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Non sequitur

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Non sequitur ("it does not follow") is a Latin term that simply means that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premise.

Below are examples of this logical fallacy. They are also examples of the Argument from incredulity.

1st example of a non sequitur

1st premises

  1. Science can’t explain the origin of life
  2. There are gaps in the fossil record

1st conclusions

Different religions come up with different mutually contradictory conclusions based largely on wishful thinking:-

  1. Therefore evolution is false and God created us as shown in the 1st or 2nd Chapter of Genesis and further Jesus is God’s son.
  2. Therefore evolution is false and Allah created us as shown in the Koran.
  3. Therefore evolution is false and the gods/goddesses of our polytheistic religion created us as shown in our sacred texts.

1st analysis

  1. The first premise is correct, science can’t explain yet the origin of life but see Articles on the Origin of Life.
  2. The second premise is is correct but unimportant, see TalkOrigins on Transitional fossils. Fossilization is a rare process and we will never get a complete record from generation to generation, still evolution is clear without a totally complete record.
  3. This in no way shows that any one religion or sect has the true explanation for life.
  4. Further natural explanations for life and its origin are in no way ruled out, science has not found the whole story yet.

2nd example of a non sequitur

2nd premises

  1. I personally can’t understand quantum mechanics, other complex material that atheistic scientists write.
  2. I personally can understand what my priest/pastor/mullah tells me about God.

2nd conclusions

Different religions come up with different mutually contradictory conclusions again based largely on wishful thinking:-

  1. Therefore what the most respected astronomers in the world say is false and God created the Universe as shown in the 1st or 2nd Chapter of Genesis and further Jesus is God’s son.
  2. Therefore what the most respected astronomers in the world say is false and Allah created the universe as shown in the Koran.
  3. Therefore what the most respected astronomers in the world say is false and the gods/goddesses of our polytheistic religion created the universe as shown in our sacred texts.

2nd analysis

Both premises are correct, a lay believer with possibly limited intelligence and education may find religious accounts easier to understand than complex science. None of that disproves science.

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