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Fake Science

Exposing the Left's Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data
Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (171 ratings)
Regular price: $22.74
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Publisher's Summary

If you listen to any political argument, you're eventually bound to hear something like: "The science is settled on this." Or: "Just look at the statistics!" Or: "There have been studies that say..."

You'd think we were living in the golden age of science and reason. But the truth is far more sinister, says Austin Ruse. We're actually living in the age of the low information voter, easily misled by all-too-convincing false statistics and studies. In Fake Science, Ruse debunks so-called "facts" used to advance political causes one after the other, revealing how poorly they stand up to actual science.

©2017 Mission Audio (P)2017 Mission Audio

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Right Wing Scientist has issues with this book

Just to be clear, I'm a biologist and lean right wing. But I still have issues with this book. There were times where I had trouble trusting the author because I saw some tactics used that doesn't suggest honesty. For example, when discussing child abuse and abortion, he stated that 60,000 children were found to be abused around the time abortion was legalized and that sometime later (I can't remember how much but more than a decade) that was up to 1 million. While horrifying, unfortunately absolute numbers aren't always helpful but rather proportions (for all we know the rate went down, but we had such a large population increase). Now, this might not have been a deliberate attempt to obfuscate but rather due to space limitations of the book the author could not pick apart the nuances. I would prefer a book that could address the nuances better.

The narrator wasn't great either. He mispronounced "fetal" (as fatal) and "pubic" (as public).

I'll be returning this unfinished.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful

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An Enigma of a Book

Although the content of the book has true validity I surely could not finish it and thats not to say, that you will feel the same way. I found out how important a good commenter is to a book on Audible, the key to my sanity.

11 of 17 people found this review helpful

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A Lifetime of Pet Peeves Released in a Burst

I thought the book might simply be a quick cash-in on the huge fake news output of the Left that was exposed during the last election (and which they have not learned from - they've only redoubled their efforts - such as trying to redirect our attention away from their huge fake news output with the comparatively minuscule effort of the Russians - if true), but instead I found the book a release of a lifetime of outrage.

The author covered a lot of ground, and from what I've observed in the world, I found the author spot-on in most areas (and not surprisingly, the areas he seemed more well-versed in (fake political and social polls, the attack on the traditional family, the transgender comedy, the homosexual gene, abortion (which spurred a new insight by me - the human fetus is human, it simply lacks higher consciousness - of which it still has in development - so lawmakers can reassess it from there), sex (which reinforced another insight I had - that porn is sex without love or commitment - and don't say you already knew that, too - you didn't), divorce, gay parents (which is only an issue as long as humans remain clueless - and they still are, to the last), GMO's, poverty, fracking (which most people know little about, yet they oppose it based in media hype), the doomsday scenarios of global warming, fake crowd science, but I found that he was off the mark in the one area he was weak in - that of global warming being caused by humans (the recent and still-rising spike is unmistakable) (that is, if the spike I saw was not just another bit of fake science from the Left...).

22 of 35 people found this review helpful

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Fresh air

How refreshing to see the charlatans exposed. Ruse does an excellent job of documenting the fake documentation of those who seek to use fake science to deceive and obfuscate. Those with a political agenda should never be accepted as 'scientists'.

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Both exposes and commits scientific bias

Fake Science is informative, well-researched and dives into many pressing topics in politics today. It's definitely worth a listen.

I will note that, for the same reasons the author cites and explores for the possibility of science being misused, there is similar liability in the science and presentation in the book. It's practically unavoidable in the human condition. Here's what I mean.

It is always possible to find contradictory studies that were all produced under equally rigorous scientific standards (especially in social sciences); and it is always possible to build a case on careful interpretation and presentation of a preferred set of studies, downplaying their faults or biases; while misinterpreting opposing studies or accentuating their faults - even if the goal is objectivity.

There is also the matter of whether scientific studies are actually applicable to a political debate. While debating whether global warming is occurring and whether human activities are causal, this is a perfect application of good science. Whether abortion is moral is not an application of even the best science.

Science can help us refine the definition of pregnancy and understand the beginning of fetal development. Nevertheless, abortion ultimately comes down to a philosophical debate about volition, moral categories, what qualifies any lifeform as self-owning and if that ownership in a fetus' case extends to the mother's uterus. Science has nothing to offer on these questions, but asserting the contrary can certainly mislead an audience; again, even with objectivity being the goal.

