| ||200% Of Nothing : An Eye-Opening Tour Through the Twists and Turns of Math Abuse and Innumeracy by A. K. Dewdney |
One of the common threads through racism, medical quackery and pseudoscience is the abuse of statistics. Sometimes this is deliberate, sometimes it is just an indication of the ignorance of the speaker, but always it is a means of confusing or deceiving the listener. This guide to the absurdities of some mathematical claims helps to level the playing field.
| ||The Age of Wonder : How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes |
| ||Astrology : True or False? - A Scientific Evaluation by Roger B. Culver and Philip A. Ianna |
Astrology: True or False offers a complete and extensive summary of available evidence on astrology's basic definitions, concepts, and effectiveness. The authors' research revealed thousands of predictions gone "bust" - from the start of World War III to claims about the existence of an "anti-Earth" orbiting on the other side of the sun. They studied the famous twenty-year cycle" of presidential death and disaster, the "moon cycles" of crime and murder in major cities, and the incidences of major personality traits in certain sun signs. Their conclusions, while disappointing to the determined believer in astrology, are nevertheless refreshingly rational.
| ||Astrology : What's Really in the Stars? by J.V. Stewart |
Rather than offering a blistering critique of astrology, Stewart reveals discrepancies within horoscopic astrology's own framework to let the reader decide whether there is any merit to this ancient scheme of things.
| ||Astrology Disproved by Lawrence E. Jerome |
Why do people believe in astrology? In these uncertain times many long for the comfort of having guidance in making decisions. They would like to believe in a destiny predetermined by astral forces beyond their control. However, we must all face the world, and we must realize that our futures lie in ourselves, and not in the stars.
| ||Bad Astronomy : Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing 'Hoax' by Phil Plait |
| ||Bad Medicine : Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Distance Healing to Vitamin O by Christopher Wanjek |
| ||Bad Science by Ben Goldacre |
| ||The Bear's Progress: SkeptoBear's World Tour 2004 by Peter Bowditch |
In January 2004, at the invitation of Mr James Randi, I was a speaker at The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas. At the time I was Vice President of Australian Skeptics and I went as a representative of that organisation, accompanied by the other Vice President. Also in the party was SkeptoBear, a bear of little repute, who insisted on coming as a neutral observer. This is the story of the trip around the bottom left-hand corner of the USA and the top left-hand corner of Mexico.
| ||The Beginner's Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize by Peter Doherty |
| ||The Best Australian Science Writing 2011 by Stephen Pincock (ed.) |
From the elemental forces that drive our expanding universe to the delicate hairs on the back of your neck, science offers talented writers the kind of scope that other subjects simply canít match. This dynamic genre of Australian writing has never, until now, been showcased in an anthology. With a foreword by Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty, The Best Australian Science Writing 2011 is a landmark book. Showcasing selections from the work of renowned communicators such as Tim Flannery, Germaine Greer, Anna Funder and Paul Davies, this book is an inspiring exploration of the most exciting, elegant, powerful, and important writing about science and nature published in Australia and by Australians.
| ||Big Bang by Simon Singh |
| ||Bizarre Beliefs by Simon Hoggart and Mike Hutchinson |
| ||The Blind Watchmaker : Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design by Richard Dawkins |
| ||The Borderlands of Science : Where Sense Meets Nonsense by Michael Shermer |
| ||Bullshit and Philosophy by Gary L. Hardcastle and George A. Reisch (Editors) |
| ||Bullshit! Season 1 DVD by Penn & Teller |
| ||Bullshit! Season 2 DVD by Penn & Teller |
| ||Bullshit! Season 3 DVD by Penn & Teller |
| ||Bullshit! Season 4 DVD by Penn & Teller |
| ||Bully for Brontosaurus : Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould |
| ||Chemical Sensitivity : The Truth About Environmental Illness by Stephen Barrett and Ronald E. Gots |
One of the unifying principles of 'alternative medicine' is the horror of chemicals. Not things, of course, like ricin and botulism toxin which are natural and therefore not chemicals, or cyanide which is not a chemical when it come from apricot seeds. The only problem with the chemical-free vacuum of space is the radiation.
