When I mentioned to a friend that I was going to review this book, he replied: “Luddites? You mean, the Flat Earthers?” There is a distinction, I reminded him, between science and technology, and the Luddites had no problem, qua Luddites, with modern science. They objected to a few machines that were ruining their lives as artisans in the English textile industry. I could have added that Jeffrey Burton Russell's book Inventing the Flat Earth demonstrates that, “with extraordinarily few exceptions, no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century BC onward believed that the Earth was flat” and that even the belief that people had believed the Earth was flat did not arise until around 1870, in a time of controversy between scientists and the general culture over the theory of evolution. My friend is not a...

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