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

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A.W.H. Freeman/Owl Book, 2002 - Science - 349 pages
25 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hcubic - LibraryThing

Generally speaking, if you skipped every book with the word "weird" in the title, you wouldn't be missing much. This is an exception. Michael Shermer teaches the history of science at Occidental ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jen.e.moore - LibraryThing

There were flashes of okayness, but mostly I was pretty annoyed by this book. Shermer's a lot less condescending than a lot of skeptics, but he still has that attitude of "if I've explained it to you and you still don't agree with me, you're stupid." Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Michael Shermer is the director of the Skeptics Society and the host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology. He teaches science, technology, and evolutionary thought in the Cultural Studies Program at Occidental College.

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