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The Art of Debunking

Discuss Divination, Fortune Telling - Astrology, Tarot, Runes, I Ching, Tea Leaves, etc. and Predictions.

The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 09 Feb 2010, 22:43

Astrology does have established guidelines, but it is entirely based on subjective interpretation.

IT'S AN ART FORM!

So skeptics .. let's debunk some art.



Picasso:

Many people like and understand Picasso's work, and many people do not.

When asked what was the meaning of the famous Picasso mural 'Guernica' was, 30 test subjects responded with 30 different answers. Similarities occurred within the answers, but not enough to be definitive.

This proves that Picasso's work isn't science but superstition.

Picasso = Debunked!



Mozart:

In lab tests, group subjects listened to works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. These selections were randomly mixed with equal amounts music by George Frideric Handel.

After each random selection, subjects were asked to write down who they thought composed the work.

Due to his name recognition and general style:

84% of the music was attributed to Mozart.
17% of the music heard was attributed to Handel or other composer.
9% unknown.

Mozart's genius is mostly due to the placebo effect.

Mozart = Placebo


Woo-hoo .. Science Rulez!



PS: Whether these test actually occurred or not is a matter of personal interpretation.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ciscop » 10 Feb 2010, 03:39

art is subjective

i dont like picasso or any kind of cubism, dadaism, expresionism and modern art
for me art died with the impressionism and a little bit of the surrealism with Dali.

i dont listen to classical music so i wouldnt differentiate between handel and mozart

:-)
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 10 Feb 2010, 09:11

Exactly.

Real world tests could easily be produced, and they would probably be similar to ones I imagined. Astrology, Tarot, and other fortune telling arts all begin with a set of interpretative judgements, and end with the "performer" telling a fortune based on interpretative skills. They weren't designed to be a hard science, nor are they used in society as such, but are used as entertainment .. as art. Anyone who mistook them for science is an idiot. Anyone who debunked them as science is a bigger idiot *Richard Dawkins*.

Intelligent systems that evolved from seeming chance, just like life. The understanding and appreciation of the work of Mozart or Picasso is entirely based on seeming chance.

The feelings produced by these artists is not universal, and they may even produce opposite reactions in some people ... just like most pharmaceuticals do. At some point, we should probably label most pharmaceuticals as art works.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ProfWag » 10 Feb 2010, 18:52

Kevin Kane wrote:Exactly.

Real world tests could easily be produced, and they would probably be similar to ones I imagined. Astrology, Tarot, and other fortune telling arts all begin with a set of interpretative judgements, and end with the "performer" telling a fortune based on interpretative skills. They weren't designed to be a hard science, nor are they used in society as such, but are used as entertainment .. as art. Anyone who mistook them for science is an idiot. Anyone who debunked them as science is a bigger idiot *Richard Dawkins*.

Intelligent systems that evolved from seeming chance, just like life. The understanding and appreciation of the work of Mozart or Picasso is entirely based on seeming chance.

The feelings produced by these artists is not universal, and they may even produce opposite reactions in some people ... just like most pharmaceuticals do. At some point, we should probably label most pharmaceuticals as art works.

Comparing astrology to Mozart or Picasso is not a very good comparison, I don't believe. One is entertainment disguised as paranormal. The others are art which is a form of entertainment. A little different IMHO.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 10 Feb 2010, 19:38

ProfWag wrote:Comparing astrology to Mozart or Picasso is not a very good comparison, I don't believe. One is entertainment disguised as paranormal. The others are art which is a form of entertainment. A little different IMHO.


Do skeptics believe that it's actually paranormal, or do skeptics believe that other people think it's paranormal?

If the latter is the case, what's it to skeptics what other people think or choose to believe?

