Weird Earth: Debunking Strange Ideas about Our Planet
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About the Author
Donald R. Prothero is the author of numerous books and scientific papers including UFOS, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says, Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future, and Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids. He taught college geology and paleontology for 40 years, at Caltech, Columbia, Cal Poly Pomona, and Occidental, Knox, Vassar, Glendale, Mt. San Antonio, and Pierce Colleges. Prothero is based in Los Angeles, California.
This book . . . is in a way a coming together of his years of study and analysis of scientific investigations of some of the most prevalent weird ideas from beliefs in flat earth, expanding earth, hollow earth and geocentrism to faith in the paranormal, aliens, UFOs, crystal healing, and even the controversy of the faked moon landing. Although written from the perspective of American realities, the ideas in the book hold true globally. . . . With vivid examples and scientific explanations, the book makes for interesting reading.--Hasan Jawaid Khan "Science Reporter"
In the current Trumpian political climate, where basic moral and scientific values seem to have been made effectively redundant, it is refreshing to have a reminder that the Earth is not flat, Antarctica is still a continent, and there is a collective, knowledge-based world out there. Prothero, a popular educator and excellent science writer, is so engaging and readable in print that it almost becomes purely entertaining to read his prose. The book offers a series of 16 chapters, all debunking particular crackpot theories related to the Earth. These come wrapped between a very good introduction titled Science and Critical Thinking and a concluding chapter titled Why People Want to Believe Weird Things. Some of Prothero's chapters address topics related to the actual history of geology and astronomy, such as the hollow Earth theory and the progressive understanding of our place in the solar system. Other chapters cover elements of the creationist debates on the great flood, the young age of the Earth, and the question of the reality of dinosaurs. Then there's the Myth of Atlantis and the question: Did We Really Land on the Moon? Each of these cases is described and deconstructed for the reader in a straightforward and accessible style.--P. K. Strother "Choice"
Pairing convincing arguments with photographs and helpful diagrams, Weird Earth is lucid in applying common sense to everyday geological questions and passionate as it calls for scientific literacy.--Rebecca Foster "Foreword Reviews"
Geologist Prothero (Fantastic Fossils) offers a breath of intellectual fresh air with this amusing look at how to dispel endemic pseudoscience and conspiracy theories through rational thinking. . . . As Prothero takes on one crackpot notion after another, his writing is accessible and often wry. With its wide variety of topics and sharp insights, Prothero's latest delivers something weird for every reader.-- "Publishers Weekly"
In his latest, science teacher and proud skeptic Prothero takes on a raft of pseudo- and antiscientific beliefs and handily debunks them: flat earth, hollow earth, young earth, geocentrism, moon landing conspiracies, faked fossils, flood myths, Atlantis, dowsing, and more. He briefly describes these schools of thought, where they come from, and summarizes the scientific evidence which shows that these beliefs are incorrect. But he wants to do more than just debunk. He believes scientists need to explain why and how they come to the conclusions they do.-- "BOOKLIST / Amer Library Assn"
If you have any interest in geology and the basics of skepticism, this is a good book for you.--Lee Moller "The God Con"
Prothero offers plenty of convincing proof that nonsense is nonsense.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
I really enjoyed it, but part of me is also thinking, 'It's such a bummer that we're in a place where [the author] felt like this was a good thing to write.'--Phil Ferguson "The Phil Ferguson Show"