I think you misunderstand what we mean with burden of proof here. The null hypothesis is, in any existance claim, NOT to believe, by definition. Therefore, any claim of the form "There is" or "There is not" is opposing the null hypothesis ("Not to believe there is/is not"), so it requires proof. The null hypothesis is chosen this way preciselly because it is NOT an answer, it solves no conflict, has no explanatory value, and in general is nothing more than a placeholder for knowdlege we do not know or can know.

But not believing, in the realm of empirical knowledge, implies believing

*something else*. There are no blank spots in the empirical. Which is why I conclude the null hypothesis actually does answer the question, since if the hypothesis cannot be proven, the result isn't a non-liquet, the result is another, positive claim.

I understand that you say the null hypothesis is just a placeholder - the way I understand it, it is merely chosen to give the hypothesis something to disprove. But nevertheless, if the hypothesis ends up falsified, then some other theory takes it's place. The null hypothesis may not precisely

*be* that other theory, but it is the placeholder.

Which is why I specifically restricted it to the material world:

Wrong, it does apply to any sort of claims on the material.

Metaphysical claims are by definition not knowable by physical means, so they are outside the explanatory power of science.

Ah sorry, I overlooked that. No disagreement here.

Ultimately, the point I wanted to make is that just throwing around "Burden of proof" isn't an argument. If we have an empirical question, claiming your opponent hasn't satisfied their "burden of proof" is meaningless unless you have a better alternative theory. If we have a metaphyiscal question, the concept is meaningless altogether since metaphysical truths either follow by deduction from a-priori knowledge or are unknowable.

Given that I speak Spanish fluently, double negatives are not a problem for me. Nevertheless, by refuting a claim, you are making a claim, whether you admit it or not.

But not a

*positive* claim. If you want to work with burden of proof, there is a difference.