I caught this post on the eSkeptic newsletter by a logician arguing that you can prove a negative based on induction (great reading for anyone interested). As that is the case, here are a few negatives I’m ready to prove:
Modern Horses in America:
1. If horses had existed in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus and the Spanish, then there is evidence in the fossil record.
2. There is no evidence of horses in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus and the Spanish.
3. Therefore, horses did not exist in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus.
DNA Evidence for Jewish Ancestry of Native Americans:
1. If a small group of settlers had arrived in the Americas in roughly 600 BCE and grew to a large population, possibly interbreeding with existing people, there would be DNA evidence among Native Americans tracing them back to Jews.
2. There is no DNA evidence of such a group in the Americas.
3. There never was a small group of Jewish settlers in the Americas.
The Existence of the Gold Plates:
1. If the gold plates exist, there would be evidence to support their existence in the form of actual gold plates or similar such plates – plates with reformed Egyptian writing on them made out of gold buried in stone boxes.
2. No such plates have ever been found.
3. There never were gold plates.
Joseph Smith Never Saw God:
1. If Joseph Smith had seen god or other supernatural entities, there would be independent, third party evidence that he had done so (i.e., people with no invested interest in seeing Joseph Smith succeed in his plans would vouch for him).
2. No such affidavits or testimonies exist.
3. Joseph Smith never saw a god or supernatural entity.
I could go on and on, but I think the point is clear – if logicians agree negatives can be proven, apologetic arguments are basically non-existent.