|Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma which is simply the fact that the foundation of all human thought (without Divine revelation) is based on one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regression, circular reasoning, or bare assertions without any evidence.
Fallacies of Flawed Evidence (using evidence that isn't true or that isn't testable by anyone)
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Fallacy: occurs when there is no premise given in support of a conclusion that is not dependent on some fallacy. Note that just because there is a fallacy in an argument doesn't automatically eliminate the entire argument. A person may give two premises for a conclusion, one of them being fallacious and the other being valid. In this case, you throw out the fallacious premise and examine the one that appears to be valid.
- Proof Surrogate / Evidence Surrogate: occurs when evidence is mentioned, which gives the impression that there is evidence, when none has been provided. EXAMPLE Sandra: “We have evidence, scientific evidence for evolution [meaning the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-Molecules-to-Man story] I believe in evolution because of science and reason.” Roxanne: “You really think you have evidence that all of that happened?" Sandra: “Absolutely. We have the rock layers, the fossils, the distant starlight, thousands of transitional forms, the genetic evidence, and I could go on and on.” Nothing that is claimed to be evidence in any way shows that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-Molecules-to-Man story happened—and that goes for anything else Sandra might have brought up. All the so-called evidences for this story are based on assumptions. Additionally, none of them even attempt to prove that it actually happened, which is the claim that is supposedly being proved. They are all efforts to prove that it could have possibly happened, yet they don’t even prove that. The Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-Molecules-to-Man story is just assumed to be true as a starting point for reason and it is thought that it is unnecessary to prove that it actually happened. In fact, the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-Molecules-to-Man story is plagued by the Agrippa's Trilemma.
- Error in Observation: occurs when observations do not reflect reality. It would seem that this would be impossible, but there are several ways this happens. 1. Failure to make the necessary observations. This usually happens because of carelessness, lack of access, or presuppositions that keep one from considering various possibilities. 2. Failure to observe because of a closed mind. 3. Inability to observe. 4. Mistaking an interpretation for an observation. This happens when the actual observation is not in line with the observer’s worldview or expectation. 5. The senses being unable to sense what doesn’t fit the worldview in the form of distortion of the senses. 6. Preconceived ideas, expectations, and worldviews that affect the concentration and the directing of attention in such a way as to skew the observation. 7. Failure to take into account observations that do not fit the expectations. Data is discarded, and observations are not recorded because it is thought to be an anomaly. 8. Observations that don't fit expectations may be rationalized away. 9. Failure to record an observation because of fear of consequences when the observation is not politically correct or violates some sacred cow of the culture. (The Elements of Logic, Theoretical and Practical, page 364) EXAMPLE Dinosaur soft tissue was not found until recently, and the fact that it was found at all was an accident. This is an example of the first way that mistakes in observation are made. EXAMPLE When a dogmatic believer in Atheism is told that He can find Jesus if he continues to pray to Him in sincerity, respect, and submission, the truly dogmatic believer in Atheism is likely to refuse to look at that evidence. This is an example of the second way that observational errors are made. EXAMPLE Up until recently, there was no technology that would allow viewing the DNA code. This brings up the question: what else are we missing? Many statements of scientists don't take this into account. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: “. . . what you can observe in nature, what you can find in your back yard in Kentucky.” What Bill is claiming as observable is the big bang, billions of years, the lack of a worldwide deluge, life coming from non-life, and molecules turning into people. This is an example of way number four. EXAMPLE It is very common to discard radiometric “dates” that don’t follow the expected timeline. This example uses five through nine of the ways that observational errors happen.
- Misrepresenting the Facts: occurs when a premise is based incorrect information. It is a fallacy of misrepresentation. The straw man fallacy is also a fallacy of misrepresentation, but it misrepresents what someone else has said or what they stand for. The misrepresentation of facts fallacy affects the premises because the facts the are behind the premises are misrepresented. All misrepresenting the facts fallacies are counterfactual fallacies, but some counterfactual fallacies affect the premises and some counterfactual fallacies are given without any premises.
- Logical Fallacy of Distorted Evidence: occurs when significant omissions or changes are made in the evidence of an argument that alter its original intent.
- Logical Fallacy of Unverified Evidence: occurs when overwhelming evidence for a conclusion is claimed, but the person making the claim has never really looked into the evidence, nor have they ever truly understood the supposed evidence to any degree of depth. EXAMPLE Some Christians claim that the scientific evidence for an old Earth is overwhelming, being too numerous and too convincing; however, they have never personally examined that evidence or been aware of the assumptions and other fallacies behind that evidence. see:Earth's Age: Science or Consensus?
- Logical Fallacy of Hysteron Proteron: occurs when a proposition that is yet to be proved is put forth as a true premise. Because a premise is sometimes called an assumption, some people get confused and think that arbitrary assumptions can be used premises in sound logic. However, premises must be shown to be true. Whatever shows them to be true must be shown to be true. Eventually, deductive reasoning must come to something solid that is not an assumption or any other made-up "fact." Inductive reasoning is another matter. Deductive reasoning cannot rest on an inductive reasoning and still be sound deductive reasoning. The best it can then be is as strong as the weakest link in the chain of logic. If that weakest link is an assumption that is not supported by something absolute, it is very weak indeed. Any premise that requires an assumption or a theory/story or that is based purely on inductive reasoning commits the logical fallacy of hysteron proteron. Inductive reasoning cannot prove something to be true. It generally will require assumptions to make a case.
- Unsubstantiated Inference: occurs when a premise is given but cannot be shown to be true. This is the same or very close to a hysteron proteron. An inference is a conclusion. Every premise is supposed to be a conclusion of its own logical reasoning. It must be true or the logic is not sound. To be true, it must not be dependent on axioms, assumptions, stories, the opinion of experts, or any other fallacious problem. If it is not true, then the entire argument is not sound. An unsubstantiated inference is a premise that cannot be shown to be true. EXAMPLE Sandra: "We have observed information being added to the genome. This information is what is needed to drive molecules to man evolution. Therefore, we know that evolution is a fact." Roxanne: "What makes you think that new information has been created and added to the genome, I mean information of the type that would be needed if there were to be such a thing as molecules to man evolution?" Sandra: "Viruses add new information all the time." Roxanne: "Actually, your premise is based on an unsubstantiated inference. The addition of new information would be needed. Viruses merely move existing information around." There are many other problems with Sandra's proposition. One of the problems is an unsubstantiated inference. Another is that the premises, if they were true, would only prove that information would not be a problem. Of course, the premises are not true, so it has not been shown that there is a way to solve the information problem. However, if information were not a problem, there are other problems with the story. And if those problems were all solved, that would not prove that molecules-to-man evolution actually happened. It would only show that it would be possible. Showing that something is possible is a far cry from showing that it happened. As it stands now, not only is there no evidence to show that it is possible, but there is also no evidence to show that it actually happened. At the same time, those who are listening to what Jesus Christ is saying know that God created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them in just six days.
- Assuming Facts Not In Evidence: occurs when premises are based on assumptions rather than something solid. It is very common to claim that there is evidence when what is called, “evidence,” is actually an interpretation of evidence. In other words, something is observed or experienced, and then assumptions are made to interpret the actual evidence. The interpretation is then labeled “evidence.” However, the supposed “evidence” is not really evidence. Another way this works is to simply make up facts without any observation, experience, or any such thing. EXAMPLE Sandra: “I know that the Earth is billions of years old. It is a known fact.” Roxanne: “Every so-called ‘evidence’ for billions of years is actually just an interpretation based on assumptions. If you take away the assumptions, the so-called ‘evidence’ disappears.” Sandra: “All real scientists believe that the Earth is billions of years old. They can show evidence.” Roxanne: “Have you seen this evidence? If so, can you show it to me?” Sandra: "I haven’t actually seen any evidence, but I assume that the scientists know what they’re talking about.” Roxanne: “I would need to see some evidence.”
- Logical Fallacy of Wishful Thinking: occurs when an appeal is made to whatever is pleasing to imagine rather than dealing with reality. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, debating against Creation Science: ". . . in the explanation provided by traditional science, of how we came to be, we find, as Ken Ham alluded to many times in his recent remarks, we find a sequence of animals in what generally is called the fossil record. This is to say, when you look at the layers, that you find in Kentucky, you look at them carefully, you find a sequence of animals, a succession, and, as one might expect, when you're looking at old records . . ." This is the logical fallacy of wishful thinking. Bill Nye wishes there were a fossil record that would look line molecules-to-man with a few missing links, but there are no links. The fossils may be called a fossil record, but they aren't a record. We have fossils that we can observe. We can line them up according to similarity, just as we can line up any objects according to similarity. You can line up a knife, fork, and spoon according to similarity. All you need is a good imagination, but imagination is not the same as proof that what is imagined is real. Made up stories certainly are not science. Interestingly, the fossils show families of animals with variation within each family and no fossils between kinds (something close to genus or family). For instance, we see the canine family with a great deal of variation. And we can trace the lineage from one kind of canine to another, like a family tree. But the canine family tree is distinct from all the other family trees. The same is true of the horse kind, the cat kind, the ape kind, and the human kind. Many evolutionists have complained about this problem, but most of them keep their mouths shut about it.
- Logical Fallacy of Slippery Slope / Absurd Extrapolation / Domino Fallacy / Domino Theory / Camel's Nose / Thin Edge of the Wedge: occurs when someone takes a statement and extends the ramifications of that statement beyond what is reasonable.
- Logical Fallacy of Limited Scope: occurs when a theory can't logically explain all of what is observed. Of course, any story can be made up, even if that story is a lie, and a lie is simply a made up story or an assumption. EXAMPLE "Those are great mysteries that we don't yet understand concerning evolution and the billions-of-years-old-Earth, but one day, science will surely find an answer to this problem." (The theory doesn't explain so much. Declaring it to have any validity is the logical fallacy of limited scope.)
- Logical Fallacy of Mind Reading / Reading Into Things: occurs when the only possible source of the claim is mind reading. This is not to say that God cannot reveal what is in the mind of a person, in which case it is not mind reading, it is revelation. There are times when past conversations, body language, and other clues can give a pretty good indication of what a person is thinking, but it isn't usually wise to assume that such perceptions are an any way related to reality.
