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Old 9th November 2012, 08:27 AM   #81
Moon-Spinner
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Double post. See below...

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Old 9th November 2012, 08:29 AM   #82
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"If evolution were true, then why don't humans have three arms by now?"

As stupid as this sounds, I actually heard somebody use this argument. It's another example of how ignorant some people can be when it comes to understanding how evolution works.
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:08 AM   #83
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to tie in to what Moon-Spinner said :

"where are the transitional fossils?"

like they expect to see a some half man half ape fossil,
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:14 AM   #84
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Anything with "sheeple" or "Kool-Aid" in it.
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:15 AM   #85
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Countering reasonable skepticism with "Oh yeah! Well prove you're not a brain in a jar!" style appeals to solipsism.
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:15 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
E.g., the same but with books or papers published in some obscure pseudoscience journals. Basically I'm not telling you what the argument is, but unless you read books A, B and C and disprove everything there, I win. Oh, you did? Have books D, E and F too.
I've seen that coming from both sides, to be fair.
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:20 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
TBH even vilifying D&D isn't as idiotic as the kind of mild stuff that people are made to announce as formerly serving Satan by some of the crazy 'born again' cults. E.g., if you remember Kurious Kathy, at one point she said she was a former servant of Satan because she did a bit of partying and stuff in her youth.
My sister-in-law (and therefore also now my brother) is a Jehovah's Witness. When she and my brother first got together, one of the things she made him do was to get rid of all of his videos that were 15 or 18 certificate and above.

She loved Disney, and pretty much all the DVDs their kids have are Pixar. I was round there once, about to watch a DVD with my nephew. Before the film started an advert for Kung-Fu Panda 2 came on. He laughed at the advert (which just featured Po talking to camera, rather than any footage from the film), then turned round to me seriously and said "I don't want to watch that, because good Jehovah's Witnesses don't like kung-fu".

It's crazy.
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:13 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, if I'm to give actual examples, most broken logic irritates me, but the two that take the cake are the ones that aren't even much of an argument at all. Fortunately, they're rare, but all the more annoying when they do rear their ugly head.

1. What I'd informally call an argument from distributed denial of service. The author isn't even making any particular argument towards the conclusion himself, but just shovels in a herculean and fully irrelevant task for you to do if you want to disagree with his delusion.

E.g., if you don't individually address each and every single apology on some site, or better yet on all sites, then the apologists win. Don't laugh, it's actually been done verbatim in the Religion And Philosophy forum. If pressed enough to actually have an argument at all, the one going for this argument will just post a list of 100 unrelated links, e.g., half the index of an apology site, without further explanation or even any comment for why exactly those are relevant (especially when they don't even cover the same topics.) But no matter how hare-brained, or irrelevant, or just some personal opinion of some nobody, if you don't take the task of disproving them all, then the cultists are right.

E.g., the same but with books or papers published in some obscure pseudoscience journals. Basically I'm not telling you what the argument is, but unless you read books A, B and C and disprove everything there, I win. Oh, you did? Have books D, E and F too.

I believe "Gish gallop" is the generally-accepted term for the tactic you're describing.

It was indeed named after an infamous Creationist apologist who would routinely cram a huge number of spurious, fallacious, and irrelevant arguments into every debate. This tactic is an intentional exploitation of the imbalance of resources between flippantly rattling off false or erroneous claims, versus the significant time, effort, and data required to address them all.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:11 PM   #89
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"Neanderthal Man was just deformed human, ergo, Neanderthal never existed and evolution is a lie."

"Piltdown Man was a hoax, ergo, all evidence of prehistoric man are hoaxes, and evolution is a lie."

I've heard these arguments over and over again...
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:25 PM   #90
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"Show me the one peer review paper that proves [insert complex system science here]"
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:26 PM   #91
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Not an argument, but . . .

"Did you hear/see that!?"

No, I didn't.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:37 PM   #92
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Does the argument from DDoS count if, on an extended rant discussion, you keep track of and refute individual points, then refer back to a site or post that lists all of them and their refutations whenever the debater claims you haven't responded to a particular point? DH is arguing with a Planet X believer, and has gone through all the believer's posts, individually refuting each one. Whenever the True Believer claims "You haven't addressed (insert fallacy here), DH points back to the list and says, "Yes I did; here it is." This causes large amounts of spittle flinging and other frothing.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:44 PM   #93
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"Oh yeah, everything has to be proven to you before you believe anything!"

Spit this out with disdain dripping from your face and you have the reaction I actually got when an acquaintance told me to try something sCAM-related (it would transfer fat to the kidneys so you can pee it out, and I did not buy that, being a biologist and all).
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:33 PM   #94
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:58 PM   #95
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:29 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by StankApe View Post
to tie in to what Moon-Spinner said :

"where are the transitional fossils?"

like they expect to see a some half man half ape fossil,
Or worse: A crocoduck. I'm not making this up!
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:31 PM   #97
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Crocoduck is probably wrapping shooting and will be ready for broadcast on the SyFy channel in March
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:14 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Or worse: A crocoduck. I'm not making this up!
I honestly don't know why people refuse to believe in the crocoduck. The fossil evidence is pretty damned overwhelming.
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Old 9th November 2012, 08:22 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
I believe "Gish gallop" is the generally-accepted term for the tactic you're describing.

