Guy P. Harrison

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Guy P. Harrison

Guy P. Harrison (born October 8, 1963) is an American author of multiple bestselling books. He resides in the United States and is known for his written works on science, critical thinking, history, race, and nature.

Quotes[edit]

  • “Find joy in existence. We live in good times. Now is somewhere between the beginning and the end of everything. . . . Collectively and individually, we must never stop exploring, imagining, experimenting, learning, and solving problems. This should not be difficult for any of us, because it is only human to do these things. This is who we are. It was the way of those remarkable Africans not so long ago in prehistory, and it can be your way now. The closer you look, the more you will see. The more you learn, the more alive and awake you will become.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (Prometheus Books, 2018)


  • "We all believe silly things. What matters is how silly and how many."

50 Popular Beliefs That People Think are True (Prometheus Books, 2012)


  • “You are not the sum of your Google searches, Amazon purchases, and Facebook likes. Your online activities should not define you as a person. But, increasingly, they do.”

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed (Prometheus Books, 2017)


  • “Humility is the key. If you are an arrogant, condescending skeptic then you are doing it wrong. Science and critical thinking rest upon a premise that says anyone can be wrong about anything. A good thinker is humble. We also must be mindful of the fact that very intelligent people can hold very dumb beliefs. It’s a human condition. Irrational believers are not inferior people; they simply made a misstep somewhere along the way in their thinking.”

“An Interview with Guy Harrison,” by Alejandro Borgo, Skeptical Inquirer (November 10, 2017)


  • “Racism is an avoidable culture clash masquerading as inescapable biological warfare.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (Prometheus Books, 2018)


  • "This is not how the 21st century was supposed to be going for us. As a child nurtured on Star Trek reruns, I imagined our species solving poverty, ending war, and colonizing other worlds by now. Silly me. Here I am today discussing a popular belief that reptilian extraterrestrials reside in Buckingham Palace."

“How to Repair the American Mind,” Skeptical Inquirer (Volume 45 Issue 3, 2021)


  • “In attempting to know, we engage in grand and meaningful acts. We use our human brains as time machines, to see and learn from the distant past and to travel forward thousands, millions, and billions of years. This young, patchwork organ that evolved to help ancient primates find food and water, maintain group relationships, achieve sexual intercourse, and imagine the next best tool now carries us to the very ends of the universe and beyond.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (Prometheus Books, 2018)


  • “The crucial ever-present factor in 2020 was critical thinking. Those who thought well were less likely to tumble into the rabbit holes of QAnon, COVID is a hoax, 5-G towers help spread the virus, racism is scientific, hydroxychloroquine cures COVID, demon sperm is a problem, tracking devices are in vaccines, mass election fraud, etc. The ability and willingness to lean toward evidence and logic rather than side with blind trust and emotion was the key metric behind the madness.”

“How to Repair the American Mind,” Skeptical Inquirer (Volume 45 Issue 3, 2021)


  • Museums are my cathedrals. Artifacts in glass cases are my sacred relics. I truly believe I have felt something close to religious fervor inside some of these buildings. I even feel that I have experienced the occasional transcendent moment inside a museum.

50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a God (Prometheus Books, 2008)


  • “Appreciate the magnificent brain you possess. Protect and nurture it. Strive to be a good skeptic and critical thinker so that fewer hours of your precious life will be squandered on dead-end beliefs. Always try to think like a scientist so that you might better know truth from fiction.”

Think: Why You Should Question Everything (Prometheus Books, 2013)


  • “It’s the 21st century and still we have no universally agreed upon definition of life. It seems the universe does not care about our desire for tidy categories and tight descriptions. Our intellectual comfort is irrelevant to reality. When it comes to life, gray zones and blurry boundaries abound. This is bizarre considering life has been on our planet for more than 3.5 billion years and it’s all around us now. Life saturates Earth’s surface zone, from more than a mile deep in the crust to the stratosphere miles above. Its diversity and overall success are staggering, difficult to comprehend. For example, some scientists estimate that there are more than one trillion species alive right now. In total, Earth may have hosted more than 100 trillion species so far. Life is no stranger to us. And yet, what is it?”

“What is Life?”, Psychology Today (September 2019)


  • "Extreme political manipulation, social media idiocy, QAnon, and other cognitive disasters likely would dry up and shrink to insignificance if robbed of the current deep pool of unquestioning targets ready for assimilation. Those who understand the need to stop America’s slide into ever-deepening irrationality must push our society to raise up new generations of thinking citizens who are capable of identifying and shrugging off unproven claims."

