Remember my post last month on dancing aliens causing my TV remote to make clicking noises all by itself? Well, despite changing batteries, the clicking noises returned, only a couple of days later. The thing clicks even when I’m holding it in my hand but not pressing any buttons. I don’t know what causes it, but the probability that aliens are involved is really low.
That reminds me of the upcoming government report on UFOs this month—which will probably be delayed and not contain any evidence proving aliens exist. I used to say that I can’t prove a negative, meaning that I can’t prove the non-existence of things like aliens, Bigfoot, and tasty fruitcake.
It turns out I’m probably wrong about that. There are philosophers out there who say you can prove a negative, although not with absolute certainty, but through induction. One of them is Dr. Steven D. Hales, who wrote “Thinking Tools: You Can Prove a Negative” in 2005. Dr. Hales is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA. It was published in eSkeptic, the email newsletter of the Skeptics Society and Think (vol. 10, Summer, 2005) pp. 109-112.
I got by in my freshman philosophy class in college, but I can follow Dr. Hale’s article fairly well. My college professor worked really hard explaining inductive reasoning. Dr. Hales does it effortlessly and he has a pretty good sense of humor.
Therefore, inductively speaking, there is no such thing as tasty fruitcake.