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Forum:Somebody sent me this Gish Gallop. Can anyone help?

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I asked this guy on Reddit (/u/AutisticSubhuman) to provide evidence that diversity has no benefits to society. This is what he sent me (shown below):

– Social trust is negatively affected by ethnic diversity, case study in Denmark from 1979 to the present. [Link.](

– Ethnic homogeneity and Protestant traditions positively impact individual and societal levels of social trust. [Link](

– “In longitudinal perspective, [across European regions], an increase in immigration is related to a decrease in social trust.” [Link.](

– Immigration undermines the moral imperative of those who most favor welfare benefits for the neediest. [Link.](

– The negative effect of community diversity on social cohesion is likely causal. [Link.](

– In Switzerland, social peace between diverse factions isn’t maintained by integrated coexistence, but rather by strong topographic and political borders that separate groups and allow them autonomy. [Link.](

– “Our analysis supports the hypothesis that violence between groups can be inhibited by both physical and political boundaries.” (

– Diversity hinders between-group cooperation at both the one-on-one and group levels. (

– The best chance for peace in Syria is better borders (intrastate or through the creation of new states) “suited to current geocultural regions”, and tribal autonomy. (

– Using data from US states, study finds a negative relationship between ethnic polarization and trust. (

– Diversity is associated with more White support for nationalist parties, except at the local level where large immigrant populations cut into vote totals for nationalist parties. [Link.](

– In Australia, ethnic diversity lowers social cohesion and increases “hunkering”, providing support for Putnam’s thesis finding the same results in the US. [Link.](

– After controlling for a self-selection bias, study finds that ethnic diversity in English schools reduces trust in same-age people and does not make White British students more inclusive in their attitudes towards immigrants. [Link.](

– In Germany, residential diversity reduces natives’ trust in neighbors, while it also reduces immigrants’ trust but through a different pathway. [Link.](

– Increasing social pluralism (diversity) is correlated with increased chance of collective violence. [Link.](

– “[E]thnic heterogeneity [diversity] explains 55% of the variation in the scale of ethnic conflicts, and the results of regression analysis disclose that the same relationship more or less applies to all 187 countries. … [E]thnic nepotism is the common cross-cultural background factor which supports the persistence of ethnic conflicts in the world as long as there are ethnically divided societies.” [Link.](

– Genetic Similarity Theory (GST) could help explain why diverse groups in close proximity increases ethnic conflict and ethnic nepotism. [Link.](

– Genetic diversity has contributed significantly to frequency of ethnic civil conflict, intensity of social unrest, growth of unshared policy preferences, and economic inequality over the last half-century. [Link.](

– Using social science data and computer modeling, researchers found that policies that attempt to create neighborhoods that are both integrated and socially cohesive are “a lost cause”. [Link.](

– The numbers and the genetic distance matter. Minority groups that get above a certain critical mass, and that are culturally distant from the majority culture, begin to self-segregate from the majority, moving society toward division and away from cooperation. [Link.](

– Using data from Copenhagen school registers, researchers found that native Danes opt out of public schools when the immigrant population concentration hits 35% or more. [Link.](

– In the most liberal region in the US, San Francisco and surrounding suburbs, White parents are pulling their kids out of public schools that are becoming increasingly asian. [Link.](

– School integration (forced proximate Diversity) will not close race achievement gaps. [Link.](

– Exclusionary dating is a natural consequence of racial diversity. [Link.](

– As diversity increases, politics becomes more tribalistic. [Link.](

– Company diversity policies don’t help minorities or women, and they psychologically discriminate against White men. [Link.](

– Greater classroom and neighborhood diversity is linked to stronger tendencies to choose same-ethnic rather than cross-ethnic friends. [Link.](

– A longitudinal test of the impact of diversity finds that it makes existing residents feel unhappier and more socially isolated. [Link.](

– Internal dissension stoked by ethnic, social, political, and religious diversity, rather than environmental degradation, caused the collapse of the urbanized Cahokia Indian Tribe. [Link.](

– The volunteer participation rate in America hit a record low last year, declining 0.4% from the previous year, and has been declining since 2005. Not coincidentally, the racial composition of America has become more fragmented during the same time. [Link.](

– A sense of social cohesion with the people who live around us is as happiness-inducing as love for the place itself. [Link.](

