Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.
This particular bit of doggerel is really infuriating to me. If we were debating something like whether or not some character in a movie was played by one actor or another, we'd simply call up the IMDb or watch the movie and pay attention to the credits. If we failed to find an answer through either of those methods, we could get some photos and voice samples of the relevant actors and compare with the movie. I'm sure we could come up with other methods of figuring out the answer if really hard-pressed. If we got a definitive answer, no one would go on and on about the incorrect person's right to believe he was right, or claim that we, as mere non-Hollywoodians have no right to criticize his alternative cast theory. Yet, for some bizarre reason, those very issues almost always come up with woo.
It's a very strange line in the sand that they draw. The vast majority of these complaints revolve around scientific questions, yet for unspecified reasons, we aren't allowed use the scientific method and critical thinking to find the correct answer: We're expected to just smile and nod when we see obvious flaws in someone's reasoning (or lack thereof) because some questions have been declared, for no meaningful reason, to be sacred cows.
An expression many atheists and skeptics are quite fond of is "sacred cow makes the best hamburger." That summarizes science quite well: Everything is open to criticism. Nothing can be declared unchanging dogma. If you can find good evidence and make valid arguments, anything can be overturned. Ego and tradition are not shields against efforts to correct errors. If you've made errors, you shouldn't try to hide them behind some allegedly impenetrable barrier and declare that your pet hypothesis is sacred ground that no one should intrude on.