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Old 21st October 2010, 12:36 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Your premise here is flawed. You do understand that the definition of critical thinking is a review of evidence through observation, and arriving at a conclusion based on scientific method. It is systematic and practical. Even if the Miracle of the Sun were a paranormal, you would rely on critical thinkers to review the data at hand and provide a repeatable, perhaps even testable, explanation for the occurrence. If they failed to do so, then you might be able to qualify the event as paranormal. But you wouldn't ask someone who considered themselves to think critically, to throw away all rational and reasonable explanations and simply go with "Goddidit".
I'm not saying that "Goddidit", I am saying that you can't just shrug off the event by saying that nothing actually happened. The explanation of "they were just staring at the sun" doesn't answer all of the strange occurances. And the psychics were mentioned in this thread I linked to.

There is a second psychic mentioned in the article the author of that thread was quoting.

"A group of psychics in Lisbon got the number 135917 a cipher for the date of the first apparition and published the message in newspapers in March 1917. The publication of a number and a few words was a strange thing to do. To spiritualists it seems they felt compelled to do so, so it was an important date."

So that makes two predictions. And the name mentioned by the first psychic, "Stella Matutina" has been used by catholics before. But it if also a name for the Goddess. Again, how can there be so many connections that just fall in to place?

Last edited by Zanders; 21st October 2010 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 21st October 2010, 01:08 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
I'm not saying that "Goddidit", I am saying that you can't just shrug off the event by saying that nothing actually happened. The explanation of "they were just staring at the sun" doesn't answer all of the strange occurances.
I believe I mentioned more than just “staring at the sun”. I appreciate your attempt to boil my statement down to some kind of throw-away statement, but that simply isn’t the case. If you’d like, I’m more than happy to go into all the many difference physical and psychological concepts and scenarios, all extremely probable, that better explain the phenomenon than “Goddidit”.

You should know ahead of time, I’m not even very good at this kind of thing, and I’m hardly a hard or soft atheist. I would genuinely love to have proof of a God, god or gods. It would easy my mind something fierce. But alas, I’ve not seen much, though I maintain hope.

Quote:
And the psychics were mentioned in this thread I linked to.
Is there another mention of them outside of this forum. No offense, but unless you link directly to the post, I’m too lazy to go hunting through a whole thread of discussion just to find the evidence you’re referencing.

Quote:
There is a second psychic mentioned in the article the author of that thread was quoting.

"A group of psychics in Lisbon got the number 135917 a cipher for the date of the first apparition and published the message in newspapers in March 1917. The publication of a number and a few words was a strange thing to do. To spiritualists it seems they felt compelled to do so, so it was an important date."
Alright, groovy. Let’s analyze this a bit, shall we? First, where did this information come from? Second, who made up the “group” and what were their qualifications? Second, how did they turn “135917” into the appropriate date. Third, what newspapers published this information, and can you show proof of the publication? Fourth, if it was just a number “and a few words” how does that accurately predict what happened? Finally, I’m a little confused on the terms used. Was this group psychics or spiritualist or doesn’t the author know?

Quote:
So that makes two predictions.
Actually, it maybe makes one prediction (from the children) and then some randomness that was ret-conned in after the fact. People have done this to Nostradamus for years, even though we know that his "predictions" were finite and based on a specific set of knowledge that had no practical application beyond the immediate future. It certainly didn't pertain to events happening hundreds of years later.

Quote:
And the name mentioned by the first psychic, "Stella Matutina" has been used by catholics before. But it if also a name for the Goddess.
This has what to do with proving that the Virgin Mary appeared to some children and then God caused the sun to dance crazy in the sky?

Quote:
Again, how can there be so many connections that just fall in to place?
There are so many answers to this, but the first, easiest and best answer is that people like to see patterns in the chaos, even where none exist. But accusing people of a lack of critical thinking, and then approaching them with the answer "it must be paranormal" is the very antithesis of critical thinking. Apply the same requirement to your own logic and analysis and then we can have an open discussion. Approach with an agenda and preconceived notions, and we really have nothing to discuss.
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Old 21st October 2010, 01:30 PM   #83
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A lot of information on the psychics and proof that they actually did write about it was posted in the other thread. It is a three page thread, how is that much digging?

Here is one of the posts singled out.

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...2&postcount=35

Also, I never said it was actually Mary. See my thread on that here.

Last edited by Zanders; 21st October 2010 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 21st October 2010, 02:08 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
A lot of information on the psychics and proof that they actually did write about it was posted in the other thread. It is a three page thread, how is that much digging?

