Last Night, while watching a science-based podcast, i learned about a pair of quasars orbiting around a particular black hole. These disks were so far away that even if they are 4 light-days wide, finding them is akin to looking at grains of sand on the surface of the moon.
The thing is, i found no problem accepting this tidbit to be true even without peering into the evidence behind it. After all, i did not have to change the way i live my life in any way as a result of absorbing this into my bank of trivial information.
So, this got me thinking about an often repeated statement in the AE TV show: "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". While this should technically be the right approach for every claim, it does not seem practical to skeptical about every single information we get.
In light of this, i would propose a modification by saying that "claims that need significant participation require significant evidence".
If scientists one day find out that the flying spaghetti monster really did exist, I wouldn't really mind accepting their statement immediately. However, if they start to say that because of this, i should frequently offer meatballs to the cosmos and refrain from eating pasta, then i have to look more into the evidence behind their claim before complying.
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From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, March 8th at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Ryan Bell will talk on "My Year Without God: Now a Permanent Condition."