- Logical Fallacy of Shoehorning: occurs either when evidence is rationalized to support a conclusion or when a conclusion is rationalized to be supported by the evidence. In both cases, there is no real support. Other fallacies are generally used to perform the shoehorning: selective evidence, half-truth, outright lies, or just about any fallacy can be used. This shoehorning may involve distorting the argument and/or distorting the fallacy. This is a form of fallacy abuse. In the same way, shoehorning may be used to distort the argument and/or the fallacy so that it can be argued that an argument the truly commits the fallacy doesn’t commit the fallacy. This is why Jesus Christ is telling us, through 1 Corinthians 1:21, that the world will not know God through rationalized arguments, but they will know Him by His Proclamation. Proclamation is speaking by the Utterance of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit speaks through you, there is power. Faith (supernatural belief) comes from God by this Proclamation. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God. Rhema means utterance. Those who reject His Word as He speaks through you are rejecting Christ, not your natural person. They are hearing His Voice and rejecting Him directly. You will find that there is no argument that can convince those who don’t want God and His salvation in their lives. They don’t want to be set free from sin.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Confirmation Bias / Fishing for Evidence: occurs when a worldview/paradigm/fake-reality is used as a filter to twist evidence to confirm the worldview even when the evidence actually conflicts with the worldview. The person committing this fallacy is generally fishing for evidence to support his or her worldview. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
- Sacred Cow Fallacy: occurs when a conclusion is considered off limits. Sacred cows are fiercely defended. Don't even question them. Most people have sacred cows, but organizations and peer groups are much more likely to have extreme sacred cows through group-think and confirmation bias. In some societies, anyone questioning a sacred cow is likely to pay with their lives. EXAMPLES In the secular scientific community, Naturalism, Materialism, and the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story are all sacred cows. Those who question these are dealt with by various means. It is generally known that if they don't comply, they suffer. In certain Christian denominations, there are theologies that go well beyond what Scripture says, yet no one is allowed to question them in any way. In extreme cases, those who question these theologies are ostracized.
- Fantasy Projection / Worldview Projection / Fake-Reality Projection / Paradigm Projection / Context Projection: occurs when it is assumed that one's own worldview is real reality but any conflicting worldview is fantasy. This is actually quite common for most, if not all, people. When asserting that another person is committing fantasy projection, care must be taken that the accuser is not guilty of the same fallacy. It would usually be an unsupported assertion to claim that another person’s worldview is a fantasy while one's own wonderful worldview is reality. Some logicians who define this fallacy use wording as follows to define the guilty party: “. . . closed his mind to reality and manufactured a fantasy, and expecting or demanding that others share the fantasy and help sustain it.” Such wording cannot be logically used unless it can be unequivocally proven that the person being targeted does indeed have a worldview that is fantasy while one's own wonderful worldview (fake-reality) is representative of reality. And there is the problem. How can such a thing be known unless the all-knowing Creator God reveals it? EXAMPLE Rocky: “You ask how I know that the Bible is accurate and without error. I know because God reveals it to me. I know by Divine revelation.” Sandy: “That revelation is just something you make up. If I had voices in my head, I would go to a shrink. All claims of revelation are merely assumptions.” Sandy seems very sure of herself. What scientific method do you think she uses to determine whether or not God reveals Himself and His knowledge to those who seek Him in sincerity? If Sandy doesn't have a method to know what she is claiming, then she is the one guilty of fantasy projection.
- Logical Fallacy of Wordview as Proof / Appeal to Worldview / Appeal to Fake-Reality / Appeal to Paradigm / Mind Projection Fallacy Subjectivism: occurs when someone mistakes their own inner fake-reality for reality itself (we all do most of the time) and declares something to be true because it matches the inner fake-reality. Alternately, it occurs when someone declares something to be irrational or untrue because it does not match their inner fake-reality. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
- Group Think: occurs when an entire group is restricted in their ability to logically process thought because of a group-held paradigm that is reinforced by confirmation bias. A group-held paradigm (worldview or fake-reality) is much more limiting than an individual paradigm, since the group affirmations, repudiations, and coercions add to the problem of confirmation bias. EXAMPLE Denominational interpretations of Scripture often contain many fallacies, yet the denominational group think keeps members of the denomination from discerning that they are either adding to or taking from the Scriptures. Theologian: "I'm just quoting Scripture here." He just spent half an hour going over group-held speculations that go beyond what Scripture says about (you name it: end-times prophecy, salvation theologies , predestination theologies, Church authority, etc.) EXAMPLE Certain sacred cows have developed within the scientific community over time and are heavily protected by group think--so much so that anyone who disagrees is likely to be denied tenure, fired, or otherwise punished. Evolutionist: "We are simply looking at the scientific facts." When pressed, the evolutionist must admit that he or she is defining "scientific facts" as including stories and assumptions that are held by the insiders of the group of scientists with which he agrees.
- Context Imposition: occurs when argument is made from one’s own position without acknowledging the existence of other possibilities. This is an attempt to impose one’s own context on another person. EXAMPLE Rocky: “I know that Jesus Christ exists because I know Him. You don’t have to take my word for it. You can test it out. Anyone who sincerely prays to Him with a respectful and submissive attitude and an open mind to Him does eventually find Him. You might have to exercise a little patience, but I urge you to give it a try.” Sandy: “Look. Jesus doesn’t exist. I know it and you know it. You are just being insane. How anti-intellectual can you be?!” Rocky: “The fact is that God says that you and every other person knows that He exists. The basis of that statement is Divine revelation. What is the basis of your claim.” Sandy: “The basis of my claim is that there is no evidence for God. That is basic. Everyone needs to know that.” Here is an example that shows the difference. Rocky doesn’t try to impose his own experience on Sandy, but he instructs Sandy as to how Sandy can check it out. On the other hand, Sandy tries to impose his worldview and uncheckable assumption onto Rocky.
- Psychologist's Fallacy: occurs when an observer assumes that his/her subjective experience reflects the true nature of an event. This is closely related to the fallacy of using worldview as proof. This is an example of using worldview as proof.
- Amazing Familiarity: occurs when premises are presented that would be impossible to know except by Divine revelation. Often, such claims are made while denying the existence of God, eliminating the option of Divine revelation. EXAMPLE Sandy: "Your claim that Jesus Christ leads you is merely an assumption." Rocky: "What is the method, either natural or supernatural, by which you think that you know that Christ's moment-by-moment leading is mere assumption?" Sandy: "Simple! God doesn't exist, so He can't lead you." Rocky: "And what is the method by which you think that you know that God doesn't exist? You seem to think that you know things that cannot be known."
- Stolen Concept / Smuggled Concept: occurs when proof is presented that is dependent on the thing against which the argument is being raised. EXAMPLE Logic is used to argue against Creation by Almighty God and for the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. There is no reason to believe that logic would be valid unless we were created by God. The concept of logic must be smuggled into the argument, and it is smuggled from the God who created the person who is arguing against God. EXAMPLE There are people who refuse to acknowledge God who accuse God or Christians of being immoral People who refuse to acknowledge God have to borrow the concept of morality from God’s revelation to Christians. It is irrational for a person who refuses to acknowledge God to believe in a universal moral code of any kind. Killing, looting, etc. are just a matter of opinion. EXAMPLE Sandy: "I believe in science and the natural laws." Rocky: "There is no reason to believe that science can be valid if natural laws are not faithfully enforced. They cannot be faithfully enforced unless there is some means of enforcing them. God says the He enforces them faithfully. You are borrowing this concept from the Christian worldview when it has no rational place in your own worldview." The entire concept of science being possible is smuggled out of a Christian worldview.
- Logical Fallacy of Weak Inference: occurs when a conclusion is not shown to be true given the evidence or reasoning presented. This is closely related to hysteron proteron.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Theoretical Stories / storytelling Presented as Scientific Evidence / Confabulation Fallacy / Argument by Scenario: occurs when a story is made up to fit the observations as much as possible, but somehow the fact that the story is just a story is forgotten, and too much weight is given to the story. The best that a theory can be is an explanation. It never can prove that the story actually happened. This is related to the fallacy of confusing the explanation with the evidence/proof. Sometimes, the story is even treated as if it had something to do with reality. This takes the form: I can make up stories about X. Therefore, X is true. This is a type of hysteron proteron. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, debating against Creation Science: "This was the discovery. Things merge up. Whatever makes it keeps going. Whatever doesn't make it falls away." Bill Nye is giving us a story as proof of evolution. Just because you can tell a story does not mean that the story actually happened.
- Anecdotal Evidence Presented as Scientific Evidence / Personal Testimony Presented as Scientific Evidence: occurs when a personal testimony or an anecdote is presented as if it were using scientific method. This fallacy only applies to testimony when it is claimed to be following the scientific method. Circular reasoning, using a presupposition of Naturalism, can make it seem as if this fallacy is being committed. Naturalism is an arbitrary assumption that eliminates Divine revelation--and God, too. The testimony of Jesus Christ is the Spirit of Prophecy. When a testimony of what Christ is doing in a person's life is given, this is the Spirit of Prophecy. Those who hear it are hearing God speak through the person, providing that it is a true testimony of Jesus Christ. In many cases, the testimony may be mixed with rationalizations. In these cases, those hearing the testimony are hearing God speak a bit and then hearing the human spirit speak a bit. Scientific process cannot be shown to be the best way or most sure way of knowing things, so that which is not by scientific process is not automatically a fallacy. Personal learning experiences are important in life. Revelation is real, even though it conflicts with the presupposition of Naturalism. Three related fallacies are scientism, dismissing all personal testimony (which is a form of selective evidence), and storytelling as proof. EXAMPLE "I have scientific evidence that Listerine cures the common cold. I had a cold. I gargled with Listerine, and three days later my cold was gone." This commits other fallacies, but is also an example of anecdotal evidence presented as scientific evidence because it claims to be scientific evidence. Scientific evidence would involve a double-blind test with a control group. FALLACY ABUSE Rocky: "My personal experience is that Christ speaks to me. He leads me and teaches me moment by moment. That is the proof that He has given me for His existence and His goodness." Sandy: "That is anecdotal evidence and you can't use that in a debate." Rocky: "First, I am not debating. You asked how I know that God exists. I answered. Second, I didn't give you this as a way that you can have proof. This is how I have proof, and it is not anecdotal as Christ shows Himself to me. It is experience. Third, you can test this yourself if you are willing to pray to Jesus Christ sincerely and persistently, in humility, repentance, respect, and with a will to do His will. If you do that, He will make Himself real to you. He will begin to lead you. He will show you that you need His redemption because your life is disgusting to God's holiness." Sandy: "Personal experience proves nothing." Rocky: "So you will not look at the evidence. That's normal for those who love to debate. They are not usually seeking truth. Let me remind you that every scientist who has ever made an observation has done so by personal experience. And this same experience with Christ is repeated for every person who has ever truly known Christ in a saving relationship. It is a growing relationship that goes from one glory to another. And it is a complex relationship of the complex Divine with the complex human, so you can't write a simple formula to define it. But it is real."
