Superstition: Belief in the Age of Science

Robert L. Park, Author . Princeton Univ. $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-691-13355-3

“Science is the only way of knowing—everything else is just superstition,” says physicist Park (Voodoo Science ) in this thinly argued rehash of the debate between science and religion. Among other questions, Park revisits experiments regarding the healing power of intercessory prayer (prayer for the healing of others), citing several studies that he claims are meaningless because it is impossible to measure prayer. Further, he says, only science, not prayer, con protect us from so-called “acts of God,” like a tsunami. Park argues against the existence of the soul by debunking a tale of reincarnation and even interprets the Bible to his own purposes. But this chapter also shows how disjointed his arguments can be, as he jumps from the Plan B contraceptive to genes and memes to stem cells and ghosts. Such issues have been covered more eloquently and in greater depth by thinkers like Daniel Dennett in Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon . (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/29/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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