Fair, witty appraisal of cranks, quacks, and quackeries of science and pseudoscience: hollow earth, Velikovsky, orgone energy, Dianetics, flying saucers, Bridey Murphy, food and medical fads, and much more.
Reviews fads, hoaxes, and cults propagated under the guise of being scientifically founded and proven
As author of the bestselling Why People Believe Weird Things and How We Believe, and Editor-in-Chief of Skeptic magazine, Michael Shermer has emerged as the nation's number one scourge of superstition and bad science. Now, in The Borderlands of Science, he takes us to the place where real science (such as the big bang theory), borderland science (superstring theory), and just plain nonsense (Big Foot) collide with one another. Shermer argues that science is the best lens through which to view the world, but he recognizes that it's often difficult for most of us to tell where valid science leaves off and borderland science begins. To help us, Shermer looks at a range of topics that put the boundary line in high relief. For instance, he discusses the many "theories of everything" that try to reduce the complexity of the world to a single principle, and shows how most fall into the category of pseudoscience. He examines the work of Darwin and Freud, explaining why one is among the great scientists in history, while the other has become nothing more than a historical curiosity. He also shows how Carl Sagan's life exemplified the struggle we all face to find a balance between being open-minded enough to recognize radical new ideas but not so open-minded that our brains fall out. And finally, he reveals how scientists themselves can be led astray, as seen in the infamous Piltdown Hoax. Michael Shermer's enlightening volume will be a valuable aid to anyone bewildered by the many scientific theories swirling about. It will help us stay grounded in common sense as we try to evaluate everything from SETI and acupuncture to hypnosis and cloning.
In 1981 Robert John Russell founded what would become the leading center of research at the interface of science and religion, the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. Throughout its twenty-five year history, CTNS under Russell's leadership has continued to guide and further the dialogue between science and theology. Russell has been an articulate spokesperson in calling for "creative mutual interaction" between the two fields. God's Action in Nature's World brings together sixteen internationally-recognized scholars to assess Robert Russell's impact on the discipline of science and religion. Focusing on three areas of Russell's work - methodology, cosmology, and divine action in quantum physics - this book celebrates Robert John Russell's contribution to the interdisciplinary engagement between the natural sciences and theology.
Fun and fascinating, 89 simple magic tricks will teach both children and adults the scientific principles behind electricity, magnetism, sound, gravity, water, and more. Only basic everyday items are needed. Includes 89 black-and-white illustrations.
Best known as the longtime writer of the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American—which introduced generations of readers to the joys of recreational mathematics—Martin Gardner has for decades pursued a parallel career as a devastatingly effective debunker of what he once famously dubbed "fads and fallacies in the name of science." It is mainly in this latter role that he is onstage in this collection of choice essays. When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish takes aim at a gallery of amusing targets, ranging from Ann Coulter's qualifications as an evolutionary biologist to the logical fallacies of precognition and extrasensory perception, from Santa Claus to The Wizard of Oz, from mutilated chessboards to the little-known "one-poem poet" Langdon Smith (the original author of this volume's title line). The writings assembled here fall naturally into seven broad categories: Science, Bogus Science, Mathematics, Logic, Literature, Religion and Philosophy, and Politics. Under each heading, Gardner displays an awesome level of erudition combined with a wicked sense of humor.
A unique and interesting collection of true stories from Christians each sharing his personal journey to find the biblical truth of a six-day creation! From scientists in the midst of complex research to youth ministers, and more, see how each began at a different point and place in his life to question the supposed truth of evolution and how faith and actual evidence led to his embracing a creation-based, biblical world-view. In their testimonies, you will read about their search for answers, often unavailable through their school, their church, or scientific knowledge and how the discoveries they made have shaped their faith and changed their lives. Seeking answers for yourself? Discover the powerful truths these individuals now share and find yourself also persuaded by the evidence! Contributors include: Carl Kerby, Curt Sewell, Dr. Robert A. Herrmann, Dr. Walter T. Brown, Dr. Raymond Damadian, Frank Sherwin, and more!"
In 1952, Martin Gardner wrote the book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, which has become a modern classic of the skeptical movement. He is best known as the Father of Recreational Mathematics, but was also a frank critic of pseudoscientists and a contributor to the Skeptical Inquirer magazine. Marcello Truzzi was one of the founders of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal in 1976. He left that and founded the Center for Scientific Anomalies Research, which was more aligned with his views. Dana Richards presents the unedited, colorful correspondence between these two well-known figures within the skeptical movement as they probed and wrestled with fundamental questions such as: The demarcation problem — how to distinguish good from bad science?How should scholars on the fringe (paranormalists) be treated?
