9780805070897

Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time

Michael Shermer

ISBN 10: 0805070893 / 0-8050-7089-3
ISBN 13: 9780805070897
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
Revised and Expanded Edition.

In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, "Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things," Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science.

Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them.

Review:
Few can talk with more personal authority about the range of human beliefs than Michael Shermer. At various times in the past, Shermer has believed in fundamentalist Christianity, alien abductions, Ayn Rand, megavitamin therapy, and deep-tissue massage. Now he believes in skepticism, and his motto is " Cognite tute--think for yourself." This updated edition of Why People Believe Weird Things covers Holocaust denial and creationism in considerable detail, and has chapters on abductions, Satanism, Afrocentrism, near-death experiences, Randian positivism, and psychics. Shermer has five basic answers to the implied question in his title: for consolation, for immediate gratification, for simplicity, for moral meaning, and because hope springs eternal. He shows the kinds of errors in thinking that lead people to believe weird (that is, unsubstantiated) things, especially the built-in human need to see patterns, even where there is no pattern to be seen. Throughout, Shermer emphasizes that skepticism (in his sense) does not need to be cynicism: "Rationality tied to moral decency is the most powerful joint instrument for good that our planet has ever known." --Mary Ellen Curtin

Review

 

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Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time (ISBN: 0805070893 / 0-8050-7089-3)
Michael Shermer
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Michael Shermer
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Book Description: St Martin s Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised and Expanded ed. 229 x 152 mm. Brand New Book. Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things, Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780805070897

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Why People Believe Weird Things (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780805070897)
Michael Shermer
ISBN 10: 0805070893
ISBN 13: 9780805070897
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Book Description: St Martin s Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised and Expanded ed. 229 x 152 mm. Brand New Book. Revised and Expanded Edition. In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A no-holds-barred assault on popular superstitions and prejudices, with more than 80,000 copies in print, Why People Believe Weird Things debunks these nonsensical claims and explores the very human reasons people find otherworldly phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. In an entirely new chapter, Why Smart People Believe in Weird Things, Michael Shermer takes on science luminaries like physicist Frank Tippler and others, who hide their spiritual beliefs behind the trappings of science. Shermer, science historian and true crusader, also reveals the more dangerous side of such illogical thinking, including Holocaust denial, the recovered-memory movement, the satanic ritual abuse scare, and other modern crazes. Why People Believe Strange Things is an eye-opening resource for the most gullible among us and those who want to protect them. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780805070897

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Michael Shermer
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Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. 134mm x 24mm x 203mm. Paperback. Revised and Expanded Edition.In this age of supposed scientific enlightenment, many people still believe in mind reading, past-life regression theory, New Age hokum, and alien abduction. A.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 384 pages. 0.327. Bookseller Inventory # 9780805070897

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Michael Shermer
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