Reality and logic do not come made-to-order with extra cheese, so you don't get a discount on them with a coupon. To make a good case, then, we must follow the rules of valid and sound reasoning.
Anyone who wishes to see the debate mentioned above can view it at: http://ophirgold.blogspot.com. Just look for the article with the silly title, "The Taxonomic Failure of Evolutionary Theory," and read the "comments." See if you can spot the pepperoni pizza fallacy there.
This means that Darwinism, neo-Darwinism and "Punctuationism," like all other ideas, have logical consequences (implications) that affect every area of human thought and life. This is why you can find evolutionary ideas discussed in psychology textbooks, history books, and even pop magazines.
In any case, evading or ignoring certain aspects of an idea's logical consequences to gain the upper hand in a debate -- or else to keep one's ship from sinking altogether -- now has a name. Armed with this knowlegde, you can clearly and distinctly show others when the need arises, that life tranpires only as a set of integrated circumstances, and that ideas have logical effects not properly limited to any one academic field.
By way of illustration, I recently engaged a lively proponent of Mr. Darwin's views. In the course of our discussion, he suggested that evolutionary notions merely comprised "biological theories," and that I had mistakenly inquired about the ethics of it all. Here, the pepperoni began to fly.
He didn't seem to realize (as Mr. Darwin clearly did) that theories we might properly call "biological," (or scientific) can -- and often do -- have obvious ethical implications. Ideas have logical effects not restricted to one academic field. You cannot win a debate by simply put an arbitrary fence around an idea and yelling at its entailed offspring "Now stay!" Like illegal aliens -- they tend to jump the borders when you aren't looking.
Now this fallacy -- the error of confusing real life with its written counterpart, does not show up in informal logic texts. But it should, since it clearly misleads many these days.
So, what to call it? I at first tried the "fallacy of compartmentalized reality." I can hear the students now, "WhatEVER." Then I mused, "fallacy of reflective segmenting." huh? Finally, I landed on the more user-friendly label, the "Pepperoni Pizza" fallacy. Surely students could grab and digest this supreme combination of words (or was that "combination supreme"?).
Just as with the runningback who grasps a fumbled football in the midst of many linesmen, life happens to us "all at once." Only after taking in an historically important event, and reflecting on it a bit, can we slice it up to study some of parts or aspects in isolation from the others -- as pundits might do, say, in an economics textbook. This, of course, makes students especially prone to confuse the way things happen on paper with how they occur on a battlefield, or in the midst of a revolution.
Either way then, assumptions necessary to the trade of star-traffickers show themselves bogus. The whole thing turns out a useless mirage. Astral determinism thus represents a phoney idea, and we can show this with a little logical rigor.
Finally then, we wish to add logical insult to mystical injury by noting that our refutation of astral determinism posits a fairly clear and obvious problem for their trade. And like the bug who never quite manages to avoid the fast-approaching windshield -- they should have seen it coming.
So they assume astral determinism when predicting, and then assume its opposite when advising. One simply cannot have it both ways. The only way to resolve this contradiction derives from saying that the heavenlies determine SOME things, but not others. This avoids contradictory impulses, however, at the cost of engaging a purely arbitrary (pick and choose whichever you like) approach to what stars do and do not determine about your life. And yet their charts promise a principled (non-arbitrary) way to know the future. So this option makes no logical headway either.
This means simply that the stars and planets determine your future, hence the phrase, "written in the stars." On the other hand, however, when the predictors finish telling just what will befall you, they move onto the next part of the column. They offer advice. But this advice you may take or leave, as though you have a free choice to make, the outcome of which no star determines.
All the best efforts of the academic world have not managed to prevent the current shortage of good rewriters. Most folks still cling to the “Myth of the Great Writer,” and this hinders them from jumping straightway into the river of personal advancement. Don’t let a literary fiction keep you from securing your own set of extremely marketable and valuable skills with a little effort and practice. Start today, and come on in – the water is fine. And did I mention that it’s free?
Now these rules work very well and can improve your writing immensely almost at once, but only if you put them to use. On such topics as these, of course, I have much more to say. And I hasten to do so at: http://scriberight.blogspot.com, giving examples, tips and great resources along the way. Remember, you will need to rely heavily on a fairly comprehensive thesaurus. Don’t be afraid to invest a little in this venture.
Finally, rule number five bids good rewriters juggle their sentence lengths. Mix it up. If your first sentence spans only a few words, follow this with a lengthier one. Then chase that one with a mid-length sentence. This creates an almost enchanting, writing “flow”– where your readers wonder what will come next. This subtle variety in your writing style draws the reader in, and keeps her coming back. And we know that keeping readers interested remains the best way to keep them.
