The Dysology Hypothesis

Letting scholars get away with publishing fallacies and myths signals to others the existence of topics where guardians of good scholarship might be less capable than elsewhere. Such dysology then serves as an allurement to poor scholars to disseminate existing myths and fallacies and to create and publish their own in these topic areas, which leads to a downward spiral of diminishing veracity on particular topics.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Supermyths News Page

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Sunday, 14 January 2018

On Supermyths

This article describes the distinguishing characteristics of the supermyth and its even more influential sub-type: the braced myth. In addition, it provides links to the papers first written on the first three supermyths named: The Spinach Myth, The Zombie Cop Myth and The Crime Opportunity Myth.

On Supermyths

Mike Sutton is the author of Nullius in Verba - a book where every fact is independently verifiable and fully referenced.
‘Nullius’ will subject you to a significant bombardment of new Big Data discovered,previously hidden book evidence, to uniquely 'prove' two key things far more likely than not:
1. That, contrary to prior knowledge-beliefs, Patrick Matthew's 1831 book - containing what Darwinists such as Richard Dawkins (in Bryson 2010    ) admit was the first and only pre-1858 complete hypothesis of natural selection - DID influence the pre-1859 published work of both Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace on the topic of organic evolution and natural selection theory.
2. That Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace each, independently, plagiarized the theory of natural selection from Patrick Matthew and then lied when each claimed no prior knowledge of it.
Useful websites on the story of Darwin and Matthew

What are supermyths and braced myths?

Supermyths, of which braced myths are a sub-type - are ironic unintended, or else a deliberate and disingenuous, consequences of fallacy dissemination. Supermyths have three very specific components:
  1. the creation of a fallacy, myth or error by an orthodox expert
  2. it being used by another expert who in turn promotes it as being ‘true’ and
  3. whilst still thinking that it is true, promotes it as a good example of the need to be healthily sceptical of bad scholarship. Moreover, fourthly:
  4. Braced myths are supermyths that have been pointedly deployed by orthodox scholars in order to bust another specific myth or fallacy. The braced myth hypothesis is that using one myth as a specific mythbusting device in this way braces the supermyth to make it further entrenched and therefore more difficult to prevent it being credulously disseminated as veracious knowledge.
What do we know about the impact of modern myths on society by way of their misinforming and therefore misdirecting central and local policy making, professional practice, teaching, learning and the media?
The above question is of core importance in a topical area that is likely to grow in popularity, not least because international recognition of the importance of veracity in a wide variety of areas is reflected in a growth industry of recent publications that both inform and reflect the increasing number of experts and the international growth of interest groups promoting anti-quackery and skeptical inquiry in the natural and social sciences.
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What is a supermyth?

