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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!

Members: 350
Latest Activity: Mar 22

"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

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

Gish Gallop

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Aug 18, 2014. 4 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

Political discourse in US - fundamentally fallacious

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 5, 2014. 13 Replies

F*ck You= Australia's Coal Policy

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Apr 17, 2014. 4 Replies

Name truthiness

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 1, 2014. 1 Reply

Frustration at RealClimate

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Dec 1, 2013. 2 Replies

Religion correlates with Climate Denial

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 27, 2013. 0 Replies

Liberal Washing

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Joan Denoo Nov 2, 2013. 1 Reply

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of No Nonsense to add comments!

Comment by Grinning Cat on May 7, 2014 at 3:14pm

Some truth in advertising: correctly used quotation marks on a homeopathic medicine! 'These “Uses” have not been evaluated by the FDA.'

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 7, 2014 at 1:47pm

Yes, For quite a few years, I believed Jesus and Lucifer were brothers.

Of course, I still think they are alike in at least one aspect.  They are both imaginary.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 7, 2014 at 1:44pm

Yes Joan.

Comment by Loren Miller on May 7, 2014 at 1:36pm

Well, I HAVE done "mantra-based work" ... being that I was once (and still am, I suppose) an associate teacher of the TM technique.  No, it ain't magic, but it allowed me to settle and keep my head in times when trying to do so was not a whole lot of fun.

And if it had no other practical purpose, I could knock down hiccups with it ... Every Last Time.

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 1:34pm

Michael, can you just imagine someone with ideas such as the Jesus and Lucifer being brothers, or some other ideologue getting control of the internet pipes, and pumping out their delusions? How many people would recognize the nonsense? How many would gullibly follow? How many would demand more opinions? 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 1:31pm

Spud, great internet neutrality video. Very important explanations. I reposted. May I attribute it to Idaho Spud?  

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 7, 2014 at 1:24pm

Spud, very interesting report. Dealing with family violence, I found that women were able to make better decisions if they could get rid of the "static" in their minds that kept them confused and afraid. They were able to get control over feeling helpless and hopeless, avoid depression and anxiety, and learn how to function in healthy ways. By getting calm, focused, and rested, emotionally, they made better decisions in their self interest. 

I taught anger management in prison for the courts in family violence cases and the men learned how to control their anger, fears, anxieties, and resentments. They learned how to assert themselves without being bullies and how to actively listen to others. 

I also taught boys sent to boys ranches by the courts how to recognize their feelings, deal with them in more productive ways. In the family sessions, sons, mothers and fathers learned how to own their feelings, pay attention to the triggers that set them off, and how to develop a plan of action when problems or conflicts occur. 

I suppose mindfulness alone is not the answer. However, taking the whole body into mind, and the situations in which people find themselves, they were able to learn more effective and efficient ways to interact with loved ones, and ultimately, with society. 

I didn't do double blind studies, so I cannot claim statistical significance in this kind of intervention. Also, the samples were too small to be able to claim effectiveness. I do trust the conclusions of the study you cited, and realize I did far more than just meditation and mindfulness. My discipline required looking at the whole person and the matrix in which they lived. I didn't do mantra-based work. 

I am glad to read the results of the study because too often people think that all they have to do is the procedure to gain positive results or change themselves in order to solve problems and conflicts. Sometimes the individual has learned maladaptive behaviors. Sometimes the system, i.e. family or institutions of society cripple people and prevent healthy functioning. 

Comment by Michael Penn on May 7, 2014 at 12:40pm

Skeptics in Mormonville. I had a Mormon tell me one time that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers. Well, why not? Aren't Thor and Loki brothers?

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 14, 2014 at 1:34pm

Great link on meditation, Idaho Spud. Thanks.
Comment by Idaho Spud on February 10, 2014 at 1:53pm

Research review finds little healh-related benefit from meditation

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have reviewed whether meditation programs can improve anxiety, depression, mood, mental health-related quality of life, attention, substance abuse, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight in adults. [Goyal M and others. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: A syst.... JAMA Internal Medicine, 2014] After examining thousands of reports, the researchers found only 47 studies were sufficiently well-designed to be included in their meta-analysis, which concluded:

  • Mindfulness meditation programs showed (a) moderate evidence of improved anxiety, depression, and pain, (b) low evidence of improved stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life, and (c) low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight.
  • Mantra-based programs demonstrated no benefit.
  • There was no evidence that meditation programs were better than drugs, exercise, and other behavioral therapies.

The published report did not consider the extent to which meditation is inappropriately recommended to people who would benefit much more from counseling or psychotherapy that helps them identify and deal with the causes of stress responsible for their symptoms.

Stephen Barrett


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