From: Tim Thompson (tim@lithos.jpl.nasa.gov)
Subject: Re: Information on Velikovsky
Newsgroups:
sci.skeptic, talk.origins

Date: 1997/08/22

Cross-posted to talk.origins, where a similar request was posted by
Elizabeth Anderson under another thread title:
"Help with Velikovsky" on July 21 1997
[Message <5r01ho$2eh6@acs4.acs.ucalgary.ca> ]

The following text is posted by Tim Thompson for Leroy
Ellenberger who has no direct access to Usenet:

--------------------Begin Ellenberger----------------------------------


Recent remarks in private list groups and on Usenet regarding the
Velikovsky controversy and certain topics therein, such as the
Pleistocene megafauna extinctions, usually discussed with the example
of the mammoths, indicate to a veteran observer that many of these
latter day discussants are woefully uninformed about the true state of
the discussion or else suffer severe long-term memory loss. To
partially fill in the gap, so to speak, I reproduce below a letter
sent to many people over the years starting in September 1987 and
later distributed at the August 1990 Reconsidering Velikovsky
Conference in Toronto.

The letter was intended to clarify certain issues regarding my leaving
Kronos and to indicate the gross incompetence shown by Lynn Rose in
Kronos over his treatment of the ice cores. This charge of gross
incompetence and malfeasance was sustained overwhelmingly by Sean
Mewhinney in his "Ice Cores & Common Sense" distributed in April 1989
to 110 scholars and interested parties and then published in C&AH
XII:1 & XII:2, 1990.  Additions to the original letter are shown in
brackets. In the letter, note especially Rose's total incompetence on
the issue of Velikovsky's position on the extinction of the mammoths.

                       C. Leroy Ellenberger
                         3929 Utah Street
                       St. Louis, MO 63116
                         September 1, 1987

Dear Friend,

Enclosed for your information is a collection of letters from New York
Times this year [May 16, Aug. 29] bearing on Velikovsky plus a copy of
my letter from Skeptical Inquirer last summer, "A lesson from
Velikovsky", [and Nature 1 Aug. 95, 10 Oct. 85, 21 Nov. 85, 9 Jan. 86].

On the subject of the ice cores and catastrophism, I would like you to
know that Prof. Rose's writing on this topic in Kronos has not made
one valid criticsm on a substantive point either of my writing or of
the ice core methodology. On the contrary, Prof. Rose continually
distorts and misrepresents the literature at least as flagrantly as
SAgan was accused of doing to Velikovsky [as Sean mewhinney makes
crystal clear in "Ice Cores & Common Sense" in C&AH XII:1 & XII:2,
1990].

The fact that part of the Dye 3 core is fractured in no way detracts
from the ability to date the ice and identify acidity from eruptions,
as Prof. Rose insists. The ice is cracked, but the peices were kept
together when extracted. The core did not shatter apart as the Camp
Century core did. [The new GRIP and GISP cores confirm the Dye 3
record for Holocene climate change. In fact, proxy climate records
from all over the world confirm the dating and global nature of the
Younger Dryas Klimasturz. It was quite disingenuous, if not outright
dishonest, for Rose to criticize the handling of the Dye 3 core on the
basis of reports from the Camp Century core and earlier.]

Acidity can be measured continuously, contrary to Prof. Rose. When
cracks prevent conductivity measurements on the solid ice, the acidity
is measured on small successive melted samples.

The ice core reserach is not contaminated by uniformitarian expectat-
tions, either. Significant amounts of dirt in the ice would be visible
and it is not seen (except for one yellow dust layer at c. 175 A.D.).
If anything were there, it would be detected in the normal course of
analyzing the 67,000 smaples for microparticles and if a comparatively
large amount of dirt were found, its composition would be determined.
Prof. Rose is totally off the mark on this point. And the fact that
his consultation with ice core researcher C.C. Langway at SUNY-Buffalo
is not reflected in hs writing [as of 1987] is a measure of Prof.
Rose's apparently congenital inability to process data [that
contradicts his preconceived Velikovskian notions] objectively. These
are just three of Prof. Rose's egregious distortions.

