October 13 is International Sceptics Day--or is it?
Today might be International Sceptics Day but there seems to be no real agreement that this is true. International Sceptics Day might be October 13 but it could also be January 13 or possibly the first Friday the Thirteenth of the year. That people question the date of International Sceptics Day is probably my favourite thing about it.
There is also no agreement on the spelling of the word "sceptic". In the US, it is "skeptic" and "sceptic" in the UK. In Canada...well...here's an article from a marketing blogger who tried to figure it out. I've opted for the UK spelling.
On International Sceptics Day, one is encouraged to adopt a questioning attitude and think for oneself.
Here are some books for your sceptical side.
The Age of American Unreason by Susan Jacoby
A look at the recent trend towards anti-intellectualism in the United States.
Counterknowledge: How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science and Fake History by Damian Thompson
Our lives are filled with misinformation packaged to resemble fact. Thompson explains how unproven theories and speculation are damaging society.
Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There by Richard Wiseman
Wiseman's book debunks paranormal phenomena and explains why people are inclined to believe in irrational things.
Tribal Science: Brains, Beliefs and Bad Ideas by Mike McRae
Humans need interaction with others; McRae suggests that this need may interfere with our ability to reason, leading to the acceptance of irrational things.
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer
Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine examines the dangers of illogical beliefs.
Of course, you wouldn't want to unquestionably accept my recommendations, would you?
Ask library staff about other books on sceptism, rational thought and critical reasoning.