Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Publisher: Zest Books
“Even so, we’re all susceptible to silly ideas, no matter how much we think we aren’t – in fact, the surer we are that we get everything right, the more likely it is we’ve got something wrong,” John Grant declares in his book, Debunk It! How to Stay Sane in a World of Misinformation.
This two hundred and eighty-eight page hardbound targets those seeking ways to learn if something is true or false. With Zest Books recommended for teenagers and young adults, the book focuses on those easily influenced. After a dedication and introduction, two sections cover the topic, ending with a bibliography and index. Caution should be noted the words “bullshit” and “bullshitter” are commonly used.
Author Grant has written about seventy books ranging from misunderstanding science to science fiction/fantasy, winning many prestigious awards. Living in New Jersey, the concept of this book originated from a teen’s question on how to sort through the lies, distortions, and misinformation prevalent today.
Divided into two parts, the first portion contains sixty-three pages of four chapters explaining how to detect incorrect information. Suggestions include ignoring the flim-flam, checking the sources and quoted context, watching out for specific tactics, shifting, first explanations, and hunches, and being objective by applying Francis Bacon’s Scientific Method of studying the evidence, forming an hypothesis, making a prediction, and experimenting for results.
The second part of the book is almost two hundred pages of the author’s beliefs and opinions on eight various topics ranging from creationism, wishing something to come true, alternative medicines, and vaccinations to climate change, silly changes in history, fake archeology, and the end of the world scenarios.
By reading the noticeably lengthier second section, any reader will observe the author is an evolutionist, liberal Democrat (though he states no political allegiance), and a fan of Wikipedia, climate-change, and getting vaccinated, while not believing in well-known Bible stories. Granted this reader agrees with debunking outrageous theories such as falsifying the moon landing, thinking the Holocaust did not happen, and considering blood moons are the end of the age, she disagrees with his stand on creation, prayer, the great flood, and other subjects that are in the Bible.
While trying to remain objective, this reviewer felt Grant offers several strong points at the beginning of the book when it was truly about questioning misinformation, but she felt the remaining two-thirds was a perfect portal to promote his thinking and beliefs about hot topics while tossing in a few entertaining ones. With that stated, we, including the author, should reread his statement above. The central question that remains and was not addressed left this reader asking “Do you believe in God and eternity or not?” Romans 1:20-22.
Thanks to Zest Books for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.