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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

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem-Solving

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by tom sarbeck on Saturday. 6 Replies

Spot Graphics that Lie

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

Susceptibility to Bias

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

Gish Gallop

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

Political discourse in US - fundamentally fallacious

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

Liberal Washing

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

Information Technology amplifies irrational group behavior

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Mar 22. 10 Replies

Hell for christians? Hell for all?

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Mar 3. 58 Replies

Hunger influences decisions

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Feb 19. 2 Replies

Why Name Calling

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Oct 30, 2014. 0 Replies

Psychic Power-NOT

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn Oct 14, 2014. 7 Replies

Fighting Against Abstinence Only Education.

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joseph P Aug 6, 2014. 7 Replies

What counts as proof for existential threats

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Jun 14, 2014. 1 Reply

Cheating with Science

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn May 22, 2014. 6 Replies

Apocalypse anxiety

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Luara May 9, 2014. 7 Replies

Young adults belief in demon posession

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner May 8, 2014. 12 Replies

Challenging lies doesn't work

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn May 7, 2014. 2 Replies

Mere question elicits false memories

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn May 7, 2014. 1 Reply

Comment Wall

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Comment by Michael Penn 1 hour ago

The Egyptians worshipped cats to the extent that a little cat dung was used in medicine from time to time.

"How's that skin rash now Abdul"

"Doc, I think it's getting worse."

Comment by Loren Miller 1 hour ago

I very much appreciate the example Jerry Brown is setting in California regarding the whole vaccination business.  Let's hope other states get the message.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan 2 hours ago

@Sk8ey - I used to have a red Abyssinian named Bast. They're wonderful cats. The Egyptians worshiped cats; the Catholics killed them and unwittingly thereby helped spread the plague. Figures.

Comment by Idaho Spud 2 hours ago

Governor Jerry Brown has signed SB277 into law, making California the third state in the nation to require immunizations of schoolchildren and children in child care centers without exemption for religious or personal beliefs. The other two states are Mississippi and West Virginia. California is also the first state to repeal a religious exemption from immunizations.

Comment by sk8eycat on Saturday

I dunno.  The only serious believer in my life now is my JW sister, and we do not discuss religion.  She has Asperger's Syndrome, and the JWs are the only friends she has.  It doesn't harm me to put up with her obsessions, and I need her help around the house.  .

She's not nearly as crazy as she was when we were kids; the only thing she does that gets on my last nerve is having serious discussions with doorbell-ringers about whose imaginary friend is the "right" one.  If I happen to be within earshot, I'll just say, "None!"  Or "Bastet."

Egyptian Cat Goddess Bastet Pedestal Statue

Comment by Michael Penn on Friday

If the discussion was about the existence of gods and you start it with gods, you are also going to end it with gods. Christians start with the conclusion that they want and believe from the very first word. I've had them tell me that I'm incredibly stupid when I say to them that there is no evidence. Maybe they meant the sunset, who knows?

Comment by sk8eycat on Friday

Dan Barker has said that many religionists/theists he has debated insist at the beginning, "First, we must start with god(s)."  They have it totally backwards; you start a debate or discussion on something you BOTH can agree on, and carry on from there.  Sort of like "I am alive...."

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on Friday

Good point, Cat. The xtian approach to logic is to start with the desired conclusion and then throw up a rickety scaffold of phony premises.

Comment by Grinning Cat on Friday

Great cartoon, Ruth!

Rereading the intro here... one of my favorite examples of invalid logic producing a true conclusion is "simplifying" the fraction 16/64 by canceling sixes: 16/64 = 1/4.

Comment by tom sarbeck on Friday

NO! This way, head!

And while I'm on your case, the sign you put up is so biased that I'm betting you won't tell us what's eating you.

 

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