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

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Souvenir Press Limited, 2007 - Belief and doubt - 349 pages
6 Reviews
UFO abductions...television sychics...creationism...Holocaust denial. Faced with the rapid changes and anxiety of modern life, many people are turning to the alluring comforts of pseudoscience and the occult. In Why People Believe Weird Things, science historian Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine and director of the Skeptics Society, explores the very human reasons we find supernatural phenomena, conspiracy theories, and cults so appealing. Shermer also reveals the darker and more fearful side of wishful thinking, including Holocaust denial, creationism, the recovered memory movement, alien abduction experiences, the satanic ritual abuse scare and other modern witch crazes, extreme Afrocentrism, and ideologies of racial superiority. A compelling and often disturbing portrait of our immense capacity for self-delusion, Why People Believe Weird Things celebrates the scientific spirit and the joy to be found in rationally exploring the world's greatest mysteries even if many of the questions remain unanswered. Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould. 20 illustrations. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

User Review  - Ryan - Goodreads

A fun--though occasionally disturbing--read. The sections where Shermer goes into specific "weird" beliefs are especially entertaining. His main examples are pseudoscience, creationism, and holocaust ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Bracken - Goodreads

Although the book is somewhat out of date (published in 1997), Shermer logically debunks several beliefs that are popular in current western culture. It was quite interesting to read. My only ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

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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