The Fallacy of Special Pleading

     In attempts to resolve a dispute, it is common for one side to arbitrarily demand that certain accepted standards do not apply to them but should be held to their opponents. The fallacy of special pleading is a double standard. In evaluation of a scientific hypothesis, strict standards must be applied to both sides of a question. If concessions are made to one side, interpretation of data will be skewed.

     The logical fallacy of special pleading is unfortunately common in avenues of science that lack accountability.  For example, it has been declared that intelligent design is unscientific because the existence of God cannot be tested and would require acceptance of unknown laws. Yet theories as to the origin of life cannot be tested and require acceptance of unknown laws.

     It is often stated that evolution has withstood 160 years of tough scrutiny. Nothing could be further from the truth. Evolution has always been viewed from the perspective that it one can’t disprove a claim with certainty, it should be accepted. Especially troubling is the belief that all that is necessary is to propose a line of descent that makes hypothetical sense. The practice of storytelling has unfortunately become accepted by people who think they’re practicing science. It is imagined that a bat precursor millions of years ago emitted a squeak, and he heard it bounce off of mosquitos, and this trait was gradually selected for because it gradually helped large populations increase in survival.          This eventuated in echolocation. Coincident with this physical capacity, instinctive behavior became hardwired into the DNA by unknown mechanisms. If a conjecture such as this can be proposed, it is believed that a plausible explanation has been provided. Challenges based on improbability are dismissed. Science always requires harsh skepticism on both sides of a question. Evolution has been shielded from it.

     Intelligent design has been rejected by many intellectuals because it is, in their minds, conceptually impossible. In adopting this position, they are required to accept other conceptual impossibilities to explain the complexities of the universe.

     It is frequently argued that radiometric carbon dating has documented ages of Neanderthal skeletons to be 50,000 years or more. Many of these remains have been found in areas subject to contamination such as damp caves. Challenges as to the accuracy and reproducibility of carbon-14 dating in these circumstances are quickly rejected. However, when partially fossilized bones of Tyrannosaurus rex are requested for carbon-14 dating, many evolutionists have insisted that any result should be categorically deemed invalid because unknown factors such as contamination by ground water cannot be ruled out. Any date that is consistent with evolutionary theory is readily accepted without skepticism. Any date that is potentially contradictory to evolution is immediately met with demands that rigorous skepticism be employed to rule out any possible spurious results.

     Evolutionists commonly state that no evidence for God exists. When confronted with the complexity of the genetic code, they respond that it only looks like it was designed. Yet when fossils are claimed to provide evidence for evolution, all that can be claimed is that a given species "looks" transitional.

     Evolutionary biologists frequently insist that creative design should not be a default conclusion when confronted with conceptual impossibilities in evolutionary proposals. Yet they assume by default that any complexity should by definition be ascribed to evolution, regardless of their inability to offer scientific explanations.

     It is argued by evolutionists that intelligent design cannot be evaluated scientifically because it is impossible to falsify. However, biologists commonly argue that nature proclaims an absence of intelligent design. In other words, it is asserted that nature demonstrates an absence of intelligent design, while insisting that it is impossible to scientifically evaluate positive evidence of intelligent design.