Fulton's Fringe Science Quiz  stylizedbooks


A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
— Alexander Pope
History shows that the human mind, fed by constant accessions of knowledge, periodically grows too large for its theoretical coverings, and bursts them asunder to appear in new habiliments, as the feeding and growing grub, at intervals, casts its too narrow skin and assumes another, itself but temporary.
— T.H.Huxley

Some of us are tempted to think that science has reached its limits since most of the fundamental questions there are to settle have been settled and only piddling details remain. However, there are lots of 20th century ideas that just might sometime in the future shake up this naive, jaded attitude and revitalize fundamental scientific inquiry. Of course, there are others who never adopted this outlook and don't need to be shaken up. Whatever your outlook...

Can you match each of the seventy 20th century thinkers or pair of thinkers below with his fringe scientific idea. At least one of the thinkers is a mere philosopher and the list contains at least one inside joke. In some instances, someone not listed on the left might better match an idea on the right. Some of the ideas have already found limited acceptance. Some haven't found any. Some are mutually incompatible while others if taken together could lead to new and exciting paradigms or at least to interesting science fiction stories. Some are apparently unrelated to the rest entirely. My apologies to any scientist, living or dead, whose ideas have been misrepresented.


1. Robert Bieri Yassoon — the continents are essentially extraterrestrial, that is, they were formed by an impact with an already formed earth and a satellite or cometary body approximately half the size of the moon
2. David J. Stevenson The Carbide/Hydride Hypothesis — a unifying theory of the Earth's endogeny in which carbides of the lower mantle react with hydrides of the outer core to give hydrocarbons and silanes, which energize diapirism, volcanism, earthquakes, and magmatism
3. David John Oates General Semantics — explores how psycho-logical evaluations, including language and other symbols, affect our lives. The discipline seeks remedies for human problems, including those arising from the impossibility of fully describing a dynamic world with static words and symbols. The non-Aristotelian principle of non-identity plays a central role in its methods of analysis which leads to a process-oriented description of man as a "time-binder".
4. Sir Fred Hoyle
& N. Chandra Wickramasinghe
Stochastic Electrodynamics (SED) — the quantum vacuum is a very active place and may be teeming with extractable energy
5. Mark A. Baker
& R. Robin Bellis
Reverse Speech — Human speech has two disctinctive yet complementary functions and modes. The overt mode is spoken forwards and is primarily under conscious control. The covert mode is spoken backward and is not under conscious control. The backward mode of speech occurs simultaneously with the forward mode and is a reversal of the forward speech sounds. A reverse phrase or sentence arises about once in every fifteen seconds of forward speech. Covert speech develops before overt speech. Children speak backwards before they do forwards.
6. Eric Scerri The Universal Ancestor of all earthly life was not a discrete entity, rather, it was a diverse community of cells with very high rates of mutation and lateral gene transfer that survived and evolved as a biological unit. This communal ancestor had a physical history but not a geneological one. Over time, this ancestor refined into a small number of increasingly complex cell types with the ancestors of the three primary groupings of organisms, Archaea, Bacteria, and Eucarya, arising as a result
7. Jeffrey G. Lawrence The Deep, Hot Biosphere — Oil and gas were born out of the Big Bang and trapped in the Earth 4.5 billion years ago in randomly dispersed molecular form. But the intense heat of the Earth's volcanic core "sweats them out" of the rocks that contain them, sending them migrating outward through the porous deep Earth because they are more fluid and weigh less. In a region between 10 and 300 kilometers deep, the hydrocarbons nourish vast colonies of microbes where all of earthly life began, and where today there's a vastly greater mass of living things than exist on the surface of the planet.
8. Jacques Benveniste Nostratic — Six major language families including Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic (Hamito-Semitic), Kartvelian, Uralic, Altaic, and Dravidian together constitute a macro-family known as Nostratic, or "our (language)"
9. Michael A. Cremo
& Richard L. Thompson
New Periodic Table II. — the discovery of subelectronic structure may lead to a new organizing principle for the periodic table of the elements
10. Terence McKenna The basic chemical concepts of covalent, metallic, and ionic bonding, are the chemists' charade while only new concepts will lead chemistry to maturity
11. Günter Wächtershäuser Cellular Tensegrity — Kenneth Snelson's and R. Buckminster Fuller's architectural principle of tensegrity dictates the terms of mechanostransduction in biological cells meaning that receptor-substrate interactions lead to structural changes within cells which, in turn, impart signals for particular cellular chemisty and activity. Furthermore, structural changes alone can impart some such signals.
12. Alister Hardy Cosmochemistry — Due to the sun's primordial magnetic field and high energy conditions prevailing at the time, matter in the solar system was initailly partitioned by ionization potential. The more ionizable elements were trapped in the magnetic field and held closer to the sun, and the less ionizable ones wandered further away. Taking primordial abundances of the elements into consideration, this scheme accounts for the present rocky and metallic inner planets and gaseous outer planets. Furthermore, it predicts an hydridic earth in which its core is comprised of metal hydrides which continually degas hydrogen causing the processes and structures of the earth with which we are familiar and predicting new structures and processes, as well.
13. Aloysius deSelby Meta Model of Cosmology — The universe is infinite in time, space, and scale. Gravity not only has a finite speed and restricted range but also results from the collisions of extraordinarily small particles.

