PDA

View Full Version : Chaos Magic


Pages : 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9

carlitos
17th January 2011, 08:43 AM
Actually, it can be quite easily and indisputably demonstrated that you don’t have the slightest understanding of a single thing that you are.
I deleted the rambling non-sequiturs for an attempt at clarity.

Now, can you please easily and indisputably demonstrate that I don't have the slightest understanding of a single thing that I am?

dlorde
17th January 2011, 08:47 AM
...
As for evidence, there’s lots of it….and more arriving all the time (I’d refer to Bem’s recent experiments but doubtless you’re familiar with those).
There is a thread here somewhere on Bem's experiments - there have been doubts about his data analysis, but confirmed replication is awaited.

As many a hapless poster has discovered at JREF before, you’ve all already pre-judged the issue.
We're not an homogenous group - some may pre-judge, others may not.

I’ve watched a number JREF contributors post anecdotes relating extremely unusual and for the most part very well documented experiences that simply have no explanation (I could name each of them….they’ve all been, like AkuManiMani….extremely intelligent, capable, and, for the most part…skeptical) .
To the contrary, for the most part, they are completely undocumented experiences - purely anecdotal.

Many contributors who post anecdotes think they do have an explanation, often paranormal. They presumably post to a sceptic forum because they want sceptical evaluation or opinion of the anecdote. Because of the lack of corroborating evidence, it's usually impossible to give more than a few options for plausible explanations and a guess at their likelihood.

they’ve never suggested ESP or supernatural or paranormal or this or that or anything.
...
Like I said, most of you would rather stick pencils in your eyes than even consider the possibility.
Of what? of the ESP or supernatural or paranormal or this or that or anything, that you believe these contributors never suggested in the first place? :boggled:

AkuManiMani
17th January 2011, 09:42 AM
So he's preaching not arguing then.:mad:

You iz bad peepul, an' you goin' to dat bad plase. Snap-crackle-pop, son! :D

</snicker>

I kid, I kid! :p

PixyMisa
17th January 2011, 10:05 AM
There is a thread here somewhere on Bem's experiments - there have been doubts about his data analysis, but confirmed replication is awaited.
His statistical methods are rubbish. (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2701)

He finds a weak positive result from cherry-picked data. Anyone can do that for anything. We don't need replication here; we need proper experimental procedure in the first place.

dafydd
17th January 2011, 10:10 AM
Well that worked quite well. You’re still in fine form there Pixy.



And for an appropriate response, I’ll quote you again Pixy:



There are many, besides Chomsky, who flatly disagree with your glowing assessment of the state of our understanding of consciousness. The never-ending conflicts on the various consciousness-related boards would also seem to blatantly contradict your position.

As for evidence, there’s lots of it….and more arriving all the time (I’d refer to Bem’s recent experiments but doubtless you’re familiar with those). The fact is, it’s an incredibly complex and unique area of study….and one which is fraught with massive prejudices (on both sides of the issues). I could point you to a number of individuals who explore the subject in a balanced and comprehensive manner (Braude, Radin, and Bem for example) but there’s no more point in doing that than there is in actually discussing them. As many a hapless poster has discovered at JREF before, you’ve all already pre-judged the issue.

I’ve watched a number JREF contributors post anecdotes relating extremely unusual and for the most part very well documented experiences that simply have no explanation (I could name each of them….they’ve all been, like AkuManiMani….extremely intelligent, capable, and, for the most part…skeptical) . Their experiences have invariably been presented in a very balanced and open manner. In other words, they’ve never suggested ESP or supernatural or paranormal or this or that or anything. They’ve simply tried to present the facts as they know them.

….and what has happened….every…single…time.

Liar, fool, dreamer, moron,…insults, derision, ridicule, contempt.

Every…single…time.

Like I said, most of you would rather stick pencils in your eyes than even consider the possibility. If you’re really interested, track down some of the work of those names I’ve mentioned (there’s lots more)….but I truly doubt any of you are interested. You’re only interested in preserving the bubble of ignorance you live in. The evidence really is overwhelming though (dump your prejudices for a few minutes and actually look)….and as science expands it’s understanding and it’s ability to confidently explore these issues it will become more overwhelming still.

But…most JREF’ers have already come to their own conclusions, despite our massive ignorance of what it is we’re even studying. Conclusion: explicit proof of scientific illiteracy (among skeptics….blasphemy!!!!)…IOW…assuming conclusions when the jury is still not just out but massively out on what it is that we’re even studying and despite numerous examples of phenomena for which we simply have no definitive or often even viable explanation (if may come as a genuine surprise to many here but to simply decide that someone is hallucinating actually is not a viable scientific explanation).

Sorry Pixy, but for you to claim that we already pretty much know everything there is to know about consciousness is, to borrow your expression, utter fantasy.

A story told on the internet is not "well documented".

PixyMisa
17th January 2011, 10:54 AM
A story told on the internet is not "well documented".
The recurring theme here is that some people are easily impressed.

dlorde
17th January 2011, 12:24 PM
His statistical methods are rubbish. (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2701)

He finds a weak positive result from cherry-picked data. Anyone can do that for anything. We don't need replication here; we need proper experimental procedure in the first place.

Yes - that sounds about right :)

Thanks, interesting link.

Robin
17th January 2011, 12:30 PM
His statistical methods are rubbish. (http://theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=2701)

He finds a weak positive result from cherry-picked data. Anyone can do that for anything. We don't need replication here; we need proper experimental procedure in the first place.
As I said in the thread, he has shipped out the replication packages with a disastrous design fault that is practically an invitation for experimenters to ditch data that does not support the hypothesis - either consciously or otherwise.

It seems almost as though it were deliberate.

PixyMisa
17th January 2011, 05:57 PM
Hanlon's Razor.

annnnoid
19th January 2011, 05:00 PM
Now, can you please easily and indisputably demonstrate that I don't have the slightest understanding of a single thing that I am?

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
Socrates
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce
To know anything well involves a profound sensation of ignorance.
John Ruskin
It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Thomas Sowell
I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance.
Diogenes
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
Will Durant

…and finally…what is the meaning of ‘is’?

PixyMisa
19th January 2011, 05:11 PM
So, we'll take that as a "no", shall we?

annnnoid
19th January 2011, 05:14 PM
So, we'll take that as a "no", shall we?

....are you, like, spying on me Pixy? Didn't say I was finished y'know. Now that you're here though, shall we discuss washing machines?

PixyMisa
19th January 2011, 05:21 PM
....are you, like, spying on me Pixy?
You posted that nonsense on a public forum.

Didn't say I was finished y'know.
So why did you start with a whole bunch of irrelevant quotes?

Robin
19th January 2011, 05:23 PM
I’ve watched a number JREF contributors post anecdotes relating extremely unusual and for the most part very well documented experiences that simply have no explanation (I could name each of them….they’ve all been, like AkuManiMani….extremely intelligent, capable, and, for the most part…skeptical) . Their experiences have invariably been presented in a very balanced and open manner. In other words, they’ve never suggested ESP or supernatural or paranormal or this or that or anything. They’ve simply tried to present the facts as they know them.

….and what has happened….every…single…time.

Liar, fool, dreamer, moron,…insults, derision, ridicule, contempt.
Well I, for one, am doubting you.

If you notice that AkuManiMani put his story near the end of page 6 and by the end of page 7 is implying that anyone skeptical of his claim is a fundy and a fanatic who has made a religion out of their concept of what constitutes science.

So, hello, who started the insults, derision, ridicule, contempt?

Now I would bet that most of the cases you allude to follow this pattern. I can think of one proponent of mysticism on this forum who likes to start the insults and then put on the martyrs sackcloth when people respond.

Pure Argent
19th January 2011, 06:19 PM
Didn't say I was finished y'know.

So you didn't mean to click that "Submit Reply" button? There's an "Edit" button for that.

But if you're just planning on submitting more irrelevant quotes, don't bother.

annnnoid
19th January 2011, 07:33 PM
So you didn't mean to click that "Submit Reply" button? There's an "Edit" button for that.

But if you're just planning on submitting more irrelevant quotes, don't bother.

...why, because you said so?

Actually Argent, some arguments do in fact require more than the two sentences some people typically have the capacity to comprehend. Thus I take my time preparing them.

Well I, for one, am doubting you.

If you notice that AkuManiMani put his story near the end of page 6 and by the end of page 7 is implying that anyone skeptical of his claim is a fundy and a fanatic who has made a religion out of their concept of what constitutes science.

So, hello, who started the insults, derision, ridicule, contempt?

Now I would bet that most of the cases you allude to follow this pattern. I can think of one proponent of mysticism on this forum who likes to start the insults and then put on the martyrs sackcloth when people respond.

I would take issue with your conclusions, but that's not really the fundamental point.

The problem…what is grating for anyone presenting such an experience… is that the question is one which encompasses such a huge range of issues all across philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, bio-chemistry, physics, and even theology (not to mention that the experiences themselves often are significant to the point of being life-altering) and it invariably gets reduced to simplistic truth conditions in these JREF debates by so many participants. In a very real sense, this one single unique issue actually encompasses the entirety of our conceptual reality (how and why would simply require far too much space to argue). Not to put too fine a point on it, but while Aku often is expansive in his explanations, he does not seem to be one to suffer fools. With an issue this big that covers just about every aspect of human reality from the deeply personal to the inconceivably abstract, there are simply far too many opportunities for stupidity….on both sides of the issue.

I’ll just end by with a few quotes:

Dlorde wrote::
Zanders thought he was experiencing more than his fair share of weirdness too, it's a common feeling. He can probably explain to you how it works. If you think about it rationally, it doesn't make sense that you should be a weirdness magnet any more than anyone else - it's an egocentric view, similar to that which led to thinking the Earth was the centre of the universe. We're predisposed to these forms of thinking. Doesn't mean it's true.

And Scott Atran:
I find it fascinating that among the brilliant scientists and philosophers at the conference, there was no convincing evidence presented that they know how to deal with the basic irrationality of human life and society other than to insist against all reason and evidence that things ought to be rational and evidence based. It makes me embarrassed to be a scientist and atheist.

The skeptical approach may be to live rationally (which may answer the question about why there is such an impetus to discount, recast, and reinterpret someone else’s account of their own firsthand experiences). The human approach is to realize that life is infinitely bigger than our understanding of it (thus we have Socrates famous admonishment) and trust yourself.

Elizabeth I
19th January 2011, 07:40 PM
…and finally…what is the meaning of ‘is’?
...a fan of William Jefferson Clinton, are you?

PixyMisa
19th January 2011, 08:10 PM
The skeptical approach may be to live rationally (which may answer the question about why there is such an impetus to discount, recast, and reinterpret someone else’s account of their own firsthand experiences). The human approach is to realize that life is infinitely bigger than our understanding of it (thus we have Socrates famous admonishment) and trust yourself.
The reason we're skeptics is that people are fallbile. We don't trust ourselves - or anyone - because we aren't reliable.

We ask for evidence. We question our assumptions. We test our ideas.

While this is a lot of work, it has one big advantage: We get the right answers. Or at least, over time, we can discard most of the wrong ones.

We discount your first-hand experiences? Of course we do. We don't accept your statements at face value? Of course we don't.

Because that doesn't work. Never has. Never will.

Want us to accept your claims? Present us with evidence. Not fallacy-riddled quotes. The Universe doesn't care what you believe, and neither do we.

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 06:21 AM
The reason we're skeptics is that people are fallbile. We don't trust ourselves - or anyone - because we aren't reliable.

We ask for evidence. We question our assumptions. We test our ideas.

While this is a lot of work, it has one big advantage: We get the right answers. Or at least, over time, we can discard most of the wrong ones.

We discount your first-hand experiences? Of course we do. We don't accept your statements at face value? Of course we don't.

Because that doesn't work. Never has. Never will.

Want us to accept your claims? Present us with evidence. Not fallacy-riddled quotes. The Universe doesn't care what you believe, and neither do we.

....seems you care enough to keep reminding me you don't care.

Every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade of the life of every person is entirely a function of something we did not create, do not create, and do not understand.

We function entirely, 100%, on faith. Trust, in other words (you just had to trust yourself to produce that last post; you didn’t create the thing that produced it and you sure as hell don’t understand it, but somehow it came out anyway). However much you may want to insist otherwise, it is a simple, demonstrable, indisputable, fact.

As Atran says, the processes that orient and guide the lives of just about everybody are not rational ones, and they are very far from being understood.

You’re a smart guy Pixy, it’s too bad you’re so trapped in this bubble of dogmatism. In this sense you have a lot more in common with the religious you despise than with any skeptical ideals.

Hellbound
20th January 2011, 06:39 AM
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
Socrates
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce
To know anything well involves a profound sensation of ignorance.
John Ruskin
It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Thomas Sowell
I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance.
Diogenes
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
Will Durant

…and finally…what is the meaning of ‘is’?

Just thought I'd point asomething out here.

If one knows what they don't know (i.e.-they are aware of their ignorance), then, by simple elimination, they also know what they do know.

All your quotes come down to saying "I know what I know and I don't know what I don't know".

Not exactly as mind-blowing as they appear at first glance, eh?

And here, since you asked before, you're suggsting, implicitly, that you know more than, well, all the experts that study in the field of psychology, psychiatry, and neurology (since you seem to know what they don't).

But please, continue to sort fortune cookies for more nuggets of wisdom to enlighten the masses.

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 06:39 AM
……people are unreliable, can’t be trusted, need evidence, question assumptions, discount first-hand experiences…etc. etc.

…how’s this for a claim:

I love my wife.

….let’s see, gotta be at least a couple of billion people who are married. We can’t trust first-hand experiences and not a single one of them could actually prove they love each other. Ergo: the world is overrun by fools.

Y'know Pixy, I understand your points, but there are bigger points.

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 06:53 AM
Just thought I'd point asomething out here.

If one knows what they don't know (i.e.-they are aware of their ignorance), then, by simple elimination, they also know what they do know.

All your quotes come down to saying "I know what I know and I don't know what I don't know".

Not exactly as mind-blowing as they appear at first glance, eh?

And here, since you asked before, you're suggsting, implicitly, that you know more than, well, all the experts that study in the field of psychology, psychiatry, and neurology (since you seem to know what they don't).

But please, continue to sort fortune cookies for more nuggets of wisdom to enlighten the masses.

Actually Hellbound, I don’t think Socrates quote means that, I think it is a comment on the nature of knowledge and the nature of being itself. A rather fundamental reality. There is, I think, a point where self-identity is simply revealed as lacking something fundamental. The rational understanding upon which identity is founded is flawed (what is the meaning of ‘is’). It would seem possible to intuit that awareness in some way without actually proceeding beyond it (which would involve a complete redefinition of identity). Socrates likely had abilities beyond what most of us posses. That is my interpretation of the statement.

….and if I gave the impression of omnipotence I certainly apologize (I’m sure I must have corrected that before). I only attempt to find the right shoulders to perch upon.

tsig
20th January 2011, 07:03 AM
Actually Hellbound, I don’t think Socrates quote means that, I think it is a comment on the nature of knowledge and the nature of being itself. A rather fundamental reality. There is, I think, a point where self-identity is simply revealed as lacking something fundamental. The rational understanding upon which identity is founded is flawed (what is the meaning of ‘is’). It would seem possible to intuit that awareness in some way without actually proceeding beyond it (which would involve a complete redefinition of identity). Socrates likely had abilities beyond what most of us posses. That is my interpretation of the statement.

….and if I gave the impression of omnipotence I certainly apologize (I’m sure I must have corrected that before). I only attempt to find the right shoulders to perch upon.

You're lacking something personally and find that lack filled by god?

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 08:07 AM
Really tsig, and you know this how? Where have I ever mentioned that I even believe in this thing you refer to as 'god'? Never, as far as I know. My understanding of what I believe is not something I share here. Do you have any idea what you even mean by the word 'god'? Why don't you give it a try there tsig. After 12,000 posts at this place one would think you might actually have some idea what you're talking about (although reading your posts that might not be immediately apparent). Be a good little atheist and define 'god' for us. While you're at it, take a stab at that other word I mentioned....'is'. How are they related, or are they even?

Hellbound
20th January 2011, 09:03 AM
……people are unreliable, can’t be trusted, need evidence, question assumptions, discount first-hand experiences…etc. etc.

…how’s this for a claim:

I love my wife.

….let’s see, gotta be at least a couple of billion people who are married. We can’t trust first-hand experiences and not a single one of them could actually prove they love each other. Ergo: the world is overrun by fools.

Y'know Pixy, I understand your points, but there are bigger points.

And you misunderstand, completely, the point that others make.

Firs,t define what you mean by "love" (because the word means different things to different people, and generally covers a range of emotions and behaviors), and we can test for it. And we can prove it to the same extent as science proves anything...provisionally, based on likely possibilities and the available evidence, and relying on the shared subjective nature of experience to identify the common elements that reflect objective reality.

Science doesn't say "first-hand experience is worthless" or that the subjective is necessarily wrong. But that first-hand experiences, singly and unconfirmed, are wrong. The process of science is, basically, just the extension and codification of leaning over to you buddy and asking "Did you see that, too?"

First-hand experiences are what science is based on, as AkuManiMani pointed out...but not individual first-hand experiences. We have definitive evidence that people are often wrong. We also have evidence that when large groups of people report on the same event, and when the event can be repeated and reported on by other groups, and the answers match up between them, it's likely to be true. And that's the major difference.

Any study with N=1 is unreliable. Any research that can't be replicated is unreliable. Any observation that can't be made by others trying to reproduce the research is unreliable.

And that's why much of this is excluded. Not because it's wrong (although evidence certainly suggests that in the case of spirits, psychic powers, and similar), but because there's no way to determine if it's right. And at the basic level, when one drills down into it, anythign that cannot cause a detectible effect cannot, in any meaningful fashion, be said to exist.

dlorde
20th January 2011, 09:28 AM
I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.
Socrates
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.
Confucius
The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce
To know anything well involves a profound sensation of ignorance.
John Ruskin
It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Thomas Sowell
I know nothing, except the fact of my ignorance.
Diogenes
Sixty years ago I knew everything; now I know nothing; education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.
Will Durant
Nice quotes. They kind of sum up the sceptic & scientific approach. In order to learn, you need to be as sure as you can be of what you do know and as aware as you can be of your ignorance and the ease with which you can fool yourself and be fooled. That is why scepticism and critical thinking is important, why evidence is required, why the scientific method has been developed. The results speak for themselves.

Hellbound
20th January 2011, 09:31 AM
Nice quotes. They kind of sum up the sceptic & scientific approach. In order to learn, you need to be as sure as you can be of what you do know and as aware as you can be of your ignorance and the ease with which you can fool yourself and be fooled. That is why scepticism and critical thinking is important, why evidence is required, why the scientific method has been developed. The results speak for themselves.

And you know, this is the other side of my earlier quip.

Taking these quotes at their meaning (rather than a literal interpretation) is the idea behind science and scientific method. "Know what you don't know". Science learns to accept the answer "I don't know" and takes it on to the next step of "but let's see if we can find out". Most of the paranormal, in contrast, comes to the step "I don't know" and immediately jumps to "so it's aliens/psychics/ghosts/spirits/god/bigfoot/<insert favorite woo here>".

And while we don't fullyunderstand consciousness yet, we do know a lot about it, and how the brain works, and we can most definately set certain limits on the capabilities, based on knowledge we currently have. Just because we don't understand everythign, does NOT mean we understand nothing. I can confidently claim that a 2010 Dodge Charger can't fly under it's own power, even though I don't fully understand the car. It's asinine to claim I can't make this statement without being able to draw up the blueprints for manufacturing one.

Could there be more to it? Sure. There could also be invisible, intangible, undetectable dragons in everyone's garage.

tsig
20th January 2011, 10:22 AM
Actually Hellbound, I don’t think Socrates quote means that, I think it is a comment on the nature of knowledge and the nature of being itself. A rather fundamental reality. There is, I think, a point where self-identity is simply revealed as lacking something fundamental. The rational understanding upon which identity is founded is flawed (what is the meaning of ‘is’). It would seem possible to intuit that awareness in some way without actually proceeding beyond it (which would involve a complete redefinition of identity). Socrates likely had abilities beyond what most of us posses. That is my interpretation of the statement.

….and if I gave the impression of omnipotence I certainly apologize (I’m sure I must have corrected that before). I only attempt to find the right shoulders to perch upon.

You're lacking something personally and find that lack filled by god?

Really tsig, and you know this how? Where have I ever mentioned that I even believe in this thing you refer to as 'god'? Never, as far as I know. My understanding of what I believe is not something I share here. Do you have any idea what you even mean by the word 'god'? Why don't you give it a try there tsig. After 12,000 posts at this place one would think you might actually have some idea what you're talking about (although reading your posts that might not be immediately apparent). Be a good little atheist and define 'god' for us. While you're at it, take a stab at that other word I mentioned....'is'. How are they related, or are they even?

In the first post you say "self-identity is simply revealed as lacking something fundamental" so that's how I knew you felt something was lacking.

If you don't mean god then what do you mean by "something fundamental"?

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 10:33 AM
Really tsig, and you know this how? Where have I ever mentioned that I even believe in this thing you refer to as 'god'? Never, as far as I know. My understanding of what I believe is not something I share here. Do you have any idea what you even mean by the word 'god'? Why don't you give it a try there tsig. After 12,000 posts at this place one would think you might actually have some idea what you're talking about (although reading your posts that might not be immediately apparent). Be a good little atheist and define 'god' for us. While you're at it, take a stab at that other word I mentioned....'is'. How are they related, or are they even?

As soon as you use the right trigger words, or make statments suggestive of "woo-woo", certain individuals here automatically cast you in their minds as an amalgam of every -ism they oppose. For the most part, they aren't debating you so much as they're arguing with their own shadows.

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 05:18 PM
And you misunderstand, completely, the point that others make.

Firs,t define what you mean by "love" (because the word means different things to different people, and generally covers a range of emotions and behaviors), and we can test for it. And we can prove it to the same extent as science proves anything...provisionally, based on likely possibilities and the available evidence, and relying on the shared subjective nature of experience to identify the common elements that reflect objective reality.

Science doesn't say "first-hand experience is worthless" or that the subjective is necessarily wrong. But that first-hand experiences, singly and unconfirmed, are wrong. The process of science is, basically, just the extension and codification of leaning over to you buddy and asking "Did you see that, too?"

First-hand experiences are what science is based on, as AkuManiMani pointed out...but not individual first-hand experiences. We have definitive evidence that people are often wrong. We also have evidence that when large groups of people report on the same event, and when the event can be repeated and reported on by other groups, and the answers match up between them, it's likely to be true. And that's the major difference.

Any study with N=1 is unreliable. Any research that can't be replicated is unreliable. Any observation that can't be made by others trying to reproduce the research is unreliable.

And that's why much of this is excluded. Not because it's wrong (although evidence certainly suggests that in the case of spirits, psychic powers, and similar), but because there's no way to determine if it's right. And at the basic level, when one drills down into it, anythign that cannot cause a detectible effect cannot, in any meaningful fashion, be said to exist.

“Define what you mean by love…”…yeah, I think that’s about as far as I need to go with that one. Perhaps you ought to go and read that entire talk by Mr. Attran.

You suggest I misunderstand your points, on the contrary, I understand them very well. The issue is that you don’t understand your own points. To illustrate I will ask one very simple question:

What explains human ignorance?

.....and guess what, I’m not actually talking about people not knowing the capitals of every state in the union, or all the elements of the periodic table etc.etc. I’m talking about human identity. Socrates went there with that quote I posted. Everybody (you included) inhabits this condition. It is indisputable evidence of something. What?

I nice simple science question. In one corner we have evidence (you need look no farther than you for the evidence [can you see it] or if it is not apparent there, it’s everywhere else and has been ever since people have been here). There’s lots and lots and lots and lots of direct and indirect arguments (evidence) that directly and indirectly implicate this very clear and indisputable fact. The condition of the life of every single person individually, and the current state of the world and it's entire history collectively is a result of this single condition. So there's lots of evidence.

…and in the other corner, we have the uber skeptic scientist types at JREF. The evidence is overwhelming and has been in for a long time. Human beings…me, you…everyone, are singularly defined by one word: ignorance (or was Socrates and idiot?). Why?....what are we ignorant of, and why are we ignorant of it?

You may think it’s irrelevant to all these discussions but it’s not. It’s fundamentally relevant.

Resume
20th January 2011, 05:45 PM
Really tsig, and you know this how? Where have I ever mentioned that I even believe in this thing you refer to as 'god'? Never, as far as I know. My understanding of what I believe is not something I share here. Do you have any idea what you even mean by the word 'god'? Why don't you give it a try there tsig. After 12,000 posts at this place one would think you might actually have some idea what you're talking about (although reading your posts that might not be immediately apparent). Be a good little atheist and define 'god' for us. While you're at it, take a stab at that other word I mentioned....'is'. How are they related, or are they even?

Gosh, that hardly reads as condescending or superior at all. No, wait, that's exactly how it reads.

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 06:13 PM
Y'know Pixy, I understand your points, but there are bigger points.
No. No, you don't understand them, or you wouldn't have responded with something completely irrelevant; and no, there aren't bigger points, as demonstrated by the complete transformation of human life since people started applying these principles.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 06:23 PM
No. No, you don't understand them, or you wouldn't have responded with something completely irrelevant; and no, there aren't bigger points, as demonstrated by the complete transformation of human life since people started applying these principles.

Preach it brotha, Pixy -- preach it! Hallelujah! Science be praised!

Robin
20th January 2011, 06:45 PM
As soon as you use the right trigger words, or make statments suggestive of "woo-woo", certain individuals here automatically cast you in their minds as an amalgam of every -ism they oppose. For the most part, they aren't debating you so much as they're arguing with their own shadows.
But change one word and it describes you:
As soon as you use the right trigger words, or make statments suggestive of skepticism, certain individuals here automatically cast you in their minds as an amalgam of every -ism they oppose. For the most part, they aren't debating you so much as they're arguing with their own shadows.
See your comment above and your comment at the bottom of page 7 for example.

