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
- Astral Parasites, Chakra Balancing and Other “Occult” Nonsense
- The Poisonous M&Ms Analogy Explodes Into Mainstream U. S. Politics
- The Skeptic’s Guide to Quack-Speak
- Harbingers of Doom – Part VII: Aliens and Space
- The 1942 Kennedy-Kanner Debate in American Journal of Psychiatry
- Mailbag: Water Fluoridation and Human Genetic Variation
- The Astonishing Quackery of the Natural Birth Movement
- Harbingers of Doom – Part VI: Doomsday Predictions
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
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- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
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- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
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- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- December 2010
- October 2010
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster.
- Carl Sagan, astronomer, author and popularizer of science (source).
"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).
"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).
"Some people accused me of being pro-Muslim in Bosnia but I realised that our job is to give all sides an equal hearing, but in cases of genocide you can't just be neutral. You can't just say, 'Well this little boy was shot in the head and killed in besieged Sarajevo and that guy over there did it but maybe he was upset because he had an argument with his wife.' No, there is no equality there and we had to tell the truth."
- Christiane Amanpour, award-winning journalist (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)
One might even say, solipsism is necessarily foundationless, for to make an appeal to logical rules or empirical evidence the solipsist would implicitly have to affirm the very thing that he purportedly refuses to believe: the reality of intersubjectively valid criteria and a public, extra-mental world. There is a temptation to say that solipsism is a false philosophical theory, but this is not quite strong or accurate enough. As a theory, it is incoherent.
- Stephen P. Thornton, Solipsism and the Problem of Other Minds, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (source).