Butterflies and Wheels

Butterflies and Wheels is one of my favorite websites. It's a skeptical website specifically set up to counter politically-motivated pseudoscience and epistemic relativism in the humanities (or what they refer to as "Fashionable Nonsense"). I've had it bookmarked for several months now and routinely check it at least a couple of times a week. It's very gratifying to see that they appear to like me there too. In fact, one of my articles (What is an altie?) has recently been reprinted there. (Shameless plug: Check out the comments, where a couple of readers have added some additional suggestions. Feel free to add your own, if you like.) B&W was an early booster of this blog. I still have no idea how on earth they ever found it, but I'm glad they did.

There are two things on B&W that I strongly recommend to anyone reading this. The first is The Fashionable Dictionary, which defines terms as used by people with a tendency towards "woolly thinking," like alties. Example:

Something to be examined when it is our opponent's and taken for granted when it is our own.

As you will see, these definitions can be very helpful in countering the "arguments" of pseudoscientists and alties. They are also helpful for those of us of a skeptical bent, to try to keep us "honest" by pointing out ways we can go astray in our arguments without necessarily realizing it. The other section is The Woolly-Thinker's Guide to Rhetoric. After reading these techniques, you too can argue like a pseudoscientist, pseudohistorian, or altie! Or, if you're like me, recognizing these techniques can allow you to point them out and thus counter them.

In addition, B&W links to all sorts of interesting articles countering or demonstrating politically motivated pseudoscience or ideology trumping evidence.


  1. Congrats on getting your article on B&W; that looks like a neat site.

    Minor note: It looks like your link to Butterflies and Wheels is mis-formed (double http).

  2. Thanks.

    I fixed the problem, BTW. (That's what I get for not previewing my post and testing all the links to make sure they work.)


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