Science, Myth Or Magic?: A Struggle for Existence
This work attempts to define what is science and, more importantly, what is not science. Tony Barnett faces superstition, magic and charlatanry, political platforms masquerading as scientifically-based programmes and pseudobiology, and gives rational responses to them based on authentic science. He shows how scientific methods can be applied to specific everyday problems and scientifically scrutinizes a number of popular but erroneous beliefs, from the repellent to the absurd.
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ability accepted achievements action activities adapted animal answer appear applied asked become begin behaviour beliefs biology brain called cause cells century chapter complex concerning condition Darwin depends described distinct early effects environment evidence evolution example existence experimental experiments explain expressed fact famous findings genes genetics give given Hence Homo human idea important influence instance instinct kind knowledge later laws leading living logical mathematics means measure metaphor method moral natural selection objects observed once organisms original perhaps person physics plants population possible practice present principles problems produce question reader reason reduction requires response result scientific scientists sense skills social society sometimes species speech statements teaching tell theory things thought Today understanding usually variation violence whole writings
Page 8 - And posts, like the commandment of a king, Sans check, to good and bad : But when the planets In evil mixture, to disorder wander, What plagues, and what portents ! what mutiny ! What raging of the sea ! shaking of earth ! Commotion in the winds ! frights, changes, horrors Divert and crack, rend and deracinate The unity and married calm of states Quite from their fixture...
Page 39 - In the distant future I see open fields for far more important researches. Psychology will be based on a new foundation, that of the necessary acquirement of each mental power and capacity by gradation. Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history.
Page 72 - Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit ; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
Page 3 - ... we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on.
Page 82 - I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill ; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
Page 181 - But when his own great work is but begun, What Reason weaves, by Passion is undone. Trace Science, then, with Modesty thy guide ; First strip off all her equipage of Pride ; Deduct what is but Vanity or dress, Or Learning's luxury, or Idleness ; Or tricks to show the stretch of human brain, Mere curious pleasure, or ingenious pain ; Expunge the whole, or lop th...
Page 10 - Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, though religion were not: but superstition dismounts all these, and erecteth an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.
Page 121 - Do not all charms fly At the mere touch of cold philosophy ? There was an awful rainbow once in heaven : We know her woof, her texture ; she is given In the dull catalogue of common things. Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings, Conquer all mysteries by rule and line, Empty the haunted air and gnomed mine — Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile made The tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.