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Taylor, John

Entry updated 4 January 2021. Tagged: Author.

(1931-2012) UK physicist and author, chiefly of popular science books, whose short fiction of genre interest is confined to "Survival of the Fittest" in Beyond This Horizon (anth 1973) edited by Christopher Carrell. The nonfiction Black Holes: The End of the Universe? (1973) includes some fanciful and implausible speculation on the properties of Black Holes that verges on sf. Taylor ventured out of his areas of undoubted expertise – mathematical Physics and artificial intelligence (see AI) – into the Pseudoscience controversy with Superminds: An Enquiry into the Paranormal (1975), which somewhat uncritically assumed that the contemporary fad of spoon-bending introduced by Uri Geller (1946-    ) and imitated even by children gave proof that Psi Powers existed. Following strong criticism of his experimental procedures and controls from Martin Gardner, James Randi (1928-2020) and others, Taylor retreated from this position in Science and the Supernatural: An Investigation of Paranormal Phenomena Including Psychic Healing, Clairvoyance, Telepathy, and Precognition by a Distinguished Physicist and Mathematician (1980). He also acted in plays and films, and wrote some sf for the Theatre. [DRL]

John Gerald Taylor

born Hayes, Kent: 18 August 1931

died London: 10 March 2012

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