People have always longed to know why there is a world, and why the world is the way it is. For most of history, the answers were hopelessly beyond human reach. Almost within a single human lifetime, however, science has thrown open the book of nature. Educated people thought the great benefit of science would be to free the world from superstition. Instead of enlightenment, the world seems to be sliding back into darkness. Using anecdotes drawn from recent news and personal experience, SUPERSTITION asks readers to question sacred beliefs and superstitions using commonsense logic as it applies to everyday life.
A feisty and entertaining examination of scientific fraud, as well as its perpetrators and all-too-willing believers, VOODOO SCIENCE uses fascinating case histories to discuss how and why we are so easily deceived by scientific charlatans, including the occasional Nobel laureate. From the power-line scare to cold fusion to UFOs, scientists, the media and even the government play crucial roles in sustaining popular myths that defy accepted scientific principles. By examining irrational beliefs through the lens of historic scientific controversies, the author sheds light on the origins and the temptations of so-called “truly revolutionary” discoveries that have masqueraded as science. In the process, the reader learns painlessly about some essential principles of science—and the surprisingly orderly universe we inhabit.