Fallacy Hunting, Episode 4 - Science in the Quran
#1
Identify and discuss any logical fallacies in the clip below.



In the interests of keeping the discussion focused, let's limit our discussion from the start point at 00:24 to exactly 01:40 mins into the video... ".... vital for life".

Edit: This post is in relation to the Fallacy Hunt section on this week's Cosmic Boondocks podcast.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#2
is it Ignoratio elenchi ?

instead of addressing the quranic verse, the speaker chooses a similar but different topic , presents a valid argument on "how atmosphere surrounding the earth serves crucial functions in continuity of life"
this diversion occurs at 0:51
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#3
I don't know the name for this fallacy, but basically he has it backwards. The formation of the Earth's atmosphere - and its composition - was strongly influential in the evolution of life on our planet. So it should be no surprise that our atmosphere today seems ideally suited to our circumstances - it caused those circumstances!
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#4
(08-Jun-2011, 07:38 AM)unsorted Wrote: I don't know the name for this fallacy, but basically he has it backwards. The formation of the Earth's atmosphere - and its composition - was strongly influential in the evolution of life on our planet. So it should be no surprise that our atmosphere today seems ideally suited to our circumstances - it caused those circumstances!
seems similar to banana fallacy

also reading from ancients texts always poses a chance of Presentism Fallacy (nunc pro tunc), This is an anachronism which assumes that an event or document was undertaken with a similar worldview and outlook of modern readers, we'll never know what the original writers meant with all their mumbo jumbo when they said that .
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#5
1) The clip says "The atmosphere surrounding the earth serves crucial functions for the continuity of life. By destroying many meteors big and small before they approach the earth, it prevents them from falling to earth and harming living things. "
This is an example of blatant cherry-picking, as it conveniently ignores meteors that did make it all the way to the earth and ignores discontinuities in the history of life such as mass extinctions, like the asteroid that (most probably) killed the dinosaurs.

2) The video also ignores the influence of life on the atmosphere, and the co-evolution of the two, when it assumes the atmosphere to be a sort of pre-existing, impenetrable roof uninfluenced by life.
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#6
[quote='arvindiyer' pid='4662' dateline='1307809238']
1) The clip says "The atmosphere surrounding the earth serves crucial functions for the continuity of life. By destroying many meteors big and small before they approach the earth, it prevents them from falling to earth and harming living things. This is an example of blatant cherry-picking, as it conveniently ignores meteors that did make it all the way to the earth and ignores discontinuities in the history of life such as mass extinctions, like the asteroid that (most probably) killed the dinosaurs.

2) The video also ignores the influence of life on the atmosphere, and the co-evolution of the two, when it assumes the atmosphere to be a sort of pre-existing, impenetrable roof uninfluenced by life.

Dear Dir,

It was termed as one of the five elements (in the sense substance) AAKASH (space) in Hindu culture. It is interesting to note here they have defined the five elements as BHOOMI (soil/ Earth) AAP (Jal/ Water) TEJ ( Heat/ Sunlight) VAAYU ( Air ) and AAKASH (Space / Atmosphere). It is the way they have put it in an order Soi, Water, Sunlight, Air and Space/Atmosphere is with a purpose. If you notice the First Four Elements /Substances are inter changeable and are converted into another form of matter, but the Fifth one is NEVER CHANGED TO ANY OTHER FORM. In fact all Changes are Relative and a CHANGELESS substance is essential to Express & Experience the CHANGE.
This is SCIENCE put in a cultural form to RESPECT them and use them properly. So instead of discussing on a subject purposelessly direct the thinking in direction which will give us courage to accept the creation as it is and live a purposeful life by PARTICIPATING AND CONTRIBUTING CONSCIOUSLY
tHANKS AND REGARDS
vASUDEV nAIR.