Can you cite any evidence that people take fortune-telling seriously? Because most people I've known who read horoscopes, get their palm read or do tarot cards do it for aesthetic reasons. For entertainment, for a laugh, for comfort, compliment or ritual, for casual advice, meditation, or for social interaction. All of which can be achieved by listening to Mozart or going to the Art Muesum. Very few take it seriously or change their life routines as a result of it. And many ignore or forget it soon afterward. The same can be said of any art form or entertainment.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 10 Feb 2010, 20:06

Some people watch the TV news every night. It's a comforting ritual, it's entertainment, and a source of advice. Will it rain or snow this week? Maybe, maybe not .. only the magic weatherman can say for certain .. which is rarely. Is the Evening News paranormal fortune telling?

What about casual advice and good wishes: Have a nice day! .. Have a safe trip! .. Good luck! Is that paranormal?

Should people be allowed to say "Good Luck"? Should we debunk the whole "Good Luck" advice?

Ok

Wishing people "Good Luck" is stupid, superstitious paranormal fortune-telling, and everyone should stop doing it .. or else James Randi will get mad at us.

Feel better now?
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 10 Feb 2010, 21:01

Since weather predictions are science-based fortune telling:


Interesting study of TV weather accuracy (bad)

http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2 ... forecasts/


Thorough study of Internet weather accuracy (bad)

http://www.omninerd.com/articles/Intern ... t_Accuracy


Groundhog predictions more accurate than CNN & NOAA (Humor?)

http://www.desklight.com/2010/02/ground ... urate.html


What is the weather like on Mars? NASA's weather rock:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/05/27/n ... k-to-mars/
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 10 Feb 2010, 21:49

Given a prediction of any kind, scientific or paranormal, it causes people to THINK AHEAD and to TAKE CAUTION.

Will it rain .. should I take an umbrella to work today?
Think ahead, air on the side of caution.

Is Global Warming real .. should we cut greenhouse gases?
Think ahead, air on the side of caution.

I met a new person, but they smoke pot. Should I date them?
Think ahead, air on the side of caution.

Should I buy a new car .. or a used car?
Think ahead, air on the side of caution.


It may sound vague and non-specific, but thinking ahead is good thinking, and taking caution is good advice.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ProfWag » 10 Feb 2010, 22:51

Kevin Kane wrote:
Can you cite any evidence that people take fortune-telling seriously?


Yes. America's 40th President to cite just one (but it's an important one): http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/05/19/back.time/

The rest of your posts appear, to me at least, to be a lack of understanding of what skepticisism is about.
Weather reporting is based on science, astrology claims to be, but is not a generally accepted science.
Again, trying to compare predicting the weather with predicting and making one's personal future money investments, career moves, etc. on psychics/astrologers, etc. are two completely separate things. There really is no basis for the comparison, but at least I've learned something about your thought process!
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 10 Feb 2010, 23:34

Gee, yeah, one of the most popular and successful presidents in modern history was into astrology. Great endorsement.

Just because modern scientists don't see the logic or beauty of astrology, doesn't mean that other people don't, as did scientists like Ptolemy, Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler. But I'm sure skeptics think that Ptolemy, Galileo and Kepler were idiots.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ProfWag » 11 Feb 2010, 00:57

Kevin Kane wrote:Gee, yeah, one of the most popular and successful presidents in modern history was into astrology. Great endorsement.

Just because modern scientists don't see the logic or beauty of astrology, doesn't mean that other people don't, as did scientists like Ptolemy, Galileo Galilei and Johannes Kepler. But I'm sure skeptics think that Ptolemy, Galileo and Kepler were idiots.

I love this!: "...the logic or beauty of astrology..."
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby Kevin Kane » 11 Feb 2010, 01:36

astro = star/constellation
logia = root logos/legein .. to speak/study/reason .. same as 'logic'.

Numbers and Letters don't exist in the real world. They are symbolic representations of human functions that exist in the real world (speaking and digit counting).

Math and Language are logic systems for the use of Numbers and Letters.

Zodiac Signs don't exist in the heavens. They are symbolic representations of human functions that exist in the real world (character/personality).

