The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Calorie-Based Diet Pseudo Science Proves False

Will cutting portions and increasing exercise help reduce body mass? Yes, for the short term. But there is a cost to this approach; a cost which they do not tell you about. Body Mass Index is managed by the health of the endocrine and microbiome systems, not by calories.
Something was introduced into our food starting in 1995 which is costing American health dearly. In addition, recent studies have confirmed that our food phytonutrients are being diluted by farm technologies deployed over the last 25 years. Our current national obesity and health crisis is the horrid version of the future we all hoped would not occur way back in the days of dreaming about flying cars.  Now we must fight the fight. But we will win, as it is our lives, our health and our families which are at stake – all they have at stake is money and corrupt politics.

As a science professional and enthusiast, rather than flout my memorization of pat socially correct answers, I instead choose the track of actually putting the scientific method into action inside both my personal life as well as my professions. Observe, observe observe – measure, measure, measure – log, log, log – think, think, think – test test test and test again and again. These are disciplines which are essential to my nature. There is no try at this – there is only do. Pseudoscience thrives in a culture of the ‘try’ as we will see poignantly herein this blog.

So when the appeal to authority medical wisdom was handed to me by my doctor in the 90’s – that I needed to ‘increase my workouts and cut out desserts’, I took it as an acceptable hypothesis to test. After all, my best friend from college merely has to cut out his favorite dessert, moose tracks ice cream, for a month, and he is comfortably back into his college pants again. You see, weight and body mass is simply a matter of moral discipline. Right?  Most people do not have the gumption nor the persistence to test such common wisdom, especially when doled out by doctors (and there are large industry food players who rely financially on this foible of human nature).

But unfortunately, I have this nasty habit of skeptically testing that which I am told is truth.

‘Keto Flu’, ‘Macrocytic Anemia’ and ‘Thyroid Myxedema’ are modern health phenomena – they are not natural facets of normal body weight management – and are indicative that people today are having to go to extremes in order to keep their weight in check. Extremes of caloric reductions, endocrine remediation and intense physical activity – all of which our ancestors never had to even broach, ironically to live with much leaner body structure than we now possess.

Myth as the Key to Persistent Failure

Increasingly, health advisors are beginning to agree with what we common folk have been observing for decades: Calories In Calories Out (CICO) approaches to body mass management are not effective past anything but the short term. As well, obesity and ‘being overweight’ are unrelated conditions.

“For most of the last century, our understanding of the cause of obesity has been based on immutable physical law. Specifically, it’s the first law of thermodynamics, which dictates that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. When it comes to body weight, this means that calorie intake minus calorie expenditure equals calories stored. Surrounded by tempting foods, we overeat, consuming more calories than we can burn off, and the excess is deposited as fat. The simple solution is to exert willpower and eat less.

The problem is that this advice doesn’t work…”

~ Dr. David Ludwig and Mark Freedman; New York Times, Editorial: “Always Hungry? Here’s Why” May 16, 2014

And what we are combating is the pseudoscience of averages and old common wisdom, promoted by pseudo-skeptic preachers who are incompetent at understanding statistics or the disciplines of theory, hypothesis testing and risk. For example below:

Can someone please explain to me why, if we are unquestionably eating more as a country, we need to look further for the cause of the rising obesity rates?  … Sorry, but some en masse (sic) hormonally induced horizontal growth disorder is not possible, nor is it explained by any honest accounting of all of the evidence. … Americans are eating more. We weigh more as a result.

~ “Evelyn” at “Carbsanity” Blog; Oct 16, 2015, http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2014/07/calories-and-taubes-nusi-ludwig-co.html

Ah, the ‘simplest explanation’; such a wonder that trick. I can smell the stench of lazy-agenda permeating the room. This scientifically pregnant boast concerning one poorly grasped, single summary statistic is exactly the problem: we have NOT had an “honest accounting of all the evidence” precisely because of the Evelyn’s of the world. A recent Pew Research Study 1 found that on average, adult Americans consume 2480 calories per day – yet the average man burns 3100 calories per day and the average woman burns 2400 calories. What then do we say from averages and summary data (see medium fallax error below)? A significant majority (mathematically 55-70% of us under a chi-squared distribution function depending upon degrees of freedom) of us would be also chronically starving ‘skin and bones’ by now if these statistics were causally critical in path to an outcome; employing the very same methodology by which Evelyn has amateurishly misconstrued causality above (albeit our method involving more variable input data and two more resolved equations than she possessed).

Perhaps even more alarming is Ms. Evelyn’s reliance upon calories consumed as representative of ‘eating’. Curiously the same scientific mistake committed by those pushing their monopoly farm technologies in order to ‘feed the world’. We do not produce food to eat simply calories. We produce food to consume essential triglycerides, 16 proteins, 70 minerals and micro-nutrients, 11 B-vitamins and a series of other phytonutrients – of which even the most jaded cynical journals, seeking to defend farm technologies under assault, admit there has been a recent generational dilution.  Astonishingly, even a March 2017 propaganda study by the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, specifically a priori commissioned so as to impugn nutrient decline research, admitted in the conclusion of the study that

Contemporaneous analyses of modern versus old crop varieties grown side-by-side, and archived samples, show lower mineral concentrations in varieties bred for higher yields where increased carbohydrate is not accompanied by proportional increases in minerals – a “dilution effect” 2

~ Journal of Food Consumption and Analysis, March 2017

In other words, the vast majority of all our caloric intake and 85% of grain based caloric intake US agriculture has undergone significant phytonutrient dilution. Please note that ‘higher yields’ is the politically correct code word for ‘plant growth hormone accelerant’ or ‘glyphosate’. Just two small bits of context framing there. No big deal. To complicate things, this decline is on top of – after the decline already documented from the period 1950 – 1999, before the really significant introduction of glyphosate to all grains (by 2004), and 85% of our caloric intake (see graph developed by organic-center.org above). 3

What is even worse is that you will find that most doctors (like both my allopath and integrative medicine physicians) know this already and privately caution their nutrient dilution vulnerable patients to change their diets.

But they cannot speak up, precisely because of the heavy handed bullshit and social pressure from the ‘Evelyn’s’ of this world.

Evelyn’s understanding of this issue is over 60 years aged, is failing to be successfully predictive or effective in application; and yet this pseudo-wisdom is still enforced by cadres of lazy blog-ranting researchers, just like Evelyn. Many of us, despite the data claims, are not “eating more as a country” – in fact significantly less for a large part of the population. See my stats below – which millions of Americans have replicated, albeit in not as much detail. People like Evelyn at Carbsanity count on the fact that individuals will not test their pablum with actual study and persistence.  This is a habit of social skeptics. Gargantuan proclamations based upon shallow data and common wisdom from another age of toxin-exposure altogether, along with the realization that the average citizen will never hold them to account for their claims. Thus these myths persist as a consequence of absurd levels of ego, dishonesty and no ‘skin in the game’ on the part of the claimants themselves (save for some anecdote about losing 5 lbs by cutting out sodas).

