By Kimmi and Mikaela
Definition: Anecdotal evidence is evidence collected in a casual or informal manner and relying heavily or entirely on personal testimony
A common way anecdotal evidence becomes unscientific is through fallacious reasoning The human tendency to assume that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. Another fallacy involves inductive reasoning. This can been seen in The Handmaid’s Tale when Margaret Atwood wrote about things that had happened before under the assumption that they would happen again.
The anecdotal fallacy uses a personal experience or an isolated example instead of a sound argument.
“Leanne thinks smoking does not affect life expectancy since her grandmother smoked for 4 decades and lived to be 87”
“Smoking isn’t harmful. My grandfather smoked a pack a day and lived until 97”
In this example the woman uses an isolated incident of personal experience to question a known fact, however there has been a multitude of scientific research into how smoking negatively affects your health. It is not fair to question the findings of those studies based on one personal experience. When it is a proven fact that smoking counts for more than 80,000 deaths in England each year.