December 14, 2014

Conflation and the War Between Science and Religion


by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Back when I was giving talks on creation science, I used what has become a very popular quote by an atheist:
‘Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing. 
— G. Richard Bozarth, ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, American Atheist, p. 30. 20 September 1979.
The way I study on it, this quote would have been mostly forgotten if biblical creationists hadn't lassoed it and kept repeating it.

"Why do you people keep repeating it, Cowboy Bob?"

Thanks for asking. We repeat it because it's right. Vituperative and biased, but right. This was back in 1979. Evolutionists and atheists have been doing a bait 'n' switch for a long time by conflating (or "equivocating", almost the same thing) "science" with "evolution". Particles-to-people evolution is a belief system about the distant past where people attempt to use scientific methods, principles, discoveries and so on to justify an evolutionary worldview. The belief in evolution is the starting point for interpreting data.

Likewise, creation science is a belief system about the distant past where people attempt to use scientific methods, principles, discoveries and so on to justify a creationist worldview. Our belief in the biblical account of creation is our starting point for interpreting data. Atheists often ridicule Christians because our foundation is different from theirs — and theirs is "right" because they said so. But we all have the same data, the same facts — there is no stacking up their facts against our facts. In fact, a fact is a fact. It's the interpretation of facts that cause the disagreements.

Evolutionists and atheists hate this truth with a passion: Creation and evolution are equally religious and equally scientific. You see, everyone has an ultimate starting point — a worldview and presuppositions. We interpret information through them. Some make science into a kind of religion (Scientism), and there is no reality that cannot be determined scientifically, This worldview is self-refuting. God's Word is the basis of the Christian's worldview (or it should be!), and the Bible is self-affirming.

Let's ride down this trail a bit more.

Atheists have insisted for a long time that there is a war between "science" and "religion". That is the opposite of the truth. Creationists put this idea six feet under long ago by pointing out that there are many creationist scientists, and there is no conflict between their faith and real science.


But atheists are trying to raise zombies. What this "war" rhetoric really means for them is that there is a war between evolution and biblical creation.Evolution and creation are historical (sometimes called origins) science, and then there is operational science, which applies to real life.

In the quote by Bozarth, he conflated "science" with "evolution" (atheists often get sneaky and also conflate "reason" with "atheism"; if you're not an atheist, you don't use reason and logic — "logic vs. creationism", for instance). Other heroes of unbelief also do this, and it is false. You do not need to believe in evolution to be a good scientist. F'rinstance, there are people working together literally doing rocket science, some are creationists, some are evolutionists, and their views of origins have no bearing on their ability to do science work. This happens in other fields as well.

However, many anti-creationists have been denying that there is a difference between historical and operational sciences:

Spot the zombie? The "war between science and religion" concept was buried by biblical creationists, but atheists dug it up and reanimated it by conflating "evolution" with "science". Again, there is a war between the truth (biblical creation science) and the lie (evolution and billions of years), but no war between science and religion/faith. Watch for this deception, it's quite common.

Evolution is a cornerstone for the religion of atheism. Clinton R. Dawkins said, "Darwin made it possible for me to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist". Since evolution is scientifically and logically a pile of meadow muffins, it's no surprise that atheists play so many disingenuous word games and use logical fallacies to "protect science" (meaning, guard evolution from scrutiny).

It's sad that many Christians do not recognize the importance of our foundations in Genesis. Some atheists understand it far better than many Christians! In fact, C. Richard Dawkins states it clearly:
I think the evangelical Christians have really sort of got it right in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas the more, what shall we say, sophisticated theologians are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they are deluded. I think the evangelicals have got it right, in that there is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity, and I think I realized that about the age of sixteen.

— Richard Dawkins interviewed by Richard Conder on Revelation TV, Feb 2011

One of the biggest barriers for people to come to faith in Christ is evolution. When you have Christians that are reluctant to stand for the truth, are unable to answer questions about it, and also fall for the devious tricks from atheists (including conflation), there are problems. Atheists and evolutionists utterly despise those of us who take an uncompromising stance on our biblical foundations. Creation science ministries not only show evidence for creation and refute evolution, but also seek to equip Christians to present the gospel — these ministries are a resource. Are we getting ridiculed, lied about, mocked, libeled and so on? Yup. Shall we compromise? Not hardly.




