Science in Popular Culture: A Reference Guide

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Science - 314 pages
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Spaceships travel through time at lightspeed, piloted by human clones and talking animals. Serious injuries are healed with the wave of a medical gizmo. The media makes it all look easy. Can scientists hope to accomplish such amazing feats in the real world, or are they merely flights of fancy? This book is a fun look at what can, and can't, be achieved with current technology in today's laboratory experiments.

Fans of the Jetsons, Star Trek, and Star Wars will learn the facts behind the fiction through entires that describe the scientific inventions and procedures on the screen, and how they differ from the reality. Van Riper shows us who innovators like Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, and Isaac Newton really were before they were mythologized. He discusses how animals such as chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants are portrayed in books and films, and what we really know about animal intelligence. This book lifts the curtain on science fiction, revealing how and where scientific laws have been discarded for the sake of a good plot.

 

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Contents

Acceleration
3
Action and Reaction Law of
5
Alternate Worlds
7
Androids
10
Atomic Energy
13
Chimpanzees
18
Cloning
21
Comets
27
Intelligence Artificial
153
Intelligence Human
156
Life Extraterrestrial
161
Life Origin of
166
Lightning
169
Longevity
173
Magnetism
176
Mars
179

Computers
30
Cryonics
35
Cyborgs
38
Darwin Charles
41
Death Rays
45
Dinosaurs
48
Dolphins
53
Dreams
56
Earthquakes
59
Eclipses
63
Einstein Albert
66
Electricity
69
Elephants
73
Epidemics
76
Evolution
80
Evolution Convergent
84
Evolution Human
87
Experiments
91
Experiments on Self
95
Extinction
98
Flying Cars
101
Food Pills
104
Franklin Benjamin
107
Galileo
111
Genes
115
Genetic Engineering
119
Gorillas
123
Gravity
126
Houses Smart
132
Ideas Resistance to
135
Inertia
139
Insects
141
Insects Giant
147
Intelligence Animal
150
Matter Transmission
183
Meteorites
186
Mind Control
190
Miniaturization
193
Miracle Drugs
196
Moon
199
Mutations
203
Newton Isaac
206
Organ Transplants
210
Prehistoric Humans
213
Prehistoric Time
217
Psychic Powers
220
Race
223
Radiation
229
Relativity
232
Religion and Science
235
Reproduction
239
Robots
242
Scientific Theories
248
Sharks
252
Space Travel Interplanetary
256
Space Travel Interstellar
262
Speed of Light
268
Speed of Sound
271
Superhumans
274
Time Travel
279
UFOs
284
Vacuum
287
Venus
290
Volcanoes
294
Whales
298
General Bibliography
301
Index
303
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

A. BOWDOIN VAN RIPER is a professor in the Department of Social and International Studies at Southern Polytechnic State University. He specializes in the history of science and has written numerous articles on the history of space and aviation.

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