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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

Anger-Incitement Playbook

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P 4 hours ago. 13 Replies

Blue Lies Divide

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner yesterday. 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

Media Bubbles - Truth versus Security

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Plinius Jan 15. 4 Replies

Misleading with truth is Paltering

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jan 14. 1 Reply

On images and moral vacuums

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jan 10. 2 Replies

Blame as a Fallacy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 15, 2016. 0 Replies

Repeated lies seem true

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Chris Dec 8, 2016. 8 Replies

Identity-Protective Cognition and Fundamentalism

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 29, 2016. 3 Replies

Truthiness Trumpiness

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Nov 15, 2016. 5 Replies

Internet Sabotages Sensible Communication

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Nov 14, 2016. 1 Reply

Reality TV as Analgesic Doublespeak

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Oct 10, 2016. 4 Replies

Ubiquitous Disconnect from Reality

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Chris Sep 22, 2016. 13 Replies

Comment Wall

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Comment by Grinning Cat on December 17, 2016 at 5:36am

A game show very much like 'Jeopardy!', except named 'Facts Don't Matter!'(riffing off a comment by Kip at Friendly Atheist)

"I'm sorry, Ms. Clinton, your answer was correct, but Mr. Trump shouted his incorrect answer over yours, so he gets the points."

Comment by Grinning Cat on December 16, 2016 at 4:01pm

Joseph, some liberals were in states that were expected to be "safe" blue states. Here in Pennsylvania it was shocking that tRump (presumably) won our electoral votes.

(FWIW, I voted for Sanders in the primary and for Clinton last month.)

Ruth, oil reserves as "Viagra" says a lot!

Comment by tom sarbeck on December 16, 2016 at 3:46pm
...we're talkinng...about men here.

And, Ruth, for every alpha male there's an alphe female or two who's wanting more for her children than other males can give them.
Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on December 16, 2016 at 3:22pm

Oil politics and magical thinking.

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Donald Trump's Energy Nostalgia and the Pat...

image source

… magical thinking.  Like so many leaders of recent times, he [Trump] seems to equate mastery over oil in particular, and fossil fuels in general, with mastery over the world.  In this, he shares a common outlook with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, who wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on harnessing Russia’s oil and gas reserves in order to restore the country’s global power, and with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, said to be Trump’s top choice for Secretary of State and a long-term business partner of the Putin regime.  For these and other politicians and tycoons -- and, of course, we’re talking almost exclusively about men here -- the possession of giant oil reserves is thought to bestow a kind of manly vigor.  Think of it as the national equivalent of Viagra. [emphasis mine]
Comment by Joseph P on December 13, 2016 at 7:15pm

Well, I know what I meant.  :-P  That's the important bit.

Compound verbs are pretty straightforward.  Take two verbs and stick them into the same sentence with one shared subject and one shared object.  Put a conjunction between them.  Done; easy.

Comment by tom sarbeck on December 13, 2016 at 7:10pm

Joseph, your

The best I'm coming up with is a compound verb of some sort.

seems vague for a guy who survived three years of Latin. I'm wondering if you wrote it too hastily.

Comment by Joseph P on December 13, 2016 at 6:12pm

Not you you, in that second to last paragraph, obviously.  That's a global you, referring to the people who did as I described.

Comment by Joseph P on December 13, 2016 at 6:10pm

@Loren Miller

I blame all of the liberals who didn't vote.  I blame all of the liberals who voted for Gary Johnson, knowing that it was throwing their vote away.

Not voting does not send a message.  Your vote is not a message; it's a tool to influence our government.  No one will get the message.

If Clinton had won, she would have swept into the Oval Office with the mandate of the people, with the blessing of the system.  Since Trump won, he's going to sweep into office with the mandate of the people, full of himself with the blessing of the system.

No one noticed your protest vote/lack-of-vote.  No one cared.

The most maddening thing is that you know there are assholes out there protesting against the Trump presidency who didn't vote.  Fuck them.

Comment by Joseph P on December 13, 2016 at 5:58pm

@Michael Penn

As for racism it seems more alive now than ever. I started noticing that right after I married a woman from Kenya. Many people are not even aware they are racist.

Hell, I'm well aware that I'm racist.  The little fucker in the back of my head needs to be swatted down periodically.  It's kind of hard, probably impossible, to not have some degree of racist inclination, growing up in ... pretty much any of our societies, now that I think about it.  The key is to recognize it and swat it down, hopefully bringing yourself back as close as you can get to the median point.

Comment by Joseph P on December 13, 2016 at 5:50pm

@Tom Sarbeck

Joseph, about a verb form. (At last, a use for my two years of Latin!!!)

Heh, I'm well aware of past-tense verb forms: imperfect, perfect, pluperfect.  I took three years of Latin in high school and two more classes in college.

The problem is that verb tenses are far more fluid and inconsistent in English.  Our language is kind of fucked up.  For the meaning I was going for to be clear, a compound verb is necessary.

Sorry it took me so long to respond about this.  I wandered off for a bit there.

 

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