81 internautes sur 87 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
- Publié sur Amazon.com
50 popular beliefs that people think are true by Guy P. Harrison
"50 popular beliefs that people think are true" is a fascinating book about skepticism and critical thinking applied to fifty popular beliefs. In a true open-minded and respectful manner, Guy Harrison takes us on a wonderful journey of applying the best current evidence to popular beliefs. This 458-page book is broken out by the following eight sections: Magical Thinking, Out There, Science and Reason, Strange Healings, Lure of the Gods, Bizarre Beings, Weird Places, and Dreaming of the End.
1. As accessible a book as you will find and written in an elegant and engaging conversational tone. A fun, page turner of a book to read.
2. A well-researched book evidenced by the number of books referenced and comprehensive bibliography.
3. Excellent format! Each chapter begins with an appropriate quote or two about the popular belief and ends with a "Go Deeper" section of further reading.
4. A respectful and sympathetic tone used throughout. Mr. Harrison treats his topics with utmost respect and care. He's one of the few authors that can take on "sensitive" topics in a considerate manner. A rare quality indeed.
5. Fascinating topics! There is something for everyone. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The book covers a great and diverse selection of popular beliefs. Bravo!
6. The ability to express his thoughts in a logical and lucid manner. It's such a treat to read a book in which the author makes clear and succinct points.
7. Thought-provoking quotes and comments. "Being a skeptic means being honest and mature enough to seek answers that are based on evidence and logic rather than hopes and dreams."
8. A great defender of science and logic. The author does a great job of providing meaningful statistics and illustrations to back his points. Furthermore, he relies on subject matter experts to provide the best current evidence.
9. Some key concepts introduced that really helps understand why we believe. How we really see for instance and how our memories work. Great stuff.
10. The author makes it very clear what we know versus what we do not know. A good job of keeping things in perspective.
11. How cold readings work and an amusing tale that illustrates the points.
12. Wisdom and knowledge throughout. Everyone will have their favorite chapters, I enjoyed those that taught me knew things and are helping me change my perspective. The chapters involving intelligence and race were a pleasant surprise to me.
13. Chapters and concepts involving the supernatural are always a personal favorite and the author doesn't disappoint. Miracles, angels, souls, spirits...oh my.
14. This is an engaging book because the author's innate curious personality comes through so genuinely. There are many popular beliefs that the author himself would love to be true and hasn't completely ruled out. As an example the chapters on Aliens and UFOs. Absolutely love the self-deprecating humor and love for the awe of the unknown.
15. Pseudoscience placed in its proper place but done so as mentioned before with respect. Surprisingly but necessary, the author also does so with science.
16. The author provides a great point about global warming.
17. Guy Harrison's background is so vast and interesting that he is able to talk about topics from a firsthand perspective such as television news. Insightful takes on journalism and science.
18. A refreshing look at conspiracies. I'm a better person for having read it.
19. Great takes on alternative medicine, homeopathy, and faith healing. Benny Hinn...
20. Topics on religion are very interesting and even more so because the author is able to talk about all the main religions and not just Christianity which adds depth to the conversation.
21. Creationism and evolution, and even more interesting potential future debates.
22. Prophecies. The chapter on Nostradamus is fascinating and there is a separate one on worldwide prophecies, good stuff.
23. An interesting look at prayers.
24. Archaeology and what we don't know with conviction.
25. Bizarre beings like Bigfoot were fun chapters to read.
26. Loved the chapter on the Bermuda Triangle.
27. The Mayans and 2012 so topical and a great water-cooler topic for months to come and Mr. Harrison provides the insight.
28. The book "ends" with a bang. No really...many examples of how it will end.
1. Having to wait for the Kindle version. I couldn't wait so I purchased the book instead. No big deal.
2. Because this book is so ambitious and covers fifty popular beliefs; some chapters may not have the depth that some readers would have liked but the author did a wonderful job of providing further reading material.
In summary, I absolutely loved this book! It's one of the reasons why I enjoy reading so much. This is one of those few books available that everyone can enjoy. You can jump to your favorite topics if you desire or read it straight through. Either way you will at the very least respect the author's approach or best, enjoy it as thoroughly as I have. This is a book about skepticism that is fun to read, thought-provoking while never being unintelligible. Don't hesitate to get it! I highly recommend it!
