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Hermits & Cranks

Fifty years ago Martin Gardner launched the modern skeptical movement. Unfortunately, much of what he wrote about is still current today
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In 1950 Martin Gardner published an article in the Antioch Review entitled “The Hermit Scientist,” about what we would today call pseudoscientists. It was Gardner’s first publication of a skeptical nature (he was the math games columnist for Scientific American for more than a quarter of a century). In 1952 he expanded it into a book called In the Name of Science, with the descriptive subtitle “An entertaining survey of the high priests and cultists of science, past and present.” Published by Putnam, the book sold so poorly that it was quickly remaindered and lay dormant until 1957, when it was republished by Dover. It has come down to us as Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, which is still in print and is arguably the skeptic classic of the past half a century. (continue reading…)

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