Talk:Straw man

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Straw skepticism[edit]

The main thrust of the fist part of the Straw skepticism section claims that calling homoeopathy "just water" is a straw man argument because it ignores the magic banging.

But come on! It is just water!

The second paragraph then relationally doubts the first paragraph. We should delete the whole section. If we really want to show a bit balance fallacy then we should find a different bit of sceptical straw-manning.--Weirdstuff (talk) 07:39, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

It might have been garbled since, but the point is that you can't just consider some mocked-up version of an alternative medicine and then dismiss it based on that. Far too often on RW articles especially you find people trying to second guess what creationists or alt med advocates "might" say about something - forming their own straw man in the process. It's true that homeopathy hasn't proven that succussion alters the water in any way, but "dilution" is still a false impression of the claim. Scarlet A.pngpostateModerator 18:12, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
What it says at the moment is:
The classic example being homeopathy, an alternative medicine treatment where active ingredients are diluted until no trace of it remains in the remedy. It is, of course, absurd to think that this could work, but it is also a straw man argument because homeopathy includes a succussion procedure involving striking the solution in a special way. Thus, homeopathic remedies aren't "just dilutions" but dilutions that have been whisked about a bit.
It seems to me that calling "homeopathic remedies "just dilutions" is perfectly fair. Are we going to consider every justification of "flood geology" when we dismiss the flood?--Weirdstuff (talk) 08:11, 31 October 2012 (UTC)


What is the connection between strawpeople/strawcreatures and basket cases? (talk) 16:26, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Does 'goat' eat straw man'? (talk) 15:41, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

And where do 'straw dolls' fit into the argument? (talk) 15:53, 24 February 2017 (UTC)


The following has been added twice to the article under "form"

  1. 1st person puts forward argument A.
  2. 2nd person puts forward argument B falsifing A.
  3. 2nd person puts refutes argument B.
  4. It appears superficially that argument A has been refuted.

I feel that it should not be in the article for two reasons. Firstly it does not make sense. If objection B is falsified then argument A is apparently bolstered - not refuted. Secondly, and most importantly, even if this could somehow be written so that it made sense it still wouldn't be a demonstration of a straw man argument.--Weirdstuff (talk) 16:52, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

No, it makes sense. The verb 'to falsify' has multiple meanings and this "form" section utilizes the more obscure meaning of it, which is: 'to alter (information, a document, or evidence) so as to mislead'.
I would also like to point out that "puts refutes" should be changed to "refutes".
Whether we need to have a "form" section at all, though, is a matter worth discussing. Nullahnung (talk) 17:06, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Then point two would need to be clarified and it should read:
  1. 1st person puts forward argument A.
  2. 2nd person changes argument two to make it false.
  3. 2nd person refutes argument argument A - which he had previously made false.
  4. It appears superficially that argument A has been refuted.
But now it's simply trite.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:21, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Your "clarification" made it even more confusing and now it doesn't make sense to me anymore. :/
Here, let me try the clarification:
  1. 1st person puts forward argument A.
  2. 2nd person puts forward argument B which is a misleading alteration of argument A.
  3. 2nd person refutes argument B.
  4. It appears superficially that argument A has been refuted.
Nullahnung (talk) 17:35, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I didn't proofread that very well. Sorry about that.--Weirdstuff (talk) 17:41, 8 December 2013 (UTC)
I added what Nullahnung wrote to the article but made it into a footnote. Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:59, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Penny for the Guy[edit]

Some link to Guy Fawkes night (and effigy burning) perhaps? (talk) 14:59, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

A straw poll told us that would be the last straw, so you're probably clutching at straws there. SophieWilderModerator 17:37, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
None of this has anything to do with the prettiest girl I ever saw, who was sippin' cider through a straw. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:12, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Straw pole dancing? (talk) 16:10, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Straw Evolution[edit]

Bulverism much? According to your own page on bulverism, it's deciding without discussion someone is wrong and explaining how they became so silly. Creationists do understand evolution probably a lot better than evolutionists do. After all, the Origin of Species is one of the top ten people lie about having read. The scientific community relies on brainwashing idiots who just repeat what they hear on the Discovery Channel and from secondhand accounts of scientific texts, but never see for themselves. (talk) 19:00, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

First, The Origin of Species doesn't even make the top 20 list of people lie about reading. The only source I could find that actually had Darwin's book on it was an article on The Federalist, which was the author's "attempt to drill [a list from Huffpost] down to a more realistic list" of books (Which, need I point out, has Homer's Odysseus as the top book just because the author owns a copy and has never read it).
Also, [citation needed] <-- So tell us what you've "seen for yourself".
Also, the relevant articles do go into why each of them are wrong. ℕoir LeSable (talk) 19:40, 21 April 2016 (UTC)

Straw men and evolution[edit]

As straw men arguments are used in evolution - should there be a funspace article on the evolution of straw men (how do they breed by the way?). (talk) 16:28, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

"Straw man arguments are used in evolution" <- See me after class. Facepalm Reverend Black Percy (talk) 16:58, 9 August 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I know, but how do straw people evolve - and where do 'little dollies made of straw' and [1] fit into the straw evolutionary tree?

In the beginning there was some straw and God wanted to see what it was good for, so asked all the creatures of the world for ideas.

One little piggy asked for straw to make a house - which did not work.

A woman, crowned with iron came by and took some.

So did the owners of various small 'pets' (who actually owned them).

The straw then evolved.

First there were dollies, and then there were 'straw men.' (talk) 17:45, 9 August 2017 (UTC)


What is the source (reference) for claiming a fallacy of this type is only Straw Man if done deliberately? In common usage I see people uninformed on a topic parroting back such an argument from what they heard elsewhere (and believed) and this being claimed by those on the other side to be Straw Maning. A review of the topic on Wikipedia and elsewhere does not back-up the claim it must be deliberate! — Unsigned, by: / talk

I'm sort of inclined to agree. But it may depend on what you mean by "intentional". The typical argumentative straw man "So what you are saying is (followed by some gross exaggeration or misrepresentation of the other speaker's point)". So is that a "deliberate" straw man or just bad style?Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 17:40, 25 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes. Oxyaena Harass 17:44, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

Straw soldiers[edit]

Are actually used towards the end of episode 40 of 'Three Kingdoms (2010). Anna Livia (talk) 22:56, 4 September 2021 (UTC)

... So? Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 00:57, 5 September 2021 (UTC)
An example of the 'proper' use of straw-persons (to acquire a large number of arrows from the enemy). Anna Livia (talk) 09:18, 5 September 2021 (UTC)