Science Tales Hardcover – 26 Apr 2012
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'Darryl Cunningham continues his comics crusade to untangle lies, myths, and misconceptions with a new book defending the science that's grown from Darwin's theory of natural selection. As usual, he does so with wit, charm, and quiet persistence.' --SCOTT McCLOUD
'A clear and thorough survey of the subject, and very important.'
--BRIAN FIES, Eisner-award-winning author of Mom's Cancer
About the Author
Darryl Cunningham went to Leeds College of Art and is a prolific cartoonist, sculptor and photographer. He has also worked as a health care assistant on an acute psychiatric ward which informed and inspired the thoughts and experiences which went into his best-selling Psychiatric Tales. He lives in Yorkshire.
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Top Customer Reviews
However!! There is strength in the simplicity and brevity of the arguments raised (which are presented clearly and concisely), and I can very easily imagining giving this to someone who insists that homoeopathy is the "new medicine", and that the combined MMR is "dangerous", and they would have to work hard to come up with a reason not to understand it.
Cartoonist Daryll Cunningham takes on a number of popular and common attacks on scientific rationalism and debunks them in comic book form. The book starts with an open discussion of the merits of Electro Convulsive Therapy, recognising that there are arguments on both sides but ultimately calling for a less primitive alternative.
Thereafter Cunningham goes straight for the jugular of the anti-science lobby, in turn tearing into topics such as homeopathy, the theory that moon landings were a hoax, and climate change denial. He ends with the big one, slaying the head in the sand ostrich of science denial.
This book is very much the first cousin of Ben Goldacre's wonderful Bad Science, and as such you will not like it if, for example, you believe that science is as much a belief system as religion, or that creationism and evolution are equally valid theories.
Science Tales is not a deep and detailed scientific thesis. It is a graphic novel which you will be able to get through in an hour or two. It does however get across some powerful concepts in a wonderfully simple and beautifully comprehensible fashion
Scientific Tales should sit alongside Goldacre's book in every school library. I cannot recommend it enthusastically enough. If you already "get it", you will find it highly entertaining. If you are ambivalent about the claims of science vs its challengers, I would suggest, if you are genuinely open minded, that you give Cunningham a go.
First, and most importantly, the fact that it's a comic. I suppose I am partly to blame for not realising this when I ordered it, though I would argue: 1) that a cursory (yes, too cursory!) glance through the summary fails to make that clear and 2) it's not a format one would naturally expect in a non-fiction work on scientific themes. Anyway that is one of two reasons for my low rating and, as other reviewers have indicated, it means that a book which could reasonably have been expected to fill a day or so can be easily consumed in 90 minutes. The other reason? Well, Cunningham has an awful habit of hammering home the details of the scientific approach and contrasting it with ignorance and prejudice so hard and repeatedly that you can emerge from your reading feeling like the victim of a brainwashing session. It's patronising and quite unnecessary and goes a long way towards spoiling what ought to have been a really useful addition to one's shelves!
Consider each section more an essay on topics. Covered are:
- electro therapy and how it helps patients with depression
- homeopathy and how the treatment is nothing more than a placebo effect, which is unscientific
- Wakefield and how he convinced the world falsely to not give vaccines to their children
- how chiropractic treatment is unscientific and a hoax
- crack pot theories that man didn't go to the moon
- the dangers of cracking and how these are conveniently covered up
- the evidence of climate change
- evolution and why it's true (very basic)
- science denial - why do people deny science? Media bias, political agendas and giving both side an equal say.
In truth I learnt a few things and got to revisit a few I already knew. However it really wasn't much of a comic, which is what it was supposed to be, that is unless you call the drawing of the narrator with a speech bubble a comic book figure?!
I found it rich that The author derides those working with or on behalf of pressure groups, with pre-conceived ideas, to promote set ideas. Really he is encouraging us to question right? So he's got endorsements from New Scientistic, but clearly backs an anti-religious/superstitious agenda (admirable yes). Okay, who gave him support, oh looks it's Coyne. Ain't he one of the outspoken atheists who derides religion and heavily promotes the saintly virtues of science? Yes he is, guess that explains the last chapter then. Appears our author is not immune to his own misgivings.
Whilst this book does include topics of science it really is just 200 pages of The authors own opinions and rantings.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic artist... I'm so happy I came across this spectacular storyteller.....but now Ive binged on all his works....more please!Published 2 months ago by Cfpb🌜
Unfortunately not the best way to try and change true believers opinions as they use the 'Comic Book' fallacy - "it's a comic book so obviously its not relevant". Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rosspops
Great overview on a number of hoaxes, frauds and misrepresentations of science. The art will be familiar to readers of other books by Darryl Cunningham, and the coverage of the... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Matt 73
I was so much looking forward to read this book and finally when I had the time and space I was surprised to discovered that I'm reading a tabloid for teenagers who believe... Read morePublished on 6 Dec. 2013 by Matrix77UK
It outlines some famous issues in the world of science, but it didn't really grip me or educate me more than i allready know. Read morePublished on 25 May 2013 by Yourstrulyloved
The cartoonist discusses some of the topical science issues of the day, in comic book form. Really he could have just printed the words in the speech bubbles as the pictures, such... Read morePublished on 6 Oct. 2012 by Captain Kirk
Another fantastic book from Darryl Cunningham, covering topics as diverse as the Moon Landings and Evolution. Read morePublished on 17 July 2012 by Copydesk Martin