(also known as: missing information fallacy)
Description: Refusing to admit ignorance to the hypothesis and/or the conclusion, but insisting that your ignorance has to do with missing data that validates both the hypothesis and conclusion.
Hypothesis H is put forward.
Fatal Flaw F is pointed out.
Rather than change the hypothesis to match the data, it is simply assumed that there must be data missing that will eliminate flaw F.
Jeremy: Drinking Diet Cosie Cola will result in the reversal of male-pattern baldness.
Rick: This has never been established scientifically.
Jeremy: That is because it must be mixed with another ingredient.
Rick: Which is...?
Jeremy: They haven’t found it yet.
Explanation: Assuming the theory is correct based on some unknown missing data (the secret ingredient), rather than admitting that the whole theory is invalid, is fallacious.
Gil: Why does the all-loving Jesus allow over 80% of the human population to burn in Hell for eternity?
John: We are unable to comprehend such things as humans. So stop asking so many damn questions.
Explanation: In order to protect the hypothesis from error, it is assumed, without evidence, that the answer does exist, but is beyond human comprehension. Perhaps Jesus is more about jealousy than love? Perhaps there is no Hell? Perhaps there is no Jesus?
Exception: When the data does exist, especially when it is empirically verified, but you just know what it is, it is acceptable to stick with your hypothesis and admit you don’t know the missing data off hand, but you can get it. For example:
John: The shroud of Turin was found many years back. This is physical proof that Jesus existed.
Gil: You know, John, there is loads of controversy surrounding the authenticity of this.
John: Yea? What specifically?
Gil: I honestly don’t know the details off the top of my head, but I can e-mail you when we get back.