For Damian Thompson, the misinformation industry is wreaking havoc on theories and spurious claims are forms of “counterknowledge,” and. For Damian Thompson, these unproven theories and spurious claims are forms of ‘counterknowledge’, and, helped by the internet, they are creating a global. Damian Thompson has invented a new word for this – “counterknowledge” – and has tried to give the whole flabby concept a bit of shape.

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The prevalence of untested, unproven “alternative therapies” which he refers to as “Quack remedies”from homeopathy to reflexology to aromatherapy.


What he does is rant for a couple hundred pages about trends that annoy him: Admittedly, this book’s tone could be categorized as alarmist, but I think that may not be entirely uncalled for.

In the world of counterknowledge, wild theories are constantly mating ciunterknowledge mutating. Don’t bother reading it.

This situation is not a question of pure abstract belief counterknowlexge nor necessarily with any belief in the usual sense. Although not as overtly obnoxious as – say – Christopher Hitchens or Richard Dawkins, in his more recent writingshe doesn’t manage to avoid the trap of self-righteous superiority.

Creation “science””intelligent design” and the assorted shenanigans of evolution-bashers.

Which would be OK if he didn’t then go on to establish that almost all of the anti-Darwinist propaganda promulgated in the name of Islam is the product of a single individual. To attack fringe religions and superstitions might lead him into territory where he is forced to cast into doubt his own religious views.

We elect politicians to improve our lot, not to educate us. Only controlled explosions could do that. However such an essentially untestable view is arrived at, it cannot contradict natural science.


Ironically, he mentions and himself declares unsatisfying the more sociological account that counterknowledge speaks to direct human emotinal insecurities rather than intellect. But we should go further than this: He goes on to assert that the damage of Creation Science is limited within the United States because it is still “essentially located within the American cultic milieu”, while “Islamic creationism” by contrast is a unified and increasingly influential component of a wider Islamic worldview”.

Nov 18, James added it. In New Humanist magazine, A. Reviewed by Tim Wilkinson I. Seeing the source of the spread of counterknowledge in the decreasing role of institutions like church and family, and the rise of postmodernism, Thompson sheds much heat but little light on the age-old phenomenon of human gullibility and its exploitation.

Get to Know Us. And the essence of this methodology is our ability to show that a particular proposition is false – that is, that there are no data making it probable.

It was written for somebody who already believed that this counterknowledge was pseudoscience–that audience was invited to sneer and deride. This is concerned at most with what we are in a position to know or to be sure of rather than what is true or false. The interesting – but potentially controversial – middle ground is simply ignored. But some thought on his part might have led him to reflect that in cases where there is something to explain, gaps can be filled in by some means other than gathering more evidence.

Another example is for medicine and how the MMR vaccine is linked to autism.

There is no shortcut. The police inquiry has resulted in no publicised information. The next president of the US might be creationist Mike Huckabee, tuompson, before he stood down, could have been Mitt Romney, who as a Mormon presumably believes that in BC the American continent was colonised by folk from the suburbs of the Tower of Babel; the proof is in gold tablets revealed in by the Angel Moroni. Marketing phenomena such as “The Secret”, dubious dietary supplements, QLink bracelets with crystal-based ‘healing powers’.


On the contrary, it is a coherent and legitimate argumentative move. As the editor of Skeptic magazine, Michael Shermer, puts it: Thompson also rehearses another variant of his misunderstanding of evidence and truth, asserting an equivalence between falsehood and lack of evidence.

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Culture Wars: Counterknowledge

Conclusion Thompson portrays the current climate as one in which a new surge of irrationality threatens progress, but his evidence for this is scant. The natural sciences are a very successful but unfinished project, and not all questions can be reduced to them. A work of history is to be judged on its historical merit, commonly on the basis of peer review.

A far more serious flaw throughout the book is what I counterknowedge only term a persistent anti-Islamic strain, which is hard to ignore, and seems particularly unfortunate given the author’s position as editor-in-chief of The Dqmian Herald.

Lies, damn lies and ‘counterknowledge’

The middle-class adolescents who are attracted, in their intellectually playful years, to the nonsensical extremes of cultural theory are unlikely to do countekrnowledge harm with it once they leave the student bar behind.

Buy the selected items together This item: Does that make me counter-ignorant? He shows how professional tricksters without any professional credentials have hijacked discussion on nutrition, medicine and vaccination.