From the heretics to the Skeptics, we are all lost in our own secret worlds. Which is not to say I didn't enjoy reading those pages -- I quite often did -- but that I felt their content belonged more to one of the best pub conversations you'd ever be lucky enough to have rather than between the covers of this particular book. He refuses to look at the empty spaces in our culture, between reason and science, that religion and yoga and storytelling fill, and why those empty spaces exist in the first place. He's not so good at formulating coherent arguments, especially on a topic as vast and daunting as this one. They are just as trapped in their own war rooms, most of the time unaware that the map they use is, as psychologist Daniel Gilbert once said, a representation and not a replica. Our guest for this episode, Will Storr, wrote a book called The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science.
It does bog down a little toward the end, but on the whole I was completely fascinated throughout. Why, that is, did the obviously intelligent man beside him sincerely believe in Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and a six-thousand-year-old Earth, in spite of the evidence against them? It may not change the way you think about things -- but at least you'll know why. Somehow it seemed an appropriate read. This ability can become extreme such as the case of stroke victims who deny the reality of their paralysis. But Storr goes far This is, as the saying goes, a wholly remarkable book. This book is about science denial and how people come to reject the sc Premise 1:We don't hold an opinion unless we think it is right. The various people he visits are in parts tragic, vicious or sometimes merely flakey.
Does taking many times the recommended dose of a substance prove that it is ineffective? Will Storr has travelled across the world to meet an extraordinary cast of modern heretics in order to answer this question. I appreciated his effort to understand them and why people believe what they do, even in the face of reason or science. I am drawn to the wrong. The Supernatural knows about Storr's gifts as a journalist: his honesty and his ability to reach into the stranger reaches of belief without condescension or snark. Televangelists or no, there will be scoundrels. This book is really just a collection of stories about 'heretics' people who believe 'fringe' or non-traditional world-views , with very little in the form of cohesion or analysis.
They were absolute modes of being, like Christian or non-Christian, right or wrong, sane or insane. It's a fun read if all you're looking for is to peek inside the lives of those who chose to live outside the mainstream, but if you're looking for any sort of insight into why people think the way they do, and why they persist in thinking these ways even when evidence is mounted against their position, then you are out of luck. And this is necessary if he is to learn something important about what makes them tick. What doesn't make sense is to pretend that we know the answers and to act as if we're certain that materialism is going to bring us all the way home, because we have no guarantee of that. There's a lot wrong with it and you should probably read it, and how often can one say that? Storr's The Unpersuadables attempts to figure out how the rest of us should understand such people. View it as a harmless eccentricity and it becomes irrelevant. We do not store files, because it is prohibited.
At most one person in the world has a completely right set of opinions. The investigations accumulate and feed back into each other and further Storr's personal journey of understanding, until the three excellent portraits of David Irving, Rupert Sheldrake, and James Randi. But the medical establishment believes that the sufferers are delusional, and seem to reject the possibility of a real, physical cause. We have all kind of cognitive bias that make us reject information which conflicts with deeply held beliefs. Anyone who read Storr's earlier Will Storr Vs. It's quite extraordinarily readable and it uncovers a lot of stuff that will be unfamiliar to most readers; even a reader like myself, who has read pretty widely in the field of science denial and rejection, found much that was new.
The groups and individuals he talks to are also mostly fascinating, and I appreciate that he goes just as hard at the 'skeptics' a group that I am much much closer to philosophically but find very obnoxious in general as at the creationists and holistic medicine proponents. Storr is seriously out of his depth on the science: he is always at least second-hand from the evidence when interviewing researchers , and often third-hand most of his citations are pop science books , and so several chapters suffer from journalism's classic problem,. While excavating fossils in the tropics of Australia with a celebrity creationist, Will Storr asked himself a simple question. It is not the ultimate goal that was promised by all those pop songs. There are entire novels that do less than Storr achieves here in a mere 30 pages.
The author, Will Storr, examines a range of beliefs that are antithetical to science, history, and even common sense. A debate ensues between the two of them and both sides feel like their respective facts just slide right off of the other. It is the riches of our species. The brain, having already formed a strong model of reality, will actively reject any evidence which it cannot easily assimilate into its existing framework of beliefs. Not quite what it looks like: another - journalist, accosting another set of tragicomic kooks. He approaches the subject with journalistic objectivity rather than skepticism. Ostensibly a book about 'why people believe things which are clearly crazy', this tome bounces from false memories, to confirmation bias, to psychosomatic illnesses, to holocaust deniers, to hearing voices, to homeopathy.
This is why it can feel useless trying to win a debate with facts, logic, and reason. Ramdev claims his regime of scientific breathing cures afflictions like depression, obesity, baldness, asthma, diabetes and cancer. Although Storr goes to great lengths to point out that he is potentially no more 'right' about the world than they are, he continually uses languages which reinforces the fact that he and other traditional thinkers are correct about the way the world works, while those that he talks about are stupid, wrong, delusional, and much more. It has made countless billions of little insights and decisions. Ultimately the only thing that changes minds is an alternative story to what they have been telling themselves. Will Storr brings up his own history, and tries to understand his own beliefs--how he came by them, and how he sometimes suffers from delusions that are just as confounding as the subjects of his interviews.
The quest to find the answers to this question may shake us to the core, because anyone who tries to address a problem in the world but does not view themselves as part of that problem is deluding themselves. Storr meets religious leaders, hardcore sceptics and bunch of quirky characters inbetween and even delves into the neuroscience. . It has made its mind up. If we genuinely wish to support reason in the world, it is not enough for us to know what is reasonable. So we r I am at a bit of a loss as to how to evaluate this book. This book is about science denial and how people come to reject the scientific consensus.
For example, in a poll, researchers asked people if they would support an uneducated but street-smart man or an inexperienced but formally educated woman for police chief. He despairs of any of us being able to examine our own thought Storr promises to document and explain why some people cling to beliefs that are completely at odds with reality. The brain, having already formed a strong model of reality, will actively reject any evidence which it cannot easily assimilate into its existing framework of beliefs. He wants to get to know the people who have weird beliefs and try to understand why they have them. Well, Will Storr does, and he tackles creationists to paranormalists to holocaust deniers in the hopes of understanding what makes these people grasp quite firmly certain beliefs while ignoring others. Storr sometimes mentions the contradictions between these crazy ideas and reality--and listens carefully as these people rationalize their beliefs.