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Publisher's Summary

An entertaining and all-encompassing guide to skeptical thinking for the age of misinformation.  

In this tie-in to their popular The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast, Steven Novella, along with 'Skeptical Rogues' Bob Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Jay Novella and Evan Bernstein, explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies and conspiracy theories (anti-vaccines, homeopathy, UFO sightings and many more.) They'll help us try to make sense of what seems like an increasingly crazy world using powerful tools like science and philosophy.   

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is your guide through this maze of modern life. It covers essential critical thinking skills as well as giving insight into how your brain works and how to avoid common pitfalls in thinking. They discuss the difference between science and pseudoscience, how to recognise common science news tropes, how to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy colleague of yours and how to apply all of this to everyday life.  

As fascinating as it is entertaining, this enthralling audiobook is your essential guide to seeing through the fake news and media manipulation in our increasingly confusing world.

©2018 SGU Productions LLC (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A fantastic compendium of skeptical thinking and the perfect primer for anyone who wants to separate fact from fiction." (Richard Wiseman, author 59 Seconds)

"Thorough, informative, and enlightening...If this book does not become required reading for us all, we may well see modern civilisation unravel before our eyes." (Neil deGrasse Tyson, author of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry)

What listeners say about The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

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A great follow-up to Sagan's Demon-Haunted World

The members of the SGU have done an outstanding job summarizing their experience as skeptics and science enthusiasts. It is a useful and healthy habit to review one's most closely held beliefs and this audiobook provides example after example of misguided and self-deceiving individuals who fail to apply critical thinking to their assumptions. We could all use some skepticism in our lives to protect us from charlatans, conspiracy theorists and our own tendencies toward self-deception. I'm so glad to have this in my library and I hope it reaches a wide audience!

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  • LS
  • 01-31-22

Lo releeré seguramente

Me encantó, y es un excelente recurso para entender las muchas formas en que podemos autoengañarnos y nos pueden engañar.

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All in one introduction to scientific scepticism.

fifteen words required before to review this book from the skeptics guide to the universe

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A book everyone should read or listen

I first bought the book. Then I bought five more books so that I could give them away to my friends. Finally I bought this podcast so that I could recap some of the parts on my commute. It is great at presenting and sharpening your tools of sceptical thinking in a way that is educational and sometimes even humorous. It can be a bit harder to read than an average novel, since it really requires your focus. But when you're done, it also functions as a encyclopedia of sceptical thinking. I have more than once had to return to this book when picking apart an argument or constructing my own - verifying that the logic is sound and that the premise is known and agreed upon by both parties.

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Your escape to reality

It was great and a pleasure to listen to. Steve Novella is a great reader and I always love to listen to the podcast as well. Long time listener and this book was long overdue.

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Concise and clear, but not much new for an SGU fan

Loved it, but couldn't help thinking that this is the book that OTHER people should read. Preaching to the choir a bit.

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awesome book.

This is an excellent guide to scientific skepticism. a lot of chapters covering all kinds of phenomena. Great listen.
Dosn't matter whether you're a skeptic or not.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-21

Wonderfull sourcebook

Great book about critical thinking. Very important information and tools to cope In our modern world.

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  • sean mullins
  • 01-18-22

Great book to teach you critical thinking.

Loads of interesting topics covered to start you on the road to critical thinking and makes you aware of the amount of pseudo science that exists today.

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  • Mattia Carbone
  • 05-23-21

Great introduction to Skepticism, and good listen.

Easy listen, I would definelty raccomomend as a good intro to critical thinking and Skepticism, and why they matter.

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  • Eggman
  • 12-19-20

Pretty much everything you need to know

A fantastic compendium. Really helps you understand how humans can be simultaneously brilliant and flawed.

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  • Raquel
  • 07-26-20

Practical and Fun

So much great info, although a bit dense to read/listen.
I will check out the podcast.

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  • Dickie
  • 03-26-20

Let the scales fall from your eyes

A fantastic journey of rational enlightenment. By the end of this your eyes will be open to the biases and flawed thinking that pervades everyday life. Stop being fooled in ways you have no awareness of, buy this book.

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  • J. Drew
  • 03-24-20

The glitches in our thinking

We are all brought into this world as children ready to believe anything, we make connections, notice all the hits and fail to observe the many more misses (how astrology requires and needs it as do psychics). It takes something like science to understand the truth, but it’s up against a range of bias and glitches already in our thinking. These include glitches such as cognitive biases (searching and noticing only evidence that supports the beliefs you’ve already formed) and the Dunning–Kruger effect whereby people believe they are better than others but actually lack so much self-awareness to don’t realise how little they truly know. Think Trump perhaps. This book explains so much of magical thinking, the type where intelligent people can be just as foolish and ignorant in their thinking as anyone else because what is sometimes more important is the ability to use critical thinking as opposed to magical thinking. This book beautifully demonstrates our biases and glitches in our thinking including memory (memory can be easily distorted) and how we delude ourselves. This is an excellent book for helping you to become more aware and to overcome all your biases and to look at more appropriate ways of thinking, Particularly through the use of science. Fools and fanatics are certain of everything but to be wise in your thinking means you have to question everything, keep an open mind, be humble, uncertain and be doubtful, and question what you think you already know. This book will help you. I have read quite a bit on the subject so not all of this was new to me, but I’m sure it will be new to many.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-08-19

Essential reading

This is a modern primer on rational and critical thinking written by one of the foremost proponents of scientific skepticism.