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 06:48 PM
In the first post you say "self-identity is simply revealed as lacking something fundamental" so that's how I knew you felt something was lacking.

If you don't mean god then what do you mean by "something fundamental"?

What do I mean by something fundamental? You’re a skeptic tsig, be skeptical…go and look at the evidence. It’s all there. All you’ve got to do is make the effort. Maybe if you didn’t waste so much time posting nonsense at JREF you might have some time to actually take stock of the world you live in and ask a few fundamental questions about who you are. Just a suggestion.

Gosh, that hardly reads as condescending or superior at all. No, wait, that's exactly how it reads.

Could I possibly have meant it to sound like that? What do you think?

No. No, you don't understand them, or you wouldn't have responded with something completely irrelevant; and no, there aren't bigger points, as demonstrated by the complete transformation of human life since people started applying these principles.

Well I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree then Pixy.

…but while we’re on the subject of Pixy, why don’t you take a stab at my big big question. I know it kind of sounds like it might be one of those nonexistent bigger points, so let’s just take it right down to earth shall we.

Are you ignorant of anything? You can answer yes, or no. ‘Maybe’ would have to be a yes, since it is an implicit admission of ignorance.

Robin
20th January 2011, 06:49 PM
The skeptical approach may be to live rationally (which may answer the question about why there is such an impetus to discount, recast, and reinterpret someone else’s account of their own firsthand experiences). The human approach is to realize that life is infinitely bigger than our understanding of it (thus we have Socrates famous admonishment) and trust yourself.
Life is certainly much bigger than our understanding of it.

But that does not mean that we have to take seriously any claim that goes beyond our understanding of life.

Especially not in cases where there are things already in our understanding of life that would explain them.

carlitos
20th January 2011, 06:50 PM
Science be praised!

The irony of someone posting this on the internet sarcastically, and me reading it via WiFi, is pretty strong.

Robin
20th January 2011, 06:52 PM
Preach it brotha, Pixy -- preach it! Hallelujah! Science be praised!
But science has been - by far, by orders of magnitude - the most successful epistemology in human history.

That is not to shout hallelujahs and praise science - that is simply to state a plain an inescapable fact.

(And one with which I think you probably agree).

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 06:53 PM
But change one word and it describes you:
As soon as you use the right trigger words, or make statments suggestive of skepticism, certain individuals here automatically cast you in their minds as an amalgam of every -ism they oppose. For the most part, they aren't debating you so much as they're arguing with their own shadows.
See your comment above and your comment at the bottom of page 7 for example.

And how does the aforementioned description (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=6717033&postcount=280) not fit posters like Pixy? There have been several participants in this thread who have demonstrated actual skepticism [I've already mentioned a few] and at least as many who have not. Like I said before, its not skepticism I'm objecting to -- its scientism posing as skepticism. I find it hard to believe that you've been following my posts closely enough to recall what I said several pages back yet you still don't know what my position is.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 06:55 PM
The irony of someone posting this on the internet sarcastically, and me reading it via WiFi, is pretty strong.

Dude, you've no idea what you're arguing against, do you? :rolleyes:


But science has been - by far, by orders of magnitude - the most successful epistemology in human history.

That is not to shout hallelujahs and praise science - that is simply to state a plain an inescapable fact.

(And one with which I think you probably agree).

Then you should be able to pick up on what it is I'm actually mocking.

Resume
20th January 2011, 06:57 PM
Could I possibly have meant it to sound like that? What do you think?


Gee, don't know what to think other than condescending you are, superior, not hardly.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 07:04 PM
Gee, don't know what to think other than condescending you are, superior, not hardly.

If arrogant condescension is your beef then I think you should take the time to address the dozens of other posters here who've indulged in it, rather than focus on one individual. Or is it that you find it easier [and socially safer] to only single out participants with unpopular views?

Pure Argent
20th January 2011, 07:05 PM
What do I mean by something fundamental? You’re a skeptic tsig, be skeptical…go and look at the evidence. It’s all there. All you’ve got to do is make the effort. Maybe if you didn’t waste so much time posting nonsense at JREF you might have some time to actually take stock of the world you live in and ask a few fundamental questions about who you are. Just a suggestion.

Or maybe you could make your own argument, as you're the one who keeps bringing it up, rather than asking others to do your work for you. It would certainly help your public image here.

Just a suggestion.

Resume
20th January 2011, 07:12 PM
If arrogant condescension is your beef then I think you should take the time to address the dozens of other posters here who've indulged in it, rather than focus on one individual. Or is it that you find it easier [and socially safer] to only single out participants with unpopular views?

You mean incoherent.

Oh and the "others do it too" bit is a fallacy.

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 07:17 PM
If arrogant condescension is your beef then I think you should take the time to address the dozens of other posters here who've indulged in it, rather than focus on one individual. Or is it that you find it easier [and socially safer] to only single out participants with unpopular views?
Arrogant condescension is one thing; arrogant condescension when you are talking utter nonsense is quite another.

Oh, and the appeal to motive is still a logical fallacy.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 07:18 PM
If arrogant condescension is your beef then I think you should take the time to address the dozens of other posters here who've indulged in it, rather than focus on one individual. Or is it that you find it easier [and socially safer] to only single out participants with unpopular views?

You mean incoherent.

Oh and the "others do it too" bit is a fallacy.

Evasion and cowardice noted.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 07:20 PM
Arrogant condescension is one thing; arrogant condescension when you are talking utter nonsense is quite another.

Then I suggest you quit indulging in both.

Oh, and the appeal to motive is still a logical fallacy.

I thought we established that you have no motives. You've no feelings you're aware of, remember?

Resume
20th January 2011, 07:23 PM
Evasion and cowardice noted.
Self examination is goot!

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 07:29 PM
Then I suggest you follow your own advice and quit indulging in both.
To quote one of the great thinkers of our day:

A statement of fact cannot be insolent.

AkuManiMani, it is your posts that are riddled with insults and fallacies, not mine. I suggest you address the boreal forest in your own eye before looking for specks of sawdust in others'.

I thought we established that you have no motives. You've no feelings you're aware of, remember?
The ad hominem is also still a logical fallacy.

There is, so far as I am aware, no quota of wrongness you are required to fill, so perhaps you could ease up a little? Then again, it's not like wrong is a finite resource.

annnnoid
20th January 2011, 07:30 PM
Life is certainly much bigger than our understanding of it.

But that does not mean that we have to take seriously any claim that goes beyond our understanding of life.

Especially not in cases where there are things already in our understanding of life that would explain them.

What you decide to take seriously is entirely up to you. When an experience like this occurs the single relevant question becomes: who decides who’s crazy. It can be critical (for the individual dealing with the experience) to know that a) these events do occur and b) science does not know what is going on. Do I need to explain why? These two facts are incontrovertible (however much anyone here may believe otherwise).

Obviously the grey areas are huge and ever-changing. Many experiences have mundane explanations. Many experiences may well be utter B.S. But the facts remain, these things happen, there is a huge range of them, and science doesn’t have explanations for them. It is necessary to open up some very very big cans of worms to look for any kind of understanding. Science also does not have sufficiently comprehensive explanations for the universe we live in or the life we live to ever suggest that it has the capacity to reach definitive conclusions about anomalous psychological experiences such as Aku described. That is when it is critical to actually know that life is indeed far far bigger than our understanding of it….but not our ability to deal with it. Dealing with it is obviously a form of understanding, but not a rational one (in the conventional sense). As the old saying goes, the heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of. Strange, perhaps, that universes occur in such ways, but it’s likely better not to argue.

But science has been - by far, by orders of magnitude - the most successful epistemology in human history.

That is not to shout hallelujahs and praise science - that is simply to state a plain an inescapable fact.

(And one with which I think you probably agree).

I wouldn't suggest 'science' is not a formidable accomplishment and a highly relevant system….but that does not mean that is necessarily the best. Ever heard the line "democracy is the worst system we have, except for all the others".

Robin
20th January 2011, 07:30 PM
But science has been - by far, by orders of magnitude - the most successful epistemology in human history.

That is not to shout hallelujahs and praise science - that is simply to state a plain an inescapable fact.

(And one with which I think you probably agree).

Then you should be able to pick up on what it is I'm actually mocking.
I have, but I don't think that you have picked up on what I am criticising about your criticism.

If you agree with my statement then why do you sarcastically say "Hallelujah, praise science" when Pixy says the same thing?

Resume
20th January 2011, 07:36 PM
I wouldn't suggest 'science' is not a formidable accomplishment and a highly relevant system….but that does not mean that is necessarily the best. Ever heard the line "democracy is the worst system we have, except for all the others".

Well, are you aware of a better model?

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 07:42 PM
But science has been - by far, by orders of magnitude - the most successful epistemology in human history.

That is not to shout hallelujahs and praise science - that is simply to state a plain an inescapable fact.

(And one with which I think you probably agree).

Then you should be able to pick up on what it is I'm actually mocking.
I have, but I don't think that you have picked up on what I am criticising about your criticism.

If you agree with my statement then why do you sarcastically say "Hallelujah, praise science" when Pixy says the same thing?

Because individuals like PixyMisa have made a religion out of science. The most disturbing part is that he doesn't even realize it

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 07:43 PM
Evasion and cowardice noted.
Self examination is goot!

Agreed. You should try it sometime.

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 07:48 PM
The irony of someone posting this on the internet sarcastically, and me reading it via WiFi, is pretty strong.
Indeed.

Guys, when you start communicating to us via spirit guides or whatever rather than a web forum, then perhaps you can talk about "scientism" without looking foolish. Until that day - which will, as we all know, never arrive - until that day, no.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 07:48 PM
To quote one of the great thinkers of our day:

You should try doing some great thinking of your own. Everything I see you post is a regurgitation of the ideas of others.

A statement of fact cannot be insolent.

...But equating one's bald assertions with fact is.

The ad hominem is also still a logical fallacy.

Still can't tell the difference between an ad hominem argument and someone verballing spiting you in the face, Pixy?

Robin
20th January 2011, 07:55 PM
I wouldn't suggest 'science' is not a formidable accomplishment and a highly relevant system….but that does not mean that is necessarily the best. Ever heard the line "democracy is the worst system we have, except for all the others".
Indeed I have - here is a quote from over a year ago:
As I always say, science is the worst epistemic system, apart from all the others.
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=5281017#post5281017

Robin
20th January 2011, 08:01 PM
I have, but I don't think that you have picked up on what I am criticising about your criticism.

If you agree with my statement then why do you sarcastically say "Hallelujah, praise science" when Pixy says the same thing?

Because individuals like PixyMisa have made a religion out of science. The most disturbing part is that he doesn't even realize it
Yes, I understood that by saying sarcastically "Hallelujah, praise science" that you were implying that Pixy was making a religion out of science - you weren't being that subtle.

So my question still remains - if you agree with the statement then why is it "making a religion of science" when Pixy says the same thing?

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 08:24 PM
Yes, I understood that by saying sarcastically "Hallelujah, praise science" that you were implying that Pixy was making a religion out of science - you weren't being that subtle.

So my question still remains - if you agree with the statement then why is it "making a religion of science" when Pixy says the same thing?

My sarcasm isn't merely in response to that one statement, but that statement within the context of his posting history up to this point. Pixy, like so many others before him, behaves as if the tentative understanding we have today is some kind of immutable holy writ and the absolute measure of reality; as if we've already got the complete picture and all thats left is to fill in a few minor details. While I agree with the statement that the scientific method is a powerful epistemic tool, the paltry knowledge humanity has so far attained with it hardly even touches the tip of the iceberg.

carlitos
20th January 2011, 08:27 PM
LOL

This whole conversation is taking place on a science-developed medium - the internet

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 08:30 PM
LOL

This whole conversation is taking place on a science-developed medium - the internet

Really?

</looks around in shock>

OMG -- you're RIGHT! How could I have been so blind!?!?!


:rolleyes:

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 08:37 PM
My sarcasm isn't merely in response to that one statement, but that statement within the context of his posting history up to this point. Pixy, like so many others before him, behaves as if the tentative understanding we have today is some kind of immutable holy writ and the absolute measure of reality; as if we've already got the complete picture and all thats left is to fill in a few minor details. While I agree with the statement that the scientific method is a powerful epistemic tool, the paltry knowledge humanity has so far attained with it hardly even touches the tip of the iceberg.
No.

And, as I've said, when you start communicating with us via spirit guide rather than web forum, then perhaps you can start lecturing us on the limitations of science.

Robin
20th January 2011, 08:43 PM
LOL

This whole conversation is taking place on a science-developed medium - the internet
OK, let us get this plainly stated.

Akumanimani is not criticising science.

PixyMisa is not making a religion of science.

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 08:46 PM
There are three kinds of questions science can address.

The profound:

What is the mass of the Higgs Boson?
We don't know; we don't know if it even exists, though the theory is elegant.

The detailed:

What constitutes Dark Matter?
We don't know yet, though we know that something is going on, since galaxies have stronger gravity than we can account for from observable matter - stars, dust clouds, and so on.

And the stupid:

Do ghosts exist?
Go away kid, I'm busy.

The old saw that there are no stupid questions, only stupid people was never really true even before the second clause was added.

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 08:48 PM
OK, let us get this plainly stated.

Akumanimani is not criticising science.
Eh. He is, but his primary concern appears to be committing logical fallacies.

PixyMisa is not making a religion of science.
I do have the hat though, if anyone wants to start one.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 08:54 PM
Guys, when you start communicating to us via spirit guides or whatever rather than a web forum, then perhaps you can talk about "scientism" without looking foolish.

Are you hurt that I'm poking fun at your faith? Oh wait -- PixyMisa has no feelings or motivations. Silly me :p

Until that day - which will, as we all know, never arrive - until that day, no.

Maybe when you can answer a question as rudimentary as "what are you feeling right now?" or "what were the contents of your hallucinations?" I'll actually start taking you seriously.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 08:58 PM
And, as I've said, when you start communicating with us via spirit guide rather than web forum, then perhaps you can start lecturing us on the limitations of science.

What were the contents of your own hallucinations, Pixy? Are your memories of them too confabulated to recall? Maybe you can share with us what you're feeling right now? Oh right, your capacity for introspection is so shoddy that you can't even manage that, can you?

OK, let us get this plainly stated.

Akumanimani is not criticising science.

Eh. He is, but his primary concern appears to be committing logical fallacies.

Yes, PixyMisa. You've uncovered my evil plan to spread logical fallacies all over the intrawebs and there is nothing you can do to stop me! MWUAHAHAHAHA!

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 08:59 PM
PixyMisa is not making a religion of science.

He's sure enough fooled me.

Robin
20th January 2011, 09:09 PM
My sarcasm isn't merely in response to that one statement, but that statement within the context of his posting history up to this point. Pixy, like so many others before him, behaves as if the tentative understanding we have today is some kind of immutable holy writ and the absolute measure of reality; as if we've already got the complete picture and all thats left is to fill in a few minor details.
I would say that they are acting as though our tentative understanding at the moment is an incomplete and mutable measure of reality but that any further details that we get will come through science.
While I agree with the statement that the scientific method is a powerful epistemic tool, the paltry knowledge humanity has so far attained with it hardly even touches the tip of the iceberg.
Sure, but it does not therefore follow that every strange thing that happens emanates from the underwater iceberg.

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 09:33 PM
My sarcasm isn't merely in response to that one statement, but that statement within the context of his posting history up to this point. Pixy, like so many others before him, behaves as if the tentative understanding we have today is some kind of immutable holy writ and the absolute measure of reality; as if we've already got the complete picture and all thats left is to fill in a few minor details.
I would say that they are acting as though our tentative understanding at the moment is an incomplete and mutable measure of reality but that any further details that we get will come through science.

Perhaps that is your outlook, but don't assume that others here [who, on the surface, share your views] have the same attitude in that regard.

While I agree with the statement that the scientific method is a powerful epistemic tool, the paltry knowledge humanity has so far attained with it hardly even touches the tip of the iceberg.
Sure, but it does not therefore follow that every strange thing that happens emanates from the underwater iceberg.

Ofcourse not. However, many here are of the impression that the little town map humanity has drawn up is an exacting model of reality-and-all-that-encompasses-it. When its pointed out to them that there is much much more to survey and explore they indignantly beat their chests and tout the sufficiency of the map we have. Seriously, if some of these people where born in an earlier era they would probably cling to the dominant views of the day with the same dogmatic tenacity.
Breach of rule 12 removed. Do not insult other posters.

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 10:30 PM
Ofcourse not. However, many here are of the impression that the little town map humanity has drawn up is an exacting model of reality-and-all-that-encompasses-it.
False analogy.

When its pointed out to them that there is much much more to survey and explore they indignantly beat their chests and tout the sufficiency of the map we have.False analogy, ad hominem.

Seriously, if some of these people where born in an earlier era they would probably cling to the dominant views of the day with the same dogmatic tenacity.Ad hominem.

Edited quote of moderated content.

When you feel like saying something that isn't a logical fallacy, you know where to find me.

tsig
20th January 2011, 10:37 PM
“Define what you mean by love…”…yeah, I think that’s about as far as I need to go with that one. Perhaps you ought to go and read that entire talk by Mr. Attran.

You suggest I misunderstand your points, on the contrary, I understand them very well. The issue is that you don’t understand your own points. To illustrate I will ask one very simple question:

What explains human ignorance?

.....and guess what, I’m not actually talking about people not knowing the capitals of every state in the union, or all the elements of the periodic table etc.etc. I’m talking about human identity. Socrates went there with that quote I posted. Everybody (you included) inhabits this condition. It is indisputable evidence of something. What?

I nice simple science question. In one corner we have evidence (you need look no farther than you for the evidence [can you see it] or if it is not apparent there, it’s everywhere else and has been ever since people have been here). There’s lots and lots and lots and lots of direct and indirect arguments (evidence) that directly and indirectly implicate this very clear and indisputable fact. The condition of the life of every single person individually, and the current state of the world and it's entire history collectively is a result of this single condition. So there's lots of evidence.

…and in the other corner, we have the uber skeptic scientist types at JREF. The evidence is overwhelming and has been in for a long time. Human beings…me, you…everyone, are singularly defined by one word: ignorance (or was Socrates and idiot?). Why?....what are we ignorant of, and why are we ignorant of it?

You may think it’s irrelevant to all these discussions but it’s not. It’s fundamentally relevant.

And the answer is.....

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 10:41 PM
We don't know what he means by "love" because he wrote 7 paragraphs of blather instead of one short definition.

What do I win?

AkuManiMani
20th January 2011, 10:44 PM
Breach of rule 12 removed.

tsig
20th January 2011, 10:45 PM
What do I mean by something fundamental? You’re a skeptic tsig, be skeptical…go and look at the evidence. It’s all there. All you’ve got to do is make the effort. Maybe if you didn’t waste so much time posting nonsense at JREF you might have some time to actually take stock of the world you live in and ask a few fundamental questions about who you are. Just a suggestion.





If you don't know what you mean by 'something fundamental' I'm hardly in a position to help you with that.

I can't see how looking at any evidence will tell me what you meant by that phrase.

tsig
20th January 2011, 10:53 PM
What you decide to take seriously is entirely up to you. When an experience like this occurs the single relevant question becomes: who decides who’s crazy. It can be critical (for the individual dealing with the experience) to know that a) these events do occur and b) science does not know what is going on. Do I need to explain why? These two facts are incontrovertible (however much anyone here may believe otherwise).

Obviously the grey areas are huge and ever-changing. Many experiences have mundane explanations. Many experiences may well be utter B.S. But the facts remain, these things happen, there is a huge range of them, and science doesn’t have explanations for them. It is necessary to open up some very very big cans of worms to look for any kind of understanding. Science also does not have sufficiently comprehensive explanations for the universe we live in or the life we live to ever suggest that it has the capacity to reach definitive conclusions about anomalous psychological experiences such as Aku described. That is when it is critical to actually know that life is indeed far far bigger than our understanding of it….but not our ability to deal with it. Dealing with it is obviously a form of understanding, but not a rational one (in the conventional sense). As the old saying goes, the heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of. Strange, perhaps, that universes occur in such ways, but it’s likely better not to argue.



I wouldn't suggest 'science' is not a formidable accomplishment and a highly relevant system….but that does not mean that is necessarily the best. Ever heard the line "democracy is the worst system we have, except for all the others".

So you whole argument is:

Things happen, we don't know why therefore psi.

tsig
20th January 2011, 10:59 PM
My sarcasm isn't merely in response to that one statement, but that statement within the context of his posting history up to this point. Pixy, like so many others before him, behaves as if the tentative understanding we have today is some kind of immutable holy writ and the absolute measure of reality; as if we've already got the complete picture and all thats left is to fill in a few minor details. While I agree with the statement that the scientific method is a powerful epistemic tool, the paltry knowledge humanity has so far attained with it hardly even touches the tip of the iceberg.

How do you know this? Do you have access to knowledge that is hidden from the rest of humanity?

PixyMisa
20th January 2011, 11:00 PM
So you whole argument is:

Things happen, we don't know why therefore psi.
More precisely: Things happen, I don't accept the scientific explanation, therefore psi.

tsig
20th January 2011, 11:09 PM
More precisely: Things happen, I don't accept the scientific explanation, therefore psi.

Yes, but mine rhymes.:)

HatRack
20th January 2011, 11:50 PM
However, many here are of the impression that the little town map humanity has drawn up is an exacting model of reality-and-all-that-encompasses-it. When its pointed out to them that there is much much more to survey and explore they indignantly beat their chests and tout the sufficiency of the map we have.

That is one of the truest statements I've ever come across. All too often do I run across folks who believe that our model of reality is reality. On the contrary, our model of reality is merely that which our minds are capable of comprehending. Who's to say that we're even capable of sensing all that there is to be sensed (directly or indirectly), let alone being capable of understanding all there is to be understood.

Of course, one should always be skeptical of others' claims, to avoid many of the negatives associated with organized religions and such. However, this cuts both ways. One should always be skeptical of one's own claims as well. More often than not, if you believe you have something figured out; in reality, you truly don't.

Science is our attempt, our tool, to try and figure out what reality really is. Perhaps reality can be comprehended entirely by logical, mathematical laws; perhaps not. Science, logic, and mathematics seem to be quite good tools nevertheless. They seem to encompass that which can be described in an objective sense. However, I've yet to see a convincing explanation of quite a few things; namely, subjective experience, the elementary properties of nature (what are electrons and why do they behave as they do for instance), and existence itself, in terms of science and mathematics.

It is my personal belief that, no matter how much empirical evidence we gather, we will never be able to describe such things in an objective sense. Much like how in mathematics there must always be some undefined terms, I believe there will always be undefined terms in physicality.

The only evidence I have to support such a belief is the evidence brought about by physicality itself. If indeed we are solely a product of evolution, then I believe that our brains (minds) have evolved to a point where we can comprehend only the information obtained from our sensory organs. After all, why would we evolve a trait in our minds to comprehend all of reality, when we do not necessarily need such a trait to survive. I believe that our model of reality (anything describable within the context of mathematical language) is simply a result of our evolution. Reality is much deeper and more complicated than a simple human could ever understand.

AkuManiMani, I am quite skeptical of your "supernatural" story. I do believe that it is possible that you experienced a seizure or that you are currently experiencing false memories. Nevertheless, I have a much deeper respect for you than I do those who cling on to prevailing scientific opinion as their interpretation of all that which they experience. As much as I believe it is possible that your experience falls within the framework of an "objective explanation", I also believe it is possible that your experience falls outside such an explanation as well.

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.

Irrational, illogical belief plays just as much a part in the entire scheme of humanity as rational, logical belief plays. Indeed, there are a great many sound, rational theories that we now have at our disposal which would have not come about had their pioneers not been subject to "belief" at some level. Calculus, for example, was not set on firm foundations until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, its pioneers discovered a great many true facts about it much earlier.

Well, I have no idea if the lengthy post I have just written will make a lick of sense to anyone. I expect it will draw quite a great deal of criticism from those who firmly believe in the infallibility of scientific theory. I guess there can be no communication between me and such people. But, if I have communicated anything at all, all I wish to say is that I respect your philosophy AkuManiMani. People like you and me could very well end up being dead wrong in the end. However, it is not the "rightness" or "wrongness" of one's stance which stimulates me; it is the manner and depth in which they argue it. For your subtle assertion that you do not believe you know "all there is to know", I give you praise.

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 12:13 AM
Reality is much deeper and more complicated than a simple human could ever understand.
Bare assertion.

AkuManiMani, I am quite skeptical of your "supernatural" story. I do believe that it is possible that you experienced a seizure or that you are currently experiencing false memories. Nevertheless, I have a much deeper respect for you than I do those who cling on to prevailing scientific opinion as their interpretation of all that which they experience.
Ad hominem, strawman.

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.
Ad hominem, strawman.

Irrational, illogical belief plays just as much a part in the entire scheme of humanity as rational, logical belief plays. Indeed, there are a great many sound, rational theories that we now have at our disposal which would have not come about had their pioneers not been subject to "belief" at some level. Calculus, for example, was not set on firm foundations until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, its pioneers discovered a great many true facts about it much earlier.
Yes, because it worked.

Well, I have no idea if the lengthy post I have just written will make a lick of sense to anyone. I expect it will draw quite a great deal of criticism from those who firmly believe in the infallibility of scientific theory.
Strawman.

I guess there can be no communication between me and such people.
Well, you'd have to go out and find some first.

But, if I have communicated anything at all, all I wish to say is that I respect your philosophy AkuManiMani. People like you and me could very well end up being dead wrong in the end.
Oh, no need to worry about that, you're dead wrong now.

tsig
21st January 2011, 12:27 AM
That is one of the truest statements I've ever come across. All too often do I run across folks who believe that our model of reality is reality. On the contrary, our model of reality is merely that which our minds are capable of comprehending. Who's to say that we're even capable of sensing all that there is to be sensed (directly or indirectly), let alone being capable of understanding all there is to be understood.

