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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 yesterday. 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 sk8eycat on June 25, 2015 at 9:37pm

We haven't had true freedom of the press in 200 years. 

The last gasp for me was when the Los Angeles Times was sold to the Chicago Tribune conglomerate about 20 years ago.  They fired the best political columnists, and kept on cutting staff, and the number and size of the pages until the thing looks like a tabloid.  I want to cancel our subscription, but it's sort of an 80+ year tradition in our family.  My sister reads it. I don't.  So I told her to pay for it.

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 25, 2015 at 7:16pm

Just reading the newspapers will inform anyone when there's controversial legislation being brought out. If it's concerning immigration it'll be a daily dose of ''Somali women housed in six bedroomed house all at the taxpayers cost'' or something along those lines. Similarly for welfare ''Benefit scrounger's costing the country billions, say's report''. These 'revelations' curiously stop when the legislation has been passed.

How can the west so proudly proclaim ''freedom of the press'' when the press is so unashamedly used for government propaganda.

It seems news censorship and manipulation is a disgrace when conducted by authoritarian states, but quite acceptable under the flag of free enterprise.

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 25, 2015 at 5:55pm

I remember British rock bands in the sixties coming back aghast at what they'd witnessed in the American south.

Comment by tom sarbeck on June 25, 2015 at 5:47pm

"The first purpose of government," a graduate student in political science told me decades ago, "is to make large numbers of people governable."

And as Joan says, religion was and is a device to control people.

Keeping church and state separate is my first purpose.

Comment by sk8eycat on June 25, 2015 at 4:26pm

By the fall of 1957, I was touring in the south for the first time in my life.  The segregated signs on depot waiting rooms, restrooms, drinking fountains, etc & so on shocked me, and continued to do so for the next three years.

Once when I asked the Pullman porter if he could get some ice for us to make Margaritas as we were leaving Atlanta, he not only got the ice, he wrapped it in a clean towel and smashed it to bits so we could use it immediately.  Later, when he had finished making up the berths and was relaxing with a newspaper, I asked him if he'd like the little bit that was left in the cocktail shaker.  He looked at me in complete astonishment, and said, "Y'all aren't from THIS part of the country, are you?"  I just shook my head and said, "Los Angeles."  Then I poured his Margarita, and went to rinse out the shaker.

But I saw and heard things that made my skin crawl....

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 25, 2015 at 4:06pm

Joseph P right on all counts. I did live through the age of the christian-dominated society, from government, to school boards, to education and on and on. 

I am a conspiracy theorist on this issue. Religion was and is a device to control people. Propaganda follows a plan that clearly demarks who is in and who is out. I was a young woman barely out of high school when this event took place. It shook me to the roots. Just look at he face of the woman behind Elizabeth Eckford, 15 years old, pursued by a mob at Little Rock Central High School on the first day of the school year, September 4, 1957.

or, even more heartbreaking: 

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 25, 2015 at 3:45pm

Felaine, you make excellent points. When I think of how much TV air time was devoted to stains on a dress of the POTUS, I just feel deeply rooted rage. You are quite correct in your comments. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 25, 2015 at 3:41pm

Loren, it really is time for the USA population to grow up and learn how to choose their battles. There exist too many real life problems of hunger, poverty, disease, infections, homelessness, not enough jobs that pay living wages. 

Another pet peeve is the glamorization and objectifying of women and sex. Sure, sex is a part of life and a very good part. However, when it comes to government involvement, we don't have the need, time or resources to legislate morals. We can make laws against manipulation, exploitation of individuals or groups, and the usual laws for public safety. We need protection for children and spokesman in thir behalf. 

But to fool around with who kisses whom, or who has sex with whom, or in support of marriage vows 

Ah! marriage vows. I have no interest in marriage vows, however, I am profoundly interested in children who come from two people, married or not. The children need safety, security, and stability. How that is accomplished is up to the man and woman. If they fail to provide S3 then they should be held accountable. 

Comment by sk8eycat on June 25, 2015 at 3:22pm

For that matter, what were we doing while 20+ Arabs were here on student visas, learning to fly passenger jets?  We were getting nothing in the mainstream press and electronic media but sordid  details of the president's petty affairs.  As IF every other president since Washington was a Benedictine monk.....

Comment by Joseph P on June 25, 2015 at 3:02pm

Why are we not speaking of universal healthcare, or fair wages for honest work, or corrupt government and businesses?

Homosexuality is a mass distraction from what we should be discussing and debating!

Uhhh, Joan?  You lived through the rise of the religious right, far more so than I did.  Surely you recognize how they grasped religion as a method of effective political manipulation.

I'm not the sort of nut-job conspiracy-theorist who proposes that Christianity was created with the pure intention of controlling the masses, 1,900 years ago, but various political movements have recognized the power of religion to get the downtrodden to support their own subjugation.

At this point, the conservatives have jumped the track, and the lunatics are now running the asylum.  But there's still a core of assholes, hidden in the back, who are manipulating the message with the social conservatism and keeping the economics of the party as quiet as they can and covering it over with mindless sloganeering.

Where do you think the re-branding of billionaire war-profiteers as "the job creators" came from?  The rabid social conservatives sure didn't come up with that shit.

 

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