Format Read: Paperback
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 24, 2015
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Blurb from tour kit:
We live in an era of misinformation, much of it spread by authority figures like broadcasters, politicians, and religious leaders. (The various pundits on blogs and websites don’t help either.) With so much bogus information from so many sources, how can anyone be expected to discover the truth?
In Debunk It!, author John Grant uses modern, ripped-from-the-headlines examples to clearly explain how to identify bad evidence and dismantle poor arguments. He provides a roundup of the rhetorical tricks people use when attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, and even offers advice about how to take these unscrupulous pundits down. So if you’re tired of hearing blowhards spouting off about climate change, history, evolution, medicine, and more, this is the book for you. Debunk It! is the ultimate guide for readers seeking a firmer footing in this very slippery world.
I admit that when I picked up this book I expected it to either duplicate the dry lists that everyone's already seen a dozen times or be a story that is all about the author patting himself on the back and explaining to us lesser being how smart he is. That doesn't mean that I didn't expect to learn some new stuff, just that I thought I'd have to wade through a little muck to find the gems.
I was wrong.
This book is funny! The author has a sense of humor, with chapter headings like "The Wonderful Power of Woo" which is in part two of the book "Stalking the Wild Baloney". There's also some footnotes for those who, like me, tend to be pedantic about facts.
Explanations of the ideas he's talking about are also quick referenced throughout the book with a page number, so if you're like me and want to double check that a new idea is what you thought it was... ta dah! Easy page numbering is right at the end of the referenced idea!
The book isn't all fluff and happy happy fun time, though. Mr. Grant does point out some hotly debated scientific facts as actual facts. Climate change is real, anti-vaxxers are dangerous to the general populace, creationism isn't science nor should it replace it, etc., all while admitting when science doesn't have a ready answer to a question. In other words he is honest in what we don't know, despite pointing out flaws in alternate ideas. So please, don't pick this up thinking you're going to have a lighthearted giggle and maybe pick up a few new terms. There's research and a bibliography behind this book that makes it an 'improving read', identifying the tools you need to keep yourself sane in a morass of information.
This book didn't get anywhere near my original expectations, and I couldn't be more happy about it. :D
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