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Worlds In Collision
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Velikovsky’s Strange Theory Of Colliding Worlds

By James Donahue

In 1950, at about the time we were only beginning to think of space exploration, Immanual Velikovsky, a Russian psychiatrist with a keen interest in history and archaeology, published a theory that ancient mythology and Old Testament Bible stories pointed to some spectacular goings-on in our solar system.

In his popular book “Planets In Collision,” Velikovsky suggested that the stories of Sun and Moon ceasing to move for a day, and other great catastrophic events including a burning red sky, a swarm of locusts over Egypt, the great famines and plagues, hails of fire and rocks from the sky, and other calamities were caused by a terrestrial or extra-terrestrial anomaly.

His theory, in brief, was that Venus and Jupiter were once a single planet, but were separated by some kind of nuclear event that sent Venus hurtling through space like a giant comet. It passed Earth so close that its gravitational field brought the Earth to a complete stop. As the tail of the passing comet struck the Earth it caused the shower of meteor rocks and the sky to turn red. Venus then circled the Sun and returned three days later to swipe closely past Earth on a second pass that restarted our planet’s rotation. After that, Venus took up a regular orbit of its own around the Sun.

As wild as Velikovsky’s story sounded, his book was a popular read in its day. The writer was not schooled in astronomy or advanced physics, but merely drew his documentation from Greek mythology, the Bible, and other ancient legends. He proceeded on the theory that mythology was probably based on native attempts to explain real events. While this may be true, Velikovsky went to extreme lengths to link all of the stories into one phenomenal solar event that came close to destroying the Earth.

It is hard to believe that such a story would be widely accepted as recently as 1950 to 1970, when his book was selling well and Velikovsky’s popularity was established. It was largely the Christian counter culture that promoted his theory because the book offered a simple solution to ancient Old Testament mysteries. But discoveries made through space exploration at about the time of Velikovsky’s death in the late 1970s put an end to the movement.

There are a lot of problems with the Velokovsky theory. For example, his book addresses debris or meteors falling from the tail of the massive comet-like body as it passed Earth, but missed other more violent events that a planetary body of that size would create. These include massive tidal waves and chemical and electrical interactions that would cause furious storms.

The mere physics involved in close encounters between two massive planets suggests that it could not have happened without extensive if not total destruction of both planets. Also the energy required to project a planet as large as Venus from Jupiter would have caused Venus to disintegrate.

Data received from exploratory satellites have shown that Venus and Jupiter contain completely different elements, thus proving once and for all that they were not of the same origin and did not tear apart.