No Nonsense

Anti-pseudoscience, anti-woo, pro science, pro critical thinking, no conspiracy theories, no spin. Count the logical fallacies. No Nonsense!

Members: 362
Latest Activity: Oct 15

"Keep an open mind – but not so open that your brain falls out" -unknown

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." -- Carl Sagan

"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence." -- Christopher Hitchens

What is a logical fallacy? All arguments have the same basic structure: A therefore B. They begin with one or more premises (A), which is a fact or assumption upon which the argument is based. They then apply a logical principle (therefore) to arrive at a conclusion (B). An example of a logical principle is that of equivalence. For example, if you begin with the premises that A=B and B=C, you can apply the logical principle of equivalence to conclude that A=C. A logical fallacy is a false or incorrect logical principle. An argument that is based upon a logical fallacy is therefore not valid. It is important to note that if the logic of an argument is valid then the conclusion must also be valid, which means that if the premises are all true then the conclusion must also be true. Valid logic applied to one or more false premises, however, leads to an invalid argument. Also, if an argument is not valid the conclusion may, by chance, still be true. For a more thorough discussion of logical fallacies and how to structure a logical argument, see the New England Skeptical Society's article, How To Argue.

Top 20 Logical Fallacies (in alphabetical order) taken from -

The Skeptics' Guide To The Universe

The New England Skeptical Society The Skeptics' Guide To The Universe Science-Based Medicine
The James Randi Educational Foundation
Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
Simon Singh and his fight to mend British libel laws
Professor Richard Wiseman
PZ Myers' Pharyngula
Dr. Phil Plait and Bad Astronomy
Skeptic Blog
Michael Shermer's Baloney Detection Kit
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
The Skeptics' Dictionary
List of cognitive biases
Don Watson - Weasel Words
A List of Fallacious Arguments

Chat #NoNonsense

"No skeptic, to my knowledge, ever made a major scientific discovery or advanced the welfare of others."

-- Deepak Chopra (yes, he actually said that)

"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but That's funny..." -Isaac Asimov

The scientific world view is full of awe and wonder. Understanding how truly awesome the universe is – in its elegant complexity, its staggering beauty, and the many intricate systems of which it is comprised – gives a profound feeling of connectedness and sparks the imagination. And it has the advantage of being real. -Steven Novella

The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant incumbrance. How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again.
— Mark Twain

Discussion Forum

Changed by the Attention Economy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Oct 10. 11 Replies

Kids' Entertainment - Bombing Civilians

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Oct 8. 2 Replies

Firehose beats Fact-Check

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Oct 7. 9 Replies

Anger-Incitement Playbook

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Andrew Sep 26. 15 Replies

Climate Denial Based on Projection of Venal Motives

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Sep 12. 1 Reply

Reason Evolved to Win Arguments - not Reason Clearly

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Sep 10. 1 Reply

Direct Mind Access

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Idaho Spud Aug 16. 15 Replies

Weaponized Fake Conspiracy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Aug 4. 4 Replies

Teach Wisdom

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jun 3. 0 Replies

The Science of Mind Manipulation

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Apr 10. 22 Replies

Blue Lies Divide

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Mar 26. 0 Replies

Visceral Vernacular is Great Oration

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Mar 19. 7 Replies

Hyperbolic Discounting

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 12. 3 Replies

How to Mind-Capture a Nation

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Mar 8. 0 Replies

Post-Truth "Reality" Tactics

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Feb 15. 15 Replies

Snag-Attention Government

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Feb 14. 3 Replies

The Blowfish Fallacy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Feb 13. 1 Reply

Snake Oil of Doom

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Jan 31. 4 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 1:34pm

Michael, can you just imagine someone with ideas such as the Jesus and Lucifer being brothers, or some other ideologue getting control of the internet pipes, and pumping out their delusions? How many people would recognize the nonsense? How many would gullibly follow? How many would demand more opinions? 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 1:31pm

Spud, great internet neutrality video. Very important explanations. I reposted. May I attribute it to Idaho Spud?  