If Velikovsky's catastrophes occurred, a visible layer of dirt should
exist in the ice cores, a counterpart to the Worzel ask that
Velikovsky erroneously believed was worldwide and cometary [as
explained in "Worzel Ash" Kronos X:1]. Even if the initial influx were
washed away, the debris would have taken years to fall from the sky
and this later material would be in the ice. It is not there. And if a
flood washed the ice clean, such an inundation, distinct from seasonal
melting, would be apparent in the appearance of the ice, and such a
marker is not present.

The ice cores are a crucial test for Velikovsky's t heories which they
fail in every way. I am incredulous at the was Prof. Rose is reacting
to the ice cores. In 1980 at the Princeton Seminar, Prof. Rose allowed
that Velikovsky "either showed that these collisions happened or he
did not and we ought to be able to investigate that sort of question
on the basis of the evidence." But like so many dogged defenders of
dogma, Prof. Rose [and more recently C. Ginenthal] either denies the
evidence or distorts it to suit his purposes.

In his letter rejected by Nature and then printed in Kronos [XII:1],
Prof. Rose even denies that Worlds in Collision deals wiht wholesale
extinction of species, thereby jettisoning the Pleistocene
extinctions, including the mammoths.* This is not honest scholarship
but mindless

---------
*[In Kronos XII:1, p. 53, Rose writes: "...[T]here do not seem to have
been any wholesale extinctions connected with the latter events" i.e.,
those at 3500 B.P. Were the Pleistocene megafauna extinctions at
retail? Rose seems to forget that Velikovsky had mammoth extinction
with Worlds in Collision; see Prologue, Ch. 2, Sec. "The Mammoths". In
EArth in Upheaval, Ch. X, p. 169, we read "There is no proper way out
of this dilemma, other than the assumption that now extinct animals
still existed in historical times and that the catastrophe which
overwhelmed man and animals and annihilated numerous species
[wholesale(?)] occurred in the second or first millennium before the
present era." Could it be that Rose is not familiar with the contents
of the very chapter he cites on p. 53 of Kronos XII:1?]
---------

revisionism of the worst sort. Nobody can change what Velikovsky
wrote, not even Perfesser Rose. Can we not even agree on this?

Furthermore, contrary to Perfesser Rose's insistence, the Venus
Tablets do not "strongly support" Worlds in Collision. They are merely
consistent with the final stage of orbital scenarios implicit in the
book. They do not strongly support Velikovsky because the small
eccentricity difference [Rose and Vaughan claim] they imply is a far
cry from intersecting planetary orbits, the hallmark of Worlds in
Collision
[and see my "Ignotum per Ignotius" in Aeon 3:1 for more on the Venus
Tablets].

Because I choose not to be associated with the likes of the philosophy
professor cum solipsist resident on Balls Pond Road** in Buffalo, I 

---------
**The Ballspond-Road fallacy is the claim that everyone is entitled to
his own opinion; but not when the opinion is unambiguously wrong, as
in believing the Moon is made of green cheese. See New Scientist
7-7-83, p. 51, and 5-19-90. p. 72.
---------

resigned from Kronos last December when I read in XII:1 Perfesser
Rose's unrefereed diatribe on ice cores. I remember when it was apoint
of pride that papers in Kronos were refereed, albeit with uneven and
sometimes even uninformed expertise. Sic transit gloria. In any event,
there is simly no excuse for Perfesser Rose's uninformed prejudices to
be printed with somany flagrant and incontestable mistakes. [In
contrast, my "Still Facing Many Problems" in Kronos X:1 was vetted
prior to submission by Sr. Ed. David Griffard and several other
outside referees. It was no pure vanity piece as Rose's was.]

My letter in Kronos XII:2 on Michelson shows that Perfesser Rose is
out of his depth discussing physics. Indeed, none of his substantive
criticisms of my writing in XI:2 makes a valid point.

