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Download The Noble Lie: When Scientists Give the Right Answers for the Wrong Reasons epub

by Gary Greenberg

Is drug addiction really a disease? Is sexuality inborn and fixed or mutable? Science is where we often turn when we can't achieve moral clarity. In The Noble Lie, acclaimed and controversial science writer Gary Greenberg shows how scientists try to use their findings to resolve the dilemmas raised by some of the most hotly contested issues of our time, from gay rights to euthanasia and the drug war. He reveals how their answers often turn out to be more fiction than science—and explores whether they cause more harm than good.
Download The Noble Lie: When Scientists Give the Right Answers for the Wrong Reasons epub
ISBN: 0470072776
ISBN13: 978-0470072776
Category: Business
Subcategory: Business Culture
Author: Gary Greenberg
Language: English
Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 1, 2008)
Pages: 256 pages
ePUB size: 1533 kb
FB2 size: 1952 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 238
Other Formats: rtf mobi docx doc

Good stuff about the medical and science systems in life, written by a counselling professional who showed upsides as well as downsides of a host of lies we often swallow. Parts of the book even seemed theraputic. It was very funny as well as elucidating. The Noble Lie: When Scientists Give the Right Answers for the Wrong Reasons
I can't remember why I picked up this book first, but its been on my 'to read' shelf for more than a couple years now so I finally picked it up. It's a hard book to review or recommend because the author covers so many controversial topics that it will definitely offend you one way or another. His premise is that though science has come to some good conclusions in many areas, often how they got there is wrongheaded. He covers a variety of topics, from alcoholism to homosexuality to determining death. All of it is really well written and will stretch the way that you think about conclusions and how they are determined behind the scenes.

I have zero medical background, so his chapters on brain death and determining whether someone has actually died or not was really interesting. Turns out that our process is more political than scientific, and fails at certain points along the way because we may have a wrong-headed view of what life is.

Another topic that was really interesting was his chapter on homosexuality. He gives some interesting background information into why it was removed from the DSM and why he argued against its removal. Turns out that they put it to a vote from the members and the main reasoning behind its removal was that those who displayed these symptoms had no special tendency to display symptoms of other mental illnesses. Greenberg argued that it was a dangerous precedent to set and he also shows why the reasoning and science behind there being a gene that determines sexuality is faulty. His reasoning veers more liberal than most - he argues that there is a spectrum of sexuality and it can change over time depending on influences. Oddly, I think this is also a Christian view of sexual preference determination even though it would be on the other end of the spectrum - Christians have always believed that there is a spectrum of sexuality and that engaging in immoral activity can lead to other sin. 

As you can see from above, this is a book that will challenge long held assumptions and force you to evaluate things in new ways. It's worth picking up if any of the topics interest you or if you have a medical background.
In The Nobel Lie, Dr. Greenberg manages the near impossible. While enteratining the reader with a humor that's both deep and dry, he probes a medical issue that gets right down to the question of what is normality and what, if anything, it's worth. The implications ripple into religion, politics, law, morality, even the nature of consciousness and existence. His interwoven threads of reasoning and observation bring together homosexuality, hallucinogens, the Unibomber, and death. What do they have in common? Well it's a little hard to explain, but Greenberg manages to do it and even makes it look easy. He doesn't exactly answer life's biggest questions, but he renders them as palatable as popcorn. This is a good book for anyone who needs something new to think about. For others, well, there's always hallucinogens and TV.
Greenberg is a find--informed, original, humane, humorous, and above all, intellectually honest. I felt only one major disagreement with his thesis: I'm not convinced that all the lies are noble.