Richard Milton (author)

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Richard Milton
Born1943
London
Occupationwriter and journalist
NationalityBritish
CitizenshipBritish
PeriodContemporary
GenreFiction and non-fiction
SubjectControversies

Richard Milton (born 1943) is a British journalist and amateur archaeologist.[1] An engineer by training,[2] Milton has published on the topics of popular history, business and alternative science, and has published a novel.

Books[edit]

The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism is a non-religious creationist[3] attack on evolutionary biology, following the arguments of "creation science".[3] It presents an "idiosyncratic collection of scientific anomalies purported to support the fallacies of Darwinism", referencing fringe figures such as Rupert Sheldrake.[4]

In a review in Third Way Douglas Spanner, while suggesting that it should be taken seriously by orthodox Darwinism, was dubious about his attempts to dispute traditional methods of estimating the earth's age and said "on matters of biological importance he can be off-course at times".[2]

His books, especially those on scientific controversies, have been roundly rejected. To his critics Milton is a contrarian who engages in controversy for its own sake, while to his supporters he is a writer unafraid to tackle uncomfortable subjects and orthodoxies that have become dogmas. Milton is shunned in the field of evolution as he is a neo-Lamarckian who has supported the experiments of Paul Kammerer.[5]

The Facts of Life was met with intense criticism from many mainstream academic reviewers. Reviewing it in the New Statesman, Oxford evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins described it as "twaddle that betrays, on almost every page, complete and total pig-ignorance of the subject at hand", characterising its central thesis as being as silly as "a claim that the Romans never existed and the Latin language is a cunning Victorian fabrication to keep schoolmasters employed".[6]

Milton's claims have been criticised as pseudoscience by philosophy professor Robert Carroll.[7] Milton appeared on The Mysterious Origins of Man, a television special arguing that mankind has lived on the Earth for tens of millions of years, and that mainstream scientists have suppressed supporting evidence.[8]

Milton's claims on the age of mankind have also been criticised for scientific inaccuracy.[9]

Reviewing Forbidden Science: Suppressed Research That Could Change Our Lives in New Scientist, Harry Collins was generally positive about much of the book but criticised Milton's failure to "draw a line between what might be worth a shot and what is simply daft":

Where Milton has right on his side is that every supposedly timeless formula for describing pathological science' applies equally to a great deal of admirable science. This is the case even for the famous set of criteria invented by Irving Langmuir, which is still trotted out whenever scientific pundits want to give their brains a rest. Where Milton is wrong is in imagining this means we must sympathise with every heterodoxy. There are so many heterodoxies that, were we to do this, there would be no science left.

— Review: The burdens of choice[10]

Collins concluded: "unlike Milton, I cannot see the scientific point of Kirlian photography or the theory of the hollow Earth, however interesting they are to sociologists".

Works[edit]

Non-fiction[edit]

  • The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myths of Darwinism. London: Corgi. 1993. ISBN 0-552-14121-6.
    • published as Il Mystero Della Vita, Editoriale Armenia, 1993 (Italy)
    • published by Sinkosha Publishing, 1995 (Japan)
  • Shattering the Myths of Darwinism. Rochester: Park Street Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-89281-884-6.
    • published as O Mythos tou Darwinismou 1996 (Greece), Park Street Press, 1997 (US Hardback, US Paperback)
    • published by Forepace Publishing, 1997 (Thailand)
  • Forbidden Science. City: Trafalgar Square. 1996. ISBN 1-85702-302-1.
    • published as Verbotene Wissenschaften, Zweitausendeins, 1996 (Germany)
    • published as Verbotene Wissenschaften, Kopp Verlag, 2014 (Germany)
  • Alternative Science: Challenging the Myths of the Scientific Establishment. Rochester: Park Street Press. 1996. ISBN 0-89281-631-7.
  • Bad Company. London: House of Stratus Ltd. 2001. ISBN 0-7551-0151-0.
  • Best of Enemies. London: Icon. 2007. ISBN 978-1-84046-828-1.

Fiction[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Darwin's theory is still the fittest: Steve Connor asks why we still". 13 September 1992. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b Spanner, Douglas (April 1993). "The Facts of Life (review)". Third Way. Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b Leveson, David Jeffrey; Seidemann, David Elihu (September 1996). "Richard Milton – A Non-Religious Creationist Ally". Journal of Geoscience Education. 44 (4): 428–438. doi:10.5408/1089-9995-44.4.428. ISSN 1089-9995.
  4. ^ Book Review of Facts of Life in the Independent Newspaper
  5. ^ Milton in Forbidden Science, p. 229 discussing evidence for Neo-Lamarckism
  6. ^ Dawkins, Richard (28 August 1992). "Review of Richard Milton: The Facts of Life: Shattering the myth of Darwinism". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  7. ^ Carroll, Robert (2008). "The Alternative Science Pages of Richard Milton". The Skeptic's Dictionary. Retrieved 19 February 2008.
  8. ^ The Mysterious Origins of Man
  9. ^ Thomas, Dave (March 1996). "NBC's Origins Show". Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  10. ^ "Review: The burdens of choice". New Scientist.

External links[edit]