Question Evolution Day, Creation Science, The Question Evolution Project, Piltdown Superman

December 7, 2014

Village Atheist Tricks

A simple, fair, obvious question: If atheists and anti-creation evolutionists are confident in their reasoning abilities, why do they resort to unconscionable and illegal methods to silence Christians and creationists? I reckon that the days are long gone where people could discuss matters rationally. Now, we have to deal with attacks. This fits in with the rising tide of wickedness in the world, but atheopaths are behind a lot of it. Especially on the interwebs.

Those of us with knowledge and experience can dismantle their "reasoning" and expose their logical fallacies, especially since most are based on assertions, intimidation, ridicule and outright personal attacks. Many atheists are materialists who are bowing to their religion of Scientism. Since many can't saddle up the horse of reason and learn to ride, they prefer to go in with six-guns blazing in different ways — primarily based on provoking emotional reactions.

Some resort to criminal acts like impersonation (see "Finding Anti-Creation Facebook Fakers", an article about my own experience with The Question Evolution Project, "Faker Alert for Facebook", and something from the Intelligent Design community, "Fun from Facebook: Fake ID pages", for three examples). Although they despise Intelligent Design and "theists" in general, their main venom is directed toward biblical creationists. This parody video lays out some points to consider:


I've been the recipient of several libelous pieces on atheist sites. Again, they attack the person instead of honestly addressing the subjects at hand. "Good without God"? Not hardly! These tinhorns are not interested in science or reason. Instead, these "freethinkers" are doing the bidding of their father down below, and want to steal, kill and destroy (John 8:44, John 10:10), and are exceptionally dishonest (1 Tim. 4:1-2). The Bible tells us that this stuff will happen (2 Tim. 3:12, Matt. 5:12).
We often get asked for our response to some atheist critique of an article we have published. For example, I have been asked to respond to an atheist ‘wiki’ website that has an article that claims to rebut my article Age of the earth: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe. Correspondents have asked me to rebut the (supposed) rebuttal. 
I have replied as follows. 
I am very much aware of the wiki article; the fans of the website made it their business to make sure I knew about it (I got ~100 emails from them when it went up). It appeared that not many of them actually read my article at all carefully, or any of the linked supporting articles. The agenda of such fanatical atheists (‘new atheists’) is to ‘search and destroy’ (faith in Jesus as Lord and Saviour), not to ‘seek and find’.
You can read the rest by clicking on "Responding to atheistic opposition — Underhanded tactics include attempted censorship".

December 6, 2014

That "Copies of Pagan Myths" Nonsense

One of the most annoying and tiresome attacks on Christianity is when atheists will say, "You st00pid dumb Xtians are just copying ancient pagan religions!", and then they throw some outright falsehoods that they gleaned off the interwebs. Fact check, please! But no, that requires intellectual honesty.

Wikimedia Commons / Ad Meskens


What if a pagan god showed up at your Christmas service and said that you're really celebrating his birth, and that Jesus is just a copy of pagan myths? Here are two videos. The first is a cartoon that dispenses with the myths. The second is from Ian Juby's "Genesis Week", where he deals with the Horus manure.



 
 
Start at the 18 minutes 9 seconds mark to get right to the Horus stuff:

November 9, 2014

Atheism, Secularism and Lack of Logic



by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

One of the main problems that atheists have is prejudicial conjecture. That is, they get all het up, thinking they know about something and spouting off their uninformed opinions while also trying to influence the views of others. When it comes to the Bible, many atheists not only resort to prejudicial conjecture, but many other logical fallacies including the straw man. Sorry, Cupcake, but we don't have to defend something we don't hold to or didn't say. This includes quote-mined material from the Bible.


Numerous fallacies can be rounded up in regards to creation science. They will misrepresent creationists, call us liars (their "proof" is essentially based on "because I said so repeatedly", but actually makes them the liars because of no real evidence), appeal to motive, poisoning the well, unfounded accusations, loaded terminology and a whole lot more. With just a little learning about informal logical fallacies, it's easy to spot atheopaths using numerous errors in what passes for reasoning on their world.