Exploded Planetary Hypothesis (EPH) — The interplanetary region between the present-day orbits of Mars and Jupiter (now containing the asteroid belt) witnessed the explosions of three increasingly smaller planetary bodies 15, 8, and 1/100 earth-masses in size ocurring 336, 65, and 3.2 million years ago, respectively, giving rise to asteroids, meteors, comets, and other numerous explosion signatures throughout the solar system

14. Lloyd deMause Panspermia — starting approximately 4bya, life in the form of bacteria and viruses were brought to Earth from space by comets, which were the sites where they multiplied (in warm watery interiors); microorganisms continue to arrive at the Earth even today, and their continued arrival contributes to the evolution of species through geological time; interactions of present day life forms on Earth (including humans) with cometary bacteria and viruses could lead to epidemic disease
15. S. Warren Carey Multilevel Selection — natural selection is a process that operates on a nested hierarchy of levels, including the gene, the genome, the individual, the group, the species, and the ecosystem
16. Sorin Sonea
& Maurice Panisset
Observer Effect — the expectations and will of an observer have a measurable effect on otherwise stochastic events
17. C. Louis Kervran The unity of consciousness may require that the brain contain a quantum system with the properties of a Bose-Einstein condensate
18. Andrei D. Sakharov Morphic Resonance — once a pattern appears in the universe, it recurs with increased frequency and greater ease
19. Stanley Pons
& Martin Fleischmann
Ball lightning is the most accessible instantiation of an archetypical form comprising a mass-producing, fluctuating toroidal/poloidal electric/magnetic field found throughout the universe including the earth, sun, and presumably subatomic particles, too. His theory of the earth includes an expanding earth and episodes of devastating catastrophe.
20. Charles Ginenthal We as humans are of two minds, each one with a different degree of maturity, and each one associated with the left or the right brain.
21. The Chemical Transfer of Memory — memories are stored in chemicals, probably peptides, that can be transferred from animal to animal
22. Thomas Gold New Periodic Table I. — the periodic table has long been deficient and requires a third dimension, this dimension being the average one electron energy of the valence electrons which neatly divides the metals, semi-metals, and non-metals
23. Andrew Whiten
& Richard W. Byrne
Hierarchical Universe — an infinite universe hypothesis with hierarchical organization in which our observable "universe" is just a local supercluster, a so-called metagalaxy. Some versions deny the big bang cosmology keeping with the grand old tradition in physics that when the math leads to a singularity it cannot reflect reality
24. David E. Pressler Prevalence of Humanoids — from a priori considerations we can infer that advanced beings of extraterrestrial origin will share our approximate size, be bilaterally symmetric, and have a large brain at their front end near the mouth in close proximity to the largest and most diverse sense organs
25. Ricardo Sole
& Per Bak
Resurfacing of Venus — Venus underwent a global resurfacing event 300-600 Ma ago, the cause and nature of which remains uncertain. The present-day surface heat flux on Venus is about half the likely radiogenic heat generation rate, which suggests that Venus has been heating up since the resurfacing event.
26. Jim Berkland Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis — the increase in human brain size over the past few million years was due to the greater demands of the social environment rather than the physical environment.
27. John Cairns Heliobiology — biological processes and the dynamics of social systems including social disturbances correlate with solar activity
28. Harold Puthoff Bayesian Quantum Mechanics — with proper treatment of QM with Bayesian statistics, wave-particle dualities and other quantum paradoxes never arise
29. Hannes O.G. Alfven Face on Mars — the Cydonia region of Mars contains artificial structures presumably built by advanced beings carrying information about "life, the universe, and everything"
30. Timothy Leary The Plasma Universe — plasmas (ionized gases) and their associated electrodynamics play a significant, sometimes dominant, role over gravity in celestial dynamics at all scales of the universe including superclusters, clusters, galaxies, solar and planetary systems, atoms, electrons, nucleons, etc. In some formulations, it also provides an alternative to the Big Bang cosmology.
31. F.Nimmo
& D.McKenzie
Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS) in the Book of Genesis reveal "hidden information" under rigorous statistical treatment with controls
32. Leland Allen Directed Mutation — environmental conditions under some circumstances specify the appearance of mutations
33. Casper G. Schmidt Orthomolecular Medicine — with the proper diet and nutrition, physical ailments can be avoided
