Fog displacement

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Fog displacement is an intellectual operation violating the principle of scientific explanation. A typical example is Francis Crick’s suggestion that life did not originate on earth at all, but was sent here from outer space.[1] Answer, a fortiori in scientific discourse, should be formulated in a way that avoids dodging the question[2] otherwise breaking this rule can be classified as manipulation. According to C.S. Lewis, it is not possible go on 'explaining away' for ever and one who tries it will find that explanation itself has been explained away. Thus, it is no use trying to 'see through' first principles.[3]

See Also

References

  1. David Berlinski (2009). "The End of Materialist Science", The Deniable Darwin. Seattle, USA: Discovery Institute Press, 162. ISBN 978-0-9790141-2-3. “It is this image that, no doubt, accounted for Francis Crick’s suggestion that life did not originate on earth at all, but was sent here from outer space, a wonderful example of an intellectual operation known as fog displacement.” 
  2. Wilhelm Busch (2006 (Special Edition)). Jesus unser Schicksal (Jesus our destiny) (in German). Aussaat, 25. ISBN 3-7615-5494-X. “Verstehen sie: Die eigentliche Frage war damit nicht beantwortet. Sie war lediglich zurückgeshoben. Da habe ich ihnen gesagt: «Liebe Leute, Sie dürfte nicht solche Antworte geben, womit die Frage nur zurückgestellt, zurückgeshoben wird!»” 
  3. C.S. Lewis (2001 (1944)). The Abolition of Man. HarperOne, 81. ISBN 978-00606-52944.