Say that three times fast. I thought of this while I was posting yesterday's Blog. but forgot to bring it up. Basically argumentum ad verecundiam refers to the argument that a claim must be true because the person(s) who stated it are professionals or authorities in their field.
Using this reasoning, the diet as put forth by the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and American Cancer Society, all of whom promote a low fat/low cholesterol eating style; must be right because they are all authorities in their field. I am sure most people reading this know that the above 3 organizations are dead wrong with the diets they promote. With emphasis on the dead!
We see it all the time in medicine. I was reading this morning about the eight best foods to lose weight, and on that list were berries and oranges.
The report used the medical journal Endocrinology to bolster their claims. The reasoning goes like this; if a respected medical journal said it , then it has to be true. Take yesterday's Blog where I attacked the study about the whole carb/mood connection. Now I don't doubt the researchers didn't believe their results (double negative meant), but the problem is that since that one limited , short-term study was publicized all over the Internet and national TV; people are really, truly going to believe that they should be eating more carbs to be happy.
The bottom line is this; just because a respected member of society, a specialist, or any professional makes a comment or statement, it does not make that statement immediately true.
Always question authority---I know I do:-)
A special thanks goes out to www.freetheanimal.com for enlightening me on the existence and meaning of argumentum ad verecundiam.