Privileging The Hypothesis

ThePrivileging the Hypothesis is the fallacy of singling out a particular hypothesis for attention when there is insufficient evidence already in hand to justify such special attention.

Created by Eliezer Yudkowsky at 2y

This is true even if the detective is not claiming that Mortimer did do it, but only suggesting that all the police officers consider that Mortimer might have done it. The principle of locating the hypothesis says that it often takes more attentionevidence to promotefirst distinguish the truth to onetrue hypothesis as worthy of a handful of alternatives worth explicit consideration, than to distinguish among thosethe remaining alternatives. So the detective is jumping over the job of providing most of the evidence that would have to be brought against Mortimer.

This is true even if the detective is not claiming that Mortimer did do it, but only suggesting that all the police officers consider that Mortimer might have done it. Since theThe principle of locating the hypothesis says that it often takes more attention to promote the truth to one of a handful of alternatives worth explicit consideration, than to distinguish among those alternatives,alternatives. So the detective is, in effect,is jumping over the job of providing most of the evidence that would have to be brought against Mortimer.

This principle"Privileging the hypothesis" is violated whenthe fallacy committed by a creationist (aka ID-er) suggests that the hypothesis of intelligent design is worthy of explicitly being mentioned without already havingwho points out a purported flaw in hand evidence for the act of an intelligent designer, so that any purported problem with standard evolutionary theorytheory, and brings forward the Trinity to fill the gap - rather than a billion other deities or a trillion other naturalistic hypotheses. Actually, without evidencealready in hand that points to the Trinity specifically, one cannot justify raising that particular hypothesis to explicit attention rather than a trillion others.

The anti-work of anti-epistemology is taken asto manufacture belief without evidence, and in large answer spaces, attention without evidence that an intelligent designer did it instead, whereas actually there is more than halfway to belief without evidence. Someone who spends all day pondering whether the Trinity does or does not even enough evidenceexist - rather than Allah, Thor, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster - is more than halfway converted to mention the phrase "intelligent designer" out loud (or in the privacy of one's own thought).

Similarly, although proponents of single-world quantum mechanics sometimes suggest that future evidence will favor a single world, right now we have no evidence at all in favor of single-world QM, no reason to believe that any future evidence will arrive, no reason to take present problems or incompleteness in QM as favoring a single world, and indeed, insufficient evidence to justify singling out single-world theories for attention.Christianity.

The fallacy of singling out a particular hypothesis for attention when there is insufficient evidence already in hand to justify such special attention.

To see the problem of privileging the hypothesis, suppose that the police in Largeville, a town with a million inhabitants, are investigating a murder in which there are few or no clues - the victim was stabbed to death in an alley, and there are no fingerprints and no witnesses.

Then, one of the detectives says, "Well... we have no idea who did it... no particular evidence singling out any of the million people in this city... but let's consider the possibility that this murder was committed by Mortimer Q. Snodgrass, who lives at 128 Ordinary Ln."

If the detective does not have evidence already in hand to justify singling out Mortimer for such special and individual attention, then this is, or ought to be, a violation of Mortimer's civil rights.

This is true even if the detective is not claiming that Mortimer did do it, but only suggesting that all the police officers consider that Mortimer might have done it. Since the principle of locating the hypothesis says that it often takes more attention to promote the truth to one of a handful of alternatives worth explicit consideration, than to distinguish among those alternatives, the detective is, in effect, jumping over the job of providing most of the evidence that would have to be brought against Mortimer.

This principle is violated when a creationist (aka ID-er) suggests that the hypothesis of intelligent design is worthy of explicitly being mentioned without already having in hand evidence for the act of an intelligent designer, so that any purported problem with standard evolutionary theory is taken as evidence that an intelligent designer did it instead, whereas actually there is not even enough evidence to mention the phrase "intelligent designer" out loud (or in the privacy of one's own thought).

Similarly, although proponents of single-world quantum mechanics sometimes suggest that future evidence will favor a single world, right now we have no evidence at all in favor of single-world QM, no reason to believe that any future evidence will arrive, no reason to take present problems or incompleteness in QM as favoring a single world, and indeed, insufficient evidence to justify singling out single-world theories for attention.

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Catgory:Fallacies