Mission statement

  1. Teach critical thinking.
  2. Explain how science works and why it is reliable.
  3. Use critical thinking to defend science against the numerous logically flawed attacks that are hurled at it.

About this blog

We live in a fantastic world with countless technological marvels that were all brought to us courtesy of modern science. We understand more about our universe than people 100 years ago could ever have imagined. Nevertheless, there is a growing anti-science movement that is plaguing our planet and threatens to halt or even reverse scientific advancement. An increasing number of mostly well-intentioned people have launched an all out war against virtually every field of science. Anti-GMO advocates are attempting to halt genetics research. Climate change deniers are assaulting the entire field of climatology and spreading dangerous conspiracy theories and misconceptions. Anti-vaccers, homeopaths, alternative medicine practitioners, people who deny AIDs, and many others are all seeking to discredit the medical advances that have saved billions of lives, and, finally, we have young earth creationists whose arguments are so insidious that they pervade and seek to destroy biology, geology, physics, and chemistry. When I read the arguments of these groups, however, I do not find rational arguments that are grounded in facts. Rather, I find logical fallacies, conspiracy theorist musings, anecdotes, fear mongering, and a complete denial of the value of scientific research.

It would be easy to write these groups off as nothing more than a collection of idiots, but their numbers are large enough that they must be taken seriously. Further, in most cases I don’t think it is a matter of intelligence. In other words, I don’t think that most of the people in this anti-science movement are inherently unintelligent. Rather, I think that they have been misinformed and misguided. When I look closely at anti-science arguments, I generally find that they stem from a fundamental lack of scientific understanding and a poor knowledge of the rules of logic.

Therefore, one of the primary goals of this blog is to teach people how to think. It may sound silly, but most people do not intuitively know how to think critically. The average person needs to be taught how to think rationally, and I will fully admit that this was the case for me. I believed all manner of nonsense before being taught the rules of logic, and before I understood how to think critically, it was impossible for me to see the flaws in my arguments because I didn’t understand the difference between good arguments and bad arguments. I lacked the necessary tools for evaluating my vies. So, before I can convince anyone to accept science, I must first explain how to think.

An additional goal of this blog is to explain how science works and why we are so certain of the results it gives us. It is my intention to join the battle for the minds of the public, and to attempt to persuade my readers to rely on logic and carefully controlled scientific studies rather than fear tactics, misinformation, and anecdotes.

you always have to admit the possibility that you are wrongI ask only one thing of those who read my blog: that you accept the possibility that you might be wrong. The healthiest thing that anyone can do is to acknowledge that they might be mistaken, then go from that admission to a careful consideration of the facts. So I encourage everyone to lay aside your biases, apply the rules of logic, and carefully consider the issues at hand.

For the most part, it is my intention simply to inform people about science. Nevertheless, people often drag religion into debates that should be inherently scientific. Therefore, I will attempt to deal with some theological arguments as well (especially creationists’ claims that evolution and the Bible are inherently at odds). These posts will be geared specifically towards Christians who view science and religion as being incompatible, and it is my intention simply to show that the religion and science do not have to conflict with each other. I often find that this is a necessary prerequisite for discussing science with religious people. To put that another way, when I discuss topics like creationism, my goal is not to convince people to abandon their religion, but rather to show them the overwhelming evidence for evolution. For the sake of this blog, if someone wants to believe in god and accept the science of evolution, then I have no problems with them (that isn’t to say that discussions about whether or not god exists aren’t interesting and worth having, but simply that they are outside of the scope of this blog).

To facilitate easy learning, this blog is divided into several sections (some posts may appear in more than one section if they are highly relevant to both topics). I recommend that new readers start with the logic section. This section covers the basics of logical analysis and how to tell the difference between good arguments and bad arguments. Understanding logic is vital in order to properly comprehend any argument, so I strongly recommend that you familiarize yourself with its rules prior to reading my other posts.

The core of this blog is the section on the Nature of Science. This section contains general information about how science works, the logic of how and why we do science, and why we should trust science.

Finally, I have included sections with specific arguments pertaining to evolution, global warming, GMOs, and vaccines/alternative medicines. There is also a miscellaneous category (Misc.) that covers topics that did not fit neatly into the other pages.

About me

Because of the vitriol and ad hominem assaults that tend to get hurled at people who take a public stand on these issues, I am disinclined to post much in the way of person details. So I will simply summarize by stating that I have a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in biology, and I am currently a post-doctoral researcher at a university. I have over a decade of research experience, and I have published multiple peer-reviewed papers, served as a reviewer for many journals, and presented my research at national, professional conferences. Additionally, I have taught biology as an adjunct professor at a local college, as well as helping to teach multiple courses during my Ph.D. My research combines ecology and molecular tools (e.g., population genetics and microbiome sequencing) to address issues in wildlife conservation, particularly the conservation of reptiles and amphibians. Thus, depending on what level you were describing my research at, I could be accurately described as a herpetologist, zoologist, conservation biologist, ecologist, or population geneticist. Really though, all that you need to know about me is that I prize logical thought and a careful, rational understanding of the world around us above all else, and this blog is my attempt help people understand both logic and science.

Note: the pseudonym under which I am writing this blog (i.e., Fallacy Man) is a moniker that I adopted based on a character in the hilarious and educational online comic strip, Existential Comics.


20 Responses to About

  1. luthermartin1517 says:

    Who are these people attacking science? I don’t know anyone who attacks science? That just shows that this blog is nothing but a political propaganda piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fallacy Man says:

      The fact that you do not know one does not mean that they don’t exist (nice argument from ignorance fallacy). I have personally talked to many people who have blatantly told me that they do not trust science and don’t think it is reliable. Further, even people who do not openly admit that they are attacking science are doing so when they pose absurd and unscientific arguments.

