Popular Science Editorial

James Randi --- Wizard (JREFInfo@ssr.com)
5 May 1997 05:35:46 -0000

Popular Science Dares to Offend the Nut Fringe.

This is directed to the list readership as well as to Fred Abatemarco,
Editor-In-Chief of Popular Science and the author of a 12-line
editorial in the June/97 issue. Here we have a succinct message that
pretty well sums up the attitude and opinion of those of us who are
dismayed by the tendency of the media "to obliterate the distinction
between unsubstantiated speculation and well-disciplined scientific
hypothesis". Bravo, Fred! You risk the wrath of those readers who
purchase P.S. in hopes of finding support for the nutty notions that
are offered them by the irresponsible and uncaring media.

And, Fred, you're surely going to get your lumps from the Roswellites
who read your cover story "UFO Mania at Roswell" by Dawn Stover.
These same naifs will agree with the statement in her article that the
Roswell event stands as "the best-documented case of an
extraterrestrial encounter," and I heartily agree with that
evaluation, but only because most other popular "documentations" have
much less evidence of any sort, and most are entirely anecdotal. At
least Roswell produced some physical material, parsimoniously
identified as scraps of debris from Project Mogul.

Thank you, Popular Science. Let's see more such brave opposition to
nonsense, in a day when science-bashing is so prevalent.

James Randi

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