How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-05-2013, 05:22 AM
How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
So, I have a very close friend, of whom I hold in very high regard, that I think is pretty deep in belief in all kinds of pseudoscience/woo/quakery/altmedicine you name it. He is a very intelligent and articulate individual, but seems to be open to a lot of things in the unscientifically tested and fantastically claimed realm. The most recent thing he has talked to me about is the Burzynki Clinic in Texas. Its an alternative cancer treatment facility that uses "antineoplastons" to treat cancer cells. I did about an hours worth of research through respectable science venues online and came to the conclusion that it is just too good to be true. There have been no controlled/double blind studies done, only small preliminary ones. And he's (he being Burzynski) has been doing the same preliminary research since 1977. The other red flag is the exorbitant amount of money that is being charged to patients in the study. Along with the fact that some patients are given regular chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment in addition to the "antineoplastons". It just boggles my mind that general FDA and "big pharma" conspiracy theories can facilitate the continued quakery of these kinds of places.

Anyways, my main issue is I don't know how to communicate my position on this without getting a generic "you are being too skeptical to have an open mind about things" response. And like I said this is someone I care about and don't want to come across as an ass to.

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

-Bertrand Russell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-05-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
Believers in this shit consider themselves some kind of elitist for having this "secret knowledge," it cannot be questioned without the believer assuming assholery. Your options are limited to being an ass, or shutting yer hole.

[Image: klingon_zps7e68578a.jpg]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like houseofcantor's post
22-05-2013, 08:45 AM (This post was last modified: 22-05-2013 09:21 AM by bemore.)
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
There was a point in history when the work that Charles Darwin did would of been considered "Woo"

I can appreciate that religion and its views have a much wider impact on peoples life's and I think this is unfair, however in answering your question......

"How to communicate with believers of things that I myself don't believe in" I would say the answers are simple.

1: Don't.

2: Put your side and evidence across to the person, this is no guarantee that they will take your views on board but really that's all you can do.... no matter how frustrating it may appear that they don't reenforce your own beliefs by agreeing with you 100%.

As long as they are not harming anybody, or directly interfering with your life who's business is it of yours what the fuck people believe in????

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-05-2013, 02:07 PM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
Step 1: Strike bug-nutter in the head with a solid, blunt object; such as a pipe or large piece of wood.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 until bug-nutter is unconscious.

Thumbsup

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-05-2013, 06:21 PM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
Ask him to explain how exactly does it work. After he does so, find a debunking refutation on some skeptical website. Then return to your friend again, tell him YOU still don't understand that, because there is such and such thing on the net, and it is quite confusing to have two such different accounts. Which one is the right one? Perhaps your friend might help you to make an opinion.

OK, it's a totally fake manipulation, but in any case you should not end up as an insecure attacker, but rather as an ignorant one in need of guidance. Play a humble fool so your friend may try to become wiser for your sake.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-05-2013, 08:38 PM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
Socratic questioning is the only way you can reason with your friend, because the only person who can convince him that his beliefs are wrong is himself.

Ask him to explain in detail how the treatment works. Ask him about specific things he says which are clearly irrational, illogical or outright untrue scientifically.

As he attempts to connect the dots for you, he'll see himself that he's weaving a web of nonsense.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-05-2013, 09:05 PM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
(22-05-2013 05:22 AM)VulcanLogic42 Wrote:  So, I have a very close friend, of whom I hold in very high regard, that I think is pretty deep in belief in all kinds of pseudoscience/woo/quakery/altmedicine you name it. He is a very intelligent and articulate individual, but seems to be open to a lot of things in the unscientifically tested and fantastically claimed realm. The most recent thing he has talked to me about is the Burzynki Clinic in Texas. Its an alternative cancer treatment facility that uses "antineoplastons" to treat cancer cells. I did about an hours worth of research through respectable science venues online and came to the conclusion that it is just too good to be true. There have been no controlled/double blind studies done, only small preliminary ones. And he's (he being Burzynski) has been doing the same preliminary research since 1977. The other red flag is the exorbitant amount of money that is being charged to patients in the study. Along with the fact that some patients are given regular chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment in addition to the "antineoplastons". It just boggles my mind that general FDA and "big pharma" conspiracy theories can facilitate the continued quakery of these kinds of places.