– Our desire for ‘like-minded others’ is hard-wired. [Link.](

– A wealthy Virginia county that is rapidly racially diversifying is getting poorer and less socially cohesive. [Link.](

– Gender diversity does not promote nonconformity in decision-making bodies. (But individual ability diversity does.) [Link.](

– High ethnic diversity has a negative effect on innovation, but high “values diversity” has the opposite effect, as long as ethnic diversity is low. The best innovation happens in countries that are ethnically homogenous but diverse in values orientation. [Link.](

– Growing racial diversity in Houston is contributing to declining construction standards and aggravating the impact of natural disasters. [Link.](

Discussion on the above[edit]

I moved the "reply" section to down here, to not interfere with the text above. You did one thing right (aside from coming here) - you correctly identified the above as a gish gallop. Remember, the "academic" term for the fallacy behind a gish gallop is "proof by verbosity". Brian Dunning puts words on it quite well here. Take a look. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:44, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Also, probably worth pointing out is that these are all his own cherry picks, feeding his original confirmation bias. Tossing together the above "trail of crumbs" is impossibly far from how you form a coherent understanding of anything - it's closer to the way moon landing hoax theorists pile up junk, confusing it with building a case for their views. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:52, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Another classic sign of his submission being an absolute mishmash of nonsense is the way he seems to jump arbitrarily between newspaper editorials, random crank blogs (like this manufactroversist source), random study abstracts, random observational study abstracts, and different languages and disciplines... Because it's not like he started with an opinion and then went out to collect a sand castle of data to prove his point, right? Despite the amount of verbosity, the above is in fact about as well sourced as a shrill Infowars article. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:58, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Whether something is Gish Gallop or not is unrelated to whether or not its contents are correct. In some circles, "diversity makes societies better" is regarded as a PRATT, and groups assemble lists like the one posted for quick reference in discussions on the topic. Consider applying Reverend Black Percy's criticisms to this collection of links for comparison. Of course, in considering whether diversity of some kind makes things better, worse, or no different, the kind of diversity and criteria for evaluation should be specified (what benefits to society did you have in mind?). Most of the list above is about racial and cultural diversity and effects on social cohesion and politics related to how nice to live in people consider a place. FuzzyCatPotato's links are about specific looks at business performance. Since they don't address the same questions or contexts, they don't counter the original points. And I would caution against treating them with less skepticism. For example, in the first countersource below, the actual results are somewhat different from what the quoted blurb implies. "Hypothesis 1 states cultural or racial diversity will be positively associated with firm performance. Table 3 reveals that, in step 2 of the outcome regressions, after controls were accounted for, no significance was found across any of the dependent measures. Hence, no support was found for Hypothesis 1." The actual difference found for greater diversity was increased performance as a bank was growing and decreased performance as a bank was downsizing, which suggests to me that the control variables may have second-order effects that were not accounted for. For the sake of framing further discussion, I will point out that the notion that racial/sexual diversity should improve things (as opposed to empirical evidence that it does or does not) is itself racist/sexist according to the older definitions. @The French Rat: Are there any particular links you'd like me to check out? Keep in mind that the truth or falsehood of a proposition is determined by the strongest evidence available, not the weakest arguments given. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 23:56, 17 July 2016 (UTC)

Two very bad ones[edit]

– The volunteer participation rate in America hit a record low last year, declining 0.4% from the previous year, and has been declining since 2005. Not coincidentally, the racial composition of America has become more fragmented during the same time. [Link.](

Even spouting "correlation not causation" is sufficient to negate this. Why not also note that the US elderly population is the largest it's ever been, and blame old people for lowering volunteering rates?

– A sense of social cohesion with the people who live around us is as happiness-inducing as love for the place itself. [Link.](

This one is funny, because it implies that people of difference races or ethnicities or genders or whatever can't cohere with each other -- in other words, a fundamentally racist view.

Herr FüzzyCätPötätö (talk/stalk) 02:25, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

It also says that a sense of social cohesion is enough. That means that people lacking the sense of calm and integration with diverse people - e.g. those who don't sleep easy but sit up doubting diversity - are themselves the entire cause of the problem. They need to go (lest society go Hindenburg), not anyone else, in that case. And so on. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:28, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

A few countersources[edit]


Although "valuing diversity" has become a watchword, field research on the impact of a culturally diverse workforce on organizational performance has not been forthcoming. Invoking a resource-based framework, in this study I examined the relationships among cultural (racial) diversity, business strategy, and firm performance in the banking industry. Racial diversity interacted with business strategy in determining firm performance measured in three different ways, as productivity, return on equity, and market performance. The results demonstrate that cultural diversity does in fact add value and, within the proper context, contributes to firm competitive advantage.

