Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Tuesdays fallacies are full of grace

As predicted here are two more fallacies that you'll see quite often, particularly when our religiously inclined brothers and sisters attempt to reason about their unreasonable beliefs. They're also pretty common in the business world, especially the first one which I hear all the time, for example, "you don't know for sure that I wouldn't be more productive if I had a mac instead of a PC, therefore I think you should give me the benefit of the doubt and buy me one" or as I call it the "you never know" argument.

BURDEN OF PROOF - Saying that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim, but with someone else to disprove.

The burden of proof lies with someone who is making a claim, and is not upon anyone else to disprove. The inability, or disinclination, to disprove a claim does not make it valid. Bertrand declares that a teapot is, at this very moment, in orbit around the Sun between the Earth and Mars, and that because no one can prove him wrong his claim is therefore a valid one.

PERSONAL INCREDULITY - Saying that because one finds something difficult to understand that it’s therefore not true.

Complex subjects like biological evolution through natural selection require some amount of understanding of how they work before one is able to properly grasp them; this fallacy is usually used in place of that understanding. Kirk drew a picture of a fish and a human and with elusive disdain asked Richard if he really thought we were stupid enough to believe that a fish somehow turned into a human through just, like, random things happening over time.

Same time tomorrow?

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