This is "Fair Use" for educational purposes. Also, I see that someone didn't cotton to Haywire's rants.
Another trick is redefining words to suit their purposes. The established definition of atheism is someone who believes there is no God or gods. Since that fails logic and philosophy tests, they have conveniently redefined it into someone who "lacks belief", but they are still making a belief statement. (Fine, I lack belief in a universe without God.) Since atheism is such a negative religion, it has been also redefined as secularism or even secular humanism, but both terms still come down to meaning "atheism". "Secularism" is not "neutral"; secularists keep working on removal of all vestiges of Christianity in public life. That is an establishment of an atheist religion, not "neutrality"!

One of the most popular efforts of quote mining by atheists in America is the so-called "Constitutional separation of church and state". Many people believe the lie that this is in the US Constitution. I remember some of a conversation about 30 years ago, I said to a guy, "The Constitution says that the church shall be separate from the state, and the school from the church". The other guy said, "Yes!" Then I informed him that I was almost-quoting from the USSR Constitution (it's in the 1936 and 1977 USSR Constitutions). He didn't like that trick, but it showed how he had accepted a belief without truth. The fact is, despite the manipulations and trickery of secularists, there is no such thing as the separation of church and state in the US Constitution! But atheist-sympathizing judicial activist judges in this country act like it's there.

Let's get back on the original trail again.

Atheists and other anti-creationists give uninformed opinions when they attack Christians and biblical creationists. Some think they've found problems with the Bible, therefore there is no God, but their objections have been answered long, long ago and answers are posted online. Very few have the intellectual integrity to honestly investigate from the sources about what we believe and teach. They get their information from other atheopaths and anti-creationists who misrepresent us, or just base their opinions on watching or reading secular humanist-based science fiction. How about going to the source instead of fallaciously paying attention to poorly-thought second-hand opinions? There really is a Creator, and he makes the rules. We are all going to be answerable to him one day. For some of us, it will be a joy. For others, it will be Hell (Phil. 2.9-11, Rev. 20.15). By denying God, you're making your choice with your pretended "secular" neutrality.

Wild Bill Finlay is an American Conservative commentator and a Christian. He has some good observations in this short video.

October 13, 2014

Atheists and Anti-Creationists Crazy from the Hate

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 10-14-2014.

The inspiration for this article is backwards. I saw a rant in an inconsequential forum by a vituperative but unimportant atheist. Then I read the article on one of the sites I subscribe to that brought his childish "you deny evolution and billions of years, so you're a liar" reaction. The article in question is by former theistic evolutionist Dr. David Catchpoole of CMI, "Faith can move mountains (but it can't change history)". He wrote a short article about the global Genesis Flood from his biblical creationist (young earth) perspective, and was given an ad hominem attack for his efforts by the aforementioned atheopath.

Dr. Catchpoole gave links in that article to some of the science articles supporting the Genesis Flood, but the critic did not seem to be interested in reading or responding to those. 

The uneducated atheopath railed against Catchpoole, displaying his inability to distinguish between a different interpretation of evidence and a lie (plus being intolerant of people for even having a non-evolutionary viewpoint). This shows something that I have been saying for years: Hate stupidifies. (Stupidify is a word I picked up from Matt Slick of CARM.) This fits with something that some theologians call the "noetic effect of sin", where God essentially says, "Enough! Have it your way, I won't contend with you any longer" (Romans 1.24-25). The point is that sin corrupts all aspects of someone's life, including the ability to reason. They think they can cogitate on something and be brilliant, but they really can't think well at all.



I've seen it. Some people can carry on a conversation, offer analysis of situations or observed facts, and so on. When it comes to matters of morality, theology and so on, their nice horsie of thought suddenly throws them from the saddle. What baffles me is that people make the most basic errors of logic, and are so consumed with hate that they do not make sense, and cannot be schooled in the most basic principles. I have pointed out the errors of some people, and then they justified their bad logic by doing the same things again, and they consider personal attacks to be "rational arguments"! God is right, they claim to be brilliant, but that's not the case (Romans 1.22). Worse, others who are in agreement with their hatred of God and excuses to reject him applaud the bad logic (Romans 1.32).

Many obstreperous atheists seem to think that they have a crusade to protect "science" and "reason" from "religion". What they are really doing is spreading hatred, bad logic and bigotry. If they want to have a purpose, get on God's side and fight for what is right. Someone rightly said, "If you want to rebel against someone, rebel against the devil!" That's true, since he is their master.

