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30 May 2017

A Field Guide to Lies, by Daniel J. Levitin

In the library the other day, this book’s title caught my eye. I grabbed it and readily consumed it over the past week. It’s a guide to exercising our best critical thinking skills during a time when our attention is awash in claims both vital and derivative, important and erroneous. How do we tell truth from fiction? Politically, the timing could hardly be more propitious for the release of this …

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8 March 2017

Q&A, episode 4

Who are “the 3%?” A reader question prompts a conversation with “Skeptical Science” guru and cognitive scientist John Cook.

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24 September 2016

The Age of American Unreason, by Susan Jacoby

I probably should have read this book eight years ago when it was first published, but somehow I missed it then. I recently heard the author, Susan Jacoby, on the podcast Point of Inquiry, and was impressed at the cannon of works she had produced. The current U.S. election cycle has spurred me to think more than I usually do about what constitutes rational thought, and why it seems to …

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14 February 2013

The Discovery Institute feels sorry for my students

Periodically, I get requests to use my images in publications. It’s very easy to find my photos, because I publish a lot of them on this blog, or on my NOVA website, and they always rise to the top of a Google image search. I got a distinctive one on Monday: Dear Mr. Bentley, My boss Dr. Stephen C. Meyer at the Discovery Institute is finishing up a book that discusses …

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7 March 2011

Books about atheism

I’ve been reading some books lately about atheism. Though I’ve been a functional atheist for many years, I’ve been paying more attention to it lately in light of religiously-inspired idiocy from around the globe. I’ve become convinced that religious belief does more harm than good, and my sense of incredulity has deepened at how far my fellow humans will go in their own self-deception. So I’ve been doing some reading …

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7 February 2011

Geologist scam

I just got an e-mail which screams “scam!” Apologies for having to reach out to you like this, but I made a quick trip to the UK and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and credit cards in it. The  embassy has cooperated by issuing a temporary passport, I just have to pay for a ticket  and settle Hotel bills. To be honest,i don’t have money with …

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27 January 2011

Do the math

A video, “The Dreaded Stairs,” has been getting some circulation lately on Facebook. It shows what happens when a staircase (beside an escalator) gets a makeover which features piano-style keys which make sounds when they are trod upon. Watch the video if you would like; I’m going to focus on the accompanying blurb, which reads: There is a set of stairs, with a moving escalator next to it …. both …

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4 January 2011

Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, by Martin Gardner

Yesterday I mentioned some books that I had sampled on the topic of geologic time over the holiday break. Another book I read in my hammock in the Gulf of Honduras was Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, by Martin Gardner. As with Demon-Haunted World, I got the recommendation to read Gardner from a podcast that I listen to called The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. When Martin …

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Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, by Martin Gardner

Yesterday I mentioned some books that I had sampled on the topic of geologic time over the holiday break. Another book I read in my hammock in the Gulf of Honduras was Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, by Martin Gardner. As with Demon-Haunted World, I got the recommendation to read Gardner from a podcast that I listen to called The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe. When Martin …

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5 December 2010

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

I just finished reading a book that I should have read fifteen years ago, when I first saw it in the library: Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Over the past couple of years, I’ve taken to listening to the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, thanks to a recommendation from Bryan on a post I wrote about podcasts back on the first incarnation …

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