printing 1997. (with plenty of my own thoughts and recollections added in) I hope they encourage you to look up the book and buy it so you can get the full stories.
This first article in the “Bad Science” category was inspired by “D’ya hear about the moon-bison?” by Lynda Walsh in The Scientist Weekend March 2, 2007.
As I researched the historical context of Darwin’s great myth of common descent of all life from microbial ancestors, possibly from chemicals coming together in some “warm, little pond,” I was struck by how many strange and just plain bad things began during the same period. The 19th century saw the rise of a number of cults, and toward the end of the 1800s there was a strong (but wrong) feeling that science was on the verge of having answered all the major questions, and the 20th century would only see the filling in of lesser details. These are subjects I may explore later. The article by Walsh touches on some of the hoaxes of the time that involved or were related to scientific discoveries. Continue reading The Beginning of Scientific Mythology
Fundamentalism is sticking with the foundations, the heart or core of something. It can accept additional things that are built up from that solid beginning, but rejects additions that get away from it.
For science, we must keep in mind that it is a tool that we humans devised for learning about and understanding the natural world and how it works. It is a method for investigating the world around us and discovering how much we can know for sure.
Continue reading Calm down; it’s probably not what you think