Recent news roundup

n Random House selects Think: Why you should question everything to be part of the First Year Experience/CommonReads program. This means the book will be promoted as recommended reading for all first-year university students. I spoke and signed books at the recent 33rd annual First Year Experience Conference in California.

n Think is being translated into Korean and Japanese and will be published in South Korea and Japan.

n San Diego's Union Tribune names Think: Why you should question everything a "book of note"

n Canada's largest newspaper, The Toronto Star, also praises Think in an article.

n No time to read? Listen on the go. The audiobook version of Think is now available

My speech about science and skepticism at the 33rd annual First Year Experience Conference in California









"Weak skepticism is the

great unrecognized crisis of our world."  


Praise for Think: Why you should question everything

u “If you are happy being told what to think, don’t buy this book. However, if you want to learn how to think and be in control of your health, your investments, and your destiny, then read this book now. In lucid and unbiased writing, Harrison explains how you can enrich your life and that of your loved ones by simply using your brain to think critically.”     —Dr. Donald C. Johanson, founding director of the Institute of Human Origins and discoverer of Lucy, the most famous fossil in history


u "It is no exaggeration to say this book, in a mere couple hundred pages, provides more skeptical utility than 12 years of primary and secondary education. Our education system spends so much time telling us what to think that it never teaches us how to think. We need more teachers like Harrison. If you want to vaccinate yourself and your children against irrational, dangerous beliefs, reading this book is an excellent start."  —Young Australian Skeptics


u “Harrison’s wonderfully written reality check offers the most valuable education you can get this side of grad school.”  —Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer, SETI Institute



Praise for 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True

u “What would it take to create a world in which fantasy is not confused for fact and public policy is based on objective reality? I don’t know for sure. But a good place to start would be for everyone on Earth to read this book.”  —Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, American Museum of Natural History

u “Harrison has added to the growing body of skeptical literature a contribution that will continue to move our culture toward one that openly embraces reason, science, and logic.” —Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, columnist for Scientific American

u “Being a skeptic can be hard work, but Harrison makes it a lot easier. . . . This is the book I wish I had written.”  —Phil Plait, author of The Bad Astronomer

u “Deserves to be shelved alongside the works of such giants of the field as Randi, Shermer, Kurtz, and Nickell. … A valuable, not to mention very entertainingly written, addition to the literature of skepticism.”  —Booklist

u “Extremely well written, with a generous helping of good-natured humor, Harrison’s book is the perfect antidote to magical thinking.”  —Dr. Kenneth Feder, professor of anthropology at Central Connecticut State University







Praise for Race and Reality: What everyone should know about our biological diversity


u "This is a very important, profound, enjoyable and enlightening book. It should go a long way in helping disprove man's most dangerous myth." –Robert W. Sussman, Professor of Anthropology, Washington University. Editor of Yearbook of Physical Anthropology and Editor Emeritus of American Anthropologist

u "We desperately need a book that sets us no-nonsense straight, and Race and Reality is just that book, a tour de force that conveys the current science on racial classification in a rigorous yet readable way. A book so clearly written, so elegantly crafted, so packed with nuggets that even those who think they know it all about race and racial classification will come away changed." –David B. Grusky, Professor of Sociology, Director of the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, Stanford University


u "Guy P. Harrison's well-written and passionate plea for eliminating the idea and ideology of race should be widely read. He has shown that the idea of race not only is contradicted by science but is a social anachronism that should not be tolerated by society in the 21st century." –Audrey Smedley, Professor Emerita Anthropology and African-American Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University


u "Harrison shows we have a lot to learn and he is a great teacher. Drawing on a wide variety of evidence the hard data from fossils and DNA, interviews with the victims of racism, and personal experiences Harrison dismantles the 'race' concept, bolt by bolt." –Cameron M. Smith, PhD, Department of Anthropology, Portland State University, author of The Fact of Evolution



A few words about thinking

One of the biggest mistakes we can make in life is to ignore or deny the possibility that we might be dead wrong about something that is very important to us.

Don’t do this!

Question everything. Embrace doubt. Second guess conclusions. Be humble; after all you could be wrong. You might be the first perfect person in all of history and prehistory who is incapable of being fooled by the mistakes, lies and delusions of others. But I doubt it. You might be the first ever to rise above and see through all the deceptive quirks, traps and biases that come standard with a human brain. But I doubt it.

What good is it to hold tight to a position against every challenge if that position is in error? The goal is not to avoid ever changing your mind. The goal is to be right, or as close to it as you can be. If you value wisdom and honesty then you ought to value skepticism. Wisdom is recognizing that you don’t know everything and can be fooled just like every other human who has ever lived. Wise people change their minds when evidence demands it. Honest people don’t pretend to know things that they don’t know.

This fundamental error in thinking crops up most often in politics and religion, of course. These two fertile fields of human thought, passion and silliness encourage if not demand that participants sacrifice their ability to think independently. This treasure is given away freely as rigid lines are drawn and feet set in cement. How can something of such value—the ability and the courage to think freely—be sacrificed by so many people with so little reluctance? Why the haste to become one more zombie in the mob? Why no remorse for the loss of so much humanity?

Do not undervalue your ability to think independently, to grow intellectually over a lifetime, and to always do your best to move closer to truth and reality. The warmth of mindless membership may be appealing at a glance but it’s fool’s gold.

Change. Grow. Improve. Think and be fully human.


—Guy P. Harrison