- File Size: 638 KB
- Print Length: 303 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (October 14, 2009)
- Publication Date: October 29, 2009
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SV3718
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,218 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Harms the Planet and Threatens Our Lives Kindle Edition
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- Length: 303 pages
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm a family physician, and I face what Specter terms "denialism" on an everyday basis, both in the office and in general conversation. Whether speaking with Young Earth proponents that feel the planet is no more than a few thousand years old, parents that refuse immunizations for their children, people that won't take medication for their blood pressure or heart disease because they fear the side effects more than the disease, or doubters of global warming, I'm regularly faced with people across the spectrum of intelligence, and across the spectrum of religious or political belief, that are unable to interpret the facts that are beginning to impact them where they live. What I had hoped for, when I picked up this book, was an investigation into WHY otherwise well-meaning, often educated, responsible people take rigid stances on issues that are starkly at odds with the facts.Read more ›
Sadly, Specter fails in this. His concerns are real, the targets well-chosen, and the depth of his research is impressive. Unfortunately the presentation fails in several respects. The introduction is disorganized, as he keeps oscillating between the irrationality of the denialists and the range of provocations that have led to a quite understandable level of popular anxiety. And once he plunges into his first example - the drug Vioxx - it's unclear why he feels that it advances his argument. Merck put profit ahead of rigor, and patients paid with their lives. True. Where's the denialism? It looks like good old-fashioned greed. And so forth.
That pretty much sets the tone for the book. It's scattershot. There are probably half a dozen plausible essays for the New Republic or Mother Jones lurking in here, but as a sustained argument it's a flop. And that's a shame.
As a nation, we don't like being told what to do. But no one can deny that wearing your seatbelt may save your life, and certainly will not hurt you. Countless studies prove this. Specter starts his study of denialism by examining the irrational fear of vaccinations in this country, a movement that seems to be headed up by self appointed anti-vaccination mom, Jenny McCarthy, an actress/comedienne. Specter explains at length why any actual risks that vaccinations may cause are clearly outweighed by the benefits(small pox being almost completely eradicated being on major benefit!). parents in this country are refusing vaccinations, and though measles sounds like a benign and survivable illness, many children have died from complications of the disease, much less than have died from the vaccination. Measles was eliminated in 2002, but recent refusals to vaccinate have caused several outbreaks in the US this year, and 540 children die every day from measles infections and complications. Much more than are effected by the MMR vaccinations.
McCarthy claims vaccinations caused her child's autism, as well as many others, but studies show, the level of autism diagnoses has not increased at all since the supposedly offending vaccinations have been added. Plus, autism is diagnosed strictly by behavior, and can often be misdiagnosed.
The whole book carries on in this vain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic book. Specter pulls no punches, and explains the difference between skepticism and denialism. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Dan Burke
This book somewhat missed my mark. I was looking for the big classical conspiracy theories such as:
9/11 was an inside job, Moon landing hoax, JFK killed by accidental Secret... Read more
Specter makes many valid points and refutes many of the false arguments used to counter established and verifiable facts. Read morePublished 15 months ago by John M. Martinko
I am typing to discover the minimum size of a review acceptable by this site.Published 15 months ago by *