Ehrlich's oddball and hot-button topics keep the discussion exciting and fun. But he also points out:
Many ideas in science seemed crazy at one time but are now reported as being settled ... as in the case of plate tectonics, which grew out of an earlier "crazy" theory of continental drift.
Some of the crazy ideas relate to our lives: AIDS, gun control, sun and radiation exposure. Others are further out there, such as the double sun theory and the possibility of time travel. For each, Ehrlich scrutinizes who the idea's proponents are and what their agendas might be. He looks for internal consistency, misapplication of statistics, how open the proponents are with their data and methods, and more.
His conclusions are sometimes surprising, even to Ehrlich, who admits that his feelings about gun control changed after completing his research. Another startling finding comes in the chapter that digs into the theory that oil, coal, and gas have abiogenic origins--that they are not created from decayed vegetable matter, but were part of the Earth's original composition. A fringe, unorthodox notion, certainly. Still, substantial evidence supports the theory, and Ehrlich finds that a chemical origin for hydrocarbons better explains the observed facts.
Nine Crazy Ideas in Science makes several eccentric scientific theories accessible to general readers and, more important, it teaches methods of evaluating new ideas so we can decide for ourselves whether or not they make sense. --J.B. Peck --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Overall this book was good but I have a bone or two to pick with the author. In the introduction he gives you some guidelines on how to tell if an idea is crazy. Read morePublished on September 1, 2011 by A Reviewer
Not all of these nine crazy ideas will appeal to everyone, since they do get bogged down in the statistics or physics from time to time. Read morePublished on November 9, 2010 by H. Campbell
In this challenging book Mr. Erlich has picked a set of dubious-sounding assertions and acted as both skeptic and devil's advocate for each of them, with variable (but invariably... Read morePublished on February 3, 2010 by Jeremy M. Harris
Joel Kauffman's review is as close an honest reality check you can get for the contents of this book.
I was skeptical about many of Ehrlich's own skepticism. Read more
Sometimes, not often, crazy scientific theories turn out to be right. Alfred Wegener's 1912 theory of continental drift is one famous example. Read morePublished on November 23, 2006 by Harry Eagar
Science is about busting dogmas. Even scientific dogmas. Ehrlich gives us a mind expanding Cook's Tour into a dozen or so controversial corners of modern scientific debate. Read morePublished on May 12, 2006 by Earth that Was
I read this book here in Brazil.In this book, the author discuss about many subjects.Every subject has a chapter in this book. Read morePublished on April 11, 2006 by Dalton C. Rocha
Science is an area where the crazy idea of today can become the fundamental fact of tomorrow. However, not all of them make it to that exalted level, as some crazy ideas never rise... Read morePublished on January 22, 2005 by Charles Ashbacher
Lots of fine books on the market describe the various logical fallacies inherent in our "arguments. Read morePublished on September 6, 2003 by Amazon Customer