Why People Believe Weird Things
Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
Michael Shermer; Foreword by Stephen Jay Gould
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.
SCIENCE AND SKEPTICISM
Science is founded on the conviction that experience, effort, and reason are valid; magic on the belief that hope cannot fail nor desire deceive.
—Branislaw Malinowski, Magic, Science,...
Praise for Why People Believe Weird Things
“This sparkling book romps over the range of science and anti-science.” —Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs, and Steel
“Splendid.” —Vanity Fair