Eric's Reviews > Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time

Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
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Mar 04, 11

Read in March, 2011

4.5 stars. I love Michael Shermer's writing. He has a great talent for quickly getting to the root of an argument. He lays out his ideas very clearly. At one point in the book, he starts to list common fallacies people make in their beliefs about whatever. He doesn't stop at 3 or 4 common errors, but instead he lists out 20 something fallacies. He spent a good chunk toward the end on Holocaust deniers. On one hand, I could have done without such a lengthy treatment on the subject since the percentage of people reading his book that are actual holocaust deniers has to be minuscule. But on the other hand, it was a great example of how people will use circular logic and double standards without flinching in order to uphold an idea they have been convinced is true. Shermer didn't do this, but I found it especially interesting to compare the similarities between the deniers tactics and those of religious apologists throughout the last quarter of the book. He did discuss evolution vs creationism a bit. Anyways, it was a really great book and I wish more people would read it.
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