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The most ridiculous bit of pseudoscience

  1. Sep 10, 2013 #1
    that you've ever heard?

    Was watching an old episode of QI the other night and came across drapetomania, which is utterly shocking.

    Have heard a lot of nonsense being passed off as science in the past, what's the most ridiculous you've heard?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2013 #2
    Does this qualify:
    Famous Author Dan Brown suggests in Angels and Demons that antimatter from CERN can solve the world's energy problems; disregarding the difficulties of controlled annihilation how did he intend to get the antimatter? By spending more energy than antimatter could give, obviously.
    also see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institute_of_Noetic_Sciences
  4. Sep 10, 2013 #3
    Cars being powered by water. That myth is everywhere. Shows how little people know about science. People think you can separate the hydrogen from the oxygen, burn the hydrogen, and get a net gain in energy. Well, when you burn hydrogen, you get water. So what do we have? Apparently an engine that can run forever, separating water, combining it again, and separating it over and over infinitely.
    And there's always conspiracy attached to it. Like "He created an engine that can run on water, but then he mysteriously disappeared." Or "the government has cars that can run on water, but they won't give civilians the technology."

    I've talked to people before who were telling me they heard about a car that can run on water. I explained to them how it's impossible. And then some time down the road they'll tell me about it again. Apparently they don't care enough about the fact that it's impossible for it to stay in their memory. They just want to believe it's true.
  5. Sep 10, 2013 #4


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    Reality just glides off the brains of some people. I'm sure they heard your explanation and probably nodded at all the right places, but it did not really sink in in any meaningful way, as you have observed.
  6. Sep 10, 2013 #5
    Could it be that that they are in the know that anyone outside the group does not have the 'water energy' expertise that they expect in that field, so they do not consider an outsiders testimony as being credible and dismiss it, and they blindly follow through with that type of thinking, however illogical it may be. They would have to hear an explanation from a 'water energy' guru who their brains could place more trust in. The community self promotes and others not in the community are naysayers.
  7. Sep 10, 2013 #6


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    One of the unfortunate facts about extracting hydrogen from water is it takes more energy than you can recover from the hydrogen. Entropy is a bummer.
  8. Sep 10, 2013 #7


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    Oh, that's a tough one. I've heard a lot of silly stuff :cry:. There is a lot of outrageous stuff on the internet (but I won't link to any). Hmm, let's see, besides the usual free energy stuff and various new age quackery, I think I have a special relation to weird Earth theories like flat Earth, hollow Earth etc. I also think there are some weird ideas that Earth has dramatically expanded or something like it, creating continents (!). And, of course, there are various weird types of historical revisionism, like ancient aliens and what have you.

    EDIT: Oh, I forgot, I think the old story of a Nazi UFO base on Antarctica is hilariously outrageous. And what about this title for an article: "Did US Navy battle UFOs protecting Nazi Antarctic sanctuary in 1947?"
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
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