Drug testing

Phony-Baloney Detection Lesson #2

Appeals to Authority

Listen to this quote by a guy I am sure some of you have heard of:

"Our society is dominated by experts, few more influential than psychiatrists. This influence does not derive, however, from our superior ethics or goodness or from any widespread consensus that we are especially admirable?"[1]

Don't you just love that?

He goes on to say, that Americans have become a people too dependent on so-called "experts" who "for better or for worse, exert an influence that far exceeds the actual wisdom (I might add here humility and grace) we demonstrate."[2]

Now, listen to this person's credentials:

"Dr. Satinover is a former National Merit Scholar (W. H. Taft HS, 1965, Woodland Hills, CA) and holds degrees from M.I.T. (S.B.), Harvard (Ed.M.) the University of Texas (M.D.) and Yale (M.S.) He completed psychoanalytic training at the C. G. Jung Institute of Z?rich. He is a former fellow (resident) in psychiatry and child psychiatry at Yale where he was twice awarded the department of psychiatry's Seymour Lustman Residency Research Prize (2nd place). He was the 1975 William James Lecturer at Harvard. He was until recently a graduate student and teaching fellow in the department of physics at Yale University as part of the Condensed Matter Theory Group where he received a master's degree in physics in 2003."[3]

The last I heard he decided to "pick up" a Ph.D. in Physics.

Phony-Baloney Detection Rule #2 is this:

"Nothing is true because some guy or gal with more degrees behind his or her name than the weather says it is."

Let's say that you have a "cause". There is an issue that hundreds if not thousands have embraced. Within that cause, which has now become a "movement", those who have embraced this cause or issue have gathered their "experts" who come to the conventions they hold where these "experts" tell these crusaders all they want to hear.

These "experts" line up at the stage entrance with truckloads of evidence. They have manuals, books, graphs, charts, movies, and slideshows, of statistics that will be presented as "indisputable evidence" the position or ideology of the new movement is correct. The result?

"Our cause is right and just", cries the members of the new movement, "just look at all the new "facts" I can now throw in the face of the world".

Nothing is true not even if a million so-called "experts" say it is true!

This is a huge problem in American society today. We are a people who blindly trust so-called "experts" (who may not even be "experts" at all) who self-proclaim themselves as "authorities" and who gladly accept their self-proclamation and the following it has earned them.

What is even scarier is that some of these so-called "experts" come to believe, in a kind of self-delusion, they are the authorities their followers regard them to be. These "experts" begin to believe they must be "right" just because they said something was so.

What if, when you wake tomorrow, there are suddenly a gazillion "experts" with academic credentials too long to possibly list, who are now saying the sun not only does not rise in the East and sets in the West-it never has!

Would that make it so? Would the fact that these "experts", some of whom would believe themselves to be "world-renowned" authorities, deluge you with so many facts that your head explodes, make their position on this issue any more "right"?

It would not!

In the emotions and blustering of any cause or issue, humans have the almost innate desire to be "dogmatic", and in their dogmatism, forget how to cut through the bull to learn what is right and what is not.

It is the test of experiment which cuts through the "cock and bull" of anyone, self-deluded or not, who makes a claim that something is true-NO MATTER HOW MUCH "INDISPUTABLE" EVIDENCE that is thrown into your lap.

Anyone, no matter how beloved, no matter how many books he has written, no matter how many conventions he has been the keynote speaker at presenting his truckloads of "proof", must have someone, somewhere hold his feet to the fire of the test of experimentation in the form of the following process:

1) Observation, 2) hypothesis, 3) prediction, 4) testing, and the attempt to 5) reproduce steps 3 and 4 used to form a theory (the last step of the scientific method).

Without the test of experimentation, without an objective third party (peer review) being able to reproduce the so-called expert's proof then all the "expert" is presenting to you in his truckloads of "statistical proof" is SPECULATION!

It is not proof. It is nothing more, nothing less, than SPECULATION!

No matter the credentials, no matter the reputation, no matter how much the much-loved guru of your movement quotes as proof, without the test of experimentation, you have no tool to discern whether what he is telling you is the truth or not.

Those who spew facts, figures, and stats, would not too often go wrong if CONCLUSIVE scientific testing was always possible. Unfortunately, it is not. In situations where limited testing can be done and even when the test results conflict, it is the ethical responsibility of the "presenter of the facts" in any issue to say so!

It is then, when the so-called "experts" who at least attempted to employ the test of experimentation, have to say,

"This is inconclusive but it would appear from what we presently know that ___________".

Even the "experts" have biases. Some of those will spew as "facts" what is instead "speculative biases" (and they know the difference) and not tell you so. From the dishonest to the sincerely deluded "experts", some spew what is mere "speculation" under the disguise of "indisputable evidence". That is the difference between "politics and truth".

