Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pseudo logic.

Earlier, I had posted a link to Michael Crichton's criticism of the SETI 'equation'. I came across more such pseudo-logic recently. And on no less than the Discovery channel.
I was watching this programme on Discovery where a 'researcher' is researching the death of Julius Caesar. He wants to know who killed him, and why. No problem with that. But how do you find out how many stab wounds a guy killed over 2000 years ago took without having access to his dead body? And of the 22 senators that are supposed to have plotted to kill him, whose knife dealt the death blow? And this lunatic even goes to the extent to say that not all stab wounds Caesar suffered were fatal. And he wants to do research to find out which ones on earth do you do this!? He performs a 'simulation'. He has 22 guys trying to stab a single person, and apparently when they all tried together, not all the wounds that occurred were fatal! Geez!

This is the kind of thinking that pervades most of Indian life today. I'm subscribed to an orkut community on Calvin and Hobbes, on which someone posted a question wondering what Calvin's star sign was. Here is what is possibly the 'best' answer:

he has to be an guys an Aries...n he is no less than Calvin....n he adores him a gotta be Aries

What astounding logic! Calvin has to be an Aries, because 'her guy' is an Aries and he is adores Calvin. Haven't these people heard of 'evidence'? Or 'scientific enquiry'? (The second question was for the Caesarian idiot.)

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