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Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwins theory of evolution, despite it being one of sciences best-established findings. More and more parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved. And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real.
Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, andborrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Benthamthe nonsense on stilts. Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look more closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society. The result is in many ways a taxonomy of bunk that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.
No onenot the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselvesis spared Pigliuccis incisive analysis. In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption. Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.
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|Publisher:||University of Chicago Press|
|Publish Date:||May 15, 2010|
|Number of Pages:||336|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||1.0|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||9.0 x 6.0 x 1.0|
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