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 <email@example.com> ] 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" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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.