Explaining the Affirming the Consequent Fallacy and the Scientific Hypothesis to Flat Earth Math

FEM: “You and Mr. Russel are correct in that any time you have long chains of assumptions, you’re going to run into trouble.”

Me: “That is not my argument. My argument, I think B.R.’s as well is the nature of the scientific hypothesis, is by definition, in esse and simpliciter an affirming the consequent fallacy. Dr. Carrier states,

“The seed from which the success of science was born is a simple three step process: adduction, deduction, induction. In general, we identify a problem, gather relevant data, formulate a hypothesis (usually an explanatory model of what is really going on), and test the predictions entailed by that hypothesis—looking for whatever would have to be the case, and whatever could not be the case, if our model were correct. In other words, we creatively “adduce” an hypothesis from some collection of data and questions about that data, then we logically “deduce” what new facts that hypothesis must entail if it is true, and then employ any of a variety of empirical (“inductive”) methods to test that hypothesis by seeing if these new predictions hold up.” (Sense and Goodness Without God, Pg. 214)

Now, when I have put B.R.’s statement in front of the atheists I know, (Yes I conflate Heliocentrism in toto with the definition of atheism), most completely ignore it, but those with higher education feel their conscience and their pride pricked too violently to ignore it, they try to work verbal sophistry with me. Knowing very well that the scientific method’s syllogistic form is:

// If P, then Q.


Therefore, P


(Affirming the consequent)

such as the exact arguments I was taught in the public school system:


If evolution is true we should expect to observe homology

We do observe homology

Therefore evolution is true


(Affirming the consequent)

they will try a word game and switch around the premises to change the very nature of a hypothesis in order to psychologically confuse their opponent, total douchbaggery. Notice above Dr. Carrier states that the hypothesis comes before the predicted observation stating “formulate a hypothesis (usually an explanatory model of what is really going on), and test the predictions entailed by that hypothesis”. What these men will do is formulate the following syllogism:


If we observe homology evolution is true

We do observe homology

Therefore evolution is true.


The syllogism is a valid form but not a hypothesis and the first premise begs the question. You see the total douchebaggery here?



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