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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Why would a book like this not explain such simple and obvious concepts as why a clinical trial is superior to a case study in assessing the effectiveness of a medical treatment? You can read this book in two hours — it’s readable, concise, and devastating.

The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, denied the Holocaust, although his denial was later denied. This is one cool movie — and a masterpiece of counterknowledge. Perhaps they have a ‘problem with authority’ or a need to find meaning in things.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The fact that a subject is genuinely puzzling, that there are vast gaps in our coknterknowledge of it, does not lower the standard of evidence we require to fill in the gaps.


Not that there’s much wrong with “Counterknowledge” apart from the nagging suspicion that the former editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald might have a theological axe or two to grind against the authors of “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” ; it’s just that Wheen does a more elegant and entertaining job, damiam Shermer’s text is more scholarly and more thorough.

But more than ?

Thompson does an especially good job throughout the middle of the book on choosing his topics well: On the other hand there was an unknown risk of autism. This statement is riddled with misunderstandings.


His tone throughout is one of self-righteous superiority, with the result that after a couple of chapters, it’s like being trapped at a dinner party with a know-it-all guest – you don’t care how right he is – you just wish he’d shut up already. Much of this material has been covered in greater depth elsewhere; this is no hostile criticism, because Thompson’s book serves as an ideal introduction for those who haven’t read the fuller treatments.

Governments have used popular historical fi This book was not too bad, but could have been better. Amazon Second Chance Pass it on, trade it in, give it a second life. If Thompson really espouses the best of enlightenment values, he should heed the words of Immanual Kant: The snag about counterknowledge is that it depends on who’s counting.

Not only can a single observation if unambiguous and reliable falsify a well-established scientific theory, it can even more obviously disprove a hypothesis about particular facts.

His treatment of the mangling of science and promotion of rankest pseudoscience in the Islamic cultures is especially enlightening it led me to Pervez Hoodbhoy’s much more detailed treatment in Islam and Scienceas is his demolition of “Afrocentric history”, far too much of which is plain mythology I rushed out and bought Mary Lefkowitz’s Not Out of Africa for a more detailed treatment, and should be reading it shortly.

Why do people persist in believing outrageous things when the evidence of their invalidity is so easy to find? Does that make me counter-ignorant?

Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson

In fact he seems to have gleaned this formulation from page of a basic introductory textbook by Hospers, discussed below. Finally and perhaps most perniciously, Thompson swaddles his banalities, biases and dsmian in an impenetrable tangle of junk philosophy and sociological verbiage. Bogus science which denies the link between HIV and AIDS, or which makes unwarranted claims about a putative link between MMR vaccination and autism is clearly counterknowldge dangerous, as it can cause people to avoid therapies proven to be beneficial.


Thompon publishing houses, not wanting to be left behind in the money game, are actively encouraging conspiracy theorists and pseudo-scientists. I don’t think he wrote this book to convert anyone; I think he wrote it to be a quick read to raise awareness to a growing problem: Certainly those who pay for remedies which are ineffective – even as placebos – will be left out of pocket.

Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time” cover much of the same ground as Thompson’s short volume, and I’d recommend them both as being more counterknowledhe buys than his.

Traditional cultures have used herbs and potions that they’ve noticed work for some diseases over the years. There has been no public inquiry. Thompson’s claim that these disparate phenomena are unified by their common rejection of enlightenment methodology is one which, as I suggest in section IVhe is counterknowlevge to make.

: Counterknowledge (): Damian Thompson: Books

And neither is he, because he makes many assumptions about people’s motivations. One documented example, though by no means the most serious, is at http: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

It might be that the he’s a self-proclaimed conservative Catholic capitalist CCC? Pharmaceutical companies counternowledge millions of pounds in drugs that have only marginal effect on our health; according to GlaxoSmithKline, 90 per cent of drugs work in only 30 to 50 per cent of patients.