Salem Witch Trials

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Salem Witch Trials was one of the biggest hoaxes in American history. Three girls would tell their parents and other elders of older ladies putting curses on them that were making them sick. The three girls also claimed that the elder ladies had magical powers and could fly on brooms. We can disprove these claims fairly easy with a couple of principles of scientific thinking. The first rule that we could use to disclaim this hoax is if you have outrageous claims you need extraordinary evidence to back up your findings so that your claim isn't dismissed right away. We could also apply the causation vs. correlation rule here because the girls said that women with large noses, pointy hats, and pointy shoes to be where witches. They jumped the gun and committed the causation vs. correlation fallacy and didn't take into account a third variable. The last rule that really applies to the witch trials is falsifiability. When the people of the town tried to disprove the theory of there being witches they used irrational methods that would never help them to see if they were actually witches or not. They tried to use falsifiability but they just used it in an incorrect form.
This city could have avoided all of the executions if they would have applied the Occam's razor rule to the witch theory. They would have found out that the simplest answer to why women were being called witches was that the girls were desperate for the attention. If the girls didn't keep accusing people of being witches then they would have lost all of the attention so instead a lot of innocent people ended up dying instead.

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This page contains a single entry by reinh180 published on October 2, 2011 9:42 PM.

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