The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense

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Oxford University Press, 2001 - Science - 360 pages
20 Reviews
In The Borderlands of Science, Michael Shermer takes us to the place where real science, borderline science--and just plain nonsense--collide. Shermer argues that while science is the best lens through which to view the world, it is often difficult to decipher where valid science leaves off and borderland, or "fuzzy" science begins. To solve this dilemma, he looks at a range of topics that put this boundary line in high relief. For instance, he debunks the many "theories of everything" that try to reduce the complexity of the world to a single principle. He examines the work of Darwin and Freud, explaining why one is among the great scientists in history, while the other has become nothing more than a historical curiosity. And he reveals how scientists themselves can be led astray, as seen in the infamous Piltdown hoax--the set of ancient hominid bones discovered in England that after decades turned out to be an enormous forgery.

From SETI and acupuncture to hypnosis and human cloning, this enlightening book will help readers stay grounded in common sense amid the flurry of supposedly scientific theories that inundate us every day.

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Review: The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense

User Review  - Sariene - Goodreads

I'm a fan of Michael Shermer, and I hate to rate a book of his so poorly, but I see no way around it, as this book is badly put together. I could barely keep my attention from wandering away through ... Read full review

Review: The Borderlands of Science: Where Sense Meets Nonsense

User Review  - Mikko Muilu - Goodreads

A narrow history of pushing science's limits and a few scientists who were doing it. Read full review

About the author (2001)

Michael Shermer is the Founding Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Skeptic magazine (www.skeptic.com) and the Director of The Skeptics Society. He is a Visiting Associate at the California Institute of Technology, and hosts the Skeptics Lecture Series at Cal Tech. He has authored several popular books on science, scientific history, and the philosophy and history of science, including Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, How We Believe: The Search for God in an Age of Science, and Denying History: Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened and Why Do They Say It? (with Alex Grobman). He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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