History Main / ConvictionByCounterfactualClue

6th Dec '16 6:35:35 PM lucy24
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* The solution in Dorothy Sayers’s non-Peter-Wimsey mystery ''The Documents in the Case'', co-written with a physician, depends on a fact in organic chemistry: naturally occurring compounds are randomly oriented, both “right-handed” and “left-handed”, while the synthetic version of the same compound all has the same orientation. [[spoiler: Conclusion: the victim didn’t pick the wrong mushrooms. He was poisoned.]] Unfortunately, the book’s version of facts is precisely backward.
6th Dec '16 8:00:00 AM starofjusticev21
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*** From a meta perspective this "solution" also ignores a rather key piece of Sally's own character and the series' internal logic: that there's no reason girls can't be even tougher than boys. The canonical reason the bullies Encyclopedia outsmarts don't try to get even by just punching his teeth out is his partnership with Sally, who is stronger and a better fighter than just about any of them, consistently knocking out the dreaded Bugs Meany with one punch. The books are so clear on this they even call her Encyclopedia's bodyguard. It not only flies in the face of simple logic, but the books' own precepts.

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*** From a meta perspective this "solution" also ignores a rather key piece of Sally's own character and the series' internal logic: that there's no reason girls can't be even tougher than boys. The canonical reason the bullies Encyclopedia outsmarts don't try to get even by just punching his teeth out is his partnership with Sally, who is stronger and a better fighter than just about any of them, consistently knocking out the dreaded Bugs Meany with one punch. The books are so clear on this they even call her Encyclopedia's bodyguard. It not only flies in the face of simple logic, but the books' own precepts.them.
4th Dec '16 4:33:18 PM MichaelKatsuro
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** A similar scenario on an ''Series/UnsolvedMysteries'' segment about a missing woman. Her husband claimed that she had walked out on him, citing that several of her things and her suitcase were missing. When her suitcase was found, it contained ''exactly'' what he said it would, peaking the cops' suspicions, as they found it highly unlikely that any man could know exactly what was in his wife's suitcase, as he himself had no idea what was in his own wife's purse.

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** * ''Series/UnsolvedMysteries'': A similar scenario on an ''Series/UnsolvedMysteries'' segment about featured a missing woman. Her woman whose husband claimed that she had walked out on him, citing that several of her things and her suitcase were missing. When her suitcase was found, it contained ''exactly'' what he said it would, peaking the cops' suspicions, as they found it highly unlikely that any man could know exactly what was in his wife's suitcase, as he himself had no idea what was in his own wife's purse.
30th Nov '16 3:30:14 PM DrOO7
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* Frequently done on ''Series/LawAndOrder'' as well. In one episode, the detectives have found the remains of a woman believed to have died in the 9/11 attacks (her hand was found at the scene, along with her purse). The prosecutors are trying the man she was having an affair with. Serena, a woman, notes two things--that the purse in question was an evening bag, not something that a woman would be carrying for a day of work, and that her ''boyfriend'' had claimed that it was her work bag. The inconsistency reveals that ''he'' is the woman's killer. Because, apparently, no boyfriend in history has ever misidentified which purse his girlfriend uses for which occassion or failed to notice any difference at all.

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* Frequently done on ''Series/LawAndOrder'' as well. In one episode, the detectives have found the remains of a woman believed to have died in the 9/11 attacks (her hand was found at the scene, along with her purse). The prosecutors are trying the man she was having an affair with. Serena, a woman, notes two things--that the purse in question was an evening bag, not something that a woman would be carrying for a day of work, and that her ''boyfriend'' had claimed that it was her work bag. The inconsistency reveals that ''he'' is the woman's killer. Because, apparently, no boyfriend in history has ever misidentified which purse his girlfriend uses for which occassion occasion or failed to notice any difference at all.all.
** A similar scenario on an ''Series/UnsolvedMysteries'' segment about a missing woman. Her husband claimed that she had walked out on him, citing that several of her things and her suitcase were missing. When her suitcase was found, it contained ''exactly'' what he said it would, peaking the cops' suspicions, as they found it highly unlikely that any man could know exactly what was in his wife's suitcase, as he himself had no idea what was in his own wife's purse.


