Is the absence of evidence the evidence of absence?

Asked by: Adam2
  • Evidence, but not proof

    A total absence of evidence for a claim does constitute evidence against it. This doesn't mean that a claim can be *disproven* by lack of evidence, but the quantity of evidence supporting a claim is relevant in determining its likelihood, and if there is no evidence supporting it, then that's certainly a piece of evidence in itself.

    Posted by: Celi
  • It's a meaningless question

    The only time the answer could possibly be yes, would be in a finite system in which you could observe every single variable.

    The absence of a double amount of elephant dung, in the empty box of playing cards on my table, would indeed suggest that there is no pair of Siamese twin pink elephants, linked at the end of their trunks, in the deck of cards sitting beside the box.
    But, with the absence of double elephant dung being in the box, it would never have occurred to me that there might be a pink Siamese twin elephant connected at the end of their trunk, in my deck of cards.

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