Godspell Follies

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

huff & puff

Straw man

Creationists, idists, and proids frequently create straw man arguments, and then huff and puff and blow the straw man down. The frequency of this argument within creationist propaganda is a reaction to the much stronger argument presented by evidential and experimental science. Confronted with the facts of scientific knowledge, creationists and proids typically retreat into denial or arguments from incredulity. For this reason, I believe that there is often little point in explaining the facts of science to those who have a strong emotional need to believe in some form of creationism.

The point mutation is one tool of the fallacious straw man argument – creationists argue that mutations at a single locus (position) within a chromosome could not be responsible for macroevolution. The argument is fallacious because evolutionary biologists do not claim that point mutations are responsible for biological evolution, whether microevolution or macroevolution, rather they have demonstrated that other sources of genetic variation are far more important. It is meaningless to attack science through an argument that is already established within science – there simply ceases to be an argument, except with the erroneous conclusions drawn by creationists.

In their fallacious straw man arguments, creationists and idists huff and puff against a weakened version of science, and hence a weakened version of the natural world. Creationists ignore the facts in order to support their arguments against the fact of biological evolution, and no argument can be considered cogent when it deliberately, or ignorantly, misrepresents facts. The argument may have emotional appeal to those who are committed to a belief in the Special Creation of Genesis, but the argument does not achieve its ends within the realm of logic.

The Straw Man Fallacy "Straw Man is one of the commonest of fallacies. It is endemic in public debates on politics, ethics, and religion. . . . The Straw Man is a type of Red Herring because the arguer is attempting to refute his opponent's position, and in the context is required to do so, but instead attacks a position—the "straw man"—not held by his opponent." :


Index Refuting ID

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1 Comments:

Blogger qtr 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

12:20 PM  

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