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Old 21st May 2009, 07:45 PM   #1
Manning
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Rules of Woo

OK I've been here for a week or so now. I've read hundreds of threads over time and had considerable fun. I've also seen regularly repeated patterns of "Woo behaviour". As an example if a skeptic makes a single mistake during a rebuttal (eg. provides an incorrect web link), this will be claimed to prove the entire counterargument is completely wrong.

Many of you will be familiar with the purported "Rules of the Internet", eg. Rule 34: "There is porn of it. No Exceptions."

I'm curious if a similar list of "Rules of Woo" has ever been compiled. It would certainly save time during arguments by simply being able to cite (eg) "Woo Rule 14".

On the chance no such list exists and there is shared enthusiasm, here are some candidate rules (feel free to expand, rewrite and tighten) :
  • A single piece of supporting evidence proves the truth of the entire Conspiracy
  • A single mistake by a person presenting a counter-argument refutes the entire counter-argument
  • Insistence on "only wanting to find the truth"
  • Insistence on being "impartial"
  • Vilification of all members of the "establishment" (however that is defined), combined with near-deification of anyone from this "establishment" who appears to lend even timid support to their position.
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Old 21st May 2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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Any expert that contradicts a woo's belief is part of the conspiracy against them.
A conspiracy can involve millions of people, and not a single one of them will talk.

Skeptics emit a negative energy that can nullify psychic powers. Therefore we are more powerful!
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Old 21st May 2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Manning View Post
I'm curious if a similar list of "Rules of Woo" has ever been compiled. It would certainly save time during arguments by simply being able to cite (eg) "Woo Rule 14".
I don't think there is a list of Reules of Woo. Such a list might be helpful, but woo-woos would probably just attack the list.

Most of the Rules of Woo would already fall under the much broader and established rules of logic as a fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy
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Old 21st May 2009, 10:25 PM   #4
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- If you don't accept "feel good" woo like spritism, AltMed, psychics, etc., you're an angry/soulless person who is deserving of pity.
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Old 21st May 2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Everything can be explained with a wave of the hand and the overuse of the word 'quantum'.
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Old 21st May 2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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anecdotes(even second hand) are considered proof and evidence
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Old 22nd May 2009, 12:09 AM   #7
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Whoops
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Old 22nd May 2009, 12:13 AM   #8
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large fonts and colors enhance your arguments
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Last edited by lionking; 22nd May 2009 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 12:19 AM   #9
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If you question someone's sighting, you are considered a evil debunker!
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Old 22nd May 2009, 12:23 AM   #10
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A controlled experiment need not rule out any alternate possibilities.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 01:59 AM   #11
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If you create a website to support your cause, it must be incredibly badly designed. Clashing colours, horrible fonts and an over-zealous use of formatting are required.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 02:06 AM   #12
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Old 22nd May 2009, 03:13 AM   #13
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If you got an allegded scientist supporting your woo make sure to list all his degrees, credentials and affiliations.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 03:17 AM   #14
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All the rules above, except maybe rule number 5, seem to work very well for Skeptics. Just in reverse often.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 05:18 AM   #15
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Woos are open-minded because they believe things that skeptics don't.

Skeptics are close-minded because they believe things that woos don't.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 05:28 AM   #16
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Somebody has a woo version of occam's razor in their sigline ... something about weighing up the options and then deciding the obvious reason is UFO's.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 05:39 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by UnrepentantSinner View Post
- If you don't accept "feel good" woo like spritism, AltMed, psychics, etc., you're an angry/soulless person who is deserving of pity.
And you grow ears on your back!
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Old 22nd May 2009, 05:48 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by UnrepentantSinner View Post
- If you don't accept "feel good" woo like spritism, AltMed, psychics, etc., you're an angry/soulless person who is deserving of pity.
From personal experience, you aren't even deserving of pity, you must be shunned .... especially if you try and ask a question about anything. You must accept the word of woo and accept that questioning is negative and blackens your aura and contributes to your weaknesses and illnesses and will cause you cancer in the end.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 06:53 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Manning View Post
Vilification of all members of the "establishment" (however that is defined), combined with near-deification of anyone from this "establishment" who appears to lend even timid support to their position.
I've bolded the mistake. You can't go around giving definitions, then you might get held to a solid claim that you've accidentally made. The important thing is to repeat terms like "the establishment" and "Big <insert entire field of science/commerce here> without ever saying who they actually are.

