Cover image for Scientific development and misconceptions through the ages : a reference guide
Scientific development and misconceptions through the ages : a reference guide
Krebs, Robert E., 1922-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
vii, 286 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Background: a short history of science -- Medicine and health -- Life sciences -- Chemistry and physics -- Astrology, astronomy, and cosmology -- Conservation, ecology, and environmentalism.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q172.5.E77 K74 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The evolution of science through the ages has often been marred by people's misconceptions. From pre-historic times, when myths played a major role in people's lives, to present-day debates concerning the environment, people have sought ways to explain the world around them and have often come up with incorrect answers. Science has grown through the correction of these misconceptions. This unique reference source can be used by students, teachers, and other interested researchers to explore this growth as it pertains to both the field of science and the process of scientific experimentation. Readers will discover how misunderstandings led to further experimentation and eventually to scientific facts.

These false paths to scientific knowledge are not treated as deliberate misconduct, but rather as a lack of knowledge and a misunderstanding of the science and technology involved, both of which were sooner or later corrected by men and women of science. Krebs explores the conception and development of scientific thought in five different fields: Medicine and Health; Life Science; Chemistry and Physics; Astrology, Astronomy, and Cosmology; and Conservation, Ecology, and Environmentalism. Within each of these categories, he explores more specific areas, such as the circulatory system, geology, and inner planets. This arrangement provides easy access for the researcher interested in a particular area of science as well as those looking for general information, illuminating how our modern understanding of science is based on much of the developments in our ancient past.

Author Notes

ROBERT E. KREBS is the retired Associate Dean for Research at the University of Illinois Health Sciences Center. He is the author of The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements (Greenwood Press, 1998).

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Clearly, this book is intended for nonscientists or general readers, who ironically in this age of science constitute the vast majority of the population. As Krebs (associate dean of research, retired, Univ. of Illinois Health Science Center and author of The History and Use of Our Earth's Chemical Elements, CH, Jul'98) asserts, an understanding of science as well as the ability to think critically and act intelligently is crucial to the maintenance of a civilized society. He certainly contributes to the goal of making that knowledge more widely available. Of six chapters, five provide brief histories of the following subject areas: medicine and health, the life sciences, chemistry and physics, astronomy and cosmology, and conservation and environmentalism. The reader can cover an area of interest in any order or, using the index, find a specific item of interest. The first chapter presents a thoughtful, if brief, overview of the nature and function of science. Krebs also clarifies what science is not. He has a pleasant writing style and presents the material in a clear and jargon-free manner. Recommended for undergraduate and public libraries. J. Olson; Northeastern Illinois University

Table of Contents

Types of Beliefs
Types of Misconceptions Background What Science Is What Science
Is Not Medicine and Health
Anatomy and Physiology
The Circulatory System
The Muscular/Skeletal and Nervous
Systems Diseases: Causes, Treatments, and Cures Health and Preventive Medicine Alternative Medicine and Modern Medical
Misconceptions Life Sciences
Prehistory and Creation Myths
Scientific Concepts and Creation
Change Geology Time Evolution
The Evolution of Humans
Chemistry and Physics
Ancient Development of the Uses of Fire and Tools
The Foundations for the Sciences of Chemistry and Physics Alchemy
The Renaissance of Chemistry and Physics
The Golden Years of Chemistry and Physics
Paricles, Complexity, Chaos, and Uncertainty
Astrology, Astronomy, and Cosmology
Definitions Astronomy, the Solar System, and the Universe Conservation, Ecology, and Environmentalism
Conservation Ecology
Environmentalism Other Environmental Issues