What Is LOGIC and How Can We Use It In Christian Apologetics?

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Logic is the art of reasoning well. In this article, Sarah Laidlaw and Edward D. Andrews lay the proper foundation for reasoning from the truth of God, then offer basic crucial skills and define terms, helping the reader to determine the truth of statements,  discern and construct valid arguments, identifying fallacies, and more.

“You should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.
“I do,” Alice hastily replied; “at least- at least I mean what I say- that’s the same thing, you know.”
“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might as well say that ‘I see what I eat’ is the same thing as ‘I eat what I see’!”

When Christians present the truth to unbelievers, do our arguments make logical sense?  Are we able to understand the logic (or lack thereof) in the arguments of those we present the gospel to?  1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”  The word “defense” is the English translation for the Greek word “apologia,” which is a legal term referring to one’s defense in court. Therefore, all Christians are under obligation to defend their faith to any who would ask.  The word “account,” or “reason” as other versions translate it, is logic.  Christians must always be ready to give an answer regarding the logic of their faith. (Bolding mine)

In order to equip you for this task, there will be an outline of the process of logic.  The goal is to explain the building blocks of logic and give examples of their application for apologetics in areas of evangelism and defending creation science.  This article is based on the book Come Let Us Reason Together by Norman Geisler. The first step in enforcing logical rules in our apologetic arguments is to learn to identify different logical statements.  This article will focus on categorical propositions. Have you ever shared your faith with another person and he or she responded: “God does not exist.”

This sentence is a categorical proposition.  We will return to it later in the article in order to determine its logic.  Categorical propositions tell us ‘This is that’ or ‘This is not that.’  For example, “God is good,” or “All believers will go to Heaven.” These phrases tell us about how things are or are not in reality.  Such statements are made up of a subject, predicate (a sentence or clause containing a verb and stating something about the subject; e.g. “John went home”), a copula (a connecting word, in particular, a form of the verb “be”), and a quantifier (an expression (e.g. “all, some”) that indicates the scope of a term to which it is attached).  The subject and predicate you know from school: the subject is the first noun in the categorical statement, and the predicate is the second noun in the statement.  The predicate is slightly different than in English because in English the predicate includes the verb, but in logic, the predicate is more like the object of the sentence.  The copula is the verb is or the phrase is not.  The quantifier tells us how much of the subject category is included in the statement, the range of, like “all”, “some”, or “most.”

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There are four types of categorical propositions.  Here I will list them using variables S and P, S meaning Subject and P meaning Predicate:

Universal Affirmative: All S is P. or S is P.
Universal Negative: No S is P.
Particular Affirmative: Some S is P.
Particular Negative: Some S is not P.

The quantifier (all or some) and the copula (is or is not) are essential to the logic statement because through it we learn how the categories are “distributed.”  Distribution refers to how much of the category we must consider to verify the truth of a categorical proposition.  For example, all horses are four-legged means that if a person were to search all horses, he would find that (at birth) every horse had four legs.  Likewise, no horses are two-legged means that if a person were to examine all horses he would find that none of them have two legs.  The quantifier all or the copula is not, which can also be termed no ___ are, both necessitate that all of the category receive examination before the veracity [truth or accuracy] of the statement can be determined.

The quantifier some and the copula is both only covers some of the category.  For example, some horses are white means that if a person were to find one white horse then some of the category is white and the statement is true.  Also, men are human; this phrase refers to all of the category men, but the section with the copula, are human, refers only to a subcategory of humans because there are also women who are human.  Therefore, statements with all or is not refer to an entire category whereas some and is only refer to part of a category.

Let us return to the phrase God does not exist or There is not God.  This is a distributed categorical statement.  Atheism by definition is the belief that there is no God.  However, the logic of this statement and position are impossible to prove, and I will explain why.

Distribution, also called Distribution Of Terms, in syllogistics, the application of a term of a proposition to the entire class that the term denotes. … Thus, in a proposition of the form “No S is P,” both the subject and the predicate are distributed. In the form “Some S is P,” neither S nor P is distributed. – Distribution | logic | Britannica.com

In order for a distributed statement to be true, a person must be able to explore that entire category.  For example, if I were to say There is no gold in China I would have to search all of China to discover if this were true or not.  There could be no gold pottery in China, no gold flecks, and no gold teeth in any mouth in China.  You can imagine this would be hard to prove, but compare that statement to the statement God does not exist.  A person would have to search all of existence in order to prove the veracity of that claim.  Each solar system, each galaxy, and every corner of the whole universe, to all of the other billions of universes, and even outside of time and space would need to be empty of God in order for that statement to be true.

