More debate fail

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I love everything about this Skeptoid post, in which Brian makes great points about the peril of debating when the truth is on your side.  It’s counter-intuitive on first consideration, but as I’ve mused previously, debating has relatively little to do with truth and mostly pivots on charisma and debate tactics (many of which pragmatically employ fallacy and bias to torpedo the opposition).

I don’t agree with Brian that scientists must always be at a disadvantage.  After all, there’s nothing to stop someone from being right AND being a talented debater.  But it is folly to assume that the facts will be an asset, and naively blunder into a battle you will surely lose.  Further, you have to be careful about how you debate, because it’s easy for an opponent to leverage your use of “dishonest” debate tactics to cast a shadow on your credibility or factual claims.

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