Robert T Carroll – skeptic – 1945-2016

I learned today of the death of Robert T Carroll, author of the The Skeptics Dictionary book and website. He fell silent in August 2016 and I suspected the worst but for some reason (hope?) did not check. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, which only rarely has a good prognosis.

I discovered Bob Carroll in about 2004 and corresponded with him on a handful of occasions on specific issues of scepticism. I make no claim to have known him in any real sense beyond the intelligent, thoughtful, diligent, waspish persona he presented in his work. However, I owe him a great debt of gratitude in lending a measure of knowledge and discipline to my own sceptical thinking. He was an on-going teacher and for that reason I shall feel the absence of things I might have learned but now shall not.

The book and the website still exist. I unhesitatingly recommend them.
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5 thoughts on “Robert T Carroll – skeptic – 1945-2016

  1. Sad to hear of his passing – the Skeptics’ Dictionary was my first stop, and also a huge help to me, when I snapped out of my old ways of believing in New Age junk and conspiracy theories, and began to learn critical thinking. I have a lot to thank Robert Carroll for, he is a sad loss to this world and will be fondly remembered.

    • Hi Aidan,
      Thanks for your post. I was already a skeptic when I came across Bob Carroll, but he lent a necessary discipline to my thinking, provided a lot of information I could not come by on my own, and made me realize that skepticism is an important cause that should be romoted and defended.


  2. Hi Aidan,

    If you are interested in Critical Thinking, try the How to be a Charlatan: sample /jim-williams-books/how-to-be-a-charlatan/sample/ Robert Carroll’s – The Skeptics Dictionary links to it from,, and all pages I think you would enjoy. How to be a Charlatan is out of print but I’ll try and get Jim to let me post it in full.

  3. Marble City Publishing will soon be re-publishing How to be a Charlatan.

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