Strawman Argument

Possibly the most common fallacy, a strawman argument is when one misrepresents a position. Examples include:

  • More people die in car accidents than gun deaths, so I suppose we should outlaw cars.
  • Evolution says everything came from nothing

More people die in car accidents than gun deaths, so I suppose we should outlaw cars.

In response to proposed gun laws, the internet is often flooded with memes comparing gun death counts to the death count caused by some other factor (and usually a factor that involves something people are exposed to constantly, like vehicles).

The strawman is the implication that the proposed gun law is in fact banning guns, when such laws are generally only proposing to ban specific guns and tighten certain restrictions. The irony in this argument is that the other factor usually IS subject to certain restrictions, not to different from restrictions on guns. In the case of vehicles, there are countless regulations automakers must conform to safety protocols.

Evolution says everything came from nothing

Often when attempting to refute evolution, creationists will muddle the difference between biological evolution (where modern life has evolved from previous forms) with various other sciences (in this case, either the origins of life (abiogenesis) or the origins of the universe, which is more in the realm of cosmology. Whereas biological evolution has been demonstrated through the fossil record, homologous and vestigial structures, DNA, and various other facts that independently point to evolution, the origins of life and the universe itself are comparatively in their infancy. By muddling all of this, creationists often downplay just how established evolution actually is.

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