Rule number four for good rewriting warns us to keep it short and snappy. Take a step back form your paper for a moment to clean it up now. Go ahead and give your draft a clean shave, and take a little off the top. Trimming from your draft excess words, phrases, and perhaps even sentences, will ensure clear writing that gets right to the point. If your sentence says it in twenty words, find a way to say it in, maybe, fifteen. But watch out for nicks and cuts. Never toss out any important ideas or words essential to your writing task. Yet, when it doubt, throw it out – or at the least – give it a fair snipping to keep it lean.
Under the rubric of rule three, good rewriting will insist that you vary your word choices. Do not employ the same words too often. This means you must scan the draft to spy out the repeat offenders, so you can give their space to an underemployed synonym. You can plunder any good thesaurus to get these. Variety remains THE spice central to good writing, so spice it up.
Moving on to rule number two, we encourage good rewriters to supplant verb forms of “to be” (e.g. was, were, are, am, will be) with active verbs. Adorn your draft with highly-caffeinated words that careen, thunder, swoop, roar, derail and dance. Comatose words like “is” barely manage to register a heartbeat as verbs. They portray nothing at all. Some politicians, it is rumored, do not even know what the meaning of “is” really is. Yet, who can blame them for wanting to defrock such a flimsy and haggard word? As a good rewriter, you must convict and impeach these lackluster, worthless, and dull-witted imposters – meaning, of course, lazy verbs – not the politicians.
Our first rule, we shall say this way: prefer concrete nouns to the abstract. By “concrete” I mean to suggest that you should employ the kinds of nouns we can all see, taste, smell, hear and see. This would include peanut butter, cars, frying pans, and DVD’s. Abstract nouns, on the other hand, insist on playing hide-and-seek from our five senses. Most of the badly overused ones end in “-tion.” These include words like marginalization, utilization, and transportation. Good rewriters will make every effort to paint pictures, so to speak, in the minds of their readers. Do not simply tell them, SHOW them. Now be assured that no one has the foggiest idea what “marginalization” looks like, but we all know a marshmallow when we see one. Paint vivid, lustrous – even golden – pictures in your readers’ minds. Use images that drip honey. So replace the do-nothing abstract nouns in your draft with smoldering wicks, chandeliers of fiery brass, and shimmering scarlet wine (preferably California Cabernets).
So where’s the love? It comes by filtering the unruly items from your draft (with our rules), and replacing them with the beloved features of good writing. Here, you take your very rough draft – and some will prove rougher than others – and purge from it all the dross in a step-by-step fashion, with rules simple enough for clever pets to follow. Even Cocoa could do this.
Now, the good news for those of us with all the creative flare of peet moss is this: this man does not exist. There are no great writers. The world knows only great rewriters. The way to produce a fine piece of writing comes by outlining briefly what you wish to say, filling out the floor plan with a few data from your research, and then by sifting carefully through the first draft many times – systematically. Just follow the rules, step-by-step.
What does he do? He sits far back in the recesses of your mind, whittling away at another masterpiece. For, you see, he flawlessly crafts only the finest specimens of the literary art, and he does so day-in and day-out. No piles of crumpled paper wads litter his desk or the floor, and he doesn’t DO erasers. He simply presses the “insight” button, absorbs the inspired notion, and, with a flick of the wrist, returns to churning out his next scripted champion.
In the introduction, hint at your conclusion, but don't give away the whole story. This makes for a smooth and logical flow from start to finish, giving your work a stylish symmetry, where the first part foresees the end, and the end reflects on the beginning. All good stories have this symmetry.
PART #10. Do the footnoting (or endnoting) and contstruct an extensive bibliography. Add title page and Table of Contents. See Kate Turabian's or an MLA manual online for this, and for grammar and style. You can also use the resources we list in our sidebar.
PART#7: Rewrite your rough draft 5 times using our rules of good writing.
PART:#8 Study the cleaned-up draft for logical errors in arguments. See our "Blogic For Writers" website for this; modify and strenghten your case. Use T Edward Damer's "Attacking Faulty Reasoning" for this too.
PART#9 -- Write your conclusion. This final paragraph spells out "what important point or points you have learned from doing all this hard work (e-search). Here, you make the case for why your research has value. Also, here either write or rewrite your introductory paragraph to "hint at" (anticipate) the concluding paragraph. Most of the time it actually makes the best sense to write your introduction LAST, since this way you write with a view of the WHOLE work, which you did not have at the beginning.