Debunked!: ESP, Telekinesis, and Other Pseudoscience

Readers of Hal's Picks will know that I have a strong interest in pseudosciences and believe that teachers should address our students' beliefs in them. When I ran across "Debunked!" by Nobel laureate Georges Charpak well-known skeptic Henri Broch, I bought a copy. I'm not sure that it is worth as much as the nearly $.20 per page that it sells for (the publisher claims it has 168 pages, but my copy has only 140, even if you count the front and back covers as four of them. There is not very much here that is new to me. Authors do spend a number of their pages describing the investigation of the "mystery" of the sarcophagus at Arles-sur-Tech, which is not widely known outside of France. They also do a good job of demonstrating the role of statistics in examining the claims that phenomena are so highly unlikely that they "must" be due to paranormal causes. One nice little factoid in the book is related to the famous NASA photo of "earthrise" as seen by the Apollo astronauts on the moon. Earth does not "rise" (or even appear to rise) when viewed from the moon. Think about it.

Publication information
Pick Attribution: 

Georges Charpak and Henri Broch, translated by Bart K. Holland

Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 1, 2004