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Welcome! This is the place to ask the community of experts and other fallacyophites (I made up that word) if someone has a committed a fallacy or not. This is a great way to settle a dispute! This is also the home of the "Mastering Logical Fallacies" student support.


Dr. Bo's Criteria for Logical Fallacies:

  1. It must be an error in reasoning not a factual error.
  2. It must be commonly applied to an argument either in the form of the argument or in the interpretation of the argument.
  3. It must be deceptive in that it often fools the average adult.

Therefore, we will define a logical fallacy as a concept within argumentation that commonly leads to an error in reasoning due to the deceptive nature of its presentation. Logical fallacies can comprise fallacious arguments that contain one or more non-factual errors in their form or deceptive arguments that often lead to fallacious reasoning in their evaluation.

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Ian

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Ian


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Mon, Sep 24, 2018 - 04:40 PM

If one is false, then all are false.

Recently debated a Christian flat earther who said “if one scientific theory is false (evolution), then the theory of gravity is false.” So, “if one theory is false, all of them are.”

What fallacy is this? I’ve tried lookin through the book but can’t fimd it.



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Dreadsen

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Print Wed, Sep 26, 2018 - 08:06 AM
Hasty Generalization Fallacy

Fallacy of Composition

Sweeping Generalization Fallacy

Those are the three that popped up in my mind initially.

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Bo Bennett, PhD
Author of Logically Fallacious

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Bo Bennett, PhD

Author of Logically Fallacious

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About Bo Bennett, PhD

Bo's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime."  Much of his charitable work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think.  His projects include his book, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, and Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies.  Bo's personal blog is called Relationship With Reason, where he writes about several topics related to critical thinking.  His secular (humanistic) philosophy is detailed at PositiveHumanism.com.
Bo is currently the producer and host of The Humanist Hour, the official broadcast of the American Humanist Association, where he can be heard weekly discussing a variety of humanistic issued, mostly related to science, psychology, philosophy, and critical thinking.

Full bio can be found at http://www.bobennett.com
Print Mon, Sep 24, 2018 - 05:47 PM
As much as I would like to say the person is just a moron (i.e., this is a more of a matter of ignorance), I want to apply the most charitable interpretation here, simply because I think someone saying something so idiotic is improbable. It could be the case that this person denies the core of scientific methodology—consistency and universal laws. If it were the case that this foundation is false, then anything built on that foundation is also be false (kind of like building a house with cement that deteriorates after a year... if one house goes down, all the others in the neighborhood that used that same cement will almost certainly follow). In fact, this is how many young earth creationists justify their position: they acknowledge the speed of light, but suggest that it was different in the past (not consistent). They acknowledge radiometric decay but again, will deny that it was always that way. In other words, they reject a core observation in the universe not because of any evidence to the contrary, but because, in their belief system, it just can't be right.
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Michael Chase Walker
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Michael Chase Walker

Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

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About Michael Chase Walker

Michael Chase Walker is an actor, author, screenwriter, producer, and a former adjunct lecturer for the College of Santa Fe Moving Images Department, and Dreamworks Animation. His first motion picture was the animated classic, The Last Unicorn.
Michael was an in-house television writer for the hit television series: He-Man, She-Ra, Voltron, and V, the Series. In 1985, he was appointed Director of Children's programs for CBS Entertainment where he conceived, shaped and supervised the entire 1985 Saturday Morning line-up: Wildfire, Pee Wee's Playhouse, Galaxy High School, Teen Wolf, and over 10
Print Tue, Sep 25, 2018 - 11:37 AM
Hmmm, let's see: false premise, false equivalency, non-sequitur and wraps up with a part-to-whole fallacy (“if one theory is false, all of them are.” ) Obviously the claimant misunderstands the distinction between scientific theory and the general term "theory". Natural Selection is proven science and a fact - not speculation or belief. The idea that organisms can evolve by micro and macroevolution is a fact.

Likewise, Gravity is Physical Law and among The Standard Model of Particles along with Electromagnetism, Weak and Strong Nuclear forces, etc.

The Christian flat earther wrongly equates evolutionary biology with physics and cosmology even though they are possibly two (three) distinct scientific disciplines. AS Dr. Bo explained, the Christian's simple-minded argument is really an attempt to discredit scientific methodology more than anything else. Fortunately, much of that very methodology is about proving weak and implausible beliefs like intelligent design, flat-eartherism, and religious superstition as false, and that is not theory, but a historical fact.

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Michael Chase Walker
Screenwriter, producer, mythoclast

Seasoned Vet

Print Fri, Sep 28, 2018 - 11:51 AM
FYI: I did some further research and discovered this interesting and somewhat obsolete legal philosophy.

Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus is a Latin phrase meaning "false in one thing, false in everything."[2] At common law, it is the legal principle that a witness who testifies falsely about one matter is not credible to testify about any matter.[3] Although many common law jurisdictions have rejected a categorical application of the rule, the doctrine has survived in some American courts.[4]



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Colin P
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 04:03:02 PM
Perhaps someone should explain how it is possible to say something in brackets

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Bo Bennett, PhD
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Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 04:04:18 PM
"something in brackets" - Done ;)

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