About Inductive Reasoning

In inductive reasoning, specific examples are used to make a general rule. In deductive reasoning it is a fallacy to allow the specific examples to take precedence over something that is generally true.

  • It is usually impossible to put an actual percentage on the probability of something derived by induction. To say that something is very likely is almost totally meaningless.
  • There is no agreement among experts as to what constitutes good inductive reasoning.
  • Inductive reasoning is inconclusive. All inductive arguments, even those considered to be “good inductive arguments,” are invalid and fallacious fordeductive reasoning.
  • Any argument against inductive reasoning should be carefully considered, since inductive reasoning in so tentative.
  • Examples of inductive reasoning: the belief that a one-celled organism multiplied and actually evolved into people / the belief that the Universe is billions of years old / big-bang stories / the belief that the Genesis flood never happened / the belief that a first cell popped into existence without a creator / theologies that try to downplay the need to overcome sin / human-designed morality and ethics / belief that, if we could get enough money and power, we could fix what is wrong with society / the belief that God doesn’t reveal Himself and His will

If something is valid inductively, it is not necessarily valid deductively. If something is deductively invalid, it may yet be inductively valid.

  1. There is not agreement among expert as to what constitutes good inductive reasoning.
  2. Inductive reasoning in inconclusive.

Inductive reasoning can be helpful if applied to material things in the present. It is unreliable when applied to things in the past. It can lead to huge errors when applied to history or past events.

Charles Darwin imagined the Theory of Evolution using inductive reasoning.
Charles Lyell imagined the idea of an old Earth using inductive reasoning.
Sigmund Freud used inductive reasoning for his theories.
Karl Marx used inductive reasoning for his theories.
Adolf Hitler used inductive reasoning for his theories.

Example of inductive reasoning:
My math teacher is skinny
My last math teacher was skinny
Conclusion by inductive reasoning: All math teachers are skinny

Evolution cannot be established by one line of evidence, but requires many – the fossil record, genetic homology, developmental biology, population genetics, etc. However, none of these lines of evidence are evidence for evolution alone since they all depend on assumptions and stories. In fact, new stories need to be made up continually to explain the evidence so that it fits evolution’s story. And, from time to time, evolution’s story must be modified because there is not story that can make the facts appear to fit the story any longer. If you change the assumptions and stories, they become evidence for creation.

Atheism is based on inductive reasoning. “I have not seen God or sensed Him with my natural senses, therefore He doesn’t exist.” In deductive reasoning, this would be the fallacy of an argument from ignorance.

Inductive reasoning is used to find the next term in a pattern: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
By inductive reasoning (using the specific examples to make a general rule to add 10)
the next term is 60, but it could be anything.

Induction hazards an educated guess based on strong but not on absolute proof about some general conclusion that can be drawn from the evidence.

However we characterize induction, we can see that it is not nearly as reliable as deduction because the conclusion is never certain.

Because inductive arguments do not guarantee that their conclusions are true, we evaluate them according to the strength of the support they provide for their conclusion.

There is the problem of cause and effect.

Inductively, the evolutionist says, “We are here, therefore, we must have evolved.” They assume evolution to be the cause of us being here. Part of the problem, of course, is that they don’t want God to exist, so they set up huge mental constructions to keep from acknowledging Him or giving Him glory.

Every single time that the chicken sees the farmer’s wife, it gets fed. Inductively, the chicken thinks that seeing the farmer’s wife means to be fed. Then one day the farmer’s wife approaches that joyful chicken and wrings it’s neck and serves it for supper. Association is not the same as cause and effect.


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