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Fallacies of Association

The presence of a single lion does not indicate that sheep are carnivorous, while the sheep do not render the lion herbivorous.Guilt by association fallacy, honour by association fallacy, association fallacies

Association fallacies rely upon the negative implications of "guilt by association" or the positive implications of "honor by association."

These fallacies are based upon the implication that a claim is false or true based upon beliefs held by, or attributed to, the people or organizations that hold the belief. Obviously, the arguments of those with a mission of denying rights to others or of those with anti-expert opinions should be assessed carefully on the basis of their content. Equally, the opinions of experts should be assessed on their merit.

Creationists, in line with the emotional basis for their claims, all too often resort to association fallacies. One example of the "honor by association" fallacy is to point out that scientists and Nobel Prize winners have signed a document against Darwinian theories, as though this lends credence to intelligent [sick] design pseudoscience. Such arguments are also fallacious appeals to authority.

Conversely, it is not an association fallacy to state that biologists consider that the scientific evidence is so voluminous as to render biological evolution a fact. It is appropriate to refer to the opinions of credible experts in a field.

Godwin's Law and Desperate Attacks on Darwinism provides an example of unfounded accusations that Darwin's ideas inevitably led to Nazi atrocities, as though this would demote evolution from fact (argumentum ad nazium, reductio ad Hitlerum).

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