Here at UD, we will headline particularly noteworthy comments spotted in discussion threads. Today, drc466 has a gem, in the Show a Natural OoL for $10 mn prize thread,:
drc466 , no. 21:] “there is nothing more irritating than the constant (invalid) refrain from evolutionists of “argument from incredulity”. And the variant “God of the Gaps” or “Goddidit” accusations.
When a scientist, engineer, or layman for that matter, conclusively demonstrates mathematically or empirically that something is impossible, that is not an “argument from incredulity”. It is a proof requiring evidence to the contrary.
Say, for example, that I make the claim “Iron doesn’t float”. That’s not an argument from incredulity, that is a positive hypothesis based on experimental observation that contradicts an alternate theory, that iron does float.
Now, a clever individual may come along, create a boat from the iron, and say, “Look – iron does float. Your theory is falsified.” Which may lead me to restate my theory – “Iron not shaped in such a fashion to capture ‘lighter than water’ materials within its volume does not float”. Again – this is not an argument from incredulity, it is a theory that requires contrary evidence to disprove.
So, when Dr. Axe presents mathematical and empirical evidence that new gene and protein folds cannot occur via gradualistic processes, that is not an “argument from incredulity”. It requires falsification. Merely stating “yeah, we can’t provide you any empirical evidence, mathematical equations, or even realistic computer models that contradict that assertion, but you’re wrong because argument from incredulity!” is not just invalid, it’s outright offensive. And ignorant. And yet, evolutionists do it all the time!
“Organic molecules degrade in 1000’s of years not millions. Original organic material has been found in these fossils. Therefore, they cannot be millions of years old.” – “Argument from incredulity!”
“Mutation experiments demonstrate a limit of random mutations before the organism becomes non-viable, and no evidence than mutations can add new information.” – “Argument from incredulity!”
“Mutation rates in genetic material show that even the millions of years evolutionists claim occurred are insufficient to account for any major phyletic transition” – “Argument from incredulity!”
“The time period for the ‘Cambrian Explosion’ is significantly too small to allow for the wide variety of body plans that appeared during this period.” – “Argument from incredulity!”
“2 + 2 does not equal 22” – “Argument from incredulity!”
It’s really tiresome, don’t you think? If I ever use the phrase, I hope someone slaps me. If you honestly believe that someone is postulating a theory based solely on whether or not they personally believe something is possible, then you should be able to offer a reasonable explanation of how it is possible, not just hide behind mommy’s “argument from incredulity” skirt. “
Food for thought, END
9 Replies to “drc466 exposes the argument from incredulity fallacy”
drc466 exposes the argument from incredulity fallacy
Aeronautical engineers do not specify materials of unknown properties when designing a new aircraft to which hundreds of people may trust their lives. New drugs are subjected to rigorous and extensive tests before they can be licensed for public use.. One of the goals of design is to minimize risk and to that end designers and engineers rely on the hard-won knowledge of science.
Sev, yes but science is not synonymous with the ideology of evolutionary materialistic scientism. The observable evidence is that digital code expressing algorithms, data structures and associated execution machinery manifest language using intelligence, and reflect highly knowledgeable, skilled design. This is backed up by needle in haystack search challenge for large config spaces requiring beyond 500 to 1,000 bits worth of possibilities to describe them. Worse, since 1948 we had a prediction, vindicated since the discovery of DNA in 1953, that self replicating kinematic automata would require stored coded information that guides self replication, per von Neumann, i.e. this is a further case of FSCO/I not an escape from it. It is imposition of a priori materialism that is suppressing the empirically warranted inference that we are seeing a clear signature of intelligently directed configuration in the heart of the living cell. KF
At post 3 Seversky, a Darwinian Atheist, defines the argument from incredulity. Which is all fine and well, but he then fails to apply his definition to Intelligent Design Advocates and/or to Darwinian Atheists to show us why he personally thinks Intelligent Design Advocates, not Darwinian Atheists, are the ones arguing from personal incredulity.
I hope that Seversky does not mind if I remedy this rather glaring defect in his argument.
To remedy this defect in Seversky’s argument, let’s deconstruct his definition of the argument from incredulity claim by claim to see how it applies to Intelligent Design Advocates and Darwinian Atheists,
As to the first claim
OK, so who has “inappropriate emotional involvement”? Well, as the following study shows, it is the Darwinian atheist: “I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.”
