What's the fallacy in this statement-

Since books are Intelligently designed and Complicated, therefore it has a Creator.

DNA is Intelligently designed and Complicated, therefore it has a creator.

  • 2
    Non sequitur? There is the implicit premise that everything that is intelligently designed and complicated must have a creator.
    – user2953
    Jan 9, 2018 at 5:39
  • 1
    Or possibly, there is no fallacy per se. Arguments by analogy are a type of inductive argument and thus are only strong or weak, so they never entail their conclusion absolutely...
    – virmaior
    Jan 9, 2018 at 5:59
  • Why "Creator" (with capital C) for books ? It is not true that all books have been "created" by the same author. Jan 9, 2018 at 10:44
  • "false analogy". In general, all analogies are "false analogies" in the sense that: if X and Y are analogous, statements true for X may not be true for Y, because analogies aren't equalities. As @virmaior notes, this argument can be useful, but it's not conclusive. It doesn't actually prove anything absolutely.
    – user935
    Jan 16, 2018 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


I see several potential problems here. Which apply depends on how the argument is to be interpreted. In particular, it’s not clear what “intelligently designed” is supposed to mean here.

  • One of the premises may be false. If we take “intelligently designed” to mean “designed by an intelligent entity,” it is not immediately apparent that this applies to DNA.
  • Circular reasoning

    Typical definitions of “intelligently designed,” such as the one mentioned previously, are basically equivalent to “having a creator.” Obviously we can’t assume that DNA was designed by something with intelligence, and then conclude that this implies intelligent design.

    Thus there could potentially be circular reasoning at play here.

  • Equivocation.

    I suspect this is the real issue. There is, I think an implicit confusion between what we might call “intelligently-designed” (meaning designed by an intelligent creature, as the book might be) and “intelligently designed” (possibly meaning having a good or efficient design).

    DNA is manifestly designed in an efficient or “smart” manner, but this “design” was not necessarily done by an intelligent entity.

    There’s also a possible equivocation between “a creator” (someone or even some process that made an object) and a Creator (a deity of some sort), but this is much less likely.

As mentioned in the comments on the question, even though each argument (for books and DNA) is presented as a syllogism by itself, it could be that the real, implicit argument is one by analogy. That is, books are complicated and designed in a manner that appears to indicate intelligence, therefore DNA is as well. This might be considered a sort of hasty generalization fallacy (properly speaking, not a formal logical fallacy).

  • @PédeLeão - I’m not saying that there’s no creator, or even that DNA’s complexity is not indicative of divine design. I do believe the second, admittedly, but that’s not what I’m saying here. Merely that circularity is a possible fallacy in the argument. While you might view the implied inductive argument as valid, I’d be surprised if you were convinced by any of the separate syllogisms - or even were certain what they meant.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jan 9, 2018 at 11:31
  • 1
    I withdrew the comment. It just reminded me of an accusation once made by someone that his opponent was thinking a premise which would entail a circular argument. But I see that that's not what you're doing. The original question is just worded in a very informal manner.
    – user3017
    Jan 9, 2018 at 11:56

In general terms, things to consider:

  • Book has a known author, DNA does not.

  • is there a factual correlation between DNA and books. In essence, these are two separate things.

  • For example, comparing apples to oranges. Does that really make sense? In the context of what fruit is the best then it might. That being said, there are more features dissimilar than similar.

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