Author Topic: SGU 5x5 #50  (Read 1713 times)

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Offline Steven Novella

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SGU 5x5 #50
« on: December 18, 2008, 08:11:54 AM »
Podcast #50    Skepticism 101 - The Argument from Ignorance
Steven Novella
Host, The Skeptics Guide
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Offline Tormod

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Re: SGU 5x5 #50
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 11:10:40 AM »
As UFO sightings were mentioned, I was surprised that nobody noted the inherent example of the same fallacy of just the "U" in "UFO".

A: I saw a UFO.
B: How do you know it was a UFO?
A: Because I could not identify the flying object.

The term itself, combined with its application in modern culture (UFO=>Alien Spacecraft), practically begs the fallacy of argument from ignorance.
I believe in karma.... so I know everybody else allways deserves whatever I do to them.

Offline Damage Magnet

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Too ignorant to keep my mouth shut???
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 08:51:24 AM »
Hello - as ever excellent podcast.

I was intrested by the discussion about what conclusions could be reached from ignorance.

The point was made (I Paraphrase) that in some cases the absence of evidence could be used to draw some conclusions.

Just to see if i understand correctly ... the absence of evidence can be used to make negative conclusions (its not x because x always does this) but not positive conclusions (it is y because I dont think x did it)?

If i am right about this interpretation does that stand as argument from ignorance? In order to make that first statement you must have knowledge (of what x does) though you could dismiss the second as false dichotomy.

Just trying to nail this down in my own head. Any feedback appreciated.
Rarely right but always intrested

Offline Evil Eye

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Re: Too ignorant to keep my mouth shut???
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 09:39:51 AM »
Hello - as ever excellent podcast.

I was intrested by the discussion about what conclusions could be reached from ignorance.

The point was made (I Paraphrase) that in some cases the absence of evidence could be used to draw some conclusions.

Just to see if i understand correctly ... the absence of evidence can be used to make negative conclusions (its not x because x always does this) but not positive conclusions (it is y because I dont think x did it)?

If i am right about this interpretation does that stand as argument from ignorance? In order to make that first statement you must have knowledge (of what x does) though you could dismiss the second as false dichotomy.

Just trying to nail this down in my own head. Any feedback appreciated.

Basically... If you know "x" but don't know what it is, and cannot eliminate a-z (and everything else) as possible, then making x the answer for x  can be safely assumed to be unanswerable.

"I saw  an X last night...... and it wasn't a ____ or ~... therefore I cannot assume that it is a y"
"We'll get that information to you later" - Richard Feynman to Mr. Rodgers.

Offline mh

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Re: SGU 5x5 #50
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 01:46:49 AM »
Great podcast!  I love the way you listened to feedback and do mostly Skepticism 101 episodes.  This is much more valuable than simply another news story for the week.  Very good for new skeptics, teachers, and students.

 

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