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Galileo Gambit

September 25th, 2009

Galileo Gambit

classification : informal – Straw man

The Galileo fallacy is the idea that if you are widely vilified for your ideas, you must therefore be right.

Foundations

“The fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” –Carl Sagan

Examples

They made fun of Galileo, and he was right. They make fun of me, therefore I am right.

Almost everyone thought Galileo was wrong, but he turned out to be right. Therefore, just because almost everyone thinks something is true, doesn’t make it so.

Don’t lecture me about my report card. Eisenstein was a poor student and look how he turned out.

Other Names

argumentum ad populum

argument from consensus

Categories: Logic
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