As to the second claim:
OK, so who is more prone to conflating fantasy and reality? Again, it is the Darwinian Atheist who is found to be more prone to conflating fantasy and reality.
As to the third claim
So who displays less understanding? Well given that emotion plays a big part in their atheism, it is first interesting to note that atheists have less empathy and/or understanding for, and of, other people:
On the intellectual level, although atheists often pride themselves on their understanding of a particular branch of scientific knowledge, understanding itself, (i.e. that is to say the ability to grasp what something actually means or how something actually works), is directly undermined by atheism.
First, if atheism were true there would be no meaning to anything in the universe, much less would there be any understanding of what something actually means,
Secondly, to presuppose that it is possible to understand how something actually works in this universe is to presuppose that there is a ultimate purpose and/or teleology behind its existence in this universe. Yet atheists explicitly deny the existence of purpose and/or teleology:
Dr. Michael Egnor has a very insightful article explaining exactly why Darwinists are so intent on denying teleology and/or purpose in, and for, the universe,
Thus, since atheism denies the existence of meaning, purpose and/or teleology in the universe, and yet since understanding itself necessarily presupposes that meaning, purpose and/or teleology actually exist in the universe so as to be understood in the first place, then that directly undermines any claim that atheism can ground understanding in the first place.
Simply put, atheists display ‘a lack of understanding’ in the most fundamental way possible in that their worldview, in their resolute denial that there is any real meaning and purpose behind why the universe exists in the first place, forsake any claim they may make for understanding the universe in the first place. As Einstein himself stated, “Well, a priori, (if atheism were true) one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way,,,”
As Dr. Cornelius Hunter observed, “Under atheism there is no such thing as a mind. There is no such thing as understanding and no such thing as truth.,, (an atheist) needs God In order to deny Him.””
As to the fourth claim
This is an interesting claim in that the ‘instinctive gut reaction, especially where time is scarce’ is shown to be a default belief that things are Intelligently Designed and that atheists have to mentally work suppressing their instinctual belief that the universe and the things in it are Intelligently Designed.
It is not that Atheists do not see purpose and/or Design in nature and biology, it is that Atheists, for whatever severely misguided, (emotional?) reason, live in denial of the purpose and/or Design that they themselves see in nature.
Perhaps the two most famous quotes of atheists suppressing their innate ‘design inference’ are the following two quotes:
It is easy to see why Crick, the co-discoverer of the DNA helix, was constantly ‘haunted’ by his own innate design inference
Then finally the definition that Seversky cited gives this overarching reason for why ‘the augment from incredulity’ is fallacious
In other words, Seversky, nor any other atheist, can give any coherent reason, much less can they give any empirical evidence, for why they do not believe in God.
As the following article points out, “Elite Scientists Don’t Have Elite Reasons for Being Atheists”
There simply is no evidence, nor logical argumentation, that the atheist can appeal to, that can withstand scrutiny, in order to support his rejection of God. Again, as was shown, his unbelief is rooted primarily in emotion not in reason (in fact reason itself cannot be grounded within his atheistic worldview). Whereas the Christian Theist has a veritable overabundance of logical arguments and empirical evidence that he can appeal to support his belief in God:
Arguments from incredulity follow directly from evidence-free arguments from wishful thinking. Is it really personal incredulity to say that a 4 year old couldn’t solve the problem x^3 + y^3 + z^3 = 42? No, it is a fact.
Just because evos NEVER support their nonsensical claims does not mean that their opponents argue from incredulity.
By your own definition@3, every time you’ve used argument from incredulity, you’ve misapplied it.
Dr. Axe, for example, clearly CAN imagine what he’s disproved, or he wouldn’t have been able to put so much rigor behind it. Rigor demands response. Argument from incredulity ain’t it.
Pointing out that the naturalist/materialist’s arguments are insufficient explanations based on insufficient evidence is not an argument from personal incredulity. It is an argument from the evidence as we presently understand it. That’s not personal incredulity; it’s rational skepticism.
Recently I gave an example of this relating to the existence of the so-called multiverse.
I pointed out that, “An appeal to the multiverse is nothing more than a fallacious appeal to chance.
The argument then boils down to a debate about logically possible explanations and an appeal to sufficient evidence.