Scientific consensus and arguments from authority

A British science journalist who posts to YouTube under the handle Potholer54 has released another video and it’s just as entertaining and informative as all his others. In it he demonstrates how to pick fact from bullshit with a funny commentary.

Why are people so easily duped? A couple of times recently I’ve received some scam calls from someone purporting to be my solicitor and wishing to discuss the car accident I reported. It wasn’t hard for me to figure out that it was a scam because …

a) I don’t own a car
b) I haven’t reported a car accident
c) The caller sounded Indian and the line was was very poor

Some of the things Potholer highlights in the video are just as obvious yet people either ignore them or … I really don’t know. Perhaps before I get too smug I should add that it’s not unusual for me to fall April Fools’ jokes 🙂

5 thoughts on “Scientific consensus and arguments from authority

  1. Wanted to comment on this when you first posted it but the cat was in my lap and it was too difficult to type sideways.

    Really excellent video. I shared it on facebook and hope that it will get some further exposure, especially in Australia, as a result.

    The findings of a study at this link are quite alarming but not surprising. https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/shame-australia-we-top-the-list-of-climate-skeptics,

    I say ‘not surprising’ because of the Australian government’s and the Murdoch-owned media’s relentless pro-denialist campaign.

    1. For some reason the link doesn’t work for me but I can see from the link itself what it’s about. Apparently the “Skeptic” problem is mostly a problem in Britain, Australia, and the U.S. I can’t verify this now but I think I read somewhere once that there aren’t so many in other European countries.

    1. Very! I was thinking of telling the next one that I don’t live here but I’ll pass the phone to the owner and then just leave it off the hook 🙂

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