Circular reasoning, or is it worse?

Consider this:

“When Professor Simpson says that homology is determined by ancestry, and concludes that homology is evidence of ancestry, he is using the circular argument so characteristic of evolutionary reasoning.”
“Evolution and Taxonomy,” Studia Entomologica, Vol. 5, October 1962, p567

I have been debating the merits of evolution and obviously the argument that we know things are related, because they look alike, seems to generally be a dead end argument for evolution supporters. Here’s why: when I ask how we know this, I can’t seem to get an answer, it’s just a given, but there’s a step missing from the reasoning, quite possibly due to the fact that it is easy to counter the argument when it is inserted.

The reasoning that the above quote is questioning, comes from George Gaylord Simpson, and if the veil of clever word usage is removed, the illogical nature of the argument via similarity is revealed to be just more of the same garbage that evolutionists splurge forth in their attempts to make their lack of any solid proof seem like overwhelming evidence.

Homology is similarity as it relates to ancestry (common decent, see definition 2a at dictionary.com,) it is an evolutionary term, which apparently serves to support evolution by avoiding commonly used words to express the same idea, thus removing it from basic public understanding. So, on the surface, “homology is proof of ancestry” is true, purely because homology means similarity by ancestry. This statement thus becomes meaningless, because definition, not the real world, determines it’s truth value, it is true a priory.

Basically, it does reveal the missing premise in the “they are similar therefore they are related” argument. The argument now reads:

Creatures which are related (antecedent) are similar (consequent).
Certain creatures are similar (this affirms the consequent), therefore they are related,

If the fallacy of affirming the consequent is committed, this makes the entire argument illogical, and thus removes it as valid evidence in support of evolution. Even when one attempts to escape the clever use of words, and apparent circular reasoning, one arrives at bad logic.

Essentially all evolutionary arguments of similarity, including the genetic argument can be broken down to this structure. Thus the sacred cow of evolutionary logic, turns out to be bad logic. This does not disprove evolution, but it does prove that if it is the best evidence they have, they have little to work with, and they shouldn’t promote the fallacy that it is a fact. I’m being far more accommodating than the above source in pointing out evolution simply as unproven, the above source continued:

“When he adds that evolutionary developments can be described without paleontological evidence, he is attempting to revive the facile and irresponsible speculation which thorough so many years, under the influence of Darwinian Mythology, has impeded the advance of biology.” (Emphasis added)

Of course this was in 1962, and evolutionists will claim they’ve made huge advances in proving evolution since then, but really, the arguments haven’t changed much.

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12 thoughts on “Circular reasoning, or is it worse?”

    1. I didn’t say they were here, but I assume you’re refering to the biblical “kind” used to defend the flood by reducing the number of animals. The definition of “kind” is interbreeding. The Panthera genus has many hybrids including tiglons and ligers, click on this blue writing.

      1. This could be argued two in ways. Firstly, the idea that there is interspecies breeding could be used to argue that taxonomists got it wrong. Secondly, the fact that this kind of interbreeding occurs supports a smaller quantity of animals on the ark than sites like talk.origins make out.

        I’m not using similarity as a benchmark for relationship, although I do know some creationists who do, whether they have evidence of interbreeding in these cases, I don’t know, but the argument from similarity, you are right, would be equally illogical, no matter who uses it.

        The real issue here isn’t whether it’s true or not, it’s that stacking illogical suppositions can’t lead to a valid, incontrovertible burden of proof. This being the case, in order for science to remain impartial, it would need to continue examining evolution as unproven. This should also lead to the adjustment of all textbooks regarding evolution in oder to not give th false impression that it is necessarily true.

      2. I’d agree with anyone that says, “taxonomists got it wrong”. They do… that’s one on the ongoing debates, how to actually classify something. Heck they still can’t quite agree on what life is exactly or better how to define it.

        I’ll argue. Science puts it’s best idea forward as the “The plan”. Until disproven or a better idea comes along, it’s the way forward.

      3. Ok, so we agree on that, now how about, evolution is not a fact, you seem to be into the “best foot forward argument,” which would involve induction without exception, but we can observe exceptions to evolutionary reasoning, overthrusts for example, or contrary dates by different radiometric dating techniques. This is the point, for science to move forward effectively, it needs to be sceptical of evolution, on the possibility that it isn’t what we think it is.

