Chelsea'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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Jul 06, 2007

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bookshelves: science, socialcommentary, 2008
Read in January, 2008

Interesting, but not what I was hoping for. (Which is silly, because the title is pretty accurate. I was hoping for something more along the lines of "Weird Things People Believe and Why They're Wrong". Shermer went into that a little, but not as much as I would have liked.)

I really enjoyed Shermer's take on Creationists, and why they're not only wrong, they're also a little crazy. I'd love to read a more current opinion from him on, say, Dubya. My favorite part of the book was chapter 10, Confronting Creationists: Twenty-five Creationist Arguments, Twenty-Five Evolutionist Answers, which does exactly what the title says it does.

His section on Holocaust denial seemed dated (which, ironically, I would not say about Deborah Lipstadt's Denying the Holocaust, which came out four years earlier, and discusses the topic in much greater detail.).

I think I was hoping for more topics like alien abductions (which is covered, but briefly), ghosts (barely mentioned, and mostly in a "but that's not even worth mentioning" tone), or Bigfoot (who wasn't mentioned at all. sorry, big guy). I think Shermer and I disagree on "weird" - his choices strike me as more flat-out wrong than weird.
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