Response to Rogerson’s Review

Anomalist 12: The Universe Wants to Play 

Reviewed by Peter Rogerson

My response:

I can’t say that I disagree for the most part with Rogerson’s view here, but I have one criticism about his comments on heresy hunting in science.

It’s true that many anomalists fall into conspiracy theorizing about mainstream science, but such an attitude isn’t entirely unfounded.  There are examples of scientists of unpopular views having their work confiscated, destroyed or simply ignored.  Scientists have at times been imprisoned or driven to suicide.

These cases are not typical, but they exist.  Scientists don’t normally act that way and I have general faith in scientific progress despite some of it’s failings and limitations.  I’d like to think that such rare cases have become even more rare and that science is becoming more openminded in it’s appreciation of multiple viewpoints.

I still think it’s important to keep in mind that scientists are just fallible humans like everyone else and science like anything else has unsavory incidents in its history.  I’m happy to admit that science is far less oppressive than religion has been in the past, but even with religion heavy-handed oppression wasn’t the norm.  Ridicule and dismissal have always been more effective methods of control.  A good analysis of the limitations of science can be found in George P. Hansen’s The Trickster and the Paranormal.

Anomalists should avoid a hostile attitude towards science, but they shouldn’t withhold criticism that is well deserved.  Mainstream scientists need anomalists to keep them honest… just as anomalists need mainstream scientists to keep them honest.

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