The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

The Seven Steps of How I Recovered my Gut Flora and My Health

I am winning the slow war of attrition with regard to defeating the bad bacteria in my gut, and slowly allowing my body to heal itself of the myriad set of incumbent maladies and symptoms. I accomplished this through elimination of the pesticide/biocide glyphosate from my diet and through re-introduction of the right bacteria back into my gut. Of course, I learned this primarily on my own, thanks to the Social Skepticism Cabal. Their only outcomes are defense of the agent which precipitated this toxicity syndrome, arrogance, ignorance and suffering – in that order. Count one less sufferer among the ranks of their victims. But sadly, because of the ignorance enforced by this malevolent group of know-it-all’s, I had to find this out through secondary sources and over a decade of personal experimentation.

I am extraordinarily pleased to relate to those of you possessing ethical minds, that after a significant amount of research, work with my Integrative and Gastroenterology physicians, and significant amount of personal experimentation, I have been able to reverse the debilitating progressive disease of Glyphosate Induced Dysbiosis (GID), auto-immune problems and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and all their related maladies. Now, while not every body is alike, I suspect that since IBS has skyrocketed from 9 million cases since the year before the introduction of glyphosate to 54 million cases by 2013 alone, that many of us are similar in our suffering patterns. Just to offer an anecdotal evidence, in my office right now – fully 75% of the persons who work there are suffering ongoing non-viral intestinal problems of various types (IBS-D&C, InfBS, Crohn’s, Diverticulitis, etc.) – only half have seen their doctor about it. But IBS is by no means the lone symptom of glyphosate toxicity syndrome. These symptoms of glyphosate induced dysbiosis† and the resulting auto-immune sicknesses include:

Glyphosate Toxicity Syndrome

Symptoms that have skyrocketed since the introduction of glyphosate into our food in 1995, most of which began with me in the Fall of 1995 and Spring of 1996:

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome – D and C
  • Rosacea/ Face Pustules
  • Edema
  • Chronic Reflux/GERD
  • Peroxidase Antibody/Endocrine Auto-Immune Disruption
  • Minor Protein Malnutrition
  • Vitamin B Deficiencies/Chronic Anemias
  • Vitamin D Deficiencies
  • Weight Gain
  • Diabetes
  • Homocysteine Related Inflammation
  • Diabetes Related Heart Disease
  • Hypertension
  • Joint Pain/Discomfort/Anxiety/Foggy-headedness/Attention DeficiencyIBS versus supplements harm - Copy - Copy - Copy
Things I Don’t Give a Damn About

Yes, I have alleviated all of the above symptoms via the following procedure. Now, before I go into the success method which ended up being effective for me, and fully recognizing that I am not prescribing medical treatments, nor presuming that all people are exactly alike, we must deal with some things. Things anal, malevolent and oppressive persons enforce on us all, that cause enormous harm and suffering, and about which I do not give a damn in this post:

Now if that's a source of - CopyA.  That you are going to threaten, my career, me with harm, to defame me, my children or my associates because you don’t like what I have to say

B.  That supplements are placebo quackery and should be prescription controlled (which is it?)

C.  That gut flora research and health is ‘pseudoscience’ in your simplest explanation a priori world

D.  Your having a fit over wanting to scream that the science behind glyphosate was “settled” in 1993

E.  These statements or any aspect at all being addressed at all by the FDA, or that there exists the praedicate evidentia modus ponens fallacy statement being muttered ‘there is no evidence for…’ – as if this were some pretense of a probative scientific proposition on your part.

F.  Your having a fit over my appearing to give medical advice

G.  Anything at all discredited Science Based Medicine has to say or squelch. Any malicious propaganda efforts block the rights of consumers (like in my case below) to even be able to buy their hard-determined treatment/supplement choices (for example: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/nz-pharmacists-want-to-sell-snakeoil/)

H.  That the human body is magically/evolutionarily tuned to sufficiency and does not need supplementation or management by the body owner as long as you ‘consume a balanced and healthy Western diet’.

