Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
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13-12-2017, 02:53 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(13-12-2017 11:04 AM)f stop Wrote:  If Appeal to Authority is a fallacy then is not citing an article in a peer reviewed journal the same fallacy?

No. The appeal to authority fallacy is more appropriately titled the appeal to inappropriate authority - that is, someone who is not actually an authority in the relevant field, but has (supposedly) impressive credentials elsewhere - and involves making the appeal as a replacement for actual evidence. Appealing to "Doctor" Kent Hovind to try and refute the theory of evolution, for example, when Hovind has no experience whatsoever in the field of biology.

Peer-reviewed articles are the opposite of the fallacy in question. They are written and checked over by actual authorities in the field, and - more importantly - the evidence that verifies the claims as true is readily available.

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13-12-2017, 02:56 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(13-12-2017 12:37 PM)Rachel Wrote:  
(13-12-2017 11:18 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  I'd like to add that when you cite a peer reviewed paper it goes without saying that the author is well versed in the topic

No. It should go without saying, but peer review doesn’t always work that way. When William Dembski published “The Design Inference,” his peer review panel didn’t consist of mathematicians and statisticians as it should. Instead, Cambridge assigned two theologians and a philosopher, who, unsurprisingly, found no problems with his thesis.

OK, I’ll reword it.

“I’d like to add that when you cite a peer reviewed paper it goes without saying that the author should be well versed in the topic"

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13-12-2017, 07:47 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
Peer review can also fail dismally.

The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, Peer Review in Scientific Publications, was released in July 2011, and focussed on peer review to "see whether the system is operating effectively".

The report found the peer review system wanting, highlighting the MMR vaccine scare engineered by Dr Andrew Wakefield, a researcher in gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital, London, at the behest of a law firm paying him to find a link between autism and vaccines.

Retracted: the Wakefield et al Lancet paper which launched claims into medical research.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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13-12-2017, 11:12 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
Note that no one can be an authority regarding things that haven't been demonstrated to be real yet.

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13-12-2017, 11:39 PM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(13-12-2017 11:04 AM)f stop Wrote:  If Appeal to Authority is a fallacy then is not citing an article in a peer reviewed journal the same fallacy?

I say no but that's the objection that has been directed at me.
Appealing to something because person A said so is an appeal to authority. It is flawed because the "something" isn't true merely because person A said so.

The process of peer review (i guess) is where a group of scientifically literate and capable people review the documented claim that person A has made. These people are impartial (in that they aren't the ones making the claim), they test it against the scientific method. e.g. has the claim been sufficiently formulated, is it coherent, is it falsifiable, does it follow the data and prior scientific knowledge.

That sort of stuff.
If there were some glaring issues, I'd expect they either reject the claim and refuse to put their name against it as a peer review or they might go back to the author and ask to clear up a few things.

Basically they are doing a first pass, and putting their name against it regarding the legitimacy of the claim in terms of its adherence to the scientific method. They aren't putting their name to the result of the claim.

Quite different to an appeal to authority.
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14-12-2017, 02:49 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(13-12-2017 02:53 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  
(13-12-2017 11:04 AM)f stop Wrote:  If Appeal to Authority is a fallacy then is not citing an article in a peer reviewed journal the same fallacy?

No. The appeal to authority fallacy is more appropriately titled the appeal to inappropriate authority - that is, someone who is not actually an authority in the relevant field, but has (supposedly) impressive credentials elsewhere - and involves making the appeal as a replacement for actual evidence. Appealing to "Doctor" Kent Hovind to try and refute the theory of evolution, for example, when Hovind has no experience whatsoever in the field of biology.

Peer-reviewed articles are the opposite of the fallacy in question. They are written and checked over by actual authorities in the field, and - more importantly - the evidence that verifies the claims as true is readily available.

That is my understanding too. Appeal to authority is an argument, not necessary a fallacy. It can be more or less good, and become fallacious (intended or not).

Appealing to an authority, who actually is an expert in the fieeld is not a fallacy. Its an argument. Its an even better argument when you explain what the authoritys argument is and why it is supposed to be correct. A peer reviewed article in a scientific journal fulfils all the criteria for a good argument from authority (see below).

Its weak(er) if you dont examine the authorities argument itself. Its also weak when you cite one authority in the field, but leave out other authorities which contradict your (bias?) selected authority.

It becomes a fallacy when you cite a (correct) authoriy in a wrong way (á la quote mining) or cite someone who isnt an authority in the field.

