Talk:Gish Gallop/Archive1

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This is an archive page, last updated 5 March 2019. Please do not make edits to this page.
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JAQing Off[edit]

Does JAQing off deserve its own article seeing how much some guy with a hard on for secular humanism is running around the site doing it? - π 02:59, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

By the way most people seem to spell it with two capital Gs. - π 03:01, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Links? Or at least a hint of what you're talking about? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:59, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
My guess is that Pi is talking about what Pi does whenever he see's a picture of Duane Gish. Ace McWickedModel 500 07:07, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Down below in the link to this page PZ Myers users capital two capital Gs for Gish Gallop, so does wikipedia for their lame little thing on this. - π 00:50, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
We haz redirect. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:26, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I know we haz redirect, I was wondering if we haz correct name. - π 02:30, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Good question, been pondering since posting. Does the ever-delightful Gish deserve their gallop to be Galloped? I run about 60-40 against, meaning I am quite willing to be persuaded by examples. Do our "internet laws" all have "Law" capitalized? If so, I'd be pretty much convinced, I guess. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:38, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
All the internet law's are Laws. I am unsure of whether that is due to name being capitalised or whether we had a mixed policy about the capitalisation of proper nouns at first. They all should be marked entry point by the way, they were part of a viral email at one stage. - π 02:42, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Then this should probably be moved to "Gish Gallop". In a sense, they are proper nouns, not simple phrases. As far as entry points, Trent defines them by looking at the logs - seeing what people actually come to, not just, say, what Googles high or has lots of in-links. But do as you see fit. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:46, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I'll move gish and the hamfist ones. They excitement died down a while ago about our internet laws, but it is the reason DeMyer's Law shows up so high when poor kenny is vanity searching. - π 02:52, 10 September 2009 (UTC)


Congrats, whoever put this together - PZM links to it in his Creation "Museum" article. --Psy - C20H25N3OYou know you want to 15:53, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Indeed! There's also something reminiscent of PJR : "Instead, we get a Ham Hightail, in which he hurtles along heedlessly pretending that the evidence simply doesn't exist, so he doesn't need to argue against it, and it's enough to back up his claims by quoting Bible verses." I am eating Toast& honeychat 16:02, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
So is PZ just a lurker here or a registered editor? Perhaps even a TOR vandal? Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 16:22, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

We're number one![edit]

This article came up #1 when I googled "Gish gallop." Never thought I'd see that for a RW article. Doctor Dark (talk) 05:35, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Nice! ħumanUser talk:Human 05:55, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Cited in Skeptical Science![edit]

Now you can go on infinite loop between SkS and RW. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:23, 6 July 2011 (UTC)


- 423 examples. The 423rd being "if you write this website a letter which includes a rebuttal to the above" - and at 423 points, they probably have a point.

As the above article is now gone, it's been removed. I've added it here for archive purposes. ADK...I'll execrate your snorkel! 02:16, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Counter techniques[edit]

It could be useful for experienced debaters to describe common counters to this technique. Any takers?— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

There aren't any. The trick is to stop it happening by forcing people do discuss one point and one point only. Hence who formal debates can put a rule in place to stop it. The alternative is to do it all in written form on the internet where you have time to debunk it. You can't reply to all points in real time, because the entire point of "zinger" arguments is not that they're convincing, but that they take too long to pick apart. Scarlet A.pngmoral 09:42, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
The most effective strategy is employed by most scientists I reckon: don't debate creationists just like don't debate flat earthers. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 12:54, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Debating creationists, especially the "semi-professional" rather than the merely ignorant, only gives them unwarranted public legitimacy. Good science is not about winning emotional points in an X-Factor style vote-off. Redchuck.gif ГенгисIs the Pope a Catholic?Moderator 13:05, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Y'know, it's odd that the "creationists" were singled out in the entry. The Gish gallop is precisely the technique used by Gore Vidal against William F. Buckley, Jr. His dissection of Vidal's technique and how he rolled with it can be found in The Governor Listeth: "On Experiencing Gore Vidal." Hope that helps. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
In written form, there's time to respond, so there's really no issue. In an actual timed debate, the main counter is to ask them to prove it, and dismiss the entire load of arguments for what it is, assuming there aren't real arguments among it. A proper spread is not a bunch of rubbish arguments, but a bunch of REAL ARGUMENTS with a rapid fire delivery. It's winning by speaking faster. The only answer to that is to group the arguments together, but a properly executed spread makes that very difficult, and your only recourse is to speak faster yourself to respond to as much as possible. (talk) 16:38, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Possible example[edit]

