Book Review: ‘Skeptic’

If you’re curious about controversial science and want real, rational answers, then congratulations, you’ve come to the right place. “Skeptic,” by Michael Shermer, is a collection of articles from Shermer’s monthly column in “Scientific American.” Shermer holds a Ph.D in the History of Science, is a speaker at Caltech, founder of the Skeptic’s Society of America, a professor at Chapman University, and an author of many nonfiction books exploring pseudoscience, borderlands science, and religious science. In this collection of his work, he closely examines common conspiracy theories and “break-through” medical remedies. His detailed explanations and clear reasoning provide readers with an understanding of issues ranging from cloning to alternative medicine.

Even if you aren’t the type to pick up a nonfiction book just for fun, Shermer’s writing will keep you engaged in a way that is unique for the genre. This book provides plenty of quirky anecdotes and humorous remarks that keep each chapter interesting amidst the data and tricky scientific language. “Skeptic” reviews a large variety of topics without diving too deep into each one, making it easy to follow along. Science, skepticism, and aliens and UFO’s are just a few of the interesting focuses of Shermer’s work. This book truly has something for everyone.

I didn’t expect it to be a page-turner when I first picked it up, but it was exactly that. Shermer turns nonfiction analyses of science into engaging tales of discovery. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in science, pseudoscience, or those who are dipping their toes into the genre of nonfiction. His writing is also a can’t-miss for fans of sci-fi and documentaries, providing a different look into similar topics. If you’re looking to supplement your scientific knowledge, “Skeptic” is exactly what you need.

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Erin Peters is a staff writer for The Lorian.

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