Logical Fallacies: The Genetic Fallacy

The genetic fallacy is an informal logical fallacy that is committed when someone argues that because an idea or organization have checkered origin, this somehow discredits its current status even though elements of its origin no longer are present. A common example of the genetic fallacy occurs when "anti-evolutionists" claim that evolution must be false because Darwin was racist. The truth value of evolution has no bearing on whether or not Darwin was racist, so this line of argumentation is fallacious.

A very recent example of this fallacy is very openly displayed in by anti-choice Christians who are launching a national campaign called "Defund Klanned Parenthood." Christians are alleging that the founder of Planned Parenthood supported the KKK, therefore Planned Parenthood should not receive federal funding,

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states;

    "We are launching 'Defund 'Klanned' Parenthood' to expose the reality that Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger, was a racist who supported the agenda of the Ku Klux Klan, spoke at their events and wanted to reduce the number of African-Americans.

    "We are calling upon the members of Congress, who have given billions of public money to Planned Parenthood over the years, to defund this group whose roots are racist, bigoted and extremist.

    "Our tax dollars should be given to groups that have embraced human rights, equality and justice for all. They should not be given to organizations founded by racists who embraced the agenda and philosophy of the KKK."