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No Nonsense

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

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"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
Propaganda
snopes.com
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
QuackWatch
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

tRump incoherent babbling

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Aug 15. 17 Replies

Think tank really corrupt arms booster

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Aug 14. 2 Replies

Not The Onion - Steve Moore

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Jun 9. 12 Replies

Bullshit

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan May 5. 25 Replies

Hell for christians? Hell for all?

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joseph P Feb 7. 60 Replies

Misleading Public Polls

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 8, 2015. 5 Replies

My arguments are always valid

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Nov 6, 2015. 4 Replies

The heart of anti-atheist prejudice is distrust

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 20, 2015. 2 Replies

Can psychics "connect" with a woman's nonexistent dead sister?

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Sep 9, 2015. 10 Replies

Idiocracy Now

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Sep 2, 2015. 4 Replies

It Takes More Faith to Be an Atheist Than to Believe in God?

Started by Bertold Brautigan. Last reply by Gerald Payne Aug 21, 2015. 21 Replies

Talking Nonsense as US Politcs

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Aug 17, 2015. 6 Replies

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem-Solving

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by tom sarbeck Jul 4, 2015. 6 Replies

Spot Graphics that Lie

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Jun 25, 2015. 49 Replies

Susceptibility to Bias

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jun 23, 2015. 1 Reply

Gish Gallop

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Jun 21, 2015. 7 Replies

Political discourse in US - fundamentally fallacious

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 29, 2015. 14 Replies

Liberal Washing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Gerald Payne May 19, 2015. 4 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Grinning Cat on August 18, 2014 at 4:01pm

Zach Weiner's "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal" comic answers the question "How can you run a 'science channel' but have most of your shows be about ghosts and aliens and other nonsense?"

(click for the surprisingly rational answer in the full comic)

(h/t Friendly Atheist)

Comment by TNT666 on July 12, 2014 at 1:20am

I use a very small software called Cyber Ghost to view streaming from other countries. It slows things down some, but it's free

Comment by Michael Penn on July 11, 2014 at 5:29pm

In case you do not get it in Canada, do a Google search with words like "how to watch the Atheist Channel online."

Comment by Michael Penn on July 11, 2014 at 4:35pm

Thank you, Patricia, for that bit about Atheist TV. I see that it's streaming and they claim you can get it with a Roku box. Chances are that I can get it with my XBMC even though some factions of that are splitting. They want you to "chose sides" and I have effectively chosen both of them. I can stream almost anything that I want to at any time that I want to. Atheist TV will be big on my list.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on June 6, 2014 at 12:39pm
Comment by Jason Spicer on May 22, 2014 at 12:59am

It's probably never too early to start teaching people the rules of reason, though some of the fallacies and biases are kind of tricky to wrap your head around at any age. Still, putting one's conclusions into one's premises should be obvious nonsense even to children, but it is rampant because it can be hard to spot (and is pushed so universally by religious people). I'd also like to see a much greater emphasis on teaching statistics at earlier ages. College is too late to do the electorate much good.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 22, 2014 at 12:34am

Jason, it seems my comment did not get recorded about fallacies being taught at all levels, and I think even the elementary grades, is a good idea. I like cognitive biases and Sagan's book as well. Yes, necessary reading. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 22, 2014 at 12:31am

"If by whiskey" is new to me and a grand example of double speak.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 22, 2014 at 12:27am

Oh yes, Jason, I agree that students of all ages should be exposed to fallacies, cognitive biases, and Sagan's book "Baloney Detection Book".  False dichotomies are a good one to start with; it is so obvious that either/or should include or/or/or. 

Non sequiters and question begging catch me too often. We should have a place where we can play with these ideas in order to become more familiar with them and the other fallacies. 

Thanks for the clarification, Jason, I needed it. 

Comment by Jason Spicer on May 22, 2014 at 12:01am

Check out the if-by-whiskey fallacy. State legislators don't make speeches like this anymore. Brilliant. I like to imagine it read by Patrick Stewart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If-by-whiskey

 

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