Is global warming just scaremongering by climatologists conspiring to protect their jobs? Is evolution ",just a theory",? Is autism caused by vaccinations? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, no. The scientific evidence is now in, and its conclusive, on these and many more issues that are fundamental to our knowledge and wellbeing. But youd never know this if all of your information came from the popular media or your upbringing and immediate circle of influence didnt include critical thinking and basic scientific literacy. As this witty book with a very serious message shows, our culture has in recent decades been characterized by a widespread antagonism toward science and the not-always-welcome messages it brings. Large sections of the supposedly sophisticated populations in the developed nations are in an active state of denial. Not only do they deny scientific evidence but they also call into question the very competence of science as a descriptor of reality. In short, they deny reality. The author surveys the gamut of clearly unscientific ideas concerning the food we eat, the medicines and potions we are either afraid of or advised to take, our sex preferences, and a host of other issues that are raised by various panics, urban legends, and a general climate of misinformation. He also examines how special interests, from agribusiness to pharmaceutical companies to creationists, actively work to distort or suppress scientific findings. While the tendency may be to laugh at some of the ridiculous notions catalogued in the author's overview of bogus ideas, the overall picture he creates is anything but funny. This book reminds the reader that the future of free, increasingly complex societies depends on an educated citizenry that is able to think clearly and critically based on reliable information.
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