Dear Mr. Velikovsky!
Remarks on the part of your manuscript poles displaced.
The first impression is that the generations of scholars have a bad
memory. Scientists generally have little historical sense, so
that each single generation knows little of the struggles and inner
difficulties of the former generation. Thus it happens that many ideas
at different times are repeatedly conceived anew, without the initiator
knowing that these subjects had been considered already before. In this
sense I find your patience in examining the literature quite enlightening
and valuable; it deserves the attentive consideration of researchers
who according to their natural mentality live so much in the present
that they are inclined to think of every idea that occurs to them, or
their group, as new. The idea of a possible displacement of the
poles as an explanation of the change of climate in any one point of
the earths crust is a beautiful example. Even the idea of the
possibility of a sliding of the rigid crust in relation to the plastic,
or fluid deeper strata of the earth, was already considered by Lord
Kelvin (and was in fact rejected).
The interpretation of the vote mentioned on pp. 159-1601
as an attempt at a dogmatic fixation of the truth is not
obvious to me. It is simply interesting for the participants of a congress
to see how opinions concerning an interesting question are divided among
those present. I dont think that the underlying idea was that
the outcome of the voting would somehow insure the objective correctness
of the outcome of the vote.
From p. 182 on starts a wild robbers story (up to p. 189) which
seems to rely more on a strong temperament than on organized considerations.
Referring to p. 191: Blackets idea is untenable from a theoretical
point of view. The remark about the strength of magnetization seems
to be unjustified (p. 192); it could for example depend essentially
upon the speed of cooling as well as on particle shape and size. The
direction of the magnetic field during solidification must however quite
certainly determine the direction of magnetization. Bottom 192 etc.:
wild fantasy! from here on marginal remarks with pencil in the manuscript.
The proof of sudden changes (p. 223 to the end) is quite
convincing and meritorious. If you had done nothing else but to gather
and present in a clear way this mass of evidence, you would have already
a considerable merit. Unfortunately, this valuable accomplishment is
impaired by the addition of a physical-astronomical theory to which
every expert will react with a smile or with angeraccording to
his temperament; he notices that you know these things only from hearsayand
do not understand them in the real sense, also things that are elementary
to him. He can easily come to the opinion that you yourself dont
believe it, and that you want only to mislead the public. I myself had
originally thought that it could be so. This can explain Shapleys
behavior, but in no case excuse it. This is the intolerance and
arrogance together with brutality which one often finds in successful
people, but especially in successful Americans. The offence against
truthfulness, to which you rightly called my attention, is generally
human, and in my eyes, less important. One must however give him credit
that in the political arena he conducted himself courageously and independently,
and just about carried his hide to the marketplace.
Therefore it is more or less justified if we spread the mantle of Jewish
neighborly love over him, difficult as it may be.
To the point, I can say in short: catastrophes yes, Venus no.
Now I ask you: what do you mean when you request of me to do my duty
in this case? It is not clear to me. Be quite frank and open towards
me, this can only be good in every respect.
With cordial greetings to both of you,