Of course, one should always be skeptical of others' claims, to avoid many of the negatives associated with organized religions and such. However, this cuts both ways. One should always be skeptical of one's own claims as well. More often than not, if you believe you have something figured out; in reality, you truly don't.

Science is our attempt, our tool, to try and figure out what reality really is. Perhaps reality can be comprehended entirely by logical, mathematical laws; perhaps not. Science, logic, and mathematics seem to be quite good tools nevertheless. They seem to encompass that which can be described in an objective sense. However, I've yet to see a convincing explanation of quite a few things; namely, subjective experience, the elementary properties of nature (what are electrons and why do they behave as they do for instance), and existence itself, in terms of science and mathematics.

It is my personal belief that, no matter how much empirical evidence we gather, we will never be able to describe such things in an objective sense. Much like how in mathematics there must always be some undefined terms, I believe there will always be undefined terms in physicality.

The only evidence I have to support such a belief is the evidence brought about by physicality itself. If indeed we are solely a product of evolution, then I believe that our brains (minds) have evolved to a point where we can comprehend only the information obtained from our sensory organs. After all, why would we evolve a trait in our minds to comprehend all of reality, when we do not necessarily need such a trait to survive. I believe that our model of reality (anything describable within the context of mathematical language) is simply a result of our evolution. Reality is much deeper and more complicated than a simple human could ever understand.

AkuManiMani, I am quite skeptical of your "supernatural" story. I do believe that it is possible that you experienced a seizure or that you are currently experiencing false memories. Nevertheless, I have a much deeper respect for you than I do those who cling on to prevailing scientific opinion as their interpretation of all that which they experience. As much as I believe it is possible that your experience falls within the framework of an "objective explanation", I also believe it is possible that your experience falls outside such an explanation as well.

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.

Irrational, illogical belief plays just as much a part in the entire scheme of humanity as rational, logical belief plays. Indeed, there are a great many sound, rational theories that we now have at our disposal which would have not come about had their pioneers not been subject to "belief" at some level. Calculus, for example, was not set on firm foundations until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, its pioneers discovered a great many true facts about it much earlier.

Well, I have no idea if the lengthy post I have just written will make a lick of sense to anyone. I expect it will draw quite a great deal of criticism from those who firmly believe in the infallibility of scientific theory. I guess there can be no communication between me and such people. But, if I have communicated anything at all, all I wish to say is that I respect your philosophy AkuManiMani. People like you and me could very well end up being dead wrong in the end. However, it is not the "rightness" or "wrongness" of one's stance which stimulates me; it is the manner and depth in which they argue it. For your subtle assertion that you do not believe you know "all there is to know", I give you praise.

I hilited where you went off the rails. Science attempts to find out how things work.

Your statement "figure out what reality really is" implies there is some other reality that is more real than the one we see around us so what is this real reality?

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 12:39 AM
Good point. Science isn't about what things are; it's about what they do.

Robin
21st January 2011, 12:44 AM
That is one of the truest statements I've ever come across. All too often do I run across folks who believe that our model of reality is reality. On the contrary, our model of reality is merely that which our minds are capable of comprehending. Who's to say that we're even capable of sensing all that there is to be sensed (directly or indirectly), let alone being capable of understanding all there is to be understood

....

For your subtle assertion that you do not believe you know "all there is to know", I give you praise.
But nobody here has ever asserted that we know all there is to know.

And the scientific method depends upon an assumption of fallibility of any scientific theory in order to work.

Personally I don't believe that my model of reality is reality. Because I don't know what reality means. Albert Einstein said that to call something "real" was as meaningful as calling it "cock-a-doodle-do" and I agree.

But we come back to this again and again - science works.

If there are other ways of knowing them I am happy to hear about them. But for any method of gaining knowledge you need a method of determining whether any information gained thereby is true or not.

In science there is one thing that we can know and that we cannot be wrong about.

In science we know that such-and-such a mathematical model has so far predicted such-and-such observational data to date.

Granted we cannot know that it will continue to do so although the assumption that it will has served us just fine.

If a bunch of damn dirty apes on the surface of some planet can use this to contemplate the interior of distant stars and the dynamics of the beginning of the Universe then we should not complain.

There is much to be uncovered by science.

And there is that which science cannot uncover. How would we uncover such things?

how would we know we were right?

HatRack
21st January 2011, 01:43 AM
But nobody here has ever asserted that we know all there is to know.

Where did I say that someone here has asserted such a thing? All I said is that I've run into such people in the past. Please back up your assertion with a quote of mine.

And the scientific method depends upon an assumption of fallibility of any scientific theory in order to work.

Yes.

Personally I don't believe that my model of reality is reality. Because I don't know what reality means. Albert Einstein said that to call something "real" was as meaningful as calling it "cock-a-doodle-do" and I agree.

I have no disagreement with you here.

But we come back to this again and again - science works.

Scientific inquiry works for a great many things. However, it has not been demonstrated to work for everything. Indeed, for that very reason, science continually updates its theories.

If there are other ways of knowing them I am happy to hear about them. But for any method of gaining knowledge you need a method of determining whether any information gained thereby is true or not.

Correct. I do not know of such methods outside of science. However, I will not make absolute claims about whether or not there are such methods otherwise. In the domain of the unknown, one can only roll with their personal beliefs and intuitions. Some believe that scientific inquiry can eventually explain the unknown, some don't.

In science there is one thing that we can know and that we cannot be wrong about.

And what would that be?

In science we know that such-and-such a mathematical model has so far predicted such-and-such observational data to date.

And what exactly are you referring to here? Physical theory, as long as it has been around, has had no such success (that is not to say it hasn't had a great many successes). On the contrary, it has been shown to be wrong. If the past century has shown us anything, it is that our physical laws (our understanding of reality) are quite subject to change. Our current physical laws could certainly be wrong, but we have yet to uncover a counterexample.

Granted we cannot know that it will continue to do so although the assumption that it will has served us just fine.

It hasn't even been a century since some of our most basic physical laws have been overturned. I find that assumption hard to accept, considering the vastness of what we know as "the universe" and the phenomenon which have yet to be satisfactorily (at least to me) explained.

If a bunch of damn dirty apes on the surface of some planet can use this to contemplate the interior of distant stars and the dynamics of the beginning of the Universe then we should not complain.

Yes. I have no complaints about the achievements of scientific inquiry. It has served humanity quite well, and has proven a great many opposing viewpoints quite wrong.

There is much to be uncovered by science.

Absolutely.

And there is that which science cannot uncover. How would we uncover such things?

If there are such things we cannot uncover with scientific inquiry, then we simply cannot know, can we? That was the point of my post: perhaps the human brain is not capable of comprehending what reality truly is, no matter how complex and intricate the models we come up with.

how would we know we were right?

We wouldn't. There is no absolute way of knowing we are right. Assumptions must be made at some point. No matter how trivial some assumptions appear to be, they are still assumptions. And, any one of them could be wrong.

HatRack
21st January 2011, 01:51 AM
I hilited where you went off the rails. Science attempts to find out how things work.

Your statement "figure out what reality really is" implies there is some other reality that is more real than the one we see around us so what is this real reality?

No. My statement implies no such thing about "some other reality". It merely implies that maybe we don't have a full understanding of what we currently see as reality.

As for whether science attempts to find out "how things work" as opposed to "what things are", I'd appreciate if you could point me to some general scientific consensus as to which of the two science is really about.

HatRack
21st January 2011, 01:52 AM
Bare assertion.

...
Ad hominem, strawman.

...
Ad hominem, strawman.

...
Yes, because it worked.

...
Strawman.

...
Well, you'd have to go out and find some first.

...
Oh, no need to worry about that, you're dead wrong now.

Thanks for the detailed response to my post PixyMisa, you have really opened me up to your point of view. :rolleyes:

!Kaggen
21st January 2011, 01:54 AM
That is one of the truest statements I've ever come across. All too often do I run across folks who believe that our model of reality is reality. On the contrary, our model of reality is merely that which our minds are capable of comprehending. Who's to say that we're even capable of sensing all that there is to be sensed (directly or indirectly), let alone being capable of understanding all there is to be understood.

Of course, one should always be skeptical of others' claims, to avoid many of the negatives associated with organized religions and such. However, this cuts both ways. One should always be skeptical of one's own claims as well. More often than not, if you believe you have something figured out; in reality, you truly don't.

Science is our attempt, our tool, to try and figure out what reality really is. Perhaps reality can be comprehended entirely by logical, mathematical laws; perhaps not. Science, logic, and mathematics seem to be quite good tools nevertheless. They seem to encompass that which can be described in an objective sense. However, I've yet to see a convincing explanation of quite a few things; namely, subjective experience, the elementary properties of nature (what are electrons and why do they behave as they do for instance), and existence itself, in terms of science and mathematics.

It is my personal belief that, no matter how much empirical evidence we gather, we will never be able to describe such things in an objective sense. Much like how in mathematics there must always be some undefined terms, I believe there will always be undefined terms in physicality.

The only evidence I have to support such a belief is the evidence brought about by physicality itself. If indeed we are solely a product of evolution, then I believe that our brains (minds) have evolved to a point where we can comprehend only the information obtained from our sensory organs. After all, why would we evolve a trait in our minds to comprehend all of reality, when we do not necessarily need such a trait to survive. I believe that our model of reality (anything describable within the context of mathematical language) is simply a result of our evolution. Reality is much deeper and more complicated than a simple human could ever understand.

AkuManiMani, I am quite skeptical of your "supernatural" story. I do believe that it is possible that you experienced a seizure or that you are currently experiencing false memories. Nevertheless, I have a much deeper respect for you than I do those who cling on to prevailing scientific opinion as their interpretation of all that which they experience. As much as I believe it is possible that your experience falls within the framework of an "objective explanation", I also believe it is possible that your experience falls outside such an explanation as well.

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.

Irrational, illogical belief plays just as much a part in the entire scheme of humanity as rational, logical belief plays. Indeed, there are a great many sound, rational theories that we now have at our disposal which would have not come about had their pioneers not been subject to "belief" at some level. Calculus, for example, was not set on firm foundations until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, its pioneers discovered a great many true facts about it much earlier.

Well, I have no idea if the lengthy post I have just written will make a lick of sense to anyone. I expect it will draw quite a great deal of criticism from those who firmly believe in the infallibility of scientific theory. I guess there can be no communication between me and such people. But, if I have communicated anything at all, all I wish to say is that I respect your philosophy AkuManiMani. People like you and me could very well end up being dead wrong in the end. However, it is not the "rightness" or "wrongness" of one's stance which stimulates me; it is the manner and depth in which they argue it. For your subtle assertion that you do not believe you know "all there is to know", I give you praise.

Well said.

!Kaggen
21st January 2011, 02:00 AM
Thanks for the detailed response to my post PixyMisa, you have really opened me up to your point of view. :rolleyes:

Pixy is not capable of a discussion and is certainly not capable of convincing anyone.
All his got going for him are a few cheerleaders who wave their hands around whenever they are prompted by a good argument against scientism.

Robin
21st January 2011, 02:44 AM
Where did I say that someone here has asserted such a thing? All I said is that I've run into such people in the past. Please back up your assertion with a quote of mine.
You were praising one person for saying that they did not know all that there was to know. So if you agree that we are all saying the same then why praise one person for saying that?
And what would that be?
The thing I said in the next paragraph.
And what exactly are you referring to here? Physical theory, as long as it has been around, has had no such success (that is not to say it hasn't had a great many successes). On the contrary, it has been shown to be wrong. If the past century has shown us anything, it is that our physical laws (our understanding of reality) are quite subject to change. Our current physical laws could certainly be wrong, but we have yet to uncover a counterexample.
You did not read what I said did you?

I didn't say the "physical laws" were "right". I said they predicted the observational data. And they do. Even wrong ones like Newton's laws predict observational data. NASA find them quite adequate for most of their purposes.

I don't know how you can claim that no scientific law has ever predicted observational data.

I am not sure what you mean there.
There is no question whatsoever that scientific theories predict observational data.
It hasn't even been a century since some of our most basic physical laws have been overturned. I find that assumption hard to accept, considering the vastness of what we know as "the universe" and the phenomenon which have yet to be satisfactorily (at least to me) explained.
Well no, you don't find that assumption hard to accept because you are using that assumption right now. You assumed that when you clicked the "Submit Reply" that we would be able to read the message.

You assumed that the laws of science would continue to operate as they have in the past.

So everybody operates on that assumption and so far the Universe appears to have shared our philosophical naievety on the subject.

Now the the laws of physics may change - even radically. Time and space might become relative concepts, only useful in certain contexts.

But even so, Newton's laws will continue to predict what they predicted in Newton's time.

Because scientific laws are not right or wrong. They are descriptive of observational data.

Better laws will be better descriptions of observational data.

punshhh
21st January 2011, 03:47 AM
is the previous page philosophical debate?

Robin
21st January 2011, 03:50 AM
Pixy is not capable of a discussion and is certainly not capable of convincing anyone.
All his got going for him are a few cheerleaders who wave their hands around whenever they are prompted by a good argument against scientism.
Can you define "scientism" and point out where you think there is a good argument against it?

Robin
21st January 2011, 03:51 AM
is the previous page philosophical debate?
I think the technical term for what is happening here is "bickering".

punshhh
21st January 2011, 03:54 AM
Well said.

Well said, the both of you.

Robin
21st January 2011, 04:11 AM
Well said, the both of you.
But just who are these "scientific fanatics" he is referring to?

He has already said that he is not referring to anybody here.

Robin
21st January 2011, 04:18 AM
If there are such things we cannot uncover with scientific inquiry, then we simply cannot know, can we? That was the point of my post: perhaps the human brain is not capable of comprehending what reality truly is, no matter how complex and intricate the models we come up with.
I don't think there is such a thing as "what reality really is". Reality is whatever it is.
We wouldn't. There is no absolute way of knowing we are right. Assumptions must be made at some point. No matter how trivial some assumptions appear to be, they are still assumptions. And, any one of them could be wrong.
And another thing that is in favour of science is that it requires the minimum number of assumptions.

As Ernst Mach said, if the world was just a dream then the fact would have no effect whatsoever upon science.

In science you have maths on the one hand and sense data on the other. If the mathematical model describes the sense data within defined parameters then it is a good model.

punshhh
21st January 2011, 04:56 AM
But just who are these "scientific fanatics" he is referring to?

He has already said that he is not referring to anybody here.

Can you point me the "scientific fanatics" bit?

Robin
21st January 2011, 05:00 AM
Can you point me the "scientific fanatics" bit?
Third to last paragraph of the last post of page 27

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.

punshhh
21st January 2011, 05:13 AM
I see, he is referring to scientific dogma, it is probably implied (from his perspective) in the attitude of scientists to 'that which has not been scientifically tested', or can't be.
They brow beat folk into believing that if its not scientifically 'known' its hogwash.

Dogma exists in all forms of religion or organised 'teaching'.

I mentioned it this morning in the thread 'There is no God'.

annnnoid
21st January 2011, 06:11 AM
We don't know what he means by "love" because he wrote 7 paragraphs of blather instead of one short definition.

What do I win?

Yeah, of course Pixy. The single most meaningful word in the human vocabulary and all that’s required is a short definition to do it justice. Typical nonsense.

So you whole argument is:

Things happen, we don't know why therefore psi.

Newsflash tsig: just because we have a word for something does not mean we know what the word means. As has been pointed out on numerous occasions (which you and others quite predictably insist on ignoring) there are many words for things we don’t understand (all of them actually, but that’s a bit too abstract). It is no more accurate for you to suggest psi etc. don’t exist than for an advocate to suggest they do. All we can do is recognize the evidence (IOW, admit that something exists) and make a reasonable effort to explore what is available to explore. Many skeptics simply prefer to stick their heads up their buts and pretend there is no evidence. Case in point.

As for the fundamental issue I referred to. I did give you a major clue. Evidence it’s called. Science is just not your strong point is it. What does ignorance mean? It means you don’t know something. Obviously, neither you nor anyone on the planet can claim with any remote degree of certainty that they know what a human being is. We can, as I pointed out in the first paragraph, throw around all sorts of very clever sounding words, but ultimately, they add up to one indisputable conclusion: we…don’t….know. Anyone who claims otherwise will be picking up next years Nobel Prize. Nor do we really know how much we don’t know. There is a great deal of evidence (there’s that pesky word again….EVIDENCE…care to actually take the time and go and look) that suggests it is a great deal.

…the big question though, is who are you? We are a creature that is singularly defined by our ability to ‘know our self’, and yet we most indisputably do not (since I doubt you have the fortitude to bother examining all the incontrovertible EVIDENCE that establishes this as a fact I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it). Ignorance explains every single success, or failure, individually and/or collectively on this planet. It has a very clear and defined trajectory. If you don’t know yourself, life is more likely to go in the wrong direction, if you do know yourself, life is more likely to go in the right direction (that, of course, is a monumental simplification).

So why don’t we know ourselves? What don’t we know? What does ignorance implicate? What would awareness implicate?

….or to put it more simply…why don’t you know yourself…tsig, and what, specifically don’t you know?

I'll give you a clue...straight out of the bible: 'man cannot live on bread alone'

You’ve got a few days to brush up on the subject tsig as I may be offline taking care of other matters. A summary of the human condition…a few days should be more than enough for someone with 12,000 posts under their belt don’t ya think?

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 06:53 AM
How do you know this? Do you have access to knowledge that is hidden from the rest of humanity?

No, genius. I've just enough honest presence of mind to realize that every answered question simply opens the door to still more questions. There have been countless other people who've, in previous generations, assumed that the scientific state of the art in their day was pretty much the whole story. The truth is that there is no end to scientific inquiry and whatever understandings are gleamed from it are always tentative and liable to change.

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 06:57 AM
But nobody here has ever asserted that we know all there is to know.

Pixy, has a very small list of minor things that he thinks humanity has left to learn. Aside from this small list, he is under the distinct impression that science pretty much has it all figured out already. Instead of merely giving him the benefit of the doubt, just ask him.

Resume
21st January 2011, 06:58 AM
There are some here that seem to be confusing limits of knowledge with lack of it, and don't seem to understand the meaning of the term provisional conclusion.

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 07:01 AM
That is one of the truest statements I've ever come across. All too often do I run across folks who believe that our model of reality is reality. On the contrary, our model of reality is merely that which our minds are capable of comprehending. Who's to say that we're even capable of sensing all that there is to be sensed (directly or indirectly), let alone being capable of understanding all there is to be understood.

Of course, one should always be skeptical of others' claims, to avoid many of the negatives associated with organized religions and such. However, this cuts both ways. One should always be skeptical of one's own claims as well. More often than not, if you believe you have something figured out; in reality, you truly don't.

Science is our attempt, our tool, to try and figure out what reality really is. Perhaps reality can be comprehended entirely by logical, mathematical laws; perhaps not. Science, logic, and mathematics seem to be quite good tools nevertheless. They seem to encompass that which can be described in an objective sense. However, I've yet to see a convincing explanation of quite a few things; namely, subjective experience, the elementary properties of nature (what are electrons and why do they behave as they do for instance), and existence itself, in terms of science and mathematics.

It is my personal belief that, no matter how much empirical evidence we gather, we will never be able to describe such things in an objective sense. Much like how in mathematics there must always be some undefined terms, I believe there will always be undefined terms in physicality.

The only evidence I have to support such a belief is the evidence brought about by physicality itself. If indeed we are solely a product of evolution, then I believe that our brains (minds) have evolved to a point where we can comprehend only the information obtained from our sensory organs. After all, why would we evolve a trait in our minds to comprehend all of reality, when we do not necessarily need such a trait to survive. I believe that our model of reality (anything describable within the context of mathematical language) is simply a result of our evolution. Reality is much deeper and more complicated than a simple human could ever understand.

AkuManiMani, I am quite skeptical of your "supernatural" story. I do believe that it is possible that you experienced a seizure or that you are currently experiencing false memories. Nevertheless, I have a much deeper respect for you than I do those who cling on to prevailing scientific opinion as their interpretation of all that which they experience. As much as I believe it is possible that your experience falls within the framework of an "objective explanation", I also believe it is possible that your experience falls outside such an explanation as well.

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.

Irrational, illogical belief plays just as much a part in the entire scheme of humanity as rational, logical belief plays. Indeed, there are a great many sound, rational theories that we now have at our disposal which would have not come about had their pioneers not been subject to "belief" at some level. Calculus, for example, was not set on firm foundations until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, its pioneers discovered a great many true facts about it much earlier.

Well, I have no idea if the lengthy post I have just written will make a lick of sense to anyone. I expect it will draw quite a great deal of criticism from those who firmly believe in the infallibility of scientific theory. I guess there can be no communication between me and such people. But, if I have communicated anything at all, all I wish to say is that I respect your philosophy AkuManiMani. People like you and me could very well end up being dead wrong in the end. However, it is not the "rightness" or "wrongness" of one's stance which stimulates me; it is the manner and depth in which they argue it. For your subtle assertion that you do not believe you know "all there is to know", I give you praise.

It's truly refreshing to see that the real skeptics are still following this discussion :)

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 07:03 AM
But nobody here has ever asserted that we know all there is to know.
Though I have pointed out that the known puts boundaries on the unknown:

No, there aren't dinousaurs living on the inside of the hollow Earth. No, we don't need to go and take a look for ourselves before we make this statement.

Resume
21st January 2011, 07:03 AM
[QUOTE=annnnoid;6790656]Yeah, of course Pixy. The single most meaningful word in the human vocabulary and all that’s required is a short definition to do it justice. Typical nonsense.
QUOTE]

According to whom?

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 07:03 AM
There are some here that seem to be confusing limits of knowledge with lack of it, and don't seem to understand the meaning of the term provisional conclusion.

Then there are the ones who turn the provisional conclusions of science into a pseudo-religious orthodoxy to be defended from all heresy.

Limbo
21st January 2011, 07:04 AM
But science has been - by far, by orders of magnitude - the most successful epistemology in human history.

That is not to shout hallelujahs and praise science - that is simply to state a plain an inescapable fact.

(And one with which I think you probably agree).


Take a page from Freeman Dysons book.

Foreword (http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Knowing-Science-Skepticism-Inexplicable/dp/0553382233/)

by Freeman Dyson,
Institute for Advanced Study,
Princeton, New Jersey

"This book begins with an extraordinary story about a harp - one that is typical of thousands of others in which somebody knows something without having any normal way of knowing. This kind of extraordinary knowing is typically called extrasensory perception, or ESP. Since I am a scientist, the story puts me in a difficult position. As a scientist I don't believe the story, but as a human being I want to believe it. As a scientist, I don't believe anything that is not based on solid evidence. As a scientist, I have to consider it possible that Elizabeth Meyer and Harold McCoy might have concocted the story or deluded themselves into believing it. Scientists call such stories "anecdotal," meaning that they are scientifically worthless.

On the other hand, as a human being I find the story convincing. I am impressed by the fact that Elizabeth Meyer is herself a scientist and would normally be skeptical of such anecdotal evidence. She understands why the majority of scientists do not believe her story. She is eager to maintain a friendly dialogue between skeptics and believers in ESP. She feels herself in many ways closer to the skeptics. But she does not have the luxury of not believing the harp story, because it happened to her and she knows it is true. I am convinced, not by the story itself, but the portrait that Elizabeth paints of herself as a scientist confronting a mystery that orthodox science cannot grasp.

The greater part of this book describes the history of ESP research, some of it is based on anecdotal evidence and some based on scientific experiments. The Society for Psychical Research, with branches in England and America, has been the main collector and publisher of anecdotal evidence. The society has been active for more than a century. It has published a large number of well-documented stories in its journal and in a famous book with the title Phantasms of the Living. A phantasm of the living is an episode in which person A at a moment of extreme crisis or danger is seen by person B hundreds of miles away. The society documented these episodes with firsthand testimony from A and B, recorded as soon as possible after the events. The evidence is of very uneven quality, and all of it is anecdotal.

The scientific investigations of ESP have been pursued with dogged determination for long periods of time, initially by Joseph Rhine at Duke University, later by Harold Puthoff at Stanford Research Institute, and recently by many other groups. The history of these efforts is murky, partly because there were some accusations of cheating in Rhine's laboratory, and partly because much of Puthoff's work was sponsored by the CIA under conditions of secrecy. Elizabeth Meyer gives us the clearest account of ESP research that I have seen, with an excellent bibliography of relevant documents. The results of the scientific investigations were in the end disappointing. Investigators claimed to have positive and statistically significant evidence of ESP, but the positive results were always marginal, large enough to be statistically significant but not large enough to convince a skeptical critic.

There are three possible positions one may take concerning the evidence for ESP. First, the position of orthodox scientists, who believe that ESP does not exist. Second, the position of true believers, who believe that ESP is real and can be proved to exist by scientific methods. Third, my own position, that ESP is real, as the anecdotal evidence suggests, but cannot be tested with the clumsy tools of science. These positions also imply different views concerning the proper scope of science. If one believes, as many of my scientific colleagues believe, that the scope of science is unlimited, then science can ultimately explain everything in the universe, and ESP must either be nonexistent or scientifically explainable. If one believes, as I do, that ESP is real but is scientifically untestable, one must believe that the scope of science is limited. I put forward, as a working hypothesis, that ESP is real but belongs to a mental universe that is too fluid and evanescent to fit within the rigid protocols of controlled scientific testing. I do not claim that this hypothesis is true. I claim only that it is consistent with the evidence and worthy of consideration.

I was asked to write this preface because I published in The New York Review of Books a review of a book about ESP with the title Debunked!, by George Charpak and Henti Broch. Elizabeth Meyer read my review and refers to it in her Chapter 12. In my review I said that ESP only occurs, according the the anecdotal evidence, when a person is experiencing intense stress and strong emotions. Under the conditions of a controlled scientific experiment, intense stress and strong emotions are excluded; the person experiences boredom rather than excitement, and so the evidence for ESP disappears. That, I wrote, is why scientific investigation of ESP fails. The experiment necessarily excludes the human emotions that make ESP possible.

