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"Only applies to a formal debate..."

"Why is that?
DB2


Allow me to clarify for the count although I mostly come here to read the posts of AstroPhool and loren and leave.

Appeal to authority is generally considered to be a fallacy in debates because it assumes that said authorities have greater expertise when that may or may not be true.

On the other hand, some people really do have more expertise than others and can be qualified as experts to give their opinions - like doctors and mathematicians and engineers and scientists in certain courtroom settings.

It may well be appropriate for me to defer to loren if he has demonstrated expertise in mathematics, or to Stephen Hawking if he has demonstrated expertise in physics, or to Jim Hansen if he has demonstrated expertise in climate science.

On a board like this it makes good sense for all of us to figure out who has real expertise and who is talking out of his arse and to decide issues accordingly.
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