Thursday, January 12, 2012

Book Review: How Do You Know It's True?

Song:  Strength And Honor

Performed by:  EWQL Symphonic Orchestra

Song by:  Stephen M Lloyd

How Do You Know It's True?
Discovering the Difference Between Science and Superstition

Author:  Hy Ruchlis

This is a very good book for Elementary School Students.

It is 112 pages and is divided into 2 sections.

The first part delves into Superstition.
The second part explains Science.

It goes into the basic nature of each.

Although the book is 20 yrs. old...
as it explains the nature of science...
it is timeless.

Chapter One:  Fiction or Fact?

This chapter explains how to discern fact from fiction
through the process of science.

It touches lightly 
(Hypothesis and Theory explanations later)
on fact finding and checking through observation.

Chapter Two:  The Nature Of Superstition

This chapter explains the nature of Superstition...
(a belief that is held despite evidence to the contrary - Fairy Tale Thinking)
and the trappings of attempting to think in magical terms.

It is imperative to guide our children toward rational thinking
while they are young as it will form the basis for living life in 
a fashion that is dictated by their desires as formed from having their 
eyes open to all the real options available to them...
the one's they will have created for themselves.

Chapter Three:  An Experiment With A Superstition

This chapter stresses using our reasoning power to disprove unsupported notions.
This forms the core of rational thought.

Chapter Four:  Astrology - Science or Superstition?

More on how people mistakenly fall into the Magical Thinking trap.

Part Two:  Science As A Way Of Thinking

Chapter Five:  How New Facts Are Discovered

This Chapter gives examples of how our base of knowledge was 
gathered and how it continues to grow.

Chapter Six:  Science And Freedom Of Thought

The basic principle of keeping an open mind 
and how it applies to science is stressed.

Bear in mind that keeping an open mind does NOT mean
that anything goes...that therefore, superstition is valid also.

It means keeping an open mind to the evidence of observation...
experimentation, and rational thought.

Science is about the PROCESS of finding truth...
it is NOT about infallibility.

It means that Science is self correcting with new evidence.

Chapter Seven:  Developing A Theory - Probability

This chapter goes more into what a hypothesis is...
and the development of a theory through the use of an
experiment in the prediction of a probability.

Chapter Eight:  Unusual Events, Luck And Chance

This chapter delves into the nature of probability on unusual events.
It demystifies Luck and unexplained occurrences through basic math.

Chapter Nine:  Science Gives Us Real Knowledge

This chapter illustrates the many scientific advancements through rational thought.

Chapter Ten:  Science - Past, Present, And Future

This chapter stresses what others have done with science...
and what problems could be conquered through the scientific method.

This one statement form Chapter nine sums up the necessity of 
having your child introduced to the scientific method and rational thought 
at the earliest possible age.

[in reference to many of the great scientific achievements in history]
"What part of these great accomplishments has been contributed by the 
superstitious way of thinking?  Absolutely nothing.  The belief in fairy-tale
magic has blocked attempts to explain how and why things happen.  
Today it is a lazy person's excuse to avoid thinking about why things happen."

The Scientific Method is about the search of truth.

Knowing how and why things happen allows us to 
predict and control so true progress may take place.

This is a good introduction for young children into the search of true knowledge.


  1. Sounds like a great book for teaching critical thinking!

  2. It is one of the really basic books I will start with to work on his fluid reasoning skills. Alex is actually working out of a critical reasoning book which I shall cover in more detail soon.


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