  1. Once again, a creationist takes a single passage, written decades ago, alters the meaning of the words and squeals about false logic to try discredit Evolution.

    Let me try put this as simply as possible…

    I am not a scientist, biologist or physicist. I am reasonably intelligent and am able to take information from varied sources and form an opinion on how I see the world.

    Consider the sources of information. On the one hand you have religious folk, the church, the bible. On the other we have the scientific community.

    The church and religious people work in absolutes. Black and white. God, devil, hell, heaven.

    The bible was written thousands of years ago, over a period of hundreds of years. Based on very little first hand experience and mostly tales passed down from generation to generation. It was written by imperfect humans. Re-written by other imperfect humans, translated, rewritten, shortened, simplified, lengthened, puffed up, re-translated etc etc until we have the mess today that we call the holy scripture. Now this book, which is meant to be the absolute rule of god was written by people who thought the sun moved around the earth, and that the earth was flat.

    Just because parts of the bible can be proven does not mean that it proves that a god exists. All that proves is that it has parts of it that are historically accurate. In the same way that a dairy written by a king of the time will have historic truths.

    It can not be claimed that because parts of it are true, therefore all of it is true.
    That is flawed.

    It was also written hundreds of years BEFORE the beginning of modern science.

    Some people choose to believe that everything that ever existed and will ever exist is explained in this book…

    The church, over thousands of years has persecuted, tortured, murdered, invaded, burnt witches, stolen land, controlled kings and governments. May god have mercy on anyone that opposes their point of view. They will, and have done everything in their power to control and brainwash generations of people.

    The rule of god is absolute. Alpha, omega, beginning, end. My way or the high way, sorry I mean eternal damnation.

    Now some people think this is ok. They believe that this is the most reliable and truthful source of information. They blindly follow and believe anything that they are told by anyone how self proclaims themselves a messenger of god.

    On the other hand… we have the scientific community.

    They have never persecuted, tortured, murdered, raped people that disagree with them.

    They work on proof, experiment, logic. They strive to explain the dynamics of the world, how things work, where we come from, where we are going. They strive to improve to world, ease suffering, cure disease.

    Science changes constantly, always moving forward, always adding knowledge, adjusting and improving what we know. Moving closer and closer to understanding our origins and the origins of the universe.

    Now we have the choice, the choice of who to believe.

    In my mind there is NO doubt as to who to believe. I do believe that the information presented is as accurate and legitimate as possible. There is no reason for the entire world wide scientific community to lie, its not a conspiracy.

    Why can creationists not understand that if there was a valid alternative to evolution that can be proven in the slightest manner they would be ALL OVER IT. Every second person and his dog are talking about evolution and Darwin. Any scientist would love that kind of recognition of their work. Imagine being the scientist that was able to disprove evolution, their name will be known for ‘eternity’!

    There are those that have tried, but failed. Not a single peer reviewed piece has ever stood up to legitimate scrutiny. Not a single one.

    So in a world where there is overwhelming evidence leaning in one direction as apposed to nothing of substance in the other. Only a fool will believe blindly the later.

    Arguing over semantics to try disprove one or the other is ridiculous. I choose to believe the most reliable source.

    1. You accuse me of altering the meaning, which I didn’t do, perhaps you could elaborate. I didn’t actually need the quote to make the point, it was simply a starting point. Note I don’t need to change anything to discredit evolution, it was circular logic before I started.

      The rest of your argument is an ad hominum argument and makes no factual claims to support itself. It’s also very naïve to believe that nothing bad ahs ever been done in the name of science, just think of all the aborigines who were hunted and killed to provide missing link skull to universities.

      Scientists who have questioned the evolutionary paradigm in the past have lost funding, and this discourages other scientists from doing the same, but just for a laugh, visit creation.com, and view the long list of masters and PhD grads who question evolution.

      Please try again, the argument by similarity is illogical. The overwhelming evidence you speak of is just one way of interpreting the data. I would argue that the overwhelming evidence in support of Daniel 7 being a prophecy that measurably stretches through to 1798, from 600BCE, supports that he was diivnely inspired. You would say, “that’s just an interpretation” and provide little else. I reject the overwhelming evidence for evolution as nothing more than an interpretation via illogical use of data, and in some cases, just non-existent data (recapitulation and vestiges).

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