The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science
For lovers of Jon Ronson, Adam Buxton and Louis Theroux, a new book that explores why today's heretics just don't believe the facts. Will Storr was in the tropical north of Australia, excavating fossils with a celebrity creationist, when he asked himself a simple question. Why don't facts work? Why, that is, did the obviously intelligent man beside him sincerely believe in Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden and a six-thousand-year-old Earth, in spite of the evidence against them? It was the start of a journey that would lead Storr all over the world - from Texas to Warsaw to the Outer Hebrides - meeting an extraordinary cast of modern heretics whom he tries his best to understand. He goes on a tour of Holocaust sites with David Irving and a band of neo-Nazis, experiences his own murder during 'past life regression' hypnosis, discusses the looming One World Government with iconic climate sceptic Lord Monckton and investigates the tragic life and death of a woman who believed her parents were high priests in a baby-eating cult. Using a unique mix of highly personal memoir, investigative journalism and the latest research from neuroscience and experimental psychology, Storr reveals how the stories we tell ourselves about the world invisibly shape our beliefs, and how the neurological 'hero maker' inside us all can so easily lead to self-deception, toxic partisanship and science denial.
Will Storr is a longform journalist and novelist. His features have appeared in various publications, including Guardian Weekend, The Times Magazine, Observer Magazine, GQ, Marie Claire and the Sydney Morning Herald. He is a contributing editor at Esquire magazine. He has been named New Journalist of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year, and has won a National Press Club award for excellence. In 2010, his investigation into the kangaroo meat industry won the Australian Food Media award for Best Investigative Journalism and, in 2012, he was presented with the One World Press award and the Amnesty International award for his work on sexual violence against men.