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** People having ''any'' kind of precise information regarding time--"6:36"--or place seems to make the police leery, as it apparently isn't something people usually take note of.
11th Nov '16 8:58:21 PM Dimensio
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** In a first-season episode, Jessica solves a murder by realizing that the police Lieutenant who was investigating the murder dismissed a spot where a framed item had been removed as having been nothing more than a family picture could only have known that if he had been inside the home prior to being summoned, as the victim's daughter had removed the picture as soon as she found her father dead. Except that he could have potentially learned that from the various people who were in the house when the body was discovered. This is a bit downplayed, though, as the Lieutenant does not think to offer this excuse and instead pulls a gun -- the murder weapon -- on Jessica, who (after he is disarmed) acknowledges is the only real piece of evidence.
10th Nov '16 2:22:13 AM Tamfang
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* In ''Series/JonathanCreek'', "The Curious Tale of Mr Spearfish" is resolved when Jonathan notes that two brown eyed parents can't likely have a brown eyed child and thus a character in the story is adopted and is secretly of RoyalBlood. [[http://genetics.thetech.org/how-blue-eyed-parents-can-have-brown-eyed-children This is false.]]

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* In ''Series/JonathanCreek'', "The Curious Tale of Mr Spearfish" is resolved when Jonathan notes that two brown eyed blue-eyed parents can't likely have a brown eyed brown-eyed child and thus a character in the story is adopted and is secretly of RoyalBlood. [[http://genetics.thetech.org/how-blue-eyed-parents-can-have-brown-eyed-children This is false.]]
10th Nov '16 2:20:50 AM Tamfang
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* Lampshaded by "Inspector Bougret", an occasional feature of Gotlib's strip ''Rubrique-à-Brac''. Presented with two suspects, one of whom is blatantly guilty, Bougret accuses him for an absurd reason. In one case, the murder weapon is a brick of a material unknown on Earth; Bougret accuses the one who willingly shakes his hand, because only an extraterrestrial would shake a cop's hand -- not because he's visibly not human.
10th Nov '16 2:06:30 AM Tamfang
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** Creator/LarryNiven did the same, though his story was not a mystery.
10th Nov '16 2:04:02 AM Tamfang
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* In the ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' story "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", Holmes deduces that the owner of a lost hat must be an intellectual, because it is a big hat, [[MyBrainIsBig and so he has a large head]]. Again, it's largely ScienceMarchesOn; [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology that was actually a serious scientific theory at the time.]] Even in the context of the era, it ignores the possibility that the hat's owner might simply have a very thick head of ''hair'' atop an average-size head, or a simple preference for oversized hats.

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* In the ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' story "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle", Holmes Franchise/SherlockHolmes deduces that the owner of a lost hat must be an intellectual, because it is a big hat, [[MyBrainIsBig and so he has a large head]]. Again, it's largely ScienceMarchesOn; [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phrenology that was actually a serious scientific theory at the time.]] Even in the context of the era, it ignores the possibility that the hat's owner might simply have a very thick head of ''hair'' atop an average-size head, or a simple preference for oversized hats.
10th Nov '16 2:03:05 AM Tamfang
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** In Encyclopedia Brown and similar riddles there are puzzles about coins being a forgery because the name of the ruler is King Bob the First or similar. Obviously, no monarch referred to himself as The First, right? Except that they did—either to show that they're first among equals, or because they had a son named after them, or because they would indeed be the first monarch with that name, as was, for instance UsefulNotes/ThePope John Paul the First. Or recently abdicated Juan Carlos I (John Charles the First) of Spain. Interesting case that of Charles the First of Spain and Fifth of Germany.

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** In Encyclopedia Brown and similar riddles there are puzzles about coins being a forgery because the name of the ruler is King Bob the First or similar. Obviously, no monarch referred to himself as The First, right? Except that they did—either to show that they're first among equals, or because they had a son named after them, or because they would indeed be the first monarch with that name, as was, for instance UsefulNotes/ThePope John Paul the First. Or recently abdicated Juan Carlos I (John Charles the First) of Spain. Interesting case that of Charles the First of Spain and Fifth of Germany.Germany, or James the Sixth of Scotland and First of England.
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