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The scales of justice fallacy refers to the error of compressing a complex empirical issue into a binary question. Sometimes one does need to consider a binary question, where the answer is yes or no, and evidence for the affirmative side is evidence against the negative. But a lot of real-world questions are much more complicated than this and involve questions that don't fit on a one-dimensional scale. For example, it might be tempting to argue whether some developmental feature of an organism is due to nature or to nurture, but the details of the true causal mechanism might not fit neatly in either category.

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