Reed A. Cartwright posted Entry 1000 on May 3, 2005 11:16 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/998

Law Evolution Science and Junk Science has an interesting post on the fallacy of the appeal to inappropriate authority.

In summary, an appeal to authority is a valid method of argument and of making decisions. It recognizes the obvious fact that we cannot all be experts in everything. It would be a mistake to have your neurosurgeon change the brakes on your car and your car mechanic to operate on your brain tumor. If you see a neurosurgeon for your brain tumors and a car mechanic for your disc brake adjustments and you don’t know much about either, you are essentially betting your life on an appeal to authority.  We all reasonably do that every day.

Analyzing Intelligent Design under the appeal to authority fallacy immediately  presents several problems.

Go Read It.

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Comment #27990

Posted by Harq al-Ada on May 3, 2005 11:54 PM (e)

Hi. I tried to click on, I think “site admin” to e-mail the people here. It didn’t work, because I don’t know how to configure my computer’s built iin email, which it defaults tol. I do, however, have a yahoo account, and would like very much to send an email. Could you please give me an email address that I can contact you with?

Comment #27992

Posted by Reed A. Cartwright on May 3, 2005 11:56 PM (e)

You can email me at reed@pandasthumb.org.

Comment #27993

Posted by Harq al-Ada on May 4, 2005 12:00 AM (e)

Corrected for spelling:

Hi. I tried to click on, I think “site admin” to e-mail the people here. It didn’t work, because I don’t know how to configure my computer’s built in email, which it defaults to. I do, however, have a yahoo account, and would like very much to send an email. Could you please give me an email address that I can contact you with?

Comment #28047

Posted by Keanus on May 4, 2005 8:54 AM (e)

By adding the names of the pro-ID witnesses to the list proferred for the Kansas BOE hearings, Joe McFaul’s essay could be used verbatim to explain the fallacy and shortcomings of the coming “trial” in Kansas. It is nothing more than a politically motivated effort based on an appeal to inappropriate authority, the bulk of the “expert” witnesses there having little or no background in biology, IIRC.

Comment #28060

Posted by colleen on May 4, 2005 10:36 AM (e)

Joe Mc Faul is a very clear thinking non-scientist. He appeals to me (a non scientist) a lot. Why can’t more lawyers be like him?
Specifally that paranoid idiot Mr Caldwell,who sees himself slighted and persecuted everywhere. Who spend his time on frivolous lawsuites instead of actually researching.

Comment #28317

Posted by DonkeyKong on May 5, 2005 3:05 AM (e)

Wow so now you guys are backing appeal to authority….

You gonna try and make that part of the pseudo scientific method that you support while ignoring the actual real scientific method?

Oh and only when you are a lawyer and honestly don’t know anything about science and don’t have the tools to decide for yourself is it ever even remotely ok to let someone else decide for you…..

Maybe people would internalize it better if they named it “here let my friend decide if you are right or I am…..”

Foolishness