After my review was published, I received a large number of angry letters in response. Orthodox scientists were angry because I said ESP might be real. True believers in ESP were angry because I said ESP could not be scientifically proved.

What I like best about Elizabeth Meyer is her eagerness, throughout this book, to maintain a friendly working dialogue between believers and skeptics. I am happy that she and I can disagree and still stay friends." (emphasis mine)


You can't rely on science to act as a substitute for 'building your own telescope'. It is too limited. It isn't the right tool for the job. Something like chaos magic is the right tool even though its difficult for people with certain temperaments.

Resume
21st January 2011, 07:05 AM
It's truly refreshing to see that the real skeptics are still following this discussion :)

But how many real Scotsmen?

Resume
21st January 2011, 07:06 AM
Then there are the ones who turn the provisional conclusions of science into a pseudo-religious orthodoxy to be defended from all heresy.

Like no dinosaurs inside the hollow earth?

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 07:09 AM
Indeed.

Remember that all this outrage at science started because I pointed out to AkuManiMani that his idea that he was conversing with spirits of some sort was patently silly.

Which of course it is.

He's not cross with science or with me; he's cross with reality for not according to his dreams.

Resume
21st January 2011, 07:21 AM
Up next, blather from the film What the Bleep Do We Know? and an attempt to equate the paranormal with quantum mechanics.

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 07:48 AM
But just who are these "scientific fanatics" he is referring to?

He has already said that he is not referring to anybody here.

Some people are much more diplomatic than I ;)

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 07:50 AM
But how many real Scotsmen?

He hasn't chimed into this thread as of yet. If hes smart he'll avoid the headache entirely :p

Katopale
21st January 2011, 07:50 AM
Take a page from Freeman Dysons book.

Foreword (http://www.amazon.com/Extraordinary-Knowing-Science-Skepticism-Inexplicable/dp/0553382233/)

by Freeman Dyson,
Institute for Advanced Study,
Princeton, New Jersey

"This book begins with an extraordinary story about a harp - one that is typical of thousands of others in which somebody knows something without having any normal way of knowing. This kind of extraordinary knowing is typically called extrasensory perception, or ESP. Since I am a scientist, the story puts me in a difficult position. As a scientist I don't believe the story, but as a human being I want to believe it. As a scientist, I don't believe anything that is not based on solid evidence. As a scientist, I have to consider it possible that Elizabeth Meyer and Harold McCoy might have concocted the story or deluded themselves into believing it. Scientists call such stories "anecdotal," meaning that they are scientifically worthless.

On the other hand, as a human being I find the story convincing. I am impressed by the fact that Elizabeth Meyer is herself a scientist and would normally be skeptical of such anecdotal evidence. She understands why the majority of scientists do not believe her story. She is eager to maintain a friendly dialogue between skeptics and believers in ESP. She feels herself in many ways closer to the skeptics. But she does not have the luxury of not believing the harp story, because it happened to her and she knows it is true. I am convinced, not by the story itself, but the portrait that Elizabeth paints of herself as a scientist confronting a mystery that orthodox science cannot grasp.

The greater part of this book describes the history of ESP research, some of it is based on anecdotal evidence and some based on scientific experiments. The Society for Psychical Research, with branches in England and America, has been the main collector and publisher of anecdotal evidence. The society has been active for more than a century. It has published a large number of well-documented stories in its journal and in a famous book with the title Phantasms of the Living. A phantasm of the living is an episode in which person A at a moment of extreme crisis or danger is seen by person B hundreds of miles away. The society documented these episodes with firsthand testimony from A and B, recorded as soon as possible after the events. The evidence is of very uneven quality, and all of it is anecdotal.

The scientific investigations of ESP have been pursued with dogged determination for long periods of time, initially by Joseph Rhine at Duke University, later by Harold Puthoff at Stanford Research Institute, and recently by many other groups. The history of these efforts is murky, partly because there were some accusations of cheating in Rhine's laboratory, and partly because much of Puthoff's work was sponsored by the CIA under conditions of secrecy. Elizabeth Meyer gives us the clearest account of ESP research that I have seen, with an excellent bibliography of relevant documents. The results of the scientific investigations were in the end disappointing. Investigators claimed to have positive and statistically significant evidence of ESP, but the positive results were always marginal, large enough to be statistically significant but not large enough to convince a skeptical critic.

There are three possible positions one may take concerning the evidence for ESP. First, the position of orthodox scientists, who believe that ESP does not exist. Second, the position of true believers, who believe that ESP is real and can be proved to exist by scientific methods. Third, my own position, that ESP is real, as the anecdotal evidence suggests, but cannot be tested with the clumsy tools of science. These positions also imply different views concerning the proper scope of science. If one believes, as many of my scientific colleagues believe, that the scope of science is unlimited, then science can ultimately explain everything in the universe, and ESP must either be nonexistent or scientifically explainable. If one believes, as I do, that ESP is real but is scientifically untestable, one must believe that the scope of science is limited. I put forward, as a working hypothesis, that ESP is real but belongs to a mental universe that is too fluid and evanescent to fit within the rigid protocols of controlled scientific testing. I do not claim that this hypothesis is true. I claim only that it is consistent with the evidence and worthy of consideration.

I was asked to write this preface because I published in The New York Review of Books a review of a book about ESP with the title Debunked!, by George Charpak and Henti Broch. Elizabeth Meyer read my review and refers to it in her Chapter 12. In my review I said that ESP only occurs, according the the anecdotal evidence, when a person is experiencing intense stress and strong emotions. Under the conditions of a controlled scientific experiment, intense stress and strong emotions are excluded; the person experiences boredom rather than excitement, and so the evidence for ESP disappears. That, I wrote, is why scientific investigation of ESP fails. The experiment necessarily excludes the human emotions that make ESP possible.

After my review was published, I received a large number of angry letters in response. Orthodox scientists were angry because I said ESP might be real. True believers in ESP were angry because I said ESP could not be scientifically proved.

What I like best about Elizabeth Meyer is her eagerness, throughout this book, to maintain a friendly working dialogue between believers and skeptics. I am happy that she and I can disagree and still stay friends." (emphasis mine)


You can't rely on science to act as a substitute for 'building your own telescope'. It is too limited. It isn't the right tool for the job. Something like chaos magic is the right tool even though its difficult for people with certain temperaments.


If we find better tools for studying a phenomena, tools that add to our objective understanding or use of said phenomena, those tools become part of science.

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 08:00 AM
Then there are the ones who turn the provisional conclusions of science into a pseudo-religious orthodoxy to be defended from all heresy.

Like no dinosaurs inside the hollow earth?

More like no atoms, no acausal mechanisms or any of a number of scientific assumptions that have been revised over the centuries. In every generation there are people who think that the scientific state of the art in their day is the full and final word on reality.

Katopale
21st January 2011, 08:15 AM
More like no atoms, no acausal mechanisms or any of a number of scientific assumptions that have been revised over the centuries. In every generation there are people who think that the scientific state of the art in their day is the full and final word on reality.

And by what method did those revisions come about?

People said "you'll never get it off the ground!".
But the Wright Brothers proved them wrong through telekinesis! :P

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 08:34 AM
And by what method did those revisions come about?

New generations of scientists started making observations and positing theories at odds with the current orthodoxy. They eventually gained enough traction in their respective fields to be taken seriously by their colleges [in the case of atomic theory, the main proponent Ludwig Boltzmann committed suicide before he could be vindicated]. Those who wished to maintain their professional credibility went with the tide and those that could not dug in their heels in faded into obscurity.

People said "you'll never get it off the ground!".
But the Wright Brothers proved them wrong through telekinesis! :P

They proved them wrong thru perseverance, ingenuity, and a willingness to not simply acquiesce to the prevailing beliefs of their time.

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 08:43 AM
If we find better tools for studying a phenomena, tools that add to our objective understanding or use of said phenomena, those tools become part of science.
Indeed. Special pleading doesn't stop being a logical fallacy when it's wrapped in an appeal to authority.

Limbo, first get some evidence, then we'll talk. Evidence first. And no, anecdotes still don't qualify.

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 08:51 AM
Indeed. Special pleading doesn't stop being a logical fallacy when it's wrapped in an appeal to authority.

Limbo, first get some evidence, then we'll talk. Evidence first. And no, anecdotes still don't qualify.

How do you submit non-anecdotal evidence on a web forum, wise one?

Hellbound
21st January 2011, 08:55 AM
How do you submit non-anecdotal evidence on a web forum, wise one?

Facts that can be independently verified.

Links to scientific studies.

Pictures and other documentation of an event.

Logically consistent arguments that don't randomly introduce additional unprovens.

Detailed instructions on how to perform an experiment yourself that can prove/disprove some aspect of the phenomena in question.

That's just a few.

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 09:08 AM
How do you submit non-anecdotal evidence on a web forum, wise one?
Facts that can be independently verified.

By whom?

Links to scientific studies.

Which ones?

Pictures and other documentation of an event.

What kind of pictures? And how is documentation any more evidential than other claims? Does a formal looking presentation make more true?

Logically consistent arguments that don't randomly introduce additional unprovens.

Again, ignoring the problem of establishing empirical proof on a web discussion board.

Detailed instructions on how to perform an experiment yourself that can prove/disprove some aspect of the phenomena in question.

That's just a few.

How do you experimentally test a field observation?

Hokulele
21st January 2011, 09:17 AM
By whom?


By absolutely anyone. For example, if I make the claim that the acceleration due to gravity is roughly 9.8 m/s2, and that I used an inclined plane set up to measure this (giving the details on how to construct one's own inclined plane), it is possible for you, PixyMisa, Hellbound, or anyone else reading this thread to replicate my observation. No matter how strongly anyone may doubt my claim, they can try it for themselves. If the acceleration numbers do not match mine, or if they are all over the place, my claim is falsified.

And that is the main problem with the OP and follow-up posts. When others do try the experiments regarding Chaos Magic themselves, the results are all over the map, leading one to strongly doubt the claims made on its behalf.

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 09:21 AM
By whom?
Independents.

Which ones?
Hopefully, ones that weren't fatally flawed from the very beginning.

What kind of pictures?
Pictorial ones.

And how is documentation any more evidential than other claims?
It's documentary.

Does a formal looking presentation make more true?
No, but words on a page don't change over time the way memories do.

Again, ignoring the problem of establishing empirical proof on a web discussion board.
No. Addressing that problem.

How do you experimentally test a field observation?
The same way that anyone else does.

Hellbound
21st January 2011, 09:56 AM
By whom?

Anyone, really. You know, if I state something as a positive fact, then there should be other places that back that, such as dictionaries/encyclopedias, publications of some sort, news articles, something to support my version of things.

Which ones?

Any, if they exist, that support whatever notion or principle one happens to be arguing for.

What kind of pictures?

Depends on the specific claim being made. But a picture of the UFO you claim to have seen (for example) is much better than a person telling us about the UFO they saw.
And how is documentation any more evidential than other claims? Does a formal looking presentation make more true?

You fail at reading comprehension. Really, that's what you got from my question? And you accuse the skeptical side of playing games and twisting words?

Documentation. Such as person who claims to be prophetic keeping an online, timestamped journal of predictions (as an example). Or records kept by others that support the occurrance of a particular event.

Again, ignoring the problem of establishing empirical proof on a web discussion board.

No, addressing it. IF you can make a logically coherent argument that fits with what is currently known, that in and of itself is enough to show the event is possible without necessarily requiring extraordinary measures.

How do you experimentally test a field observation?

By detailing how the observation was made, what you observed, your methodology for the observations, times, circumstances, etc. Really, biology does this all the time. They publish observations, backed up by documentation and pictures, physcial evidence at the scence (sucha as scat or tracks of an abserved animal), detals of the behavior observed, time of day, circumstamces, etc, so that otehrs can go to areas that match this closely to see if they observe the same behavior.

Again, you simply confimr statements I've made before that you don't really seem to have an udnestanding of what science is, or what proof means in science. And you, especially, seem to be having a lo of confusion between science as a methodology and science as a body of knowledge. You keep talking about peopel claiming scientific dogma (referring tot eh body of knowledge), when my arguments have, except where specifically noted, been regarding science the method. I believe most of the others here use it in the same sense.

Yet your arguments haven't been just against current scientific knowledge, but against the method itself (whether you realize it or not, that's what you are advocating against).

AkuManiMani
21st January 2011, 11:16 AM
By whom?

Anyone, really.

Then multiple witnesses count as independent verification? If thats the case, then theres plenty of evidence with regard to my claims and others similar. The plural of anecdote is data.

You know, if I state something as a positive fact, then there should be other places that back that, such as dictionaries/encyclopedias, publications of some sort, news articles, something to support my version of things.

So if there are no official records backing up the events of your day-to-day life it didn't happen? In the absence of such sources, would not first hand accounts of the events in question count as evidence?

Which ones?

Any, if they exist, that support whatever notion or principle one happens to be arguing for.

What about the links and articles already presented?

What kind of pictures?

Depends on the specific claim being made. But a picture of the UFO you claim to have seen (for example) is much better than a person telling us about the UFO they saw.

True. But I don't see how one can take a photograph of their own internal perceptions of receiving veridical information.

And how is documentation any more evidential than other claims? Does a formal looking presentation make more true?

You fail at reading comprehension. Really, that's what you got from my question? And you accuse the skeptical side of playing games and twisting words?

Documentation. Such as person who claims to be prophetic keeping an online, timestamped journal of predictions (as an example). Or records kept by others that support the occurrance of a particular event.

No one here is making claims of prophetic predictions. What kind of documentation do you think would be able to substantiate the claims that actually have been made here?

Again, ignoring the problem of establishing empirical proof on a web discussion board.

No, addressing it. IF you can make a logically coherent argument that fits with what is currently known, that in and of itself is enough to show the event is possible without necessarily requiring extraordinary measures.

So basically, the claim/argument must conform to theoretical models in common currency to count as evidence? That does not sound like a very scientific or skeptical approach to me.

How do you experimentally test a field observation?

By detailing how the observation was made, what you observed, your methodology for the observations, times, circumstances, etc. Really, biology does this all the time. They publish observations, backed up by documentation and pictures, physcial evidence at the scence (sucha as scat or tracks of an abserved animal), detals of the behavior observed, time of day, circumstamces, etc, so that otehrs can go to areas that match this closely to see if they observe the same behavior.

But those are not experimental protocols. I asked how one would experimentally test field observations; detailing field protocol does not accomplish this. More to the point, tho, how would one experimentally test the kinds of claims that have been presented in this thread?

Again, you simply confimr statements I've made before that you don't really seem to have an udnestanding of what science is, or what proof means in science. And you, especially, seem to be having a lo of confusion between science as a methodology and science as a body of knowledge.

The methodology must be appropriate to the object(s)/area(s) of study. Controlled conditions and experimental protocols are not feasible methods for every scenario, such as the ones being discussed in this thread.

You keep talking about peopel claiming scientific dogma (referring tot eh body of knowledge), when my arguments have, except where specifically noted, been regarding science the method. I believe most of the others here use it in the same sense.

Yet your arguments haven't been just against current scientific knowledge, but against the method itself (whether you realize it or not, that's what you are advocating against).

First point: Scientific protocols must be appropriate to the area of investigation. Repeated calls for experimental evidence for every claim is itself indicative of a lack of understanding concerning the scientific process.

Second point: Scientific knowledge is cumulative. Scientific theories, on the other hand, are the tentative conceptual tools we formulate to frame, interpret, and explain that cumulative body knowledge. It's the hardening of scientific theory into dogma and the uncritical acceptance of such dogmas that leads to "scientism".

Pure Argent
21st January 2011, 11:16 AM
Yeah, of course Pixy. The single most meaningful word in the human vocabulary and all that’s required is a short definition to do it justice. Typical nonsense.

"Most meaningful" is entirely subjective. Even if it weren't, that's no reason that it couldn't have a perfectly adequate definition consisting of only a few words.

"Love" isn't hard to define because it requires twenty pages to do so. "Love" is hard to define because each person has a different idea of what constitutes love. We lack a definition because there is no consensus on what it should be referring to, not because what it should be referring to is hard to describe.

Newsflash tsig: just because we have a word for something does not mean we know what the word means.

It also doesn't mean that we don't know what it means. "Blue", for example, refers to a certain color. "Chicken" generally refers to a certain type of animal, though it can also be used as an insult. And so on.

Your entire argument is simply a hasty generalization fallacy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasty_generalization) tangled with a straw man (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man). That some words lack a concrete definition does not mean that all of them do. You also claim - incorrectly - that the reason that certain words can't be defined is because they are beyond our capabilities to define, when in reality it is simply because each person has a different idea of what they should refer to. That each person has a different idea of what a "god" is does not mean that we cannot define "god". It simply means that the definition changes from situation to situation, depending on who is speaking.

It is no more accurate for you to suggest psi etc. don’t exist than for an advocate to suggest they do.

Actually, it's quite accurate - at least, in the specific sense.

Using the definition of "god" as an example again, it is fallacious to suggest that no gods exist, because the definition of "god" is so loose as to fit almost anything, and many of the definitions that it might be seen to fit indeed cannot be disproven.

However, specific definitions of "god" can be disproven. For example, the Biblical gods, and the Egyptian gods, and the Greek gods. They are defined as the gods which performed acts X, Y, and Z at time T. We can prove that these events did not occur at any time, let alone T, and thus can disprove the existence of those gods.

It's the same thing for psi, souls, ghosts, and spirits. We can't prove that they don't exist at all, because the definition is so loose that it's impossible to do so. However, we can prove that they do not exist for specific definitions. For example, we have proven that Uri Geller cannot use his particular flavor of psychic powers to bend spoons.

All we can do is recognize the evidence (IOW, admit that something exists)

The first bit of this I agree with. The second bit is a load of tripe.

Something might exist. This is true. But the evidence does not point to it.

Many skeptics simply prefer to stick their heads up their buts and pretend there is no evidence. Case in point.

"Case in point"? Do you know what that phrase means?

Obviously, neither you nor anyone on the planet can claim with any remote degree of certainty that they know what a human being is. We can, as I pointed out in the first paragraph, throw around all sorts of very clever sounding words, but ultimately, they add up to one indisputable conclusion: we…don’t….know. Anyone who claims otherwise will be picking up next years Nobel Prize.

Actually, we know exactly what a human being is: a member of the species homo sapiens sapiens. We aren't yet sure of how exactly we work or what we are capable of, but we know what we are.

…the big question though, is who are you? We are a creature that is singularly defined by our ability to ‘know our self’, and yet we most indisputably do not (since I doubt you have the fortitude to bother examining all the incontrovertible EVIDENCE that establishes this as a fact I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it).

Except that we won't. Present your evidence, or stop making the argument.

How do you submit non-anecdotal evidence on a web forum, wise one?

By giving us evidence which can be independently verified.

We've been over this already. Technically, yes, all evidence is anecdotal to some degree. We have to take it on faith - a very small amount of faith, but faith nonetheless - that we aren't being lied to by everyone on the planet. But this amount of faith is so small as to be negligible, and thus we say that the evidence is not anecdotal.

Robin
21st January 2011, 11:46 AM
Third, my own position, that ESP is real, as the anecdotal evidence suggests, but cannot be tested with the clumsy tools of science.
So does he go on to suggest some less "clumsy" tool by which ESP can be tested.

I mean specifically, not just some general buzz-phrase like "build your own telescope".

And why on earth does he think that there can be no emotions in an experiment?

Hellbound
21st January 2011, 11:48 AM
Then multiple witnesses count as independent verification? If thats the case, then theres plenty of evidence with regard to my claims and others similar. The plural of anecdote is data.

No. Multiple eyewitnesses of a single event can help one determine possibilities. The commonalities between perceptions, and the differences, can help narrow the range of possibilities.

So if there are no official records backing up the events of your day-to-day life it didn't happen? In the absence of such sources, would not first hand accounts of the events in question count as evidence?

Do you actually want an honest debate? Because if you do, I'd suggest you actually respond reasonably, instead of this type of nonsense.

Do you seriously believe there's no difference between "I had a cup of coffee this morning" and "Spirits gave me special information this morning"? The level of evidence corresponds to the impact of the claim. The day-to-day events of my life are immaterial to most people on the planet. The claim your making here (and the claims made by most propoentns of psi or the mystical) would impact everyone the world over, and the entirety of science as well. Not to mention requiring a rethinking and modification of most of what we currently know. That takes a bit more than your word.

What about the links and articles already presented? Which ones have not been addressed by others? These are evidence, but what they prove depends on the strength of the argument and evaluation of the evidence.

True. But I don't see how one can take a photograph of their own internal perceptions of receiving veridical information.

I was answering your question of how one can provide evidence on the internet. If you would like to know how to provide evidence of your specific event, then these may need to be modified. THis one may not apply to you, which would be obvious if you read this with honmest intentions, instead of "How can I reply in a way that makes them look stupid?"

No one here is making claims of prophetic predictions. What kind of documentation do you think would be able to substantiate the claims that actually have been made here?

*sigh*

THAT WAS AN EXAMPLE.

Seriously, do you have any intention of intellectual honesty?

So basically, the claim/argument must conform to theoretical models in common currency to count as evidence? That does not sound like a very scientific or skeptical approach to me.

If all you have is your assetion of truth, yes, it should. If it doesn't, then you'd better have some evidence to support why most of what we know is wrong. Your misreading of what I'm saying is not my fault.

But those are not experimental protocols. I asked how one would experimentally test field observations; detailing field protocol does not accomplish this. More to the point, tho, how would one experimentally test the kinds of claims that have been presented in this thread?

Actually yes, they are experimental protocols. Your inability to understand why this might be so simply realtes to your inability to understand scientfiic method. The information given concerning the details of the observation allow other researchers to look for similar behavior, thus allowig for independent replication...one of the main pillars of scientific study. Additionally, the original researcher should work on replicating his observation.

As to how it applies to this, how about ANY level of detail even REMOTELY comparable to that done by field biologists, geologists, or anthropologists? Have you ever been able to replicate the experience? Have you excluded other possible factors, and how? Have others replicated your experience, and how do the details of their observation differ from your own? How are they the same? Have you verified your "veridical information" was not obtained through other, mundane means? Quite frankly, to date you've presented nothign to indicate that you've ruled out any mundane factors besides your own personal certainty.

The methodology must be appropriate to the object(s)/area(s) of study. Controlled conditions and experimental protocols are not feasible methods for every scenario, such as the ones being discussed in this thread.

Which is EXACTLY why I brought up the subject of biology. Historical sciences operate under this same restriction, yet still manage to maintain the level of science.

First point: Scientific protocols must be appropriate to the area of investigation. Repeated calls for experimental evidence for every claim is itself indicative of a lack of understanding concerning the scientific process.

You're lack of understanding, again, does not make it true. Experiment does NOT equal something tested in a lab.

Second point: Scientific knowledge is cumulative. Scientific theories, on the other hand, are the tentative conceptual tools we formulate to frame, interpret, and explain that cumulative body knowledge. It's the hardening of scientific theory into dogma and the uncritical acceptance of such dogmas that leads to "scientism".

Can you provide any evidence of this happening in the past, or that it is happening now?

"People won't accept my word over the internet as proof that a majority of current scientific knowledge is wrong, therefore science=dogma" seems to be about the level of your argument. What have I missed?

Seriously, it's responses liekthis that convince me you aren't here to discuss ideas. TO any rational reader, it would have been obvious that I Anyoen interested in actual discussion and understanding would easily pick up that the level of evidence needed varies depening on the level of impact and the general likeliehood (based on what is known) of the claim. Anyone interested in anythign other than painting their opposition in the worst possible light (a straw man tactic) would udnerstand the concept of experimetn means more than just a test tube. Ayone interested in discussing science, the method, woudl understand that repeatability and replication are key, and don't require a laboratory. Really, have you ever studied anything about the soft sciences? Things like field biology, paleontology, archeology and anthropology? They operform experiments all the time, despite the fact that they can't put their subjects in a lab.

You've simply confirmed that you have a limited and incomplete view of science, yet somehow feel qualified to say that scinece is wrong, and you can revolutionize it by allowing in subjective experience...which is pretty much exactly the opposite of what scientific method is based on.

Sorry, but I'm bowing out of this thread, as well. You seem to have little interest in anythig except name calling and thinly vieled accusations of scientism. And I tire of having to explain a concept that shoudl be obvious to someone who simply triers their best to twist words and meanings.

Robin
21st January 2011, 11:49 AM
I see, he is referring to scientific dogma, it is probably implied (from his perspective) in the attitude of scientists to 'that which has not been scientifically tested', or can't be.
They brow beat folk into believing that if its not scientifically 'known' its hogwash.

Dogma exists in all forms of religion or organised 'teaching'.

I mentioned it this morning in the thread 'There is no God'.
But that was not what I asked. I was asking who these scientific fanatics or dogmatists were.

Are there any actual people who fit this bill or is it just some vague undefined "other"?

Robin
21st January 2011, 12:02 PM
This is a question that comes up and again.

If science is a clumsy and oafish tool, suitable only for simple obvious things like inferring and then demonstrating the structure of DNA and determining what happened, billions of years ago at the beginning of the Universe - then what is this delicate precision tool that will be used to test the claims of psi.

Can somebody give a precise description of this tool and a detailed example of how it will be used to test some psi claim.

Waterman
21st January 2011, 12:57 PM
I have been reading this thread and while it has been interesting there are a number of things that we seem missed. As others have noted or at least implied you have to be careful when dealing with experiences to separate the observation from the interpretation or explanations made to explain the observation.

I have seen no one claim that Aku did not experience an event where he recalls a conversation, that later turned out to seem to be prophetic.

However the issue most people are having is that the ultimate conclusion that was reached which was that an intelligence being not corporally present in the room with telekinetic (or mind control) and precognitive abilities approached him and provided specific information about a future event.