Besides, an en masse hormone disorder factor is not only possible, but scientifically compelling in this case – if it is induced by an agent which was recently added to 60%+ of our dietary caloric consumption, and into every meal of every single day of our entire lives – commensurate with a discrete change in critically risk-dependent statistics. Ockham’s Razor demands exactly an examination of just such an influence, when old predictives fail miserably, …as a first priority, and especially when this suspect new impacting risk mechanism is not tracked at all. This is how a research lab is run in the real world – it is just that with social skeptics – we effectively embargo real ethical scientific study by talking loudly about ‘science’, and a lot.

Not only does Evelyn’s diatribe suffer from a good dose of anchoring bias, but it features amateurish understandings of statistical inference, hypothesis testing and complex systems modeling as well. It ironically constitutes a scientific appeal to not conduct any science at all. Much more intelligence (not just data – a distinction which the poser does not understand) is required than this shallow statistic in order to imply sequitur causality. I don’t even have time inside this blog to go into the other errors this statement features: Filbert’s Law, ingens vanitatum, Simpson’s Paradox, fallacy of relative privation, Semmelweis Reflex, law of large numbers fallacy, and finally the coup de grâce of the statistical inference dilettante:

medium fallax error

/philosophy : pseudoscience : misrepresentation/ : the tendency to regard or promote the mean (μ) or other easily derived or comprehensive statistic as constituting an equivalent descriptive of the whole body of a set of data or a closely related issue – assuming immunity from the burden of identifying a causal critical path or developing testable mechanism to prove out the contention made (critical elements of scientific theory); or the process of misleading with statistical indications as to the makeup and nature of a body of data. I’ve got my head in the oven, and my ass in the fridge, so I’m OK.

This is why I am so adamant about incorporating at least 4 semesters of statistics, distribution arrival and simulation theory, hypothesis reduction theory and probability/confidence interval theory into the curricula of budding scientists and doctors. Otherwise they fall prey to exactly the prescriptive dosages of bullshit which ‘Evelyn’ is promoting here.

What I Learned Through Direct Observation and Testing

So, when my body mass skyrocketed starting in 1996, I was perplexed – and very concerned. You see I had already ‘cut out desserts’, ‘cut down on the pizza’, ‘ate smaller portions’, and ‘consumed a more balanced diet’. In fact, from 2001 until 2008, I cut a grand total of 2000 calories from my average daily diet and increased my average exercise by over 400 calories per day. I studied nutrition fervidly, and do still. Did my weight respond? Yes it did. But only for a while – then my BMI regressed. As well, there was a cost buried inside this response. An unavoidable (yes, mathematically deduced unavoidable) quality-of-life reducing cost in nutrition, about which the Evelyns of the world fail to inform us.

1.  Calorie intake and burn – CICO – only manages body mass over the short to (questionably) medium term. Cutting out 200 – 400 calories per day in my diet made no difference whatsoever in my body mass over the short, medium and long term. Calorie physiology does not follow a black box, salary and bank account paradigm. That model will not work when your endocrine, autoimmune and microbiome systems have been harmed.

2.  The techniques you practiced in the past to keep your body mass in line, will begin to fade in their effectiveness over time or will not work after that success and going forward. This is a progressive condition.

3.  A ‘balanced western diet’ cannot deliver the nutrient your body needs unless you consume well in excess of 3100 calories per day (see The War Against Supplements Continues to Revel in Harmful Pseudoscience).

4.  Consuming American grains over the medium term or longer will harm your health:

Endocrine Diseases, Skin Maladies, Bowel Diseases, Thyroid Disease, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver, Mental Dysfunction & Degradation and Diabetes/Metabolic Disorders

5.  Limiting calories to lower than 2400 per day (as a response) over the medium term or longer eventually results in chronic diseases of malnutrition:

Macrocytic Anemia, Digestive and Endocrine Atrophy, Decline in Health and Wellbeing, Anxiety, Depression, Muscle Atrophy, Bowel Disorders, Kreb’s Cycle and Ketogenic Illnesses

6.  None of my great grandparents nor grandparents nor parents suffered with these challenges – regardless of their level of physical activity. And they ate a lot more (3 full meals a day and a snack).

7.  My challenge started in the Fall of 1995 and escalated rapidly during the 1995 – 2001 timeframe (when Glyphosate was introduced inside US food agriculture – 1995 – 2001: first wheat, then soy/canola, then finally corn).

8.  My kids suffered with these challenges starting in their teens, and suffered them worse than did I. And no, they did not ‘eat more’.

9.  These challenges export to nations other than the US, only when they begin to significantly import grains from the US. I have measured this in national strategies I have conducted, and advised governments quietly on this issue.

10.  Body Mass Index is managed by the health of the endocrine and microbiome systems, not by calories (within reason).

11.  In a modern toxic diet condition: Supplementation is Essential for Health & Well Being.

and finally the pièces de résistance

Something added into our food starting in 1995-2001 is harming American health severely, and the damage is showing up on our bathroom scales and in our endocrine and intestinal healthcare bills (see rise in thyroid disease and IBS).

We are saving $millions in the cost of producing food, and paying $trillions in the harm enacted from this corruption in pseudoscience.

The Polluted and Diluted Food Odyssey

Don’t ever give me a bullshit line of authority and expect it to go untested. Below, one can examine my record of testing the claim that ‘cutting portions and eating a balanced diet along with moderate exercise’ is the solution to polluted and diluted food. The result: This claim set is false. I underwent such severe anemia from malnutrition, that I was eventually forced to begin to increase my food intake – and importantly, begin methylfolate, stomach acid, humic acid, magnesium, protein and B12 supplementation along with a number of other nutrient additions. I never did get to the weight my doctor wanted. I fired that doctor, and the doctor I visited after that said ‘stop now, we have to find another approach’. Thank god for these supplements as well, they were a godsend. And where did I find all this critical (life-saving?) information on supplements? Not at ‘science based medicine’ ironically; rather through medical professional whisper, ‘quackery internet sties’ and friends. My quality of life improved dramatically. Thankfully I never got diabetes in this timeframe either. My hard work and study may have paid off there; averting a disease which has ravaged a good 25% of my family. Or perhaps I just got lucky in the genetic wheel of fortune in that regard, I do not know.

Below you will find an outline of my caloric intake mapped versus body mass index; along with the serious life and health degradation I experienced by adhering to a caloric restricted ‘balanced western diet’ and exercise. Agri-food and pharmaceutical companies depend upon the reality that most Americans will not test this for themselves.

