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Marion Meade "explains" the famous cup and saucer incident??

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  • Daniel H. Caldwell
    Marion Meade explains the famous cup and saucer incident in her biography MADAME BLAVATSKY, p.223-224 as follows: At the time and even later Alfred could
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 13, 2005
      Marion Meade "explains" the famous cup and saucer
      incident in her biography MADAME BLAVATSKY, p.223-224
      as follows:

      "At the time and even later Alfred could find no
      loopholes in what came to be known as 'the cup and
      saucer incident.' He based his conviction mainly on
      the fact that Madame Blavatsky could not have known in
      advance that there would be seven guests in the party,
      as the judge had arrived only at the last minute.
      OBVIOUSLY she did know, and so did Patience Sinnett
      because Olcott overheard her telling the butler: 'It
      was very stupid of you not to put in another cup and
      saucer when you knew that the other gentleman would
      have to have tea.' It seems reasonable TO ASSUME that
      H.P.B. had instructed Babula to bury the cup and
      saucer, then led the picnickers to the spot herself.
      In fact, this notion had already occurred to the judge
      and police chief who later in the afternoon examined
      the site. Their final conclusion was that it was
      theoretically POSSIBLE for someone to have tunneled in
      from below and thrust the cup and saucer up into the
      place where they were discovered. Apparently Babula
      later confided to Emma Coulomb that this was exactly
      what he had done. In the experts' opinion, the
      phenomenon could not be accepted as scientifically
      perfect and, somewhat indelicately, they
      challenged her to repeat it under test conditions.
      Helena, who had worked hard to stage the tableau,
      could not keep herself from exploding. Henry vividly
      remembered that 'she seemed to take leave of her
      senses and poured out upon the two unfortunate
      skeptics the thunder of her wrath. And so our pleasant
      party ended in an angry tempest.' " Caps added

      Is Meade's explanation just one of many "possible"
      explanations or is Meade's explanation the most
      "probable" explanation in light of all the known
      evidence? In other words, are we at step 2 or at step
      4 with Meade's "explanation"?

      Is Meade actually explaining the incident [at step 4]
      or is Meade simply speculating [at step 2]?

      See 4 Step Process at:


      Is Meade simply using the "unpacking" method I've
      described before?



      As Ray Hyman wrote: "it is ALWAYS possible to
      'imagine' SOME scenario in which cheating no matter
      how implausible, COULD HAVE occurred." Caps added.
      This is a step 2 technique.

      Is Meade simply using the "possibility/plausibility"
      method of argument?



      for an example.

      Has Meade followed the Barzun and Graffe dictum?

      "The rule of 'Give Evidence' is not be be violated. .
      . .No matter how possible or plausible the author's
      conjecture it cannot be accepted as truth if he has
      only his hunch [which is not evidence] to support it.
      Truth rests not on possibility or plausibility but on
      probability. Probability means the balance of chances
      that, GIVEN SUCH AND SUCH EVIDENCE, the event it
      records happened in a certain way; or, in other cases,
      that a supposed event did not in fact take place."
      Caps added.

      Daniel H. Caldwell
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