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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.

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"I agree with most of what Gardner and Shermer say about the personalities of cranks except that they are too simplistic and ideological when it comes to the the phenomena of the paranormal and UFOs. Neither of them are real scientists by the way, but are basically journalists. To balance their extremism, see Brian Josephson's Mind-Matter Project web page.

Even mainstream physics today has pseudo-scientific fantasies yet to fulfill the grandiose claims made for them even on Public Broadcasting System's NOVA. Specifically, string theory, hot fusion, and quantum computers. On the other hand, we may expect some progress on them, though don't hold your breath. See Roger Penrose on fashions and fantasies in physics as well as the books by Lee Smolin and Peter Woit for alternative points of view." - Jack Sarfatti
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