- Logical Fallacy of Dismissing All Personal Testimony: occurs when all personal testimony is dismissed because it is personal testimony. Keep in mind that every experiment that is recorded in a laboratory is a personal testimony. Since many people repeat the same procedure, the personal testimonies are confirmed. When dealing with material substances that have relatively simple reactions, the results can be readily repeated, and there is less chance for mistakes. The experience (for instance, burning sulfur) that is recorded in the form of a testimony of the scientist is more reliable if it is independently verified by others. That reliability does not extend to the speculations about what the observations/experiences mean. In other words, speculation by scientists is no more valid than any other speculation. Speculation by a majority of scientists is no more valid than any other speculation. Because of the weakness of the human mind, it is very easy to slip from observation to speculation without realizing that any change in the manner of thinking has taken place. This is one of the fallacies of observation in which an interpretation is mistaken for an observation. Some observations are more unpredictable than burning sulfur. For instance, how do two raccoons react when they meet each other in the wild? This is harder to observe. What will happen is a bit more unpredictable. It will be impossible to repeat the same experiment exactly each time as it was with the sulfur-burning experiment. It is a different kind of experiment as a result. How about the way that two people react in a certain situation? How do you test that? We even get different reactions from different people to chemicals that are injected into their bodies. Scientists can kind of get a range, but they also get used to expecting there may be unexpected results. What about the spiritual realm and experiments in these areas. Human beings seem to be handicapped when it comes to observing objectively in this area. Yet, people have many experiences. Many people experiment in this area. Those who experiment with the occult will testify that they have real experiences, though the experiences will vary somewhat with certain similarities. On the opposite side of the spectrum, those who experiment with Jesus Christ also testify that they have real experiences, though the experiences will vary somewhat with certain similarities. To use a presupposition of Naturalism to discount those testimonies while accepting the testimonies of scientists studying animals, people, or any experiment that cannot be easily verified personally is a fallacy of special pleading. To claim to dismiss all testimony is usually just a cover for special pleading. Besides this, Jesus Christ can be personally verified by any person who is willing to look at the evidence. Whoever seeks Him, prays to Him sincerely and with persistence, who comes in repentance and respect, with a will to do His will, that is, in submission to Him, will find Him. This is verifiable. Anyone can do it if they are willing. Those who really don't want God to rule over them will find an excuse.
- Logical Fallacy of Rewriting History / Have it Your Way: occurs when events of the past are distorted or just fabricated in any way to support any conclusion. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, debating against Creation Science: "Edwin Hubble was sitting at Mt. Wilson (Some of the misleading vividness has been omitted here) sat there at this very big telescope night after night staring at the heavens, and he found that the stars are moving apart. Stars are moving apart. And he wasn’t sure why, but it was clear that the stars are moving farther and farther apart all the time. So people talked about it for a couple decades." Bill Nye uses a misrepresentation of what really happened, the logical fallacy of rewriting history. Edwin Hubble didn’t observe stars moving apart. The galaxies, not individual stars, appeared to be moving apart. Cosmic expansion would not appear between stars but between galaxies. Bill Nye repeated this claim 3 times, which makes it unlikely that it was a slip of the tongue. And, Bill Nye’s statement is a common misconception that is often erroneously taught, actually educating people into ignorance. If the galaxies are moving apart, this conflicts with nothing in the account of creation in the Bible, taking it as it is written. There is no conflict. Hubble only assumed a strong correlation between red shifts and distances of galaxies. He observed red shifts. That is all he observed. It is irrational to shoehorn this observation into support for the big bang story. This was actually work that started before Hubble in 1914. However, an important point is that the expansion of the Universe cannot be observed. It is an interpretation of observation. Astronomers are aware that there are other possible interpretations. So, Bill Nye commits the hysteron proteron fallacy by making such a rash claim. He could say that one of the interpretations is that the stars are moving apart but not that it was observed that stars are moving apart. Going on from there to attributing expansion to the big bang is the fallacy of non sequitur, a conclusion that does not follow the evidence. What was observed can be explained a few different ways through speculation, assumptions, and made-up stories. Made-up stories are very different from Divine revelation, though. We know, by revelation through the Bible, that God stretched out the Heavens, which is a better explanation that fits the observations better. Keep in mind that the Bible mentions, several times, that God stretched out the Heavens. (article)
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Model: occurs when models or reality are created but the fact that the model is only an abstraction of reality is forgotten and the model is treated as if it were reality itself--it is used to prove rather than to teach a concept. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Assumption / Proof by Presupposition: occurs when assumption is required to support a premise that is used to support a conclusion, or when assumption is the only thing that is supporting a conclusion. An assumption is an unsupported assertion fallacy. However, most assumptions are pulled from worldviews/fake-realities, which seem more real than reality itself. For this reason, it either seems to make sense to make the assumption or else the assumption is made without realizing that it is mere assumption and not part of reality. This is a type of hysteron proteron.
- Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Incredulity / I Personally Don't Believe It / Argument From Personal Belief / Argument from Personal Conviction: occurs when someone asserts that his or her personal lack of belief makes something untrue or belief makes something true. What we believe or disbelieve has no effect on reality. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, debating against Creation Science: "This is to say, nature has its mediocre designs eaten by its good designs and so, the perception that there’s a designer that created all this is not necessarily true because we have an explanation that is far more compelling" Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of personification. He is personifying nature, giving it the ability to design things. Bill Nye is also using the logical fallacy of personal conviction as proof. The fact that he believes, and that his followers (if I may borrow the expression) believe something does not make it true. Bill Nye is arbitrarily deciding that his preferred explanation is far more compelling. It is compelling because it fits his own worldview/fake reality. God also reveals to us why it is compelling to some people. God says: "They love darkness rather than light." "They don't want to acknowledge God or to serve Him." "Their deeds are evil." Of course, in their own minds, their deeds may not seem, to them, to be evil. Every person's way is right in his or her own eyes, but God reveals that He made us to be joined to Him in a union by which we are workers together with Him and He does His works through us. Anything else is sin. Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
- Argument by Lack of Imagination: occurs when an argument is made that leaves out some possibilities, depending on the audience having a lack of imagination. The logical fallacy of argument by lack of imagination is a type of argument from ignorance. It claims, "If I can't imagine it, then it is impossible." It isn't that imagination can prove anything to be true. It certainly can't even prove something to be possible. EXAMPLE "Evolution is scientifically impossible." Well, it is scientifically impossible given what we currently know about science, but that is not a good argument against it. Someone could say, "Use your imagination. Every problem that evolution has could have a possible solution. Who knows?" The iron-clad argument against evolution is based on Divine revelation, the only sure way that we can know anything about the past. God reveals that He created the Heavens and the Earth and everything in them in six days. He created humanity and all the kinds of animals at this time. We know it by revelation. Evolution didn't happen. The fact that there is no real evidence for evolution and that evolution is scientifically impossible is not a good argument because of imagination.
- Argument by Imagination: occurs when imagination is offered as the proof for a proposition. EXAMPLE Evolution-believing professor at a major university: "The problem with those who don't believe in evolution is that they don't have imaginations."
- Capturing the Naïve / Argumentum ad Captandum / Argumentum ad Captandum Vulgus: occurs when unsound reasoning is used to win popular acceptance. It is literally argument by capturing the naïve. Proverbs 9:14-18: “Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, ‘Let all who are simple come to my house!’ To those who have no sense she says, ‘Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!’ But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.” EXAMPLE Many college classrooms have become platforms for deceiving young people by presenting partial evidence in a convincing way, knowing that most students will be ignorant of conflicting evidence.
- Argument from Personal Astonishment: occurs what wonder and astonishment is expressed as a reason to reject a proposition. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation Science: “Ken Ham and his followers have this remarkable view of a worldwide flood that somehow influenced everything that we see in nature.” EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation Science: “Billions of people, but these same people do not embrace the ‘extraordinary’ view that the Earth is ‘somehow’ only 6,000 years old.” EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation Science: “How would these things have settled out? Your claim that they settled out in an extraordinarily short amount of time is, for me, not satisfactory.” In addition to the words, remarkable and somehow, Bill used the word, "extraordinary," upwards of 20 times as the evidence for his assertions against the history recorded in Scripture.
- Ad Personam Fallacy: occurs when personal preferences, dislikes, or weaknesses are used as reasons to believe. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation Science: “A much better conclusion would be . . . “ The reason it would be a better conclusion is that it is the conclusion that Bill prefers to be true.
- Logical Fallacy of Special Pleading / Selective Skepticism / Selective Gullibility / Double Standard : occurs when standards, principles, and/or rules are not applied universally. This is often associated with a false open-mindedness or hidden bigotry.
- Variant Imagization: occurs when dissimilar images are created for similar concepts, situations, or people. It is a kind of special pleading using images. Images can be mental or actual. Imagization is pairing of a meaning or idea with a mental image. EXAMPLE The farming industry is planting and harvesting corn. The lumber industry plants and harvests trees; however, to associate this with an image like, “Lumber executives devastate the ecology.” Is the fallacy of variant imagization. No similar image is created when talking about corn. EXAMPLE “In mainstream science, we carefully observe the evidence and use rational thought to determine our scientific truths. By this method, we have determined that the Big Bang took place about 13.7 billion years ago and the Earth is about 4.7 billion years old. By the same processes, we know that there was a single organism from which all life evolved over millions of years here on Earth. On the other hand, creationism falsely claims that a god somehow created everything from nothing about 6,000 years ago and that there was a worldwide flood. There is no evidence for any of the claims of creationism, and all the evidence is on the side of the scientists.” These are two very diverse verbally created images; however, both evolution and creation are researched by the same kinds of scientists using the same observations. The presuppositions are very different for evolutionists versus creationists. Unfortunately, students are indoctrinated with this type of language. It is a form of being educated into ignorance.
