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Illustration: Jonathon Rosen "A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away.
In Depth › Opinion Why do some of us reject consensus on a whole range of scientific findings? As Professor Stephan Lewandowsky explains, it often comes down to the way we look at the world.
Mantex > Tutorials > 19C Literature > What is close reading? – guidance notes a brief guide to advanced reading skills Close reading – explained
Mar 28 2013 Do 97% of UK Doctors Prescribe Placebos? A recently published survey at PLOS One of UK primary care doctors reports that 97% have prescribed an “impure placebo” at least once in their career. Most news reporting of this survey leave off the “impure” bit. Let’s take a closer look at what this means. The survey asked about “pure” placebos, which are inactive sugar pills or a similar inactive treatment, and “impure” placebos, which are effective medicines given in a way that might not have a clinical effect.
What happens when scientific investigation gives us a conclusion we do not like, for example: prayer does not physically heal anyone ( or else makes things worse for the patient being prayed for ), homeopathy’s only effect is to pay a charlatan, and “Mother” Earth is finding smarter ways to kill us ? What happens when evidence conclusively shows that what we thought is precisely or almost the opposite of what is true ? Do we load our guns of conformity, light the canons of outrage, and march on?
This article has been subject to a clarification by the author. You can read the full clarification here . Two years ago Oxford University neuroscientist Prof. Dorothy Bishop established the Orwellian Prize for Journalistic Misrepresentation of a scientific paper in a national newspaper, judged according to the number of factual errors in the piece. The prize is awarded based on a scoring system of a point per error in the body of the piece, two points per error in the subtitle and three points per error in the headline. This year the Daily Mail took the prize with a blinding twenty-three points in one article.
When a statement is considered true because it's made by someone who is considered an "authority" on the topic. Structure: Source A says that "Q" is true. Source A is authoritative. Therefore, "Q" is true. Example: "My doctor says taking St John's Wart everyday will make me less depressed.
T here are many forms of logical fallacy, errors, and mistakes of reason. In addition to this many fallacies co-exist and network together in yet further complex combinations. The net consequence of this is a conviction and feeling of coherence in the views being held - a sense of things making sense! This feeling of 'everything making sense' in the absence of any evidence, logic or reason, is an illusion based in the collective impact of unstructured thought. The level of the delusion is often far greater than the sum of its underlying parts.
March 2008 The web is turning writing into a conversation. Twenty years ago, writers wrote and readers read.
Structure of a Logical Argument Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, our arguments all follow a certain basic structure. They begin with one or more premises, which are facts that the argument takes for granted as the starting point. Then a principle of logic is applied in order to come to a conclusion.
The Internet has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments. You can't post a video of an adorable kitten without a raging debate about pet issues spawning in the comment section . These days, everyone is a pundit. But with all those different perspectives on important issues flying around, you'd think we'd be getting smarter and more informed.
Contents: Introduction This is a guide to using logical fallacies in debate. And when I say "using," I don't mean just pointing them out when opposing debaters commit them -- I mean deliberately committing them oneself, or finding ways to transform fallacious arguments into perfectly good ones.
What do people do when confronted with scientific evidence that challenges their pre-existing view? Often they will try to ignore it, intimidate it, buy it off, sue it for libel or reason it away. The classic paper on the last of those strategies is from Lord, Ross and Lepper in 1979: they took two groups of people, one in favour of the death penalty, the other against it, and then presented each with a piece of scientific evidence that supported their pre-existing view, and a piece that challenged it; murder rates went up or down, for example, after the abolition of capital punishment in a state. The results were as you might imagine. Each group found extensive methodological holes in the evidence they disagreed with, but ignored the very same holes in the evidence that reinforced their views. Some people go even further than this when presented with unwelcome data, and decide that science itself is broken.
Last night at #nwc36 we were talking about evodevo, and one of the topics that came up was the importance of Drosophila reasearch in providing the foundation for comparative genetic analysis…which led to Sarah Palin. Remember Palin’s ignorant mockery of fruit fly research ? This is what we get from the Republican party. Now Michelle Malkin’s blog chimes in with a similar complaint. John Logsdon got an NSF award to study reproduction in snails.