A person states that if the evidence for something has convinced nearly all scientists to accept it as being true, then we also should accept it. Is this the logical fallacy of appealing to authority?
Yes, if you just believe in something because a scientist says it then that is a fallacy. Of course if you actually understand what they are arguing and provide data from experiments that supports your belief then it is not a fallacy.
There are FOUR lights!
Something being true does not follow from other people believing there is sufficient evidence to establish its truth. Even if you agree that there is that evidence, you may have a higher threshold for being convinced, which is subjective.
In other words, it is quite fallacious to believe something simply because of the prescribed circumstances.
It is a logical fallacy, since scientific consensus has been dead wrong on multiple occasions. But it's also a fallacy to assume that just because something can be described as a fallacy that it's wrong every time. Whew! That was confusing.
That defines the appeal to authority
It's not an appeal to authority unless the people endorsing are not authorities on the subject. Michael Jordan endorsing Hanes underwear is an example of the fallacy because he's a basketball expert, not an underwear expert.
I'm not sure why deferring to experts is suddenly a bad thing anyway, but no, when you're talking about science, the scientists are irrelevant. There is actual observable, testable, repeatable data.
no, not if it is supported by scientific data. if someone says to believe something "because I said so" and can't demonstrate it empirically, that is an appeal to authority.
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Down to 46%. How much lower can it go
Fallacy of consensus
Not at all. The scientific data is accessible to the public, if you disagree with it, you can replicate the experiments yourself, and observe the data independently. Science is not like philosophy or religion, it actually makes observations
That mean something.
Repeat what? Your scientific illiteracy is showing. With evolution, scientists examine evidence that shows how the environment in a particular location changed over several thousands of years, then make predications about how the species would have
Changed and adapted to the external environment over time, whether they adapted new features, or split into entirely new species. Then they predict how deep and where the fossils would be generally located. We drill down, find the fossils and
Congrats we have proof. Not convinced? Just try it yourself, but your evidence will have to be more convincing that the thousands of verified experiments run since the theory was first proposed.
No, Kscott. Sometime younger fossils do end up at higher levels. But we see that all the time with rocks themselves. Rock layers raise up and down as the plate tectonics shift and bump, but when you are aware of it, you take it into account when
Observing fossils. Yes the experiments that have proved evolution are observable, they are accessible, and they have been repeated almost endlessly. But you forgot one thing. Science is validated by the predictions it makes,
These predictions must be then put to the test. If multiple tests uphold it, then it is valid, but if more tests provide results not predicted, then the connection must be reviewed and hopefully a better prediction be made.
With evolution, that prediction is often, where the fossils will be, and how they will look like. It is the consistency of biology and evolution. That allows us to make these predictions in the first place, but they are almost always correct.
Occasionally, a scientist will misread the data, and make an incorrect prediction or reading. But that is okay. With science, it is okay to admit you where wrong and move on. But pseudoscience like creationism or intelligent design can do that,
They cannot admit they are wrong, and cannot use their belief systems to make useful, testable predictions, because their claims are a matter of faith and dogma, not following where the evidence leads. That is why they always lose.
No Kscott, I will not be your librarian, or tutor to a pupil who will ignore any and all evidence I present, regardless, because their mind is run by dogma, not facts. An regardless, your illiteracy is showing again. There is no experiment that
Every part of evolution simultaneously, by itself, nor does it necessarily make that claim, the exact nature of the origins of the first forms of life are up for discussion. But that is not evidence against the rest of the data that is out there.
@kscott Microevolution has been observed countless times. And thanks to the fossil record, we have a great outline of 3 billion years of macroevolution. It's all there for those with the open mind to look.
Speciation occurs over millions of years. That is impossible to directly observe and a nonsensical criterion. We have mountains of evidence showing it occurred. By your logic, we cannot prove Abraham Lincoln ever existed because we did directly
observe him. We have evidence that he existed. That is sufficient.
People's criteria for what constitutes evidence change dramatically based on whether it suits their position.
To some extent fossil evidence, but DNA analysis as well. We can trace back given our DNA and chimpanzee DNA, how much we have in common and use it to string together the evolutionary chain.
This even sites experiments.
Appeal to authority is when someone cites an expert on something not in their field of expertise.
Wrong Kscott. Appeal to authority only becomes a fallacy when the authority in question is relying only on his power and influence, rather than expertise and evidence to make a claim. Much like a religious authority trying to claim science is wrong.
What? I was referring to your response. It is wrong, and what the original commenter said was true. It is only a fallacy when they are relying on their authority, and power, not their expertise which is inherently based on evidence.
If a doctor tells you you have cancer, and the evidence is available to you, is it a logical fallacy to believe her?
If he says trust me I am a doctor, then he is appealing to authority, and not expertise. Science is based on expertise, not authority.
Why should I? My statements stand. If the individual is relying on his or her power, authority, or influence, rather than expertise, then it is a fallacy.
If they say "just trust me" instead of relying on the evidence, then they are no longer operating as an expert, but rather as an authority figure.