- Self-Exclusion: occurs when rules, logic, standards of truth, etc. apply to other points of view but not one’s own. This is a form of special pleading. EXAMPLE Sandy: “Show me the evidence that Jesus Christ speaks to you and tells you that the history in the Bible is accurate.” Rocky: “Let’s discuss this and you can also show me the evidence that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story actually happened. Christ speaks through the physical evidence for the Creation and Flood, and it is the same physical evidence that assumption and storytelling attributes to the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. As far as showing you evidence that Christ is guiding me, this is similar to me asking you to prove to me that you don’t believe in the existence of God. Prove to me that you really don’t believe and you aren’t just refusing to acknowledge Him. However, you can verify Christ’s existence since everyone who sincerely continues to seek Him will eventually receive His leading and guiding. Some people don’t want this because they like things that aren’t good. So that’s my evidence in condensed form. Now, show me your evidence that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story actually happened." Sandy: “I don’t have to show you anything. The burden of proof is on you because the existence of God is an extraordinary claim.” Sandy excludes himself. This is a form of special pleading. EXAMPLE Sandra: “There are no absolutes.” Roxanne: “Are you absolutely certain of that?” Sandra: “No; I mean that nothing can be absolutely known, right?” Roxanne: “So you are saying that your statement can’t be absolutely known?” Sandra: “That’s not what I mean. I mean that there is no way to know whether something is right or wrong or true or false.” Roxanne: “Are you saying that you can’t know whether what you just said is right or wrong or true or false.” Sandra: “I see the problem.”
- Unintended Self-Inclusion: occurs when a statement is made that was meant to point to others and yet point to the one making the statement. There is an old adage that states: whenever I point a finger at you there are three pointing back at me. EXAMPLE Bertrand Russell: "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." Note how certain of himself Bertrand is in stating this unsupported assertion. Bertrand was always so careful to try to make himself seem rational, too. EXAMPLE Theologian: ”The trouble with people who don’t believe this theology is that they are twisting Scripture.” However, the particular theology to which he is referring adds a lot of assumptions to Scripture and it was derived by rationalization rather than Divine revelation. EXAMPLE Sandy: “There are absolutely no absolutes.” Rocky: "I understand. You are asking me not to believe you.” Sandy says there are absolutely no absolutes. She is saying that her claim is not absolute. It is not the truth. Truth, by its very nature, is absolute.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Repetition / Proof by Repeated Assertion / Argument by Repetition / Argumentum Ad Nauseam / Nagging / Argument to the Point of Disgust: occurs when someone simply repeats a conclusion when asked to supply some premise that would support the conclusion or when evidence is supplied that refutes the assertion.
- Cherishing the Zombie: occurs when ideas that have been previously shown to be wrong or false are still brought out as evidence. Of course, every argument for everything controversial is probably claimed to have been refuted by someone. There is likely to be someone who disagrees with it and who has provided what is called a refutation. However, this fallacy is only a fallacy if the zombie has been unequivocally shown to be wrong or false. EXAMPLE "The Urey-Miller experiment proves that life can come into existence by random chance." This has been shown to be false. No one who has any knowledge of science believes this any more. This is a zombie.
- Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ad Lapidem: occurs when someone dismisses a statement as absurd without giving proof of its absurdity. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "Now, I just want to remind us all, there are billions of people in the world who are deeply religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community from their religion. They worship together. They eat together. They live in their communities and enjoy each other's company. Billions of people, but these same people do not embrace the 'extraordinary' view that the Earth is 'somehow' only 6,000 years old. That is unique." Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of Argumentum Ad Lapidem, with the word, "extraordinary," implying that a belief is absurd without proving it to be absurd. Here Bill Nye also employs the logical fallacies of marginalizing, bandwagon, and creating a false impression to manipulate the minds of the audience to his political view. Bill Nye also uses the logical fallacy of the outright lie, saying, "the extraordinary view that the Earth is 'somehow' only 6,000 years old. That is unique." This statement is made to marginalize, but it is clearly false. The belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old is shared by about half (46%) of all Americans. So this lie was perpetrated to activate the logical fallacy of bandwagon, but how many people believe something can have no possible impact on what reality is. Perhaps Bill is saying that anyone who disagrees with him is holding an extraordinary view.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Understatement / Misunderstanding by Understatement: occurs when an idea or concept is expressed as less than it is and that understatement is used as proof of something or otherwise gives a false impression. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "there are billions of people in the world who are deeply religious, who get enriched by the wonderful sense of community by their religion." This is a logical fallacy of understatement. Bill Nye is implying that the purpose of the church is to get enriched by the wonderful sense of community. The fact is that the purpose of the church is to so come to know Christ that we becomes transformed into His same image from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord. And there is much more to it than that. When someone knows nothing about a subject, it would be helpful if they were to avoid speaking as an expert on the subject.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by Logical Tautology: occurs when a statement is made that cannot be falsified simply because of its form. It isn't a fallacy unless it used as an explanation of something or proof of something since the statement contains no real information. EXAMPLES "The mechanism of evolution is natural selection, the survival of the fittest." The tautology here is "survival of the fittest." This is the survival of the survivors, or the fitness of the fittest. Natural selection has problems of its own. Defining natural selection as this tautology is a sure way to cause confusion. If the tautology is used as some kind of validation for molecules-to-man, then it is a fallacy. "Those living things that survive are more fit because they are more well adapted to live in the environment." This appears to give a conclusion that the fittest survive and a premise or proof that they are more well adapted for their environment, but all that has happened is that the same thing is repeated twice: to be "fit" is to be "more well adapted to live." Note that rhetorical tautology is not a fallacy, but is often confused with logical tautology. Rhetorical tautology occurs when repetition replaces significance. EXAMPLE "I went there personally." Sometimes, this is used for emphasis, but generally it comes from the Department of Redundancy Department.
- Logical Fallacy of Proof by False Declaration of Victory: occurs when an announcement of victory is substituted for rational thought. This is very similar in effect to summary dismissal. This is often coupled with a straw man fallacy. EXAMPLE Sandy: "If creationists insist on God, I have every right to insist on a creator of that God. And you are wrong." Rocky: "Before declaring victory, what are the steps to your logic or science that lead you to believe that God didn't always exist, that He is not eternal? How do you determine such a thing?" Sandy gives us an example of a poor argument followed by a false declaration of victory in the form of "you are wrong." This argument of "Who created God?" is an irrational question. God has no creator and always existed. In our created world, we know that created things must have a creator and that effects must have causes. We also know that, in our sin-cursed world, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the fact that we observe everything running down and deteriorating and we never see any exception to the Second Law) means that if the Universe had always been in existence it would now be in a heat death. It would be universally distributed heat at just over absolute zero. However, God is not subject to the Second Law of Thermodynamics or the effects of sin on the creation. So, this is also the logical fallacy of faulty analogy.
- Assumption Correction Assumption: occurs when silence is assumed to be agreement. There is a tendency to think that if someone doesn't answer you it is because they cannot answer or they agree with you. This is the assumption of the trolls on the Internet. However, they really are so closed-minded to truth that it is a waste of time conversing with them. EXAMPLE God addresses this as He speaks to us through Scripture: "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes." (Proverbs 26:4-5) So, this is the catch 22 when dealing with a fool. If you answer the fool, you waste your time and look as foolish as the fool. If you don't answer, the fool commits the assumption correction assumption.
- False Criteria Fallacy / Fallacy of Questionable Criteria: occurs when irrelevant standards are applied to test the truth or the falsity of a proposition. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "if you can find a fossil that has swum between the layers, bring it on. You would change the world." That is a false test, using questionable criteria. Clams don't actually swim very much. Once anything is buried in mud, it is difficult to swim. However, there are examples of clams moving up through tens of feet of mud. Those organisms in the lower layer of the flood sediments are of the types that are not generally mobile enough to escape, which is exactly what you would expect with a worldwide, catastrophic flood. So, this test is quite deceptive. Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of the outright lie. Scientists find index fossils in the wrong place all the time, but that changes none of their minds. Once in a while a scientist begins to question the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story and the assumptions, cherry picking, etc. that are used in the aging methods, but they lose their jobs or are punished in other ways. Bill is also using the logical fallacy of non sequitur. When Bill Nye brought this up previously, he proposed that the only thing that Ken Ham could do was to prove that clams and microscopic organisms had swum up through the mud that was settling on them. Bill is also using a very common argument that is used by people who refuse to acknowledge God: prove this to me in this specific way or the default is to believe that it is not true. That is the logical fallacy of argument from ignorance and the logical fallacy of proof of falsity by failure to prove.
- Logical Fallacy of Cutting Off Discussion / Summary Dismissal: occurs when a summary dismissal by any means is used to simply cut off the discussion rather than addressing the issues. EXAMPLE Sandy: "There is no God!!! No discussion!!!" Rocky: "So that's your reason for believing that there is no God?"
- Thought-Terminating Cliché / Cliché Thinking: occurs when a commonly used phrase or some folk wisdom is used as proof. This is often accompanied by a summary dismissal to cut off the discussion. It is often used as a form of summary dismissal. Cliché thinking is reductionist. This is, it over-simplifies things to such a degree that they are difficult to understand. The reason that cliche thinking makes things hard to understand is that the cliche is thought to be a complete explanation. EXAMPLE "Evolution is science." The statement has the purpose of ending the discussion. It is false. Evolution is not science. Evolution is an intricate story. This thought-terminating cliché is designed to create a false impression and end discussion. It's purpose is end all questioning of the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. No thinking allowed.
- Truism: occurs when a statement is made the is held to be true by the vast number of people even if it cannot be logically shown to be either true or false. This is a type of either an outright lie or else an unsupported assertion. EXAMPLE Frans de Waal: “If we look straight and deep into a chimpanzee's eyes, an intelligent self-assured personality looks back at us. If they are animals, what must we be?” The unproven story of the 1% difference has helped to sell the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story. By publishing these figures widely using many avenues of communication, proponents have been able to create a truism. Many people still believe this is true, but they are unable to check out the facts to know for sure. Now we find that the DNA story was not derived honestly using all of the data. The data was pre-screened, and data that was too dissimilar was omitted, masked, and/or not reported. Genomic monkey business Not only that, but there are actually about 45 million DNA bases that are in the chimp but not in the human DNA. And there are about 45 million in the human that aren't in the chimp. The evolution model claims 300,000 generations caused this. That's about 133 locked-in mutations per generation. That is the problem known as Haldane's dilemma.
