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Science: Good, Bad and Bogus by Martin Gardner

Gardner has not been idle since Fads and Fallacies appeared.  He's written many essays on pseudoscience for diverse publications, which have now been assembled into two volumes. Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, which appeared in 1981, is a feisty collection that questions a wide range of topics from the edge of science, including such current controversies as human-ape communication, "physics consciousness," catastrophe theory, and Bible science.   --TS

Geologists find strange things in the ground, but none so strange as the "fossils" unearthed by Johann Beringer, a learned professor of science at the University of Wurzburg . . .  Professor Beringer had an unusual theory.  Some fossils, he admitted, might be the remains of life that perished in the great flood of Noah, but most of them were "peculiar stones" carved by God himself as he experimented with the kinds of life he intended to create.

Beringer was ecstatic when his teen-age helpers began to dig up hundreds of stones that supported his hypothesis. They bore images of the bodies of dead insects, birds and fishes never seen on earth.  One bird had a fish's head, an idea God had apparently discarded. Other stones showed the sun, moon, five-pointed stars, and comets with blazing tails. He began to find stones with Hebrew letters. One had "Jehovah" carved on it. . . .

In 1726 Beringer published a huge treatise on these marvelous discoveries. . . . Colleagues tried to convince (him) he was being bamboozled, but he dismissed this as "vicious raillery" by stubborn, establishment enemies. No one knows what finally changed the professor's mind. It was said that he found a stone with his own name on it! An inquiry was held.  One of his assistants confessed.  It turned out that the two peculiar stones had been carved by two peculiar colleagues, one the university's librarian, the other a professor of geography.

Poor trusting, stupid Beringer, his career shattered, spent his life's savings buying up copies of his idiotic book and burning them.

ISBN: 0879755733

Order it now from Amazon.com!