Woodyard, Kerith M.
B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
Department of Communication
Within the creationism debate, there are numerous logical fallacies used in an attempt to persuade. To determine the type and frequency of fallacies used, this study examines four creationism texts to identify and classify fallacies using Engel's (1982) definitions as a framework for analysis. Specifically, this analysis reviews "The Atheist Test" and Evolution: A fairy tale for grownups by creationist Ray Comfort, the 2007 ABC News Face-Off Debates, and Ross' Creation as science: A testable model approach to end the creation/evolution wars. In examining these texts for fallacies of ambiguity, perception, and relevance, it was determined that each fallacy subtype appeared at least once. Further, analysis revealed that in-person, face-to-face argumentation had, by far, the most logical fallacies present. Ultimately, while highly personal discussions appear more likely to lead to the use of fallacies, this study recommends that the best method for preventing fallacious argumentation appears to be making those guilty of using it aware of this fact, and scrupulously checking one's own arguments for fallacies of all types.
Stoutenburg, Karyn, "Examining Logical Fallacies in the Creationism Debate" (2011). Honors Capstones. 505.
Northern Illinois University
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