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However, if I said the opposite Some gold is in China, I would only need to uncover one fleck of gold, one gold tooth, or one gold piece of pottery.  Likewise, if I say God exists, i.e., God is somewhere is the entire category of existence; I would only have to find some evidence of Him and would not need to search every corner of the universe.

Our God created this universe on a basis of logic.  Therefore, when Christians use logic, we will bring every thought captive onto the obedience of Christ.

THE SECOND LOGICAL STEP: Strong Arguments that Can Withstand Debate or Dispute

Stein and Dawkins

Ben Stein: What do you think is the possibility intelligent design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics… or in evolution?

Richard Dawkins: Well… it could come about in the following way: it could be that uh, at some earlier time somewhere in the universe a civilization e-evolved… by probably by some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto… perhaps this… this planet. Um, now that is a possibility. And uh, an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the um, at the detail… details of our chemistry molecular biology you might find a signature of some sort of designer.

Stein: [voice over] Wait a second. Richard Dawkins thought intelligent design might be a legitimate pursuit?

Dawkins: Um, and that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe. But that higher intelligence would itself would have to come about by some explicable or ultimately explicable process. It couldn’t have just jumped into existence spontaneously. That’s the point.

Stein: [voice over] So Professor Dawkins was not against intelligent design, just certain types of designers. Such as God.

The book Come Let Us Reason was written to equip Christians with a background in logical thinking that, combined with the testimony of the Holy Spirit, will bring people to the feet of Jesus.

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At this point, you may be asking how learning logical principles can help you to share the gospel with your unsaved friends.  Above, it was demonstrated how a Christian can pinpoint the fallacious logic of certain categorical statements.  The second step is to understand how to make strong arguments and how to identify arguments that are strong enough to use in polemics (engaging in controversial debate or dispute).  Once we understand how to make a categorical statement, we can line several statements up into syllogisms.

A syllogism is an instance of a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn (whether validly or not) from two given or assumed propositions (premises), each of which shares a term with the conclusion, and shares a common or middle term not present in the conclusion (e.g., all dogs are animals; all animals have four legs; therefore all dogs have four legs). It is deductive reasoning as distinct from induction. Inductive reasoning is a method of reasoning in which the premises are viewed as supplying some evidence for the truth of the conclusion. Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, logical deduction is the process of reasoning from one or more statements (premises) to reach a logically certain conclusion. Google and Wikipedia.

A syllogism is made up of two propositions and is followed by a conclusion.  Categorical propositions are “how much of a category is (or is not) some object or adjective.”  There are many types of syllogisms, but this article will focus on a specific kind called the dilemma.

A dilemma is an argument that presents two or more options.  It does this by placing hypothetical statements in the major premise and a disjunctive (a choice between the options) in the minor premise.  The result is that even though neither of the choices are desirable, we must choose one of them.  Consider the problem of evil.  David Hume, famous for his anti-Christian philosophy against miracles, Jesus and the Resurrection, poses an interesting dilemma for the Christian in his assessment of evil.  According to Hume, the problem of evil can be explained in one of two ways:

Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able?  Then He is impotent.
Is He able, but not willing?  Then He is malevolent.
Is He both able and willing?  Whence then is evil? [How does evil exist then?]

Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK

What is Hume saying here?  His framework can be divided into major and minor premises:

MAJOR: If God is unwilling to prevent evil, then He is evil.
If God is unable to prevent evil, then He is not all-powerful.

MINOR: Evil exists and God is either unwilling or unable to prevent it.

CONCLUSION: Therefore, the God of Christianity is either evil or weak (which is basically saying the Christian God does not exist).

The bull of this dilemma has us on its horns.  Hume would have his opponents believe they must choose between one of these two options.

