Although I like to pretend to be one on TV, I am by no means a practiced logician. However, I cherish the bits and pieces that I've learned, and one of those is that any position has what is called "necessary and sufficient" conditions to be accepted or rejected. In a nutshell, what this means is that one does not need to know "all of the evidence" before arriving at a conclusion about a subject. One merely needs to know, with confidence, certain points.
For example, many will argue that when one must know all about the formative years of a criminal to adequately render judgement. It is absolutely false; all that is necessary is to demonstrate that a crime was committed by that man while of sound mind and without provocation. We need not go into how his clothes were stolen when he was 11 while skinny-dipping.
In a similar vein, evolutionists might argue that one must understand all the complexities of radioisotope dating before judging its effectiveness. Again, horsefeathers; all that is necessary is to view a tree growing through ten layers of rock spanning (according to the method) tens or hundreds of millions of years. If trees do not live in rocks, or for millions of years, we must admit some weakness in radioisotope dating. We do not need to specify what it is, or suggest an alternative.
All too often, we get bogged down in the infinite details of a situation, to the point that we fail to discover what is necessary and sufficient. Let's stop buying "big mud tires" and instead walk around the marsh.
"A Manifesto against Manifestos" - by Phil Johnson *From 2006 to 2012, PyroManiacs turned out almost-daily updates from the Post-Evangelical wasteland -- usually to the fear and loathing of...
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