Notable Effort Fallacy

The fallacy of notable effort is committed if one accepts good effort as a valid reason to accept the conclusion, even though the effort is not related to the truth.

Flat-Earthers would often over-emphasize their efforts in proving a flat earth and belittling that from ‘globe-earthers’. Then they take the purported noteworthiness of their efforts to conclude that the Earth is flat. This is the fallacy of notable effort. Putting in more effort does not mean the conclusion is more correct.

Other than the error in reasoning, the premise that flat-Earthers put in a better effort is also flawed. They might get that impression due to these reasons:

  1. Science is very broad and a great many people are devoting a significant part of their lives studying a tiny fraction of science. However, those who actively engage flat-Earthers are very small, and most are not professional scientists.
  2. Flat-Earthers congregate to tiny communities — with some even isolate themselves from outside influences— and will only be exposed to information from inside such communities. This is called the echo chamber effect.
  3. The effort by flat-Earthers is exceptionally primitive in comparison to what is currently being done in actual science. They are several centuries behind. Most scientists consider what is done by flat-Earthers as solved problems and will not bother wasting their time. When scientists do respond, flat-Earthers would not understand what the scientists are saying.