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Author Topic: Surrounded by folk with zero scientific understanding or critical thinking!  (Read 3091 times)

Offline ricbritain

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I find myself constantly frustrated at being surrounded by folk with zero critical thinking ability, and a habit of believing and lapping up every type of pop culture conspiracy theory and mumbo-jumbo. It drives me crazy! I just wonder if anyone else is in the same situation and what you do, if anything, to get by. It makes the value of any kind of scientific training or education all the more obvious. 


 

Offline imatfaal

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The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector." 

Well my name is Matthew - and I was named after the tax-collector
 

Offline yor_on

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Imatfaal.

I agree wholeheartedly :)
No offense meant ricbritain. I don't know who, or where, you are, but people are just people, We do and say all kinds of things, but given some leeway we get along all the same. To expect others to adhere to your own idea of a standard won't work. And only searching out those people that does opens for narrow-mindedness. Better to give your friends and neighbors some leeway and stay cool.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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When I hear someone saying anything that is pseudo-scientific, or irrational, I cannot stand to let it pass. I soon find myself unleashing a demolition crew of reasoned arguments against the idea, but the trick is to do it in a sensitive way so the person doesn't see it as a personal attack on them, just on their idea. And don't raise your voice or portray any body language of anger, just calmly and patiently refute their arguments. This is harder to do with people to whom irrational ideas are part of their identity, ie. religious ideas. If I know i'm about to get into an argument about religion, I always say first something like "I'm perfectly happy to debate this all day long if you like, as long as you don't take anything personally and it stays a debate not an argument" and this way i've never needed to lose any religious friends.

I take it as a duty to the future of mankind to resist pseudoscience/bad ideas in every way possible. That sounds silly, but i'm dead serious about it. If ideas are allowed free reign without any criticism, people can come to believe anything.

Remember, any person you argue with will almost always resist no matter how reasoned your arguments, and you may never convince them of anything. But even if you don't, you may convince others involved in the conversation, and that's where slowly, person by person, logic wins.
 

Offline ricbritain

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I don't ever fall out with friends over these things it is simply that inside I am often so frustrated and annoyed. It often seems that on every issue I am surrounded by people that take the wow angle or the psudo-science alternative. And so many of these issues are reoccurring. For example:

1. Did man land on the moon?
2. UFO's
3. JFK
4. Diana death.
5. Dr Kelly death (UK thing)
6. Aids
7. Acupuncture
8. Evolution

The list goes on. All the usual suspects really. Recently I even had a workmate wearing a holographic band which he claimed balanced his energys, and he paid 45 pounds for it. I managed to convince him it was BS. A couple of weeks ago a friend sent me a picture of a supposed ghost in his garage, complete with paranormal symptoms including tobacco smells. I gave him my opinion in email. I don't think he liked it.

I agree that one should not simply keep quite and say nothing. Even when in a group of people all holding the same nonsensical views I do say something,even if only quietly.

The religion issue is on another level, but then again I do work in Libya, or did.

 
 

Offline Geezer

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Offline RD

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... I even had a workmate wearing a holographic band which he claimed balanced his energys, and he paid 45 pounds for it.

Point them here ... http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=35349.0
 

Offline ricbritain

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... I even had a workmate wearing a holographic band which he claimed balanced his energys, and he paid 45 pounds for it.

Thanks for that. I've just emailed it to my friend.

Point them here ... http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=35349.0
 

Offline yor_on

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Well, as I don't know the ultimate truth I find it easier to say nothing, Although sometimes my nothing can become several sentences long :)

But if finding someone being decidedly racist or otherwise *** you might need to open your mouth, but then it's not about 'science', just common sense.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Well no one knows the ultimate truth, but clearly some things are more truthful than others. The only way to have the closest thing to the truth as possible is to expose every idea to reason and see which ones remain standing.
 

Offline yor_on

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Yep Madidus, I think it's not as much about what you do as how you do it :) Some people may have the most thought through, reasonable ideas you ever meet, but deliver the same in such a way that you walk away from them infuriated, promising yourself to never listen to such a idiot again, finding him/her too much for your equilibrium. Take a look at politicians presenting their resolutions and views in absolute blandness of 'deep thought', to see the opposite :)

It's not who wins, it's how you play the game as the British say, at least used to say?
 

Offline imatfaal

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It's not who wins, it's how you play the game as the British say, at least used to say?

We say it even more, now that we get beaten at cricket by Ireland!
 

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