Board of Director Diversity and Firm Financial Performance

This study examines the relationship between demographic diversity on boards of directors with firm financial performance. This relationship is examined using 1993 and 1998 financial performance data (return on asset and investment) and the percentage of women and minorities on boards of directors for 127 large US companies. Correlation and regression analyses indicate board diversity is positively associated with these financial indicators of firm performance. Implications for both strategic human resource management and future research are discussed.

Does Diversity Pay?: Race, Gender, and the Business Case for Diversity

The value-in-diversity perspective argues that a diverse workforce, relative to a homogeneous one, is generally beneficial for business, including but not limited to corporate profits and earnings. This is in contrast to other accounts that view diversity as either nonconsequential to business success or actually detrimental by creating conflict, undermining cohesion, and thus decreasing productivity. Using data from the 1996 to 1997 National Organizations Survey, a national sample of for-profit business organizations, this article tests eight hypotheses derived from the value-in-diversity thesis. The results support seven of these hypotheses: racial diversity is associated with increased sales revenue, more customers, greater market share, and greater relative profits. Gender diversity is associated with increased sales revenue, more customers, and greater relative profits. I discuss the implications of these findings relative to alternative views of diversity in the workplace.


This article summarizes the results and conclusions reached in studies of the relationships between race and gender diversity and business performance carried out in four large firms by a research consortium known as the Diversity Research Network. These researchers were asked by the BOLD Initiative to conduct this research to test arguments regarding the “business case” for diversity. Few positive or negative direct effects of diversity on performance were observed. Instead a number of different aspects of the organizational context and some group processes moderated diversity-performance relationships. This suggests a more nuanced view of the “business case” for diversity may be appropriate.

FuzzyCatPotato!™ (talk/stalk) 02:23, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

It's easy to say to FCP "But you're just doing what he was doing!" when he pastes countersources. But the point is that FCP is limiting himself to a few good sources. Now, what's the point in that? Well, it's enough to not actually gish gallop for one (because it's not verbose enough to be fallacious), and secondly - and as importantly - it's enough to show how the original gish gallop impossibly contained a consensus view on diversity. And so we sink two ducks with one stone. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 02:30, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Providing evidence for a position is not a Gish Gallop, and a position becomes not more wrong, the more papers are added. It also doesn't become more wrong when weaker support is added, nor does it show a weakness of anything when the sources are deemed all over the map. For example my outrageous claim that “evolution occurs” does not become wrong when I cite only nonsense sources, a list of good and bad sources, or too many sources. What is true (tentatively) is independent of the abilities of the proponents. I don't know about the subject, but I see that the list above is about society, neibourhoods and such, wheras Fuzzy's stuff is about business. If anything, the “counter” only cuts back the “no benefits to society” which is far too broad a statement anyway. ~ Aneris 10:42, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
A Gish Gallop is a way of providing evidence for a position that impairs continued discussion. Otherwise, yes. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 11:23, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
The OP is a classic Gish gallop in that it simply rattles off a series of sources/claims without context (even reading the summaries indicate that, for instance, the two first sources don't actually definitely contribute decline in social trust to ethnic diversity as a clear cause-effect result). ScepticWombat (talk) 10:44, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
And being a Gish Gallop doesn't make any individual points or the overall position wrong. I would assume that the request for help is regarding whether the points are correct rather than whether they should be called a Gish Gallop. 192․168․1․42 (talk) 13:18, 24 July 2016 (UTC)
It's highly unlikely that he're read all this stuff and I doubt you want to either. I would suggest that your best bet is to ask him to identify which is the absolutely best example of his point and debate that. This will but the onus of reading all the guff back on him. If he says "they are all equally good" then really get him to nail his colours to the mast on the "equally good" idea and then skim them to find the worst example and attack him on that. If they are all equally good then dismissing one dismisses them all.--Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 14:05, 24 July 2016 (UTC)