Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alternatives To Science: Charles Fort

The late Charles Fort (August 6, 1874 – May 3, 1932) seemed to start out life enjoying science immensely - or at least his early interest as a naturalist probably brought him to examine many things within the viewpoint of science. At some point, however, Charles Fort became very critical of the hard sciences, saying that most science and scientists relegate those things that science has trouble classifying and explaining into a non-category of 'damned' things. In other words, science and scientists often choose to discount or 'damn' things that do not have a simple or scientifically-based explanation.

Deeming an object or phenomena as 'damned' or untrue, false or unimportant just because someone or an academic discipline choose(s) not to pursue classification or explanations of an object or phenomena was inherently wrong and irresponsible in the mind of Charles Fort. Consequently, Fort turned from naturalist-science to naturalist and researcher of all objects and phenomena routinely discounted and 'damned' by the hard sciences. Essentially, we can say that Fort studied in the field of 'science of the damned.' Perhaps better stated, Fort examined "damned by science" topics, phenomena and items, and dedicated his energies and lifetime to these studies.

Here's an interesting radio show broadcast where the topic of discussion is the late Charles Fort. This is just one part of the "Charles Fort" topic on the Coast To Coast AM Radio Show - but is enough to provide you with examples of Fortean ideas and to gain some tidbits on the late Mr. Fort:

I'm sure you've been able to take note of my excessive use of the word "damned" in this post. I've used the word a lot because it is in the title of, perhaps, one of the world's most eye opening books about strange creatures and phenomena that science tends to treat as ridiculous, unreal and forgettable. The book is Charles Fort's "Book Of The Damned." Even if Fort has not been able to explain the existence of certain phenomena and items, with his Book Of The Damned, he clearly makes it known that unexplained things and happenings ARE PART OF OUR WORLD, whether science appreciates these things and events or not.

To view an online version of Fort's Book of the Damned:
Hypertext Version of Charles Hoy Fort's Book Of The Damned
Please enjoy Mr. Fort's wit and more than a few tongue-in-cheek comments Mr. Fort makes in his text. His frustration with 'the authority of science' is clearly discernible in his book.

If you'd like a PDF version of "Book of the Damned" for absolutely free, please see the left-hand sidebar for a free download. Also in the left-hand sidebar, Charles Fort's "New Lands" in PDF format. Just right-click and download for free and you'll stay on this page while being able to download in a new window.

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