Sunday, September 9, 2012

Uses and abuses of the anecdotal evidence

Anecdotal evidence is often used instead of scientific and logical evidence.
Anecdotal Evidence may completely ignore research or harder evidence that points to an opposite conclusion. (Either you believe in what I say, or you are a disinformer, debunker and cabal agent..!)
Types of anecdotal evidence include claiming non-factual information.Sample: (there are 105 Extraterrestrial Civilizations visiting our planet Earth. Our planet is in quarantine imposed by those ET civilizations.)
Anecdotal Evidence is based on the presumed experiences of a few people, sometimes anonymous, or presumed witnesses. Usually that stories and "revelations" contradict factual information, and are the product of word of mouth communication.
Logically Invalid subjective content
Subjective content is any material that involves judgment, feeling, opinion, intuition, or emotion rather than factual information. That's why recognizing and evaluating subjective content involves distinguishing between facts and opinions, identifying generalizations, evaluating viewpoints, understanding theories and hypotheses, weighing data and evidence, and being alert to bias.
Distinguishing between Facts and Opinions
Facts are statements that can be verified or proven to be true or false.Opinions have little use as supporting evidence.
How to evaluate statements.

Are the terms used clearly defined and consistently applied?
Is the thesis (the point to be made) clearly and directly stated?
Are facts provided as evidence? If so, are they verifiable?
Is the reasoning sound? (Does one point follow from another?)
Are counterarguments recognized and refuted or addressed?
What persuasive devices or propaganda techniques does the author use (examples: appeal to emotions, name-calling, appeal to presumed authorities)?
Asking Critical Questions
What is the source of the material? Some sources are much more reliable and trustworthy than othersknowledge of the source will help you judge the accuracy, correctness, and soundness of the material. Articles from professional or scholarly journals are often more useful and reliable than articles in newsstand periodicals.
Why was the Material Written? Identify an author's primary purpose. If the author's purpose is to persuade or convince you to accept a particular viewpoint then you will need to evaluate the reasoning and evidence presented.
Is the Author Biased? Does the author display partiality, preference, or prejudice for or against a person, object, or idea?
Does the Author Make Assumptions? An assumption is an idea or principle the writer accepts as true and makes no effort to prove or substantiate.
Does the Author Present an Argument? An argument is a logical arrangement and presentation of ideas. It is reasoned analysis, a tightly developed line of reasoning that leads to the establishment of an end result or conclusion.