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Jun 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 12)

Logical Fallacies: The Fallacy Files

  • Full of excellent examples
  • Unintuitive navigation
When we refer to fallacies, we are describing things that are mistakes, and if they are logical fallacies, they are mistakes in reasoning. It is impossible to read the news today or (worse) watch the news and not be inundated by fallacies. Attempting to oversee and provide a handle on fallacies is The Fallacy Files, a labor of love of Gary N. Curtis, a Ph.D., from Indiana University, whose background is logic. His collection of fallacies and categorization of them is remarkable. I have been making noise for some time about the need to develop better online sources of biochemistry content for use in teaching to replace textbooks and I haven’t gotten very far, but looking at Dr. Curtis’ work, I’m pleased to see that other disciplines are farther along. Fallacies are listed alphabetically on the site, though, for a site designed by a logician, navigation is not exactly what I’d call logical. It is easy to get twisted around and lose what you came looking for. On the plus side, there are superb examples and writing at the site, so Logical Fallacies is a mixed bag.
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*The opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s) and should not be construed as reflecting the viewpoints of the publisher, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., the publishing house, or employees and affiliates thereof.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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