To my knowledge it has not been scientifically demonstrated that:
There exist non-human, super human or former human intelligences on earth as described
That telekinetic or mind control abilities exist
That precognitive abilities exist

However, based on the data that was presented there were a number of references to the setting, the implied mental state and sensations and could be adequately explained by phenomenon which have been scientifically demonstrated. These were presented as alternate explanations and were considered more probable because THEY HAVE BEEN SCIENTIFICALLY confirmed to exist.

Does that mean that we can logically conclude that he wasn’t visited by such an entity? In the strictest sense, No. However to accept that his story as the correct INTERPRETATION of the event he experienced we would also have to accept a number of other unconfirmed hypotheses. That is why people have rejected that interpretation of events. Until such time as it can be scientifically demonstrated that these entities or abilities exist claims that require them will very often be rejected.

Well what about the precognitive message? At this point all we have again is Akus’s non-specific claim that it was precognitive. Without any detail we cannot assess if it significantly specific enough to really be remarkable. In addition unless it was documented before hand there is no way to confirm that the specificity remembered after the fact was actually present in the ‘precognitive event’ and not modified after the fact. Fortune tellers rely on our brains ability to do that. While on your journey you will soon meet an important person from your past. A month later you cross paths with an old HS Friend at the air port. You recall the fortune tellers prediction. She told me I would met someone soon. Weeks later after retelling the events the fortune mentally has merged with the event and you recall it is much more specific than the very ambiguous prediction. Perhaps the memory has morphed to add a HS friend, their name or even the circumstances of the meeting. Without prior to the event documentation and information about the specificity of the prediction it does not seem reasonable to consider the unconfirmed unstated event is sufficient evidence to accept the existence of a precognitive ability (regardless of the source).

Well what about the similarity of our experiences? Again as you speak of this person you obviously admire or are emotional invested in them and I would imagine have a similar outlook on life. It is known that memory can be plastic and that people discussing things can have their memories altered. I can easily imagine that the conversation could go:

I had this crazy exp the other day...
Really tell me…
<Long Story>
Cool, I has something similar <story>
Did it have this?
Not that I recall, no wait a minute now that you mention it I do seem to recall that. Plus there was that other unusual thing.
That was really odd, but it’s coming back to me I had the same thing happen.

So before the conversation they probably had distinct memories of the events that may have had some similarities. Now after the discussion and by relying strictly on their recall of a past event, the two different experiences have been reinterpreted as something new. Now if Aku and his friend kept dream journals or independently documented these experiences before talking about them that would be considered really interesting. However it would not yet conclusive but could lead to an avenue of investigation into the phenomenon.

Aku’s did implicitly make the claim that the conflating of the experience or later adjustments did not happen. It was pointed out that to consider one’s own memories as fixed when it has been shown scientifically that memory is not as fixed as we think is it disagrees with what has been observed using the scientific method. It is known that false memories can be created of events that did not happen and once done the person will argue vehemently that such events did happen, even when presented with contradictory evidence.

I would like to add that in order to assess the probability of an event occurring has to be based on the frequency of the event with in a known data set. Until there is enough study to establish the existence of the event the probability of it being true or real is unknown however based on the size of the data set it can be roughly said that it is <x% where x the inverse of the size of the data set. If the number of times that people have tried to scientifically confirm the existence of a thing or ability is very large and the number of confirmed cases is 0. For each new investigation following the scientific method which results in a null or even unknown renders the probability of the hypothesis being true as moving closer to 0.

As to all the claims about people following the ‘orthodoxy of science’ is implying that people are rigidly following the current conclusion of science as fixed and rigid. I don’t see that here in any of these discussions sure a few have been making the logical leap from nearly 0% probability to ‘it doesn’t exist.’ What I see though is that people are adhering strongly to is the ‘scientific method’ NOT the conclusion of arrive at by scientists. If something is real and interacts with our universe in some way, that interaction can be measured or observed. In actuality the tools necessary to document the existence and nature of some of these abilities are little more than prior documentation and providing a controlled environment. Perhaps the tools do not yet exist that can measure how it occurs or the mechanism. However eventually they will be developed, but only once the abilities have been demonstrated to exist using the scientific method and this is replicated by others. No serious or sustained financial investment will be made in this type of research until this can be reliably replicated. If these abilities were proven true and could be utilized the potential financial reward would be enormous. The fact that industry is not pursuing these ideas is telling, but cannot be considered is not proof of their non-existence. Only that the captains of industry don’t think it is potentially profitable.

Furthermore, as to the idea that because these type of experiences that involve voice or visions of people that are not there occur throughout the population and are described in historical accounts leaned credence to there necessarily being more too it I think that is wishful thinking. The human body and brain has a significant commonality in how it functions how it fails and how things sometimes go a little wonky. I see no reason at this time to proposed external intelligent agents to explain schizophrenia, lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis or other mental and physical manifestations that are often attributed to external agent by many. Until such entities can be demonstrated to have independent existence outside our very human manufactured fantasies, I seen no reason to accept that they are real. Could it be true? Perhaps, but based on the data that has been obtained using the scientific method the probability is approaching 0 to many decimal places.

No where am I claiming that science has perfect knowledge of everything, there is much yet to discover. The quantum reach may some up with some really cool and as yet unimaginable results and effects. I fully expect that research into the biochemistry of the brain, embryonic development and cancer yield surprising results that will revolutionize medicine. That there will be man machine interfaces that will be developed that would redefine what it means to be human. Will me meet non-human intelligences one day, I hope so that would be so cool. Do I think it is happening now, as near as I can tell, no.

tsig
21st January 2011, 01:42 PM
No, genius. I've just enough honest presence of mind to realize that every answered question simply opens the door to still more questions. There have been countless other people who've, in previous generations, assumed that the scientific state of the art in their day was pretty much the whole story. The truth is that there is no end to scientific inquiry and whatever understandings are gleamed from it are always tentative and liable to change.

Do you expect the law of gravity, conservation of energy or the speed of light in a vacuum are going to change soon?

Things do change in science but generally in evolutionary not revolutionary ways. Einstein extended Newton's theories he didn't overthrow them.

Myriad
21st January 2011, 01:48 PM
As for the fundamental issue I referred to. I did give you a major clue. Evidence it’s called. Science is just not your strong point is it. What does ignorance mean? It means you don’t know something. Obviously, neither you nor anyone on the planet can claim with any remote degree of certainty that they know what a human being is. We can, as I pointed out in the first paragraph, throw around all sorts of very clever sounding words, but ultimately, they add up to one indisputable conclusion: we…don’t….know. Anyone who claims otherwise will be picking up next years Nobel Prize. Nor do we really know how much we don’t know. There is a great deal of evidence (there’s that pesky word again….EVIDENCE…care to actually take the time and go and look) that suggests it is a great deal.

…the big question though, is who are you? We are a creature that is singularly defined by our ability to ‘know our self’, and yet we most indisputably do not (since I doubt you have the fortitude to bother examining all the incontrovertible EVIDENCE that establishes this as a fact I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it). Ignorance explains every single success, or failure, individually and/or collectively on this planet. It has a very clear and defined trajectory. If you don’t know yourself, life is more likely to go in the wrong direction, if you do know yourself, life is more likely to go in the right direction (that, of course, is a monumental simplification).

So why don’t we know ourselves? What don’t we know? What does ignorance implicate? What would awareness implicate?

….or to put it more simply…why don’t you know yourself…tsig, and what, specifically don’t you know?

I'll give you a clue...straight out of the bible: 'man cannot live on bread alone'

You’ve got a few days to brush up on the subject tsig as I may be offline taking care of other matters. A summary of the human condition…a few days should be more than enough for someone with 12,000 posts under their belt don’t ya think?


The odd thing about the spirit hypothesis is that, contrary to how it is advertised, it intrinsically stands against any acquisition of deeper knowledge of what a human being is. The spirit concept emerges directly from rejecting the human being as an active participant in creating experiences and phenomena. It a path that leads in the direct opposite direction away from self-knowledge.

Here's how.

Let's suppose you are a cave man walking around a stone canyon, and suddenly you sense the presence of a deer. At the same time, you are fully aware that no actual physical deer is present.

One possible hypothesis is that you are experiencing the presence of a spirit of a deer.

But, it turns out that what you are actually experiencing is a picture of a deer, drawn on the canyon wall.

The contradictory impression of "deer, and yet no deer" is occurring because your senses are giving you contradictory information. The part of your mind that recognizes certain features of a deer, such as having eyes, a certain shape head, body outline, and so forth, is saying that it's recognizing the presence of one right now. But another part of your mind, that recognizes some other characteristics of a deer, such as having a solid three-dimensional body that occupies space and (when stationary) rests on the ground, is saying there cannot be a deer there.

But, you can only understand this if you have experience with pictures, and know at least a little bit about how your eyes and brain work. If you didn't know about any of that, or if you deliberately reject those notions (perhaps on the basis that you are just too smart to be "fooled" in any way at all by mere paint on the wall), you will probably reject this explanation:

"You are experiencing a picture of a deer painted on the wall."

...and conclude something like this instead:

"I am experiencing the spirit of a deer, which has been captured on the wall by the magic paint."

After all, the impression of the presence of a deer has to be coming from somewhere. Since the paint is not a deer, and there's no actual deer there, there are only two remaining choices: the impression is coming from the presence of a deer spirit, or it is coming from you.

If you didn't know anything, if you'd never seen a picture before and were aware of brains only as funny-flavored head meat, then either of those possibilities would seem reasonable. And the spirit one would probably seem a lot more interesting and potentially useful. If you depended on hunting deer for survival, imagine how important being on good terms with deer spirits would be. If they actually existed.

But experience and greater understanding of how the world and ourselves work has shown us the reverse. The hypothesis that gives yourself an active role in generating experiences will, if pursued with the tools of science, lead to a greater understanding of yourself and other humans. The spirit hypothesis, no matter how pursued, will lead only to a thousand generations of trying unsuccessfully, with ever more subtle and elaborate explanatory narratives and arcana, to wheedle favors from the elusive deer spirits and their endless numberless relatives.

Similarly, if you had not the slightest clue how your thoughts could cause flesh to move, if the notion of your flesh being comprised of countless tiny machines made of intricate proteins were as far beyond your grasp as they were beyond everyone's grasp a mere century ago, then you'd probably imagine your body being occupied by your own spirit, which makes your body move by pushing it around like the hidden hand in a puppet. (That's why ghosts in popular culture have the shapes of bodies, or Halloween cartoon approximations of that shape: because while living they have to occupy the same space as their bodies so as to be there to push them around.) And you might wonder where that spirit came from and where it will go, and whether those places might have any connection with the odd places your spirit goes in your dreams.

And if you had not the slightest clue as to how a bunch of jizz could turn into a baby (assuming you'd figured out even that much of the causality, which might not be completely obvious if social controls on sex were yet to be invented) there's no telling what you might think up, except that it would almost certainly involve invisible and highly talented spirits at every step.

So here we are, here in the future, with our instruments and our theories; close to having our hands firmly on the proteins and the genetics and the neural circuitry itself ourself.

And still people come telling us, I felt something, I sensed something, and it wasn't anything solid and it couldn't have been me since I'm just a passive infallible sensing and remembering machine, so it must have been spirits.

Well, okay, fine. Go chase the spirits then. May you have better luck with that than the last thousand generations did.

But don't try to tell us that you know yourselves or humans better than scientists do. You have chosen deliberately not to. You are determined to look everywhere for the causes of spiritual phenomena, except where they actually occur.

Respectfully,
Myriad

tsig
21st January 2011, 02:29 PM
Yeah, of course Pixy. The single most meaningful word in the human vocabulary and all that’s required is a short definition to do it justice. Typical nonsense.



Newsflash tsig: just because we have a word for something does not mean we know what the word means. As has been pointed out on numerous occasions (which you and others quite predictably insist on ignoring) there are many words for things we don’t understand (all of them actually, but that’s a bit too abstract). It is no more accurate for you to suggest psi etc. don’t exist than for an advocate to suggest they do. All we can do is recognize the evidence (IOW, admit that something exists) and make a reasonable effort to explore what is available to explore. Many skeptics simply prefer to stick their heads up their buts and pretend there is no evidence. Case in point.

As for the fundamental issue I referred to. I did give you a major clue. Evidence it’s called. Science is just not your strong point is it. What does ignorance mean? It means you don’t know something. Obviously, neither you nor anyone on the planet can claim with any remote degree of certainty that they know what a human being is. We can, as I pointed out in the first paragraph, throw around all sorts of very clever sounding words, but ultimately, they add up to one indisputable conclusion: we…don’t….know. Anyone who claims otherwise will be picking up next years Nobel Prize. Nor do we really know how much we don’t know. There is a great deal of evidence (there’s that pesky word again….EVIDENCE…care to actually take the time and go and look) that suggests it is a great deal.

…the big question though, is who are you? We are a creature that is singularly defined by our ability to ‘know our self’, and yet we most indisputably do not (since I doubt you have the fortitude to bother examining all the incontrovertible EVIDENCE that establishes this as a fact I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it). Ignorance explains every single success, or failure, individually and/or collectively on this planet. It has a very clear and defined trajectory. If you don’t know yourself, life is more likely to go in the wrong direction, if you do know yourself, life is more likely to go in the right direction (that, of course, is a monumental simplification).

So why don’t we know ourselves? What don’t we know? What does ignorance implicate? What would awareness implicate?

.or to put it more simply…why don’t you know yourself…tsig, and what, specifically don’t you know?

I'll give you a clue...straight out of the bible: 'man cannot live on bread alone'

You’ve got a few days to brush up on the subject tsig as I may be offline taking care of other matters. A summary of the human condition…a few days should be more than enough for someone with 12,000 posts under their belt don’t ya think?

I suggest you pay more attention to your own internal state and less to mine.

Finish the quote: but by every word that comes from the mouth of god

So you want me to hear god?

As to 'A summary of the human condition" I have this feeling you were being a bit sarcastic there.

Keep posting and one day you too will have 12,000 posts. You'll love the 10,000 post ceremony.

Katopale
21st January 2011, 04:07 PM
That is one of the truest statements I've ever come across. All too often do I run across folks who believe that our model of reality is reality. On the contrary, our model of reality is merely that which our minds are capable of comprehending. Who's to say that we're even capable of sensing all that there is to be sensed (directly or indirectly), let alone being capable of understanding all there is to be understood.

Of course, one should always be skeptical of others' claims, to avoid many of the negatives associated with organized religions and such. However, this cuts both ways. One should always be skeptical of one's own claims as well. More often than not, if you believe you have something figured out; in reality, you truly don't.

Science is our attempt, our tool, to try and figure out what reality really is. Perhaps reality can be comprehended entirely by logical, mathematical laws; perhaps not. Science, logic, and mathematics seem to be quite good tools nevertheless. They seem to encompass that which can be described in an objective sense. However, I've yet to see a convincing explanation of quite a few things; namely, subjective experience, the elementary properties of nature (what are electrons and why do they behave as they do for instance), and existence itself, in terms of science and mathematics.

It is my personal belief that, no matter how much empirical evidence we gather, we will never be able to describe such things in an objective sense. Much like how in mathematics there must always be some undefined terms, I believe there will always be undefined terms in physicality.

The only evidence I have to support such a belief is the evidence brought about by physicality itself. If indeed we are solely a product of evolution, then I believe that our brains (minds) have evolved to a point where we can comprehend only the information obtained from our sensory organs. After all, why would we evolve a trait in our minds to comprehend all of reality, when we do not necessarily need such a trait to survive. I believe that our model of reality (anything describable within the context of mathematical language) is simply a result of our evolution. Reality is much deeper and more complicated than a simple human could ever understand.

AkuManiMani, I am quite skeptical of your "supernatural" story. I do believe that it is possible that you experienced a seizure or that you are currently experiencing false memories. Nevertheless, I have a much deeper respect for you than I do those who cling on to prevailing scientific opinion as their interpretation of all that which they experience. As much as I believe it is possible that your experience falls within the framework of an "objective explanation", I also believe it is possible that your experience falls outside such an explanation as well.

Either way, I shall not fall prey to the delusion that my interpretation of the sum total of all my experiences is the correct and complete interpretation of that which is "reality". In my mind, scientific fanatics are just as bad as religious fanatics.

Irrational, illogical belief plays just as much a part in the entire scheme of humanity as rational, logical belief plays. Indeed, there are a great many sound, rational theories that we now have at our disposal which would have not come about had their pioneers not been subject to "belief" at some level. Calculus, for example, was not set on firm foundations until the late 19th century. Nevertheless, its pioneers discovered a great many true facts about it much earlier.

Well, I have no idea if the lengthy post I have just written will make a lick of sense to anyone. I expect it will draw quite a great deal of criticism from those who firmly believe in the infallibility of scientific theory. I guess there can be no communication between me and such people. But, if I have communicated anything at all, all I wish to say is that I respect your philosophy AkuManiMani. People like you and me could very well end up being dead wrong in the end. However, it is not the "rightness" or "wrongness" of one's stance which stimulates me; it is the manner and depth in which they argue it. For your subtle assertion that you do not believe you know "all there is to know", I give you praise.

HatRack is hereby awarded the position of Herald of Mysteries.

His/Her addition of "There are things we will never know!" to the "Science doesn't know everything!" cry won the job.

This singular position is now filled.

There are, however, still many openings for those interested in finding objective answers to stuff.

dlorde
21st January 2011, 05:05 PM
I hilited where you went off the rails. Science attempts to find out how things work.

This.

Bad vibe
21st January 2011, 05:08 PM
There are some great skeptics out there, James Randi actually goes in to debunk people, Joe Nickell actually goes in to investigate and Susan Blackmore spent 20 years involved with the "paranormal". Most skeptics I find online are just dismissive of anything they don't want to accept.

Oh, and PixyMisa, there have been people who have tested out these things and it takes trying them out and playing by their rules. You just would throw out any research done by somebody the goes against your view of how the world works. There are many connections and patters in these events, such as the buzzing sound, bright lights and the very similar messages given. This type of thing really opens up a can of worms, because everything I have brought up on this forum has only been answered with excuses like "that's impossible, something else must have happened". Also, if these events only happened a couple of years ago, not a long time, why do you assume his memories are twisted up?

If a whole group of people came forward to testify to such an event, they would be labeled as crazy or liars and dismissed, so how can we prove such a thing?
when people have a specific illness the symptoms are often the same or similar why would you expect the brain to be any different? Sounds, smells and voices even physical sensations are all possible with irregular brain function

dlorde
21st January 2011, 05:13 PM
... Something like chaos magic is the right tool even though its difficult for people with certain temperaments.

Cool - can we see it working?

dlorde
21st January 2011, 05:34 PM
I have been reading this thread and while it has been interesting there are a number of things that we seem missed.
...
<snip>
...

Yup, good summation - although we didn't all miss those points, they've all been made previously in the thread; without noticeable effect.

annnnoid
21st January 2011, 06:50 PM
I suggest you pay more attention to your own internal state and less to mine.

Finish the quote: but by every word that comes from the mouth of god

So you want me to hear god?

As to 'A summary of the human condition" I have this feeling you were being a bit sarcastic there.

Keep posting and one day you too will have 12,000 posts. You'll love the 10,000 post ceremony.


,,,,tsig, there is simply no point in responding to you anymore. You say less than nothing. As for the challenge, I was quite serious. But why bother. You'd obviously be a lot happier pounding out another 10,000 meaningless posts than a single one that would actually teach you something. Small things for small minds.

annnnoid
21st January 2011, 06:59 PM
Actually, we know exactly what a human being is: a member of the species homo sapiens sapiens. We aren't yet sure of how exactly we work or what we are capable of, but we know what we are.


....this has got to be the funniest thing I've heard for a long time. Your name isn't Pixy is it? Let's just wait and see if any of your fellow skeptics have the balls to point out the universe sized holes in this sad excuse for an argument. At the moment I'm stuck on a miniature portable keyboard which is pissing me off no end so I'm simply not interested in typing any more than absolutely necessary.

Resume
21st January 2011, 07:03 PM
You'd obviously be a lot happier pounding out another 10,000 meaningless posts than a single one that would actually teach you something. Small things for small minds.

But Swami, there are other small minds like mine waiting for your wise typing.

PixyMisa
21st January 2011, 07:06 PM
....this has got to be the funniest thing I've heard for a long time. Your name isn't Pixy is it? Let's just wait and see if any of your fellow skeptics have the balls to point out the universe sized holes in this sad excuse for an argument. At the moment I'm stuck on a miniature portable keyboard which is pissing me off no end so I'm simply not interested in typing any more than absolutely necessary.
No, we're not going to do your thinking for you. If you want to respond to a post, by all means, respond.

Filippo Lippi
21st January 2011, 07:18 PM
Cool - can we see it working?

Yes, take lots of drugs.



eta - of course, no one else will be able to see it working, but we'll have another anecdote to troll sceptical websites with and, at the end of the day, that's what is important.

tsig
21st January 2011, 07:23 PM
,,,,tsig, there is simply no point in responding to you anymore. You say less than nothing. As for the challenge, I was quite serious. But why bother. You'd obviously be a lot happier pounding out another 10,000 meaningless posts than a single one that would actually teach you something. Small things for small minds.

I'm supposed to teach myself by my own posts? With my small mind?

Why in the world did you think you had any right to set challenges for anybody?

tsig
21st January 2011, 07:32 PM
....this has got to be the funniest thing I've heard for a long time. Your name isn't Pixy is it? Let's just wait and see if any of your fellow skeptics have the balls to point out the universe sized holes in this sad excuse for an argument. At the moment I'm stuck on a miniature portable keyboard which is pissing me off no end so I'm simply not interested in typing any more than absolutely necessary.

Funny style of argument: Challenge others to make your arguments for you.

Pure Argent
21st January 2011, 07:45 PM
....this has got to be the funniest thing I've heard for a long time. Your name isn't Pixy is it?

Your name isn't RevDisturba (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=5046595&postcount=1798), is it?

No. I am not Pixy. My style of posting tends to be very similar to his, though. He and Myriad are two of the posters whom I spent the most time reading when I joined, and I lack the talent to write posts as linguistically perfect as Myriad's, so... Pixy it is. :p

Let's just wait and see if any of your fellow skeptics have the balls to point out the universe sized holes in this sad excuse for an argument. At the moment I'm stuck on a miniature portable keyboard which is pissing me off no end so I'm simply not interested in typing any more than absolutely necessary.

Or you could try something new and actually make your own argument.

Resume
21st January 2011, 07:46 PM
I'm supposed to teach myself by my own posts? With my small mind?

Why in the world did you think you had any right to set challenges for anybody?

That's how megalomaniacs roll.

Lord Emsworth
21st January 2011, 08:25 PM
At the moment I'm stuck on a miniature portable keyboard which is pissing me off no end so I'm simply not interested in typing any more than absolutely necessary.

And yet you do type more than absolutely necessary with every post, every word and every letter.

And please God have Mercy with that poor little keyboard. :(

Limbo
22nd January 2011, 01:31 AM
Cool - can we see it working?


Who is we?

YOU can see it working by doing it YOURSELF which is the point Sam Harris was trying to make when he said build YOUR own telescope. Are you guys deliberatley trying to miss that point? I suppose if you have a mouse in your pocket while you do your chaos magic at home then you could say 'we see it working'.

Robin
22nd January 2011, 01:46 AM
Who is we?

YOU can see it working by doing it YOURSELF which is the point Sam Harris was trying to make when he said build YOUR own telescope. Are you guys deliberatley trying to miss that point? I suppose if you have a mouse in your pocket while you do your chaos magic at home then you could say 'we see it working'.
I don't think you read the Sam Harris article about "building your own telescope".

He was not doing it alone and he was not going to abandon evidence based science.

But is there a point to miss yet?

In the OP you talked of evaluating the claims of mystics.

29 pages later and we stlll have not heard of a single evaluatable claim.

dlorde
22nd January 2011, 03:07 AM
... I'm simply not interested in typing any more than absolutely necessary.
But you did anyway :D

dlorde
22nd January 2011, 03:39 AM
Who is we?
Me, and/or others in the thread who would like to experience a demo of what it can do.

YOU can see it working by doing it YOURSELF which is the point Sam Harris was trying to make when he said build YOUR own telescope. Are you guys deliberatley trying to miss that point? I suppose if you have a mouse in your pocket while you do your chaos magic at home then you could say 'we see it working'.
I don't know how to do it (I did read the start of the thread), and I have doubts that it actually works, so before I spend a lot of time and effort trying to get it to work for me, I was hoping that you, as an adept, could demonstrate something that would spark my enthusiasm - the way the juggler I met at the Hop Festival showed me a few amazing juggles which sparked my enthusiasm and led me to discover I could juggle a bit (but not very well).

I'm not sure quite what amazing things chaos magic can do, but, for example, if you could tell me anything about the contents of my house that I wouldn't expect you to know, that would really spark my interest. But anything that you can tell me about anything that I know but wouldn't expect you to know would probably do it.

Is that possible?

Zanders
22nd January 2011, 03:46 AM
Somebody please use chaos magic to accurately predict a future post that will be made in this thread.

dlorde
22nd January 2011, 03:54 AM
Somebody please use chaos magic to accurately predict a future post that will be made in this thread.
You don't need magic to do that, as long as you know someone who'll tell you what they're going to post (or you could do it yourself).

Zanders
22nd January 2011, 04:09 AM
You don't need magic to do that, as long as you know someone who'll tell you what they're going to post (or you could do it yourself).

How about a post by a well respected skeptical user on this board? It would be hard to make the prediction and post it in this forum because people could read it and find a way to cheat

How could a prediction of a post be made but not revealed until somebody posts it? We would have to have proof that the prediction was made in advance.

If he could predict which member it would be, maybe they could send the PM to another trusted skeptical member who could reveal it in the future if it happens. Sounds like a good experiment in magic.

dafydd
22nd January 2011, 04:12 AM
Somebody please use chaos magic to accurately predict a future post that will be made in this thread.

A tall order,there is no such thing as chaos magic.

PixyMisa
22nd January 2011, 05:22 AM
Who is we?

YOU can see it working by doing it YOURSELF
Everyone who as ever tried anything of the sort has shown precisely no results whatsoever, including you, so what are we supposed to see, again?

