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.
- Unsupported Assertion:
The absence of any argument to support a claim.
Example- Evolution is a proven fact (really, so prove it!)
- 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 ...
- 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.
- 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?)
- Red Herring (smoke screen):
An irrelevant issue introduced into a controversy to divert attention from the real controversy.
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!
- Circular Argument (begging the question):
Using the claim as the warrants or grounds for an argument.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- False Analogy:
The comparison of two different things that are not really comparable.
Example- Dawkins' "computer program = microbiology experiment" debacle
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
A claim made with extreme exaggeration.
Example- The Kansas State Board of Education has made a joke out of science!
- 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.
- Ignoring the Issue:
An argument made in refutation that ignores the claim made by the other side.
Me: What Scientific evidence is there that something can come from nothing?
Evolutionist: I didn't think that creationism was based on scientific evidence.
- Non Sequitur:
An argument that does not follow from its premises. In other words, the evidence provided does not support the claim.
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]