Godspell Follies

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

tu quoque

Tu quoque, You too, You also, You're another

An arguer commits a tu quoque fallacy when, in the context of an attack within an argument, the arguer contends that the opponent is behaving is some way in which the arguer is also behaving and it is implied or explicitly stated that the opponent is incorrect to do so.

The tu quoque fallacy is a form of argumentum ad verecundiam combined with the two wrongs make a right fallacy:

Common creationist and proid tu quoque fallacies also involve equivocation, which takes advantage of the ambiguities of vernacular terminology:

"Science is dogma", "evolution is just a theory, so 'id' theory is science and is equally valid", "science is just a matter of faith". These are tu quoques because evolutionists state that religion beliefs are expressed in dogma, idism is not a scientific theory, and religion truly is expected to be a matter of Faith. Such arguments are often employed to divert discussion away from the real point of discussion – they are red herrings. These tu quoques will be addressed in the deliberate ambiguities post.

"Darwinist efforts to use the courts, the media and academic tenure committees to suppress dissent and stifle discussion are in fact fueling even more dissent and inspiring more scientists to ask to be added to the list." [s]

Considering the promises made in The Wedge Document, this statement is glaring example of a tu quoque fallacy – a "you too!" fallacy. The statement was made by Dr. John G. West, associate director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture as justification for the fallacious appeal to authority made in compiling and publishing the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list.

"According to West, it was the fast growing number of scientific dissenters which encouraged the Institute to launch a website -- http://www.dissentfromdarwin.org/ -- to give the list a permanent home." [s]

This may, or may not be the reason for the website. It could equally be that scientists known to have strong religious convictions were approached by the DI, and that the website was launched to advertise the list. Such behavior would be well within the rights of those wishing to promote the 'id' platform. The point is that the list was compiled specifically to sway public and school board opinion, and the statement was made to the media, so the statement is a tu quoque.

Tu quoque statements are along the lines of an abusive husband's saying that he would not have beaten his wife if she had not burnt the toast. Equally, if the wife said that she would burn the toast again because her husband had beaten her, she would be committing a less egregious tu quoque action.

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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

7:12 PM  

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