Multicolored Lemur

Well-known member
Atheist / Agnostic
Nov 23, 2021
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And, it all depends on where you’re starting from.

If you’re a Christian and you’ve had personal religious experiences, then atheism is going to be the “extraordinary claim.”

If you’ve had some experiences
but some which didn’t work out, causing doubt, then reviewing a book on “World Religions”, then hitting upon the idea that persons raised in the Hindu faith may have had personal experiences and feel they’ve touched the divine,

And making the leap to atheism.

And this is pretty much my experience as a middle teen,

[ and becoming an atheist happens gradually and then all at once]

Then —

Theism is the “extraordinary claim.”
 
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Carl Sagan is most known for the hugely watched Cosmos TV show from around 1980. I most remember him being able to hold his own on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

Carl had a very distinctive voice, a lot like former presidential candidate and current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

PS And yes, I added some “Oomph” to the quote, making it “. . DEMAND extraordinary evidence,” and not merely requiring it. :D
 
Good points @Multicolored Lemur. It's all relative. In reality, there is no extraordinary scientific evidence. The process of verifying or validating something is still the same, although the subject matter itself may be what's extraordinary.

If someone walks on water, all I need are controlled observations/testing. That's about all you need for any other subject matter that you want to use science for.
 
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I think there’s good evidence, maybe even better evidence. It’s just not going to take a person all the way home.
That's probably a better way to rank it instead of just using a vague term like "extraordinary" evidence. It would be clearer to even say the "best" evidence that we can have, which of course would be scientific evidence.

But throw some nuance in here, I think we should also consider the subject matter we're dealing with. For instance, if we are dealing with a historical matter, then science may not be the best we can have since science is limited from knowing about past events, especially in ancient history. Historical evidence would be the best evidence we could have in that case.

I think science can be used to deal with some extraordinary events, like NDEs, but not all.
 
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It would be clearer to even say the "best" evidence that we can have, which of course would be scientific evidence.
If I were to describe science in one word—

repeatable ? ?

For example, even something with a lot going on, such as fluid dynamics in a wave pool or growing a certain strain of microbes on a petri dish with a certain type of agar — as long as we define all the variables precisely, we should have a repeatable experiment, right?

I think so.
 
It would be clearer to even say the "best" evidence that we can have, which of course would be scientific evidence.
If I were to describe science in one word—

repeatable ? ?

For example, even something with a lot going on, such as fluid dynamics in a wave pool or growing a certain strain of microbes on a petri dish with a certain type of agar — as long as we define all the variables precisely, we should have a repeatable experiment, right?

I think so.
(y)(y) Sounds right to me.

Perhaps the demand for extraordinary evidence is just a response to the weak evidence that religious people tend to offer.

My rule of thumb is before I demand evidence for something, I also like to consider what type of evidence is even possible given the subject matter or look at how science can deal with it.
 
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I also like to consider what type of evidence is even possible given the subject matter or look at how science can deal with it.
And building on this, there might be a healthy back and forth. On finding some evidence, it helps me think about what evidence I might really like.