“How to Repair the American Mind,” Skeptical Inquirer (Volume 45 Issue 3, 2021)


  • “Our problem is not a predetermined clash of irreconcilable genomes. Racism is generated and empowered by a flawed worldview that can be corrected with scientific and historical knowledge.”

"Race and Science: What We Really Know," SKEPTIC MAGAZINE (volume 25 number 3 2020)


  • “That amazing brain currently residing in your skull evolved over millions of years atop a mobile platform that navigated daily within natural environments. Being confined to a concrete box, subjected to artificial light and constant audio/visual stimulation is not its optimal comfort zone. Your Pleistocene brain is misplaced and often disoriented here in the urbanized-computerized 21st century. So treat it to a regular respite by returning to a familiar place. Go home, however briefly. Be among trees, plants, and wildlife, for the good of your brain.”

“Want to Be More Creative? Walk Like a Caveman,” Psychology Today (July 9, 2018)


  • “Critical thinking is the indispensable skill for smart living in modern society, and skepticism is the essential posture for the fully awake twenty-first-century human being.”

Good Thinking: What you need to know to be smarter, safer, wealthier, and wiser (Prometheus Books, 2015)


  • “Isaac Newton would be the easy answer [for greatest scientist ever]. But I’ll go with the first hominin, probably a two million years or so ago, who confronted fire like a scientist. He or she observed the flames, thought about it, formulated an hypothesis, experimented perhaps, and then came up with a theory of fire. That person, so long ago, was doing science. That person approached fire, a dangerous phenomenon, and dared to control it. That was science in action. And it changed us forever. With fire in our minds and torches in our hands, we were no longer prey, no longer lost in the darkness of every night. If we one day spread our intelligence throughout the universe, it will all trace back to that hominin and that moment.”

“An Interview with Guy Harrison,” by Alejandro Borgo, Skeptical Inquirer (November 10, 2017)


  • “Every person is a collective, a vast and complex gathering of interdependent life. Any description of ‘human’ must acknowledge these intimate strangers. Our bond with microbes is such that they are not so much riders, parasites, and assistants as part human. And we, it’s becoming increasingly clear, may need to begin thinking of ourselves as part microbe.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (Prometheus Books, 2018)


  • “Good thinking and science are the fundamental prerequisites to building a better world for ourselves and the life we share it with. So much that harms us, so much of our pain is self-inflicted and unnecessary, the result of irrational fears and misperceptions. Most people on Earth right now do not know who we are, how we got here, how we depend on countless lifeforms all around us, how the universe works, and so on. All of our wars, racism, hate, fear, destruction and neglect are exactly what one would expect from an intelligent species with no self-awareness. We must find a way to teach our children, all children, the fundamental knowledge of who we are and what the universe is. Only then, can we finally wake up, grow up, and be our best.“

“An Interview with Guy Harrison,” by Alejandro Borgo, Skeptical Inquirer (November 10, 2017)



  • “We have magnificent brains—and use them to believe nonsense and behave as fools. . . . We are enslaved to delusions and too often the servants of subconscious biases. . . . Our great challenge is to use our brains to overcome our brains.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (2018)


  • “Mozart's music on a smartphone can't redeem or compensate for our lust for the ludicrous. Suckers for empty promises, false hopes, and pseudoscientific babble, we are our own worst enemies. Few people take the time to learn how brains process sensory input in misleading ways and how subconscious biases influence conscious thinking. The result is a global population teeming with easy targets for digitized nonsense and deception.”

Think Before You Like: Social Media's Effect on the Brain and the Tools You Need to Navigate Your Newsfeed (Prometheus Books, 2017)


  • “Evolution is the long blur, a constant and living flow of branching relationships. One thing is always connected to another and another. Having no regard for our love of labels and organization, life rolls on as a continual stream of organic matter. The important thing about the origin of the human brain is not pinpointing some specific time, event, or fossil to declare a beginning in order to satisfy our desire for order. What matters is that we understand the process from which it emerged and how deeply rooted the modern human brain is to its past.”

Good Thinking: What you need to know to be smarter, safer, wealthier, and wiser (Prometheus Books, 2015)


  • "We are not a collection of subspecies separated by biological canyons. Neither nature nor supernatural design imposed the different and often contradictory racial classification systems used around the world."

