Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Venn Diagram of Irrational Nonsense

The curiously revered world of irrational nonsense has seeped into almost every aspect of modern society and is both complex and multifarious. Therefore rather than attempt a comprehensive taxonomy, I have opted instead for a gross oversimplification and a rather pretty Venn Diagram.

In my gross over simplification the vast majority of the multitude of evidenced-free beliefs at large in the world can be crudely classified into four basic sets or bollocks. Namely, Religion, Quackery, Pseudoscience and the Paranormal.

However as such nonsensical beliefs continue to evolve they become more and more fanciful and eventually creep across the bollock borders. Although all the items depicted on the diagram are completely bereft of any form of scientific credibility, those that successfully intersect the sets achieve new heights of implausibility and ridiculousness. And there is one belief so completely ludicrous it successfully flirts with all forms of bollocks.

Religious Bollocks ∩ Quackery Bollocks ∩ Pseudoscientific Bollocks ∩ Paranormal Bollocks = Scientology


UPDATE 24th March 2013

Many thanks for the retweets and shares.

I have also received the first translated copy of the Venn Diagram produced by Pavle Močilac of the Croatian Society for Promotion of Science and Critical Thinking.

Italian translation courtesy of Andrea Mirra

Spanish translation via @Cienciaaldía

30th Dev 2013:
Here's a Portguese translation courtesy of Samir Nassif (@samirchn)

If I receive any other translations I shall post them here with the original.

BTW, Its been awfully nice to have seen the Diagram popping up all over the interwebs in the last few days, but if you could so kind as to link back to here you'll be sure to have the latest version in case I make any updates.


I conceived the Venn Diargram of Irrational Nonsense in the car on my way home from work last Wednesday, and quickly knocked it up when I got home. However, I didn't publish it immediatley as I was pondering the feasability of adding a fifth set.

I spent a few hours the following night attempting to add a fifth set, but the diagram was getting cluttered and the fonts too small, so eventually I reluctantly abondened the five set version and posted the original four set version from the previous night.

I have however, seen a fair few comments suggesting that the diagram might benefit from a conspiracy theorist dimension, however, before I've had a chance to have another crack at it, I noticed dehydrationstation has beaten me to it. I think it came out OK.(although I would have used the word "bollocks" a bit more myself.

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