WTF Skeptics’ Circle

Like new rubber fist

The latest Skeptics’ Circle was posted a few days ago at The Skeptic’s Field Guide. It happens to be a podcast, so you can hear them talk about each article in the carnival.

These guys seem to call their podcast “Hunting Humbug”, and apparently it’s devoted primarily to logical fallacies. That could be either really interesting or really dull (Wait. I think that was the either/or fallacy). Anyway, I’m going to listen to a few and see if they’re good. Creationists are especially prone to logical fallacies, so getting better at spotting them is a worthwhile endeavor.

In a similar vein, they have a really interesting quasi-fallacy that they’ve discovered. They call it “The WTF? Fallacy”. They describe it thus:

The advocate’s claim is so error ridden that one would not actually know where to begin in trying to analyse it. (Moreover, one would have to take a leave of absence for a year or so in order to do so.) The WTF? Fallacy is only to be invoked when the claim under consideration is so lacking in any rational basis that one is left speechless with perverse admiration – how could anyone, in their right mind make such an astonishingly stupid assertion? The only possible response is those three little words, muttered in hushed and awed tones: “What the F….?

Though similar in nature to Simple-Minded Certitude, the WTF? Fallacy is more extreme. WTF?ers ought to have seen the absurdity of their claim for themselves. There is simply no point in engaging with a WTF?er, as meaningful interaction will be nigh on impossible. Our advice is to completely avoid any interaction. If you must engage in social intercourse, a supercilious attitude is best, and moreover, such an attitude is completely justified. Heap nothing but scorn and derision upon the advocate.

Unfortunately, that describes almost everything that Ray Comfort, Ken Ham, and Kent Hovind have ever said.

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