Exhibit 1 – Over the Long Term CICO is Not Effective for Health nor Weight Management

note: workouts involved running 3 to 5 times a week, logging over 6,000 miles on treadmill and additional on asphalt, use of a weighted workout bar for 15 minutes of calisthenics and 10 minutes of lifting, pressing, rowing, situps on a Bowflex resistance machine.

What Did They Do to Us in 1995?

So this testing has led me to examine elsewhere for solutions and means by which to improve the endocrine and microbiome health of myself and my family. Thankfully, my kids are aware of the mistakes our agri-food industry has made over the last 25 years and are taking the steps to head off the resulting micro-biome destroying, nutrient dilution and toxin based maladies in their teens and early 20’s (see graphic to the right outlining recent diabetes trends in the US). 4 They too are cutting out grains and grain derivatives grown in the United States, unless organic (even then limited) – and supplementing with methylfolate, methylcobalamine, NADH, Vitamin D, collagen, pea protein and humic acid.

I should not have to be living with years of chronic macrocytic anemia and keto flu, just to keep my weight (not to mention health) in check. There is something wrong with this picture. The ‘Evelyns’ of the world cannot continue to enforce upon us the same old ‘smaller portions’ and ‘balanced western diet’ bullshit. That practice does not work and the tired old wisdom itself is failing Americans miserably …and harmfully so.

If our so-called ‘skeptics’ would get off their asses, quit armchair pontificating about bigfoot, UFO’s and homeopathy, and study the real scientific questions we face – that might, just might help.

Regardless of the denial and arm waving technicalities – Ockham’s Razor plurality has been surpassed, and mine is not the only probative case anecdote that exists. Millions exist; and like mine, under doctor advisement too. Doctors are listening to their patients and are calling for new research. We the victims are calling for ethical scientific action.

This is the horrid version of the future, we all hoped would not occur way back in the days of dreaming about highways filled with flying cars.  Now we must fight the fight. But we will win, as it is our lives, our health and our families which are at stake – all they have at stake is money, arrogance and aphorisms.

epoché vanguards gnosis

How to MLA cite this blog post => 5

 

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | | 4 Comments

The New Debunker: Pseudo-Skeptic Sleuth

The teachings of fake skepticism had grown so atrocious by the end of the 1990’s that the public became fed up with debunkers, and the horrid tactics they employ thankfully fell from favor.
Their inquiry Precis, Investigation and Follow Up, all bearing the hallmarks of the former manifestation, debunkers now are re-titled as ‘investigators’ by necessity. Debunkers exploit poor definition of their habits and masquerade under such titles, which include pretenses of skepticism, doubt and open mindedness. Accordingly, a ‘debunker’ is no longer simply one who perpetrates defamation, as the social skeptic cabal would have you define it. A debunker is unequivocally – a person who fakes investigation in order to target subjects and persons for embargo from science.

They are teammates, the debunker and the pseudo-skeptic. The debunker attacks the embargoed hypothesis sponsors head on, while the pseudo-skeptic seeks to promote one idea at the expense of all others, or any plausibility at the expense of one idea they (and their sponsors) disdain. Both forms of socio-pathology stem from huge ego complexes and the foible of finding personal glee in the process of harming people through cleverly disguised deception. But society has changed with regard to what perfidious actions they deem acceptable and not acceptable. Debunking, part of the famous methodology taught in our fake-doubt-cycnical form of skepticism introduced in the early 70’s, fell from favor in the public eye. Too many debunkers meant that too many people were being harmed. A new model had to be developed – as ‘skeptics’ were beginning to get a bad rap. So the pseudo-sleuth model was born. The skeptic, repackaged as a fantasy 40’s private dick or modern form of Sherlock Holmes. The fake open-minded investigator, here to instruct us all about critical thinking and science. He is not a debunker, and will make that clear to all. But he will run back to report his successes to, and be hailed and rewarded by the very baloney-detection-kit-debunking cabal of which he claimed to not be a part. This masquerade has necessitated a shift in definition away from the idea that a debunker, is merely one who calls people liars.

If you a priori assume a MiHoDeAL claim1 regarding a given phenomena, you are a debunker.

If the science around the issue is so readily apparent and 99.97% resolved, then why do we need investigators? The sole goal which remains for the ‘investigator’ is to discredit subjects and people – and cannot possibly involve a desire ‘to learn’.

Debunking involves more than simply accusing witnesses of fraud. Anything which impugns the character or mental competence of witnesses and investigators, even by means of implication and especially by means of epistemic masquerade, is debunking.

Ethical skeptic beware, debunkers have simply polished up the old act. Greg Taylor, blogger for esteemed author Graham Hancock, opines accordingly in his article on debunking and pseudo-skepticism (a differentiation with which Graham Hancock is expertly familiar himself):

The first step in becoming a debunker is to immediately relinquish that title and establish your credentials by calling yourself either a skeptic or a scientist. Never mind that you are actually trying to impose your personal viewpoint on others, rather than following the scientific process and applying critical thinking to all sides of the argument. Actually, the best debunkers are those that don’t even know their true identity, having such poor critical thinking skills that they truly believe that that they are exhibiting all the open-mindedness and mental sharpness of the true skeptic or scientist. As such, some might reprimand me for writing this short article, seeing it as a hazard to the serious debunker’s faith in themselves – little chance of this however, as the real top-notch debunkers have a force-field of ignorance that is nigh impenetrable.2

~ Greg Taylor, Daily Grail Columnist

“I was honored to receive the Perry Critical Thunker Award at last year’s Toledo Conservatory Children’s Science Symposium. It was there in my presentation to the kids that I coined the phrase, ‘Bigfoot Boasting Bubbas’. But you know, I wanted to provide example to these budding critical thinkers by not being a debunker in my work. That is, always approaching cases with an open mind and never calling people liars.”3

~ Celebrity (Debunker/Paranormal Investigator) Research Fellow

So then, let us craft a Wittgenstein sufficient definition of debunking, and then go through the process of establishing why this definition is the only correct model fit.

Debunking

/pseudo-science : subject and self misrepresentation/ : as C. S. Lewis noted, is an easy and lazy kind of ‘rationality’ that almost anyone can do and on any subject. It is a methodology passed falsely to the public as an exercise of skepticism or science, which is further then employed to brainwash one’s self into ‘doubting’ all but a single unacknowledged answer, via an inverse negation fallacy. The method involves dredging up just enough question, technique or plausible deniability such that evidence or observation may be dismissed without scientific inquiry. Further then dismissing the subject from then on, declaring it as ‘debunked’ and referring this appeal to authority for others to then cite.

