A non sequitur is a conclusion that does not follow from the data considered. PaleoBabble research is riddled with them. One of the more frequent flaws in thinking that produce non sequiturs is the confusion of correlation and causation: just because two things “relate” doesn’t mean one is the cause of the other, or produced the other, or even “leads to” the other.
I just blogged this over at UFO Religions, but it’s equally applicable here given the sort of pablum that I deal with so often in the world of paleobabble.
You just HAVE to watch the video below (7:00). It’s clear and to the point, and you’ll no doubt have a laugh or two – a video on how Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star was *really* an inside job. It’s very well done and has almost two million views on YouTube.
The value of the video should be obvious. Every fact presented in it is indeed a fact from the movie. And every connection drawn is “reasonable” in the context of the narrative created. But the conclusions are absolutely wrong. This is precisely how so much conspiratorial thinking works … and fails horribly. Conspiracy is all about narrative interpretation, not “facts”. Once one part of the narrative fails, the whole thing crumbles. The beauty of the video is that the viewer already knows the narrative is wrong, but can see how that bogus narrative is created using nothing but factual data.
In short, it’s not about the data dots; it’s about how the dots are connected — and that usually (nearly always) happens in the theater of the imagination when it comes to conspiracy theory.
Many readers will recall my debunking of the ridiculous and hopelessly uninformed evangelical YouTube mythology about the Bible revealing how President Obama is the Antichrist. Now I have irrefutable proof that I was right – using math! (I’ll wait a second while you become mesmerized . . . okay).
Here it is — proof that Barney the purple dinosaur is the Antichrist, Satan incarnated, not President Obama.
No word yet on whether or not World Net Daily will carry this.
Hey, it’s the same logic — and method — that is behind Bible codes.
With ten days to go until mythical doomsday, I was wishing today that there was a convenient way to celebrate the epic fail with PaleoBabble readers — something like an online New Year’s Eve party for sane people with geeky fascination for the ancient world, where we all yell “you gullible morons!” (in Mayan) at the turn of midnight. But, lacking the sort of creativity it takes to pull that off in cyber space, I thought it still might be fun to ask readers what they’d do or say at an end-of-the-hype-about-the-end-of-the-world party. Or maybe you can tell us what you’re planning if you and your friends are going to mark the event in a special way. And if really believe the Mayan apocalyptic silliness, what do you plan to do before the world goes away?
If I was in the last category, I’d do something daring and reckless, like watch all the Twilight movies in a row. I wouldn’t be needing my brain any more (or my dignity), so no harm done.
Saw this online today. It’s a handy reference for determining which logical fallacy is being used in the latest paleobabble spew one encounters. It ought to be on a T-Shirt (but it would be a crowded one).
Robert Cargill posted this today on his blog. It’s funny because we’ve all seen it happen, again and again. Although the creators forgot to include the Fantasy Channel (formerly known as the History Channel).