Skeptics Guide to the Universe Forums

Media => Books => Topic started by: AllanGuldager on February 19, 2015, 11:38:19 AM

Title: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: AllanGuldager on February 19, 2015, 11:38:19 AM
I recently bought the following:
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

Flim-Flam! by James Randi

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer

Trick or Treatment? by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst

But I do want to read books from "the other side" also. I know about Kevin Trudeaus books, but are there others must reads pseudo-science or paranormal books?
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Desert Fox on February 19, 2015, 11:40:39 AM
Flim Flam is one of my important turning points
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: AllanGuldager on February 19, 2015, 11:41:36 AM
Wrong place, please move to right board :)
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: AQB24712 on February 19, 2015, 11:45:10 AM
Wrong place, please move to right board :)

As you wish.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: DoktorBob on February 19, 2015, 01:26:35 PM
Wrong place, please move to right board :)

Are you a moderator?
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: AQB24712 on February 19, 2015, 01:29:03 PM
Wrong place, please move to right board :)

Are you a moderator?

I am.  You can tell by the title Global Moderator, and the five red squares.  It is perfectly appropriate for AllanGuldager to ask in a post that the thread be moved.  He could also have done so by reporting the initial post, or by PMing me or another moderator.

Any other questions I can help you with, DoktorBob?
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: amysrevenge on February 19, 2015, 01:29:48 PM
Are you god?
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: God on February 19, 2015, 02:08:08 PM
Are you god?

 :ninja:
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Belgarath on February 19, 2015, 02:13:08 PM
Are you god?

 :ninja:

Even God must answer to the Purple Squares though.......
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Belgarath on February 19, 2015, 02:15:14 PM
I recently bought the following:
The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

Flim-Flam! by James Randi

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer

Trick or Treatment? by Simon Singh and Edzard Ernst

But I do want to read books from "the other side" also. I know about Kevin Trudeaus books, but are there others must reads pseudo-science or paranormal books?

Anyway to answer your question:

Anything by Deepak Chopra
Anything by Michael Behe

Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Ah.hell on February 19, 2015, 03:13:21 PM
Pretty much any woo that has been directly refuted then go read the refutation.  It has been very educational for me to discover how some of the purveyor's of woo are so completely full of shit.  I used to think they were mostly just a little wrong about science or history that was not totally settled but no...  The ancient alien folks or 911 truthers are great examples.  Pretty much every point they make is wrong and has been known to be wrong from the beginning of each. 
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Johnny Slick on February 19, 2015, 03:29:15 PM
I don't personally recommend going to read stuff by "the other side" unless you really want to because I for one don't find it terribly enjoyable or enlightening. I understand the moral hazard there of getting caught in a loop where you only believe in skepticky things because you're never exposed to the alternative, but I also feel like you can get quite a bit of exposure to "alternative" points of view just by interacting with the outside world.

Some of the Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron videos are amusing enough to sit through if you're into irony.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: AllanGuldager on February 19, 2015, 04:03:26 PM
I don't personally recommend going to read stuff by "the other side" unless you really want to because I for one don't find it terribly enjoyable or enlightening. I understand the moral hazard there of getting caught in a loop where you only believe in skepticky things because you're never exposed to the alternative, but I also feel like you can get quite a bit of exposure to "alternative" points of view just by interacting with the outside world.

