Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Why People Believe Weird Things?

   Michael Shermer debunks multiple different superstitions, myths, paranormal beings, and other pseudoscience skepticisms. He explains what a skeptic is and how science can be used in order to prove or disprove a particular claim by providing evidence. Pseudoscience is defined as claims presented so that they appear scientific even though they lack supporting evidence and plausibility. Shermer, along with many other skeptics, give their reasoning for why people believe these claims and give different problems with thinking. Throughout majority of the book, Shermer gives specific examples of pseudoscience and superstition, along with how they are false claims. Shermer debunks psychics by saying they use cold readings in order to gain their information. Near death experiences and out of body experiences can be a result of anesthesia drugs. Alien abductions are most likely hallucinations due to lack of sleep. Witch crazes and cults show how loyal followers will go above and beyond for their beliefs. Shermer talks about his debates with believers of Holocaust denial, creationism, and evolution. Shermer ends his book explaining why smart people believe some of these weird things. My favorite chapter of this book was Chapter 4: Deviations The Normal, the Paranormal, and Edgar Cayce. While growing up, my family had always participated in the paranormal and psychic readers. When reading this chapter, it made me think of the stories my mother and aunt have told me from their past psychic readings. In the book, Shermer explained cold readings and gave some examples of questions that would be asked. I never realized before that the psychics had always asked very vague questions, as also seen by the psychic detectives looked at in our lecture slides. Shermer helped to open my eyes to see that these "psychic" readers do not have any paranormal talents and are just very good at reading their audience.

My family's psychic went on Good Morning America to give readings to Michael and Sara. I feel that celebrities are easy to give "predictions" to because their lives are in the public and any of her information could have been found on the internet, however they seem to think it is mind boggling and extremely accurate. The psychic had her own television show called Psychic Tia for a short amount of time as well. 

No comments:

Post a Comment