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Fair, witty appraisal of cranks, quacks, and quackeries of science and pseudoscience … A very able and even-tempered presentation.
—The New Yorker
[Gardner] writes with precision and grace, and this book like his others is a consistent entertainment.
This book is a classic of skeptical literature and a bountiful offering of the delightful drollery and horse sense that has made Martin Gardner the undisputed dean of the critics of pseudoscience. It is also a quick way to get up to speed on many topics.
Thirty-three chapters examine topics as diverse as Project Alpha, magicians in the Psi lab, perpetual motion, psychic surgery, the face on Mars, psychokinesis, channeling, primetime preachers, and creationism. Gardner is not afraid to examine the process of critical examination itself in chapters on debunking, relevance of belief systems, and chicanery in science. The beliefs and claims of Shirley McLane, Freud, Targ and Puthoff, George McCready Price, Rupert Sheldrake, Ray Palmer, L. Ron Hubbard, and Margaret Mead are also subject to Gardner’s laser wit.
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