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

Idiocracy Now

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joseph P Sep 2. 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

Comment Wall


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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



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.

Comment by Joan Denoo on June 18, 2015 at 8:11pm

"The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man. Religion is, indeed, the self-consciousness and self-esteem of man who has either not yet won through to himself, or has already lost himself again. But man is no abstract being squatting outside the world. Man is the world of man – state, society. This state and this society produce religion, which is an inverted consciousness of the world, because they are an inverted world. Religion is the general theory of this world, its encyclopaedic compendium, its logic in popular form, its spiritual point d’honneur, its enthusiasm, its moral sanction, its solemn complement, and its universal basis of consolation and justification. It is the fantastic realization of the human essence since the human essence has not acquired any true reality. The struggle against religion is, therefore, indirectly the struggle against that world whose spiritual aroma is religion.

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people."

Works of Karl Marx 1843

Comment by Joseph P on June 18, 2015 at 7:41pm

For what it's worth, morphine is far more effective than the modern opiates, too.  There are just other mild issues to take into account, with morphine.

Comment by Joseph P on June 18, 2015 at 7:38pm

Depends on the kind of pain.  Acetaminophen and aspirin work in completely different ways, dealing with the sources of the pain, so matching up the appropriate medication to the given cause can make a huge difference.

Comment by sk8eycat on June 18, 2015 at 7:37pm

Makes me wonder what company did the testing for Tylenol, and how they got it licensed by the FDA....who paid who off?

I was a "guinea pig" in a major national blood pressure study 20 years ago; they welcomed me with open arms because they really needed more women as subjects.  It was supposed to last for 5 years, but they stopped it after 3 because they were getting the same results from all over the country.  The older, less expensive drugs were more effective than the newer shit.


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