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Back to May Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 244 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS MAY 2006

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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science. Tom Bethell, Regnery Publishing Inc., 2005, 270 pp., $19.95.

Tom Bethell has written a delightful book. He revels in pointing out the flawed thinking and hidden political agendas in the way science is currently taught.

Take stem cell research. Bethell reveals the inconvenient facts that embryonic stem cell research has not produced any miracle cures, and that cloned animals die quickly, often with strange tumors and other ailments. In July 2005, Scientific American reported that embryonic stem cells, used directly in therapy, cause cancer. The smart private money knows that embryonic stem cell research is greatly exaggerated, so that's why there's a stampede to get government funding.

Tom Bethell turns up the heat on the intellectual dishonesty about global warming. He quotes the former Canadian Minister of the Environment as saying: "No matter if the science is all phony . . . climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world."

Has anything been as unfairly maligned as nuclear power? The nuclear power industry was stopped cold for 25 years because of the Three Mile Island accident even though no one was hurt! The French produce 80% of their power safely with nuclear reactors, and 83 U.S. Navy ships with nuclear reactors regularly visit ports all over the world.

Tom Bethell has lots of fun with the hysteria about dioxin. Bethell presents evidence that small doses of many substances thought to be deadly such as arsenic, radiation, mercury, and even dioxin, actually can have beneficial effects. And, of course, he covers Rachel Carson's dishonest book that scared us into banning DDT in 1972. Malaria kills more than a million people a year in Africa alone.

The book exposes and explains the myth that people prior to Christopher Columbus believed the earth was flat. Educated people had known for centuries that the earth was a globe; they just didn't know how big it is. Columbus was one of the greatest seamen in the history of navigation and he certainly didn't sail west believing his ship would fall off the edge of the earth.

Author Tom Bethell covers much more phony science in this easy-to-read book. It's a wide-ranging explanation of the errors, omissions and fallacies that get reported seriously by the media and are often used by politicians to support bad policies. Yet Bethell's clear prose is easy reading for those with little science background.


 
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