…sorry I had to take a break while laughing…

I.  That I have recommended specific products or supplements

J.  That mega-farms claim to save 2 cents a bushel with this toxin, that by applying a chemical that kills by accelerating plant growth past its ability to intake nutrient, also happened surprisingly to make food plant caloric matter grow faster and bigger as well, or that you intend to feed the starving 2053 ad world via these biomass yield savings (after you have created a monopoly first in the here and now of course, and in only the non-food-security-risk nations)

…sorry I had to take a break while yawing…

K. God, UFO’s, Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, etc. – or any of the myriad things Social Skeptics were fixated upon when they SHOULD have been standing in the gap to question any short fused attempt to majorly alter our entire food supply over the course of about 8 years total and after only 3 work-content years of study.

What I Learned to Do Over the Last 12 Years
Here are the steps I am taking which are proving effective in the attrition battle to recover my gut flora from the toxicity chain induced by glyphosate (ranked below by importance). These have been effective for me, and are the result of much hard work. Develop your personal application of this advice only under the guidance of your Integrative or Gastroenterology physician :
Protect Your Intestinal Biome – It is Part of Your Vital Organ Function
  1. Get tested for h. pylori, pancreatic sufficiency, HCL sufficiency, MTHFR alleles (DNA)
  2. Eliminate all glyphosate bearing foods from your diet – no exception †
    • Corn/HFCS/Corn Starch (severe impact)not safe for consumption - Copy - Copy
    • Soy/Soybean oil (severe impact)
    • Canola oil (heavy impact)
    • Wheat/Wheat based preservatives (impact if chronically consumed)
    • Brown-Black Beans/Lentils
    • Cottonseed oil
    • Alfalfa (severe impact)
    • Dairy (moderate impact)
    • For an understanding of the food risk profiles, why these foods were selected (and eventually confirmed that they indeed were the critical mechanism in my IBS – see here)
  3. Take Digestive Enzyme Spectrum/Gut Barrier Supplement at Each Meal and at Bedtime
    • dicalcium phosphate, pancreatin 4X, betaine HCL, amylase, protease, pepsin, papain, oxbile, lipase, bromelain, cellulase
    • Vinegar with the Mother (morning, dinner, at bedtime)
    • Hemp Oil (morning, midday, bedtime – reduces facial sores and body inflammation from excess Omega-6 oils)
    • Spirulina Powder (1 tsp in the morning and 1 tsp in the evening – critical for rosacea and eczema symptomatic expressions)
  4. Take in Morning at Bedtime
    • 5-methylfolate (do not take folid acid, it is potentially a useless toxin if you carry the MTHFR methylation C677T SNP (Ala222Val) allele) – energy for ANS (which controls your breathing at night and your peristaltic motion from the stomach to the large intestine) and countering various types of anemia
  5. Consume a NON-(GMO-Wheat-Dairy-Whey-Soy-Canola-Corn) Protein Supplement (you need more than the 5 basic meat proteins – there are 16 in plants)
  6. Take Pro-biotic/Pre-Biotic Supplement Daily
    • Align (b. infantis 35624)
    • General Pro-biotic
    • Organic Raw Kombucha Drink
    • Garlic, Onion, Asparagus, Kale
  7. Consume Supplementation Daily
    • Sublingual Vitamins B1 (Coenzymed), B2 (Coenzymated), B6 (Coenzymated) , B3 (NADH), B5, B7, B9 (methylated), B12 (cobalimated)
    • Vitamin D3 and K2

The items in bold are critical each day. You do not have to be perfect, but this general schedule will introduce a change to your gut environment. A gradual process of recovery, it was not immediate for me. You are supporting a bacterial war of attrition. Glyphosate is a weapon of mass destruction employed by the wrong side. There is a curious interplay between B-Vitamins and gut flora, they both produce some of them and your body needs some of them, in order to keep your flora in balance. Beta Glucan did absolute wonders for the facial sores which resulted from this Glyphosate Induced Dysbiosis.