It was indeed named after an infamous Creationist apologist who would routinely cram a huge number of spurious, fallacious, and irrelevant arguments into every debate. This tactic is an intentional exploitation of the imbalance of resources between flippantly rattling off false or erroneous claims, versus the significant time, effort, and data required to address them all.
Ah, you beat me to it.

Yes, I see this a lot with truthers, but all sorts (even skeptics) do it.

It's good to be aware of the tactic so that one doesn't trip up and do the same thing oneself.


Also, regarding Hans' second example of the numerous books demanding to be read, I think PZ Myers or Dawkins came up with "The Emperor's New Clothes Fallacy" to describe that.

We don't need to study the fabric, thread, design and history of fashion influences of a garment that clearly doesn't exist.

ETA: It was PZ Myers, and he called it The Courtier's Reply.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2...urtiers-reply/
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Courtier's_Reply

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Old 10th November 2012, 12:07 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
I believe "Gish gallop" is the generally-accepted term for the tactic you're describing.

It was indeed named after an infamous Creationist apologist who would routinely cram a huge number of spurious, fallacious, and irrelevant arguments into every debate. This tactic is an intentional exploitation of the imbalance of resources between flippantly rattling off false or erroneous claims, versus the significant time, effort, and data required to address them all.
Well, technically it IS a sub-category of the Gish Gallop, but even in the run-of-the-mill Gish Gallop the speaker is at least implicitly telling you what the arguments are. It may be a heap of nonsense, but, you know, at least telling you what the nonsense is and took the time to at least put together his own bullet list of nonsense.

In the rare specimens I'm talking about, you're generally not even told which the arguments are, and often it's clear that the one making that argument hasn't read them either. Like for example in the case with the book that wasn't even out yet. You're just given a list of links, or better yet one link to the index of an apology site, and that was it. You must do the whole work from there.

Basically it's not even an argument or a debate, as just handing you over a herculean task to keep you out of the way.
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Old 10th November 2012, 06:35 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by HansMustermann View Post
Well, technically it IS a sub-category of the Gish Gallop, but even in the run-of-the-mill Gish Gallop the speaker is at least implicitly telling you what the arguments are. It may be a heap of nonsense, but, you know, at least telling you what the nonsense is and took the time to at least put together his own bullet list of nonsense.

In the rare specimens I'm talking about, you're generally not even told which the arguments are, and often it's clear that the one making that argument hasn't read them either. Like for example in the case with the book that wasn't even out yet. You're just given a list of links, or better yet one link to the index of an apology site, and that was it. You must do the whole work from there.

Basically it's not even an argument or a debate, as just handing you over a herculean task to keep you out of the way.
I think I'd call that the Christmas Pony argument: "There's so much manure, there must be a pony around here somewhere!"
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Old 10th November 2012, 08:57 PM   #102
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Old 10th November 2012, 09:08 PM   #103
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It's probably been mentioned but, "there are scientist who say [fill in the woo blank]".
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Old 11th November 2012, 12:06 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by TjW View Post
I think I'd call that the Christmas Pony argument: "There's so much manure, there must be a pony around here somewhere!"
I like that one. Is it yours?
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Old 11th November 2012, 02:03 AM   #105
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"X answers those questions that science can't."

or similar, but even more offensive

"X and science are just two different approaches to answering the same questions."

"X" being anything from ancient wisdom to certain philosophies to religion to modern "outside-the-box" thinking. My problem with this argument is just how deceptively it assumes the premise that X actually does provide *any* answers at all, which more often than not is simply not the case. God/magic/random sophistry/quantum mysticism are not answers.
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Old 11th November 2012, 08:51 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
I like that one. Is it yours?
Well, it's an old, old joke. As far as using it as a designation for an argument, I didn't hear it from anyone else.
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Old 11th November 2012, 08:55 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by Atwill View Post
"X answers those questions that science can't."

or similar, but even more offensive

"X and science are just two different approaches to answering the same questions."

"X" being anything from ancient wisdom to certain philosophies to religion to modern "outside-the-box" thinking. My problem with this argument is just how deceptively it assumes the premise that X actually does provide *any* answers at all, which more often than not is simply not the case. God/magic/random sophistry/quantum mysticism are not answers.
Anything can provide answers. Magic 8-ball, anyone?
The difference is that science provides a way to know if the answers are correct.
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Old 11th November 2012, 09:17 AM   #108
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From cryptozoologists:

"They haven't found [insert cryptid here] because there's no funding."

From ancient aliens theorists:

"We can't replicate that with today's technology."

