(Read Pdf) ⚢ Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time é eBook or E-pub free

Like many people, I could hardly believe my eyes when Donald Trump, in the wake of the Orlando shooting, actually went as far as to insinuate that President Obama could in some way have been complicit in causing this appalling hate crime and act of terrorism The idea is so offensive and absurd that you hardly know where to start A common reaction has been to point out that, if Obama is on the side of the terrorists, you d have to explain why he d want to invest so much effort in killing Osama bin Laden, not to mention authorizing thousands of drone strikes To me, an even stronger counter argument is cui bono Just what hidden agenda would Obama be trying to progress by allowing this hideous crime to happen But, and I freely admit it, I m behind the times conspiracy theory is the new black I suppose I need to catch up, so let me ask what makes us so sure that Trump is in the clear Unlike Obama, he has an obvious reason for wanting events like Orlando to happen they help his campaign, which is largely fuelled by polarizing narratives of us against them He was remarkably quick in reacting to the news, and hardly even bothered to express shock or sympathy with the victims before he started harvesting political capital All in all, he behaved pretty much exactly the way he d have behaved if he had in fact been behind it.Well, I m not saying Trump was the guy behind Omar Mateen But I m not saying he wasn t either As you can see, there s a case, and I d like to hear him deny it in so many words which, to the best of my knowledge, he hasn t yet done Suspicious or what This guy is in Australia at the moment for Science Week and I was thinking of going to see him, but this is not really a week in which I can engage in such optional behaviours so, I thought I d get out one of his books instead.And look, it was very good and if it had been the first book I d ever read on scepticism which I think it was written to be than I really would have been impressed But it wasn t the first book I d read on this subject and so that in itself gave the book a bit of a struggle ahead of itself.Brookmyre s latest is also on pretty much the same subject, particularly at the start of this one, but the Brookmyre is a much better book but then, it is a Brookmyre, even if not a terribly funny Brookmyre Reading this book actually made me reconsider just how good Brookmyre s last book actually was.There was an odd bit towards the end of this one about the Holocaust and I really struggled with that being in this book To compare David Irving and the holocaust deniers with Creationists and the deniers of Evolution I mean, I can see where he is coming from, but really, of the two, Creationists are the much dangerous, as they are by far considered the credible by a larger part of society Only someone with virtually no brain at all could deny the holocaust it is hard to take that view seriously, so I struggled over this being put in the book But everyone needs to take Creationism seriously when the guy with his hand on the big red button calls himself a Creationist and believes in Armageddon, the world really does need to take Creationism seriously than Holocaust denial.The start of this book is very well put together he goes through the logical fallacies that people often make when they believe in such things as alien abduction or spiritualism Even as an introduction to logical fallacies it is worth reading In fact, I found most of the book well put together It is just I have read so much on this stuff and so very little here is new However, there really was a wonderful bit in the middle where he quotes from Dianetics , quotes my mate L Ron saying that Dianetics is the greatest human discovery since the wheel I really am going to have to read that book one of these days Scientology has got to be the funniest religion around If the point of religion is to make me smile, then really, compared to Scientology and perhaps the Latter Days other religions really aren t trying.It might be that with this stuff one does tend to go back to the first book one read on the subject but I still do think thatA Physicist s Guide to Scepticism by Rothman was a much better book All the same, this is a book worth reading because it is on a very important topic while it is still the case that the majority of people in the world believe in ghosts and UFOs there will always be room for yet another book on scepticism And this one is easy to read and quite comprehensive. Having spent a fair amount of time on my spiritual path believing things that at best had no evidence and at times were quite outrageous, I ve become very interested in the question that forms the title of this book A former born again Christian who is now head of the Skeptic society, Michael Shermer has written a very readable and compelling exploration of the cognitive thinking errors humans regularly make that support belief in ideas that can often be very detrimental to our overall