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Why people believe weird things :pseudoscience, superstition, and other confusions of our timeby Michael Shermer
Synopses & Reviews
Book News Annotation:
The author is the publisher of Skeptic magazine and the host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology. He also teaches the history of science, technology, and evolutionary thought at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Here he writes for the lay audience, identifying 25 fallacies that lead people to believe weird things and discussing various aspects of pseudoscience and superstition, including creationism, Holocaust denial, encounters with aliens, the paranormal, and medieval and modern epidemics of accusations. The foreword is by Stephen Jay Gould.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 279-293) and index.
Table of Contents
I. Science and skepticism. I am therefore I think : a skeptic's manifesto — The most precious thing we have : the difference between science and pseudoscience — How thinking goes wrong : twenty-five fallacies that lead us to believe weird things. II. Pseudoscience and superstition. Deviations : the normal, the paranormal, and Edgar Cayce — Through the invisible : near-death experiences and the quest for immortality — Abducted! : encounters with aliens — Epidemics of accusations : medieval and modern witch crazes — The unlikeliest cult : Ayn Rand, objectivism, and the cult of personality. III. Evolution and creationism. In the beginning : an evening with Duane T. Gish — Confronting creationists : twenty-five creationist arguments, twenty-five evolutionist answers — Science defended, science defined : evolutionism and creationism at the Supreme Court.
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