Argumentum ad verecundiam
ultram online free kyocera ringtones alprazolam online alltel ringtones ambien online vicodin online motorola ringtones sony ericsson ringtones punk ringtones viagra online cheap phentermine xanax online buy ultram cheap valium cingular ringtones buy adipex order cyclobenzaprine propecia online cheap tenuate carisoprodol online ultracet online cheap pharmacy online wwe ringtones diazepam online xenical online nokia ringtones free qwest ringtones cheap zanaflex diazepam online verizon ringtones motorola ringtones order lortab buy prozac free ericsson ringtones ortho cyclobenzaprine online celexa online free free ringtones phentermine online free cool ringtones cheap prozac qwest ringtones cheap cialis free sprint ringtones nexium online real ringtones free sagem ringtones free tracfone ringtones free nokia ringtones punk ringtones mp3 ringtones sony ringtones buy ativan but hgh free midi ringtones alltel ringtones flexeril online sony ericsson ringtones free motorola ringtones cheap vicodin tracfone ringtones buy soma levitra online free motorola ringtones cheap didrex cheap sildenafil pharmacy online online cheap zoloft cheap hydrocodone free sony ringtones free cingular ringtones viagra buy paxil ambien online buy lortab hydrocodone online vigrx online ativan online hgh online sildenafil online buy viagra buy ortho nextel ringtones lisinopril online funny ringtones free sony ericsson ringtones buy vicodin hydrocodone order ativan mono ringtones clonazepam levitra free sprint ringtones cialis online free sony ringtones order levitra zanaflex online but phentermine celexa online ultracet online wwe ringtones free sharp ringtones norco online soma online ultracet online cingular ringtones adipex online xenical online albuterol online tenuate online ortho online music ringtones sagem ringtones cheap lisinopril cheap meridia propecia online vigrx online cheap diethylpropion cheap albuterol free mp3 ringtones meridia online free free ringtones ultram online soma online cheap lortab sildenafil online nextel ringtones cheap lorazepam free funny ringtones buy diethylpropion free ringtones free funny ringtones cingular ringtones soma online nokia ringtones cheap clonazepam cheap zyban clomid online prozac online valium lisinopril online cheap meridia buy tramadol free sharp ringtones midi ringtones flexeril online real ringtones cheap celexa zoloft online free nextel ringtones ericsson ringtones free music ringtones mtv ringtones ultram online valium online viagra online order lorazepam cialis online phentermine online nexium online free samsung ringtones norco online cheap meridia sprint ringtones rivotril online carisoprodol online carisoprodol online cyclobenzaprine online free qwest ringtones qwest ringtones fioricet online free verizon ringtones punk ringtones cheap hoodia pharmacy online online free tracfone ringtones tramadol online rivotril online tramadol online didrex online cheap fioricet music ringtones cheap albuterol free nokia ringtones viagra online buy alprazolam xenical online buy pharmacy online funny ringtones order zanaflex free ericsson ringtones cyclobenzaprine online cheap adipex cheap xanax free alltel ringtones qwest ringtones ultram online free sonyericsson ringtones free samsung ringtones lortab online An argument from authority is one in which a proposition is claimed to be true because an esteemed person says it is true. It is a fallacy in that it relies on the person's fame, rather than expertise, or empirical evidence.
- "Albert Einstein believed in God. Are you saying that Einstein was wrong?"
- "Robert Gentry, a world-famous astronomer, calculated that the odds of life appearing by chance are astronomically low."
It is not always a fallacy to say that "So-and-so says that X is true, therefore X is true." For this discussion, it is necessary to distinguish between an expert and an authority.
If a famous astronomer says that the universe is expanding, then it is very likely that the universe really is expanding. If a qualified doctor says that a patient is suffering from Parkinson's disease, that's most likely the case. In these examples, the astronomer and the doctor are experts in a field, and are addressing topics within their area of expertise. As experts, they have studied their respective fields, are familiar with the state of the art, have studied how to recognize certain events, features or conditions, know how to recognize many problems that might lead a layman astray and how to work around them, and so forth. When we take an expert's word for something, we are saying, in effect, that if we had the time to learn as much about the field as the expert does, we would examine the evidence and reach the same conclusion.
Naturally, this applies only to experts speaking within their own field: there is no a priori reason to take an astronomer more seriously than anyone else on the subject of foreign policy or theology.
On the other hand, if the Pope says, ex cathedra, that contraception is a sin, then that's true as well. In this case, the Pope is an authority in matters of sin: it is his job to determine what is and isn't a sin in the Catholic church. In a very real sense, contraception is a sin not because it contradicts the Bible in some way, but merely because the Pope has said so.
Note that in science, there are experts, but no authorities.