I was just summarizing what I thought was the salient point of the discussion. And also gently poking fun at how complicated it got above when it seems like it can be worded quite simply. Did I miss anything important?
But I think I can “win” :] this discussion in one sentence.
Absence of evidence is ALWAYS evidence of absence, and it is sometimes PROOF of absence.
When people say “Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence,” I suspect what they really mean is “absence of evidence is not PROOF of absence.” Which is still not necessarily true, as in the elephant example.