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on December 14, 2007
There are times when new scientific and clearly reasoned information is presented to you that is so mind blowing that time seems to stand still. Even as a layman, I found Hilton Ratcliffe's logical reasoning like a huge breath of fresh air. No more nonsense like we were fed in high school, with a little help from Hollywood and movies such as 'The Time Machine' that you can travel forward in time, as time is a tool humans use in measurement based in reality and not on reversible equations. He also clearly explains why redshift is light decaying and its wavelength elongating over vast stretches of time over billions of light years, so that redshift could be more an indication of time rather than recessional velocity. Redshift was used by Big Bang theorists to construct their theory that the universe was expanding in all directions from some supposed big bang. I truly enjoyed this very readable book as it opened up my mind as to why the Big Bang Theory really doesn't make much sense when you think the whole theory through. I now rank it as one of the most important books in my home library and trust you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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on July 24, 2007
For those with inquiring natures that abhor science dictated as dogma, this book is fresh air. Hilton Radcliffe can spin out an easily read and understandable book while still hitting the heavy questions left unanswered by the 20th century's great theories. He doesn't claim to know the answers, but he does remind us that we still have much to explain, and gives us a light to the paths we need to pursue in answering these questions. Any bookshelf that has "A Brief History of Time" would be incomplete without this companion.
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on August 1, 2007
Throughout history (particularly in the religious arena) heresies have been punished by immolation, excommunication or at least banishment. Rather extreme when one considers that heresy simply means holding an `opinion contrary to accepted doctrine' (OED) and comes from the Greek meaning `choice'.Theoretical physics and religion may have something in common in that both seem to expect one to believe that which cannot be seen. Expounding their Big Bang, String and Membrane theories using complex mathematics, physicists would appear to stop just short of volunteering: "Well - maybe God did it with a magic wand."
Astrophysicist Hilton Ratcliffe takes us on a journey through the annals of physics examining these theories and how they were formulated. He proceeds to dissect them and offer alternatives in his quest for `Reality Physics'. He says:"Start with what you can see and go forward from there."The Virtue of Heresy is a fascinating read. The intricate discourse of the physicist is elegantly interspersed with some wonderfully descriptive passages, a few personal anecdotes and a conversation or two with the intriguing Mr Haquar.
I am no rocket scientist and I found it to be very readable and intellectually stimulating.
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on April 19, 2010
What a great book!

What an adventure!

If you like philosophy, quantum physics, cosmology, string theories, Theories of Everything, Neutron Stars, Epistemolgy, Hard thinking, honest reflection of what 'Science' really means then "The Virtue of Heresy" is the book for you.

Ah! Stop! A warning. This book is not for those of egoicly fixed mindsets. If you suspect you might be rigid in your belief systems about the world and what 'Reality' really is and if you have made a habit of not changing your Mind or being open to new potentials then I wouldn't recommend it. You'll either be grumpy or get apoplexy from reading it, I'm sure.

Seriously. This is a tough book dealing with some tough issues. Little things like:

What if the Large Hadron Collider is built on unsound physics?

What if the Sun is not a simple Hydrogen Helium gas ball but something far different?

What are the implications if our Sun is a variable star, a complex beast with a neutron star core?

What if Newton is chuckling at our excursion amongst unfalsifiable mathematical fancies?

What if some of our cherished assumptions about Einstein's work turn out to be misguided?

What if society at large has learnt to misguide ourselves and we have become blind to the potential?

Yes this is not light reading and it is an excellent read.


Cliff Saunders
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on August 4, 2014
Not every one would agree with Ratcliffe's conclusions, but at least this book makes you aware of how weak the evidence supporting the Big Bang 'theory' really is, and how much science is being done with math unsupported by any real world observation. This was an excellent read and I highly recommend it. I should actually ding it one star for the silly dialogue with the higher being in a couple chapters, but his arguments are well reasoned even if the literary device is somewhat lame.
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on January 15, 2014
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on September 23, 2008
I have just ordered this book BECAUSE of the negative feedback. It is incredible to me the absolute venom generated when someone has the audacity to think outside of the box in our so-called advanced, free society. The book's title specifically says that it is going against mainstream academic thinking, yet, with no apparent counter arguments, it's as if the author is not allowed to think those thoughts much less publish them. As one of the negative commentators indicates, this is not just a scientific debate, it is a socio/psychological phenomena. Whether the author is right or not is beside the point. Considering the amount of pure trash that is published and pushed by the likes of Oprah these days, how is it that an obviously thoughtful author should receive this kind of reaction? I would encourage anyone at least a little curious over this phenomena to read 'The Age of Velikovsky' - liberal academics DO burn books and suppress data, which should make anyone curious what this author has to say.

