proof-disproof muddles

Argument from Ignorance, or argumentum ad ignorantiam:

This fallacy muddles the true-false dichotomy with the question of proof or disproof, and as such is a form of false dilemma where only two options are presented when several options exist. The ignored options include false claim-not disproven, and true claim-not proven, while the implied dichotomy confines options to false claim-disproven or true claim-proven.

Fallacious arguments from ignorance erroneously claim either that lack of proof must render a claim false, or that lack of disproof must render a claim true. An Illogical Deceit example of this argument is embodied in the “irreducible complexity” claim that if evolutionary biologists cannot provide an explanation for “specified complexity”, then God (aka the ‘intelligent designer’) must be responsible for whatever biological mechanism is under debate. The more careful claim of a pro-id debater would be that ‘id’ theory ought to be taught alongside science in the classroom.

Many creationism and ‘id’ debaters who display this logical fallacy do not make their reasoning explicit, such that the conclusion of truth or falsehood is merely implied, or the actual argument is buried in the verbose obfuscation typical of ‘id’ authors.


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