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Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness


Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness

Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness occurs when many details are included in a description of something, which has the effect of making it seem more likely or probable. It is not a logical fallacy to tell interesting stories or to add unnecessary detail. It becomes a fallacy when the vividness is the reason to believe the claim.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness

Rocky: "Mutation has never been shown to add universal information. It loses information."

Sandy: "Loss of information is interesting. You could say that when two bases were taken out of the human version of MYH16, but was left intact in all other primates, that it was a loss of information. But, it is likely that if that gene was kept in tact, our skulls would not be able to grow enough to support our brains. Humans lost that gene, but the presence of that gene is best explained if all primates share a common ancestor. It also raises the question why God would leave such non-functional genes in our genome if we were created separately from other primates."

Rocky: "Are you presupposing Darwinism in your speculation of "two bases were taken out of the human version of MYH16, but was left in tact in all other primates?" Are you saying that you don't know what the function of the gene is and that therefore it has not function? What is the evidence, beyond speculation, that humans lost that gene? Was that observed of presumed? What I'm really saying is that if you allow yourself a single assumption, then you can prove anything to yourself. Anything. That is the difference between assumption and revelation."

Note that Sandy is using circular reasoning but hiding the fallacy with misleading vividness. He is assuming the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story to prove the big-bang-billions-of-years-molecules-to-man story. Rocky points this out by asking questions. This is an actual series taken from blog posts. Sandy never answered.

Bill Nye aguing against Creation science: "If you visit the national zoo in Washington D.C.—it’s a hundred and sixty-three acres—and they have 400 species—by the way, this picture that you’re seeing was taken by spacecraft in space orbiting the Earth. If you told my grandfather, let alone my father, that we had that capability they would have been amazed. That capability comes from our fundamental understanding of gravity, of material science, of physics, and life-science where you go looking. This place, as any zoo, is often criticized for how it treats its animals. They have 400 species on 163 acres, 66 hectares. Is it reasonable that Noah and his colleagues, his family, were able to maintain 14,000 animals and themselves and feed them aboard a ship that was bigger than anyone’s ever been able to build?"

Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of misleading vividness here. The only thing that he said (actually implied) was that Noah could not possibly have put the animals on the ark because this well-funded zoo is often criticized for how it treats animals. The other information is to try to frame this irrational statement in a lot of detail and technology, spacecrafts taking pictures, etc., to try to give the irrational statement credibility. These techniques are used because they actually work. The human mind is easily tricked by this type of thing.

Bill Nye aguing against Creation science: "I travel around. I have a great many family members in Danville, VA, one of the U.S.’s most livable cities; it’s lovely. And, I was driving along and there was a sign in front of a church: “Big Bang Theory. You got to be kidding me. God. Now, why would someone at the church, a pastor for example, put that sign up unless he or she didn’t believe that the big bang was a real thing? I just want to review briefly with everybody why we accept—in the outside world—why we accept the big bang. Edwin Hubble was sitting at Mt. Wilson … sat there at this very big telescope night after night staring at the heavens, and he found that the stars are moving apart. Stars are moving apart. And he wasn’t sure why, but it was clear that the stars are moving farther and farther apart all the time. So people talked about it for a couple decades. And then another astronomer, Fred Hoyle, just remarked, 'Well, it was like there was a big bang.' There was an explosion. This is to say, since everything is moving apart, it’s reasonable to say that at one time they were all together. There’s a place from whence these things expanded. And it was a remarkable insight. But people went still questioning it for decades. Scientists, conventional scientists, questioning it for decades. These two researchers wanted to listen for radio signals from space, radio astronomy . . .  there was this hiss . . . had found this cosmic background sound that was predicted by astronomers. Astronomers running numbers, doing math, predicted that, in the cosmos, would be left over this echo, this energy from the big bang that would be detectable. And they detected it. We built the cosmic observatory for background emissions, the COBE spacecraft, and it matched exactly, exactly the astronomers’ predictions. You gotta respect that. It’s a wonderful thing."

