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Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction: Where Real Science Ends...and Pseudoscience Begins / Edition 1

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Overview

Get the straight story on things like astrology, ghosts, spontaneous human combustion, psychic surgery, and ESP. You hear about these fantastic happenings every day on television and in the supermarket tabloids. Is any of this true or are they making it all up? While many people tune in just for laughs, plenty of readers believe their outrageous claims -- often because they simply don't have a clear notion of what science really is.

So how do you figure out what constitutes real science and what is nonsense? Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction carefully deconstructs five examples of pseudoscience -- UFOs, out-of-body experiences, astrology, creationism, and ESP -- and gives easy recipes to test other dubious notions so that you can tell what lies in the realm of real science and what more properly deserves the tag of pseudoscience.

Brilliantly illustrated with hilarious cartoons by the renowned science cartoonist Sidney Harris, Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction is wonderful fun as well as illuminating science. This witty, disarmingly delightful book is for anyone -- but especially for those folks who secretly check their horoscope every day.

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Editorial Reviews

Alberta Skeptics
"Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction is a very approachable book on pseudoscientific subjects. With cartoons from Sidney Harris, large type, small page size, and a simple chapter structure, this might be the book that you'd give a young person or someone interested in getting their feet wet on how science views some of the more exotic ideas like UFOs, astrology, creationism, and ESP. ... It is a very fast read and most suitable for people with little exposure to the subject before."
Choice
...an excellent example of popular pseudoscience and how to effective debunk it. ... This book is also a useful guide to understanding the methods of sicence and the sensible, authenticatable way to understand the world. ...cartoons by famous science cartoonist Sidney Harris embellish the pages. Very useful glossary; good index.
J.A.M.A.
...succinct and jargon-free style... The strength of this book resides in such sparkling prose. Another notable feature: Sidney Harris has peppered Wynn and Wiggins' limpid text with droll cartoons. ... Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction is a healthy and thoughtful diversionary read...
Journal of the American Medical Association, April 3, 2002
Leptonics
This is non-technical but very good. Unfortunately most Americans will be off reading pseudoscience trash rather than this.
New England Skeptical Society
"...an excellent primer on Science and Pseudoscience, complete with a set of straightforward techniques for telling the difference between them. Perhaps some day a potential 'Heaven's Gater' will pick up this book. Even skeptics can dream, can't we?"
New Scientist
"[This book] will provide deadly ammunition next time you get into a row with a believer. Learn the arguments, or better still carry the book with you."
Rocky Mountain Skeptic
The book has a satisfying number of clever scientific cartoons drawn by Sidney Harris.
Skeptic Magazine
...worthy and well-meaning...readable and likeable...
SORTified News
...an interesting edition for any skeptic's bookshelf. ...its strengths are some lively writing and crisp encapsulations of a wide range of mainstream paranormal and pseudoscientific beliefs, followed by a cogent debunking of them all. Some delicious cartoons by Sidney Harris add to the book's easy and readable style. ...an excellent everyday handbook for the skeptic.
Staceys Booksellers
Peppered with the humorous cartoons of Sidney Harris, Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction offers valuable tips for anyone pondering the shaky claims of bogus science.
The Skeptic Annotated Bibliography
With clear and concise writing, a wide scope of subjects and brilliant illustrations, this book makes an entertaining introduction to science and pseudoscience."
(CSICOP)
Booknews
Taking up arms in science's counter-offensive against popular culture, Wynn (chemistry, Eastern Connecticut State U.) and Wiggins (Oakland Community College, Michigan) set out the respectable scientific view of extra-sensory perception, astrology, out-of-body experiences, creationism, and unidentified flying objects. Science cartoonist Sidney Harris contributes his wit. A glossary does not indicate pronunciation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780309073097
  • Publisher: National Academies Press
  • Publication date: 5/17/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue vii
1 The Road to Reality: Scientific Method 1
2 Scientific Reasoning in Action 13
3 The Road to Reality Versus the Road to Illusion 31
4 UFOs and the Extraterrestrial Life Hypothesis 49
5 Out-of-Body Experiences and Entities 71
6 The Astrology Hypothesis 93
7 The Creationism Hypothesis 121
8 Normal Sensory Perception, Extrasensory Perception, and Psychokinesis 145
9 Reflections on the Scientific Approach to Reality 167
Epilogue 187
Glossary 191
Additional Reading 209
Index 215
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    nicely written but Disappointing

    with all respect to reiews written by the critics, I believe that the book is written by an Athiest. I like the way he started it and I liked much of the book espacially the chapter on astrology, but what made me rate it with 2 stars was the chapter on Creationism Hypothesis. in some parts of the chapter, I totally agreed with the auther, but in others, I felt like he has something on religions as an idea. I don't claim that I'm a religious man, but I do have some faith left in my conscious. the book is nicely written and I can't deny that and the auther provided evidences that are convencing but it seems that he is turning everything in life into science. Although I strongly believe in science and it should control our ways in living, but not to the extent of needing a strong physical evidence to believe in every single thing. finally, the auther emphysized on the simplist way in explaining mysterious events, but more than once he proposed an even more complicated hypotheses than the one he is trying to prove wrong.

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