A Response on Facebook Regarding Graham Hancock

Here are a few examples of logical fallacies Graham Hancock uses throughout his documentary series:

False Dilemma: Graham regularly reacts to critiques of his theories by categorizing them into black and white extremes where he paints an amorphous “them” (i.e. archeologists, scientists, academics, historians, etc.) as dogmatically holding onto outdated views as he presents us, the viewer, with the false choice between rigorous scientific study and his “research” as a self-expressed journalist passionately seeking “the” big-T Truth.

Straw Man: Graham repeatedly misrepresents the views of the scientific community while misdirecting viewers to believe his theories having more weight because a cabal of archeologists are, according to him, actively stifling his views and research.

Appeal to Ignorance: There’s a lot about pre-history we don’t know anything about, therefore x could just as well be true, Graham argues.

The Hasty Generalization: Graham makes broad, extraordinary claims throughout the series based on a handful of generic, and sometimes questionable, data points.

The Texas Sharpshooter: Graham regularly takes a subset of filtered evidence then claims it must be true because his chosen data points superficially appear to zero in on his conclusions—all the while openly (and seemingly proudly) sidestepping any evidence or experts that might contradict his conclusions.

Appeal to Authority: Hey, y’all consider Joe Rogan charismatic and open minded, right?

Those are just a few…

Having said that, me stating, “Bob shares some bad driving habits with Jim, who is a terrible driver, such as not using his blinkers,” is an observation of a behavior two people share in common not an ad hominem attack—unless I’d have concluded Bob, too, is a terrible driver. So yes, I’d agree if I’d written “Trump’s an idiot and Graham uses some of the same types of arguments as Trump, so Graham’s an idiot,” then it would be an ad hominem attack. But hell, I didn’t even write, much less imply, that either of them are likable or unlikable in any way, shape, or form, nor did I, or as you suggested I did, call them out as “liars”. What I literally wrote was “he [Graham] uses many of the same logical fallacies to makes his points as Trump does,” which is a comparison in relation to argumentative “red flags,” which I later summarize with. I did not write anything remotely like Graham is (fill in the blank) because Trump is (fill in the blank). If you’d asked the important question, i.e. “What was your motivation in comparing similar behaviors engaged in by Graham and Trump?” I would have answered, “Trump’s daily unapologetic use of flawed rhetoric has improved my ability to spot similar flaws in others’ arguments, such as many of those made by Graham Hancock in his Netflix docuseries.”

And this would have been a significantly shorter reply 😉

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