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Intellectual blackholes, battling nonsense

  1. Jun 24, 2011 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    Again, there is a bad word, ignore it. Yes, he appears not to know about the affect of different altitudes/pressures on the boiling point of water, but he's a philosopher, not a scientist. He still makes good points.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 24, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member


    Come on Evo, most of us are mature here.
  4. Jun 24, 2011 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    You would not believe the complaints we get, you really would not believe.

    And we actually have rules against posting links with obscene language, I don't consider this obscene, but some would, so be warned!!

    Anyway, stop complaining and read the article. :biggrin:
  5. Jun 24, 2011 #4


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    Gold Member

    This article is ********.

    Naa, good article, certain people should have it stapled to their head.
  6. Jun 24, 2011 #5
    the bad word is at the beginning of the URL :tongue2:
  7. Jun 24, 2011 #6
    Ohh, you should then read On Bulls**t by Harry Frankfurt. Nowadays it's everywhere. Especially on youtube.

  8. Jun 25, 2011 #7
    I believe that, if one were to take a poll for the most popular swear word among scientists, the winner would be "bull5hit."
  9. Jun 25, 2011 #8


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    Science Advisor

    Somewhat tangential, but...

    I heard a bit of an interview of David Aaronovitch, author of Voodoo Histories subtitled "the role of the conspiracy theory in shaping the modern world" (no, I'm not affiliated with the author or his book).

    Why do otherwise intelligent (sometimes) people want to make up some "better and more complete--satisfying--narrative than reality"? Probably because they believe in other conspiracy theories, according to the author (as well as using confirmation bias in 'evidence' sorting). So in a similar fashion, people that believe in one sort of quackery / claptrap will believe other sorts of quackery and claptrap.

    Haven't read the book (it's on my reading list), but I found the podcast:

    Perhaps by way of juxtaposition, Coast-to-Coast airs on the same stations a few hours afterwards...
  10. Jun 25, 2011 #9

    I like Serena

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    Homework Helper

    Every now and then I see a thread here on PF where 2 (or more) people keep repeating the same point, without ever conceding a point to the other person.
    When it derails into insults, the end is nowhere near.
    And it seems to me that usually the point being made isn't all that important if you sit back and put things into perspective.
    But they effectively lock themselves in a combat that only ends when someone else (usually a mentor) intercedes.

    Would that qualify as an intellectual black hole?
  11. Jun 25, 2011 #10
    I think everybody should be aware of intellectual blackholes, even well-respected scientists. I've seen some professors of mine hold on to statements which are untrue. And the only reason that they wouldn't give up their position is because they were taught this before. I actually had to construct several counterexamples before they would even start listening...

    It's not a shame to have an intellectual blackhole, everybody had one of them at times, but you should always keep an open mind and approach things scientifically.
  12. Jun 27, 2011 #11
    That was a good read, thanks for posting the link Evo!
  13. Jun 28, 2011 #12
    yes indeed, great article Evo, definitely not to be associated with bovine excrements.
  14. Jun 28, 2011 #13
    I might get that book. Nice find, Evo.
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