50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True is interesting and potentially controversial piece of work. It takes on fifty common beliefs held by many around the world that are not supported by the scientific community, such as unfounded beliefs, bogus cures, and conspiracy theories; author Guy P. Harrison puts these beliefs to the test by examining them against hard scientific facts.
Though easily a book that could potentially offend readers - after all, some people do strongly believe in things like the existence of angels - Harrison handles his writing carefully, addressing readers and listeners respectfully and in a good-natured, good-humored manner.
In fact, Harrison's book is rather compassionate - his goal is not to offend anyone, but rather to both educate and encourage skepticism among people on either side of these popular though unscientific beliefs. He's fair and balanced, sometimes pointing out scientific fact, and other times admitting some things cannot be supported nor debunked by science. He often even offers suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter, rather than making a stand and arguing that his readers should only believe him.
Because of Harrison's style, the book is all the better for readers and listeners from all backgrounds, whether they want some resources to begin looking for their own answers in these debates or they want to find a way to try to understand their own family member who believes one of the fifty popular beliefs in this book. It's wonderfully challenging of readers, and as a result, not only is the book a highly entertaining read, it makes a well-reasoned and strong case for applying skepticism and rational thinking to our daily lives in an age where finding the answers often seems as easy as Googling for them. It's definitely a book that will open anyone's mind to the possibilities of both the world itself and the human brain's ability to believe the impossible.
Guy P. Harrison is a veteran journalist and award-winning writer, business owner, and the author of 50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God and Race and Reality: What Everyone Should Know about Our Biological Diversity. He is also a newspaper columnist and has published articles in Free Inquiry magazine and other publications.