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Worst Science Books

  1. May 16, 2005 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    While cleaning my office I found what has to be a top candidate:

    The Secret Life Of Plants :surprised

    I guess that since I mentioned this as a good Sci-Fi movie, I should include the book version of the movie Mindwalk - The Tao of Physics.
     
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  3. May 16, 2005 #2

    JamesU

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    why is this under skeptisism and debunking?
     
  4. May 16, 2005 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    For the debunking part of course. :biggrin:

    Ah, I just realized why you asked. I am thinking about the worst science found in popular books, not a literary critique.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  5. May 16, 2005 #4

    JamesU

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    "the physics of waves"
     
  6. May 16, 2005 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Why do you say that? Who is the author?

    or have I stepped on some toes already? :biggrin:
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2005
  7. May 16, 2005 #6

    JamesU

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  8. May 16, 2005 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    Okay, that appears to be a comment about a difficult book, but not bad science.
     
  9. May 16, 2005 #8

    Math Is Hard

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    My favorite book when I was 14 was The Philadelphia Experiment. I never saw the movie. I'm pretty sure all the stuff that enthralled me in the book has since been debunked.
     
  10. May 16, 2005 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    That's true. A little research reveals a story full of holes, with no supporting evidence, and plenty of contradictions. It is rare to find a story so completely debunked.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=57097&highlight=Philadelphia
     
  11. May 16, 2005 #10

    Chronos

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    Dogpatch girls ask the hardest questions.
     
  12. May 16, 2005 #11

    matthyaouw

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    The Atlantis enigma, if indeed you can call that science :P
     
  13. May 16, 2005 #12

    arildno

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    That's the one claiming that plants get scared if a plant murderer walks in upon them, isn't it?
     
  14. May 16, 2005 #13

    selfAdjoint

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    For me it's The Dancing Wu Li Masters, hands down. That's because it is such a GOOD book, so persuasive, and teaches such BAD physics.
     
  15. May 17, 2005 #14
    Interesting... someone recomended that book to me. I may read it anyway for entertainment value or just to know what I may be up against if I ever argue quantum physics with someone.
     
  16. May 23, 2005 #15
    I think I say a show on this on TLC. It was pretty much big time, hard core debunked.
     
  17. May 27, 2005 #16
    Oh my, bad science is something I have seen in Gens VII. A lot of inaccuracies in its elucidation of ligand complexes. Normally I'd expect some problems with General chemistry texts but never with biology.The discipline is simple to understand at any level; yet people still tend to make mistakes in their organization and understanding of higher and more complex ideas in biology, why then do they bother writing books??
     
  18. May 28, 2005 #17
    In Search of Ancient Astronauts has bugged me since my adolescence.
     
  19. May 29, 2005 #18
    I don't think that there is any hope of controlling, or any need to control, whatever rubbish is read by the general public. What astonishes me is that universities etc., often do not weed out such books. My local university, for instance, has Secret Life of Plants on its shelves, as well as all of the works of Harold Aspden (a well-known anti-relativist and promoter of 'free energy'). They have several copies of the Aspden books; apparently because some were bought by the university, and others were presented, free, by Aspden. That may explain why CERN (Geneva) also had a copy of one of them.
     
  20. May 29, 2005 #19
    Perhaps it is sometimes good to have examples of bad science to point to.
     
  21. May 30, 2005 #20
    I agree; the quickest way to teach physics is often to pick on bad examples from the outset. The problem is that very few people (apart from Gardner or Gould) actually take/took the trouble to point out errors in popular pseudoscientific books. And even when they do/did, they are/were unlikely to reach the target readership.
     
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