[tied] Re: searching for common words for all today's languages

From: tgpedersen
Message: 43347
Date: 2006-02-10

--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> On 2006-02-10 10:19, tgpedersen wrote:
> >>Not really, no. You at least give the strong impression
> >>that you're taking some connection as the default position
> >>and arguing that anyone wishing to maintain a contrary view
> >>is obliged to eliminate pairs one at a time. This is
> >>methodologically backwards.
> >>
> >
> >
> > One shouldn't act on impressions. My view is a collection of sets of
> > lookalikes is something to be explained, one way or the other.
> Fortuitous resemblance is the default explanation,

'Fortuitous resemblance' is your default explanation.

> and will remain the
> best one until somebody demonstrates that this kind of lookalikeness
> is unlikely to have arisen by chance.

And you know that there is no way in hell to define a function that
assigns a probability to such a claim.

>Which, esentially, gets us back to the comparative method.

Which is where you wanted to be in the first place.

> As Brian pointed out, it's the duty of the
> proponent to _demonstrate_ a connection, and you can't shift the
> burden of proof on a critic who denies your claim.
> It's a logical fallacy to
> insist that something should be considered true just because it hasn't
> been proven otherwise.

It's even worse to falsely ascribe an opinion to your opponent which he
doesn't have. I have never claimed, as I just told Brian, that the
existence of a set of lookalikes proves that they are related; I said that
that existence is a fact to be explained one way or the other.