Saturday, March 5, 2011

Does Ken Ham commit logical fallacies?

More Answers in Genesis newsletter fun! Today, we are posed with the question, "Does Ken Ham commit logical fallacies?" And the answer is, "of course he does!" But we already knew that. We've known it for a long time. We've always known it about all modern creationists. Here's the quote in question.
. . . 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?
Sometimes it's easier save your breath when fighting a losing battle and simply start moving the goalposts.
It is important to consider the fact that Ken Ham was not debating but lecturing.
Ooooooh, got it. It's ok to commit logical fallacies if you're lecturing. I mean, we wouldn't want those pastors to lose their jobs either!
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.
Various methods like logical fallacies, obviously.
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.
And affirming the consequent. And appeals to authority. And appeals to popularity. And on, and on.
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.
It's funny how you focus so much on reification in place of the more glaring affirming the consequent Instead of simply waving away the logical fallacies espoused, perhaps you could actually put forth evidence for things like a global flood. Explain how creationism predicts finding animals at specific rock layers that correspond to ages of the earth that coincidentally match stages in evolutionary development. Explain how your global flood hypothesis is immune to geochemistry, paleontology, or geochronology. Explain where all the water came from and where it went, because you haven't done one of these things yet.
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.
Tell that to your god.