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Featured Argumentum ad populum

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by nPeace, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    How oft do people hear a response like...
    There is a scientific consensus on the theory of evolution.

    There is a scientific consensus...
    There is a scientific consensus...
    There is a scientific consensus...
    There is a scientific consensus...
    [​IMG]

    What has that got to do with anything?
    Especially in a debate, why is that relevant? It's nothing but a fallacy.

    Argumentum ad populum
    When an argument uses the appeal to the beliefs of a group of experts, it takes on the form of an appeal to authority

    [​IMG]

    ...you've probably heard the smug response: “97% of climate scientists agree with climate change” — which always carries the implication: Who are you to challenge them?
    The answer is: you are a thinking, independent individual - and you don’t go by polls, let alone second-hand accounts of polls; you go by facts, logic and explanation.
    Fact Checking The Claim Of 97% Consensus On Anthropogenic Climate Change

    [​IMG]
    “...I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

    Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

    ― Michael Crichton

    [​IMG]

    Consensus Science and the Peer Review
    It is our responsibility as scientists, physicians, reviewers, and/or editors to be alert and always remember that “[I would remind you to notice where the claim of] consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E = mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way” (M. Crichton).

    http://www.aei.org/publication/for-...-there-is-no-such-thing-as-consensus-science/
    ...the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let’s review a few cases.
    In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no.

    In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no.

    In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent “skeptics” around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.

    There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the “pellagra germ.” The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory.

    Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called “Goldberger’s filth parties.” Nobody contracted pellagra.

    The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor-southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result-despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.

    Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology-until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.

    And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy. The list of consensus errors goes on and on.

    When the Earth Moved
    When Continental Drift Was Considered Pseudoscience
    One hundred years ago, a German scientist advanced the shocking idea that the continents were adrift, and the giants of geology ridiculed him. But nobody’s laughing now...

    Well I am... laughing my head off.
    Appealing to authority, argument by consensus, consensus fallacy, consensus gentium,... it's all useless, and irrelevant in any debate.

    So why do persons continue with it? :shrug:
    Does it establish truth? No.
     
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  2. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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  3. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    Specifically on the topic of evolution, and also specifically as pertains to the descent of man from other ape species, I would implore you to go look at the scientific findings and mapping of "endogenous retroviruses" between species. No "consensus" required. The data, and an understanding of how the world, in reality, functions speaks for itself. Man is a descendant of other ape species. No question.
     
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  4. Darkforbid

    Darkforbid Well-Known Member

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    Man is a descendant of other ape species. No question. A Vestigial Mote

    And of course apes have more genetic diversity between family members, than we have in the entire human race for absolutely no reason
     
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  5. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    First of all, the argumnetum ad populum is faulty because it is quite possible for many people to be wrong.

    The argument from authority is NOT a logical fallacy. The fallacy is the argument from *false* authority. The question becomes whether the people you quoting are legitimate authorities or not. In the case of research scientists, they are, in fact, legitimate authorities, so it is NOT a fallacy to look to their opinions.

    The reason research scientists are legitimate authorities is that they have actual access to the information and reasoning for their position. Actually looking at the real world gives that access.

    In other words, your whole argument is that of a *false equivalence*.
     
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  6. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Are you saying this because you assume I have not looked at that information?
    See this post.

    We spoke on this before, though.
    Yes. There is are questions. That proves nothing.
    It's interesting that you guys keep bringing one thing after another, to say, that evolution has been proven.
    If it's not ERVs, it's Ring Species, or Chromosome 2, or Horology, or Transitional fossils...

    Can't you make up your mind?
    If there is no question, for one thing, then you can stick to it. There is no need to hop from one to the other.

    Evolution theory is not beyond question. That's why so many scientists question it.
    Do you find anyone questioning that the sun burns hydrogen, or that we need oxygen to live?
    Which scientists do?
     
  7. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    [/QUOTE]


    Argumentum ad populum:
    In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "argument to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it,


    Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity.


    If you see the difference between the two, you will see how fallacious your argument is.

    If you do not see the difference between the two I would suggest you try to stick to monosyllabic words and avoid Latin phrases at all costs.
     
    #7 ecco, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  8. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I read the post you linked, and all I saw was you trying to duck and dodge. You either didn't understand what you were looking at, or you do, but have decided to tap-dance away from it as fast as possible anyway.

    Given the way that the world is known to work, there is no other way that over a hundred thousand viral DNA insertions, caused by infections of a virus within a gamete (reproductive) cell to match between two being's DNA. They HAD TO HAVE been inherited. Either that... or you do the downright crazy thing and claim "magic" (which, in this case, is the same as claiming God did this). And because they had to have been inherited, it means that humans inherited them from those apes, who were our ancestors.

    I don't know how you could understand all that is going on in these scientific findings and still claim that there is ambiguity. The only way this is possible is to claim "magic," and to be so hell-bent against accepting this truth that you will yourself to continue objecting.
     
    #8 A Vestigial Mote, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  9. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    Seriously?!? You've been on this forum for over a year. I'm quite sure that in that time others have made this same ridiculous, nonsensical comment. Is that really the best you can do? How embarrassing for you.
     
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  10. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    An argument from authority (argumentum ab auctoritate), also called an appeal to authority, or argumentum ad verecundiam, is a form of defeasible argument in which a claimed authority's support is used as evidence for an argument's conclusion. It is well known as a fallacy, though some consider that it is used in a cogent form when all sides of a discussion agree on the reliability of the authority in the given context. Other authors consider it a fallacy to cite an authority on the discussed topic as the primary means of supporting an argument.
     
  11. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    What does this have to do with anything? Does this contradict the evidence present in the comparison of ERVs in DNA of other ape species and humans? That's the only way you get to claim relevance to my post.
     
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  12. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    @nPeace, it sounds as if you more or less see scientists as "the enemy." Could you explain why?
     
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  13. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    So you are objecting to the fact that several independent lines of investigation lead to the same conclusion?

    Really?

    How about whether cigarettes cause cancer? Those 'scientists' funded by the tobacco companies seem to never see the link. I wonder why?
     
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  14. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    2. Scientists do not know how when and where ERVs originated, and what role they play in evolution.
    Scientists can only make guesses, speculations, assumptions, suggestions, supposition and propositions, when answering these questions.
    Human endogenous retroviruses
    There are two proposals for how HERVs became fixed in the human genome. The first assumes that sometime during human evolution, exogenous progenitors of HERV inserted themselves into germ line cells and then replicated along with the host's genes using and exploiting the host's cellular mechanisms. Because of their distinct genomic structure, HERVs were subjected to many rounds of amplification and transposition, which lead to a widespread distribution of retroviral DNA. The second hypothesis claims the continuous evolution of retro-elements from more simple structured ancestors.

    I don't dance very well. I would like to though.
     
    #14 nPeace, Aug 14, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  15. A Vestigial Mote

    A Vestigial Mote Well-Known Member

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    I just want to point out also, this is you simply displaying that there is a whopping TON of evidence for evolution. It isn't at all about "making up our minds." It's about the fact that there is way more than just one piece or source of evidence backing the theory. You don't have to "make up your mind" when you can just keep pulling the evidence out to back yourself up. In other words, this is you completely misconstruing the situation - trying to make people look capricious just because they have more than one piece of evidence to offer. That's dishonesty is what it is.
     
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  16. SkepticThinker

    SkepticThinker Well-Known Member

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    What is being referred to when people say such things is that there is a consensus of evidence, rather than a consensus of opinion. There is a big difference between them.
     
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  17. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    I have brothers and friends who are scientists.
    How did you arrive at that notion?
    Do you disagree with Michael Crichton? He did science. I quoted him, and I do agree with him.
     
  18. viole

    viole Metaphysical Naturalist
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    You have a disease. You will die soon if you do nothing.

    100,000,000 doctors tell you, you should take medicine X, and you will be cured. But do not take medicine Y, or you will die

    1 doctor tells you you should take medicine Y.

    What will you do and why, assuming you have no clue of medicine?

    Ciao

    - viole
     
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  19. SkepticThinker

    SkepticThinker Well-Known Member

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    What a strange statement.
    Why should just one line of evidence have to be chosen when there are multiple lines of evidence that demonstrate the veracity of evolution?
     
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  20. nPeace

    nPeace Well-Known Member

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    Well let's assume that God did it. Several lines of investigation arrives at the same conclusion. Do you object?
    We have been through this before.
    Back to the OP. Any further objections. Your point / argument has been challenged. What say you, in response.
     
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