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Logical Fallacy of Marginalizing


Logical Fallacy of Marginalizing

The logical fallacy of marginalizing is an extreme form of the bandwagon fallacy that occurs when it is implied that people holding a certain viewpoint are a fringe group and that their viewpoint is therefore false. As with all bandwagon fallacies, this one uses popular opinion (or implied popular opinion) as the measure of what is true rather than using evidence and logic.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Marginalizing

Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: “Here tonight, we’re gonna have two stories and we can compare Mr. Ham’s story to a story from what I will call the story from the outside, from mainstream science. . . . the story from the outside, from mainstream science. . . . This is what geologists on the outside do. . .Now out there in regular academic pursuits, regular geology" . . . “if as asserted here at this facility . . . Ken Ham’s Creation Model . . . There are billions of people in the world who are devoutly religious. They have to be compatible because those same people embrace science. The exception is you, Mr. Ham, and that’s the problem for me. You want us [the entire population of the world other than Ken Ham?] to take your word for what’s written in this ancient text to be more compelling than what we see around us. . . . science, I mean in the mainstream

Bill Nye, debating Ken Ham, is using the logical fallacy of bandwagon with a particular twist known as marginalization. The very term, mainstream science implies there is a mainstream group and anyone who disagrees with what those folks say is the minority and should just fall in line with the old ideas. This censoring of disagreement within the scientific community was a difficult picture for Bill Nye to paint while still maintaining that Bill Nye’s definition of science is open to new ideas. However, Bill Nye did irrationally maintain both mutually exclusive views throughout the debate, which is the logical fallacy of internal inconsistency. He was plainly holding two mutually exclusive, conflicting, views at the same time.

Bill Nye's implication is that Ken Ham, and, perhaps a small band of his followers, are the only people in the world who believe what God is saying through the Bible. Of course, this is ad hominem since this has nothing to do with Ken Ham. People are following Christ, not Ken Ham. And the entire world can be wrong without affecting the truth one bit.

Bill is using the fallacy of misused statistics for the purpose of persuasion. Throughout the debate, Bill Nye’s main effort was to make those who follow Christ seem like the fringe of society (tactic of marginalizing), when, in fact, over 90% of Americans self-identify as Christians and about half of those take the Bible as it is written. This is both a fallacy of relevance, specifically, bandwagon (How does majority opinion affect reality?) and a fallacy of misused statistics. Since this is all by innuendo rather than direct statement, it is even less subject to challenge. So, there are two points of fallacy: Bill Nye implied that biblical Christianity is a fringe group and the atheistic/agnostic belief system is mainstream. Whether something is fringe or mainstream has no effect on reality, and a reasonable man would not have brought it up.

Last updated: Aug, 2014
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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Appeal to the People / Argumentum ad populum / Bandwagon / Appeal to Common Belief / Peer Pressure

Logical Fallacy of Fake Consensus

Packing the House Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Self-Interest / Appeal to Desire / Appeal to Personal Interest / Homily Ad Hominem (type of)

Logical Fallacy of Marginalizing

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Rugged Individualism / Appeal to the Minority / Authority of the Select Few

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Common Folk / Plain Folks / Appeal to the Common Man / Argumentum Ad Populum

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Logical Fallacy of Peer Pressure

Social Conformance Fallacy

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Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Common Practice / "Everybody’s Doing It"

Logical Fallacy of Snob Appeal / Snob Approach

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Intimidation / Argument from Intimidation

Forestalling Disagreement Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Patriotism



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