Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fallacies and Critical Responses to Darwinism

The two logical fallacies pertinent to Darwinism and critisisms of Darwinism are as follows:
  1. The Genetic Fallacy. This is to mistake an explanation of the origin of an idea for a statement relating to its truth, falsity, validity or invalidity.
  2. The Fallacy of Affect. Judging the truth, falsity, validity or invalidity of an idea in terms of consequences of that idea. (A form of non sequitur.)
In seminar this week we will look to understand this in connection to Samuel Butler's criticisms of Darwin in the course essay "The Deadlock in Darwinism." We can use three types of non-Darwinian examples to frame our discussions.
  • "Socialism is a failure because President Obama's policies have ruined the economy."
  • "Opposition to the gun registry in Canada comes from right-wing types." 
  • "The God Delusion" is wrong in its attack on God because Richard Dawkins hates religion."
We'll work to arrive at a conclusion on the relevance of Samuel Butler's attitude toward Charles Darwin to the criticisms he levels against natural selection.

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