Godspell Follies

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


Irrelevance crops up in many arguments:

When the argument itself seems logical, yet the conclusion is not relevant to or supported by the line of argument, then the fallacy is ignoratio elenchi (ignorance of the issue). Such problems may occur when the arguer is not responding to the actual question posed.

When the line of argument is off-target for the topic under discussion and distracts from the real topic, then the arguer has tossed a red herring into debate in order to create a smokescreen.

Irrelevant attacks on the arguer or cited authority are ad hominem fallacies. However, if the "authority" who/that has been cited fails as a legitimate authority on one or more grounds, then disputing the expertise or credibility of that person/reference is not an ad hominem fallacy.

Logic and emotion are often at odds. When irrelevant appeals to emotion are incorporated into arguments, then the conclusions drawn by that argument become suspect if the emotion is not specifically related to the topic. To argue that a person will probably enjoy eating chocolate is not necessarily unfounded, though it would not be relevant to discussion about chicken pot pie.

Index Refuting ID

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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

8:06 PM  

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