It is clear that true "freethinkers" are not atheists who believe they are intellectual. They are rebelling against God and are actually under the control of Satan (2 Corinthians 4.4, John 8.44). True free thinking comes through something that is irrational to them, and that is through submission to God (Proverbs 1.7). Until they repent and make Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives and thinking, they remain fools (Psalm 53.1) under their master's control. Addendum: An excellent article on a Christian view of the intellect is here.

October 6, 2014

Pluto, Special Pleading and Popular Opinion


The fallacy of "Special Pleading" is a form of "Moving the Goalposts" by ignoring important information, changing criteria to bolster one's position, appealing to emotions, and similar tactics. Christians and creationists have to deal with this quite a bit. F'rinstance, when I said that Bill Nye used bad science and logical fallacies when debating Ken Ham, I produced abundant supporting evidence. A critic cried, "...I have NOT studied it in detail. However, I note that it FAILS to quote anything Nye actually said at the debate with Ken Ham VERBATIM..." That's a clear example of moving the goalposts and special pleading (as well as the brilliant logical procedure of arguing from something not studied). Owlhoots like this tend to defend their logical fallacies with more fallacies, such as appeal to motive.


So, how about Pluto, the ninth planet of the solar system. Oh, wait. It was disqualified, and with apparently good reasons. People don't like it. We want Pluto to be a planet! When does popular opinion decide scientific classifications? An article in Time said, "The People Have Voted: Pluto is a Planet!" Isn't that misleading? Who cares how the people voted? The people's vote did not change the minds of astronomers. A worse title is, "Pluto Is a Planet Again, According to Harvard Astronomers", which is completely untrue. (Secular science, especially the pro-evolution press, pulls this kind of stunt frequently.) They did a bait-n-switch to get people to read the article, and then clarified with, "At least, that is, according to the audience at a debate at Harvard. Astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysicists (HSCFA) debated the topic “What is a planet?"


Mayhaps the definition of "planet" will change, but will that be based on moving the goalposts?

September 30, 2014

Problems with Secularist Theories of Knowledge

Back in college, I was not fond of philosophy and often cut class. One day, I showed up and it was test time. Essay test time. So I pulled out my mental shovel and piled it on and aced the test. Perhaps if we had started with theories of knowledge and presuppositions, I would have appreciated such things more. It took people like Jason Lisle and Greg Bahnsen to prompt my thinking in such areas.

Are there absolutes? How do you know what you know? What is your epistemology? Can we know things? How can we know anything? If we can't know things, then why can't we know them? We all have our starting points and use basic logic (such as the Law of Contradiction). Atheistic worldviews tend to be arbitrary and self-refuting in nature. Skepticism (the philosophy, not the modern stripped-down definition), Empiricism, Scientism, Rationalism and more are irrational and inconsistent.

We all have our ultimate starting points for our worldviews. The biblical Christian worldview is consistent, and has the necessary preconditions of intelligibility.

Jason Petersen of Answers for Hope discusses these matters in this 54-minute video presentation. A recommendation for people like me who play lectures at accelerated speed: Don't. The microphone is not close to Jason, and he talks at a decent speed anyway, so speeding it up may not be worth it.

September 18, 2014

Semantics, Logic and Anti-Christian Bigotry


by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

A "meme" that I used on a post 1 provoked some amazingly obstreperous and arrogant comments from anti-creationists. They misused logic and presented some remarks that were saturated with hate. These were predicated on what they considered a misuse of "science", the current definition of the Big Bang. My introductory remarks in the post said that the Big Bang was an explosion, and the article that I linked in the post had did not discuss the Big Bang, it was about other explosions. But they apparently didn't bother to read that one, they wanted to rip the "anti science" of calling the Big Bang an "explosion".

Well, was the Big Bang an explosion? Or, more importantly for this article, is it justified to make such a remark? Yes, definitely. First, the Big Bang is called an explosion (or inferred by words like "cataclysmic") in dictionaries 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, but some must have received the memo that the "explosion" was upgraded to "rapid expansion" 7. Second, science-related sites including NASA, the American Museum of Natural History, National Geographic, PBS, BBC and others refer to it as an explosion 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

