Extraordinary Claims


"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" are words often hurled at those advocating the true history of creation as recorded in Genesis. It is as if our creationist claims are the extraordinary ones, but the onus really ought to be on the other foot. 

Why should we reject and dismiss thousands of years of history that has been carefully preserved and transmitted? Why should we throw out a history that has again and again proven to be reliable in what it says, and reliable in how well it's been transmitted? Where is the extraordinary evidence for throwing away the history that is written in the various books of scripture?

We don't give moon-landing deniers a free pass to ignore the written history and eyewitness testimony that the moon landings occurred. We rightly object when holocaust deniers reinterpret the evidence laying all over Europe so as to deny the eyewitness testimonies that were recorded from those who actually lived through the events. Creation deniers make the even more extraordinary claim that we must reject the one, reliable historical account that we have that goes all the way back to the beginning of humanity. Where is the evidence for that extraordinary claim?

Lyell offerred no evidence for his long ages. He simply put his proverbial foot down and insisted that the past had to be explained only by present processes. His dogma held back the science of geology for over a hundred years. Only in the latter 20th century did geologists begin to realize that they needed catastrophism of some sort. So today we have neo-catastrophism, which can be any catastrophe that you like but just don't mention a global flood. 

Moon-landing deniers. Holocaust deniers. Creation deniers. All three reject reliable history in favor of outlandish claims. Where is the extraordinary evidence? 

Evolutionists and Big Bang proponents say they follow the evidence, but what they really do is to throw out the most reliable evidence that they have. 

The opening quote in this post is attributed to Carl Sagen, who in turn seems to have borrowed from Marcello Truzzi's statement as early as 1978 that "An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof." (See Page 11 of Volume 1, Issue 1 of the Zetetic Scholar). Predating Truzzi is David Hume and his comment that "A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.”

Matt Slick also writes on the "extraordinary claims" issue, showing how subjective the issue is and pointing out in the end that "people will not want what Christ said to be true and will sometimes desperately try to hold on to their presuppositions, hence, the claim that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.". His defense of the Bible as history is also worth reading.