Philosophy Magazine

Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence

By Stuart_gray @stuartg__uk

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidencestuartgrayuk:

I love the clear and simple approach here.

And let me add – extraordinary events happen every week in the UK. Just ask any National Lottery winner. The likelihood of winning the jackpot is vanishingly small statistically. The thought of winning is…well…extraordinary! It would certainly transform ones life! Yet someone does hit the jackpot…every week…like clockwork…

Maybe Christianity is similar. Perhaps all we need to do to benefit from Christianity’s extraordinary claims…is simply to play the game…to buy a ticket…to dive in? We’ve got nothing to loose and everything to gain…

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidenceOriginally posted on The Isaiah 53:5 Project:


Do they?

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 professor of astronomy at Cornell University in New York.

Requiring extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims sounds good on the surface. But, it is subjective. The fact is that a person’s presuppositions strongly affect how and to what degree the statement is applied. In Jesus’ resurrection, for example, Christians presuppose that God exists and that He could easily have raised Jesus from the dead. The evidence of fulfilled prophecy, eyewitness’ records, and changed lives of the disciples is enough to convince many people who believe in God that Jesus rose from the dead. This is a logical conclusion based on the presupposition and the evidence.

Atheists, on the other hand, would negate the resurrection by default since…

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Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

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