Extending Ben Goldacre’s Appeal To Authority to real life

Bishop Hill has a post quoting Ben Goldacre’s “appeal to authority”:

“you have only two choices: you can either learn to interpret data yourself and come to your own informed conclusions; or you decide who to trust”

That statement misses a crucial point. It should be extended as:

“you have only two choices: you can either learn to interpret data yourself and come to your own informed conclusions; or you decide who to trust” AS LONG AS THEY APPEAR TRUSTWORTHY.

Because the Authority has to regain its authority every single time.

Otherwise it’s just a sell-out of the brain, sheepishly sticking eg to the opinion of the Royal Society no matter how stupid that opinion might become in the future.