"Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence" Is Bullshit

Read more on this subject: Science, Medicine and Technology
Feature Article by Paul Rosenberg
Apologies to those who are bothered by strong words; I feel that science deserves an especially strong defense.

I think we've all heard the pseudo-scientific phrase, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." It's the kind of thing people throw out at parties to make themselves sound smart.

Except that this slogan isn't scientific at all; in fact, it's a perversion of science. Here's why:

Evidence Is Evidence

Science is a process of getting rid of bad ideas, of chopping them up. And just to be clear, science is not the formulaic list of steps you learned in school. Science is a careful examination of nature. It requires you to fully engage your mind and not to follow a pattern. Anyone's pattern. As Richard Feynman used to say:

It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is. It doesn't matter how smart you are… If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

Neither does being respected and published
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