15 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The plural of anecdote is not data

A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning such as the Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involvesinductive reasoning. For instance, if an anecdote illustrates a desired conclusion rather than a logical conclusion, it is considered a faulty orhasty generalization.[10] For example, here is anecdotal evidence...

How anecdotal evidence proves nothing.

06 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Characteristics of Junk Science

The inseparability of junk science from junk thought is evinced by the telltale marks of endemic illogic coupled, in many instances, with deliberate manipulativeness. The first and most fundamental warning sign is an inability to distinguish between coincidence and causation—a basic requirement for scientific literacy… A second telltale sign of junk thought is the appropriation of scientific-sounding language without underlying scientific evidence or logic… A third important element in ...
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Jacoby outlines four characteristics or human flaws that allow for the propagation of junk science.