|A red herring is a deliberate attempt to divert a process of enquiry by changing the subject. It is a debating tactic but qualifies as a fallacy when the tactic creates the false belief that the irrelevant subject is a reasonable continuation of the discussion, or that the avoidance of the original question has won the debate.
Episode 43 discusses in detail the distinction between red herring and ignoratio elenchi so listeners should refer to that episode if they are still unclear on the difference between these two fallacies.
We should mention that, in addition to being a fallacy, red herring is also a large category of fallacies. We’ll give examples below that, as far as we can tell, don’t fit the definition of any other fallacy.
Dick’s response is a red herring fallacy because not only is the subject of the new war irrelevant to the justification for getting rid of the President, but in fact it is all the more reason for him to go because it is yet another calamity brought on by his administration.
This argument is a red herring because the theory of evolution is not about how life originally started.