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March 5, 2011

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Q: Does Ken Ham commit logical fallacies?

A: After watching Jason Lisle’s Ultimate Apologetics DVD set, a supporter of Answers in Genesis wrote the following feedback:

. . . in Ken Ham's lectures I question some of his logic. . . . Ken says, "If there was a global flood, we would expect to find dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth, and we do find dead things buried in rock layers all over the earth. The evidence is crying out to us that there was a global flood." . . . doesn't Ken's reasoning represent examples of the logical fallacies: affirming the consequent and reification?

It is important to consider the fact that Ken Ham was not debating but lecturing. When lecturing, people tend to use various methods of communication to get their points across and make the audience think about what is being said. In an official debate, the debaters make formal statements, but in a lecture-type setting, we can expect communication devices like rhetorical questions, allegories, and even reification.

The key item we need to recognize when applying these logical fallacies in the real world is that they are mainly applied in formal debates and formal writing. Moreover, if we applied these fallacies like reification to everyday language, we would see people making many “logical fallacies,” and communication would become boring and dull. Nonetheless, we should still avoid allegorical or poetic language when making concluding statements about debatable topics—just to make sure we are clearly explaining our point.

Read the full response to this question on our website.

News to Note Quick Look

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