Taylor, John

Tagged: Author

(1931-2012) UK physicist and author, chiefly of popular science books, who published some short sf stories beginning with "I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury" (November/December 1971 Galaxy). The nonfiction Black Holes: The End of the Universe? (1973) includes some fanciful and implausible speculation on 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-    ) 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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