Years of debilitating pain, 5 to 8 hours per day – Every day – 30+ Bleeding puss-filled sores on my face at all times, anxiety, loss of energy…….   Now alleviated, through experimentation, not accepting the answers Science Based Medicine and Social Skepticism have been preemptively pushing for 20 years, working with my integrative practitioner and gastroenterologist, and receptive discipline – the hallmark diligence of Ethical Skepticism.

The Net Effect of Glyphosate on the Digestive Infrastructure

antibodies-downHere is how I think it works, much of which is backed by studies inside the last two years. Below in orange I have highlighted the primary clinical impacts of glyphosate on the human body. Remember that, since glyphosate kills beneficial bacteria inside the soil and inside the plants we consume†, it does not actually have to even enter your body in order to begin this process listed above. But, as well, it is most definitely entering your body and performing the same magic act upon you, as it does to kill pests.

There is a reason the list below contains so much surfactant (functional column 4) and anti-microbial functionality (functional column 5) – It is so that the primary three symbiont bacteria phyla are protected and not displaced by foreign invasion. Killing those bacteria, and inducing the dysfunction of the digestive mechanisms which serve to defend those bacteria – makes the symbiont host (us) sick.

If you are like me (and I do see variances in how this affects different people) glyphosate acts to kill important bacteriodetes and fermicutes microbiome species in the duodenum and ileum (Orange, below), upon which your auto-immune and nutritional health depend.  If I had not found this strategy to be effective in my personal experimentation, and if my Integrative practitioner had not insisted on some of these practices and tested my blood and stool samples, I would have shied away from saying this – even though the latest 2014 and 2015 science backs this up.†

Glyphosate kills bacteria. Lysol kills bacteria too. I don’t eat plants treated with Lysol for the same reason. I need these bacteria.

The death of these bacteria results in nutritional mal-absorption shortfalls in Vitamins B and D, and the minor proteins which one only gets from Heavy Molecular Weight Organic Materials (plants, see bacteriodetes in orange highlight below).  The shortfall in these bacteria, which are resident symbionts (a functional part of our body just like an organ), results in their replacement by malicious non-symbionts.  These invading displacement bacteria then cause a host of secondary and auto-immune disorder impacts, along with the resulting endocrine, intestinal and health degradation (Yellow, below).

This proved to be correct in my body.

The expressed symptom set of this bacterial displacement, aside from the nutritional shortfall which is induced, includes a myriad of auto-immune (lupus, rosacea, fibromyalgia, arthritis, hypo endocrine) maladies, along with a general deterioration of the body.

In addition, the end-of-process symptom is the onset of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, wherein the large intestine and sigmoid colon spasm with pain and flush their production with water and excess mucus in order to evacuate the foreign bacteria-infested bolus as quickly as possible, with a minimum of toxin ingestion.

The result is IBS-constipation, IBS-diarrhea and severe debilitating pain for 4 hours a day or more, and more than 6 times per month. Most victims suffer much more than this, by far. Below, I have depicted the chain of impacts from glyphosate, beginning with the loss of two critical families of bacteria in orange under the ileum functional sets, their replacement by foreign invading bacteria, and the myriad set of auto-immune and secondary digestive impacts to the digestive tract and functional systems, which results in its own set of cascading maladies.

Active Elements of Digestion Vulnerable to Glyphosate - Copy - Copy


†  2015  Shehata AA1, Schrödl W, Aldin AA, Hafez HM, Krüger M.; Curr Microbiol. 2013 Apr;66(4):350-8. doi: 10.1007/s00284-012-0277-2. Epub 2012 Dec 9.

2015  Journal of Environmental Health, Environmental Health Aug 25 2015, 14:70  doi:10.1186/s12940-015-0056-1Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure.

