Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science PDF/EPUB î

Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science PDF/EPUB î


Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (Popular Science) [Read] ➵ Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (Popular Science) Author Martin Gardner – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk Although we are amused, we may also be embarrassed to find our friends or even ourselves among the gullible advocates of plausible sounding doubletalk Saturday Review A very able and even tempered pre Although we are Fallacies in eBook ´ amused, we may also be embarrassed to find our friends or even ourselves among Fads and MOBI :Ú the gullible advocates of plausible sounding doubletalk Saturday Review A very able and even tempered presentation New YorkerThis and Fallacies in Epub â witty and engaging book examines the various fads, fallacies, strange cults, and curious panaceas which at one time or another have masque.


10 thoughts on “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (Popular Science)

  1. Lauren Lauren says:

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with asensible and logical outlook now Oh, wait Shit.


  2. Paperclippe Paperclippe says:

    This book.Made me furious.I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti vax flat earth homeopathy etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later whyThe final straw was coming upon a two three line paragraph that talked about how poor science education in the United States is and that we have no real good science communicators or priorities to teach science and critical thinki This book.Made me furious.I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti vax flat earth homeopathy etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later whyThe final straw was coming upon a two three line paragraph that talked about how poor science education in the United States is and that we have no real good science communicators or priorities to teach science and critical thinking to school age people and while I do think that we do have some very good science communicators now following in the footsteps of Carl Sagan the fact that we have gone six decades and have taken no major steps to make any real change in our educational system just made me want to cry.So was it a good book Absolutely I love Martin Gardner.But I am so angry that all these years later his writing comes off as prescient and timely and topical.Sorry if this is all a bit disjointed, I m still fuming Read this and we can fume together


  3. Aerin Aerin says:

    Original review date 23 January 2013How do you tell a scientist from a crank It s a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues.For example, a crank might say To know of the earth s concavity is to know God, while to believe in the earth s convexity is to deny Him and all his works All that is opposed to Koreshanity is antichrist Koresh b Cyrus Reed Teed , self proclaimed messiah, who believed that we live on the inside of a hollow spOriginal review date 23 January 2013How do you tell a scientist from a crank It s a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues.For example, a crank might say To know of the earth s concavity is to know God, while to believe in the earth s convexity is to deny Him and all his works All that is opposed to Koreshanity is antichrist Koresh b Cyrus Reed Teed , self proclaimed messiah, who believed that we live on the inside of a hollow sphere Either you believe in me and learn, or you must be treated as an enemy Hans H rbiger, who believed that our current moon is the sixth of its kind, all previous moons having been sucked into the Earth like manic tetherballs When I look into the vastness of space and see the marvelous workings of its contents I sometimes think that I was born ten or twenty thousand years ahead of time My mind responds to every question and the problems that stagger the so called wise men are as kindergarten stuff to me Alfred William Lawson, Supreme Head and First Knowlegian of the University of Lawsonomy, who believed that two types of microscopic creatures live in the human brain and control our behavior the virtuous menorgs , and the devious disorgs We believe our work to be of God we are actuated by no selfish or mercenary motive We depreciate personal antagonisms of every kind, but we proclaim a ceaseless antagonism to that great evil, the French Metric System It is the Battle of the Standards May our banner be ever upheld in the cause of Truth, Freedom, and Universal Brotherhood, founded upon a just weight and just measure, which alone are acceptable to the Lord The International Institute for Preserving and Perfecting Weights and Measures, who believed that the English measurement system was handed down by God and revealed in the Great Pyramid, while the metric system is an atheistic abomination What kept the lonely eagle from eating all the inferior chickens was a small hope The hope, namely, that among the many cackling chicks there might be, one day, a little eagle capable like himself, to look from his lofty perch into the far distance, in order to detect new worlds, new thoughts, and new forms of living William Reich, founder of orgonomy, who believed that all living things are infused with a blue colored life force called orgone energy, and that all neuroses can be cured by a really good orgasm The Creation of dianetics is a milestone for Man comparable to his discovery of fire and superior to his inventions of the wheel and arch L Ron Hubbard aka The Master , founder of Dianetics and Scientology, who believed that all psychiatric conditions are caused by perceptual recordings made while we were zygotes, which can only be processed by a lengthy system of auditing See also Xenu.While a scientist might say A true genius admits that he knows nothing Albert Einstein, who believed that E mc2.It s surprising how entertaining and relevant this book remains, 60 years after it was first published Though many of the titular fads and fallacies are now thankfully defunct, many others are still going strong People will always be gullible.With chapters on everything from flying saucers to Atlantis to food fads and wacky sexual theories, the book does a decent job of running the gamut of crackpottery And Martin Gardner is an engaging escort through all the insanity, injecting just the right amount of sarcasm where appropriate, but often just letting the cranks speak for themselves Though hardly a crank, my favorite quote in the whole book comes from Alfred Kinsey, in defense of premature ejaculators It would be difficult to find another situation in which an individual who was quick and intense in his responses was labeled anything but superior HA HA HA, whatever dude The book does drag in places how many inane medical theories do we really need to delve into , but it hitsthan it misses Especially worthwhile are the chapters on flat hollow earth theories, sexual ideologies, and Scientology then called Dianetics and only two years old Gardner thought the fad was on its way out