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#7
(12-Jun-2011, 07:43 AM)Vasudev Nair Wrote: Dear Dir,

It was termed as one of the five elements (in the sense substance) AAKASH (space) in Hindu culture. It is interesting to note here they have defined the five elements as BHOOMI (soil/ Earth) AAP (Jal/ Water) TEJ ( Heat/ Sunlight) VAAYU ( Air ) and AAKASH (Space / Atmosphere). It is the way they have put it in an order Soi, Water, Sunlight, Air and Space/Atmosphere is with a purpose. If you notice the First Four Elements /Substances are inter changeable and are converted into another form of matter, but the Fifth one is NEVER CHANGED TO ANY OTHER FORM. In fact all Changes are Relative and a CHANGELESS substance is essential to Express & Experience the CHANGE.
This is SCIENCE put in a cultural form to RESPECT them and use them properly. So instead of discussing on a subject purposelessly direct the thinking in direction which will give us courage to accept the creation as it is and live a purposeful life by PARTICIPATING AND CONTRIBUTING CONSCIOUSLY
tHANKS AND REGARDS
vASUDEV nAIR.

Vasudevji,
Firstly, the list of elements you provide is very dated to say the least and it will be instructive to watch a few videos here: http://www.periodicvideos.com/nyt/index.htm

Secondly, Science as it is practiced is concerned with the properties of elements and their understanding and does not make value-claims about their 'proper use', as if humankind has some kind of entitlement or cosmic license over them.

Thirdly, the purposelessness or otherwise of the discussion here is determined by a consensus in this community and is not decided by the dismissal of a contrarian participant.

Finally, those advocating 'participation and conscious contribution' need to realize that they must also avoid 'unwitting and unwarranted disruption' in an ongoing enterprise.

Regards,
Arvind

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#8
(08-Jun-2011, 07:38 AM)unsorted Wrote: I don't know the name for this fallacy, but basically he has it backwards. The formation of the Earth's atmosphere - and its composition - was strongly influential in the evolution of life on our planet. So it should be no surprise that our atmosphere today seems ideally suited to our circumstances - it caused those circumstances!

I think it is a form of strong anthropocentrism - god made the world in just the right way (fine tuned) so that humans can live in it.
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#9
Good points by all.

Lalit, I had never heard of the banana fallacy. Essentially it seems to be the expression of a common misinterpretation of facts that results from the premise that god created everything, specifically in the context of biological evolution.

Arvind - yes of course cherry picking is one of the fallacies here, and good point on how life has modified the atmosphere to the point where complex biological life became possible. The atmosphere of the primitive earth would wipe out almost all of the extant organisms on earth. In fact, this was the state of the planet for most of the time life did exist on the planet. Blue green algae were adding oxygen to the atmosphere for over a billion years before it was rich enough to support multicellular aerobic life.
Lije - strong anthropocentrism certainly, and this is sort of related to unsorted's point.

BTW, I've decided to do the podcast every two weeks instead of weekly, at least for now. If more people join me I might consider switching back to a weekly schedule. Goodness knows, there's enough to report on.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#10
this is a nice exercise do you think we can make a game out of it?
Quote:BTW, I've decided to do the podcast every two weeks instead of weekly, at least for now. If more people join me I might consider switching back to a weekly schedule. Goodness knows, there's enough to report on.

that reminds me i saw Philosophy With Selvi issues , they were nice , any plans on starting them again? and i could access them until a month back but now it says "Page Not Found"
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#11
(19-Jun-2011, 03:45 PM)lalitmohanchawla Wrote: this is a nice exercise do you think we can make a game out of it?
Quote:BTW, I've decided to do the podcast every two weeks instead of weekly, at least for now. If more people join me I might consider switching back to a weekly schedule. Goodness knows, there's enough to report on.

that reminds me i saw Philosophy With Selvi issues , they were nice , any plans on starting them again? and i could access them until a month back but now it says "Page Not Found"

The episodes are online. I am working on the third part, but will take time.
http://nirmukta.com/2010/05/13/philosoph...beginners/
http://nirmukta.com/2010/10/06/philosoph...ing-logic/
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#12
Just posted the latest episode containing a summary of the fallacies that were discussed in this thread.

The one that I had expected someone to come up with is the Teleological Argument, a very common type of theist/creationist argument. I didn't want to bring it up here before the show came out.

Sunil's points, Lalit's bananna fallacy, and Satish's anthropocentrism point, are all special cases of the teleological argument.

For the latest episode of the podcast I've included audio from a youtube clip that I thought would make for a good discussion on factual fallacies. I've started the discussion thread for this in the pseudoscience section here.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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