- Logical Fallacy of the Perfect Solution / Nirvana Fallacy / Perfect Solution Fallacy / Perfectionist Fallacy: occurs when that which is real is compared to unrealistic, idealized alternatives, then rejecting a conclusion or solution because it doesn't meet some definition of perfection. It is often suggesting that there is no sense in doing anything since it won't be perfect. It is also the tendency to think that there is a perfect solution when no such thing is available. Sometimes, it takes the form of simple complaining. Note that this does not mean that we can be dogmatic about conclusions that are based only on fallacies. EXAMPLE "You may as will prepare your kids to have sex before marriage. They're going to do it anyway." Some young people will do what is wrong, but many of those who have been taught right from wrong will stay on the right path.
- Just In Case Fallacy / Worst Case Scenario Fallacy: occurs when the worst case scenario is used rather than the most likely scenario in making an argument. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: "What keeps the United States ahead, what makes the United States a world leader, is our technology, our new ideas, our innovations. If we continue to eschew science, eschew the process, and try to divide science into observational science and historic science, we are not going to move forward, we’ll not embrace natural laws, we’ll not make discoveries, we’ll not invent and innovate and stay ahead." Bill is saying that we dare to know the difference between observational science and historic science or we will stop knowing about natural laws and all progress would cease. The difference between observational and historic science is the difference between observation and assumption. Bill doesn't tell us how knowing the difference between observation and assumption would stop us from knowing about natural laws. In a naturalistic worldview, natural laws must be assumed because of Agrippa's Trilemma. However, Christ tells us that we don't have to assume. We can know about natural laws. Christ tells us that He will faithfully enforce them, so we need not worry.
- Logical Fallacy of Unwarranted Extrapolation: occurs when known facts related to one set of circumstances are used to make predictions or judgments about another set of circumstances, but either too much weight is given to the extrapolation or the extrapolation goes beyond what is reasonable.
- Logical Fallacy of Untestability: occurs when a theory is put forward that cannot be tested.
- Logical Fallacy of Subjectivity / Relativist / Subjectivist: occurs when an objective fact is claimed to be true for one person or situation and not for another person or situation. This fallacy doesn't apply to personal taste but only to objective facts. This is not the same is the fallacy of relativism, which is a separate fallacy. It is not totally unrelated either. This is closely related to Agrippa's Trilemma, which states (from a secular standpoint) that all thought must rest on one of three equally unstable foundations. It basically states that no one can really know anything. The good news is that it is a false trilemma, since it assumes Naturalism/Atheism. It arbitrarily drops out the fourth and the fifth option. Only one option is trustworthy. That is Divine revelation. By Divine revelation, some knowledge is possible. Through Divine revelation, we can know that there are laws of logic and laws of nature. EXAMPLE Roxy: "God declares that every person knows that He exists; yet some refuse to acknowledge Him." Sandra: "That may apply to you, but it doesn't apply to me." God reveals, as He speaks through Scripture, that it does apply to Sandra as well as Roxy. His revelation is absolute.
- Logical Fallacy of Bizarre Hypothesis / Far-Fetched Hypothesis: occurs when a bizarre, far-fetched hypothesis is advanced as the correct explanation of what can be observed. EXAMPLE "It seems that all matter must have popped into existence one day and then it wasn't long before elements formed themselves and stars and planets and animals and people. I guess that hydrogen is an inert gas which, over time, turns into people."
- Least Plausible Hypothesis: occurs when a hypothesis that conflicts with known facts is chosen over one that doesn’t conflict with known facts or when a hypothesis that requires more arbitrary assumptions/stories is chosen over one that requires less arbitrary assumptions/stories. EXAMPLE The two main models for origins are the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story (BBBoYNFMtM) and the historical account of the Creation and the Flood revealed by God through the Bible (CF). BBBoYNFMtM requires countless assumptions and just-so stories to hold the hypothesis together and it violates several scientific laws, which requires even more just-so stories to explain away the evidence. CF requires no assumptions or just-so stories and violates no scientific laws. Yet some people prefer BBBoYNFMtM.
- Complex Hypothesis Fallacy / Extravagant Hypothesis: occurs when an explanation that requires more assumptions is chosen over those hypotheses that require less assumptions. This is difficult to analyze, since many, if not most, assumptions are never admitted to be assumptions. They are thought of as facts. They are parts of worldviews that seem more like reality than reality itself. Here, assumption is being defined as a proposition that cannot be absolutely proven to be true. The more complex the hypothesis, the more evidence is required, since more truth claims are being made. Evidence here is actual empirical evidence without interpretation. Interpretation turns into just-so stories very easily and includes assumptions. In science, theology, and politics, it is common to begin to have very complex structures of thought. In the process, problems are covered with just-so stories and assumptions. These just so-stories are ad hoc hypotheses or rescuing mechanisms to save the overall complex hypothesis. As various hypotheses are intertwined and become inter-dependent, they are sometimes presented as if one supports the other. Actually, they have become a single, highly complex, hypothesis. If part of this huge hypothesis falls, the entire thought structure is shaken. EXAMPLE The Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man hypothesis is laden with many assumptions. It falls apart without them. Yet many of those who embrace this hypothesis and give it special privilege over other hypotheses are unaware of these assumptions. On the other hand, the Creation and the Flood are revealed by God as facts. There are no assumptions required so long as we don't go beyond what has been revealed. What has been revealed doesn't violate anything that can be observed or tested using scientific method.
- Privileging the Hypothesis: occurs when more than one hypothesis is possible yet one of the possible hypotheses is granted a privileged position and assumed to be true when there is no rational reason to give the hypothesis this status. EXAMPLE "The Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man hypothesis is a better hypothesis than the Creation-Flood hypothesis since it doesn't leave the area of Naturalism." Both Naturalism (which is another word for Atheism) and the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man hypothesis are given privileged position without reason. Yes, Naturalism is given as the reason for the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man hypothesis, but then you must have a reason for Naturalism, which is an unsupported assertion. We know, by revelation, that the Creation-Flood hypothesis is actually the correct one. EXAMPLE ID Scientist: "There are problems with evolutionistic theories for which we have no possible solution. With what we now know of science, molecules-to-man is impossible. There is another theory that has none of these problems to the extent that Darwinism has them. We don't really know which theory is right, so maybe intelligent design is right." This really doesn't commit the fallacy of privileging the hypothesis, but it comes close. The real problem is that the ID Scientist isn't giving the real reason that we can know that the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man hypothesis is false and the Creation-Flood hypothesis is true. That reason is Divine revelation. Of course, a person who refuses to acknowledge God would deny Divine revelation, using unsupported assertion, appeal to ridicule, or some other fallacy as proof against it.
- Canceling Hypotheses: occurs when a hypothesis that should have certain consequences but does not is defended by introducing a new hypothesis that cancels the effect of the first hypothesis. This is a form of ad hoc rescue. EXAMPLE Livescience.com article, Controversial T. Rex Soft Tissue Find Finally Explained: "The controversial discovery of 68-million-year-old soft tissue from the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex finally has a physical explanation. According to new research, iron in the dinosaur's body preserved the tissue before it could decay." Livescience.com was more honest the talkorigins.org. Talkorigins.org, in a very wordy article, just denied that the blood exists as it attacked AIG as a source. Livescience.com, on the other hand, committed the logical fallacy of canceling hypotheses. The iron would have a preservation value, but to claim that blood and soft tissue could last millions of years with iron as a preservative is a stretch.
- Logical Fallacy of Appeal to False Faith: occurs when someone uses make-believe faith (not the same as biblical faith) as a premise to support a conclusion rather than using true premises. It is a misuse of biblical faith, which is legitimate. Biblical faith comes by hearing the word (Greek: rhema = utterance) of God. When God speaks and we acknowledge Him, biblical faith comes. So there is ample room for equivocation on the word, "faith," since the same word is used for both make-believe and God's imparted faith. EXAMPLE "Evolution is scientific fact." It's actually just a story that is being made up and modified constantly to try to explain creation without the Creator.
- Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Heaven / Gott Mit Uns / Manifest Destiny / Special Covenant: occurs when it is claimed that a right is given by God, yet God did not give any such right. Sandra: "God doesn't care if I shack up with Steve. His command is that we should not judge each other." Roxanne: "What makes you think that God doesn't care?" Sandra: "He told me personally." God never contradicts Himself. He plainly speaks through Scripture. Through Scripture, He says not to commit adultery. Sandra is making things up and blaming God for it. Any time anyone says, "Thus says the Lord . . ." There is great responsibility to make sure that God's words are given purely.
- Logical Fallacy of Inaccurate Models: occurs when models of reality are created but the limits of the models leave out some element that is essential to understanding or add in some element that distorts understanding. EXAMPLE Dawkins' Weasel Program EXAMPLE Current models of variation in DNA
- Logical Fallacy of Hedging / Having Your Cake / Failure to Assert / Diminished Claim / Failure to Choose Sides / Talking out of Both Sides of Your Mouth / If by Whiskey / Weasel Words: occurs when a claim or theory is stated in an unclear way so that so that the position can be modified, refined, or changed if it is not accepted by the majority or if evidence against it is shown. This is very common when someone is trying to win an argument (like a game) rather than seeking truth, playing to the crowd, vying for popularity, or politicking. EXAMPLE Nature Journal: "Charles Darwin thought that the eye, which he called an 'organ of extreme perfection', was a serious challenge to evolutionary theory--but he was mistaken. Theory predicts that eyes can evolve with great speed, and now there is support for this prediction from the fossil record. Well-preserved fossils found in Early Cambrian shales from South Australia show that some of the earliest arthropods known had eyes very like those of some insects alive today, ..." Note how this Nature editor has spun very strong evidence against the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story into a fulfillment of a prediction made by the story. This was accomplished by the logical fallacy of hedging. This is a very common practice in this kind of pseudo-science. (reference)
- Preacher’s We / Salesman's We / Politician's We Fallacy: occurs when a word such as “we” or “us” is used to give a hedge when talking about a specific person (usually the audience). Often, this can be a veiled accusation. It is not always a fallacy. A politician's worth his salt will be talking about himself if he is talking about anyone else. In this case it isn’t a fallacy. It is dealing with reality in humility. However, there is something self-righteous about human nature that like to point fingers. When this is done, the “we” covers. In some instance, the word, "we" is a sly way of creating a bandwagon fallacy. The "we" can be used to create a false consensus or a false impression of consensus. When a false impression of consensus is created, this can be used to pressure dissenters into silence. EXAMPLE Teacher: “We seem to be having a problem over here, don’t we?” Student: “I wasn’t doing nothing.”
- Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Nature / Argumentum Ad Naturam: occurs when an arbitrary assumption (hidden or stated) is used that because something is natural it is OK or even preferred. Note that the word nature has several meanings. If this ever comes up, you might do well to ask how it is being defined. For instance, the apostle Paul used it in a non-fallacious way when he said, "Doesn't nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him?" (Looking at the word, "nature," in this instance, it means the nature of creation as opposed to what is a monstrous, abnormal, or perverse distortion of what God created.)
- Experimenter Bias: occurs when a measure or observation allows for leeway, and the person taking the measurement or making the observation is swayed by presuppositions, opinions, or worldviews. EXAMPLE The Piltdown hoax, Archaeoraptor, the peppered moth, the Midwife Toad, Haeckel’s embryos, Ancon sheep, the Tasaday Indians, Bathybius haeckelii, and Hesperopithecus (Nebraska Man)
- Fallacy of the Crucial Experiment: occurs when an experiment is claimed to have proved or disproved something. It is unlikely that a single experiment could do such a thing. In addition, some experiments are used to teach a politically correct, though untrue, doctrine. EXAMPLE “The Urey-Miller experiment proved that life can come into existence spontaneously.” Though this is taught to students as one of the crucial experiments, it doesn't prove what the teachers tell the students that it proves. In fact, the Urey-Miller experiment, along with much follow-up research, makes the feasibility of the idea of spontaneous life springing from non-living things so remote that some people are proposing the life came form outer space. Of course, the UFO hypothesis just moves the problem across space and doesn’t answer anything.
- Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy / Rumor: occurs when someone presents testimony other than eye-witness account, that is, personal testimony. The closer to the original observer, the more likely something is to be accurate. The more times it is re-told, the more likely it might be distorted. The more witnesses there are to give testimony, the more likely that the testimony will be accurate. If a personal testimony is written down, it is more likely to be accurate. On the other hand, if a testimony has been retold, that doesn't guarantee its inaccuracy.
- Logical Fallacy of Ad Hoc Rescue / Ad Hoc Hypothesis / Just-So Story: occurs when someone is desperate to hang onto some part of their worldview that is out of sync with reality, so, facing facts that contradict the worldview, they use ad hoc stories to rescue their worldview. In other words, they make up stories to explain away reality. EXAMPLE (The story of molecules-to-man evolution is constantly rescued by just-so stories whenever it runs into snags. Many of the things that formerly were claimed to be the very things, that, if observed, would falsify the story of molecules-to-man evolution have been observed but explained away using the logical fallacy of ad hoc rescue. This is also true of Big Bang stories, the Bible has errors stories, billions-of-years stories, etc.)
- Hindsight Bias / Knew-it-all-Along Effect / Creeping Determinism: occurs when an event is believed to predictable when, in fact, little or no objective basis ever existed for predicting it prior to its occurrence. Sometimes this is done when the group-held paradigm had previously ruled out the event happening. Suddenly, the event is added to that paradigm using ad hoc rescue stories. EXAMPLE Just-so stories to support evolution. Often, these just-so stories are later used as "evidence" for the big just-so story. Many unexpected observations are then explained with ad hoc rescue just-so stories and then claimed to be fulfilled predictions. "This is just what we would have expected from the (now modified) Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story." EXAMPLE Livescience.com: "Dinosaurs' iron-rich blood, combined with a good environment for fossilization, may explain the amazing existence of soft tissue from the Cretaceous (a period that lasted from about 65.5 million to 145.5 million years ago) and even earlier." That's what we surely would have expected. Still don't know how it could have lasted so long, but it obviously did. No need to challenge our age estimates, since that would challenge the big sacred cow, the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. Here are a few more examples: http://crev.info/2013/04/weekend-entertainment-evolutionary-just-so-stories/
- Logical Fallacy of Continuum / Continuum Fallacy / Argument of the Beard / Fallacy of the Beard / Heap Fallacy / Fallacy of the Heap / Heap Paradox Fallacy / Bald Man Fallacy / Line Drawing Fallacy / Line-Drawing / Sorites Fallacy: occurs when someone asserts that there is no definable moment or point on the line between two extremes.
- Logical Fallacy of Argument from Fallacy / Argumentum Ad Logicam / Appeal to Logic / Bad Reasons Fallacy / Fallacy Fallacy / Fallacist's Fallacy: occurs when someone asserts that a certain conclusion is false because one of the arguments that was presented to support it had a fallacy.
- Logical Fallacy of Inflation of Conflict: occurs when it is assumed that incomplete knowledge of an issue means that there is nothing that can be known about the issue. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, arguing against Creation Science: "The idea that there is a higher power that has driven the course of events in the Universe and our own existence is one that you cannot prove or disprove. And this gets into this expression, agnostic. You can’t know." What makes Bill Nye think that God cannot be proven or known? Often, people who claim that no one can know about God or spiritual things are guilty of the logical fallacy of inflation of conflict. This is the assumption that incomplete knowledge means that there is nothing that can be known. Of course, such people don't usually apply the same fallacy to science, claiming that we can't know anything scientifically because we don't know everything. Perhaps this is where Bill is coming from, or he may be making an unsupported assertion.
- Logical Fallacy of Infinite Regress / Homunculus Argument: occurs when an argument forms an endless loop of dependent premises, never reaching a premise that can stand as true on its own. If the truth of a premise P1 is proven by premise P2, and the truth of premise P2 is proven by premise P3, and this pattern continues without being resolved, this is infinite regress. The point of infinite regression is that it never provides any proof that does not itself need to be proved, so it appears to present evidence, yet the evidence is never shown to be valid. Infinite regression is one of the three possible invalid basis for secularist thinking, the other two are circular reasoning and assumption. All three leave the secularist with the problem of no real basis for making any conclusions. (see Agrippa's Trilemma) EXAMPLE The original homunculus argument in which it is stated that we see because there is an image projected in our head which a little man, a homunculus, sees. The question is, how does the little man see? He also has a little man inside his head, but how does this little man see? You guessed it. Another little man inside his head. And there is no end to it.
- The Logical Fallacy of Reification / Anti-Conceptual Mentality Fallacy / Attributing Concreteness to the Abstract / Concretism / Hypostatization Fallacy / Objectification: occurs when concepts, theories, assumptions, or abstractions are treated as concrete facts or realities. The fallacy is attributing concreteness to the abstract. People who commit this fallacy usually flow between actual evidence (observations and sound logic) into unsupported assertions, presuppositions, and fabrications without ever knowing that something has changed. They don’t perceive the difference between reality and storytelling. EXAMPLE John F. Kennedy:
"My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you: Ask what you can do for your country." EXAMPLE Seth et al., “Theories and measures of consciousness: “Given that consciousness is a rich biological phenomenon, a satisfactory neural theory of consciousness must avoid reductionistic excess.” This is reification of "consciousness," in this case, trying to make it into a biological phenomenon.
- The Logical Fallacy of Personification / Disney Fallacy / Anthropomorphism / Anthropomorphization / Pathetic Fallacy: occurs when someone speaks about concepts or inanimate objects as if they had intelligence and were persons. EXAMPLE "Evolution designed many interesting complexities into living things." Evolution is a concept, a story. It is not concrete. It actually doesn't exist if we are talking about molecules-to-man evolutionism. EXAMPLE "Science tells us that there is no God." Science doesn't talk. Some scientists may say that there is no God, but that is their unsupported assertion. The difference between this and reification is that personification adds human characteristics.(See Idola Fori.)
- Logical Fallacy Slothful Induction: occurs when the conclusion of a strong inductive argument is denied when there is absolutely no the evidence to the contrary and no competing possible conclusion. Inductive arguments are usually quite weak so we must be careful about putting much confidence in them. Often, they are only good for a working theory. If we are looking for truth regarding important issues, inductive reasoning is not an adequate tool for this purpose. If there is any deductive evidence against an inductive argument, then the inductive argument is weak. If the inductive argument repeatedly must resort to just-so stories and other rescuing mechanisms, as is the case with old Earth and molecules-to-man evolution arguments, the inductive argument is weak. If the inductive argument cannot be confirmed by conclusive deductive investigation, then the inductive argument is useless. It's also very difficult to find any subject about which there are no competing conclusions, so be careful of message control and brainwashing where one side of an issue is pushed hard until other sides of the issue are declared non-existent. EXAMPLE "The creation, as you call it, is not evidence for God. There are other, more compelling explanations for how everything got here." Every other explanation consists of arbitrary assumptions and made-up stories that violate known laws of science, so they are not rational. In addition, God reveals Himself to anyone who is willing to acknowledge Him, through His creation.
- Logical Fallacy of Superstitious Thinking / Magical Thinking: occurs when a belief does not follow from real evidence. EXAMPLE "Good luck with your interview." EXAMPLE "Mother Nature is sending us rain tomorrow." EXAMPLE "All living things have evolved from a single ancestor."
- Logical Fallacy of Meaningless Question: occurs when a question is asked that cannot be answered in a way that is rational. EXAMPLE "Can God create a rock so large that He can't lift it?" "What would you do if absolute proof was found that the Biblical history is in error?" Note that it could be possible that a given interpretation of that Biblical history may be in error, and asking whether an interpretation might be shown to be in error would not constitute the logical fallacy of meaningless question.