In lending credence to deGrazia's notion that a dirt layer might
migrate down through solid ice, Perfesser Rose shows he truly is
incompetent in physics. If anyone doubts that dirt stays put in a
glacier, they should visit the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru's Andes,
pictured on p. 102 of 1/87 Nat'l. Geographic, and watch the action.***

---------
***I would also point out that in XII:2, the acid signal that Rose is
about 4000 BC is really the Thera signal at 1645 BC. Evidently, Rose
did a naive linear interpolation on depth for dating a signal at 1200
m depth between end points of (50 BC, 800 m) and (10,000 BC, 1800 m)
which implicitly ignores thinning w/depth.
---------

Keep in mind, having an open mind is not a condition meant to be
permanent. As G.K. Chesterton observed, "...the object of opening the
mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."

Not one topic related to Velikovsky that I chose to investigate turned
out to be anything close to what Velikovsky represented it to be as
I've shown in my recent writing in Kronos. To some, the mere survival
of the bristlecone poines is a total refutation of Worlds in
Collision. Most of my invited, published writing defending Velikovsky
(Astronomy, BAR, & Frontiers of Science) were written after my first
doubts (when Slabinski refuted Warlow on tippe top Earth). But I
persisted as long as I thought there was someting worth defending. I
was overly generous and too profoundly uninformed to know better until
the negative evidence became overwhelming.

I was able to reationalize the ice cores from 8/77 to 12/82, until the
Dye 3 results were announced in Science; but Dolby's case**** in 1977

---------
****Available from me upon request. I sent it to Greenberg in 1977 and
to Rose in 1983, [who then never cited it]. With this letter having
been sent to over 180 people since 1987, no one asked for it.
---------

was a sufficient falsification in retrospect. In testing Velikovsky's
ideas, as opposed to obdurate denial of reality, I have paid my
respects to Velikovsky's claim to scientific consideration. It would
be encouraging if others could be as forthright in facing the cruel
truth that is obvious to anyone who will but look. I am very tired of
Velikovskian debate that too often becomes a dreadfully weary exercise
in pompous tendentiousness, a form honed to near perfection by
Perfesser
Rose [and now to perfection by C. Ginenthal and I. Wolfe]. In honest
scientific discussions, the data swamp prior beliefs. Unfortunately
for too many supporters of Velikovsky, no amount of data is sufficient
to do this. Neither do the ice cores lie, nor is their message so
inscrutable as to require the bizarre decoding that Perfesser Rose has
hinted he will reveal in the pages of Kronos; [see Aeon 3:1 for this
revelation.
My rebuttal to Rose, prepared for Aeon 3:2, was cancelled by Cochrane
while it reading via tape recording, which was on the program for the
Nov. 1991 CSIS meeting in Haliburton, Ont., was deleted for lack of
interest. This "Litmus Tests in the Ice" is available from me for
$1.00 postage & handling.] But for some, no gumtree istoo high to
climb! And Shapley had no monopoly on intellectual dishonesty.

                                           Sincerely yours
                                              (signed)
                                           Leroy Ellenberger

Leroy Ellenberger, Formerly Sr. Ed. & Exec. Secy., Kronos and
Confidant to Velikovsky, 4/78--11/79; vivere est vincere.
3929A Utah Street, St. Louis, MO 63116, USA

<http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/velidelu.html>
<ftp://ftp.primenet.com/pub/lippard/>, contains 9 "cle-" files; see
"cle-contra-cochrane" for more on Rose's intellectual and scientific
malfeasance; treatments of Ginenthal's writing in "cle-talbott" and
"cle-ginenthal-factor"
<c.leroy@rocketmail.com>

Mundus vult decipi ergo decipiatur.


---------------------------End Ellenberger---------------------------

-- 
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/8851/
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Timothy J. Thompson,              Timothy.J.Thompson@jpl.nasa.gov

NASA/JPL Terrestrial Science Research element
Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer.
Atmospheric Corrections Team - Scientific Programmer.
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