Critical thinking faulty argumentation worksheet

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Critical thinking faulty argumentation worksheet
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It is time for you to dive into this vast mountain of literature! You will be searching for examples of the faulty arguments and poor reasoning types listed below. Make sure you have studied the PowerPoint on this subject before attempting this assignment!

Some great places to start: Google any of the following or find your own sources:

  • Mercola
  • Oz
  • Natural cures
  • Herbs are better than pills
  • Wild claims for herbs

You will find a huge array of information, ranging from the credible to the fantastic. Scan for the following faulty arguments and write down the example of what you found and the source and exactly WHY you think the reasoning is poor. Some of them will be easier to find than others.  In total, you should have at least 10 different faulty argument from the literature, labeled and including the reference citations. The remaining 10 (different) faulty arguments can  be either from the literature or made up using the field of plant medicine as your platform. You must do all 20 of the faulty arguments and repeats do not count! Please label them 1-20 and bold the name or underline them or put them in red for ease in grading. There is no specific word count and you may use as many literature sources as you need. Make sure you label the ones you create as your own.

This is a tough assignment- good luck!

  1. Poor Logic
  2. Emotional Appeal
  3. Ad Hominem
  4. Ad Populum
  5. Appeal to Authority
  6. Faulty Statistics
  7. Research by Exegesis
  8. Slippery Slope
  9. Red Herring
  10. Testimonial
  11. Circular Reasoning
  12. Equivocation
  13. False Dichotomy
  14. Hasty Generalization
  15. Glittering Generality
  16. Prejudice and Stereotypes
  17. Faulty Analogy
  18. Dogmatism
  19. Post Hoc
  20. Jargon

Here is an example:

Dr. Perlmutter is a board-certified neurologist and a fellow of the American College of Nutrition (ACN). He also has a clinic in Naples, Florida, and he’s been very active in publishing his findings in peer-reviewed medical journals. He says, “We’re now recognizing from research at our most well-respected institutions from around the globe that the gut bacteria

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are wielding this very powerful sword of Damocles,” he says.

They determine whether we’re going to have a healthy brain or not, whether our brain is going to function well or not, and whether our brain is going to become diseased or not. Who knew that we’d be referring back to the gut?”

The source is Dr. Mercolahttp://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/17/gut-bacteria-brain-health.aspx

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This is an example of slippery slope, appeal to authority and false dichotomy. The reasoning is poor because it is an over-stretched analogy that is unproven scientifically and no literature studies are cited. Its also an oversimplification that relies on jargon to confuse non-medically trained desperately ill people.



Example of Faulty Argument found in literature

This excerpt is taken from a website touting the benefits of alkaline foods in the diet. It is a prime example of how science is maligned in favor of false authorities and popular mysths.


“This is the second important point: the alkaline diet JUST MAKES SENSE! Try not to get too caught up in the science of it all. The scientific proof and scientific background of the alkaline diet is there, that’s without question – but don’t fall into the trap of not seeing the wood for the trees!”


We have testimonial, bandwagon, ad populum, faulty reasoning, circular reasoning, false dichotomy and more in this one paragraph.

Website: http://liveenergized.com/alkaline-diet-scientific-proof/alkaline-diet-proof/


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This is Dr. Young’s website. Be sure to look at the next content page in the module to see him exposed as a quack.



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This website exposes Dr. Young and his “science” as quackery.



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