My comments on the General Hall comment trail:
Several issues exist in this discussion, providing me with an excuse to rant. Ready?
Presuming facts not in evidence is a logical fallacy. If you read the comments carefully you will see some that presume a conclusion is true because it might be true, or the writer wishes it to be true. The several arguments fall into categories of flawed logic.
1. Argument from ignorance: This argument is called argumentum ad ignorantiam. It assumes something is true because it has not been proved false. Can you find an example in the comment trail? I see several.
2. Argument from silence: This style of argument is called argumentum ex silentio. An argument from silence presumes a conclusion based on the absence of evidence. See an example in the comment trail?
3. Quoting out of context: Self explanatory or should be. Emphasizing words or phrases without reference to context.
4. False/Single authority: Using as sole source a partisan or otherwise dubious authority to support a conclusion.
5. "Onus probandi incumbit ei qui dicit, non ei qui negat" The burden of proof is on the person who makes the claim, not on the person denying it.
Speculation plays an important part in historical research. It leads one into further research, sometimes uncovering important new material. But speculation, which in its very nature is guesswork, often flawed thinking, certainly never sound in itself even if proved right later, has no place in final conclusions.
I realize that few who comment here are trained logicians. But logic is ‘second-nature’ to humans. We most often close our ears to logic’s prodding. Usually we want something to be true [or false] and we persuade ourselves that evidence supports us when it does not. Listen to the small voice of logic; be critical of your conclusions.