Scientific Development and Misconceptions Through the Ages: A Reference Guide

Greenwood Publishing Group
Free sample

The evolution of science through the ages has often been marred by people's misconceptions. From pre-historic times, when myths played a major role in people's lives, to present-day debates concerning the environment, people have sought ways to explain the world around them and have often come up with incorrect answers. Science has grown through the correction of these misconceptions. This unique reference source can be used by students, teachers, and other interested researchers to explore this growth as it pertains to both the field of science and the process of scientific experimentation. Readers will discover how misunderstandings led to further experimentation and eventually to scientific facts.

These false paths to scientific knowledge are not treated as deliberate misconduct, but rather as a lack of knowledge and a misunderstanding of the science and technology involved, both of which were sooner or later corrected by men and women of science. Krebs explores the conception and development of scientific thought in five different fields: Medicine and Health; Life Science; Chemistry and Physics; Astrology, Astronomy, and Cosmology; and Conservation, Ecology, and Environmentalism. Within each of these categories, he explores more specific areas, such as the circulatory system, geology, and inner planets. This arrangement provides easy access for the researcher interested in a particular area of science as well as those looking for general information, illuminating how our modern understanding of science is based on much of the developments in our ancient past.

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About the author

ROBERT E. KREBS is the retired Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois Health Sciences Center. He is the author of The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements (Greenwood Press, 1998).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 1999
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Pages
286
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ISBN
9780313302268
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Reference
Science / Research & Methodology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The evolution of a set of fields—including operations research and systems analysis—intended to improve policymaking and explore the nature of rational decision-making.

During World War II, the Allied military forces faced severe problems integrating equipment, tactics, and logistics into successful combat operations. To help confront these problems, scientists and engineers developed new means of studying which equipment designs would best meet the military's requirements and how the military could best use the equipment it had on hand. By 1941 they had also begun to gather and analyze data from combat operations to improve military leaders' ordinary planning activities. In Rational Action, William Thomas details these developments, and how they gave rise during the 1950s to a constellation of influential new fields—which he terms the “sciences of policy”—that included operations research, management science, systems analysis, and decision theory.

Proponents of these new sciences embraced a variety of agendas. Some aimed to improve policymaking directly, while others theorized about how one decision could be considered more rational than another. Their work spanned systems engineering, applied mathematics, nuclear strategy, and the philosophy of science, and it found new niches in universities, in businesses, and at think tanks such as the RAND Corporation. The sciences of policy also took a prominent place in epic narratives told about the relationships among science, state, and society in an intellectual culture preoccupied with how technology and reason would shape the future. Thomas follows all these threads to illuminate and make new sense of the intricate relationships among scientific analysis, policymaking procedure, and institutional legitimacy at a crucial moment in British and American history.

A prescient warning of a future we now inhabit, where fake news stories and Internet conspiracy theories play to a disaffected American populace

“A glorious book . . . A spirited defense of science . . . From the first page to the last, this book is a manifesto for clear thought.”—Los Angeles Times

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science? Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect. As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

Praise for The Demon-Haunted World

“Powerful . . . A stirring defense of informed rationality. . . Rich in surprising information and beautiful writing.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Compelling.”—USA Today

“A clear vision of what good science means and why it makes a difference. . . . A testimonial to the power of science and a warning of the dangers of unrestrained credulity.”—The Sciences

“Passionate.”—San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
Understanding the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is critical for success in the chemistry classroom and laboratory. In today's classroom, students not only need to understand the properties of the chemical elements, but how these elements play such an integral role in industry, the earth and the environment, and in modern life. No resource provides a better introduction than Robert Krebs's The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements. In this thoroughly revised edition, with extensive new examples on the importance of the chemical elements, the elements are examined within their groups, enabling students to make connections between elements of similar structure. In addition, the discovery and history of each element - from those known from ancient times to those created in the modern laboratory - is explained clearly and concisely.

Understanding the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is critical for success in the chemistry classroom and laboratory. In today's classroom, students not only need to understand the properties of the chemical elements, but how these elements play such an integral role in industry, the earth and the environment, and in modern life. No resource provides a better introduction than Robert Krebs's The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements. In this thoroughly revised edition, with extensive new and updated examples on the use of the chemical elements, the elements are examined within their groups, enabling students to make connections between elements of similar structure. In addition, the discovery and history of each element - from those known from ancient times to those created in the modern laboratory - is explained clearly and concisely.

In addition to the handy Guide to the Chemical Elements that comprises the bulk of the work, The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements includes other useful features:

; Introductory material on the basics of chemistry and the Periodic Table

; Appendices on the discoverers of the chemical elements

; A glossary of words commonly used in chemistry and chemical engineering

; A complete bibliography of useful resources, including websites

All of this information makes The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements the ideal one-volume resource for understanding the importance of the chemical elements.

The USA TODAY bestseller is now in paperback with a new chapter on Global Warming! This all-encompassing guide to skeptical thinking from podcast host and academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine Steven Novella and his SGU co-hosts, which Richard Wiseman calls "the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction."
It is intimidating to realize that we live in a world overflowing with misinformation, bias, myths, deception, and flawed knowledge. There really are no ultimate authority figures-no one has the secret, and there is no place to look up the definitive answers to our questions (not even Google).
Luckily, THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE is your map through this maze of modern life. Here Dr. Steven Novella-along with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein-will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories-from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N- rays. You'll learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co- worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking.

So are you ready to join them on an epic scientific quest, one that has taken us from huddling in dark caves to setting foot on the moon? (Yes, we really did that.) DON'T PANIC! With THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE, we can do this together.

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"In this age of real and fake information, your ability to reason, to think in scientifically skeptical fashion, is the most important skill you can have. Read The Skeptics' Guide Universe; get better at reasoning. And if this claim about the importance of reason is wrong, The Skeptics' Guide will help you figure that out, too." --Bill Nye

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