Starts off by defining cranks in a derogatory manner as people who fail to acknowledge mathematical proofs constructed within mathematical confines. So it is established that there are people who will fail to acknowledge a mathematical proof with elaborate intellectual exercises; this group comprises a relatively small number of often otherwise highly intelligent people. Fine, there is nothing surprising in that.

Then the logical fallacy is made by extrapolating the crank definition beyond the rigid rules of mathematical problems by asserting that far greater numbers of people who fail to acknowledge the findings of authorities or the majority of experts in a particular field are all “cranks” too.

Sure, a small component of those people may fit nicely into the pre-established derogatory crank category, but only a slime-ball would attempt to tar and feather *every* other intellectual dissenter with the same brush.

Hoofnagle could use a basic philosophy 101 class in logical reasoning.

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