  4. g026r g026r says:

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themedExtraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowdsit suffers from a few noteworthy issues.The first is the lack of references Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not always attributed Now, I will admit that I m unlikely to track down any of the works mentioned OK, maybe some of the Hollow Earth ones , but at the same time a reference as to where and when a quote was stated would An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themedExtraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowdsit suffers from a few noteworthy issues.The first is the lack of references Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not always attributed Now, I will admit that I m unlikely to track down any of the works mentioned OK, maybe some of the Hollow Earth ones , but at the same time a reference as to where and when a quote was stated would make the book seem a bit less light and allow a somewhat better chronological structuring of the surveyed cranks changes in opinions.The second is that, nearly 60 years after the first edition andthan 50 since the second, the book is quite simply dated Many cultural references that would have been common knowledge in 1952 whiz by without nary a spark in the memory The same goes for various fads that are referenced with the expectation that the reader knows what they are, but not covered indetail.In summary interesting, but desperately in need of an editor to go through and add explanatory notes for those of us who weren t alive in the early 50s or commentary for when various facets of the information presented have changed drastically.Amusing side note the number of science fiction authors and editors, often fairly recognizable names, who show up in here as proponents of the various beliefs is certainly something


  5. Catalin Negru Catalin Negru says:

    Target audience The primary target are common people, with little or no scientific literacy The secondary target are people in love with mysticism.About the author According to Wikipedia, was an American popular mathematics and popular science writer, with interests also encompassing scientific skepticism, micromagic, philosophy, religion, and literature especially the writings of Lewis Carroll, L Frank Baum, and G K Chesterton Gardner was best known for creating and sustaining interest Target audience The primary target are common people, with little or no scientific literacy The secondary target are people in love with mysticism.About the author According to Wikipedia, was an American popular mathematics and popular science writer, with interests also encompassing scientific skepticism, micromagic, philosophy, religion, and literature especially the writings of Lewis Carroll, L Frank Baum, and G K Chesterton Gardner was best known for creating and sustaining interest in recreational mathematics and by extension, mathematics in general throughout the latter half of the 20th century, principally through his Mathematical Games columns These appeared for twenty five years inScientific American, and his subsequent books collecting them.Structure of the book The book is 384 pages long, which are divided into 26 chapters plus other additional parts notes, preface and so one.Overview Basically, the book debunks what it characterizes as pseudo science and the pseudo scientists who propagate it And, unfortunately, the subjects and examples are many evidence of 373 pages Yes, the book is long If you like science, you won t get bored However, if you are fan of mysticism, this is a hard pill to swallow it will shred your dearest beliefs.Gardner starts by describing defining cranks and pseudo scientists , so that people with low scientific literacy can recognize them Then he patiently takes theories and personalities, one by one, puts them in groups, describes them and then dismisses them point by point using logic, scientific arguments and common sense Flat earth theory, hollow