[Ads-l] Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 8 16:15:42 EST 2021


Like Occam's, Hitchens's Razor is - logically - a valuable guideline, not a
law.

I'm in a windowless room. You come in and tell me it's raining. Hitchens
claims that I'm justified in dismissing your statement as nonsense until I
go outside and get wet.

Experience tells us that would almost surely be a mistake.

Occam observed merely that the "simplest" explanation should be preferred
as most likely correct. It doesn't claim that it must be.

Hitchens would presumably dismiss Occam's Razor for lack of evidence.

JL





On Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 2:58 PM Andy Bach <afbach at gmail.com> wrote:

> Does "Hitchen's Razor" work as a corollary?
>  "What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without
> evidence."
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitchens%27s_razor
>
> On Mon, Dec 6, 2021 at 10:53 AM ADSGarson O'Toole <
> adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > The saying in the subject line was discussed on this list back in
> > August 2015. Now, I've posted a Quote Investigator article.
> >
> > https://quoteinvestigator.com/2021/12/05/extraordinary/
> >
> > [Begin acknowledgement excerpt]
> > Great thanks to Hugh Henry and Massimo Fuggetta whose inquiries led QI
> > to formulate this question and perform this exploration. Additional
> > thanks to researchers Daniel Loxton, Bill Mullins, Peter Morris, and
> > Fred R. Shapiro. Loxton located several of the citations presented
> > above as did Mullins, Morris, and Shapiro. Also, thanks to mailing
> > list discussants Stephen Goranson, Jonathan Lighter, and Wilson Gray.
> > [End acknowledgement excerpt]
> >
> > Here is the overview.
> >
> > 1708: These matters being very extraordinary, will require a very
> > extraordinary proof (Benjamin Bayly)
> >
> > 1738: As it is a matter of an extraordinary kind, it is but reasonable
> > in us to require extraordinary evidence for it
> >
> > 1740: Every man has a right to demand extraordinary evidence for any
> > extraordinary fact (Arthur Ashley Sykes)
> >
> > 1741: Assertions so contrary to fact … require some extraordinary
> > proof to gain our credit and assent (John Straight)
> >
> > 1800: Miracles being very unusual and extraordinary facts, they
> > require very strong evidence to support them (Beilby Porteus)
> >
> > 1804: I ought to have extraordinary evidence, to induce me to believe
> > extraordinary things (Elihu Palmer)
> >
> > 1810: Plus un fait est extraordinaire, plus il a besoin d’être appuyé
> > de fortes preuves (Pierre-Simon Laplace)
> >
> > 1810: The more extraordinary a fact, the more it needs to be supported
> > by strong proofs (Translation of Pierre-Simon Laplace)
> >
> > 1824: Extraordinary claims can rest only on extraordinary proofs
> > (William Craig Brownlee)
> >
> > 1826: For extraordinary facts, we should have extraordinary evidence
> >
> > 1852: Extraordinary claims should be backed by extraordinary proof
> >
> > 1854: An extraordinary, an unnatural event, demands extraordinary
> > evidence (F. B. Barton)
> >
> > 1871: Extraordinary evidence is needed to establish extraordinary
> > facts (William Denton)
> >
> > 1895: Extraordinary claims always call for extraordinary proof (Ely
> > Vaughn Zollars)
> >
> > 1906: Wonderful phenomena need wonderful evidence in their support
> > (Joseph F. Rinn)
> >
> > 1975: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof (Marcello Truzzi)
> >
> > 1976: Extraordinary proof is necessary for extraordinary claims
> > (Kendrick Frazier credited Marcello Truzzi)
> >
> > 1977: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence (Carl Sagan)
> >
> > 1979: Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof. (James Oberg)
> >
> > Feedback welcome
> > Garson
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >
>
>
> --
>
> a
>
> Andy Bach,
> afbach at gmail.com
> 608 658-1890 cell
> 608 261-5738 wk
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>


-- 
"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org


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