Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science

Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science

This witty and engaging book examines the various fads, fallacies, strange cults, and curious panaceas which at one time or another have masqueraded as science. Not just a collection of anecdotes but a fair, reasoned appraisal of eccentric theory, it is unique in recognizing the scientific, philosophic, and sociological-psychological implications of the wave of pseudoscien This witty and engaging book examines the various fads, fallacies, strange cults, and curious panaceas which at one time ...

DownloadRead Online
Title:Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science
Author:Martin Gardner
Rating:
Genres:Science
ISBN:In the Name of Science
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:384 pages pages

Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science Reviews

  • King Ævil
    Nov 23, 2010

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

  • Aerin
    Feb 08, 2018

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

  • Jlawrence
    Jun 20, 2007

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

  • David Gross
    Jun 09, 2007

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

  • Lauren
    Dec 09, 2008

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

  • Alan
    Nov 30, 2008

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

    Healthy disrespect. See global warming. It is worth being sceptical, and noting that "consensus," real or imagined, has nothing to do with the reliability or validity of a proposition. If more people believed (or disputed) that the world was flat, would it be more or less true? The sam...

  • Ian
    Jun 04, 2012

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

  • Robert
    Mar 19, 2009

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

  • Greg
    Feb 24, 2012

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

  • Pete Jones
    May 13, 2012

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

  • Mirek Kukla
    Oct 09, 2010

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

    Healthy disrespect. See global warming. It is worth being sceptical, and noting that "consensus," real or imagined, has nothing to do with the reliability or validity of a proposition. If more people believed (or disputed) that the world was flat, would it be more or less true? The sam...

    I can't believe I waited so long to read this foundational book from the grandfather of the Skeptic's Movement. It is both discouraging and encouraging to see what has changed and stayed the same in the past 50 years. So while it is disappointing to see some obscure cults have grown be...

    More of an overview than an analysis, so it starts to drag in places. Doesn't really address bogusness that isn't 'in the name of science' (astrology, etc), but a couple of chapters are worthwhile. Flat earth theorists in particular cracked me up, and ESP is debunked convincingly. Read...

  • Paperclippe
    Jul 05, 2017

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

  • Jake Berlin
    Jan 28, 2014

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

    Healthy disrespect. See global warming. It is worth being sceptical, and noting that "consensus," real or imagined, has nothing to do with the reliability or validity of a proposition. If more people believed (or disputed) that the world was flat, would it be more or less true? The sam...

    I can't believe I waited so long to read this foundational book from the grandfather of the Skeptic's Movement. It is both discouraging and encouraging to see what has changed and stayed the same in the past 50 years. So while it is disappointing to see some obscure cults have grown be...

    More of an overview than an analysis, so it starts to drag in places. Doesn't really address bogusness that isn't 'in the name of science' (astrology, etc), but a couple of chapters are worthwhile. Flat earth theorists in particular cracked me up, and ESP is debunked convincingly. Read...

    this book takes a look at a range of scientific charlatans operating in the early 20th century. because of when it was written (1950s), it dips back into the 19th century a good deal, providing some nice historical perspective on what we may think of as modern movements. mary roach cer...

  • Shenanitims
    Jun 20, 2011

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

    Healthy disrespect. See global warming. It is worth being sceptical, and noting that "consensus," real or imagined, has nothing to do with the reliability or validity of a proposition. If more people believed (or disputed) that the world was flat, would it be more or less true? The sam...

    I can't believe I waited so long to read this foundational book from the grandfather of the Skeptic's Movement. It is both discouraging and encouraging to see what has changed and stayed the same in the past 50 years. So while it is disappointing to see some obscure cults have grown be...

    More of an overview than an analysis, so it starts to drag in places. Doesn't really address bogusness that isn't 'in the name of science' (astrology, etc), but a couple of chapters are worthwhile. Flat earth theorists in particular cracked me up, and ESP is debunked convincingly. Read...

    this book takes a look at a range of scientific charlatans operating in the early 20th century. because of when it was written (1950s), it dips back into the 19th century a good deal, providing some nice historical perspective on what we may think of as modern movements. mary roach cer...

