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Flaw Practice – Hammer Accidents

  • by Fehbe Meza
  • Jan 01, 2020
  • Question of the Day

Identify the flaw in the argument: “During the summer of 2011, the number of accidents involving people hitting themselves or others with a hammer rose dramatically. That same summer, the movie Thor was released.  So, Thor must have caused people to use hammers dangerously.”

Answer

This is a causation flaw.  While an increase in hammer injuries correlating with the release of a movie about a superhero with a giant hammer is certainly a suspicious coincidence, we cannot say definitively that Thor caused the increase in injuries.  Maybe that summer also involved a lot of DIY home improvement projects.  The point is, causal conclusions are always sketchy on the LSAT so anytime you jump from correlation to causation, that is a huge fallacy red flag.

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