I've been wrong . . . 
over many things in the past
and I don't expect to attain infallibility in the nearer future.

I've written quite a lot in the course of several decades,
and I'm not ashamed that I have changed my mind
about some of the things I've written.
To the contrary, I'm rather pleased that I seem still able to learn.

At times and over certain issues, I've looked for an opportunity to put into print an acknowledgment that my views have changed, for example, what I said about homosexuality in my Dean's Memoirs. A  book that I reviewed several years ago seemed an opportunity for comments about being wrong,
in particular, that  I  had been wrong
(see Journal of Scientific Exploration, 19 #3, 419--35, 2005, review essay of
"Kicking the Sacred Cow: Questioning the Unquestionable and Thinking the Impermissible" by James P. Hogan):

There is no authority whom you can safely trust on every such matter. You may find someone who is very knowledgeable and reliable about some things (say, Bauer, about Nessie and HIV/AIDS) who may express himself with equal certitude on other matters while being seriously misinformed about them (say, Bauer, about UFOs [10]  or about homosexuality [11]). Caveat lector: If you accept anyone’s “expert” opinion without further ado, you are liable to acquire beliefs that may be indefensible.

In my book about Nessie (Bauer, 1986: 45) I had written, “that 90 or 95 percent of UFO sightings have been explained as weather balloons [etc.] . . . convinces many people (including me) that there is nothing more than that to the whole business”. That brought warranted criticism from Jerry Clark (1987). I had allowed myself to experience conviction after only superficial acquaintance with the subject. I had not known, for example, that the typical unexplained UFO sighting differs in many details from the explained ones; and, most tellingly, that it is some of the best accredited and detailed sightings that have never been satisfactorily explained.

Clark, Jerome. 1987. Ness sense and nonsense. The Gate, 2 (April) 13

In 1988,  I wrote, “I regard homosexuality as an aberration or illness, not as an ‘equally valid life-style’” (Martin, 1988: 80). As with UFOs, I had acquired an opinion without really thinking about it, accepting the simplistic and superficial view that it could not be “natural” since it doesn’t make for reproduction and the survival of the species. Since then I have come to understand how invalid are the (many, common) assertions that “evolution” would have done so-and-so and would never do such-and-such. I have also learned about the naturalistic fallacy, the belief that because something happens to be so, therefore it should be so; but culture and ethics are not wholly determined by biology, nor should they be. Looking into the HIV/AIDS controversy has had the beneficial side-effect of lessening somewhat my ignorance about homosexuality, thanks in particular to books by Lauritsen (1974) and Sullivan (1995). The latter is the most logically rigorous analysis of a social issue that I have encountered.

‘Martin, Josef’ (pen-name of Henry H. Bauer). 1988. To Rise Above Principle: The Memoirs of an Unreconstructed Dean. University of Illinois Press.
Lauritsen, John. 1974. The Early Homosexual Rights Movement (1864--1935). Times Change Press.
Sullivan, Andrew. 1995. Virtually Normal: An Argument about Homosexuality. Vintage Books.
It didn't seem appropriate in that review to mention another realization I'd had about the often misguided statements made on various sides about homosexuality:
                     just as with heterosexuality, it isn't entirely about sex;
                                    it's about companionship and love.
This page was last updated: December 9, 2012