Jul. 17th, 2010

deliabarry: (Grissom)
Bogus Science: Some People Really Believe These Things
by John Grant

There is science, there is pseudoscience, and then there are the truly wackadoodle notions that leave rational people staring slack-jawed in amazement. It is this last group that is the subject of Bogus Science.

This is the third in a series of books about science by Grant. I've been vocal about my admiration for the two previous books, Discarded Science and Corrupted Science, so when I was offered the opportunity late last year to read an advance copy of this book it felt quite like an early visit from Santa. I had high hopes for this book and I wasn't disappointed.

The subtitle perfectly sums up my reaction to these topics; it is almost incomprehensible to me that there are people here in the 21st century who still cling to these insupportable ideas. I must admit, though, that as a geoscientist, my favorite of these topics was the Hollow Earth "hypothesis". There’s something very comfy about the idea that literally everything I know about my chosen field of study is completely wrong.

Although Grant clearly expects that his readers have a knowledge of basic science, the book is written in such a way that anyone could read and enjoy it. Grant discusses each of these bizarre ideas with style and wit, which go a long way toward making what could have been a depressing book into a very enjoyable one. The footnotes alone would be worth the price of the book. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.


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