earth theory, anti vaccine, flying saucer, vegetarianism, L Ron Hubbard, Atlantis and Lemuria you name it Occasionally he also uses historical examples of previous failures or a welcome portion of humor As a science fan, I was familiar with the myth of Atlantis or pyramidology, but that does not mean I did not enjoy those parts There is always something new to be learned This book was originally written in 1952 We are in now 2019 orWhy do I say this Because, as a reader, you are pretty shocked about how current are certain pseudo scientific theories and how hard mindsets can change Yes, we are in the age of artificial intelligence, smart cars, green energy and voyages to Mars Yet, homeopathy, astrology, scientology and other are non sense are still thriving How is that possible The answer is simple, but not obvious while mankind s knowledge is expanding faster than the individual knowledge Cross pollenisation between sciences as Neil deGrasse Tyson likes to say and the passing of information from one man to another they all take time.Quote There is no evidence whatever that meat plays a significant role in causing bodily disorders, least of all cancer, which some vegetarians, trace to meat by means of wildly distorted statistics.Strong points Well research and a sense of humor and a good structure.Weak points I felt that Garner offered too much attention to certain subjects, such as Ron L Hubbard and his philosophy I don t think such frauds deserve so much attention


  6. Matthew Mccrady Matthew Mccrady says:

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the fads and fallacies of sixty years ago are still around Scientology is a case in point At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics He didn t take it very seriously, thinking that it had already spent itself What he has to say about L Ron Hubbard is interesting, though I am sureis known today Gardner accepts Hubbard s war hero status without questio Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the fads and fallacies of sixty years ago are still around Scientology is a case in point At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics He didn t take it very seriously, thinking that it had already spent itself What he has to say about L Ron Hubbard is interesting, though I am sureis known today Gardner accepts Hubbard s war hero status without question, although as I understand it, today there are questions about his service Still Gardner doesn t flinch from pointing out the flaws in Hubbard s own life, character, and work He also tackles pseudosciences such as parapsychology and paranormal research currently enjoying a revival on reality TV The chapters on the history of medical quackery are especially interesting I d have liked a longer chapter on the tangle of fallacies around sexuality, but perhaps that was deemed of questionable taste at the time the book was published Anyway, Mary Roach has done an admirable job of filling in those historical gaps with her book Boink


  7. David Gross David Gross says:

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people You ll recognize many of the names L Ron Hubbard, Wilhelm Reich, Immanuel Velikovsky and be first introduced to many others Gardner acknowledges that there is a broad grey area between crank science and orthodox science where wild but perhaps true theories live, A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people You ll recognize many of the names L Ron Hubbard, Wilhelm Reich, Immanuel Velikovsky and be first introduced to many others Gardner acknowledges that there is a broad grey area between crank science and orthodox science where wild but perhaps true theories live, and that often orthodox science is just plain wrong, but he insists that there is a well defined and identifiable arena for cranks He shows no overt sympathy for these loonies, but his affection for their eccentricities shines through The book was published in the 1950s, and so is slightly dated, but I wouldn t let this stop you


