Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe

Published January 4, 2019

Since one of the purposes of my own book was to address popular misconceptions about nuclear energy I am always on the lookout for good books dedicated to exposing sloppy thinking and fake news. To that end, I highly recommend without reservation the new book by Yale University School of Medicine clinical neurologist and science educator Dr. Steven Novella entitled The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe: How to Know What’s Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake (New York, Grand Central Publishing: 2018). Cowritten with Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella, and Evan Bernstein this dynamically crafted work meticulously lays out a road map of skeptical reasoning that is at once fresh and engaging.

While I must confess that I was previously unaware of Dr. Novella’s skeptical podcasts that routinely promote a wider understanding of the difference between science and pseudoscience by encouraging critical thinking skills this book clearly possesses the hallmarks of long studied practice in that discipline. The book is a delightful read that deserves the wide audience it will undoubtedly find.

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.” – Marcus Aurelius

“The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It mat contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what is true.” – Carl Sagan