The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience: [2 Volumes]

Front Cover
Michael Shermer
Bloomsbury Academic, Nov 14, 2002 - Science - 903 pages

A thorough, objective, and balanced analysis of the most prominent controversies made in the name of science--from the effectiveness of proposed medical treatments to the reality of supernatural claims.
Edited by Michael Shermer, editor and publisher of The Skeptic magazine, this truly unique work provides a comprehensive introduction to the most prominent pseudoscientific claims made in the name of "science." Covering the popular, the academic, and the bizarre, the encyclopedia includes everything from alien abductions to the Bermuda Triangle, crop circles, Feng Shui, and near-death experiences.

Fifty-nine brief descriptive summaries and 23 investigations from The Skeptic magazine give skeptical analyses of subjects as far-ranging as acupuncture, chiropractic, and Atlantis. The encyclopedia also gives for-and-against debates on topics such as evolutionary psychology and case studies on topics like police psychics and the medical intuitive Carolyn Myss. Finally, the volumes include five classic works in the history of science and pseudoscience, including the speech William Jennings Bryan never delivered in the Scopes trial, and the first scientific and skeptical investigation of a paranormal/spiritual phenomenon by Benjamin Franklin and Antoine Lavoisier.

  • Includes over 100 entries about pseudoscientific subjects like the Bermuda Triangle, handwriting analysis, and the health hazards of electromagnetic fields and cell phones
  • Presents 35 case studies and investigations from The Skeptic magazine about topics ranging from police psychics and recovered memory therapy to Atlantis and witchcraft
  • Includes classic primary documents such as "Whatever Happened to N-Rays?," Edward Condon's "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects," and Benjamin Franklin's report on animal magnetism
  • Includes over 60 contributors including scholars, psychologists, trial attorneys, and others

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About the author (2002)

Michael Shermer is the director of the Skeptics Society and the host of the Skeptics Lecture Series at the California Institute of Technology. He teaches science, technology, and evolutionary thought in the Cultural Studies Program at Occidental College.

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