False attribution

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.


* This example comes from associate professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Peter Doran. He was the subject of a false attribution:

::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 Savage. 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."

External links and references

* [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/27/opinion/27doran.htm Cold, Hard Facts] by PETER DORAN Thursday, 27 July 2006, in the [http://www.nytimes.com/ New York Times]
* [http://www.fallacyfiles.org/quotcont.html Quoting Out of Context] Fallacy Files.
* [http://humbugonline.blogspot.com/2005/01/examples-of-false-attribution.html Examples of False Attribution] @ Humbug Online (blog for the book in which the term was coined).

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