Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:19 pm

<< Week of February 07, 2016 >>
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
07 Day Month

8 Day Month

9 Day Month

10 Day Month

11 Day Month

12 Day Month

13 Day Month





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
Ch. 3 - Social Pseudoscience in the Morning of America's... 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 14879
Location: Florida
Thanks: 2780
Thanked: 1066 times in 841 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)
Highscores: 6

Post Ch. 3 - Social Pseudoscience in the Morning of America's...
Ch. 3 - Social Pseudoscience in the Morning of America's Culture Wars

Please use this thread for discussing Chapter 3.



Tue Feb 26, 2008 2:17 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5394
Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1298
Thanked: 1330 times in 1037 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post 
The subject of pseudoscience is one that I'm sure the log-time members of this group have delved into. Is the U.S. somehow unusually prone to the allure of pseudoscience? Pseudoscience seems to be akin to hucksterism, but is the speciality of educated, rather than ignorant, citizens. Pseudoscience is a way a selling people a bill of goods, a high-class sales technique.

I did become a little confused by the way Jacoby seemed to shift her targets from the conservative, anti-intellectual sector of the population to the intellectuals themselves. She makes it clear that intellectuals were responsible for distorting Darwin's theory for the sake of justifying laissez-faire capitalism. They were of the intellectual class, but apparently not in her mind good examples of intellectualism, a quality she always praises.

I also thought it interesting that she gives backhanded credit to the same fundamentalists she scorns. She says that the religious beliefs of William Jennings Bryant prevented him from going along with social Darwninsm (or simply Darwinism, since he conflated the two), so here we have an example of religious values holding the line against a fairly destructive, modern influence.

Pseudoscience is certainly very much with us today. My candidate for the sneakiest pseudoscience is theory supposedly based on neuroscience. This has been responsible for the Baby Einstein products as well as promoters such as Dr. Amen, who had a recent special on PBS about how we can all change our brains. He showed viewers brain-scan images that he says are diagnostic of various problems. He told us how we can change these pictures by doing certain things. The audience was eating it up, but a check on the Quack Watch website shows that he has little scientific substantiation for his techniques and conclusions and is probably in it for the money.



Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:02 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1354
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks: 34
Thanked: 394 times in 309 posts
Gender: Male

Post 
Very good points, DWill. One characteristic of intellectualism that Jacoby keeps bringing up is fairness, or the ability to examine opposing viewpoints.
Quote:
The ideological fixations of otherwise intelligent men in America's Gilded Age offer a recognizable precursor of the imperviousness to evidence that permeates many ideologies in our current age of unreason. p. 61

So yes, living the life of the mind isn't necessarily the ultimate - if you're bullheaded, you can become "quagmired". For open-minded intellectuals, these dead end roads can be self-correcting, rather like the scientific method.

However, I suspect Social Darwinism is alive and well today. I think if you scratch a little deeper, many Americans believe the poor are lazy and stupid.

Jacoby discusses the Baby Einstein videos several times, she agrees with you...



Mon Apr 07, 2008 10:02 pm
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 3 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books

Books by New Authors

Booktalk.org on Facebook 


F.A.C.T.S. 
FACTS: Freethought - Atheism - Critical Thinking - Science






BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.



Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2016. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank