Eli5: What is Gish galloping and how do you discern it from an actual debate?


Eli5: What is Gish galloping and how do you discern it from an actual debate?

In: 4

Gish galloping is a technique that takes advantage of the fact that it’s harder to debunk something than to claim it.

In a face-to-face debate with real-time limitations, if you just make a whole ton of claims in a row, you force your opponent to waste their time trying to address every one of your points rather than making their own. That way, you both monopolise the time for amplifying your side and, if they miss or make limited responses to any of your points, you can then point to that and claim that you “won” the debate. That’s the essence of a Gish gallop.

In an actual debate, both participants will get adequate time to both address their opponent’s points and make and support their own.

It’s overwhelming an opponent with too many arguments to respond to all of them accurately, regardless of the validity of the arguments.

Actual debate would allow your opponents to address each point before bringing in additional points.

Note that it’s not about providing many sources, or many agreeing examples, but many different supporting arguments or points, “facts” etc.

Frequently Ancient Aliens uses this, a single story about one theory might have dozens of examples or narrated questions that are never really individually supported or even acknowledged again. Ex:”could it be that Stonehenge was the work of aliens? Are druids related to aliens? Is the loch Ness monster an alien experiment gone wrong?” All in a rapid succession without further discussion.