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Bread Facts

by Hans Bluedorn

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.

2. Fully half of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.

3. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.

4. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

5. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.

6. Bread is often a “gateway” food item, leading the user to “harder” items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.

7. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.

8. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

9. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400F! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.

Can you name the errors in reasoning in the list above? Email your answers to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The first three correct answers will receive a free Fallacy Detective t-shirt! (Visit http://www.fallacydetective.com/articles/read/short-list-of-fallacies/ to learn more about how to name fallacies.)

Answers to Bread Facts

Here are the fallacies we found in our last “Bread Facts” email:

1. “More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.”

This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just because felons eat bread, that doesn’t mean the bread made them a felon.

2. “Fully half of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.”

This is also post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just because below average children eat bread, that doesn’t mean the bread made them below average.

3. “More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.”

Another post hoc ergo propter hoc. Just because crimes often happen after somebody eats bread, this doesn’t mean . . . you get the point.

4. “In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.”

Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

5. “Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.”

Well, this seems to be true . . . we’re all addicted to food. But, this may be equivocating on the word “bread.” In the first part, the word “bread” means stuff made out of flour. In the second part, “bread” refers to food, generally.

6. “Bread is often a “gateway” food item, leading the user to “harder” items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.”

Huh?

7. “Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.”

We don’t know what this one is, it just sounds so crazy.

8. “Newborn babies can choke on bread.”

This is an appeal to fear.

9. “Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400F! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.”

Red Herring—something irrelevant is being introduced into the argument.

And our winners are Maryalice Newborn, Jason Kibbe and Amy Summers!

(The list above was adapted from “Bread Is Bad” http://laughlines.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/bread-is-bad/)

Copyright October 02, 2008, all rights reserved. 14812 views


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