>> I never would have known!<<
Did you read the whole thread? Ruby mentioned how she was considering
heading off to a CSICOP gathering, I said she might enjoy it, and the
discussion continued from there.
>>It depends. They deny the massive body of evidence, including huge
numbers of eyewitness reports and physical effects (like scorched ground and
electromagnetic effects) that indicate UFOs are real, and not explainable by
current knowledge. They would deny cold fusion, unless it were verified by
the researchers THEY approve of.<<
Then you don't have much familiarity with them, the books
notwithstanding. The "evidence" as you call it, is subjective to it's
interpretation, for example, to just comment on eyewitnesses: people lie,
they hallucinate, they make mistakes, they tell stories, they like getting
attention, they imagine things, they forget things, they add things, they
dream, they take medicine, and on and on. As an interrogator I watched
people create things they "saw" out of nothing, things that were never in
the video they were shown, and they swore up and down they saw them, until,
that is, they saw the tape again.
The point is, what you have listed as evidence is ambiguous at best.
People don't argue about the chip in their computer, or the fact that planes
fly, why? Because it is self-evident. The evidence you cite is NOT
self-evident, that is why there is an issue.
CSICOP wouldn't give a rats ass WHO built the first cold fusion reactor,
Dennis Lee could build it, and they would believe INSTANTLY. Are they
human? Sure. They don't give much creedence to Uri Geller because of his
scams and lawsuits either, but guess what, if Uri showed up with substantial
cold fusion evidence or better a working reactor, they would believe him as
well, so would every other physicist that says it's impossible.
>>Dennis Lee is a fraud. I would not place the University of Utah, or the
current institutions and companies in Britain, France, Italy, and Japan in
the same category.<<
I have no idea about the institutions you mentioned. Neither have I
seen Scientific American, Science, or Nature singing the praises of those
institutions producing cold fusion, nor have I seen the institutions
themselves creating cold fusion reactors. They may be in the process of
being constructed, I'll accept that. And when they come online CSICOP and
every single doubting mainstream physicist will change their minds as well.
Those that don't are just believers, they just believe in something else,
and it is wrong.
>>And you're taking the pro-CSICOP position, making numerous assertions that
Yes, the pro-CSICOP position: That claims must have sufficient evidence
to become self-evident. Why is that so bad? I'm not even a member of
CSICOP, and I want evidence.
>>But such everyday events cannot be proven to be real, and indeed, they can
be questioned. Consider the well-known Hindu parable about the prince who
dreamed he was a butterfly, woke up, and then wondered if he was actually a
butterfly dreaming he was a prince.<<
Hence the reason these discussions invariably become epistemological in
nature. How do we know what we know?
>>They are as self-evident as anything, to those who experience them. Most
people, I think, experience them, but have been conditioned to not recognize
them for what they are. <<
If they are as self-evident as you say, there would be no difficulty in
getting general acceptance. However, they are not. Hence the dilemma.
>>I've read a number of books/articles by Randi and Martin Gardner.<<
You should subscribe to The Skeptical Inquirer. Much more
comprehensive. Much greater exposure to CSICOP, and a much greater number
of writers with different viewpoints.
>>Proof exists only in the realm of formal logic. In the real world, one
must be content with evidence that tends to indicate, to a greater or lesser
degree, that something is true. And they ignore such evidence.<<
This is the same comment as above, the evidence is insufficient and is
not self-evident. No one discusses the existence of the CPU in their
computer, and I bet you know why.
>>Many psi phenomena are not repeatable, but that doesn't make them invalid.
By analogy, consider meteors. One can observe them, from time to time. But
they cannot be produced on demand. At one time, scientists did not believe
in them. Many paranormal events can be observed when they occur, but can't
be produced at will. But it appears that SOME paranormal events, like
remote viewing, ARE demonstrable and repeatable under laboratory
This is why I think that you aren't that familiar with CSICOP's official
position. Yes, they are generally of the mind that remote viewing is
impossible, but only because conclusive self-evident evidence is not
available. This is not to say that someone will not someday prove the
official position wrong. This is also why when they do test someone's
claims, the claimant agrees in advance that the testing procedure is fair,
and can accurately test the claim being made. The testing would be
worthless without it.
"Did you really think we want those laws observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We
WANT them to be broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch
of boy scouts you're up against... We're after power and we mean it...
There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is
the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough
criminals one MAKES them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it
becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a
nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there in that for anyone? But just
pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or
objectively interpreted--and you create a nation of law-breakers--and then
you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system Mr. Reardon, that's the game,
and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with." -Ayn Rand,