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The U.S. scientific community has long led the world in research on such areas as public health, environmental science, and issues affecting quality of life. These scientists have produced landmark studies on the dangers of DDT, tobacco smoke, acid rain, and global warming. But at the same time, a small yet potent subset of this community leads the world in vehement denial of these dangers. Merchants of Doubt tells the story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. Remarkably, the same individuals surface repeatedly-some of the same figures who have claimed that the science of global warming is "not settled" denied the truth of studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. "Doubt is our product," wrote one tobacco executive. These "experts" supplied it. Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, historians of science, roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how ideology and corporate interests, aided by a too-compliant media, have skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.
"Doubt is our product," a cigarette executive once observed, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy." In this eye-opening expose, David Michaels reveals how the tobacco industry's duplicitous tactics spawned a multimillion dollar industry that is dismantling public health safeguards. Product defense consultants, he argues, have increasingly skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. To keep the public confused about the hazards posed by global warming, second-hand smoke, asbestos, lead, plastics, and many other toxic materials, industry executives have hired unscrupulous scientists and lobbyists to dispute scientific evidence about health risks. In doing so, they have not only delayed action on specific hazards, but they have constructed barriers to make it harder for lawmakers, government agencies, and courts to respond to future threats. The Orwellian strategy of dismissing research conducted by the scientific community as "junk science" and elevating science conducted by product defense specialists to "sound science" status also creates confusion about the very nature of scientific inquiry and undermines the public's confidence in science's ability to address public health and environmental concerns Such reckless practices have long existed, but Michaels argues that the Bush administration deepened the dysfunction by virtually handing over regulatory agencies to the very corporate powers whose products and behavior they are charged with overseeing. In Doubt Is Their Product Michaels proves, beyond a doubt, that our regulatory system has been broken. He offers concrete, workable suggestions for how it can be restored by taking the politics out of science and ensuring that concern for public safety, rather than private profits, guides our regulatory policy. Named one of the best Sci-Tech books of 2008 by Library Journal!
In the tradition of grand sweeping histories such as From Dawn To Decadence, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and A History of God, Hecht champions doubt and questioning as one of the great and noble, if unheralded, intellectual traditions that distinguish the Western mind especially-from Socrates to Galileo and Darwin to Wittgenstein and Hawking. This is an account of the world's greatest ‘intellectual virtuosos,' who are also humanity's greatest doubters and disbelievers, from the ancient Greek philosophers, Jesus, and the Eastern religions, to modern secular equivalents Marx, Freud and Darwin—and their attempts to reconcile the seeming meaninglessness of the universe with the human need for meaning, This remarkable book ranges from the early Greeks, Hebrew figures such as Job and Ecclesiastes, Eastern critical wisdom, Roman stoicism, Jesus as a man of doubt, Gnosticism and Christian mystics, medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian skeptics, secularism, the rise of science, modern and contemporary critical thinkers such as Schopenhauer, Darwin, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, the existentialists.
Framed in a lucid discussion of the intellectual issues surrounding the postmodern movement, the essays in this book re-examine the course of twentieth-century art through the work of twenty-five major sculptors. McEvilley masterfully traces the evolution of modern sculpture from the readymades of Marcel Duchamp to the anti-painting statements of the 1960s to the spiritualism and conceptualism of the 1980s and 1990s. This is a groundbreaking work in the field of art criticism and a fundamental text for anyone interested in the history of current art and culture.
Move tie-in edition of te Pulitzer Prize winning play.
Vincent Bugliosi, whom many view as the nation's foremost prosecutor, has successfully taken on, in court or on the pages of his books, the most notorious murderers of the last half century--Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, and Lee Harvey Oswald. Now, in the most controversial book of his celebrated career, he turns his incomparable prosecutorial eye on the greatest target of all: God. In making his case for agnosticism, Bugliosi has very arguably written the most powerful indictment ever of God, organized religion, theism, and atheism. Theists will be left reeling by the commanding nature of Bugliosi's extraordinary arguments against them. And, with his trademark incisive logic and devastating wit, he exposes the intellectual poverty of atheism and skewers its leading popularizers--Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Richard Dawkins. Joining a 2,000-year-old conversation which no one has contributed anything significant to for years, Bugliosi, in addition to destroying the all-important Christian argument of intelligent design, remarkably--yes, scarily--shakes the very foundations of Christianity by establishing that Jesus was not born of a virgin, and hence was not the son of God, that scripture in reality supports the notion of no free will, and that the immortality of the soul was a pure invention of Plato that Judaism and Christianity were forced to embrace because without it there is no life after death. Destined to be an all-time classic, Bugliosi's Divinity of Doubt sets a new course amid the explosion of bestselling books on atheism and theism--the middle path of agnosticism. In recognizing the limits of what we know, Bugliosi demonstrates that agnosticism is he most intelligent and responsible position to take on the eternal question of God's existence.
Presents a collection of studies on modern intellectual challenges from the perspective of Modern Orthodox Judaism. Themes range from comparative law to metaphysics with a chapter on "Law and Morality" new to this edition.

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