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Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Leftby Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell
Synopses & Reviews
To listen to most pundits and political writers, evolution, stem cells, and climate change are the only scientific issues worth mentioning — and the only people who are anti-science are conservatives. Yet those on the left have numerous fallacies of their own. Aversion to clean energy programs, basic biological research, and even life-saving vaccines come naturally to many progressives. These are positions supported by little more than junk-science and paranoid thinking.
Now for the first time, science writers Dr. Alex B. Berezow and Hank Campbell have drawn open the curtain on the lefts fear of science. As Science Left Behind reveals, vague inclinations about the wholesomeness of all things natural, the unhealthiness of the unnatural, and many other seductive fallacies have led to an epidemic of misinformation. The results: public health crises, damaging and misguided policies, and worst of all, a new culture war over basic scientific facts — in which the left is just as culpable as the right.
"This joint effort from microbiologist Berezow and Campbell, editor and founder of Science 2.0, begins by decrying 2007's 'Progressive War on Spoons,' an ostensibly eco-friendly initiative championed by Congressional democrats to 'Green the Capitol,' but which ended up wasting money and being incredibly inefficient. From there, the duo addresses a broad range of subjects in layman's prose in an effort to educate, elucidate, and enrage readers about the misinformed science of the Left. Berezow and Campbell do not deny that the Right is similarly ignorant. Thus, while their politics skew towards the conservative, their nonpartisan message is clear: Washington as a whole is woefully uninformed when it comes to the scientific underpinnings of pertinent topics like stem cell research, green energy, organic food, vaccines, and gender issues (addressed in a chapter absurdly titled 'Boys Have Wee-Wees and Girls Have Hoo-Hoos'). While frequently illuminating, Berezow and Campbell employ sweeping generalizations (e.g., 'n truth, Europe is a nice place. European countries have good food.') that often undermine convincing arguments. And their list of 12 issues that would require a blend of science and politics is underwhelming — among them: 'Managing resources efficiently' and 'Addressing global poverty.' (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Entertaining, enlightening and important. This valuable book should shatter the left's smug certainty that science registers as a partisan Democrat. Berezow and Campbell provide persuasive evidence and argument that should reshape conventional wisdom on a wide variety of current controversies." Michael Medved, nationally syndicated talk radio host, author of The 10 Big Lies About America
"A sophisticatedly vitriolic, somewhat tongue-in-cheek addition to the current election debate." Kirkus
A brash polemic that explains the origins of — and skewers — the left's dangerous, unscientific claims about food, vaccines, and energy — and shows how resistance to scientific progress holds us back.
It's become a truism that conservatives are anti-science through and through. Pundits eagerly trot out the fact that many republicans don't believe in evolution, don't believe in global warming, and dislike embryonic stem cell research. If science were constituted of just those three issues, then the critics might have a point. However, as science writers Hank Campbell and Alex Berezow argue, there is much more to science. The anti-vaccine, anti-nuclear power, anti-animal research, and anti-genetic modification movements are all rooted in progressive ideology. So are the more extreme exponents of environmental movement, as well as those who oppose science education reform. The Progressive War on Science calls the left to task for the unconscious political biases that lead to dangerous fallacies, and proves definitively that anti-scientific thinking is a bipartisan phenomenon.
About the Author
Alex B. Berezow is the editor of RealClearScience. His work has appeared on CNN, and in USA Today, Forbes, and The Economist among other publications. In 2010, he earned a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Washington. Originally from southern Illinois, he currently lives in Seattle.
Hank Campbell is the founder and editor of Science 2.0, the world's largest independent science communication community. Prior to that, he was a senior executive at three physics software companies. He graduated from Duquesne University and was formerly a U.S. Army officer.
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