Is this Dennis Prager clip an example of him abusing Gish's Gallop? Warning: You will have to listen to Dennis Prager. ClothCoat (talk) 21:50, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Lol looks like nobody wants to do it.ClothCoat (talk) 20:05, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Bring this up to silver?[edit]

This is a pretty widely linked and almost-standard reference. We could do with polishing it up. What does it need for silver? - David Gerard (talk) 18:06, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Expanded lede to be an abstract, shifted the spoken debate stuff to its own section, provided examples in the explanation. So I would say the start of the article is now better. Scarlet A.pngd hominem 18:29, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Who was it who said something like "that would be 'no' in 8 paragraphs"? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 18:33, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Have stripped out the "uses" section since it just re-iterates the origin and definition again. Integrated the one non-creationism example from that into the examples section. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 17:33, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Why did I look that up? SophieWilderModerator 21:59, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
Don't know, but thank you! I couldn't find it, now I remember it very clearly. Scarlet A.pngpostate 00:26, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
Would anyone like to reassess this one? Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:56, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Is it a fallacy?[edit]

Just a quick question of taxonomy before I try adding it. Is this a fallacy? Obviously it's not a formal logical fallacy - it's not inherently a breakdown in logic - but it is an informal rhetorical device that's indicative of a failure in logical coherency. To paraphrase the Einstein quote, if the argument was valid, one would be enough. Scarlet A.pngsshole 01:22, 29 March 2014 (UTC)

It's a strategy, not a fallacy. I see the difference being that someone can assume the antecedent, say, and not be aware that they are making an error in how they construct their argument. Someone leading a GG is consciously trying to talk their way out of a discursive jam. TeenageWasteland (talk) 01:26, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
For quite some time I've wanted to rename the "Logic" catogory to "Logic and rhetoric", or to split it into two categories altogether.--ZooGuard (talk) 08:34, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I like the former idea a lot. Make it so. TeenageWasteland (talk) 13:31, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
+1 to "Logic and rhetoric" - most of the "logic" examples are about the abuse of logic and fallacies for rhetorical purposes - David Gerard (talk) 14:10, 29 March 2014 (UTC)
I can get behind that. Also, worth nothing that the informal fallacies are just rhetorical abuses. Scarlet A.pngbomination 10:11, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Our material on rhetoric could do with improvement. SophieWilderModerator 16:58, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Gish's strategy does include an implied fallacy ("refute all of these claims or I win" is a black / white fallacy) but the strategy itself is a dishonest debating technique. It resembles the classic Usenet "guerrilla debating" where the idea is to constantly attacks the opposing position without ever revealing your own. King Skeleton (talk) 22:41, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

Isn't "refute all of these claims or I win" seen as a reasonable expectation in formal debate? If your opponent constructs an exhaustive list of talking points, and you leave one completely unaddressed, your position is weaker for it. Also, an affirmative/negative policy debate structure doesn't require the negative to present any position, right? The Gish Gallop technique is only dishonest if a debater swerves into ad nauseam territory and states points multiple times with minimal variation, in an attempt to artificially inflate one's own position. Trambelus (talk) 16:51, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
If you make fifty rubbish points and your opponent doesn't have enough time to address all of your arguments or forgets one it would be stupid to conclude you've automatically won. Christopher (talk) 16:57, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought someone might seize on that point, so I worded it carefully. If you haven't addressed it at all, even in other counterarguments (i.e. if it's a unique argument and not a clumsy restatement), then that doesn't mean you've lost, but it still puts you a point further from winning, right? Trambelus (talk) 17:10, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
God is real because unicorns are real. God is real because Word harmonic wise man!
God is real because I say so you flange. God is real because the Bible says so. God is real because all Muslims are terrorists. God is real because Richard Spencer and Stalin were both atheists. God is real because the animals described as unclean in the old testament are often very toxic, an example of Biblical scientific foreknowledge. God is real because the Bible predicted Hitler. God is real because there are no contradictions in it (very impressive considering how many different authors it had). God is real because there's no evidence for evolution. God is real because wieners are scanty. God is real because LOL ITS MOR LIKE IRRATIONAWIKI LOL UR SO STUPID FAM. God is real due to the existence of this limerick:

The denier knows his alphabet,
"AGW" means "A lie from Soviet!"
For each science report,
saves his brilliant retort,
"But I'm not even breaking a sweat!"
User:Reverend Black Percy