However, there are ways to get around a dilemma.  The apologist can “go through the horns” as it were if he can offer another alternative to the ones listed.  Since God is not evil and is able to stop evil, there must be a greater benefit to allowing evil to exist for a period of time.  (See Why has God Permitted Wickedness and Suffering?) Another alternative that destroys the dilemma is that God allows evil to answer Satan (and man’s) fundamental questions about evil.  From the beginning, Satan has accused God of being evil.  The Bible says in Genesis 3:2-4, “The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, “You shall not eat of it or touch it, or you will die.”’  The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!’ (i.e. God is a liar).”

At the point when these evil accusations and the final act of evil entered the world, God had two choices.  He could destroy Satan and man for their sinful thoughts about Him, which would create the impression that He really is evil, or He could lovingly allow man to live and be a witness as to whether Satan was telling the truth or lying.  In other words, perfect Adam willfully rejected the sovereignty of his Creator believing that he could walk on his own, so, in essence, God said, “Really?” Thus, we entered into the biggest object lesson of all time. According to this line of reasoning, the major premises would appear as follows:

MAJOR: If God is unwilling to prevent evil, then He is evil.
If God is unable to prevent evil, then He is not all-powerful.

OR

God both is able to and desires to destroy evil, but because of His love for man, He is willing to patiently answer Satan’s accusations about Him in front of both men and angels.

The third option here eliminates the dilemma for the Christian because now he can present a logical alternative that does not negate his basic beliefs. Can Christians produce a dilemma for Atheists without suffering the same defeat?  In the opening quote, Rickard Dawkins makes a statement that shows large bias, but it also points us to a huge dilemma for the atheist.

Young Christians AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01

MAJOR: If nothing created everything, then you have to deny the first law of thermodynamics.

If nothing has been created (i.e. the universe is eternal), then the universe would be out of energy by now.

If something has created everything, it must be an uncaused cause, or you have to explain where that thing came from.

MINOR: Either nothing created everything, nothing has been created, or something created everything.

CONCLUSION: Therefore, either the first law of thermodynamics is wrong, you have to explain a bigger problem of how the universe still has energy, or the universe was created by an uncreated creator.

It seems reasonable enough that nothing cannot create everything and the universe has been created by something (as opposed to being eternal, or uncreated).  However, it may be hard to understand why, specifically if life is created at all, it must be created by something without beginning (something uncreated). Let us examine this using a series of scientific theories regarding the origin of life.

Life may have been created by something (with a beginning) that came from outer space: a meteorite containing nucleic acids and water landed on earth.  If this is true, it still does not answer the question, where did the meteorite come from. How did nucleic acids and water develop?

Maybe life came from a series of random events on earth: a combination of a warm pond and an array of organic chemicals may be responsible for life.  However, the question remains, where did that pond and those chemicals come from?

Alternatively, life could have come from the chemicals in the clay of the earth.  Still, where is the clay from?  Let us say that the clay came from the explosion of suns.  Where did the suns come from?  The suns came from the Big Bang, but where did the Big Bang come from? People who subscribe to evolution cannot even explain where inorganic events came from, let alone what is organic, and ultimately everything must have an origin: either something that is uncaused or nothing at all.  To avoid this problem, the evolutionary apologist must take a page from the Pharisees, who gave no answer to Jesus’ dilemma:

Matthew 21:24-27 Jesus said to them, “I will also ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.  “The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?” And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’  “But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the people; for they all regard John as a prophet.”  And answering Jesus, they said, “We do not know.” He also said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM

One day a group of Darwinian scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one Darwinian to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The Darwinian walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and get lost.”

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the Darwinian was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the Darwinian happily agreed.

God added, “Now, we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”

The Darwinian said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!!!!”

The Epistle to the Hebrews Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL

THE THIRD LOGICAL STEP: Scientific Method

Scientists often enjoy a reputation as experts, not only in their own field but also in the fields of others.  Scientists such as Richard Dawkins write a book with titles like ‘The God Delusion’ and their opinions on philosophy and religion are regarded with as much, if not more, than those of philosophers and theologians.  It is important to understand what scientists can credibly discuss and those topics revolve around the scientific method. We trust scientists because they use this method, and on the surface, it seems that the process they use is infallible; however, the scientific method was only created to prove or disprove certain events.  Specifically, the scientific method cannot prove or disprove something it cannot test. Furthermore, there must be a possible anti-thesis in order for there to be a credible thesis. As far as Creation science is concerned, these are both areas where the majority is lacking.  In keeping with our study regarding logic and based on our key verse 1 Peter 3:15, we will look into the scientific method, what it can and cannot prove, and how that affects science and our understanding of Creation. If you are interested in obtaining more information, you can use the resource Come Let Us Reason by Norman Geisler.[1]

The scientific method seeks to determine what can be referred to as operation science, or how things work.  It begins by determining that there is a problem, which needs a solution.  America’s recent oil shortages reveal that this country has a problem with fuel production.  This is a problem that needs a solution.  The second step is to form the problem into a statement.  For example, “Americans must discover a different means to obtain fuel other than importing it from another country in order to continue its rate of usage.”  This is a simplistic problem that we could use the scientific method to solve.  Once the problem has been expressed, the scientist can observe the problem.  In the situation I have outlined, the scientist would collect all information about every way to solve the problem regarding how else America could sustain its own energy.  Fourth, the scientist must reflect, both on his own research and also the research of others.  How did people in other countries solve their energy problems?

At this point, the scientist will form a hypothesis of what he would like to test.  For example, “The best method of collecting energy for America is ___________.”  This is the hypothesis that will be tested.  The scientist must be able to make predictions about what will happen if the hypothesis is correct.  At this stage, the hypothesis must be tested.  If the test confirms the hypothesis and predictions, then the hypothesis is more likely to be true.  However, just because the hypothesis is confirmed one time does not make the hypothesis true, a hypothesis must be tested many times and be confirmed by other scientists in similar studies to become a theory.  Once the hypothesis is accepted or rejected, scientists can continue testing and if the hypothesis is accepted, it becomes knowledge that can be used in the future.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

The steps of the scientific method outlined above are as follows:

  • Find the problem
  • Make a statement about the problem
  • Observe the problem
  • Reflect on all observations and information about the problem
  • Write a hypothesis
  • Make predictions about the hypothesis
  • Test the hypothesis
  • Accept or reject the hypothesis

As stated before, the scientific method can be used to study operation science: the way things work.  What this method cannot test is origin science: where things come from.  The reason origin science cannot follow the scientific method is that it cannot be observed and repeated.  Instead, the person who wants to study where the universe came from must look to the present and observe certain principles of the present in order to understand the origin in the past.  We will list all of the principles of forensic or origin science, specifically focusing on the principles of causality and consistency.

The principle of uniformity is the first principle we will examine.  Uniformity means that we can understand the past by studying the present.  Events generally continue in a similar way to the way they began.  Therefore, if events do not work a certain way today, they probably did not happen that way in the past and if things do work a certain way they most likely occurred in the same way in the past.  For example, as the principles of gravity work today, so they worked in the past.  We do not see people are able to float today, so gravity kept people firmly on earth in the past.

The principle of comprehensiveness means that scientists must develop an answer that explains all data.  For example, there was an illness called Reyes syndrome that doctors thought was caused by the flu.  However, that explanation did not take into account all relevant data.  The syndrome was actually caused by aspirin given to fight the effects of the flu.  We must examine all the data to arrive at a viable conclusion.

These two principles are vital; however, I would like to look at the principles of causality and consistency to study theories on Creation.  The principle of causality states, “everything that begins has a cause”.  Many people think that causality means that everything needs a cause, but this is not true.  Only things that have a beginning need a cause.  A syllogism of this principle could read like this [Taken from Come Let Us Reason]:

If the universe does not need a cause, then neither does God.
If the universe needs a cause, then there is a God.
But in either case, God is not eliminated.

In the last article, we determined that only one of two things could be true about the universe, as this syllogism illustrates: either the universe needs a cause or it is self-existent.  Anything that has no beginning needs no cause.  However, if it is possible that anything can be self-existent… that is the very definition of God.  Let us further examine the claim that the universe might be self-existent using the second principle: the principle of consistency.

The principle of consistency states that the hypothesis must not contradict the facts in any way.  There are three inconsistencies about the idea that the universe has no beginning.  The first is that “it is inconsistent to claim that the universe is winding down when it was never wound up.”[2]  In other words, modern scientific theory teaches us that the universe is losing energy, yet many people believe the universe had nothing to create it.  If the universe were self-sustaining, it would remain at the same level of ‘being wound’ for all of eternity.  Secondly, as we observed in previous paragraphs, many scientists commit a fallacy in saying that everything needs a cause.  However, there are times when the same people who say that everything needs a cause will say the universes needs no cause.  This contradicts the principle of consistency.  Thirdly, it is inconsistent to on one hand state that life cannot arise from non-life and then say that life came from chemicals or on the backs of crystals spontaneously.  In other words, one cannot say life cannot come from non-life and then say life came from non-life.  When these two arguments are made, whoever posits them is one who speaks out of both sides of his mouth.  Something cannot be A and Not A at the same time.

BIBLE DIFFICULTIES

Scientists have a certain level of credibility due to their level of education and prominent work.  However, we as Christians must learn the flaws of their arguments in order to affirm the truths in the word of God.  Science that explains how things, which we can observe, operate cannot be confused with the science that explains the origins of things.  Due to this misunderstanding, Christians may fall prey to faulty arguments, especially when scientists over-step their bounds and enter the arenas of history and philosophy.  Forensic science, the principles that dictate how we explain those things we cannot duplicate must be put into practice.  As the Bible says, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it” (Job 40:2, NASB).

People love to quote Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, and will often cite the poem’s final line “I took the road less traveled by/and that has made all the difference.” It is common for people to use the poem in support of not taking the easy way. However, if they paid attention to all the lines of the poem, they would notice that Frost actually decides that both roads are “about the same” and he chooses his road not because it looks more difficult, but because he has to choose one of them. The poem is meant to be ironic, not inspiring, but it is frequently misinterpreted.[3]

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THE FOURTH LOGICAL STEP: Mistakes Scientist Make Using Scientific Method

Above was about the scientific method and those who read it discovered that there are things that cannot be proven by the scientific method.  Now, readers will discover that there are mistakes scientists can make even using the scientific method.  Neither of these points means that the scientific method ought not to be used. However, it is a tool and it must be used in the appropriate situations and in the appropriate ways.

In the quote above, it explains that people misunderstand the quotes of Robert Frost and his poetry.  People at times misunderstand literature that is popular or even literature they may have read before.  How could a person misunderstand a passage he read in context?  One of the largest causes for people to misunderstand a passage, oddly enough, is when people believe they understand what a passage will say before they read it.  When people assume they know what something will mean, those people are more likely to misunderstand the true meaning of the words they believe they understand.

This is similar to the way scientists may take a position due to a previous understanding of a specific situation.  Often, people develop views as to what processes cause certain events to happen in this world.  However, scientists, though human, are supposed always to be willing to change ideas formed in advance if evidence presents a different possibility.  It is too easy to become unwilling to change and this is when fallacies occur.  Those who make conclusions based on observation (inductive reasoning) can come away with many fallacies, and most of them are related to a misunderstanding of the cause of a situation.

Post Hoc Fallacy is one of these mistakes. Post Hoc Fallacy is a mistake a scientist can make in inductive reasoning if he reasons that simply because an event came before another event that the previous event is the cause of the secondary event. For example, simply because the rooster crows before the sun rises does not mean that the rooster causes the sun to rise.  In fact, there may be times when the rooster crows after the sun rises.  The Fallacy of Emphasizing Irrelevant Factors is similar. This fallacy means that a person views a concomitant factor (a factor that occurs at the same time) as the cause of a specific event.  For example, when a person moves his hand up to flick on a light switch, this does not mean that a hand motion gives the light electricity. The cause of the light turning on is the electrical current that begins to flow within it.  It would be a mistake for a person studying light bulbs to make a human hand the cause of light.[4]

These fallacies easily make their way into evolutionary science.  For example, homology has traditionally been defined as “similarity in structure and position.” Darwin suggested that because things are homologous, they share a common ancestor.[4] Not only is this circular, but it also emphasizes irrelevant factors regarding ancestry.  Similarity can be due to “other factors,” which is why the term analogy was coined.

