Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies

Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies

by Henry H. Bauer

Paperback(Reprint)

$17.96 $19.95 Save 10% Current price is $17.96, Original price is $19.95. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Want it by Wednesday, October 24?   Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Shipping at checkout.

Overview

Science or Pseudoscience: Magnetic Healing, Psychic Phenomena, and Other Heterodoxies by Henry H. Bauer

Although science attempts to draw a clear line separating its endeavors from those of "pseudoscience," Henry Bauer reveals that the distinction is both equivocal and misleading. Setting aside science's snowy mantle of truth, Bauer presents pseudoscience—or anomalistics—not as the opposite of science but as something that develops parallel to it.
 
Science assumes anomalies—that is, phenomena that contradict the existing store of knowledge—result from error, contamination, or even deception: in short, from bad research technique, at best, and deliberate hoax, at worst. Anomalists, by contrast, accept such occurrences, often on the basis of eyewitness claims, as important in themselves and worthy of further study, even if they contradict prevailing theories and offer a minimal degree of reproducibility.
 
Science or Pseudoscience explores the diffuse and porous borders between mainstream and unorthodoxy. A scientist himself, Bauer points out that some phenomena that have turned out to be spurious, such as polywater and cold fusion, were for a time taken quite seriously by respected members of the scientific community. Other anomalies, such as ball lightning and meteorites, were dismissed by many scientists but turned out to be legitimate discoveries. Meanwhile, science has failed to prove that phenomena encompassed by the "big three" subjects in anomalistics—parapsychology, ufology, and cryptozoology (e.g., the Loch Ness monster)—do not exist. Rather, science theorizes that these phenomena cannot exist, since today's scientific laws seem to hold them to be impossible.
 
Bauer discusses anomalies such as archaeoastronomy (e.g., Stonehenge) and bioelectromagnetics and looks at how institutional, commercial, and political interests influence borderline research in mainstream laboratories. He also draws a distinction between fraud and commercial huckstering, on the one hand, and genuine knowledge-seeking about matters ignored by the established intellectual disciplines, on the other.
 
Bauer notes that the more closely anomalistic research approaches science, the more strenuously it is criticized by the establishment, often in terms of heresy. Reminding us that geniuses are cranks who happen to be right while cranks may be geniuses who happen to be wrong, Science or Pseudoscience offers a measured and thoughtful assessment of this volatile debate.
 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780252072161
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Publication date: 07/28/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews