Friday, 16 July 2010

The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

I thought I'd try and apply the rational to the irrational, and came up with this.

Click image to access the interactive table
Version 2.1


Postscript:
Since originally posting the periodic table of irrational nonsense I have had a number of requests to reproduce the table in different languages and perhaps a sanitised version suitable for schools, so here are a few alternative versions:


Sanitised English Version

German Version

Das Periodensystem des irrationalen Unsinns

Kindly translated by Ingo Leschnewsky



Spanish Version
La tabla periódica de las tonterías irracionales
Kindly translated by Fernando L. Frías



Dutch Version
De Periodieke Tabel van Irrationele Nonsens

kindly translated by Herman Boel



Greek Versions
Ο Περιοδικός Πίνακας των Αλλόκοτων Αντιλήψεων
created by Evan T based on my original table


Brazilian Portuguese VersionKindly translated by Antonio Caldas



Merchandise

I've also received numerous requests to make the design available on T-Shirts and posters. I initially uploaded the T-Shirt design to RedBubble and CafePress. The Red Bubble T-Shirts came out really well (I ordered one myself), but I got dissapointing feedback from teh CafePress T-Shirts.

Here's a close up of my RedBubble T-Shirt:

I have now removed the T-Shirts from CafePress and made a few tweaks to the design on RedBubble. (I've increased the font size slightly, removed the shadow text effect and made the colour contrast on the key more distinct), so they should be even better now. I've also uploaded a design with white text that can be printed on a dark T-Shirt.


Or the original Light T-Shirt design:

The posters are still available on CafePress, as I have received only positive feedback comments from people who have ordered the posters:

200 comments:

Jerome said...

This is amazing work! I had not previously quantified just how much nonsense is out there, but to see it all put together in one place is both stunning and depressing, as we definitely have our work cut out for us.

If I may make a suggestion, since I noticed this is v0.5: Psychokinesis and telekinesis are pretty much the same thing; perhaps one of them can be replaced by clairvoyance? And/or precognition?

Crispian Jago said...

Jerome,

Theory modified following peer review. Just like proper science

seborgarsen said...

HAhahahaha, that is just perfect!!!

By any chance, did you make it in a vector format for large print? You could sell those, you know. Make t-shirts and shit. That's the marketing term.

Alan Cedeno said...

Man that thing is bright!!!! you shuld make t-shirts!

Pedro Homero said...

and posters too!!

This is so great, it's 'woo'nderful! :D

Pedro Homero said...

wait, what about iridology?

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/iridology.html

Pedro Homero said...

since i'm on a roll: what about craniosacral horseshit theraphy?

https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Craniosacral_therapy#Criticisms

Pedro Homero said...

wait, is that cranial osteopathy?

Pedro Homero said...

stop me if i'm being a bore, but have you got those lizard people David Icke, king of bullshit, believes in?

Pedro Homero said...

* Bach's flower therapy and urine therapy in alternative shite?

* Kirlian Photography (included in auras?)?

* MLM (Multi-level marketing)?

* Afrocentrism in denials?

* Where would one include (and what word would describe) those let's be natural and organic and shit?

* Breatharianism?


* There should be a special category for anti-vaccination called "crimes against humanity". The fuckers...

Richard Smith said...

Just an FYI: Gem Therapy and Geomancy are listed as "Gm".

Kevin said...

Excellent. My only recommendation would be placing "White Powder Gold" as element 79.

Richard Wade said...

This is hilarious! I want a poster-sized copy for my office wall. Print some and I'll buy a few.

kuri said...

Simply brilliant. And very funny.

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed although perhaps including Chinese medicine in the quack block is a little unfair. Sure the dried animal bits and lots of other things are definitely quackery but the herbalist side can be rather effective.

Perhaps we could also have a nod to particle physics in future with Up Quacks and Down Quacks?

大黃傻貓GARFIELD said...

I choked at my soda when I enlarge it ..... it is so well done.!!!!!

@matthewclarklp said...

Crispisn Jago...our very own alternative Dmitri Mendeleev!
I'll buy that for a dollar.
How about including Palinism & Cheneyism?

Richard said...

Wow! so many people with no imagination or open-mindedness...
It must be very cosy there in your pitiful little circa 1680AD Newtonian mechanistic universe mentality? You're not very keen to admit that modern quantum physics theories specifically open up the possibility for all of these phenomena to exist are you...

Anonymous said...

Thanks, forgot about that one! Let's add String Theory too, under "Science of Convenience"

Bob Hale said...

One of the best things you've ever done. You should definitely get the T-shirt/Poster machine rolling. I'd buy both!

Anonymous said...

You've named several elements with the same letters. Richard Smith already mentioned Gm (Geomancy, Gem Therapy), but there is also Cp (Chiro, Cupping), Pg (Poltergeists, Neo Paganism), Kn (Hinduism, Applied Kinesiology), Mg (Magick, Magnet Therapy), and Sk (Crystal Power, Sikhism).
There may be others I've missed.

Chris Aable said...

I understand space is limited on the chart, but wouldn't Climate Change Denial be a primary denial for the yellow section? NASA has confirmed that the Arctic Ice Sheet is melting, global temperature averages have been increasing in the past hundred years and as one of many examples that I've witnessed myself, Glazier National Park is down from over 150 Glaziers in the 1800s to about 30 today.

Pedro Homero said...

Say, Richard, care to show us (and thus enlighten us) with some placebo-controled, double blinded tests that prove any of the modalities shown in that chart?

We'll wait, try and find them!

JW Gilbert said...

Buddhism isn't classified as a religion, only the under educated would say that. Buddhism is about questioning the mind, not dogmatic doctrines as most religions enforce. I'm not trying to be a douche, but actually research it before adding it into "irrational nonsense". Buddhism has some really valid points as being a science of the mind on how happiness affects the mentality and every day living of human beings and their actions...

Anonymous said...

Hmm, if only the under-educated would say that "Buddhism isn't classified as a religion" let's "actually research" it. Step one, look up Buddhism on Wikipedia: "Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices"

Crispian Jago said...

Don't wish to moderate comments, all points of view welcome, but would prefer people not to comment anonymously.

Thanks
Crispian

JW Gilbert said...

Only someone who is uneducated would cite wikipedia as a source...

http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/philosophy.htm

Read this and cite your own sources as a counter source. If you are going to use wikipedia to counter such argument, use the sources wikipedia uses, and not wikipedia istelf.

JW Gilbert said...

http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/a/
philosophy.htm
cut the link up

MC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Drew said...

I will pay money for this poster.

Drew said...

Oh, and JW:
While many aspects of the Buddhist philosophies my be valid and not require any amount of faith, the reincarnation elements of Buddhism as a whole is undeniably religious in nature.

Drew said...

Wow I suck at this one post thing.

A final two points JW:
1) About.com not any more valid a resource than wikipedia (They are both Encyclopedias, and while About.com uses experts it is not at all reviewed)

2) Your About.com article says in it's introduction to Buddhism: "Buddhism is a religion." It's pretty much the first words in the article. next time you might want to read your own source before you go posting it as an argument.

JW GIlbert said...

You didn't read the whole article, it expressed certain aspects of western culture and how it stereotypes religions and philosophy as one and the same. It's called reading for meaning, Buddhism is much more a philosophy in our western definitions.

As for the webpage, About.com isn't a combined definition. It's articles written by people who know something about the subject. Read into the other articles, and then express your opinions/facts. As far as reincarnation, there is an article that is linked to that one I posted that expresses the true meaning of reincarnation. I, for one, do not believe in reincarnation, but rather the death of the self sustaining ego and rebirth into the more selfless human being. You can take it literally or you can take it metaphorically. I'm not here to change opinions on it, but many aspects of Buddhism are based on questioning, not accepting, and that includes the actual points that Buddhism expresses. Philosophy has many points that aren't meant to be taken literally, but rather to get the mind to work in a different fashion than what humanity is used to.

JW Gilbert said...

"Thus, merely believing in words and concepts is not the Buddhist path. There is no point in believing in reincarnation/rebirth, for example. Rather, one practices Buddhism in order to realize a self not subject to birth and death."
-Barbara O'Brien

A perfect example of what I was saying.

Anonymous said...

The religion of statism seems to be absent.

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't the two letters representing Chi be Qi?

Anonymous said...

At least one of us prefer anonymity to registering with a data miner.

Crispian Jago said...

@wolfpurplemoon

Good point. I'm on it

Anonymous said...

Those who wish to refer to vaccinators should call them eugenicists, as they are.

Zeno said...

Anonymous

Are you the same Anonymous as Anonymous or Anonymous?

Do you see the problem?

However, you don't need to give an email address or URL - all you are being asked to do is use some made-up name or other that helps other commenters know if you're the author of other comments.

You could even call yourself 'Anon 1' or something equally inspired. Just click on Name/URL. Not difficult really.

Anonymous said...

Climate change denial is different than human causation denial.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wishes to refuse the existence of a non-physical plane has never experienced or tried to explain intuition.

Anonymous said...

Was the number 54 chosen for AIDS HIV Denial randomly or was is a reference to Studio 54? Anyway, brilliant. Can you explain the woo number 1023? thx.

Anonymous said...

Defiantnonbeliever says:

How about Alcoholics Anonymous 'AA' 'Temperance' and 'just say no' Prohibitionist mentalities? They might fit under spiritual, but seem to include many of the others or set people up to move to them.

see http://www.orange-papers.org/menu1.html

Anonymous said...

You only over looked one piece of nonsense that I can see and that is RODS.

Jeff said...

JW,
While Buddhism is LESS irrational than the other major religons, it is certainly still irrational. Not only does it encourage belief in reincarnation, it embraces other unfounded teleological and ontological suppositions. The very idea of a "life not subject to death and birth" (even if in a metaphoric sense) is not a rational one.
It belongs here.
I would also buy one of these posters. Great work!

John Ftizgerald Kennedy said...

What about your totalitarism? TL
What about your stupidity? St
What about your intolerance? It
Fuck you baby

HAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA
Extraordinary UFO sighting in China forces Xiaoshan Airport to Close

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uddmh2jqPYY

J.T. Williams said...

Point of order: religion isn't irrational by nature. It's arational.

Anonymous said...

Try salvia divinorum and tell me there is no such thing as an OBE you stupid ignorant wretch

and the bermuda triangle is a place so that is like saying Paris is not real

Mike C. said...

Anonymous@17 July 2010 23:59:

Yes, because chemically-altered mental perception is OBVIOUSLY your "soul" /actually/ leaving your body...

I've also done quite a few hallucinogens and disassociatives in my younger days, and while they can be a lot of fun, and I too had the /perception/ that I was flying around several dozen miles over the west coast of the US, it wasn't actually happening. Walk by a mirror, and you'll snap back into yourself tout de suite. Just don't get caught up looking in the mirror :-)

You inadvertently made a fair point though; perhaps "Bermuda Triangle" should be "Bermuda Triangle Anomalies" or something along those lines?

EatsMucuna said...

Can we get wall posters, just like the real tables. I'd like to post it around the office (I work at a newspaper)

Martin Jambon said...

I too think that a poster version of the table would fit nicely in my doctor's waiting room.

Anonymous said...

Bd (84) belongs much more to the pseudoscience column (they claim connection with modern Physics) - say as 115 (no one knows that "Cao Dai" anyway). And you can put "Newborn Chrisianity" or "Evangelical Christianity" as 84 - the Psi column fits since they do tend to go psycho ... :-))

Anonymous said...

You need "Wall Street" in Hoakses column and you can take out "moon landing denial" since they are extinct by now :-)))

Oh and try to rearrange "credulous block" to get some similarities or connections in columns - like Exorcism, Spiritualism, Ouija would be 1 column - find the 4th :-) etc etc.

Of and I think that Wicca is a religion now - you can kick out one of these that no one knows about (Sinkhism, Cao Dai, Bahai, Rastafarian

Anonymous said...

Hey where's Sex Surrogate Therapy ? Yes it's a medical-sounding name for the oldest profession on earth - too bad it's not covered my medical plans :-)))))

Here's one link - solely for educational purposes :-) http://www.sexsurrogateofla.com/

Nathan Lee said...

JW:
Buddhism is most certainly attached to a lot of crazy supernatural stuff.

Go to Tibet and talk to some of the local Buddhists about their religious stories and you'll quickly change your mind. It's as full of silly superstition as all the others, just more chilled in its messages (missing the killing unbelievers justification that other religions have plenty of).

I think it's all very trendy to try and separate out some aspect of the religion and say it is a way of life, but you could do the same with any religion. Jesus/Mohammed had a philosophy and way of life that you could seek to emulate separate from the religious practices I guess.. but it doesn't make much sense to do so.

Chica said...

My personal favorite is Miracles ... Wtf ... Too good!

Hardo said...

No 104 is wrong. At stands for Atheism. I've fixed that in my version.

Peter said...

Scientology is not a religion. It is a tax evasion sceme.

but you for forgot a couple of others:
Mormons, Jehovas Desciples, (Neither of which are Christian - if you break out Bahai, or Rastafairian, you have to break out Mormons as well) Osho, Davidians, Satanism (differs from Occult), Freemasons

but overall,

Very Nice!

blf said...

Some of what people suggest are missing are either a woosotope of a listed nonsense, or perhaps a confounding (compounded irrational mix of several nonsenses).

Hardo said...

Crispian, I assume you are a friend of Freedom Of Speech, so you don't sue me for copyright infringement if I publish a modified version, right?
The modified version has an atheism block, which contains Materialism, Darwinism, Social Darwinism, Communism, Brights, Stalinism, Scientism, Maoism, Dawkinism and Determinism. ;-)

Cheers

Hardo

Anonymous said...

What untenable claims are made by/about Feldenkrais?

marty said...

Wow, Hardo, you're obviously already in this table. I hope he sues your pants off. See the little C symbol? The fact he's now selling this as t-shirts etc? Freedom of speech means MAKE YOUR OWN TABLE, not rip his off.

Unfortunately, the only way you'll get all the woo into this table is to go three (if not more) dimensional. There is just so much!

Crispian Jago said...

Hardo,

What a great idea, why not do periodic table of rationalism including philosophers and evolutionary biologists.

It would be no less original than my table.

I look forward to seeing it.

Thanks
Crispian

Anonymous said...

Whoever created this, FUCK YOU for listing Buddhism and Qi energy. I am a martial Arts practitioner and i experienced the true power of qi through my own body. Besides it was scientifically proven with thermal imaging cameras years ago.

Anonymous said...

what a load of bollocks anonymous!

Daniel Pope said...

Of course thermal imaging cameras take pictures of Qi. That's why they are called thermal imaging cameras... oh, wait.

Anonymous said...

I take back what I said above about experiencing the true power of qi through my own body. I just made that up. There is no such thing as qi energy and science has NEVER shown it to exist. It's just a figment of woo pushers' imaginations.

Yours,
Anonymous.

Huw Powell said...

Crispian, this is excellent.

Is there any chance you would grant permission for us to upload and display this at RationalWiki.org, with full credit and listing your copyright and linking here, etc.?

It reads like a table of contents of our articles.

Can you reply to me at one@humanthoughts.org please?

Huw Powell a/k/a
user:human at RW

DLC said...

Hahaha! Brilliant!

J.T. Williams said...

@Nathan Lee,

Nope. It's a mistake of Western thought that projects our disordered thinking onto every other culture in existence. Christianity is the only religion that doctrinally insists on the existence of supernatural beings.

Which is not to say that devotees of all religions don't fall back into the human pattern of asserting a material reality to these beings and forces, but there's no way you can reasonably twist Buddhism into a belief system. The religion itself does not condone that kind of regression


@Crispian Jago,

Are you saying evolutionary biology is rationalist? Because if we're using "rationalism" in its technical sense I think that's eminently disputable.

Richard Smith said...

Regarding cupping, is "Ffs" an initialism for what you said when you first heard about it?

Steve Boltzman said...

What, No Quantum Quackery? ;~)

Brilliant, Crispian

Christine said...

beautiful

ROLAND said...

Almost brilliant. What's left is to distinguish between the beliefs and the people involved. A lot of us have been there, clutching at idiotic ideas out of insecurity, pain, desperation or a demented upbringing. Calling us fucktards (or recovered ones) may be good for a laugh, but...if you changed that aspect I'd buy the T-shirt.

Fireboy said...

This is a bit sad really. Yes, lots of these are nonsensical tosh, but a great many are worthwhile and productive. How small minded are you Crispin?

Detox? That's bollocks, is it? Yes, lets leave the poisons in our body, that's a good ides. Ear Candles!?! Ear candles remove wax from ones ear. That is pure science. And prayer...

You're really just sneering at stuff you don't understand. A great shame that you have no place for magic in your life.

I wonder what can be left for you to believe in...

Also, I saw a periodic table of swearing the other day, I wonder if you did?

Kite said...

Ah, you listed naturopathy. Just wanted to point out that not all naturopathy is tosh, although I know it's tempting to dismiss it as such, given its affinity with other woo practices. I respect naturopathy when it uses empirical evidence and respectable herbal medicine with peer-reviewed studies (depends on the institution). Sometimes they are a bit ahead of the GPs with some complex problems affecting mostly women, and it's nice when they are educated enough to see an overall picture of a systematic imbalance/disease that specialists can only see one aspect/cause/effect of. I've been helped myself, and only rarely did the student practitioners devolve into woo (stuff like iridology... yawn... though they did spot an iron deficiency from my eyelids at the same time!). I wish GPs would be less tunnel-visioned. It was a pretty respectable college clinic. (Another college's clinic just shoved homeopathy at me and said don't eat peppermint it destroys the effect - it didn't work and I never went back.) But my similarly skeptical sister packed it in in her naturopathy course when in her course she was asked to "see" auras, and she kept saying flatly no I absolutely can't. Plus she was told that her liking of heavy metal brought "negative energy".

Very funny poster, by the way. I'm printing it out for future lolz.

The Heff said...

What no Kadir-Buxton Method?

http://www.kadir-buxton.com/

Anonymous said...

Great work! Thanks for this. I think its not funny at all, but sad to see how much time and effort is wasted around stupidity in this world.
Some more Voodoo applies to the world of capitalism and the current representative democracy though. There is a lot of additional categorization needed... I fear it will blast the table though...
Thanks!
Raketa

Zeno said...

Fireboy said:

"Detox? That's bollocks, is it? Yes, lets leave the poisons in our body, that's a good ides. Ear Candles!?! Ear candles remove wax from ones ear. That is pure science. And prayer..."

What poisons? And ear candles do not even remove ear wax! As for prayer...

Here's a good site for you: <a href="http://www.ebm-first.com>EBM First</a>.

Gazhoo said...

I really enjoy reading your blog, it is very useful for us. Valuation Model Template.

Anonymous said...

"I respect naturopathy when it uses empirical evidence and respectable herbal medicine with peer-reviewed studies (depends on the institution)."

Kate, that's not "herbal medicine"...thats "medicine."

If it works, it's already being peddled as a FDA approved drug.

Hank said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hank said...

JW Gilbert you are wrong about educated people using wikipedia-many educated people write it! It's great starting place for sources itself, to take it as "gospel" ( haha) isn't what it's meant for, you should research everything yourself, but its not wrong to use it, and that goes for ALL sources of information, even your so called 'real' sources. Seriously are all books the ends all? The table really great- sure to offend (and amuse) even the most stalwart of skeptics, who think one or another of these things works. Mero: herbs do work: Cannabis.Definitely NOT FDA approved. Enuf said. They don't all work- for a bunch of the crazy stuff they say it does. Again you gotta research stuff people.

Anonymous said...

This is so awesome. And sad but true.

Daniel said...

I would love to use this in my upcoming book: The Boys Book of Pseudoscience! Is it copyrighted or would I need a release? Happy to help you sell your t-shirts and other goods via the book site.

steve said...

All religions are tax evasion schemes.

Anonymous said...

Noted the glaring absence of Eugenics/Race Theory from this amusing chart. A dear Victorian Fetish for some, I suppose ..

Anonymous said...

Might I suggest facilitated communication for the next version?

http://www.skepdic.com/facilcom.html

Anonymous said...

This is a great piece of work--many thanks.
I have to admit I still have a soft spot for Ne, the Loch Ness Monster. I mean, it's not her fault she's not real.

JamesCheater said...

I confess, I'm slightly offended by this. I do not believe in Christian, Buddhist, or Baha'i doctrine, but but I strongly respect their ideology.

The most important part of faith is the guiding principles for living peacefully and cooperatively with others. Pithily dismissing the faith as "irrational" without going into any detail casts away more than just the "pray to the man in the clouds" nonsense, you're dismissing the principles of forgiveness, cooperation, and respect for one's natural condition. A religious person might assume that you specifically dismiss these principles when you dismiss their other beliefs, and I'm sure you've seen that as an argument against athiesm before.

I recognize that this isn't the point of the diagram. The diagram is just a pithy amusing short form (but detailed) jab at a lot of things that you don't agree with. However, the fact that it's pithy and amusing undermines the point of view that it's supporting.

Rationality requires debate, reason, and clarification. It's not amusing or easy, but it just isn't possible to provide a humane and rational argument against belief and religion without that clarification regarding the principles and guiding values that each religion supports.

Stephen said...

Absolutely brilliant. Lovely details, dipshits and fucktards wins it for me everytime :)

I recently completed a periodic table (just not nearly as funny/good as this one) of sweets

Briton said...

Just a brilliant piece of work.

One thing though, I think you should remove the swearing, it's not needed.
I would love to display this at home and give one to my son to take to school, I'm sure his science teachers would be amused, but the bad language prevents that.

How about a child friendly poster?

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

Wow!
This apogee of awesome appears to signal great things to come from you in the future.
When are they going to introduce a Nobel Prize for wry biting humour?

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

I have just printed it in A1 size, and it is quite acceptable.
No real need for a vector graphic version, unless someone is proposing to plaster the Albert Hall.

Jax said...

... Does FSTDT allow quotes as long as DMs, or do we need to break it into fun-sized morsels of stupid?

Wendee said...

Interesting work, some good choices, but why crop circles and no Stonehenge? Too paleolithic? Why no mention of animism, or masking societies, or cannibalism? Why no mana, or tapu, or moai of Rapi Nui? Goat-suckers but no Santaria? If you are really going to study irrationality in religious and spiritual systems, curiosities are only going to bring you so much credibility, especially when using a modal as universal as the Periodic Table of Elements. I realize anthropology is a science, but your lack of consideration for almost everything
based in "third-world" sensibilities is rather ethno-centric, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

What makes this table periodic? It looks like you just threw crap together randomly.

Are you trying to win over the pop-skeptic crowd without even understanding one of the most basic concepts in chemistry?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be better to start thinking (maybe reading from time to time) instead of wasting your and others time making such a stupid crap?

heaneyman said...

This will go straight on the back door of my toilet.

Here is an idea for a followup: Put in all the complicated ideas that are real science. Something more polite to put on the guest toilet wall.

* Apophenia
* 23 enigma
* Clustering illusion
* Confirmation bias
* Delusions of reference
* Hindsight bias
* Paranoiac-critical method
* Reality tunnel
* Synchronicity
* Texas sharpshooter fallacy
* Prosecutor's fallacy

Marian said...

Sorry but...

to make this "Periodical Table of Irrational Nonsense" is the greatest nonsense I have ever seen, even when I am skeptical about many of the matters it contains!

I never have seen so much ignorance as I see in making it as well as in most of the comments I read here!

Sam le Meerkat said...

Marian, this is the greatest nonsense you've seen? you obviously didn't use any of the elements as a search term :-)

... it's a joke, a jape, a prank... and very refreshing if you have ever been snowed under by "a confounding" of nonsense

Anonymous said...

The Atheist God (www.facebook.com/pages/The-Atheist-God/441761675272 and www.godwouldbeanatheist.com) heartily approves.

Anonymous said...

Hey Crispian Jago, FUCK YOU.

Sean Ellis said...

Wow... Anonymous's post (immediately above) really opened my eyes. His insightful prose has made me re-evaluate Mr. Jago and my opinion of him has been completely revised.

Well done, well done sir. I will cancel my mug and t-shirt order forthwith.

SherryBinNH said...

I so love this! Yes, there are things left out -- but just as it is it captures the essence of nonsense in a truly stunning way! Bravo! (I was going to leave a copy on the desk at work, but worried that my Ba'Hai and Christian co-workers would stop speaking to me, and the conversation is essential for the job. Still...)

memprime said...

I had to retweet this. I love it!

Felix said...

what about Neuro Linguistic programming?

Also, I agree that this would be great for school etc if you removed the swear words.

DM said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Martin said...

Hmmm... so where does Spontaneous Human Combustion fit in here?

Can't figure out if it belongs in the "fruitloop" or "credulous" blocks.

ChrisZ said...

This is so great! So nice to see that rational thought still exists in the world. You are my hero!

Mahkno said...

Cult of the Subgenius!! Praise Bob!

Irusan said...

What was hip in the '70's is ridiculous in the '10's. Progress, yes, but still a reflection of the current fashion for atheism and skepticism. When the cycle comes round again, the nonsense will be filtered out and we can again resume the rational examination of what is now dismissed. Read John Keel's "Operation Trojan Horse" for an inkling of where future investigations will go.

Steve Boltzman said...

Several "UFO" related nonsense entries but not "UFO" alone--a modern delusion so pervasive that most don't realise its absurdity.

orphia_nay said...

That. Is. Awesome.

Bravo!

Anonymous said...

Ridiculing and calling phenomena "absurd" are habits of close-minded bigots and religious fanatics. The philosopher and scientist wonder - that is , they have curiosity. If you have looked into the high strangeness of UFO's, Bigfoot, etc. you will find something very interesting going on. Neurophysicists like Dr. Persinger are curious enough to wonder why people experience these things, and don't resort to just calling them nuts. There is much work to do in understanding the unknown, which could result in healing and great benefit. This blindness on the part of materialists (in the religious sense) opens the door to the servants of totalitarianism, who have no qualms about using research to find ways of dehumanizing and controlling the people.

Just some skeptic said...

It's not closed-minded to dismiss these types of claims as absurd. I find some of the ideas on the chart to be pretty cool and I wish they were real, but few of them can withstand even a decent amount of critical thought. Just because you want something to be true, that doesn't mean it is. And pretty much everything on the list has been reasonably debunked from a rational standpoint. It's not impossible that one of them could yet turn out to have some validity, but none of them have managed to make it through any rigorous scientific study. There's plenty of mystery and wonder even in a naturalistic universe. That's not as cool as zombie chiropractors with perpetual motion machine jet packs fighting Rastafarian ghost Elvis impersonators reincarnated as E.T.s, but that's where fiction takes over.

AlisonM said...

OK, I've been told by someone that this leaves certain things out, which makes the entire thing wrong. I'm blanking on the name for this logical fallacy. . .help?

I think I've gotten more of a negative reaction from this than any other challenge to woo that I've ever shared. It's to be expected, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Many, many people have had intense experiences with UFO's, unorthodox creatures, religious experiences, poltergeists and unexplainable healings. The pseudoskeptic just labels these people as crazy without much examination, or explains them away with implausible but comfortable theories. I'm not saying there is such a thing as the supernatural - something pseudoskeptics are terrified of thinking about - but something real but strange is happening to these people. These phenomena are natural no doubt, but without unemotional examination, the value in them will not be discovered for centuries. This is a fertile field for psychology, neurology, and neurophysics.

Anonymous said...

Besides, this table did not strike me as very funny. I don't know if you are the some people who did the "Periodic Table of Swearing", but that was funnier. If you're not, then it is just a rip off with a list of "woo" that you think ridiculous. Rather mean-spirited and self-congratulatory, not very good humor.

Patrik Lindenfors said...

This is a great poster. Thanks! I just miss anthroposophy in there...

Sophrosynos said...

Great idea!
Allowed myself to link your post and the table in my blog: http://delusionaut.blogspot.com/
What about a german translation?! :-)

nosmond said...

Stuff like this proves to me how science can be just as intolerant as religion. A lot of the stuff on that table could have all sorts of truth to it, but it hasn't yet been explained by conventional science. Other stuff is almost definitely complete BS, but it hurts no one and lots of it improves people's lives and helps people function in society. Funny how hardcore science/atheists types like to talk about how accepted scientific truths were mocked and persecuted in old school days, yet when someone says something they don't agree with they are perfectly happy to do the same thing.

Anonymous said...

I miss religions from the table.

David S said...

What I´m not sure about is the implied "completeness" of the table.

Human capacity for believing bollocks is unfortunately probably near infinite. No real space for expansion.

Assaf said...

I enjjoyed the poster immensely and loved about 99% of it. However I would like to re-iterate anonymous's response: "What untenable claims are made by/about Feldenkrais?".

I've taken Feldenkrais classes as sports in the university.

There was no paranormal or mystical claims made at any point.
The only assumptions I remember is that people tend to neglect proper use of their muscles and become too stiff, and proper training can make you more aware and agile.

Classes were a great demonstration of how much your body can do that you didn't know. I still use the basic routine whenever experiencing back ache.

It seems to me that including of this harmless (and in my opinion, effective) in the same row as "quacks" and - more alarming - "new age bollocks" was an attempt to fill one of the last spots on the table. However since it is entirely opposite to my knowledge this reflects badly no the writer's credibility. Which is a shame since I would cheer him with most everything else criticised there.

Regards,
- Assaf , Israel

Anonymous said...

It disappoints me to see that you view 9/11 as a conspiracy theory when peer reviewed science has proved that US military grade thermite was used in the demolition of all three towers, proving the government was lying. See;
Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe.
Authors: Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen.
Refusing to acknowledge these findings may well place people who purport to be 'healthy' sceptics into the 'crackpot' deniers box.

Anirudh Kumar Satsangi said...

An article on Logic of Reincarnation by Steven J Rosen was published in The Speaking Tree of 11the July 2010. In this article the author raised certain queries, what is it that reincarnates from one body to another? Is it the soul? the mind? the intellect? To understand this we should suggest answer to these questions. We all know that there are four fundamental forces in the universe viz., gravitation force, electromagnetic force, weak nuclear force and strong nuclear force. I have written a paper entitled ‘Gravitation Force is the Ultimate Creator’ and presented it at the 1st International Conference on Revival of Traditional Yoga held in Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla in January 2006. In this paper I have defined soul (individual consciousness), mind and body. According to this every point of action of Gravitational Force Field is individual consciousness or soul, electromagnetic force as the force of mind and weak and strong nuclear force as the gross material force which constitute physical frame of body.

Consciousness is All Intelligent and pervades everywhere. Although all other remaining three forces are also intelligent but they are subordinate to Gravitational Force. THIS DESCRIPTION WILL HELP TO UNDERSTAND ‘WHAT IS IT THAT REINCARNATES FROM ONE BODY TO ANOTHER.

According to Buddhism this is not the supreme atman or soul that ties one life to another, instead it talks about past lives as evolvement of consciousness, emergence of a new personality from the same stream of consciousness.

Unaccomplished activities of past lives are also one of the causes for reincarnation. Some of us reincarnate to complete the unfinished tasks of previous birth. The is evident from my own story of reincarnation:

“My most Revered Guru of my previous life His Holiness Maharaj Sahab, 3rd Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith had revealed this secret to me during trance like state.
HE told me, “Tum Sarkar Sahab Ho” (You are Sarkar Sahab). Sarkar Sahab was one of the most beloved disciple of His Holiness Maharj Sahab. Sarkar Sahab later on became Fourth Spiritual Head of Radhasoami Faith.
Since I don’t have any direct realization of it so I can not claim the extent of its correctness. But it seems to be correct. During my previous birth I wanted to sing the song of ‘Infinite’ (Agam Geet yeh gawan chahoon tumhri mauj nihara, mauj hoi to satguru soami karoon supanth vichara) but I could not do so then since I had to leave the mortal frame at a very early age. But through the unbounded Grace and Mercy of my most Revered Guru that desire of my past birth is being fulfilled now.”

I am one the chief expounder and supporter of Gravitation Force Theory of God. This is most scientific and secular theory of God. I have also discovered the mathematical expression for emotional quotient and for spiritual quotient.

Austrian Scientist Rudolf Steiner says,
"Just as an age was once ready to receive the Copernican theory of the universe, so is our age ready for the idea of reincarnation to be brought into the general consciousness of humanity".

Anonymous said...

Awesome Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense! Very funny!

I think it's very bizarre that so many people in the comments are offended by it. Calling religious dogma out as the bullshit it is doesn't mean we aren't tolerant of religious people, and it certainly doesn't mean we're closed-minded. If we see evidence, we will happily check it out!
Anyways, great work! :)

~Rosy

Steve Boltman said...

The "UFO" delusion IS absurd.

Only in the wacky world of the "UFO" delusion does a report of the failure to identify a visual stimulus become a real extraordinary aircraft.

Assuming the answer is the logical fallacy and the absurd basis of the "UFO" delusion. Innumerable, unverifiable, insubstantial and utterly inconsequential reports of "unidentifieds" don't equal even one real "UFO" of any kind--much less a nuts-and-bolts spacecraft.

POds said...

I love the idea of this periodic table... although i'm not a skeptic, i'm have an open mind to a lot of things being true & false... i guess I'm a fence sitter, the worse kind of the three!

Anyway, i love your work and i thought, perhaps you could put a big water mark "copyright" over the image you've supplied online to stop people from ripping it off. I've seen it done all too often with artists works before... unless you don't care and would consider it the ultimate act of flatery if someone was to rip it off and use it in their work... then disregard what i just said. Keep it up!

Paul said...

Can we put Anonymous on there as they seem to follow any old crap.

Anonymous said...

You missed out economics

Michael Kingsford Gray said...

"Anonymous said...
You missed out economics"

- This is one of the rare occasions on which I concur with the the ÜberTroll.
"Economics" is a subtle mixture of "Ignorance" and "Lying", wrapped in pseudo-scientific bullshit, to create a perfumed blend that attracts the mathematically naïve, and the staggeringly stupid.

Anonymous said...

woo woo!

gone on, disappear!

woo woo!

O, still lots of irreverenet comments in my machine

WOO! WOO!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha! Brilliant! I love it. Thanks for this, ordering a couple of posters now.

Jesse Kurth said...

Darwinism, the poster child for non-disprovable pseudoscience, is conspicuously absent from this table. Considering this faith's widespread and relatively blind acceptance, not to mention its mechanistic propagation by modern western governmental and educational systems, it deserves placement in at least two categories on the chart: Pseudoscience and Religion. Maybe you should add a category for religions that masquerade under the guise of secularism. Of course, if you take Richard Dawkins' word for it, you could throw Darwinism into the Extra Terrestrial category too (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoncJBrrdQ8).

shellity said...

I can't think of a better way to express my skeptical huswifery than to have this printed on a tea-towel. You, sir, have won the 'Making My Day' award.

Janine White said...

You need to add one more box for the Breathairians who believe people can survive on air, water and sunlight alone.

pinkithink said...

@ Michael Kingsford Gray, your explanation of economics is spot on!

@ Crispian, Ffs and WTF are just hilariously spot on. thankyou for making me roar with laughter

Shelly

Palmira F. da Silva said...

Brilliant! how can I get something to work on and translate to portuguese?

da5idfox said...

Really brilliant. One small quibble, though. Shouldn't the code for Rastafarianism be "Thc?"

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Could the Ts be made available in hemp, or any material less harmful to the environment than cotton?

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mcdowella said...

If you are serious about applying the rational to the irrational, have you considered Dendrograms?

If you haven't seen these before, do a Google image search for Dendogram. You can create a proper (but perhaps not as pretty) one with with the free R statistics software, or other free software.

You could, for instance, compare a Dendrogram derived from similarities against the history of cults derived from other cults - or display the evolutionary tree of variants of creationism.

shades said...

Thanks for the "sanitised" version. The gratuitous insults detracted from the elegance of the design while not strengthening the argument at all.

This is a STUNNING site of huge creativity and excellence and I am so glad I Stumbled it.

Pera² said...

no Alchemy?

it definitely belongs in the Pseudoscience section, perhaps more than others

Taf said...

I'm ready to translate it in french ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have to say I'm disappointed by the glaring anomaly in an otherwise excellent piece of work. My views, like yours, are based on facts, scientific evidence and critical thinking, which is why I am an athiest and have little tolerance towards those whose views are based on dogma, superstition or what they've been led to believe by the mass media.
I am, of course, refering to 'Conspiracy Theories' and the reference to 9/11. I can only conclude that the 'evidence' which leads you to the conclusion that the US Government was not complicit in the events of 9/11 is taken from sources such as the Prison Planet website, where people like Alex Jones and David Icke undermine the credibility of the truth by categorising fact based evidence alongside superstitious drivel.
State sponsored terrorism has occured throughout history, the evidence is overwhelming and undeniable, even by the US Government. There is a vast amount of documented evidence proving Government involvement in the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, the burning of the Reichstag in 1933, and Operation Northwoods, a 15 page Pentagon document written in 1962 by the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that proves U.S. military leaders proposed to commit terrorist acts against Americans and blame Cuba to create a pretext for the invasion of Cuba and oust Communist leader Fidel Castro.
The Northwoods Document describes the US Government's plan to frame innocent people for the shootings and bombings that they themselves were preparing to commit. It suggests that after the terrorist attacks,
"The arrest of Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government." (Operation Northwoods, 1962)
I urge fellow skeptics to look at the evidence surrounding 9/11, the 9/11 Commission Report, omissions and distortions and The New Pearl Harbour by David Ray Griffin may be a good place to start, or Architects and Engineers for Truth, or perhaps watch the related videos (links below). Kind Regards, KC
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3538037502590699697#docid=-8526790279017094192
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6565925931543667447#
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3538037502590699697#docid=8119854514684528700

lester said...

UFOs are not a delusion, they are unidentified by definition. It's assuming that a UFO is an alien spacecraft is the problem.

Also, Tarot cards are real things. They originated in Milan Italy during the Renaissance under the court of Filippo Maria Visconti. They have been commonly used in Europe ever since for playing games. Divination or "cartomancy" is the irrational nonsense you should be referring to.

ken said...

What about the Chicago School, the IMF, and Reaganonics? They all exemplify irrational faith in things that aren't true.

Anonymous said...

lester; It's not the thing but the false belief that is the delusion: the widespread false belief that there is a set of real extraordinary aerial things of some kind. So far, the set is empty.

It's the very idea, the definition, that is the collective delusion.

Michael said...

Wow. I love it and I am a Christian (with a sense of humor). What program did you use to make it?
chobbes2006@yahoo.com

Thomas_L said...

Hey I love this site! My girlfriend just told my that I have to move out and she has to get back to the Bahai faith or she will die. No. I didn't kill her. She is batshit crazy and it happened all of a sudden like. I'm reading this stuff to keep my sane. Wowsers!
Pulled out of Buallahaballa's arse indeed!

Anonymous said...

What about Dietary Bollocks?

Vegetarianism (one of the most widely held bollock philosophies), Macrobiotics, Raw Foodism, Juice Therapy, Fasting/Cleansing, etc etc

Carl said...

The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense,is great to see and also the other pictures are also good to see.


__________________
Science Dissertation Proposal

Al Whipp said...

Great chart!
Any chance of doing a poster version (maybe through cafe press etc) with the roll-over text included? That'd be f'ng excellent.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing work! I had not previously quantified just how much nonsense is out there, but to see it all put together in one place is both stunning and depressing, as we definitely have our work cut out for us.

Send gifts to Karachi

EvanT said...

Great work!! Very inspired!!

BTW, I hate to be a party pooper, but has anyone pointed out yet that 57 (Vampires) and 89 (Zombies) should be beige and contain examples from the quack-block? (they DO stand in for Lanthanum and Actinium, right?) :|

Dissertation Writing said...

