Author Topic: Name for a fallacy?  (Read 4038 times)

Offline Andromeda

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Name for a fallacy?
« on: July 24, 2013, 05:41:15 AM »
Is there a specific term or name for the "I don't understand it therefore nobody understands it" fallacy?
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2013, 06:19:43 AM »
Is there a specific term or name for the "I don't understand it therefore nobody understands it" fallacy?

It almost meets the definition of an "Argument from ignorance", but it probably more an "Argument from incredulity", which takes the form;

► The proposition is too incredible (or: I cannot imagine how the proposition could possibly be true); therefore the proposition must be false.

or

► I cannot imagine how the proposition could possibly be false; therefore the proposition must be true.

« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 06:24:40 AM by smartcooky »
► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline Andromeda

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2013, 07:37:40 AM »
Thank you!
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.

Offline qt

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2013, 04:46:11 PM »
It almost meets the definition of an "Argument from ignorance", but it probably more an "Argument from incredulity", which takes the form;

► The proposition is too incredible (or: I cannot imagine how the proposition could possibly be true); therefore the proposition must be false.

or

► I cannot imagine how the proposition could possibly be false; therefore the proposition must be true.

I have to say, though, this one does not seem to be confined to one side of the hoax argument.

I don't see much of a solution at a public internet forum, short of introducing the extreme level of control at places like BAUT, but having one person chime in that a particular hoax theory is based on argument from incredulity, and a short while later, having another person use the exact same method to dispute some proposed mechanism by which the hoax was allegedly conducted - well, you know.

Offline Laurel

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2013, 06:11:41 PM »
This quote will be familiar to many board members, I'm sure, but Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." When a person "proposes a mechanism by which the hoax was allegedly conducted" and offers no evidence whatsoever that this was actually done, or that the technology to do it existed, or something similar, isn't incredulity an appropriate response?
"Well, my feet they finally took root in the earth, but I got me a nice little place in the stars, and I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car..."
Bruce Springsteen

Offline qt

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2013, 07:52:26 PM »
This quote will be familiar to many board members, I'm sure, but Carl Sagan said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." When a person "proposes a mechanism by which the hoax was allegedly conducted" and offers no evidence whatsoever that this was actually done, or that the technology to do it existed, or something similar, isn't incredulity an appropriate response?

I'm familiar with the quote, and I hate it.  The hoax proponent will simply declare that the reality of the moon landings is the extraordinary claim, and requires extraordinary evidence, whereas his own claim that it was filmed in a studio and the photographs constructed with the 1969 edition of Photoshop is quite ordinary, and requires little or no evidence.  How are we to decide which claims are ordinary, and which are extraordinary?  Using evidence, or some other means?

Is argument from credulity (or incredulity) a logical fallacy all of the time, or just some of the time?

Offline Laurel

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2013, 08:33:02 PM »
The hoax proponent will simply declare that the reality of the moon landings is the extraordinary claim, and requires extraordinary evidence...
People who say NASA sent men to the Moon have extraordinary (and extensive) evidence for this claim. Hoax believers may ignore this evidence or deny it, but it still exists.

The hoax believers say that thousands of people participated in a hoax that worked well enough to fool scientists and other space agencies all over the world. They say that thousands of faked photographs were created and that several days' worth of footage were shot in a studio that looked like the Moon. And after 44 years, no one has come forward to say they were in on it or provide proof of the cover-up. IMHO, these are extraordinary claims and they do require evidence to be even remotely believable.
"Well, my feet they finally took root in the earth, but I got me a nice little place in the stars, and I swear I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car..."
Bruce Springsteen

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 12:52:34 AM »
The hoax proponent will simply declare that the reality of the moon landings is the extraordinary claim, and requires extraordinary evidence...
People who say NASA sent men to the Moon have extraordinary (and extensive) evidence for this claim. Hoax believers may ignore this evidence or deny it, but it still exists.

The hoax believers say that thousands of people participated in a hoax that worked well enough to fool scientists and other space agencies all over the world. They say that thousands of faked photographs were created and that several days' worth of footage were shot in a studio that looked like the Moon. And after 44 years, no one has come forward to say they were in on it or provide proof of the cover-up. IMHO, these are extraordinary claims and they do require evidence to be even remotely believable.


I agree.

Its not as if NASA suddenly turned up on the moon and said, "look at us, we're on the moon". That would be an extraordinary claim, and the HB's would then be right to question it.

What NASA did, was embark on a graduated, step by step process, with testing, analysis, (catastrophic) failure, redesign, restesting, reanalysis, over a nine year period and all in the glare of the public and of agencies both foreign and domestic. It involved hundreds of thousands scientists, engineers and other people. They succeeded and made seven attempts to send men to land on the moon, succeeding on six occasions. The evidence that they really went is overwhelming, if not irrefutable.

The claim that ALL of it was faked, and that not one of those involved in the alleged fakery has come forward to speak about it, is far more extraordinary than the claim they actually went.

I think I read somewhere that it would have been technically far more difficult to fake the Apollo Programme to the extent required to keep it undiscovered for over 40 years, than it was to actually go there. Additionally, it would have been hugely more expensive, with those expenses still ongoing to this day.

 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2013, 12:55:55 AM by smartcooky »
► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline Andromeda

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Re: Name for a fallacy?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2013, 03:36:06 AM »

What NASA did, was embark on a graduated, step by step process, with testing, analysis, (catastrophic) failure, redesign, restesting, reanalysis, over a nine year period

This is something HBs seem to miss.  More than once I have been asked how I can believe that "NASA just went to the moon and did it right first time".  Often the HB goes on to ask "why they only did it once".  That kind of ignorance is saddening to me.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.