PixyMisa
22nd January 2011, 05:27 AM
How about a post by a well respected skeptical user on this board? It would be hard to make the prediction and post it in this forum because people could read it and find a way to cheat

How could a prediction of a post be made but not revealed until somebody posts it? We would have to have proof that the prediction was made in advance.
That's easy - post an MD5 hash (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MD5) of the prediction. Then when the prediction is posted, anyone can calculate the hash themselves and show that either they really made that prediction or they've proved that P=NP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%3Dnp).

Which by curious coincidence also has a million-dollar prize attached to it.

Sledge
22nd January 2011, 07:51 AM
So how do I build this telescope, Limbo?

Myriad
22nd January 2011, 08:02 AM
So how do I build this telescope, Limbo?


That was covered earlier. The "telescope" is wishing while stoned. You get high and then beg the universe really really hard to do you favors.

Respectfully,
Myriad

tsig
22nd January 2011, 08:05 AM
So how do I build this telescope, Limbo?

I think we're going to need a proctoscope for this one.

tsig
22nd January 2011, 08:07 AM
That was covered earlier. The "telescope" is wishing while stoned. You get high and then beg the universe really really hard to do you favors.

Respectfully,
Myriad

Well I tried that 35 years ago and it worked fine till the unemployment ran out.

Katopale
22nd January 2011, 09:17 AM
That was covered earlier. The "telescope" is wishing while stoned. You get high and then beg the universe really really hard to do you favors.

Respectfully,
Myriad

See post #316 for instructions on "sigilization".

I built my own telescope years ago Limbo. Any critique of my instructions?

It was a very fun and creative ritual which I participated in scores of times (giggity, giggity). Like all believers I got giddy about the "hits" and ignored the misses.

Comic book geeks may be interested to know that Grant Morrison and Alan Moore were both influential in the Chaos Magic scene.

You have performed a total of one Chaos spell, right, Limbo?

Waterman
22nd January 2011, 10:29 AM
Yup, good summation - although we didn't all miss those points, they've all been made previously in the thread; without noticeable effect.

Thank you, true this is not really 'new ground' but perhaps it was time to reword and reitterate some of these ideas again as the discussion had drifted a bit.

Zanders
22nd January 2011, 01:16 PM
That's easy - post an MD5 hash (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MD5) of the prediction. Then when the prediction is posted, anyone can calculate the hash themselves and show that either they really made that prediction or they've proved that P=NP (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%3Dnp).

Which by curious coincidence also has a million-dollar prize attached to it.

So, anyone up for demonstrating some magic over the internet? If it works we can always send it to James Randi.

But most likely the trickster archetype won't allow any accurate predictions to be made over the interwebs.

tsig
22nd January 2011, 01:31 PM
So, anyone up for demonstrating some magic over the internet? If it works we can always send it to James Randi.

But most likely the trickster archetype won't allow any accurate predictions to be made over the interwebs.

More likely you'd get a series of early hits only to be frustrated with misses later.

Magic seems to be a lot like Michigan J. Frog.

The running gag in the two-part series is that Michigan's undeniable talent is discovered by some hapless (and greedy) person who has visions of making a fortune by putting this great entertainer in front of an audience and profiting from it. He invests all his time, money and eventually his sanity in that cause. He catches on too late that the frog will perform for him and him alone; in front of anyone else, Michigan is just a normal frog and thwarts the man's dreams of wealth.
http://search.surfcanyon.com/search?action=selectSearchResult&session=SC8799521833617879424&ssMapKey=dest.singing%25frog%25cartoon&initialRank=0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FMichiga n_J._Frog&now=1295731596155

sadhatter
22nd January 2011, 02:22 PM
More likely you'd get a series of early hits only to be frustrated with misses later.

Magic seems to be a lot like Michigan J. Frog.

The running gag in the two-part series is that Michigan's undeniable talent is discovered by some hapless (and greedy) person who has visions of making a fortune by putting this great entertainer in front of an audience and profiting from it. He invests all his time, money and eventually his sanity in that cause. He catches on too late that the frog will perform for him and him alone; in front of anyone else, Michigan is just a normal frog and thwarts the man's dreams of wealth.
http://search.surfcanyon.com/search?action=selectSearchResult&session=SC8799521833617879424&ssMapKey=dest.singing%25frog%25cartoon&initialRank=0&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FMichiga n_J._Frog&now=1295731596155

Michigan J frog was always my favorite looney tunes skit. But i always wondered why the person didn't just threaten to squash it if it didn't preform. Or barring that, just squash it afterward ( if i am correct someone cemented him in at one point, only to have an ancestor of theirs find him. ), i mean how funny would it be, the schleppy guy walks out of the office, dejected, sits down on the bench, the frog starts going nuts, and he throws the box down and has a 5 minute stomp fest.

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 07:28 AM
Then multiple witnesses count as independent verification? If thats the case, then theres plenty of evidence with regard to my claims and others similar. The plural of anecdote is data.

No. Multiple eyewitnesses of a single event can help one determine possibilities. The commonalities between perceptions, and the differences, can help narrow the range of possibilities.

Wait, wait. How does that contradict what I just said? Are you suggesting that multiple observations of a particular event or phenomena is not an example of independent verification?

So if there are no official records backing up the events of your day-to-day life it didn't happen? In the absence of such sources, would not first hand accounts of the events in question count as evidence?

Do you actually want an honest debate? Because if you do, I'd suggest you actually respond reasonably, instead of this type of nonsense.

Do you seriously believe there's no difference between "I had a cup of coffee this morning" and "Spirits gave me special information this morning"? The level of evidence corresponds to the impact of the claim. The day-to-day events of my life are immaterial to most people on the planet. The claim your making here (and the claims made by most propoentns of psi or the mystical) would impact everyone the world over, and the entirety of science as well. Not to mention requiring a rethinking and modification of most of what we currently know. That takes a bit more than your word.

First of all, the veracity of an account has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how impactful a single person, or persons the world over, feel it to be. Either it happened or it did not. It doesn't matter whether the event was tea sipping or receiving information from "spirits".

Second of all, the accounts I've given aren't just a couple of anomalous events, but one of countless others that have been reported. It just so happens that they are a class of reported experience you [and some others] consider suspect precisely because they run counter to your expectations of what is plausible/possible. As soon as you hear of such reports you automatically begin the process of downplaying and/or reinterpreting them to conform to your preset expectations to the point where your criteria for "evidence" becomes so steep that virtually nothing will convince you that they are valid. In other words, you have a strong cognitive bias toward discounting such events regardless of the evidence presented.

What about the links and articles already presented? Which ones have not been addressed by others? These are evidence, but what they prove depends on the strength of the argument and evaluation of the evidence.

There are many, many other documented accounts and studies like the ones linked by Malerin and Limbo. If you agree that such reports are evidence what do you think they're evidence of, if not what they're reporting?

True. But I don't see how one can take a photograph of their own internal perceptions of receiving veridical information.

I was answering your question of how one can provide evidence on the internet. If you would like to know how to provide evidence of your specific event, then these may need to be modified. THis one may not apply to you, which would be obvious if you read this with honmest intentions, instead of "How can I reply in a way that makes them look stupid?"

No one here is making claims of prophetic predictions. What kind of documentation do you think would be able to substantiate the claims that actually have been made here?

*sigh*

THAT WAS AN EXAMPLE.

Seriously, do you have any intention of intellectual honesty?

You gave a list of examples with little to or relevance to the topic at hand. I asked you for more relevant examples and, instead of simply providing such examples, you accuse me of trying to make you look stupid. Who's the one being dishonest here? :confused:

So basically, the claim/argument must conform to theoretical models in common currency to count as evidence? That does not sound like a very scientific or skeptical approach to me.

If all you have is your assetion of truth, yes, it should. If it doesn't, then you'd better have some evidence to support why most of what we know is wrong. Your misreading of what I'm saying is not my fault.

My point is that the claims being made here do not voilate what you know, but what you believe. In any case, what alleged knowledge do my accounts contradict? Be specific.

But those are not experimental protocols. I asked how one would experimentally test field observations; detailing field protocol does not accomplish this. More to the point, tho, how would one experimentally test the kinds of claims that have been presented in this thread?

Actually yes, they are experimental protocols. Your inability to understand why this might be so simply realtes to your inability to understand scientfiic method.

Thats interesting. My teachers don't seem to think so.

The information given concerning the details of the observation allow other researchers to look for similar behavior, thus allowig for independent replication...one of the main pillars of scientific study. Additionally, the original researcher should work on replicating his observation.

Again, not all scientific studies follow experimental protocols and real phenomena are not necessarily replicable under controlled conditions. In the social sciences in particular, much of the data collected involves recording individual accounts of subjects lives and their experiences may be unique to them. In the case of accounts like the ones I've just given, if we are in fact dealing with autonomous intelligences experimental replicability would be extremely problematic, to say the least.

As to how it applies to this, how about ANY level of detail even REMOTELY comparable to that done by field biologists, geologists, or anthropologists? Have you ever been able to replicate the experience?

Right. Unless I'm able to reenact an event to the tee it never happened :rolleyes:

Have you excluded other possible factors, and how? Have others replicated your experience, and how do the details of their observation differ from your own? How are they the same? Have you verified your "veridical information" was not obtained through other, mundane means? Quite frankly, to date you've presented nothign to indicate that you've ruled out any mundane factors besides your own personal certainty.

The methodology must be appropriate to the object(s)/area(s) of study. Controlled conditions and experimental protocols are not feasible methods for every scenario, such as the ones being discussed in this thread.

Which is EXACTLY why I brought up the subject of biology. Historical sciences operate under this same restriction, yet still manage to maintain the level of science.

Are you suggesting that if I had such experiences more frequently they would be more real/valid? In any case, you still haven't addressed how -- via web forum -- one would provide non-anecdotal evidence for the types of experiences being discussed here.

First point: Scientific protocols must be appropriate to the area of investigation. Repeated calls for experimental evidence for every claim is itself indicative of a lack of understanding concerning the scientific process.

You're lack of understanding, again, does not make it true. Experiment does NOT equal something tested in a lab.

Okay. How can we experimentally test what I experienced on this web forum?

Second point: Scientific knowledge is cumulative. Scientific theories, on the other hand, are the tentative conceptual tools we formulate to frame, interpret, and explain that cumulative body knowledge. It's the hardening of scientific theory into dogma and the uncritical acceptance of such dogmas that leads to "scientism".

Can you provide any evidence of this happening in the past, or that it is happening now?

I just gave an example on page 28 (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=6791082&postcount=1118). Heck, just read up on the history of science yourself. Do I have to list every historical example of scientists rejecting new theories/findings/ideas merely on the basis of established dogma?

"People won't accept my word over the internet as proof that a majority of current scientific knowledge is wrong, therefore science=dogma" seems to be about the level of your argument. What have I missed?

That I never claimed that the majority of our scientific knowledge is wrong.

Seriously, it's responses liek this that convince me you aren't here to discuss ideas. TO any rational reader, it would have been obvious that I Anyoen interested in actual discussion and understanding would easily pick up that the level of evidence needed varies depening on the level of impact and the general likeliehood (based on what is known) of the claim. Anyone interested in anythign other than painting their opposition in the worst possible light (a straw man tactic) would udnerstand the concept of experimetn means more than just a test tube. Ayone interested in discussing science, the method, woudl understand that repeatability and replication are key, and don't require a laboratory. Really, have you ever studied anything about the soft sciences? Things like field biology, paleontology, archeology and anthropology? They operform experiments all the time, despite the fact that they can't put their subjects in a lab.

You've simply confirmed that you have a limited and incomplete view of science, yet somehow feel qualified to say that scinece is wrong, and you can revolutionize it by allowing in subjective experience...which is pretty much exactly the opposite of what scientific method is based on.

Wow, dude...Just...Wow. I hardly know where to begin. I'd definitely like to engage you in discussion but, being as how the above doesn't even begin to address the points I'm actually making I don't see how that is possible. Straw-maning, indeed... :sulk:

Sorry, but I'm bowing out of this thread, as well.

Good idea. That was probably one of the most breathtaking pieces of irrational ranting I've ever seen on these boards. You definitely need a break from this discussion, dude.

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 07:56 AM
No, genius. I've just enough honest presence of mind to realize that every answered question simply opens the door to still more questions. There have been countless other people who've, in previous generations, assumed that the scientific state of the art in their day was pretty much the whole story. The truth is that there is no end to scientific inquiry and whatever understandings are gleamed from it are always tentative and liable to change.

Do you expect the law of gravity, conservation of energy or the speed of light in a vacuum are going to change soon?

Funny you should mention changes in the speed of light (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6092-speed-of-light-may-have-changed-recently.html)...

Things do change in science but generally in evolutionary not revolutionary ways. Einstein extended Newton's theories he didn't overthrow them.

And what claims have been made here that overthrow the foundations of scientific knowledge or even contradicts some specific bit of knowledge?

tsig
23rd January 2011, 08:04 AM
Wait, wait. How does that contradict what I just said? Are you suggesting that multiple observations of a particular event or phenomena is not an example of independent verification?



First of all, the veracity of an account has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how impactful a single person, or persons the world over, feel it to be. Either it happened or it did not. It doesn't matter whether the event was tea sipping or receiving information from "spirits".

Second of all, the accounts I've given aren't just a couple of anomalous events, but one of countless others that have been reported. It just so happens that they are a class of reported experience you [and some others] consider suspect precisely because they run counter to your expectations of what is plausible/possible. As soon as you hear of such reports you automatically begin the process of downplaying and/or reinterpreting them to conform to your preset expectations to the point where your criteria for "evidence" becomes so steep that virtually nothing will convince you that they are valid. In other words, you have a strong cognitive bias toward discounting such events regardless of the evidence presented.



There are many, many other documented accounts and studies like the ones linked by Malerin and Limbo. If you agree that such reports are evidence what do you think they're evidence of, if not what they're reporting?



You gave a list of examples with little to or relevance to the topic at hand. I asked you for more relevant examples and, instead of simply providing such examples, you accuse me of trying to make you look stupid. Who's the one being dishonest here? :confused:



My point is that the claims being made here do not voilate what you know, but what you believe. In any case, what alleged knowledge do my accounts contradict? Be specific.



Thats interesting. My teachers don't seem to think so.



Again, not all scientific studies follow experimental protocols and real phenomena are not necessarily replicable under controlled conditions. In the social sciences in particular, much of the data collected involves recording individual accounts of subjects lives and their experiences may be unique to them. In the case of accounts like the ones I've just given, if we are in fact dealing with autonomous intelligences experimental replicability would be extremely problematic, to say the least.



Right. Unless I'm able to reenact an event to the tee it never happened :rolleyes:



Are you suggesting that if I had such experiences more frequently they would be more real/valid? In any case, you still haven't addressed how -- via web forum -- one would provide non-anecdotal evidence for the types of experiences being discussed here.



Okay. How can we experimentally test what I experienced on this web forum?



I just gave an example on page 28 (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=6791082&postcount=1118). Heck, just read up on the history of science yourself. Do I have to list every historical example of scientists rejecting new theories/findings/ideas merely on the basis of established dogma?



That I never claimed that the majority of our scientific knowledge is wrong.



Wow, dude...Just...Wow. I hardly know where to begin. I'd definitely like to engage you in discussion but, being as how the above doesn't even begin to address the points I'm actually making I don't see how that is possible. Straw-maning, indeed... :sulk:



Good idea. That was probably one of the most breathtaking pieces of irrational ranting I've ever seen on these boards. You definitely need a break from this discussion, dude.

In science this is called replication. If others can't do the same experiment you did and get the same results your result will not be accepted.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 08:12 AM
Some of the conversations I've seen recently are boiling down to the point where a skeptic might realize that its his or her own personal responsibility to, as Sam Harris called it (http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/sam_harris/2007/10/the_problem_with_atheism.html), "build your own telescope". That is to say, evaluate mystical claims by becoming a mystic yourself. Of course Sam Harris would use other terms that are sanitized for 'rational folk', such as contemplative. But me, I am not so kind.

So lets say you are a card-carrying skeptic and you want to do a little mystical investigation of your own, that is to say build your own telescope and see what you can see. Where do you start? Well, you could do as Sam seems to be doing and go the meditation (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-harris/a-contemplative-science_b_15024.html) route. But most of us Westerners have a hard time with meditation, and most who try it give it up before achieving mystical altered states of consciousness.

So what other choice does that leave for the intrepid skeptic? Whatever contemplative tradition an intepid skeptic chooses must include a method of gaining altered states of consciousness. That is a universal common denominator in mystical traditions. That is to say, its part of every telescope. Sam Harris has chosen meditation to build his telescope with. But for those of us without the temperament or the time to devote to learning and practicing meditation, there is quicker choice. Chaos magic.

The idea behind Chaos magic is simple. Everything is permitted, everything is true. A chaos magician uses the power of paradigm shifting, in conjunction with altered states of consciousness, in order to elicit psychic functioning for a purpose. That, in essence, is magic.

So an intrepid skeptic who wants to test chaoes magic would start with a little reading about the principles of Chaos magic. Then, he or she selects a method of achieving gnosis. Gnosis is the Chaos magic term for altered state of consciousness. There are several methods to choose from, and its a very personal choice. Self-hypnosis, sexual orgasm, frenzied dancing, entheogens, ect.

Then he or she learns to contruct a sigil. A sigil is a personal symbol of intent, which the psychic energy of your gnosis is directed toward. Intent is a crucial ingredient. For instance, our intrepid skeptic has the intent to experience psychic ability. So he or she first constructs a sigil that symbolizes that intent, then uses a method to achieve a temporary state of gnosis, and waits.

It might take a while to get the hang acheiving gnosis but eventually the unconscious mind of the skeptic, in accordance with the intent of the sigil, would begin to provide the conscious mind with psychic experiences. Then what our intrepid skeptic has done in essence is cast a spell. Paradigm manipulation, sigils, and gnosis. Oh my!

Funny you should mention changes in the speed of light (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6092-speed-of-light-may-have-changed-recently.html)...



And what claims have been made here that overthrow the foundations of scientific knowledge or even contradicts some specific bit of knowledge?

Casting spells.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 08:13 AM
New generations of scientists started making observations and positing theories at odds with the current orthodoxy.
In other words, they presented evidence.

Oh, and Boltzmann was bipolar.

They proved them wrong thru perseverance, ingenuity, and a willingness to not simply acquiesce to the prevailing beliefs of their time.
No, they proved them wrong by flying.

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 08:21 AM
New generations of scientists started making observations and positing theories at odds with the current orthodoxy.
In other words, they presented evidence.

Which was vehemently rejected for decades.

Oh, and Boltzmann was bipolar.

Even assuming Boltzmann was bipolar, it still doesn't change the fact that he was very unpopular, faced public ridicule, and was subjected to professional persecution for presenting evidence and voicing views that contradicted widely held dogma. His suicide was in direct response to what was going on in his professional life.

They proved them wrong thru perseverance, ingenuity, and a willingness to not simply acquiesce to the prevailing beliefs of their time.
No, they proved them wrong by flying.

...Which they never would have endeavored to accomplish in the first place if they acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time.

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 08:22 AM
Casting spells.

What is spell casting, how does such a thing operate, and how would such operation contradict established knowledge?

[ETA: Oh, and what say you about changes in light speed (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6092-speed-of-light-may-have-changed-recently.html)?]

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 08:30 AM
In science this is called replication. If others can't do the same experiment you did and get the same results your result will not be accepted.

So if someone is accused of committing a murder how would you experimentally establish the truth/falsehood of the claim via web discussion? More to the point, how would you experimentally verify the claims I've made?

Ichneumonwasp
23rd January 2011, 08:37 AM
Which was vehemently rejected for decades.



Even assuming Boltzmann was bipolar, it still doesn't change the fact that he was very unpopular, faced public ridicule, and was subjected to professional persecution for presenting evidence and voicing views that contradicted widely held dogma.



...Which they never would have endeavored to accomplish in the first place if they acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time.



I'm confused. There were many people working on the possibility of human powered flight when the Wright Brothers first figured it out. What do you mean "acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time"? We have known for a long time that flight was possible; the Wright Brothers themselves played with flying toys as children. I don't understand what point you are trying to make here because it seems to contradict actual history.

Ichneumonwasp
23rd January 2011, 08:39 AM
[ETA: Oh, and what say you about changes in light speed (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6092-speed-of-light-may-have-changed-recently.html)?]



That it is possible but we still don't have very good evidence to support it. There are many people who support the idea of variable speed of light for various reasons, but we need independent lines of evidence to support the idea. Currently there are too many assumptions at play in the evidence we do have.

Sledge
23rd January 2011, 08:43 AM
I don't understand what point you are trying to make here because it seems to contradict actual history.
Seems to be a variation on "they laughed at Galileo." Establish that a great discovery was considered laughable until it was shown to the public, then claim that whatever you're arguing for (in this case, magic) is real and you are in the role of Galileo/the Wright brothers/whoever. Where it falls down is that people are laughing precisely because Limbo, AkuManiMani et al can't or won't produce their discovery.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 08:54 AM
Which was vehemently rejected for decades.
[citation needed]

Even assuming Boltzmann was bipolar, it still doesn't change the fact that he was very unpopular, faced public ridicule, and was subjected to professional persecution for presenting evidence and voicing views that contradicted widely held dogma. His suicide was in direct response to what was going on in his professional life.
[citation needed]

...Which they never would have endeavored to accomplish in the first place if they acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time.
So?

The key point is that they didn't prove anything by going against whatever the prevailing beliefs might have been.

They proved that their aircraft could fly by flying it.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 08:57 AM
Seems to be a variation on "they laughed at Galileo." Establish that a great discovery was considered laughable until it was shown to the public, then claim that whatever you're arguing for (in this case, magic) is real and you are in the role of Galileo/the Wright brothers/whoever. Where it falls down is that people are laughing precisely because Limbo, AkuManiMani et al can't or won't produce their discovery.
But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

Carl Sagan

Ichneumonwasp
23rd January 2011, 10:48 AM
Wait, wait. How does that contradict what I just said? Are you suggesting that multiple observations of a particular event or phenomena is not an example of independent verification?
First of all, the veracity of an account has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on how impactful a single person, or persons the world over, feel it to be. Either it happened or it did not. It doesn't matter whether the event was tea sipping or receiving information from "spirits".
Second of all, the accounts I've given aren't just a couple of anomalous events, but one of countless others that have been reported. It just so happens that they are a class of reported experience you [and some others] consider suspect precisely because they run counter to your expectations of what is plausible/possible. As soon as you hear of such reports you automatically begin the process of downplaying and/or reinterpreting them to conform to your preset expectations to the point where your criteria for "evidence" becomes so steep that virtually nothing will convince you that they are valid. In other words, you have a strong cognitive bias toward discounting such events regardless of the evidence presented.
There are many, many other documented accounts and studies like the ones linked by Malerin and Limbo. If you agree that such reports are evidence what do you think they're evidence of, if not what they're reporting?
You gave a list of examples with little to or relevance to the topic at hand. I asked you for more relevant examples and, instead of simply providing such examples, you accuse me of trying to make you look stupid. Who's the one being dishonest here? :confused:
My point is that the claims being made here do not voilate what you know, but what you believe. In any case, what alleged knowledge do my accounts contradict? Be specific.
Thats interesting. My teachers don't seem to think so.
Again, not all scientific studies follow experimental protocols and real phenomena are not necessarily replicable under controlled conditions. In the social sciences in particular, much of the data collected involves recording individual accounts of subjects lives and their experiences may be unique to them. In the case of accounts like the ones I've just given, if we are in fact dealing with autonomous intelligences experimental replicability would be extremely problematic, to say the least.
Right. Unless I'm able to reenact an event to the tee it never happened :rolleyes:
Are you suggesting that if I had such experiences more frequently they would be more real/valid? In any case, you still haven't addressed how -- via web forum -- one would provide non-anecdotal evidence for the types of experiences being discussed here.
Okay. How can we experimentally test what I experienced on this web forum?
I just gave an example on page 28 (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=6791082&postcount=1118). Heck, just read up on the history of science yourself. Do I have to list every historical example of scientists rejecting new theories/findings/ideas merely on the basis of established dogma?
That I never claimed that the majority of our scientific knowledge is wrong.
Wow, dude...Just...Wow. I hardly know where to begin. I'd definitely like to engage you in discussion but, being as how the above doesn't even begin to address the points I'm actually making I don't see how that is possible. Straw-maning, indeed... :sulk:
Good idea. That was probably one of the most breathtaking pieces of irrational ranting I've ever seen on these boards. You definitely need a break from this discussion, dude.



Sorry that this is a bit rambling..................


Cognitive styles vary. This is not controversial nor should it seem strange. Some folks tend toward the concrete while others are malleable. Consequently, people express differing opinions. That a scientist in the past might have expressed a strong opinion based on his experiences and biases (many strong opinions prove to be religiously based on further examination and not ‘scientific’) should surprise no one and is, in fact, to be expected. That some of those opinions will prove to be wrong should also be expected.

This is how scientific reasoning works: we assume a framework, we gather data and form hypotheses rejecting those contradicted by the data, we form theories based on previous hypotheses that work, and we create a paradigm that explains the theories that survive these rigorous tests – all within the prevailing framework. The framework within which we judge scientific theories is methodological naturalism. In its simplest form, we posit that there is a set of rules that nature follows and that we can explain all that we are capable of explaining by using this set of rules.

Hypotheses obviously change with time and specifically change when new data contradicts them. Theories are more resistant to change, but do so frequently. Hypotheses live and die with single experiments; theories require more evidence, generally, than a single experiment to overturn. Paradigms resist change even more strongly, requiring considerable evidence that can best be explained only with a change in our basic view of how our theories cohere. The overarching framework for all of scientific reasoning, however, is the most resistant to change. It requires absolutely extraordinary evidence to overturn.