      Again, please limit your posts to logical arguments. Ad hominem attacks are not acceptable and I will block you if you continue to post them. If you think that I am wrong, you are welcome to give a logical, evidence based argument to demonstrate that, but simply attacking this as a “political propaganda piece” without giving any evidence that my arguments are wrong is unacceptable.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Fallacy Man says:

      Also, out of curiosity, a “political propaganda piece”??? At what point have I discussed politics? Your baseless accusations make no sense.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Max says:

      @luthermartin1517 Who are you? I don’t know anyone by your name. That just shows that your comment is nothing but a political propaganda piece.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rufus says:

      Sorry to join this discussion late but I think this comment is an intentional joke. You may already have considered this and I apologise in advance.

      The two premise then conclusion structure suggests that he is familiar with your (or similar bloggers’) work (although I concede that the question mark at the end of a statement weakens his material slightly.) He seems to me making a deliberate inductive logical fallacy – I would plump for argument from personal incredulity fallacy. (Is there a difference between that and an argument from ignorance?)

      My second reason is that it is just so completely mad. It reads to me as though it is designed to raise a smile or (less plausibly to me) to intentionally aggravate. Since intentional aggravation is so rarely a motivation for me I am inclined not to see it in others; this I appreciate is one of my many shortcomings.

      May I just say that your site is utterly fabulous and I am mortified that it has taken me this long to find it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Fallacy Man says:

        Unfortunately, this post came after a long string of back and forth arguments with luthermartin1517 on other posts, and this comment is completely consistent with his general lack of logical reasoning and heavy use of fallacies. So I suspect that he was serious (though I’d love to be wrong on that).

        Regarding your question about the personal incredulity fallacy, incredulity fallacies are really special cases of argument from ignorance fallacies. So all incredulity fallacies are argument from ignorance fallacies, but not all argument from ignorance fallacies are incredulity fallacies.The key distinction to watch out for is whether the argument is dealing with what is known or what is imagined/believed. Incredulity fallacies take the basic form of, “I can’t imagine X, therefore X isn’t true,” whereas a generic argument from ignorance says, “X is unknown, therefore X is false” or “X has not been disproved, therefore X is true.” So if luthermartin1517 had said, “I can’t imagine someone who attacks science” or “I don’t believe that any people are opposed to science,” it would be incredulity, but since he said, “I don’t know” I lean more towards calling it a generic argument from ignorance (though it is a somewhat unique case because it is an appeal to personal ignorance rather than general ignorance).

        I’m glad your enjoying the posts. I’ve only been writing this blog for a few months, so you’re actually not that late to the party.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. Sasha says:

    Very interesting blog! Keep up the good work 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  3. StarSpider says:

    This is such a fantastic idea! I wanted to do my part to encourage science too, so I started cosmorphosis.ca, but I love to see others taking an active interest in helping promote and encourage critical thinking. It is so fundamental, but so often ignored. Thanks for being awesome!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. russellstheepot says:

    Thank you for the great content you are sharing. I would like to ask you if we might translate some of your texts into Dutch for our Dutch spoken podcast ( kritischdenken.info )? Of course we will always refer to your original text. We would be very grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I came across your blog on Twitter and am so glad I did! I’ve inky read your 5 facts of chemistry post as yet and thoroughly enjoyed that. I look forward to reading your previous posts and the ones you’ll be writing in the future. I am a geneticist by training so understand where you’re coming from. Are you on Twitter by any chance? Would love to connect with you (I understand your need to remain anonymous. It’s sad but until and unless people start debating issues by using facts, it’s best not to reveal who you are).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fallacy Man says:

      Hi, I set up a twitter account for this blog (@LogicofScience), but I haven’t really done much with it (I don’t have a personal twitter account), though I’ve been meaning to start using it more regularly. At the moment, this blog’s facebook page is probably the best way to stay connected.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Bob says:

    Nice blog. Am I on moderation? My comments don’t seem to get published. Just asking.


    Liked by 1 person

  7. Kate Kunkel says:

    I have a little trouble trusting anyone who does not use their real name. And of course, I also wonder who is funding this. The arguments for vaccination sound suspiciously like big pharma propaganda. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Max says:

      @Kate Kunkel
      Of course Fallacy Man is getting funding from big pharma. And also he writes about GMO so he must also be funded by Monsanto. And he writes about global warming. Oh no! He is a pawn of the secret cabal of scientists who is trying to spread such rumor. This makes all sense now! Obviously he also works for the Illuminati! And we all know Illuminati is founded by the lizard people. So maybe he is a fallacy lizard! And moonlanding was just a big hoax propounded by the NASA and the scientists along with the Illuminati. How can people not see that? All the scientists are just fooling us. And the earth is flat, that’s just common sense! Thanks to those giant tortoises that are holding it on place.

      Liked by 5 people

    • Fallacy Man says:

      I don’t expect you to “trust” me, but I do expect you to actually consider logical arguments and scientific evidence. If you can point out logical flaws in my arguments or present properly conducted, peer-reviewed papers which discredit the papers that I cite, then please do so and I will happily admit that I was wrong, but you cannot simply accuse me of being a shill and blindly write off my arguments just because they disagree with your preconceived notions.

      P.S. I receive no money from this blog. In fact, I pay an annual fee out of my own pocket in order to maintain it.

      Liked by 6 people

  8. I simply desired to appreciate you yet again. I’m not certain the things that I would’ve accomplished in the absence of these advice discussed by you
    concerning my subject. It previously was a daunting scenario in my view, but understanding a new expert fashion you solved it made
    me to jump over joy. I’m thankful for the assistance as well as hope you find out what
    a powerful job you were getting into teaching some other people by way of
    your blog. I am sure you haven’t encountered all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.