God is real because you're basically Hitler. God is real because Newton was a Christian. God is real because the world is 6000 years old, the exact date predicted by the Bible. God is real because Mohamed married a 6 year old girl, this means all 1.6 billion Muslims currently alive are pedophiles. God is real because 8 + 5 is 13, how does your atheistic science explain that? In conclusion, God is obviously real. Whatever your religious beliefs, you have to admit these arguments are all awful. Imagine if I'd just said all that to you in real life, you not responding to my assertion that you're Hitler wouldn't mean you were any further away from winning the argument. Christopher (talk) 17:38, 24 May 2017 (UTC)
Whoa. There's a limerick generator? That's awesome. And... sure, we can say things that are no less banal, "Rhinos existing doesn't mean God exists", "Timecube is really more like proof that there is no god", "I'm not a flange and that doesn't matter anyway", sure. But I'm guessing it's about as easy for me to come up with one lame response as it was for you to come up with one Chewbaccan comment, just like it's probably about as much effort to recite a refutation for a creationist claim (irreducible complexity, transitional fossils, carbon dating, take your pick) as it was for that creationist to recite it in the first place. It's not a fallacy, it's just a... really pathetic sort of debate, I guess. Playing chess with pigeons. Trambelus (talk) 20:20, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

From a user sandbox[edit]

hi... I'm a new reader. Couldn't find any other way to contribute a note re a broken link:

In your RationalWiki page on Gish Galloping, ..................

the link in references link numbered 5, saying .................. ↑ A fine example of Gish Galloping

goes to the page/site ..................

.... .... but generates/receives the following error message:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_FUNCTION in /home/astoreho/public_html/extensions/EditSubpages/EditSubpages.i18n.php on line 14

thought you'd like to know.

jeff: — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 20:33, 8 September 2014‎ (UTC)

Now it points at
All better, for the moment. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:53, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

The most useful article on RationalWiki[edit]

I just saw more than a couple of people on Facebook cite this very article (which is what drove me back here after an very long absence) after being trolled by some creationist hackjob who couldn't even stick to a single one of his points for longer than the first time he used that point. It brought back the memories. Thank you for still having this be a most excellent article. Rational Wars V; The Loya Jirga Strikes Back (talk) 01:49, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Silver (this time for sure)[edit]

Unless anyone has an actionable objection I'll silver this in a day or two - David Gerard (talk) 13:43, 2 October 2015 (UTC)

Chewbacca Defense[edit]

Is this similar to the Chewbacca Defense, or no? —Hamburguesa con queso con un cara Spinning-Burger.gif (talkstalk) 20:15, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

They're definitely similar. I can't decide whether a Chewbacca defense is a form of gish gallop, a gish gallop is a form of Chewbacca defense or they're the same thing and need merging. Christopher (talk) 21:03, 2 May 2017 (UTC)
I'd say no, there's a subtle but definite difference. A Gish gallop tries to overwhelm and exhaust someone with a truckload of points. They can be dismantled individually just fine, but it would take a ton of time and effort to cover the whole list. A Chewbacca defense just tries to leave the opposition too bewildered to say anything, with points that are literally impossible to address, since you can't knock down what wasn't even standing up to begin with. Trambelus (talk) 16:57, 24 May 2017 (UTC)

I don't think the Gish Gallop applies to written works...[edit]

Hi all, I just set up my account, so I'm new to this. But I believe the Gish Gallop only applies to temporal contexts. Texts can be responded to after reflection, and therefore don't fall under the realm of the Gish Gallop. The temporal aspect is the crux of the Gish Gallop. May I recommend removing that section? Or providing a citation for it? — Unsigned, by: Shellska / talk / contribs

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I agree with the newbie. Text doesn't fall I o the gish-gallop realm. Fareeha A (talk) 19:10, 15 August 2017 (UTC)
The "wall of text" is the equivalent in text debates. The opponent looks at the slab of text (ideally, one single paragraph) and decides not to waste their life deciphering and refuting it. The Gisher claims victory by default. Very common in Wikipedia talkpage debates. (talk) 19:00, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Responding to a Gish Gallop with one's own Gish Gallop?[edit]

Yes, I know 2 wrongs don't make a right, but I think this method would help one "win" the debate and persuade the audience. If the original Galloper calls you out for doing it, you can always say that he did it first. Yes, I know this is also a fallacy, but again, I'm mostly interested in putting the Galloper in his place. Tyrone8934 (talk) 01:39, 3 February 2019 (UTC)