I Still Hate the Phillies


A remarkably stupid sentence:

“Even if confirmation bias is in play, that means there’s something to confirm.” -Barry Petchesky, On Philadelphia Fans, Deadspin.com, 4.19.2016, available here.

The author seems to have a rudimentary understanding of confirmation bias, but does not understand how a “hypothesis” works. Confirmation bias is when one credits information that supports a hypothesis, while disregarding information that discredits that hypothesis, solely because the information supports or discredits an existing preconception. It typically refers to the exact opposite of what Petchesky is trying to describe: people seeing evidence of things that don’t exist purely because they want to see it. By the logic of the sentence above, every time a proponent of intelligent design sees evidence of the Flood, we should take that itself as evidence of the Flood.

This should in no way be read as a defense of Philadelphia sports fans. We can show why they are awful without falling for confirmation bias or Petchesky’s terrible understanding of confirmation bias.


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