Category Archives: Rules of Logic

When can correlation equal causation?

“Correlation does not equal causation.” It is a phrase that everyone has probably heard, but many people seem to ignore or misunderstand it. Indeed, although useful, the phrase itself can be misleading because it often leads to the misconception that … Continue reading

Posted in Nature of Science, Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

The fallacy fallacy: Reject the argument not the conclusion

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post on the importance of understanding logical fallacies, and in that post, I made the following claim, “anytime that an argument contains a fallacy, that argument must be rejected.” Much to my surprise, many … Continue reading

Posted in Rules of Logic | Tagged | 10 Comments

The importance of logical fallacies

As anyone who frequents this blog knows, I spend a lot of time talking about logical fallacies. I frequently criticize peoples’ arguments for having them, and I present them as a reason for rejecting particular lines of thought. Nevertheless, many … Continue reading

Posted in Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Vaccine injuries and confirmation biases

Humans are remarkably bad at accurately discerning patterns. All of us (skeptics included) are prone to confirmation biases and logical flaws in reasoning. We don’t like to be wrong, and, as a result, we tend to cling to things that … Continue reading

Posted in Rules of Logic, Vaccines/Alternative Medicine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Don’t attack the straw men: Straw man fallacies and reductio ad absurdum fallacies

People love to argue. We all have views and opinions, and we tend to promote them prominently and viciously attack opposing ideas. There is nothing inherently wrong with that as long as your views are evidence-based and you use proper … Continue reading

Posted in Rules of Logic | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Don’t tell people to “Google it.” That’s your job, not theirs

I spend a lot of time debating people on the internet, and, unsurprisingly, I frequently encounter people who make outlandish claims without providing any evidence to support those claims. In such situations, I typically ask them to present their sources, … Continue reading

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4 meaningless words: toxin, natural, organic, and GMO

News articles and blog posts are often full of buzzwords that are heavy on emotional impact but light on substance, and for scientific topics such as nutrition, health, medicine, and agriculture, four of the most common buzzwords are “toxins,” “natural,” … Continue reading

Posted in GMO, Rules of Logic | Tagged , | 73 Comments