Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk #2020

Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk Massimo Pigliucci Nonsense on Stilts How to Tell Science from Bunk Recent polls suggest that fewer than percent of Americans believe in Darwin s theory of evolution despite it being one of science s best established findings More and parents are refusing to vacci

  • Title: Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
  • Author: Massimo Pigliucci
  • ISBN: 9780226667867
  • Page: 217
  • Format: Paperback
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk Massimo Pigliucci Recent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin s theory of evolution, despite it being one of science s best established findings More and parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warmRecent polls suggest that fewer than 40 percent of Americans believe in Darwin s theory of evolution, despite it being one of science s best established findings More and parents are refusing to vaccinate their children for fear it causes autism, though this link can been consistently disproved And about 40 percent of Americans believe that the threat of global warming is exaggerated, despite near consensus in the scientific community that manmade climate change is real.Why do people believe bunk And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham the nonsense on stilts Presenting case studies on a number of controversial topics, Pigliucci cuts through the ambiguity surrounding science to look closely at how science is conducted, how it is disseminated, how it is interpreted, and what it means to our society The result is in many ways a taxonomy of bunk that explores the intersection of science and culture at large.No one not the public intellectuals in the culture wars between defenders and detractors of science nor the believers of pseudoscience themselves is spared Pigliucci s incisive analysis In the end, Nonsense on Stilts is a timely reminder of the need to maintain a line between expertise and assumption Broad in scope and implication, it is also ultimately a captivating guide for the intelligent citizen who wishes to make up her own mind while navigating the perilous debates that will affect the future of our planet.
    Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk Massimo Pigliucci

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      Published :2020-02-09T13:15:06+00:00

    One thought on “Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk”

    1. Too many books by skeptics involve shooting fish in a barrel content to point out the foolishness of clearly fringe beliefs and stroke the egos of those readers who already view themselves as critical thinking advocates of science.Nonsense on Stilts is NOT one of those books.Rather, it is a far ranging look at the nature of science itself Pigliucci manages to include a discussion of hard vs soft science, the role of public intellectuals, an introduction to the problem of induction, a conceptual [...]

    2. As far as skeptics go, I prefer mine avuncular and approachable like Carl Sagan as opposed to prickly and aloof like Richard Dawkins so I thought this was marvelous Pigliucci is maybe not exactly as warm and turtleneck y as Carl Sagan, but that s not meant to be a stab at either one of them just the main difference I really enjoyed this and definitely want to check out some of the other things he s written I love it when I find somebody who writes good stuff and isn t dead yet high fives

    3. unedited and lightly proofed I found this book well worth reading, esp the last 30 pages or so I withheld two stars from my rating mostly for what didn t happen in Chapter 6 If you re short on time, here s a shortcut approach to getting the book s chief take away Start with Chapter 11, Science as a Bayesian Algorithm page 275 in the edition I read from , and read from there through Chapter 12 and the Conclusion That ll be about 31 pages The essence of the book and its take away for readers is ri [...]

    4. The title of Massimo Pigliucci s wonderful, interesting and engaging book says it all How To Tell Science From Bunk As Philip Plait of the Bad Astronomy blog points out, A frightening percentage of the American population cannot tell the difference between sense and nonsense and I d add that this serves the dominant political structures just fine, thank you.Primarily, Nonsense on Stilts offers an analysis of what has been called the demarcation problem which is how to distinguish between science [...]

    5. The subtitle of this book is How to Tell Science from Bunk The conclusion basically comes down to with difficulty This seems a bit frustrating, in fact it verges on a counsel of despair, but by this point I am not really surprised Pigliucci is attacking a problem to which he d obviously like a facile answer just as much as the rest of us, but doing so with real intellectual integrity It can be hard to take when your allies refrain from carpet bombing you enemies merely because of some silly conc [...]

    6. He starts by saying he can discard Karl Popper because Popper is too simplistic But when he wants to show that something is definitely science or definitely not he uses Popper s criteria of falsifiability.I think there s a misunderstanding of what Popper actually said Popper was keen to say that for a theory to be scientific it had to be falsifiable, ie there had to be a test we could conceive of if not actually perform which, if it turned out a particular way would show the theory was false, or [...]

    7. Massimo Pigliucci has done a fine service for science, science education and the general public in writing this book While the philosophy does get technical at times, it is well worth the effort of the reader to work his or her way through it A large portion of our economy, practically all of our health care, much of our military defense, all of our energy consumption, and a good deal of our government s policy comes from or is informed by science How does a non scientist tell the difference bet [...]

