Logical Fallacies Definition: Errors in logic or misuse of methods when used in debate or argumentation.
Circular ReasoningInfinite RegressNon-SequiturPost Hoc FallacyCircumstantial EvidenceEither-Or FallacyPersonificationAnalogyReductionismAuthorityExtrapolationStatisticsBest-in-Field FallacyShifting the Burden of ProofSelf-Referential (Self-Refuting) Fallacy PROPAGANDA TACTICS • SMOKESCREENS
Circular Reasoning (begging the question, special pleading, petitio principii, a priori reasoning)
Definition: Assuming what needs to be proved.
Catch-phrase: Horoscopes prove astrology.
Examples: Tautologies: statements that are true but meaningless, or have a conclusion that just restates the premise; or identities, such as boys will be boys, a rose is a rose, it’s not over till it’s over, 4 - 2 = 9 - 7, etc. Deafness is caused by hearing loss All bachelors are unmarried men Nothing succeeds like success. Things are as they are because they were as they were. The meaning of life is to live a life of meaning. Operational definitions: Temperature is what thermometers measure. What does a thermometer measure? Temperature. Operationalism in philosophy of science:Science is what scientists do. What do scientists do? Science. Inventing inflation theory to save naturalistic cosmology from the evidence of fine-tuning, then calling inflation evidence for naturalistic cosmology. Natural Selection translates into survival of the survivors or the fitness of the fit. Using index fossils to date the rock layers, and then using the rock layers to date the fossils they contain. Using homology both as explanation of evolution and proof for it: “If an intelligent being had designed both a fish and Sophia Loren from scratch, there’s no way, if evolution hadn’t occurred, that her arm would have had any internal resemblance to a fish’s [sic]. The similarity in anatomy is clear evidence of evolution; the fish’s forelimb [sic] and Sophia’s show a common ancestry” (Jared Diamond, Discover 6/85, p.91 Using the geologic column as descriptive of evolution and also as evidence for it Assuming long ages for radioactive half-lives, then using them to prove long ages. Inventing a term as if it explains something: e.g., convergent evolution used as both an explanation and an evidence for Darwinian origin of like characteristics in unlike organisms.
Cohen’s Law: What really matters is the name you succeed in imposing on the facts – not the facts themselves.