It’s the Fallacy Abuse Fallacy!


Once upon a time, every good little skeptic had a chart of the names of all of the logical fallacies, and dutifully memorized all the latin names because it was so cool to be able to interrupt an argument with an obscure-sounding label. So definitive. So potent. And the cocky smirk on your face was just the thing to attract a swarm of enamored suitors. It’s a phase, though, and most of us manage to grow out of it, eventually.

Especially since any idiot can do it, and do it badly. It stops being impressive when some ill-trained clown starts sputtering “fallacy, fallacy, fallacy!” at you in defense of some godawful stupid belief. A buffoon like Bodie Hodge, Ken Ham’s sycophantic son-in-law, for instance.

I cited an article before that creationism is representative of deep well of ignorance and conspiracy-thinking in America. I knew the original article would make someone at Answers in Genesis furious. It did! Oh boy, did it! And Bodie Hodge was the clown they had to use to rebut it! His rebuttal is basically Hodge screaming “FALLACY!” while constantly falling back on Young Earth Creationist dogma. So when Paul Braterman points out that creationism is dangerously opposed to science, Hodge shouts out:

This is an equivocation fallacy combined with an emotive language fallacy (yes, it is possible to do multiple fallacies of logic in one sentence!). First, the authors equivocate on the word “science.” We love science at Answer in Genesis. In fact, it was a young-earth creationist, Francis Bacon, who came up with the scientific method. And most fields of science were developed by Bible-believers! So clearly, believing in YEC is not “dangerously opposed to science.”

Therefore, the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

Did anyone observe or repeat the rock layers being laid down over millions of years? No. That is a religious claim from this author interpreting rock layers in the present assuming his naturalistic and humanistic religion.

God, unlike Prof. Braterman, was there and eye-witnessed it, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, revealed it to us in Scripture. So by what authority can Prof. Braterman oppose the absolute and supreme authority of God’s Word that there was indeed a flood that covered everything under the whole heavens (Genesis 7:19)? A lesser authority—thus, this is a faulty appeal to authority fallacy (i.e., a false authority fallacy).

Yeah, the whole thing goes on like that at tendentious length. He even rejects an appeal to authority by claiming his authority, God, is bigger than science’s authority.

Look, this is silly. Non-scientists don’t get to refute science by redefining science to fit their desires, as AiG does routinely. Science does involve the interpretation of the evidence, but the evidence keeps growing and going deeper and farther. Francis Bacon and any other natural historian before the middle of the 19th century did not have the volume of evidence we do now, and lacked the information to form a more thorough and accurate understanding of the history of the earth, but what they did is to honestly and sincerely work on gathering that evidence, which later scientists would be able to synthesize into better and better models of the world. Francis Bacon was aware that he lived with the traditions and conventions of his time, but he also wrote:

Men have sought to make a world from their own conception and to draw from their own minds all the material which they employed, but if, instead of doing so, they had consulted experience and observation, they would have the facts and not opinions to reason about, and might have ultimately arrived at the knowledge of the laws which govern the material world.

He understood that science was a cumulative process built on experience, observation, and experiment, that knowledge grows, that we can acquire new ideas and expand our understanding over time. He didn’t claim to know everything in that instant!

The reason Answers in Genesis is anti-science is that they have rejected the knowledge and evidence accumulated over centuries by people who also believed in the Bible, and the Koran, and various other holy books. The difference is that they did not turn their backs on all that we learned in order to deny anything that did not conform to their dogma.

Comments

  1. says

    The book says the god was there, but were you there? Do you really know?

    On some level I want to believe they know this, that their values are contradictory, but I don’t know. I do know from experience that this is Bodie’s schtick. It’s his realm of imagined authority. Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes. I used to pay more attention to AiG but my interest in the various youtubers demolishing them has waned.

  2. stroppy says

    It’s the Fallacy Abuse Fallacy!

    Creationists live in a hall of mirrors.

    Plus it’s turtles all the way down.

  3. raven says

    We love science at Answer in Genesis.

    This doesn’t even rise to the level of a fallacy.
    It is simply a lie, one of countless that AIG is based on.
    They say that they just look at all the data differently but that isn’t even close to the truth. What they do is ignore almost all the data, and distort and lie about the rest.

    In fact, it was a young-earth creationist, Francis Bacon, who came up with the scientific method.

