The periodic table of irrational nonsense

From Crispian Jago (also available on mugs and tee shirts).  Click to enlarge.


  1. gillt
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Interesting to see conspiracy theory on there.

    Statistically speaking it probably belongs.

  2. NoAstronomer
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Il is the symbol for New World Order. Hilarious!!!

  3. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    This is quite like the similar table (which I believe was a Jago product too) where “the Electric Universe” was displayed as a common theory; no source criticism.

    Fore example, why is it that Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, “Zoroastrian”, “Sikhism”, et cetera places, but not Christianity or Catholicism?

    This is one WEIT article I can’t agree with, it is “irrational nonsense”.

    Btw, why the thread split (main article, enlarged table)? It is “irrational” too, or at least inconvenient.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 19, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      D’oh! It wasn’t in elemental order, I missed that. Also, the enlargement commenting facility is a previous “function”.

      Nothing to see here, please circulate.

      Q: When “Pseudoscience” nonsense psinates by reacting with the Psi column nonsense, is the “hoax” shell filled? The woo number reflects the nonsense “mass”, but I can’t see what would be the “charge”. Number of miracles?

      • Posted July 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s my problem with it too. Except that similar woo has been put together, it doesn’t map on to a real periodic table very well. You might say that woo is not periodic. (Otherwise it would be WOOooOOooOOoo…)

        • Michael Kingsford Gray
          Posted July 20, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink

          Oh Noes!
          Woo is not scientific!
          (Exits stage left onto fainting couch)

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted July 20, 2010 at 3:40 am | Permalink

          Shuggy, thanks, but I was tired and stressed, so I fucked up. It is really an awesome compilation as it is.

          Periodic, systematic, woo? Don’t say it’s soOOoo…!

    • Paul Grace
      Posted July 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      @Torbjörn Larsson:
      Christianity is immediately below Judaism. See “C”.

  4. Nathan H.
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    At Torbjörn Larsson, OM:

    Um, Christianity places immediately underneath Judaism. It’s symbol is C, it’s WOO-no is 31.

    Also, I think most atheists include Catholicism when they say Christianity, since Catholicism IS a sect of Christianity.

    • oldfuzz
      Posted July 19, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Interesting, but we Taoist Christians consider our religion to be non-rational meaning it is untouched by the rational which we embrace wholly.

      • Posted July 20, 2010 at 3:49 am | Permalink

        Though emotions/subjective experiences are non-rational, they however are not a body of information or knowledge.

        Knowledge is rational. All you are saying is that your religion is emotional or a subjective experience. It still does not get you off the rational hook by mixing up the non-rational with knowledge unless you actually do admit that your religion is just an emotional subjective experience, and nothing more, and certainly not a door to special knowledge.

        You embrace the rational when you want to fly a plane, how very convenient, but then decide that a subjective experience is the ticket for certain ‘kinds’ of knowledge. I call that intellectual dishonesty, mon grand.

        • oldfuzz
          Posted July 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Who said anything about knowledge, my interest in in the thoughts formed from experience which may or may not be seen as rational.

          When LaPlace developed his transforms there was no proof. Were they rational or non-rational at the time? Once the proofs had been determined they were rational.

          While the definition of knowledge can be slippery, I am confused by your reference in this post. The referenced chart poses a distinction between rational and irrational and cites many “elements” which are principally non-ratiol to serious adherents; e.g., Taoism, Buddhism and Christianity. That rationalists choose to attend to the “rational theists” which many modern religious ignore is their choice and leaves unaltered the premise on which these religions are based.

          That said, your view is valid for all who subscribe to it as I do not, but differences of opinio is the lifeblood of both the rational and non-rational.

  5. Posted July 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Aw man. I was hoping I had finally stumbled upon a esthetically pleasing periodic table of the elements. Do you know how hard it is to find a good periodic table that isn’t all pale pinks, yellows and blues? *gag*

    That aside, this is funny, very thorough.

  6. Posted July 19, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    This was quite clever. Outside of the profanity, I thought it was rather entertaining. 🙂

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  7. Todd
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I can’t believe that Fairies are included on this Periodic Table of Scientistic Anti-Religiousness. As a Fairyist, I am deeply offended and insulted by this flagrant display of Anti-Fairianism!
    This kind of anti-Fairy indoctrination is exactly the reason there are so many problems in our country today. Despite this kind of Marxist-Lennonist propaganda, the fact is that our Founding Fairyfathers established this nation on the principles of Fairy ideals, and the idea of a separation of Fairies and State is an invention of Fairy-hating revisionist censors using the schools and the media to systematically eliminate any reference to Fairies in books. It is a proven fact that Thomas Jefferson included the words “fairy” and “fairies” two hundred and seventy-three times in the Declaration of Independence, but greedy, power-mad scientists (and their various antifairite minions, goons, stooges, etc.,) stole the original, authentic Declaration in 1926 during President Johnson’s Great Leap Backward and replaced it with a forgery. The original was placed in a secret vault at M.I.T. in 1951 next to proof of the faked Apollo moon landings. If hate-filled Fairyless people like you hadn’t removed the reference to Fairies from the Pledge of Allegiance and made it a federal crime for young children to talk about Fairies, we wouldn’t have problems like crime, drugs, and dancing in our public schools. Plus, I feel sad for you that you are so blinded by your blatant Darwinistic scientism that you can’t see the hand of Fairies at work in this beautiful world all around us except in the schools.
    I’m sure you think this chart is very funny and that you and your friends are having fun sitting around making fun of me and my fellow Fairianists. I bet the literally millions of Fairyist scientists all over the world would be very surprised to learn that the Fairy-based science they have spent their careers producing is actually “irrational nonsense,” except that they’re probably not because no peer-reviewed journal will “stoop” to accept any of their science articles, which is why millions of Fairyist scientists have to work at places like that shop in the mall that sells incense and dragon sculptures and stuff just so they can feed their families.
    I hope your ACLU lawyers are ready to start working weekends, because this kind of libelous slander violates my constitutional right not to be offended. I hope the Supreme Court revokes your tenure and/or socks you with a huge fine! We’ll see how funny it is when the Fairies return to carry the Fairy Faithful home and all you so-called rational scientists are left here all alone with your fancy “graphing” calculators. In the meantime, I will leave an offering to the Fairies on a little tiny plate so that The Truth of The Fairies’ love, mercy, and forgiveness for all people even scientists might be revealed unto you.
    May The Fairies have mercy on the souls that you obviously don’t have.
    Best wishes!

