Welcome to the home of The Question Evolution Project. Presenting information demonstrating that there is no truth in minerals-to-man evolution, and presenting evidence for special creation. —Established by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Extraordinary Claims and Rejecting Evidence

When dealing with atheists and other anti-creationists, they often try to bushwhack us with statements or questions that are designed to put us on the defensive. The assertion that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (attributed to Carl Sagan) is downright viperine.

We expect scoffers to want us to support our claims, but they use tactics to put us on the defensive. We can turn it around.
Credit: Pixabay / moritz320
Biblical creationists are often challenged to defend our positions, which is to be expected. When asked about a subject under discussion, creationists often provide discussion, logical points, and links to relevant material. These are ignored much of the time and the subject is changed, which makes people like me think that they are not interested in learning. Worse, we are erroneously told what we believe which is rooted in the scoffer's prejudicial conjecture and not from honest examination of our point of view.

Some owlhoot will invariably drag out the platitude about claims and evidence. We may respond, "What evidence are you willing to accept?" Sounds good, except that not only are we letting them make up the rules and set the odds, they're dealing from the bottom of the deck and hiding cards. That is, we're letting them take control and put us on the defensive! We can turn it around and use the same demand on them.

The whole thing is subjective. The scoffer is calling the shots and deciding what evidence suits his or her fancy; anything you offer can be dismissed as being insufficient. The "extraordinary evidence" requirement is also hypocritical because they believe in cosmic and biological evolution, deep time, and other things that are based on assumptions and biases.

A biblical creationist will probably be told to argue from "neutral ground" and leave the Bible out of it. Not hardly! This trick is simply to manipulate us to give up what we claim we believe and go to their naturalistic game: they are in no wise neutral, and the Christian should not be, either. We are to presuppose that the Bible is true, and they presuppose their naturalism. You can hardly make any progress if you admit defeat at the get-to, pilgrim.
Since all evidence is interpreted from within the framework of a person’s worldview, don’t expect that when we, for example, are arguing for the reliability of Scripture, or for the evidence of God’s existence from nature, that the skeptic will suddenly ‘see the light’ just because you mention things like early independent attestation (in the case of New Testament reliability) or the incredible design in nature (in the case of God’s existence). They already have ways of looking at these things through their ‘agnostic/atheist glasses’ that render these things unremarkable, or ‘not extraordinary enough’, in their eyes. Yet at the same time, they will embrace all manner of highly extraordinary claims (like chemical evolution or ‘abiogenesis’ and undirected evolution of life from single cells up to human beings) with very weak or no evidential backing.

The ‘extraordinary claims’ maxim is a double standard. You can usually be sure that the person uttering this statement is not willing to apply it to their own claims! If you play their rigged game and it proves unfruitful—as it almost certainly will—try a different tactic instead.
To read this article in its entirety, click on "Do ‘Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence’?"



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