Introductory Logic (Appealing to Consequences)

I believe watching “Expelled: No intelligence allowed” could probably be fun, although I’ve never watched it! As far as the trailer shows, and as far as what can be read in reviews (such as in Scientific America) it shows such a disgraceful dishonesty in presenting science and evolution that we should call it a fun fictional movie instead of a documentary!

But aside  from such sack of lies and propaganda, there is a huge flaw in the argument presented by the movie: “Evolution is wrong (and cannot be accepted), because it leads to Fascism.”

Of course it does not, but for the sake of this post, let’s assume that it does. Fascism is obviously very wrong, but interestingly enough, even if evolution “does” lead to Fascism, no one can possibly suggest that it is wrong based on that assumption. This is what is called “Appealing to consequences” or “argumentum ad consequentiam”, and in this case comes from the fact that scientists did not derive the theory of evolution from Fascism, nor did Darwin himself, but they conducted probably thousands of scientific experiments in order to verify (or falsify) evolution.

If anyone wants to challenge evolution, he/she should either conduct a scientific experiment that can falsify evolution, or reject the scientific method entirely. This movie does neither, therefore it’s attack on evolution is the perfect textbook case of appealing to consequences, and can be used as a good example in teaching of fallacies.

__________________________

But no. There is actually another perfect example of such fallacy done by the infamous “Bananaman” (Ray Comfort), when he published a “modified” version of Darwin’s “The Origin Of Species”. He wrote an introduction on the book, full of his usual stupidity and ignorance, and our example is from there:

“In promoting the idea that humans were merely animals and accidents of nature, the natural consequence of Darwinism was to overturn the traditional Judeo-Christian values on the sacredness of human life. The legacy of Darwin’s theory can be seen in the rise of eugenics, euthanasia, racism, infanticide, and abortion.”

Well, even better: This guy goes exactly by the textbook case of the fallacy, trying to discredit the first statement (which is an ad hominem by the way) by asserting what he thinks are its undesirable immediate consequences.

The only people able to present this kind of childish sheer ignorance, even on the most basic level of thinking, are fundamentalist zealots like Ray Comfort or Ben Stein.

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thetruthfulheretic

Dear fellow Homo sapiens, or if you prefer conscious mammals! And of course, friends nonetheless: I created my blog in order to speak my very weird mind, mostly about three subjects (as I identify myself and my state of mind with them): Atheism, as I was born in the Middle East and saw and felt the affects of Islam; Homosexuality and equal rights, as a gay man who has tasted the Homophobia and also Sexism in that society; and Liberalism and political philosophy, which I think is a good ground for secular values and criticism of fundamentalism. If you wish, visit and join your state of mind to mine. I hope they don't short circuit!

4 thoughts on “Introductory Logic (Appealing to Consequences)”

  1. Please don’t call someone stupid, when you are writing a critique of something you have not even bothered to watch. “Expelled” is the story of several scientists who were persecuted for having anti-darwinian ideas.
    Ben Stein, is neither a fundamentalist, nor a Christian.

  2. No, I did not call Stein stupid on this post (although I think he might be that, based on interviews I’ve seen from him on this subject), nor I called him a Christian. If you read it, you realize the only time I used “stupid” is for Ray Comfort.

    Funny you should call them scientists. Maybe we should re-define what it means to be a scientist?!

    And who do you think a fundamentalist is? Is it other than someone prepared to ignore the basics of logic and reason in favour of his so called “values”?

    And no, I did not bother watching it, though I bothered reading about what it had to say.

  3. I will aks you, which scientists did the movie feature?
    By what logic and proof do you use to say that they are not scientists?
    But I am guessing you cannot answer either of those questions.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed#Richard_Sternberg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed#Caroline_Crocker
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expelled:_No_Intelligence_Allowed#Guillermo_Gonzalez
    If they were not scientists what were they? Or is a scientist someone who only things the way Richard Dawkins thinks?
    Please also note the defination of fundamentalism:
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fundamentalist

    1. Ha! At this point you do realize that you’re not objecting to my point in the post at all. So this part is clear. In the link presented in my post (Scientific America), you can find good information about the misinformation presented in this movie about the same so called scientists.

      That being cleared (I assume you will read that for yourself), I wonder if you know the case of N-Rays that were “discovered” by a French physicist called Blondlot. Those turned out to be a hoax (or a mistake), but now you may think how that is relevant to your reply?

      It is relevant, because when Blondlot failed to recognize his mistake, he lost his credibility as a physicist. Was it Fascism on scientific communities part? No: There are no N-Rays, there never were.

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