Here is one of the posts singled out.

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...2&postcount=35

Also, I never said it was actually Mary. See my thread on that here.
That post is not "proof that they [the psychics] actually did write about it." Proof would be newspapers that actually featured the predictions before the event they allegedly predicted. I saw no such articles presented. I did read this, however.
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Old 21st October 2010, 02:22 PM   #85
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Zombie thread rises from the grave. Head for the hills!
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Old 21st October 2010, 02:45 PM   #86
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Yes, that is why all posts should instead be redirected to either this thread or this one.
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Old 21st October 2010, 03:13 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
A lot of information on the psychics and proof that they actually did write about it was posted in the other thread. It is a three page thread, how is that much digging?
I wasn’t part of that discussion, and as I said, I’m not going to go digging through a thread to find information you clearly already have. If you want me (or anyone else) to consider it, then you need to be willing to provide it.

Quote:
Here is one of the posts singled out.

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...2&postcount=35
Thank you. However, this does not seem to indicate any kind of proof of which I suggested previously.

Is there a problem with you addressing each of my questions?

Quote:
Also, I never said it was actually Mary. See my thread on that here.
Fair enough. But you should know I don’t follow you or your posts. If someone is asking for information, and you are trying to convince them of something, the burden of proof lies on you to produce said information, not on them to go find it.
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Old 21st October 2010, 03:25 PM   #88
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I understand. I will dig through the same thead and pull up some other posts on the psychics.

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...3&postcount=66

This is the other one. A post criticizing it was posted earlier by Lucian in this thread.

Last edited by Zanders; 21st October 2010 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 21st October 2010, 03:33 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
I understand. I will dig through the same thead and pull up some other posts on the psychics.

http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php...3&postcount=66

This is the other one. A post criticizing it was posted earlier by Lucian in this thread.
Thank you.

Ok, I reviewed that post, but while it mentions the group, but it doesn't point to an actual newspaper, and it doesn't tell us who this group was, or what their qualifications were. I'm afraid I don't see any answers to the questions I posed above.
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Old 21st October 2010, 03:42 PM   #90
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True, The group could have always claimed that they had predicted it afterward. And we also need to take in to consideration that there are many psychics that make claims about dates every day. We just don't hear about them because nothing happens most of the time. When something does, siddenly it is noticed and all other failed predictions are ignored. But there is still the mention of "Stella Matutina", which is interesting because that is "the morning star", Venus. Again, a Goddess connection. More connectinos are covered in this and this thread. This is where it gets really strange.

Last edited by Zanders; 21st October 2010 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 21st October 2010, 03:52 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
True, The group could have always claimed that they had predicted it afterward. And we also need to take in to consideration that there are many psychics that make claims about dates every day. We just don't hear about them because nothing happens most of the time. When something does, siddenly it is noticed and all other failed predictions are ignored. But there is still the mention of "Stella Matutina", which is interesting because that is "the morning star", Venus. Again, a Goddess connection. More connectinos are covered in this and this thread. This is where it gets really strange.
Alright then, let's get back to my five questions, shall we:
First, where did this information come from? Second, who made up the “group” and what were their qualifications? Second, how did they turn “135917” into the appropriate date. Third, what newspapers published this information, and can you show proof of the publication? Fourth, if it was just a number “and a few words” how does that accurately predict what happened? Finally, I’m a little confused on the terms used. Was this group psychics or spiritualist or doesn’t the author know?
Can we address any of these to the satisfaction of critical thinkers?

And again, I'm not going to go traipsing through threads that you've started looking for information you're trying to put forth. If you wish to discuss this, I'm game. If you're going to point me to length threads, I'm out.
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Old 30th October 2010, 03:02 PM   #92
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What is going on in these clips?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXvNz...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mb6kG...eature=related

[How do I embed youtube clips?]

Have any skeptics been present when any of these supposed apparitions occured for the first time?

Last edited by Zanders; 30th October 2010 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 1st November 2010, 09:04 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
I’m having trouble viewing youtube today, but just from what I was able to see, this is amateur photography and without access to the original film, this simply appears to be a result of said amateur photography.

Quote:
[How do I embed youtube clips?]
The tags are [ yt ] and [ / yt ].