I developed the concept of Supermyths from studying the literature on the importance of veracity in science. Essentially, supermyths are myths that are, with great unintended irony, credulously believed by scholars and used by them to argue for the need to be sceptical of widely accepted myths and fallacies. To date I have identified four supermyths - the Spinach Myth, the Zombie Cop Myth , Crime Opportunity Myth and the Semmelweis Myth.
The modern myth is defined simply as a widely believed falsehood, which sets it apart from the older notion of myths as stories that are understood at some level to represent deep and enduring truths about social, spiritual or other psychological conditions of mankind. I hypothesize that the supermyth is a most powerfully influential sub-type of the modern notion of myth.
The starting point of a supermyth is when an orthodox expert in its subject area publishes a statement of purported fact that is based upon an error in reasoning (fallacy) or else upon a factual error. That published claim then takes on a life of its own as it is credulously reinforced as veracious by numerous orthodox respected sceptics who each cite it unquestioningly in their own scholarly publications, in newspaper articles, on television and websites
According to my thesis, what sets my idea of supermyths apart from other fallacies and myths serves as a unique and timely warning for those promoting the virtues of skeptical inquiry, because the great irony is that, unlike ordinary myths, supermyths are created by respected orthodox scholars and then credulously disseminated by other experts distinctively in the spirit of promoting skeptical enquiry.
As if the existence of supermyths is not enough to be sceptically concerned about, I have refined the concept further by way of the identification of what I call braced myths. Braced myths are supermyths that have been reinforced by other scholars in that they have not just been disseminated by but also been utilised by credulous experts who have erroneously deployed them as ‘argument winners’ to bust other myths. By using a myth to bust a myth, I argue, these experts have braced the supermyth by dint of such powerful association with expert myth busting verity. Put simply, a braced myth is influential counterknowledge (misinformation packaged to look like fact) that is created by an expert authority and then believed by credulous yet highly influential skeptics who fail to adequately check its accuracy by way of primary data sources and/or fail also to question the rationality of its premises and also promote it as veracious ‘knowledge’. Finally, with unintended irony, they ignorantly deploy it as an intellectual myth busting weapon targeted at specific knowledge claims made by others.
The Spinach Myth is the first supermyth discovered and also the first braced myth. This widely believed falsehood goes as follows: A published 19th century decimal point error in the iron levels of spinach led bio-chemists to reprint the error without checking the iron levels of spinach for themselves leading to generations of children being forced to eat unpalatable spinach, above other tastier leafy vegetables, for no good reason and this ten-fold error is the reason that Popeye ate spinach for strength.
The Spinach Myth was finally busted after I was kindly assisted by clues provided by a friendly US skeptic who emailed me after reading my initial publication of a primary research paper that first bust the Popeye part of the myth. Further research led me to discover that it appears to have been first created by Professor Arnold Bender (an orthodox nutrition expert) at his inaugural lecture at Queen Elizabeth College, London in 1972 and then spread by many other respected academics, who, believing it to be true but not checking the facts, used it unwittingly in what ironically turns out to be a number of deeply embarrassing, hypocritical and self-defeating exhortations of the general need to be healthily skeptical by always checking the primary sources of claims made by others. The myth was then braced when a number of other credulous 'skeptics' portrayed it as an exemplar of veracious knowledge to criticize various specific research findings.
I have written several articles on the Spinach Myth: the first one as a primary research paper   on the importance of adequate citation and the second, which completely busted the myth here on Best Thinking.

Other Supermyths

The second braced myth that I have discovered is the only other known example of the braced myth sub-type identified to date. I named it the Zombie Cop Myth, and this one is a widely believed myth about beat policing.

Unlike the Spinach Myth, which is solely based upon an error of fact, the Zombie Cop Myth is based upon a fallacy and an error of fact combined. It started with a combination of completely unrealistic assumptions about the nature of foot patrol beat policing that was used to inform a mere exercise in arithmetic ‘on the back of an envelope’ to seek to demonstrate a lack of efficiency of beat policing. An error of fact was then made by many others that a published claim made by the authors of that exercise, on the bases of that exercise, reflected research findings from an empirical study of real police officers on the beat
.My jointly authored paper on this myth explains in detail its origin, where and how often it has been perpetuated, how it has been used, and most curiously how it has begun to mutate.You can read about it here on best thinking.
Further details on (1) Darwin's Finches and (2) the Patrick Matthew supermyths can be found here.   The third supermyth that I have identified is the myth that the widely accepted Routine Activities Theory and Situational Crime Prevention Theory notion of opportunity can be a cause of crime. Myth busting Crime Opportunity theory with logic reveals precisely how the widely accepted criminological notion of crime opportunity is based upon a simple error of reasoning. In a number of papers on the subject I have discussed the harmful implications for society of basing such theories upon irrational premises, or within irrational frameworks for theory building. I would recommend my paper Opportunity Does Not Make the Thief as a useful place to begin reading abut the Crime Opportunity Myth.


Here on Best Thinking, I have revealed the existence of three influential examples of counterknowledge, which I have so far discovered, where highly respected experts - whose work is in turn supported by respected scholars in the same field - all failed to check the evidence and have been found to have accidentally created what appear to be influential supermyths. More research is required to seek likely causes and to understand the nature, known progress and impact of such myths.
It is my hypothesis that supermyths are particularly deeply socially and academically embedded and harder therefore to limit than other modern myths. Furthermore, supermyths remind all who promote themselves as experts in their field to pay more attention to fact checking primary sources, providing adequate citation to statements of fact and to consider more thoroughly the premises upon which accepted theories and approaches are built.
I began this brief article with a question and so it seems fitting to end it with another. The particularly telling question I would like to ask here is designed in part to serve as an embedded warning of the dangers of failing to check primary sources and of taking for granted the premises of theories. It is this: Might braced myths, such as the Spinach Myth and the Zombie Cop Myth, rank among the most exquisitely ironic discoveries of the unintended consequences of mankind’s purposive action?