    This book is a lot of fun. Not as dense Gardner's Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, and Fads and Fallacies might be better for it. He sounds less like an irate man here, quibbling over minor, often semantic, details, Gardner instead provides a critical overview of strange beliefs. ...

  • Adam Slagell
    Jul 26, 2011

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

    Healthy disrespect. See global warming. It is worth being sceptical, and noting that "consensus," real or imagined, has nothing to do with the reliability or validity of a proposition. If more people believed (or disputed) that the world was flat, would it be more or less true? The sam...

    I can't believe I waited so long to read this foundational book from the grandfather of the Skeptic's Movement. It is both discouraging and encouraging to see what has changed and stayed the same in the past 50 years. So while it is disappointing to see some obscure cults have grown be...

  • Jim Razinha
    Aug 30, 2015

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

  • Sheryl Tribble
    Jan 02, 2012

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

  • Matthew Mccrady
    Jun 27, 2012

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

  • Darnell
    Oct 01, 2016

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

  • Craig
    Nov 22, 2014

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

  • Bill
    Nov 29, 2013

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

  • Stephen
    Jun 21, 2018

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

  • George Anderson
    Jun 07, 2016

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

  • Bill Leach
    Dec 08, 2016

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

  • Jerry Petersen
    Dec 06, 2017

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

  • Dina Strange
    May 18, 2016

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

  • Nick
    Mar 31, 2015

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

  • Nuno
    Aug 19, 2017

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

  • Lucas
    Jan 22, 2016

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...

    Although the book is quite old, it still has much to offer the modern skeptic, since many of the "fads and fallacies" of sixty years ago are still around. Scientology is a case in point. At the time Gardner was writing, it was in its birth pangs and was called Dianetics. He didn't take...

    A romp through the curious worlds occupied by influential crank scientists ? worlds in which the earth is flat or hollow, and invisible orgone radiation will help us undo our prenatal mental implants and fend off the saucer people. You?ll recognize many of the names (L. Ron Hubbard...

    (Haven't read this cover-to-cover, I just pick it up every now and again.) Martin Gardner is remembered today for his work as one of the first successful "pop scientists." You could say he was the Carl Sagan of the 40's and 50's, but the comparison ends at the surface; Gardner was a...

    I bought this book because as a kid I used to subscribe to ?Scientific American?, primarily because of Martin Gardner?s articles on mathematical games. But this is nothing like those pieces. Much of the time it comes across as a rabid foaming at the mouth book describing the 1950...

    This book was a lot of fun. It's not an in-depth criticism of the topics covered, instead functioning more like a friend reading something you both agree is ridiculous and reading aloud the best parts. Less dated that you might expect for a book written in 1952, both in the author's at...

    Took longer to get into than other books by Gardner I have read. Felt very "list like" for a long time, just a rundown of items that fit that chapter's subject but about halfway through it felt a bit more like it had been considered by a human mind. He still didn't give you a good feel...

    I read this as a kid and it's stayed with me ever since. Gardner's takedowns of various pseudosciences, from now-long-forgotten crackpottery like Fletcherism to others, like Dianetics and its current incarnation, Scientology, which continue to plague us to this day, are the perfect thi...

    Too many descriptions of fads and pseudo-scientists who have long since faded away. Too many references to ideas and people "in the news" that were completely unfamiliar to me. The opening chapter on the nature of pseudo-science was interesting, but most of the following summaries of s...

    Way outdated This book goes back to 1957, so is badly in need of an update. It does, however, prove the adage, the more things change the more they stay the same. In fact it is disheartening to reflect that 60 years later not only is pseudoscientific claptrap still around, it is thr...

    This is the classic work on pseudoscience. Gardner is also an insightful and amusing writer. He gives such nonsense as Scientology, UFOlogy, homeopathy, and flat-earth theory a lot of slack, which only makes their silliness more evident. Recommended most highly. ...

    A justified classic of scientific skepticism, and don't let the mid-20th-c. publication date fool you: a large chunk of the titular fads and fallacies Gardner describes are still limping along into $CURRENT_YEAR, and in several cases are stronger than ever. (Especially depressing are t...

    Interesting and whitty book, but some views are probably outdated as it was written more than 50 years ago. ...

