Help me find this guy's fallacies
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19-03-2014, 01:20 PM
Help me find this guy's fallacies
There's a guy telling me that evolution is not true because if it was, we would expect to see other kinds of life as intelligent as humans. If evolution made humans smart, why not any other kind of animal after so many years? He presents this as a necessary condition for evolution.

I could probably answer to that, but I'd like to focus on the fallacies in there. Help?

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-Guybrush Threepwood-
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19-03-2014, 01:30 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
(19-03-2014 01:20 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  There's a guy telling me that evolution is not true because if it was, we would expect to see other kinds of life as intelligent as humans. If evolution made humans smart, why not any other kind of animal after so many years? He presents this as a necessary condition for evolution.

I could probably answer to that, but I'd like to focus on the fallacies in there. Help?

For starters, false choice. He's essentially saying that either things will evolve advanced intelligence or evolution doesn't work. His premise is flawed, too. There are other intelligent creatures out there. Chimps are nearly as intelligent as humans and can be taught language and have complex problem solving skills. He's also ignoring the fact that other hominid species that had advanced intelligence and reasoning skills but have died out or were killed for other reasons. Intelligence is not the only survival trait that natural selection selects and competition for dominance with a superior species (human) caused them to die out.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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19-03-2014, 01:36 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
1. False dilemma (I say x must happen, x did not happen therefore y)
2. Argument from ignorance (there are, in fact, other intelligent species such as octopi and other primates)
3. It's survival of the fittest, not survival of the smartest (nor strongest)

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19-03-2014, 02:17 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
(19-03-2014 01:20 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  There's a guy telling me that evolution is not true because if it was, we would expect to see other kinds of life as intelligent as humans. If evolution made humans smart, why not any other kind of animal after so many years? He presents this as a necessary condition for evolution.

I could probably answer to that, but I'd like to focus on the fallacies in there. Help?

In addition to what others have pointed out, your friend is working on the assumption that evolution is finished with its work. It is entirely conceivable, and predictable, that other species will continue to increase in intelligence as evolution proceeds.

So he's made a prediction that does not appear to have come true yet, but in all likelihood will.

Evolution also predicts that not all species will develop intelligence at the same time, same rate, etc. Lo and behold, that's precisely what we see.

So there.
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19-03-2014, 02:40 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
I'm watching this discussion too, as I've used that guy's very same reasoning (I cringe in shame at my recollection of it) and want to hear its counter.
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19-03-2014, 02:43 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
(19-03-2014 02:40 PM)Charis Wrote:  I'm watching this discussion too, as I've used that guy's very same reasoning (I cringe in shame at my recollection of it) and want to hear its counter.

Don't worry. All of us former theists have cringeworthy things in our past. I once said the "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve" line. Blush Weeping

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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19-03-2014, 02:45 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
lol same here.
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19-03-2014, 02:47 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
(19-03-2014 02:45 PM)Charis Wrote:  lol same here.

Do you need clarity on anything that has been said here? Always here to educate.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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19-03-2014, 02:51 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
(19-03-2014 01:20 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  There's a guy telling me that evolution is not true because if it was, we would expect to see other kinds of life as intelligent as humans. If evolution made humans smart, why not any other kind of animal after so many years? He presents this as a necessary condition for evolution.

I could probably answer to that, but I'd like to focus on the fallacies in there. Help?

Evolution goes in whatever direction it goes. There is no guarantee of any specific trait (such as intelligence) developing. Any "we would expect to see" statement shows a lack of understanding about evolution.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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19-03-2014, 02:53 PM
RE: Help me find this guy's fallacies
Done! Thank you everyone! Let's see how this will go on Big Grin

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-Guybrush Threepwood-
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