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Pseudoscience and Deception

The Smoke and Mirrors of Paranormal Claims

Edited by Bryan Farha - Foreword by Michael Shermer

Paperback
eBook
Pseudoscience and Deception is a compilation of some of the most eye-opening skeptical articles pertaining to extraordinary claims and pseudoscience. The articles explore paranormal, extraordinary, or fringe-science claims and reveal logical explanations or outline the deceptive tactics involved in convincing the vulnerable. Topics include claims of astrology, psychic ability, alternative medicine, after-death communication, psychotherapy, and pseudoscience. The contributors to this book are among the most accomplished critical thinkers, scientists, and educators in the world and tackle their respective topics from a rational, logical, and skeptical perspective. Most students are seldom excited to study “critical thinking”—with the exception of allegedly paranormal phenomena as the subject matter. Educators must seize this golden opportunity to witness and experience students’ genuine engagement in studying critical thinking. « less more »
University Press of America
Pages: 180Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7618-6292-5 • Paperback • December 2013 • $29.99 • (£18.95)
978-0-7618-6293-2 • eBook • December 2013 • $29.99 • (£18.95)
Bryan Farha is professor of behavioral studies in education at Oklahoma City University. He received a doctor of education degree in counseling psychology from the University of Tulsa. A scientific and technical consultant to the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), his work in combating deception has been recognized by CNN, TIME.com, The National Geographic Channel, and A&E.
Foreword, by Michael Shermer
Preface
Acknowledgements

CRITICAL THOUGHT ABOUT STRANGE THINGS

1. Why Smart People Believe Weird Things

2. How to Argue

PSYCHIC PHENOMENA & FORTUNE-TELLING

3. Cold Reading: How to Convince Strangers That You Know All About Them

4. Long Island Chicanery

SCIENCE/HEALTH CLAIMS

5. Why Bogus Therapies Often Seem to Work

6. Power Balance Products: A Skeptical Look

7. Consensus on Climate Change

8. Why Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis is Worthless

OUT OF THIS WORLD

9. The Case For and Against Astrology

10. Looking Up to Logic

11. The Lunar Effect and Confirmation Bias

RELIGION & FAITH HEALING

12. Prayer and Healing: The Verdict Is In and the Results Are Null

13. Confessions of a Skeptic

PSYCHOTHERAPY

14. Pseudoscience in Contemporary Clinical Psychology: What it is and what we can do about it

NUMERICAL ANOMALIES

15. Number Manipulation: The Not “So Spooky” Tim McVeigh

AFTERLIFE AND RELATED PHENOMENA

16. Deconstructing the Dead

CRYPTOZOOLOGY

17. Bigfoot at 50: Evaluating a Half-Century of Bigfoot Evidence

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Praise for the First Edition

Reading the chapters in this fine anthology will make you smarter and better able to cope. First, they will inform you and enrich your life. Then they will give you tools to allow you to sift sense from nonsense about all manner of claims and assertions that swirl about without much intelligent evaluation or response. This is your antidote to those.
Kendrick Frazier, editor, Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and Reason


A ‘how to’ book for apprehending nature in its true grandeur.
Ann Druyan, co-writer, Co-Writer of the Cosmos TV series and wife of the late Carl Sagan


Dr. Farha has never had any misconceptions about how the universe really works. His book will encourage and help those for whom questions have arisen, and will give them points upon which to base arguments against the ever-growing dumbing-down of the public. We must awaken to this danger and oppose it.
James Randi


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