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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

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem-Solving

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat 40 minutes ago. 1 Reply

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 Joseph P on June 21, 2015 at 7:32am

In general, yes.  There's a lot of nonsense with deductibles, of course.

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 21, 2015 at 6:09am

Are drug prescriptions covered by insurance in the USA?

Comment by Joseph P on June 20, 2015 at 7:35am

Why would that sound counterproductive?  Hair of the dog and all that.

It works that way with most chemically-addictive substances.  Having a bit more of the chemical that's causing you withdrawal systems tends to lessen the withdrawal symptoms.  It only makes sense, given the cause of withdrawal symptoms.

I don't have an issue, usually, since I rarely go more than 12 hours without a decent bit of caffeine, including the time I'm asleep.  I don't drink coffee right before I go to sleep, of course, but I usually have at least some tea, within a few hours of going to bed.

Comment by Randall Smith on June 20, 2015 at 7:11am

It took me a long time to associate morning headaches with caffeine withdrawal from not drinking coffee after supper with my dessert. My aspirin of choice has caffeine in it. Sounds counter-productive, but it works in getting rid of my withdrawal headaches. By the way, I'm down to 2 cups of coffee a day--morning and evening.

Comment by Plinius on June 20, 2015 at 1:24am

That quite a lot, Joan, I hope you feel good!

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 19, 2015 at 7:55pm

Well, we covered just about every pain killer and each one does something dreadful to someone. 

I wonder if meditation acts the same way on different people?

I haven't had caffeine-withdrawal yet, but I have just started drinking four cups a day. Two cups for breakfast, one at mid-morning, another at mid-afternoon. Somewhere in there I get a nice nap. I probably snore because I wake up with a dry nose and mouth. I lost 50 pounds during my "afflictions" and my skin sags like a Shar Pei

 

Shar-Pei

Comment by Joseph P on June 19, 2015 at 5:34pm

Isn't ibuprofen a little better, in that regard?  You don't have the liver issues, either, with that.

I only ever have caffeine-withdrawal headaches, from time to time, so my pain-reduction needs are obviously a bit different.  I just always just make sure to take the aspirin with some food, and I never have the slightest stomach problems.

Comment by sk8eycat on June 19, 2015 at 1:12pm

Chris, it's been about 25 years since my doctor at that time (he's retired now) told me that swallowing blackboard chalk was as effective as taking acetaminophen as far as women are concerned.

BUT for decades Tylenol commercials have featured older arthritic women, and the voice-over is always something like, "I don't worry about grandma's ulcers anymore; she takes Tylenol for her arthritis (or headaches)."  And hospitals hand it out like candy....

Comment by Idaho Spud on June 19, 2015 at 12:50pm

Joseph, thanks for reminding me that completely different formulations can have different results.

Comment by Plinius on June 19, 2015 at 1:31am

Once again in the news here: the effect of medicines on women is not completely understood because medicines are almost always tested on male animals and male voluntary "guinea pigs". It is the laziness of the medicine developers: they don't want to reckon with our cycles and changing hormone levels. I have known this for at least 25 years, but every now and then it's a news item. In between nothing changes.

 

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