Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future

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Indiana University Press, Aug 1, 2013 - Science - 390 pages
4 Reviews
A thought-provoking look at science denialism “for popular science readers who want better to be able to explain and defend science and scientific methods to others” (Library Journal).
 
The battles over evolution, climate change, childhood vaccinations, and the causes of AIDS, alternative medicine, oil shortages, population growth, and the place of science in our country—all are reaching a fevered pitch. Many people and institutions have exerted enormous efforts to misrepresent or flatly deny demonstrable scientific reality to protect their nonscientific ideology, their power, or their bottom line. To shed light on this darkness, Donald R. Prothero explains the scientific process and why society has come to rely on science not only to provide a better life but also to reach verifiable truths no other method can obtain. He describes how major scientific ideas that are accepted by the entire scientific community (evolution, anthropogenic global warming, vaccination, the HIV cause of AIDS, and others) have been attacked with totally unscientific arguments and methods. Prothero argues that science deniers pose a serious threat to society, as their attempts to subvert the truth have resulted in widespread scientific ignorance, increased risk of global catastrophes, and deaths due to the spread of diseases that could have been prevented.
 
“Prothero’s treatise will give the science-minded something to cheer about, a brief summary of the real data that supports so many critical aspects of modern life.” —Publishers Weekly
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

A solid look at science denial, where it comes from, and what the effect is on policy. The author looks not only at the evolution wars and global warming, but also discusses such topics as second hand ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A solid look at science denial, where it comes from, and what the effect is on policy. The author looks not only at the evolution wars and global warming, but also discusses such topics as second hand ... Read full review

Contents

1 Reality Check
1
2 Science Our Candle in the Darkness
9
Selling Out Science
29
Acid Rain the Ozone Hole and the Demonization of Rachel Carson
46
5 Hot Enough for You? The Heated Debate over a Warming Planet
67
Creationism Intelligent Design and the Denial of Humanitys Place in Nature
105
Playing Russian Roulette with Our Children
141
AIDS Denialism
164
SnakeOil Con Artists in an Era of Medical Science
184
10 Whats Your Sign? The Ancient Pseudoscience of Astrology
207
The End of Cheap Oil and Natural Resources
222
Human Overpopulation and Its Consequences
260
How the Denial of Science Threatens Us All
287
Notes
331
Index
357
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About the author (2013)

Recipient of the 2013 James Shea Award of the National Association of Geology Teachers for outstanding writing and editing in the geosciences.

Donald R. Prothero is Emeritus Professor of Geology at Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology. He has published 32 books, including Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future (IU Press, 2013); Rhinoceros Giants: The Paleobiology of Indricotheres; Earth: Portrait of a Planet; The Evolution of Earth; Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters; Catastrophes!; and After the Dinosaurs: The Age of Mammals (IU Press, 2006).

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