978-0-231-11644-2 / 9780231116442

Heavenly Errors


Publisher:Columbia University Press



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About the book:

Does the weather get warmer in summer because the Earth moves closer to the sun? Many people believe in such Heavenly Errors, where common sense leads to the kind of misconception Neil Comins sets straight. Comins is particularly eager to stamp out errors about astronomy, his field, and in his book he explores--and corrects--over 1,500 "commonly held" astronomical beliefs. Along the way he investigates the nature of misconceptions, how and why we acquire them, and how to guard against them. He identifies external culprits such as science fiction films, the Internet and advertising, and examines how the psychological traits that help humans survive are poor tools for understanding "the real nature of the universe". A writer and teacher, Comins can clearly explain astronomical concepts to non-scientists. This book, however, seems geared to freshman astronomy students, and not to the general science reader. --JB Peck

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