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Logical Fallacy of Moving the Goal Posts / Gravity Game / Raising the Bar


Logical Fallacy of Moving the Goal Posts / Raising the Bar

The logical fallacy of moving the goal posts / gravity game / raising the bar occurs when the criteria of proof keeps moving repeatedly. This is often the other side of hedging fallacies.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Moving the Goal Posts / Raising the Bar / Argument by Demanding Impossible Perfection

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)

Bill Nye arguing against Creation science: "You never, ever find a higher animal mixed in with a lower one. You never find a lower one trying to swim its way to the higher one. And by the way, anyone here, really, if you can find one example of that—one example of that anywhere in the world, the scientists of the world challenge you, they would embrace you, you would be a hero, you would change the world if you could find one example of that anywhere. People have looked, and looked, and looked. They’ve not found a single one.”

This is the logical fallacy of the outright lie, just as it was the previous time that Bill Nye stated it. It is true that not every type of living thing is found in every rock layer, but there is a lot of mixing, and there are many methods to hide the mixing. Not only fossils, but index fossils are found out of place all the time. Out of place, in this context, means in the layers where evolutionists don't expect them. What can be observed is the kind of sorting one would expect if there were a worldwide, catastrophic flood. We would not expect that a rudimentary sea animal, a trilobite, or a clam would be able to swim up through many feet of the muck and mud that rapidly buried them. We would expect that mammals would try to escape or swim, either not fossilizing at all or being buried much higher in the deposited muck. We find a general sorting but some inconsistencies. "Creationists have long recognized this ordering in the fossil record and have related it to the progressive destruction of ecological habitat as the transgressing waters of the Genesis Flood reached higher and higher topographical regions of the planet." (John Baumgartner) There are all sorts of work-arounds for this, as the articles below document. The data is often ignored, since it doesn't seem to make sense through the filter of the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story: the logical fallacy of using a worldview as a filter for evidence. Dates of rocks are thrown out, cherry-picking data until the remaining data fits the desired stories: the logical fallacy of card-stacking. Sometimes the fossil is renamed to an entirely different family of living thing, even though it is identical to the index fossil: the logical fallacy of denialism. Sometimes a special case is made with new assumptions to interpret the data and new stories as an ad hoc rescue fallacy and special pleading. Sometimes, the ranges of the index fossil are changed: the logical fallacy of hedging. Sometimes the index fossil is no longer used as an index fossil and new index fossils are chosen: the logical fallacy of hedging. Books have been written about this problem. It really hurts the credibility of science when this type of behavior and dogmatism takes place, not being open to new ideas that fit the data better. It is dishonest to doctor the data to fit a made-up story. On the other hand, there is nothing that can be observed using any scientific equipment that in any way conflicts with the divine revelation that we receive from God as He speaks to us through Genesis and the rest of the Bible.

Rocky: "Without an objective morality, we would all be lost morally as a race."

Sandy: "Many would say that we are."

Rocky: "But God is the standard of objective morality.  Prove that wrong!"

Rocky is asking Sandy to prove a universal negative that Sandy never proclaimed. Now, had Rocky said, "God is the standard of objective morality, and I have that by revelation." and Sandy had said, "No. There is no revelation, and there is no God and there is no objective reality." Then Sandy would have committed three counts of the logical fallacy of universal negative and would be obligated to prove his allegations or be shown to be irrational.

Darwin said that an innumerable number of transitional forms would be found, otherwise his story about evolution would be disproved. When they were not found, just-so stories were made up to cover for this, and new potential falsifications were made up. When those were met, they were likewise discarded, and new falsifications were developed. "evolutionists are forced to backpedal, thus ‘moving the goalpost’ of conceivable convergence."

The goal posts keep moving for what would falsify evolution. Several have been published, but when they have been met, they went away and new ones were established. The discipline of science demands that any theory be falsifiable. However, the story of molecules-to-man evolution has a long history of moving the goal posts in this regard. This has become such a problem that many Atheist sites have taken up rationalizations for the fallacy.

Rocky: "The reason that I believe in God is because I know Jesus Christ personally, just as every person who follows Christ is led by Him. It is a moment-by-moment, ongoing, personal experience."

Sandy: "All your evidence, all your beliefs boil down to one thing only: personal revelation. And it doesn't mean anything to me."

Rocky: "It may mean nothing to you, but it means everything to me. And you can personally verify Jesus Christ to yourself simply by receiving Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Of course, you must be sincere and come in submission, with a will to obey and walk in His love, since God will not be mocked and He absolutely knows your mind much better than you do."

Sandy: "I will not accept that as evidence. I will only believe when the majority of scientists believe and when they are able to analyze God using material instruments in repeated experiments."

Sandy wants to reduce God to be non-God and then he will believe in Him. He rejects every other form of evidence and won't even examine it.


Last updated: Aug, 2014
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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Stacking the Deck / Cherry Picking / Cherry Picking Data / Suppressed Evidence / Fallacy of Incomplete Evidence / Argument from Selective Observation / Argument by Half-Truth / Card Staking / Fallacy of Exclusion

Logical Fallacy of Ambiguity Effect

McNamara Fallacy

Head in the Sand / Ostrich Fallacy

Suppression of the Agent Fallacy

Fading Affect Bias / FAB

"What I Don't Know Is Not Important" / Unteachable Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Selective Refutation

Logical Fallacy of A-Priorism

Logical Fallacy of Audiatur Et Altera Pars / Failure to State Assumptions

Error of Ignoring Historical Example

Logical Fallacy of Overlooking Secondary Consequences

Uncontrolled Factors Fallacy

Missing Link Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Moving the Goal Posts / Gravity Game / Raising the Bar

Gravity Game Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Demanding Impossible Perfection / Unfalsifiable Claims / Demanding Impossible Evidence

Unfalsifiable Claims Fallacy / Unfalsifiability / Untestibility

The Invincible Ignorance Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance / Ad Ignorantiam / Argument from Ignorance / Argument from a Lack of Evidence

Logical Fallacy of Ad Ignorantiam Question

God of the Gaps Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument from Silence / Argumentum Ex Silentio

Logical Fallacy of No True Scotsman (a type of stacking the deck)

No True Scientist Fallacy

Fallacy of Opposition

Frozen Abstraction Fallacy

Falsified Inductive Generalization Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument from the Negative

Logical Fallacy of a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid / Accident Fallacy

Converse Accident Fallacy / Reverse Accident Fallacy

Best-in-Field Fallacy

Abductive Fallacy / Retroduction Fallacy / Retroductive Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Denialism / Denial

Logical Fallacy of Reductionism / Oversimplification

Persimplex Responsum Fallacy / Very Simple Answer Fallacy / Very Simple Solution Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Reductionism / Oversimplification

Taboo Fallacy



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