- Proving Non-Existence: occurs when a belief is held that something exists simply because it has not been proven false. The reality is that universal non-existence can never be proved. Non-existence can easily be proved for some things. I can prove that a blue dot doesn't exist on my kitchen ceiling in the material realm very easily. I cannot prove the universal, that a blue dot doesn't exist anywhere, in any dimension or realm. I cannot prove that that which cannot be seen doesn't exist. It is always irrational to claim non-existence unless you know by Divine revelation that something doesn't exist. It is the fallacy of the universal negative. This is one of the reasons that a person who refuses to acknowledge God may refuse to admit their contention that God doesn't exist. They will sometimes say that they don't disbelieve, but they simply don't have belief--but then why are they so angry? Or, they will use the word agnostic, meaning that no one can know God or anything spiritual. This is also a universal negative because they are claiming to know the inner spiritual experience of every person who has ever lived. EXAMPLE "We believe in God because you can't prove He doesn't exist." That is not why we believe in God. That is a fallacy, but the following is not a fallacy: "We believe in God because we personally know Jesus. He leads us and guides us moment-by-moment." Followers of Christ often commit this fallacy, but they never have to if they are willing to acknowledge the living Christ and confess that He is come in the flesh. There is a very similar fallacy committed concerning the Bible. The fact is that, if we know the Bible is the Word of God and without error, it is because the Holy Spirit speaks that into our innermost mind giving us this assurance. EXAMPLE "Atheism is the default until you give me physical evidence using repeatable scientific method that God exists." Again, this is the logical fallacy of proving non-existence.
- Argumentum ad Imaginibus: occurs when the identification of logical fallacies in one’s argument are dismissed solely because someone uses a prepared graphic to clearly explain the logical error.
- Statement of Conversion: occurs when a changed mind is used as proof for something. In sales, this is often taught as the feel, felt, found method. “I know how you feel. I felt the same way, but now I have found . . .” It is not a fallacy to give a testimony of a changed mind. In fact, if you are a Christian, testimony is the spirit of prophecy. Prophecy is the act of allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through you, a very important part of the Christian walk. It is a fallacy to say, "I changed my mind; therefore, I am now right, and everyone who believes what I used to believe is wrong." The fallacy is not committed when a person with intimate information about both sides of an issue can bring better information to the front. However, those who leave one position to take the opposing position often do so based on emotion and often have never really understood the position that they abandoned. Scientists sometimes cross over between the creation and evolution stances later in their lives. They are more likely to have a better understanding of both sides of the issue. When young people make the same conversion between religions or scientific worldviews (Atheism, Christianity, Agnosticism, Buddhism, Evolutionism, Old-Earthism, etc.) they are less likely to have a deep understanding of the religion or science that they are converting from simply because of lack of experience. In fact, among Christians who have converted to something else, you are unlikely to find one who had an intimate relationship with Christ in which they were constantly aware of Christ's moment-by-moment leading and teaching.
- Outdated Information: occurs when a premise is put forward in support of a conclusion, but the information has been since found to be false. Note that for any controversial subject, there will always be those who refute any information, either successfully or not so successfully. The outdated information fallacy is not committed just because someone has published a refutation. However, there are instances where a claim was made without observed facts (which is a fallacy in itself), and observation later shows the claim to be false in such a way that its falsity cannot be logically questioned. EXAMPLE "The fossil record supports [molecules-to-man] evolution." EXAMPLE "One day, a simple life-form came into existence by random chance."
- Argument by Laziness: occurs when a belief is held because of lack of ambition to look into the matter and understand the facts. EXAMPLE Sandy: “There is no God.” Rocky: “Actually, I have an ongoing, moment-by-moment relationship with Jesus Christ, and you can too. You don’t have to take my word for it. Everyone who seeks Him finds Him. If you would just turn your mind toward Him, acknowledge Him in respect and sincerity, He will reveal Himself to you. Would you like to do that? Sandy: “I’m not going to do that. I know that there is no God.”
- Alien Fallacy: occurs when aliens are used as evidence. I don’t have a good answer, but aliens could have done it. EXAMPLE Rocky: “How did the first life form by random chance on the Earth.” Sandy: “Scientists are working on this, and some think that perhaps life was first planted on the Earth by aliens from other planets.” How would moving the problem across the Universe with imaginary beings solve the problem?
- Quantum Physics Fallacy: occurs when quantum physics is offered as proof for a conclusion; however quantum physics doesn't support the conclusion. This is symptomatic of a whole class of fallacies the appeal to the unknown or what is not understood. It is also an example of grasping at straws. Some phrase that was once heard regarding quantum physics can be pulled out of context and used as bogus proof. EXAMPLE “Quantum physics proves that an infinite number of parallel universes exist, so it was inevitable that the complexity of the single cell would pop into existence in some of those universes.” Quantum physics proves no such thing. Quantum physics doesn’t prove the existence of non-existence of God. God’s holy Presence and moment-by-moment leading, along with His revelation of Himself through His Creation are the proof of His existence. Quantum physics doesn’t prove the big bang story, nor does it doesn’t prove any New Age dogma. Quantum physics is a working theory of operational science, a model that works to explain some things. A model or theory cannot be used as proof for anything. Something can be said to fit within the confines of the model. Secondly, very few people understand quantum physics, so it is a great place for an uncheckable lie or a false prophecy that science will eventually prove this or that. In any case, most claims that use quantum physics as a basis are speculations that go beyond what is presently known.
- Fallacious Abstraction: occurs when a quote or anything else is taken out of its full context resulting in a distortion. Keep in mind that all scientific models are abstractions. Language forces abstraction, since you can’t say everything at once. Abstractions can often lead to distortions.
- Appeal to the Untested / Appeal to the Unknown: occurs when a theory is claimed to be fact based on proof that lies in the realm of what has just been claimed but not proved to be true. The proof is hysteron proteron. This tactic is common in secular science where sacred cow ideas such as the Big-Bang-Billions-of-Years-No-Flood-Molecules-to-Man story. EXAMPLE A transitional form between families of animals is claimed. Newspaper articles proclaim it to be absolute proof (when it would not be even be proof if such a thing were found) of molecules-to-man. These so-called transitional forms are always exposed after they are examined. One the so-called “transitional form” is found to be either a hoax or a mistake, some people keep using the fake “evidence,” but most of the secular community moves on to a new untested “transitional form.” Sometimes, a retraction is printed, but not usually.
- Grasping at Straws: occurs when a desperate attempt is made to find some reason to believe a desired lie. In these situations, reasons are given that don’t even come close to what could be considered rationality. EXAMPLE “The trend toward cooler temperatures over the last decade is caused by global warming. If you don’t understand that, you don’t understand how science works.”
- Appeal to Pragmatism Fallacy / Pragmatic Fallacy / Appeal to Convenience / Pragmatism / Appeal to Utility / Argumentum Ad Convenientiam: occurs when what appears to be the easiest path/course is taken simply because it appears easy or when an argument is made that because something has a practical advantage it is true. This is not to say that there are not better, more efficient ways to do things. However, there are things that are wrong that seem to be easy. EXAMPLE “This is much more practical way. Just cheat (or steal/lie).” EXAMPLE Sandy: “Christianity is true because it preaches love and caring for other people. Virtually all the hospitals, universities, and organizations that help people were founded as Christian organizations. Therefore, Christ exists.” Sandy gave us a lot of true information, but the information doesn’t prove that Christianity is true or that Christ exists. Those who actually follow Christ know that He exists and the He is all that He says that He is. They know this because they know Him, not because of a theory that He is good for society—even though He is good for society.
- Appeal to Fake Hope: occurs when fake hope becomes the reason for believing something. This is related to wishful thinking. The hope that God gives is a vision of reality, of how things will be in the future. God’s faith and God’s hope are closely related, but both can be counterfeited. When they are counterfeited, a fallacy is committed.'
- Appeal to Intuition: occurs when intuition is the only reason for believing something that is either true or false. Intuition is one of the human senses and is not to be ignored. However, it must be checked using other sources of knowledge. Feelings, intuitions, reasonings, and observations can be tricked. The human mind can be easily deceived. Only by acknowledging the leading of the Holy Spirit moment by moment can we move toward understanding. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through the intuition, but there are other things that can speak to us through the intuition. God has built into the Scriptural order of the Church, a system of checks and balances to prevent wild errors.
- Appeal to Mystery: occurs when the lack of understanding is given as the reason for believing. EXAMPLE Bill Nye, explaining how consciousness came to matter: “This would be a fantastic discovery that would change the world. The nature of consciousness is a mystery; I challenge the young people here to investigate that very question.” EXAMPLE Bill Nye answering the question, "Where did the atoms that created the big bang come from?": "This is a great mystery! You’ve hit the nail on the head. No. Uh, the, what was before the Big Bang? This is what drives us. This is what we want to know. Let’s keep looking. Let’s keep searching."
- Argument from Design: occurs when the only argument that something is designed (think of the space shuttle) is that it looks designed. This is a very targeted fallacy that is generally not used against the design of the space shuttle but against the Creation of the Universe by God. It is a fallacy in this sense: just because the space shuttle looks designed, we cannot say absolutely that it is designed based on how it looks. Perhaps it fell together by chance. However, we have other evidence. We have the testimony of the designers. In the same way, the reason we know that God created the Heavens and the Earth in six days is because we know the Creator God. We know Jesus Christ. And those who won’t acknowledge Jesus Christ are without excuse because the Creator God has revealed Himself to them through the things that He created. They just refuse to acknowledge Him as He speaks to them through the Creation. EXAMPLE "The reason we know that God created the Universe is that everything looks designed." This is not how we know. We know because God reveals Himself through the Creation. He also reveals Himself through the Bible. This is so much the case that those who deny it are without excuse. God knows their innermost minds and reveals that they do so because they love darkness rather than light.
- Untestability: occurs when a theory/story is put forward, but there is no way to test the theory/story. Stories about history often fall into this classification, especially if they go beyond the written historical accounts and written artifacts of that day. EXAMPLE There is no way to test the big-bang story. There is no way to test the billions-of-years story. There is no way to test the no-flood story. There is no way to test the molecules-to-man story. FALLACY ABUSE Sandra: "The trouble with believing in Jesus Christ is that this is not testable." Roxanne: "Actually, it is totally testable, but you would need to look at the evidence. You see, everyone who prays to Him persistently and sincerely with respect, humility, and a will to do His will does find Him. You can test it any time you are willing." This is a very common fallacy abuse that is used against God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, along with interactions when God. It is actually circular reasoning, since it is presupposed that God doesn't exist, and then the presupposition is used to try to deny the experiences. Of course, once the presupposition becomes part of the worldview, anything that conflicts with the worldview will automatically seem bazaar. So, to a person who has adopted these presupposition into his or her worldview, it seems unreal to know that people are having real, ongoing leading and teaching from the Holy Spirit or that they really (not euphemistically) have Christ infused into them.
