Re: You dare to question the gods of scientism?
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Ruby Honey"
> One thing debunkers do is whine, in offended self-righteousness,that so-called "true believers" dare to
> question science; take it to task, critizie, argue, debate, yes,even "bash" yet when science supports the idea
> that paranormal things might exist, or they is validity, thenscience is a GOOD thing. What they don't get, in
> their little black and white boxy world, is that science is neithera bad or a good thing, it just is. They also don't
> see the irony in the fact they themselves are very quick to mock,deride, and trivialize any scientist that delves
> into the paranormal and comes up with a "pro" paranormalperspective. Ahem, not to mention this is America
> and anyone can say anything they damn well please, includingquestioning science.
The skeptics I know are most interested in debating science and the
scientific method with believers, who often complain that science is
too rigid to allow the study of the paranormal, but don't seem to be
able to suggest the changes that would help the situation. There's
been multiple such conversations on the JREF forum.
What bothers me is when believers use science selectively. Yay
science! if a study supports a claim, but boo rigid science if it
does not. Either:
1. Accept the logical basis of science and use it to investigate the
2. Suggest how science should change, logically and consistently
3. Chuck it out the window and believe anything you want.
A skeptic who mocks or derides anyone for studying the paranormal is
doing no one any favors. However, critiquing the results is a good
thing, and sometimes the results are so silly that it's hard not to
chuckle. (Same goes for art critics.)
- --- In email@example.com, "raptor_omicron"
> "Careful. You aren't proving that it is impossible for there to bea
> pink unicorn in my basement, logically speaking. You're onlyBut no one makes claims like this. They say "there are pink unicorns"
> demonstrating empirically that there is no pink unicorn there now."
> Yes but the claim implies that there is a pink unicorn in the
> basement AND IT REMAINS THERE.
or "there are transdimensional pink unicorns." Such claims are
unfalsifiable. In fact, paranormal researchers studiously avoid
making narrow-scope claims like yours, because then one CAN falsify
them. For example, no one would claim that Uri Geller can bend spoons
in my bedroom on Tuesdays, because then I can set up a simple test.
> "First of all, no reasonable person says that the burden of proofis
> on the claimant."Please don't take what I say out of context. I explained who has the
> If no reasonable person says that, then why did you say it a few
> posts ago?
burden of proof: those who have the ability to produce evidence one
way or the other. If you have a specific claim to discuss, let's do
that, because talking about the general case makes it too easy to
distort each other's statements. For which claim did I lay the burden
of proof on the claimant?
> "Indeed, lack of evidence is not evidence of lack. However, lack ofAgreed, but there is never total lack of evidence. If there was total
> evidence one way or the other does not leave the probability at
> 50/50. If you want to calculate a probability, you have a large and
> squirrely task ahead of you that involves many related fields of
> TOTAL lack of evidence either way would leave the probability at
> 50/50. Anything that would change this probability is evidence.
lack of evidence for a phenomenon, you wouldn't know about it.