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Follies of the Wise

The critiques are not only motivated by academic persnicketiness about violations of elementary scientific and scholarly standards; they are also motivated by wholesome emotions of pity, anger, and fear about the real harm caused to real people by Thinkeries and their manufactured thought products in fact my one niggling criticism of Follies of the Wise is its title, which misleadingly suggests light fun at the expense of blundering but harmless fools. Crews persuasively argues that the whole episode, with its inquisitorial fervor, with its spooky aura of Salem Village, with its thousands upon thousands of real victims families exploded, patients afflicted with implanted delusions of horrifying ritual abuse by their loved ones, innocents railroaded into prison was a phantasm created — not revealed — by therapists adapting psychoanalytic modes.

The fire that Crews, and others, applied to the Recovered Memory Thinkery was both scourge and philanthropic gift. The same can be said for the skeptical flame illuminating all of the essays in Follies of the Wise. Graphology, or handwriting analysis , claims that personality characteristics such as introversion and extraversion can be inferred from the form and structure of letters, words, and sentences introverts, for example, are said to write in smaller letters, extraverts in larger letters. Shermer puts graphology to the experimental test.

Sign me up! Please support the work of the Skeptics Society. Make the world a more rational place and help us defend the role of science in society. Harriet Hall M.


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Understanding the difference could save your life! In this superb part video lecture series, Harriet Hall M. This free booklet reveals 10 myths that explain why terrorism is not a threat to our way of life or our survival. Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic. What is a conspiracy theory, why do people believe in them, and can you tell the difference between a true conspiracy and a false one?

Mind altering experiences are one of the foundations of widespread belief in the paranormal. But as skeptics are well aware, accepting them as reality can be dangerous…. Find out in this pamphlet! Psychic readings and fortunetelling are an ancient art — a combination of acting and psychological manipulation. This site requires it to function properly. Please turn it on in your browser preferences. Follies of the Wise detail of cover.

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A chapter on assorted kings and other leaders features a bizarre cast of characters

Watch the free series. Is Terrorism an Existential Threat? The Top Ten Strangest Beliefs Michael Shermer has compiled a list of the top 10 strangest beliefs that he has encountered in his quarter century as a professional skeptic. Who believes them? On retiring, he was given the Berkeley Citation, and just recently he has been honored as a Berkeley Fellow.


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He lives in Berkeley with his wife of 46 years, Elizabeth Crews, a photographer who was born and raised here. They have two daughters and four grandchildren—some as close as El Cerrito, others as distant as Mexico. Crews is an avid skier, hiker, swimmer, motorcyclist, and runner who continues to compete in road races at age Some get suggested by editors, others by people who send me books that might appeal t o my disposition.

Freud, for example, still matters to millions, despite decades of sharp criticism. And creationism, you suggest in one essay, is thriving after receiving the cosmetic treatment known as intelligent design. Do you think any real progress ha s been made in helping people to FC: Many of my fellow skeptics are utopians who look forward to a heaven-on-earth from which all illusions have been banished.

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Were you a radical? Any misgivings about your activities then? Do you think they may have had a part in le ading your university or the academy in general down unfortunate paths? Spo ck.

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As for the universi ties and UCB in particular, I always opposed academic disruption and violence. Any comment? Only now are some of their successors beginning to realize that when you disrespect evidence and reason, you render yourself politically irrelevant—indeed, ridiculous.