The Skeptic’s Dictionary is a fabulous collection of cross-referenced skeptical essays written by a really smart chap called Bob Carroll. He has published it all on his website, skepdic.com, and also made it available as a book. If you have never seen it, then you really should go check it out, I highly recommend it. The site itself started in 1994, but it was not until 2003 that the book came out. Is it popular? Well, according to the back cover of the book, the on-line version receives approximately 500,000 hits per month, so he must be doing something right.
So what is it all about? Basically he tackles all flavors of woo including: alternative medicine, cryptozoology, UFOs, new age beliefs, the paranormal, the supernatural, etc… Is this another of those “balanced” works that present all views? Thankfully no, instead he opts for truth and rips into all the silly claims (quite right too).
OK, I’m biased, so what have the reviews said? Roy Herbert’s review of the paperback version written for the New Scientist magazine commented that
“It is an amazing assembly, elegantly written and level-headed, with a wry remark here and there. This superb work is likely to be used so often that it is a pity it is a softback book.”
You can find this new Kids version here.
I’ve looked and I really like what I see. It is clear and simple so is obviously designed for anyone to understand, but don’t let that fool you because it also gives great details for 46 key topics of scientific skepticism.
Who is this for? Teachers, parents, or anyone who wants to help young people learn and explore the world with critical thinking.
Do I recommend this? Yes, I sure do, so why not surf on over and check it out also.