Book Review: 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True

This absolute “must read” will, sadly be missed by those who would most benefit from a healthy dose of skepticism as Harrison examines a broad range of topics that a surprising number of people believe in. Bible codes, the predictions of Nostradamus and angels to visitations by ancient astronauts, faith healing and the Mayan prediction of the end of the world in December 21, 2012 are just a sampling of the subjects Harrison looks at with an open mind aided science. Chances are, most readers will believe one or more of the subjects listed here and likely discover how easy it was to be deceived into believing something that the facts don’t support. Especially interesting is Harrison’s examination of homeopathic medicine which relies on “water memory” and uses treatments so diluted they don’t contain a single molecule of active agent.

Each belief is covered with a general overview, the rational behind them and the scientific research that fails to support them, all presented with liberal witticism. Harrison champions the need for maintaining constant vigilance to avoid becoming prey to unfounded beliefs that on the face of things, probably won’t cause any harm but could well lead to falling victim to more dangerous, erroneous beliefs. Well written, thoroughly researched and entertaining, this important book teaches the importance of being a skeptic.

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