[eDebate] Sanchez's double-bind about rules and evidence production

Jason Russell jasonlrussell1
Tue May 12 01:55:39 CDT 2009

The esteemed Mr. Sanchez believes that I have been confronted w an apparent
contradiction between holding that anyone can produce evidence and by
contention that this situation is a clear-cut case of cheating. The cheating
is not that Skarb apparently wrote evidence. For instance, if I were to
publish an article supporting claims that later appeared in my dissertation,
that would not be academically dishonest. Same thing w Skarb. If he were to
produce some evidence on the internet, published under his own name, and
used that evidence in a debate round, the issue in my opinion would no
longer be one of dishonesty, but rather one of poorly qualified evidence.
However, much like if I were to pretend to be Michael Burgoon and publish
corroborating research that later appeared in my dissertation, to lie about
the identity of the source of the SPS article is academically dishonest. It
is cheating. If I were to do this during the course of my dissertation
research, I would be out of graduate school and likely shut out of academics
for life. I believe that this situation is particularly nefarious because
the association between author and true source is intentionally obscured by
the use of a faux email address and false qualifications for the pen name. I
know that many in our activity support defending the indefensible, but I do
not see how this behavior is not the textbook case of evidence fabrication.
Writing bad evidence is not illegal; fabricating great evidence is. The line
is clear.

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