Many current theories and paradigms were unknown until proved; that is the nature of science. Some of these ideas were thought strange or impossible by a few and, at times, by the many. The heliocentric theory shines as the prime example, but there are others, though rare. Generally, and particularly in our current climate, a cauldron of ideas compete with the best prevailing. While somewhat strange, I have found it best to view all ideas as rationalizations (even with all the Freudian baggage that entails). It is just that some rationalizations work and are supported by evidence.

As Haldane liked to remind us, our ignorance probably trumps our knowledge – but, being ignorant, we will never really know. We will surely make new discoveries about the universe as time goes by, probably never reaching the end (I would say, based on our construction, that we definitely will never reach the end since we must begin with assumptions, but I abhor absolute statements). Recent conjectures on the multiverse, string theory and dark energy serve as good examples of ideas that are not yet part of a coherent schema.

Philosophically, while it is possible that the observable universe (multiverse) is part of a greater whole, with mind (or experience) being more fundamental, we already have a word for that – idealism. Even with an idealist framework, we do not encounter mind independent of body in our regular observations of the world. In Idealism Mind creates matter through the action of thought; there is no additional provision for Mind to interact with what we call our minds (which are dependent on matter) unless we invoke some form of dualism; a discarnate mind interacting/speaking to someone relies on dualism and cannot be explained within a monistic framework.

Magic, by definition, contradicts methodological naturalism since only natural explanations are allowed. If the supernatural exists (an ontological possibility) science, being based in methodological naturalism, cannot account for it nor comment upon it because the supernatural would not follow the rules of the natural world. Anything that does follow the rules of the natural world, whether a part of our current understanding of physics or not, is natural and is amenable to study by methodological naturalism.

Meanwhile, we do know certain facts about brain/mind function. We are prone to type 1 errors and particularly to certain kinds of type 1 errors. The classical evolutionary explanation concerns an early hominid and rustling grass – we are prone to view the rustle as due to an agent because it doesn’t hurt much to run away from the wind but hurts considerable not to run away from a crouching lion. We also know that certain people are more prone to type 1 errors, particularly to the kind of type 1 error that posits an agent behind whatever pattern we perceive. We even know how to manipulate people into committing such errors more and less often based in large part on dopamine pathways. Increase dopamine neurotransmitter levels and we tend to posit the presence of an agent; remove the action of dopamine and we are less likely to do so. This is the basis of neuroleptic treatment for delusions (an extreme form of this kind of type 1 error).

The strength of anecdotal evidence depends on the number and strengths of alternative explanations for the data. Recall, first, that evidence is data used for or against a proposition – evidence does not exist as evidence independent of some form of argument. If there are many likely explanations for why we encounter a particular piece of data, the data cannot serve as strong evidence. If there is only one likely explanation for particular data, then that data serves as strong evidence for the argument being made. Converging data points also provide better support. So, for instance, my wife is late for an appointment. She tells me that she went to the store to buy something for dinner tonight. There are a few likely scenarios, but one is most likely based on my knowledge of her and her way of acting in the world – she went to the store. If I see the new bottle of red wine vinegar in the pantry and that only reinforces the idea.

We use anecdotal data as evidence all the time. But no one considers anecdotes as strong evidence, particularly because there are often many different explanations for any anecdote (true, misrepresentation, confirmation bias, pure invention, etc.). Anecdotes cannot, therefore, be used effectively to suggest that our current way of viewing the world needs revision. Stronger evidence is needed.

Robin
23rd January 2011, 12:06 PM
.Magic, by definition, contradicts methodological naturalism since only natural explanations are allowed. If the supernatural exists (an ontological possibility) science, being based in methodological naturalism, cannot account for it nor comment upon it because the supernatural would not follow the rules of the natural world. Anything that does follow the rules of the natural world, whether a part of our current understanding of physics or not, is natural and is amenable to study by methodological naturalism.
But by "naturalism" we are only referrring to the kind of underlying order that science has actually discovered.

It is not as though science is specifically designed to find one sort of underlying order and to ignore all others.

If an angel appeared in the labs at Cern saying "be not afraid" would the boffins look up briefly and then murmur "not our department" and get on with their work? Or would they become interested in studying the angel?

If magic followed any kind of consistent pattern then we could use scientific methods to study it.

If it were really the case that you could shift your paradigm, construct a sigil then have sex or do energetic dancing and unlock your psi potential then this claim could be verified by scientific means.

Ichneumonwasp
23rd January 2011, 12:52 PM
But by "naturalism" we are only referrring to the kind of underlying order that science has actually discovered.

It is not as though science is specifically designed to find one sort of underlying order and to ignore all others.

If an angel appeared in the labs at Cern saying "be not afraid" would the boffins look up briefly and then murmur "not our department" and get on with their work? Or would they become interested in studying the angel?

If magic followed any kind of consistent pattern then we could use scientific methods to study it.

If it were really the case that you could shift your paradigm, construct a sigil then have sex or do energetic dancing and unlock your psi potential then this claim could be verified by scientific means.



Yes, correct. As we have magic defined currently, though, it is outside of scientific scrutiny because it doesn't follow rules. A CERN angel would follow some set of rules or we couldn't communicate with it.



ETA:
Which is to say, once again, that science is methodological naturalism and not ontological naturalism, as is often claimed by those who do not engage in science and speak of 'scientism'. Science describes the rules we find; it does not assume ahead of time what the rules are or what actually is out there. It really can't because we are frequently surprised by what we find.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 01:19 PM
So if someone is accused of committing a murder how would you experimentally establish the truth/falsehood of the claim via web discussion? More to the point, how would you experimentally verify the claims I've made?

I'd follow your experimental protocol and see if I got the same results so now all you have to do is post your protocol and we'll all follow it and you can shut all the skeptics up.

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 01:19 PM
Yes, correct. As we have magic defined currently, though, it is outside of scientific scrutiny because it doesn't follow rules. A CERN angel would follow some set of rules or we couldn't communicate with it.



ETA:
Which is to say, once again, that science is methodological naturalism and not ontological naturalism, as is often claimed by those who do not engage in science and speak of 'scientism'. Science describes the rules we find; it does not assume ahead of time what the rules are or what actually is out there. It really can't because we are frequently surprised by what we find.


While believers claim that there are confirmed and consistent methods for getting such results, that can't be the case.

The truth is, there are many powerful people in all fields that believe and would love to be able to prove such a thing, and if these methods really worked belief in such things wouldn't be in such a rapid decline. Most people want to beleive in magic, ghosts and angels, so if there were any good working methods for contacting them belief in such things would have been steadily growing since the spiritualist boom, as opposed to the movements slowly dying out.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 01:32 PM
What is spell casting, how does such a thing operate, and how would such operation contradict established knowledge?

[ETA: Oh, and what say you about changes in light speed (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6092-speed-of-light-may-have-changed-recently.html)?]

Sorry, I thought you were more familiar with the territory than you appear to be. Here's some beginning info:

If you are new to magic spells and spell casting, start with these articles that provide free information about how real magical spells are cast by authentic practitioners of various paths and learn the simple, easy basics of how to perform powerful magic spells in various traditions of witchcraft, conjuration, hoodoo, voodoo, rootwork, and spell-craft.

Does Magic Work, Are Spells Real, Is There Such a Thing as Real Magick?
Tools and Materials for Casting Magic Spells
Recipes for Magical Potions used in Casting Magic Spells
Practical Tips on Spells and Rituals from Actual Practitioners of Magick

http://www.luckymojo.com/spells.html


and:


The practice of spells is a popular issue in the esoteric world. To do well while casting spells requires knowing some previous principles. The theory and practice involved is explained here. In this article I explain what are the principles behind casting spells and how I can help you to do well with them.

Send Questions Here
Casting Spells Reading - Order Form

In general, this involves actions intended to cause a change over another person, ourselves, a situation or a thing. Casting spells usually helps with the desired change. It can avoid that our future stays under a denial of what we want (see our site on fate, destiny and fate carried from past lives).

When their action is done, somehow the objects and rituals used help the subconscious to carry the channeling into reality. More on this topic, visit this site: rituals used for casting spells, rituals .

http://www.jfinternational.com/psy/casting-spells.html

Ichneumonwasp
23rd January 2011, 01:53 PM
While believers claim that there are confirmed and consistent methods for getting such results, that can't be the case.

The truth is, there are many powerful people in all fields that believe and would love to be able to prove such a thing, and if these methods really worked belief in such things wouldn't be in such a rapid decline. Most people want to beleive in magic, ghosts and angels, so if there were any good working methods for contacting them belief in such things would have been steadily growing since the spiritualist boom, as opposed to the movements slowly dying out.


Yes, indeed. This is one of those situations in which language can create several unnecessary posts because 'rules' can be interpreted to mean the steps one follows in 'chaos magic'. Here, rules means the consistent interactions we see in the real world to produce a reliable result. I hit a red ball into a white ball and the white ball moves according to a formula that involves the relative masses of the balls, etc. We don't have 'rules of the game' like that with magic. We do know how our minds form patterns out of patternless muck, however.

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 02:07 PM
While believers claim that there are confirmed and consistent methods for getting such results, that can't be the case.

The truth is, there are many powerful people in all fields that believe and would love to be able to prove such a thing, and if these methods really worked belief in such things wouldn't be in such a rapid decline. Most people want to beleive in magic, ghosts and angels, so if there were any good working methods for contacting them belief in such things would have been steadily growing since the spiritualist boom, as opposed to the movements slowly dying out.


No, indeed. Movements come and go, methods come and go. Not because they don't work but because they do. The paranormal carries in it the seed of its own change. It can't be institutionalized for long, it can't be put into a structure for long, it can't be subjected to bureaucracy. It is inherently anti-structural and liminal. It marginalizes itself. You simply can't have manifestations of the paranormal without all the patterns in the human psyche manifesting as well. That includes the irrational patterns which are a part of us all...no matter how hard we try to repress them.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 02:14 PM
No, indeed. Movements come and go, methods come and go. Not because they don't work but because they do. The paranormal carries in it the seed of its own change. It can't be institutionalized for long, it can't be put into a structure for long, it can't be subjected to bureaucracy. It is inherently anti-structure. It marginalizes itself. You simply can't have manifestations of the paranormal without all the patterns in the human psyche manifesting as well. That includes the irrational patterns which are a part of us all no matter how hard we try to repress them.

So all manifestations of the paranormal are a one off? Most paranormal practitioners would disagree with that.

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 02:16 PM
No, indeed. Movements come and go, methods come and go. Not because they don't work but because they do. The paranormal carries in it the seed of its own change. It can't be institutionalized for long, it can't be put into a structure for long, it can't be subjected to bureaucracy. It is inherently anti-structural and liminal. It marginalizes itself. You simply can't have manifestations of the paranormal without all the patterns in the human psyche manifesting as well. That includes the irrational patterns which are a part of us all...no matter how hard we try to repress them.

Sounds like a weak excuse.

Then why does sigil magic and transcendental meditation work after all these years of doing it?

dlorde
23rd January 2011, 02:16 PM
... You simply can't have manifestations of the paranormal without all the patterns in the human psyche manifesting as well. That includes the irrational patterns.
 
That certainly follows if the paranormal is a product of the human psyche (mind), and irrational patterns would seem to fit particularly well.

Resume
23rd January 2011, 02:21 PM
No, indeed. Movements come and go, methods come and go. Not because they don't work but because they do. The paranormal carries in it the seed of its own change. It can't be institutionalized for long, it can't be put into a structure for long, it can't be subjected to bureaucracy. It is inherently anti-structural and liminal. It marginalizes itself. You simply can't have manifestations of the paranormal without all the patterns in the human psyche manifesting as well. That includes the irrational patterns which are a part of us all...no matter how hard we try to repress them.

This is all very convenient.

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 02:27 PM
Sounds like a weak excuse.


Things aren't always as they seem. Plus, there is evidence to suggest that environmental variables and sidereal time can weaken or strengthen psi effects. Different ages could have different psi strength, and even different natural laws.

Then why does sigil magic and transcendental meditation work after all these years of doing it?


If they work, then why aren't you off making sigils and meditating? ;)

By what reckoning are you measuring time? By a generation? Or an age?

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 02:33 PM
Things aren't always as they seem. Plus, there is evidence to suggest that environmental variables and sidereal time can weaken or strengthen psi effects. Different ages could have different psi strength.




If they work, then why aren't you off making sigils and meditating? ;)

By what reckoning are you measuring time? By a generation? Or an age?

The point I made earlier still stands with sigil magic, a method you encouraged and claimed worked for yourself in this thread.

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 03:18 PM
The point I made earlier still stands with sigil magic, a method you encouraged and claimed worked for yourself in this thread.


It does. But it is a relatively new method developed by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). In past ages, when the environment was different and people believed different things, psychic strength could have been much, much stronger. Psi is sociological, too. It takes a village. We are living in an age where psi-inhibitive variables outweigh psi-conducive variables. The Hindu call this age the Kali Yuga, and in the Kali Yuga we are cut off from Divine power. Our spiritual powers are weak in the Kali Yuga. People are ignorant, lustful, and stressed out and Gurus are not respected. Thats the opposite of what it takes for strong psi to manifest in a culture.

Sledge
23rd January 2011, 03:21 PM
Ah, Limbo, you're about. Excellent. How do I go about building this telescope?

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 03:40 PM
It does. But it is a relatively new method developed by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). In past ages, when the environment was different and people believed different things, psychic strength could have been much, much stronger. Psi is sociological, too. It takes a village. We are living in an age where psi-inhibitive variables outweigh psi-conducive variables. The Hindu call this age the Kali Yuga, and in the Kali Yuga we are cut off from Divine power. Our spiritual powers are weak in the Kali Yuga. People are ignorant, lustful, and stressed out and Gurus are not respected. Thats the opposite of what it takes for strong psi to manifest in a culture.

People were ignorant, lustful and stressed out in ancient times too. That's why every holy book and prophet is trying to wake people up and change their ways. Except for the lower belief in the paranormal, people are pretty much the same.

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 03:47 PM
People were ignorant, lustful and stressed out in ancient times too. That's why every holy book and prophet is trying to wake people up and change their ways. Except for the lower belief in the paranormal, people are pretty much the same.


But that lower belief can make a big difference. Psi effects take place against an unconscious backdrop of belief/disbelief. Thats why one has to believe in it (or at least not disbelieve in it) or it won't happen. And even that is not a guarantee, because many people don't believe in it and that inhibits the strength of psi.

Add to that the recent indications that sidereal time can influence it. And magnetic fields. There could be all sorts of things that are making psi very weak these days and in certain areas.

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 03:50 PM
But that lower belief can make a big difference. Psi effects take place against an unconscious backdrop of belief/disbelief. Thats why one has to believe in it (or at least not disbelieve in it) or it won't happen. And even that is not a guarantee, because many people don't believe in it and that inhibits the strength of psi.

Add to that the recent indications that sidereal time can influence it. And magnetic fields. There could be all sorts of things that are making psi very weak these days and in certain areas.

When I said people were more superstitious, I meant stuff like thinking volcanoes and storms were Gods. People are still extremely superstitious today, and most beleive in ghosts and other such paranormal things like psychics. The skeptics are a minority.

Also, where is your proof that magnetic fields can can influence psi?

Katopale
23rd January 2011, 04:00 PM
It does. But it is a relatively new method developed by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). In past ages, when the environment was different and people believed different things, psychic strength could have been much, much stronger. Psi is sociological, too. It takes a village. We are living in an age where psi-inhibitive variables outweigh psi-conducive variables. The Hindu call this age the Kali Yuga, and in the Kali Yuga we are cut off from Divine power. Our spiritual powers are weak in the Kali Yuga. People are ignorant, lustful, and stressed out and Gurus are not respected. Thats the opposite of what it takes for strong psi to manifest in a culture.

You say it works after charging one sigil that you claim caused you to have a premonition of a complete stranger being dragged off a bus?

Anything else to add weight to the claim that '"it works"?

And you are ignoring the guy that built his own telescope. Where did I go wrong Limbo?

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 04:02 PM
When I said people were more superstitious, I meant stuff like thinking volcanoes and storms were Gods. People are still extremely superstitious today, and most beleive in ghosts and other such paranormal things like psychics. The skeptics are a minority.


Its about cultures projecting their collective psyche into the unknown. The unknown then takes on the patterns and features of the psyche, and our psyche is reflected back at us. Including the archetypes and the psychic ability of the psyche.

As the frontiers of the known have grown, our projections have been gradually withdrawn.

Also, where is your proof that magnetic fields can can influence psi?


Not proof, evidence. Proof is an elusive concept.

http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-insights-into-links-between-esp-and.html

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 04:02 PM
When I said people were more superstitious, I meant stuff like thinking volcanoes and storms were Gods. People are still extremely superstitious today, and most beleive in ghosts and other such paranormal things like psychics. The skeptics are a minority.

Also, where is your proof that magnetic fields can can influence psi?
Speaking of magnetic fields, the Earth kind of has a great honking big one.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 04:05 PM
Not proof, evidence. Proof is an elusive concept.

http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-insights-into-links-between-esp-and.html
With Dean Radin, proper experimental design and statistical methods are elusive concepts. Are you sure you want to hitch your wagon to his?

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 04:06 PM
Time to break out my canned response to PixyMisa:

"No."

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 04:07 PM
You claim success after charging one sigil and claiming to have a premonition of a complete stranger being dragged off a bus?

Anything else to add weight to the claim that '"it works"?

And you are ignoring the guy that built his own telescope. Where did I go wrong Limbo?


Don't know, don't care. I'm here for Zanders not you.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 04:08 PM
With Dean Radin, proper experimental design and statistical methods are elusive concepts. Are you sure you want to hitch your wagon to his?

Time to break out my canned response to PixyMisa:

"No."

Well, okay then. Good call; Radin's "research" is just a dust bowl of bad science.

So, having dropped that, do you have any evidence to support anything that you've said?

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 04:10 PM
Its about cultures projecting their collective psyche into the unknown. The unknown then takes on the patterns and features of the psyche, and our psyche is reflected back at us. Including the archetypes and the psychic ability of the psyche.

As the frontiers of the known have grown, our projections have been gradually withdrawn.



The 70s were actually an explosion of spiritual, psychic and other paranormal beleifs, and the 90s were pretty big on them as well. Heck, I can't even turn on the tv without being bombarded with such concepts.

You claim success after charging one sigil and claiming to have a premonition of a complete stranger being dragged off a bus?

Anything else to add weight to the claim that '"it works"?

And you are ignoring the guy that built his own telescope. Where did I go wrong Limbo?

It's like what I said. If it is so easy to do, more powerful and important people should be doing it, causing belief in it to grow.

Limbo, how long ago did you have your sigil magic success? Was it long enough for the rules to change and sigils to stop working?

tsig
23rd January 2011, 04:10 PM
Things aren't always as they seem. Plus, there is evidence to suggest that environmental variables and sidereal time can weaken or strengthen psi effects. Different ages could have different psi strength, and even different natural laws.




If they work, then why aren't you off making sigils and meditating? ;)

By what reckoning are you measuring time? By a generation? Or an age?

They didn't work.

Katopale
23rd January 2011, 04:14 PM
Don't know, don't care. I'm here for Zanders not you.

You made the claim that Chaos Magic works.

What are you basing this on?

tsig
23rd January 2011, 04:14 PM
It does. But it is a relatively new method developed by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956). In past ages, when the environment was different and people believed different things, psychic strength could have been much, much stronger. Psi is sociological, too. It takes a village. We are living in an age where psi-inhibitive variables outweigh psi-conducive variables. The Hindu call this age the Kali Yuga, and in the Kali Yuga we are cut off from Divine power. Our spiritual powers are weak in the Kali Yuga. People are ignorant, lustful, and stressed out and Gurus are not respected. Thats the opposite of what it takes for strong psi to manifest in a culture.

Yeah, psi power really stopped the Black Death.

Shame we can't return to those halcyon times.

Limbo
23rd January 2011, 04:17 PM
You know, the 70s were actually an explosion of psychic and other paranormal beleifs, and the 90s were pretty big on them as well.


Yes, it comes and goes.

People seem to want to think that if psi is real its like flicking a light switch and *presto*. Its not that easy and there are variables we are only beginning to become aware of. These variables can cause a psychic person to fail at psi. When that happens its very tempting for that person to think psi is bunk.

Limbo, how long ago did you have your sigil magic success? Was it long enough for the rules to change and sigils to stop working?


It was several years ago, and I thought I explained to you that the rules don't change that quickly.

*sigh*

I think I am just confusing you. Maybe I should just leave you be.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 04:17 PM
Its about cultures projecting their collective psyche into the unknown. The unknown then takes on the patterns and features of the psyche, and our psyche is reflected back at us. Including the archetypes and the psychic ability of the psyche.

As the frontiers of the known have grown, our projections have been gradually withdrawn.




Not proof, evidence. Proof is an elusive concept.

http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2008/11/new-insights-into-links-between-esp-and.html

That sounds a lot like ignorance giving way to knowledge.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 04:19 PM
Don't know, don't care. I'm here for Zanders not you.

You perceive Zanders as more credulous that the rest of us?

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 04:20 PM
Yes, it comes and goes.

People seem to want to think that if psi is real its like flicking a light switch and *presto*. Its not that easy and there are variables we are only beginning to become aware of. These variables can cause a psychic person to fail at psi. When that happens its very tempting for that person to think psi is bunk.




It was several years ago, and I thought I explained to you that the rules don't change that quickly.

*sigh*

I think I am just confusing you.


Sorry about that. I was just wondering why more people aren't using it if it works so well. Most kids would be thrilled to attempt some chaos magic, and many people do beleive in the paranormal.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 04:24 PM
Yes, it comes and goes.

People seem to want to think that if psi is real its like flicking a light switch and *presto*. Its not that easy and there are variables we are only beginning to become aware of. These variables can cause a psychic person to fail at psi. When that happens its very tempting for that person to think psi is bunk.
So what you're saying is that it doesn't work, and this leads people to conclude that it doesn't work?

Well... Yeah.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 04:26 PM
Sorry about that. I was just wondering why more people aren't using it if it works so well. Most kids would be thrilled to attempt some chaos magic, and many people do beleive in the paranormal.
Exactly. There's hardly a shortage of believers in the supernatural, and many of them would be happy to try whatever it is Limbo is suggesting.

And yet, the evidence meter is stuck at zero.

How can this be?

Katopale
23rd January 2011, 05:44 PM
Sorry about that. I was just wondering why more people aren't using it if it works so well. Most kids would be thrilled to attempt some chaos magic, and many people do beleive in the paranormal.

I'm wondering, if it works so well, why Limbo hasn't used it more than once himself.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 05:49 PM
I'm wondering, if it works so well, why Limbo hasn't used it more than once himself.

Why doesn't he use it on us?:eek:

tsig
23rd January 2011, 05:51 PM
Exactly. There's hardly a shortage of believers in the supernatural, and many of them would be happy to try whatever it is Limbo is suggesting.

And yet, the evidence meter is stuck at zero.

How can this be?

Well what am I supposed to do with all these psychic telescope parts?

Robin
23rd January 2011, 05:54 PM
Well what am I supposed to do with all these psychic telescope parts?
I would remind you that the psychic telescope parts consist of taking drugs, energetic dancing and having lots of sex.

I do think that the answer to your question suggests itself right there, depending upon your preference.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 06:06 PM
I would remind you that the psychic telescope parts consist of taking drugs, energetic dancing and having lots of sex.

I do think that the answer to your question suggests itself right there, depending upon your preference.

I'm a little old for that now but when I tried drugs, dancing and sex the results were chaotic. Of course MMMV*.:)

my memory may vary

Katopale
23rd January 2011, 06:15 PM
I would remind you that the psychic telescope parts consist of taking drugs, energetic dancing and having lots of sex.

I do think that the answer to your question suggests itself right there, depending upon your preference.

Indeed. My telescope got a lot of action.:)

Pure Argent
23rd January 2011, 06:43 PM
But that lower belief can make a big difference. Psi effects take place against an unconscious backdrop of belief/disbelief. Thats why one has to believe in it (or at least not disbelieve in it) or it won't happen. And even that is not a guarantee, because many people don't believe in it and that inhibits the strength of psi.

Ah, the sheep-goat effect. Funny how no evidence has ever been produced to verify its existence.

All you need is a group of sheep. Have them perform a rigorous experiment (preferably one whose methodology was established by "goats") and publish their - presumably positive - results. Then have this repeated by other groups of sheep. Then have it repeated - and failed - by groups of goats.

It's not that hard to prove. Why hasn't it been?

Add to that the recent indications that sidereal time can influence it. And magnetic fields. There could be all sorts of things that are making psi very weak these days and in certain areas.

Ah. That's why.

So do you have any actual evidence that this has an effect? Or are you simply assuming psi's existence, then throwing in as many catches as possible to ensure that no one can ever disprove your claim (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-the-question.html)?

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 07:14 PM
...Which they never would have endeavored to accomplish in the first place if they acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time.



I'm confused. There were many people working on the possibility of human powered flight when the Wright Brothers first figured it out. What do you mean "acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time"? We have known for a long time that flight was possible; the Wright Brothers themselves played with flying toys as children. I don't understand what point you are trying to make here because it seems to contradict actual history.

There were many prominent academics and scientists who, in the years leading up to the Wright Brothers breakthrough, confidently declared that "heavier than air flying machines" were impossible. That the idea was starting to gain mainstream traction doesn't change the fact that such a possibility was widely considered science fiction. In any case, I wasn't the one to bring up the example. I was merely responding to a comment (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=6791005#post6791005) made by Katopale a couple pages back.

Robin
23rd January 2011, 07:20 PM
There were many prominent academics and scientists who, in the years leading up to the Wright Brothers breakthrough, confidently declared that "heavier than air flying machines" were impossible.
Well that is not quite true, in fact heavier than air flight had been acheived on a limited basis already.

I don't think anybody said it was impossible, but there was a handful of prominent people - including Kelvin - who predicted that it would never be a practical proposition.

