False analogy:

Conceptual Fallacy
Definition Example
When an analogy fails to maintain a relevant parallel to the original concept. Using college to try to educate someone for a career is like explaining on a chalkboard how to ride a bicycle.
  Notes
In the example, the argument fails since semantic memory is vastly different from motor memory.


If some system A has both function X and function Y, and some system B has a function X′ corresponding to A‘s function X, then the system B should also have a function Y′ that is analogous to A‘s function Y for the analogy to succeed.

Case Study One

It has been argued that science is a religion since, just like religions, it is based on a collection of beliefs such as the primacy of measurable evidence, mapping degree of confidence to the degree of the evidence, and the benefits of a falsifiable theory and peer review. However, the most essential elements of religion such as an infallible authoritative person or book, the encouragement of absolute belief, and the claim of moral authority is absent from science.


Case Study Two

Consider the following argument.

Dating is like gambling. You’ll win a few, and lose a few.

This is a false analogy in that it ignores the non-randon aspects of selecting a date.


Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.


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