Beware of Book Pirates

Beware Criminal Hackers, Cyberstalkers, Book Pirating Copyright Fraudsters and Criminal Identity Fraudsters

Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret 600-page Kindle e-book. Currently unavailable due to ongoing investigations into criminal book piracy, copyright fraud, cyberstalking, criminal malicious communications, malware dissemination and ID fraud by cybercriminals who have hacked it and those who are disseminating illegal hacked versions of it.

From November 2017, you are advised not to download any version of this e-book, because the file is likely to be infected with hacker malware by those sharing and disseminating the hacked files. Moreover, the hacked content is likely to have been altered by the criminals involved.

Please purchase the official paperback abridged version from Amazon here. Paperback volumes 2 and 3 are forthcoming.

Paperback volume 1 of Nullius. Available from Amazon, all good bookshops
 and libraries worldwide

Thursday, 4 January 2018



Thursday, 4 January 2018


Thinker in Science / Social Sciences / Sociology
Mike Sutton
Mike Sutton
Dr Mike Sutton is the author of 'Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret'.

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I Strongly Suspect that Parasitical E-Piracy of its Books is Just one Reason Best Thinking has Felt Compelled to Close

Jan. 3, 2018 3:29 pm
Categories: Internet Anti-Crime
We need to bring e-pirates to book!
I believe that at least one of the reasons for Best Thinking closing is that its business model relied to a significant degree upon the long-tail publication model of e-books. That model would have been a winner had hackers not cracked Kindle and criminal book pirate websites such as Kiss-Library in Belorussia    and The Internet Archive    in the USA stolen the copyrighted original creative work of authors and their hardworking professional publishers. Like so many others, those two famous websites started collecting criminal revenue in sales or by parasitically begging the public for money for doing so.
In my opinion websites such as those need to have their owners, agents volunteers and employees brought to justice through government action, prosecution and punitive civil law suits.
How, otherwise, can Western industrialised nations such as the USA seek diplomatic solutions to the copyright theft endemic in China and elsewhere when the Internet Archive has US "not for profit" status for being a book pirate website? They are brazenly pirating and disseminating the Best Thinking published first edition ThinkerMedia e-book of Nullius in Verba: Darwin's greatest secret here.    So far, they are refusing to cease and desist.
Over the past few days, I have been in contact by email with The Internet Archive. They are playing what appears to me to all intents and purposes to be a transparent passive aggressive scam game with me by now asking for personal identification details including my home address and signature. They surely know that to be a typical scam artists "wear down the poor suckers ruse" because all the advice from experts in cybercrime is not to give out such information when asked for it by dodgy or clearly criminal organizations.
Accordingly, I have informed The Internet Archive by email, twice now, that I will not give them that sensitive information. I warned them I would pursue them through the federal, police, tax and civil law if they do not cease and desist pirating and disseminating the e-book (1st edition) and paperback (2nd edition) of my book “Nullius in Verba: Darwin’s greatest secret”.
The internet Archive, like, presents itself as a respectable and heroic freedom of access to information organisation. What they are doing in fact is bringing about the imminent demise of any new marketable e-books, and Kindle as a publishing platform, which is so obviously a very un-green thing to do.
We authors are not going to publish e-books when these parasites criminally steal them from us. Like most people, we do not choose to work for the benefit of criminals!
If you are as concerned as I am that we not let these parasitical pirates wreck a golden age of publishing before it fully takes off please disseminate what you have read here far and wide.
Please take a few minutes to take some action and inform the authorities and get it into the national news media and social media. All the proof you need is in the links provided in this blog regarding how Best Thinking's Thinker Media Inc. books have been pirated, but that is the tip of the iceberg only. There are many other victims.
The US citizens behind the brazen destructive parasitical piracy of my books openly flaunt their names and credentials on the Internet Here   . Surely, their arrogant swaggering juvenile kidult confidence cannot be justified by responsible adults with a sense of decently and equity for the rights of hardworking, original, creative authors and their publishers. The authorities have a responsibility to stop and punish book pirates.
Please assist me in bringing these stupidly selfish, harmfully parasitical and lazy anarchistic people to book.
Please follow and support my 2018 anti book piracy campaign on Twitter   

Saturday, 4 March 2017

On Truth