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Acknowledgements What is wrong with antievolutionist arguments via quotations? Any competent biologist is aware of a multitude of problems yet unresolved and of questions yet unanswered.
After all, biologic research shows no sign of approaching completion; quite the opposite is true. Disagreements and clashes of opinion are rife among biologists, as they should be in a living and growing science.
Antievolutionists mistake, or pretend to mistake, these disagreements as indications of dubiousness of the entire doctrine of evolution. Their favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists.
Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin.
For many people the use of quote after quote makes a very persuasive argument. However, the antievolutionist use of quotes is invalid and does not in any way provide evidence for creationism or against evolution. The reasons for this fall into several major categories: The fallacy of the argument from authority When someone -- no matter what kinds of degrees, qualifications, prestige, or honors he has -- is quoted to support a proposition, it does not imply that the proposition is true.
To imply otherwise is a common fallacy called the "argument from authority. A scientific argument is not like an elementary school book that says "authoritatively" that Albany is the capital of New York, nor is it a high school or college textbook that functions to summarize current theory and practice of a field.
The works of antievolutionists are not merely trying to summarize existing mainstream scientific knowledge, but are rather trying to argue that large parts of it are completely wrong.
The young-earth creationists in particular are arguing that most of mainstream science is wrong. A few of them propose that is it very close to all being wrongincluding most of physics and chemistry. Can one really accomplish a complete overturning of mainstream scientific thinking and establish creationism as scientific knowledge with a list of quotes?
Some evolution deniers will undoubtedly state that the overwhelming support of evolution by qualified scientists does not by itself prove evolution. They are correct in saying this. Most scientists do not just assert that evolution is correct, but rather provide overwhelming evidence from many fields.
If antievolutionists want to say that they are opposed to the "argument from authority," they cannot reject its use for evolution while simultaneously using it to make their own points. For example, if a paleontologist argues that something is a transitional fossil and points to various features of the fossil as evidence, then merely quoting some other authority saying it is not transitional is not an adequate response.
The evolution denier must point to specific evidence to argue that it is not transitional. Sometimes there is need of some sort of authority.
There is nothing wrong with going to appropriate experts when the need arises. Furthermore, one cannot ignore the evidence and lines of reasoning of authorities with different views.
In science it is the evidence, and not who says it, that should count. If quotes are to be used at all, they should used in an argument and not as an argument. Real scientific argumentation only rarely involves the use of quotes as anyone who has ever looked at scientific papers or publications knows.
When an argument is based on evidence there is little need for frequent quotations. Citations and references in technical papers tend to be for things like where data came from, where an idea was proposed, where methodology was described, where a line of argumentation was made, where a fossil was formally described, and other things along those lines.
If the reader doubts that papers only rarely use quotes or wants to see for themselves how how scientists use the work of other scientists there is a simple solution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PNAS is one of the top scientific journals in the world covering virtually the entire breadth of scientific inquiry today.
PNAS has its entire contents from to available online for free without any need of registration with later issues becoming free after six months. See the contents of the January 2, issue.
The scientific papers begin after the commentaries and perspectives. The issue was chosen because it is, at the time that this paragraph was being written, the "free sample issue" linked from the home page, lest anyone think that the issue was hand-picked for this article.The Purdue Online Writing Lab Welcome to the Purdue OWL.
We offer free resources including Writing and Teaching Writing, Research, Grammar and Mechanics, Style Guides, ESL (English as a Second Language), and Job Search and Professional Writing. EasyBib — your online writing hub All the tools to submit your paper with confidence. Evolution deniers often argue by the use of quotations.
This document demonstrates the fallacies of arguing by quotation and the various 'tricks of the trade' to make quotes falsely imply the evolution is in trouble. Quoting quotes in a research paper Posted on by Both sides of the fence response to literature essay manifest destiny thematic essay for global regents essay about charity in islam role of media and press essay help sari essayah lapset play.
Keep in mind that any time you borrow ideas from another, you must cite the author and the source of your information. Documenting quotes in a paper is essential in avoiding plagiarism. Research Paper Citations.
Cite the source of your quote within the text of your paper. Quoting out of context (sometimes referred to as contextomy or quote mining) is an informal fallacy and a type of false attribution  in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning.
Contextomies may be both intentional, as well as accidental if someone .