well being Shermer is a good storyteller and his discussions of subjects including the alien abduction phenomenon, the personality cult of Ayn Rand, and the tactics creation scientists use to try to discredit the theory of evolution make for compelling reading.Perhaps most importantly, Shermer eloquently argues that being a skeptic is not the same thing as being a cynic In his description of the scientific process, it becomes clear that maintaining a sense of awe and wonder at the universe is not only compatible with science, it can actually be enhanced by the willingness to remain in the unknown as evidence is being gathered and examined In addition, a maintaining a healthy skepticism can go a long way towards preserving both one s sanity and one s cash in the alternative spiritual realm. fb , , Neil deGrasse Tyson , 2018 2002 , 4 This is a joint review of this book and How We BelieveShermer postulates that humans have evolved a belief module that helps us find patterns in what appears otherwise to be a meaningless universe Why we feel compelled to find meaning in everything continues to puzzle me Until about four hundred years ago, when the process of science gave us a method to determine the difference between patterns that are real and those that are mere illusion, the tautologies myth and religion, a tautology explained the relationship of man to the universe Despite the rise of science, humans continue to hold all sorts of unsupportable beliefs 90% believe in heaven, 72% believe in angels, 67% believe they have had a psychic experience Wall Street Journal, January 30, 1996 Mostly we have adopted the fruits of science, i.e technology, without teaching or employing the principles of scientific thinking The reason, Shermer suggests, lies in the evolution of the module Several million years of evolution were required to change the fist sized brain of Australopithecines to the cantaloupe sized brain of the Homo sapiens sapiens, and civilization as we understand it has been around for only about 13,000 years Evolutionary psychologists believe the conditions of our existence shaped the brain The brain is basically a collection of computational devices that evolved to solve problems regularly encountered by our huntergatherer ancestors Shermer argues that belief evolved to help interpret patterns Recognition of patterns has survival value, e.g., being upwind of an animal means one is likely to be discovered, etc These are meaningful Other patterns such as drawing images and magical thinking may reduce anxiety but are essentially meaningless or irrelevant from a survival standpoint In short, we developed two kinds of thinking type 1, believing a falsehood or rejecting the truth and type 2, not believing a falsehood and believing a truth Magical thinking evolved as a necessary corollary to causal thinking, a spandrel, if you will A spandrel is the space formed by the intersection of two arches it looks to be structurally essential but are not between seeking answers through magic, i.e., religion and other nonevidentiary based beliefs and fact based conclusions That magical thinking and making mistakes in order to eventually correctly interpret patterns is undeniable Shermer cites several examples of superstition and magical thinking among indigenous peoples to support his hypothesis For example, among the Yanomam peoples of South America superstitions and taboos related to the Jaguar even when incorrect serve a useful purpose because the jaguar is the only animal that hunts people, and the superstitions help to convey the power and danger of the animal that presents a very real danger Bronislaw Malinski, in his study of the Trobriand Islanders, found that rituals and superstitions increased as they ventured farther out to sea He drew the conclusion that thinking derived from environmental conditions finds magic wherever the elements of chance and accident are present The emotional play between hope and fear have a wide and extensive range We do not find magic wherever the pursuit is certain, reliable and well under the control of rational methods and technological processes There are no peoples however primitive without religion and magic During the Middle Ages, given the uncertainties and vagaries of daily life, and that almost 90% of the people were illiterate, superstition and belief in magic were ubiquitous Plague was believed to be caused by a misalignment of the stars, and when a person died, all the water in the house was discarded lest the soul of the departed drown, etc For see Keith Thomas s Religion and the Decline of Magic Only religion could rival astrology as an all embracing explanation for the vicissitudes of life The rise of rationalism and science following the sixteenth century did much to replace superstitions as an explanation for the unknown or uncertain The twentieth century is not immune to superstitious belief, and the uncertain an activity, the likely there are to be superstitions associated with it Take baseball Hitting a baseball is so difficult that even