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14-12-2017, 05:55 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(13-12-2017 07:47 PM)SYZ Wrote:  Peer review can also fail dismally.

The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report, Peer Review in Scientific Publications, was released in July 2011, and focussed on peer review to "see whether the system is operating effectively".

The report found the peer review system wanting, highlighting the MMR vaccine scare engineered by Dr Andrew Wakefield, a researcher in gastroenterology at the Royal Free Hospital, London, at the behest of a law firm paying him to find a link between autism and vaccines.

Retracted: the Wakefield et al Lancet paper which launched claims into medical research.

While this is true to some degree, Wakefield and his fraudulent manipulation of the peer review process was exposed by other scientists using the peer-review process. It remains an effective self-correcting process.

The problem with the MMR fiasco was that Wakefield gained traction in the tabloid press and the anti-vaccine lobby were very effective in spreading his misleading findings and spreading the nonsense amongst parents. Advice from the medical authorities remained consistent - the MMR vaccine was safe and parents should continue to have their children vaccinated.

Another interesting tactic has been the claims made by creationists that peer-review is relevant to their "science", however peer-review in a creationist conext is very different to everyone else's understanding of it.

In its efforts to obtain a semblance of respectability for "creation science" the "Answers Research Journal" - which is one of the propaganda arms of Answers in Genesis - presents itself as a periodical that publishes "peer reviewed" papers.

Setting aside for a moment the oxymoronic nature of "creation science", let's look at the "Instructions to Authors Manual" of this prestigious journal shall we?

In the section on “Paper Review Process” it says:

The following criteria will be used in judging papers:

1. Is the paper’s topic important to the development of the Creation and Flood model?

2. Does the paper’s topic provide an original contribution to the Creation and Flood model?

3. Is this paper formulated within a young-earth, young-universe framework?

4. If the paper discusses claimed evidence for an old earth and/or universe, does this paper offer a very constructively positive criticism and provide a possible young-earth, young-universe alternative?

5. If the paper is polemical in nature, does it deal with a topic rarely discussed within the origins debate?

6. Does this paper provide evidence of faithfulness to the grammatical-historical/normative interpretation of Scripture?

No methodology, no empirical evidence, no hypotheses based on observations?

And...........you can submit anything you want provided it supports their biblical stance.

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14-12-2017, 07:04 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(13-12-2017 11:04 AM)f stop Wrote:  If Appeal to Authority is a fallacy then is not citing an article in a peer reviewed journal the same fallacy?

I say no but that's the objection that has been directed at me.

I don't think they are necessarily exclusive.
When speaking about science about 99.99% of us must appeal to authority.
Generally speaking the "authority's" opinion is informed by the process of Peer Review.
I don't think it's exactly that one is valid and the other not.
It depends on the Authority in question. Whether it is informed by peer review.

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14-12-2017, 07:39 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
The thing about appealing to scientific theory is that you're always appealing to a falsifiable claim. That means that everyone who has seen it will have had the chance to prove it wrong, including any peer review that has gone on beforehand. So it's always possible it may be wrong, but so far no one has noticed or been able to show this. This gives you the best chance you can reasonably expect for being right. Appealing to conspiracy theories that anyone who finds out a theory is wrong is somehow silenced worldwide is a desperate gambit.

On the other hand, appealing to some supernatural nonsense that someone has spouted is referring to something which is almost always unfalsifiable and so untestable. This is no kind of comparison. It is mere assertion at best. No one can get their teeth into it to try and prove it wrong, like they can with the science.

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27-12-2017, 07:15 AM
RE: Appeal to Authority vs. Peer Review.
(14-12-2017 07:39 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  The thing about appealing to scientific theory is that you're always appealing to a falsifiable claim. That means that everyone who has seen it will have had the chance to prove it wrong, including any peer review that has gone on beforehand. So it's always possible it may be wrong, but so far no one has noticed or been able to show this. This gives you the best chance you can reasonably expect for being right. Appealing to conspiracy theories that anyone who finds out a theory is wrong is somehow silenced worldwide is a desperate gambit.

On the other hand, appealing to some supernatural nonsense that someone has spouted is referring to something which is almost always unfalsifiable and so untestable. This is no kind of comparison. It is mere assertion at best. No one can get their teeth into it to try and prove it wrong, like they can with the science.
*Emphasis mine*

Question, if all scientific theory is falsifiable, how do you explain abiogenesis?
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