Originally Posted by lionking View Post
Whoops
No. Never admit a mistake. You meant to post that twice, and anyone who says different is clearly a CIA agent.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 11:01 AM   #20
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Stop taking my posts out of context!!! Haven't you ever heard of the [name of obscure woo theorist "expert"] Theory?
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Old 22nd May 2009, 11:31 AM   #21
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I started a thread on the same topic over two years ago. Here's the link:

The Operative Laws of Pseudo-Science
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Old 22nd May 2009, 11:47 AM   #22
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Reason and science can't explain everything.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 11:47 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
From personal experience, you aren't even deserving of pity, you must be shunned .... especially if you try and ask a question about anything. You must accept the word of woo and accept that questioning is negative and blackens your aura and contributes to your weaknesses and illnesses and will cause you cancer in the end.
Yes, because everything causes cancer. Is this forum cancerous?
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Old 22nd May 2009, 12:05 PM   #24
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Never question other brands of woo.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 04:57 PM   #25
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Anyone who asks you to develop a testable hypothesis for your claims is really deathly afraid of you.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 05:12 PM   #26
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Woo works as long as you don't submit it for testing.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 06:12 PM   #27
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Scientists are bad, except woos with a Ph.D, who should use their title at every opportunity to stress that they are "real" scientists.
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Old 22nd May 2009, 06:18 PM   #28
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Starts with "hypothetically speaking..."
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Old 22nd May 2009, 06:44 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by thull View Post
anecdotes(even second hand) are considered proof and evidence
Conversely, proof and evidence are considered anecdotal.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 01:37 AM   #30
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The Woo-woo Credo.

Enjoy.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 01:54 AM   #31
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When discussing an issue with a negative person like skeptic or non-believer, ask lots of leading questions instead of actually making an assertion. If you do have to make an assertion, it should be a personal anecdote, reference to some arcane, out of print source or an appeal to antiquity.

Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
From personal experience, you aren't even deserving of pity, you must be shunned .... especially if you try and ask a question about anything. You must accept the word of woo and accept that questioning is negative and blackens your aura and contributes to your weaknesses and illnesses and will cause you cancer in the end.
Anal or colorectal?
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Old 23rd May 2009, 02:03 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
Scientists are bad, except woos with a Ph.D, who should use their title at every opportunity to stress that they are "real" scientists.
Not only this, but when woos find other woos with a Ph.D. they must CONSTANTLY use it as a reason to why they cannot be wrong. In fact, the more times they mention "Dr.", "doctorate", "doctor", and "Ph.D." the more they think they are proving how right they are.

Example: Dr. Woo, Ph.D. has said so and thus we can believe it. He has a Ph.D. Do you have a doctorate? How can you question the woo with the doctorate when you don't have a doctorate?

Bonus points for the woos who find Ph.D.s that are completely bogus or honorary and then don't understand why no one takes a Ph.D. from Homeopathy University seriously or that a honorary doctorate - even if from a real university - is just an award and does not mean the person has the same training as those who earn it.

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Old 23rd May 2009, 03:59 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by SlayerofCliffracers View Post
All the rules above, except maybe rule number 5, seem to work very well for Skeptics. Just in reverse often.
In reverse? What do you mean?
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Old 23rd May 2009, 06:14 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by orphia nay View Post
Thank you.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 09:28 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by orphia nay View Post
That's a good one. Also, The Woo Handbook.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 09:37 AM   #36
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There are no "rules for woo". That's the sheer beauty of it. That's why counter-woo argument is futile. Woos have the universal trump card that defeats all logic.

"Skeptics are closed minded".

End of discussion...
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Old 23rd May 2009, 02:29 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Manning View Post
OK I've been here for a week or so now. I've read hundreds of threads over time and had considerable fun. I've also seen regularly repeated patterns of "Woo behaviour". As an example if a skeptic makes a single mistake during a rebuttal (eg. provides an incorrect web link), this will be claimed to prove the entire counterargument is completely wrong.

Many of you will be familiar with the purported "Rules of the Internet", eg. Rule 34: "There is porn of it. No Exceptions."

I'm curious if a similar list of "Rules of Woo" has ever been compiled. It would certainly save time during arguments by simply being able to cite (eg) "Woo Rule 14".

On the chance no such list exists and there is shared enthusiasm, here are some candidate rules (feel free to expand, rewrite and tighten) :
  • A single piece of supporting evidence proves the truth of the entire Conspiracy
  • A single mistake by a person presenting a counter-argument refutes the entire counter-argument
  • Insistence on "only wanting to find the truth"
  • Insistence on being "impartial"
  • Vilification of all members of the "establishment" (however that is defined), combined with near-deification of anyone from this "establishment" who appears to lend even timid support to their position.

I like this list. It can also be applied to psuedoskeptics, which is just a form of woo in disguise.
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Old 23rd May 2009, 04:44 PM   #38
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Any one who demands that an argument must be logically coherent can be dismissed with the phrase "You just don't get it."
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Old 23rd May 2009, 04:49 PM   #39
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People who demand proof for a claim are advised to "just try it."
[As if the only way you can know faith healing is true or not is to test it out on yourself.]
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Old 23rd May 2009, 09:09 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by jakesteele View Post
I like this list. It can also be applied to psuedoskeptics, which is just a form of woo in disguise.
Refer to people you disagree with as pseudoskeptics.
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