Argumentum ad novitatem

Argument for novelty

Argumentum ad novitatem is the fallacy of asserting that something is better simply because it is newer than something else. This fallacy is the reverse of the argumentum ad antiquitatem fallacy.

This fallacy is typically applied to new technologies, where new innovations might indeed be an improvement on the old. The folding bike in the foreground, for example, would be an improvement on the classical frame if the only consideration were transportability in a car's trunk. If the aim were merely to move somewhat faster than walking pace, then roller blades would fit more easily into a car's trunk. (Besides, roller blades are cheaper than the $500 price tag for the bike.) However, if you wanted to cycle more quickly along a road, then the classic configuration would clearly prove a better choice.

While it is easy to visualize the relative merit of bicycle technologies, other claims are not so easily assessed. The novelty fallacy can provide appeal for rehashed ideas that have been formulated as though they are new 'revelations' – intelligent [sick] design theory is merely eighteeth-century theologian Paley's old blind watchmaker argument, which itself is a rehash of an ancient argument. Paley's argument for design by a creator has been gussied up to appeal to those of strong religious convictions and inadequate understanding of science.

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