Personal Status Board,status board,PSB Pro Version,PSB,PHP empowered communication,parenting,social evolution,social connectedness,social connections,social connection,the social connection,social connectedness,social evolution,social network,social network software,online social networks,social networking tools,online social networking,social network site,online social network,the social network,networks social,business social network,business social networking,business social networks,social business network
email others
link to us
Home     MCs     Novel     Articles     MC Matching     Magic Carpet     Products & Services     Contact Us     Links


Authoritative and Democratic Parenting Programs
(Comparison Chart)

_____________________

Send us your questions and comments.
_____________________

site search by freefind

_____________________

Free Personal Status Boards (PSB™)

Free Standard Free PSB

Free PSB Pro Version

Free Social PSB

Free Social PSB Plus (with Email)

Free Business PSB

Free Business PSB Plus (with Email)

PSB demo

Social PSB demo

Business PSB demo

So what's all this PSB stuff about?

Chart comparing business status boards

PSB hosting diagram

PSB Licence Agreement



Copyright © 2002 -
MCS Investments, Inc. sitemap


The Big Answer


To link to this article from your blog or webpage, copy and paste the url below into your blog or homepage.

Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science

a book by Dave Levitan

(our site's book review)

Dave Levitan and Carl Sagan Have Provided Us with BS Detectors

Written the year before he died, Sagan’s 1995 book The Demon-Haunted World contains a chapter delightfully titled “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection.” Sagan saw scientists as the natural first line of defense against an onslaught of nonsense. In the course of their training, scientists are equipped with a baloney-detection kit. The kit is brought out as a matter of course whenever new ideas are offered for consideration. If the new idea survives examination by the tools in our kit, we grant it warm, although tentative, acceptance. The kit, Sagan explained, consists of the fundamental principles of scientific skepticism. A dispassionate review of the evidence behind a claim, with an eye for fallacious or fraudulent arguments, is the best way to vanquish baloney, in its benign and insidious forms. Sagan also forewarning us of grave repercussions should we continue on the wrongheaded path we're on in which political and religious authority undermine truth and science.

Dave Levitan's book, Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science, goes after baloney like a starving dog
Dave Levitan's book, Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science, goes after baloney like a starving dog

In 2017, Dave Levitan's book Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science goes after baloney like a starving dog.

“A clever, timely guide to the sneaky ways sleazy politicians bamboozle us on climate change and other scientific issues. Ernest Hemingway said every good writer needs a built-in, shockproof BS detector, and now thanks to Dave Levitan we can all have one.”—Dan Fagin, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Toms River

“Read Dave Levitan’s bare-knuckled book for insight into the manipulations and distortions by anti-science politicians who have chosen to act as advocates for vested corporate interests rather than the people they’re supposed to represent.”—Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor, Penn State University, and co-author of The Madhouse Effect


Money Talks and BS Walks? No Longer. Now Money Talks Therefore BS Talks!

The USA is at a critical juncture. Every day we see another headline informing us how science is being pushed out and the propaganda of those pushing various agendas let in. Half of the EPA's science board just got their pink slips via email in order to consider candidates from the fossil fuel companies—oops! This is a very serious betrayal of the public trust. If enough of us do not become informed enough to put on the pressure and tip the scales, it could be armageddon sooner rather than later for us all.

If enough of us do not become informed enough to put on the pressure and tip the scales, it could be armageddon sooner rather than later for us all
If enough of us do not become informed enough to put on the pressure and tip the scales, it could be armageddon sooner rather than later for us all

Unfortunately, money talks louder than integrity, patriotism, honor, character, or honesty in 2017. We all know that everyone has their price—the price at which they sell their souls for the almighty dollar. There are billionaires willing to meet their price—and meet it they do. If we follow the money, we find much of it leading to the infamous Koch brothers, and much of the rest leads to Big Oil, Big Banks, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, or political action committees of these and their politician buddies. See Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy, and The War on Science: Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It.

If we follow the money, we find much of it leading to the infamous Koch brothers
If we follow the money, we find much of it leading to the infamous Koch brothers

It Is Time to Call the Lying Politicians on Their Lies!

Politicians are bamboozling the public with false logic, and no one is calling them on it. But it is high time we did! Clearly and engagingly written, Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science covers topics from climate change to fracking to vaccines. The author not only categorizes the misleading political ploys such as oversimplification, cherry-picking, ad-hominem arguments and other fallacies, demonizing, and credit-snatching. He also gives specific examples of politicians' use of these tactics and explains how the science reveals their dishonesty. Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science is a critical book, given how important it is for voters to see through the lying propaganda propagated by politicians allied with such groups as climate change deniers and anti-vaxxers. See Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era, The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters, and Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us.

How do you tell if a politician is lying to you? His lips are moving!
How do you tell if a politician is lying to you? His lips are moving!

How do you tell if a politician is lying to you? His lips are moving! The author goes through the list of ways politicians can deceive an audience. Examples are "I'm not a scientist, but," "blame the blogger," oversimplifying, and more. All are various ways of tricking you into believing something other than the truth. A number of the methods employed give politicians "plausible deniability," such as "I read it on a web site, so it must be true." Politicians have degenerated from statesmen to snake oil salesmen!

