SMU CFB 3333 - Book Review #2 - Pseudoscience (4 pages)

Previewing page 1 of 4 page document View the full content.
View Full Document

Book Review #2 - Pseudoscience



Previewing page 1 of actual document.

View the full content.
View Full Document
View Full Document

Book Review #2 - Pseudoscience

783 views


Pages:
4
School:
Southern Methodist University
Course:
Cfb 3333 - The Scientific Method (Debunking Pseudoscience)
The Scientific Method (Debunking Pseudoscience) Documents
Unformatted text preview:

Schramm 1 Kristen Schramm Professor Cotton Scalise CFB 3333 MWF 11 11 50 November 21 2014 Book Review 2 Today s culture is packed to near capacity with information that is referred to as scientific but in reality a surprising portion of it falls into the category of pseudoscience Scholars have worked endlessly to educate the public on what is science and what is not and one great example of this is the book Voodoo Science by Robert Park Voodoo Science offers a clear scientific view of a broad range of real pseudoscience claims that was written for the average reader and not for a scholarly journal like most scientific literature Park not only describes these many accounts of voodoo science but takes the time to explain how these claims can be easily turned down by the general pubic He also offers non threatening intriguing opinions on what consequences society may face if pseudoscience claims are not recognized as fraudulent Finally Park recognizes the factors imbedded in society that are intentionally or not advocating for the continuation of accepting voodoo science Voodoo Science offers a rare combination of incorporating useful relevant scientific information against pseudoscience in a way that the general public can relate to and easily interpret Pseudoscience claims have no boundaries making them hard to even keep up with but over the last century there have been several more significant claims that caught national attention These are the types of cases that Robert Park discusses in great detail in Voodoo Science I feel that he chooses these higher profile cases so that he can show Schramm 2 how easy it is for a pseudoscience claim based on nothing close to science to fool people into believing it is based off of quality scientific data and analysis Unless someone is trained in reading and interpreting scientific information it would be near impossible for them to recognize when data or the mechanisms behind it is faulty Park goes on to discuss this concept and how pseudoscience creators use it to their advantage One of the voodoo science cases he discussed that I enjoyed was cold fusion and providing a summary of a single critical evaluation by Park can show how he handled each claim It is a possibility that my future career could involve research similar to the scientists opposing cold fusion so I found this example in particular to be an interesting read Cold fusion is an idea stemmed off of nuclear fusion which is the source of energy for the sun but instead of the fusion taking place at very high temperatures it proposed it could also happen at very low temperatures Cold fusion was a pseudoscience claim that was widely publicized in 1989 by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons who were both well respected chemists at The University of Utah There were several indications that cold fusion was a pseudoscientific claim that Park discusses First Pons and Fleischmann did not report their findings to the scientific community but instead reported directly to the media Another hint was that they did not provide a detailed mechanism of how they achieved cold fusion making it impossible for anyone else to recreate it Park also discusses the reasons why the cold fusion claim was even allowed to go as far as it did Those reasons are that the public see s such a small proportion of science in their everyday life who knows how much of it is accurate and scientists hesitation to publically confronting generators of pseudoscience Park always accounted for all points of view around each claim and offered it in such detail with in depth analysis through the Schramm 3 entire book but I enjoyed his take on cold fusion more than any other topic that was discussed A good story can hold someone s attention no matter the subject or level of the content Park was brilliant in employing the method of storytelling in Voodoo Science I found every story interesting and each helped to explain important points in the argument against pseudoscience I believe it was much more beneficial for him to tell a story explain why he told it and what important points it relates to in his argument than for him to have just written an entire book like he would write an article for a peer reviewed journal The stories also allow Park to point out what went wrong and where so he can assign blame in a positive way by proposing an alternate method to the particular situation I feel this will help people to know what to do when they are faced with pseudoscience in their every day life I think Park was revolutionary in the way that he utilized storytelling to explain scientific ideas to the public and this type of crossing over of disciplines is going to be what it will take to have widespread recognition of what is pseudoscience and what is not Voodoo Science by Robert Park serves as a great educational resource for the general population who do not have a background in science It helps them to distinguish between what is pseudoscience and what is reliable science The scientific community usually keeps each other up to date by publishing in complicated difficult to read journals that the average population would not be able to fully understand making it near impossible for them to reliably educate themselves This leaves them to have to get there information from other most the time unreliable sources this is how pseudoscience can fool very large groups of people When Park wrote Voodoo Science this problem is Schramm 4 exactly what he had in mind He did not want to offend anyone by over simplifying the issues but he also wanted to make sure that different levels of readers with different backgrounds would be able to read his book and understand the concepts well enough to apply his principles to their own lives I believe that Robert Park did achieve this goal in writing Voodoo Science and it is a building block to educate the public of the few critical thinking skills that could rid of pseudoscience all together


View Full Document

Access the best Study Guides, Lecture Notes and Practice Exams

Loading Unlocking...
Login

Join to view Book Review #2 - Pseudoscience and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or
We will never post anything without your permission.
Don't have an account?
Sign Up

Join to view Book Review #2 - Pseudoscience and access 3M+ class-specific study document.

or

By creating an account you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use

Already a member?