Study Series Contained  The Ethical Skeptic: The Urgent Need to Reform the Cartel Science Around Glyphosate; extracted 18 Oct 2015; http://theethicalskeptic.com/2014/11/19/pseudoscience-in-action-the-urgent-need-to-reform-the-science-around-glyphosate/

Shehata AA1, Schrödl W, Aldin AA, Hafez HM, Krüger M.; Curr Microbiol. 2013 Apr;66(4):350-8. doi: 10.1007/s00284-012-0277-2. Epub 2012 Dec 9.

Abstract

The use of glyphosate modifies the environment which stresses the living microorganisms. The aim of the present study was to determine the real impact of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro. The presented results evidence that the highly pathogenic bacteria as Salmonella Entritidis, Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to glyphosate. However, most of beneficial bacteria as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis (soil bacteria) and Lactobacillus spp. were found to be moderate to highly susceptible. Also Campylobacter spp. were found to be susceptible to glyphosate. A reduction of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract microbiota by ingestion of glyphosate could disturb the normal gut bacterial community. Also, the toxicity of glyphosate to the most prevalent Enterococcus spp. could be a significant predisposing factor that is associated with the increase in C. botulinum-mediated diseases by suppressing the antagonistic effect of these bacteria on clostridia.

October 19, 2015 Posted by | Deskeption | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Popper Demarcation Practice and Malpractice

Many people presume the Popper Demarcation Principle to distinguish the boundary between science and pseudoscience. While the Popper Demarcation indeed involves this aspect, the two ideas are not congruent. The actual delineation hinges on the role of predictive and falsifying testing practiced by those entities claiming the methods of science, or science as the body of knowledge. He contrasts this claimant group with those who make no such claim to science at all. False Skepticism to Popper, was also pseudoscience, because it claims to be conducting science – but does not employ rules of evidence or falsification. This includes the practice where his definitions are abused in order to falsely condemn disliked subjects.
If your version of skepticism purports that it ’employs the tools of science to make the most probable conclusion’ on behalf of science, or calls an entire subject a ‘pseudoscience,’ …then beware.

Popper Demarcation GuidelinesKarl Popper proposed the demarcation principle, as a means to approach the problem of how we differentiate science from non-science in principle. This categorization of that which resides outside of science is a non-pejorative filtering of those mechanisms which can be relied upon to product the body of knowledge. To put it another way, the demarcation problem consists in crafting principles, constraints, reasons, or conditions to regard something like epigenetics under “science” and place a discipline (falsified, yet still pretending to represent science) such as phrenology as a pseudoscience. The two critical aspects of the Popper Demarcation Principle involve the separate issues regarded below: The issue of the Role of Predictive Study, and the claim or lack thereof, of doing or representing science. In absence of framing Popper Demarcation inside these two clarifying factors, much confusion and false condemnation can be spun by fake skeptics, through Popper Demarcation Malpractice.

The Ambidextrous Nature of Predictive Studies

Predictive study is treated differently by Popper, as distinguished by its role of employment in the methods of science as opposed to the conclusions of science (see graphic to the right). Popper, like any scientist, fully understood the critical role of predictive studies in the scientific method, as well as the critical role of prediction making ability inside a successful theory. He was not discounting these valuable components/steps out of the process of science.  What Popper was framing, is the circumstance where predictive study alone is employed to substantiate conclusions as accepted or peer-ready science. This type of science is the chief method of hypoepistemology practices by those wishing to push a social agenda. In this role, predictive studies can be employed as pseudoscience. The Ethical Skeptic must discern the circumstance where an epistemology is based only on scant statistics, studies of studies, or predictive tests – and has not fully challenged its theory with ascertainable falsification testing or past falsification achievements (Promotification or Popper Error).

However, for those who confuse or conflate the methods of science with the body of scientific knowledge – the role of predictive study is sacrificed at the alter of agenda. In such approaches, employing equivocal terms or proxy equivocation in their articulation of the issue of predictability, every proposed claim about what distinguishes science from pseudoscience can be confused with a counter-example. Karl Popper postulated that falsifiability stands as the criterion which distinguishes science from pseudoscience. If any set of claims or theory can be shown true through the disciplines of falsification, it belongs to the domain of science. Many people wrongly presume this to mean that if any set of claims or theory is innately unfalsifiable, it belongs to the domain of pseudoscience. This delineation is incoherent as some un-testable scientific claims sets, such as M-theory or multi-verse interpretations are not considered pseudoscience.

