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By Alfred de Grazia

Part Five: Communicating a Scientific Model



A continuous and perennial "fringe" area of a number of humanistic and scientific disciplines centers upon the evidence that in the history and pre-history of man extensive natural changes occurred abruptly and catastrophically, and brought "quantavolutional" rather than evolutionary changes of geography, climate, the solar system, the biosphere, culture, and the human mind. These quantavolutions or saltations are capable of systematic scientific study.

The hypotheses of quantavolution pursue the following types of propositions: a) The Earth and its people have been subjected to catastrophic natural experiences (flood, heat, earthquake, meteoritic bombardment) of a kind unknown to recent history. b) These have occurred both before and after the passage of homo sapiens from the hominid. Evidence of them is to be located in legends, religions, psycho-social behavior , astro-physics, the geological and fossil record. d) A new general theory touching upon all fields of knowledge is evolving in the midst of conventional scientific theory, introducing critical modifications concerning natural history, the solar system, ancient history, and the origins of culture and human nature.


A number of scholars around the world are concerned with these topics, yet no university has come to serve as a focus of research, writing, publication, and coursework. The principal in scientific catastrophism has been Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, recently deceased, whose published works, with several still to appear, have been read by millions of persons in several languages. At present, three journals, "Kronos" (USA), "The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies Review" (England) [2] , and "Catastrophist Geology" (Brazil) are devoted to the area; the literature also appears in other periodicals and in an increasing number of books; and William Corliss Co., Glen arms, Md., is engaged in an extensive publication of source-books. Quantavolution has its "fringe" problems, too, like all fields of leaning, and its scholars are as deeply concerned with maintaining scientific standards and distinguishing between "science fiction", "foolishness," and science and scholarship as their counterparts in other fields.


The greatest single need in the area of quantavolution is a well-knit communications and learning network, and it is the idea here that University College of the University of Maryland may be well adapted to these functions. A program of sixteen courses is to be outlined below for the potential student body of an Institute of Quantavolution. Courses might be given for academic credit, whether two or four credits in every case. Courses might be audited, where students are otherwise heavily occupied or cannot afford the cost of tuition. It is recommended that for the first two years, courses would be offered not for credit, but with the granting of a Certificate of the Institute of Quantavolution, University of Maryland, in mind.

Later on, after investigating the first two years' experience, arrangements might be made for an appropriate configuration of courses to constitute a major or minor offering leading to the Bachelor's Degree. Furthermore, students already possessing the BA or other degrees might earn a Master's Degree in Quantavolution upon completion of ten courses and the presentation of an approved thesis.

It would be presently impossible to establish the Q program at an orthodox department or an interdisciplinary program at any university in the country. If for no other reason, the trained scholars, observers, writers, and theorists in the field are not to be found at any university. This is an especially cogent reason for initiating the program in a University College external-internal system, and, as such, it would perhaps demonstrate the unique capabilities present in such systems. Also, continuing commitment to a budget of a quarter-million dollars annually might be necessary were a university to undertake a program in Quantavolution.

Course designations in the field of Quantavolution (with brief descriptions)

Q1. Introduction to Quantavolution.
The essential literature; the controversial character of the field; a history of catastrophism: the hypotheses of Q.

Q2. Intermediate Quantavolution.
Systematic development of major theses of Q in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Q3. Primeval Quantavolution in the History of Science to 1950.
Quantavolution as reflected in Greek thought; the concept of the Deluge; cometary theories of catastrophes;

Plato; G. Bruno, Whiston, Cuvier, Donnelly, et al.

Q4. The Scientific Reception System and New Science.
The Velikovsky Affair and analogies related to PQ in other problem areas of science: ethics and rules of science.

Q5. The Catastrophic Origins of Human Nature.
Evolutional and quantavolutional possibilities in the rise of mankind; effects of primeval experiences upon human nature, culture and modern man: Jung, Freud and racial memories.

Q6. The Bible and the Catastrophic Record.
A review of ancient traditions of Exodus and the Books of Moses; influences of disasters upon Judaic-Christian-Muslim thought and practice.

Q7. Catastrophism in Literature: From the Vedas to Joyce.
The Hindu, Biblical (Psalms. Job, etc.), Homeric writings reinterpreted. Hesiod, Ovid, Shakespeare et al.

Q8. Catastrophes. Science Fiction and the Arts.
Ancient art, modern and therapeutic art; science fiction and catastrophe; catastrophe in films and documentaries.

Q9. The Mythology of Disaster:
How myth and legend obscure while they discuss natural disasters and cultural consequences; the great bodies of myth analyzed, compared.

