Cover image for The skeptics' guide to the universe : how to know what's really real in a world increasingly full of fake / Dr. Steven Novella with Bob Novella [and three others].
The skeptics' guide to the universe : how to know what's really real in a world increasingly full of fake / Dr. Steven Novella with Bob Novella [and three others].
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group, 2018.
Physical Description:
xviii, 494 pages ; 24 cm.
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500 NOV Book Adult General Collection

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An all-encompassing guide to skeptical thinking from podcast host and academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine Steven Novella and his SGU co-hosts , which Richard Wiseman calls "the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction."
It is intimidating to realize that we live in a world overflowing with misinformation, bias, myths, deception, and flawed knowledge. There really are no ultimate authority figures-no one has the secret, and there is no place to look up the definitive answers to our questions (not even Google).
Luckily, THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE is your map through this maze of modern life. Here Dr. Steven Novella-along with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein-will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories-from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N- rays. You'll learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co- worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking.

So are you ready to join them on an epic scientific quest, one that has taken us from huddling in dark caves to setting foot on the moon? (Yes, we really did that.) DON'T PANIC! With THE SKEPTICS' GUIDE TO THE UNIVERSE, we can do this together.

"Thorough, informative, and enlightening, The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe inoculates you against the frailties and shortcomings of human cognition. If this book does not become required reading for us all, we may well see modern civilization unravel before our eyes." --Neil deGrasse Tyson
"In this age of real and fake information, your ability to reason, to think in scientifically skeptical fashion, is the most important skill you can have. Read The Skeptics' Guide Universe ; get better at reasoning. And if this claim about the importance of reason is wrong, The Skeptics' Guide will help you figure that out, too." --Bill Nye

Author Notes

Dr. Steven Novella , host and producer of the SGU, is an internationally recognized science educator. He brings his academic credentials and long history as a dynamic speaker and educator to the show. Dr. Novella is an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, where he is known for his dedication to excellence in teaching. When not podcasting, he also authors the popular and award-winning NeuroLogica blog, is senior editor of Science-Based Medicine, and makes regular appearances on radio, podcasts, and tv promoting science. He is also the author of two courses for The Great Courses on medical myths and critical thinking.

He is joined by his co-writers, Bob Novella , Cara Santa Maria , Jay Novella , and Evan Bernstein , each of whom bring their own personality and knowledge to the show and this book. Together they create a dynamic and engaging group of friends who like discussing cutting-edge science, philosophy, and controversial topics.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this handbook on applying logic and reason to everyday life, Novella, a clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, expands on his podcast of the same name, assisted by the podcast's other cast members. Seeking to give "one giant inoculation against bad science, deception, and faulty thinking," Novella unpacks and defines false perceptions, biases, and logical fallacies while showing how emotions can overwhelm judgment and memories can lie. Putting his skepticism to use, he demonstrates how confirmation bias creates "the confident illusion that we are following the evidence," how "good clean science blends imperceptibly into blatantly absurd pseudoscience," and how "grand conspiracy theories... intrinsically fail within about four years." Ghost hunter claims and free energy scams are thoroughly and precisely dismantled. In plain English and cogent prose, Novella makes skepticism seem mighty, necessary, and accessible all at once. He also shares advice on speaking to closed-minded friends or family: locate common ground, don't be confrontational, and find the thing toward which they're already skeptical. Empowering and illuminating, this thinker's paradise is an antidote to spreading anti-scientific sentiments. Readers will return to its ideas again and again. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.