Modern life presents us with an apparent paradox: science has a strong cultural authority, yet primitive darkness is coming back in the shape of creationism, quack medicine, opposition to vaccination, HIV/AIDS denialism, anti-psychiatry and so on.
Debunking Denialism takes on the enemies of reason.
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- Debunking Alternative Medicine
- Debunking Anti-psychiatry
- Debunking Opposition to Vaccines
- Debunking Biotechnology Fear Mongering
- Debunking Bad Science Journalism
- Debunking Climate Change Denialism
- Debunking Holocaust Denial
- Debunking Conspiracy Theories about 9/11
- Debunking Creationism
- Debunking HIV/AIDS Denialism
- Debunking Physical Punishment of Childen
- Debunking Race Realism and Racism
- Debunking Misuse of Statistics
- Debunking Alleged Psychics
- Debunking Crank Claims about Physics
- Debunking Cryptozoology
In the Spotlight
- In Defense of Axioms
- Persisting in Error: Jerry Coyne Stumbles on Compatibilism
- Jenny Splitter and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
- Tim Wise Blames the Holocaust on “Scientism”
- Mailbag: Richard Polt Responds (Reductionism in Science)
- Refusing to Provide Evidence? Here are Some Productive Alternatives
- Swedish Public Radio Promotes Pseudoscientific “Detox” Regimes
- Seven New Year’s Resolutions From Debunking Denialism
- Mailbag: Faith Healing for Schizophrenia is a Bad Idea
- In Defense of Paranormal Debunking – Part III: Nature of Skepticism
- Why Rachel Parent is Wrong About Genetically Modified Foods
- Types of Pseudoscience That Deserve More Skeptical Attention
- How to Breach Genetic Privacy
- Scientific American Publishes Anti-Psychiatry Nonsense
- Why P-Values and Statistical Significance Are Worthless in Science
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
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- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- December 2010
- October 2010
"I realize that 'complementary and alternative medicine' (CAM) or, what quackademics like to call it now, 'integrative medicine' (IM) is meant to refer to 'integrating' alternative therapies into SBM or 'complementing' SBM with a touch of the ol’ woo, but I could never manage to understand how 'integrating' quackery with SBM would do anything but weaken the scientific foundation of medicine."
- David Gorski, cancer surgeon and debunker of pseudoscience (source).
"Postmodernism, the school of 'thought' that proclaimed 'There are no truths, only interpretations' has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for 'conversations' in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster."
- Daniel Dennett, philosopher and cognitive scientist (source).
"If I am ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about my state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon; to worship a phenomenon because it seems so wonderfully mysterious, is to worship your own ignorance; a blank map does not correspond to a blank territory, it is just somewhere we haven’t visited yet"
- Eliezer S. Yudkowsky, rationality expert and AI researcher (source).
"As an aside, it is ironic that CAM proponents often simultaneously tout how individualized their treatment approach is, but then claim that one product or treatment can cure all cancer. Meanwhile they criticize the alleged cookie-cutter approach of mainstream medicine, which is actually producing a more and more individualized (and evidence-based) approach to such things as cancer."
- Steven Novella, neurologist and founder of the New England Skeptical Society. (source).
"While Galileo was a rebel, not all rebels are Galileo."
- Norman Levitt, mathematician and critic of anti-science postmodernism (quoted in Paul Offit's Autism's False Prophets, p. 37).
"Twenty epidemiologic studies have shown that neither thimerosal nor MMR vaccine causes autism. These studies have been performed in several countries by many different investigators who have employed a multitude of epidemiologic and statistical methods. The large size of the studied populations has afforded a level of statistical power sufﬁcient to detect even rare associations. These studies, in concert with the biological implausibility that vaccines overwhelm a child’s immune system, have effectively dismissed the notion that vaccines cause autism. Further studies on the cause or causes of autism should focus on more-promising leads."
- Gerber and Offit (2009) (source).
"To me, skepticism is not believing what someone tells you, investigating all the information before coming to a conclusion. Skepticism is a good thing. Global warming skepticism is not that. It’s the complete opposite of that. It’s coming to a preconceived conclusion and cherry-picking the information that backs up your opinion. Global warming skepticism isn’t skepticism at all."
- John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland (source).
“Rather than persisting in the view that they have been ‘rejected by science’, advocates in the cryptozoology community have more work to do in order to produce convincing evidence for anomalous primates and now have the means to do so. The techniques described here put an end to decades of ambiguity about species identification of anomalous primate samples and set a rigorous standard against which to judge any future claims."
- Bryan Sykes, human geneticist (source)
“In our reasonings concerning matter of fact, there are all imaginable degrees of assurance, from the highest certainty to the lowest species of moral evidence. A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”
- David Hume, philosopher, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Section X: Of Miracles (source)
“I believe science is a search for the truth, not a lesson in manners, [...] I don't do politeness.”
- Dan Graur, evolutionary biologist (source)
"You've had your eight, now I have my eighty."
- Brad Whitaker (source), Bond villain in The Living Daylights (1987)