If they were enforced based on predictive study only, as a finished body of knowledge, that would indeed be hypoepistemology pseudoscience. But in science as a method, M-theory or multi-verse predictive studies are indeed considered science.

The key opportunistic play here for Social Skeptics is that both, context dancing between science as a body of knowledge and science as a method, or the equivocation involved in merging the two ideas, produces incoherence and useful confusion. A method of condemning subjects by dancing between the two contexts of the Popperian term. A simple prima facia incoherence that Karl Popper, a seasoned scientist and philosopher surely would have, and did, recognize. Did the people who presume this equivocation, think Karl Popper to be a simpleton, more stupid than are they? The reality that escapes the philosophically dilettante is that he did indeed deal with this inconsistency. The Handbook of the Philosophy of Science expounds on this:

The phrases “demarcation of science” and “demarcation of science from pseudoscience” are often used interchangeably, and many authors seem to have regarded them as equal in meaning. In their view the task of drawing the outer boundaries of science is essentially the same as that of drawing the boundary between science and pseudoscience.

This picture is oversimplified. All non-science is not pseudoscience, and science has non-trivial borders to other non-scientific phenomena, such as metaphysics, religion, and various types of non-scientific systematized knowledge.¹

Claiming and Not Claiming to Do or Represent Science

science is moresoThere is a stark difference between those things which claim to be science, and those things which claim nothing of the sort. If my neighbor runs over and swears that he saw The Chupacabra running through his backyard, he is not claiming to do science, he is not practicing pseudoscience. If he goes to the city council and cites that there are hundreds of missing cats and dogs in the area, he is still not practicing pseudoscience. This set of activity simply constitutes observation and advocacy (or possibly fraud). This is a key understanding which differentiates the false skeptic from the real skeptic. It is when he makes the nonsense claim that he has done research, and by examining the poop of the supposed animal in a lab, now claims that what he saw in his backyard must be an interdimensional being, released by UFO’s, because its poop contained animal proteins not found on this Earth. That is when the person making such claims has indeed stepped into the bounds of pseudoscience. At no time is he ever a pseudo scientist simply because he made an observation of something called by fake skeptics ‘a pseudoscience.’ ¹ ²

Even if he becomes an advocate, and attempts to petition science to study the issue, he is not dabbling in pseudoscience. To kill this type of process through fake skepticism, is to kill the process of science; yes, even on a brazenly ridiculous topic like The Chupacabra. Presuming that one is doing science, by calling the gentleman a liar, or deluded, is in itself – a claim Ξ pseudoscience. Many fake and shallow skeptics fail to discern this important aspect of the Popper Demarcation principle.

Among things which are unfairly labeled as pseudoscience by ill intended fake skeptics, are:

  • Sponsorship of ideas for research
  • Subjects which are ignored through social epistemology or pressure
  • Positions which appear to oppose oligarch corporations
  • Political positions
  • Religious tenets
  • Citing of anomalous observations
  • Moral positions
  • Art, fiction, creative works
  • Advocacy for health observations and those who suffer
  • Anecdotal evidence which is ignored on a grand scale

By practicing Popper Demarcation Malpractice, Social Skeptics can manage the control of access to science, effectively screening out disliked topics, observations and ideas.

Popper Demarcation Malpractice

/philosophy : science : pseudoscience : malpractice/ : the dilettante presumption that if any set of claims or theory is innately non-falsifiable, it belongs to the domain of pseudoscience. Wrongly presuming a subject to be a pseudoscience, instead of false practices pretending to be science. Purposely or unskillfully conflating the methods of science with the body of scientific knowledge, employing amphibology or proxy equivocation in their articulation of the issue, wherein every proposed claim about what distinguishes science from pseudoscience can be confused with a counter-example. This renders the demarcation boundary of no utility, and reduces overall understanding.

