Beware of Logical Fallacies...


The following are a list of logical fallacies compiled from Between One and Many and then expounded upon and applied specifically to the Creation Vs. Evolution debate. I have encountered ALL (but #11) of the following fallacies in debates with evolutionists, and provide examples I have encountered. The names have been left out to protect the guilty.

  1. Unsupported Assertion:

    The absence of any argument to support a claim.

    Example- Evolution is a proven fact (really, so prove it!)


  2. Distorted Evidence:

    Significant omissions or changes made in the evidence of an argument that alter its original intent.

    Example- Taking the Bible out of context, over and over and over and over and over ...


  3. Isolated Examples:

    Nontypical or nonrepresentative examples that are used to 'prove' a general claim.

    Example- A select few Christians are hypocrites, therefore, ALL Christians are hypocrites.


  4. Misused Statistics:

    Statistics that involve errors such as poor sampling, lack of significant differences, misuse of average, or misuse of percentages.

    Example- All scientists are evolutionists (what kind of scientists did you sample?!? Evolutionary ones?)


  5. Red Herring (smoke screen):

    An irrelevant issue introduced into a controversy to divert attention from the real controversy.

    Example- evolutionist in response to my website: You better stop this mumbo-jumbo or I'm gong to pull out a can of whop [butt] on you, cause stone cold says so!


  6. Circular Argument (begging the question):

    Using the claim as the warrants or grounds for an argument.

    Example-
    Claim- The earth is old because the geological strata are old.
    Warrant- the geological strata are old because the fossils are old.
    Grounds- Fossils are old because the earth is old.


  7. Hasty Generalization:

    A claim that is made hastily based on an incomplete or insufficient amount of evidence.

    Example- Microevolution (Moths change shades) occurs. Therefore, macroevolution must have occurred.


  8. Stereotyping:

    The assumption that what is considered to be true (or thought to be true) of a larger class is true for all members of that class.

    Example- All Creationists are ignorant religious bigots.


  9. False Dilemma:

    A generalization that implies there are only two choices when there are more than two.

    Example- Science Versus Religion, there is no middle ground or compromise. Either accept one or the other.


  10. False Analogy:

    The comparison of two different things that are not really comparable.

    Example- Dawkins' "computer program = microbiology experiment" debacle


  11. Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc:

    The assumption that because one event preceded another, the first event must cause the second.

    Example- * (from 19th century) Because maggots would appear on meat days after it was cut, it was once thought that the meat caused the maggots- in other words the maggots came from the meat. Now of course we know that maggots do not come from meat, and given a certain treatment (such as the freezer), maggots will not appear on the meat.


  12. Slippery Slope:

    The assumption that just because one event occurs, it will automatically lead to a series of undesirable events even though there is no relationship between the action and the proposed events.

    Example- Since Macroevolution was removed from required state curriculum in Kansas, Kansas students will now be dumber and less likely to succeed in school and life.


  13. Halo Effect:

    The assumption that just because you like or respect a person, whatever he or she says must be true.

    Example- The Big Bang occurred because Steven Hawking says so.


  14. Ad Hominem:

    The claim that something must be false because the person who said it is not thought to be credible, regardless of the argument itself.

    Example- Did it ever occur to you that you are a crazed religious nut? (and therefore I am not going to listen to a word you say, or try to refute your arguments).


  15. Loaded Language:

    Using language that has strong emotional connotations to evoke an emotional response from the reader.

    Example- The decision to remove Macroevolution from required course material has made a joke out of Kansas.


  16. Hyperbole:

    A claim made with extreme exaggeration.

    Example- The Kansas State Board of Education has made a joke out of science!


  17. Straw Man:

    An argument made in refutation that misstates the argument being refuted. Rather than refuting the real argument, the other side constructs a man of straw, which is easy to knock down and makes the other look bad.

    Example- (micro)Evolution has been observed. You are stupid for not accepting evolution.


  18. Ignoring the Issue:

    An argument made in refutation that ignores the claim made by the other side.

    Example-

    Me: What Scientific evidence is there that something can come from nothing?
    Evolutionist: I didn't think that creationism was based on scientific evidence.


  19. Non Sequitur:

    An argument that does not follow from its premises. In other words, the evidence provided does not support the claim.

    Example-

    Me: What Scientific evidence is there that life can come from non-living matter?
    Evolutionist: Given time, anything can and will happen.
    [*This is a blatantly false statement that does not support the claim]


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