What is the name for this faulty logic: Low average age of rock stars at death?

This Christian site staes that rock stars average age of death is 36.9 years, as opposed to the avaerage age of Americans, which is 75.8. Ergo, rock stars die very much younger than the avaerage America.

Well, Christian dude, rock stars haven’t been around long enough to die of natural cases. Neither have women who have had legal abortions, people conceived by in vitro fertilization, or television evangelists. Any one of those groups would also have a low “average age at death.”

So what is is logic fallacy called?

P.S. It’s going to be amazing to watch that “age of death” number increase rapidly in the next two decades.

The fallacy is that they are looking at the average age of rock stars who have not only died, but have died prematurely. They don’t include rock stars who died peacefully in their sleep aged over 90.

You might be able to make some guesses about the life expectancy of rock stars from their data, but you’d need to start by knowing what the total population of rack stars is, when they were born, and how many are still alive.

I think you missed the point. You know how many Rock Stars died at age 90? None. How many rock stars can you name that were born just after the first World War?

I think there are two problems. The first, already mentioned, is that rock stars haven’t been around long enough to have had any of them die at age 90. The second. lesser problem, is that rock stars probably get identified as such younger than other comparison groups. Someone who dies at age 25 might be an identifiable rock-star but s/he won’t be known for say being a CEO of a major corporation.

Also, how do they define a rock star?

Mama Cass?!

How 'bout idiocy?

Maybe check out Wikipedia’s article on logical fallacies here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_fallacy

I wonder whether the same website advocates against young people becoming loggers…

I’d call it sampling bias or selection bias.

Mick Jagger?

He only looks that way.

Definitely selection/sample bias, although this particular case comes up often enough (see also, NFL players dying young, computer programmers dying young, etc.) that it probably has it’s own more specific name, too. More interestingly, I bet you that by the same (invalid) reasoning, Fire & Brimstone Web Developers also die very, very young – and certainly within 20 years of starting that profession/hobby!

The case in point could also be simple cherry-picking: note that their conclusion is based on the “listed” rock stars, aside from death ages that support their rather tortured claim, we don’t know how they chose those particular rock stars (it’s hardly a definitive list, even of the dead).

But did anyone else notice that the original site is like a Christian “Choose Your Own Adventure” site? Scroll down to the bottom and you an choose your options. Choose correctly often enough, and it sends you to hell! Fun for young and old* alike!

  • (“old” option only available for non-rockstars. Void where prohibited.)

Since we’re talking about Christian logic, I believe the technical term is “Pulling Random Statistics Out Of Your Ass.”

Anyone else click on the “I Choose Death” option at the bottom?

[spoiler]Do you really reject Jesus Christ?

After all He did for you?

Would you really rather go to hell and burn forever in a lake of fire than live forever in a heavenly mansion prepared by God?[/spoiler]


There are a number of problems. If you look at the other content they have to offer, you would find an entire course in logical fallacies. Kind of not worth bothering to refute it.

First is the statistical problem that has been mentioned and cited by scr4. This is not a logical fallacy, but a statistical technical error. As Mark Twain said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. When Chuck Berry goes, he’s going to raise the average :slight_smile: Hell, who ever thought Mick Jagger would make it to 67? The OP is correct that the number will rise over the next decades.

Even if the numbers were sound, the implication is that God hates rock stars. Or something. Actually the site never really gets to the point. Is this a self-destructive lifestyle? Or did God kill them early because of their sinful lives?

The list seems to pick and choose whom to include. It doesn’t include Christian rock stars like Gene Andrusco (died at 38). I guess being a Christian doesn’t save you from an early death.

What is the average age of Jewish prophets at death? Like 160? 120 if you count Jesus blowing the bottom out of the curve?

Actually, Mick’s been known for having a pretty healthy lifestyle. Keith’s the miracle. When he finally dies at the age of 470 the average will go way up.

What do you mean “when” Keith finally dies? He’s either immune or has been dead for years.

Also, FTR, how many living rock stars are there above the age of 75?

Unless you count Les Paul.

I just love their statement:

“NOTE: This is EVERY death of a Rock star we’ve found. This is NOT a “RIGGED” list to produce FALSE numbers, but an HONEST observation.”

Ya reckon? Nice use of caps lock, too.

I’m also disappointed that there’s no bizarre gardening accident.

If God was going to send Jesus back, I’d have thought a rock star would have been a good choice. In fact, it could have already happened with Jim Morrison, but his followers just wanted to see his penis.

Even better is Nat “King” Cole!