    8. This book is relevant to everything going on in society today, especially as concerns the public perception and interpretation of scientific news and advances Today you don t have to look hard to find someone peddling some new miracle cure, or claiming that they ve discovered some new secret to the universe And much of this is presented right along with the latest in scientific discoveries on your favorite news channel But how do you tell the difference between what s really true, and what s utt [...]

    9. This book reminded me of a lot of philosophy that I had learned and subsequently forgot, but I was grateful for the refresher I thought he started strong by examining Popper s claim that the defining characteristic of science is falsification, and I liked the first few chapters that explored the boundary of scientist From here I thought it meandered a bit from the intended purpose of the book, i.e how to distinguish pseudoscience from science, but the meandering were quite enjoyable as well I ab [...]

    10. For a non scientist, this book was a great introduction to the history of the philosophy of science as well as providing tools to help the lay person identify bunk and psudoscience The book uses the current populuar culture debates in the U.S about evolution Hint Science deals with the natural world If someone proposes a supernatual explanation for something it isn t science and global warming as examples on how to identify actual science and recognize when arguments are sponsored or self servin [...]

    11. Featured on Skeptically Speaking show 60 on May 21, 2010, during an interview with author Massimo Pigliucci skepticallyspeaking episode

    12. When I start writing a review for , I take current personal activities or events and wrap them around the major concepts I draw from the recently finished book Since it is the end of the year, there isn t much going on it s not a simple thing to connect the labyrinthine negotiations of Giantbomb s Game of Year deliberations, nor the sudden forced acknowledgement of middle age thrust upon me by carrying both a close friend s baby at our annual hometown reunion and my grandmother in and out of a n [...]

    13. Excellent discussion of Global Warming and Creationism, Too much fillerThe basic point of this book is that some of what passes as science can be reliably dismissed as pseudoscience, and some is clearly science, but there are gray areas, and it isn t so easy to tell what is science However, that does not mean that science isn t a valuable perspective for public policy decision makers.His core examples are global warming skeptics and the creationism critique of evolution He does an excellent job [...]

    14. This is an interesting read, and Pigliucci obviously knows a great deal about the topics in his discussion The one quibble I would raise is not with his primary point we must engage our best thinking when considering controversial topics and many other topics, I might add My quibble has to do with his treatment of writers with whom he has serious usually well founded disagreements He often resorts to what my mother and grandmother taught me not to do name calling Late in the book, he criticizes [...]

    15. Look, it s probably my fault I was expecting a coherent work of philosophy of science, but I what I got is a collection of blog posts Nonsense on stilts is funny, well written and informative, but it hardly can be called an original work The bulk of the book is about other people s ideas books debates and what they tell us about the so called demarcation problem, whether something is science or not If you re ok with that, then go ahead and read this book Pigliucci has a broad range of expertise [...]

    16. Science and Pseudoscience share superficial similarities With a basic Baloney Sandwich B.S detector, one can easily differentiate the two The book raises an interesting question namely the the demarcation problem.

    17. This is a solid book packed with information about science and pseudoscience It could easily have been a four star book, but I expected a bit there s a lot of criticism of pseudoscience available free on the internet and the book could have been better organised For example, the origins of science are not discussed until two thirds into the book Each individual chapter is usually a very good read in itself, but the book tends to jump around from topic to topic.I felt the arguments were a little [...]

    18. You d think that as science and technology has progressed that there would be an overall increase in knowledge and a corresponding decrease in nonsensical thinking Unfortunately, there seems to be deluded, wishy washy, pseudo science floating around than ever due in large part to an internet and uncritical news media that gives equal weight to real and imaginary ideas alike In Nonsense on Stilts , Massimo Pigliucci who has 3 PhD s in genetics, botany and philosophy of science attempts to sort t [...]

    19. With respect to the subtitle of how to tell science from bunk, Pigliucci sadly fails to make his case Sure, there are extensive side trips into differentiation between examples of science and pseudoscience i.e evolution vs creationism ID , but only to illustrate a very specific point rather than a general approach, and he really doesn t address the how for the most part he merely contrasts and states one is science and the other is not Too easy for proponents of bunk to pick apart and too easy f [...]

