Cover image for Weird science : an expert explains ghosts, voodoo, the UFO conspiracy, and other paranormal phenomena
Weird science : an expert explains ghosts, voodoo, the UFO conspiracy, and other paranormal phenomena
White, Michael, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Avon Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 419 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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BF1031 .W49 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BF1031 .W49 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
BF1031 .W49 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Being fixed/mended

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In days of yore, humans believed that lightning bolts were evidence of the gods' wrath; today, of course, we know they are actually a discharge of atmospheric electricity.Might there also be reasonable, rational, scientifically based explanations for phenomena we currently attribute to the supernatural? Yes, says Michael White, author of books on subjects ranging from Stephen Hawking to genetic research to Isaac Asimov, as well as hundreds of articles on cutting-edge science issues. As both a science expert and someone who has had first-hand experience with the paranormal, White is uniquely qualified to discuss the strange and bizarre--to explain the seemingly unexplainable.With wit, humor and a lucidity of language that makes even the most convoluted subjects accessible to the layperson, white tackles two dozen of the hottest--and most controversial--inexplicable phenomena, providing answers to intriguing questions including: Have aliens visited the Earth-and abducted people?Is Atlantis resting in a watery grave and, if so, where?Is there really a way to create zombies?How could we see the future?And much more Probing into the possible scientific underpinnings of everything from psychic spoonbending to interstellar travel to multiple dimensions, Michael White looks at the weird world of the paranormal, and shows how unbelievable things can remain within the limits of accepted science. Weird Scienceproves that truth certainly is stranger than fiction-and often much more interesting, too.

Author Notes

Michael White is a British writer. He was born in 1959 and studied at King's College London.

He has been a science editor of British GQ and a columnist for the Sunday Express in London. From 1984 to 1991, he was a science lecturer at d'Overbroeck's College in Oxford before becoming a full-time writer, of both fiction and non-fiction.

Among his non-fiction works are: Coffee with Newton, Galileo Antichrist: A Biography, The Fruits of War, Tolkien: A Biography, Leonardo: The First Scientist, and Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer. White also collaborated with John Gribbin on 'A Life in Science' Series, featuring biographies of Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

His novels include: The Art of Murder, The Borgia Ring, The Medici Secret, and Equinox. He has also written numerous novels under pseudonyms, including; the E-Force trilogy as Sam Fisher, and The Titanic Enigma, as Tom west.

Most recently, White co-wrote the international bestseller Private down Under, with James Patterson.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Generally open-minded yet critical, this survey spanning the gamut of paranormal phenomena and unexplained mysteries will rattle enthusiasts and skeptics alike. White, who is the former science editor of British GQ and former director of scientific studies at d'Overbroeck's College, Oxford, dismisses near-death experiences as the dying brain's compensatory fantasies and interprets out-of-body experiences as self-induced visualizations. Ghosts, he contends, are not visitors from the hereafter, but apparitions or else "record and playback systems" spun from the energy of a deceased person that is somehow trapped by environmental conditions. The author demonstrates that Haitian Voodoo practitioners who seemingly resurrect a zombie actually use hallucinogenic poisonous compounds to put victims into a trancelike state resembling death. On a more accepting note, he contends that genuine faith healers may interact with bioenergetic fields; finds in quantum mechanics a theoretical basis for precognition; and speculates that persons gifted with telepathy utilize a not-yet-known form of information transfer. Although White believes there are "almost certainly" alien civilizations not far from Earth, and while he surmises that extraterrestrials may indeed visit our planet from time to time, he rejects the idea that vast numbers of humans are being abducted by aliens for genetic experimentsÄa belief he ascribes to mass hysteria, hypnotic suggestion and misplaced hunger for a spiritual dimension. White evenhandedly examines controversies surrounding time travel, the Loch Ness monster, Atlantis, cloning, religious visitations and the potential danger of a cataclysmic collision between Earth and an asteroid or comet. His opinionated, lively survey will challenge doubting Thomases, New Age believers and scientists doing borderline research. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Visitorsp. 1
2 Is There Anybody Out There?p. 22
3 The Mind's Eyep. 42
4 Moving Heaven and Earthp. 59
5 The Fire Withinp. 74
6 Visions From a Future Timep. 90
7 The Agony and the Ecstasyp. 105
8 A Chance of a Ghostp. 116
9 The Lost and the Lonelyp. 134
10 Time and Againp. 151
11 Into the Lightp. 165
12 The Healing Touchp. 176
13 Swept Off Their Feetp. 192
14 The Cult of the Cultp. 216
15 Mojo Risingp. 231
16 Miracles and Wonderp. 246
17 Searching for the Secrets of Lifep. 264
18 We Are Made of Starsp. 283
19 Fire From the Skyp. 303
20 Our Brethren Among the Stars?p. 317
21 Mendel's Monstersp. 338
22 Earth Magic, Leylines, and Circles in the Cornp. 359
23 Remote Viewing and the Psi Detectivesp. 373
24 The Gods Themselves?p. 389
Afterwordp. 409
Referencesp. 411