Refraction (Bent Thinking) #55

Cherry Picking (suppressed evidence, incomplete evidence) – act of pointing at individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. Refutation: This is similar to Special Pleading, although it does not necessarily require ignoring contrary evidence, only carefully selecting and highlighting the evidence most favorable to one’s position and lessening the value of any evidence damaging to one’s position. Example:  Anne: Bob, research done by the leading scientists at American universities A, B, and C all demonstrate that marijuana use is completely safe.  Although other minor studies have been done, they are not as important and were done in Australia.  Side Note: It is the rare, but honest and transparent person who risks putting all the evidence on the table, both supportive and contrary. The thing to remember is, if you do not bring all evidence to bear on the argument and others hear later about your “selectivity”, your credibility will take a nose dive. If there is solid contrary evidence, make it known, and then report why you do not think that it destroys your position. That will make you look honest and trustworthy…and professional.  

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