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Does this qualify as Genetic Fallacy?

QwerkyCoder522
Posts: 1
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5/2/2016 3:11:50 PM
Posted: 7 months ago
for example - recently a close friend of mine sent me and article that claimed to debunk the "consensus on climate change among climate scientists". naturally I was very suspicious - I go to the link, and it's a HuffPost opinion piece. at this point I knew it was going to be 100% garbage - but recognizing my biases I do my due diligence - I read the article.

sure enough, the articles only evidence is a survey done on members a US meteorological group - I forget the exact name but it was very formal and at first glance, entirely above board. being the paranoid skeptic that I am I decided to vet the group, sure enough - without having any meteorological education I was able to join the group myself.

so I pointed this out to him, along with the obvious - while meteorologists are involved with climate science, a group of meteorologists is not a suitable sample of "climate scientists", and that they fall under an entirely different discipline. right science, wrong discipline, like asking a marine biologist's opinion on the lethality of ebola - a question you'd ask a virologist.

having wrecked the validity of the science in the article I went on to offer some tips in vetting articles in the future to help sort through 90% of the trash on the internet.

1) never use tabloids/opinion pieces as evidence - these are useful only as links to the underlying science.

2) who's the author of the piece? who are they associated with? an example of this is taking any study on climate change from any university in Alberta at face value - the entire Albertan economy is dependent on oil. oil companies are primary donators to many of these institutions who in turn have a vested interest to not release studies that agree with climate change.

he came back with genetic fallacy and ad hominem.

Is my second point on vetting articles invalid for this reason. I disagree with his statements but thought I'd get and outside opinion to check vs by biases.
skipsaweirdo
Posts: 1,872
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5/3/2016 2:48:59 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/2/2016 3:11:50 PM, QwerkyCoder522 wrote:
for example - recently a close friend of mine sent me and article that claimed to debunk the "consensus on climate change among climate scientists". naturally I was very suspicious - I go to the link, and it's a HuffPost opinion piece. at this point I knew it was going to be 100% garbage - but recognizing my biases I do my due diligence - I read the article.

sure enough, the articles only evidence is a survey done on members a US meteorological group - I forget the exact name but it was very formal and at first glance, entirely above board. being the paranoid skeptic that I am I decided to vet the group, sure enough - without having any meteorological education I was able to join the group myself.

so I pointed this out to him, along with the obvious - while meteorologists are involved with climate science, a group of meteorologists is not a suitable sample of "climate scientists", and that they fall under an entirely different discipline. right science, wrong discipline, like asking a marine biologist's opinion on the lethality of ebola - a question you'd ask a virologist.

having wrecked the validity of the science in the article I went on to offer some tips in vetting articles in the future to help sort through 90% of the trash on the internet.

1) never use tabloids/opinion pieces as evidence - these are useful only as links to the underlying science.

2) who's the author of the piece? who are they associated with? an example of this is taking any study on climate change from any university in Alberta at face value - the entire Albertan economy is dependent on oil. oil companies are primary donators to many of these institutions who in turn have a vested interest to not release studies that agree with climate change.

he came back with genetic fallacy and ad hominem.

Is my second point on vetting articles invalid for this reason. I disagree with his statements but thought I'd get and outside opinion to check vs by biases.
If you continue your reasoning as stated in 2 then it would be the fallacious reasoning your friend cites. Technically he's assuming you couldn't back up the assertion Alberta U is unethical (ad hom), as they're in the pockets of big oil. If you have proof they are dishonestly representing evidence because you were a part of their research then it's a different story. And you aren't presenting an actual study and dismissing the evidence off hand because of what your reasons are. You simply state, if they did, then you might, because you should, but it's not referencing an actual study.
Technically he's correct as far as polite conversation. Assuming you can't support your reasoning with actual facts.
Just because Alberta's economy is oil based doesn't mean the universities are unethical.
Don't assume oil companies don't agree with climate change. There are companies, and or governments, that are oil based sinking billions of dollars into alternate energy sources because they're good business people. Say oil companies don't care is fallacious reasoning and simply ignorant of the facts. There's an energy source derived from grains of sand that is currently being touted by international energy consultants as being what will eventually make oil obsolete, assuming environmentalist don't subvert the technology because of beaches, lol.
http://moneymorning.com...
Of course you could always dismiss this as biased because it's also saying what stocks to buy.......lol
Emgaol
Posts: 164
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5/3/2016 3:42:01 AM
Posted: 7 months ago
At 5/2/2016 3:11:50 PM, QwerkyCoder522 wrote:
for example - recently a close friend of mine sent me and article that claimed to debunk the "consensus on climate change among climate scientists". naturally I was very suspicious - I go to the link, and it's a HuffPost opinion piece. at this point I knew it was going to be 100% garbage - but recognizing my biases I do my due diligence - I read the article.

sure enough, the articles only evidence is a survey done on members a US meteorological group - I forget the exact name but it was very formal and at first glance, entirely above board. being the paranoid skeptic that I am I decided to vet the group, sure enough - without having any meteorological education I was able to join the group myself.

so I pointed this out to him, along with the obvious - while meteorologists are involved with climate science, a group of meteorologists is not a suitable sample of "climate scientists", and that they fall under an entirely different discipline. right science, wrong discipline, like asking a marine biologist's opinion on the lethality of ebola - a question you'd ask a virologist.
"Climate science" is a multi-disciplinary study. It involves geologists, meteorologists, physicists, biologists, astrophysicists, etc.

having wrecked the validity of the science in the article
You may have "wrecked the validity" of the survey, but you most definitely have not wrecked the validity of the science.

I went on to offer some tips in vetting articles in the future to help sort through 90% of the trash on the internet.
Where do you get the "90%" figure from? I might have accepted "some" or even "much", but to give a specific % requires evidence as to how that number was obtained.

1) never use tabloids/opinion pieces as evidence - these are useful only as links to the underlying science.

2) who's the author of the piece? who are they associated with?
These are important questions only insofar as to whether the author gives references to support his opinion. For example, if you were to write something about climate change, and you are not a scientist, then you would need to cite references which would support your argument and to be considered impartial, you should cite those references which refute your argument.
If the author was merely reporting that a survey has been conducted, then that's all it is - a report of a survey. It cannot be taken as evidence of anything other than having counted opinions.

an example of this is taking any study on climate change from any university in Alberta at face value -
"...any study on climate change from any university in Alberta..."? Sounds like you've already dismissed certain evidence off hand. Furthermore, the "study" was a survey of opinions, not a "study on climate change".

the entire Albertan economy is dependent on oil.
It could be argued that every economy is dependent on oil, even those that don't produce oil, after-all, they still use it.

oil companies are primary donators to many of these institutions who in turn have a vested interest to not release studies that agree with climate change.
Do you have evidence to support this allegation? Specifically, how much money was "donated", and which studies were withheld?

he came back with genetic fallacy and ad hominem.
Genetic fallacy, maybe, but there are a few other fallacies that I'd suggest apply to your argument.

Is my second point on vetting articles invalid for this reason. I disagree with his statements but thought I'd get and outside opinion to check vs by biases.
Finally, any survey on any subject, of any population, is not scientific evidence.
"The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd." - Bertrand Russell.