This was posted recently in another forum, about a different topic,
but somehow stuck in my mind ;) The name was changed to protect the
"John Doe must know an incredible amount about the Civil War history
to be able to accumulate the few stray facts that kind of, sort of,
maybe, almost, support his beliefs.
99.99% of the available evidence contradicts what he writes. That he
can find that needle that confirms his theories in the haystack of
historical truth is remarkable.
More knowledge is not the solution.
What is needed is a useful historical method.
What John Doe does is to turn Karl Popper's philosophy upside
down (Karl Popper: Logically, no number of positive outcomes at the
level of experimental testing can confirm a scientific theory, but a
single counterexample is logically decisive: it shows the theory,
from which the implication is derived, to be false.
However, for John Doe, no amount of contradictory evidence can shake
his beliefs, but a single example can decisively confirm them.
Confront John with a million documents, he will reply with one that
supports him and will believe that he is right and you are wrong. "