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Old 9th March 2011, 01:02 PM   #3241
tigtog
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Red face ObEspritd'escalier

Originally Posted by tigtog View Post
"An Extraordinary Claim (EC) is a claim where the supporting evidence, as yet, has not withstood the critical scrutiny of the scientific method."
"Extraordinary Evidence (EE) is evidence sufficient to reject the relevant null hypotheses at a statistical probability equal to or greater than the 95% confidence level."

Plugging this into ECREE becomes the following rephrasing:

"Claims whose supporting evidence has not yet withstood the critical scrutiny of the scientific method require evidence sufficient to reject the relevant null hypotheses at a statistical probability equal to or greater than the 95% confidence level."

So we now have a fully objective answer, but although reasonably concise it is not a particularly simple answer, because the objective phrasing used necessarily introduce an entirely new set of terms encapsulating complex concepts in themselves. For anyone who has never heard of null hypotheses or confidence levels before, this objective definition is virtually meaningless, and would not help one understand what ECREE means to convey. But if objective is what you want, this is what you get.
I have, of course, now arrived at a simpler version of my objective rephrasing of ECREE above. With simplicity comes some loss of my previous version's precision, but this may be a more useful intermediate level of explication.
  • Let EC be a scientifically contentious claim.
  • Let EE be evidence that can settle these contentions when critically scrutinised via the scientific method.

Thus ECREE becomes

"Scientifically contentious claims require evidence able to settle these contentions when critically scrutinised via the scientific method."

My previous attempt at least has the virtue of handily including the requisite explications of "scientifically contentious" and "scientific method" for anyone who might be unsure exactly what either term entails.

I still think ECREE is a more engaging phrasing for the purpose of science education.

Last edited by tigtog; 9th March 2011 at 01:17 PM. Reason: To add inadvertently omitted concluding sentence.
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