[Ads-l] Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 6 16:53:21 UTC 2021

The saying in the subject line was discussed on this list back in
August 2015. Now, I've posted a Quote Investigator article.


[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

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

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