09:27 Introduction; Bad Ideas

09:27 Introduction; Bad Ideas - Northwestern University...

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Reserve Services Northwestern University Library NO FURTHER TRANSMISSION OR DISTRIBUTION OF THIS MATERIAL IS PERMITTED WARNING CONCERNING COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or reproduction. One of three specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If electronic transmission of reserve material is used for purposes in excess of what constitutes “fair use”, that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This policy is in effect for the following document:
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THE . IMM.ANUEL VELIKOVSKY · · . and the Birth of the Mode~n F~inge PSEUDOSCIENCE WARS Michael D. Gordin The University of Chica90 Press C H IC AGO AND LONDON
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MI c HAE L D. Go RD IN is a professor in the Department of History at Princeton University. He is the author of A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table; Five Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War; and Red Cloud at Dawn: Truman, Stalin, and the End of the Atomic Monopoly. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London © 2012 by The University of Chicago All rights reserved. Published 2012. Printed in the United States of America 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 1 2 3 4 5 ISBN-13: 978-0-226-30442-7 (cloth) ISBN-10: 0-226-30442-6 ( cloth) ISBN-13: 978-0-226-30443-4 (e-book) ISBN-10: 0-226-30443-4 ( e-book) Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Gordin, Michael D . .The pseudoscience wars: Immanuel Velikovsky and the birth of the modem fringe/ Michael D. Gordin. pages;cm Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-30442-7 (cloth: alkaline paper) ISBN-10: 0-226-30442-6 (cloth: alkaline paper) ISBN-13: 978-0-226-30443-4 (e-book) ISBN-10: 0-226-30443-4 (e-book) 1. Pseudoscience-History- 2oth century. 2. Velikovsky, Immanuel, 1895-1979-Appreciation. 3. Velikovsky, Immanuel, 1895-1979-Influence. 4. Lysenko, Trofim Denisovich, 1898-1976. 5. Creationism-History. 6. Eugenics- History. 7. Science-History-20th century. I. Title. QJ72.5.P77G674 2012 523.2-dc23 2012003653 (§) This paper meets the requirements of ANS1/N1so z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).
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Introduction: Bad Ideas No one in the history of the world has ever self-identified as a pseudo- scientist. There is no person who wakes up in the morning and thinks to himself, "I'll just head into my pseudolaboratory and perform some pseudoexperiments to try to confirm my pseudotheories with pseudo- facts." As is surely obvious, "pseudoscience" is a term of abuse, an epithet attached to certain points of view to discredit those ideas, complemented by "pseudoscientist" to designate the practitioner. Just as no adherents of a religious doctrine ever really consider themselves "heretics," alleged pseudoscientists have a very specific understanding of their activities. To their minds, they are doing science, full stop. This does not mean they are necessarily correct-lots of
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