    20. Hledal jsem pro kamar dku knihu o v deck metod a na el jsem klenot Nonsense on Stilts How to Tell Science from Bunk Nesmysly na ch d ch Jak poznat v du od pav dy se zab v probl mem tzv demarkace, tedy vymezen hranice mezi skute nou v dou a pseudov dou i pav dou Zn to docela nez ivn , e Opak je pravdou Text je relativn n ro n , ale tak strhuj c a tiv , srovnateln s vrcholn mi popul rn v deck mi d ly Richarda Dawkinse Pigliucci za n u Popperovy falzifikace, ale jde mnohem, mnohem d l Zcela precizn [...]

    21. Organization The chapters did not flow in any reasonable sense as it pertained to the topic of the book There were sections in the center where he attacks Bjorn Lambourg, the Postmodernists, as well as includes a history of scientific thinking While these were enjoyable, all except the attacks on the postmodernists didn t exactly fit the progression that the author was making The last two chapters should have been pushed up considerably as the expert problem and checklist of what makes a science [...]

    22. Part of my motivation for listening to this book was my need to respond to hormesis A small group is trying to apply ideas from hormesis to radiation biology and I wanted some ideas about how to tell science from bunk This book helped It does a nice job of using examples from ongoing arguments about climate change and evolution creationism Nicely describes how scientific theories are incomplete Every theories is incomplete and every attempt to explain the world around us includes errors Yet scie [...]

    23. This is basically a history of and paean to the scientific method I was intrigued by the references to the philosophy of Karl Popper I must read some of his works and specifically a deeper exploration of falsibility and his object of the Demarcation Problem, finding where science ends and whatever else there is begins Whatever is out there beyond science is, basically, nonsense to Pigliucci and he holds forth for extensive attach on Creationism and ID which goes a bit long, I think His history o [...]

    24. Started off OK but eventually turned into a seemingly endless diatribe focusing on the topics of global warming and evolution And for a book that is supposed to be sticking to facts and science the author couldn t help himself and brings politics into the discussion again and again with an overwhelming bias in one direction It all could have been covered a lot faster and with less rambling on if he could have stuck to the facts, limited the analogies many of which were just as ill placed as the [...]

    25. Unfocused at times, but still a fine exploration of science, almost science, and pseudoscience, offered with an array of intellectual tools to help readers discern for themselves the good from the bad Pigliucci goes after some pretty easy targets here creationist, postmodernism, Deepak Chopra, and the like but these are such brazen examples of utter nonsense that they make themselves simple fodder for attack The fact that together they span the political spectrum helps demonstrate how quackery k [...]

    26. If you read Carl Sagan s Demon Haunted World and wanted , read Pigliucci s Nonsense on Stilts So many different beliefs exist ranging from apparently harmless e.g fairies to extremely harmful e.g HIV denialism Cutting through fanciful notions to reality seems like a full time job with the pervasive effects of the media print, TV and the Internet Nonsense on Stilts presents information in a very thoughtful but direct manner Pigliucci shows the reader how question the evidence about beliefs e.g as [...]

    27. Solid skeptic science writing Pigliucci seems comfortable in short pieces, and his book reads as a collection of related essays than a unified book This is not necessarily bad He cuts to the point, is not shy about taking a side, and writes clearly He shares Paul Krugman s talent for writing with a hard nosed, two fisted intellect that pummels opposing arguments with evidence and sound reasoning Some might say that his writing is too pugnacious, tending toward arrogant derision Those people ha [...]

    28. Pigliucci marshals and synthesises an impressive array of information and ideas for this book on the nature of science and how to tell good science from bunk The result is a book that is wide ranging and stimulating, whilst still being accessible and entertaining Moreover, the book has practical benefits the reader should leave the book feeling her ability to detect baloney has been enhanced I do have a couple of beefs with the book, one of which is that Pigliucci misconstrues, in my opinion, so [...]

    29. Chapters one and two offer some useful examination of what practicing science means, allowing for both the hard and soft sciences, while highlighting what characteristics make some examples almost science The rest of the book read as an increasingly tiring complaint about how various people s views about science are wrong, and a brief historical survey of Important Science People that got sidetracked in distracting ways Much of the book was spent in telling the reader what they just read, what t [...]

    30. This book was way than I expected, which was a book that focuses on specific topics where pseudoscience gets way cache than it deserves, and going throught them one by one to dispell the myths In othr words, something along the lines of the also great Bad Science by Ben Goldacre.Rather than holding our hands on a tour through the world of pseudoscience, Nonsense aims to arm us with the ability to think for ourselves and accomplish this task on our own whenever we are faced with such nonsense I [...]

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