Anyways, my main issue is I don't know how to communicate my position on this without getting a generic "you are being too skeptical to have an open mind about things" response. And like I said this is someone I care about and don't want to come across as an ass to.

In your research you may have come across this video. If not:



[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRcmPL4codsbtiJhpFav3r...-w_49ttW6a]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-05-2013, 01:41 AM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
(22-05-2013 08:45 AM)bemore Wrote:  There was a point in history when the work that Charles Darwin did would of been considered "Woo"

I can appreciate that religion and its views have a much wider impact on peoples life's and I think this is unfair, however in answering your question......

"How to communicate with believers of things that I myself don't believe in" I would say the answers are simple.

1: Don't.

2: Put your side and evidence across to the person, this is no guarantee that they will take your views on board but really that's all you can do.... no matter how frustrating it may appear that they don't reenforce your own beliefs by agreeing with you 100%.

As long as they are not harming anybody, or directly interfering with your life who's business is it of yours what the fuck people believe in????

In response to why I should make it my business to involve myself in what he believes in, this is why: I had had the conversation about the Burzinski clinic with my friend a while back and although it sounded far-fetched, I did not press it, its his right to believe what he wants. However, recently another close friend of mine had a biopsy for possible mouth cancer. We, all three, happened to be together and the topic of the biopsy came up. My friend, who is in support of the Burzinski clinic, said "if it turns out to be cancer, you should look into the Burzinski clinic, they have been curing cancer since the 70s". Being that these claims seem a bit too good to be true, I did a bit of personal research out of curiosity. I only involve myself to spare my second friend (turns out it was not cancer) from a possible scam.

Also, thank you for the video post Jeffasaurus, I had not seen that one in particular.

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

-Bertrand Russell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-05-2013, 01:52 AM (This post was last modified: 23-05-2013 01:56 AM by fstratzero.)
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
(23-05-2013 01:41 AM)VulcanLogic42 Wrote:  
(22-05-2013 08:45 AM)bemore Wrote:  There was a point in history when the work that Charles Darwin did would of been considered "Woo"

I can appreciate that religion and its views have a much wider impact on peoples life's and I think this is unfair, however in answering your question......

"How to communicate with believers of things that I myself don't believe in" I would say the answers are simple.

1: Don't.

2: Put your side and evidence across to the person, this is no guarantee that they will take your views on board but really that's all you can do.... no matter how frustrating it may appear that they don't reenforce your own beliefs by agreeing with you 100%.

As long as they are not harming anybody, or directly interfering with your life who's business is it of yours what the fuck people believe in????

In response to why I should make it my business to involve myself in what he believes in, this is why: I had had the conversation about the Burzinski clinic with my friend a while back and although it sounded far-fetched, I did not press it, its his right to believe what he wants. However, recently another close friend of mine had a biopsy for possible mouth cancer. We, all three, happened to be together and the topic of the biopsy came up. My friend, who is in support of the Burzinski clinic, said "if it turns out to be cancer, you should look into the Burzinski clinic, they have been curing cancer since the 70s". Being that these claims seem a bit too good to be true, I did a bit of personal research out of curiosity. I only involve myself to spare my second friend (turns out it was not cancer) from a possible scam.

Also, thank you for the video post Jeffasaurus, I had not seen that one in particular.

Well if the guy is open to being incorrect then there might be hope. Start small, suggesting that he should maybe compare pseudoscience. Sometimes just being aware that it's all inconsistent starts with with something small like that.

However if they start getting really defensive then lay off. The last thing you want to do is push them into a position where they want to show you how true their claim is.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-05-2013, 11:09 AM
RE: How to communicate with believers in pseudoscience/woo
1.Ask to him : What is the functioning of this thing ?
2.If he can explain : Refute his arguments with yours knowledge or skeptical websites. Analyse the arguments in favor of this thing and against this thing.
3.Read about the conceptor of this pseudo-science.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: