The Fallacy of the dodge, That's an Appeal to Authority!

Discussion in 'Science' started by HereWeGoAgain, Aug 29, 2021.

  1. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Well-Known Member

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    I constantly see people using this Freshman level objection to scientific information. If you cite experts and refuse to address some internet jocky's pet [crackpot] "theory", it's an appeal to authority!!! And that is assumed to be an illegitimate argument.

    Firstly, an appeal to authority is better than an appeal to ignorance. And that 's what people often want! They think some 10-minute internet expert, or some guy on YouTube, can hold a candle to a true expert. And this isn't JUST about some debate anyone can have. Complex scientific issues require many years of study; often in excess of 12 years of formal college studies to truly gain expertise. These are not subjects that one can discuss intelligently after doing a bit of reading on the internet. You can't just read about climate change and that makes you a climate expert. You can't read a few articles about Covid and claim expertise as an immunologist. And you are certainly in no position to second-guess real scientists.

    And most importantly, what this means is unless you are an expert in the field of study applicable, you likely don't even know what questions to ask. There is a reason people have to do 4 or 8 years of POST DOCTORAL STUDIES [continued studies after getting a Ph.D].

    If you don't have a Ph.D. or can claim legitimate expertise in a scientific subject, then you are best qualified to read what the experts say in a consensus opinion, and IGNORE EVERYONE ELSE. This notion that anyone and everyone can second-guess real scientists is partly why we have people taking horse deworming meds when we have actual vaccines.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2021
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  2. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    I knew a guy once who participated on an internet forum dedicated to hosting political debates and other miscellaneous debates and conversations on a wide variety of other topics from sports to quantum mechanics. It was clear that there was a wide variety in the experience and education levels of the members that posted on the forum.

    There was one guy that claimed he was a physicist and reveled in telling tales of his adventures with his sugar babies. We could always tell when he was between babies because his posts became more frequent and he became more grumpy until finally we didn't see him around for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months meaning of course that he found another young gal to take shopping and to dinner and to bed for his version of some Hefner style lovin' or whatever he considered it to be.

    I reckon there was a consensus that developed over the years that everyone was happier when he was getting some....
     
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  3. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Well-Known Member

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    So your thinly veiled personal attack is supposed to mean something?

    If you manage an intelligent response, let me know. And btw, I've been seeing the same gorgeous young lady for a year now. 8)
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021
  4. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Well-Known Member

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    This is what you get when the person replying is guilty of crackpot responses.
     
  5. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Well-Known Member

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    This wonderful young gentleman explains it all much more eloquently than I can.

     
  6. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    The reason you are called out for appealing to authority is not because you may cite empirical evidence compiled by experts on rare occasions. It’s because on most occasions your posts are merely your opinion based on data that is incorrect. Also, you often post personal opinions that are in direct conflict with all known empirical evidence. While you consistently post misinformation and disinformation, you simultaneously claim (without any evidence) to be a “scientist” or a physicist and that this unsubstantiated claim gives credence to the mis/disinformation you post. To top it off, you insult other scientists and even PF members with PhD’s by your claims a physicist knows more about virology and epidemiology than MD/PhD’s and biologists/animal scientists that study, diagnose, and treat respiratory diseases every day.

    You also have a reputation for calling anything you have no knowledge of crackpot or BS. When someone far more educated in the subject presents empirical evidence showing the thing you are ignorant of is in fact true, you slink off and whine somewhere else instead of offering countering empirical evidence or admitting your lack of knowledge.
    The only thing that sets you apart and makes you special is your ability to appeal to authority and appeal to ignorance simultaneously in most of your posts. You claim to be a physicist and that being a physicist lends credence to your posts but make statements on virology/epidemiology/immunology and climate change that can only come from a position of ignorance. When your appeal to ignorance is pointed out you can never defend your position with empirical evidence. You simply move on and post something else that is demonstrably false.

    Apparently wherever you received your education did not give you a very well rounded one. You seem to have had no exposure to the history of science and the history of scientists on who’s shoulders we stand. For example, you claim a scientist must have a PhD to have an understanding of or be able to contribute to our knowledge of the natural world. Yet even as far back as DaVinci, we find numerous examples of scientists who made vast contributions to scientific knowledge that had no PhD, and in some cases little or no formal education. Darwin’s only degree was a BA received studying for the priesthood. As a supposed physicist you should know Faraday had very little education at all, but was one of the most influential physicist. Other well known scientists without PhD’s or little education in their fields include Mendel and Joule.

    I find it particularly amusing that above you say unless you are an expert in the applicable field, you don’t even know what questions to ask, yet you think as a physicist you know more about biological sciences than medical doctors and biologists—just because you claim to be a physicist. It’s behavior like this from you that leads others to doubt you have any knowledge of any scientific discipline. You just don’t seem to have any discernible qualities that ought to accompany claims you make of educational achievement.

    Now a bit on formal education and degrees. I am a big fan. There is a definite advantage in both learning to systematically apply principles of the scientific method to the studied discipline and in acquiring a comprehensive knowledge base of previous work in the discipline. The problem is in this case the principles of the scientific method seem to evade you.

    You mention asking the right questions but you do not do so. When you observe something new you don’t understand, you don’t ask questions—you dismiss it as BS—even when there is evidence it is not.

    Also, the concept of quantitative data and it’s purpose seems to escape you. You are comfortable with including verifiably incorrect quantitative data in your analysis of most any subject. When corrected you do not re-evaluate your conclusion. Instead you double down on the preconceived conclusions instead of making modifications.

    As all scientists should know, bias is nearly impossible to avoid 100%. But the scientific method is meant to be leveraged to remove as much as possible. Unfortunately you include bias intentionally in most of your posts here. It’s clear you are not interested in expanding your knowledge or in gathering empirical evidence—both of which a real scientist would hold above partisan politics or personal ego.

    At the end of the day, it’s misinformation and disinformation from “scientists” that is responsible for a great deal of mistrust of vaccines etc. This is why I call out posters like you. You damage the credibility of science in general as well as specific fields like epidemiology in relation to Covid. Every time you post something demonstrably false or based on data that is incorrect and pass it off as valid because you are a “scientist” you further erode trust in the great institution we call science.

    In closing, I understand it’s frustrating for “physicists” to have their errors and false statements corrected by a cowpoke as I’ve been referred to. But as has been explained before, on PF chosen occupations are irrelevant. All that matters is if posts are based on evidence or not. Many posts I respond to are consistently not based on evidence while mine are. If my posts were not based on evidence it would be easy for those who consider themselves elite to present evidence showing my errors. But nobody does. Instead they whine about being shown their errors while doubling down on appeal to authority fallacy.
     
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  7. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    This is NOT EVEN CLOSE to the adequate attack on authority that you seem to think it is.

    First of all, our modern process of science is nothing like it was at the time of da Vinci. And, you would know that if you had EVER had "exposure" to the history of science.

    The ideas from these individuals that we accept are the ones that earned the consensus of the international world of science - the combined review of experts.

    We accept Einstein's theory of relativity because after more than a decade it earned the acceptance of physicists the world over, and is still supported by credentialed physicists of today who continue to test and rely on this theory.

    And, Einstein presented other ideas that were NOT accepted by physicists. Those don't get referenced - demonstrating that it is the REVIEW that is important, not the individual.

    That is, the ideas, the technical papers, etc., that we accept (and SHOULD accept) are the ones that experts have tested and have accepted as the best human understanding. That is the heart of science.

    Finally, NONE of this downplays the importance of the serious education that is available today. Someone with a Phd is far more likely to be "right" than someone who does not have such credentials. Those without credentials are contributing very little that moves science forward today.
     
  8. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I see ZERO evidence of this.

    The primary sources of antiVaxx pump total falsehoods as their central arguments.

    There ARE sources of people's concern about the COVID vaccine. For example, it was given emergency use approval, since the testing applied was huge and stupendously positive, but didn't include the final steps.
    No, the key points should have to do with the serious analysis of the world of science based medicine. Medical science is not in hiding. And, FAR too much of the crap from those opposed to vaccination is not even SLIGHTLY defensible.

    Like in other sciences, what you say should be accepted only as an indication of where to look in actual medical science.
     
  9. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    I don’t just “think” anything. I support my posts with evidence. Unlike you and others who use fallacy. Like you do below by setting up Einstein as a strawman. LOL

    Next, I have never and will never attack authority of superior knowledge. I have only attacked appeal to authority which is a well known fallacy. You have created another strawman fallacy by changing my argument against appeal to authority to an argument against authority you can attack. Very amateurish of you from a debate and a scientific standpoint. But it’s what I’ve come to expect so I appreciate your consistency.

    You of course can quote me saying the accepted scientific method of today is exactly the same as in the time of DaVinci? No, you won’t because you make up things just like the poster you are attempting to defend. I gave examples of scientists who did not possess credentials recognized by elites at the time they were actively engaged in science . Obviously in DaVinci’s day the accepted credentials and scientific method were not the same as when Darwin made his observations. Both were under-credentialed for their time. As are some modern scientists.
    I have no disagreement on this point.
    Absolutely. Again I agree. And I’ve never made a contrary claim.
    Absolutely. You of course did not quote the part of my post where I made this point. Here it is again.
    I have the utmost respect for PhD’s and any other level of expertise—as long as they are intentional about adhering to evidence as opposed to fallacy.

    What I abhor is any expert making statements that are demonstrably false, not based on evidence or consensus, or based on invalid data sets, and then excusing the dis/misinformation by appealing to their own authority or the authority of another. This is the behavior demonstrated repeatedly by the poster you are defending. This is the behavior that damages the reputation of the institution of science I know and love. This is the behavior that gets people killed when it involves pathogens and pandemics. Don’t support such behavior. It destroys your credibility just like it destroys the credibility of the one you support in this behavior.
     
  10. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    There are numerous PF members who lost trust in public health institutions over Covid. Their posts are legion. I have posted voluminously on this subject. From the incorrect advice given on masking clear back in February and March of 2020 to the continued recommendation against high quality effective masks, every bit of obvious mis/disinformation has consequences. On vaccines specifically information has been withheld. One example I’ve posted on is the history of adenovirus vectors. Another is the neutralizing capability of the Covid vaccines in use in the US. Public health officials keep trying to play both sides of the issue instead of just issuing factual information. That’s just skimming the surface. But those who completely appeal to authority will never see these things because they have no interest in evidence or logic.
    Science based medicine is to be based on evidence. Just like my content here. I have spent quite a bit of time debunking ideas like all VAERS reports are caused by vaccines, mRNA changes your DNA, spike protein from vaccination can harm others, etc. etc. I hate mis/disinformation from the anti vax side as well. But lies by experts are worse because they know better.
    I’m, not sure what you mean. What I post should be able to be verified correct by citing empirical evidence from various applicable disciplines. Medical science being only one small part. Your posts should be supported by evidence as well.
     
  11. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    Lighten up Francis, thinly veiled personal attack, pffffttt.

    Where ya been since Sep 5th? Getting some?
     
  12. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I have not seen any "lies by experts" associated with our science based medicine establishment.

    Plus, the constant and unsubstantiated attacks against our entire medical system from top to bottom DOES undermine the public confidence in science based medicine. And, focusing for MONTHS on the mask issue (while ignoring information on the justifications for policy decisions) is just more of the kinds of assault we see.

    Further, we get every advance presented to the public is "flipflopping"!!! As if medical science is some stagnant backwater where advancement is an indicator of lies.
    True. But, what I've said has been pretty exclusively limited to pointing to experts - NOT me, NOT single unreviewed and unpublished studies.

    Or, are you claiming that CDC, WHO, NIAID, FDA, etc., may not be used as references in America?
     
  13. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Of course you have. Just because you don’t have the background knowledge to RECOGNIZE the lies doesn’t mean you haven’t seen them. Take N95 masks for instance. They were recommended AGAINST for over 9 months after they were in OVERSUPPLY. You were told they were scarce and needed to be saved for hospitals. But manufacturers were sitting on masks they couldn’t get hospitals to buy. They were laying off employees and heading for bankruptcy because the CDC and NIH were telling people NOT TO BUY THEIR PRODUCT. The CDC was literally testing and certifying masks they claimed didn’t exist.

    I’m pretty sure we’ve been through all this before. Dr. Fauci said in July of 2020 that cloth masks were as good as N95 and equivalent masks. This disinformation has never been corrected. People just pretend he didn’t say it. Pretending something didn’t happen when it’s documented by one of the most respected journalists in America is not a good look.
    ANY DISINFORMATION FROM PUBLIC HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD BE ATTACKED. You know what undermines confidence? Providing disinformation repeatedly, which is what these organizations have done.

    You want to argue about this? Then provide the studies showing cloth masks are as good as N95 and equivalent masks. Provide documentation mask manufacturers weren’t going bankrupt sitting on masks while the CDC was ACTIVELY campaigning against their use. Go ahead. I’m so weary of people attempting to defend outright LIES with nonsense about “policy” and how we should respect authority that provides disinformation on a regular basis. There is NO JUSTIFICATION for policy that needlessly killed thousands of Americans and virtually guaranteed the US will never have reliable supplies of domestically produced PPE.
    I love advances. I just criticized a self proclaimed healthcare provider for citing 6 month old infographics that are now just misinformation. I had to present actual peer reviewed studies to show the current evidence is completely contrary to what the poster claimed. I wish that poster would “flip” to current evidence but because it doesn’t support their preconceived notions and political positions they won’t. That behavior MUST be criticized in proclaimed “experts”.
    You appeal to authority. I base my posts on peer reviewed studies and data.
    You can reference whoever you want. But in many instances I can demonstrate what you cite from them is direct denial of science. You are welcome to believe false information from an authority. I just won’t. There is no value in believing or defending disinformation. No value at all.
     
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  14. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Every “science” based medical establishment LIED to you about mask availability. Manufacturers were calling and doing in person sales calls to hospitals trying to sell their masks that were tested and granted NIOSH certification BY THE CDC. Few hospitals bought any. So they sat on warehouse shelves FOR MONTHS as people DIED and the CDC and medical establishments OUTRIGHT LIED to you about availability.

    What you think are science based institutions are not. Do you see them advising people of all the plethora of other actions that can be taken to prevent infection and severe disease that are as effective as vaccines? Do you see them advising people that the same actions also increase the efficacy of vaccination? Me either. That is not evidence based medicine my friend.
     
  15. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    The mask supply probele was VERY real. We lost significant numbers of hospital staff to COVID in part because we did not have adequate PPE. Masks that were built to be changed several per day were being used for a week at least.

    I'm sure the supply problem wasn't identical everywhere and did start to change after the first months. But, suggesting something nefarious was going on here is preposterous.

    He said it a long time ago, and the situation was very different then.

    Also, there are issues that PREVENT policy to follow what is best medically. Republicans HATED masks of ANY kind. Suggesting there should have been more public policy rules about masks can NOT be defended in any way.
    Again, you are confusing public policy with what medical science suggests would be optimal. As we've seen, it is simply NOT possible to keep changing public policy.
    Again, you are forgetting that we do NOT have the luxury of changing policy on a study by study basis.

    That just plain FAILS.

    Even the relatively consistent approach being taken has people disbelieving medical science simply because of the changes that HAVE been made.

    The issues of setting policy for the USA go WAY beyond simply looking at what is best from a medical point of view on any particular day (or month) and switching up policy for that day (or month).

    As we've seen, communication just does not work that way.

    Policy doesn't work in OTHER ways, too. For example, those of some states believe medical science is full of crap because THEIR numbers aren't what some OTHER state has - as if that's how disease works!!


    The problems we've seen really do have more to do with the difficulties in setting, communicating and enforcing policy.
     
  16. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I'm VERY sure there were supply chain problems.

    Another one is that a good number of hospitals ordered PPE and had that PPE "interdicted" by FEMA, so that the hospitals did not get what they ordered and paid for. These hospitals were not even notified that they weren't going to get the deliveries that doctors and nurses were depending on for their own lives.

    FEMA then gave a lot of that PPE to commercial sites to sell - again!
     
  17. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    It was real until about December of 2020. After that, any statement that masks were in short supply ANYWHERE was an outright lie. I’ve explained all this to you before. Please read this. You may recognize some of the names. Note the dates of the posts. You claimed in February of 2021 masks were I short supply and I proved to you then they were not. LOL

    http://www.politicalforum.com/index.php?posts/1073049515/
    Please read this thread. There is a lot of information you need in it. Currently you do not even have sufficient knowledge of the subject to have a real debate.
    http://www.politicalforum.com/index.php?posts/1072982994/
    It was nefarious or complete incompetence.
    False. It was known to be false then. There has NEVER been ANY evidence cloth masks were as good. There was evidence N95’s were superior prior to COVID.
    Strawman noted. What prevented the CDC etc. from cessation of recommendations AGAINST quality masks after they were in oversupply? How would that have involved any rules? LOL

    What? We can’t start LETTING people buy available affordable quality masks? Look. I’m sorry, but that is bizarre.
    Strawman noted. I never said we should change policy based on one study.
    It was a consistently wrong approach. It was in direct denial of science. You NEVER form policy based on science denial. Ever.
    What? Who said anything about switching policy every day or month? All they had to do was STOP TELLING PEOPLE A BLATANT LIE. Clearly public health was not first priority.
    What does that have to do with disinformation from the CDC?
    Please tell us what would have been difficult about telling Americans the mask shortage was over? You crack me up.
     
