I'm encountering a frequent recurrence of a rhetorical device that seems to me fallacious but I can't figure out what it's called. When making an argument, the person does the following:
- Makes a claim that is unrealistic.
- Provides a source which they purport backs up the claim.
- The source is really long and it's unclear how it backs up the claim.
- When pressed to explain which part of the source actually confirms their claim, they just say that I haven't read the source.
It feels like I'm being sent to search for a needle in a haystack.
A practical example:
Bob: There is a lot of evidence that vaccines cause autism.
Alice: OK, what's the evidence for that.
Bob: Here is an article showing all the ways in which vaccines cause autism.
Alice: I don't see anything in this article which confirms this claim. What's the specific part of this article that confirms that vaccines cause autism?
Bob: You didn't read the article, did you?
Alice: I did, but it doesn't say what you claim it does.
Bob: Yes. It was in the link I gave you. Try reading it and let me know if you have any specific questions.
Is there a general term for this type of argument or lack thereof?