Thursday, December 14, 2006

Bad arguments

Today I got particularly annoyed when I once again saw the sponsored link on my gmail to "DNA analysis concludes [DNA proof that Man did not evolve from monkeys. PhD in microbiology]". Now I won't link to it directly through that sentence, but rather through a sentence like "An example of bad argumentation" or "Logical fallacies" or even "Creationist propaganda".
The above-mentioned article (linked three times) is an example of how you can quote perfectly sound arguments and make their conclusions sound like they support your own point of view. If you are educated in genetics and/or molecular biology, you will know much more about the reasoning behind the shown quotes, and you can pin-point exactly where these authors make wrong conclusions. Sometimes it is due to lack of knowledge of the subject, e.g. when they say that a differing chromosome number between organisms makes evolutionary relationship unlikely. In other circumstances they plainly ignore the scientific method, and use a sub-conclusion out of context, e.g. when Elaine Morgan refers to an event that happened to the human lineage and not to the ancestors of chimps and gorillas, they conclude from her quote: "That “something” actually is “Someone”—the Creator."

If they pay per click they get via google-links, I hope they will get a lot of clicks. On the other hand, I am afraid that people with no scientific background might accept their conclusions as true.

Read more about logical fallacies in The Fallacy Files.

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Blogger QrazyQat said...

Pretty sad when they start quoting Elaine Morgan. :) The authors of the piece are a pair -- Thompson fired from his post at Apologetics Press after accusations of molesting young boys; Harrub is the guy who was taken in by Discover magazine's 1997 April Fools joke about Neanderthal bagpipes and marching bands.

7:30 PM  

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