Pseudoscience fools many rational people

GlamourKat
GlamourKat's picture
Posts: 461
Joined: 2006-08-17
User is offlineOffline
Pseudoscience fools many rational people

I've been talking with a lot of people about pseudoscience lately.

I know a lot of armchair pseudo-scientists.

You know, that guy you hang out with who thinks crop circles are evidence of a deeper spiritual world or a government secret?

Or that girl who insists that ghosts have been proven but society is HIDING the concrete verifiable evidence that proves it?

We all know a few. Maybe it's that guy you know who believes that ouija boards are dangerous windows into demonic possession, and astral projection is real, or that girl in the new age bookstore who thinks John Edwards is amazing and one day we'll find evidence for the "crystal angels" that constantly surround us.

Much like religious people, some of these people are reasonable in all other pursuits of life. They brush their teeth as if there is no "government flouride conspiracy", they don't believe David Blaine can actually levitate, and they know Elvis is actually dead. And yet, this need to believe in something mystical, unseen, and beyond our perception, available only to a few enlightened ones remains.

Why do they get so condescending when someone even utters the slightest bit of skepticism? "Dowsing/alien abduction/fairies/fortunetelling is REAL, man! How can you just deny it? There's unsseen stuff out there!!!!"

Does this get anybody else kind of perplexed and grumpy about topics like this?

~~~
Keywords to check out wikipedia if you're interested.


Yellow_Number_Five
atheistRRS Core MemberScientist
Yellow_Number_Five's picture
Posts: 1390
Joined: 2006-02-12
User is offlineOffline
Personally, I often have

Personally, I often have more disdain for these woowoos than fundamentalists most of the time. The woowoo typically seeks out this sort of irrationality, at least the fundy often has the excuse of indoctrination. What possible excuse can you have for beliving a science fiction writer's words are Gospel or that a 5,000 year old Atlantian warrior who magically appeared in some chicks kitchen one day tells you that reality is in the eye of the beholder and that the Native Americans could not have seen Columbus's ships because they had no concept of them?

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


Vessel
Vessel's picture
Posts: 646
Joined: 2006-03-31
User is offlineOffline
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
What possible excuse can you have for beliving a science fiction writer's words are Gospel or that a 5,000 year old Atlantian warrior who magically appeared in some chicks kitchen one day tells you that reality is in the eye of the beholder and that the Native Americans could not have seen Columbus's ships because they had no concept of them?

Don't beliefs such as this, coupled with the wide arching grip of theistic belief, seem to point towards some area in the brain, some receptors or whatnot, that pre-dispose, if not force, us to hold the ridiculous as reality?

If so, it seems a pointless effort to try and rationalize mankind as only evolution would have that power (were it even a trait that would be selected for). I have always thought that there must be a physical predilection to being able to believe in something such as a deity (or ghosts, or flying space monkeys visiting NewYork) that I lack, since for me, such beliefs seem impossible. 

Now to go look for bigfoot. I know he's out there somewhere. 

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


MarthaSplatterhead (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Hey but it's okay to believe

Hey but it's okay to believe in Bob and the church of the subgenious, right?