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A "strawman argument" or simply a "strawman" is a flimsy argument which is created only to be "knocked down". The term is sometimes used to refer to simplified arguments which are then demolished to understand exactly where they fall apart. What is learned in the process may then be applied to a related, more sophisticated argument, either to show how it may be similarly demolished or to illustrate its relative strength. More frequently the term comes up in relation to phony, easily countered arguments which are attributed in debate to an opponent and then demolished -- thereby "proving" that the opponent's claims are empty. Example: Creationists disprove evolution by attributing the claim to it that monkeys will sometimes give birth to human babies, which is false, and therefore evolution is false. Since nothing claimed by most evolutionists implies such a thing, this is a counter-argument to a strawman.

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