You have done nothing, my statements are correct and consistent. The near universal agreement on climate science, comes from the fact that they have all done their own independent research, and found the data is consistent. That is expertise not
Authority. In no way are scientists saying, "just trust us," you are free to run your own experiments.
Relying on the unsupported claims of unverified lone quacks is the very definition of argument of authority. The agreement is near universal, and a handful of discredited individuals operating in an unscientific manner, is not a valid line of attack.
No actually they don't. Reality is just lost on people like you.
Dr.R: I've actually looked for the data that show (or even suggest) that humans are the cause of global warming. Even if you accept that CO2 has correlated with temperature recently, it does not show causation. All that I've ever seen is
appeal to "scientific consensus" with no data about causation. Climate models have been wrong more often than not, but climate scientists refuse to admit ignorance and just clamor louder. They are the very definition of appeal to authority.
Do you have any links to data that even imply causation?
Uhhh just to clarify (not reading the whole thread) basing a claim on an authority figure because they are an authority figure in some field regardless of expertise on the matter at hand is the fallacy. Trusting a doctor on medical concerns is not a
Fallacy because they are experts in their field.
It's a combination of that and the bandwagon fallacy.
Did you read the question?
Yes, if the evidence can convinced the the people most able to accurately review it, then it is a valid argument. The evidence in question is not locked up in some ivory tower, if it was, only then would your argument be true.
That is completely irrelevant to the question. It asks about the argument, not the circumstances. It's a question of logic.
Wrong, the fact that this question speaks of scientific consensus makes it fundamentally distinct from just some philosophical hypothetical.
So logic doesn't apply because "it's different!"
You are trying to claim the situation does not affect the result. That is flawed reasoning. They fundamental nature of the scientific method means that evidence cannot be based on authority, but rather evidence.
The question has nothing to do with *why* the "experts" have their opinion. It has to do with the fact that more people believing something doesn't make it correct. It matters not whether those people are scientists, doctors, voters, etc.
Lol liberty give it up. Of course it matters who. Would you question a super majority of mathematicians believing a mathematical fact? No, because you could do the math yourself--that's why so many people believe it.
There are rigorous standards for determining the answer to a math problem. That's how we know that professional mathematicians must have gotten to the right answer. They don't get there just by gut feelings or intuition.
Kermie, it would then be the method that makes that mathematical fact correct that matters, not the mere fact that many people believe it to be correct. Can't you understand the difference?
2+2=4 because || and || makes ||||, not because....
...many people believe it does.
People believe it because it is correct.
It doesn't become correct because people believe it.
Do you see the difference there?
Yes of course. But saying "scientists agree" is shorthand for saying "this hypothesis has been tested and repeated and reviewed and accepted thousands of times." The unspoken words are obvious.
When anyone says scientists agree, they're not actually talking about the scientists themselves at all, and you're smart enough to know that. Could the language be more precise? Sure. But you know what they mean.
Now, you're getting closer to a legitimate argument there, but then, you're also getting away from the subject of the question.
And even scientists agree on things (sometimes) when the data are far from conclusive.
I'm fact, the limited evidence that we have (to my understanding) argues against multiple universes.
I can't believe this poll is at 57%. It's one of the best poll questions I've ever seen.
If my doctor told me I had cancer, I might get a second opinion, but at some point, if that was the consensus, I would start getting it treated...because they are the experts & I'm probably in big trouble without treatment.
As stated, yes.
No, because scientists know the most about their field as well as the scientific method in general, so they are most competent to judge the evidence reasonably. However, it should be their field. I would trust a climatologist on climate science more
You mean you would trust someone who would lose their job if they didn't promote global warming?
than I'd trust a biologist, but a biologist still more than somebody who has no scientific education at all and doesn't know how science works in general.
@redsox: damn sandwich posts, I must type faster ;) As to your post, it's possible that an individual scientist yields to that kind of pressure, though not the scientific community, especially not those who argue AGAINST human caused global warming..
...bc taking action against it would cost most companies they may be employed at, as well as the government. The other way round is more likely, that is disputing it.
@red. The first global warming poll is up. Wanna debunk the "hoax?"
...and yet they suppressed information...hardly the scientific method.
@XYRN: it's still the best bet. ALL people can for some ulterior motive suppress information, so we're even here. The expertise makes the difference in an otherwise leveled playing field. Some will speak out.
Arguing for the validity of a thing because an authority (in this case some scientists) claims it is valid, without presenting the data that brought them to that position probably is the authority fallacy. Otherwise known as "trust me, I'm smart".
No. If I understand you right, that person is not claiming it is true BECAUSE scientists believe it. He or she is saying its true and the fact that scientists believe is only a testament to its probable veracity.
Right, you understand me correctly.
Also, logical fallacies point out anything short of 100% logicality (is that even a word?). If used in the context that "xxx is true because 99% of renowned scientists believe," it's not logically justifiable, but you're probably right.
At some level, especially about things one doesn't understand, Plato's notion of "justified true belief" to have without thousands of hours of research.
So in those cases, it's still prudent to believe the people who HAVE put in the thousands of
hours and who CAN claim to have a justified true belief.
belief" is impossible* to have
Ugh. My thoughts get ahead of my uncoordinated thumbs sometimes.
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