chain of flophouses for transient materials. What matters to the cosmic debate is the experiences of matter, and aging is only one kind of experience.
Besides, catastrophes, by frictional heat, pressure and electricity, and the mixing of elements in disequilibrium, introduce revolutions of the atmosphere, of the rocks, and of organic existence. If, for example, Mars, which is rich in argon gas, were to exchange any argon with heated rocks of the moon and earth, then any potassium-argon test of a rock might well show a very old age because of the presence in it of argon from a foreign source. The substance will have many stepdaughters. In fact, the chemical clocks registered great ages of the moon, although physically it gives evidence of having boiled recently. Such severe criticism may be leveled against the uniformitarian methods employed, that there is, to my mind, a strong probability that the moon was subjected to highly disturbing events as little as 2700 years ago.
Now we have mentioned six categories of disciplines, and there remains only a seventh to exemplify. This would be the physical sciences: mechanics, terrestrial and celestial; electrodynamics, terrestrial and celestial - all that is encompassed by astronomy and astrophysics and the special subfield that take in the individual planets, the sun and the moon, without, however, omitting the importance of the earth's external and internal responses to its membership in the solar family.
Howsoever few are the fields and issues of the approaching cosmic debate in the sciences that I can present to you here, I would be remiss if I did not bring up the subject of astronomy, the "Queen of Sciences," it is called. Actually, astronomy is not the queen of sciences; it would be rather a precious and dilettante science were it not for the catastrophic events that the courtiers of the "queen of sciences" choose to ignore. Few people, certainly not rulers of empires, would pay attention to the skies were it not for the fact that the skies fell from time to time. As the children's fable about Chicken Little goes, "Run for your life, the sky is falling," and when all the little animals hear the refrain, they, too, run for their lives.
Within the last month, an American professor of celestial mechanics named Robert W. Bass published articles that should stimulate debate on the stability of the solar system. To my way of thinking, his work has put to rest the myth engendered by Pythagoras, Plato, Newton, and La Place, followed by a host of scientists, that the heavens can be mathematically demonstrated to be in a condition of long-term stability. Contrariwise, Professor Bass has shown that, if the heavens are stable at all, they are stable for empirical and experiential reasons, not because of any laws discovered by Newton or La Place or anyone else following after them.
We are left with the evidence of historical geology and proto-history. I think that these tell us, or they will tell us when the debate is finished, that the heavens have changed recently and are not eternally fixed in their movements. Without pausing to examine the mathematics of Professor Bass, I would call your attention also to the work of an engineer who has occupied himself with electrical phenomena, Ralph Juergens. Mr. Juergens, working alone and without support other than that provided by the inspiration and encouragement of a few friends, has written articles that I am convinced will be numbered among the most important of our age. The thesis which he advances, and which is my candidate for the winning side in the approaching cosmic debate, is that electrical forces of almost unbelievable magnitude were exercised upon the Moon, Mars, Earth and other heavenly bodies in the recent past. His demonstrations are not beyond the grasp of the educated layman, and are based almost entirely upon the evidence that the evolutionary uniformitarians who command the space explorations have had to provide the public in the course of their work.
Mr. Juergens has shown that many striking features of the moon's surface - its giant craters and jagged valleys - and those of Mars as well - must be the product of gigantic electrical discharges between planetary bodies, and that these occurred in times within the memory of mankind. In a modest and incidental remark, Juergens has also suggested that the key to the solution of the urgent problem of nuclear fusion, for the production of cheap, non-polluting energy, may be in the study and understanding of the interplanetary electrical discharges that have been reported in such primeval epics as the Homeric battles of the gods.
With the example of electromagnetics behind me, and the seven categories complete, I may now proceed to summarize. I fully appreciate, I beg you to believe, that I have but raised issues and not solved them. But such, after all, was the original intent of my talk. I wish to explain to you why I thought that the moment has come for enlarging the debate over cosmic issues in the sciences and humanities. I tried to explain why I believed that in practically every field there would be ample material for debate, provided only that the ruling conventional scientists permit themselves to be drawn into debate. The problems are not all resolvable in favor of revolutionary primevalogy. Indeed, the contrast between revolutionary and evolutionary primevalogy is not absolute. Rather, I find, and I hope that you will agree, that there is a pressing need to present the case of revolutionary primevalogy to the intellectuals and educated public. Let the decision rest with them.
My own position, and that of other advocates of a revolutionary primevalogy, is simple to state:
Humanity was born in an uncontrolled and uncontrollable set of crises.
