Posted On:10/16/2007 11:55pm
The Demon-Haunted World :Science As a Candle in the Dark
by Carl Sagan
is a collection of twenty-five essays, several written with Sagan's wife, Ann Druyan. The essays range in scope from eloquent paeans to science to impassioned denunciations of bigotry, from humorous accounts of a variety of pseudoscientific endeavors to serious attempts to understand the nature of alien abduction delusions. With intelligence and wit, and the rational calmness that is his trademark, Sagan takes on a wide variety of topics, among them: alien abductions, astrology, Atlantis, the Bell Curve, channeling, crop circles, demons, electromagnetism, ESP, the face on Mars, fairies, faith healing, magic, miracles, prayer, religion, Roswell, satanic rituals, therapy, and, of course, one of his favorite topics, UFOs and extraterrestrials. Only Velikovsky gets ignored this time around. Through each of his essays he extols the virtues of skepticism, empirical evidence and control studies, while uncovering a multitude of errors and weaknesses in the positions of occultists, paranormalists, supernaturalists and pseudoscientists. And he does so with extreme grace, gentility and civility.
You can download the entire audiobook free here (mp3)
The God Delusion
by Richard Dawkins
In The God Delusion, Dawkins contends that a supernatural creator most likely does not exist and that belief in a god qualifies as a delusion, which he defines as a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence. He is sympathetic to Robert Pirsig's observation that "when one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."
Free online preface here:
The Enemies of Reason (parts I & II)
by Richard Dawkins (BBC series 2007)
Available at google video:
James Randi Educational Foundation (website)
Posted On:10/17/2007 5:06am
Style: muay thai
mmany thanks arhetton.
Matthew Alper and his theories of nuerotheology are prety good stuff too.
Posted On:10/17/2007 6:22am
Why People Believe Weird Things - Michael Shermer
Flim-Flam - James Randi
Posted On:10/25/2007 8:41am
Style: Judo, Tomiki Aikido, ??
Posted in the Ben Stein thread but worth reposting here
Why Smart People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer
Posted On:10/25/2007 11:04am
paging ironlurker, paging ironlurker
I'm not witty enough for this custom title.
Posted On:10/25/2007 1:57pm
Style: In Hiatus
Richard Dawkins is the man, if you ask me.
Posted On:10/25/2007 4:40pm
I don't have time to watch that vid right now but I look forward to it this evening. Thanks for the link Kaju.
Posted On:10/25/2007 6:37pm
Style: Mixed Martial Arts
Funny you should post the God Delusion, Arhetton. When I met you in Sydney I had finished the book on the plane ride down.
Here's a couple of links that are bread-and-butter in my opinion:
My girlfriend just finished a bachelor of science in Microbiology & Biological Sciences at Griffith University, and last semester she took Martin Bridgestock's Skepticism, Science, and the Paranormal course which is on offer throughout the year.
Apparently it was the best class she'd ever taken. I read through the lecture notes every week myself, and I must say I'm a big fan of Bridgestock. He's not as harsh as Randi, Dawkins, or even Gardiner, but he's very adept at making his point clear without being abrasive.
Posted On:10/26/2007 2:50pm
Originally Posted by Deadmeat
I like how women "outbelieve" men in everything except in if aliens had visited earth. LOL. It might tell us something about modern male culture (DAMN! that's cool!).
ON THE OTHER HAND, I wonder why women actually outbelieve men in every other category shown there. I've encountered this myself: females seem to say 'well, I don't know...' in face of concrete evidence and proof. It's really an odd phenomena, but it seems to be quite universal... dunno...
In any case, I think Dawkins deals with the paranormal in a first rate fashion. He lays out the facts, and literally says, "look, God almost certainly does not exist." He doesn't hold back or look like your typical quite nerdy and shy scientist. He's called "Darwin's rottweiler" for a reason, after all.
Posted On:10/26/2007 3:01pm
I find Skeptic magazine to be the most useful one in the topic. It doesn't come out as often as Skeptical Inquirer or Free Inquiry, but I find the content much more substantial.
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