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August 23, 1972

Dear Dr. Velikovsky;

I have just returned home from what is surely one of the highlights of my academic career, participation in the symposium at Lewis and Clark College as an Invited Scholar.

Most likely you will remember me as the biologist in the last session, Friday evening, who brought up some problems relative to the biological implications of your overall theory. Because of the limits of time, I did not have the opportunity to explain clearly enough the points I raised. I am afraid that some, perhaps even you, may have misunderstood.

For many years I have been very disenchanted with the current theories of evolution as well as those dealing with fossilization, extinction, geological processes, etc. Other biologists have argued at length with me basing their position on the claim that there is no other possible alternative. They, of course, object to individual special creation, and catastrophic evolution hardly ever enters into the discussion as a real possibility.

The point I was trying to make in my comments at the symposium was this. Since your theory embraces catastrophe as a major celestial and geological phenomenon, it must of necessity include a catastrophic evolution of species. As I said at the Symposium, I do not expect you to provide the details of such evolution. However, such must be supplied if your theory is to stand validated. Astronomical and geological evidences as well as historical evidences are not enough. Nor are the gaps in fossil records, and the sudden appearance of new groups of organisms enough. Your theory must be supported with demonstrations that there are genetic mechanisms which would allow rapid transformation of species within one to a few generations. Frankly the explanation in Earth in Upheaval is inadequate as is every other explanation proposed to date by others. I was trying to convey at the Symposium that the biological aspects of your theory have been passed over too slightly. . .at the Symposium for example there was little time or comment devoted to this area. I felt it essential that those attending the meetings should be aware of the problems in the biological area. Sooner or later a biologist especially one well trained in genetics, needs to carefully explore the whole genetic basis of current evolutionary theory. Although I have some background in genetics, I hardly feel adequate to the task, at least at the present. I am by training a plant taxonomist-ecolo-gist and deeply involved in a long term study of the natural areas of Pennsylvania. However, I do plan to continue with what spare time I have to investigate the biological implications of your theories.

Most sincerely,
Kimball S. Erdman
Professor of Biology
Slippery Rock State College

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