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LONGMAN TOPICS are brief, thought-provoking readers on a single complex, compelling, topic. Featuring about 30 full-length reading selections, these volumes are generally half the size and half the cost of standard composition readers.
Legends, Lore, and Lies: A Skeptic’s Stance presents intriguing readings in five sections–urban legends, alternative medicine, the media’s role in public gullibility, psychics and the paranormal, and pseudo science–to demonstrate the importance of critical examination and the differences between an opinion or assertion and a supported claim.
Legends, Lore, and Lies offers a wealth of features, including
Introduction: A Skeptic’s Stance
Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism
1. URBAN LEGENDS
Jan Brunvand, “Lights Out!” A Faxlore Phenomenon
L. Kirk Hagen, French Follies: Appalling Deception of a 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
Samuel Sass, A Patently False Patent Myth—Still.
Jan Willem Nienhuys, Spontaneous Human Confabulation: Requiem for Phyllis
Richard Roeper, Big Lies on Campus: Exam Scams.
2. MEDIA GULLIBILITY
Science Indicators 2000: Belief in the Paranormal or Pseudoscience, Skeptical Inquirer
Shari Waxman, Mind Over Media
Philip J. Klass , That’s Entertainment! TV’s UFO Coverup
Bryan Farha , Stupid “Pet Psychic” Tricks and the Animal Planet Network
Joe Nickell, Bone Box of Contention: The James Ossuary
Joyce Bynum, Kidnapped by an Alien
3. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Lynn McCutcheon, What’s That I Smell? The Claims of Aromatherapy
James Livingston, Magnetic Therapy: Plausible Attraction
Harriet Hall, Oxygen Is Good—Even When It’s Not There
Harriet Hall, Wired to the Kitchen Sink: Studying Weird Claims for Fun and Profit
Catherine Guthrie, Homeopathy Finally Gets Some Respect
Stephen Barrett, Analysis of Kevin Trudeau’s “Natural Cures” Infomercial
4. PSYCHICS AND THE PARANORMAL
Martin Gardner, Heaven’s Gate: The UFO Cult of Bo and Peep
David E. Thomas, Hidden Messages and the Bible Code
Carl Sagan, The First Crop Circles
Gary P. Posner, A Not So Psychic Detective?
John McCrone, Psychic Powers: What are the Odds?
Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Turtle Jean Lafitte: Adventures of a Pet Psychic
5. PSEUDO SCIENCE
Robert Park, Only Mushrooms Grow in the Dark
Philip Plait, The Disaster that Wasn’t: The Great Planetary Alignment of 2000
Susan Blackmore, Why I Have Given Up
Eugenie Scott, My Favorite Pseudoscience
Stephen Jay Gould, Dr. Down’s Syndrome
Elizabeth Loftus, Remembering Dangerously