An example where science has much to say but can easily be distorted either way is in the section dedicated to homosexuality. Please note that I am a conservative and accept that the traditional family is ideal especially for children; I am also a scientist. The subject of homosexuality as presented in the book happens to offer plenty of elements to show my points about the political applicability of science and the use of science to build a narrative, given its empirical and moral dimensions.

The author approaches the subject as though the cause of heterosexuality needs no explanation as a baseline for comparing that of homosexuality, though it absolutely does. If you want to know what makes gay people gay, you must first have a decent understanding of what makes straight people straight - healthy human sexuality in general.

Lacking such a baseline and then compounding it with the accurate, lower-than-most-expect figure for the prevalence of homosexuality (1.6%), it becomes much easier to pathologize attraction to males exhibited by atypical males, all the while the attraction to males exhibited by typical females shows a precedent for healthy development of attraction to males in our species (or vice versa).

In other words, if most females healthily develop attraction to males, why couldn't a male likewise and for the same underlying reasons? It's biology, the same process that gives us intersex babies, so accepting this as a possibility is not unreasonable though the author scarcely entertains it.

The author then correctly points out that defining homosexuality is difficult (preference, behavior, identity, etc.), further obscuring the possibility of homosexuality in a man developing for the same reasons as heterosexuality in a woman or vice versa. The author could have narrowed down the definition himself for the sake of the analysis, but by keeping it ambiguous, he has presented the audience with the opportunity to define homosexuality however they want which may include writing off the heart of the issue: those people who are just as same-sex attracted as straight people are opposite-sex attracted.

Moving from biology to psychology, without considering the effects it would have on a straight woman to attempt to make her attracted to women; it is impossible to determine whether doing the same to a gay man is a net positive. Praxeologically speaking, we choose which preferences to act on, but we do not choose what preferences we experience; so whether the person is gay or straight, insisting that their preference is wrong and some other preference is right is essentially psychological abuse.

So even if the dangers of the behavior of many men who have sex with men are evident (one of the few, if not only comparison of homosexuals to heterosexuals the author accepted); and even if the relative fluidity of human sexual attraction over time is substantiated; it does not follow that attempting to alter same-sex attraction at will is either possible or desirable, though many readers could be forgiven for thinking this is the author's - and thus science's - conclusion.

My point in this review, and a point the author makes well in the book otherwise, is that it is very easy to misuse science for the sake of constructing a narrative. Even in using perfectly valid studies, the way the data is presented or discussed can leave an impression on the mind of the audience that a cold analysis of the study wouldn't justify. On all political matters where science has something to say, it requires an attentive and critical audience to come to justified conclusions.

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Fake Science

Chock full of info presented clearly, and well referenced. I've listened to it twice and will again.

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Informative

Where does Fake Science rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Fantastic well researched stats are current and the accuracy of said data is undeniable.

Author keeps the story moving brilliantly quotes numbers and statistics without it becoming
Overwhelming.

The Truth Shall Set You Free...

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interesting

I agreed with 3/4 of it. Now that part I disagreed with just doesn't make sense if you think about it in a common sense manner.

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Answers to Fake Facts

There should be different criteria to evaluate nonfiction books for which "story" isn't at all important as the FACTS which is what the reader is after! Certainly accurate facts are what is the best in this informative explanation that answers the "politically correct" incorrectness we hear in the media constsntly!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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I am sure some of his

Statistics and science are as skewed as those he is debunking.... that said they do correspond to my unresearched opinions..... narrator was too monotone .... even for this type of book you need a little excitement....

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  • Peter
  • 10-09-18

Fake Science is simply brilliant

This book exposes the listener to numerous science subjects that have been skewed by people with an agenda and are happy to sully the name of scientific research in the process. From climate science to DDT thru reproduction and gender theory the listener is educated on the subjects in both an understandable and verifiable way. Damn good audio book.

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  • Hank
  • 06-13-18

fascinating insight and lots of examples

What I really enjoyed about this book was the many examples of faulty scientific methodology in a range of issues like LGBT, global warming, abortion, overpopulation and others. Highly recommend.

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  • William A Beardsley
  • 07-31-17

Finally the truth presented.

Some very important facts are presented in this book that are usually hidden from the populace. I am grateful for the courageous author who is willing to highlight so much fallacy.