Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Weird Things Why do some people believe in ghosts, alien abductions, past-lives regression and other unexplainable things? Why in an age of science are ideas without scientific support so widely held? These are some of the questions that writer and science historian Michael Shermer addresses in his book, Why People Believe Weird Things. The answers to these questions are still very controversial. This attractive title and seemly interesting book may clarify some unexplainable phenomenon that people anxiously searched for answers.

Shermer starts out with the chapter discussing the different methods of science. He clarifies the differences between science and pseudo-science, and how things would go wrong. Shermer also makes some useful points about assumptions and brings historical developments in science that may have led us out of mysticism and irrational beliefs in the past. These are the most useful aspects of the book because it gives readers a general framework for critical thinking about the next weird thing that people discuss during dinner tables.

Unlike other writers, Shermer gives general guideline on how to look at ¡§weird things¡¨ in order to prevent being fooled in the future. Shermer provides a guideline that helps people think for themselves so that they can make reasonable judgments about new discovered phenomenon and old ones as well.