"Race and Science: What We Really Know," SKEPTIC MAGAZINE (volume 25 number 3 2020)


  • “All known life on Earth today is fundamentally similar, is genetically related, and shares descent from a single-celled common ancestor that lived at least 3 or 4 billion years ago. . . . Sometimes I get so wrapped up in thoughts about evolution, biodiversity, and the surprisingly close relationships between lifeforms that I look around and see only slight variations of genetic code.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (Prometheus Books, 2018)


  • “The reality is that racial lynchings were a frequent and normal feature of life in the South. This unique method of murder was a devastating form of terrorism that imposed a constant threat to all black people. The white authority structure did not only tolerate or encourage these killings but used the fear of lynchings to control and oppress black people.”

“Why White America Must Learn the History of Lynching”, Skeptical Inquirer (December 2020)


  • “Our present course may be unsustainable. The synergy of increasingly sophisticated deception aimed at unthinking masses promises more crippling confusion, disruption, and chaos, perhaps more than America can endure. Every minute worrying about nefarious microchips in vaccines is time not spent intelligently evaluating risk and assessing evidence. Every day sacrificed at the altar of a conspiracy belief or at the feet of a hollow demagogue is another day lost to possible social and political progress for all.”

“How to Repair the American Mind,” Skeptical Inquirer (Volume 45 Issue 3, 2021)


  • “When we transitioned to a species that relies so heavily on cognitive abilities, we became the most powerful and profoundly weird creatures of all time. Right now, more than 7.6 billion people carry inside their heads a three-pound blob of magic, an electrochemical storm of genius and creative madness that is unprecedented and unsurpassed in this planet’s 4.5 billion years of natural history. This is who humans became long ago, and this is who you are now. You are one more unique link in a long, living chain of fantastic inventiveness and brilliant imagination.”

At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life (Prometheus Books, 2018)


  • “Lynchings in the past have significantly shaped race relations in the present. A killing such as George Floyd’s lands on black people with a much heavier psychological weight because of lynching’s legacy. Too many white people fail to recognize this, and that needs to change. The hurt is too great, the simmering fear and anger too volatile, to bury forever. All Americans who would seek or demand a nation that is fairer to every citizen, less racist, and more peaceful have a responsibility to know this history in detail. … Confronting this ugliness would be difficult for everyone, of course, but it should be attempted. Ignorance and denial certainly have not worked, because this American wound still bleeds.”

“Why White America Must Learn the History of Lynching”, Skeptical Inquirer (December 2020)


  • “Scientists believe that walking has this effect of enhancing creativity because it loosens the restraints and filters that our brains place on memory when we focus on a task. When one dedicates mental effort to something, the brain tries to help by shutting down what it deems to be irrelevant distractions from within. Walking can relax the mind enough to reduce these barriers and allow some unrelated memories to emerge. This is precisely what we want in order to maximize creativity. It helps when disconnected memories and disparate bits of information come forward, because they are often the source of new and unique ideas.”

“Want to Be More Creative? Walk Like a Caveman,” Psychology Today (July 9, 2018)


  • "Making critical thinking a national educational norm is the cognitive vaccine America needs to have a fighting chance of maintaining sufficient sanity. Good thinking prevents and alleviates bad thinking."

“How to Repair the American Mind,” Skeptical Inquirer (Volume 45 Issue 3, 2021)


  • “Our present inability to define life succinctly, logically and consistently is a byproduct of something we can be grateful for. The difficulty exists because living and nonliving matter are intimately tangled as partners in the same grand game. Mere being is the big show. We live inside of and are part of a universe that is exciting and endlessly fascinating. All of it together—stars, planets, moons, rocks, molecules, atoms, and ‘life’—make the spectacle. What’s going on down at the quantum level, as well as dark energy and dark matter, makes clear that nonlife is no less amazing and surprising than life. The fact that the two realms blur from one to the other only makes learning and discovery more thrilling. Yes, we belong to a cool clique called life, with its blurry borders and loose membership requirements, but we also belong to a larger and even more exciting club called existence.”

“What is Life?”, Psychology Today (September 2019)


  • “I am confident that we will continue to move toward greater political and legal freedoms, but with many ups and downs along the way. However, we may find that total freedom or something close to it is a difficult challenge, too. Winning freedom of thought and action is one thing, deciding what to do with it will be quite another.”

“An Interview with Guy Harrison,” by Alejandro Borgo, Skeptical Inquirer (November 10, 2017)


  • “QAnon is a claim so extraordinarily vacuous that it can almost serve as the perfect litmus test for the pathological absence of critical thinking.”

“How to Repair the American Mind,” Skeptical Inquirer (Volume 45 Issue 3, 2021)



External links[edit]

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