Neo-Obscurantism Unmasked

False Appeal to Method

Using the right principles the wrong way.
Attempting to refute a statement by appealing to some really existing and well-established methodological principles, but misusing them by either presenting them in a distorted simplistic form, or applying them in contexts where they do not belong, or in situations where they do not apply. This can happen as a result of a shallow understanding of the rules of logic and scientific method on the part of a dilettante, but can also be done intentionally by malicious actors (propagandists, debunkers, gatekeepers...) as a subtle form of red herring to accuse the opposition of inexistent flaws, and shift attention away from a critical issue by trying to impress the audience with technically correct but unrelated jagon.
It can also be used as a (highly diseducative) method of science "communication" that dumbs down the scientific method into a mere collection of simplistic slogans and one-liners that everyone can memorize but not rigorously employ.

Some of the most typical examples include:
- Appealing to "what is claimed without proofs can be dismissed without proofs" or accusing someone of "shifting the burden of proof" in an attempt to ignore the presented proofs and/or tacitally support the opposite claim.
- Appealing to the "correlation is not causation" principle as an excuse to dismiss unwanted data or, even worse, prevent further research in that direction.
- Appealing to the "science is not democratic" principle as an excuse to prevent people from questioning authority.
- Accusing someone of "no true scotsman" when the case in question violates a crucial element of the word's definition.
- Accusing someone of "whataboutism" in situations where only 2 alternatives are presented.