The term Genetic Fallacy is used to describe fallacious arguments that attack an idea based on its origins (genesis) and not its current validity.
The most common (but not the only) examples are attempts to discredit someone's idea by impugning the character of the person who originated the idea. For example, you could try to cast doubt on Thomas Jefferson's views about freedom by attacking his morality. Same with Benjamin Franklin, who, we all know, wasn't a very nice person. That has no bearing on the truth of his ideas or his work on electricity.
In the battle between rationalism and superstition, we can always count on the Intelligent Design Creationists to give us examples of every single logical fallacy. They are very good at irrational thinking.
Here's the latest from Denyse O'Leary: If you accept the argument in Descent of Man, you accept a racist argument. Some of her arguments against science are so classic I wouldn't be surprised if they enter the philosophy textbooks as examples of the important logical fallacies.
Quite honestly, I find current Darwinist efforts to get the old Brit toff off the hook for racism embarrassing. Far from differing from his generation's racist beliefs, Darwin wanted to provide solid scientific support for them. And to the extent that anyone accepts the argument in Descent of Man, they accept a racist argument.
Has anyone noticed how Darwinists carefully protect themselves from having the issue framed bluntly in those terms?
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