    • KP
      Posted July 19, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      You aren’t busy enough if you had time to come up with all that…


      • Michael Kingsford Gray
        Posted July 20, 2010 at 2:55 am | Permalink

        I had a Bunyip in my bloody farm dam, mate. Just ask my daughter.
        Unusually, the Bunyip was a Russian émigré, name of Boris.
        Used to whinge a lot at night.
        “By” jove Watson: Elementary!

    • Delusional
      Posted July 20, 2010 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      This is officially on my list of the Top 5 Greatest Internet Comments I’ve Ever Read.

    • Mutating Replicator
      Posted July 20, 2010 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Well, now we are probably going to see this site come up higher in Google rankings for the search term “Fairy”!

  8. Posted July 19, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    This chart should be laminated and kept with one’s social security card for immediate reference.

  9. Insightful Ape
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Any libertarians here?
    I would like to add belief in invisible hand of the market to the list.

    • Michael Kingsford Gray
      Posted July 20, 2010 at 3:08 am | Permalink

      Ask Michael Shermer, or Pen Jillette, or Ronald Reagan.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 20, 2010 at 3:56 am | Permalink

      Not libertarian no, but statistics says free markets (combined with democracy) works swell.

      It is just that they aren’t the universal cornucopia of free gifts that one can envision. For a recent example of that, this video reference is awesome.

      It relates how, when basic needs are satisfied, studies (psychologists, sociologists, economists) all over the world shows that:

      – for mechanical tasks, rewards always work. I.e. money market.
      – for cognitive tasks, rewards don’t work. Instead, you need “autonomy, mastery, purpose” (as defined therein). I.e. no money market for this.

      Turns out, Star Trek was as correct about the “immediate future” of society as Wells in his time! People _do_ go on and work well after basic needs and menial tasks are no longer an issue. Or as the video says, it is “an odd socialist conspiracy”. 😀

      • Michael Kingsford Gray
        Posted July 20, 2010 at 4:23 am | Permalink

        “Not libertarian no, but statistics says free markets (combined with democracy) works swell.”

        Or is that a play on words?:
        Swell = Unlimited Growth = Utterly Impossible

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted July 20, 2010 at 5:37 am | Permalink

          Ref: Roslings 1st TED talk, I believe.

          “adj. swell·er, swell·est Informal
          1. Fashionably elegant; stylish.
          2. Excellent; wonderful: had a swell time. [TheFreeDictionary.]

          • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
            Posted July 20, 2010 at 5:51 am | Permalink

            Oops. Wrong and cryptic. That is Hans Rosling’s talk (he with Gapminder statistics). My memory is that the poorest nations have closed the gap in the earlier bimodal distribution, making a more “normal” distribution.

  10. roadrider
    Posted July 19, 2010 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I see “conspiracy theories” represented in the chart. This is an odd inclusion being that conspiracies are not exactly unknown. This is like saying that scientific theories are irrational because many of them turn out to be wrong (i.e., not supported by evidence).

    I presume the author of this chart is referring to things such as the claims of 9/11 “truther” and theories regarding political assassinations. Well, I don’t buy into much that 9/11 truthers say but 9/11 was a committed by a conspiracy of terrorists recruited and sponsored by Al Qaeda – no?

    As for assassinations, President Lincoln was assassinated as the result of a conspiracy (even though only one man actually shot him). President DeGaulle of France was the subject of more than one assassination attempt conducted by a conspiracy of disaffected, right-wing Army officers. The US engaged in a conspiracy in which CIA officials enlisted the aid of Cuban exiles and Mafia bosses to attempt the assassination of Fidel Castro. President Diem of South Vietnam was done in by a conspiracy supported and given tacit approval by the CIA. And, of course, there’s ample evidence that the official stories of lone gunmen assassinating John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King are not supported by (and are in fact contradicted by) the evidence leaving criminal conspiracies as the only viable explanation (unless of course you have three more lone nuts available to pin the blame on).

    A conspiracy theory, like any other theory, is only irrational if it is unsupported by evidence. Sure, there are a lot of “conspiracy theories” that are ridiculous or just plain wrong. It does not follow that ALL such theories are by definition wrong or irrational. It’s a matter of the evidence not the nature of the theory.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted July 20, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      There is a definite difference between conspiracy ideas and conspiracies though.

      The former are simplistic and made to be untestable – “conspiracy ideas are the least likely explanation”. The later are messy and often found out.

  11. Matti K.
    Posted July 20, 2010 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    How strident!

  12. Adey
    Posted July 20, 2010 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    But this chart makes the meaning of life, the universe and everything to be Orgone Energy…. Oh, I get it.

  13. qbsmd
    Posted July 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Pareidolia, 112? I’m pretty sure that’s a real phenomenon.

  14. Posted November 7, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Awesome post. I should put this on my wall.

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