Saturday, February 9, 2013

An exercise in logical fallacies

I've been looking forward to dissecting this video for a while. Enjoy!

“An atheist is asked, 'who made you?' and they answer 'nobody, nothing.'”

Strawman: Atheism makes no claim about where people come from.

“We, as a creation, are a result of the Big Bang.”

Assumed Conclusion: We are only a creation if one presupposes the existence of a creator.

“We are the result of evolution, which brought life into existence.”

Strawman: Evolution makes no claim about the origin of life.

“Before the [Big Bang] explosion, there was a primordial dust cloud.”

Strawman: The Big Bang model explicitly holds that dust clouds could not have formed until after the Big Bang. In addition, the model holds that time began with the Big Bang; since “before” is a concept that depends on the existence of time, “before the Big Bang” is a nonsensical idea.

“If there is one thing we know from science, it is that we do not get something from nothing.”

Strawman: The Big Bang does not claim that the universe came from nothing.

Strawman: Science makes no claim about “nothing,” since to the best of our knowledge, there are no examples of “nothing” to test.

“...yet we are to believe that this supposedly random event led to the perfection of the universe as we know it?”

Unsupported assertion: No support is given for the idea that the universe is perfect, nor is any explanation given of what that means.

“This is an example in which science contradicts science.”

Oxymoron: While one scientific hypothesis may contradict another hypothesis or a known principle, the idea that science as a whole contradicts itself is nonsensical.

“Entropy is the principle that unless there is greater control over a process, then the process tends to chaos.”

Strawman: Entropy only hold true in a closed system, which the universe is not.

“If someone does not control the chemical reaction, the result is going to be random and chaos.”

False conclusion: Chemical reactions happen in a consistent, predictable manner.

“If you look at a painting, you know there was a painter... and yet we are to look at creation and believe that there is not a creator.”

Assumed conclusion, per above.

False equivalency: We know that a painting has a painter because it is clearly distinct from nature. The same cannot be said of natural phenomena.

“Natural selection can explain the diversity of life... But how can it explain the soul?”

Unsupported assertion: No support is provided for the idea that such thing as the soul exists.

“You believe in the existence of a human soul. How do you explain this?”

Strawman: Atheists do not believe in the existence of a soul.

“How can you explain life as having evolved?”

Misleading question: The evolution of life is very well-understood and explained by science.

“By life, I mean the power that gives the body, once assembled, the power to live.”

Strawman: Bodies are not assembled; they develop from the union of a sperm and egg cell in a well-understood and predictable manner.

“All of the world's scientists, over all of history can make them [“Frankensteins”] live.”

Strawman: Science has not attempted this in the way that is being suggested. Scientists are, however, capable of cloning living things.

Strawman: The inability of science to accomplish anything at its present state of development does not mean that such a thing is impossible.

“We can not even make the wing of a gnat in the perfection that it is made by our creator.”

False conclusion: Science is in fact capable of cloning gnats.

Assumed conclusion: The existence of a creator has not been established.

“That is why, when a body is dead, science is not able to revive a dead person.”

False conclusion: Medical technology can in fact revive a person who has been dead a very short time.

“There are some who accept that explanation, but I submit to you that it is not of those who are enlightened.”

No True Scotsman: One cannot be enlightened and accept a position other than the one advocated.

The video ends with an extended argument from analogy, claiming that an Arab parable somehow mirrors reality with no support for the intended connection.

1 comment:

  1. The title of this page is all too accurate. Check the title bar.

    DVD Bach's Blog: An exercise in logical fallacies

    To see DVD Bach get soundly refuted check out

    You'll have to scroll down and read all the comments.