There are many books debunking everyday wisdom and old wive’s tales, but very few are written with such wit, charm and affection for the size of the male appendage as ‘Deceived Wisdom’ by David Bradley (@Sciencebase) and as someone who was lucky enough to secure a review copy from David I got to work devouring its pages immediately.
As a rather reluctant reader, I found the book’s short, easy to digest chapters a welcome relief. This is not to say that they aren’t jam-packed with amusing and informative paragraphs, far from it. Each bite-size chunk of science was as tasty as the last and I felt myself always looking forward to the next meal.
But enough with the food metaphors, what makes up the ingredients of such a delicious book?
You’ll find the usual mixture of well known classics and intriguing new pieces of wisdom all brought down to earth with insightful research and benevolent jocularity. No longer will you worry if IT is big enough, or stress about wearing a coat indoors. Tea will not be drunk on a hot day and wine will not breathe. All of the suffocating idiosyncrasies that have been weighing heavy upon your daily life will be removed and you will feel free to live a life more fulfilling*.
“There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance”
With Christmas fast approaching, ‘Deceived Wisdom’ would make a perfect gift for that annoying relative who keeps telling you detoxing is good for your health. Or the friend who insists Apple Macs never get viruses. If you’re really lucky, David may even sign it for you… virtually! (http://twitpic.com/dkum9m)
*Perhaps the most surprising piece of wisdom debunked was about our feline friends. Despite their apparent aloofness and intellect, cats have a much smaller and more primitive brain than dogs and are fundamentally less intelligent. Simply getting all the food and shelter they need without having to perform tricks or take on the ‘social’ skills of their canine counterparts.