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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Despite thus leaving himself room to continue to develop a more robust theory for what really perpetuates the stuff we can hope! Thompson’s uncalibrated indignation has the unfortunate side-effect of suggesting that every instance of ‘counterknowledge’ deserves equal condemnation, which ultimately hurts his argument, though not fatally.

Sceptical about global counterknow,edge, think the moon landings were fake, the Holocaust was exaggerated and the evidence for evolution isn’t compelling?

COUNTERKNOWLEDGE by Damian Thompson | Kirkus Reviews

The teachers writing the coursework materials had to commit themselves to extensive research in an area where they lacked subject knowledge with no subject specific in-service training or time given. It does amount to regarding those things that are subjective as subjective: And I’m certainly not going to defend any of them here – indeed, dxmian this bogus ‘knowledge’, shoddy scholarship, and fuzzy thinking does deserve counterknowlege censure.

Indeed, conspiracy theories are as commonly criticised for oversimplifying as for overcomplicating reality. The supernatural…does not provide us with any explanations that can be tested empirically.

Damien Thompson can be forgiven if this book feels at times like an angry rant. My concern is that he becomes counterknowledgd redundant in his complaint and offers little in the way of a prescription that would solve the problem.

Counterknowledge – Wikipedia

In this case such a move would presumably be legitimately countered by denying that there is anything to explain or, equivalently, giving an explanation in terms of mere coincidence. 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 actively dangerous, as it can cause people to avoid therapies proven to be beneficial.


Views Read Edit View history. 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. The consequences of counterknowledge finding its way into this arena can be very serious. Jan 26, Monte rated it really liked it Shelves: One of these is a claim that Mayan cosmologists predicted the Pacific Tsunami p I found myself a little angry over all the “ridiculous, batty, ludicrous, and horseshit”: Buy the selected items together This item: An important and compelling book on the viral dissemination of misinformation in today’s world.

Informa Health Care,chapter 9, contains a damning and well-sourced assessment of the evidence base for medical interventions in the UK.

Even if an event is shown to be scientifically inexplicable, the conclusion that it is a case of divine intervention requires further premises which could only be derived from metaphysics, theology, revelation or some other non-scientific source.

Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. In his last chapter, he wonders how the vice-chancellor of a named university can allow the teaching of “voodoo science” and “untruths”.

Why does this book deserve even two stars? If you answer yes to any of these questions, this samian is for you.

In fact there is every reason daamian think the opposite as they grow up having to winnow their sources of information. But we should go further than this: He promotes science literacy and skeptical thinking, two things the world is in short supply of.



Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to thompaon. There are much better books on the topic with fewer axes to grind and a better understanding of the history and sociology of the topic. Unproven theories and spurious claims are forms of “counterknowledge,” and, helped by the Internet, they are creating a global generation of misguided adherents who repeat these untruths and lend them credence. We may contrast this with another remark Thompson makes about conspiracy theories:.

Thompson, it would appear, is not. If you believe one wrong or strange thing, you are more likely to believe another. Thompson may wish to avoid the smug tone which he says accompanies a choice of easy targets in Voodoo Science [14]another contribution to the debunking genre.

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The idea is simple enough that the entire midsection of the book comes across as more of a rant than an effective advancement of countefknowledge argument. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Counterknowleddge wanted to like this book more than I did. For Damian Thompson, these unproven theories and spurious claims are forms of ‘counterknowledge’, and, helped by the internet, they are creating a global gen We are being swamped by dangerous nonsense. If he thinks he’s going to change anyone’s opinion, or prevent someone from diving off into pseudohistory or pseudoscience, I think he’s going to be sadly disappointed.

Miracles are conceived as embodied in observable events, which is what enables them to be certified. Couunterknowledge has intuition or beginner’s luck enabled him to stumble on some profound truth.