    Fallacy of Appeal to Authority.
    Francis Bacon didn’t have a whole lot of choice. He was born in 1561, and that era didn’t have the information we have today to even be a non-creationist. Darwin’s theory was 300 years later.

  4. mathman85 says

    In addition to raven’s point at #3, I’d add that whether or not historical scientists were xians is completely irrelevant to the truth or falsity of their religion. It’s a red herring (ignoratio elenchi) by means of an appeal to irrelevant authority.

    But, of course, screaming that others are committing fallacies is Bodie Hodge’s entire shtick. I, personally, find his inability to recognize his own fallacious reasoning somewhat amusing as a result.

  5. JoeBuddha says

    One of my favorites is what my roommate used to call, Proof by Blatant Assertion. I said it, therefore it must be true. I see it all the time.

  6. davidc1 says

    One of my fav popular science (that means in my case i can understand it) is Measuring Eternity: The Search for the Beginning of Time by Martin Gorst .
    It starts with that bloke Ussher bloke saying the world is so many thousands of years old ,then it shows how the sciences
    developed that pushed back the age of the universe .
    I wished i was more cleverer than i am .

  7. PaulBC says

    It’s useful to give names for things instead of having to explain them every time. However, I have noticed a style of “debate” that is fixated on using names for stuff and arguing about what the dictionary says about these names. I have found that this makes it problematic to bother even naming a common fallacy, since a common response (especially from creationists) is to shift the discussion to the exact definition of the named fallacy.

    I sometimes feel stupid for giving a longwinded explanation for something summarized by a name. On the other hand, I have never considered anyone smart just because they happen to know a name for something. I’d rather see them explain their point or their objection in plain language.

  8. PaulBC says

    A lot of fallacies still work OK as heuristics. An authoritative view doesn’t settle an argument, but it is usually worth giving more consideration to. Or take any mere assertion. There may be some intuitive underpinning to it that you are having trouble expressing. Again, it’s not logically valid, but drawing from experience can be a shortcut to making plausible hypotheses. Even something as blatant as confusing “if A then B” with “if B then A” (and I don’t know the name for this) isn’t always a bad start. Maybe A and B are really equivalent, or at least correlated very strongly (it helps to look for counterexamples consciously). The mind works by associations and jumps ahead of valid logic. The important thing is to evaluate the hypotheses before claiming something is “true.”

    It doesn’t mean that you get to use fallacies to make your case, but it’s useful to at least see why they’re common. It’s not because they are totally useless.

  9. unclefrogy says

    to creationist science is just another religion as they so often say. So they can say that they like science because to them everything is just a reflection of their belief system so it must be true for everyone else as well. What they fail to understand is science is not a belief system and instead is a system designed to understand what actually is and not just take someones word for it. It is based on questioning reality not authority. as the quote above illustrates.
    the thing is they create a big social problem in insisting they everyone must believe what they believe (if they have the power or else)

  10. cjcolucci says

    “Did anyone observe or repeat the rock layers being laid down over millions of years?”

    Yes. I did. You doubt me? Prove me wrong. Were you there?

  11. mathman85 says

    Note also how Bodie’s “definition” of science to be “observable and repeatable” omits the even-more-important falsifiable. Setting aside his misuse of the terms “observable” and “repeatable” in this context, it’s clear that he can’t possibly include falsifiability as a criterion for solving the demarcation problem, since his ludicrous, nonsensical religious dogmas have been falsified thousands of times over.

  12. mathman85 says

    @PaulBC #8

    […] confusing “if A then B” with “if B then A” (and I don’t know the name for this) […]

    That would be a converse error, a/k/a affirming the consequent.

  13. PaulBC says

    That would be a converse error, a/k/a affirming the consequent.

    Thanks. And all this time I thought it meant wearing Chuck Taylors to a job interview.

    (I’ll be here all week. Oh who am I kidding, I’m not going anywhere.)

  14. mnb0 says

    It should be noted that even on their own definition of science (“observable and repeatable”) YECers reject it in the case of radiometry. ‘Cuz reasons.

  15. Artor says

    Ham and Hodge engage in Cargo Cult science and logic. They see others using certain magic words and getting respect and agreement for them. So if they use the same magic words, they should get respect and agreement too. Isn’t that how it works?

  16. nomdeplume says

    Bodie Hodge arguing for creationism is much like Trump’s lawyers arguing that he did nothing wrong on Jan 6th.

  17. blf says

    @20, I.e., completely incompetent, never address any of the issues at hand, rambling, won’t get paid, and yet will probably not loose the case?