Q10. The Ancient Electricians.
Study of ancient evidence before the present era of heavy atmospheric and earth electrification in especially the Mosaic period, the Vedas, and the Greek mysteries.

Q11. The New Astronomy and Quantavolution. A binary solar system; origins of planets, comets; electromagnetic effects; the surprise of space exploration.

Q12. Geological Problems of Quantavolution.
Ice Ages theory. continental drift and plate tectonics, general earth morphology as a record of changes in global motions and heavy-body space encounters.

Q13. Quantavolutions in the Biosphere.
Modes of Biological change, atmospheric fluxes and their biological effects; evidence of disastrous boundaries in evolution; fossil assemblages.

Q14. Chronology and Quantavolution.
Radiometric and other geo-physical methods of dating the past; critique of uniformitarian assumptions; determining archaeological time.

Q15. Chronological Reconstruction in Ancient Europe and the Near East.
Velikovsky's attacks upon Egyptian chronology and their effects upon the dating of Mediterranean and Near East cultural events. Western Europe and the megalithic astronomers.

Q16. Professional Writing and Translating.
For the Certificate of the Institute of Quantavolution. For students having completed eight courses and approved by an ad hoc committee after oral interview. Supervised work on an approved topic discussed in committee.


Responsible instructors can be listed with the course titles. In the course of preparing this memorandum, thirty-nine potential qualified instructors were identified, of which sixteen were in the East Coast megalopolis. Especially in the formative stages, the right to designate and relieve instructors should vest in the Director of the Program. Because personal meetings are important to the purposes and method of the program, a number of adjunct instructors might be made available in various locations that are accessible to students not living within reach of the primary instructor. Every attempt would be made in advance to provide students with appointments at mutually convenient places and times with a traveling instructor. The flexible calendar of University College may permit these arrangements. For example, a student taking a course in Scotland, if the instructor is in America, or not "on circuit", might meet with an adjunct professor at a Scottish institution or another location nearer to him. An extensive bibliography is available for all of the listed courses. The required readings can be made readily available for students anywhere in the world. A microfiche system is planned to expedite communications at lower costs.



A curriculum of 16 courses leading to a Certificate in IQ

1) At College Park (3 to begin).
2) Worldwide (16 to begin).


A 2-day conference in London in collaboration with the Society for Interdisciplinary Study in March, 1981, open to the interested public. A 3-day conference at College Park, Maryland, open to the interested public, in January, 1981.


Initiation of a library and archive of materials pertinent to Quantavolution. Works, books, and archives of Livio Stecchini, Ralph Juergens. I. Velikovsky, and others may be donated to the Institute.


Summer Tours:

"Light on the Greek Dark Ages" - Greece and Aegean. "Megalithic Cultures of Ancient Britain, Ireland and Brittany." "The Catastrophic Experiences and Legends of Mesoamerica" - Mexico. Guatemala.

"Quantavolution in the Rocky Mountain Setting" - U. S., Canada, Mexico

These four tours are recommended to begin. Others are possible. The lifelong learning program at the University of California, Berkeley, "Study Abroad in 1980" is offering similar courses for credit. They can be excelled in originality, if not as conventional travel experiences. Beginning in winter, 1980-1.


An interdisciplinary faculty seminar open to University of Maryland and metropolitan area faculty who are interested in familiarizing themselves with the concepts, methods, and findings of quantavolution. (Like the Columbia University Forums). The seminar would continue throughout the year.


The interests of the network of Quantavolution scholars are in teaching research, residential conferences of members of the group, public conferences, and publication of reprints and new works. In all of these respects, present resources and opportunities are inadequate. The experience of the past twenty years, which has included scholarly activities of all kinds, is indicative of the problems. The extent of personal economic sacrifices by practically all of the scholars engaged up to this time has been considerable. They are affected especially by the world-wide inflation and cannot cover, for example, costs for even essential travel and modest accommodations. They can use an abandoned barrack better than a Sheraton motel, a communal kitchen better than an established la carte cafeteria. All of this is not to say that past efforts have been unsuccessful. Conferences at Frazer University in Vancouver, at McAllister University in Canada, at Glasgow University in Scotland, at Lethbridge University in Canada, and at the Bronfman Center with the University of Montreal, have been productive. The scholars involved are impecunious, but unusually resourceful and productive.

The University College of the University of Maryland, in sponsoring the program of Quantavolution, can consider the following items of support:


Office space of 5 x 10 meters for individual conferences, content management of the programs, and custody of a special library.


Administration of the program, procedurally.


