Extraordinary Scientific Delusions & the Madness of Biologists

The Case of the Midwife Toad (1920s):  Inheritance of acquired characteristics, Paul Kammerer

They even killed the Drosophila (1940s): The struggle for Soviet biology, Trofim Lysenko vs Nikolai Vavilov

They gave them movies & a stamp (1930s): Michurin and Luther Burbank

Creationism in a cheap tux (2000s): The Argument from Design revisited as Intelligent Design
[2005: Kitzmiller vs Dover School District; Judge Jones decision]

Blame Canada? McGill University, the Redpath Museum, and John W Dawson

"A Book for Burning?": Morphic Resonance theory of Rupert Sheldrake

"His nose is the wrong shape!: Phrenology

Alternative Medicines: Acupuncture, Chiropractic, & Homeopathy

The Mismeasure of Man: Eugenics in the United States and Canada
[The Eugenics Archive at CSHL Dolan Center]
[Eugenics in history]

Chrysopoeia, Panaceas, the Alkahest, and the Philosopher's Stone: Western Alchemy

Bigger is Better?: Craniometry as a prelude to IQ testing

A miscellany of aberrations in biology. Some are humorous, some ill-informed, some tragic. The title  is adapted from an 1841 work that described inter alia the Dutch Tulip Craze, an early 17th century sort of Bitcoin bubble where speculation in the price of tulips on the Amsterdam market made and then ruined personal fortunes. The distinction between Science and non-Science (including Pseudoscience) is discussed as the Demarcation Problem.

Text material © 2020 by Steven M. Carr