Transactional Popper Demarcation Error – incorrectly citing a topic as being a pseudo science, when in fact its sponsors are seeking falsification based protocols to counter the antithetical premise to their case, or its sponsors are employing predictive studies being employed simply to establish plurality for sponsorship inside the scientific method.

Existential Popper Demarcation Error – citing something as a pseudoscience simply because one does not like the topic, or the topic has had pretend science performed in its name in the past.

The reality is that there exist three domains of idea development:  Science, Pseudoscience, Parascience/Non-science. Understanding these three domains and skillfully applying that understanding inside the discourse of ideas is the ethic of one who sincerely wants to know. It is the habit of one who practices Ethical Skepticism as opposed to the purposely smoke and mirrors, equivocation imbued, pretend science and idea assassinating fake version of skepticism.

Science (a method, a discipline and a body of knowledge)

The application of observation, thought, reason, testing, and peer input to arrive at conclusions which reliably can be added to the body of knowledge. That body of knowledge itself.

Particle Acceleration

Materials Fabrication

Epigenetics

Pseudoscience (a method and pretense only)

A process which claims to arrive at conclusions by means of science, or citing of elements it purports to exist in the body of scientific knowledge, where in fact neither adheres to nor originates from, actual methods of science.

Attempting to demonstrate free energy by sleight-of-hand battery switching and amperage measurements

Attempting to show one is located on the Earth’s equator by demonstrating differing water drain patterns both south and north of a fictitiously drawn line

Pseudo-Skepticism

Parascience

Thinking disciplines of benefit to mankind, which seek to improve the human condition, or solve perplexing issues, or even assist science in its overall efficacy, but do not necessarily make the claim of employing science in order to derive such ethics.

Advocacy

Observation

Science Fiction

Non-science

Disciplines of human endeavor which do not employ, nor claim to employ science in their execution. However may involve some science in their development – or turn into a discipline of science through diligent sponsorship.

Law

Religion

Public Speaking

An Example of Popper Demarcation Malpractice:

Sometimes the term “pseudoscience” is used in a wider sense in order to pejoratively filter out ideas considered by researching sponsors, advocates, legal activists, politicians and those making disturbing observations. The abuse of the term in this fashion, as constituting that which

(2′)  it is part of a non-scientific doctrine whose major proponents try to create the impression that it is scientific.

(2″)  is part of a doctrine whose major proponents try to create the impression that it represents the most reliable knowledge on its subject matter.²

This is false, because the practice which established that ‘proponents try to create the impression that it represents science’ fails the Popper Demarcation itself. So if we are applying Popper here, we cannot create postulates which violate the very principle we are seeking to construct. Declaring a subject, in absence of evidence proving such a claim, to be constituted solely by individuals who are pretending to be science – 1. claims to hold a body of knowledge, and 2. does so without a basis of true science to derive that knowledge. Therefore, such a claim is itself, pseudoscience, according to Popper.

The SSkeptics Dictionary for example (http://www.skepdic.com/pseudosc.html) incorrectly defines pseudoscience as

“A pseudoscience is set of ideas based on theories put forth as scientific when they are not scientific.”

This definition is an incoherent one-liner – Wittgenstein unsinnig: highly convoluted and implication laden professional-sounding babble, articulated so as to tender the appearance of being simple. It is incompatible with parsimony in this regard; and as well, ironically fails the Popper Demarcation of Science itself, because

