Science Fictions

The Believing Brain
From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths
Michael Shermer
Times Books, $28, 400 pp.

Few baseball players have ever plumbed the epistemological depths of baseball, few stockbrokers have written groundbreaking works of theoretical economics, and few of those who are good at physics have proved much good at metaphysics. Science simply isn’t the same thing as the philosophy of science, and few real scientists would imagine the two interchangeable.

But Michael Shermer is not a scientist, exactly. The founder of Skeptic magazine and a...

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About the Author

Joseph Bottum is an author whose latest book is An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America (Image/Random House). The former literary editor of the Weekly Standard and chief editor of First Things, he lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

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