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Species, serpents, spirits, and skulls : science at the margins in the Victorian age

Author: Sherrie Lynne Lyons
Publisher: Albany : SUNY Press, ©2009.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Science permeates nearly every aspect of our lives, and yet, as current debates over intelligent design, the causes of global warming, and alternative health practices indicate, the question of how to distinguish science from pseudoscience remains a difficult one. To address this question, Sherrie Lynne Lyons draws on four examples from the nineteenth century - sea serpent investigations, spiritualism, phrenology,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sherrie Lynne Lyons
ISBN: 9781438427973 1438427972 9781438427980 1438427980
OCLC Number: 291908016
Description: xiv, 245 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction : an age of transition --
Swimming at the edges of scientific respectability : sea serpents, Charles Lyell, and the professionalization of geology --
Franz Gall, Johann Spurzheim, George Combe and phrenology : a science for everyone --
The crisis in faith : William Crookes and spiritualism --
Morals and materialism : Alfred Russel Wallace, spiritualism, and the problem of evolution --
Thatige skepsis : Thomas Huxley and evolutionary theory --
Negotiating the boundaries of science : an ongoing process.
Responsibility: Sherrie Lynne Lyons.

Abstract:

"Science permeates nearly every aspect of our lives, and yet, as current debates over intelligent design, the causes of global warming, and alternative health practices indicate, the question of how to distinguish science from pseudoscience remains a difficult one. To address this question, Sherrie Lynne Lyons draws on four examples from the nineteenth century - sea serpent investigations, spiritualism, phrenology, and Darwin's theory of evolution. Each attracted the interest of prominent scientists as well as the general public, yet three remained at the edges of scientific respectability while the fourth, evolutionary theory, although initially regarded as scientific heresy, ultimately became the new scientific orthodoxy." "Taking a serious look at the science behind these examples, Lyons argues that distinguishing between science and pseudoscience, particularly in the midst of discovery, is not as easy as the popular image of science tends to suggest."--Jacket.

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