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Science Friction

Science Friction

Where the Known Meets the Unknown

Michael Shermer

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"Michael Shermer has given a lot of things a lot of thought. If your perceptions have ever rubbed you the wrong way, you'll find Science Friction fascinating." —Bill Nye, The Science Guy

A scientist pretends to be a psychic for a day—and fools everyone. An athlete discovers that good-luck rituals and getting into "the zone" may, or may not, improve his performance. A son explores the possiblities of alternative and experimental medicine for his cancer-ravaged mother. And a skeptic realizes that it is time to turn the skeptical lens onto science itself.
In each of the fourteen essays in Science Friction, bestselling author Michael Shermer explores the very personal barriers and biases that plague and propel science, especially when scientists push against the unknown. What do we know and what do we not know? How does science respond to controversy, attack, and uncertainty? When does theory become accepted fact? As always, Shermer delivers a thought-provoking, fascinating, and entertaining view of life in the scientific age.

"Meaty accounts [and] entertaining discussion . . . well worth having." —The Washington Post Book World

"[Shermer's] main obsession is the truth . . . Amateur skeptics will learn from his matter-of-fact dismissals of astrology and creationism." —Psychology Today

"Extremely entertaining." —Science News

EXCERPT

Introduction

Why Not Knowing

Science and the Search for Meaning

That old Persian tentmaker (and occasional poet) Omar Khayyám well captured the human dilemma of the search for meaning in an apparently meaningless...

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About the author

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the editor of Skeptic.com, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Southern California.

Michael Shermer

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Michael Shermer

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