Author Topic: Recent Skeptical Books  (Read 2274 times)

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Offline ting-bu-dong

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Recent Skeptical Books
« on: January 05, 2018, 04:00:02 PM »
I have been out of skepticism for a while (around 2012) and just started getting back in into it by catching up on the SGU. Are there any major skeptical books that came out since 2012 I should catch up on?

Offline JohnM

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 06:56:59 AM »
What would a skeptic's reading list look like? I can't think of many books that would be must-reads.

Offline Sawyer

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 09:58:17 AM »
Goodreads had several must-read skeptical books, and they are pretty much exactly what you would expect - a bunch of stuff by Sagan, Dawkins, Shermer, etc.  I used to refer to them quite often when picking out stuff at the library, although after a while it feels like you're reading the same book over and over again.  I've found that most straight science books manage to get skeptical lessons incorporated anyway, with the added bonus of familiarizing you with how they play out in a specific discipline.

SGU Crew has a book coming out this year?

Offline ting-bu-dong

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2018, 10:53:36 AM »
What would a skeptic's reading list look like? I can't think of many books that would be must-reads.

Looking at my bookshelf, I see

Flim-Flam by Randi
Denying History by Shermer
Trick or Treatment by Simon Singh
Demonhaunted World by Sagan
Nonsense on Stilts by Massimo Pigliucci
Bad Astronomy by Phil Plait

So I was thinking things along those lines rather than straight science. So I guess noone wrote anything significant in the last five years?

Offline Jaloopa

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2018, 01:57:20 PM »
Bad Pharma and I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That, both by Ben Goldacre. Bad Science if you haven't read it too, but that's more than 5 years old

Online Tassie Dave

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2018, 07:34:45 PM »
There will be a book by Steve and the Rogues out this year. Well that's their plan.
They haven't given it a title. but it will likely be "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe" with a general overview of skepticism.


Don't confuse it with this book below, which NOT a skeptical book and is NOT by the rogues. This is from the woo side.
BS Warning --> "A Skeptic's Guide To The Universe:: How To Develop Your Intuition For Fun And Profit" <--BS Warning
Quote
The energy in this book describes the interactions and interrelationships between soul, spirit and mind. You will learn the four basic levels at which human beings exist and the further transcendence to one source of knowledge that always was and always is. Whether you are a skeptic, a scientist or someone open to discovering the miracles of the universe in everyday life, this book will intrigue and inspire you. Spiritual seekers will resonate with the profound wisdom of this book and discover the essential joy that is inherent to all human beings.



Offline Sawyer

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2018, 08:51:53 PM »
My one must-read skeptical book from the last decade is Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway.  I would certainly start with this over any other book about global warming, and perhaps before any general book about environmental science.  It's coverage of the political angles of global warming denial may not satisfy someone looking for "pure" scientific skepticism, but I don't know how you look at this topic in a serious manner without broaching the politics. 


Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2018, 01:23:47 PM »
Depends on how you define major skeptical books. The only thing I can think of is Dawkins having published a few books over the years.

There will be a book by Steve and the Rogues out this year. Well that's their plan.
They haven't given it a title. but it will likely be "The Skeptics Guide to the Universe" with a general overview of skepticism.

I truly look forward to that. They stated it is expected to be out this fall. However, being a pessimistic fellow, I personally think it will be delayed somewhat and it might be out in the winter, or early 2019.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 01:31:02 PM by Quetzalcoatl »
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2018, 06:06:44 PM »
As for "must read" skeptical books, here are two lists. Certain titles are re-occurring as you will surely notice, and I don't think any of them were published during the past five years.

Popular Skepticism Books

Ten Books for Skeptics
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Online Rai

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 04:07:59 AM »
I can totally recommend some books of Darren Naish, a british zoologist who is doing fairly interesting things with scientific scepticism, without being part of the ever-more toxic and ever-more insular "sceptical community". Especially Evolution in Minutes and Hunting Monsters: Cryptozoology and the Reality Behind the Myths

Also, avoid Shermer, Dawkins and Harris like the plague. You don't want to give them your money or, in the case of Harris, engage with their drivel.

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2018, 06:30:27 AM »
I think its always useful to ask-
What aspect of skepticism are you interested in?
Medical skepticism?
Tech skepticism?
Cryptozoology?
Conspiracy debunking?
Science woo debunking?
Legal skepticism?
Deep dive journalism exposés?

I find single books are mostly specialist in one or two areas only.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2018, 01:27:19 PM »
ever-more insular "sceptical community"

Huh? It seems to have been growing since the past drama years by quite a lot.

Also, avoid Shermer, Dawkins and Harris like the plague. You don't want to give them your money or, in the case of Harris, engage with their drivel.

I agree about Shermer, but I think Harris and Dawkins are worthwhile thinkers even if I don't agree with them all the time.

And watching Dawkins on Youtube can make you melt inside.
"I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist. I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us." - Christopher Hitchens

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2018, 05:20:11 PM »
YMMV on enjoyment of particular speakers.
I dont even enjoy listening to Hitchens.

Online Rai

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2018, 03:45:55 AM »
ever-more insular "sceptical community"

Huh? It seems to have been growing since the past drama years by quite a lot.

Dunno, I still haven't seen the women, returning, for instance, and many of the problem figures are still very much around.


I agree about Shermer, but I think Harris and Dawkins are worthwhile thinkers even if I don't agree with them all the time.

And watching Dawkins on Youtube can make you melt inside.

This is why I wrote late period Dawkins. His early stuff is indeed good (even if his Selfish Gene Theory is pretty much dead), but after the mid-2000s there is a steep drop-off of quality.

I never found anything from Harris worth the paper he's written on. He's not even a third-rate thinker, more like a below-average blogger who, for some strange reason, gets publishing deals.

Offline Quetzalcoatl

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Re: Recent Skeptical Books
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 02:04:59 PM »
ever-more insular "sceptical community"

Huh? It seems to have been growing since the past drama years by quite a lot.

Dunno, I still haven't seen the women, returning, for instance, and many of the problem figures are still very much around.

Given the increase, I'm sure women are involved as well.


I agree about Shermer, but I think Harris and Dawkins are worthwhile thinkers even if I don't agree with them all the time.

And watching Dawkins on Youtube can make you melt inside.

This is why I wrote late period Dawkins. His early stuff is indeed good (even if his Selfish Gene Theory is pretty much dead), but after the mid-2000s there is a steep drop-off of quality.

I never found anything from Harris worth the paper he's written on. He's not even a third-rate thinker, more like a below-average blogger who, for some strange reason, gets publishing deals.

I thought the gene-centered view of evolution was mainstream these days.

Is your dislike of "late Dawkins" based on that he criticized religion? Or any religion other than Christianity?

Harris is a very good and readable writer. Regardless of what you think about his ideas, he is easy to read, which tend to result in popular books.
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