Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
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10-12-2013, 06:30 PM
Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/...e-journals


I'm not a fan of the appeal to authority argument. So, the the fact that he's a Nobel laureate has no bearing on whether his accusations of those journals are factual, personal opinion, hyperbole, sensationalism, fantasy, or something else.


Prediction - YEC's will try to use this as a club over the head of science.
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10-12-2013, 07:29 PM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
His argument isn't a strike against science, but the elitist journals, and he's probably right. It's the equivalent of the New York Times running stories to satisfy advertisers, which would be reprehensible from the world's leading and most respected news source. The same should be expected from science journals, where it truly means life or death sometimes.

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10-12-2013, 08:20 PM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
(10-12-2013 06:30 PM)TheBear Wrote:  http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/...e-journals


I'm not a fan of the appeal to authority argument. So, the the fact that he's a Nobel laureate has no bearing on whether his accusations of those journals are factual, personal opinion, hyperbole, sensationalism, fantasy, or something else.


Prediction - YEC's will try to use this as a club over the head of science.

All fields are subject to fashion it's no big deal. Scientific publishing--like all publishing--has trends where some topics are valued over others and for a period there is a bias towards publishing papers/books on that topic. That is really all that Schekman is protesting against. Although Nature, Cell and Science are top-tier journals there are many other high-quality peer-reviewed journals on all of the topics that they collectively cover so a good paper will find a publisher. Schekman isn't claiming suppression and censorship so there is no deep problem.

If you look at Schekman's publishing history most of his work is concerned with membrane structures and transport mechanisms in cells. Because he has been largely dedicated to that specialisation and Nature, Cell and Science are responsive to research trends Schekman's papers will be variably received by those journals regardless of the merit of Schekman's papers. That is what he is annoyed about. Schekman was published many times in all three of those journals in the 1990s but there is a drop in the 2000s. If the quality of his submission is the same then I can understand why he feels slighted. His specialisation is no longer "sexy" according to the editors of Nature, Cell and Science.
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10-12-2013, 08:42 PM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
(10-12-2013 07:29 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  His argument isn't a strike against science, but the elitist journals, and he's probably right. It's the equivalent of the New York Times running stories to satisfy advertisers, which would be reprehensible from the world's leading and most respected news source. The same should be expected from science journals, where it truly means life or death sometimes.

I agree.

All I'm saying is YEC's will take this opportunity to discredit all scientific journals and publications, with one, broad brush, in an attempt to bolster their own claims. They will also resort to the appeal to authority fallacy without batting an eye.
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10-12-2013, 08:48 PM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
Yep, you're probably right Bear. Sad, but true.

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11-12-2013, 04:15 AM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
(10-12-2013 08:42 PM)TheBear Wrote:  All I'm saying is YEC's will take this opportunity to discredit all scientific journals and publications, with one, broad brush, in an attempt to bolster their own claims. They will also resort to the appeal to authority fallacy without batting an eye.

Hi, maybe you can help me out here. Often on the forum someone will say 'that's a ___fallacy' and not go any further in explaining why it is or offering a counter-argument. The lack of explanation usually makes me think that they're just throwing out terms that they don't apply properly to the argument just to try and shut the other guy up- the appeal to fallacy almost becomes one in itself. So in case I'm missing something I've been trying to understand what they actually are. Unfortunately the book I have my eye on about logic isn't mine yet (bit out my price range for now), so can you tell me if I've got this right?

So an appeal to authority would go: 'John is an authority in the field of __. He says __ about the subject, therefore it is correct.'

Now from what I've read, such an appeal to authority is a fallacy if:
A. John is in fact not an expert in the subject
B. The 'fact' is in dispute among peers of the subject
C. The appeal to the authority of the 'expert' is the only part of the argument: 'he said so, so it's true'

Now what confuses me is that sometimes it's called a fallacy and it doesn't seem to be correct. For example, imagine if we got into a discussion on a passage in the NT and the topic of the original Greek wording came up. I say that the OP is missing the meaning because 'John Smith' is an expert in NT Greek and translates it in a way accepted by scholars as closest to the original meaning. Would it be counted as a logical fallacy if the OP replied that the 'expert' wasn't good enough or would they have to concede the fact? Or is an argument susceptible to be deemed a fallacy based on whether someone likes the argument (or the expert) or not?

Appeal to authority can't always be a fallacy, can it? I'm guessing a lot of us here aren't biologists, geologists, linguistic scholars or theologians, yet we refer to people who are in order to inform ourselves and support our arguments. Does it go back to how impartially we use it and whether we're using it without understanding what it means?

Thanks. I was also wondering because I was wondering what you were meaning about the YECs and the journals.
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11-12-2013, 04:36 AM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
(11-12-2013 04:15 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  Hi, maybe you can help me out here.
I think the following excerpt taken from an article on logical fallacies from Princeton University should clear things up.

Princeton University Wrote:
Argument from authority (also known as appeal to authority) is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:

This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of a claim is not related to the authority of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it).

On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.

There are two basic forms of appeal to authority, based on the authority being trusted. The more relevant the expertise of an authority, the more compelling the argument. Nonetheless, authority is never absolute, so all appeals to authority which assert that the authority is necessarily infallible are fallacious.
Source: http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/w...ority.html

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11-12-2013, 04:48 AM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
(11-12-2013 04:36 AM)Vosur Wrote:  I think the following excerpt taken from an article on logical fallacies from Princeton University should clear things up.

Clears it up nicely. Thank you Smile
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11-12-2013, 06:30 AM
RE: Nobel winner declares boycott of top science journals
Also... well spotted:
(11-12-2013 04:15 AM)Yasmin Wrote:  ...
the appeal to fallacy almost becomes one in itself.
...

The fallacy fallacy.

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