argument from ignorance : Java Glossary


argument from ignorance

aka appeal to ignorance, aka argument from incredulity. An argument from ignorance is one of the classical logical fallacies. The writer asserts that he cannot understand something so therefore it cannot be true. This is usually just evidence for the writer’s incompetence especially when pontificating on realms where they have done no study.

A silly example would be What’s with that little 2 up in the air in e = mc2. Obviously, Einstein had no clue what he was talking about.

If polar bears are [the] dominant [predator] in the Arctic, then there would seem to have been no need for them to evolve a white-coloured form of camouflage.

~ Hugh William Montifiore (1920-05-12 2005-05-13 age:85) Bishop of Birmingham, in Probability of God.

This an outrageously idiotic argument from ignorance, one of the classical logical fallacies. Just because the bishop is too clueless to come up with an explanation, he asserts that Darwinian theory could not possibly come up with an explanation. It therefore must be the God Yahweh’s whim. Had he any intellectual integrity, he would have asked a professional zoologist for a Darwinian explanation before using this example in his book. The answer why polar bears need camouflage is obvious to anyone who has ever watched polar bears sneak up on seals even from an armchair watching nature documentaries.

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