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
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
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


Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan May 5. 25 Replies

Hell for christians? Hell for all?

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joseph P Feb 7. 60 Replies

Misleading Public Polls

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 8, 2015. 5 Replies

My arguments are always valid

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Nov 6, 2015. 4 Replies

The heart of anti-atheist prejudice is distrust

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 20, 2015. 2 Replies

Can psychics "connect" with a woman's nonexistent dead sister?

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Sep 9, 2015. 10 Replies

Idiocracy Now

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Sep 2, 2015. 4 Replies

It Takes More Faith to Be an Atheist Than to Believe in God?

Started by Bertold Brautigan. Last reply by Gerald Payne Aug 21, 2015. 21 Replies

Talking Nonsense as US Politcs

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Aug 17, 2015. 6 Replies

A Quick Puzzle to Test Your Problem-Solving

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by tom sarbeck Jul 4, 2015. 6 Replies

Spot Graphics that Lie

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Jun 25, 2015. 49 Replies

Susceptibility to Bias

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Jun 23, 2015. 1 Reply

Gish Gallop

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Jun 21, 2015. 7 Replies

Political discourse in US - fundamentally fallacious

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 29, 2015. 14 Replies

Liberal Washing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Gerald Payne May 19, 2015. 4 Replies

Information Technology amplifies irrational group behavior

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Mar 22, 2015. 10 Replies

Hunger influences decisions

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Feb 19, 2015. 2 Replies

Why Name Calling

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

Comment Wall


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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.

Comment by sk8eycat on June 25, 2015 at 3:00pm

I forgot to mention that government getting mixed up with sexual matters, and/or religion is a GREAT distraction to keep the yokels from paying attention to the fact that they are robbing us of our money and our constitutional rights.  Karl Rove may not have invented the technique, but he has used it more effectively than anyone else in modern politics.

Comment by sk8eycat on June 25, 2015 at 2:55pm

Some twits think "Ewww" when two straight Frenchmen kiss each other on their checks.  In other cultures, men greet each other with mouth-to-mouth kisses, and think nothing of it. 

Very much cultural indoctrination, with a pinch of buybull thrown in for flavor.

Do you ever see teenage girls holding hands or walking arm-in-arm anymore?  That used to be the most natural thing in the world, now everyone is afraid of touching anyone at all...even their own children or parents.

Comment by Loren Miller on June 25, 2015 at 2:28pm

Joan, I don't know how much straight porn you've ever watched.  I've watched my share of it, and there's one facet of it that is damned near constant: there may be woman-on-woman sex in straight porn, but (subject to evidence to the contrary) you will never ... EVER see man-on-man sex in straight porn.  The reason for this is simple: straight men, being the primary targets and consumers of straight porn, are turned on by Lesbian sex, but turned off and indeed threatened by gay sex.  Why threatened?  Because:

  1. Gay sex is an abomination, according to the bible
  2. Gay sex isn't "masculine."
  3. The "ICK" factor

That last is, I suspect, a product of the first two ("Two men kissing?!?  EEEWWWWW!").  I personally wonder how much of this is social indoctrination, based on biblical bullshit.  In any case, it's not something that I suffer from, nor should any well-adjusted male be troubled with.

Problem is that term: "well-adjusted."  As the Bard said, there's the rub.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 25, 2015 at 1:58pm

Why all this palaver over homosexuality? It is an attribute, like blue eyes or black hair. Is it the imagined process that bothers so many? Or the messy sweat and bodily fluids involved? So what! There exist sweat and bodily fluids with heterosexual methods. Is it that homosexuals waste sperm or eggs? So why is that a problem? There is a waste of resources using heterosexual means. Is it using sex for pleasure instead of procreation that upset so many? So? Are there so many Puritans in the population? Does the bible imperative matter so much to so many? Oh my goodness, do we believe we have to make our behaviors based on biblical definitions of moral behavior?

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!. It is a way to polarize people and an easy subject for whipping up emotions? Politics seems to distract one from what matters in life. 

Comment by Joseph P on June 25, 2015 at 12:31pm

If anything, they tend to paint homosexuality with a very broad brush, Gerald.  He could be including all forms of perversion in with homosexuality, and he just wasn't explicit about it, because he presumed that everyone else understood him.

I don't know the Koranic references to homosexuality as well as the Biblical ones, of course, but there are probably a lot of similarities.  Going from Paul's writings, people become homosexuals because they've given in to their depravity, and homosexuality is just one of the expressions of it.

So, according to their holy book, Christians should believe that there's no such thing as a vanilla, gay guy, despite the fact that I know one.  Any gay guy should automatically be leather-clad for all of his sexual expression, probably with a ball-gag and whips, with at least one corpse on the premises for when any of the guys feels like indulging in his necrophilia, during the nightly orgy.

This could also be the "reasoning" behind the constant insanity we hear the fundies vomit up, bringing up pedophilia any time we're trying to have an adult conversation about gay rights.  Clearly pedophilia is a lesser form of depravity than homosexuality, since lots of people become pedophiles without also sinking as far as homosexuality.

It's completely fucked, but there's a sort of logic there, if your mind is warped enough to see it.

Comment by Gerald Payne on June 25, 2015 at 10:42am

What would be the result of fantasising about a Jew while impregnating his wife? Why button-hole homosexuality? couldn't the result be a cross dresser or an Iranian biblical pervert?

He's lucky nobody's allowed to offer a different opinion.

Comment by tom sarbeck on June 25, 2015 at 9:07am

The religion's name should be Paulinity, not Xianity, according to a poet friend who'd gone to an Xian college.

Does anyone know who named it Xianity? Was fraud intended?

Comment by Joseph P on June 25, 2015 at 7:54am

How could it be otherwise?  The Gospels and Acts don't have much in the way of instruction on how to actually run a church.  They're just rough evangelism guides and stories of the wonderful things the mythical guy did.

Paul was writing massive, instructional missives to the various churches around the Mediterranean, telling them how they should be doing things.  Unless you want to go back to the Old Testament, you don't have a lot else to go on for running a church/temple, and the Old Testament has a little too much animal sacrifice for modern Christians.

Comment by Michael Penn on June 25, 2015 at 4:12am

Whether they realize it or not most of biblical Christianity comes from this man, Paul. All of us would be better off to not take anything that the man said seriously.

The man claims to be an authority but even in his visions and teachings he could not tell whether he was "in or out" of his body. To understand this more fully just substitute the word "mind" for the word "body."


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