John Krivacic, NorCal Tea Party, Truth In Science Committee
To Evaluate Claims Based on Science
If you have ever felt confused, frustrated or needed more information on scientific issues discussed in the news, emails or magazines, then you need to read “Lies, Damned Lies, and Science” by Sherry Seethaler, (FT Press Science, 2009) to learn how to evaluate those issues carefully.
Purpose of Review
The reviewer presents this book as a set of tools to be applied to considering claims based on science. The readers are encouraged to read the book for application of the tools. This review provides justification to reading the book.
Review of the Book
The book is a presentation of a set of tools to use in considering science claims. The tools are presented with examples of application. The level of detail discussed is not at the fundamentals of efficient thinking level, but is at a supportive level for efficient thinking. The author prefaces by stating “My goal in writing this book is to help people make sense of the science-related issues that impact their daily lives.” She realizes this goal through discussion and application of the tools. There are ten chapters, each describing a tool with the final tool #10 describing how to decide which of the nine tools to use for a particular issue.
Science consists of collecting data from observations, experimentation, or both; analyzing this data; developing interpretations; and validating the conclusions with other observations. The author’s approach is to discuss the reasons for the tools and for applying them to each of these science stages. The author provides tables and charts to further clarify the use of the tools and try to provide the reader with understanding under what principles or gaps the tool would expose.