A classic of debunkology, endlessly entertaining, August 27, 2004

MỘT tác phẩm cổ điển về Chống Khoa học Giả hiệu

By Victor Eijkhout (Knoxville, TN USA)

This review is from: Fads and Fallacies  in the Name of Science (Paperback)
trích “Hào hứng và Huyễn Hoặc nhân danh Khoa học”

This book is, even in its second edition, half a century old, and sometimes that shows.
Lysenko is long dead, and in fact the Soviet Union in which he did his crackpot biology (môn sinh học lập dị) doesn’t exist anymore.
Several other kooks that Gardner writes about have long been forgotten. On the other hand, Dianetics is still around, and crackpot science in general is alive and well — do I have to remind the reader of the Alien Autopsy on tv?
In a general sense, then, this book is still very much relevant in that it shows how pseudo science and pseudo scientists work by
blithely (vô tư, hồn nhiên) ignoring facts, expounding theories with more support in rethoric than in actual facts.

My favourite chapter is the one about Alfred Lawson. Who? It doesn’t matter. The man is so hilarious (gây cười) that he would have to be invented, if he hadn’t invented himself first. “When I look into the vastness of space (sự bao la của không gian) and see the marvelous workings of its contents (sự vận hành kỳ diệu của các thành phần bên trong), I sometimes think that I was born ten or twenty thousand years ahead of time” according the great man’s autobiography. And Gardner quotes this with a straight face, even where possible defending his silly theories.
That is in fact what I like most about this book. Gardner does a good job of debunking (lột trần sự việc), but he is never malicious (độc ác) towards his subjects, regarding them almost lovingly as wayward children (đứa bé hư, ương ngạnh). Thus this book stands (còn mãi) as a classic of science (tác phẩm khoa học kinh điển)writing, and is worth reading (đáng đọc) regardless the importance of its immediate subjects


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