Author Topic: Spock fails logic  (Read 8094 times)

Tom S. Fox

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Spock fails logic
« on: May 22, 2009, 05:07:54 AM »
So I was watching the new Star Trek movie yesterday, and at one point Spock repeated that stupid Sherlock Holmes quote: „When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Argh, why do they have to make a symbol of logic commit such a blatant logical fallacy?

MrBogosity

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2009, 06:17:01 AM »
Because popular culture has gotten it into people's heads that Arthur Conan Doyle was actually an intelligent person and Sherlock Holmes actually ever did anything resembling "thinking."

Of course, I'm an Agatha Christie fan...

Travis Retriever

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2009, 12:59:44 PM »
So I was watching the new Star Trek movie yesterday, and at one point Spock repeated that stupid Sherlock Holmes quote: „When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Argh, why do they have to make a symbol of logic commit such a blatant logical fallacy?
And at the risk of sounding stupid, which logical fallacy is that? ^^;
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—'No. You move.'"
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MrBogosity

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2009, 01:16:45 PM »
It's actually called the Holmesian Fallacy!

Travis Retriever

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2009, 02:07:51 PM »
And at the risk of sounding even stupider, why is the quote flawed?
That is, how does this fallacy work?
I googled Holmesian Fallacy and didn't find good explanations.
"When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world—'No. You move.'"
-Captain America, Amazing Spider-Man 537

MrBogosity

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 02:23:19 PM »
Because it makes two ignorant (and egotistical) assumptions:

1) You've correctly determined all of the other possibilities to be impossible (or, more correctly, the probability that you've incorrectly determined even a single one is less than the improbability of the remaining alternative).

2) You've thought of absolutely every single possibility (or, more correctly, the probability that there's even one more possibility that you haven't thought of is less than the improbability of the remaining alternative).

Tom S. Fox

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 02:37:52 PM »
It's actually called the Holmesian Fallacy!
Really. I didn’t know that myself.

And at the risk of sounding even stupider, why is the quote flawed?
That is, how does this fallacy work?
I googled Holmesian Fallacy and didn't find good explanations.
It’s basically a false dilemma, but with more than two possibilities.
That is, instead of thinking that there are two possibilites, and by eliminating one, you can prove the other, you think that there are x possibilities, and by eliminating x-1, you prove the remaining one.

By the way, did any of you watch the movie?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 02:41:10 PM by Tom S. Fox »

MrBogosity

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2009, 03:56:54 PM »
Not yet, so don't spoil it!

Andy120290

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2009, 04:17:12 PM »
By the way, did any of you watch the movie?

I did, so I used a stupid Internet meme to express my opinion. Some spoilers, though, so watch at your own risk.


Tom S. Fox

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2009, 04:18:57 PM »
Not yet, so don't spoil it!

Crap! Spock quoting Holmes was the highlight of the movie!!!


Nah, just kidding.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 04:22:13 PM by Tom S. Fox »

Virgil0211

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Re: Spock fails logic
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 06:42:35 PM »
So I was watching the new Star Trek movie yesterday, and at one point Spock repeated that stupid Sherlock Holmes quote: „When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Argh, why do they have to make a symbol of logic commit such a blatant logical fallacy?

I think that was more to better link the young Spock with the old Spock, who used that same line in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. However, in that instance I think it made more sense, as they were trying to determine the origin of the torpedo that damaged Chancellor Gorkon's ship and they had determined conclusively that they couldn't have fired it.

Oh, well. Can't expect the movie to be completely perfect, can you? =P