[BLML] Logic (was Klaatu) [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]

richard.hills at immi.gov.au richard.hills at immi.gov.au
Tue Jun 19 00:32:55 CEST 2012

Donald Rumsfeld, on WMD in Iraq:

The absence of evidence is not the
evidence of absence.
Simply because you do not have evidence
that something does exist does not mean
that you have evidence that it doesn't exist.

Aristotle and an Aardvark go to Washington
Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein, page 27:

But let's start with the fallacy that Mr.
Rumsfeld nails on the head. It's called the
"argument from ignorance" (argumentum
ad ignorantiam) and it goes like this: Not
knowing a statement is true is taken to be
proof that it is false.
It is a mistake along the same lines as those
evil medievals who once said, "I see no
evidence that the earth revolves around the
sun, so it must not." It just ain't necessarily
so, and the secretary has made a solid
point here.

But Rumsfeld is correct only up to a point.
There comes a time when the absence of
evidence really _does_ become evidence
of absence. Copernicus had plenty of
evidence that the earth revolves around
the sun; it just wasn't common-sense
evidence. Had he not been able to
produce _any_ evidence of _any_ sort,
then we _would_ be justified in arguing
that his theory should be assumed to be

Richard Hills, uncommon sense:

>>a call may be deemed non-artificial in
>>the ARBL but instead be deemed
>>artificial in the ACBL.
>>Different strokes for different folks.

Ed Reppert, common sense:

>Maybe so, but calling a spade an orange
>(or a banana) still seems almighty strange,
>and quite a bit beyond "different strokes".

Aristotle and an Aardvark go to Washington
Thomas Cathcart & Daniel Klein, page 28:

Two archaeologists, a Greek and an
Egyptian, are arguing over who came from
the more advanced ancient civilisation.

The Greek says, "While digging in Corinth,
we found copper wires buried under the
village. This proves we already had
telephones in the sixth century BCE!"

And the Egyptian replies, "Well, in Giza, we
dug under the ancient village and found no
wires at all, thus proving they had already
gone wireless!"

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