Redefining words when the original meanings become inconvenient is becoming more frequent, it seems:
  • "Atheism" is changed from the established meaning of "denial of the existence of God" 14 into the vacuous "lack of belief".
  • "Vestigial organs" moves from meaning leftovers from our evolutionary past that we do not need anymore 15 (false!) into Coyne's "no longer performs the purpose for which it evolved" 16 (begging the question as well as conveniently redefining the word).
  • Although everything came from "nothing", the word "nothing" now seems to mean "almost nothing, but we have to debate what nothing really means now" 17 .
  • The Big Bang is now a "rapid expansion" 18, even though the thing isn't really understood in the first place and gets constantly revised 19, and we have a great deal of evidence that it did not happen 20.
So, the Big Bang is not an explosion, it is a rapid expansion that moved faster than the speed of light 21 and pretty much looked like an explosion, it had previously been defined as an explosion, it really isn't, and if you call the Big Bang an explosion, you'll get slapped down by haughty pseudo-intellectuals who want to play with words. Pretty intolerant of them to be that way when people use completely understandable references to the Big Bang as an explosion.

Hey! Like many other people, and with good reasons, I said the Big Bang is an explosion!
Sorry to keep you, but there were some things that troubled me when I found groups in which this "meme" was "shared" (reposted on Facebook). People were using the redefinition to get uppity and attack Christians and creationists. This "meme" asked, "If someone believes that order can come from an explosion, do I want him repairing my computer?" (Come on, people these things are brief, using humor and often making a point.) I concluded that they were using "reason" and "logic" (very badly) as excuses for expressing hatred (click for larger):





This last one is full-blown atheopathy:

In an article I wrote about how Christian persecution is increasing, I quoted Matt Slick as saying that people act in a manner consistent with their beliefs 22. Indeed, people are expressing irrational opinions. Sometimes they act on them. Bigotry begins with words, and persecution comes from that. It will only get worse. But we were told to expect that (Matthew 5.11, John 15.18-22).

ADDENDUM: This guy has lied about me in the past, and helped prove my point with a worthless comment and loaded terminology. "Damage control"? An article that took about 3-1/2 hours to write and has over 20 supporting links is an article proving a point, not "damage control". Amazing.

August 28, 2014

The Increase of Christian Persecution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Disclaimer: I do not endorse all opinions on all sites found in supporting links.

This article is another of those times when several things came together for me that had been in the works for a while. I think God does that, just brings things together like that.

The Arabic letter that begins their word for Nazarine has become a social media event. Moslems are using it to mark the homes of Christians in Iraq (if there are any left there now), which is reminiscent of the way Nazis marked property belong to Jews. People are using this symbol and variations on it in social media to express solidarity 1. However, this is not anything new or unusual. Persecution of Christians is happening worldwide, especially in atheist and Moslem countries. There are ministries dedicated to spreading information and giving support to the persecuted Christians 2, 3, 4, 5.

Some of the threat to Christians is the increased Islamization in the West, but the more current threats are from militant atheists and secularists.

Currently, blatant physical persecution of Christians in Western countries is rare. It is primarily done as discrimination, hidden behind other excuses (such as poor job performance, or daring to publish information that questions evolution in peer-reviewed material 6). I have documented many instances in this Weblog of atheistic discrimination and persecution. (Some dishonest atheists claim that Christians are not being persecuted, and that they are instead! Ironically, William Murray, the son of famous misotheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, leads the Religious Freedom Coalition 7.) Although what we endure in Western countries is much milder than our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing in other parts of the world, be certain that it is coming our way 8, 9, 10, 11.

As I mentioned before, there is not much "I'm persecuting you because you're a Christian". Instead, there are excuses and false charges used as excuses to harass, imprison, torture and murder Christians. A good part of this is done by labeling. Sometimes it is with "criminal" charges, some labels are as vague as "enemy of the state" or "child abuser" (Clinton Richard Dawkins likes to equivocate and call Christians who teach their values to their children "child abusers", for example 12). One reason I believe that many atheists hate Christians who teach creation is that we want to encourage people to think critically and examine the evidence instead of simply believing what "scientists say". This also slows atheists down when they want to defame us by appealing to people's emotions with illegitimate, loaded-term labels. Persecution and discrimination begin with words.

Take a look at this 3-1/2 minute video:




"More and more people are having a hatred for Christians . . . People behave in a manner consistent with what they believe. If they believe that Christianity's okay . . . they're going to behave very much differently than someone who believes Christianity is a hate-mongering, filthy religion that needs to be destroyed. People with different belief systems are going to behave in different manners based on the belief system that they have. We behave in a manner consistent with what we believe, not with what we don't believe. I have seen an increase in hostility towards Christianity from all types of groups..."
— Matt Slick, "Matt Slick Live", CARM.org, June 2, 2014
Now I am going to give an example of some of the nonsense that I frequently deal with (which is about 1/100 of what major creation ministries constantly endure). This character is inconsequential and cannot harm me (and I dislike indulging his craving for attention), but his libel illustrates what Paul Washer and Matt Slick are saying 13.

