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Bad Science Encounters Good Science,
This review is from: Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax" (Paperback)
Answer true or false to these ten statements:
1) The sky is blue because it reflects the blue color of the oceans.
2) The seasons are caused by the Earth's tilt.
3) The Moon's phases are due to the shadow of the Earth falling on the Moon.
4) The bright glow of a meteor is not caused by friction as it passes through the Earth's atmosphere.
5) There are no stars seen in Apollo Moon-landing pictures thus proving that these landings were staged.
6) The Hubble Space Telescope is bigger than all Earth-based telescopes.
7) Stars in the night sky do have color.
8) The Moon is bigger near the horizon than when it's overhead.
9) In the southern hemisphere, winters are much warmer than those in the northern hemisphere.
10) X-rays are emitted from the eclipsed sun but these X-rays do not damage your eyes if you look at the eclipsed sun.
If you answered true to any one of statements 1,3,5,6,8,9 or false to any one of statements 2,4,7,10, then you can use the help of this book to clear up your misconceptions!
This book, by Dr. Phillip Plait (creator of the bad astronomy internet site), corrects 24 common misconceptions of astronomical science. This book divides these misconceptions into five parts. All science is fully explained so the reader does not have to have extensive scientific knowledge. As well, there are diagrams and black-and-white photographs to aid the scientific discussions. Finally, there are recommended books and recommended internet sites for those who want to know more.
Part one explains three misconceptions that occur in the home. The second part deals with five misconceptions about the Earth and Moon. Part three unravels eight misconceptions regarding things in the night sky (such as stars, planets, and meteors). The fourth part is concerned with five bad explanations of various events (such as the Moon-landings and UFOs). Lastly, part five is a special section covering three astronomy topics (such as bad astronomy in the movies).
For those who have a science background (such as myself), don't feel tempted to skip a section because you feel you know the correct answer to a misconception. This is because each chapter contains much important detail. For me, I found that for those sections where I felt I knew the correct scientific answer, I still learned a lot because other interesting information was presented to enhance the discussion.
Finally, I did find an error in the UFO section. This section implies that no amateur astronomers have seen UFOs. Actually, the majority of amateur astronomers have not seen them but a small minority have seen them.
In conclusion, we are bombarded by bad science every day. In order to turn bad science into good science, you have to start reading good science books. This book is a good place to start!!
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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 2, 2008 8:57:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2008 8:58:36 AM PDT
Shouldn't No. 4 be false? Doesn't friction from the Earth's atmosphere cause the heating of the meteor?
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2008 1:09:34 PM PDT
Thanks for your question.
In fact, this is a common misconception. Friction from the Earth's atmosphere does not cause the heating and glow of a meteor.
You'll have to read this book to find out the real cause.
Uncle Stevie (the reviewer)
Posted on Jan 23, 2009 9:51:53 AM PST
Nah, you don't have to read the book... Apparently meteors get hot by compressing the air in front of them as opposed to frictional effects: http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/newton/aska
Posted on Jul 22, 2009 4:19:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2009 4:22:18 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2009 8:34:42 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 26, 2009 8:43:14 PM PDT
Dear E. Keech:
Please realize that any comments posted here are supposed to relate to my review. What you want me to do is debate your analysis. This is not the proper place for doing that.
However, I agree with everything that John Sabin said in his initial detailed reply to you and I really can't add much more to what he said.
Also, here are my reasons why the American astronauts went to the Moon:
(1) The Soviet Union did not dispute the Moon landings.
(2) The incredibly large of number of photographs taken on the Moon--none of which show anything terrestrial.
(3) The Moon rocks brought back to Earth are universally acknowledged as being non-terrestrial.
(4) No one directly involved with the Apollo Moon landings disputed them.
(5) There were six Moon landings. If the first Moon-landing was faked, why repeat the fakery five more times?
(6) Richard Hoagland of the website "The Enterprise Mission" hates (I mean really hates) NASA and has some bizarre theories about the Moon (and even Mars). But even he acknowledges that the Moon landings were not faked. (A few years ago he did a complete analysis of why they were not faked and posted them on his website. Even though his other theories are crazy, I must admit his analysis regarding the Moon landings was quite impressive.)
My guess is that you're going to ignore the fact that this is not the proper place to debate your analysis and continue debating.
Stephen Pletko (AKA Uncle Stevie)
Posted on Jul 23, 2009 11:48:29 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 24, 2009 2:54:14 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 13, 2009 4:57:58 PM PDT
Dear E. Keech:
I rest my case. Did you read the last sentence of my initial reply to you? I think not. So I'm going to explain everything to you in simplistic terms.
In my initial reply, I gave you six reasons why the Moon landings were not faked. John Sabin provides you, in his initial detailed reply to you, answers to the radiation issue.
You seem to have trouble understanding what Sabin said. He's talking about DURATION OF EXPOSURE TO RADIATION.
Your conclusion was that the Moon landings were faked because the astronauts did not pick "up any radiation effects."
Yes, they did not show any "radiation effects" when they came back from the Moon.
But this does not prove they did not go to the Moon!! What it simply proves was that their DURATION OF EXPOSURE TO RADIATION was not long enough so they showed NO radiation effects. (When I say radiation, I'm talking about ionizing radiation.)
My conclusion? Your analysis is wrong. The short duration of each trip to the Moon and short time the astronauts spent on the Moon were the keys to creating favorable odds with respect to deadly ionizing radiation.
Stephen Pletko (AKA Uncle Stevie)
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 12, 2009 7:19:58 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 5:02:58 AM PDT
A. E. Kehl says:
In regards to the lead shielding in spacesuits, you do realize that the astronauts spent the vast majority of their time inside the spacecraft, do you not? A spacecraft which had radiation shielding of some sort.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 23, 2009 8:36:37 AM PDT