Saturday, August 22, 2009

Extraordinary Claims...

Some people have raised doubts about the validity of the saying "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

Here is a story where a historian uses this phrase to raise doubts about a 1st Century Church in Jordan.

Thomas Parker, a historian at the University of North Carolina-Raleigh, who led the team that discovered the church in Aqaba, said that while he hadn't seen the Rihab site, any such claim should be taken with a degree of caution.

"An extraordinary claim like this requires extraordinary evidence," he said. "We need to see the artifacts and dating evidence to suggest such an occupation in the 1st century A.D."


Reverend Phillip Brown said...

As a David Hume fan, his philosophical assertion that...

'No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous that the fact which it endeavors to establish.'

seems to be a great catch cry of atheist is the disproof of miracles. However the condensed and improper form, 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,' is simply foolish.

How precisely do we know which claims are extraordinary? By what standard, the theist, the atheists, the humanist, the naturalist, etc.

What test needs to be in place for there to be the label extraordinary applied to it? All claims require evidence, but by which do we know are extraordinary. Our own experience is problematic at best. Furthermore, is the claim itself extraordinary and if so what evidence is there to support it? If it is not extraordinary then why does it need assertion at all or investigation.

Regards, Rev, Phil.

Reasonably Aaron said...

Reverend, the fact that you used the word "disproof" indicates to me you do not understand the nature of the argument.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Sorry to disappoint.