Argument from Analogy
An argument from analogy involves the drawing of a conclusion about one object or event because the same can obviously be said about a similar object or event. The strength of any argument from analogy largely depends on the strength and relevance of the employed analogy.
Here is the general structure of an argument from analogy:
x applies in case A (this should be an uncontroversial premise)
case A is relevantly similar to case B
Therefore, x applies in case B
The teleological argument from analogy
Certain objects, like watches and machines, require an intelligent agent to explain their existence.
Organisms are similar to watches and machines.
Therefore, organisms require an intelligent agent to explain their existence.
Some bad arguments from analogy
Frankenstein is not very smart.
The candidate for mayor looks like Frankenstein.
Therefore, the candidate for mayor is not very smart.
Humans are capable of learning complex languages.
Chimpanzee DNA is more than 99% similar to human DNA.
Therefore, Chimpanzee’s must be able to learn complex languages.
When steam builds up in a steam engine, it needs to be let out.
Emotions build in people just like steam builds up in steam engines.
Therefore, emotions need to be let out.
Computers perform complex, intelligent tasks by means of blind physical processes.
Human minds perform complex intelligent tasks similar to computers.
Therefore, the human mind must do what it does by means of blind physical processes.