Critical Thinking, Science, and Pseudoscience: Why We Can't Trust Our Brains [EPUB]
06 January 2017, 17:35
2016 | EPUB | 3.08MB
This unique text for undergraduate courses teaches students to apply critical thinking skills across all academic disciplines by examining popular pseudoscientific claims through a multidisciplinary lens. Rather than merely focusing on critical thinking grounded in philosophy and psychology, the text incorporates the perspectives of biology, physics, medicine, and other disciplines to reinforce different categories of rational explanation. The book is also distinguished by its respectful approach to individuals whose ideas are, according to the authors, deeply flawed. Accessible and engaging, it describes what critical thinking is, why it is important, and how to learn and apply skillsóusing scientific methods--that promote it. The text also examines why critical thinking can be difficult to engage in and explores the psychological and social reasons why people are drawn to and find credence in extraordinary claims.
From alien abductions and psychic phenomena to strange creatures and unsupported alternative medical treatments, the text uses examples from a wide range of pseudoscience fields and brings evidence from diverse disciplines to critically examine these erroneous claims. Particularly timely is the text's examination of how, using the narrative of today's "culture wars," religion and culture impact science. The authors focus on how the human brain, rife with natural biases, does not process information in a rational fashion, and the social factors that prevent individuals from gaining an unbiased, critical perspective on information. Authored by a psychologist and a philosopher who have extensive experience teaching and writing on critical thinking and skeptical inquiry, this work will help students to strengthen their skills in reasoning and debate, become intelligent consumers of research, and make well-informed choices as citizens.
- Addresses the foundations of critical thinking and how to apply it through the popular activity of examining pseudoscience
- Explains why humans are vulnerable to pseudoscientific claims and how critical thinking can overcome fallacies and biases
- Reinforces critical thinking through multidisciplinary analyses of pseudoscience
- Examines how religion and culture impact science
- Enlightens using an engaging, entertaining approach
- Written by experienced and innovative scholar/educators well known in the skeptic community
- Features teaching resources including an Instructor's Guide and Powepoint slides
The Power of Knowledge: How Information and Technology Made the Modern World [EPUB]
06 January 2017, 17:25
2015 | EPUB | 1.47MB
A thought-provoking analysis of how the acquisition and utilization of information has determined the course of history over the past five centuries and shaped the world as we know it today
Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of nations has been determined by a country’s ability to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity. Leading historian Jeremy Black approaches global history from a distinctive perspective, focusing on the relationship between information and society and demonstrating how the understanding and use of information have been the primary factors in the development and character of the modern age.
Black suggests that the West’s ascension was a direct result of its institutions and social practices for acquiring, employing, and retaining information and the technology that was ultimately produced. His cogent and well-reasoned analysis looks at cartography and the hardware of communication, armaments and sea power, mercantilism and imperialism, science and astronomy, as well as bureaucracy and the management of information, linking the history of technology with the history of global power while providing important indicators for the future of our world.
Beyond Human: Living with Robots and Cyborgs [EPUB]
06 January 2017, 02:46
2010 | EPUB | 0.3MB
Would your body work better with some artificial parts? Will you live longer, perhaps a lot longer, than you now expect? The next decade promises another qualitative shift in the way we view technology, as once purely fictional concepts―robots, cyborg parts, and the many variations in between―become part of reality.
Beyond Human treats the landscape of human self-change and robotic development as poles of the same phenomenon. Can we go too far in making ourselves machine-like or making machines resemble us? Once made, what will such creatures think about us? These questions will arise in myriad ways in the next few decades, as we press against boundaries that a short while ago existed only in works of the imagination. Written in a lively and provocative style, this is a readable book about the accumulation of small scientific advances that add up to something large and challenging.