Logic Me This

Logic Me This: Currently Unexplained =/= Unexplainable

Logic Me This is a regular series on Teen Skepchick where we examine various logical fallacies in an attempt to help you think more like a skeptic.

This week is the “oh-bother-and-noes Lauren has three assignments due tomorrow and a test in two days time and still hasn’t written this week’s Logic Me This post for TS” edition. So I’m letting Harry Houdini do all the work for me.

You can read about Houdini’s principle here

“Sir Arthur, I have devoted a lot of time and thought to this illusion … I won’t tell you how it was done, but I can assure you it was pure trickery. I did it by perfectly normal means. I devised it to show you what can be done along these lines. Now, I beg of you, Sir Arthur, do not jump to the conclusion that certain things you see are necessarily “supernatural,” or the work of “spirits,” just because you cannot explain them….”

So before you start wondering whether that odd noise is a ghost or that weird light is an alien spacecraft, look for a natural explanation. Even if you don’t find one, well, that still doesn’t mean it has to be supernatural.

Oh, and somebody else who knew this? Hippocrates:

“Men think epilepsy divine, merely because they do not understand it. But if they called everything divine which they do not understand, why, there would be no end to divine things.”
(from goodreads.com)

BAM! Telling it how it is.

So thats a little bit of quote-and-link spam for this week, hope it was interesting.

(As I write this, I am hearing this fallacy in action. “WHOA!” my flatmate exclaimed. “The soap just magically filled itself up!” Flatmates two and three are piping in with “It’s a miracle!”. No. No it’s not a miracle, I’m sorry to break it to you. I filled the soap up, because I went to wash my hands and it had run out. So there you go. Supernatural explanation: Miracle. Natural explanation: Lauren filled the soap up. You decide which is more likely)

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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Lauren is a Maths and Physics student from somewhere in the southern hemisphere. She has an affinity for reality, and you can find her on twitter @lolrj, or Google+.

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