The long-awaited (yes, it’s been in the works for some time) anthology from bloggers at the Skeptic Ink Network, 13 Reasons to Doubt, has finally appeared. It is published by Onus Books and is currently available in a Kindle edition, though other formats will also be appearing.
13 Reasons to Doubt is described in this way by its back-cover blurb:
Extraordinary claims and extraordinary evidence.
The mainstream and social media feed our minds a diet of fringe science and outright pseudoscience. They relentlessly stream paranormal, supernatural, and otherwise extraordinary claims. Where do all these come from? They’re spread by shysters and charlatans, by corporate propagandists with cynical eyes on the bottom line, by priests and preachers of all kinds, by axe-grinding cranks and ideologues, and frequently by well-meaning dupes.
This may be a scientific age, but all too often, science, well-grounded scholarship, evidence, and logic are ignored—or even denied.
Scientific skepticism offers a corrective: skeptics defend science and reason, while demanding the evidence for extraordinary claims.
In this volume, we offer you thirteen ways to scientific skepticism: thirteen reasons to doubt extraordinary claims. The authors discuss groupthink and cognitive biases, science denialism, weird archeology, claims about religion and free will, and many other topics. Within these pages, there is something for anyone who wants to avoid biases and fallacies, cut through the masses of misinformation, and push back against fakers and propagandists.
13 Reasons to Doubt includes my chapter entitled “Skepticism in an Age of Ideology” – this is an original piece, especially written for the book, although it draws on my talk at last year’s TAM (the Amazing Meeting) among other things.
The following is a complete table of contents:
A BRIEF HISTORY OF DOUBT: GREAT SKEPTICS FROM ANTIQUITY TO THE RENAISSANCE
SKEPTICISM IN AN AGE OF IDEOLOGY
ARE YOU A SKEPTIC?
WHY YOU CAN’T TRUST YOUR BRAIN
Caleb W. Lack
BEING SUSPICIOUS OF OURSELVES: GROUPTHINK’S THREAT TO SKEPTICISM
SCIENCE: A MECHANISM FOR DOUBTING; A SOURCE OF RELIABILITY
SCIENCE IS PREDICATED ON THE NON-MAGICAL NATURAL WORLD ORDER
John W. Loftus
THE POWER OF HUME’S ON MIRACLES
ON DOUBTING THE EXISTENCE OF FREE WILL, AND HOW IT CAN MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
Jonathan M.S. Pearce
PSEUDOARCHAEOLOGY: SEVEN TIPS
THE NEW WORLD ORDER IS COMING FOR YOU!
WHY BELIEFS MATTER
SCIENCE DENIALISM AT A SKEPTIC CONFERENCE: A CAUTIONARY TALE
Edward K Clint
APPENDIX: SCIENCE DENIALISM AT A SKEPTIC CONFERENCE
I haven’t yet read the entire book, but I’ve certainly read most of it (and even pitched in to help with the copyediting!). I can say that there is much strong material here, not least in Caleb Lack’s superb piece on why you can’t trust your brain (alas, your brain comes complete with all sorts of cognitive biases).
[Pssst… My Amazon author page]