Alternative Science: Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment
|Publisher||Park Street Press|
In this compelling tour through the world of anomalous research, Richard Milton makes clear what the scientific establishment takes pains to deny: plenty of hard experimental evidence already exists for such things as cold fusion, paranormal phenomena, bioenergy, and the effectiveness of alternative medicine. Because these subjects and those who dare to investigate them are continually denied legitimacy by what can only be called the "paradigm police," the public is led to believe that all claims made about such topics are completely groundless. With humor and an eye for the telling detail, the author describes many instances when the defenders of scientific orthodoxy acted with unscientific rigidity in the face of the evidence. Faraday, Roentgen, Edison, and even the Wright Brothers were thought to be charlatans by their contemporaries. Taking the broad view of the way science is done, Milton discusses the forces at work in the marginalization of unorthodox research, and makes the reader wonder if there is not something fundamentally wrong with the way that science is currently being practiced. Many readers are shocked to learn that there exists an orthodoxy within the scientific community that viciously attacks theories outside the mainstream, as well as those scientists daring to research "heretical" ideas. The objectivity inherent in the scientific method cannot control human biases and machinations, however. Science has its share of fanatical, dogmatic defenders of "accepted truth" whose inquisitorial skills are neatly disguised through technical jargon and reductionist logic. Richard Milton succinctly exposes this world and deflates the popular myth that all science is conducted objectively.
This excellent book reveals how theories once summarily (and often cruelly) dismissed by the scientific establishment were later definitively proven through experimentation, demonstration, and replication (i.e., the scientific method). The author also presents many currently heretical theories that, despite repeated experimental validation, remain condemned by the scientific orthodoxy. Lovers of open-minded investigations will appreciate this book's reminder to search for ulterior motives when evaluating criticisms of someone's research. Fairness and objectivity, the author suggests, are essential in evaluating any theories. Be alert, though, when subjectivity taints the scientific ideal.