| ||Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins |
| ||Cosmos Boxed Set (Collector's Edition) DVD by Carl Sagan |
This is possibly the best science-related television series ever made, and demonstrated to a generation that the magnificence and beauty of reality exceeded anything that the supernatural and fantasy could offer. Anyone who saw it knows that there are billions and billions of reasons for wanting to see it again.
| ||Cosmos Magazine |
| ||Cosmos by Carl Sagan |
The book of the television series.
| ||Deception & Self-Deception : Investigating Psychics by Richard Wiseman |
| ||The Demon-Haunted World : Science As a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan |
Science is not test tubes, atom bombs and pollution, it is a way of thinking that separates superstition from knowledge. It is a way of deciding what is real and what is fantasy. Many of the sites listed in The Millenium Project are here because this distinction is not detected or recognised.
| ||Denying AIDS by Seth Kalichman |
| ||Did Adam and Eve Have Navels?: Debunking Pseudoscience by Martin Gardner |
| ||The Dose Makes the Poison : A Plain-Language Guide to Toxicology by Alice Ottoboni |
A common tenet of both 'alternative medicine' and loony environmentalism is that you can't have too much of a good thing or too little of a bad thing. Of course, if you believe in homeopathy you would believe in anything, but in real life it is possible to have harmless concentrations of dangerous things.
| ||An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural by James Randi |
| ||The Extended Phenotype : The Long Reach of the Gene by Richard Dawkins |
| ||Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay |
This book was first published in 1841 and told about panics and hysterias of the past. Updating the book to today would just require the addition of a chapter on the Internet stock craze, an update to the witchcraft chapter to include mention of recovered memory syndrome, satanic ritual abuse and alien abductions, and a new chapter about Y2K madness.
| ||Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science by Martin Gardner |
This is an extremely depressing and sad book, because it was written more than 60 years ago and it reads like it was written yesterday. Who would have thought that idiocies like scientology, chiropractic, homeopathy, perpetual motion machines, belief in flying saucers, and the nonsense about Atlantis and the pyramids would survive into the twenty-first century? The book is subtitled 'A study in human gullibility'. Tragic.
| ||Fear of Food : Environmentalist Scams, Media Mendacity, and the Law of Disparagement by Andrea Arnold |
Half the people in the world go to sleep hungry and what food they can get is inadequate and poor, yet people keep telling us that our food is dangerous and we should not do things that could produce safe, nutritious food for people who need it.
| ||The Flamingo's Smile : Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould |
| ||The Flight from Science and Reason by Paul R. Gross, Norman Levitt and Martin W. Lewis |
| ||Flim Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions by James Randi |
I am constantly amazed by the things that people will believe in. This book is a classic exposure of nonsense, much of which has somehow survived into the twenty-first century.
| ||Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries : Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology by Kenneth L. Feder |
| ||Goddess Unmasked : The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality by Philip G. Davis |
| ||Gulliver's Travels by Jonathon Swift |
| ||Has Science Found God? The Latest Results in the Search for Purpose in the Universe by Victor Stenger |
| ||Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes by Stephen Jay Gould |
| ||Higher Superstition : The Academic Left and Its Quarrels With Science by Paul R. Gross and Norman Levitt |
There is a famous painting by Goya called 'The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters'. It is what this site is about and what Gross and Levitt's book is about. It has taken centuries to refine science as a means of discovering and knowing the truth, yet science, reason and rationality are under attack by second-rate minds who want to put us and reason back to sleep.