34. Moti Milgrom Evolutionary patterns of extinction are driven mainly by the internal dynamics of the global ecosystem which organizes itself into quasi-stable supercritcal states whose nature it is to spontaneously and periodically crash, although external events may precipitate such events.
35. R.G.Woolley Ancient Humans — a full appraisal of the hominid fossil record shows that hominids reach back in time by at least one and possibly two orders of magnitude further than currently accepted
36. James V. McConnel
& Georges Ungar
Psychohistory — the science of historical motivation revealed through psychoanalysis of individuals and groups is found to be rooted in modes of child-rearing, which have progressed in the West from the infanticidal mode, to the abandoning, to the ambivalent, to the intrusive, to the socializing, and most recently to the helping mode.
37. Yasuo Shinozuka Plenumary Time — time has six dimensions and matter, depending on its "spin", moves through it either forward, as we do, or backward, as do the "deliberatley clandestine" teratological molecules
38. Paul LaViolette If atomic electrons are at rest, electrostatic attraction will draw them into the nucleus; if they are not at rest then in order to stay in the atom they must have acceleration and Maxwell's electrodynamics dictate immediate atomic collapse; therefore, it is conjectured that the electrons, acting as magnets, are suspended, free floating, at a precise, stable, stationary region above the superconducting nucleus
39. Charles Cagle Auto-Chemotrophic Origins of Life — life began with an autocatalytic, metabolic process occurring in an essentially two-dimensional fashion, within organic monolayers anionically bonded to positively charged surfaces of minerals such as pyrite (FeS2), and in contact with water at high temperature. Metabolism preceded both the cell and the genetic material.
40. Donald E. Ingber New Germ Theory — Dropping Koch's overly stringent postulates for identifying infectious diseases will lead to finding pathogens that cause many of today's"lifestyle" and "genetic" diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, kidney stones, etc.
41. Vladimir N. Larin Group Socialization Theory — in the development of an adult personality, genes matter and peers matter, but parents don't.
42. Zecharia Sitchin Expanding Earth — an expanding earth, as opposed to plate tectonics, can better account for mid-oceanic ridges and a number of earth's other geologic features
43. Eliyahu Rips Cellular Automata (rule 54) — Fundamental particles and by extension all matter may have emerged as defects or dislocations with their own rules of interaction and behavior from a spatio-temporal periodic background dimension which in some sense is more fundamental than our universe
44. Richard Hoagland viable organism can exist whereby the frequency of gene exchange is much greater than the frequency of cell division; such cells may be considered way stations for gene replication and transfer; such organisms need not maintain a full complement of genes, and genome sizes may decrease; the average such cell contains, on average over time, fewer than 1 gene and can be said to be part of a "meta-cell"
45. Georgi P. Gladyshev Sub-Quantum Kinetics (SQK) — the cosmos, as conventionally considered, is an open system not strictly bound to adhere to the laws of thermodynamics
46. Ralph Juergens
& Wal Thornhill
HIV does not cause AIDS, rather a group-fantasy does, in which the collective sexual guilt and anxiety of the American people are projected onto a scapegoat population, primarily the male homosexual, leading to psychosomatic sickness.
47. Linus Pauling The Electric Sun — the Sun is powered, not from within itself, but from outside, by intergalactic electric (Birkeland) currents; these currents are of low current density, but, because the size of the Sun is large, the total current is high; the Sun's radiated power at any instant is due to the energy imparted by incoming cosmic electrons.
48. Lee Smolin Young Glaciers — the dust-, isotope-, and ice-patterns in ice cores from Greenland's glacier indicate that they cannot be more than 6,000 years old
49. Tom Van Flandern Electrogravitics — gravitation is not primary, but is a conglomerated field made from other fields electromagnetic in character meaning that many fundamental parts of physics are "already unified" in terms of electromagnetics and gravitation
50. James P. Crutchfield
& James E. Hanson
Inorganic Origins of Life — Life began literally in the rocks and mud, the first "life-forms" being chunks of clay. This pre-dated any hypothetical RNA or DNA world. Only later, when the clay developed these molecules as tools, did they hijack the planetary resources necessary to conduct life.
51. Nicolaos Epiotis Hydrogen's electron can collapse from its first non-radiative state (what we would call its "ground" state) to lower-energy non-radiative states to form a hydrino atom, releasing abundant harvestable energy in the process
52. Aliaksandr L. Chizhevsky Cold Fusion — Under the right conditions, atomic nuclei can fuse at room temperature releasing excess energy