  8. Nick Nick says:

    Haven t read this cover to cover, I just pick it up every now and again Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful pop scientists You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40 s and 50 s, but the comparison ends at the surface Gardner was a polymath who attained academic recognition slowly, through his writing, whereas Sagan followed aor less traditional path to the top of the ivory tower, and from there began preaching In temperament, where Sagan Haven t read this cover to cover, I just pick it up every now and again Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful pop scientists You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40 s and 50 s, but the comparison ends at the surface Gardner was a polymath who attained academic recognition slowly, through his writing, whereas Sagan followed aor less traditional path to the top of the ivory tower, and from there began preaching In temperament, where Sagan strives for profundity small blue marble, billions and billions, the anti armament Kumbayas of his PBS series Cosmos Gardner was content with acerbity Sagan was a Christ figure, Gardner was the bad boy shooting spitballs into supercolliders Sagan attempted to convert the masses to scientism Gardner mocked those not on board Sagan MLK, Gardner Malcolm X.I prefer Gardner This little book of essays exists only to take pot shots at the pseudoscience industry, which flourished in the 50 s Scientology is taken on here back when it was seen as merely the latest fad within Hubbard s larger Dianetics movement , as are the bizarre Nazi cosmologies of Hans Horbinger and others Hitler so favored Horbinger s theory that the entire universe was once a large ball of ice, which has since been broken up and melted into varying stages, which compose the elements that he once proposed building a museum that would dramatize the fundamentalist cosmology on the first floor, the big bang on the second, and Horbinger s on the third and final floor Nuts, right Of particular interest to me was the chapter on Alfred Lawson, one of the most overlooked figures in Iowa history and the history of quack science in general Fads and Fallacies was a useful source when I was writing a paper on Mr Lawson, whose story involves failed careers in baseball, fiction writing, aviation, and economics, before founding his own tax exempt cult commune, the Des Moines University of Lawsonomy, a few miles from where I live in Des Moines, Iowa The University was devoted entirely to inculcating in its students most of whom lived on campus a complete knowledge of Lawson s teachings, previously espoused in several dozen self published volumes The proposed course of study lasted 30 years It took so long because one could only graduate and become, in Lawsonomic terms, a Knowledgian after they had memorized every word Lawson ever put to paper The University opened in 1943 and closed shortly after Lawson s death in 1954 Lawson was the only Knowledgian, and remained so untilthan a decade after his death, when one of his foremost followers, a man named Merle Hayden, began giving out the title at Lawsonomy reunions in the 70 s Hayden now lives on a farm on a highway outside Racine, Wisconsin, in a house adrift with accumulated paraphernalia Lawsonomic books and newspapers, paperwork from the University, photographs of Lawson and he smiling side by side, inquisitive letters from those who were children in Des Moines when the University stood, who walked along its fence and wondered what went on inside, all of which Hayden answers filling the house like floodwater to the attic, on the exterior of which is written, handpainted in neat white capitals over the aging shingles PRACTICE NATURAL LAW now and then lost tourists cross it, their children point it out to them across the corn fields, and most of them drive on, anxious to get to the Dells once every year or two, one of these cars stops for gas, or coffee, and the stories begin again Sorry about that Anyway One other essay that stands out is the one on chiropractors, who I have always considered to be quacks but who seem to have gained mainstream acceptance since this was published The shift from chiropractice chiropractition are either of these words as New Age contemporary of L Ron Hubbard and alchemists to chiropractice as contemporary of Dr Scholl and OBGYNs is yet further proof that pseudoscience is alive and well today It is also proof that Gardner s work must be continued, and we are in need of someone to pick up the torch Richard Dawkins doesn t cut it he is a fine biologist but a mean man, of insufficient warmth to appeal to anyone not already in agreement, and so lacking in imagination perhaps inherently but I suspect willfully to interpret religious doctrine in any other way than, like the Fundamentalists he so despises, literally Gardner had great affection for the bears he poked He understood the appeal of a worldview which rejects reason, and reveled in it, viewing the bizarre movements he wrote about as a sort of performance art, appreciating their metaphors as would any student of world religion those of Hinduism and Christianity We need a scientist who is capable of great cognitive dissonance and is unashamed of it In our present divided culture, which has politicized science and religion and set them opposed, scientists of just such imagination have tuned out entirely, preferring to play in the lab than settle the territory disputes our gang like libs and cons have waged In wait of such a person, I ll be picking up Gardner every now and again


  9. Cheryl Cheryl says:

    No doubt important in its time, but dated to the point of irrelevancy to me and anyone with whom I interact now That s all.