| ||How Mumbo-jumbo Conquered the World by Francis Wheen |
| ||How Not to Test a Psychic: Ten Years of Remarkable Experiments With Renowned Clairvoyant Pavel Stepanek by Martin Gardner |
| ||How to Think about Weird Things : Critical Thinking for a New Age by Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn |
| ||How We Believe : The Search for God in an Age of Science by Michael Shermer |
Shermer makes the distinction between belief, non-belief and unbelief, and describes his own transition from one state to another. Religion and science have different roles in society, and this book looks at the boundaries and overlaps which are legitimate for each.
| ||Humbug! by Jef and Theo Clark |
| ||In Pursuit of Satan : The Police and the Occult by Robert D. Hicks |
| ||Influence by Robert B. Cialdini |
| ||Investigating the Unexplained by Melvin Harris |
| ||Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes |
| ||The Little Black Book Of Scams by Australian Competition and Consumer Commission |
The little black book of scams highlights a variety of popular scams that regularly target Australian consumers and small business in areas such as fake lotteries, internet shopping, mobile phones, online banking, employment and investment opportunities. It also offers consumers tips on how to protect themselves from scams, what they can do to minimise damage if they do get scammed and how they can report a scam.
| ||Making Monsters : False Memories, Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria by Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters |
| ||The Mask of Nostradamus : The Prophecies of the World's Most Famous Seer by James Randi |
| ||Memory Distortion : How Minds, Brains, and Societies Reconstruct the Past by Daniel L. Schacter (Editor) |
Much nonsense is talked about what goes on inside the mind and what it means to remember things and events. This book collects some essays from experts who can brush aside that nonsense and explain what it is about memories that we can trust and what we can't.
| ||The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould |
Gould has been criticised for being a bit cruel and nasty (and even a bit inaccurate) in his criticisms of people who didn't know the things we know today, but it is a useful book to show how science can change as more is learned about something. There is no doubt that science is influenced by the culture of the time, but the difference between science and non-science or pseudoscience is that the real thing can break away from culture when the facts demand it.
| ||A Modest Proposal and Other Satires by Jonathan Swift |
| ||The Myth of Repressed Memory : False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse by Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham |
An entire industry has grown up around the absurd idea that children can be subjected to atrocities like sexual abuse and cannibalism and not remember any of this until some 'therapist' reconstructs the memories for them. This book exposes this nonsense for what it is - a vicious attack on children and families by people prepared to knowingly lie to support a crazy ideology.
| ||National Science Education Standards |
A landmark effort that involved thousands of teachers, scientists, science educators, and other experts across the country, these standards echo the principle that learning science is an inquiry-based process, that science in schools should reflect the intellectual traditions of contemporary science, and that all Americans have a role in improving science education. This document is invaluable to education policy-makers, school system administrators, teacher educators, individual teachers, and concerned parents.
| ||The New Age : Notes of a Fringe-Watcher by Martin Gardner |
| ||Objections to Astrology by Bart J. Bok and Lawrence E. Jerome |
A statement by 192 scientists, including 19 Nobel Prize winners, who call the "science" of astrology a deception based on "magic and superstition."
| ||On the Wild Side by Martin Gardner |
| ||The Panda's Thumb : More Reflections in Natural History by Stephen Jay Gould |
| ||A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism by Milton A. Rothman |
| ||Pseudodoxia Epidemica : Or, Enquiries into Very Many Received Tenentes, and Commonly Presumed Truths by Thomas Browne |
| ||Quantum Leaps in the Wrong Direction by Charles Wynn and Arthur Wiggins |
There is a difference between science and pseudoscience, between reality and fantasy. This book shows you how to tell the difference.