The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense <-- that's what i was looking for

James L. Rota said...

Very funny!

Virden said...

As a retired research scientist and University prof, long away from the daily struggle trying to instill reason in young minds, I was unaware of this Table of the Elements of Woo-Woo until today. I had never seen all of them summarized succinctly in one place before.

My first thought on looking the Table over was.. OMG I recognize virtually every entry on sight and know something about them.

Now I ask, in a sane world, should anyone have such familiarity with so much nonsense?

How much of my nearly 80 years was wasted brushing up against this stuff enough to remember it all?

Pedro L P Sanchez said...

Many people keep suggesting "take this out", 'replace this for that".

Do not forget the fact that although many elements are commonly known by quite different names they are no more than isotopes. They basically show different mass, but react with other elements in the same way. Religion, for instance, has many isotopes - some very instable perhaps.

PaulJ said...

Hi Crispian, I wondered if you were aware of this:

http://www.ungodlynews.com/2011/06/periodic-table-of-atheists-and.html

Another tee-shirt perhaps, with yours on the front and this one on the back?

All the best,

Paul

nazani said...

A Brief discourse with a feng shui maven who posts articles on Care2:
ES: I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my article but don't appreciate you calling it mumbo jumbo.
Me: "Mumbo jumbo" is the kindest term I can find for these superstitions that are causing so much misery. It's time for us to stop romanticizing ancient ideas that simply don't work, whether it's Chinese "medicine" that is resulting in the extermination of tigers and rhinos, Christian and Islamic wilful misunderstanding of the nature of homosexuality, African belief in witchcraft, etc.
ES: I am sorry because your dogmatic belief system is keeping you from experiencing the profound benefits from some of these ancient beliefs. If you actually read my other articles on Feng Shui you would see that I take from the ancient tradition what is practical and useful to our modern society and throw out the superstious part. I practice western Feng Shui, quite different from traditional Classical Feng Shui. It is simply about acknowledging our deep connection to our environment and tuning in to what makes it harmonious. (and 9 more lines in this vein)
Me: link to periodic table of I.N.

westius said...

Love it!
Would love to see climate change denial in there.

A. Roges said...

May I put in a few suggestions for future revisions?

Perhaps you might consider including the following:

- Satanic ritual child abuse (the misguided belief in)

- Satanism (just for balance)

- Hypnotic regression/repressed memory therapy

- Cod psychiatry and self-help psychobabble (phallic symbols, penis envy, dream interpretation etc)

- Sexual orientation prejudice (against gays, bis, asexuals, transgender folk etc)

and finally

- E-mail scams telling you you'll die a slow and painful death if you don't forward to half a dozen people

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Anonymous said...

I see you've got Taoism on there, someone should have told General Vo Nguyen Giap that it was a load of bollocks before he applied its principles to the Vietnam war and defeated the Americans.

Cheap WOW Gold said...

see you've got Taoism on there, someone should have told General Vo Nguyen Giap

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Anonymous said...

One nit pick and one more serious objection:

Rolfing is not "traditional" AFAIK - it's late 20th century

Paredolia seems out of place here - it's a function or tendency and not, in itself, nonsense or woo. I get that you want to include the broad category of seeing jesus in your toast and faces in trees and so forth, but this seems like a weird way to do that

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Anonymous said...

Almost perfect.

But I would suggest that Séances and Bible Code swap positions.

John said...

Neither he Tao Te Ching nor the Chuang Tzu has any mention or reference at all of the "5 chinese elements" which are Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and metal (that list from a "quick google search")- where did you find that again? I mean, at least try for a little accuracy.

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Unknown said...

THANK YOU! (yes, I am shouting). Thanks for putting all the effort into this. The classifications work well to organize all the different forms of woo. Well done!

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Katie Larsen said...

BTW: Here's a man that actually knew something about science...

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty."-Albert Einstein

He also said:"Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble."

Katie Larsen said...

I see some scientific references. I wonder if you could highlight the parts of your blog that you consider "reason" or "critical thinking." I don't see them anywhere.

Perhaps you define, "critical thinking" as being the same as criticism? If so, you might find dictionary.com helpful.

However, I think your time might be better spent examining a life that enables you to put so much effort into writing this irrationally angry blog.

Do you think that through ridicule you are doing anything but amusing those who already share your beliefs? Or does your ironic self-righteousness provide you that feeling of control you so desperately need.

Hey,if this is what gets you through the night, then blog away. But, you could spend some time meditating on what it is that has hurt you so badly that you need this outlet. You are obviously fairly intelligent. Let your pain go, and do something good. Make the world a less hate-filled place.

Paul Jenkins said...

@Katie:

"I don't see them anywhere."

You're not looking. Crispian has lots of other posts here.

"Hey,if this is what gets you through the night, then blog away. But, you could spend some time meditating on what it is that has hurt you so badly that you need this outlet. You are obviously fairly intelligent. Let your pain go, and do something good. Make the world a less hate-filled place."

Methinks you're projecting, Katie. (Or maybe you have no sense of humour — not a criticism; it happens.)

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Anonymous said...

Whilst most aspects of the table do characterize irrational thought, it still reeks of utter cynicism. I thought this blog was for critical thinkers, not downright cynics.

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Anonymous said...

Is there an interactive version of the Sanitised English Version? Where you have the popup definitions?

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Omar Cabrera said...

Great and funny, but you forgot to add Quantum Physics to the group... If you count Quantum Physics as valid, you must validate all of them. I mean. If somebody believes in them, they are implicitly real. I guess you can believe that they are bollocks and that will determine your space of reality, but we're ALL building this reality with our beliefs you know.

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Anonymous said...

An excellent compilation, but you could add more conspiracy theories, many of which have wide followings yet remain quite irrational. Here is a good list http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1618683/pg1