Everyone makes a critical thinking error, citing experts to support or dismiss a given debate topic. I do it too. And I don’t disagree that expert opinion is ONE valuable consideration. However, that ONE piece of evidence doesn’t absolve us of the effort it takes to wrangle with the science, the mechanism, the argumentation, the logic. I wish it could. But it philosophically can’t... ever. Because... what era are you citing?
There isn’t anything about contemporary opinion which makes it inherently superior. Time will soldier forward. New discoveries come up. Old discoveries that were forgotten or ignored come back up. People find that the truths we held to as a society didn’t work so well. We return to some things. We move forward to others.
In the social engineering debates, people throw this stuff around willy-nilly. The same person in the same paragraph will argue their position both based on a contemporary idea and a historical precedent. Lol. Well, which is it? Is our modern understanding of the morality of the subject superior? Or is the ancient culture you hold up as an example superior? And WHY? Where’s the actual argument?
Likewise, in health and fitness, people will defer to experts or norms or consensus. Ok. Which time period? And, moreover, where’s the argument? Your emotional venting doesn’t contain any argumentation.
It comes up a lot in my coaching: beliefs based on zero mechanism or logic about cholesterol, red meat, calcium, fill-in-the-blank-here. The science changed. You are still talking about an opinion which WAS held by SOME experts at some point in the past, maybe yesterday, maybe 150 years ago, maybe 1,500 years ago.
I saw a post on my city’s page about censoring businesses which aren’t mainstream medicine. Now, I have my reservations about supplement shops as well. I don’t like the sketchy claims of a lot of these businesses. But to censor them is a little fascistic. And based on what era of mainstream medicine? If we cite the medical doctors’ positions of not-that-long-ago, we would be recommending menthol cigarettes.
Furthermore, even certain unshakeable medical “truths” have been wholly revised very RECENTLY. Just last year, scholarly consensus recognized higher protein intake’s vital role in bone health: https://www.iofbonehealth.org/…/expert-consensus-finds-high…. Calcium has been repeatedly demoted for 30 years and implicated in raising cardiovascular risk. So, are we to hold up a “legitimate” mainstream clinic who is still recommending now-debunked high calcium intakes for women? Or do we go with the “quacks” who are up-to-date on the science which shows us weight lifting, vitamin d, k2, and protein for preventing osteoporosis?
And you’re going to find this issue in every area of study and every level of expertise and every industry. The opinion pieces keep changing. If we don’t exert the effort to utilize critical thinking and take the time to understand mechanisms, all we are doing is throwing our lot in with one era. The eras come and go. Opinions rock around.
Consensus of one era does not constitute universal truth. I will grant you that expert opinion is valuable. It just isn’t all-valuable, because it is simply the momentary hallmark of one era. We gotta dig a little deeper.