A skeptic contends ‘I don’t know if this is true or not, but you are approaching this by the wrong method’ – whereas a debunker contends ‘I don’t care what method you are using, this is not true’. They may apologize for their pseudo-scientific stance by proffering ‘or most likely not true’. There is no difference between the two statements. And unless we define the term debunking in this manner, we leave ample room for gamesmanship and conveniently (akratic) unaddressed positions of manipulation.

Therefore, we observe now inside social skepticism, two forms of debunking below, klassing and nickell plating – both processes which tender glee to the faker, and afford both subject and person a resulting embargo from scientific study:

Debunking Failed Model: Cynical Debunker

Debunking is a set of perfidious activity seeking to cast aspersions on a whole subject in question and onto the people who participate in it. This a necessary collateral damage enacted so as to provide disincentive to future participants. The public will no longer allow debunkers to spin their wares as they did in the 70’s and 80’s – becoming intolerant of the blatant display of religio-nihilist imperiousness. Debunkers had to retreat into disgruntled clubs like the James Randi Foundation and hide from overt public scrutiny. A key term which encompasses the malicious activities of this group of out-of-favor fake skeptics is klassing:

Klassing

/pseudoscience : debunking : malevolence/ : when one offers payment of money or threatens the well being or career of a person in order to get them to recant, deny, keep silent on, or renounce a previously stated observation or finding. The work of a malicious fake investigator who seeks to completely destroy an idea being researched and to actively cast aspersion on a specific subject as part of a broader embargo policy.  A high visibility reputation assassin hired to intimidate future witnesses or those who might consider conducting/supporting investigative work.

A nickell plater conducts their approach to a subject by the same methods of debunking, just sans the overt personal attacks. But the observant ethical skeptic will note that a nickell plater will eventually betray the joy they derive at discrediting people. Just let them keep talking and eventually it will come up. This is why the ethical skeptic must be ever vigilant to spot the merchants of doubt who practice nickell plating. It does not matter if the nickell plater is 95% correct, or possesses a likelihood of being 95% correct – they contend to be selling method, yet they are really selling negatively sculpted answers (see Inverse Negation Appeal to Skepticism). Under Corber’s Burden, when one undertakes this role, 95% is not good enough. Therefore, a debunker is unequivocally – a person who fakes investigation and implies appeal to skepticism authority in order to target subjects and persons for embargo from science.

Of those who practice the dark arts of klassing and nickell plating, both are debunkers.

A debunker and a klasser, while seemingly less acceptable on the surface, do not necessarily bear the celebrity conflict of interest however, to which a nickell plater falls vulnerable. This is the pseudo-sleuth’s foible, the dark hidden facet of their applied wares.

Before we examine the specific habits of the pseudo-sleuth however, we should briefly touch on a critical aspect of the basis for their motivation. The celebrity pseudo-sleuth has caught themselves inside a prison of sorts – formed by the sponsors of their work. Much as in the way in which a financial gain or avoidance of loss of income (same thing) might impact the neutrality of a study author, even so celebrity and the incumbent expectations can and does impact severly, the bias of the pseudo-sleuth.

Celebrity Conflict of Interest

/philosophy : pseudoscience : bias/ : an extreme form of epistemic anchoring or a priori bias which is introduced through a proponent’s desire to attain or maintain their celebrity status. Celebrity skeptics, pseudo-sleuths and science communicators may not even perceive that their epistemology is being imbued with a bias which tends to produce answers which favor continuation of their acceptability, club status, notoriety or income. This is the most extreme form of self inflicted coercion, ranking even above a scientific study author’s financial conflict of interest.

This is why they must wear the accoutrements, play the game, speak the lingo, quote the one liners, condemn the same people over and over. So without further ado, and understanding the fine line which the pseudo-sleuth must walk in order to appease his sponsors but not appear to be a ‘debunker’, let’s outline the habits and tactics of the nickell plater.

Debunking New Improved Model: Pseudo-Sleuth

Pseudo-Sleuth – pretends to investigate, but games the scientific method to present all possibilities except for the one being sponsor-considered. The pseudo-skeptic conducts investigation primarily to promote himself and fund the laid-back, authority saturated lifestyle of a celebrity. He both rejects, yet is supported by, the very group of which he claims to no longer be part. This type of pretense is known as nickell plating:

Nickell Plating

/pseudoscience : debunking : pretense or masquerade/ : employing accoutrements and affectations of investigation work (field trips, cameras, notebooks, sample bags, etc.), along with an implicit appeal to authority as a skeptic (appeal to skepticism) in an attempt to sell one’s self as conducting science. A social celebrity pretense of investigation, and established authority through a track record of case studies, wherein adornment of lab coats, academic thesis books, sciencey-looking instruments and the pretense of visiting places and taking notes/pictures, etc was portrayed by a posing pseudo-skeptic. In reality the nickell plater is often compensated to ‘investigate’ and socially promote one biased explanation; dismissing the sponsored hypothesis from being considered by actual science research. This is an active part of an embargo process, and was a technique which replaced debunking after it fell from public favor.

“I am not here to accuse people of being stupid believers. I am here to learn. Learn the explanation behind those things which would tempt people become believers in things which are obviously stupid.”

The distinguishing hypocritical and narcissistic features, broken down by the three phases of an investigation, which serve as warning indicators that Nickell Plating Debunking is underway:

.

The Precis

I’m Not a Debunker – first big warning sign. Stresses early on and often that they are ‘not a debunker’. Virtue signals that by not attacking the direct witnesses involved as hoaxers and liars – and only the investigators, he is somehow now on moral high ground and is now deemed open minded. Even though a subject/investigator debunking is the only goal he possesses at the start of his work, and it inevitably ends up implying that the witnesses cooked things up anyway… Apparently the definition of debunker within social skeptic circles is bent wildly to now be congruent only with ‘overt witness defamation perpetrator’, and really had nothing to do with impugning investigators of subject matter at all. Just because you are feigning ethics with the witnesses/experiencers, does not mean that you are ethical with the way in which you deal with the subject researchers and materials. You are still a debunker. No, 92% of the world did not hold a straw man of that word. Conveniently twisted definitions should always be an alert for an ethical skeptic. A group is being protected by the skewing of this term.

Adorns Self with Investigator Icons – adorns their offices or field investigations with the icons of stereotypical or fanciful investigators: old typewriters, film cameras, pencil and lab books, trench coats and hats, printed media, microscopes, scientific artifacts, conspicuous absence of a computer, etc.

Shifts Focus Off Non-Qualified or Dubious Past – typically will gloss over the fact that his or her PhD is in City Planning, or that he dodged the draft by running to Canada, or was a stage magician, or was convicted of fraud crimes, or that she really has held no job of significance save for being a puppet of the social skeptic agenda cabal. May complexify their background by citing a curriculum vitae which outlines many many roles or personae.

