absolutely amazes me at times some of the silly things people will
believe in. Many people I can forgive for simple lack of education. I
mean, how are they supposed to know if they've never had the
opportunity to learn the facts? I happen to believe that at times
ignorance can be an excuse. Where I draw the line is when people will
continue to believe something even in the face of hard undeniable
facts. Someone may believe the sky is fuscia even after you glue their
eyes open and point them skyward. The example may sound ludicrous but
trust me, there are some out there who hold to their fantasies just the
Much of the problem is the result of bad thinking. Not thinking of bad things, but thinking incorrectly, making false deductions, jumping to conclusions, or otherwise not letting good judgment and rational thought get in the way of interpreting the facts.
You may have noticed I use the word 'fact' instead of 'truth'. Truth is a philosophical concept. I'm not implying there's anything wrong with philosophy and the search for truth. In a sense I am seeking the truth. But a scientific approach to a subject of investigation seeks facts. A truth can be interpreted from facts and there can be as many 'truths' as there are people interpreting the facts. However, the facts themselves shall never change and shall always stand on their own.
But back to the silly things. In my wanderings around the web I have come across some doozies. On this page you will find a few examples of the odd things that people believe, how they are wrong, and an explanation of the facts.
The newest items start at the top just below Why People Believe Weird Things and go down form there.
People Believe Weird Things
This first sub-section is actually an aid to help you learn to think critically and to understand the thought process I try to use to approach incredible claims. Clicking the title will take you to a copy of chapter 3 of Michael Shermer's book, Why People Believe Weird Things. Shermer graciously gave me permission to copy the contents of this chapter in an effort to help bring some good thinking to the world. The book itself is a masterpiece of logic and critical thinking on a broad range of topics from Holocaust deniers to psychic healers to alien abduction.
Michael Shermer, PhD., is the founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine and director of the Skeptics Society (www.skeptic.com). In addition to writing several books, he is also a contributing editor and monthly columnist for the magazine Scientific American (www.scientificamerican.com).
|Earth's Axis Tilting at Windmills
There are those who believe that the axis of the Earth is changing. No, I mean by leaps and bounds. Further, they believe that it is being kept a secret by The Powers That Be. <cue creepy conspiracy music> But I have produced a video animation that should put to rest any hope that such a change in the Earth's axis could even possibly go unnoticed by the tens of millions of people world wide that study the night sky.
|Why The Apollo Moon Pictures Have No Stars
There are many people who believe that we never went to the Moon - that is was all a big government hoax. All sorts of reasons are given to support this theory adn all of them are flawed in fundamental ways. I am not going to spend all my time debunking every silly idea that comes along on this issue. But I have taken the time to deal with one of the more common reasons brought forth.
|The "Hutchison Effect"?
John Hutchison plays with tesla coils, high voltage generators, and other gadgets to make steel melt form the inside and to make objects fly around the room. This report shows that videos purported to show a toy flying saucer flying around due to the "Hutchison Effect" are frauds. The saucer is being manipulated by a string.
A picture submitted to the Coast To Coast website on Nov. 7th, 2005 purports to show a rock being levitated. At first glance it appears genuine but I found evidence to show that it's nothing more than an optical illusion.
|UFO Observed Over Washington DC?
Added 2-13-05 - Update 2-17-05
On the evening of Feb. 12, 2005, an image was posted on the Coast To Coast website that was a web cam image of the Washington Monument with a strange lighted object 'hovering' overhead and described as a UFO. A link was provided to the source website with several other screen captures of the same camera. When I looked at the image it was terribly obvious to me that it was nothing more than a long duration exposure of an aircraft traversing the field of view.
I originally created the page on Feb. 13 and did an update on the 17th with additional photos of my own making showing examples of the same type of image from near my residence. From email correspondence I know I managed to help at least one person make a proper interpretation of the facts.