Argumentum a Recensiones Amazon

Argumentum a Recensiones Amazon August 30, 2013

I have encountered what may be a relatively new fallacy, but is a logical fallacy nevertheless. A commenter attempted to argue that the Intelligent Design book Darwin’s Doubt is weighty because it has more 5-star reviews on than 1-star reviews. That is pretty surprising, to be sure, even given the inevitable turnout of the Uncommon Descent crowd. But it is still a fallacy nevertheless.

The quality of literature is vouchsafed by the number of stars a book has on; that accuracy of contents and rigor of scientific procedures used even less so.


"I despise this kind of game-mastering, which sacrifices verisimilitude and enjoyment to pedantry and book-keeping.Reminds ..."

Sci-Fi, Superhero, Game, and Cinematic #CFP ..."
"One time in Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, our DM showed a picture of a ..."

Sci-Fi, Superhero, Game, and Cinematic #CFP ..."
""I'm not sure 19th century experimentation in this field could be considered science"Then you should ..."

Not Liberal, Just Literate
"My DM was actually always creatively inserting things like that into the story line - ..."

Sci-Fi, Superhero, Game, and Cinematic #CFP ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Hello James, I’ve noticed a similar problem which I will call the Wikipedia-fallacy: if a Wikipedia article looks serious and has many references, then this must be true.

    Greetings from Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

  • Tony

    I was reading Ray Comfort’s new book, “God Speaks” — because I like comedy in my life and thought the title was a hilarious Freudian slip (of divine proportions) — and he totally uses Amazon as a standard of correctness. In a chapter, he argues that because one of his earlier books, “You Can Lead an Atheist…”, began with 5-star reviews before its rating quickly plummeted, it was proof his opponents were trying to sabotage his sales with “fake reviews.” You know, because “real reviews” can’t be negative. I nearly did a spit-take when I read that. Just thought you’d like to know since, well, I know you love Ray Comfort…

    • Scott

      Nice to see there are others who urm “enjoy” to pain of reading crazy Christian writings. I slogged my way through the “Left Behind” series. I generally need at least two good books to clean out the brain damage from that series.

  • Erp

    I wouldn’t say number of 5 star reviews is a sign of literary quality either; it might just mean a lot of blind followers or loyal but less than truthful friends. In worst cases it might just mean the author has a lot of money to pay people to write reviews.

  • Joshua Smith

    Isn’t it kind of just a variation on the “appeal to authority” fallacy?