Here be Dragons
|This might be|
|But we're not sure|
|Our Feature Presentation|
Films and TV
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 and globes to denote that dragons were in unexplored places. Brian argues that people still believe in claims as ridiculous as dragons.
The actual movie
Brian Dunning has made the full movie available on YouTube:
Many of them already have articles on this wiki.
Some red flags not referenced in this video are shady announcements (e.g., scientific journal vs. press conference); claims not fitting into reality; trying to give new information; attacking existing, validated ideas; inability to test the claim; being too good to be true; and/or if the spelling and grammar are bad.
Ancient wisdom is using, as products, medicines and other items that people from ancient civilizations used. The problem with this is that the ancients knew much less than we do now, and what they used was probably inferior.
Confirmation bias is when people remember things that confirm what they believe or want to believe, but forget things that contradict or pose a problem for the belief. This is fairly common in fortune telling and very common with psychics.
Correlation equals causation
Or more generally, Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.
Red herrings are distractions from the real question posed by critics used to get away from the legitimate problem with the pseudoscience.
Proof by verbosity
"All natural" is the idea that foods with the label all natural are healthier. This is not true, and the standards for being all natural are so low that the label is virtually 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
- Critical thinking isn't much encouraged by society or our educational system
- Pop culture