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Full title Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time [permalink]
Language English
Authors Michael Shermer (author) and Stephen Jay Gould (foreword)
Publisher W. H. Freeman and Company
Categories Philosophy, science and skepticism
Publication year 1997
ISBN 0-7167-3387-0 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]
Pages 306
Images Back flap of Why People Believe Weird Things.Back of Why People Believe Weird Things.Spine of Why People Believe Weird Things.Front of Why People Believe Weird Things.Front flap of Why People Believe Weird Things.
Structure [Toggle visibility]
  • Foreword: The Positive Power of Skepticism by Stephen Jay Gould
  • Introduction to the Paperback Edition: Magical Mystery Tour: The Whys and Wherefores of Weird Things
  • Prologue: Next on Oprah

Part 1: Science and Skepticism

  • 1. I Am Therefore I Think: A Skeptic's Manifesto
  • 2. The Most Precious Thing We Have: The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience
  • 3. How Thinking Goes Wrong: Twenty-five Fallacies That Lead Us to Believe Weird Things

Part 2: Pseudoscience and Superstition

  • 4. Deviations: The Normal, the Paranormal, and Edgar Cayce
  • 5. Through the Invisible: Near-Death Experiences and the Quest for Immortality
  • 6. Abducted!: Encounters with Aliens
  • 7. Epidemics of Accusations: Medieval and Modern Witch Crazes
  • 8. The Unlikeliest Cult: Ayn Rand, Objectivism, and the Cult of Personality

Part 3: Evolution and Creationism

  • 9. In the Beginning: An Evening with Duane T. Gush
  • 10. Confronting Creationists: Twenty-five Creationist Arguments, Twenty-five Evolutionist Answers
  • 11. Science Defended, Science Defined: Evolution and Creationism at the Supreme Court

Part 4: History and Pseudohistory

  • 12. Doing Donahue: History, Censorship, and Free Speech
  • 13. Who Says the Holocaust Never Happened, and Why Do They Say It?: An Overview of a Movement
  • 14. How We Know the Holocaust Happened: Debunking the Deniers
  • 15. Pigeonholes and Continuums: An African-Greek-German-American Looks at Race

Part 5: Hope Springs Eternal

  • 16. Dr. Tipler Meets Dr. Pangloss: Can Science Find the Best of All Possible Worlds?
  • 17. Why Do People Believe Weird Things?
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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