How to make a really bad scientific argument, Part 11: Shunning

Shun the non-believers.  Your theory is right!  The science is settled!  There’s no need to convince anyone any more.  Just shout them down.  No need to actually make scientific arguments.  Science is all about creating and enforcing an orthodoxy, not having to validate theories by testing them to failure against reality.  Right?  This bad argument is a convenient framework for combining a bandwagon appeal with appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks, plus some pure nastiness.  It’s sort of like the Galileo and Church controversy, at least as popularly understood.  You get to be the Church, doing Church science, or religion, or something.  The unbeliever you are shunning gets to be Galileo.  Are you sure you’re on the right side of this?  You could try to reason with the heretic, but you can really shut him up if you threatening to lock him up.  It’s also fun to dump manure on his driveway.  If someone says you’re acting more like a fire-and-brimstone preacher than a scientist, you know what to do.  Shun!  Shun the non-believer!

 

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