$3000 for a substantive administrator of the program, working out of the College Park office part time. At least for two years, the job here involves building up the ramified network of communications among scholars and students, expediting assignments, watching schedules, promoting conferences, facilitating the production and publication of teaching materials, and receiving and maintaining a library.


$5000 for the initiation of a microfiche newsletter, reprint and publication system for the program, to be sold to students and through a commercial or university publishing outlet.


$3000 Expenses reimbursement for IQ developers for program-building, telephone and travel expenses, disbursed through central office of IQ authorization.


Publicity of the program through University College.


$2000 additional publicity through the facilities of the IQ group to attract students.


Classroom facilities for offering three (assembled or open type) courses at College Park.


Possible classroom facilities in London, New York (this may be provided by Professor de Grazia, if necessary), and a Dutch or German site.


$3200 for purchasing the basic (missing) published materials for each of the 16 courses and duplication of the instructor's set of unpublished course materials (so that the central office would hold a record of materials on all courses).


Provision of promotion and management of a general College Park First Annual Conference on Quantavolution in spring 1981, together with guarantees of $12,000 in expenses of invited lecturers and discussion leaders.


Expenses of shipping study materials, including archives and books intended for the central office of the Institute of Quantavolution at College Park.


Instructors' costs of cassettes, telephones, mailing and travel.


Unreimbursed time of persons who may be involved in the promotion and establishment of the program. The total outlay for items not handled directly by IQ is best estimated by University College budgeting officers, but a figure of $16,000.00 is assigned here. The value of the consulting time of the professors acting as the sponsors and organizer (n above) is estimated at $8000 and waived here. The total special cash outlay of the first year of a two-year experiment amounts to about $16,000.00 of which some portion may be directly returnable and the rest returnable in the ordinary course of business. Therefore, the total of investment, allowances, and advances may be in the neighborhood of $32,000.00 for the first year.

A goal of 533 student tuitions would have to be set to meet this cost, of which perhaps half at College Park and half worldwide. However, significant alternative or additional income might be returned from conference activities at College Park and elsewhere, and from sales of materials. (Tuition for a course is figured at $115.00 of which $50 is put aside for its instructor and $60 is allocated to costs.)



An Institute of Quantavolution may be formed independently as a non-profit corporation to work with University College.


An IQ may be formed as a non-profit corporation by the University


The name may be used without formal legal structure and the program handled as an ordinary administrative sub-division.

Perhaps the third method (c) is simplest and most flexible in the early stage. However, the group of instructors would wish to have freedom to develop a set of functions perhaps not typical of University College programs: further they would wish to accumulate ear-marked grants, contracts, etc. Finally, they would wish at some point to set up a physical presence, a living-working- teaching arrangement that might or might not be possible at College Park or even elsewhere in the University of Maryland system. The Director of the Program (who could also be chairman of the Board of the IQ) can be designated for a three-year trial period by the Chancellor of University College.



Approval in principle of the IQ


Appointment of instructors and publicity of the program.


Opening and administration of office of IQ 1980-1 beginning date may be possible, until May 1, 1980, from the standpoint of recruitment of students. In addition to a Director-designate, an Associate Director-designate may be appointed to act in the absence of or under the Director.


In general, the University of Maryland may benefit from the proposed program. The field is demonstrably appealing to serious students. It has achieved a sufficient degree of stability in its problems, methods and materials to avoid exoticism and cultism. It addresses important philosophical and scientific problems in the traditional spirit of the liberal arts and in the proper hypothetical and operational spirit of science. There is a chance of showing a unique capability of the University College method in developing a new field of science and humanities.

Notes (Chapter 29: I. Q.: A Unversity Program)

1. A proposal for an Institute of Quantavolution (I. Q.) submitted 20 February 1980 to Dr. Malcolm Moos, Director of the Carnegie Study on New Directions for the University, University of Maryland and Chancellor Ben Massey, University College, University of Maryland. University College operates intra-murally and extra-murally, with centers and students in various countries of the world.

2. See e. g. R. A. Kerr. Science, 18 Jan. 1980, 293. "Venus and Science's Fringe."

3. A. de Grazia, "The Coming Cosmic Debate in the Sciences and Humanities," in N. Ravel, ed., "From Past to Prophesy." (1975) [see "a Cosmic Debate" here above.]

4. The Society for Interdisciplinary Studies has members in 19 different countries and was founded four years ago.

5. At the writing of this memorandum, Egypt appeared closed as a possibility. At the moment of publication (Dec. 1983) Egypt is open and the Society for Interdisciplinary Studies (London) is planning to conduct such a tour under the direction of the ancient historian, Peter James.


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