Weak Pulse

Trevor James Constable. The Cosmic Pulse of Life. Neville Spearman, 1977.
One puzzling aspect of ufology is the question of why so many enthusiasts have such an insatiable appetite for pseudo-science rather than genuine science. Perhaps one reason ia that science has developed so much in this century that scientists are increasingly forced to specialise, so that they know more and more about less and less, and thus get out of their depths when they tackle subjects remote from their own specialities

This book is a feast for the pseudoscientist The author constantly berates conventional physicists for their conservative, mechanistic "anti-life" attitudes. Some of his strictures are no doubt justified, but he spoils his argument by overstatement, and expounding alternative arguments which are patently ridiculous. Mr Constable takes photographs of the sky using infra-red film, and obtains pictures with various light patches and dark blobs on them. Now these pictures, if genuine, are quite interesting. Possibly he has managed to record pictures of atmospheric turbulence. However, Mr Constable refuses to consider any rational explanations. Because some of the blobs which appear on his photographs bear a. superficial resemblance to living cells seen through a. microscope, the author comes to the conclusion that they are living organisms. And if anyone disagrees, let him be anathema!

In this book scientific problems are discussed from the viewpoint of the 'new physics'. This consists of a rag-bag of pseudo-scientific speculation culled from various crackpot sources, many of which contradict the theories held by more conventional physicists. For example, the second law of thermodynamics is not only 'false' but also 'neurotic' (whatever that may mean in this context) because it is contradicted by Wilhelm Reich 's orgone accumulator which produces heat 'out of nothing'. (Perhaps Reich managed to capture and tame Maxwell 's Demon?)

The author also criticises those scientists who say there is no ether, arguing, as nineteenth century scientists did, that "there cannot be waves without a medium for them to wave in”. This argument is based on a false analogy. While it is possibly true, as Constable asserts, that "numerous scientists are conceptually unhappy with Prof. Einstein 's etherless universe" and indeed Einstein himself said of the quantum theory "I look upon quantum mechanics with admiration - and suspicion" I hardly think that such people would, like the author, go to the other extreme of postulating not one ether, but four! This book is recommended to all lovers of irrationality, pseudo-science and irrational fantasies. -- John Harney. MUFOB New Series 9, Winter 1977/8.

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