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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Darwinists, the argument from incredulity is not your escape pod from Starship Science!

Logical Fallacies: Argument From Incredulity (comment by Quaxotic)

Argument from ignorance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Argument from incredulity / Lack of imagination

Arguments from incredulity take the form:
  1. P is too incredible (or I can't imagine how P could possibly be true) therefore P must be false.
  2. It's obvious that P (or I can't imagine how P could possibly be false) therefore P must be true.
These arguments are similar to arguments from ignorance in that they too ignore and do not properly eliminate the possibility that something can be both incredible and still be true, or obvious and yet still be false.
The Atheistic Argument:

The existence of some invisible sky-daddy is so ludicrous, let's face it none exists.

The Theistic Argument:

Humans evolved from monkeys? That's ridiculous. Evolution is false.
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick


I do not know the guy who posted this comment, but the comment by the excellent Phillip K. Dick, who was a terrific writer, is spot on!   Truth is truth, no matter what those in error may think.   Over the years I have heard of stories that boggle the mind.   Can you imagine a paleontologist hiding evidence of flesh remains on a fossil find because it would tend to destroy his worldview?   Can you imagine a couple of men from a Darwinist propaganda site walking out to a remote location on a riverbed and smashing some fossil footprints to smithereens because it would have, if verified, proved man and dinosaur lived at the same time?   Such thinking is at the toddler level.   If you hide your eyes, I can still see you!  Destroying evidence does not change the truth of that evidence.    It just makes you a foolish individual.

The more intelligent the Darwinist, the more likely he is to be a massive logic fail zone.   Of all the so-called standard rules of logic that Darwinist commenters use as a resort, probably the one most ill-used of them all is the "argument from incredulity."   

As a father who raised several children, was at one time the owner of the "hang-out house" where the teens and pre-teens came to eat my food, hang out with my kids and listen to my music and watch television and play video games and a father who played basketball and football and tennis and volleyball and went to concerts and camping and all that stuff with all sorts of kids and teens, I have lots of experience with the misuse of that argument.

I would hear a crash, run into a room and find a kid in the room and a broken something on the floor.   When they were very young, they would try to resort to the argument from incredulity.   Just because they were the only person in the room and there had been a glass of milk dropped or a hanging plant and it's shattered pot littering the floor, that didn't mean they had to have been responsible.   Without understanding the argument itself, they would use it.   Just because I could not conceive of how a glass of milk could pour itself and then break itself on the floor did not mean that child was responsible!    Well, in my house there were varied degrees of punitive/corrective actions depending upon the transgression.   A kid drops a glass on the floor?  He cleans it all up.   He lies about it?  Now he is in trouble!  You see, the two things that my kids learned got them sent to their room waiting for me to come in were lying and directly disobeying.   Mistakes?  I did not punish mistakes.   Bad judgments?  Minor consequences.   Lying or directly disobeying?   Then I brought the hammer down.   Yes, I spanked my small children and then they apologized for what they had done and then I hugged them and forgave them and it was over.   When they got bigger I felt a time came when they were too old for spanking and I used grounding and loss of privileges was then applicable.  

All of my kids are grown now and I have three grandchildren.   All of them love me and I love them.   Do you think they resent that I spanked them when young?  Are you kidding?   They hated the time in the room waiting for me to come in and that was the biggest punishment...the waiting.   They all agree with the way they were raised and those who are now raising their own children are doing it the way I did it because I did it the way the Bible teaches parents to raise children.    Have rules and enforce them.   Enforce them with love and never, ever spank or punish in anger.   I could yell in my dark voice and scare them silly to get their attention but I never let anger actually move me.   If I was really angry at a kid, off to their room and I would not come in until I was completely calm no matter what they did.   I did far more teaching and very little punishing.   My belief is that you do not put your kids in a box of rules, you put the box of rules into your kids and expect them to live those rules out in their lives.   This is what used to be normal in the United State of America until idiots with degrees and bereft of common sense and a basic Judeo-Christian morality began to urge parents not to spank their kids and not teach them a worldview to live by but rather let them find their own way.  Dumb.  Educated but not wise, these people who have convinced children and parents alike that the Bible way to raise children is wrong are part of the reason more people are miserably unhappy than ever.

