Prosecution vs. Defense – prosecution must prove guilt; defense must show that prosecution has failed to prove guilt – defense does not need to prove innocence. Prosecution must show that the defendant did perform the crime, not merely that it is possible that he performed the crime.


Social Science

Claim: character and actions are determined wholly by environment

Evidence: statistics on different development in different environments

Objection: statistics are not 100% - there are exceptions

Reply: the exceptions are due to [unnamed] variations in environment

Fallacy: until the differences in the environment are specified and checked, all we have is the possibility that the environment is the cause, not evidence that it really is the cause – the burden of proof has not been met.

If you add DNA it is worse – there are no statistics at all!


Claim: gradual development

Evidence – the fossil record

Objection: gaps in the record

Reply: punctuated equilibria, allopatric speciation: change takes place rapidly in a small locale so that the fossils cannot be found

Fallacy: we have no evidence of truth, just the mere possibility of truth – burden of proof has not been met


Claim: all the evidence is either lies, exaggerations, loss of data, incorrect data etc – there were not six million

Fallacy: he is putting the sole burden of proof on us: we have to supply an absolute proof, otherwise he will not believe

Proof of fallacy: Even he would not apply this standard in any other area – does he believe in Black slavery, the revolutionary war, the Magna Carta, men on the moon….?

Diagnosis: it is wrong to accept the total burden of proof – belief should correspond to the balance of evidence – here the overwhelming evidence is in favor – the mere possibility of mistake is of no account

Belief in G-d – do not accept the total burden of proof. It is rationally required to believe the proposition with the most evidence [rough formulation], even if the evidence is not an irrefutable proof.