Skip to the content

Pseudoscience Quotes

[T]he persistent failures of controlled, double-blind experiments to support the claims of parapsychology suggest that what’s going on is nonsense rather than sixth sense.

Regarding the book, How to Defend Yourself Against Alien Abduction:

I bought it, I read it, and I heeded its advice. I remain unabducted.

On correlations between a full Moon and a high number of child-births:

Everyone says, Oh, it’s the gravity in the full Moon yanking the baby from the womb. I’m thinking maybe there’s another explanation. So if you look at the gestation period of the human female, it’s basically about 295 days. Not from their date of missed period, but from when you actually got pregnant. (…) How long is the average cycle between consecutive full Moons? 29-and-a-half days. So take 29-and-a-half days, multiply it by ten, you get 295 days. So if your child was born under a full moon, that just simply meant you got knocked up under a full moon, ok? And no one argues the romantic effects of a moonlit night.

But to measure cause and effect… you must ensure that a simple correlation, however tempting it may be, is not mistaken for a cause. In the 1990s the stork population of Germany increased and the German at-home birth rate rose as well. Shall we credit storks for airlifting the babies?

I’m a fan of the planets in any combination. When I was born, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, the Sun, and the Moon were all in the sky.

On crazy behavior associated with a full Moon:

People say, Oh they acted crazy, the Moon pulls the tides, the tides are made of water, the human body is mostly water, the Moon must affect the human body. (…) You can ask the question, what is the tidal force of the Moon on your cranium? (…) Because if that were severe, it could be messing with you, right? So you do the calculation, and it turns out, if you were one of these people who sleep with a lot of pillows, and one of the pillows is kind of leaning on your head overnight, the pressure from that pillow on your head is a trillion times greater than the tidal force of the Moon across your cranium. But nobody talks about the effects of down pillows on your behavior the next day.

Upon receiving a diagnosis of 6 months to live, but then your cancer goes into remission:

If you are that person, you are more likely to believe that God cured you, this invisible force, creator of the universe, cured you, than that you had three idiotic doctors diagnose you. (…) I taught physics to pre-med students who became doctors. Not all of them are smart, I assure you.

Regarding apocalyptic web links about 2012:

There’s no greater sign of the failure of the American educational system than the extent to which Americans are distracted by the possibility that Earth might end on December 21, 2012. It’s a profound absence of awareness of the laws of physics and how nature works. So they’re missing some science classes in their training in high school or in college that would empower [them] to understand and to judge when someone else is basically just full of it. Science is like an inoculation against charlatans who would have you believe whatever it is they tell you.

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Internet personality test, June 24, 2009