Difference between revisions of "Quote mining"

From Conservapedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(cherry picking and misquotation, where favorable positions are amplified or falsely suggested, and unfavorable positions in the same text are excluded or otherwise obscured)
(Revert; source is based on Wikipedia (c.f. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Quote_mining&diff=prev&oldid=76557654))
Line 1: Line 1:
 
'''{{PAGENAME}}''' is a [[pejorative]] term, not recognized by dictionaries, which expresses objection to using someone's quotes against him.  While the entire fields of law and politics encourage quoting an adversary to [[discrediting attack|discredit]] him, [[evolutionist]] do not feel their quotes should be used against them and have invented the term '''quote mining''' to criticize that practice.   
 
'''{{PAGENAME}}''' is a [[pejorative]] term, not recognized by dictionaries, which expresses objection to using someone's quotes against him.  While the entire fields of law and politics encourage quoting an adversary to [[discrediting attack|discredit]] him, [[evolutionist]] do not feel their quotes should be used against them and have invented the term '''quote mining''' to criticize that practice.   
 
==General definition==
 
 
* Quote mining is the practice of compiling quotes from large volumes of literature or spoken word. The term is used pejoratively to accuse the "quote miner" of cherry picking and misquotation, where favorable positions are amplified or falsely suggested, and unfavorable positions in the same text are excluded or otherwise obscured. [http://www.123exp-art.com/t/04224165809/]
 
  
 
==Origin, in TalkOrigins.org==
 
==Origin, in TalkOrigins.org==

Revision as of 23:13, 7 March 2008

Quote mining is a pejorative term, not recognized by dictionaries, which expresses objection to using someone's quotes against him. While the entire fields of law and politics encourage quoting an adversary to discredit him, evolutionist do not feel their quotes should be used against them and have invented the term quote mining to criticize that practice.

Origin, in TalkOrigins.org

According to the pro-evolution site TalkOrigins.org, quote mining is "the use of a (usually short) passage, taken from the work of an authority in some field, 'which superficially appears to support one's position, but [from which] significant context is omitted and contrary evidence is conveniently ignored.'"

Quotes that illustrate self-contradiction are thereby considered, by the inventors of the term, to be quote mining.

The term seems to be used to suggest or claim that people have deliberately or negligently taken facts material to a quote out of context, with the result that the quote no longer stands for its original proposition. Allegations of quote mining are controversial,[1] since it implies scienter - that is, either intent to deceive, or disregard to the possibility of deception. This distinguishes quote mining from more general, run of the mill, quoting out of context; while the latter involves no misrepresentation of facts material to the quote's meaning, the former does.

The origins of the term are unknown, but it appears to date from the late 1990s.[2] It is not recognized by any dictionaries. Its most common use is by evolutionists who claim that creationists misrepresent quotes from scientists.

Is Quote Mining Wrong?

This section discusses merely whether quote mining is wrong, not whether it exists or has been practiced by any individuals.

Myth

Many people, especially in the legal and political fields, use quotes by others against them. There is nothing objectionable about this practice, and the term quote-mining could apply to nearly every legal proceeding and political campaign.

Fact: Defining Quote Mining

While quoting relevant parts of judicial decisions is indeed widespread, and lawyers and politicians often quote one's own arguments against them to show a contradiction, "quote mining" as used is something else entirely. Quote mining implies selective quotation either that, either negligently or purposefully, omits relevant parts from an argument. For example, consider the following invented quotation from an imaginary legal case.

"In the State of Commonwealth, it is well-settled principle of securities law that a corporate officer may not trade on insider information." Smith v. Jones, 129 Commonwealth Reporter 332 (Commonwealth 2008).

Now let us consider two quotations of the case.

A deceptive quotation uses an ellipsis to camouflage a point of authority that goes against one's argument.

However, Party X was completely within his rights to trade on this information. After all, "it is well-settled principle of securities law that a corporate officer may... trade on insider information."

An honest argument still quotes the authority source, but quotes all relevant parts.

However, Party X was completely within his rights to trade on this information. After all, "it is well-settled principle of securities law that a corporate officer may not trade on insider information," but Party X was not a corporate officer.

This should demonstrate that an accusation of "quote mining" is not merely an indictment for appealing to authority, a well-settled tactic indeed - the accusation is of appealing to authority in a selective manner, so as to distort and confound the actual meaning of the authority.

Fact: The Law on an Attorney's Quote Mining

Attorneys are under a well-settled duty not to misrepresent authority to a court of law. In essence, they may not "quote mine." By way of example, a Federal Circuit Court in 2003 disciplined an attorney for selectively quoting elements of a court opinion. The attorney, faced with a charge of contempt of court for delaying filing a motion by twelve days when the court ordered her to do so "forthwith," explained that, by settled law,[3] "Forthwith means immediately, without delay, or as soon may be accomplished by reasonable exertion."[4] She neglected to cite the following sentence, which explained that "forthwith" generally means, "within twenty-four hours,"[5] apparently hoping that, without this qualification, the court would read "forthwith" as implying no time constraint other than necessity.

The court which received the attorney's brief was not amused. In censuring the attorney, they wrote,

The effect of Walser's editing of this material and ignoring the Supreme Court decision that dealt with the issue - a decision that seriously weakened her argument - was to give the Court a misleading impression of the state of the law on the point. She eliminated material that indicated that her delay in filing the motion for reconsideration had not met the court's requirement that she file "forthwith," and presented the remaining material in a way that overstated the basis for her claim that a "forthwith" filing requirement meant she could take whatever time would be reasonable in the circumstances. This distortion of the law was inconsistent with and violated the standards of Rule 11.[6]

Rule 11 forbids attorneys from arguing in a misleading manner. Clearly, this federal circuit thinks that "quote mining" is a reprehensible act contrary to intellectual and academic rigor. There is indeed something objectionable about the practice, and the term "quote mining" ought not "apply to nearly every legal proceeding and political campaign."

References

  1. For example, the TalkOrigins.org Quote Mine Project documents many fallacious quotes, but the classification is controversial.
  2. According to TalkOrigins.org, the first known use was in 1996.
  3. The attorney cited City of New York v. McAllister Brothers, Inc., 278 F.2d 708, 710.
  4. Id.
  5. Id.
  6. Precision Specialty Metals, Inc. v. United States, 315 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2003).

External Links

See also