Skepticism/critical thinking

I didn’t know nonsense could be so well-organized

Now this would be a most excellent gift for skeptical friends: The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. Check it out:

i-f7ff241ea5b270927d7f91592b830a8a-Woo Table v1.4.jpg

(Bigger version at the link.)

It would clearly make a lovely poster, although I must confess that I have my doubts that it will show up well enough on a T shirt to be worth doing.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

38 replies on “I didn’t know nonsense could be so well-organized”

I don’t like the fact that Zombies are listed as credulous. This is only lulling us into a false sense of security.

We must prepare ourselves for the coming zompocalypse!!!eleventy-one!!!.

I had a periodic table shirt that split down around column 10 — half was on the front side and half on the back. Made it easier to print a larger version.

Amazing! I think some rearranging is in order though. The way it is, I can’t make a “raelian-new world order” salt! Really, conspiracy theories should be way more reactive in general.

Why are Indigo Child and Occult ‘Jm’ and ‘Kn’ respectively? I think I’ve figured out the other non-obvious abbreviations (New World Order is ‘Il’ for Illuminati, frex), but I don’t get those two.

I do wish he’d used each symbol only once; there’s quite a few repeats.

I saw CSI a few days ago and it had an Indigo Child on it. I had to turn it off then, I just couldn’t stomach listening to a mother thinking like that even when it is an actor.

Sanders says, “Find number 58”.

I’m guessing that means find where it would be, because where 58 would be is Homeopathy, with a woo number of 1023.

I’m also guessing that really means 10^23, as in 6.02 x 10^23.

Cute touch.

I want a poster. I want one for my home, for my 13 year old daughter’s room, and one for all my friends (especially the UFO/Kennedy Assassination conspiracy believers.

The JFK Assassination was left out too.

No, that’s just a woosotope of Co (woo number 911 (also cute!)), Conspiracy Theories. Admittedly, I always thought Ct (118, Chemtrails) was another Co woosotope, but then again, I’ve always found it hard to keep the various Fucktards straight.

There may be something to this! If the quantization scheme holds, the valences might suggest pathways of crank magnetism. Based on the initial woo, we may be able to reliably predict common decay products or excitation-relaxation states. In fact, we may be able to build a collider of a sort to explore the natural pathways of woo creation… I’m thinking something along the lines of the lever operated squirrel smasher that biologists created as an answer to the LHC. Imagine, a way to collide woos together and generate under laboratory controlled conditions the entire woo spectrum!


Avandia & avastin

As opposed to irrational nonsense, these are RATIONAL non-sense.

Orac, you just made my day. I’m going to buy one on a shirt to wear. Maybe it’ll be a conversation starter.

We don’t hate you, augie. You’re too ridiculous to hate.

another augustine imitation troll @18. Often imitated but never duplicated. I love it. Must be some of the young pups on here.

How are expressions of joy at a clever use of the periodic table format hateful to Christians? Your persecution complex is showing.


Because the periodic table is a creation of Satan…? O_O

Thanks, Orac. Reposted on my own site.

Yes. Help help, the picture on this page is oppressing the poor, poor Christians!

Oh, wait. I think you too a wrong turn at pharyngula, Augie.

For those who want a poster, just click on the picture. It will take you to the original posting which will have links to where you can buy posters and other things from the artist’s Cafe Press site.


Just like “not collecting things” should be put on a list of hobbies…

I’m left wondering how this table would effect the opening theme of Sapphire and Steel? Too obscure?

And then the non-collector goes on to ridicule all hobbies as irrational nonsense. I see.

I guess I’m just sad to see this particular anti-religious swipe (even though it’s cleverly done) on a blog that I like so well. I frequently refer people here for woo-busting when it comes to medical quackery. But I’d far rather not have to spike such referrals with the warning that my readers’ faith may be held up to the same ridicule as woo-based medicine. Sigh.

JoyMama: “But I’d far rather not have to spike such referrals with the warning that my readers’ faith may be held up to the same ridicule as woo-based medicine. Sigh.”

It is one in the same. Faith bashing and non-allopathic bashing comes from the same mind. The same spirit. The same view of life. They are not seperate entities. This amorphous person exists in all areas of life. Versions of this mind are all around, just not so congruent and in one place like this.

Look around this website. You won’t find any pro-deity content or links. What you’ll see is plenty of links and comments on atheism and materialistic only versions of the universe.

And for the “believers” who know this but think they can sustain a dichotomy, think again. You’re just like the egotistical doctor who takes money from drug companies because he believes he CANNOT be influenced and he can stay objective. Drug companies get their return on investment no matter how the doc justifies the take. The “believer” just sales a little of their soul…or maintains their dichotomy.

shorter JoyMama: I like when you call out nonsense, but not MY nonsense!

Mikethesnake: “”shorter JoyMama: I like when you call out nonsense, but not MY nonsense!”

Kristen and Rene YOUR nonsense has been noted by the smarter bloggers on here.

Ah. I just read the farewell essay from Bora, and discovered that there’s a nefarious myth about ScienceBlogs being an atheism network. Wonder why ScienceBlogs hasn’t been able to shake that perception…

But I don’t read ScienceBlogs, I read Respectful Insolence, and then generally only the posts. Which I’ve been doing for quite a while, and this is the first blanket faith-bashing that has jumped out at me. Orac may think as you (augustine, mikerattlesnake) do. But he’s not regularly dishing up his heaping helpings on religious debunking in general, only on particular excesses: creationism, prayer instead of meds, etc.

Which, I suppose, is why I’ll go back to just reading posts. Cheers — it’s been educational.

augustine and JoyMama:

You talk about atheism like it’s a bad thing.

Just out of interest, which of the faiths in the Periodic Table do you feel are being unfairly attacked?
If it’s only one or a few of them, why those ones in particular?
If it’s all of them,do you honestly feel that they all represent reality without contradiction?

BTW, atheism doesn’t preclude spiritual feelings or awareness. It does influence your interpretation and what you do with them.

Brucy: “You talk about atheism like it’s a bad thing.”

I don’t care what you BELIEVE. It’s just not synonymous with science.

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