cover image Weird Water & Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a Fringe Watcher

Weird Water & Fuzzy Logic: More Notes of a Fringe Watcher

Martin Gardner. Prometheus Books, $30.98 (260pp) ISBN 978-1-57392-096-4

In an adventurous roundup of his Skeptical Inquirer columns as well as book reviews in various magazines and newspapers, Gardner takes a sharp hatchet to faith healers, theists, Norman Vincent Peale's ""`feel good' Christianity,"" Deepak Chopra's claims for Ayurvedic medicine, beliefs in lost sunken continents and in the curative power of ordinary water and magician Doug Henning's immersion in Transcendental Meditation. In his opinionated, outspoken collection, Gardner maintains that an epidemic of ""false memory syndrome"" is scarring misdirected patients as well as the family members they mistakenly accuse of having sexually molested them in childhood. He charges Joseph Campbell, scholar of myth, with racism, anti-Semitism and narrow-mindedness. He dismisses the New Age bestseller A Course in Miracles (said to have been dictated by Jesus) as a crude rehash of 19th-century spiritualist ideas. Gardner applies his skeptical critical intelligence to Margaret Mead's portrayal of Samoa as a stress-free, sexually liberated Eden; and to E-Prime, a language invented by semanticist Alfred Korzybski that eliminated all forms of the verb ""to be."" (Oct.)