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Encyclopedia > False attribution

The fallacy of a false attribution occurs when an advocate appeals to an irrelevant, unqualified, unidentified, biased or fabricated source in support of an argument. A contextomy is a type of false attribution. The advocate may in some cases have a "half-hearted" degree of faith in the alleged source (he or she may have a dim recollection of having read something somewhere about the topic), or the advocate may deliberately cite a source out of context, or even fake knowledge of a source which he or she knows does not exist. The technique is commonly used in movie advertisements quoting critics and political campaign ads attempting to smear opponents by taking quotes out-of-context. Look up fallacy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... // Contextomy Contextomy refers to the selective excerpting of words from their original linguistic context in a way that distorts the source’s intended meaning, a practice commonly (and erroneously) referred to as the fallacy of quoting out of context. ...


Doran was the lead author of a research paper about Antarctic temperatures that was published in the journal Nature in January 2002. Because he and his colleagues found that some parts of Antarctica had cooled between 1986 and 2000, his paper has been frequently cited by opponents of the global warming theory, such as Ann Coulter and Michael Crichton. In an opinion piece of the July 27, 2006 New York Times, Doran characterized this as a "misinterpretation" and stated, "I have never thought such a thing ... I would like to remove my name from the list of scientists who dispute global warming." "Scientific findings run counter to theory of global warming," said a headline on an editorial in The San Diego Union-Tribune. One conservative commentator wrote,"It’s ironic that two studies suggesting that a new Ice Age may be under way may end the global warming debate."
"That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three—three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?"—Showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006."
The whole quote actually reads:
"That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three—three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting? People say, so what? Well, here's the 'so what.' You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you're gone. If they're still analyzing the presidency of George Washington -- (laughter.) So Presidents shouldn't worry about the history. You just can't. You do what you think is right, and if you're thinking big enough, that history will eventually prove you right or wrong. But you won't know in the short-term."
  • "58% of people make statistics up on the spot" is a false attribution that is commonly used to illustrate the concept with humorous intent.

This article is about the University of Illinois at Chicago. ... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: it somewhat overstates the fame of this performer If you can address this concern by improving, copyediting, sourcing, renaming or merging the page, please edit this page and do so. ... For other uses, see Antarctica (disambiguation). ... Nature is one of the most prominent scientific journals, first published on 4 November 1869. ... Year 1986 (MCMLXXXVI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link displays 1986 Gregorian calendar). ... 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Global mean surface temperatures 1850 to 2006 Mean surface temperature anomalies during the period 1995 to 2004 with respect to the average temperatures from 1940 to 1980 Global warming is the observed increase in the average temperature of the Earths atmosphere and oceans in recent decades and the projected... Ann Hart Coulter (born December 8, 1961)[1] is an American best-selling author, columnist and political commentator. ... Michael Crichton (born October 23, 1942, pronounced [1]) is an American author, film producer, film director, and television producer. ... is the 208th day of the year (209th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays full 2006 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The New York Times is an internationally known daily newspaper published in New York City and distributed in the United States and many other nations worldwide. ... The San Diego Union-Tribune is a daily newspaper published in San Diego, California by the Copley Press. ... George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and the 43rd and current President of the United States. ... George W. Bush A Bushism is any of a number of peculiar words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, semantic or linguistic errors that have occurred in the public speaking of United States President George W. Bush[1][2] and, before that, of his father George H. W. Bush. ... Categories: Magazines stubs | Microsoft subsidiaries | Websites | The Washington Post ...

External links and references

  • Cold, Hard Facts by PETER DORAN Thursday, 27 July 2006, in the Amherst Times
  • Quoting Out of Context Fallacy Files.

  Results from FactBites:
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: History of Physics (14478 words)
He became thoroughly conversant with the dynamics of impetus and, like Buridan and Albert of Saxony, attributed the motion of the celestial spheres to the impetus which God had communicated to them in creating them, and which was perpetuated because, in these spheres, there was no element of destruction.
The statics derived from the properties which Albert of Saxony attributed to the centre of gravity caused Vinci to recognize the law of the polygon of support and to determine the centre of gravity of a tetrahedron.
The movements forecasting this revolution were noticeable in the middle of the fourteenth century in the writings of Nicholas of Cusa, and in the beginning of the fifteenth century in the notes of Vinci, both of these eminent scientists being well versed in Parisian physics.
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