The Time of the Christ


I have now finished reading the book and will conclude my review:

First, a word about the publisher. Authorhouse is a company that helps people self-publish books. While these books usually don't pass the 'smell test' of most readers, they are a good source of facts and opinions that otherwise would not get a voice. I, too, have used Authorhouse and while they are a good company, the promises of fame and fortune are largely a come-on. In other words, Dr. Ratcliffe did not publish this book without considerable expense in time, effort, and money which he will likely not recoup, yet, people like him seldom go through this process unless they have a strong conviction to a truth that is not been told. If one wants to read about 'heresy' this is precisely where one should look for it, only in a self-published book will it get printed without sterilization.

Secondly, I have now read many books on the 'trouble with physics' and Dr. Ratcliffe's is right up there with the best of them. Not only for it's common sense, but in the way it documents the 'the path less taken'. One might think that a controversy such as this would be filled with crack-pots advocating the ridiculous - Ratcliffe shows that something else is going on, that we've actually consistently opted for the bizarre in 20th century science rather than the rational, and he documents this well in a text that doesn't require too deep of a scientific background. Indeed, this is part of his case: that physics, 'true' physics, should remain accessible - a reality based on mathematical harmonies, oddities, and paradoxes is no reality at all. Nor is it a help in advancing civilization.

Lastly, and here is my reservation, I have now read many of this style book, and there is always an underlying theme: that the real trouble with science is that it has succumbed too much to religion (I also sense that specifically this means Christianity). This is very surprising to me as a religious educator in that I believe it has been science that has perverted religion. Further, that it is this irreconcilability between philosophy and science that has created the current state of Existentialism the world is now in - that everyone's truth is merely a fanciful reality dreamed up to suit one's self esteem and one's desires. It is modern science that has provided the relativistic tools to rationalize such an affair. While these 'new' physicists often proclaim 'foul' on the Church, the fact is the Church they slander is one that didn't exist before the 1960s (when most of the trouble began). Many of us believe it is false doctrines like modern physics (new math, new history, new reading, etc) that have not only corrupted younger generations, but forced the Church into socialistic/psychiatric roles - roles where there is inherently no empirical truth, just self-relevancy. It doesn't matter where you go, everyone is looking for therapy not truth. It is perhaps here that 'The Virtue of Heresy' might have had its biggest audience, but the 'new' physicists don't seem to be able to preach their cause without trending into fields they know little about.

Buy the book, read the facts, dismiss the ignorance, you'll be a better person.
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on August 26, 2008
My name is Oliver K. Manuel, Emeritus Professor of Nuclear Chemistry and Space Physics.

Here is my research profile: [...]

I recommend the book by the astronomer, Hilton Ratcliffe, "The Virtue of Heresy: Confessions of a Dissident Astronomer", to anyone who really wants to understand our beautiful universe, including our Sun - the star that heats planet Earth and sustains life.

Publication of this book has angered those who were pretending to be particle physicists, feeding happily at the trough of public funds, doing nothing more scientific than grunting an occasional, "Me too, I agree!", and adding their names to large federally-funded research collaborations like this one:


I encourage M. Wang of Connecticut, USA, the author of the following review, to post his research profile so Amazon readers can understand the basis of his negative comments.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
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on January 1, 2014
For those who are not married to the view of the universe provided by mainstream astronomy and astrophysics, this is a great book, along with The Big Bang. Personally, I am fully persuaded by the view of plasma physics. Hilton Ratcliffe provides information in his books that I've not seen elsewhere - some of it anecdotal. It's been a while since I've read it so I won't go into detail.
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on April 21, 2014
One of the best books I've read on the subject,and highly entertaining.Well done Hilton.Looking forward to more books like this.
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