This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Skeptic : viewing the world with a rational…

Skeptic : viewing the world with a rational eye (edition 2016)

by Michael Shermer

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7916236,049 (3.25)2
"For fifteen years, bestselling author Michael Shermer has written a column in Scientific American magazine that synthesizes scientific concepts and theory for a general audience. His trademark combination of deep scientific understanding and entertaining writing style has thrilled his huge and devoted audience for years. Now, in Skeptic, seventy-five of these columns are available together for the first time; a welcome addition for his fans and a stimulating introduction for new readers,"--… (more)
Title:Skeptic : viewing the world with a rational eye
Authors:Michael Shermer
Info:New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2016.
Collections:Your library
Tags:Newark Center

Work details

Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye by Michael Shermer



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Good subject. More than I needed to be convinced. ( )
  pamur | May 18, 2018 |
If you like your science handed out as cotton candy or angel food cake then you'll like this. Quick short little essays that more or less say there's evidence for WHATEVER but you'll have to take my word for it because I can't or won't go into detail. I'm a skeptic about many things, but this does nothing to advance the cause. It just comes across as the opinions of an arrogant jerk. ( )
  jameshold | Jul 22, 2017 |
Skeptic is an enjoyable and informative book that covers a wide range of scientific inquiry that raises an eyebrow towards pseudoscience, immaterialism, and claims of the paranormal. The book consists of 75 "chapters" that are simply reprinted articles from Michael Shermer's Scientific American columns, loosely organized into a half-dozen or so broad categories. The benefit to this approach is that the articles are all a quick 2.5 page read, which allows the readers to focus on the topics that interest them. The downside, however, is that there is no overriding narrative or arc; each article is a separate entity, generally with no connection to the one before or after it.

I enjoyed this book, but I still must report that I found the format limiting. If you are looking for a casual read on the general topic of skepticism, this is great. However, I still wanted more when reading many of the short columns - more elaboration, more context, and more analysis. ( )
  ArtVanDelay1774 | Feb 23, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A confession - when I was about 7 my favorite program was In Search Of... Needless to say, I wasn't a skeptic. As an adult, however, I appreciate a more scientific approach to the age old conundrums of "does bigfoot exist?" The articles taken from Scientific American, are short and approachable. Some might call them science-light, but I say they are just about right. Pick and chose from the topics you like, or read them all. ( )
  woodsathome | Jan 31, 2016 |
Well, now I feel squishkly.

There's a lot I can get behind in the skeptics movement; I'm a (former) scientist so of course I love science. I think more needs to be done to educate non-scientists about how science works. I think homeopathy works as well as drinking a glass of water (because that's all you're getting with homeopathy) and I'm a pretty big booster of vaccinations (unless, for documented, scientific, medical reasons, such as a suppressed immune system, one cannot safely be vaccinated). But I don't think being an arrogant dickhead about being a skeptic, as Shermer comes off in these seventy short essays, is a way to go about convincing anyone of anything. Plus the squishkliness.

Skeptics aren't big on faith. That's fine. You don't have to believe what you don't believe in. But I really don't see the harm if someone also accepts, say, evolution, and believes in God, as long as they recognize that the scientific method isn't applicable to a belief in God. But I can't see Shermer being fine with that. I can see Shermer, if the tone in this book is anything like how he is in person, berating someone for believing in God, even if that person's belief has no impact on their acceptance of science. Shermer is like Christopher Hitchens or any of them: not going to convince anyone who doesn't already agree with them. Is the goal of the skeptic movement to illuminate the non-scientific about science, or is it to be a pretentious ass about being "smarter" than those with religious or magical or pseudo-scientific convictions? My money is on the second.

Plus, the essays here aren't even that convincing. They can't be. They are all short, seven hundred to one thousand word tidbits, which is not enough space to expound on much of anything. I don't really see the point of putting them together in a book since all-in-all, the flippancy of their length make the whole book almost pointless. Scientists will already know this stuff. Anti-scientists are unlikely to keep reading after Shermer essentially calls them morons. So who's the audience? Skeptical sycophants? I thought sycophants were exactly what skeptics want to avoid.

And I'm going to go back to the squishklyness. I recognize my squishkliness is unfair. The book should be judged on its own merits, which, in my opinion, is a bunch of slight, antagonistic essays that will be lauded by people who already agree with everything Shermer stands for, in a scientific sense. Even I agree with his science stuff. I just don't agree with his tone, style, and alleged behaviour. Or his dismissal of the Humanities' concern about science being a white, male, cabal (especially since the majority of scientists he mentions in his essays are white and male).

I got very little out of this experience.

Skeptic by Michael Shermer went on sale January 12, 2016.

I received a copy free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  reluctantm | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To my sister Tina
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Michael Shermer's book Skeptic: Viewing the World with a Rational Eye was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.25)
1 2
2 2
2.5 1
3 4
3.5 4
4 8
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 142,389,590 books! | Top bar: Always visible