Hey, today is Charles Fort‘s 133d birthday! (via) Fort, a bookish writer from upstate New York, spent most of his life in the British Library and the NYPL, researching paranormal phenomena, and writing four books full of documentation and pronouncements on the nature of science, evidence and belief. He insisted that paranormal phenomena be investigated as dispassionately as any other natural phenomena, and criticized mainstream science for its ‘damning’ of unusual facts and occurrences. Everything, according to Fort, should be rigorously investigated, falling frogs no less than glaciers. His totalizing skepticism has been an inspiration to scientists, counterculture types, writers, artists, and (I insist) had an important influence on public opinion of science in the early twentieth century. Historians of science should take note.
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