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.
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.
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!"
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.
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 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.
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.
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
First published in 2001. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Superb introduction for nonspecialists covers Feynman diagrams, quasi particles, Fermi systems at finite temperature, superconductivity, vacuum amplitude, Dyson's equation, ladder approximation, and more. "A great delight." — Physics Today. 1974 edition.
How did the universe begin and how will it end? What happens to us when we die? Do intelligent beings exist elsewhere in our galaxy and beyond? The Edge of Science addresses these and many other questions that have bewildered and perplexed humanity for centuries. Some of these enigmas have been solved through the ingenuity of their investigators; others remain a mystery and have given rise to equally bizarre speculations. From the Tunguska explosion of 1908 to the enigma of the Moon's origin, from the possibility of time travel to the search for zero-point energy, author Alan Baker examines the many theories that have been presented to account for the world's most enduring mysteries. Each chapter deals with an enigma that has caused wonder, excitement or fear to all who have pondered it, including: the discovery of strange fossils that hint at an unknown early history of humanity; anomalous structures photographed on the Moon and Mars; the mystery of dark matter and dark energy; and strange disappearances of people and objects. Join Alan Baker as he embarks on a strange, stimulating and sometimes frightening journey to The Edge of Science.
For this book, we have selected papers from symposia and contributed sessions at the fourth biennial meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, held at the University of Notre Dame on November 1-3, 1974. The meeting was lively and well-attended, and we regret that there was no way to record here the many stimulating discussions after the papers and during the informal hours. We also regret that we had in sufficient space for all the contributed papers. Even more, some of the symposia were not available: those on systems and decision theory (c. W. Churchman, P. Suppes, I. Levi), and on the Marxist philosophy of science (M. W. Wartofsky, R. S. Cohen, E. N. Hiebert). Unhappily several individual contributions to other symposia were likewise not available: I. Velikovsky in the session on his own work and the politics of science, D. Finkelstein in the session on quantum logic. Memorial minutes were read for Alan Ross Anderson (prepared by Nuel Belnap) and for Imre Lakatos (prepared by Paul Feyerabend). They initiate this volume of philosophy of science in the mid-seventies.
Steps forward in mathematics often reverberate in other scientific disciplines, and give rise to innovative conceptual developments or find surprising technological applications. This volume brings to the forefront some of the proponents of the mathematics of the twentieth century, who have put at our disposal new and powerful instruments for investigating the reality around us. The portraits present people who have impressive charisma and wide-ranging cultural interests, who are passionate about defending the importance of their own research, are sensitive to beauty, and attentive to the social and political problems of their times. What we have sought to document is mathematics’ central position in the culture of our day. Space has been made not only for the great mathematicians but also for literary texts, including contributions by two apparent interlopers, Robert Musil and Raymond Queneau, for whom mathematical concepts represented a valuable tool for resolving the struggle between ‘soul and precision.’
This work is an introduction to the mind-body problem. Written with the beginner in mind, Robert Wilkinson carefully introduces the reader to the fundamental components of the philosophy of mind.
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.
A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace “A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions. Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms. Praise for The Demon-Haunted World “Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World “Compelling.”—USA Today “A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences “Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
At last, _Up Through an Empty House of Stars_ brings together the best of the never before collected SF reviews and articles that helped build David Langford's towering reputation since 1980. Complementing the review columns collected in _The Complete Critical Assembly_ and the knockabout essays and squibs in _The Silence of the Langford_, this volume's 100 glittering selections mix serious critical insight with the inimitable Langford wit. In 2002 David Langford won his sixteenth Hugo award as Best Fan Writer, for critical and humorous commentary on SF. In the same year his occasionally scandalous SF newsletter _Ansible_ won its fifth Hugo. Langford also received the 2001 Hugo for best short story, and the 2002 Skylark Award. Here he shines a unique light on classics like Ernest Bramah, G.K. Chesterton, Robert Heinlein and Jack Vance, and analyses major SF -- and major clunkers, and minor eccentrics -- of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, continuing to the latest by such current stars as Gene Wolfe and China Mi, ville. Plus witty asides on crime fiction and its SF links, gleeful examination of writing so bad it's almost good, and (even at his most serious) turns of phrase to make you laugh aloud