53. Randell L. Mills Evolving Universe — the universe has evolved in a biological sense and was selected for because its fundamental constants lead to an abundance of singularities, i.e. black holes, which then spawn new universes, i.e. singularities
54. Danah Zohar Novelty Theory — Creativity is the principle of novelty. Creativity introduces novelty into the content of the many, which are the universe disjunctively. The creative advance is the application of this ultimate principle of creativity to each novel situation which it originates. The ultimate metaphysical principle is the advance from disjunction to conjunction, creating a novel entity other than the entities given in disjunction.
55. Saul Youssef Molecular "structure" is not an intrinsic attribute of an isolated molecule and appears rather as an effect of the environment
56. Immanual Velikovsky HIV does not cause AIDS, rather a constellation of unhealthy factors does, including recreational drug use, overuse of antibiotics, use of AZT, transfusions, congenital disease, and an "exotic" lifestyle.
57. Paul Ewald
& Gregory M. Cochran
The Anunnaki ("Those Who From Heaven to Earth Came") were "extraterrestrial giants" who created man genetically as a hybrid between themselves and Homo erectus
58. V. Illic-Svitye
& A. Dolgopolsky
Biological Transmutations — creatures of earth can transmute the elements in a process of non-radiative biological cold-fusion comprising H and O as the predominant units of change
59. David Sloan Wilson Exopsychology — advanced life-forms seeded planet earth with DNA, a self-realizing agent with eight identifiable evolutionary stages of consciousness. While mankind may have only achieved the fourth stage, the remaining ones will be achieved more readily meaning that the ultimate stage, the one of cosmic consciousness, lurks close-by temporally
60. A.G.Cairns-Smith Orgonomy — the study of the orgone, a life-force energy streaming throughout the cosmos, as it embraces ground-breaking approaches in psychiatry, medicine, the social sciences, biology and atmospheric/environmental research
61. Peter Duesberg Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) — instead of diminishing with the square of the distance, once distance falls below a critical threshold, the pull of gravity declines less precipitously, in direct proportion to distance
62. Alfred Korzybski Paleopsychology — life on earth arose in a social context and continues to be the primary mode of life throughout the Eubacteria, Archea, and Eucaryote domains
63. C. Warren Hunt Chronobiology — Age, race, sex, and pregnancy, as well as temporal location within the circadian and mentrual cycles influence hormone levels and hence the effectiveness of medicines. As of 1999, these variables have been all but ignored by the medical community
64. Robert G.Jahn Hierarchical Thermodynamics — a classical thermodynamic approach based on supramolecular structures and the ontogenesis of the chemical composition of life can account for biological evolution; in explaining evolution, the concepts of dynamical self-organization and dissipative structures are nugatory; the most essential applications of the theory relate to the study of living creature's behavior and to anti-aging medicine, gerontology, pharmacology, nutrition and other branches of biology and medicine
65. Fredric Schiffer Symbiotic Bacteriology — "...in nature, bacteria form a unified global entity in which all bacteria are linked by specific, high level functions."
66. Rupert Sheldrake Catastrophism — the solar system has undergone significant recent upheavals (e.g. Venus was formerly a comet) and this has been recorded in the catastrophic myths of most early human cultures
67. C.V.L.Charlier Seismic Window Theory of Earthquake Prediction — If syzygy and perigee occur on the same day, a seismic window opens in which large earthquakes are more likely to occur than at other times due to unusually large tidal forces. Perihelion affects this tendency, too. Monitoring animal behavior, including dog and cat disappearances as well as whale beachings, in local newspapers indicate likely times and locations as these events will increase prior to an earthquake.
68. Judith Rich Harris Interstallar Planets — During planet formation, rock and ice embryos of the order of Earth's mass may be formed, some of which may be ejected from the solar system. Such bodies may have water oceans capable of supporting life.
69. Carl Woese Aquatic Ape Theory — mankind had an evolutionarily significant aquatic phase in the recent past, ca 5-15 Mya
70. Howard Bloom A solution's biological activity can be digitally recorded and stored, sent via standard telecommunication devices, and transferred to a different water sample at the receiving end
71. Wilhelm Reich Human Sperm Competition — Sperm competition has been the main force to shape the genetic program that drives human sexuality including patterns of copulation, orgasm, masturbation, and infidelity.


Quiz Anwsers ||| Quiz External Links ||| Other Science Quizzes

Latest Authorized Area ||| Fulton's Lair

hits since October 2, 1997