  18. blf says

    @22, referencing @20 when @21 is probably meant: Oh, I forgot, can’t count. Thanks for the reminder !

  19. blf says

    @24@23@22@20@21… “were you there?” Yes, great concert just outside of London, back about then, or maybe it was another place, or maybe it was the one at Loch Lomond, at either about that time or another time. Took the wheelbarrow service home or maybe it was to the B&B.

  20. PaulBC says

    Isn’t the obvious riposte “I dunno. Were you?” in your best “tough” voice developed over long, solitary practice sessions a la Taxi Driver. If you pack heat, you are sure to win the argument, and probably their lasting respect (these guys love guns, right?).

  21. outis says

    @5 Koma:
    as an aside, many thanks for the Existential comics link, I am shamelessly binge reading and loving it.

  22. blf says

    @25, The only “heat” I ever “packed” was a small bottle of spicy sauce (frequently Tabasco, as it was easy to find), to deal with English cooking. Didn’t work with mushy peas, however. Nothing works with mushy peas ! They are Very Possibly in a dreadfully inedible category all by themselves.

    @26, And one comeback to that is “Yes I was, and I didn’t see you.” This can continue on in many ways, possibly not-at-all illuminating and perhaps with a lot of WHOOSH sounds as points fly overhead.

  23. jrkrideau says

    I was there, I look younger than I am. @cjcolucci insisted on wearing that garish orange & green sweater.

  24. Andy Geth says

    I just find the “Were You There” argument not only stupid but self-defeating for the religious extremists.

    They believe that Jesus died and rose from the dead to which the logical response should be….

    I don’t believe you. Were you there?

  25. vucodlak says

    @ PaulBC, #26

    Isn’t the obvious riposte “I dunno. Were you?” in your best “tough” voice developed over long, solitary practice sessions a la Taxi Driver.

    I prefer “I have always been here, little lamb…” delivered in my ‘drowned in ‘honey’’ voice and accompanied by my most upsetting smile.

  26. PaulBC says

    blf@30 That is called the off-by-one fallacy. Software developers make them a lot. A special case is the fence post fallacy, but there are other reasons to be off by one. (I think I will call everything a fallacy from now on.)

    Andy Geth@32 …which is a famous “spiritual” hymn of course: Were you there when they crucified my Lord? to which the correct answer is “No.” but I guess I wasn’t quite enough of a smart aleck to point that out at the time. I was too busy puzzling about “…when they nailed him to the tree.” (Wikipedia gives a different version of the lyrics that uses “cross”). Maybe a cross is a tree the way a “hat tree” is a tree.

    Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. OK, I’ll give ’em that one!

  27. bad Jim says

    I strongly agree with PaulBC that some fallacies are handy heuristics. The ad hominem is a great example. If someone is known to be biased or habitually wrong it saves a lot of time to simply ignore them.

    Daniel Davies (dsquared) in his One Minute MBA piece noted, “There is, as I have mentioned in the past, no fancy Latin term for the fallacy of “giving known liars the benefit of the doubt”, but it is in my view a much greater source of avoidable error in the world.”

  28. Tethys says

    Ad hominem does not have anything to do with lying.
    It’s attacking the person instead of their argument.

    We do have a Latin term for those who believe in giving known liars the benefit of the doubt. It’s Republican.. I would also accept senator.

  29. John Morales says

    bad Jim:

    I strongly agree with PaulBC that some fallacies are handy heuristics. The ad hominem is a great example. If someone is known to be biased or habitually wrong it saves a lot of time to simply ignore them.

    Then you are both confused.

    Fallacies are fallacious within their applicable domain, specifically, that of drawing inferences from premises. They’re either formal (invalid) or informal (irrelevant), but always fallacious.

    Heuristics are mental shortcuts, and they may be fallacious or not depending on their usefulness (that’s their applicable domain); it makes about as much sense to use a heuristic which is fallacious as to use fallacious reasoning.

    (Also, the fallacy fallacy is reflexive — e.g. fallacy fallacy fallacy …)

  30. captainblack says

    “In fact, it was a young-earth creationist, Francis Bacon, who came up with the scientific method.”
    … and there I thought Francis Bacon and his circle were accused/suspected of atheism (at a time when atheism carried a death penalty).

