Wednesday, July 22, 2009

15 Books

CB clued me in on the whole "15 Books" meme that's apparently all the rage on the interwebs these days so I thought I'd give it a try. The rules are simple - name 15 books that have stuck with you, but don't take more than 15 minutes to think of your list. Here's mine:

Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan
Dinosaur in a Haystack by Stephen Jay Gould
It by Stephen King
Jesus - Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart Ehrman
The Godless Constitution by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore

The Album of Dinosaurs by Tom McGowen
The Time-Life Mysteries of the Unknown series
Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan
Journey into Darkness by John Douglas
Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin

Flim-Flam! by James Randi
Stiff by Mary Roach
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
UFOs Explained by Phillip J. Klass
Satanic Panic by Jeffrey S. Victor

(Dis)honorable mention goes to The Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger.

I realize that using the entire Mysteries of the Unknown series is a bit of a fudge, but I spent my youth poring through those books and others like them, utterly convinced of their scolarship and validity. They remain important to me do this day as a wonderful example of how high production values and heaping piles of anecdotes don't constitute real evidence. That's a simple lesson in hindsight, but sometimes it's not an easy one to learn.

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