Entertaining and educational, this is not to be missed

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  • Jason Hehir
  • 10-17-19

A vital and timely guide to critical thinking

Having been an avid listener of the SGU for over a decade I was always going to enjoy this book. That being said, it really does fulfill its remit of being the go to reference for all things critical thinking. Whether it's an explanation of logical fallacies, how to interpret science reporting in the media or how to deal with illogical family members, this book covers all that you need to know to think critically and, most importantly, to spot flaws in your own judgement and mental processes. This is a timeless book that will stand many readings and should always be near at hand to help you on your critical journey through the universe.

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  • Alistair Davies
  • 08-19-19

Didn't quite hit the spot

I've listened to all the PodCasts, so thought I'd give the book a try. For someone new to skepticism it would provide a good primer.

For people who are very familiar with the Pod Cast, there's not much new here.

As a very minor point, Steve Novella's delivery sounds more like he's lecturing the listener - it gets a little irritating at times, or perhaps that's me.

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  • claus steinenböhmer
  • 06-12-19

Must have to learn to think.

This book is essential to have an understanding of critical thinking. There's a clear description of common thinking flaws as well as how to deal with them.
The logical fallacies often encountered when dealing with proponents of pseudoscience are carefully disected in order for the reader to understand.
It would be nice if audible would let us have chapter names to make it easier to go through again for those of us who have yet to maser using the bookmarks.

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  • Matthew willey
  • 11-15-20

The podcast, cubed.

I bought this imagining an extended version of the podcast, which I enjoy. Nothing wrong with that. What I got for my money was a different vision of the SGU team; the book was genuinely surprising in its depth and novelty. Listening to the weekly show, the format is light and entertaining. The book reveals their understanding and deep research into skepticism, and the result was absorbing in a way that the podcast just cant be.
Great work.

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  • Joshua
  • 01-06-20

Classic SGU

Narration was great, after years of listening to the SGU podcast, hearing more of Dr Steve was very familiar.
Unlike most books I've completed recently; this book may have been better read than listened to. So many occasions I caught my mind wandering after an interesting sentence, only to have to repeat the last minute or two, get caught wandering at the same spot, and around we go again...
I tend to disagree with the autbors and publishers choice of single narrator, single style. I really would have preferred to listen to each of them narrate their own part, as they had written it. This may however just be a text vs voice thing though.

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  • Stephen Anastasi
  • 01-01-20

Excellent, but...

I very much liked this book... except. I found the narrator's otherwise excellent presentation drove me crazy when he missed a 't' in certain words, such as 'impor-ant'. Drove me crazy. Apart from this, this was an excellent book.

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  • John Trimble
  • 01-28-19

Thoughtful

wonderful. insightful and beautifully written. it's not that the book will make you cynically sceptical... just thoughtfully and critically sceptical.... loved the numerous examples given to provide evidence for claims.

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  • Brian Laurikainen
  • 01-08-19

Critical Thinking Can Be Taught!

With so much nonsense in the world masquerading as knowledge this book couldn’t be more timely. Recommend for everyone, but particularly those struggling to navigate the endless streams of pseudoscience, woo, fad diets, and science “breakthrough” headlines that never materialize. Inoculate yourself from errors in thinking, and be better at separating truth from falsehood. Becoming a “skeptic” is about thinking critically and careful discernment not naysaying. Let the SGU be your guide!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-22

Fantastic guide to skepticism

This is a an in depth guide to skeptical thinking. It provides the reader with well thought out explanations of what and how skeptics think. It’s brilliant at pointing out the misconception that people have about skeptics and putting them straight. My personal favourite part is the informal logical fallacies, of which I have been annoying my wife endlessly (lucky she loves me).

This book should be essential reading for school aged kids as it will set them up for a world almost trying to deceive them.

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  • Aditya Patkar
  • 12-24-21

This is my Bible!

The one book I would urge EVERYONE to read! Very well written and narrated by the author

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-03-21

brilliant way to start the day

I've been listening to this each morning on the drive to work and it's been enlightening to say the least. it made me think of facts that wouldn't normally come up in my everyday and its given me interesting conversation topics for my circle.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-20

Long read, but very worth it

Great book. Equips you with tools to deal with pseudo science and logical fallacies, among other things.