Straw Man

straw man

Misrepresenting someone’s argument to make it easier to attack.

By far the favorite tactic of religious apologists and politicians, this is the fallacy of refuting a simplified or extreme version of somebody’s argument, rather than the actual argument they’ve made.

Gun control proponents want to take awaystraw man - not life our guns.

This was a recent mantra from US conservatives concerning recent gun control legislation, where a limitation was placed on the number of rounds per magazine. This limitation, however, was not retroactive and all existing high capacity magazines were grandfathered in, making a “taking away our guns” claim false and misrepresenting the goal of the gun control laws.

straw man - human body kitIf we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

This is immensely popular with those who are ignorant of how evolution works or are simply trying to distract from the original argument by placing monkeys in place of ape-like common ancestors. Obviously the fallacy in this is how, even though most Americans have European ancestry, there are still Europeans, even relatives living in Europe.

Another popular creationist straw man is to claim scientists think complex life “just happened” or “fell together at random”, rather than acknowledging how natural selection, genetic and even continental drift influences such processes.

Comments are closed.