Perpetual Celebrity Seeking – claims to be interested in solving mysteries, yet habitually promotes self. Boasts often about ‘having coined the phrase’, ‘world’s only __________’ or their being hailed with appellations such as ‘the Columbo of Cryptozoology’ or the varied experiences of jobs in their past. If you map out all their non-investigation activity, one will note that every single action is crafted under a goal of establishing this millieu of apparency and building their notoriety.

Boasts of Honors Received – speaks often about being honored for their latest award, or science symposium or group of young people to which they made a presentation.

Pretend Lone Wolf – tenders the appearance of conscientious lone wolf independent thinker/investigator.

Poses as if In-Demand – pretends as if they are in-demand for their opinions & investigative work, both from the media and innocent victims of paranormal hype. Appeals to skepticism as a general platform of authority on most any subject.

No Visible Means of Support – no visible means of financial or journalistic publisher support. Often the reality being that they are quietly being funded by a group with a push political or religious agenda.

Degrees Earned do not Match Expertise Claimed – a ‘no-no’ which would relegate one to the trash heap of irrelevancy were they on the other side, is treated as no big deal when you do the bidding of the cabal. A PhD in Economics by no means qualifies one to comment upon physical phenomenology or the psychology of anecdote and eyewitness testimony. But if you regurgitate the cabal narrative, you will be regarded as a ‘PhD authority’ in myriad avenues of expertise.

Science Virtue-Signals – virtue signals often about their open mind, doing science, accessing all the data and ‘believing’ the witnesses as sincere (but stupid).

Wishes it Was Real – stresses often that they would love for the sponsored idea or avenue of investigation to turn out to be real. Yet their greatest satisfaction expressions relate to events discrediting persons or in finding that ‘it was not real’.

Hails Comprehensive Case Resume – “Oh yes, I looked at that case as well and here are the particulars…” All the cases which are worth investigating, he has done it already. Everything thing else is simply anecdote from the un-illuminated.

Cherry Picks Cases – habitually cherry picks cold isolated and prominent old cases which have a high chance of being dormant or dead yet still build celebrity – like debunking psychics (yawn), Jesus on a grilled cheese sandwich, or debunking the Roswell UFO crash, or cases in which the chicanery of the participants has been well vetted prior to his selecting the case. Never stoops to go alongside any real investigators for any sustained period of time on current ongoing investigations.

Views All Others as Divided into Believers & Debunkers– employs these identifiers a lot and never self-checks in the process. Any disagreement serves to bifurcate you into the Believer/Debunker buckets. But he is not a debunker or believer himself – only others have bias. There are never any actual researchers on the other side of the issue.

Gives Anyone Who Disagrees a Comprehensive Pejorative Moniker – in advance of any study, context, question or evidence – enemies of the pseudo-investigator are all given a bucket characterization and broad-sweeping name in advance. ‘Pseudo-archaeologist’ or ‘pseudo-scientist’ titles are ascribed to the bad thinkers (a gigantic grouping of varied thoughts, expertise levels and neutral-to-opposing opinions – very much in contrast to the specific context of one-idea investigator we target here ourselves) before we even know what they are thinking at all. This allows the fake investigator to leverage bifurcation potential energy to boost their celebrity and perceived credibility. Nothing boosts notoriety as much as agreeing with a fanatic gang.

Pollyanna Belief that Teaching Critical Thinking Will Make It All Go Away – teach the scientific method, and critical thinking to those who experience and observe things you do not like – their observations will not go away. Sorry Virginia. Besides, you are not there teaching them science and critical thinking, you are there providing a smoke screen for those who did not observe the phenomena.

Exploits General Public Ignorance of Skepticism – some know genuine skepticism, some debunkers do not. Either way – they spin false, but good sounding one-liners which justify why they should be heralded as authority and their inverse negation assertions be accepted immediately as ‘science’.

1.  Holds Six Canned Solutions in Advance – comes in with a preconceived standard inventory of six canned solutions to any case (Misidentification, Hoax/Being Hoaxed, Delusion, Lie, Accident, Anecdote), often bearing a slogan or phrase for each canned solution, which he claims credit in coining – but remember, he is open-minded and ‘believes’ the witnesses (big eyes roll here). This is much like how a stand up comic performs their act. Always resolves a case as a MiHoDeAL outcome.

2.  Speaks Often of Doubt – never aware that skepticism involves an open mind and bias free investigative work – where, most now understand that ‘doubt’ is a game one plays with one’s self. Doubt is a carrot on a stick which the doubter doubts is there.

3.  Is Able to Explain Everything – a ‘theory’ which explains everything probably explains nothing. Develops the habit of never saying ‘I don’t know’ regarding the critical question at hand. Often quips “I want to learn. Learn exactly what are the explanations for the alleged occurrences that have prompted some obviously irrational belief.” Key note – not learn about the subject, just learn why people were prompted to ‘believe’ despite his preconceived ‘explanations’.

4.  Answer is Always Simple – ‘Occam’s’ Razor and the pencil are the two most pretend used items (aside from the brain). Still recites old Sagan 1970’s versions of Occam’s Razor and cannot seem to fathom the actual scientific version.

5.  Never Fails to Produce the ‘Answer’ – most of science does not immediately produce an answer. But debunker investigations always result in a conclusion (even if they have to force it, Transactional Occam’s Razor Error) – when this habit is a key indicator of bias in science. Eager to infer and mark ‘finished’. Justifies this with the one-liner: “Mysteries are meant to be solved”. Look for a case wherein the sleuth says “I am still working on that one, there are some things which I cannot resolve.” A faker will not have such a circumstance in their inventory.

6.  They Are There ‘to Learn’ – If the science around the issue is so readily apparent and 99.97% resolved, then why do we need investigators? Such investigation cannot possibly involve a legitimate goal entitled: ‘to learn’. Since 4.5 of the 6 canned solution buckets in # 1 above are pejorative towards the experiencers, the only goal which remains involves public humiliation of people, disparagement of the subject and intimidation of new experiencers, researchers or young people observing this ‘skeptic’ charade. The only reason you slip by as not a debunker, is because of sleight-of-hand exploitation of people’s general ignorance about skepticism.

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The Investigation

Implies Having Been Invited – implies that the paranormal victim was so perplexed that they did not know where to turn, and invited the nickell plater to come and help them sort things out. The reality is that these guys are seldom invited, and rather get a ‘ehhh… come on in if you want to’ after their insistence on shoving their way into the case as a science-validating or even subject-friendly ‘skeptic’ expert.

Biggest Thrill is in Discrediting People – ‘I love discrediting psychics’ declares a self-titled ‘not a debunker’ fake investigator. Despite claims that they are motivated by curiosity, they seem to get their best jollies when discrediting others – rather than in learning new things. Blind spot in observing this hypocrisy in contention versus action.

