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The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacies

Gary Smith discusses his book, the AI Delusion, and how the pressure to publish or perish corrupts research
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Bob Marks and Gary Smith offer a range of startling examples of how the pressure to publish drives a lack of rigor — and sometimes honesty — in analyzing and presenting experimental data. The result is a never ending parade of headlines in health and medicine that are unwarranted and often reversed or impossible to replicate.


  • 01:00 | Data mining and the origin of the term “Texas Sharpshooter Fallacies”
  • 02:00 | Fallacy #1: Multiplying targets
  • 03:00 | Drinking coffee and pancreatic cancer
  • 04:25 | The profusion of health studies and claims
  • 06:07 | Fallacy #2: Drawing the target after shooting
  • 07:22 | The pressure in academia to publish or perish
  • 07:38 | A story from J. B. Rhine’s ESP lab
  • 08:54 | Diederik Stapel and fabricated data
  • 09:15 | Spurious correlations in big data
  • 10:00 | John Ioannidis, the “decline effect”, and the status of flawed medical research
  • 11:20 | The health media’s headline clickbait


The Texas Sharpshooter Fallacies