Another thing irrationalists like to do is translate. Well I suppose all arguers translate, but irrationalists are especially fond of doing it. But then that’s not surprising, is it. Irrationalists are woolly by definition, so naturally they think one word is as good as another, vague approximations of meaning will do well enough, clarity is not necessary between friends.
One translation that’s especially popular – I may even have droned about this in a N&C before, I don’t remember, it certainly comes up a lot – is from evidence to proof. They seem to think the words are interchangeable – only they never say evidence instead of proof, no, it’s always the other way around. I suppose they have themselves so convinced that skeptics and secularists and atheists are claiming greater certainty than we in fact are that they just take it for granted we’re talking about proof and certainty even though we never use the word.
So that’s how it goes. I say something like ‘Why should we believe something if there is no evidence for it?’ and the irrationalists earnestly assure me that ‘the so-called scientific method of rigorous proof is a myth,’ and then go on about light’s being both wave and particle or quantum mechanics. But the ‘so-called scientific method of rigorous proof’ is a red herring, scientists don’t talk about proof, they talk about evidence. Proof is the province of math and logic, not science as a whole, and I didn’t say proof in any case. I said evidence. Evidence. Evidence. But confirmation bias is a powerful thing, and they apparently can’t hear me.