Exploits General Public Ignorance of Methods of Science – some know science, some debunkers do not. Either way – they spin non rectum agitur error and praedicate evidentia fallacies on a regular basis, knowing that few can catch them at their game. This is part of the rush of joy which a deceiving debunker obtains from this process.

1.  A Client’s Failure to Describe a Phenomenon to Scientific Standard is Evidence of its Absence – this is a form of Wittgenstein Error which fake investigators exploit. They rely upon the reality that the observer will typically not be versed in the disciplines of scientific observation. This leaves a ready playground of slack inside which the ‘investigator’ can propose all sorts of plausible counter to his advantage. This thrives as well if the investigator fails to assimilate intelligence from such observation sets. Operates under the guise of ‘What is proposed without science, can be dismissed without science.” A statement which is not true, because the qualification which earmarks a study as ‘not science’ can be minor and circumstantial in nature – only affording an excuse for pseudo-scientific activity.

2.  Introduces an Unqualified Conclusion Based Merely upon Plausibility – provides a plausible solution but never outlines any case material, testing mechanism, objective measures nor critical features and how they resolved to support the likelihood of the proposed solution, other than handy statements by witnesses or convenient similarity between feature items.

3.  Considers a Plausible Conclusion to be Scientifically Congruent with a Researched Alternative – most debunkers rarely get this. Their contentions are brought without study, induction or consilience – and they consider this platform to be equal in scientific treatment to a process which is using all these features (although still in process of research). This all changes if the denier is part of the opposition.

4.  Straw Mans or Cherry Picks Incomplete Versions to Debunk – misrepresents what the sponsored alternative is saying. Chooses the easiest version to debunk, most extreme version or variant of sponsor (simulans legatus) and leaves out the version which is most commonly encountered or more reasonable sponsors.

5.  Conflates Observations (Data) as Constituting ‘Claims’ – habitually takes a personal observation, and rather than treating it as data – converts it into a ‘claim’ which must be immediately explained, stand alone and without comprehensive research or intelligence.

6. Fails to Assemble Intelligence nor Observes Necessity – Implies that the case he is working on is the only instance which exists of the phenomena under investigation, which allows for the introduction of the ‘appeal to ignorance’ argument – since inductive science and consilience cannot logically apply to a stand-alone case anecdote. Fails to understand when Ockham’s Razor has been surpassed and a full array of deductive study is warranted, not inductive or abductive.

7.  ‘Claims’ (Data) are Then Resolved as MiHoDeAL – Code phrases often involve ‘They cannot prove that this was not a hoax they fell victim to’ convenience and ‘Seems interested in being a story teller’. Implicit disparagement of witnesses as being liars, delusional, mistaken, hoaxed, when the ‘investigator’ contends that they don’t practice such defamatory activity.

8.  Fails to Distinguish Between a Story and a Probative Anecdote – if I hear a story about a man who did not brush his teeth, and never got any cavities – that is a story-anecdote. If however, I test this principle by avoiding brushing one of the four bridges of my own teeth for a period of 12 years, and that neglected bridge does not exhibit any more cavities than do the other three bridges, then that is a probative-anecdote.  Despite its state of being anecdote, it is of scientific value. Fakers will exploit the convenience of conflating the two epistemic flavors in order to dismiss data they do not like, contending that it does not ‘prove’ the point (proof gaming).

9.  Fails to Structure Actual Theory – a theory  1. bears Wittgenstein definition, 2. is based upon intelligence, not simply data or anecdote, 3. possesses comprehensive historical explanatory strength 4. bears a critical element of measurability, 5. undertakes risk in incremental conjecture, 6. features a testable (or vulnerable to falsification) mechanism, 7. bears predictive power and 8. offers an advisory protocol for replication. Debunkers love to promote ‘theories’ which feature none or few of these traits. Especially theories which present no avenue of falsification. That way, one can ‘investigate’ but never actually research anything, because there is no standard against which measures can be made as to suitability of their conclusions. They can never be held to account, yet are celebrated as ‘scientists’. 

10.  Avoids Multiple Witnesses or Evidence Corroboration – always implies there was only one unqualified witness and stresses their lack of credibility or the unreliability of eyewitness observation.

11.  Goes Only Deep Enough to Confirm – ventures far enough into the material to find ‘facts’ which appear to corroborate one of their six a priori disposition buckets. Avoids any more depth than this exclusively.

12.  Never Encounters a Serendipitous Discovery – the nature of investigative work, and one of its hallmarks when done ethically, is that it produces surprises. For the fake sleuth, there is never a surprise – and if there does exist one, the surprise is only circumstantial and ceremonial in nature. Reality is always complex and full of surprises – never trust anyone who never finds a surprise.

13.  Meticulously Avoids Inductive or Deductive Methodology – the reality is that the pseudo-skeptic always uses abduction to arrive at their conclusions. After all, it is a lot less work to issue prescribed answers – and pseudo-sleuths are usually old tired curmudgeons anyway.  And the work they do perform, can be invested into building valuable celebrity status instead. Notice that they never aggregate for consilience under inductive methodology (never build an analytical database), nor will they go through a process of deduction (never use falsification because plausibility is rendered vulnerable by falsification). Key hints into their scientific ability.

14.  Reduces Neither Data nor Hypothesis – data always remains in the raw, single instance, non-intelligence form. It is never assimilated or reviewed en masse. Conclusions often hinge on one item, or one phrase which conveniently opens the door for their pre-favored and remotely plausible explanation. Throws around terms like “a preponderance of the evidence” or “clear and compelling evidence” without qualification; when no hypothesis set was ever identified in the first place, or very little or a biased set of evidence has been gathered in reality.

15. Goal is Social Praise and Not Understanding – their ultimate objective is to force a mysterious circumstance to fit their religious compliance model. The view of the world which they were handed during a period of psychological damage. All people now must conform to this obsession they adopted at a tender age. This leaves them a sucker for praise, so much so that it occludes their desire to know the truth.

Implies Researchers Never Self-Critique – implies that researchers are typically credulous bumpkins who fail to examine their own processes, disciplines and assumptions. Pretends that sponsoring researchers are all ‘believers’ and have never heard of skepticism, much less applied it. Only the debunker is the hero arriving on the scene caped in science, method and truth.

Listens Only for What They Want to Hear – only listens in order to pick up evidence for their pre-formed conclusion, and hype-lines which might work well as a sound byte. Waits for one key phrase like “I wasn’t sure what I saw at first”; as if a Rubik’s Cube pattern solver, and retorts, “Now see, there you go…”. Whereupon he rambles into a canned solution – the observer is never heard from again in order to disagree.

Collects Mostly Semi-relevant Data – as a busy-work appearance and under the chance that he might find something useful for a sound bite, collects a wealth of data which does not pertain to the critical question at hand; preferring to focus instead inside the circumstantial realm.

Eschews Internet – prejudice against the free flow of information as being damaging to ideas which need to be preserved. Likes to disparage individual research as ‘Google University’, as if the public having access to information undermines their ability to be authority on a subject or the smartest person in the room.

Lie Detector Test Hypocricy – accepts the results of a lie detector test if it supports their idea, or flags the instance where a person declines a lie detector test. Then calls it an unreliable form of evidence if such does not fit their narrative. Habitually forgets that they assumed the former when concluding the latter.

Declares ‘Unlikely’ While Lacking Statistics to Establish Any Probability Basis – ‘this is very very unlikely’ when they do not have a clue as to what the probability distribution for the event is in the first place. This is tantamount to ‘I don’t like this answer’ in epistemological credence terms.

Sculpts the Data – fails to mention data which supports the sponsored theory. Ignores data which falsifies the solution they had canned from the start.

Completely Truthful on Incomplete Version of Truth – presents only the portions of facts he was able to collect which support the narrative favored by his sponsors. Never once addresses counter-explanations.

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The Follow Up

Immediately Takes to Air Waves – immediately promotes in push media, talks shows, publications and the web, the solution he found. A campaign which dwarfs the original news about the subject in the first place.

Times Case Flurries with New Book Releases – suddenly appears to have resolved longstanding (like Jack the Ripper) or highly visible (Roswell UFO debunking) cases of ‘skepticism’ just in time for a new book which is about to be published. Books are usually very lightweight and propagandish in nature. A songsheet for the choir, so that they can pocket some coin off the paranormal as needed.

Cites Sponsor Researchers Did Not Use Science – habitually cites that the sponsoring researchers did not follow the scientific method, but can never seem to explain what it was that they erred in, nor help the sponsors with a recommendation of benefit, nor spend any time alongside researchers helping them craft theory or develop sound methodology. All this running in extreme contrast with their expressed ethic of ‘I really want this to be true’.

Feigns Objectivity/Tenders False Praise – knowing that they must appear to be objective and not appear to be a debunker, they will couch their insults inside praise statements, such as ‘They had a really cool setup, detectors and machines everywhere, gadgets and the like. The problem was it was all pseudoscience’ or ‘I really liked her sincerity, she could spin a really entertaining yarn. And you know, I think she really believed that this happened’.

Over Reliance on Mocking and Cajoling – a sincere scientist or researcher does not apply such bias imbuing sales techniques. Humor is acceptable, but these types of con artists use the reward of flattery and the specter being regarded as delusional, as manipulation tactics.

Focuses on the Young – under the false assumption that people only see weird things because they are ‘trained’ to see them – this type of investigator sincerely believes that you can train people to not see things they do not want to have seen.

Never Follows Up – Job done, he never returns to the site to hear ‘client’, witness or other investigator objections or counter-evidence. Issues the correct solution and walks away, washing hands.

Eschews Dialectic & Peer Review – fails to obtain peer review from other or competing researchers or persons holding actual knowledge of the case. Relies upon the probability that most people will not be able to catch what he has done.

Obsesses Over Critics and Criticism – mentions any noteworthy critics over and over and over and how they pose them in the wrong light or don’t understand/straw man.

Implies Client Acquiescence – implies that the simpleton and credulous witnesses were overpowered by his critical thinking and begrudgingly accepted it as probable. Job done, he returned to his lab with conclusive samples in hand.

Is Always Wearing the Persona/Never Genuine or Reflective – always seems to be wearing the veneer of a skeptic, or some other costume which hides who they genuinely are. Lacks any sense of wonder, except for feigned wonder because they know that they should bear a sense of wonder ethically.

Anyone Who Disagrees is a Screaming Believer – of course. They have to be right? What happened to the objective open mindedness?

Anyone Who Disagrees is the Real Debunker – suddenly, to disagree with a claim means you are accusing someone of lying. Applies here, but not in the fake skeptic’s case. ‘Trick of the mind’ is not debunking when they use it, but IS debunking when the opposition uses it. Hypocrisy.

Sleuth-Fantasizes/Poses – speaks often of Sherlock Holmes quotes, or likes to surround himself with the clutter reminiscent of a Hollywood portrayal of a 30’s private eye.

Utilizes ‘Peer Review’ Only from Debunker Clubs – the very debunkers he disassociated himself with, he immediately targets for peer evaluation, publication and accolades. Epistemic and personal scientific fraud. Never asks for contrasting input from a seasoned expert or lifelong researcher who is highly regarded, to assist with peer review. Only seeks reviewers who will immediately agree without examination, to the conclusion he has foisted. This is scientific fraud.

Believes in the Effectiveness of Club Quality – falls for the pseudoscientific perception that clubs can delivery quality in scientific methods.

Receives Debunker Accolades/Compensation – the very groups he decries in Precis step 1. are the very ones to hail and craft his celebrity & most importantly, pay his paycheck.

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The cycle being complete, the very people he denies being part of, end up compensating him. The sponsors are now happy. These are the hallmarks of the person who has been hired to take the reigns of work which used to be filled by the malicious debunker. Ethical skeptic, don’t fall for it. Not in the least. Keep your ears, eyes, awareness and mind truly open. This world is a lot stranger than our control freaks will allow us to understand. But just as happened in the days of the debunkers, the public mind is changing fast. Social Skeptics are losing the battle for the American mind.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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July 31, 2017 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda | , , , | Leave a comment

The Appeal to Fallacy

My goal as an ethical skeptic is not to cite a fallacy and subsequently snigger at my opponent “bwahahahaha!” That is the mental process of a child. There is a difference between arguing to win, and arguing for truth. It is paramount that the ethical skeptic keep a wary eye out for those who routinely confuse ‘fallacy’ and ‘error’.

Sometimes an assertion maker has not crafted a faulty logical contention, they have not overly focused on the opponents of their assertion – sometimes they are just simply, factually or existentially wrong. This difference between the state of being wrong, and the condition of making missteps inside logic and delivery of argument – is summed up inside a philosophical principle called the Appeal to Fallacy (or Argument from Fallacy).  The appeal to fallacy exists in two forms. First, is the instance wherein an assertion maker has crafted a failed logical construct, and an opponent (or skeptic) in the discussion surrounding that construct identifies the formal or informal fallacy which compromises the basis for the argument. To declare the assertion maker existentially or factually wrong under such a circumstance, would constitute an additional (plural) step in argument itself and would be crafted in the form of a mistake in argument, an informal fallacy of soundness called the Fallacy Fallacy.  Conversely, if the same assertion maker broaches a contention which is existentially wrong, to further then call that a logical fallacy, is itself an error in the use of the term and concept of a fallacy (note, this latter a state of being wrong – is not ‘fallacious’ per se – ergo it is error – while the former is expressed in the form of an actual modus ponens argument, which is flawed in soundness). [see note 1 regarding the colloquial use of the term ‘fallacy’]

Let’s suffer through the process of an example together, shall we?

Assertion in Argument:     All trees are green

Structure of Argument (modus ponens):     If P (latet)  ‘A great preponderance of trees I have ever observed seem to be green’  therefore Q  ‘All trees are green’

Argument Fallacy:     Fallacy of Composition (Informal)2

Assertion Validity:     Undetermined  ‘True’  ‘False’  or  ‘Inconclusive’  [see note 3 concerning Boolean Logic]

Notice that we have the assertion, and then its argument. Complimentarily, we face the issues of validity of the assertion as distinct from the soundness or logical calculus of its expression in argument. I threw a twist into the above example in order to introduce a common habit of fake skeptics. That being, an argument maker can hide the premise portion of his argument in order to make the assertion appear more acceptable (deflect from issues of soundness). A trick of the trade. Therefore many times it is up to the ethical skeptic to unmask such logical formations before they undertake the process of evaluating validity itself. Such contentions can easily slip by (wearing the costume of truth by hiding their modus ponens) and become common wisdom, Lindy Mechanisms of defacto truth in time.

Are all trees green? In fact, I do not know. My mission here in evaluating this statement was simply to elicit the exercise of identifying a fallacy (argument). This does not mean that the person who made such an assertion is existentially wrong on the point being made (assertion). If a skeptic is seriously examining the issue of green trees – he or she may choose to drop focus on the fallacy after pointing it out – and counter “While that argument bears a fallacy of composition, nonetheless it is an interesting assertion. Let’s take a look at it.”

My goal as an ethical skeptic is not to cite a fallacy and subsequently snigger “bwahahahaha!” That is the mental process of a child. There is a difference between arguing to win, and arguing for truth.

We know that the color green is the most common color associated with photosynthesis. The chlorophyll needed for photosynthesis tends to emit this color, which after some translucent lensing through the plant matter, then serves to form the typical pigmentation of most plant species.4 But while this is a very common condition of expressed color, it may not be universal (fallacy evaluation). Now in order to evaluate this contention for validity, I could play a game of induction and fact-mongering regarding the pigmentation of chlorophyll itself, pathways of light expression from reflection off and absorption-use by chlorophyll; all which show conclusively that the only color that can emit from the structure of a plant would be green. I would impress all those around me with my ability to sling around terms like ‘lattice/energy absorption wavelengths’, ‘propagation wave particle duality’, ‘scattering and angle of incidence’, ‘molecular spectral critical angle differential’.  But if I did this I would be committing the second sin of the social skeptic – ingens vanitatum (see The Tower of Wrong: The Art of Professional Lying) – knowing or relating a great deal of irrelevance. Again, not seeking the answer, rather seeking to discredit an opponent – and establish myself as the smartest person in the room. This is a process called pseudo-refutation.

Pseudo-Refutation

/philosophy : pseudoscience : argument/ : a common 1-2-3 step charade of social skeptics in false refutation structure and logical calculus; employed as a ruse of conducting science. To

1) cite any fallacy an opponent has possibly made,

2) employ that fallacy as the basis to declare the opponent ‘wrong’, and moreover then

3) issue an inductive counter of their contention, bearing ample information and hidden conjecture, which tenders appearance that the social skeptic is smarter than the opponent (ingens vanitatum) and has successfully refuted their contention.

When in fact, nothing of the sort was achieved and/or a deductive falsification approach was avoided, which was already readily at hand (see Methodical Deescalation). The focus is not on the validity of the argument or any particular truth, rather in aggrandizing the social skeptic and belittling his opponent.

As an ethical skeptic, I prefer falsification over any sort of exercise in celebrity-building and display of personal inductive brilliance. I take the most efficient critical path to resolution: go and look for a single instance of a white crow, the existence of a non-green tree (we are assuming exclusion of the fall color condition of course). I go and look (really look – not Nickell plating – amazing that THIS is the identifier for ethical versus social skepticism), and I find the American Red Maple.5 The assertion in argument as it turns out, constituted not only a fallacy of composition, but it was existentially false as well. It very easily could have turned out true, or even undetermined. I celebrate our finding with my former opponent and thank him for the chance to learn.

I did not know
I went and looked
Everything else was vanity

Therefore we have the basis of what is called the Appeal to Fallacy. You will find many people habitually (me included at times and I hope I have caught them all) confusing the terms ‘fallacy’ and ‘error’. This is part of the basis as to why The Ethical Skeptic has chosen a different method of assailing arguments (see Formal vs Informal Fallacy and Their Abuse) – an intellectual pursuit which involves more than simply evaluating the trivia surrounding how a person has formed their contention. Aside from a skeptic protecting the integrity of soundness or how a logical calculus is assembled (part of the scientific method) – the remainder of fallaciadom stands as just one slight shade above, simple childish retorts. Beyond this however, those who fall prey to an appeal to fallacy is one sure way of discriminating the pretender from the truth seeker.

Appeal to Fallacy

/philosophy : fallacy : abuse/ : one of two forms of confusing the state of an assertion being in error, with positing a faulty argument, delivery or sound basis.

Fallacy Fallacy (Argument from Fallacy)  – arguer detects a fallacy in argument and declares therefore the person to be ‘wrong’ in assertion as well.  When an arguer employs either a formal, or even more an informal fallacy, to stand as the basis to declare a whole subject or assertion in argument to be therefore, false. A formal fallacy or redress on the basis of soundness or induction inference, only serves to invalidate an opponent’s argument structure. All three flaws tender nothing regarding verity of the argument’s assertion or conclusion itself, which may or may not be independently also true. As well, any instance wherein a circumstantial, expression, personal or informal critique or other informal fallacy is inappropriately cited as a mechanism to invalidate an opponent’s argument or stand as basis for dismissal of a subject.

Fallacy Error – arguer detects a condition of being wrong and incorrectly deems this condition to constitute a ‘fallacy’. When an arguer finds an argument assertion to be wrong and declares the incorrect conclusion, error, mistake or lie to constitute a ‘fallacy’. When in reality, a fallacy is nothing but a weakness or flaw in an argument, soundness, logical calculus, structure or form – and has nothing actually to do with the validity of its assertion or conclusion.

Notice as well, the example above elicits a distinction between two differing types of (often confused) refutation. The inability to distinguish between these two types of response on the part of an opponent, serves to alert one to a condition of epistemic commitment or other bias on the part of an assertion maker:

No, you are wrong and here is the correct answer.

and

No you are wrong, the answer is still undetermined.

This will stand as the substance of a future blog.

epoché vanguards gnosis

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July 15, 2017 Posted by | Argument Fallacies | , , , | Leave a comment

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