Author Topic: SGU 5x5 #49  (Read 1902 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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SGU 5x5 #49
« on: December 17, 2008, 07:21:53 AM »
Podcast #49    Skepticism 101 - Argument from Authority
Steven Novella
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Offline mindme

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Re: SGU 5x5 #49
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 09:15:55 AM »
I was debating an HIV denier. His claim was HIV has never been isolated. Alright. So I link him all these papers from Nature, Science, etc. where they isolate HIV, sequence it genetically, photographed it, etc.

He counters I'm using the argument from authority. Geez. I ask him to supply published guidelines for the proper method for isolating a virus, photographing a virus, etc. and point out where the HIV isolation and photography fails to reach that gold standard.

He retorts he has two science degrees (never really stating what they are in) and he can tell me they've not properly photographed HIV and they've simply not isolated HIV.

When I asked him how they can sequence the DNA of something they've not isolated, he countered since they haven't isolated it, they're just lying.

*face palm*
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

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Offline DoctorAtlantis

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Re: SGU 5x5 #49
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 11:27:32 AM »
I was debating an HIV denier. His claim was HIV has never been isolated. Alright. So I link him all these papers from Nature, Science, etc. where they isolate HIV, sequence it genetically, photographed it, etc.

I suspect most belief systems give the believer something of value.  For example belief in an afterlife might give one comfort that they'll see loved ones, or keep on going after death. 

911 truthers get to reinforce their belief that the world is being carefully controlled.  (Not to their liking, but there is no such thing as a "senseless act".)  And they get to be part of a small group that knows the "truth".

What does HIV denial provide believers?  What do they think AIDS is exactly if not a manifestation of a virus-induced immunity problem?

Offline mindme

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Re: SGU 5x5 #49
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 02:23:47 PM »
What does HIV denial provide believers?  What do they think AIDS is exactly if not a manifestation of a virus-induced immunity problem?

It goes a few ways:

1) it's just the product of a bad life style. Hey as long as I don't have sex with 1,000 men a year and do drugs, I can bang four or five thai prostitutes once a year on my holiday without a condom.

2) It's just poor diet (africans don't get enough vitamin D and they have AIDS, so it must be the lack of vitamin d!) and Big Pharma is selling us the meds to make us sick with AIDS. I can bang four or five thai prostitutes once a year on my holiday without a condom as long as I take my multivitamin.

 
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Offline Anders

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Re: SGU 5x5 #49
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 03:56:28 PM »
Or it's a conspiracy to kill black people.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” Charles Darwin

Offline Tormod

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Re: SGU 5x5 #49
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 05:44:58 PM »
I was thinking...

Would you call claims of Darwins deathbed conversion to not only be erroneous, but also be a form of argument of authority, though not in the traditional sense.


What many people do not realize is that it would not matter if he did.
Science does not have prophets, science has heroes. The golden boys of science do not "own" their respective legacies.
Darwin could not "admit to merely having made it all up", because it is science. It is corroborated by evidence outside his mind and outside his control.
I believe in karma.... so I know everybody else allways deserves whatever I do to them.

 

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