  31. bad Jim says

    The heuristic use of the ad hominem is not a fallacy. It does not assert that a claim is false because of the character of its source; rather, it suggests that it’s likely a waste of attention. (I have in mind the shoddy scholarship of Murray and Herrnstein’s “The Bell Curve” and other works of that ilk.) If the claim is true, further, more reliable evidence will eventually present itself.

  32. PaulBC says

    John Morales@37

    Then you are both confused.

    Have you considered the alternative explanation that you are extremely pedantic? (Either by nature or just because you really enjoy playing the role here. I don’t know you well enough to guess.)

    I’ll concede that your statement holds logically since the antecedent is false. You might have instead said “Then I am a poached egg.” and your claim would hold.

    But in case it does matter, what I really said @9 was “A lot of fallacies still work OK as heuristics.” I did not equate the two concepts as bad Jim@35 suggests (though I would have let it slide since I’m not that pedantic).

    I still maintain that the reason people fall prey to so many fallacies is that they are applying heuristics that work most of the time. They represent sloppy thinking, but it’s worth asking why they are so prevalent. Do the shortcuts often provide more advantage than applying sound reasoning and getting things right? I think this is not even a very controversial assertion.

    “Affirming the consequent” (now that I have the name), is one I find kind of interesting. It is at least useful in abductive reasoning. Suppose I know “When Bob tries to give up coffee, he gets surly.” (And this is established in my fictional example as correct and known.) Today I find Bob is very surly. I say “Bob, you are trying to give up coffee again!” This in no way follows from the one fact I’ve asserted. Bob could be surly for some other reason. But it is, first off, the conclusion I may leap to without any conscious thought, and second, a very reasonable hypothesis given what I actually know about Bob and his coffee addiction (There may be a sound statistical argument lending confidence to my statement, but it is not really how I got there. I went from A->B straight to B->A.)

    Again, my point was just that the reason many fallacies are lodged in habits of practical human thought is that they are often connected to a useful heuristic. It may not apply to all fallacies. Some may be pure lapses without any advantages, though I can’t think of any offhand. (I do not believe a “fencepost error” is a fallacy, for instance. I was joking. But this is an example of a mental habit that I can’t see any advantage to. It would be better to know without the slightest hesitate that there are are (n-m+1) integers in the inclusive range [m,n] and not n-m, but it is still one of those things I may get wrong if I don’t stop and think first. Usually I say “What if m=n?” and that clears it up.)

  33. Tethys says

    Ad hominem literally means “to the man/person”. It’s the difference between “You are a poopyhead, therefore you are wrong” and “Your premise is false, and you are a poopyhead”. Only one of those sentences is a logical fallacy.

    There is also rule one of critical thought, consider the source.

  34. John Morales says

    PaulBC:

    Have you considered the alternative explanation that you are extremely pedantic?

    My supposed pedantry does not affect the truth of my claim.

    (Are you trying to provide an example of your claim?)

    Anyway. If you want to imagine using known fallacies as heuristics is useful, go right ahead. I tried to explain, but I think you missed the bulk of it.

  35. bad Jim says

    To be sure, logical fallacies have a mixed record as heuristics. Consider post hoc, ergo propter hoc: I ate this and I got sick. Quite frequently it’s true, but it’s still an unreliable guide. When applied to nutrition, given the universe of alternatives, its effects are relatively mild; I know many people who avoid gluten for what I consider insufficient reasons, but since such avoidance leaves traditional Mexican food and any number of other cuisines available, I’m not inclined to object. We can still share meals.

    “After this, therefore because of this” is logically false, but in practice it’s often true, the basis of quite a bit of observational and experimental science. Not all logical fallacies are the product of sophistry or muddled thinking. The point is to distinguish the realm of discourse: they are inadmissible in logic and principled argument, but elsewhere they may be more or less useful.

  36. consciousness razor says

    PaulBC:

    I still maintain that the reason people fall prey to so many fallacies is that they are applying heuristics that work most of the time.

    “I still maintain that the reason people fall prey” – you mean the one and only reason, not a reason among others? Also, it’s just an assertion so far. You haven’t done anything to maintain it against substantive objections, as far as I can tell.
    “to so many fallacies” – vague
    “is that they are applying heuristics that work most of the time” – also vague, possibly equivocating

    Regarding the last point above, note for example that begging the question “works,” in the sense that you do in fact get a desired conclusion, without all the effort of providing valid reasoning which supports it.