This condition was caused by stupendous celestial and geological events.
Everything that humanity has done or achieved, since the baseline to this set of events was drawn some thousands of years ago, has been affected, colored, and fashioned by them.
The future of both science and ethics rests in an appreciation of this revolutionary position.
From these theories, we can learn, first, that mankind is in a fundamental, natural sense helpless in the lap of God or Nature. Second, mankind is all one, a unity, as he faces the most fundamental principles of existence. Third, through education and new attitudes, a future not at all inferior, indeed superior, to past existences can be formed.
At this point, I had intended to conclude my talk, but in view of some of the questions that have been asked in the meeting rooms and corridors, I would like to offer you an extension of remarks, a kind of coda, if you please.
Perhaps you have noticed how I stress the need for the integration of numerous fields in order to develop a theory that can face several ways at once. Others have spoken in the same vein. The fact that on this platform we have had astrophysicists, humanists and social scientists is some proof of the point. Yet, on the other hand, we must be always aware of the pitfalls of synthesis. Synthesis flies off readily into mysticism, generalities and scientific errors abounding.
The antidote is, of course, specialized knowledge. By specialism, I mean the capacity to understand work with severely constrained hypotheses, which presume many things, and which, braced by such presumptions, are able to dig in deeply at critical locations and emerge with findings which have to be confronted, whether to disprove them, or accept them, but in any event, to interpret them.
If revolutionary primevalogy is to progress in an orderly way and not to fly off wildly, it must accommodate to existing specialists or breed its own kind of specialists. This we are only beginning to do. We need not only to turn the other cheek when we are slapped by the specialist; we have to persuade the specialist and especially the would-be young specialist that our theories are eminently testable and that the smallest problem, as well as the grandiose problem, lends itself to a particular intense interest that they can recognize and that is important to the revolutionary view. Only if success attends this process will the "Operation Bootstrap" be possible, or to use another metaphor, will the circle of "integration - specialization - reintegration" be closed.
A second question that has been raised here, and often elsewhere, is the opposite of what the revolutionary primevalogists have been saying to the evolutionaries. Just as it can be rightly said that many evolutionaries are blinded by their need to find a secure world, it can be rightly said of some revolutionaries that they are catastrophic chiliasts, for whom the very next day is the great day of judgment and to whom the prospect of unsettled worlds gives pleasure. They are dominated by a Freudian death-instinct. They think of the end of the world like many of the ancient prophets are alleged to have thought of it, wishfully, hopefully, in despair at the state of the world.
But I must say, as I have watched the serious workers in this field, that if they are wishful catastrophists, they have successfully sublimated the wish, and are as cheerful and concerned about a constructive future as any normal person. This is the third conference of 500 persons that I have addressed in nine months on related subjects and I have remarked on the sanguine and rational temperament of the proceedings and of the people in the audience as well. I should here say that this is in no small measure owing to the circumspection, sobriety, scientificity and humanity of Immanuel Velikovsky, whose work and whose general influence pervaded them.
And so now to my final comment. This is in answer to the repeated query: When will the next catastrophe occur? Surely this is a natural human concern. It is even a scientific concern, for one wished to know whether a set of events, occurring successively in times past and at staggered intervals, will occur again, and if so, in what temporal ratio to the past events. Nevertheless, I shall have to answer in a mood that Leo Rosten wrote recently was characteristic of dialogues in Yiddish: I answer a question by asking other questions. Why do you want to know when the human race will suffer another catastrophe? How soon is soon? Worse problems are before us, so why worry? The human race is much more likely to flatten itself or obliterate itself by hatreds and through techniques that it displays at this moment of time than it is to become a victim of the raging elements of nature. To these controllable human threats we should address ourselves. And it may be that a theory of revolutionary primevalogy will help us do so.
Notes (Chapter 27: A Cosmic Debate)
1. This public lecture was January 11, 1975, in Montreal, Canada, at the Saidye Bronfman Centre under the Chairmanship of Nahum Ravel, and at a symposium to discuss "Velikovsky's Challenge to Conventional Beliefs."
2. However he rejected this term and we could never settle upon another one. I finally coined the term "quantavolution," as contrasted with "evolution," but will be satisfied if the theory and mentality associated with the latter word are changed, letting the word "evolution" evolve suddenly, markedly, and generally.
3. Quoted in A-1. Basham. The Wonder that was India (New York: The Grove Press. 1959. pp. 84-5.