Fact or Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths by Scientific American
"Fact or Fiction: Science Tackles 58 Popular Myths" is a light compendium of columns collected by Scientific American. This eBook uncovers the truth behind 58 common myths broken out by eight categories. It's a fun light read that can be read in any particular order at any time. This curious 215-page eBook contains 58 articles mainly from 2007 and is broken out into the following eight sections: 1. The Animal Kingdom, 2. Babies and Parents, 3. The Environment: Earth and Space, 4. Technology, 5. Health Habits, 6. The Body, 7. Mind and Brain, and 8. Miscellany.
1. Well-written, accessible and varied selection of short articles on popular myths.
2. Interesting and fun topics for everyone. Fun to read at any time and in any order.
3. Scientific American has a good reputation for being an honest truth searcher.
4. The animal kingdom is full of fascinating myths. Spoiler alert. "These "virgin births" raised eyebrows because this asexual method of reproduction, called parthenogenesis, is rare among vertebrates: only about 70 backboned species can do it (that's about 0.1 percent of all vertebrates)."
5. Insects have their idiosyncrasies too.
6. So do pets keep children from developing allergies? Find out.
7. So do babies really resemble their dads more than their mothers? Find out.
8. Myth will obviously vary in interest...consider the following, can males lactate? It sucks not to know, find out.
9. Music and how it relates to babies. Spoiler alert, "I would simply say that there is no compelling evidence that children who listen to classical music are going to have any improvement in cognitive abilities," adds Rauscher."
10. Some of my favorite articles have to do with astronomy.
11. So what causes those beautiful sunsets?
12. Singing black holes...ok if that doesn't get your attention.
13. So what is healthier for you? Raw or cooked veggies?
14. Some interesting myths on water. I'm all wet you say?
15. Is it time to stop using antiperspirants? Find out.
16. Here's a popular myth, does urinating on a jellyfish sting really ease the pain?
17. Hear all about it...cell phones and cancer.
18. Myths involving the brain are among my favorites. Sleepwalking, lack of sleep, and half a brain...
19. Does testosterone cause violence?
20. And some miscellaneous myths to close out the book.
1. No links to original sources.
2. No formal bibliography.
3. Lacks scientific rigor or depth.
4. Most of the articles seem to be from 2007.
5. Not in the same league as John Brockman's series of books from the Edge just a fun, and light alternative.
6. There are much better scientific myths out there. Myths involving planes, cars, the human body, etc...
In summary, these types of books are always fun to read. You are bound to be surprised at popular myths you thought were true only to be debunked. Easy to read and jump around to your favorite myths. It lacks scientific rigor and provides no original sources. This book is intended for the masses and those looking for water-cooler material. Read for the fun of it and not for an in-depth behind the scenes science of it.
Further recommendations: "This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking" and "This Explains Everything: Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works" edited by John Brockman, "Tales of the Rational : Skeptical Essays About Nature and Science" by Massimo Pigliucci, "Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud" by Robert Park, "Science Matters: Achieving Scientific Literacy" by Robert M. Hazen "Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America" by Shawn Lawrence, "Lies, Damned Lies, and Science: How to Sort Through the Noise Around Global Warming, the Latest Health Claims, and Other Scientific Controversies (FT Press Science)" by Sherry Seethaler, "For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics" by Walter Lewin, and "Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience" by Kendrick Frazier.