  10. Pete Jones Pete Jones says:

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to Scientific American , primarily because of Martin Gardner s articles on mathematical games But this is nothing like those pieces Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950 s and the preceding century as a world full of pseudo scientists leading a world full of sheep back into the dark ages It s so over the top that I believe anyone who hadn t lived through those times would find it hard I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to Scientific American , primarily because of Martin Gardner s articles on mathematical games But this is nothing like those pieces Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950 s and the preceding century as a world full of pseudo scientists leading a world full of sheep back into the dark ages It s so over the top that I believe anyone who hadn t lived through those times would find it hard to believe that if that was the state of the world at that time, that we even live in the modern times we do today He rails at pseudo scientists who believe the world is flat or hollow and we live inside the sphere Interestingly, though he steps into to the argument between those who accept the age of the earth from geology and those who believe in the six day time frame in the book of Genesis he does provide a theory by zoologist Philip Gosse It is a very clever supposition that the world might have actually been created a couple of minutes ago Gardner says of it Gosse s book Omphalos , Not the least of its remarkable virtues is that although it won not a single convert, it presented a theory so logically perfect, and so in accord with geological facts that no amount of scientific evidence will ever be able to refute it You ll have to read the book to understand.Gardner covers everything from dowsing rods, ESP, anti gravity shields, Atlantis and Lemuris, dianetics, curing poor eyesight via muscle training called central fixation rather than glasses, to phrenology These are just a sampling of the topics covered in the 26 chapters, each covering different subject matters It seems ironic that throughout the book it comes across that he is attacking the pseudo scientists the same way they are defending themselves by attempting to shoutthings that appear to support their point of view than the other side There is no mention of using scientific methods to prove or refute the theories.Two chapters stand out above the others as a sign of the times in which this book was written and brings one to question whether much of this is motivated by the author s personal views Chapter 12 called Lysenkoism deals with Lamarckianism Lamarckianism differs from the theory of evolution in that it posits that changes over time occur as the inheritance of acquired characteristic, rather than via the survival of the fittest Gardner provides a history of this theory and then dedicates most of the remainder of the chapter on the rejection of Darwin s work by the Communist Party of the USSR as bourgeois idealism The Soviets believe Lamarckianism supports the idea that Russian children can be taught that the Revolution has shattered the hereditary structure of the Soviet people that each new generation growing up in the new environment will be a finer stock than the last The term Lysenkoism is derived from Trofim Lysenko a former peasant and plant breeder who rose as one of the most influential proponents of this view Much of the chapter that follows is a description of what happened to scientists in the USSR who didn t toe the party line.Towards the end of the chapter Gardner states It may be that the steady deterioration of Soviet biology will be followed by a similar deterioration in other sciences We know now how greatly the Nazi efforts to make an atom bomb were bungled by the control of political Neanderthals There is reasonable ground for hope that a similar state of affairs may, to some degree, hamper Soviet war research He then brings up the Scopes trial in the United States, stating that though this provides a dramatic lesson for the free works our sins in this respect have not been very grave.Chapter 13, called Apologist for Hate follows It is a clear condemnation of the theories that support Nordic and Aryan race superiority Because of the recent end of the WWII and the beginnings of the civil rights movement in the United States, some of the Gardner s statements come across with less scientific force and withwith vehemence against who support the superiority of whites Though his points are well presented and supported, it sometimes readslike an editorial than a book of non fiction Though I lived through those times, and back then blacks were Negroes, it still sticks in my craw when I hear that term.Overall the book is interesting,as a novelty than a scientific exposition on quack theories But then again as he states in his book, most serious scientists don t think the topics are worth their effort to refute.


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