on January 26, 2012
The book doesn't go into philosophy of science and is very clear and easy to read. It emphasizes things that are common to scientific investigation in general like making observations and measurements, looking for explanations, using explanations to make predictions, and testing those predictions with more observations or experiments. (Some non-experts think that only experiments can be used to test hypotheses, but virually everything we know about astronomy and history we know from observations without intervention, not experiments.) It also talks about the kinds of considerations (like sample size, confounding variables and bias) and the kinds of studies (randomized, prospective and retrospective) used to establish causal links. The last chapter talked fallacies in the name of science including how false anomalies can be used to make unfounded claims by leaving out key facts that aren't known by the average person. Once these facts are known the anomaly disappears. Scientific Thinking by Robert M. Martin is also a good book on scientific method that goes into more depth.
on March 4, 2014
I'm taking a philosophy course called Critical thinking: Science and the Occult (actually taught by the author of this book himself.)
It's full of useful concepts, and not too difficult of a read even for me (I have ADHD). I'd recommend pick it up just to be slightly more science-litterate even if I weren't taking a course that required it.
(Unrelated side note: He, and his class are pretty wacky.)