- Imaginary Evidence: occurs when evidence for a conclusion rests on something known to be fantasy. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: "On CSI, there is no distinction made between historical science and observational science. These are constructs unique to Ken Ham. . . . I’m looking for explanations of the creation of the world as we know it based on what I’m going to call science. Not historical science. Not observational science. Science. Things that each of us can do akin to what we do, we’re trying to out-guess the characters on murder mystery shows, on crime scene investigation especially." Bill took an imaginary show and used it as evidence for real life. Using a fictional story as an illustration would have been fine, but he is using it as proof that there is no difference between observation and arbitrary assumption.
- Monopolizing the Question / Hypophora: occurs when a question is asked and then immediately answered by the same speaker/writer. This is not necessarily a fallacy, nor is it necessarily a method of deception. It is a presentation technique. If the answer given is not true, then it is a fallacy. It would be a fallacy to listen to the question and answer given and just take for granted that the answer given was the correct answer to the question. EXAMPLE Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: "There’s a question that troubles us all from the time that we are absolutely the youngest and first able to think, and that is, ‘Where did we come from?’ Where did I come from? And this question is so compelling that we’ve invented the science of astronomy. We’ve invented life science. We’ve invented physics. We’ve discovered these natural laws, so that we can learn more about our origin and where we came from. To you, when it says, ‘He invented the stars also,’ that’s satisfying. You’re done. Oh! Good! To me, when I look at the night sky, I want to know what’s out there. I’m driven. I want to know if what’s out there is any part of me, and, indeed, it is." This is the fallacy of monopolizing the question because Bill is making a wild assertion, an outright lie. It is Carl Sagan's old lie that we are made of stardust. There is no scientific evidence for this, and God says that it's not true. God says that He formed us out of the dust of the ground on day six.
- Fallacy of Antecedent / Fallacy of Time: occurs when one of two things is assumed--"It never happened before, so it never will happen." or "It happened, so it will happen again. Neither of these can be proven to be true. (The only exception would be if God were to reveal something about the future.) The problem with these assertions is that they both assume that the future is identical to past. Also, to make any statements about the past that you cannot directly observe will require many assumptions. A good question to ask is, "What makes you think so?" EXAMPLE "God has not intervened in history by fire. We have no historical record of such a thing. Therefore, He will not judge the world with fire in the future.”
- Faulty Sign / Faulty Predictor: occurs when an observable event or circumstance is erroneously assumed to be a predictor of another event or circumstance.
- Pretentious Antecedent: occurs when the first part of a hypothetical proposition is either merely assumed momentarily or is just briefly mentioned then, later, it is treated as if it were a fully proven fact.
- Pretentious Premise: occurs when a premise (proof for something) is either merely assumed momentarily or is just briefly mentioned, then, later, it is treated as if it were a fully proven fact.
Last updated: Sep, 2014
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Fallacy
Proof Surrogate / Evidence Surrogate
Error in Observation
Misrepresenting the Facts Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Distorted Evidence
Logical Fallacy of Unverified Evidence
Logical Fallacy of Hysteron Proteron
The Logical Fallacy of Unsubstantiated Inference
Assuming Facts Not In Evidence
Logical Fallacy of Wishful Thinking
Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Worldview / Appeal to Fake-Reality / Appeal to Paradigm / Appeal to Confirmation Bias
Logical Fallacy of Slippery Slope
Logical Fallacy of Limited Scope
Logical Fallacy of Mind Reading
Logical Fallacy of Shoehorning
Logical Fallacy of Confirmation Bias
Sacred Cow Fallacy
Fantasy Projection / Worldview Projection / Fake-Reality Projection / Paradigm Projection / Context Projection
Group Think Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Context Imposition
The Logical Fallacy ofAmazing Familiarity
Stolen Concept Fallacy / Smuggled Concept Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Weak Inference
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Theoretical Stories
The Logical Fallacy of Anecdotal Evidence Presented as Scientific Evidence / Personal Testimony Presented as Scientific Evidence
Logical Fallacy of Dismissing All Personal Testimony
Logical Fallacy of Rewriting History / Have it Your Way
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Model
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Assumption
Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Incredulity / Personal Belief / Personal Conviction
Logical Fallacy of Argument by Lack of Imagination
Logical Fallacy of Argument by Imagination
The Logical Fallacy of Capturing the Naive / Argumentum ad Captandum / Argumentum ad Captandum Vulgus
Logical Fallacy of Argument from Personal Astonishment
Logical Fallacy of Special Pleading
Logical Fallacy of Variant Imagization
Logical Fallacy of Self-Exclusion
Logical Fallacy of Unintended Self-Inclusion
Ad Personam Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Assertion / Proof by Repeated Assertion
Logical Fallacy of Cherishing the Zombie
Logical Fallacy of Argumentum Ad Lapidem
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Understatement / Misunderstanding by Understatement
Logical Fallacy of Proof by Logical Tautology
Logical Fallacy of Proof by False Declaration of Victory
Logical Fallacy of Assumption Correction Assumption
False Criteria Fallacy / Fallacy of Questionable Criteria
Logical Fallacy of Cutting Off Discussion / Summary Dismissal
Logical Fallacy of Thought-Terminating Cliche / ClicheThinking
Logical Fallacy of Truism
Logical Fallacy of the Perfect Solution / Nirvana Fallacy / Perfect Solution Fallacy / Perfectionist Fallacy
Just In Case Fallacy / Worst Case Scenario Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Unwarranted Extrapolation
Logical Fallacy of Untestability
Logical Fallacy of Subjectivity / Relativist Fallacy / Subjectivist Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Bizarre Hypothesis/Theory / Far-Fetched Hypothesis/Theory
Logical Fallacy of Least Plausible Hypothesis
Logical Fallacy of Extravagant Hypothesis / Complex Hypothesis Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Privileging the Hypothesis
Logical Fallacy of Canceling Hypotheses
Logical Fallacy of Appeal to False Faith
Logical Fallacy of False Appeal to Heaven / Appeal to Heaven / Gott Mit Uns / Manfest Destiny / Special Covenant
Logical Fallacy of Inaccurate Models
Logical Fallacy of Hedging / Having Your Cake / Failure to Assert / Diminished Claim / Failure to Choose Sides / Talking out of Both Sides of Your Mouth / If by Whiskey
Preacher's "We" / Salesman's "We" / Politician's "We" Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Nature
Logical Fallacy of Experimenter Bias
Fallacy of the Crucial Experiment
Logical Fallacy of Argument from Hearsay / Telephone Game / Chinese Whispers / Anecdotal Evidence / Volvo Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Ad Hoc Rescue / Ad Hoc Hypothesis
The Logical Fallacy of Hindsight Bias / Knew-it-all-Along Effect / Creeping Determinism
Logical Fallacy of Continuum / Argument of the Beard / Fallacy of the Beard / Heap Fallacy / Heap Paradox Fallacy / Bald Man Fallacy / Continuum Fallacy / Line Drawing Fallacy / Sorites Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Argument from Fallacy / Argumentum Ad Logicam
Logical Fallacy of Inflation of Conflict
Logical Fallacy of Infinite Regress / Homunculus Argument
The Logical Fallacy of Reification / Anti-Conceptual Mentality Fallacy / Attributing Concreteness to the Abstract / Concretism / Hypostatization Fallacy / Objectification
Logical Fallacy of Reification / Personification
Logical Fallacy Slothful Induction
Logical Fallacy of Superstitious Thinking / Magical Thinking
Logical Fallacy of Meaningless Question
Logical Fallacy of Proving Non-Existence
Argumentum ad Imaginibus
Statement of Conversion Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Outdated Information
Logical Fallacy of Argument by Laziness
Quantum Physics Fallacy
Fallacious Abstraction Fallacy
Appeal to the Untested / Appeal to the Unknown Fallacy
Grasping at Straws
Appeal to Pragmatism Fallacy / Pragmatic Fallacy / Appeal to Convenience / Pragmatism / Appeal to Utility / Argumentum Ad Convenientiam
Appeal to Fake Hope
Appeal to Intuition Fallacy
Appeal to Mystery Fallacy
Argument from Design Fallacy
Fallacy of Imaginary Evidence
Monopolizing the Question / Hypophora
Fallacy of Antecedent / Fallacy of Time
Faulty Sign / Faulty Predictor Fallacy
Logical Fallacy of Pretentious Premise
Encyclopedia of Logical Fallacies
Toons & Vids
Fallacies of Presumptions, Bare Assertions, and Lies (using no evidence at all)
Fallacies of Flawed Evidence
Fallacies of Limiting Presuppositions
Fallacies of Contradiction
Fallacies of Comparison
Fallacies of Choice
Fallacies of Cause
Fallacies of Circular Reasoning
Fallacies of Non Sequitur
Fallacies of Invalid Form
Fallacies of Ambiguity
Relevance Fallacies of Authority
Relevance Fallacies of Emotion
Relevance Fallacies of the Source: Person, Organization, Book, etc.
Relevance Fallacies of Pressure
Relevance Fallacies of Distraction/Misdirection
Fallacies of Omission
Tactics and Mind Games
Faulty Conclusions that Affect Future Reasoning
Answer to Critic
Answer to Critic
Appeal to Possibility
Argument to the Future
Love Between a Man and Woman
Righteousness & Holiness
Proof by Atheism
Scriptures About Marriage
The Reason for Rejecting Truth
Witness on the Internet
Flaky Human Reasoning
How Do You Know?
The Real Purpose of the Church
The Real Purpose of Life
From Glory to Glory
REAL Faith--What it IS & IS NOT
REAL Love--What it IS & IS NOT
How to be Led by God
How to Witness
Wisdom: Righteousness & Reality
Holiness & Mind/Soul
Redemption: Free From Sin
Stories Versus Revelation
Circular Reasoning-Who is Guilty?
How Can We Know Anything?
Mind Designed to Relate to God
Answers for the Confused
Fossil Record Says: "Creation"
Avoid These Pitfalls
Public School's Religion
Public School Failures
How can we know anything about anything?
That's the real question