  1. It conflates ideas into ‘theories’ by default in an effort to pejoratively filter them – a practice of pseudoscience. A theory implies a set of claims under science method, which ideas may not involve. A very similar equivocation to calling an observation a ‘claim.’ So you can then dismiss it as ‘failing science.’
  2. It is NOT ideas which are pseudo-scientific – rather
    1. those things purported to already exist in the body of knowledge, when indeed such is not the case, and
    2. those things purported to be based on methods which are scientific, but in reality are not.
  3. It regards a SUBJECT MATTER (theories) rather than a contention or process, as that which qualifies something as pseudoscience. This is errant and constitutes a logical fallacy – and to those who understand this – yet commit the offense so as to screen subjects from access to science, also constitutes a practice of fraud.
  4. It may or may not imply that proponents of the ‘ideas’ try to create the impression that they represent science or the most reliable knowledge on its subject matter. Again, such a claim cannot be made outside of research and scientific practice; constituting in its implied claim, defamation and pseudoscience.
  5. It makes a final contention that certain ideas are ‘not scientific’ based on a prescribed set of conclusions or the personal level of knowledge on the part of the observer. This is not how science nor skepticism work at all.

The grasp of this differentiation is a key litmus test distinguishing a false skeptic from a true skeptic. They claim to represent science to you in this misrepresentation sleight-of-hand. The shallow and inexperienced might buy this at face value, but an Ethical Skeptic will not.

It is nothing but Popper Demarcation Malpractice… scientific quackery.


¹  Mahner, Martin, 2007. “Demarcating Science from Non-Science”, pp 515-575 in Theo Kuipers (ed.) Handbook of the Philosophy of Science: General Philosophy of Science – Focal Issues, Amsterdam: Elsevier.

²  Hansson, Sven Ove, “Science and Pseudo-Science”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2015/entries/pseudo-science/>.

September 20, 2015 Posted by | Argument Fallacies | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The MiHoDeAL Claim to Knowledge

In order to avoid an Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy, one must be circumspect under the scientific method as to when one can and cannot make a claim to knowledge as a means to dispose of a challenging observation. In absence of a specific claim by the observer, to dismiss observations out of hand based on Appeal to Skepticism, is pseudoscience.

MiHoDeAL Claim to Knowledge 

MiHoDeAL – noun \ məh -hōˈ dē-ül \  : a claim, implication or boast to knowledge, that one holds the credential and has conducted sufficient research into a subject to scientifically disposition that its underpinning observational basis consists solely of Misidentifications, Hoaxes, Delusions, Anecdote and Lies.

I'm a Skeptic MiHoDeALThe Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy stands as the essential predicate of the MiHoDeAL Claim. The MiHoDeAL Claim is a formal fallacy when used in the errant contexts cited below. While the basis of a MiHoDeAL claim to knowledge is essentially an Appeal to Skepticism, it more specifically most often constitutes a Truzzi Fallacy.

Most of the time, a MiHoDeAL Claim is employed when very little data is possessed and no real research has been conducted on the part of the challenging claimant; instances where the integrity of a specific prima facia counter-claim could be called into question (e.g. claiming that the observer is lying).  It is easier and more comforting to doubt and dispose than to actually accrue knowledge. It is in its essence, simultaneously an intellectually lazy boast, a pretense of self promotion to that status equivalent to a scientist (without the qualifications) and finally an implicit or explicit disparagement of a targeted disliked party and/or subject. It is employed as a method to circumvent the conventions of evidence, block the methods of science and to attempt to establish immediate unjustified credibility on the part of an arguer who must win at all costs.

The Appeal to Skepticism Foundation of the MiHoDeAL Fallacy

Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy (of Irrelevance)

2a.  The declaration, assumption or implication that a consensus skeptical position on a topic is congruent with the consensus opinion of scientists on that topic.

3.   The presumption or contention that taking a denial based or default dubious stance on a set of evidence or topic is somehow indicative of application of the scientific method on one’s part, or constitutes a position of superior intellect, or represents a superior critical or rational position on a topic at hand.

The MiHoDeAL Fallacy

Truzzi Fallacy (of Argument)

4.  A claim, implication or boast to knowledge, that one holds the credential and has conducted sufficient research into a subject to scientifically disposition that its underpinning observational basis consists solely of Misinterpretations, Hoaxes/Being Hoaxed, Delusions, Accident, Anecdote and Lies.

5.   The presumption that a position of skepticism or plausible conformance on a specific issue affords the skeptical apologist tacit exemption from having to provide authoritative outsider recitation or evidence to support a contended claim or counter-claim.

