Experience and the Experiment

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“Dad, let’s do an experience” my 6.5 year old said to me this morning. “Let’s see how far away these walkie-talkies can go and we can still hear each other.”

“Do you mean experiment?” I ask. “Yes, ex-per-i-ment” she says. We go over its pronunciation a few times. It’s a mix between my daughter having no front teeth and that she just gets her word choices mixed up now and then. Experience. Experiment. It’s an easy one to slip up on, plus they could be viewed in the same category in her head. “I will have an experience and learn something.” “I will do an experiment and learn something.” Same thing, basically, to a 1st grader.

So, you can see this question coming: Do you get Experience and Experiment mixed up? Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 5, Fallacist’s Fallacy

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here. I have discussed  some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

The Fallacist’s Fallacy (I like saying that) refers to an argument being refuted, simply because it uses a fallicious approach, not because the content is false. For example: “These old-school classic basketball shoes always hold up better.” (an appeal to antiquity). The argument commits a fallacy (they are old = they are better), but perhaps they are constructed with more craftsmanship or durable supplies, so the content may still be true. (*are we to assume more craftsmanship and better supplies make a better B-Ball shoe?!  Oh my, don’t let me make assumptions here!)

The Gambler’s Fallacy is also a nice one to be aware of…. Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 4, Circular Argument

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 5 here. I am discussing some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

The Circular Argument, or Begging the Question. “Fascia is a tissue in the body that holds one’s emotions. I know this because the research I did indicates that releasing fascia results in released emotions. Therefore, fascia holds our emotions.”  In my opinion, these fallacies are very hard to understand and uncover in conversation. In circular arguments the conclusion of the statement is stated up front, and any statement after that simply restates the presumed conclusion.

Let me give a simple example: “Everyone is using METs at the hip because they are so popular right now!” Did you catch it? Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 3, Irrelevant Appeals

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here. I am discussing some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

Irrelevant Appeals are seen often when someone is trying to persuade you. This can be during an argument, debate, casual discussion, sales pitch, etc. The irrelevance is to the point at hand, it may seem like an important retort, however, it has no bearing on the facts. Some examples:

Appeal to Antiquity: The idea is valid, because it has been around for a long time. “This is traditional natural medicine, it was done this way for 2,000 years,of course it’s valid.” Well, many old ideas and practices are bad. The antiquity of an idea has no bearing on it’s usefulness. Bloodletting, lobotomies, acupuncture, essential oils, they are all old, right?

Appeal to Novelty: The opposite of above. “The newest thoughts on how to treat X are ABC.” The newness is irrelevant, but it seems better, right? Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 2, Complex Question

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here. I am discussing some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

The Complex Question Fallacy is in the family of Fallacies of Presumption. It makes assumptions, thereby defining the conversation and the result of the outcome, when asking a question.

An easy example of this is seen here: “When are you going to admit that you lied?” You cannot say “Right now” because that is an admittance of lying. If you say “Never!” you uphold the assumption that you lied, and that you are just not admitting it. Lose lose.

How does this show up in the clinic? Continue reading

Five Days of Fallacies: Day 1, Post Hoc

Five Days of Fallacies, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 hereI am going to share some common mistakes we humans make in reasoning, in the hope that you can 1) Understand what they are 2) Recognize them when others speak 3) Recognize them when you think this way 4) Attempt to correct your thinking on old, current and future ideas.

Let’s start with one of the biggest logical fallacies: Post Hoc, Ergo Proctor Hoc.  “After this, therefore, because of this.” Affectionately known as Post Hoc, for short.

We make a mistake in seeing a causal connection between things when one action/event follows another certain action or event. This is where you get the “rain dance” from.

You did a rain dance, the next day it rained. Boom! Therefore, your dance caused the rain. Oops…Post Hoc! This is where chiropractic Continue reading