From climate change critics

"It warmed naturally in the past, therefore humans can't have be responsible now."
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Old 11th November 2012, 09:48 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by TjW View Post
Anything can provide answers. Magic 8-ball, anyone?
The difference is that science provides a way to know if the answers are correct.
Well, I don't think claims with indeterminable veracity or no explanatory value whatsoever actually qualify as "answers", but that's just semantics.
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:06 AM   #110
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My wife's woo-crazy friend (seriously, this chick is the template for Storm from that Tim Minchin video) dropped this quote:

Quote:
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer
Except she attributed the quote to Ghandi.

Also, this was her argument in defense of using a product called Asea, even after I'd pointed out it's nothing but salt water with a dash of chlorine thrown in.
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Old 12th November 2012, 11:57 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Ron_Tomkins View Post
Well, mine isn't so much a catch phrase as much as it is a common argument I have whenever I argue on the topic of what being closed minded is.

On another forum, I've been arguing what a closed minded person was. There's this individual who says she will not date anyone who doesn't agree with her political beliefs. I said on a thread I made, that I find that to be closed minded, because you're deciding a priori, that you won't give any person who doesn't agree with your beliefs, even the chance of getting to know them.

So this person who disagrees with me gave me the old, stupid analogy, of the person who doesn't like avocado and thus, decides he will never eat avocados, and why that wouldn't mean that they are close minded. Which is of course a stupid analogy, because if you don't like avocado once, you know every single time you have another one, what it's going to taste like. All avocados taste pretty much the same. Not the case with this thing we call human beings. Not all Republicans, for instance, are the same. Not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. Not all Capitalists believe that money is the ultimate goal. So to scrap out human individuals based on a generic Ideology is closed minded on two instances: 1) because you're closing access to a great percentage of people based on a pigeonhole mentality. 2) Because such mentality actually does not reflect the reality you live in.

So I would say the "food" analogy is one of the arguments I am most tired of hearing.

I find avocados to be way more variable than Republicans.
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:00 PM   #112
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I'm actually not tired of this one at all, because it never fails to crack me up:

"If mankind evolved from apes, then how come apes still exist?"
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:17 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by John Albert View Post
I'm actually not tired of this one at all, because it never fails to crack me up:

"If mankind evolved from apes, then how come apes still exist?"
Cracks me up when it's offered with smug gotcha assuredness.
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Old 12th November 2012, 12:59 PM   #114
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"I'm entitled to my opinion!"

Yes you are. That doesn't make it correct, and nor does it mean that nobody can criticise your opinion.
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Old 12th November 2012, 04:11 PM   #115
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Conspiracy theories.

Oh, you wanted an actual argument?

"Ooooh, this is suspicious, therefore there's an evil government oppression going on, oooh, look at this out of context factoid or rumor or incomplete piece of data, CASE CLOSED!"

Once I had this exchange with a conspiracy theorist

"Firemen heard explosions!"
Me: "Did they? Did you look at any opposing views? Try to find the other side of the story?"
"*Scoffing smugly* What's the 'other side of the story', the fireman who DIDN'T hear explosions?"

But I'm more annoyed not by specific arguments but by obnoxious smugness, scoffing, sarcasm, unwarrented hostility, aggressiveness etc.

But there's also;

"They were probably paid off by Big Pharma!"

"You sound like a democrat/one of those scientists that thinks inside a little box/other thing I think is bad!" (Yes, and you sound like an over-emotional new ager or republican, but I'm too polite to pretend saying so is making a point and not just an attempted insult)

Red herrings/false dichotomies where someone attacks the other side rather than defending their own. "You questioned alternative medicine? Conventional medicine is evil! You said scientology isn't a science? Well how's psychiatry a science, hmmm?"

Any argument that uses emotional, black and white thinking
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Old 12th November 2012, 04:44 PM   #116
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The fact that there's no evidence for a conspiracy is actually the strongest evidence for the conspiracy.
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Old 12th November 2012, 04:47 PM   #117
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Old 12th November 2012, 05:00 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim View Post
"I'm entitled to my opinion!"

Yes you are. That doesn't make it correct, and nor does it mean that nobody can criticise your opinion.
A lot of Woo Slingers have a very annoying style of arguing where they shift back and forth between arguing for their Woo and arguing for their "Right To Express Their Opinion!" and not getting that those aren't the same thing.

Similar to this is the "I'm not saying... I'm just saying" copout.
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Old 12th November 2012, 09:22 PM   #119
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You know, once years ago someone said something really rude about a friend of mine and said this. "I have a right to state my opinion." I said, "No you don't, you just have a right to have one, you don't have a right to force it on other people because you want to say it."
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Old 13th November 2012, 12:30 AM   #120
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I wanted to add Guilt by Association and Ad Hominems to my above list, though it was probably covered when I said "arguments from emotional, black and white thinking." Also covered are false generalizations, stereotyping, pointing one thing bad about something and saying it's all bad, citing pamphlets of testimonials and opinions and trusting them because they come from someone on THEIR side, etc.
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