Talk:One single proof

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Essay? HeartGoldCall me a name 02:12, 16 July 2007 (CDT)

Nah, might just as well be an article. MiddleMan 06:22, 16 July 2007 (CDT)

I don't see it being terribly essayish. Do you just want me to put more citations or something? Because I'm pretty sure I can find them. (For example, I'm pretty certain Deborah Lipstadt had something to say about it in Denying the Holocaust, I believe Michael Shermer talks about it in Why People Believe Weird Things, and I know "show the law" has become a mantra for tax protesters lately.) EVDebs 12:38, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
Aren't "one single proof" arguments used against the pseudosciences, e.g., shaminism? HeartGoldCall me a name 16:06, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
No, with pseudoscience its usually "one single bit of evidence", so you say something like, can you show me even one set of data anywhere that legitimately supports your position? Not the same thing! 16:12, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
Are you sure? Say a man is cured of cancer after having a vision of Jesus Christ. Doesn't science just claim that the original diagnosis was incorrect? HeartGoldCall me a name 16:20, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
Uh no, if the claim is made the first thing you do is go and look for the following: 1) Was there a clear and accurate diagnosis of cancer 2) Was there any treatment of that cancer in a traditional sense 3) Is their clear and documented evidence that the cancer is gone. If 1) is demonstrated and 2) is negative and 3) is demonstrated thats really interesting. The next step would be to find multiple incidences like that....however, to my knowledge no case of miraculous healing has ever met the basic criteria. 16:24, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
And 4) Some untreated cancers heal spontaneously. From JAMA: "Patients with papillary thyroid cancer experience favorable outcomes regardless of receiving treatment or not"
Sorry HG but that is a silly assertion for the above noted reasons. I might as well make an assertion of alien rectal probing curing my acne.--PalMD-Goatspeed! 16:29, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
You, too? I always thought I was the only one! :) --Gulik 17:07, 16 July 2007 (CDT)
1. Most of the time this fallacy is only framed as a fallacy. The often read request "show me a single study..." usually means "show me at least a study...", the choice of words just reflects doubts that any support exists. --Brasov (talk) 02:05, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
2. This is correct: "The fallacy often rests on the idea that without a particular key bit of information, the entire system will fall apart". But even in this case the argument can be simplified for peer review without overwhelming your opponent with references. The proof of simplificability relies on network analysis. Evidence, such as bibliographic citations, can be represented as nodes in a graph. In most disciplines, the weights of the nodes obey a Power Law distribution (Structures and Statistics of Citation Networks). Weights are graph centrality measures (in-degree, PageRank...) and can be seen as "popularity" or "importance" scores. A Power Law implies that strong evidence is scarce (short distribution head) and circunstantial evidence is plenty (long tail). So indeed, evidence of any argument can be compressed into a few powerful citations if the discussion intends to be constructive. There's no excuse to dismiss legitimate requests on "I would need too many papers" grounds. It would be a fallacious evasion. --Brasov (talk) 22:49, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
3. I don't know what to do exactly with the classification "Global warming deniers". Without knowing much about the theory, if Meteorology is having a hard time at predicting next morning's weather, how did a long term prediction of global warming got its sanctity status? "Denier" implies the existence of a truth beyond reasonable doubt, but this is a forecast. The reliabilty of such predicions is apparent by lookig at how 30 years ago we were being intimidated with a new ice age by Science and Time.--Brasov (talk) 01:00, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Ah, so it's global warming denial after all! Unfortunately for you, we don't have to make a wordy rebuttal. Have fun. Osaka Sun (talk) 02:09, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
YouTube is a primary source of science. Who would deny it? only irrational YouTube denialists.
But the question was:... When is a weather forecast true enough to talk about denial? The answer is:... the day after. It didn't require 2 hrs. of video watching. --Brasov (talk) 02:48, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Please compress your argument into a few powerful citations if you intend to be constructive. I'm not sure what you want to happen to this stubby article. Also, weather and climate aren't the same thing. (talk) 03:23, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Weather is a chaotic system and climate its local attractor. Forecasting chaotic systems is making guesses, however educated. Denialists of a guess? Tell me I'm on rational wiki. --Brasov (talk) 04:36, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Suggested additions: Requests for "one single proof" are often simply framed as a fallacy...(see 1 above).
Also, the usual evasion of "there are large quantities of circumstantial evidence" is fallacious because evidence weights follow a Power Law distribution, allowing for a small set to accurately describe the argument. Something like that.--Brasov (talk) 05:01, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Weather is a chaotic system and climate its local attractor. - what a load of bollocks. Just because you've learnt some pretty words doesn't mean you have a clue to what they mean. Innocent Bystander (talk) 10:54, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Here: Climate model attractors: chaos, quasi-regularity and sensitivity to small perturbations of external forcing. I can back up my claims. Swallow your insults, groupthinker, and get a cancer.--Brasov (talk) 13:39, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
"Tell me I'm on rational wiki." Thanks for the prompt. Bottoms up! Also, please add more of your amazing insights into climatology to assist climate scientists from making the stupid, bumbling, uniformed conclusions that scientists always make. Idiot.--Brendiggg (talk) 11:29, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Insults. You can find scientists in both sides of an argument. Who's questioning their skills? You disqualify them as "denialism" for challenging your guess, and appeal to a consensus that's wishful thinking. What are these fallacious characters doing here, anyway? I'm glad the dorks get pissed, so they crawl out and show their real faces. --Brasov (talk) 13:36, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if you thought that calling you an idiot was intended to be an insult. It was actually intended to be merely an observation. You can find scientists in both sides of an argument. 1 scientist per 1000 makes a fair ration for "equal time" in this farce of a debate of yours??? Your agenda appears to be this: "Scientific consensus is wrong because I disagree". Idiot.--Brendiggg (talk) 14:39, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
1 scientist per 1000 ? That's ad numerum with figures pulled out of ad assum. Consensus is not scientific because truth is not established by voting. Study history or remain an idiot savant.
Why no entry on ad numerum in Rationalwiki? It would expose the favourite fallacy of groupthinkers. No, ad populum is not ad numerum, in case someone thought of playing smartss--Brasov (talk) 15:12, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the figure was pulled from my arse. It's a ballpark figure. Please find the genuine figures to correct me. Happy hunting.--Brendiggg (talk) 15:33, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
I won't do your homework for you. The GW flag is carried by a politician, a clear interference. Consensus is meaningless when there's pressure to conform. A denialist label guarantees a dead end to even the most able career. How far can a questioner afford to dissent in an IPCC panel knowing what he's risking? There's also the pettiness of the GW issue. How many serious scientists would contribute to such panel? Why invest precious time debunking Scientology? In the current climate it's reasonable to assume the dissent camp is larger the admitted size, but why the hell bother?--Brasov (talk) 17:53, 30 November 2012 (UTC)
The most clear case is that of Holocaust deniers: voice your doubts in public and go to jail. Very effective to achieve scientific consensus. If it ever fails, we might want to try Dismemberment instead, a proven overwhelming argument.--Brasov (talk) 18:43, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

"Smoking gun fallacy"?[edit]

Might a better name for this be the "smoking gun fallacy"? That is, the fallacy that to prove X, nothing short of the proverbial "smoking gun" will do? -- Matthew Cline (talk) 05:53, 26 September 2013 (UTC)