Martin Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American for twenty-five years and published more than seventy books on topics as diverse as magic, religion, and Alice in Wonderland. Gardner's illuminating autobiography is a candid self-portrait by the man evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould called our "single brightest beacon" for the defense of rationality and good science against mysticism and anti-intellectualism. Gardner takes readers from his childhood in Oklahoma to his varied and wide-ranging professional pursuits. He shares colorful anecdotes about the many fascinating people he met and mentored, and voices strong opinions on the subjects that matter to him most, from his love of mathematics to his uncompromising stance against pseudoscience. For Gardner, our mathematically structured universe is undiluted hocus-pocus—a marvelous enigma, in other words. Undiluted Hocus-Pocus offers a rare, intimate look at Gardner’s life and work, and the experiences that shaped both.
Dem Autor ist am 15. Oktober 1951, in einem kleinen Labor in Mexico City der entscheidende Schritt zur synthetischen Herstellung des Hormons Gestagen gelungen, was die "Antibabypille" ermöglicht hat. In diesem Buch verfolgt Djerassi genauer, als er das bisher getan hat, die Geschichte der "Pille" mit ihren Vorstufen, etwa den Forschungen und Ergebnissen des Innsbrucker Biologen Prof. Ludwig Haberlandt aus den zwanziger Jahren, schildert die Auswirkungen seiner Erfindung auf Gesellschaft und Politik und sinniert über die sich abzeichnende Trennung von Sex und Fortplanzung. Auch persönliche Erinnerungen an die turbulenten fünfziger und sechziger Jahre breitet der vorzügliche Erzähler Djerassi vor dem Leser der zwölf Essays aus. Aus dem Amerikanischen von Ursula-Maria Mössner
The noted expert selects 70 of his favorite "short" puzzles, including such mind-bogglers as The Returning Explorer, The Mutilated Chessboard, Scrambled Box Tops, and dozens more involving logic and basic math. Solutions.
What sets the practice of rigorously tested, sound science apart from pseudoscience? In this volume, the contributors seek to answer this question, known to philosophers of science as “the demarcation problem.” This issue has a long history in philosophy, stretching as far back as the early twentieth century and the work of Karl Popper. But by the late 1980s, scholars in the field began to treat the demarcation problem as impossible to solve and futile to ponder. However, the essays that Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry have assembled in this volume make a rousing case for the unequivocal importance of reflecting on the separation between pseudoscience and sound science. Moreover, the demarcation problem is not a purely theoretical dilemma of mere academic interest: it affects parents’ decisions to vaccinate children and governments’ willingness to adopt policies that prevent climate change. Pseudoscience often mimics science, using the superficial language and trappings of actual scientific research to seem more respectable. Even a well-informed public can be taken in by such questionable theories dressed up as science. Pseudoscientific beliefs compete with sound science on the health pages of newspapers for media coverage and in laboratories for research funding. Now more than ever the ability to separate genuine scientific findings from spurious ones is vital, and The Philosophy of Pseudoscience provides ground for philosophers, sociologists, historians, and laypeople to make decisions about what science is or isn’t.
A contemporary follow-up to the groundbreaking Power of Maps, this book takes a fresh look at what maps do, whose interests they serve, and how they can be used in surprising, creative, and radical ways. Denis Wood describes how cartography facilitated the rise of the modern state and how maps continue to embody and project the interests of their creators. He demystifies the hidden assumptions of mapmaking and explores the promises and limitations of diverse counter-mapping practices today. Thought-provoking illustrations include U.S. Geological Survey maps; electoral and transportation maps; and numerous examples of critical cartography, participatory GIS, and map art.
Heretical thoughts in an orthodox series on sociology of the sciences? Devils and science between the covers of one book? Games with ambivalence to mask collective uncertainty? We anticipate similar future reactions from readers or reviewers when assessing the way in which this volume has been assembled. But writings on counter-science, like the history of colonialism, are usually written by the winners, therefore unequivocally partial and only too often lacking in social imagination. In seeking to redress the balance, we admit to having been fully receptive to the latter, of having displayed an un measured degree of sympathy with heretics and outsiders, including practising scientists, and to letting science defend itself. The antithetical relationship implied in the volume's title - Counter-movements in the Sciences - stands for what we regard as an ongoing, open-ended process. In collecting material for this volume, we have brought together voices speaking from different quarters: there are those who, although modestly claiming to speak only for them selves, have set out to question sacred assumptions of scientific faith or to cast doubt on well-known claims scientific knowledge holds over other forms of knowledge; others have undertaken to demonstrate the fragility, ifnot untenability of attempts at demarcation between science and other systems of belief or practice or shown that demarcations between different forms of rationality rest on other than methodological grounds; finally, those who wish to re-arrange, by mapping out some meta-point of surveillance, familiar territory, showing the need for rearrangement and
A prominent popular science writer presents simple instructions for 100 illustrated experiments. Memorable, easily understood experiments illuminate principles related to astronomy, chemistry, physiology, psychology, mathematics, topology, probability, acoustics, other areas.
The author examines ideas of the nature and localization of the functions of the brain in the light of the philosophical constraints at work in the sciences of mind and brain in the 19th century. Particular attention is paid to phrenology, sensory-motor physiology and associationist psychology.
First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

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