Why We Have Different Standards

quote-forgotten-were-the-elementary-rules-of-logic-that-extraordinary-claims-require-extraordinary-christopher-hitchens-237619There’s a chap on Twitter who keeps arguing in circles around the idea that somehow we’re being unreasonable in having different evidential standards when it comes to recognising human artifice versus the supposed artifice of nature.

We can, pretty rapidly, recognise the hand of humans in the construction of things. The example the chap uses is that of a real flower versus an artificial flower.

We are intimately familiar with human construction, we see it everywhere and it is usually fairly obvious as we see it.

Taking the artificial flower example it is a confluence of alien materials, many of which do not occur naturally (plastics for example) and it is put together from disparate parts in a manner that isn’t possible in nature. We have plenty of examples of human – and animal – constructions of this ilk and they are of an obvious and immediately different character to what we find in nature.

A natural flower, on the other hand, is not artificial. It is not an artefact. It is grown, its parts come from each other. It self-reproduces and grows. We have no examples or experience of a flower (or anything else natural) being created.

Implicit in the question: “Why do you have different standards of evidence of creation for a fake flower and a real flower” is the assumption that both are created.

The reason we have different standards of evidence for different claims is that some are mundane while others are extraordinary.

The claim that a fake flower is created is a mundane claim due to our experience and the evidence thereof.

The claim that flowers themselves are created is an extraordinary claim with no evidence.

More info here.

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