    This classic, from the godfather of skepticism, was a must for my Year of Nostalgic Re-reads. My original copy was lost to a fire in 2013, which while replaceable, also took all of my margin notes, which sadly were not. This time through I made all new ones. Where to start? I was alway...

    In this pioneering work of skepticism, Martin Gardner, best known as the Mathematical Games columnist for Scientific American, discusses a vast array of pseudoscientific beliefs ranging from silly but harmless to downright evil and dangerous. Frankly, I was slightly surprised that t...

    In this book, written in 1952 and updated in 1957, Gardner examines pseudo-science and the many strange movements that developed in the late 1800's and early twentieth century. While Gardner cautions that the ideas of some earlier scientists were rejected by the scientific community bu...

    Good, clean, fun debunking. Part of the enjoyment is the outlandishness of some of the theories debunked -- for instance, genius bees from Mars flying UFOs! Or two kinds of tiny creatures who live in our brains and make us creative and logical (these are the Menorgs) or disorganized (t...

    Over 50 years old and still fantastic reading. Interesting not just for what it says but for what it doesn't say. The section on crank medicien has homeopathy naturopathy (both of which could have been written last year) chirporactic and osteopathy, the later two now being a little mor...

    In 1957, Martin Gardner wrote a book debunking just about every major pseudoscience cluttering popular culture. Over 50 years later, his analysis of dianetics, UFOs, ESP, etc. are as cogent or moreso as they were during the Eisenhower administration. He lays out the modus operandi of t...

    I noted Martine Gardner's death this month at the age of 95. He first published this book in 1952 and I have reread this book many times over the years as well as given away copies to friends. Basically, he managed to capture what he thought were the biggest scams against reason and sc...

    This book makes a bigger sceptic out of a smaller one. The author relies on "hard" science - whatever that is. Granted the amount of nonsense that passes for facts is huge however rejecting everything without careful study. Everybody purports to be a specialist, a writer, a scientist, ...

    Healthy disrespect. See global warming. It is worth being sceptical, and noting that "consensus," real or imagined, has nothing to do with the reliability or validity of a proposition. If more people believed (or disputed) that the world was flat, would it be more or less true? The sam...

    I can't believe I waited so long to read this foundational book from the grandfather of the Skeptic's Movement. It is both discouraging and encouraging to see what has changed and stayed the same in the past 50 years. So while it is disappointing to see some obscure cults have grown be...

    More of an overview than an analysis, so it starts to drag in places. Doesn't really address bogusness that isn't 'in the name of science' (astrology, etc), but a couple of chapters are worthwhile. Flat earth theorists in particular cracked me up, and ESP is debunked convincingly. Read...

    this book takes a look at a range of scientific charlatans operating in the early 20th century. because of when it was written (1950s), it dips back into the 19th century a good deal, providing some nice historical perspective on what we may think of as modern movements. mary roach cer...

    This book is a lot of fun. Not as dense Gardner's Science: Good, Bad, and Bogus, and Fads and Fallacies might be better for it. He sounds less like an irate man here, quibbling over minor, often semantic, details, Gardner instead provides a critical overview of strange beliefs. ...

    Frightening to think that Scientology has survived for this long. Luckily, few people still argue that the earth is hollow on the inside, with people and mammoths living in there! Win some, lose some. ...

  • g026r
    Jul 17, 2010

    Man, people believed some crazy nonsense in the 50s. Homeopathy, Dianetics, chiropractic, hollow earth, dowsing... Well, at least those fads have run their course and people are approaching life with a more sensible and logical outlook now. Oh, wait... Shit. ...

    This book. Made me furious. I swear, at least once a chapter I would flip back to the copyright page and shout that we had decided that anti-vax/flat-earth/homeopathy/etc was bullshit in the early fifties and are we still having these conversations sixty years later why The fi...

    (Original review date: 23 January 2013) How do you tell a scientist from a crank? It's a difficult assessment, but it turns out that there are subtle but important linguistic clues. For example, a crank might say: "To know of the earth's concavity... is to know God, whil...

    An interesting and enjoyable read, but like the somewhat similarly themed Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds it suffers from a few noteworthy issues. The first is the lack of references. Quotes occur often, but the exact location they are drawn from is not a...