“But scientists have been wrong in the past…”

The Logic of Science

I’m sure that we have all seen it happen at one point or another. Two people are debating about some scientific topic and the person who is opposed to the mainstream scientific view gets backed into a corner by an opponent who is wielding numerous peer-reviewed studies, so how does he get out of it? Simple, he merely utters the words, “well scientists have been wrong in the past, so they might wrong now,” and having spoken those irrefutable words, the debate ends, and the anti-scientist leaves, thinking himself victorious. In reality, all he did was use a logically invalid cop-out that does nothing other than demonstrate how truly weak and indefensible his position is.

The first problem with this argument is simply that it is a guilt by association fallacy (or ad hominem depending on exactly how it is used). Just because scientists have been wrong in that past…

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