On Supermyths: Their discovery, distinguishing characteristics and significance
On SupermythsMike Sutton is the author of Nullius in Verba - a book where every fact is independently verifiable and fully referenced.‘Nullius’ will subject you to a significant bombardment of new Big Data discovered,previously hidden book evidence, to uniquely 'prove' two key things far more likely than not:
1. That, contrary to prior knowledge-beliefs, Patrick Matthew's 1831 book - containing what Darwinists such as Richard Dawkins (in Bryson 2010 ) admit was the first and only pre-1858 complete hypothesis of natural selection - DID influence the pre-1859 published work of both Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace on the topic of organic evolution and natural selection theory.2. That Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace each, independently, plagiarized the theory of natural selection from Patrick Matthew and then lied when each claimed no prior knowledge of it.
Useful websites on the story of Darwin and MatthewMike Sutton is imperfectly followable on Twitter
What are supermyths and braced myths?Supermyths, of which braced myths are a sub-type - are ironic unintended, or else a deliberate and disingenuous, consequences of fallacy dissemination. Supermyths have three very specific components:
- the creation of a fallacy, myth or error by an orthodox expert
- it being used by another expert who in turn promotes it as being ‘true’ and
- whilst still thinking that it is true, promotes it as a good example of the need to be healthily sceptical of bad scholarship. Moreover, fourthly:
- Braced myths are supermyths that have been pointedly deployed by orthodox scholars in order to bust another specific myth or fallacy. The braced myth hypothesis is that using one myth as a specific mythbusting device in this way braces the supermyth to make it further entrenched and therefore more difficult to prevent it being credulously disseminated as veracious knowledge.What do we know about the impact of modern myths on society by way of their misinforming and therefore misdirecting central and local policy making, professional practice, teaching, learning and the media?
What is a supermyth?
I developed the concept of Supermyths from studying the literature on the importance of veracity in science. Essentially, supermyths are myths that are, with great unintended irony, credulously believed by scholars and used by them to argue for the need to be sceptical of widely accepted myths and fallacies. To date I have identified four supermyths - the Spinach Myth, the Zombie Cop Myth , Crime Opportunity Myth and the Semmelweis Myth.
Unlike the Spinach Myth, which is solely based upon an error of fact, the Zombie Cop Myth is based upon a fallacy and an error of fact combined. It started with a combination of completely unrealistic assumptions about the nature of foot patrol beat policing that was used to inform a mere exercise in arithmetic ‘on the back of an envelope’ to seek to demonstrate a lack of efficiency of beat policing. An error of fact was then made by many others that a published claim made by the authors of that exercise, on the bases of that exercise, reflected research findings from an empirical study of real police officers on the beat