Talk:Texas sharpshooter fallacy

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Examples (a.k.a. Sid is bickering at 2am)[edit]

I'm not really sure how the examples demonstrate the fallacy. Could somebody maybe edit them to point out the link? Maybe showcase only one of these examples (like the lottery one) and make it clearer who made what hypothesis and used what data? I can sorta-kinda guess what the examples are aiming at, but overall, I'm feeling somewhat unsatisfied. --Sid 19:49, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

The main point is that the hypothesis is formed after the data is collected. I agree that the "example" section is hard to follow. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:35, 11 August 2008 (EDT)

I'm confused by this[edit]

Aren't most hypothesis's formed like this in the first place? How is saying that the geological formations are formed by glaciers any different? You can't make any inferences until you see said geological formation. Or maybe I'm missing something. Senator Harrison (talk) 21:08, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but then the hypo is used to make predictions which are tested by experiment or further observations. In this case there is no further experiment - his friends don't say "do that again". ħumanUser talk:Human 21:58, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
By the way, the geological stuff was formed by building and destroying processes, of which glaciers are but one of the destructive ones, unless you count "building" moraines like Cape Cod and Long Island. The builders are uplift due to tectonic processes, volcanism, sedimentation and compression, etc. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:01, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Ok, thats what I figured after thinking about it more. I think I get it now. Thanks Human. BTW, I seriously deny that a great flood has happened ;) Senator Harrison (talk) 02:23, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Glad I could sort-of help. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:13, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Daryl Bem[edit]

I won't take out the section just yet, but the referenced article is not an example of the fallacy. Rather, it describes Feeling the Future as thoroughly peer-reviewed work by a careful scientist. One ambiguous comment by Bem does not suffice to prove a fallacy: you need to demonstrate the fallacy in the paper itself and/or with a fair survey of the ongoing debate and attempted replications. Full disclosure: Bem chaired my thesis committee at Cornell. Gcolvin (talk) 23:00, 23 February 2015 (UTC)gcolvin

"Random" evolution[edit]

The paragraph on "random" evolution is a really, really bad example of the "Texas sharpshooter fallacy" and should be removed from the article. Only someone with a poor understanding of the complexities of DNA and living cells would have included it in the article. What is known from direct observation about the probabilities of amino acid molecules forming out of a soup of atoms by purely random means and those molecules assembling themselves by the tens of thousands into specific proteins and DNA strands tells us it ain't gonna happen, ever. Moreover, the molecules are so fragile and the conditions under which they could form only occur within the ribosomes of living cells, not in a mud puddle.174.85.92.191 (talk) 00:56, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

@174.85.92.191 So, here's the thing. You're not only conflating evolutionary theory with abiogenesis, but your also doing a piss poor job of understanding the latter, given that you seem to using a variant of the fine tuning argument as well as what appears to be an argument from complexity. ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 01:20, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

I am a bit confused[edit]

I think I am understanding the fallacy. But how does it interact with history/detective work. You can’t run an experiment on how jfk died. You can’t get the president, the car, the crowd, the gunman and run the experiment a few times to see what happens. So you can’t test any hypothesis. So how does the fallacy work with history/detective work?– — Unsigned, by: 75.164.225.115 / talk / contribs

I'm not sure you are looking at in the right way. The way this works is first something (anything) happens. After the fact someone comes along and claims the thing that happened was their objective. Then something else happens - and they claim that that was also their objective. It's the reverse of predicting what is going to happen and seeing (or making) it happen.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 07:22, 7 June 2021 (UTC)