Do Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence? I have heard that so often it is not even funny! The phrase “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” was popularized by Carl Sagan (1934 – 1996), a well-known astronomer and author who hosted a TV series called “Cosmos,” published hundreds of scientific articles, and was a professor of astronomy at Cornell University in New York. The statement is self-explanatory; if someone makes an extraordinary claim, there better be extraordinary evidence to back it up. If, for example, someone made the claim that an alien race has made contact with the earth, we would need sufficient evidence to verify the claim, such as an alien spacecraft, or an actual alien. The extraordinary claim would need extraordinary evidence.
This podcast and article by Dr. Frank Turek is very helpful in answering this common claim by those who do not know Jesus.
Frank a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of four books: Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to make their Case, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. As the President of CrossExamined.org, Frank presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools and at secular college campuses that often begin hostile to his message. He has also debated several prominent atheists including Christopher Hitchens and David Silverman, president of American Atheists.
If you believe in the Resurrection or the biblical miracles, skeptics will often dismiss your beliefs by saying that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. Is that claim true? What does “extraordinary” mean? Do skeptics and atheists apply that standard to their own beliefs?
In this podcast episode, I lay out some of the evidence for Christianity— some of which is extraordinary— and then examine the counterclaims of atheists. It turns out that atheist claims are extraordinary, yet they have no evidence for them! Why is there evidence for anything?
Read more here —> Do Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence?
To say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence is to make an extraordinary assertion. How does the person know that the statement is true? Think about it. It is a universal statement! Isn’t that extraordinary? Is it a universal principle? If so, that is amazingly important. So, please show us the extraordinary evidence that the statement is true.
The reality is that there is no precise scientific method for determining the validity of historic events. There is a degree of subjectivity involved.
- Different people will claim different requirements for validating ancient phenomena based upon their presuppositions and the type of evidence involved.
- Also, since ancient events dealing with human history and claims cannot be observed or repeated, we must look at the evidence differently.
- This makes the application of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” somewhat subjective and invalid for determining ancient phenomena.