On Cherry-Picking

Cherry-picking is an extremely common fallacy which, as Wikipedia points out, is "a major problem in public debate". That being the case, it is extremely important to establish what cherry-picking is, and what it is not.

So first of all we need to be clear that cherry-picking is not the same as finding evidence to support your position. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position," and I'll go into some examples of this later. If you claim that merely identifying evidence which supports your position is cherry-picking, then all evidence ever produced for anything would be cherry-picking. You would be undermining the very idea of evidence.

The important distinction with cherry-picking is the second part of the definition from Wikipedia: "while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position." The main focus of cherry-picking is not what you say, but what you don't say. It is a fallacy of omission. But it is also important to note that not all omissions will be significant, relevant, or amount to a contradiction.

All cherry-picking involves omission of data, but not all omission of data involves cherry-picking.
Read More…

Googling Feminism

Yesterday I thought it might be interesting to Google various terms related to feminism, and see what quick search suggestions came up. It's hardly an original thing to do—I personally first came across the idea in English for Business Studies, the course book we use at university, and it's fairly common to see similar images around nowadays. Like all Google searches, these depend on your geographical location, language, and a host of other factors. But the results are entertaining, illuminating and/or shocking nonetheless. If nothing else, they give an impression of the context in which the fourth wave of feminism is taking its stand.



Diigo Linkroll

Read More…