But enough about children.  On to the logical fallacy.  From Conservapedia:

A logical fallacy is an error in logical reasoning. While the common usage of the word fallacy would include any error in reasoning, in logic a fallacy is defined as a particularly deceptive argument which seems correct, but upon further examination is found to be incorrect.[1] The maker of such an argument, however, need not be aware of its fallacious nature.

Logical fallacies fall into two general categories: formal fallacies and informal fallacies. Formal fallacies apply to deductive arguments, and are those which relate to an improper application of a rule, whereas informal fallacies apply to inductive arguments, and are those which involve the improper use of the content of an argument. That is, an informally fallacious argument gives a conclusion which may be true or false, but which the fallacious argument does not prove; a formally fallacious argument gives a conclusion which is always false.

There are four categories of informal fallacies: fallacies of relevance, fallacies of defective or weak induction, fallacies of presumption, and fallacies of ambiguity.

A logical fallacy is not the same as lying, although it is still an error if you commit one (and dishonest if you know you are committing one). A lie in logic is a premise that one offers while knowing that it is false.
Logical fallacies are the beloved debating tactic of liberals; for this reason, it is not advised to debate them unless you have to, as you will only up frustrated when one of them inevitably claims global warming is true because Al Gore said so.


You can go to that site and see all kinds of arguments but let us focus on one.   Conservapedia touches on this but does not do a direct hit:

Fallacies of Defective or Weak Induction

Fallacies of defective or weak induction are fallacies which are due to a lack of understanding for how well premises lead to a conclusion.

Argument from silence

Argument from silence (in Latin, argumentum ab silencio) or argument from ignorance (Lat: ad ignorantium) is an assertion which states that, because there is no evidence to support a given argument, the opposite must be true. The fallacy follows the form:
  • If P then Q
  • P cannot be shown true
  • Therefore Q is false
For example: "Nobody has ever seen God, so clearly he doesn't exist". 

This fallacy is often associated with and best remembered by the phrase: "the absence of evidence does not constitute evidence of absence." 

A particular form of the argument from silence is the argument from personal incredulity, which takes the form "I cannot believe/understand/explain P; therefore, not-P." For example, someone who does not understand why God would condemn homosexuality or condemn sinners to eternal hell may commit this fallacy and conclude that the relevant Bible passages should be rejected.
The argument from silence often results from a misplaced burden of proof.[8]


Arguments from Incredulity

We often hear that ID is an argument from incredulity. At this point I would tend to agree. That said, arguments from incredulity aren’t necessarily wrong but in fact are rather reliable and employed constantly and consistently by everyone every day.

Let’s take the example that Granville Sewell offered in his most recent post here. He described Schrodinger’s equation and showed us that it’s theoretically possible for a pitched baseball to stop and hover in mid-air. A commenter who appeared to have a reasonable understanding of Schrodinger’s equation at first protested then ended up agreeing that it’s possible but the odds against it are long and for all practical purposes incalculable. They went on to agree that the quantum uncertainty is tractible in the analysis of a single electron orbiting a single proton (a hydrogen atom) but that the math is intractible for a pitched baseball because such a large number of particles are involved.

So how do we “know” that a pitched baseball won’t stop and hover in mid-air? Incredulity is how. We can’t precisely calculate the odds against it due to the system being so complex but we know it is (literally) incredibly improbable. It’s the same thing with ID. Although we can’t calculate the odds precisely we do know enough to see that self-organization of atoms into structures as complex as the machinery found in living cells is incredibly improbable. We couple this with the sure knowledge that intelligent agency routinely produces organizations of matter that, absent the intelligent agent’s intervention, are incredibly unlikely.

Here’s a good example. In principle it is possible for two cows to mate and give birth to a chimpanzee. The reason we don’t ever expect to see such a thing is we know (now) that the genetic differences between a cow and a chimp are so complex and specified that the odds against it actually happening in a single generation are nearly impossible. We can’t calculate the odds precisely but we know it is incredibly improbable. The argument that two cows won’t mate and produce a chimpanzee is an argument from incredulity.

Likewise, is it possible that a bacteria can, through RM+NS, change into a baboon over a billion years and trillions of generations? Sure it’s possible but when you actually get down to assessing the sequence of changes that must have occurred, analyzing the probability in a finite number of years and a finite number of generations, using everything we know about the mutation and selection mechanism, it quickly becomes an incredible proposition. It grows more incredible every day as new knowledge of the underlying physical mechanics is discovered.

