Here be Dragons
|Our Feature Presentation|
Here be Dragons is a documentary hosted by Brian Dunning that exposes pseudoscience and encourages critical thinking. The title was chosen since it was a phrase used on old maps to denote that dragons were in unexplored places. Brian argues that people still believe in claims as ridiculous as dragons.
Because it is intended for a large audience, it doesn't go into religious topics like creationism, but the message is still there. It's great for exposing woo promoters.
Red flags are qualities of pseudosciences that indicate that they are bollocks.
Many of them already have articles on this wiki.
Some Red Flags not referenced in this video are Shady announcements (eg. Scientific Journal vs. Press Conference), claims not fitting into reality (Creationism), if it is trying to give new information, or just attacking existing ones (Intelligent Design), it is possible to test the claim (Magic), if it's too good to be true (weight loss pills), and if Spelling and Grammar are bad.
Appeal to Authority
Appeal to authority is using authority figures to endorse their products, which include celebrities, institutions, or guys in white labcoats.
Ancient wisdom is using medicines and other items people from ancient civilizations used as products. The problems with this is that the Ancients knew little to nothing that we do now, and what they used is probably inferior
Conformation bias is when people remember things that confirms what they believe or want to believe, but forget what contradicts or poses as a problem for the belief. This is fairly common in fortune-telling
Correlation Equals Causation
Red herrings are distractions from the real question posed by critics
Proof by Verbosity
Proof by verbosity is the use of red herrings- and a lot of it. It is laying claims on everything using big words that may or may not be true, but obfuscate the listener.
Supression by Authorities/Conspiracy theory
All natural is the idea that foods with the label all natural are healthier. This is not ture, and the standards for being all natural are so low that it is meaningless. Not to mention that many things found in nature are deadly.
Why people believe weird things
- The unexplained is cool
- SImple answers are seductive
- Inquisitive nature of people
- People lack the tools for complicated responses
- Pop culture