978-0-231-11645-9 / 9780231116459

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? That many people believe this is a perfect example of common sense leading to scientific misconception, the kind of misconception Neil Comins strives to set straight in Heavenly Errors. Comins is particularly eager to stamp out errors about astronomy, his field, and in his book he explores--and corrects--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. --J.B. Peck

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