Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book review: Sherry Seethaler- Lies, Damned Lies, and Science

 Lies, Damned Lies, and Science
 Sherry Seethaler

In Lies, Damned Lies, and Science, Sherry Seethaler aims to help readers spot the biases and distortions present in media coverage of scientific issues so they can gain a more accurate understanding of the topic.

This is bit outside the scope of what I normally review, but I think it is an important book for Christians to read. Many of the controversial issues that Christians and the broader culture tend to clash on have a scientific element. It is important that we both use science well and be able to decode the scientific claims being presented to us.

The book is easy to read and doesn't require any special science knowledge to understand. Areas covered include understanding how the scientific process works, evaluating the biases held biases held by different stakeholders, comparing the costs and benefits of different outcomes, determining whether the findings are a matter of cause or coincidence and being aware of how statistics are used and misused.

While social sciences have different methods to the natural science and many of their own distinct pitfalls, some of what this book teaches about steps such as considering how different stakeholders are impacting the presentation of the issue and watching for how statistics are presented and calculated to communicate a particular idea are still very applicable.

I highly recommend this book