The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher

The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher

The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher

The New Age: Notes of a Fringe Watcher


Martin Gardner confronts new trends in pseudo-science and the paranormal: from the much-publicised past-life exploits of Shirley MacLaine to the latest in perpetual-motion machines, from 'prime-time preachers' to the 'channelling mania' of the past few years.


My first column in the Skeptical Inquirer, a lively, fast-growing quarterly devoted to reporting and debunking fringe science, was in the Summer 1983 issue. I have been writing the column ever since. At first it was headed Notes of a Psi-Watcher. This was later changed to Notes of a Fringe- Watcher so that I could discuss topics outside the narrow range of psi (psychic) research.

Part 1 of this anthology is a reprinting in chronological order of my first nineteen columns. At the end of most of them I have added an Afterword to update the material and take advantage of welcome feedback from readers. Part 2 consists of fourteen articles and book reviews about pseudoscience that appeared in various magazines.

Readers interested in my other writings about fringe science will find them in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (Dover), Science: Good, Bad and Bogus, and, a few chapters of Order and Surprise. The last two books are published by Prometheus Books and have Oxford University Press softcover editions in the United Kingdom.

For information about how to subscribe to the Skeptical Inquirer, write to Post Office Box 229, Buffalo, NY 14215-0229.

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