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August 29, 2009

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Q: Can you separate the illogic from the logic?

A: One of the most common fallacies committed by evolutionists on the Internet is the fallacy of the question-begging epithet. This could be considered a specific sub-type of begging the question (the fallacy of merely assuming what one is trying to prove).

With the question-begging epithet, the arguer uses biased (often emotional) language to persuade people rather than using logic. For example, if a reporter said,

“This criminal is charged with violently murdering the innocent victim,”

she would be using a question-begging epithet because she has used biased language to make a case that is not yet logically established. It would have been more objective for her to say,

“This suspect is charged with killing the other person.”

Some great examples of question-begging epithets can be found on some evolution internet sites—particularly forums or blogs. I saw one example where an evolutionist wrote,

“Our department is becoming infested with creationists.”

The word infested is emotionally charged and portrays creationists in a bad light without making any argument for this. Another writer stated,

“To be a creationist, you’d have to ignore tons of scientific evidence.”

This remark is the fallacy of the question-begging epithet because it uses biased language (and not logic) to suggest that scientific evidence supports evolution.

Continue reading The Fallacy of the Question-Begging Epithet as Dr. Jason Lisle uses examples to explain why the question-begging epithet is “one of the most common fallacies committed by evolutionists on the Internet.” It’s the fifth article in our Logical Fallacies series.

News to Note Quick Look

They’re catching on: “Creationists will have a field day with this one,” writes one blogger on the news. Bingo. Read more.

The demise of WASP-18b: A recently discovered exoplanet may have been found just in the nick of time—in time for us to witness its demise, that is. Read more.

Also: meet chickenosaurus, Dawkins’ crusade, have your say, and don’t miss . . . . Read more.

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