Some of the Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron videos are amusing enough to sit through if you're into irony.
I'm trying to educate myself, and I have never encountered much woo and pseudoscience in my personal life. I'm not talking about reading all kinds of crap, just a little bit. But I guess a couple of articles now and then will suffice?
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: amysrevenge on February 19, 2015, 04:05:08 PM
Food Babe maybe?
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Belgarath on February 19, 2015, 04:35:48 PM
The key to looking at the 'woo' side is to do your best to understand the topic first from the experts in the topic then go look at the woo.  I'm convinced that a lot of the anti-vax crowd wouldn't be that way if Dr. Google ranked based on peer review. 
Title: Re: Rate the last book you just read
Post by: lonely moa on February 21, 2015, 12:21:00 PM
Dr Andrew Weil.  I quite liked his "Healthy Ageing".
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Tatyana on February 21, 2015, 12:44:57 PM
I don't personally recommend going to read stuff by "the other side" unless you really want to because I for one don't find it terribly enjoyable or enlightening. I understand the moral hazard there of getting caught in a loop where you only believe in skepticky things because you're never exposed to the alternative, but I also feel like you can get quite a bit of exposure to "alternative" points of view just by interacting with the outside world.

Some of the Ray Comfort/Kirk Cameron videos are amusing enough to sit through if you're into irony.
I'm trying to educate myself, and I have never encountered much woo and pseudoscience in my personal life. I'm not talking about reading all kinds of crap, just a little bit. But I guess a couple of articles now and then will suffice?

Consider yourself lucky.

It depends what sort of woo interests you.

I was a huge fan of the occult, so I am, or was, fairly well versed in astrology and tarot cards, I also had a dabble in Wiccan.

Recently, I read a book by Rudolf Steiner (Waldorf Schools/Anthroposophy), and when I wasn't bored to tears, I was laughing my ass off.

You could always pick a religious book like the Bible or Koran, it really does depend on your interest.

You might just find that it really it is really quite tedious reading utter bullshit.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: Sawyer on February 21, 2015, 04:31:21 PM
OP mentioned some Kevin Trudeau books.  Despite never having read them, I think I can assert that these are the 'other side' books that you shouldn't even bother with.  There will be absolutely zero content in these books, very few lessons on how to directly combat nonsense, and plenty of stuff that just plain pisses you off.

My suggestion is to try to find sources with at least a shred of scientific clout, or alternatively, find books written by people who are way too obscure to ever make money off their nonsense.  Trudeau wouldn't meet this standard, nor would anyone cranking out a diet book once a year.  If you're interested in evolution, I'd eventually check out Behe's intelligent design book to see what passes for evidence in the creationist circles.  There are probably a handful climate change skeptics that are worth reading, although I honestly have no clue who they are because the conspiracy nuts have successfully elbowed them out of the way.

As Tatyana pointed out, it is exhausting trying to read some of this stuff.  Some of the better hucksters are successful simply because they have time on their side; it will take you hours to fully dissect arguments that literally took them five minutes to research and write down.  Not worth it.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: spawnstar on February 21, 2015, 08:18:49 PM
Watch Ancient Aliens and play spot that logical fallacy. It's a pretty entertaining watch.

(https://thearnoldianproject.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ancient-aliens.jpg)
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: SnarlPatrick on April 20, 2015, 04:36:02 AM
If you want to get a feel for where the other side is coming from, try watching what the bleep do we know. It's infuriating, but educational in a sense.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: superdave on April 20, 2015, 06:36:56 AM
I read one of Jenny Mccarthy's books.  It was helpful in the sense that it made me more understanding the anti vax crowd.  As a book it was a pretty bad but very light reading,  I finished it in an afternoon.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: starnado on April 20, 2015, 06:59:21 AM
Carlos Castaneda 'The teachings of Don Juan'. A fun read, as are all of his books in that oeuvre, if you like trying to separate fact from fiction.

'The Celestine Prophecy'. Not so much fun to read but a good insight into how a magico-religio-spiritual-o model of reality can be quite compelling for the suggestible.

Erich Von Daniken 'Fingerprints of the Gods'. How to stitch together meaningless patterns and geographical triangles into million dollar book sales.
Title: Re: Non-skeptical must reads?
Post by: kpgarvin on April 26, 2015, 09:18:33 PM
Are you god?

 :ninja:
(http://38.media.tumblr.com/c8da2d03747ae5611d33fa337c160566/tumblr_mtwnqoGLNZ1rgco4uo4_250.gif)