It’s Brand New!


Today’s Logical Fallacy is known as Appeal To Popularity. Since some of my readers are intimidated by X’s, today’s X will be played by baby ducks. The format of Appeal to Popularity looks like this:

1) Baby Ducks (X) are new.

2)Therefore Baby Ducks (X) are correct or better.

This type of reasoning is false because a new item or idea is not always, by default, better than something older. It should also not be presumed that old things are better than new things (see Appeal to Tradition).

A real world example might look something like this: Marketing approach Baby Ducks is new, therefor, because it is new, it will automatically work better.

This approach is fallacious because there is no evidence to support the claim that Baby Ducks is the best marketing approach over the previous marketing agenda.  Beyond that,  “This sort of “reasoning” is appealing for many reasons. First, “western culture” includes a very powerful comittment to the notion that new things must be better than old things. Second, the notion of progress (which seems to have come, in part, from the notion of evolution) implies that newer things will be superior to older things. Third, media advertising often sends the message that newer must be better. Because of these three factors (and others) people often accept that a new thing (idea, product, concept, etc.) must be better because it is new. Hence, Novelty is a somewhat common fallacy, especially in advertising.”, according to http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/appeal-to-novelty.html

For some things age *does* have a bearing on the context. Fresh food is better for human consumption than food that has rotted. To follow that line of reasoning someone would, obviously, not be committing the flawed appeal to popularity “reasoning”.  So as you can see, even though they are cute and fuzzy, Baby Ducks are not automatically better that Grown Up Ducks.

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