Politicians have degenerated from statesmen to snake oil salesmen!
Politicians have degenerated from statesmen to snake oil salesmen!


Ronald Reagan portrayed himself as folksy, like the audience who were listening to him say incorrect and misleading things about science, but they chose to believe that science was wrong
Ronald Reagan portrayed himself as folksy, like the audience who were listening to him say incorrect and misleading things about science, but they chose to believe that science was wrong

Who are you going to believe, Ronald Reagan or a scientist? The correct choice would be the latter. But people instead chose to believe The Great Communicator just because he portrayed himself as folksy, like the audience, who were listening to him say incorrect and misleading things. "Levitan sees Reagan’s ['I'm not a scientist, but . . . '] as a hallmark of science denialism, a rhetorical license for unrestrained flimflam. 'I’m not a scientist,' a politician begins, and goes on to butcher scientific knowledge in whatever way suits his purposes. Sometimes the speaker cites a scientific claim but muddles or distorts the facts. Sometimes the speaker presumes to speak for the scientific community, but only cites maverick or disreputable sources. And sometimes a speaker says things so nonsensical that concepts like truth or evidence hardly apply. . . . This isn’t a book about how politicians in general abuse science. It’s a book about how certain kinds of politicians abuse science—the kind who garner approving coverage on Fox News. Levitan avers that Republicans as a party have 'largely abandoned mainstream scientific viewpoints.'" Given that the G.O.P. has come out against climate change science and a ton of their campaign funds came from Big Oil, this statement is quite legitimate. (Source: Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science, Nick Wolven, Washington Independent Review of Books)

" . . . science journalist Levitan contends that when politicians talk about science, 'they end up spewing misinformation and errors virtually at every step.' He goes on to argue that detecting these inaccuracies is fairly easy: 'This book groups these rhetorical and logical errors into clear types to help you find them when they arise, and to cut through the misinformation once you’ve spotted them.'" (Source: Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science , Publishers Weekly)


Republicans Are Wrecking the Public's Faith in Science

Climate change is given ample pages for Levitan's book to work out the incredibly erroneous and egregious falsehoods peddled by the G.O.P. to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence
Climate change is given ample pages for Levitan's book to work out the incredibly erroneous and egregious falsehoods peddled by the G.O.P. to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence

"The author organizes his chapters around strategies of misinformation highlighting the methods in which politicians, usually Republicans, manipulate data and public perception to cynically sow doubt in scientific fact. . . . The most obvious and discussed subject is climate science. As the most pressing scientific issue of the day, climate change is given ample pages for Levitan to work out the incredibly erroneous and egregious falsehoods peddled by the GOP to deny the overwhelming scientific evidence and community consensus that climate change is caused by human consumption of fossil fuels . . . " (Source: Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science, Kirkus Reviews)

The author organizes his chapters around strategies of misinformation highlighting the methods in which politicians, usually Republicans, manipulate data and public perception to cynically sow doubt in scientific fact
The author organizes his chapters around strategies of misinformation highlighting the methods in which politicians, usually Republicans, manipulate data and public perception to cynically sow doubt in scientific fact

Fake News and Alternative Facts Abound So We Need to Recharge Our BS Detectors

"With fake news and alternative facts seemingly everywhere, it is vital that this type of political manipulation be recognized. Luckily, Levitan is on hand to help identify and combat these tricks. Each illustration of shady political practice is accompanied by the relevant science to place it in context. Each chapter ends with advice on how to recognize a rhetorical technique and combat it. You might think this isn’t rocket science, but some techniques are remarkably sly and subtle, and require homework to prepare for them, and a good overview of the relevant literature to refute them." (Source: How to stop the science saboteurs, Tara Shears, Physics World)

With fake news and alternative facts seemingly everywhere, it is vital that this type of political manipulation be recognized. Luckily, Levitan is on hand to help identify and combat these tricks
With fake news and alternative facts seemingly everywhere, it is vital that this type of political manipulation be recognized. Luckily, Levitan is on hand to help identify and combat these tricks


Alternative facts? There are no such things. Facts are not like pancakes. There are not two sides!
Alternative facts? There are no such things. Facts are not like pancakes. There are not two sides!


The only way for 'alternative facts' to be a real possibility rather than a Trumpian wet dream is if they were in an alternate universe
The only way for 'alternative facts' to be a real possibility rather than a Trumpian wet dream is if they were in an alternate universe


When climate change scientists and climate change deniers are two of the guests on talk shows, the deniers usually scream the loudest and are therefore believed
When climate change scientists and climate change deniers are two of the guests on talk shows, the deniers usually scream the loudest and are therefore believed

These reviews acknowledge Not a Scientist: How Politicians Mistake, Misrepresent, and Utterly Mangle Science as a vital antidote to and warning against a dangerous, regressive future.

Levitan's book is a warning about the upcoming disaster if we don't act, just like the swinging banjo in the movie Deliverance
Levitan's book is a warning about the upcoming disaster if we don't act, just like the swinging banjo in the movie Deliverance