Robin
23rd January 2011, 07:21 PM
I'm a little old for that now but when I tried drugs, dancing and sex the results were chaotic. Of course MMMV*.:)

my memory may vary
Chaotic and magic as I recall. But I am sure that is not what Limbo is talking about.

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 07:23 PM
So if someone is accused of committing a murder how would you experimentally establish the truth/falsehood of the claim via web discussion? More to the point, how would you experimentally verify the claims I've made?

I'd follow your experimental protocol and see if I got the same results so now all you have to do is post your protocol and we'll all follow it and you can shut all the skeptics up.

Dude, thats even more stupid than asking for an experimental protocol for observing a meteorite fall. The events in question were spontaneous and occurred without my behest or control -- how the hell do you propose one design an experiment to replicate such phenomena? When you have something other than a moronic canned response let me know.

AkuManiMani
23rd January 2011, 08:42 PM
*Phew*

This is a lot to take in. As you took the time to put forward a thoughtful response I'll read it thru and try to give some worthy feedback :)

Sorry that this is a bit rambling..................


Cognitive styles vary. This is not controversial nor should it seem strange. Some folks tend toward the concrete while others are malleable. Consequently, people express differing opinions. That a scientist in the past might have expressed a strong opinion based on his experiences and biases (many strong opinions prove to be religiously based on further examination and not ‘scientific’) should surprise no one and is, in fact, to be expected. That some of those opinions will prove to be wrong should also be expected.

This is how scientific reasoning works: we assume a framework, we gather data and form hypotheses rejecting those contradicted by the data, we form theories based on previous hypotheses that work, and we create a paradigm that explains the theories that survive these rigorous tests – all within the prevailing framework. The framework within which we judge scientific theories is methodological naturalism. In its simplest form, we posit that there is a set of rules that nature follows and that we can explain all that we are capable of explaining by using this set of rules.

Hypotheses obviously change with time and specifically change when new data contradicts them. Theories are more resistant to change, but do so frequently. Hypotheses live and die with single experiments; theories require more evidence, generally, than a single experiment to overturn. Paradigms resist change even more strongly, requiring considerable evidence that can best be explained only with a change in our basic view of how our theories cohere. The overarching framework for all of scientific reasoning, however, is the most resistant to change. It requires absolutely extraordinary evidence to overturn.

Many current theories and paradigms were unknown until proved; that is the nature of science. Some of these ideas were thought strange or impossible by a few and, at times, by the many. The heliocentric theory shines as the prime example, but there are others, though rare. Generally, and particularly in our current climate, a cauldron of ideas compete with the best prevailing. While somewhat strange, I have found it best to view all ideas as rationalizations (even with all the Freudian baggage that entails). It is just that some rationalizations work and are supported by evidence.

As Haldane liked to remind us, our ignorance probably trumps our knowledge – but, being ignorant, we will never really know. We will surely make new discoveries about the universe as time goes by, probably never reaching the end (I would say, based on our construction, that we definitely will never reach the end since we must begin with assumptions, but I abhor absolute statements). Recent conjectures on the multiverse, string theory and dark energy serve as good examples of ideas that are not yet part of a coherent schema.

I'm reminded of a quote by the 19th century chemist Humphry Davy (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Humphry_Davy):

"Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose that our views of science are ultimate; that there are no mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete, and that there are no new worlds to conquer."

I do no expect to convince many [or any, for that matter] of the reality of my own personal accounts. However, a big reason for why I bothered sharing at all was to draw attention to the fact that too many [even among the ranks of self identified skeptics] fall into the trap of mistaking their beliefs for knowledge. As I've mentioned repeatedly, it is not the doubt being expressed regarding claims like mine that disturbs me, but the certainty of falsehood. The truth of the matter is that skepticism involves the ability to entertain possibilities/claims as hypotheticals while suspending judgement as to their veracity.

Many here, based upon what they believe about our current scientific understanding, assume that accounts like mine cannot be true or valid. I've even had more than a few accuse me of trying to "over turn the foundations of science", as if me even mentioning my experiences is some kind of heresy. Quite a few critics here have claimed outright that what I've reported contradicts most or all of our scientific knowledge, yet they've failed to specify exactly how it is in contradiction. They start from a presumption of falsehood and demand proof contrary to their presumption. This sort of behavior is not skepticism, nor is it a display of critical thinking; its simply being critical of claims that run counter to one's own beliefs -- pure n' simple.

Do I have a complete theory to explain, in full detail, experiences like the ones linked by Malerin and Limbo, or the ones I've reported? Of course not. However, what I do know is that they require a better theoretical framework than science currently has at it's disposal. I also know that, relative to my own personal experiences, such "extraordinary" claims aren't so "extraordinary" that I must assume them to be false/mistaken from the get-go. There is definitely something interesting going on with regard to these phenomena and it is neither skeptical or scientific to continue to discount them off-hand.

Philosophically, while it is possible that the observable universe (multiverse) is part of a greater whole, with mind (or experience) being more fundamental, we already have a word for that – idealism. Even with an idealist framework, we do not encounter mind independent of body in our regular observations of the world. In Idealism Mind creates matter through the action of thought; there is no additional provision for Mind to interact with what we call our minds (which are dependent on matter) unless we invoke some form of dualism; a discarnate mind interacting/speaking to someone relies on dualism and cannot be explained within a monistic framework.

Magic, by definition, contradicts methodological naturalism since only natural explanations are allowed. If the supernatural exists (an ontological possibility) science, being based in methodological naturalism, cannot account for it nor comment upon it because the supernatural would not follow the rules of the natural world. Anything that does follow the rules of the natural world, whether a part of our current understanding of physics or not, is natural and is amenable to study by methodological naturalism.

I think this touches upon the heart of this issue here. Much of the controversy regarding purported "supernatural" experiences/accounts stems not so much from actual scientific objections, but from metaphysical assumptions. IMO, any apparent physical laws that we observe are no more fundamental that the laws of the road, merely by virtue of the fact that such laws must themselves emerge from some deeper bases. Just about all of the findings at the frontiers of theoretical physics strongly suggest that our directly observable universe and its apparent constants are historical artifacts. What we consider the "natural world" is almost certainly contingent. "Magic" would simply be any mechanism or operation that supervenes upon, or works outside of, what we tentatively consider to be the "natural" laws of physics; in much the same way that messing around with the rules and parameters of a simulated world would be considered "magical" by observers within the frame of the simulation.

To be quite honest, there is nothing to suggest that what precious little we solidly know in science logically precludes the possibility of any "supernatural" phenomena. Skepticism is called for regarding such claims; a default position of dismissal is not.

Meanwhile, we do know certain facts about brain/mind function. We are prone to type 1 errors and particularly to certain kinds of type 1 errors. The classical evolutionary explanation concerns an early hominid and rustling grass – we are prone to view the rustle as due to an agent because it doesn’t hurt much to run away from the wind but hurts considerable not to run away from a crouching lion. We also know that certain people are more prone to type 1 errors, particularly to the kind of type 1 error that posits an agent behind whatever pattern we perceive. We even know how to manipulate people into committing such errors more and less often based in large part on dopamine pathways. Increase dopamine neurotransmitter levels and we tend to posit the presence of an agent; remove the action of dopamine and we are less likely to do so. This is the basis of neuroleptic treatment for delusions (an extreme form of this kind of type 1 error).

The strength of anecdotal evidence depends on the number and strengths of alternative explanations for the data. Recall, first, that evidence is data used for or against a proposition – evidence does not exist as evidence independent of some form of argument. If there are many likely explanations for why we encounter a particular piece of data, the data cannot serve as strong evidence. If there is only one likely explanation for particular data, then that data serves as strong evidence for the argument being made. Converging data points also provide better support. So, for instance, my wife is late for an appointment. She tells me that she went to the store to buy something for dinner tonight. There are a few likely scenarios, but one is most likely based on my knowledge of her and her way of acting in the world – she went to the store. If I see the new bottle of red wine vinegar in the pantry and that only reinforces the idea.

We use anecdotal data as evidence all the time. But no one considers anecdotes as strong evidence, particularly because there are often many different explanations for any anecdote (true, misrepresentation, confirmation bias, pure invention, etc.). Anecdotes cannot, therefore, be used effectively to suggest that our current way of viewing the world needs revision. Stronger evidence is needed.

If one grants that even a few of the innumerable documented "psi" experiences are accurate [such as accounts involving OBEs] they demonstrate that common ways of viewing the world most certainly require some revision. Even disregarding personal accounts like mine, there is considerable experimental evidence that lends added credence:

Even some skeptics, such as Ray Hyman, say that some parapsychological studies may have merit:

"I have argued that the case for the existence of anomalous cognition is still shaky, at best. On the other hand, I want to state that I believe that the SAIC [Science Applications International Corporation] experiments as well as the contemporary ganzfeld experiments display methodological and statistical sophistication well above previous parapsychological research. Despite better controls and careful use of statistical inference, the investigators seem to be getting significant results that do not appear to derive from the more obvious flaws of previous research."

http://www.wikisynergy.com/wiki/ESP

TBH, I cannot say whether so-called "psi" phenomena are the products of the same underlying mechanism(s) but, for the most part, they all appear to be related to the nature of consciousness itself which, for all intents and purposes, we have only the barest scientific understanding of. What little understanding we do have is fairly superficial [such as knowledge of certain neural correlates] with nothing in the way of understanding the physics of consciousness qua consciousness. As of now, even from the position of an individual who has no first-hand experience of such phenomena, it is premature to disregard seemingly extraordinary accounts of "psi" as impossible or in contradiction with the laws of physics. Quite frankly, we do not know enough concerning the physics of consciousness [or physics in general, for that matter] to make such determinations.

Robin
23rd January 2011, 08:57 PM
Do I have a complete theory to explain, in full detail, experiences like the ones linked by Malerin and Limbo, or the ones I've reported? Of course not. However, what I do know is that they require a better theoretical framework than science currently has at it's disposal.
And how exactly do you know that?

Zanders
23rd January 2011, 09:10 PM
I'm reminded of a quote by the 19th century chemist Humphry Davy (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Humphry_Davy):

"Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human minds as to suppose that our views of science are ultimate; that there are no mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete, and that there are no new worlds to conquer."





We didn't see evidence and then turn the evidence down saying it was impossible, there is simply no good evidence presented.

We asked for evidence, we aren't getting any actual evidence. If we find hard evidence, then people will be ignorant for turning it down purely based on what we think science is (whatever that even means).

If one grants that even a few of the innumerable documented "psi" experiences are accurate [such as accounts involving OBEs] they demonstrate that common ways of viewing the world most certainly require some revision. Even disregarding personal accounts like mine, there is considerable experimental evidence that lends added credence:


Anecdotes about OBE's (which you give too much value to) are hardly enough. If you can obtain information you couldn't have known though an OBE, it would be easily testable. We can already put people and such states in a lab, and then we could see if they could report images shown while they were supposedly out of their bodies. See? Easily testable. Don't be ignorant.

Don't tell me there is an evil conspiracy among scientists to undermine the "paranormal".

Here are some interested links on lab induces OBEs. 1 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823141057.htm) 2 (http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2007/0823out_of_body.shtml). And on top of that, somebody could easily use their occult methods to astrally project under lab conditions and then tell the doctors what images they were holding up.

The American government poured tons of money in to such research and came out with very little of value. That is why they discontinues such research. Unless of course, you been mislead by the American government

Why doesn't he use it on us?:eek:


I think there was a thread made to try and influence the post count with psychic powers.

Ah, the sheep-goat effect. Funny how no evidence has ever been produced to verify its existence.

All you need is a group of sheep. Have them perform a rigorous experiment (preferably one whose methodology was established by "goats") and publish their - presumably positive - results. Then have this repeated by other groups of sheep. Then have it repeated - and failed - by groups of goats.

It's not that hard to prove. Why hasn't it been?



Ah. That's why.

So do you have any actual evidence that this has an effect? Or are you simply assuming psi's existence, then throwing in as many catches as possible to ensure that no one can ever disprove your claim (http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-the-question.html)?


It certainly looks like clutching at straws to me.

PixyMisa
23rd January 2011, 09:42 PM
Well that is not quite true, in fact heavier than air flight had been acheived on a limited basis already.

I don't think anybody said it was impossible, but there was a handful of prominent people - including Kelvin - who predicted that it would never be a practical proposition.
Naturally no-one said it was impossible, because, duh, birds. (Also, bats, insects.)

But many people said that the necessary power-to-weight ratio could not be achieved. They was wrong. But that was something very specific:

Kelvin et al: Heavier-than-air flight is not a practical proposition, because you can't achieve the necessary power-to-weight ratio.
Wilbur & Orville: We've achieved the necessary power-to-weight ratio.
Kelvin et al: So you have. Good work.

tsig
23rd January 2011, 10:29 PM
Naturally no-one said it was impossbile, because, duh, birds. (Also, bats, insects.)

But many people said that the necessary power-to-weight ratio could not be achieved. They was wrong. But that was something very specific:

Kelvin et al: Heavier-than-air flight is not a practical proposition, because you can't achieve the necessary power-to-weight ratio.
Wilbur & Orville: We've achieved the necessary power-to-weight ratio.
Kelvin et al: So you have. Good work.

Yes. When the technology made it possible we went flying. All the negative thoughts in the world couldn't keep the Wrights on the ground.

punshhh
23rd January 2011, 11:50 PM
I would remind you that the psychic telescope parts consist of taking drugs, energetic dancing and having lots of sex.

I do think that the answer to your question suggests itself right there, depending upon your preference.

I recall an occasion about 15 years ago, I was staying in a remote Himalayan village. The villagers had been worrying for some time about the lack of rain and had decided to perform a rain dance, I was invited to attend.
On the day of the dance I awoke excited in anticipation of the event, when I was surprised to discover torrential rain out side.

I asked my host if the dance was still on, he said of course, just because it had started to rain before the dance had begun didn't mean they should not dance.
His attitude was that it was only raining because of the dance even though the dance had not yet taken place.

During the dance in a small secluded square in a medieval village high up in the Himalaya (I was probably the only white man for a hundred miles in any direction). I sat with the whole village and watched as the dance began.

The villagers sat round all unquestioning in any way of what was happening.
There were a few with bells and small drums, playing a regular beat.
There were a few men and women dressed in quite elaborate clothes, they seemed to be elders. They one after the other danced round a small fire in the centre playing a drum with a neck and string like a primitive banjo.

They would dance becoming more and more animated until I expected them to fall over and pass out. It would reach a frenzy upon which they appeared to go into a trance or become possessed in some way. In their hand would be some rice which they would throw onto the drum and the fire. After a minute or so they would collapse into a heap and be helped to move to one side. The next would begin to dance.

This continued for a couple of hours, fortunately the rain had eased off a bit and we didn't all get soaked.

I had had an experience rather like being transported into another age. I was the only one present who might have considered that the dance was not the cause of the rain. To the villagers this was a ritual they had experienced their whole lives, likewise their ancestors for generations before them.

Immersed in this culture I found it hard to hold onto my conviction that rain was due to meteorological conditions.

Halfcentaur
24th January 2011, 12:00 AM
Dude, thats even more stupid than asking for an experimental protocol for observing a meteorite fall. The events in question were spontaneous and occurred without my behest or control -- how the hell do you propose one design an experiment to replicate such phenomena? When you have something other than a moronic canned response let me know.

A world of magic and wonder that exists beyond everything we know and can verify is a world people would wish to be in. People spend thousands of hours pretending to be in these worlds, writing novels and making movies about them. People spend time contemplating these things because we want them to be true.

And yet, everything we can do that is repeatable and able to yield evidence does not support this world view as a reality. If a person has never seen or experienced these things, logically, they should be incredulous of those who claim otherwise. You yourself are skeptical of some things, you're just drawing a line in the sand at a different place than we are.

If this stuff is real and you're trying to be reasonable about it, you would be completely empathetic towards the people who doubt you, no matter how moronic they come off. You're not looking for anything but a validation of your own special powers and the special world you live in, and you seem to turn into a hostile prick when pressed on coming back to reality. People like you and Limbo are afraid of being wrong because you would have to come to terms with the real world.

Even if these things were true and for some reason only happened at random moments and were unable to be verified with evidence, you guys don't come off as people who are just tragically the target of doubt and belittling skepticism. You come off as arrogant and combative, which betrays the stakes you're defending. You probably have convinced yourself these things are true, but at some level you are just as skeptical as we are, and you hate that part of yourself.

punshhh
24th January 2011, 12:55 AM
A world of magic and wonder that exists beyond everything we know and can verify is a world people would wish to be in. People spend thousands of hours pretending to be in these worlds, writing novels and making movies about them. People spend time contemplating these things because we want them to be true.

And yet, everything we can do that is repeatable and able to yield evidence does not support this world view as a reality. If a person has never seen or experienced these things, logically, they should be incredulous of those who claim otherwise. You yourself are skeptical of some things, you're just drawing a line in the sand at a different place than we are.

If this stuff is real and you're trying to be reasonable about it, you would be completely empathetic towards the people who doubt you, no matter how moronic they come off. You're not looking for anything but a validation of your own special powers and the special world you live in, and you seem to turn into a hostile prick when pressed on coming back to reality. People like you and Limbo are afraid of being wrong because you would have to come to terms with the real world.

Even if these things were true and for some reason only happened at random moments and were unable to be verified with evidence, you guys don't come off as people who are just tragically the target of doubt and belittling skepticism. You come off as arrogant and combative, which betrays the stakes you're defending. You probably have convinced yourself these things are true, but at some level you are just as skeptical as we are, and you hate that part of yourself.

I am empathic with your predicament halfcentaur.

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 02:51 AM
Which was vehemently rejected for decades.
[citation needed]

Even assuming Boltzmann was bipolar, it still doesn't change the fact that he was very unpopular, faced public ridicule, and was subjected to professional persecution for presenting evidence and voicing views that contradicted widely held dogma. His suicide was in direct response to what was going on in his professional life.
[citation needed]

Try looking it up yourself; a quick Google search on the man should easily provide biographical information if you're honestly interested. Or, better yet, back up your own bald assertions [e.g. "Boltzmann was bipolar"] and maybe I'll consider going thru the extra effort of adding links myself. Until then your hypocrisy is noted.

...Which they never would have endeavored to accomplish in the first place if they acquiesced to the prevailing beliefs of the time.

So?

The key point is that they didn't prove anything by going against whatever the prevailing beliefs might have been.

They proved that their aircraft could fly by flying it.

Again, would any of the critics of heavier-than-air flying machines who, based upon their presumed "knowledge" that they were impossible, have even bothered to make the advance themselves? Don't tell me that you're deliberately dodging yet another point, Pixy :rolleyes:

PixyMisa
24th January 2011, 02:55 AM
Dude, thats even more stupid than asking for an experimental protocol for observing a meteorite fall. The events in question were spontaneous and occurred without my behest or control -- how the hell do you propose one design an experiment to replicate such phenomena?
Lots of spontaneous events have been carefully documented and reliably and repeatably observed - meteors of course being one of them.

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 02:55 AM
Do I have a complete theory to explain, in full detail, experiences like the ones linked by Malerin and Limbo, or the ones I've reported? Of course not. However, what I do know is that they require a better theoretical framework than science currently has at it's disposal.
And how exactly do you know that?

Because our current theoretical framework does not explain the mechanisms for how an OBE, or "spirit" contact with a subject's mind could provide veridical information they otherwise would not have access to. If it did such phenomena would not be classified as "supernatural" claims.

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 02:56 AM
Lots of spontaneous events have been carefully documented and reliably and repeatably observed - meteors of course being one of them.

Give me an experimental protocol that will produce a meteor shower on demand.

Zanders
24th January 2011, 03:01 AM
Give me an experimental protocol that will produce a meteor shower on demand.

An absolutely ignorant and goofy comparison. We can see meteor showers coming in advance and observe them when they happen.

What are you going on about? :rolleyes: *mocking eye roll smiley*

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 03:25 AM
I'm reminded of a quote by the 19th century chemist Humphry Davy (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Humphry_Davy):

"Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human minds as to suppose that our views of science are ultimate; that there are no mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete, and that there are no new worlds to conquer."





We didn't see evidence and then turn the evidence down saying it was impossible, there is simply no good evidence presented.

We asked for evidence, we aren't getting any actual evidence. If we find hard evidence, then people will be ignorant for turning it down purely based on what we think science is (whatever that even means).

Again, what kind of 'hard evidence' could there be for the kinds of internal experiences [like the one's recounted by me] of receiving veridical information if people's very recollections of the events are automatically discounted?

If one grants that even a few of the innumerable documented "psi" experiences are accurate [such as accounts involving OBEs] they demonstrate that common ways of viewing the world most certainly require some revision. Even disregarding personal accounts like mine, there is considerable experimental evidence that lends added credence:


Anecdotes about OBE's (which you give too much value to) are hardly enough. If you can obtain information you couldn't have known though an OBE, it would be easily testable. We can already put people and such states in a lab, and then we could see if they could report images shown while they were supposedly out of their bodies. See? Easily testable. Don't be ignorant.

There are numerous reports of just such occurrences -- particularly from patients who report having spontaneous NDEs. Are you automatically disqualifying every documented case?

Don't tell me there is an evil conspiracy among scientists to undermine the "paranormal".

Taboos don't require conspiracy.

Here are some interested links on lab induces OBEs. 1 (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823141057.htm)

2 (http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2007/0823out_of_body.shtml)

I've already read numerous articles on lab induced "OBEs" and Michael Shermer's own writings on the subject. The induced sensations and the actual experiences, as reported, are not the same.


And on top of that, somebody could easily use their occult methods to astrally project under lab conditions and then tell the doctors what images they were holding up.

Don't know anything about "occult" methods. All I know is that there are numerous accounts of such experiences occurring spontaneously. A quick google search turned up a link (http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html) to a site with a list of evidence for such experiences. Haven't had enough time to read thru all of it but, from the looks of it, it's worth checking out.

The American government poured tons of money in to such research and came out with very little of value. That is why they discontinues such research. Unless of course, you been mislead by the American government

Heh, wouldn't be the first time.

Robin
24th January 2011, 03:31 AM
Because our current theoretical framework does not explain the mechanisms for how an OBE, or "spirit" contact with a subject's mind could provide veridical information they otherwise would not have access to. If it did such phenomena would not be classified as "supernatural" claims.
Our current theoretical framework explains OBE's just fine. Artifacts of the mind.

As for your own experience, I am not convinced that the mind is such a reliable entity that you can really be sure that you are not mistaken about this.

Zanders
24th January 2011, 03:33 AM
Again, what kind of 'hard evidence' could there be for the kinds of internal experiences [like the one's recounted by me] of receiving veridical information if people's very recollections of the events are automatically discounted?



There are numerous reports of just such occurrences -- particularly from patients who report having spontaneous NDEs. Are you automatically disqualifying every documented case?



Taboos don't require conspiracy.



I've already read numerous articles on lab induced "OBEs" and Michael Shermer's own writings on the subject. The induced sensations and the actual experiences, as reported, are not the same.




Don't know anything about "occult" methods. All I know is that there are numerous accounts of such experiences occurring spontaneously. A quick google search turned up a link (http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html) to a site with a list of evidence for such experiences. Haven't had enough time to read thru all of it but, from the looks of it, it's worth checking out.



Heh, wouldn't be the first time.

Anecdotes. I said that it could easily be tested, and it should.

Also, the site you linked to has a large article on Sylvia Browne, and how good of a psychic she is. I think I've already heard enough from that specific site.

You had tour own experiences, and I'm not saying that you never did. But when it comes to other paranormal claims you seem downright credulous and uncritical.

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 03:33 AM
Give me an experimental protocol that will produce a meteor shower on demand.

An absolutely ignorant and goofy comparison. We can see meteor showers coming in advance and observe them when they happen.

The point is that we do not have the ability to induce them to occur under controlled conditions. In the case of events like the ones I've reported, the situation is further aggravated by the fact that the experiences in question are "internal" rather than "public", so the only way to confirm them is thru the subject relaying veridical information they'd otherwise not have access to.

What are you going on about? :rolleyes: *mocking eye roll smiley*

Oh-ho! I see wutchu did thar! ;)

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 03:36 AM
Anecdotes. I said that it could easily be tested, and it should.

Okay. A patient reports an OBE/NDE where they recall details of the operation they were supposedly not conscious to witness and medical staff present confirm details of their account. How would one go about testing it?

Also, the site you linked to has a large article on Sylvia Browne, and how good of a psychic she is. I think I've already heard enough from that specific site.

A quick term search of the page didn't turn up anything on Sylvia Browne. If you could link the exact article for me that would be helpful :)

Zanders
24th January 2011, 03:38 AM
The point is that we do not have the ability to induce them to occur under controlled conditions. In the case of events like the ones I've reported, the situation is further aggravated by the fact that the experiences in question are "internal" rather than "public", so the only way to confirm them is thru the subject relaying veridical information they'd otherwise not have access to.



Oh-ho! I see wutchu did thar! ;)

So, can we have people learn the signs of their arrival and prepare to observe them? If not, the comparison makes absolutely no sense.

A quick term search of the page didn't turn up anything on Sylvia Browne. If you could link the exact article for me that would be helpful :)


Really? That's odd. I am certain I read a page on her somewhere on that site. I read through a few of the pages on the site in the past when I was looking for stuff on Swedenborg and I'm pretty sure it had a page Sylvia Browne.

I will look through the site and find it tomorrow, since I should seriously be sleeping right now.

AkuManiMani
24th January 2011, 03:46 AM
The point is that we do not have the ability to induce them to occur under controlled conditions. In the case of events like the ones I've reported, the situation is further aggravated by the fact that the experiences in question are "internal" rather than "public", so the only way to confirm them is thru the subject relaying veridical information they'd otherwise not have access to.

So, can we have people learn the signs of their arrival and prepare to observe them? If not, the comparison makes absolutely no sense.

Meh. I already explained in what sense they were analogous and why I used it as an example. Please don't start getting nitpicky on me x-P

PixyMisa
24th January 2011, 03:54 AM
Give me an experimental protocol that will produce a meteor shower on demand.
Drop rocks from great height.