All of this is really amazing and vivid, but it doesn't answer the question that Bill is claiming to answer: "why we accept—in the outside world—why we accept the big bang." However, the misleading vividness almost gives the false impression that Bill's claim is somewhat valid when it is not supported by what he said. It is a bare assertion without support.

Last updated: Aug, 2014

Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness

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There are 54 sub-topics of "Relevance Fallacies of Distraction"

Logical Fallacy of Avoiding the Issue / Avoiding the Question / Missing the Point / Straying Off the Subject / Digressing / Distraction

Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness

Logical Fallacy of Dodging the Question

Logical Fallacy of Ignoratio Elenchi / Irrelevant Conclusion

Logical Fallacy of Irrelevant Question

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Consequences / Argument from Consequences / Parade of the Horribles / Argumentum Ad Consequentiam / Appeal to Consequences of a Belief / Argument to the Consequences

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Bribery / Appeal to Motives in Place of Support

Logical Fallacy of Red Herring / Digression / Diversion / Evading the Issue / Side-tracking

Dodge of Answering a Question with a Question

Dodging by Answering a Different Question / Answering a Question That Was Not Asked

Logical Fallacy of Non-Support

Logical Fallacy of Logic Chopping / Quibbling / Quibble / Splitting-Hairs / Nit-Picking / Trivial Objections / Smokescreen / Blowing Smoke / Befogging the Issue / Clouding the Issue / Megatrifle / Trivial Objections / Cavil / Spurious Superficiality

Admitting a Small Fault to Cover a Big Denial

Logical Fallacy of Arguing a Minor Point and Ignoring the Main Point

Logical Fallacy of Ad Misericordiam / Appeal to pity / Appeal to Sympathy / The Galileo Argument

Galileo Wannabe Fallacy / Galileo Argument (Appeal to Pity)

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Novelty / appeal to the New / Ad Novitam

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to High Tech

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Tradition / Argumentum Ad Antiquitatem / Appeal to Common Practice / Appeal to Antiquity / Proof from Tradition / Appeal to Past Practice / Gadarene Swine Fallacy / Traditional Wisdom

Logical Fallacy of The Way We Have Always Done It

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Desperation

Straw Man Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Extension

In a Certain Respect and Simply / Secundum Quid Et Simpliciter Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Extremes

Logical Fallacy of Taking a Quote Out of Context / Contextomy (type of) / Abstraction / Quote Mining

Logical Fallacy of Misquoting

Logical Fallacy of Accent / Accent Fallacy / Accent by Emphasis / Emphatic Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Accent by Abstraction / Emphasis by Abstraction

Misleading Context Fallacy / Contextomy

Logical Fallacy of Misinterpretation

The Mind Game of Playing Dumb

Logical Fallacy of Arcane Explanation

Logical Fallacy of Hyperbole

Logical Fallacy of Exaggeration / Stretching the Truth / Overstatement

Logical Fallacy of Irrelevant Thesis

Logical Fallacy of Burden of Proof / Shifting the Burden of Proof

Logical Fallacy of Demanding an Uneven Burden of Proof / Demanding Uneven Standards of Acceptance

Burden of Proof Fallacy Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument to Moderation / Argumentum Ad Temperantiam / Middle Ground / False Compromise

Logical Fallacy of False Fallacy / Fallacy Abuse

Logical Fallacy of Confusing an Explanation with Proof

Logical Fallacy of Moralism

Logical Fallacy of Ought-Is / Moralistic Fallacy / Moral Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Is-Ought / Is-Ought Fallacy / Arguing From Is to Ought / Is-Should Fallacy / Hume's Law / Hume's Guillotine

Naturalistic Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Notable Effort

Logical Fallacy of Political Correctness / Political Correctness Fallacy / PC Fallacy

False Compromise Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Lip Service

Logical Fallacy of Tokenism

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Denial / Paralipsis Attack / Paralepsis / Apophasis

Diminished Responsibility Fallacy

Contrarian Argument Fallacy

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