Fallacies in argumentation are among the most serious fault that a scientist or anyone else presenting arguments without checking arguments validity can commit. All presented arguments needs to have everyone of their needed premises analysed, one by one. During recent years fallacies tended to be more and more used instead of valid arguments that might lead to a sound conclusion.
Please note that this is not simple. Fallacies are a form of cognitive biases, conscious or unconscious, where arguments used in and or by itself may be true, but still lack full validity for the time and “case” it is used.
Let’s start from the beginning. One of the most “common” fallacies found in the media is a task where it’s refered to an ‘expert’ which the presenter of the arguments involved believe/call for to always or almost always to be trusted due to the “expert”-status. That is not the case. Source Analysis based Purpose and Tendency is always needs to be keep in mind.
argumentum ab auctoritate
Professor X, Professor of Science A presents an argumentation for a thesis. You need to remember that due to the thesis being presented by a professor. That goes for all cases, whether this professor pronounce him-/herself within his/her own scientific field or in other science fields. A thesis or an argument presented by a professor does not mean that the professor is credible because he is a professor. In other words: It does not necessarily mean that the professor’s statement, even if it is within his own territory, is sound and free from biases as well as independent of the influence of research grants from the interest group. Business, individual interest groups, etc. Authority is no safe criterion of credibility.
When ever an argument attacks a person instead of presenting valid arguments for the the own view by a speaker or writer behind a thesis being argued against, that’s one of the worst fallacies of all in Theory of Science. In other words if the arguments used to take down an opponent is related to person or person’s opinion instead of being related to the content of the discussed subject, those arguments aren’t valid arguments and can never ever be used for a sound conclusion.
Commonly found in newspaper articles, in political debates and being used to defend a criticized hypothesis. (cf. the climate debate)
Appeal to fear
When someone use inadequate arguments putting forward that opponent’s are inproper and involves risks for the future to come, without presenting valid arguments to support his/her own view, that is appealing to fear.
Please observe that models using corrected facts due to the thesis presented, never ever can result in a “conclusion” using that as a valid argument in the debate. Circle argumentation doesn’t prove one thing. You can’t use an assumed A can lead to B and B can lead to C as your background or startingpoint or proof that A will lead to C. (That’s basic for logic in Theory of Science as well as for validity of anyones presented arguments in debate)
Have been commonly used by alarmists of Climate Threats – often combined with usage of chosen/incomplete data; models where not all input factors are included. Also commonly used when a political idea should be criticized or attacked on daily basis.
Fallacies of Assumtion
A subjective assumption is a subjective assumption. Often the subjective assumption of an implied condition that is not proven. Or all invidual premisses needed for the assumption to be valid hasn’t been analyses one by one.
The implied condition may be false or true . Before substantiated by independent (!) Facts and Analyse of all known facts, any assumption is to be valued as a subjective assumption. No matter who presented and/or put forward the assumption, assertion or thesis the assumption is to be regarded as false.
Remember that all problems are put forward and discussed, based on a purpose. This purpose is included in the subjective personal opinion of the person who presents and/or attacks the problem “on the table” . One always needs to know where data comes from, who spread from , who said what , when and how and the purpose/-s behind.
Whenever a theory/hypothesis is put forward , the arguments for the hypothesis can be valid or invalid . But it’s more complex than that: It is important to know, that the arguments put forward may be valid but still only leading up to a scientifically untrue conclusion. One of the more famous fallacyexemplen is also known as the proof that the moon is a cheese.
Fallacy from usage of insound premisses
If an argument is valid and its premises are true, the argument is sound. If an argument is not sound it is unsound. An argument can be valid even if its premises are false—but such an argument is unsound. For instance, the following argument is valid but unsound:
Cheese more than a billion years old is stale. The Moon is made of cheese. The Moon is more than a billion years old. Therefore, the Moon is stale cheese.
If all three premises were true, the conclusion would have to be true. The argument is valid despite the fact that the Moon is not made of cheese, but the argument is unsound—because the Moon is not made of cheese. Chapter 16, Propositional Logic, discusses validity and soundness in more detail.
The logical form of the argument just above is (roughly):
For any x, if x is A and x is B then x is C. y is A. y is B. Therefore, y is C. [+]
An argument consists of a sequence of statements. One is the conclusion; the rest are premises. The premises are given as evidence that the conclusion is true. If the conclusion must be true if the premises were true, the argument is valid. A valid argument is sound if its premises are true. Valid arguments result from applying correct rules of reasoning. Examples of correct rules of reasoning include:
• A or not A.
• Not (A and not A).
• A. B. Therefore, A and B.
• A. Therefore, A or B.
• A and B. Therefore, A.
• A or B. Not A. Therefore, B.
• Not A. Therefore, not (A and B).
• Not (A and B). Therefore, (not A) or (not B).
• Not (A or B). Therefore, (not A) and (not B).
