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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science (Politically Incorrect Guides)

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  17 reviews
"If the globe is warming, is mankind responsible, or is the sun?" Such a statement does not appear out of place in Bethell's entertaining account of how modern science is politically motivated and in desperate need of oversight. Bethell writes in a compulsively readable style, and although he provides legitimate insight into the potential benefits of nuclear power and horm ...more
Paperback, 270 pages
Published October 28th 2005 by Regnery Publishing (first published 2005)
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Welcome to a bizarro universe where evolution is a hoax perpetrated by a secretive Darwinist cabal, climate change is no more than a deceitful hoax, Rachel Carson murdered more people than Hitler, and AIDS epidemics are scams cooked up by the government. Bethell seems content to dredge up any old crank to support his views, including a bevy of creationists from that noted font of scientific integrity, the Discovery Institute. At one point, he relies on Michael Crichton as his "expert" on environ ...more
Dean Akin
A wonderful read correcting the fallacies surrounding the science community. Helpful to identify falsehoods in the science propaganda machine.
This book thoroughly demonstrates the extent to which science has become politicized. It also shows how the pursuit of government funding has greatly eliminated healthy competition among ideas, and how it has caused science to become generally more alarmist. This book feels almost unreal because author Tom Bethell attacks a lot of notions that have by now become firmly embedded in the country's political psyche. The only problem is that each chapter wrestles with topics big enough to fill an ent ...more
Very uneven in quality. Like a good journalist, Bethell "fiendishly quotes exactly what you said"* proving that science, like anything else, is highly politicized and that scientists, like any other group of people, are frequently irrational. Had he stuck mainly to politics and scientific hubris I think he would have been biting and witty even. Instead, he comes off like your annoying, opinionated friend who is excitedly explaining his soap box theories. In the end, it's a mixed bag with most of ...more
Bryan Stovold
I'm giving this book such a high rating not because of the writing style but because of the content. This book illustrates quite well how science, like so many other areas of modern life, have been corrupted for political goals. Methodology has been turned on it's head by deciding in advance the outcome and then trying to make the science support the false premise. Money is a huge motivating factor, too. from global warming to cancer research, this book does a good job of skewering the false res ...more
This book covers different science topics and how what one might have taught in school could be different when approached differently.
One example is that the book explains how DDT was banned in the 1970s, and why it shouldn't have been.
Another example is the popular belief that the Church in the middle ages thought the world was flat. This book explains how and why most people and the church did not hold this view and how this view came into popular culture.
Johnny Bennett
A fun book about how science funded by the feds leads to bad science. And how media frenzy drives people to contact government asking them to do something. All a case of follow the money to find out what really is happening. This book will probably make more than a few people angry as it tries to stay out of political sides while trying to finger point at specific politicians. I also recommend other books in the politically incorrect series.
Cody Clarke
Mar 18, 2008 Cody Clarke rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who are like "Hm, this could be alright"
Recommended to Cody by: Nobody
Covers a mess of hot button topics, and tells you tons of other great books to read for more information on them, thus serving as a great launching pad. Is it a great book, though? No, because not every topic is covered as well as it could be. It' for the most part a good read, though. It gives you enough to help figure out which topics really interest you, and where to go with that.
Mike Myers
It's just a book of facts and "lecturing" so it's not like exiting or anything, but after reading "Silent Spring" I needed something to set me straight. It's great because Silent Spring is all very poetic assumptions, while this book tells you how it is. After reading it, I never gave Rachel Carson's crap another thought.
The ghost of Lysenko permeates government-funded science research, which is the larger theme of this book. If your sources of information on subjects like global warming or stem cell research is the main stream press, than everything you were told or think you know is wrong.
A lot to take in, but worth the effort. Like so many of these guides, it is a great jumping-off point. The more in-depth, scholarly studies will be vastly more understandable and readable with this as an introduction.
David R.
Rather uneven, especially in its weak and unconvincing final chapters, but by and large the work provides more than sufficient support for its call for a "Woodward and Bernstein" in the scientific arena.
Ernie Dawson
I tend to just love any Politically incorrect guide to any subject. This is a really good book. It gets a little technical but if you can get past some "big" words it really worth the read.
A good introduction to opposing viewpoints not taught in politically correct government schools. Fun to read even if you don't agree.
Ditto the Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming.
Paul Landkamer
Steps on lots of pop-culture scientific toes.
Abraham Ray
nice book for those that like science!
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Tom Bethell is a senior editor at the American Spectator. He has contributed to many publications, including the New York Times magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Crisis, and National Review. He writes often on science. Tom Wolfe has called Bethell “one of our most brilliant essayists.”

Bethell was born and raised in England and graduated from Oxford University in 1962 with a degree in philosop
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