The Buzz: The Clamor Over Unscientific America

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In Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum's newly released book, Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, they roundly condemn ScienceBlogger PZ Myers and other "New Atheists" for their uncompromising stance against religion. When PZ, in return, posted a scathing review of the book on Pharyngula—calling it a "hypocritical and ignorant paean to mealy-mouthedness" and "utterly useless"—a vehement debate was launched across the blogosphere. PZ and others claimed that the authors misrepresent the doctrines they attack in the book, and that by attributing a public disconnect with science to poor science communication, they ignore cultural forces that work to actively undermine scientific education. While most ScienceBloggers agree that the book's treatment of the science-religion divide is unneccesarily accusatory, some have praised the book for bringing the problem of public disengagement with science to the forefront and for its recommendations to scientists dealing with policy-makers and the media.

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