“50 Popular Beliefs” now available

If you enjoyed our interview with Guy P. Harrison last weekend, why not show him some support and pick up the new book?

Harrison’s new book challenges popular beliefs

Author Guy P. Harrison, a former Grand Cayman resident now living in southern California, has written a new book that is attracting high praise. 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True is a skeptical grand tour of extraordinary claims and unusual beliefs, including UFOs, psychics, near-death-experiences, ghosts, intelligent design, alternative medicine, alien abductions, conspiracy theories, faith healing, astrology, doomsday predictions, Atlantis and more.

Comments

    • ryanvanek says

      Unfortunately, one’s level of education isn’t a guaranteed safeguard against unjustified beliefs. At my University there is a “UFO Study Group” <– They believe in extraterrestrial UFO's. These people aren't uneducated or unintelligent, yet they still have these beliefs.

      But perhaps statistically there would be a noticeable curve.

  1. Brad says

    I enjoyed the interview. One question I had:

    Is this book appropriate for a 12-year old? (Reading level, language, etc.)

    He’s been bringing home “Mysteries of the Unexplained”-type books from the library, and wondered if this might be an appropriate counterpoint.

    • Kazim says

      Based on my experience with his previous book, Guy writes at a level that is very accessible to a reasonable bright twelve year old.

    • gfunk says

      I loved “Mysteries of the Unknown” as a kid. My parents got me the whole series and I had them until after I graduated.

      If they’re mature enough to read that sort of book, they would probably like some books by Joe Nickell. He takes on those “exciting” stories skeptically but with a dry humor that isn’t insulting and still keeps a lot of what makes the original stories fun.

      For me, my intro to this sort of skeptical fare was even more satisfying because the Mysteries books always end with ambiguity (which was often to forced as to be lame) while Joe’s typically end with a cool explanation of what was most likely happening.

  2. Tomasz R. says

    If someone doesn’t believe in the existance of conspiracies, then he is definitely naive. You could start with history, to have a proven record of multiple conspiracies that people or ogranizations executed against others and for their benefits. Rulers poisoning or murdering their rivals, false accusations and kangooroo trails, provocations to start the war. It’s naive to assume modern world is any different when it comes to prevalence of conspiracies, although general trend of lowering violence may make them less violent. Interesting point – there was

    “Alternative medicine” term says only about the legal/formal aspect of the procedures, drugs etc.: by dictionary com “alternative” means “employing or following nontraditional or unconventional ideas, methods, etc.; existing outside the establishment”. Which simply means if a given method of healing is not supported by the establishment (government, medical associations), then it’s “alternative medicine”. There’s nothing in this name that implies it’s not efficient, and there’s nothing in this name that makes it not proven. But it also can’t assure you it’s proven. So basically you should not base your thinking on the category of “alternative medicine”, but consider each therapy or medication on it’s own.

    Same with conspiracy theories – it’s totally retarded to reject information only because it makes claims about conspiracy. What you need to do is to work thins out on a case-by case basis.

    Both categories are thus a great example that abstract thinkig, categorizing, and classifications should be used tenatively, because they often don’t work.

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