Later, another liar stated, "bob just said you want to kill all creationists" [sic]
Remember, persecution and discrimination begin with words. Words express thoughts and attitudes. People appeal to emotion 14, get others on "their side" and things escalate from there. It has happened before in history, and it is happening again. We need to stand firm and remember what God has told us in his written Word (Matt. 5.10-12, Matt. 24.9, John 15.20, Acts 8.1, 1 Cor. 15.9, 2 Cor. 4.8-12, 2 Tim. 3.12, 1 Peter 2.19-20, Psalm 14.1, Prov. 1.7).

July 28, 2014

Logic Lessons: Arguing from Silence

— Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In a previous "Logic Lesson", I touched on the Argument from Silence, but I forgot that I did it! Diddly dur hay. Anyway, this is a more complete treatment.

Arguments from silence, like other fallacies, have some clear-cut examples that are easily identifiable. The basic form is that if someone does not answer a question or give a response, it is taken as confirmation that the other person is right. Unfortunately, I do not have screenshots of one of my favorite examples. An atheopath on Twitter was attacking me for something or other, and I had better things to do (such as watching television). When I came back to Twitter, I realized that I had lost a "debate". The guy had been firing of questions and comments. Because he did not get responses from me, he declared victory for himself — I lost a debate that I did not know I had!

Here is another one. It was posted in a forum, and I found out that it was e-mailed to me from a spammer-stalker who knows that I have blocked him from my e-mail:
"Oh, and his total FAILURE to answer my question below* proves that Bob Sorensen is a liar, full stop. . . . *I am afraid that silence from Bob will be taken to indicate that he is unable to do this, and that he makes untruthful statements about opponents that he cannot subsequently defend - thus I would advise him against ignoring this challenge."
He is adding several manipulative conditions on the failure to respond. Edit: He read this, but obvious did not learn, and was kind enough to provide another example, here.

One more, and it is a challenge because it is complicated:



Sorry about the image quality, I was quite unskilled in screenshots back then. Anyway, Norman the Paranoid Troll (long-time readers, do you remember him?) is using a weird combination of argument from silence and the either/or fallacy. By deleting his posted comments, the site owner admits that followers of Jesus lie and kill. "If you do not agree, be honest and let them stand", which has the either/or fallacy of "If you do not let these comments stand, you are not honest". Very manipulative and despicable. And yet, the spammer-stalker quoted above this screen shot makes Norman seem almost sane.

On a side note (and I think I've said this before), if someone is going to say, think, write evil about you, there is nothing you can do to stop him. When the antagonist is non compos mentis, just laugh and move on. Unless it is actual libel, the consider legal action like I am doing.

Along with other fallacies, the argument from silence can blend and overlap with other fallacies (as we just saw). Also like other fallacies, the argument from silence can actually be valid on occasion when used with other evidence which is valid, and is not a fallacy in those instances. In my examples, I did not feel like indulging the critics who were making the demands. If I had made a claim and was challenged but did not respond, the other party might be justified in being suspicious. (Refusal to accept clear evidence does not count.) But such a use of argument from silence as valid evidence is tricky, so never mind about that now.

Yet again like other fallacies, it can take different forms.

What I am going into now is not the argument from silence per se, but I think these are forms of it. To say something like, "There's no point in reporting it to Maintenance, they won't do anything anyway", or, "I'm not going to read that creation science stuff, I know what they're going to say" have some things in common with the argument from silence. (I think there may be a bit of the appeal to motive fallacy mixed in as well.) To me, these are just excuses to avoid taking action or learning something. Plus, precognition and clairvoyance are not generally accepted in discussions of logic.

Part of a tantrum regarding The Question Evolution Project on Facebook


The adage applies, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence". Be on guard against someone who tries to pull a fast one by using an argument from silence, since it is a way to bully people into doing things and can lead to nonsensical "victories". Also, be careful that you do not do this yourself in a casual or manipulative manner.

Here is a good article on the basics of the "argument from silence".

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