A Collection of Strange Beliefs, Amusing Deceptions, and Dangerous Delusions

From Abracadabra to Zombies

Biographical Information
Robert T. Carroll, Ph.D.

Bob Carroll - October 2014I was a full-time teacher in the philosophy department at Sacramento City College from 1977 until my retirement in 2007. I served as chairman for several years and taught a variety of classes.

I taught classes in Logic & Critical Reasoning, Law, Justice, & Punishment Critical Thinking About the Paranormal, Introduction to Philosophy, History of Modern Philosophy, and World Religions. I also taught courses in Ethics, Symbolic Logic, and Philosophy of Religion.

I received my Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego in 1974. My doctoral dissertation was done under the direction of Richard H. Popkin and was entitled The Common-Sense Philosophy of Religion of Bishop Edward Stillingfleet (1635-1699). It was published by Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, in 1975.

My textbook Becoming a Critical Thinker was published by Pearson in 2000. A second edition was published in 2005. The following chapters are available online for free:

1. Critical Thinking
2. Language and Critical Thinking
3. Sources
7. Sampling and Analogical Reasoning
8. Causal Reasoning
9. Science and Pseudoscience
Answers to Selected Exercises (note ch. 4 graphs are incomplete)

Also available for free download are booklets I wrote to help students develop their study and writing skills: Student Success Guide: Study Skills and Student Success Guide: Writing Skills.

The Skeptic's Dictionary was published in August 2003 by John Wiley & Sons. For more information on how that book came about click here and read the preface and introduction to the book.

Skeptic's Dictionary for Kids (for kids 9 and up) was published online on July 22, 2011. On December 2, 2012, that book was published as Mysteries and Science: Exploring Aliens, Ghosts, Monsters, the End of the World and Other Weird Things. The paperback is 110 pages and can be ordered from Lulu.com. The e-book is available from Amazon for Kindle, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, and iPhone.

You don't need an eReader to enjoy the Kindle book. Free apps available from Amazon will let you read a Kindle book on your Mac, iPad, Windows PC, iPhone, Android, Windows phone 7, or Blackberry.

The E-book is also available for from Barnes & Noble for Nook.

You don't need a Nook to enjoy a Nook book. Free apps avaiable from Barnes & Noble will let you read a Nook book on your tablet, smart phone, or computer.

Unnatural Acts: Critical Thinking, Skepticism, and Science Exposed! was published in 2011 as an eBook by the James Randi Educational Foundation and is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble for the Nook, and from iTunes for the iPad.

Harriet Hall, M.D. (aka The SkepDoc) reviewed Unnatural Acts for Skeptical Inquier magazine.

The paperback edition is available from Lulu.com and Amazon. Free apps available from Amazon will let you read a Kindle book on your Mac, iPad, Windows PC, iPhone, Android, Windows phone 7, or Blackberry. For more information on the book click here.

The Critical Thinker's Dictionary: Biases, Fallacies, and Illusions and what you can do about them was published in 2013.The e-book from Amazon is $3.99. (The Amazon "Look Inside" feature provides a good overview of the book.) The e-book for the Nook is available from Barnes & Noble for $3.99 and the print edition (348 pages) is availble for $16.18 plus shipping from Lulu. The audio version, read by Kristen James, is available from Audible.com, iTunes, and Amazon.com. The Critical Thinker's Dictionary grew out of Unnatural Acts That Can Improve Your Thinking, a blog that followed up on Unnatural Acts and is archived here.

Dr.Harriet Hall reviewed The Critical Thinker's Dictionary on the Science-Based Medicine blog.

Unnatural Virtue is a podcast segment I began doing in 2012 for Skepticality, the official podcast of Skeptic magazine. Episodes are archived here.

Besides writing a few books and creating the Skeptic's Dictionary website, two of the highlights of my career were being invited by James Randi to speak at the first Amazing Meeting in 2003 and to conduct a workshop on critical thinking at the 5th meeting in 2007. Another highlight was being introduced by Ray Hyman to give an invited talk at the CSICOP conference on Frauds and Hoaxes in 2003. I was also honored to address the Irish Skeptics in Dublin in 2004 on the subject of the scientific proof for the paranormal. In 2010, I was elected a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI).

I used to maintain a personal homepage.

For more information about me, see my FAQ and Interviews page.

Last Updated 16-Nov-2014

This page was designed by Cristian Popa.