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Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies!

May 5, 2012

From Your Logical Fallacy Is

This infographic poster can be printed out at various sizes for hanging in your favourite place that has walls. Make yourself, your class, your friends or your kids smarter by hanging it somewhere your face is near.

It’s a vector pdf file, which means that it’s high resolution whilst being small to download: A3 (420 x 297). If you want to print it out at A2 (594x420mm or 23.4 x 16.5 inches) or A1 (841x594mm or 33.1 x 23.4 inches) you’ll need to get them printed at your local large format digital print shop.

Best way to do this is to google ‘large format digital printing’ plus your city’s name. Email or call a few of them and tell them you have a high resolution vector pdf file to print at A1/A2 (maybe get a quote for both sizes) and also ask them to quote for lamination.

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Thou Shalt Not Commit Logical Fallacies” is really Rule Two.

Rule One: “Thou Shalt Not Have Confirmation Bias.”

Confirmation bias is not a logical fallacy, but I’m willing to submit, that it is the glue that holds the fallacies together. Of course, saying “Don’t have confirmation bias” is a lot easier said than done. Intuitively human beings favor information that confirms their beliefs; they tend to forget or dismiss evidence that might challenge their understandings. In addition, if we understand that humans also can and will observe patterns in the natural world around them (this is what enables us to navigate it so successfully sometimes), and then sometimes mistakenly ascribe some sort of agenticity to those patterns, those factors combined with confirmation bias means we can believe a great deal of things with complete certainty but be completely wrong at the same time! It is often when we are this wrong–often, but not always–that logical fallacies come in so handy for ‘arguing’ untenable beliefs.

we can believe a great deal of things with complete certainty but be completely wrong at the same time!

This is why peer-review is important. This is why science is the best tool we have for understanding the world around us. It takes us from intuitive, biased searches to a different way of testing and understanding natural phenomena, beliefs, and the universe we live in.

As opposed to confirmation bias and logical fallacies trying to affirm beliefs, science tries to disconfirm itself, that is the fundamental secret to its many successes in the last few hundred years.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2012 11:44 am

    Great poster, thanks for posting it!

  2. February 27, 2013 3:46 am

    Nice poster, can I ask you for permission to translate it to spanish.

    • February 27, 2013 9:38 am

      I did not create this poster, but I’m guessing the person who did–because this sort of stupidity needs to be fought everywhere–would say, “Translate away…”

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