Robin Ince’s bad science book club
Ince’s light-hearted criticism was aimed at authors and celebrities such as Uri Gellar, Sally Morgan, Robin Collyns (Did spacemen colonise the earth?), Melanie Phillips, Ann Coulter, Erich von Däniken (Chariots of the Gods?), Sylvia Browne (Afterlives of the rich and famous) and Deepak Chopra.
Evolution sceptics and ufologists were debated – and ridiculed – as were writers whose work “suggests a complete misunderstanding” of concepts such as String Theory and evolution. Ince said: “They’re very authoritative, as long as you don’t know anything.”
Jim Al-Khalili focussed on The Field by Lynne McTaggart, perhaps because her novel on quantum physics was released at the same time as his own book Quantum: a guide for the perplexed – and, by his own admission, was rated much higher!
Josie Long touched upon the recent clash between Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association over the unfounded claims that chiropractic treatment can help cure many children’s problems.
An article in the New Statesman was humorously torn apart for publishing the findings of an experiment that asserted that left-handed people are “better in armed combat.”
The teachings of Don Juan – written by anthropologist and author Carlos Castaneda – was the subject of Alan Moore’s discourse. He mentioned passages that were contradicted in subsequent books and read aloud sections that described events in the desert that would have led to his death if true!
The group spoke of their frustration when factually inaccurate books gain a wide readership and the problems of having these people – who do not fully understand the topics they discuss – becoming “an authoritative spokesperson” on the subject.