The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

Woo+Tablev0.7.png (902 KB)

Yes, another periodic table.
Science, Reason and Critical Thinking

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    28 Responses to The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

    1. Now while this is made of goodness and awesome, why they gotta include zombies under Paranormal / Supernatural? As a zombie enthusiast I am not pleased at all. The explanation behind the T virus was pretty clever and it sounded like something that could definitely happen. Besides don’t they have semi zombies in the Caribbean at the sugar plantations? STOP BURSTING MY DREAMS. And if anyone decides to poke fun at my dreams I’ll get all metaphorical on your ass and make references to how this generation is practically as good as zombified anyway. I’ll call them sheeple too and it will be most gruesome.

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    2. I was about to comment on my belief in chi, ranting about experience and the nature of empiricism, but then I remembered that this is the internet. I’ll come back when I have objective data instead of just subjective experiences.

      God, if everyone had this attitude….

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    3. this comes from one extreme. faith healing and that sort of thing come from the other extreme. reality is somewhere in the middle.

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      • What? NO. Science is science because it matches reality to the best of our ability to observe it. This isn’t a political or philosophical argument where there is a sane middle ground. Either you back up your claims with verifiable experiment and observation or its woo.

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        • What about things that are (potentially) true but have yet to have been verified? Where does string theory, fibromyalgia, neanderthal contribution to Homo sapian genome and such fit in your model?

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          • If many members of the medical community do not consider fibromyalgia a real disease, why does the FDA approve drugs to fight it?

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          • String theory is a bit out there, but still science.
            Fibromyalgia is a mess because the actual disorder is hard to define and diagnose.
            Neanderthal genes in modern humans is very likely, but needs more study. Definitely science.

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          • I would say that string theory is not currently science because it has yet to produce a testable hypothesis. Neanderthal DNA in modern humans is pretty well documented at this point, see the work of Svante Paabo. Fibromyalgia, I don’t know.

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          • Fibro is a real, semi-definable disease, they just don’t what’s causing it or how. For a long time fibro was just a name they put to a complaint of near constant acute pain in various parts of the body. It was unclear whether or not it really existed outside the mind of the (usually female) patient. There are tests (usually blood tests) that can measure the amount of inflammation in the body and thereby used as a gauge of pain. Fibro patients have extremely high levels of various hormones that are known to cause and result from inflammation. So fibro is basically a disorder (prolly auto-immune) that, once triggered, causes severe and acute full body pain and inflammation from unknown causes.

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    4. Labelling legitimate belief systems as nonsense is inflammatory and irrational in itself.

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    5. Absence of proof, is not proof of absence.

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      • The burden of proof lies with those that make extraordinary claims.

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        • Our statements are not contradictory.

          Re-phrasing of your argument to say:
          “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof,”. would find me mostly agreeable on probabilistic grounds. Though, the difficulty of determining a priori of probabilities is a serious drawback.

          Were you to to further agree to change “extraordinary proof” to “strict standard of ordinary good science and replicability ” I would be wholly in agreement.

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    6. I submit for your consideration a few more items to be added to the table:
      Extraterrestrial Intelligence
      Universal Assembler Nanomachines
      Practical fusion power
      Faster-than-light travel
      Human-level Artificial Intelligence

      It amazes me that after decades of research, none of these are any closer to being achieved or demonstrated, yet many otherwise intelligent people act like they will be inevitable.

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    7. I gotta disagree. All of the above is feasible, but not in the short span of time that people often claim.

      The Universe is huge, and while I don’t expect to ever see it, in fact I suspect we will be extinct before we find any, I still think it’s out there, somewhere.

      Faster than light travel over non-trivial distances could be tricky, as our current understanding of physics doesn’t allow that, at least without using huge amounts of energy. (for the more trivial, experiments have already moved data at FTL, at least compared to light in the same medium.)

      The rest are just waiting on advances, not just technological, but also political. Much of science is being held back by those who fear it, or have an irrational dislike for it, but it is moving forwards slowly, and unless we kill ourselves first (which we are certainly capable of) then the list will eventually just complete itself.

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    8. Is chiropractic still considered bollocks? I know it was at one time, but I was under the impression it had gained some legitimacy.

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      • It has gained legitimacy in that all sorts of people go to them and gain what appears to be non-psychosomatic relief. The science that says that what they do OUGHT to work is kinda shaky though.

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      • Nothing works well for lower back pain, and chiropractic is right in the middle of the list.

        “Straight” or traditional chiropractors are complete quacks. “Mixer” chiropractors are basically physical therapists and are mostly OK.

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    9. Bigfoot isn’t that outrageous a belief. An extremely rare primate stomping around the large expanses of deep forest we have in this country that hasn’t yet been captured alive or dead is possible. But, there are a lot of hoaxes out there, so take everything with a critical eye.

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    10. So if I bombard Scientology with Psychics I get Nostradamus?

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