Argument # 11: Unexplainable does not mean inexplicable.
This phrase is emphasized by arch skeptic Michael Shermer, author of Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time. This argument means that just because something is unexplainable does not mean that paranormal forces must have been involved, only that we haven’t found the explanation for it yet. However, skeptic who use this should also remember that the following converses are true as well:
1) Just because something happens that they think isn’t possible doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. To do so would be to deny reality.
2) Just because something happens that they think isn’t possible doesn’t mean that it must be due to misperception, fraud, or hallucination.
3) Just because a natural explanation hasn’t been found for something unexplainable doesn’t mean that only a natural explanation could exist.
4) If a natural explanation doesn’t explain all the facts, that doesn’t mean that you should insist on it anyway just to protect your belief system.
Take the following example. In the reincarnation cases investigated by Dr. Ian Stevenson in his book Twenty cases suggestive of reincarnation, none of the natural explanations account for the data and facts of the cases, such as babies and children having accurate detailed memories of their past lives which couldn’t have been obtained in their environment, but are later verified to be true. Dr. Stevenson concludes that the reincarnation hypothesis best fits the data he personally investigated. Though the skeptic is free to insist that a natural explanation must be the culprit anyway, (and often does) he does so by flatly denying the four converse rules above. Would Shermer approve of that, I wonder? (For more on the reincarnation phenomena, check out Reincarnation: The Phoenix Fire Mystery)