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View Diary: Getting to Know Your Solar System (3): Venus (54 comments)

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  •  Worlds in Collision (2+ / 0-)
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    Troubadour, chuckvw

    This was a book (1950) by Immanuel Velikovsky in which he tried to explain events in the Book of Exodus by the passage near Earth of a comet that then went into orbit as Venus. I was very interested at the time in seeing scientific explanation of events in the Bible. I was becoming a skeptic of religion.
    Later I read of Velikovsky's book being dismissed as pseudo-science. My geology professors dismissed him as a catastrophist.
    I would say the most serious flaws of Velikovsky's thinking were in astrophysics. The orbit of Venus has one of the lowest eccentricities (closest to circular), hardly what should be for a recently captured planet. Also there is the question of chemical composition: hydrocarbons in comets versus a rocky planet.
    Velikovsky went on to explain events of the Book of Amos by an encounter with Mars, again a planet with a very nearly circular orbit.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:18:07 PM PDT

    •  The biggest problem with Velikovsky (1+ / 0-)
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      is that there was never any basis whatsoever for anything he proposed.  First, he simply assumed that events in the Bible actually happened - modern historical consensus is that the Book of Exodus was largely military propaganda created by King David's state as part of an ongoing conflict with Egypt.  Secondly, one would have to know absolutely nothing about Venus, comets, or orbital mechanics to suppose as late as 1950 that Venus could have been a comet - it's beneath even the level of pseudo-science, and amounts more to gibberish.

      The conundrum of stable democracy: Reform requires the consent of the corrupt.

      by Troubadour on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:41:45 PM PDT

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