Brush Up on Your Fake Science

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Did you know that Aristotle originally categorized the world into five elements: fire, earth, air, water, and tzatziki sauce? No, you say?

Well, have you ever heard of the Venus Puppy Trap? You know, it's the plant that lures in adorable canines and cutely clamps its cellulose jaws down upon their lovable, moist noises. Not that either?

Okay, are you perhaps aware that before using nuclear fusion, stars actually utilized coal to produce energy? That's why the universe is so black! Duh.

You haven't heard any of those facts? It sounds like you need to brush up on your fake science...

Officially arriving on August 15th to (mis)inform you is Phil Edwards' raucously wrong and ticklingly funny textbook, Fake Science 101. True to its name, the book is filled with boatloads of falsehoods and an array of pseudo-scientific recommendations that would undoubtedly prompt a preponderance of lawsuits should they actually be taken seriously. Luckily, the book is clearly labeled as utterly, ridiculously phony.

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Fake Science 101 begins by diving headlong into the history of science, apprising us, for example, that Sir Isaac Newton first and foremost discovered the apple, not gravity, and that the Age of Enlightenment was literally about turning on lights. The book also debunks the Mayans' long-recognized standing as one of the greatest civilizations the world has ever seen. Edwards cheekily writes:

According to many experts, the Mayans were the most amazing thing ever, if you don't take into account the fact that they basically disappeared off the face of the earth. Great work, guys. Really amazing civilization you built there, before you failed at existing anymore.

After making ignoble work of science's noble history, the text next turns to the disciplines of astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics, where not a stone is left unturned. Edwards brilliantly and absurdly butchers the most basic scientific facts for the reader's pleasure.

In the book's final section, Edwards enlightens the reader on how to become a scientist, taking pointedly comical digs at the education system, science organizations, the media, and government-funded science in the process. In recommending government employment, he jokingly pens:

The government offers work in almost all scientific disciplines, and it will continue to do so until an enterprising politician finds out that your department exists and decides to cut it. Choose your branch wisely, since you'll need to stay employed for three or four years until you start receiving your pension.
What really makes Edwards' book a delightful read is the politically incorrect satire intermixed into the pages. On the concerning child obesity epidemic, Edwards states that it only became a major problem since a form of exercise known as child labor was ended. Edwards also expounds on sugar's amazing health benefits, recommending that one drink three to four liters of soda per day in order to maintain good health.

shutterstock_109018550.jpgAnother of the textbook's satirical wisecracks was at social science's expense: 

Social scientists claim they are scientists because they act off of empirical data. That is like a six-year-old claiming he's a superhero because he's wearing a cape: it's endearing, but it's also completely incorrect.
Edwards' Fake Science 101 was a quick and amusing read with the always worthwhile aim of infusing science with a self-deprecating sense of humor. This was excellently expressed with a quote that appeared early on in the book: "If you're uncertain about anything, science is the answer. Maybe."

(1st Image courtesy of Fake Science / 2nd image: Happy Scientist via Shutterstock)
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