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  18. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Well, only if you count the CDC telling retailers like Amazon to desist from selling N95 masks. LOL. I showed you there was NO supply chain problem in February 2021. I gave you links to supplies of masks that could be delivered to your door.
    Irrelevant. This happened before the time period I’m referring to. Please educate yourself on this topic before posting any more of your unsubstantiated opinions. I’m weary of unsubstantiated opinions. I’ve given you the FACTS before on this issue and have now linked you to a thread containing more evidence on retailers being told not to sell masks, the CDC certifying masks they claimed didn’t exist, and other details of the fiasco. Read up on the subject. If you can supply studies showing cloth masks are as good as N95 masks get back to me. If you can find evidence showing masks were not in oversupply at the times I’ve claimed and documented get back to me. If you can find evidence the CDC didn’t recommend AGAINST quality masks during the long period of oversupply get back to me.

    If you don’t have anything but more unsubstantiated opinion and whining about policy please don’t bore me further. I enjoy conversations based on science and evidence. I’m sick and tired of unsubstantiated opinions and inability of posters to supply ANY hard evidence my posts are incorrect.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021
  19. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    No amount of education negates the tendency for people to lie for money. If somethingI'm being told doesn't make sense, I'm sure as hell not just going to assume the more educated person is correct when they could simply be lying.
     
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  20. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Well said.
     
  21. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    There are two possible explanations. Either he couldn’t deal with the fact sugars are carbohydrates and had an aneurysm in this thread:
    http://www.politicalforum.com/index.php?posts/1072909705/

    Or, he had more than one PF account. Wink wink. :)
     
  22. Grey Matter

    Grey Matter Well-Known Member

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    He seems quite often to not finish a conversation. One of my earliest discussions here I made a comment about how ridiculous the Schrodinger cat-in-the-box thought experiment was and this guy accused me of turning "100 years of science" on its head.

    At this point I suspect he teaches high school physics, poorly, and barely graduated with a degree in physics. The cute girls in his classes always score an A probably. I do however admire his spend on sugar babies, it's a respectable hedonistic pursuit imo.
     
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  23. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with this.

    Hospital staff getting masks was still a serious issue well after that date.

    Please remember that President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act against 3M in March of 2020 because of supply.

    This allowed FEMA to get masks from 3M. But, that didn't particularly help hospitals. In fact, hospitals had their orders for masks from various US and world sources interdicted by FEMA.

    Hospitals in hard hit areas had staff using ONE mask for a WEEK, instead of the standard of switchin masks between patient contacts.

    These indicate serious supply chain problems.

    Also, please remember that the issue here is policy.

    One of the serious criticisms of Trump's handling of this pandemic is that he didn't use the Defense Production Act nearly enough.

    The idea that the policy should have changed at least a month before Trump STILL saw serious shortages that required his action just doesn't even pass a sniff test.
     
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  24. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Well, it’s a fact whether you are willing to accept it or not.
    Nope. Hospitals had access to all the N95 masks they wanted by February of 2021. Domestic producers of masks were laying off workers and stockpiling masks by that point. You obviously didn’t read up on the facts like I asked.
    This may come as a complete shock to you, but Trump was not president in February of 2021! I told you, I have NEVER CLAIMED A SURPLUS OF MASKS IN MARCH OF 2020.
    After December 2020 there was NO SHORTAGE OF N95 MASKS ANYWHERE. There was a surplus and manufacturers were laying off employees and considering bankruptcy.
    I haven’t much interest in Trump. I have no interest in discussing the spring of 2020. My concern is with the period of time masks were in oversupply but you were told by the CDC and healthcare providers masks were scare. That was a lie. Masks were in oversupply at the tail end of his presidency. They have been in oversupply the entirety of the Biden presidency but the CDC didn’t stop recommending AGAINST their use until September of 2021.

    Apparently you believe policy should consist of bald faced lies. That’s nice. It killed untold thousands of Americans. Your approval of policy that is in direct denial of science and kills people that could easily have been saved just by ceasing to recommend AGAINST good masks is quite concerning. Your appeal to authority is so strong it can’t be shaken by what is essentially premeditated murder.
     
  25. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    This may come as a complete shock to you, but I posted an act of Trump in 2020 - when he was president.

    And, that act shows that Trump believed there WAS a shortage of masks MONTHS after your claim that any shortage was gone by the end of December 2020.

    How about we agree that the "tail end" of Trump's presidency was in 2021. Biden's inauguration was January 20, 2021.

    Beyond that, you haven't pointed out ANY case where a policy could POSSIBLY be considered to be a lie.

    I think you need to reexamine your timeline.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2021

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