At Psychology Today Blogs, David Kyle Johnson explores “the Galileo gambit,” which enables charlatans to con themselves and others into thinking they are onto something. A snippet:
When pseudo-scientists have been bested by the solid evidence and careful research of actual accredited experts (aka authorities on a subject), they will almost inevitably pull out this quote from Galileo:
“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
The Galileo Gambit engages in many mistakes, but the main one is this: it’s a faulty analogy. The fact that two persons have one thing in common does not mean that they have everything in common—or even, another thing in common. Yes, the authorities thought Galileo was wrong, and they also think that you are wrong—but the fact that he turned out to be right doesn’t mean that you are.