The book includes readings on science methods, logic, and the methods of archaeology, and describes approaches to pseudoscientific claims from the humanities and social sciences. Readers examine topics such as the cloth of Turin, UFO and “ancient alien” myths, urban legends, cryptozoology, and conspiracy beliefs.
The text helps students develop tools to assess disparate claims about the past, explore multiple perspectives on fringe science, and consider what alternative interpretations of the past and present may say about the contemporary world.
Critical Engagements with Fringe Science gives readers an understanding of the anthropological perspective and teaches the critical faculties needed to assess claims about the past. It is an excellent choice for courses on scientific methods and classes that examine claims about the human past, especially those circulated around popular media.
D. Ryan Gray earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans. Dr. Gray teaches courses in urban and historical archaeology, race and segregation, and the legal aspects of cultural resource management. He specializes in New Orleans and the southeastern region of the United States."