• If A then B. A. Therefore, B.
• If A then B. Not B. Therefore, not A.Validity and soundness, Valid rules of reasoning paragraph in Chapter 2 Reasoning and Fallacies, stat.berkeley.edu
”Ignorance of refutation”
Red herring” Irrelevant usage of arguments.
Irrelevance is one of the most commonly used Fallacies. A red warning flag should be rised whenever Ad hominem , argumentum ab auctoritate and Appeal to fear is used.
Whenever someone uses or refers to eg ” Professor X “; “researcher”; ” climate scientists”; “expert”; “scholar” etc the title or usage of a person’s position/work doen’t says anything regaring if the arguments put forward are valid AND at IF they can lead to a credible sustainable conclusion! When someone warns of future dangers, it does not mean that the dangers that were calculated in ever so many models holds for on closer contemplation of premissers reality and credibility.
In an argument rendered premises forming basis of an argument, the argument can itself be valid without being sound in this context it is put forward . The argument then is irrelevant to the issue being discussed. In other words: An argument may be valid , but still the argument could lead to a sustainable conclusion of the current hypothesis.
This fallacy is often known by the Latin name “ignoratio elenchi”, or “ignorance of refutation”. The ignorance involved is either ignorance of the conclusion to be refuted—even deliberately ignoring it—or ignorance of what constitutes a refutation, so that the attempt misses the mark. This explanation goes back to Aristotle’s On Sophistical Refutations, the focus of which is fallacious refutations in debate. As with all of Aristotle’s original fallacies, its application has widened to all arguments.
Logical relevance is itself a vague and ambiguous notion. It is ambiguous in that different types of reasoning involve distinct types of relevance. It is vague in that there is little agreement among logicians about even deductive relevance, with logicians divided into different camps, so-called “relevance” logicians arguing for a more restrictive notion of logical relevance than so-called “classical” logicians.
Another ambiguity of the term “relevance” is that logical relevance can be confused with psychological relevance. The fact that two ideas are logically related may be one reason why one makes you think of the other, but there are other reasons, and the stream of consciousness often includes associations between ideas that are not at all logically related. Moreover, not all logical relations are obvious, so that a logical relationship may not cause a psychological relationship at all.Red herring, fallacyfiles.org
In terms of conclusions drawn from scientific illogical use of argument, the illogical usage hardly ever shines directly into the eyes of reader a “study”. The illogical usage can be there no matter which conclusions drawn. Each performed hypothesis / assumption is based on the subjective interpretation of reality hypothesis researchers / writers. As Gerhard Vollmer wrote:
”Die wichtigkeit oder Bedeutung eines Problems haengt immer auch von subjektiven, bewer tendens Elementen ab” Vollmer Gerhard, Wissenschaftstheorie in Einsatz, Stuttgart 1993
Ex. POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC
English translation: After this, therefore because of this
A common fallacie used by scholars as well as politicians:
Event C happened immediately prior to event E.
Therefore, C caused E.
Forms: Events of type C happen immediately prior to events of type E.
Therefore, events of type C cause events of type E.Post Hoc, fallacyfiles.org
If you don’t look closer at all premises needed to prove E to be a result of C,
If all premises for E to be the only outcome of C have been proven to be true,
than it’s easy to fall in that fallacy-trap.
The Post Hoc Fallacy is committed whenever one reasons to a causal conclusion based solely on the supposed cause preceding its “effect”. Of course, it is a necessay contidion causation that the cause precede the effect, but it is not a sufficient condition. Thus, post hoc evidence may suggest the hypothesis of a causal relationship, which then requires further testing, but it is never sufficient evidence on its own.
Post Hoc also manifests itself as a bias towards jumping to conclusions based upon coincidences. Superstition and magical thinking include Post Hoc thinking; for instance, when a sick person is treated by a witch doctor, or a faith healer, and becomes better afterward, superstitious people conclude that the spell or prayer was effective. Since most illnesses will go away on their own eventually, any treatment will seem effective by Post Hoc thinking. This is why it is so important to test proposed remedies carefully, rather than jumping to conclusions based upon anecdotal evidence.Post hoc, fallacyfiles.org
Example from today’s CO2 threat-discussion. There are hardly any CO2-alarmist who haven’t jumped into this fallacy-trap. While it’s true that CO2 rise (which not have happened yet other than in urban areas and in wind-direction of vulcano eruption) can rise temperature.
Can help to rise that is, For it’s one out of many variables that effect temperature. But while CO2 under many conditions can be a factor it’s not sufficient in itself to prove that heat follow on CO2 rise. On the contrary under some circumstances cold will follow. Now as it did in 1341 AD after a serie of strong vulcanoeruptions causing a rise of CO2 in the air but at the same time also sending out pollutionary microparts of minerals and gases which made it harder for sunshine to pass the atmosphere down to Earth.