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When the Earth Was Flat: All the Bits of Science We Got Wrong
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When the Earth Was Flat: All the Bits of Science We Got Wrong

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  210 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Science is continually evolving, with a history rich in experimentation. This book investigates the origins of its strangest ideas - once widely accepted to be true, but which have since been disregarded.

When the Earth Was Flat expertly traces the developments of a range of dubious scientific theories. In a series of extraordinary revelations we learn why Queen Victoria/>When
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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Michael O'Mara (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  210 ratings  ·  33 reviews


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Nathan Haines
Jan 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It was fine.

It was mostly just a pick up and put down book that i would use to fill some time here and there, and it did the job well in that sense.
The chapters are short and there are some interesting topics. I think what will stick with me the most will be the one about vibrators really, that one will be one i share with my friends forever.
Chalchihut
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-nature
That's a fun book to read. But there were too many facts (or claims?) without any references. [Maybe this is not "that" type of scientific book, okay.]
Even though I learned many things, I had as many questions. Definitely makes you revise your knowledge.
amal
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun book to read; light, informative and doesn’t whitewash history.
Sin
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science, non-fiction
An entertaining little book.
It's actually a collection of interesting scientific blunders that makes us laugh today, but shows us how far did we get in the last 500 years. Just as someone will laugh at us in 500 years from now.
It's mainly focused on medical science but touches upon other sciences too.
Edwina
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Travel book.
The theories it takes on are interesting and silly at the same time, if you look at the book as a light reading material and not as a research paper.
I went through it in a few hours on a plane.
E.R. Yatscoff
Nov 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh, to have some education in the old days and spout nonsense, risky procedures, and weird theories. Engaging reading and recommended for a gift to those who don't read too much. One can pick up this book and set it aside for a time without missing anything. This was a library book.
Anna Kaling
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Far from looking at "all" the things science got wrong, this is a really shallow look at a dozen or so discredited ideas or theories. Each is covered in a few hundred words without much insight, wit, or examination of the facts.

Pop science for people who don't really care about science?
Eddie Maybury
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
*2.5/5 stars*

The big difference between this book and The Accidental Scientist is mainly relevance. Some stories told here were interesting, but almost none of them remain in common knowledge today (as expected). This book felt more like a history lesson as opposed to a string of interesting stories. Most of the history revolved around ridiculous 200-year old theories which, although intriguing, wasn't as enjoyable of a read as I had expected. Not a bad book, but inferior to Donald's
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T.O. Munro
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up in a charity shop. I am wary - in this current anti=expert climate - of engaging too much with books that trumpet what Science got wrong.

This is however an entertaining read particularly around the matter pf what became the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified after the fan, kettle, sewing machine and pop-up toaster.

In other chapters the book lays bare the stubbornness of stupidity in the way that people continued to believe in something long after
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Dominic
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Entertaining and digestible.

Contained within is a collection of pseudo-scientific topics. While presented mostly in a humorous tone and context, many of these theories were responsible for the death of millions (or in the case of phrenology and eugenics, the genocide and near destruction of peoples).

The author is quick to dismiss and ridicule many of the theories, deservingly so. The anecdotes, explanations, and excerpts lend themselves well to this format; leading to a high level o
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Eftihia Alice
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Found this book a very fun, informative and interesting read. It was worth it simply for the realization of how outrageous us humans have been in the past, or even a few years back, things we believed in & the massive leaps in science we have made today.
However, a lot of scientific facts were presented without any references. Knowing that the book wasn’t meant for solely educational reasons I did not mind that much but some things I read did make me research further & figure out if they
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Laveena Behl
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed the book! It debunks a lot of commonly held scientific myths and is a good thought starter to explore more of the kind!
Simon
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Interesting concept, but given the length of the book every topic can only be given a brief overview, you'd need book(s) on each subject to do the 'wrongness' justice.
tyler clark
Interesting, but not nearly as interesting as I thought. I'm wondering how much of the book is actually factual.
Judi
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Oops! Had no intention of reading this right away, flipped through, read a few chapters, read a few more (not in order) then finished it. Fascinating read.
Naomi
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Poorly researched. One chapter covered a subject I wrote my post-graduate dissertation on, and contained numerous factual errors.
Denna Bee
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
enjoyable light read. wish the bibliography was more robust
Gemma Williams
I enjoyed this book and found some of the facts interesting, my criticism of it though is that although most of the main facts were well explained, some of the additional ones said that something a lot of people believe wasn't true but had no evidence or detail about why they believe this etc. Good but left me with some questions.
Lifeofpud
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
What have I learned from this book?

We are able to look back on the so called ‘scientific discoveries’ of the past and laugh at what people were willing to believe in the face of questionable (and often non-existent) evidence. Medicinal cannibalism? Eugenics? That the Earth is flat? Nah, nobody would ever believe it nowadays.

Margarida
May 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A book of curious facts, very fun to read! :D
Nabil Chaaban
Not bad quite revealing on the abuse of science
Ashley
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Interesting facts very engaging
Mikeh5972
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it
An interesting read which could have followed up some of the facts with a little more detail.
Andrew
Jul 26, 2013 rated it liked it
An entertaining, chatty style, but there's some good factual content in there.
G.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very amusing read....a little short, but still fun.
JP
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I loved this book, like a magazine lot of interesting topics. when you want to read few books in a year and if you come across such book. a real awesome time.
Danny Matcham
Oct 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, comedy


Very interesting book. Popular myths about life which are proved to be wide of the mark.
Paul
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science
An interesting take. It's funny to see al the misconceptions from the past.

This book has a lot of facts, but maybe could be better with more contextual explanations. A good read nevertheless.
Dominique "Eerie" Sobieska
Fun read, I give it a 3.5 at best. For a bargain bin book.

This isn't a science book and you shouldn't use as a way to debate scientific proof. This book's sole purpose is to demonstrate past practices and beliefs humanity had wrong and show us that certain views and small conceptions we were taught from a young age should be re-examined.

Image result for its was alright gif
Sophie HT
Some interesting insight into the origins of some science, punctuated with unrelated, random and unsubstantiated facts which serve only as a distraction.

There was enough of these random facts that if as much detail and care were devoted to them as with the rest of the book, this book could easily have been 75% longer and 75% more interesting!!
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