So the next time someone tells you that ID is an argument from incredulity you can simply respond by saying

“Yeah, so what? Arguments from incredulity are common and quite reliable in all aspects of life from the physics of baseball to the physics of biology.” 

We use this reasoning every day.   Is it possible for a human being to be born with the ability to fly through the air like Superman?   If you allow for every single thing that a human being can imagine to be possible, then yes, that is possible.   But it is so statistically improbable to be declared statistically impossible.  So is the natural materialistic hope that a way can be found that life could arise from non-life.   Once science declared this to be impossible for even the most simple of microorganisms and named a law, the Law of Biogenesis, that says just that.   For many hundreds of years there have been scientists laboring to disprove Biogenesis and every attempt fails miserably.   How long will they believe in fairy tales?   Oh, and Darwinists spin this topic like a top!

The Skeptics Guide online explains it like this:

"Argument from Personal Incredulity

I cannot explain or understand this, therefore it cannot be true. Creationists are fond of arguing that they cannot imagine the complexity of life resulting from blind evolution, but that does not mean life did not evolve."

Wow, the sheer weight of the evidence presented here!!   Just because we have never found the right cabbage patch does not mean that babies do not come from them.  Just because no one has seen the Tooth Fairy does not mean she is not real.   All of the evidence we have about organisms that we can observe in real time and test tells us that all organisms produce more of the same kind when they mate and that they all have the information-packed DNA that in combination with the cell helps not only reproduce life but also regulate it and is, by the way, also equipped with a system to try to keep mutations from happening and at the same time allow for quick speciation using preloaded genetic information so that the kind can survive in a wide variety of ecosystems.   We have bears in the Arctic Circle and bears at the equator.   There are varieties of fish and eels and rays that live in freshwater and in saltwater.   Salmon breed in fresh water but then live in salt water.   Some sharks can adjust from salt water to fresh water, as some people in Australia have been surprised to discover.  Bull Sharks can live in both  fresh and saltwater.   There are shrimp that live in both salt and fresh water.

So the argument from incredulity is a valid argument if you are discussing a situation that is not credible.   The odds against one simple organism happening by random chance if every electron in the Universe, which is estimated at 10 ^80 power electrons could make an attempt to become part of an organism every second for 15 billion years the odds against this are a statistical impossibility.   Now that is true without considering the hard barriers at the molecular level, basics of chemistry, which prove that the "building blocks of life" are not able to be produced and survive in the wild at all, let alone assemble themselves into an organism, let alone have some kind of information source for the coding mechanism we call DNA.   You see, the more we study DNA and the cell, the more sophisticated and complex we find them to be, the more obvious design features are disclosed, the more ludicrous the idea that a material world could produce even one microorganism.   There are trillions of varieties of life living all over the planet and extending up so high above sea level and so deep below the surface of the ocean, some of them not even part of the carbon-sunlight life cycle but instead depending upon minerals from within the Earth like sulphur and methane.   We have found both hot and cold seeps with living creatures that depend upon substances coming from within the Earth rather than taking energy from the Sun either directly or indirectly.   This is not good news for evolution,

School children are still being taught about a "tree of life" where one simple organism kept being changed by mutations and splitting off into other creatures that evolved up to the level of life we see on Earth today.   But in fact we find that all basic forms of life suddenly appear in the Cambrian layers of sedimentary rock and science has also found that all sorts of systems that seem to be similar are in fact unrelated.   There are at least ten different basic eye designs, for instance, and that is being very conservative. 

So we see that resorting to this so-called logical fallacy is just a fancy way of retreating without putting up a fight.  Every time you see a commenter resort to this, you know that he has no argument that includes actual evidence.  But, good news, creationists DO have actual evidence!   I will share with you today and later on as well the wonder that is the Ian Juby YouTube channel.   Ian has a science brain with a quick wit and probably would be a fantastic dinner companion.  Here is a tasty selection, which includes just some of the evidence that dinosaurs and man had to have existed at the same time.  Oh, yes, there may not be a Tooth Fairy but there is a Delk Track: