50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

  • by Guy P. Harrison
  • Narrated by Erik Synnestvedt
  • 13 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Maybe you know someone who swears by the reliability of psychics or who is in regular contact with angels. Or perhaps you're trying to find a nice way of dissuading someone from wasting money on a homeopathy cure. Or you met someone at a party who insisted the Holocaust never happened or that no one ever walked on the moon.
How do you find a gently persuasive way of steering people away from unfounded beliefs, bogus cures, conspiracy theories, and the like? Longtime skeptic Guy P. Harrison shows you how in this down-to-earth, entertaining exploration of commonly held extraordinary claims.
A veteran journalist, Harrison has not only surveyed a vast body of literature, but has also interviewed leading scientists, explored "the most haunted house in America," frolicked in the inviting waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and even talked to a "contrite Roswell alien."
Harrison is not out simply to debunk unfounded beliefs. Wherever possible, he presents alternative scientific explanations, which in most cases are even more fascinating than the wildest speculation. For example, stories about UFOs and alien abductions lack good evidence, but science gives us plenty of reasons to keep exploring outer space for evidence that life exists elsewhere in the vast universe. The proof for Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster may be nonexistent, but scientists are regularly discovering new species, some of which are truly stranger than fiction.
Stressing the excitement of scientific discovery and the legitimate mysteries and wonder inherent in reality, Harrison invites listeners to share the joys of rational thinking and the skeptical approach to evaluating our extraordinary world.


What the Critics Say

"A much needed tour through common delusions about reality. Harrison writes clearly and succinctly about beliefs that are not supported by science or logic. However, he does so with sympathy and understanding for the reasons so many people find comfort in the irrational." (Victor J. Stenger, author of the New York Times best seller God: The Failed Hypothesis and The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Skepticism, so Dull & Condescending

Neither a book for the fun-poking skeptic, nor the agnostic, or even the believer. The author fills his pages with a shockingly dull approach, given the book's fun subject matter. If this dry narrative wasn't bad enough, the author indulges in endless Condescension, NOT Smugness with all the fun that word implies, but the Condescension one expects from a long tenured grade-school teacher. This was so bad that I became so convinced that the publishers forced the writer to include a "How to enlighten people, without talking down" section at the end of each chapter which some times, some how, manages to be worse then the proceeding discussion.

(For the record, I'm a huge fan of Dawkins and Hitchen's books on Atheism. I love books on Skepticism.)

Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, this book will leave you questioning your own decision making ability, but not for the reasons the author hopes.
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- Mr Conway "Non-Fiction, Science, Tech, History & Business"

A bible of political correctness and platitudes

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I don't think anyone can enjoy listening to a recitation of platitudes delivered in such a condescending tone and without any actual argument

Has 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True turned you off from other books in this genre?

It is not the first book written by the self-proclaimed sceptics that I've listened to. I think I've had enough of their shallow argumentation. I'll try and avoid listening to books written by the so-called sceptics in the future.

What about Erik Synnestvedt’s performance did you like?

Performance was all right.

What character would you cut from 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True?

I've always believed that Americans did indeed land on the Moon in the late 1960-s and early 1970-s, but after listening to Guy Harrison arguing with those who do not believe it, I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Any additional comments?

It is irritating listening to an author who feels so morally superior to his opponents that he never even condescends to arguing with them on the merits of the issue. He kind of says, I am a sceptic so I know better, just take my word for it, and if you disagree you are a gullible idiot.

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- Andrei Stavtsev

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-28-2012
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC