Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 28, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Thursday, February 28, 1974 THE LETHBRIDOE HERALD Error raises speculation Scientists clash election not necessary with Velikovsky LONDON (CP) One of the most incredible aspects of the British election campaign is the suggestion that the whole exercise may have been unnecessary at this time. It is probably an over-sim- plification, but the theory pro- moted in some quarters is that if the error in calculating the coal miners' pay scale had been uncovered earlier, their strike might have been averted, the three-day work week made unnecessary and today's election avoided. Even more surprising is the fact that when the mistake was discovered, it became a sort of one-day wonder with politicians soon focussing their attention elsewhere. This was partly due to the pace of the abbreviated three- week campaign and the fact that the subsequent oublication of Britain's record balance-of-trade deficit provided a meatier campaign issue. BLAME SPREADS But more important, when the staggering miscalculation was turned up last week, it was obvious that there was enough blame for all PREMIER HOMES LTD. Located on the University Bypass Road at the old Enersons Service Station in the Riverbottom Largest Homes Sales Supermarket Complete Customer Service Parts and Full Year Warranty Complete Setup and Delivery with Every Home Complete Line of 14 Wide and 12 Wide Custom Furnished Throughout Double Wide Available All Financing Arranged, Payable to Suit Your Budget TRADES WELCOME! PREMIER HOMES LTD. Located on the University Bypass Road at the Old Enersons Service Station in the Riverbottom Phone 329-4242 concerned over the Conservative government, the former Labor government and the miners union itself. Thus no side in the dispute could turn the issue to its benefit. Only a few independent- minded Labor candidates, and the thrusting little Liberal party which emerged blameless from the scandal, seized on the disclosure, with Liberal Leader Jeremy Thorpe claiming that it vindicated his earlier contention that the election was unwanted and unnecessary. Supported by a number of commentators and political observers, the Liberals argued that it demonstrated that the miners' strike could have been settled and the election delayed at least until the current atmosphere of crisis had abated. What happened was that when the pay board opened public hearings on whether the miners should be treated as a special case and given a pay increase beyond anti-inflation guidelines, its economists came up with the startling new figures. MINERS LAG These showed that miners, instead of being slightly ahead of comparable workers in other industries as long believed, in fact were earning a week less. The deceptively high figure previously used had occurred mainly because some supervisory staff, who earn about 10 per cent more than ordinary miners, had been included in the tabulations. The public was left incred- ulous that after weeks of in- tense bargaining at 10 Downing St., the fruitless agonizing over Opposition Leader Harold Wilson's loophole scheme to pay miners extra for travel and washing-up time, that no one 'had stumbled on this mathematical error that might have opened a new aspect to the crisis. By WALTER SULLIVAN New York Times Service SAN FRANCISCO Immanuel Velikovsky, author of the controversial book "Worlds In Collision" locked horns this week with the scientific community. Scientists in the audience at the St. Francis Hotel here applauded arguments by their colleagues seeking to refute, or even ridicule, the hypotheses of Velikovsky. The latter, now in his 79th year, argues that Venus once swept close to the earth with catastrophic consequences. However, a substantial part of the audience consisted of Velikovsky sympathizers, who gave him a standing ovation after he made an extensive presentation of his case. It is evident that 24 years after "Worlds in Collision" appeared, there is a revival of interest in his theories. Thus, ever since 1972, a magazine called Pensee published by the student academic freedom forum in Portland, Ore., has devoted most ot its space to articles on the controversy, most of them tending to support Velikovsky. The symposium here, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is one of four on the subject being conducted this year at various academic meetings. This spring Velikovsky is being awarded an honorary degree by the University of Lethbridge. In essence, Velikovsky argues that Venus was thrown off as a comet by Jupiter, and passed close to the earth in about 1500 B.C. It then made successive passes, producing effects that could account for events described in'Exodus, such as the plagues of Egypt. Venus, he also proposed, hit Mars, causing the latter to come near the earth in 686 B.C. Velikovsky is well known as a potent debater, and he cross examined some of his challengers in a manner that helped explain why scientists have not been eager to' confront him. Dr. Peter Huber, professor of ancient history at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, displayed photographs of Cuneiform tablets and other ancient records that he said referred to the presence of Venus in the sky as early as 3000 B.C. Futhermore, he added, they showed that Venus alternated between being a morning star and an evening star a characteristic of its present orbit between the earth and sun. Finally, he cited Chinese records of a total eclipse of the sun on July 17, 708 B.C., which implies no disturbance of the moon's motion in the interim. Had Mars come near, the moon's path would have been greatly altered. Dr. J. Derral Mulholland, professor of astronomy at the University of Texas, in Austin, cited evidence that there has been no substantial change in the earth's spin for 350 million years, apart from a gradual slowing of about two thousandths of a second per century. This stability of the earth's spin is reflected in fossil tree rings a.nd other manifestations of the Diurnal Cycle. Had a planet come near the earth, tidal effects would have grossly altered the spin rate and, hence, the length of the day and the number of days in a year. It was possible, he said, that a succession of events could have altered the spin, then returned it to normal but, he said, "it requires a great act of faith to believe this." Dr. Carl Sagan, professor of astronomy at Cornell University, in particular, challenged those who claim that many of Velikovsky's predictions have been verified, such as the high temperature of Venus, the radio emissions of Jupiter, and the magnetic envelope around the earth known as the Magnetosphere. Sale Managed by: Perlieh Bros. Auction Market Ltd. Phones: 403-329-3101 Box 1057 LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA Simmental Herd-Builder Sale SAT., MARCH 1 P.M. SHARP PERLICH BROS. SALES PAVILION, LETHBRIDGE. ALTA. SELLING 222 SIMMENTALS ANOTHER QUALITY IN QUANTITY FEMALE SALE Heifers Due Mar., Apr., May. Heifers Bred Vz Cows Due Mar. Apr. with Heifer Calves at Side Vz Heifers Short Service Heifers (Yearlings) All Hereford background on the maternal side Sires represent some of the top Simmental bloodlines available on the North American Continent. All bred females are pregnancy examined Buy with confidence. OWNER BIG SKY LAND CATTLE LTD., LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. 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