Godspell Follies

Refuting the illogic of "intelligent design" and creationism. An illustrated guide to fallacies of logic.


Excuse the pun!

Argumentum ad Logicam : Fallacist's Fallacy : Fallacy Fallacy

In creating a site about fallacies of logic inherent in creationist arguments, the author realizes that pointing out fallacies alone does not render the opponents' conclusions incorrect. Demonstration of the falsity of creationists' claims does require scientific exposition, but that is not the primary purpose of this blog.

It is theoretically possible, on grounds of logic, that creationists' and idists' attacks on science could be well founded. In so far as scientists usually admit that their hypothesis or theory will be subject to subsequent revision, creationists and idists are correct that gaps exist in scientific knowledge. Scientists regularly admit that science has unanswered questions. This is one of the features that makes the study of science interesting. The nature 0f scientific investigation is to incrementally refine the body of understanding. Rarely do scientific discoveries completely overturn previous paradigms.

In this regard, though, it is an argument from ignorance, or thinking from ignorance, to believe that disproving scientific explanations is even possible by idist means, let alone that it could prove the existence of God. Just as a single exposure of a fallacious argument does not overturn creationist arguments, a single gap in scientific knowledge does not discredit the broad subject of scientific understanding. This is a fallacy of composition – extrapolating from a part to the whole. In thinking that attacking elements of science could disprove biological evolution, creationists and idists are themselves committing the argumentam ad logicam fallacy.

Creationist and idist arguments, though often implied rather than being spelled out fully, do not constitute a body of argument remotely as strong as empirical scientific evidence and scientific hypotheses and theories. So, exposure of all or many of the fallacies in creationist and idist arguments is not to commit the fallacist's fallacy.

"It is reasonable to, at least provisionally, reject an improbable proposition for which no adequate evidence has been presented. So, if you can show that all of the common arguments for a certain proposition are fallacious, and the burden of proof is on the proposition's proponents, then you do not commit this fallacy by rejecting that proposition. Rather, the fallacy is committed when you jump to the conclusion that just because one argument for it is fallacious, no cogent argument for it can exist." Fallacy Fallacy

Index Refuting ID

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comment section will be used as a glossary, obviating some of the need to move around the site. If the website’s name shows as blue, you can return to the main page by clicking on “Godspell Follies” or “Home”.

idism = intelligent design theory
idist = intelligent design proponent, for example Behe or Dembski
fodi = fellow of the Discovery Institute, one of the organizations set up for the purpose of promoting intelligent design theory
proid = advocate of intelligent design theory, often an Internet debater

For a full explanation of these terms, see the Illogical Deceit Theory post at: http://refutingid.blogspot.com/2007/12/illogical-deceit-theory.html

7:08 PM  

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