Inbetween you place the youtube assigned number-letter designation which is found after the equals sign (=). In the case of your above referenced clips:

UXvNzDj5tAA
mb6kGPJpgTU

Quote:
Have any skeptics been present when any of these supposed apparitions occured for the first time?
Why would this matter one way or the other? Believers are going to believe regardless of if skeptics are present or not.
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Old 1st November 2010, 12:36 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by RobRoy View Post
Why would this matter one way or the other? Believers are going to believe regardless of if skeptics are present or not.
It would matter if the skeptics saw the same thing that the believers did.
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Old 1st November 2010, 12:56 PM   #95
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Originally Posted by Zanders View Post
It would matter if the skeptics saw the same thing that the believers did.
I don’t think this is what you mean to say. Your statement asserts an interpretation and then presses that interpretation on an event. Believers will gravitate toward a supernatural explanation, whereas skeptics will gravitate toward a rational explanation. Thus, if skeptics were present, they wouldn’t see the same thing that the believers did, but they would experience the same phenomena.

For example, an unusual event occurs and a group of believers claim to have seen a Marian apparition. At the same event a group of skeptics claim to have seen sun hallucinations brought on by dehydration.

In both cases, the groups are seeing the event through their own set of perception filters as a means of explaining it. While they are experiencing the same phenomenon, they are not seeing the same thing.

Does that make sense?

Given this, and add in the unreliability of eyewitness accounts, I come back to the same question as earlier: why would this matter one way or the other?
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Old 19th January 2013, 10:30 AM   #96
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My inputs on Fatima

I am coming at the Marian Apparition topic from the viewpoint of a Roman Catholic, who has had substantive education in scientific thought and method.

There remain things dealing with religon and religous topics that science cannot currently provide illumination on to provide a definitive say so, one way or another. Much of religous beliefs cannot be examined like a biological sample under a microscope. It has to be taken on faith--and yes, that presents a scientist (or any person who has a technical or scientific bent) who is a Christian some challenges. There are just some things religous-wise that science cannot currently explain as to how some events (connected with what is termed The Divine) occur. What can be lumped in with this are what are termed "miracles" (both those of the "little m" variety, and those of the "Big M" variety).

The Vatican has officially sanctioned the Fatima visions/appearances as a unique and important series of events in the history of the 20th Century (this conclusion was not arrived at flippantly nor quickly). Out of this event, the one child who survived into adulthood, Lucy, wrote down what she saw and heard in what are loosely termed "The Letters of Fatima." These are usually identified as "The First Letter/Message of Fatima"; "The Second Letter/Message of Fatima"; and the "The Third Letter/Message of Fatima."

For quite some time, throughout the 20th century, the "Third Letter of Fatima" was much talked about, but the Vatican never released it. Rumors abounded about it, as to what its contents were. There is one oft-repeated rumor that the Pope at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Pope John the 23rd) read parts of it to JFK and Kruschchev. However, nothing the Vatican has released about Fatima ever connects this rumor with reality.

But in approximately in 2000, the Third Letter was released. And you can read about it here in English.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...fatima_en.html


They include the original typescript, its translation, and a lengthy explanation by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now the current Pope. Because Ratzinger is German, and as Germans are known for, the explanations are detailed, and thorough. The most important part of this webpage--besides the revealing of the Letter's/Message's contents (and the Vatican's interpretation of the visions)--is Ratzinger's explanations about "public revelation" and "private revelation." And that is an important distinction to be told about--especially to those who are not Roman Catholics, or to those lay people who aren't aware of the importance of the separateness of the two concepts.

Now to stir the pot a little bit further....

Back in the 1968-1970 time frame, there were also Marian (and also apparently Jesus) apparitions over a Coptic Church in Zeitoun, Egypt. Here are some URL links to some pages with alleged photographs of the phenomena that people have claimed to have seen. I cannot say one way or the other whether these photos are real, or fakes that Egyptian newspapers produced to promulgate the sale of the newspaper dailies. But these URLs are being provided so you can see the data, examine it carefully, and comment upon them if you choose to do so.

http://www.zeitun-eg.org/mrwagihr.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/zeitngal.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/stmary3.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/stmary9.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/stmary10.htm
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Old 19th January 2013, 04:18 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by Zippy Omicron View Post
I am coming at the Marian Apparition topic from the viewpoint of a Roman Catholic, who has had substantive education in scientific thought and method.

There remain things dealing with religon and religous topics that science cannot currently provide illumination on to provide a definitive say so, one way or another. Much of religous beliefs cannot be examined like a biological sample under a microscope. It has to be taken on faith--and yes, that presents a scientist (or any person who has a technical or scientific bent) who is a Christian some challenges. There are just some things religous-wise that science cannot currently explain as to how some events (connected with what is termed The Divine) occur. What can be lumped in with this are what are termed "miracles" (both those of the "little m" variety, and those of the "Big M" variety).

