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December 5, 2012
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Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence...

:icondragonsnapalm:
DragonsNapalm Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
I see people use this from time to time, and disbelieve it from time to time. What does this theory mean to you when you hear it?
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:iconedwardspaghetti:
EdwardSpaghetti Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012
It means you have to prove that aliens exist, and then prove that they have visited earth, before you claim they built the pyramids.
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:iconarcolm:
Arcolm Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012
Theroy to me is a way to quantify or classify something or someone that to your knowlage your not sure about yet. But the scientific definition also applies in my book. So in some way i go both ways.

Hell i've come up with sevril theroies if not trying to find something to explain them. So yeah, i can agree with "extrodanary claims require extrodanary evidince." Regaurdless i still go for the quantum theroies due to there draw of a philosophcial nature in most cases.
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:iconwesmeadow:
Wesmeadow Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Student Digital Artist
The problem with that broken down record nonsense, is the potential for lies and assumptions to demand extra ordinary evidence for something that is actually simple or natural, ends up causes the wrecking havoc on proving the natural existing.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It's not a "theory", it's a truism.

You ought not disbelieve it. It's a reliable guide; just a restatement of Occam's Razor or the law of parsimony.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
I find that Occam's Razor/Law of Parsimony fails because most people don't quite understand the context of "simplest" in this case. Often falling on "God did it" being the 'simplest' answer but not understanding that it has no explanatory power.

With Sagan's quote you have a clear definition of what one is trying to achieve. In simpler terms "put up or shut up" in that everyone can understand.
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Unless, of course, you don't think "God did it" is an extraordinary claim.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
God is an extraordinary claim in itself.
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:icontimehasanend:
TimeHasAnEnd Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist
The Word of God of the Bible has nothing to with theory of any kind. The word of God of the Bible is the truth...You may not see it in your generaton, but it will speak at the end of time.
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:icondragonsnapalm:
DragonsNapalm Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
No offense, but from where I stand, the Bible is an already refuted book. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and the Bible is a long list of extraordinary claims.
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:iconworkoutprogress:
workoutprogress Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012   Photographer
I'm glad you weren't born in the middle-east.
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist
"The word of God of the Bible is the truth"

Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like you to meet; extraordinary claim.
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:iconhametsunocharge:
HametsuNoCharge Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think this is less a theory and more of a qualification

For example, if I say I'm wearing a blue shirt, you'd probably take me for my word because it is an ordinary claim, and you have no reason to think otherwise unless you're willing to come visit me and verify that my shirt is indeed blue (which would be ridiculous).

But if I say that the universe arose from a bubble that separated itself from the foaming mouth of a cosmic sea monster, every one who hears it is going to be demanding I go out there and PROVE IT! They will not believe me until I come back with heaps and heaps and heaps of solid evidence, scientific studies, and a written not from the serpent himself....and then they still probably won't because it's such a strange illogical thing to say.
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:icontheomegapoint:
TheOmegaPoint Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
What constitutes "extraordinary" for either claims or evidence? Moreover, how does one discern whether or not a given eventuality is causally connected to another? How might one calculate the conditional probability in the case of unique events? I think that this is a question that one has to be able to answer in order to make use of the aphorism under scrutiny here. Now before dismissing this as some obvious, tautological, pseudo-intellectual mumbo-jumbo, please allow me a brief defense of my statement. The need for "extraordinary evidence" is usually demanded for some kind of endeavor that ultimately relies on an absolute, objective view of "the truth," such as science, medicine, or law. Although an objective and (where possible) quantitative account is required for these types of analytics, it inevitably must fall to a subjective, qualitative, and normative opinion by "experts" to determine the sufficiency of proof where there is considerable prior doubt. This problem is further confounded by the fact that the same individuals that must make this judgement almost always do not have an unbiased stance on the matter. For instance, dogmatism prevails in science, because the "old guard" can dismiss new theories that appear to contradict established one under the "extraordinary claims" banner. Without a system for determining levels of "extraordinariness," it is impractical and improper to use this credo as a standard for any rigorous endeavor. I do not dispute that there may be ways of doing so--only that they are rarely put into practice or are used in some unprincipled fashion.
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:iconbrainninja11:
brainninja11 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012  Student General Artist
To me, it means that if you are going to claim that a man who was his own father and is also a ghost will judge you and send you to this evil place that he kinda made anyway if you don't obey him, then you have to do more than just tell me to have faith.
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:iconspider-loot:
Spider-Loot Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
If you claim a giant potato demon holds up the sky with a golden fork....you better damn well show me a giant potato demon holding the sky up with a fork.
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I can`t show you an atom, but I bet you don`t deny THEY are there.
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:iconspider-loot:
Spider-Loot Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I do. I hold seminars denying them in fact. Read my book here.

[link]
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
...(She doesn`t actually do that does she...?!)
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:icontotally-dead:
Totally-dead Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
That fully depends on the context. What the person saying it means is fairly obvious, but objectively, extraordinary is a very subjective adjective. Different views see the same theories completely differently. IE creationists: Abiogenesis is an extraordinary claim. Atheist Evolutionists: Genesis is an extraordinary claim.

But I do believe there is an objective base. And from that base I have come to believe that an Atheist scientific world model based in evolution has quite a lot of extraordinary evidence for it. Most of it was contructed from the extraordinary evidence in fact.
Whereas competing models have virtually no proof whatsoever.
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:iconwolfyspice:
WolfySpice Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
It's self-explanatory. When I hear it, I also hear the other side: ordinary claims require ordinary evidence. It bugs the shit out of me when people try to be hyper-sceptical and insist on tonnes of evidence for the most insignificant of facts. Those people don't get it.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2012
Every theist does that whenever I bring it up even with the 'ordinary evidence' bit they just can't or won't understand. Often I feel because they realize that they can't provide the evidence for their beliefs so they have a need to deflect or project the argument off of the fact. Or claim personal experience.
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:icondidj:
Didj Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
It's the counter argument for when people say "you can't prove that X isn't true!"
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:iconsiegeonthorstadt:
siegeonthorstadt Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
"we ask for utmost and most awe-inspiring proof from the arguments that we dont want to believe in, and we believe into the simplest of rumors or hearsay about the things that we like to believe in."
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Hobbyist
Except no, not really.
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:iconms-junesummers:
Ms-JuneSummers Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student Writer
When someone makes a statement like that, it sounds to me like they're not open to things that might change the way they view the world. Then again, what is ordinary or extraordinary may vary from person to person. For example, the idea of God is extraordinary to some people and ordinary to others.
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
You can't make a compelling argument if you cannot back up your claim with enough compelling evidence.
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:iconlyteside:
lyteside Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
Of everyone's responses, I think this one resonates the most as a good meaning behind it. Well said.
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:iconabstract-mindser:
Abstract-Mindser Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
TL;DR: You can't claim things like the afterlife, gods, and so on.
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:iconearthtalon:
Earthtalon Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Technically, you also can't claim a lot of other things.
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:iconbullet-magnet:
Bullet-Magnet Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2012
It means that you need a pretty rock solid foundation of experimental or field evidence to back up any claim that goes against established and substantiated scientific models. I mean, we wouldn't want to throw out the old science if the new discovery was actually wrong.

Any new claim needs to be able to explain all the old evidence just as well as the new evidence, and make testable predictions that distinguish it from the old models.
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