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 1:24pm

Spud, very interesting report. Dealing with family violence, I found that women were able to make better decisions if they could get rid of the "static" in their minds that kept them confused and afraid. They were able to get control over feeling helpless and hopeless, avoid depression and anxiety, and learn how to function in healthy ways. By getting calm, focused, and rested, emotionally, they made better decisions in their self interest. 

I taught anger management in prison for the courts in family violence cases and the men learned how to control their anger, fears, anxieties, and resentments. They learned how to assert themselves without being bullies and how to actively listen to others. 

I also taught boys sent to boys ranches by the courts how to recognize their feelings, deal with them in more productive ways. In the family sessions, sons, mothers and fathers learned how to own their feelings, pay attention to the triggers that set them off, and how to develop a plan of action when problems or conflicts occur. 

I suppose mindfulness alone is not the answer. However, taking the whole body into mind, and the situations in which people find themselves, they were able to learn more effective and efficient ways to interact with loved ones, and ultimately, with society. 

I didn't do double blind studies, so I cannot claim statistical significance in this kind of intervention. Also, the samples were too small to be able to claim effectiveness. I do trust the conclusions of the study you cited, and realize I did far more than just meditation and mindfulness. My discipline required looking at the whole person and the matrix in which they lived. I didn't do mantra-based work. 

I am glad to read the results of the study because too often people think that all they have to do is the procedure to gain positive results or change themselves in order to solve problems and conflicts. Sometimes the individual has learned maladaptive behaviors. Sometimes the system, i.e. family or institutions of society cripple people and prevent healthy functioning. 

Comment by Michael Penn on May 7, 2014 at 12:40pm

Skeptics in Mormonville. I had a Mormon tell me one time that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers. Well, why not? Aren't Thor and Loki brothers?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 14, 2014 at 1:34pm

Great link on meditation, Idaho Spud. Thanks.
Comment by Idaho Spud on February 10, 2014 at 1:53pm

Research review finds little healh-related benefit from meditation

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have reviewed whether meditation programs can improve anxiety, depression, mood, mental health-related quality of life, attention, substance abuse, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight in adults. [Goyal M and others. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A syst.... JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014] After examining thousands of reports, the researchers found only 47 studies were sufficiently well-designed to be included in their meta-analysis, which concluded:

  • Mindfulness meditation programs showed (a) moderate evidence of improved anxiety, depression, and pain, (b) low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life, and (c) low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight.
  • Mantra-based programs demonstrated no benefit.
  • There was no evidence that meditation programs were better than drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies.

The published report did not consider the extent to which meditation is inappropriately recommended to people who would benefit much more from counseling or psychotherapy that helps them identify and deal with the causes of stress responsible for their symptoms.

Stephen Barrett

Comment by Idaho Spud on January 24, 2014 at 5:05pm

No, you don't have a 6th sense.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on November 27, 2013 at 2:21pm

Comment by TNT666 on September 14, 2013 at 1:37am

DR, I'm late, but that was a excellent little piece of writing that God of the Gaps. It's the discourse I've been using for years, but my writing skills are more along the lines of reporting rather than being charismatic and likeable. He speaks well of necessary paradigm shifts. But I will say this, there are many atheists who may check the box but who've not yet made the paradigm shifts either. The more atheists I read, the less impressed I am. For claiming to be a sceptic/atheist as become so popular, that it's beginning to mean nothing. That is the price of any group becoming populist. In that regard, I'd kinda prefer a smaller group of hard core atheists rather than all this populism I see. Uneducated people claiming to "love science" (blindly) are nearly as dangerous as faithers who live in constant blindness.
But thanks for the article, I'll spread it around. :)

Comment by D R Hosie on September 13, 2013 at 9:04pm

(Sam Harris)

Beliefs hazardous to World Health

In making recent changes to the website, WP accidentally deleted over 70 of our subscribers. So, if you are (or were) a subscriber, please pop-over long enough to re-register to receive notice of new articles. Thanks, Donnie


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