Guest Commentary

The Law of Confusion and its Necessity in the Progression of "Controversial Science" (Part One)

By David Jinks

Having been fully immersed in off-mainstream topics for over eight years while writing The Monkey and the Tetrahedron, now that it's finished I am able to step back and survey the current state of affairs in the "controversial sciences" field. Have subjects such as UFOs, crop circles, "cold fusion" and extraterrestrial artifacts yet achieved the kind of scientific treatment they deserve? The answer is yes…and no.

Heartening are the advances in UFO research: the French government sanctioned COMETA report, and Stanford's Rockefeller-financed UFO study, both of which strongly encourage further UFO research; "UFO lawyer" Peter Gersten's successful challenge of the Department of Defense's plea to dismiss a CAUS (Citizens Against UFO Secrecy) lawsuit against the U.S. Government; Popular Mechanics' groundbreaking 1998 article "Six Unexplainable Encounters"; the comprehensive, if severely belated, mainstream coverage of the infamous "Phoenix lights" incident; and a bevy of other UFO firsts.

Encouraging, too, are advances in "cold fusion" research revealing a novel-if still hard-to-pin-down-phenomenon that promises to overturn cherished mainstream theory. Similar developments regarding further evidence of apparent ruins on Mars and Earth's moon-Dr. Tom Van Flandern's earthshaking statement regarding the "face on Mars" and Ukrainian Dr. Alexey Arkhipov's "Preliminary Search for Ruin-Like Formations on the Moon", for example-show the increasing willingness of mainstream scientists to go out on a limb in support of these decidedly off-mainstream ideas.

A constant in the controversial sciences field is the omnipresence of the proverbial "defenders of the status quo" wherever serious discussion of these ideas takes place. These are the debunkers and pseudo-skeptics who find it necessary to interject, regardless of its relevance, their personal brand of twisted logic with a condescending arrogance a seasoned "believer" (as they so love to label us) can detect within the first seconds of engagement. What's encouraging about the continuous drone of the debunkers is its increasing shrillness. To quote the great peacemaker, Gandhi: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you…then you win." I am convinced the laughing stage is finally over, and the fighting has begun.

But there are discouraging signs. In my book I predicted that the reality of cold fusion would gain wider acceptance in the worldwide scientific community. In fact, the only country devoting substantial resources to the phenomenon, Japan, recently witnessed a collapse of its main investigative body. And the all-too-human desire to sit on technology that holds the potential to make its inventors filthy rich has managed to slow public development of cold fusion to a crawl. Make no mistake; Cold fusion research continues unabated-even NASA has gotten into the field-yet progress frequently moves in a "three steps forward, two steps back" fashion.

(Continued in Part 2)


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