    However, all you get with this invalid process is the statement of the conclusion, not a reasonable indication of its truth or even its usefulness for certain (relevant) practical purposes. That is, you don’t get that in any cases at all; not in most cases, commonly-encountered ones, all of them, or anything more than exactly zero of them. It is simply not the sort of thing that begging the question ever does.

    Meanwhile, when heuristics do such “work” for us (i.e. they’re at least sort of satisfactory at least sometimes, otherwise we presumably wouldn’t agree to call them “heuristics”), they do so because there is some kind of genuine connection to things/events/relationships in the real world. It’s not because somebody was merely capable of making it up out of whole cloth and offering the rest of us a formulation of it.

    They represent sloppy thinking, but it’s worth asking why they are so prevalent.

    So what? We could ask and come up with different answers than you did.

    Here’s one: there wasn’t much selection pressure for human beings to be careful, non-sloppy thinkers. Ergo, we tend to be sloppy thinkers.

    And before you say it, this doesn’t imply that being a sloppy thinker is itself advantageous somehow….

    Do the shortcuts often provide more advantage than applying sound reasoning and getting things right? I think this is not even a very controversial assertion.

    But you do think it’s an assertion, a controversial one at that, just not a very controversial one. (Technically, though, that was a rhetorical question.)

  37. PaulBC says

    “I still maintain that the reason people fall prey” – you mean the one and only reason, not a reason among others? Also, it’s just an assertion so far. You haven’t done anything to maintain it against substantive objections, as far as I can tell.

    Gimme a break. You and Morales both.

    Here’s one: there wasn’t much selection pressure for human beings to be careful, non-sloppy thinkers. Ergo, we tend to be sloppy thinkers.

    That was more or less my point. Mea culpa for not stating it with sufficient precision.

  38. PaulBC says

    CR@44

    “I still maintain that the reason people fall prey”

    Replace “the” with “a major”. No, I was not intending to claim to provide the exclusive reason or even the most significant one. I did though, as you point out. Those are my words. Ya got me! Hope someone is offering prizes for that, because I’m not.

  39. PaulBC says

    John Morales@42

    Anyway. If you want to imagine using known fallacies as heuristics is useful, go right ahead.

    Yes, I will go on imagining this and in fact go on using them as heuristics. I appreciate your gracious permission, offered so far away in another time zone.

    If you mean that I think it is worth enumerating standard fallacies specifically to use as a source of heuristics, I never suggested this idea, though now that you mention it, it might make an interesting experiment (in AI or real life). It’s not clear to me that it would not be beneficial. Like a checklist: “What conclusion would I leap to based on ‘proof by authority’? … ‘ad hominem’? … ‘affirming the consequent?'” Then you could filter these conclusions with a better argument and see which actually hold.

    It might work well, though that was not my claim. Enumerating fallacies is a method to identify common ways that people reach incorrect conclusions. (Do you disagree?) But it’s worth asking why people reach so many incorrect conclusions. As CR points out, “there wasn’t much selection pressure for human beings to be careful, non-sloppy thinkers”. I agree! Still we don’t only use thought for amusement, and the kind of sloppy thinking we do is often better than merely acting randomly or following very algorithms (e.g. such as ants might use to follow and reinforce a scent trail).

    The unsound thinking that the human brain carries out is at least as interesting as the sound, logical thinking. I also like to think it is beneficial to know the difference, though again (“selection pressure”) it’s not entirely clear to me that it is.

  40. consciousness razor says

    Gimme a break.

    I never asked you to blather on about this. So take a break, for as long as you like. Or don’t. Doesn’t matter.

    That was more or less my point. Mea culpa for not stating it with sufficient precision.

    It really wasn’t though. I don’t get how you took a less-precise version of the same point (more or less) and drew a contradictory set of implications from it. But okay…. Those are the problematic parts as far as I’m concerned, not the one bit where you think we maybe kinda sorta agree.

    The unsound thinking that the human brain carries out is at least as interesting as the sound, logical thinking.

    Our interest in it (or lack thereof) is not the issue.

    I also like to think it is beneficial to know the difference, though again (“selection pressure”) it’s not entirely clear to me that it is.

    Hold on. First, I think you’re trying to do too much with the adaptationist stuff you borrowed from me. All I meant was that there probably wasn’t much pushing our distant ancestors in that direction (whether it would hurt or help or do nothing). But that isn’t making any sort of claim at all about how beneficial it is to us here and now.

