How to make a really bad scientific argument, Part 7: Stretch

Stretch the applicability of truth.  It can be shown that hot water freezes faster than cold water in some circumstances.  Obviously, that proves the theory of iceberg migration from the equator to the poles.  Right?  Warm water freezes faster, icebergs are formed in all that warm water, and the lack of icebergs near the equator just means they moved north or south.  Right?  Actually, there are a lot of other things yet to be proven before one can jump from the little experiment (hot water can freeze faster) to the much larger conclusion (globally, equatorial water freezes and the resulting icebergs migrate to poles).  This larger conclusion is quite hard to prove because it is not only completely false, but silly.  The truth of the little experiment provides support to the larger conclusion, but not nearly enough support to make the larger conclusion true.  But who cares?  Einstein’s theory of relativity says that everything is relative (as far as your audience knows), so you can just stretch that tiny, limited truth to cover your enormous theory.


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