I’m starting a new series on finding and identifying logical fallacies.
Appeal to anonymous authority
In many cases, an appeal to authority (citing someone with special expertise on a topic) is a valid form of argument. An example of this is “this Picasso painting is real because the curator of the Museum of Modern Art said so.” However, an appeal to authority relies on the verifiable credentials in the area of expertise of the one giving evidence. When the authority is anonymous, their credentials cannot be verified, as in “this Picasso painting is real because experts say it is.”
A birther example
As an IRS tax examiner,one of many former federal jobs, I have seen what it appears Barry Soetoro has done, mostly by illegal aliens attempting to acquire a new identity in the U.S and/or criminals looking to acquire a new ID.
I don’t begin to take seriously something that claims to be written by a anonymous expert and I only had to read a few lines before I came across the first outright lie: “Barry, AKA Obama, was lawfully adopted by a foreign national, Lolo Soetoro, and Barry’s name was legally changed to “Barry Soetoro”. (Barry’s own admission).” If that wasn’t crazy enough, how about “The Saudi family has admitted to paying for Obama to attend Harvard….”
I commend this article as one of the craziest (and most impossible) fancies the birthers have come up with to date. If this guy ever was an IRS examiner, it’s obvious why he lost his job.