A new poll: what kind of nonsense do you debunk?

At the ever-lovely and ever-intelligent Stephanie Zvan‘s suggestion, I’ve updated my poll, as there’s no chance that anyone’s going to be able to change our minds about our wedding march now that Jodi and I are well and truly hitched.

I got to thinking, in the fallout from our recent astrology incursion, what kind of skeptical audience do I tend to attract? I know my content leans extremely heavily on the atheist side, but general godlessness ain’t usually a function of debunking explicitly anti-science nonsense. So, I pose of you:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

Of course, if your favorite woo isn’t on the poll, do let me know in the comments.

A new poll: what kind of nonsense do you debunk?
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14 thoughts on “A new poll: what kind of nonsense do you debunk?

  1. 1

    Chiropractic for the purposes of healing everything under the sun. I don’t take up the argument against chiropractic in general, but if it comes up in discussion, I do mention the BSA vs. Singh case.

    Not sure if it counts, but “Without Prop 8 Churches would be required to marry gay people”

    Aside from all the crazy shit people say about atheists of course. That could be a poll of its own. In fact http://www.redheadedskeptic.com/ is running “What is the most annoying atheist stereotype?” For me it’s the “morals have to come from old religious books”

  2. 2

    You totally fucked up, by not including nutty fucking animal rights extremists who like to blow shit up, or support those who do. I am totally writing a motherfucking paper on that one baby!!! Exploring the similarities between the AR terrorists, Eco terrorists and religious terrorists.

    sinned34 –

    I haven’t actually read that, but have spent a great deal of time on cognitive biases. I am extremely keen on pointing out that none of us is immune to biases and getting it wrong on a regular basis. While being skeptical can make a huge difference in just how often you seriously fuck up, it isn’t a vaccine against anything – much less cognitive biases.

  3. 3

    So much woo, so little time. I’m actually winding my way through Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me). It’s quite a fascinating read, and it has certainly encouraged me to make a greater attempt of reviewing my core beliefs and thinking things through a little more.

    Anybody think this astrology stuff has anything to it?

  4. 4

    Actually, like DuWayne, I tend to go for political nonsense. I have trouble taking a lot of the rest of it seriously enough to debunk, which means I’m may not be really good at reaching people. I’m grateful for the people who can do it, but it’s not me.

  5. 7

    You never have to ask for the shameless self-pimping, Theo. You’re a friend and ally in this fight, and any tiny amount of traffic I can push your way benefits us all.

  6. 8

    I suppose so, it’s certainly based on the same principles as healing touch. Different set of woo-peddlers doing it though.

    Man, I had twelve options in the damn poll and that’s still not nearly enough to cover all the types of antiscientific nonsense.

  7. 9

    It occurs to me there’s a lot more I debunk that isn’t really in this vein, but that’s just how I am. I have a hard time shutting up.

    Other things I debunk:

    “I’m an excellent driver and multi-tasker! I can safely drive and talk on the cell phone.”

    “My car is special and so I need to park it on the sidewalk. Nobody needs this sidewalk anyways.”

    “Cyclists shouldn’t be on the road since they don’t pay gas tax.”

    “Female circumcision is a horrific backwards religious practice, but male circumcision makes sense.”

    “If you let your kids out of your sight for two seconds someone will snatch them to rape and kill them. (for children < 18)"


    I did once receive a beneficial Reiki treatment. I was 14 and my step-dad had just died. I do think someone sitting next to while I lay on a comfortable mat in a dark room would have had the same effect.

  8. 10

    I was just going to edit my previous comment to add those perpetual motion people. My response is “get back to me when you can show that 1+1 = something other than 2”.

    That ajax comment editing thing is whacked out. It’s right justifying and flipping ( and ) and, um, it’s just strange.

  9. 11

    Looking into it. Something wacky happened with its settings, and I’ve not been using it myself to ever notice, so I don’t know how long it’s been like that. Might have to find a replacement, too, as it seems the author decided to make the plugin updates something you have to pay for.

  10. 12

    Heh… somehow the RTL stylesheets (used for displaying Arabic, Chinese and other right-to-left scripts) got enabled. I’ve always been using the built-in edit functionality, since, you know, I’m an admin and all. I had no idea that’s why the “Edit / More Options” buttons were right-justified in the comment box itself, but I can’t remember them ever NOT being right-justified. Now that I’ve unset that RTL CSS, you should be okay.

  11. 14

    A rather funny one occurred to me yesterday. I follow this group on FB called Peaceful Parenting. Mostly anti-circ, pro-breastfeeding etc. But a while back they did a bit on fluoride, and how since they don’t add it to water in Europe, it must be a bad idea. Yesterday they asked for suggestions for homeopathy books. I almost spewed tea when I read one person warning about how potent these things are, so be careful using them on kids. I just linked to Randi’s TED talk.

    But then I thought- what? they want us to remove fluoride from the water? Wouldn’t that make it more potent? Aren’t we lessening the effect of fluoride by adding more?

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