| ||Remembering Satan by Lawrence Wright |
| ||River Out of Eden : A Darwinian View of Life by Richard Dawkins |
| ||Science : Good, Bad and Bogus by Martin Gardner |
| ||Science and Religion : Are They Compatible? by Paul Kurtz, Barry Karr and Ranjit Sandhu (Editors) |
| ||Science Made Stupid by Tom Weller |
| ||Science Versus Religion by Tad S. Clements |
| ||The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins |
| ||Seven Brief Lessons On Physics by Carlo Rovelli |
| ||Skeptics and True Believers by Chet Raymo |
| ||The Skeptic's Dictionary : A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions by Robert T. Carroll |
Featuring close to 400 definitions, arguments, and essays on topics ranging from acupuncture to zombies, The Skeptic's Dictionary is a lively, commonsense trove of detailed information on all things supernatural, occult, paranormal, and pseudoscientific. It covers such categories as alternative medicine; cryptozoology; extraterrestrials and UFOs; frauds and hoaxes; junk science; logic and perception; New Age energy; and the psychic. For the open-minded seeker, the soft or hardened skeptic, and the believing doubter, this book offers a remarkable range of information that puts to the test the best arguments of true believers.
| ||The Skeptic's Guide to the Paranormal by Lynne Kelly |
| ||Smoke and Mirrors : The Devastating Effect of False Sexual Abuse Claims by Terence W. Campbell |
| ||The Sorcerer of Kings : The Case of Daniel Dunglas Home and William Crookes by Gordon Stein and James Randi |
| ||The Story of Evolution by Joseph McCabe |
Published in 1911, free from Project Gutenberg
| ||The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen Jay Gould |
| ||Sunburnt Country: The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia by Jöelle Gergis |
Climate change deniers keep telling us that the weather has always been variable (they know the difference between climate and weather but it suits them to ignore it). This book is the work of a scientist who has investigated changes in weather patterns and climate in Australia over the last few hundred years and guess what - things are getting worse. Weather events are now closer together and more damaging and the cause is clear - it's because humans have been doing things to change the climate.
| ||Superstition : Belief in the Age of Science by Robert Park |
| ||The Theory of Evolution by John Maynard Smith |
Evolution is one of those fundamental theories in science, like relativity, heliocentricity, gravity, blood circulation, atomic structure and quantum mechanics of which it can realistically be said that the idea introduced a paradigm shift in scientific thinking. Modern science would be primitive and crippled without it. This book provides excellent ammunition for the fight against those who would replace evolution with superstition.
| ||Things I Think About - Volume 1 by Peter Bowditch |
| ||Things I Think About - Volume 2 by Peter Bowditch |
| ||The Trouble with Science by Robin Dunbar |
The title of this book might suggest that it is anti-science, but in fact the author posits that science is a natural part of human existence (and even that of some animals) because it is about how organisms explain and interact with the world around them. The author has produced a very good summary of the philosophical path through Popper, Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend, and there is commentary about the relationship between religion and science which mightn't please Richard Dawkins but which provides a credible explanation for the ubiquity of religion across societies (and which allows for religion to be abandoned when better knowledge comes along).
| ||Truth About Uri Geller by James Randi |
| ||A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss |
| ||Unweaving the Rainbow : Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins |
Believers in superstition and magic often accuse scientists, atheists and other rational thinkers of denying or even destroying mystery and beauty. Dawkins points out in this book that there is so much wonder and excitement in truth and reality that it is unnecessary to make up explanations.
| ||The Varieties of Scientific Experience : A Personal View of the Search for God by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan |
| ||Victims of Memory : Sex Abuse Accusations and Shattered Lives by Mark Pendergrast and Melody Gavigan |
| ||Voodoo Science : The Road from Foolishness to Fraud by Robert Park |
The scientific method is the best thing we have come up with to find out about how the universe works. This book is about the misuse of science and how it differs from science done badly. Both are bad, but at least bad science can be corrected. Mad science is more difficult to overcome.
| ||Weird Water & Fuzzy Logic by Martin Gardner |
| ||Why People Believe Weird Things : Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer |
I am continually amazed by the sorts of things that people can believe without any evidence to support the belief, and often in spite of comprehensive evidence against the belief. Faith is a wonderful thing, but it can't make facts disappear.
| ||Why We Do It : Rethinking Sex and the Selfish Gene by Niles Eldredge |
| ||Wonderful Life : The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen Jay Gould |