The main fallacy, which this article will focus on, is the Fallacy of Neglecting Negative Evidence. This fallacy comes from a belief on the part of the scientist that his hypothesis is certainly correct, a belief that causes him to dismiss “negative evidence” or evidence that may demonstrate the hypothesis is wrong.  Proper scientific theory will always try the tested theories against new and different possibilities in order to make the hypothesis more accurate and stronger. The example of the Fallacy of Neglecting Negative Evidence comes from a scientific documentary entitled, In Search of Human Origins, a series that was aired on PBS through the NOVA series in 1994. The first episode, entitled The Story of Lucy gives us a vision of how these scientists dealt with evidence that did not quite fit.

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DON JOHANSON “We needed Owen Lovejoy’s expertise again because the evidence wasn’t quite adding up. The knee looked human, but the shape of her hip didn’t. Superficially, her hip resembled a chimpanzee’s, which meant that Lucy couldn’t possibly have walked like a modern human. But Lovejoy noticed something odd about the way the bones had been fossilized.”

OWEN LOVEJOY: “When I put the two parts of the pelvis together that we had, this part of the pelvis has pressed so hard and so completely into this one, that it caused it to be broken into a series of individual pieces, which were then fused together in later fossilization.”

DON JOHANSON: “After Lucy died, some of her bones lying in the mud must have been crushed or broken, perhaps by animals browsing at the lake shore.”

OWEN LOVEJOY: “This has caused the two bones in fact to fit together so well that they’re in an anatomically impossible position.”

DON JOHANSON: “The perfect fit was an allusion that made Lucy’s hip bones seems to flair out like a chimps. But all was not lost. Lovejoy decided he could restore the pelvis to its natural shape. He didn’t want to tamper with the original, so he made a copy in plaster. He cut the damaged pieces out and put them back together the way they were before Lucy died. It was a tricky job, but after taking the kink out of the pelvis, it all fit together perfectly, like a three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle. As a result, the angle of the hip looks nothing like a chimps, but a lot like ours.”[5]

Lucy, a skeleton found by paleontologists that is believed by scientists to be a missing link between humans and apes, is seen here to have a human knee and a chimpanzee’s hip.  Lucy’s knee was found 200 feet lower in the strata than where her other parts were found.[6] The scientists who fitted together Lucy’s skeleton felt that it was that of a transitional species, Australopithecus afarensis, but the parts of the skeleton did not all point to that conclusion.  One fossil seemed to be from one species and the other from another.

The theory proposed by Owen Lovejoy was that the hip had been broken and fused back together, making it appear to look as if it was the fossil of another creature. To prove this theory, he made a cast of the chimp fossil, sawed it apart and glued it in the form he thought it ought to be.  Now it looked like a human bone.

This is a prime example of neglecting negative evidence.  There ought to be more to the science than that the archeologists know that “all of these bones belong to the same animal.”  Once one is sure of what he believes to be the answer to a problem, it is hard to see negative evidence; however, reforming evidence leads people to feel that the one reforming is seeing the evidence through a biased lens. The hip was obviously fitting as if it were a chimpanzee’s hip. Yet, due to previous conceptions, the hip could not have possibly belonged to a chimp.  In this situation, neglecting negative evidence led the scientist to change the structure of their skeletal replica to reflect their understanding of what was certainly true.

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The Pharisees were the same way when they assumed that Jesus could not be the Messiah.  They ignored all of the negative evidence to their conclusions.  When the man who was born blind was healed, they refused to acknowledge that God heard Jesus’ prayer because He was a righteous man.

John 9:24-31 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

24 Therefore for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 Then he answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 Therefore, they said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You do not want to become his disciples also, do You?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are a disciple of that man, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to this one.

Any time people ignore evidence that contradicts them because they do not like it, their conclusions will be wrong. Every person has misconceptions, which is why the rules of logic are so valuable to understand. With these principles in hand, any person can discern when information is given and it does not satisfy the promised conclusions.

by Sarah Laidlaw and Edward D. Andrews

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English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II
9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

BIBLICAL STUDIES / INTERPRETATION

CALVINISM VS. ARMINIANISM
How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1
israel against all odds ISRAEL AGAINST ALL ODDS - Vol. II

EARLY CHRISTIANITY

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST by Stalker-1 The TRIAL and Death of Jesus_02 THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1
BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
THE LIFE OF Paul by Stalker-1 Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL
APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM

PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS BIBLE DIFFICULTIES
The Epistle to the Hebrews Paul PAUL AND LUKE ON TRIAL
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS CONVERSATION EVANGELISM
Young Christians AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT_01
INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation INVESTIGATING JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Jesus Paul THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS APOLOGETICS
REASONABLE FAITH Why Me_ FEARLESS-1
Satan BLESSED IN SATAN'S WORLD_02 HEROES OF FAITH - ABEL
is-the-quran-the-word-of-god UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM THE GUIDE TO ANSWERING ISLAM.png
DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP Agabus Cover BIBLICAL CRITICISM
Mosaic Authorship HOW RELIABLE ARE THE GOSPELS
THE CREATION DAYS OF GENESIS gift of prophecy

TECHNOLOGY

9798623463753 Machinehead KILLER COMPUTERS
INTO THE VOID

CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Understaning Creation Account
Homosexuality and the Christian second coming Cover Where Are the Dead
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. II CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. III
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. IV CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY Vol. V MIRACLES
Human Imperfection HUMILITY

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME READ ALONG WITH ME

PRAYER

Powerful Weapon of Prayer Power Through Prayer How to Pray_Torrey_Half Cover-1

TEENS-YOUTH-ADOLESCENCE-JUVENILE

THERE IS A REBEL IN THE HOUSE thirteen-reasons-to-keep-living_021 Waging War - Heather Freeman
Young Christians DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)
Homosexuality and the Christian THE OUTSIDER RENEW YOUR MIND

CHRISTIAN LIVING

GODLY WISDOM SPEAKS Wives_02 HUSBANDS - Love Your Wives
ADULTERY 9781949586053
WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD THE BATTLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN MIND (1)-1 WAITING ON GOD
ADULTERY 9781949586053 PROMISES OF GODS GUIDANCE
APPLYING GODS WORD-1 For As I Think In My Heart_2nd Edition Put Off the Old Person
Abortion Booklet Dying to Kill The Pilgrim’s Progress
WHY DON'T YOU BELIEVE WAITING ON GOD WORKING FOR GOD
YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE Let God Use You to Solve Your PROBLEMS THE POWER OF GOD
HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR BAD HABITS-1 GOD WILL GET YOU THROUGH THIS A Dangerous Journey
ARTS, MEDIA, AND CULTURE Christians and Government Christians and Economics

CHRISTIAN COMMENTARIES

Book of Philippians Book of James Book of Proverbs Book of Esther
CHRISTIAN DEVOTIONALS
40 day devotional (1) Daily Devotional_NT_TM Daily_OT
DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDY
DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS 40 day devotional (1)

CHURCH ISSUES, GROWTH, AND HISTORY

LEARN TO DISCERN Deception In the Church FLEECING THE FLOCK_03
The Church Community_02 THE CHURCH CURE Developing Healthy Churches
FIRST TIMOTHY 2.12 EARLY CHRISTIANITY-1

Apocalyptic-Eschatology [End Times]

Explaining the Doctrine of the Last Things Identifying the AntiChrist second coming Cover
ANGELS AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY_ ezekiel, daniel, & revelation

CHRISTIAN FICTION

Oren Natas_JPEG Sentient-Front Seekers and Deceivers
Judas Diary 02 Journey PNG The Rapture

[1] Geisler, Norman L. Come Let Us Reason Together. Grand Rapids; MI. Baker Book House, 1990.

[2] Geisler, Norman L. Come Let Us Reason Together. Grand Rapids; MI. Baker Book House, 1990.

[3] “Wherefore Art Thou: Misunderstood Literary Quotes.” All Best Articles. http://www.allbestarticles.com/culture-and-society/education/wherefore-art-thou-misunderstood-literary-quotes.html

[4] Geisler, Norman L. Come Let Us Reason Together. Grand Rapids; MI. Baker Book House, 1990.

[5] “Homology (Biology).” New World Encyclopedia. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Homology_(biology)

[6] NOVA/PBS/WGBH “In Search of Human Origins.” Episode 1, “The Story of Lucy,”

[7] Willis, Tom. “Lucy Goes to College.” http://www.rae.org/lucyknee.html

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