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Logical Fallacy of Innuendo


Logical Fallacy of Innuendo / Implication

Innuendo is one of the many smokescreens that are used to cover the fact that the reasoning is based on one of the three fallacies of Agrippa's trilemma. Whenever a logical fallacy is committed, the fallacy has its roots in Agrippa's trilemma. All human thought (without Divine revelation) is based on one of three unhappy possibilities. These three possibilities are infinite regress, circular reasoning, or axiomatic thinking. This problem is known as Agrippa's trilemma. Some have claimed that only logic and math can be known without Divine revelation; however, that is not true. There is no reason to trust either logic or math without Divine revelation. Science is also limited to the pragmatic because of the weakness on human reasoning, which is known as Agrippa's trilemma.

The logical fallacy of innuendo, or implication, occurs when a conclusion is suggested to be true without directly stating the point. This is a fallacy because it is a deceptive tactic. Innuendo is generally used as a substitute for evidence. In other words, the innuendo technique is used as the only proof for a claim. It is often more persuasive than a straightforward statement because a clear statement is easier to evaluate for logical fallacies, to realize that a claim (implied) has no basis, no proof. Note that this is different from simply being unclear. What makes this a fallacy is that there is no evidence and the use of innuendo is a mechanism to hide the fact that there is no real evidence.

Examples of the Logical Fallacy of Innuendo / Implication

“Here tonight, we’re gonna have two stories and we can compare Mr. Ham’s story to a story from what I will call the story from the outside, from mainstream science.” ~Bill Nye, debating with Ken Ham

  1. "the story from the outside" Bill Nye is using the logical fallacy of innuendo, implying that there is a kind of inside group, almost a cult, that believes what God says through the Bible. Had Bill simply stated his implication it would be easy to evaluate. He would say something like this. "Ken Han has a little group of wacko followers. They are the only people in the world to read the Bible as written and believe that God speaks through the Bible." Of course, such a statement would be easy to identify as a lie. Thus, the use of innuendo.
  2. "Mr. Ham’s story" Nesting fallacies in this way makes them very difficult to analyze. Also, identifying the historical account that God tells us through Scripture as "Mr. Ham's story" continues the innuendo that implies that very few people believe God. It is a clever trick. In his opening sentence, Bill Nye used tactics that he continuously wove into his messages throughout the debate. By calling it “Mr. Ham’s story” rather than rationally dealing with the concept of creation, Bill Nye used a form of ad hominem fallacy, debating about a person or personality rather than rationally dealing with the issue at hand on its merits. In addition, Bill Nye wove in a plain folks fallacy throughout the debate and used several techniques to portray Ken Ham as unapproachable, isolated, and not a plain folks type of guy like good old Bill Nye is. The repetition of "Mr. Ham" worked to that end. None of this is directly stated. Everything is by innuendo.
  3. "the story from the outside, from mainstream science.” The very term, mainstream science implies there is a mainstream group and anyone who disagrees with what those folks say is the minority and should just fall in line with the old ideas. This censoring of disagreement within the scientific community was a difficult picture for Bill Nye to paint while still maintaining that Bill Nye’s definition of science is open to new ideas. However, Bill Nye did irrationally maintain both mutually exclusive views throughout the debate, which is the logical fallacy of internal inconsistency. He was plainly holding two mutually exclusive, conflicting, views at the same time.
  4. Bill Nye used the fallacy of misused statistics for the purpose of persuasion. Throughout the debate, Bill Nye’s main effort was to make those who follow Christ seem like the fringe of society (tactic of marginalizing), when, in fact, over 90% of Americans self-identify as Christians and about half of those take the Bible as it is written. This is both a fallacy of relevance, specifically, bandwagon (how does majority opinion affect reality?) and a fallacy of misused statistics. Since this is all by innuendo rather than direct statement, it is even less subject to challenge. So, there are two points of fallacy: Bill Nye implied that biblical Christianity is a fringe group and the atheistic/agnostic belief system is mainstream. Whether something is fringe or mainstream has no effect on reality, and a reasonable man would not have brought it up.


Last updated: Sep, 2014
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Toons & Vids



Logical Fallacy of Ambiguity

Logical Fallacy of the Barnum Effect / P. T. Barnum Effect / The Fallacy of Personal Validation / The Forer Effect

Logical Fallacy of Ambiguous Assertion

Logical Fallacy of Innuendo

Sly Suggestion Fallacy

Syntactic Ambiguity Fallacy / Structural Ambiguity / Grammatical Ambiguity / Amphiboly / Semantic Ambiguity / Semantical Ambiguity Fallacy

The Logical Fallacy Lexical Ambiguity


Shingle Speech

Use-Mention Error / UME

Double Entendre

Logical Fallacy of Misuse of Etymology

Logical Fallacy of Garden Path Ambiguity

Squinting Modifier Fallacy

Quantifier Fallacy / Quantifier Shift Fallacy

Illicit Observation Fallacy

Metaphorical Ambiguity Fallacy


Logical Fallacy of Equivocation / Bait and Switch / Amphiboly / Semantic Ambiguity / Type-Token Ambiguity / Vagueness

Redefinition Fallacy

Middle Puzzle Part Fallacy

Idiosyncratic Language Fallacy

Type-Token Ambiguity Fallacy

Fallacy of Modal Logic / Modal Scope Fallacy / Misconditionalization

Modal Fallacy / Modal Scope Fallacy

Scope Fallacy

Ambiguous Middle / Ambiguous Middle Term

Logical Fallacy of Hypnotic Bait and Switch

Definist Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Defining a Word in Terms of Itself

Socratic Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Defining Terms Too Broadly

Logical Fallacy of Defining Terms Too Narrowly

Logical Fallacy of Failure to Elucidate

Logical Fallacy of Persuasive Definition / Appeal to Definition / Appeal to the Dictionary / Definist Fallacy (type of) / Rhetorical Definition

Logical Fallacy of Composition / Exception Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Division / False Division / Ecological Fallacy / Ecological Inference Fallacy

Etymological Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Nominalization, Misnomer, Labeling

Logical Fallacy of Inference from a Label

Pigeonholing Fallacy / Ahistoric Fallacy

Category Mistake / Category Error

Logical Fallacy of the Conjunction Effect / Conjunction Fallacy

Disjunction Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Fast Talking / Information Overload / Bang-Bang-Bang

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Verbosity / Argumentum Verbosium

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Gibberish / Bafflement / Prestigious Jargon

Logical Fallacy of Confusing Contradiction with Contrariety

Logical Fallacy of Ambiguous Collective / Type-Token Ambiguity

Conceptual Fallacy

Anti-Concreteness Mentality Fallacy / Attributing Abstractness to the Concrete / Mistaking an Entity for a Theory / Mistaking Reality for an Assumptions

Butterfly Logic

The Logical Fallacy of Process-Product Ambiguity / Act-Object Ambiguity



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