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The Unscientific Method Explained

I’ve had my share of arguments with people who cling to beliefs that have no decent evidence to support them, or even a huge amount of evidence against them. Eventually, after one of these exchanges, it dawned on me that we were approaching the question from different directions. I was using the scientific method, they were employing the unscientific method.

For reference, as a point of comparison, here’s a flowchart to show roughly how the scientific method works: Read More…

Judith Reisman, pornography and the gay moth myth

Pornography really seems to attract the quacks. I’ve heard people blaming it for all sorts of social ills, but Judith Reisman and Donald L Hilton Jr between them have taken the usual pearl-clutching terror in a direction I’d never have imagined anyone would consider – they say pornography causes homosexuality.

KissHonestly, it’s hard to know how to respond to anything so totally bizarre, and I find myself caught between serious and flippant responses. The snarky part of my brain wants to say that this explains why there’s so much demand for lesbian porn (or, you know, so I’ve heard *ahem*), but anyone who views the argument as having any basis in fact might be so cognitively challenged that they’d take my sarcastic putdown as a statement of genuine agreement.

I want to deliver a firm factual rebuttal, but I fear that any hint of taking the claim seriously would be giving it too much credit. Nevertheless, I’ve been giggling about this since I heard it, so I’m going to try to have a bit of an each way bet and cover both angles as best I can. Read More…

I hate Myers-Briggs, because I’m an ISTJ

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is a particularly fashionable form of idiocy. People get shipped off to training for work, or worse, personal development courses, and return all starry-eyed, like new initiates into some wacky cult.

BusinessIt’s frightening how easily people become obsessed with their “type”, sharing it with everyone in earshot at the least excuse, and babbling enthusiastically about how well it describes them. Of course it describes you well, Brainiac – it’s just a digest of your responses to a series of basic questions. If you didn’t think it described you, I’d suspect multiple personality disorder. Read More…

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