The Skeptic's Dictionary
is a wonderful resource for all sentient individuals: 'A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions (and how to think critically about them
)'. It's where I send people when they start telling me nonsense.
It is also a jolly good read: try the entry for natural
, for example. And some entries, like the entry for IQ and race
, verge on the profound.
There is a print edition, but the extensive internal and external site linkage makes reading the collection online a particular joy. While The Skeptic's Dictionary has been referred to before
on MeFi, the link made the site out to be a cornucopia of Urban legend-style oddities, like Snopes
. Which I thought was a shame: not dissing Snopes, but the Skeptic's Dictionary delivers a firm grounding in critical thinking as well.
This post is dedicated to all of my relatives who chipped in to buy shark cartilage
tablets and several fifty-dollar pamphlets full of testimonials
after my father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and who probably still think the worse of me for not contributing to their folly.
posted by chrisgregory
on Feb 6, 2004 -