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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

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"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

Idiocracy Now

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P 21 hours ago. 4 Replies

Talking Nonsense as US Politcs

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

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem-Solving

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by tom sarbeck Jul 4. 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

Comment Wall

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Comment by Bertold Brautigan on May 27, 2015 at 8:14am

Thanks for the correction, Loren. (Not sure how the link got screwed up.)

Comment by Loren Miller on May 27, 2015 at 8:10am

Bertold, your link has a problem.  I think this is the article you wanted to link to.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 27, 2015 at 8:06am

Certainly there have been some significant mile markers in Ireland's migration away from the church.  The vote on gay marriage isn't just a slap in the face, but a fist in the chops, considering the Vatican's refusal to disavow Leviticus.  The death of the woman who was denied an abortion is the next major event in the progression, and I would wonder how strongly that incident influenced the drive to have the vote, though its relationship is not truly direct.

I doubt that the RCC will be utterly kicked to the curb in Ireland, but I doubt the dynamic between the church and the people of the Emerald Isle will never be the same again.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on May 27, 2015 at 7:45am

Today's Religion Dispatches ran an article titled

DID IRELAND JUST BURY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH?

Sadly the answer to that is undoubtedly "No," but perhaps more important for the future even than the civil rights issue is the fact that Ireland declared loudly and clearly that it is no longer the Vatican's bitch.

Many Irish Catholics, both on the isle and in diaspora, are so heartily sick of the institution’s duplicity, game playing, and pomposity that we would probably vote against the institutional Church on the value of chocolate ice cream. The recurring Irish debates on abortion will give way to another referendum before too long. I suspect the hierarchy, wounded but not slain, will mount another nasty campaign—and hopefully experience another comeuppance.

Irish clergy used to make a living telling other people how to live their lives no matter how flawed their own were. A generation ago people in Ireland went to daily mass after work and heard the messages repeated ad nauseam. Irish Catholics proved they know how to separate the wheat from the chaff, the important values like love and justice from warped attempts to dictate outmoded morality.

It is for lay Catholics around the world to be clear, as Irish voters were, that we can and will make our own decisions.

Much remains to be done to dismantle deeply entrenched structures. But the Irish referendum means that a top-down, clergy-heavy model of church heard its death knell in Dublin. As it reverberates around the world the Gospel message might get a little more airtime. As the Irish say, it will make a glass eye cry—with joy.

Comment by Gerald Payne on May 19, 2015 at 4:04pm

Bertrand Russell was a wise individual. He's well worth the effort to study.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on May 19, 2015 at 3:56pm

Bertrand Russell video interview wherein he trashes numerous lame religionist ploys.

Jerry Coyne of the Why Evolution Is True Blog ran a clip of the inimitable Bertrand Russell today.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 19, 2015 at 9:26am

Excellent, Ruth.

Comment by sk8eycat on May 18, 2015 at 11:48pm

I don't remember where I read this, but when you think about it, it makes sense:

"God works in malicious ways his blunders to perform."
************************
I have heard of more than one instance where a surgeon has insisted on praying with a patient.  I would be off the gurney and out in the street SO fast.....!

Comment by Loren Miller on May 18, 2015 at 9:59pm

"Working in mysterious ways" is right up there with endorsing faith as a means to knowledge.  When you consider that the ONLY venue where faith has any real traction is religion, the appeal to faith becomes transparent as glass.  It's supposed to be a trump card, the unbeatable move.

The problem is: it doesn't work.

Comment by Joseph P on May 18, 2015 at 9:38pm

What movie is that from?  Fantastic expression on that kid.

 

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