Preface Introduction: A Skeptic's StanceCarl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism 1. URBAN LEGENDSJan Brunvand, "Lights Out!" A Faxlore PhenomenonL. Kirk Hagen, French Follies: Appalling Deception of a 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Samuel Sass, A Patently False Patent Myth-Still. Jan Willem Nienhuys, Spontaneous Human Confabulation: Requiem for PhyllisRichard Roeper, Big Lies on Campus: Exam Scams.2. MEDIA GULLIBILITYScience Indicators 2000: Belief in the Paranormal or Pseudoscience, Skeptical Inquirer Shari Waxman, Mind Over MediaPhilip J. Klass , That's Entertainment! TV's UFO CoverupBryan Farha , Stupid "Pet Psychic" Tricks and the Animal Planet NetworkJoe Nickell, Bone Box of Contention: The James OssuaryJoyce Bynum, Kidnapped by an Alien3. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINELynn McCutcheon, What's That I Smell? The Claims of AromatherapyJames Livingston, Magnetic Therapy: Plausible AttractionHarriet Hall, Oxygen Is Good-Even When It's Not There Harriet Hall, Wired to the Kitchen Sink: Studying Weird Claims for Fun and ProfitCatherine Guthrie, Homeopathy Finally Gets Some RespectStephen Barrett, Analysis of Kevin Trudeau's "Natural Cures" Infomercial 4. PSYCHICS AND THE PARANORMALMartin Gardner, Heaven's Gate: The UFO Cult of Bo and PeepDavid E. Thomas, Hidden Messages and the Bible CodeCarl Sagan, The First Crop CirclesGary P. Posner, A Not So Psychic Detective? John McCrone, Psychic Powers: What are the Odds?Sonya Fitzpatrick, The Turtle Jean Lafitte: Adventures of a Pet Psychic 5. PSEUDO SCIENCERobert Park, Only Mushrooms Grow in the DarkPhilip Plait, The Disaster that Wasn't: The Great Planetary Alignment of 2000Susan Blackmore, Why I Have Given UpEugenie Scott, My Favorite PseudoscienceStephen Jay Gould, Dr. Down's SyndromeElizabeth Loftus, Remembering Dangerously
Legends, Lore, and Liespresents critical readings in five sections-urban legends, alternative medicine, the media's role in public gullibility, psychics and the paranormal, and pseudo science-to demonstrate the importance of critical examination and the differences between an opinion or assertion and a supported claim.