As a columnist who is supposed to be trained to keep a story at 650-words, I am committing a sacrilege-this one is over a 1000. May my editor' forgive me!

If an "expert" is spewing a string of facts and stats, and is not citing the "tests of experimentation" from which these stats were derived, then that is how you know you are being fed SPECULATION (cock and bull?)!

What cuts through it all-THE TEST OF EXPERIMENTATION!

The next "Phony-Baloney Detection lesson #3" is Straw Man Argument.

[1] Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth; Jeffrey Satinover, M.D.; Baker Books; page 31
[2] Ibid
[3] http://www.satinover.com/main.htm

Doug Bower is a freelance writer, Syndicated Columnist, and book author. His most recent writing credits include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Transitions Abroad. He is a columnist with Cricketsoda.com and the Magic City Morning Star, and more than 21 additional online magazines. He lives with his wife in Guanajuato, Mexico. His newest books, Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country and The Plain Truth about Living in Mexico can be seen at: http://www.lulu.com/mexicanliving

In The News:

High levels of cocaine are causing some eels in London's famous River Thames to be "hyperactive," new research by King's College London shows.
The tiny, immortal hydra is a freshwater animal that can regenerate an entirely new animal from just the tiniest sliver of its body.
A man was getting ready to do his "business" on Saturday morning when he was startled by a large carpet python peaking its head out of the toilet.
Deep in the dark depths of the Gulf of California — where "virtually no oxygen" exists — live schools of fish that are thriving in an environment marine biologists would otherwise consider deadly for their kind.
The Soviet Union left a chilling legacy of the Cold War dotted across Poland – bunkers that once housed nuclear warheads hidden deep in the nation’s forests.
The remains of a prehistoric shark that lived during the age of dinosaurs 67 million years have been found, to the surprise of scientists and onlookers alike, according to a new study.
There has been much speculation about the existence of Planet Nine and its impact on distant objects in the solar system. But a new study suggests that some of the farthest celestial bodies in our planetary system aren't being impacted by this yet-to-be-discovered planet, but rather another mysterious object deep in the echoes of space.
Stunning pictures reveal the rare ‘super blood Moon’ that turned the Earth’s natural satellite a remarkable shade of red.
In the coming decades, more than a quarter-million people may die each year as a result of climate change , according to a new review study.
Skywatchers have been enjoying a rare ‘super blood Moon’ as the Earth’s natural satellite turned a stunning shade of red.

Stranded Notions: Time And Philosophy Of The Individual

As I look back now, a long time seems to... Read More

From Experience: Is It the Circle of Life?

All of it in one way or another a part... Read More

Plato to Bushco

The Neoplatonic Hierarchy:The twentieth century has seen a lot of... Read More

The Magi

I find no real fault in Constantine's inclusion or plagiarization... Read More

William Butler Yeats

There are adepts outside of what is called alchemy who... Read More

Alumpeth Devi Temple of Kerala in India

Alumpeth temple is an ancient kalari temple of Sri Bhadrakali... Read More

Angel Inspired E-mails

This morning, I awoke somewhat down. As little seems to... Read More

Einstein and Eirugena

ALBERT EINSTEIN: - "I am satisfied with the Mysteries of... Read More

Phony-Baloney Detection Lesson #2

Appeals to AuthorityListen to this quote by a guy I... Read More

Reducing Human Population Growth

Due to the indoctrination of World Religions and their control... Read More

Infinity - Feynman

RICHARD FEYNMAN: - I had the great pleasure of watching... Read More

Why Im Glad Im Not a Minority Writer

I'll admit that I used to be jealous of my... Read More

Nostradamus Saw

The Luciferians are the inner cabal of the Vatican according... Read More

The Keltoi

The CIA's motto is "You shall know the truth and... Read More

An Amazing, Hazy Look Into The Future

Sometimes we all sit and think. Sometimes we doodle with... Read More

Understanding Of I-Ching And Tai Chi In Relation To Our Lives

Tai Chi, The Great Ultimate, was found earliest in the... Read More

Life in the Universe Part II

We are most probably not the only beings in the... Read More

German Philosophers

German Culture: German PhilosophersGerman and German speaking philosophers have made... Read More

What Is Destiny? Is There Some Thing Called Free Will?

One of the greatest and everlasting debates of humanity has... Read More

The Pertinence of Nudity

Every kind of nudity is an abstraction. A man without... Read More

The Cosmic Eggs

One of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World is... Read More

Knowledge and Study of Social Science

. Human being Knowledge & social scienceHuman beings are the... Read More

Visions Of Heaven And Hell On Earth

Let us now pessimistically endeavour to communication the sentient of... Read More

In Answer To: Words Of Encouragement

Throughout my life, I have always known that it is... Read More

Animus Mundi and Intelligent Design

Animus Mundi:The World Mind or Critical Mass of intellectual and... Read More

led garage light fixture street light fixtures Pete's produce ..