Immanuel Velikovsky, M.D. (Born on June 10, 1895 in Vitebsk, Russia –- Died on November 17, 1979 in Princeton, NJ, U.S.A.) -- was an American author and proponent of highly controversial theories of cosmogony and history.

Educated at the universities in Edinburgh, Kharkov, and finally earning an M.D. at the University of Moscow in 1921, he practiced medicine in Palestine and then studied psychology in Zürich and Vienna. Immanuel Velikovsky made a career for himself in the practice of general medicine, psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

After examining legends of the ancient Jews and other eastern Mediterranean peoples, he concluded that some tales described actual occurrences and were not mere myths or allegories.

Velikovsky's books always used comparative mythology and ancient literary sources, including the Bible. In his first book, Worlds in Collision, written in 1950, he argued that Earth has suffered catastrophic close-contacts with other planets, chiefly Venus and Mars, in ancient times. Also in the book, Velikovsky argued that electromagnetic effects play an important role in celestial mechanics, and in the determining of world events, thus shaping human history. In his 1952 book titled Ages in Chaos, Velikovsky sought to revise the chronology and history of the pre-Christian Near East. Other books of Velikovsky's composing were Earth in Upheaval, written in 1955, adduced geological and paleontological evidence that supported his belief that catastrophes have overwhelmed the Earth throughout Earth's existence; Oedipus and Akhnaton, written in 1960, linked Egyptian history with Greek mythology; and Peoples of the Sea, written in 1977, identified Ramses III with Nectanebo, pharaohs otherwise dated 800 years apart in Egyptian chronology.

Velikovsky's theories have generally been rejected or ignored by the academic community. Nonetheless, his books have sold well for more than fifty years. The American Civil Liberties Union's claims of unfair treatment by institutional science have inspired support for Velikovsky among church laypeople. The controversy surrounding his ideas and its decidedly mixed, and sometimes scathing, reception is often referred to as "the Velikovsky affair".

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