    Whatever. Do you really think it’s entirely clear that not knowing the difference “often provide[s] more advantage than applying sound reasoning and getting things right”? Or should I be using different standards for that statement?

    The uncontroversial claim, which I think hardly even needs an argument, is that knowing the difference is very often useful. If I’m wrong, then why is that, exactly?

  41. PaulBC says

    consciousness razor@48 It’s beneficial in some contexts to know whether your reasoning is sloppy. E.g., if you’re attempting to publish peer reviewed research, assuming competent reviewers, or if you’re implementing an engineering design that is going to fail if you fudge too many things (but note that you can often get away with some mistakes or just overbuild).

    In other contexts, it is not very helpful, such as developing a rough understanding of social interactions. In that case, you are usually better off relying on intuition and, for instance, reading body language or other cues. I have known many people who are much better at reading other people than I am. I appears to be a matter of perception and accepting that perception rather than developing an explicit justification for it.

    To be clear, I think it’s sometimes detrimental to know that your reasoning is sloppy, because you can overthink whether or not to trust your intuition or second-guess it. You could develop a meta-theory that says it’s rational to trust your intuition in cases where you have empirical evidence that it does better than your attempt to reason things through.

    Having done that, maybe it’s not very detrimental, but it seems unhelpful. In fact, in that case you would have expended some additional effort attempting to develop a facade of reason around a process that functions well enough already, so at the very least, the need to apply effort is detrimental relative to those who reach the same conclusions with less effort.

    It really wasn’t though.

    OK, what was my point? It was an off the cuff remark @9, and not original to me, that fallacies, which represent sloppy thinking may “work OK as heuristics.”

    Yes, there’s a difference in that you are saying that selection pressure is insufficient to eliminate them whereas I would say that selection pressure is responsible for their persistence because they are useful. And sorry, but I prefer to find commonality than disagree, but if you insist, I agree that we have not reached the same conclusion. I still agree with your statement. Mine is a stronger claim (and possibly untrue because I have not done the research).

    There are many sloppier thinkers than myself who are nonetheless more “successful” by common measures such as wealth, happiness, or influence. (But I’m doing fine, thanks.) There’s also a reason people saying “you’re overthinking this” (and have said it to me more than once).

    So take a break, for as long as you like.

    Thanks. I’ll hold your indulgence in reserve as needed.

  42. billyum says

    Actually, “I ate this and then I got sick, so I’m not going to eat it again” is quite a good heuristic. How come? It is one of the few examples of human learning from a single trial. Perhaps because it helps to keep humans alive to have offspring. (And yes, a lot of evolutionary psychology is bunkum.)

  43. davidc1 says

    @29 How dare you insult mushy peas ,you utter swine .lol.
    Only other thing i can post about mushy peas is that when Peter
    Mandelson (the former MP and that nice Mr Blair’s mate ) was
    confronted with a bowl of it ,he thought it was Guacamole .

  44. blf says

    @52, “Sick” is an adequate description of mushy peas. If all that happens is you get “sick to your stomach”, you’ve either had them before and know to avoid them, or immediately ran away screaming.

  45. PaulBC says

    To add on to what I said in @49, I don’t consider the main goal of my life to be right about stuff and have a sound argument justifying the fact that I’m right. It’s a subgoal in specific contexts, mostly if I’m proving a theorem (mainly just for amusement these days) or making a persuasive point about my work (a design, bug fix, or anything else) where there is some other person who insists on justification.

    For the rest of it, I’m going to be wrong an awful lot and I am OK with it. What I’m doing really isn’t that different from an ant following a scent trail. It is more complex, and has (I tell myself) more exalted goals than finding a food source, but it is ultimately subject to limitations on what I can prove conclusively, and not because of limitations on what admits rigorous proof (e.g. Gödel’s theorem) but at a more pragmatic level, my finite and erratic brain (which still has me counting on my fingers to make sure I am really sure how many integers are in the interval [m,n]).

    And seriously, fallacious thinking is just fine with me. It might even be fun to go through a whole day reaching conclusions entirely by unchecked intuition that is fraught with fallacy. I suppose I’d survive just fine.

    Nobody is handing out prizes for being right… except in those rare cases where they really are handing out prizes, and few of them are withholding the prize if you fail to justify your answer.

  46. evolutionaryautistic says

    “God, unlike Prof. Braterman, was there and eye-witnessed it, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, revealed it to us in Scripture.”

    When citing someone as a witness, you kinda have to prove that the witness exists…

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