Pseudo-Skeptics: Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves ‘skeptics,’ often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all. A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence.”  – Marcello Truzzi (Founding Co-chairman of CSICOP)

A MiHoDeAL Claim Does Not Constitute A Skeptical Position

The MiHoDeAL ClaimA MiHoDeAL claim is a formal fallacy which is committed by one claiming the informal fallacy of an Appeal to Skepticism. It is an attempt to wrest control of an argument high ground artificially in an effort to leverage by deception or means other than the evidential base.  Negations and denials are control mechanisms, and in their truest sense, can be used to control the direction of science; however, when this control is ceded into individuals, it can be abused.  The MiHoDeAL claim is the implicit or explicit boast by the claimant that simply through the act of claiming to be a skeptic, I have accessed a wealth of information which allows me to disposition a claim or observation, have assumed a superior argument position, and therefore have deflected your observation – without need to research.  This allows for a claim of default victory in undetermined pluralistic arguments, where there legitimately is no suitable basis of authority from which to declare such.  The focus by the claimant is typically on winning arguments, not in deriving clarity or value.

In a MiHoDeAL claim context, only one observation exists – yours. Because the MiHoDeAL claimant has disposed of all previous observations of this type in similar fashion, accordingly there exists only one instance of its occurrence to their cultivated perception. This is like Popeye in a cartoon fight. He can whoop 50 guys in a bar, as long as only one of them exists at any given time, and at the times of his choosing.

Example to the Right (I do not believe in Leprechauns, but it is a suitable challenging observation)

(O)  Ted observes a Leprechaun strolling through the forest on Saturday.

The three generic reactions:

R¹ ⇒ Wow, I trust Ted, the forest is full of Leprechauns.  CLAIM

R² ⇒ Ted is full of crap, and is lying, hallucinating or was hoaxed.  CLAIM

R³ ⇒ I withhold disposition and will table this until the instance where it becomes useful.  EPOCHE’

Notice that Ted has not made a claim here, only cited  an observation.  Now if Ted had claimed the forest to be full of a civilization of Leprechauns – then he would not be applying the self circumspection of skepticism, and would indeed be making a claim. The Ethical Skeptic could not accept such a claim, and would only continue to focus on Ted’s observation. So the clarity between what stands as a claim, and what stands as an observation, should not be blurred by neither the observer, nor the recipient of the information.

To dispose of observations as if they were claims, is a method of cultivating ignorance.

To the Ethical Skeptic, in a reasonable scenario, where Ted matches the reasonable profile of a trustworthy person, a choice of doing nothing with the data, is the correct posture. Any other action constitutes a claim to knowledge on his part – something he wishes to avoid.  The reason is that, he would hopefully begin to formulate a series of explanatory constructs regarding Ted and the forest, once or if this pattern of observation continues, or more data comes in.

That is what he looks for, nothing else.

One version of the MiHoDeAL Fallacy is the oft-touted “Law of Large Numbers.” This is a rationale used to convince the victim that they have won the SuperLotto Plus lottery regularly and often, just with no statistical rigor or method with which to back up such a claim, and that by the sheer enormity of the skeptic intellect, one can dismiss otherwise undeniable observations as being ‘expected.’ Notice that one wins such a lottery much less when money is actually involved. Suddenly then, we revert back to true odds and probability distributions.

Law of Large Numbers Fallacy

/apologetic – denial tactic/ when one dismisses by presupposing the idea that one holds statistical refutation evidence. The rigor-less assumption that mass statistics will prove out any strange or unlikely observation one chooses to dismiss.  It is a form of the MiHoDeAL Fallacy.

In the end, to the wise researcher and ethical skeptic, one can begin to spot the MiHoDeAL claim and false Appeals to Skepticism and science. When an opponent seems to display the irresistible desire to wrest control of an argument high ground and win at all costs, be ready for this fallacious set of deception.

Be ever vigilant as an ethical skeptic.

December 7, 2014 Posted by | Argument Fallacies | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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