The Vatican has officially sanctioned the Fatima visions/appearances as a unique and important series of events in the history of the 20th Century (this conclusion was not arrived at flippantly nor quickly). Out of this event, the one child who survived into adulthood, Lucy, wrote down what she saw and heard in what are loosely termed "The Letters of Fatima." These are usually identified as "The First Letter/Message of Fatima"; "The Second Letter/Message of Fatima"; and the "The Third Letter/Message of Fatima."

For quite some time, throughout the 20th century, the "Third Letter of Fatima" was much talked about, but the Vatican never released it. Rumors abounded about it, as to what its contents were. There is one oft-repeated rumor that the Pope at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis (Pope John the 23rd) read parts of it to JFK and Kruschchev. However, nothing the Vatican has released about Fatima ever connects this rumor with reality.

But in approximately in 2000, the Third Letter was released. And you can read about it here in English.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/co...fatima_en.html


They include the original typescript, its translation, and a lengthy explanation by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now the current Pope. Because Ratzinger is German, and as Germans are known for, the explanations are detailed, and thorough. The most important part of this webpage--besides the revealing of the Letter's/Message's contents (and the Vatican's interpretation of the visions)--is Ratzinger's explanations about "public revelation" and "private revelation." And that is an important distinction to be told about--especially to those who are not Roman Catholics, or to those lay people who aren't aware of the importance of the separateness of the two concepts.

Now to stir the pot a little bit further....

Back in the 1968-1970 time frame, there were also Marian (and also apparently Jesus) apparitions over a Coptic Church in Zeitoun, Egypt. Here are some URL links to some pages with alleged photographs of the phenomena that people have claimed to have seen. I cannot say one way or the other whether these photos are real, or fakes that Egyptian newspapers produced to promulgate the sale of the newspaper dailies. But these URLs are being provided so you can see the data, examine it carefully, and comment upon them if you choose to do so.

http://www.zeitun-eg.org/mrwagihr.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/zeitngal.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/stmary3.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/stmary9.htm
http://www.zeitun-eg.org/stmary10.htm
From the first link:

I forgot while I was looking at the apparition of the Blessed Virgin the fact that when I captured the first photo quickly, I used my left hand! Yes my left hand... The hand five doctors, some of them are among the most famous surgeons in Egypt, said was hopeless and will never move again... The Blessed Virgin has miraculously healed this hand!

I started to move my left hand, up, down, to my side and to rotate and wave it in the air while extended... I was cured... completely cured once the Virgin appeared. And from this day the camera never leaves me, and the camera and I never leave Zeitoun.



Wonder if there's any medical records to back this up.


























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Old 19th January 2013, 06:12 PM   #98
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A woman named Mary Fowler calimed she saw an apparition of the virgin Mary and Catholics from all over the world esecially south America flocked to see what was here. Many of them claimed to see Mary in the sky and even claimed to photograph her. I didn't see anything in the photographs myself but it does show that you can convince yourself of anything.
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Old 20th January 2013, 04:47 PM   #99
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It's hard to see how one can get from a vague blob to a detailed image of the Virgin Mary, down to the length of her robe.
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:44 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It's hard to see how one can get from a vague blob to a detailed image of the Virgin Mary, down to the length of her robe.
Faith.
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Old 21st January 2013, 07:23 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by cafetimes1991 View Post
Does anyone here have some good arguments against (or for) Marian apparitions, such as Lourdes, Fatima etc?
I have done some Googleing, but have not found much really so far.
There were apparitions in my area, and I just don't get why those who claimed to see St. Mary would lie like that.

Thanks
Late to the thread, and posting before I've read it all, but first of all, they need not be lying. There are huge spiritual motivations if you're religious for being open to religious experience. If you've been brought up in a tradition where Marian apparitions and miracles are accepted, encouraged and glorified, there is little reason not to allow a misperception or a hallucination, a dream, pareidolia, or even, perhaps, a lie, to become one. Ambiguous or unclear events can be interpreted many ways, and if your surrounding culture would rather accept miracles than ask questions, why not? Lourdes is a huge shrine, miracles are reported regularly, and zillions of little girls are christened with the name itself. If you truly believe in the idea, what's the reward for doubting?

Marian apparitions seem a natural occurrence in a system that supports and encourages the vagaries and frailties of human perception.
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