Michael McRae’s Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs, Bad Ideas – Reviewed On SkepticBlog

Michael McRae, who has appeared several times on the Token Skeptic podcast, has his book reviewed by Daniel Loxton over on Skeptic Blogs:

I’ve been enjoying an “Uncorrected Advance Reading Copy” of the upcoming U.S. edition of Mike McRae’s Tribal Science from Prometheus Books, which has once again put me in mind of something I think about often: the considerable bogusness of the conceit of “skeptics” versus “believers.” There is a social subculture that can be called “skepticism” and there is a niche of scholarly activity by the same name, but it’s a mistake to suppose that skeptics and believers are very different sorts of people. 

The true landscape of skepticism and belief is so complex that I can’t resist summing it up with this wonderful T-shirt slogan from Ben Goldacre: “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that.” Bulldozing the complexity of human striving for understanding into tribal “skeptic” and “believer ” piles distorts reality, and makes it harder to do the already difficult work of solving mysteries and promoting science literacy.

 I remember the first time I learned about Type I and Type II errors, from another Michael – Michael Shermer. I hope that Americans will consider reading Tribal Science (available via Prometheus Books) with the same interest and enthusiasm I had when I first picked up a copy of Why We Believe Weird Things.

Michael McRae is one of the writers of this series of YouTube videos from TechNYou – the Critical Thinking Series.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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