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Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing "Hoax"

Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing
Author: Philip C. Plait
ISBN 13: 9780471409762
ISBN 10: 471409766
Edition: 1
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: 2002-03-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
List Price: $15.95

Advance praise for Philip Plait's Bad Astronomy

"Bad Astronomy is just plain good! Philip Plait clears up every misconception on astronomy and space you never knew you suffered from." —Stephen Maran, Author of Astronomy for Dummies and editor of The Astronomy and Astrophysics Encyclopedia

"Thank the cosmos for the bundle of star stuff named Philip Plait, who is the world's leading consumer advocate for quality science in space and on Earth. This important contribution to science will rest firmly on my reference library shelf, ready for easy access the next time an astrologer calls." —Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine, monthly columnist for Scientific American, and author of The Borderlands of Science

"Philip Plait has given us a readable, erudite, informative, useful, and entertaining book. Bad Astronomy is Good Science. Very good science..." —James "The Amazing" Randi, President, James Randi Educational Foundation, and author of An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

"Bad Astronomy is a fun read. Plait is wonderfully witty and educational as he debunks the myths, legends, and 'conspiracies' that abound in our society. 'The Truth Is Out There''and it's in this book. I loved it!" —Mike Mullane, Space Shuttle astronaut and author of Do Your Ears Pop in Space?

Publishers Weekly

Plait, a science writer who works in the physics and astronomy department at Sonoma State University, is appalled that millions of Americans don't believe the moon landing really took place and do believe that Galileo went blind from looking at the sun, or that they can make an egg stand on end only on the vernal equinox. To set the record straight, he debunks these and many other astronomy-related urban legends in this knowledgeable, lighthearted volume. The early chapter "Idiom's Delight" sets the stage by clearing up the scientific inaccuracies in everyday expressions as in the phrase "light years ahead," for example, which is used to indicate timeliness or prescience when light years are actually a unit of distance. In later chapters, Plait explains meteors, eclipses, UFOs, and the big bang theory, revealing much about the basic principles of astronomy while clearing up fallacies. With avuncular humor, he points out the ways advertising and media reinforce bad science and pleads for more accuracy in Hollywood story lines and special effects. This book is the first in Wiley's Bad Science series on scientific misconceptions (future titles will focus on biology, weather and the earth). (Mar.) Forecast: If every entry in the series is as entertaining as Plait's, good science may have a fighting chance with the American public. Expect respectable sales, for the paperback format is nicely suited for armchair debunkers. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.