Recent Articles

But Volcanoes

Andy Lacis provides an interesting framework for a response to the common But volcanoes:

The several hundred million tons of CO2 that volcanic eruptions may be injecting into the atmosphere is indeed a large number – probably more than what the entire fleet of trucks in the UK could handle. [more]

Facing Ridiculous Claims

In the **The Daily Show: John Oliver Investigates Gun Control in Australia**, John Oliver shows a good way to disarm ridiculous claims.

In the first part alone, he does it twice: the first occurence is at 3:44, the second at 3:58. What John Oliver does is brilliantly simple. Reformulate the ridiculous claim as a counterfactual:

so unless we Y, we should not X

where the Y is ridiculous and X is not. In other words, John Oliver repeats the claim where the ridiculous part of the claim is emphasized. In less than 15 seconds, Philip van Cleave’s position is KO’ed. He can’t face his own ridiculous claim.

Ridiculous claims bear repeating.