Science, Myth Or Magic?: A Struggle for Existence

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Allen & Unwin, 2000 - Human biology - 210 pages
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This work attempts to define what is science and, more importantly, what is not science. Tony Barnett faces superstition, magic and charlatanry, political platforms masquerading as scientifically-based programmes and pseudobiology, and gives rational responses to them based on authentic science. He shows how scientific methods can be applied to specific everyday problems and scientifically scrutinizes a number of popular but erroneous beliefs, from the repellent to the absurd.
  

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Contents

Fashions in Fairy Tales
3
Egyptian magic
9
Brain Waves
22
Phrenologists diagram
23
PART n STRUGGLE
35
Homo pugnax on a Greek vase
41
Intermezzo on Instinct
63
Music bow
67
EXISTENCE
119
Sketch by Rembrandt
123
A Bridge Passage
135
Science and Sums
141
Distribution curves
152
Fire From Heaven
160
Prometheus
161
Machs corner
169

Genes and Clones
71
Arrowhead in two environments
74
Cave painting
91
Egyptian drawing without perspective
97
THE IMAGE AND THE REAL
109
The scientist
110
The Times to Come
178
Has Death Survival Value? A Case
185
Bibliography
198
Index
204
Copyright

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Page 8 - And posts, like the commandment of a king, Sans check, to good and bad : But when the planets In evil mixture, to disorder wander, What plagues, and what portents ! what mutiny ! What raging of the sea ! shaking of earth ! Commotion in the winds ! frights, changes, horrors Divert and crack, rend and deracinate The unity and married calm of states Quite from their fixture...
Page 39 - In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
Page 72 - Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit ; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Page 3 - ... we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on.
Page 82 - I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill ; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Page 181 - But when his own great work is but begun, What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide ; First strip off all her equipage of Pride ; Deduct what is but Vanity or dress, Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness ; Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain, Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain ; Expunge the whole, or lop th...
Page xiii - What is a man, If his chief good and market of his time Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more. Sure he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and god-like reason To fust in us unus'd.
Page 10 - Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not: but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
Page 121 - Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy ? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven : We know her woof, her texture ; she is given In the dull catalogue of common things. Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings, Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, Empty the haunted air and gnomed mine Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.

About the author (2000)

S. Anthony Barnett is internationally known for his research on stress and exploratory behavior, as well as for his insistence on logical and scientific vigor in biological debate.

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