Never forget this elephant.

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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Innuendoes » Wed Sep 10, 2014 1:47 am

Elessar wrote:Discussion of dolphins is pointless here. Unless you simply post "I agree with Innuendoes", you'll be met with hostility and a list of one-sided sources to refer to.


I base my information and opinion on the work of scientists, biologists and environmentalists with PhDs who have been working on these issues since the 60s and 70s and are still working on them. And, you?
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Elessar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:31 am

Innuendoes wrote:
Elessar wrote:Discussion of dolphins is pointless here. Unless you simply post "I agree with Innuendoes", you'll be met with hostility and a list of one-sided sources to refer to.


I base my information and opinion on the work of scientists, biologists and environmentalists with PhDs who have been working on these issues since the 60s and 70s and are still working on them. And, you?


I go for consensus rather than cherry-picking.

The appeal to experts is widely abused. If there's no consensus, you really shouldn't use someone's credentials as proof that you're right. Bertrand Russell said it better than I can (though of course, if someone disagreed with him, I'd apply his own rules to him!):

(1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) thet when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.

Incidentally all that a PhD means is that the holder has completed 3+ years of postgraduate study and came up with a thesis that was accepted by the university awarding the degree. It doesn't actually reflect the validity of that work. For example, Prof Stephen Hawking recently proved that HIS OWN PhD work was incorrect. Often there will be PhD theses offering entirely contradictory theories. They can't both be right, yet both authors are equally qualified.

There are many experts out there, and even more who would claim to be experts. It's really not enough to just point people in the direction of one and say "they're the expert so they must be right". You have to critically analyse what they're saying. Yes, their credentials give you a reasonable clue that they know what they're talking about, but blindly following them is unforgivable, and in fact no self-respecting scientist would advocate that you believe them unquestioningly.

In other words, a good argument isn't a list of links and websites and names. A good argument analyses all the relevant sources and assimilates them into a single cohesive passage which ideally is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Failure to do that either indicates laziness, or an arrogance that it isn't necessary; or worse still, that these experts haven't been understood or even haven't been fully examined, and instead that their credentials are being used as a shortcut to stifle discussion.
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Elessar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:35 am

This covers some, but not all, of what I've just written:
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Innuendoes » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:46 am

Elessar wrote:
Innuendoes wrote:
Elessar wrote:Discussion of dolphins is pointless here. Unless you simply post "I agree with Innuendoes", you'll be met with hostility and a list of one-sided sources to refer to.


I base my information and opinion on the work of scientists, biologists and environmentalists with PhDs who have been working on these issues since the 60s and 70s and are still working on them. And, you?


I go for consensus rather than cherry-picking.

The appeal to experts is widely abused. If there's no consensus, you really shouldn't use someone's credentials as proof that you're right. Bertrand Russell said it better than I can (though of course, if someone disagreed with him, I'd apply his own rules to him!):

(1) that when the experts are agreed, the opposite opinion cannot be held to be certain; (2) thet when they are not agreed, no opinion can be regarded as certain by a non-expert; and (3) that when they all hold that no sufficient grounds for a positive opinion exist, the ordinary man would do well to suspend his judgment.

Incidentally all that a PhD means is that the holder has completed 3+ years of postgraduate study and came up with a thesis that was accepted by the university awarding the degree. It doesn't actually reflect the validity of that work. For example, Prof Stephen Hawking recently proved that HIS OWN PhD work was incorrect. Often there will be PhD theses offering entirely contradictory theories. They can't both be right, yet both authors are equally qualified.

There are many experts out there, and even more who would claim to be experts. It's really not enough to just point people in the direction of one and say "they're the expert so they must be right". You have to critically analyse what they're saying. Yes, their credentials give you a reasonable clue that they know what they're talking about, but blindly following them is unforgivable, and in fact no self-respecting scientist would advocate that you believe them unquestioningly.

In other words, a good argument isn't a list of links and websites and names. A good argument analyses all the relevant sources and assimilates them into a single cohesive passage which ideally is greater than the sum of its individual parts. Failure to do that either indicates laziness, or an arrogance that it isn't necessary; or worse still, that these experts haven't been understood or even haven't been fully examined, and instead that their credentials are being used as a shortcut to stifle discussion.


Oh I am sooooo embarrassed. This woman whom I have watched, listened to and read, might not be the person I thought she was, because she has a PhD.

This is just part of her education and work. You are so right, I have made a grave error in paying attention to what she says. But then, you have stated in the past, you know virtually nothing about dolphins.

Education
Visser holds three University Degrees; Bachelor of Science (Massey University), Masters of Science (Auckland University) and Doctorate of Philosophy (Auckland University). Visser has been working with orca (Orcinus orca) (also known as killer whales) since 1992 and completed her PhD in 2000, on the first ever scientific study of orca in New Zealand waters.

Scientific work
Her research on orca has been published in international scientific journals, since 1998, and many of these publications are available on the website Orca research. (see below for a list of scientific publications).

In 2002 Visser’s research was instrumental in the New Zealand Government’s reclassification of New Zealand orca from “Common” in the New Zealand Threat Classification System to “Nationally Critical”. This is the equivalent status of “Critically Endangered” in the internationally recognised IUCN Red Data listing.

Publications
She has published numerous popular-style articles and her photographs have appeared in various magazines such as National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, New Zealand Geographic, and An Encyclopedia of New Zealand [2] .

Visser has set up the Orca Research Trust, the Antarctic Killer Whale Identification Catalogue and was a co-founder of the Punta Norte Orca Research non-profit organisations all focusing on orca research. She also set up Adopt an Orca to facilitate fund raising and public awareness.

Visser has written an autobiography (“Swimming with Orca” – a finalist in the Environmental category of the prestigious New Zealand Montana Book Awards) and two children’s books (“I love killer whales” & “The Orca”). The latter has been translated into Māori and is currently in press as a bilingual English/Spanish publication.

Visser works as a guide on a variety of eco-tourism adventures, from swimming with whales to visiting Antarctica. She is a public speaker and has been described as “a marine version of Jane Goodall,” where her passion for the protection of orcas and their fragile habitats, as well as rescuing many stranded whales are clearly illustrated in her photographs.
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Innuendoes » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:47 am

Mr Potato Head!
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Elessar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:58 am

So in response to me stating the perils of simply listing someone's credentials as evidence that they should be trusted as opposed to actually analysing and appraising their work, you've....simply listed someone's credentials.

Cool.

N.B.: If pushed, I would probably say I know virtually nothing about more-or-less everything. The point is I acknowledge my almost absolute lack of knowledge and develop mechanisms for bridging those gaps, whereas you have little or no insight into your own.
Last edited by Elessar on Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Innuendoes » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:59 am

No, I am just sick and tired of you playing your little game.
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby Elessar » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:01 am

If this is a game, I doubt Waddingtons would be interested in the rights.
 
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Re: Never forget this elephant.

Postby action » Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:52 am

Elessar wrote:So in response to me stating the perils of simply listing someone's credentials as evidence that they should be trusted as opposed to actually analysing and appraising their work, you've....simply listed someone's credentials.

Cool.

N.B.: If pushed, I would probably say I know virtually nothing about more-or-less everything. The point is I acknowledge my almost absolute lack of knowledge and develop mechanisms for bridging those gaps, whereas you have little or no insight into your own.


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