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Skeptics need to get some updated material

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  • Ruby Honey
    http://www.startribune.com/stories/417/3382118.html Haunting residents: When a house guest is a ghost by Connie Nelson After a bit about ghosts, haunted
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 2, 2002
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      http://www.startribune.com/stories/417/3382118.html

      "Haunting residents: When a house guest is a ghost by Connie Nelson"

      After a bit about ghosts, haunted houses and their owners, the article quotes Smirking Shermer, who has this little
      gem of insight to give us:

      "But he said he understands the reason some people grasp at easy, other-worldly explanations for what may seem like mysteries.

      "The idea of a transcendent spirit is ingrained in the human psyche," he said. "We are pattern seeking, storytelling animals trying to
      make sense of the world."

      That's true. Then he makes some odd "logic" leap with this statement:

      "Still, he called belief in ghosts "an assault on critical thinking. If you believe in that, what else are you willing to believe?" he asked."

      What the hell kind of "logic" is that? And what does it have to do with "pattern seeking, and "storytelling?" Oh I see, we can't explain
      the wind or creaky door, and, lacking the critical thinking abilities that others such as Smirking Shermer have - for example, we'll reject
      the escaped zoo gorilla out of pure stubbornness - we of course naturally leap to the conclusion it's a ghost. Why? Because we love
      patterns! AND, love to tell stories! It all fits now!

      (the escaped zoo gorilla was a reason given for hauntings by a well known member of these forums, don't know if he's still a member
      here. Anyway...)

      As if that isn't enough laughs, the pathetically out of touch skeptic below has her own old theory:

      "But Pat Linse, co-founder of the Skeptics Society, has a different take on haunted houses. She said people sometimes use ghosts "as
      a way to act out whatever conflicts there are in the family."

      Um, does she mean poltergeists? If so, she is WAY behind the times with this little bit of news. Parapsychologists and
      researchers have said this YEARS ago, and they're on "our" side. Ain't nothing new baby cakes. Nuttin'' at all.

      I think these debunkers need new material.


      ~ ruby
    • Clyde Wary
      -I think these debunkers need new material. Of course they do, but they have a problem...they place their faith in Science, as it is known at the time.
      Message 2 of 3 , Nov 3, 2002
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        "-I think these debunkers need new material."

        Of course they do, but they have a problem...they place their faith in
        "Science," as it is known at the time. And that pretty much means
        sticking with old, hackneyed material, for established science tends
        to cough up new ideas only when its elders croak, which means things
        move pretty slowly. I remember reading an incident that occurred in
        France in the late 18th century. What I'll describe was attributed to
        the famous chemist Lavoisier, though I later read that it may have
        been someone else...no matter, the story remains the same. A group of
        French peasants said that stones had fallen from the sky. They had
        produced luminous trails as they fell. And, after being located on
        the ground, were warm to the touch. Lavoisier was sent by the French
        scientific academy to investigate. He believed the peasants were
        being truthful in their accounts, but...he concluded that these stones
        had not fallen from the sky, but had been struck by lightning. That
        accounted for the crashing explosion the peasants had heard and the
        luminous trails. That's why the stones were warm. And finally, the
        eminent chemist stated that they couldn't have fallen from the sky,
        because, "Stones do not fall from the sky." Seems logical...heh, heh...
      • Clyde Wary
        Those who know me from other groups know that I DO have a strong appreciation for science, the scientific method, and logic...and I do not give credence to
        Message 3 of 3 , Nov 3, 2002
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          Those who know me from other groups know that I DO have a strong
          appreciation for science, the scientific method, and logic...and I do
          not give credence to every unusual and bizarre idea that comes along
          (only 99% of them...OOPS! :):):)) Seriously, stuff on the fringe of
          science can often be divided into two categories: 1) Those which
          violate known and understood scientific principles. I would put many
          of the "free-energy machines" here, since they violate the 1st and/or
          2nd laws of thermodynamics, and sometimes Newton's laws, as well. 2)
          Those that operate, or are presumed to operate, in accordance with
          principles that are as yet unknown. They probably do not violate
          known scientific laws, and if they do, it's because of "loopholes," if
          you will, or limitations, of those laws (the relationship between
          relativity and Newtonian mechanics is an example). In this category,
          I'd place cold fusion, "near-death" experiences, ghosts, etc. Such
          things don't violate scientific principles, they just can't be
          explained by the current ones.
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