the best players fail to get a hit seven times out of 10 at bats so many hitters have harmless superstitions associated with their batting Fielders, on the other hand, who succeed catching a fly ball almost nine times out of ten have few until they come bat In France there is a company that provides emergency guests for any dinner party of triskaidekaphobes who discover that they number thirteen at table Bad things happen to good people, and good things often happen to bad people Conspiracy theorists are simply trying to bring order to a complex world containing such dissonances It s a way of bringing order to what appears random Surely JFK could not have been killed by a lone gunman It s impossible G Gordon Liddy said that two elements were required for a conspiracy competence, a rare commodity, and secrecy, a secret can be kept among two people only if two of them are dead Almost any kind of bizarre unrelated event then becomes evidence for the conspiracy Our belief modules in action Shermer argues the best regulator of the Belief Module is science It is the best method for determining the difference between falsehood and truth Does extract of seaweed really cure cancer All the anecdotes in the world will not answer the question You need 100 people, all properly diagnosed as having the same type of cancer Then have 50 of them eat extract of seaweed and 50 take the placebo If none of them knows what they are taking and none of the experimenters knows double blind and the results show a statistically significant difference then you might have something. Audiobook Abridged 3.5 hours Note this is not the Revised and Expanded edition if there even is one for audio I listened to the original audio from 98.Shermer is the founder of The Skeptics Society and Editor in Chief of its magazine Skeptic He knows his stuff In this book, he explores alien abductions, Holocaust denial, the legal history of creationism in science classrooms, and some other things These are all interesting and covers Shermer s experiences with all of them My primary trouble with this book is the title With that title, I expected psychology and less logic Shermer spends a great deal of time talking about the various fallacies the various groups make, but doesn t spend enough time, in my view, on the actual why You all know I m a huge proponent of reviewing what was written, not what one wanted to read but Why is in the title While the what is interesting, I was promised why , and answers are in too short of supply. I don t think I learned why people believe weird things, just that they do which I already knew.It also mentions how these beliefs don t listen to reason, because that was never the point, but the author also proceeds to tell you how to logically refute every moronic argument of creationists or Holocaust denials As if the lack of logical counter arguments was ever the problem.I did enjoy the history of the evolution theory denialism in the US which from the European perspective is really shocking. (Read Pdf) ñ Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time õ Revised And Expanded EditionIn This Age Of Supposed Scientific Enlightenment, Many People Still Believe In Mind Reading, Past Life Regression Theory, New Age Hokum, And Alien Abduction A No Holds Barred Assault On Popular Superstitions And Prejudices, With Than , Copies In Print, Why People Believe Weird Things Debunks These Nonsensical Claims And Explores The Very Human Reasons People Find Otherworldly Phenomena, Conspiracy Theories, And Cults So Appealing In An Entirely New Chapter, Why Smart People Believe In Weird Things, Michael Shermer Takes On Science Luminaries Like Physicist Frank Tippler And Others, Who Hide Their Spiritual Beliefs Behind The Trappings Of ScienceShermer, Science Historian And True Crusader, Also Reveals The Dangerous Side Of Such Illogical Thinking, Including Holocaust Denial, The Recovered Memory Movement, The Satanic Ritual Abuse Scare, And Other Modern Crazes Why People Believe Strange Things Is An Eye Opening Resource For The Most Gullible Among Us And Those Who Want To Protect Them Why People believe weird things is something I have also wondered a lot when I hear people talking about ghosts or astrology or God Things are different here in India and you wouldn t find people shouting for creationism or Holocaust deniers here as you neither have prominently christian people here and not too many Jewish people but still we in India have our own laundry list of weird things people believe in It was a fun read and shocking though I already knew that still so many people believe in supernatural stuff despite so many irrefutable proof YouTube is filled with stupid videos portraying all kind of weird things you will find flatearthers there, aliens and try all kind of conspiracy theories Everyone should read this and such books and people should be skeptics after all that s the call of today and only education and knowledge can pierce through the darkness of superstition and always remember to just Keep on Reading.