Astrology is the logic system for the use of Zodiac Signs.


One of the reasons why Reagan was popular and successful, was because he had charcter and personality and understand fellow personalities and character.
Last edited by Kevin Kane on 11 Feb 2010, 10:47, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ciscop » 11 Feb 2010, 02:01

ProfWag wrote:
Kevin Kane wrote:
Can you cite any evidence that people take fortune-telling seriously?


Yes. America's 40th President to cite just one (but it's an important one): http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/05/19/back.time/

The rest of your posts appear, to me at least, to be a lack of understanding of what skepticisism is about.
Weather reporting is based on science, astrology claims to be, but is not a generally accepted science.
Again, trying to compare predicting the weather with predicting and making one's personal future money investments, career moves, etc. on psychics/astrologers, etc. are two completely separate things. There really is no basis for the comparison, but at least I've learned something about your thought process!


oh gosh!!
and i thought bush was retarded

what´s wrong with you gringos?? you have so much investment in science and education.. i cant believe you are producing those politicians..

how scary it is that Palin is on her way....
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ciscop » 11 Feb 2010, 02:05

this is my favorite Astrology dumbass

http://bruinskeptics.org/2008/05/26/how ... s-economy/

HOW ASTROLOGY RUINED MYANMAR’S ECONOMY
By Robin Zhang on 05.26.08 | 3 Comments
If you have been following the news, you no doubt would have heard by now of Cyclone Nargis hitting Myanmar (also known as Burma) and the ruling military junta’s piss-poor disaster relief initiatives that makes FEMA’s response to Hurricane Katrina look like a shining moment in the Bush Administration’s history. It is estimated as of today that 155,000 people are dead and that number is certain to rise given the complete lack of food or medical aid and the completely unwillingness of the government to aid its own people. Apparently the regime is more concerned that foreign journalists and aid workers might report back the horrors of living in one of the least-developed countries in the world under a retrograde military regime; The callousness with which the regime is handling the situation hearkens back to how the 2007 and 1988 pro-democracy protests were brutally suppressed and is very different from China’s transparent and rapid response to it’s own major disaster in the Beichuan region.
But these instances do not constitute the only time the military junta has screwed over its own people. Of all the megalomaniacs, it is perhaps only General Ne Win and his successors who relied heavily on astrology and other superstition to chart out national policy…
A relatively harmless example of this is the practice of yadaya – a practice loosely resembling voodoo where a person essentially dresses up and impersonates an enemy to “steal” his or her powers. Thus on numerous occasions Burma’s generals have been known to dress up in drag as pro-democracy advocate and elected leader of the country Aung San Suu Kyi.
However, this story takes an ugly turn as, when told by his astrologer and numerologist that his lucky number was 9 and that he would live to be 90 if he “surrounded himself” with such auspicious digits, General Ne Win appeared before his country in 1987 and informed them that most of their money was now worthless. New money would be issued… not on the metric scale but rather in 45 and 90 kyat bills – since (for example) 45 is a product of and its digits add up to 9.

Yes, it’s a real 90 kyat bill. General Win was really that blank up in real life.
The result to the country was catastrophic. While 5 and 10 kyats remained legal tender, the now-invalid 50 and 100 kyats that were the mainstay of most of the middle class’s savings in the nation resulted in a collapse in purchasing power and Burma being named least developed nation in 1987. Perhaps the saddest part of the story is that Ne Win’s astrologer was right – the good general lived to be 91 years of age. Maybe this article should be titled “Brutal Narcissistic Military Dictator Proves that Astrology Works!”
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: The Art of Debunking

Postby ProfWag » 11 Feb 2010, 02:54

Thanks ciscop, and what a sad story. And people wonder why I'm a skeptic rather than a supporter of stuff like astrology. One more time, things such as psychics and astrology HURT PEOPLE!!!!! That's why. But I'm the bad guy? Something about that just doesn't seem "logical" to me...
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