Further suggestions: "50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God" by the same author, "The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as TruthsThe Believing Brain..." and "Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time" by Michael Shermer, "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries" by Benjamin Radford, "The Belief Instinct: The Psychology of Souls, Destiny, and the Meaning of Life" by Jesse Bering, "Why Evolution Is True" by Jerry A. Coyne, "Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists..." by Dan Barker, "Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment" Phil Zuckerman, "The Faith Healers" by James Randi, "The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails" by John W. Loftus, "Caveman Logic: The Persistence of Primitive Thinking in a Modern World" by Hank Davis, "The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe Is Not Designed for Us" by Victor J. Stenger, "The Blind Spot" by William Byers, "Paranormality" Richard Wiseman, "Storms of My Grandchildren" by James Hansen, "Braintrust" by Patricia S. Churchland, "The Panic Virus" by Seth Mnookin, "Science Under Siege" by Kendrick Frazier, "Superstition" by Robert Park and "Science and Nonbelief" by Taner Edis.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Thomas E. Davis
- Publié sur Amazon.com
If you have an interest in countering the nonsense that so pervades today's half-baked, blog-soaked, conspiracy-ridden popular culture, this clearly written book is a very helpful tool. You don't have to be a scientist to debunk astrology, birtherism, creationism, Bigfoot, or Atlantis, of course, since there is no real evidence for any of them. However, this volume not only lays out case after case against the paranoid and the supernatural; it also sheds light on the fearful, wishful, ignorant thinking that contributes to such delusions and fantasies.
From alien abduction and Area 51 to faith healing and homeopathy, from ghosts and witches to holocaust denial and doomsday predictions, "50 Popular Beliefs" examines facts that undermine the ideas of superstitious New Agers and religious fanatics, of conspiracy theorists and casual racists. Each of the 50 entries is thoroughly annotated and indexed and ends with a bibliography for further research, enabling readers to replace myth, magic, and mystery with refreshing reality.
Just as important as the preponderance of his evidence, the author's words show respect and compassion for those with whom he profoundly disagrees. "My goal," Harrison writes, "is not to win arguments or take away anyone's fun, happiness, or contentment." He wishes to give readers an understanding of and appreciation for the power of skepticism, a toolkit to confront the weird, kooky ideas that spread wildly in the age of the Internet. "The way I see it," he explains, "promoting reason and skepticism is a moral issue. It's about caring for your fellow humans."
I have a great deal of admiration for Guy Harrison's idealism. But he has to acknowledge that being skeptical gets us only so far. The desire to believe things for which there is no empirical data is an essential element in human nature. Overcoming it is very hard indeed, the job of a psychologist as much as a scientist. The certainty true believers feel is so comforting and inspiring that they cling to it like a life preserver, making it a passionate part of their identities. They belong to a very special group that has either seen the truth or seen through a plot to conceal it. Yet their ignorance of science and technology and probability and history bothers them not a bit.
If you've decided that attempting to rescue the misguided and misinformed is a worthwhile pursuit, that skepticism will help them to, in the words of the author, "lead safer, happier, and more productive lives," then this is the book for you. Yet you need to understand what you're in for. People will attack you for questioning their odd, baseless assertions. Many suffer from reductive, illogical, or emotional thought processes and thus typically refuse to listen to opposing evidence, no matter how well-founded or well-reasoned. Having already made up their minds, they will accept any supportive anecdote as proof of their ideas and reject any contradictory observations as deceptive or manufactured.
It's certainly easiest to smile, nod politely, and move away slowly when confronted by such people. Why should you waste time and effort in a vain attempt at converting them into rational thinkers? Perhaps the best motive is preventing them from infecting others who are prone to gullibility, especially when they are family or friends. But recognize your limits. You might be able to persuade such benighted individuals of the folly of their views on one particular issue, but because they lack critical thinking skills, they're likely to fall for the next bit of hocus-pocus or mumbo-jumbo they see or hear. You may simply have to shake your head, practice a form of triage, and leave it to more selfless souls to battle for reason. Hand them this book and wish them well.