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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby ProfWag » 27 Jul 2010, 18:10

Wilhelm, if you read the entire article carefully, he does preface his comments with "as far as we know..." Essentially, the article is based on information that is currently known to science. It's perfectly fine if you disagree with him, but it would be nice to include information on astral physics that would contradict his conclusions based on known factors. I haven't seen that from your posts yet so my personal review supports what Phil said.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Eteponge » 27 Jul 2010, 20:36

really? wrote:Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe
Swift
Written by D.J. Grothe
Friday, 23 July 2010 10:40

Unless you are new to the JREF, you know who Phil Plait is. Blogger, skeptic celebrity, and past-president of the JREF, he left the JREF last year to pursue a secret television project, even as he remains connected to our efforts, having recently spoken at TAM8 and serving on our advisory committee. Everyone at the JREF is very excited to announce that his new TV show is appearing soon on the Discovery Channel. Called Bad Universe, his new program will promote skepticism about pseudoscience and offer scientific explanations of the mysteries of the universe, in addition to giving Phil's popular take on topics in astronomy. Congratulations, Phil -- it is high time that your work gains an even wider audience.

You mean like how he once said to an audience at an event something to the effect of, "Isn't it funny, how there isn't a single case of any astronomers witnessing a UFO, as much as they look at the sky?" which got great audience applause and laughter (this video I've seen on YouTube somewhere), then a blogger online corrected him, and procured a HUGE list of astronomers who have witnessed UFOs and Lunar Anomalies for the past several hundred years, and what did Phil Plait do in response? He responded with personal attacks, rather than standing corrected.

This is hilariously ironic, because in an interview Phil Plait did with my friend Alex Tsakiris of Skeptiko, he said that if he is ever wrong about something, and someone corrects him with counter-evidence, he will go "Oh thank you!" and be greatful, and blah blah blah.

The incident I speak of where, rather than standing corrected on his sweeping blanket statement (which also proves he's never actually researched the topic in any real depth, as just barely scratching the surface, you can find astronomer accounts of UFOs and Lunar Anomalies going back hundreds of years) he gets pissed and personally attacks the guy who corrected him on a blog.

Not someone I'd consider objective in the slightest.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby ProfWag » 27 Jul 2010, 20:42

Eteponge wrote:
really? wrote:Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe
Swift
Written by D.J. Grothe
Friday, 23 July 2010 10:40

Unless you are new to the JREF, you know who Phil Plait is. Blogger, skeptic celebrity, and past-president of the JREF, he left the JREF last year to pursue a secret television project, even as he remains connected to our efforts, having recently spoken at TAM8 and serving on our advisory committee. Everyone at the JREF is very excited to announce that his new TV show is appearing soon on the Discovery Channel. Called Bad Universe, his new program will promote skepticism about pseudoscience and offer scientific explanations of the mysteries of the universe, in addition to giving Phil's popular take on topics in astronomy. Congratulations, Phil -- it is high time that your work gains an even wider audience.

You mean like how he once said to an audience at an event something to the effect of, "Isn't it funny, how there isn't a single case of any astronomers witnessing a UFO, as much as they look at the sky?" which got great audience applause and laughter (this video I've seen on YouTube somewhere), then a blogger online corrected him, and procured a HUGE list of astronomers who have witnessed UFOs and Lunar Anomalies for the past several hundred years, and what did Phil Plait do in response? He responded with personal attacks, rather than standing corrected.

This is hilariously ironic, because in an interview Phil Plait did with my friend Alex Tsakiris of Skeptiko, he said that if he is ever wrong about something, and someone corrects him with counter-evidence, he will go "Oh thank you!" and be greatful, and blah blah blah.

The incident I speak of where, rather than standing corrected on his sweeping blanket statement (which also proves he's never actually researched the topic in any real depth, as just barely scratching the surface, you can find astronomer accounts of UFOs and Lunar Anomalies going back hundreds of years) he gets pissed and personally attacks the guy who corrected him on a blog.

Not someone I'd consider objective in the slightest.

You may have remembered the quote incorrectly Eteponge. He actually said this: "In my first book, Bad Astronomy, I have a chapter about UFOs in it. I have the usual sort of debunking in it, but I made a point I had not seen anywhere else at that time: why don’t astronomers see relatively more UFOs than laypeople?"
It's not that he said NO astronomers have seen UFOs, but that they don't see relatively MORE of them.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badas ... ufos-myth/
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Wilhelm » 27 Jul 2010, 21:14

ProfWag wrote:Wilhelm, if you read the entire article carefully, he does preface his comments with "as far as we know..."


He did that a grand total of twice, and one of those times it wasn't in the context in which you're presenting it.

ProfWag wrote:Essentially, the article is based on information that is currently known to science.


Not in the sentence that I posted, nor in the sentence that you posted. Which is why the guy is a moron.

ProfWag wrote:It's perfectly fine if you disagree with him


It's easy for me to disagree, because Science itself disagrees with the quote I posted.

ProfWag wrote:but it would be nice to include information on astral physics that would contradict his conclusions based on known factors. I haven't seen that from your posts yet so my personal review supports what Phil said.


Why on Earth would I have to do that? Unless, of course, you don't understand my argument. I've stated it more than once, so you're welcome to read my other posts a few more times. I certainly don't need to state it again. If you support what Phil said, then you support pseudoscience. I'm a skeptic, so I don't buy into the sort of garbage that you guys evidently do.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby ProfWag » 27 Jul 2010, 21:29

Wilhelm wrote: I'm a skeptic, so I don't buy into the sort of garbage that you guys evidently do.

Can I ask what you are skeptical of? Science, pseudo-science, or something else?
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Wilhelm » 27 Jul 2010, 21:39

ProfWag wrote:
Wilhelm wrote: I'm a skeptic, so I don't buy into the sort of garbage that you guys evidently do.

Can I ask what you are skeptical of? Science, pseudo-science, or something else?


And that perfectly illustrates the folly of pseudoskeptics.

Robert Anton Wilson once said that the so-called "skeptics" at CSICOP are about as skeptical as any Roman-Catholic he'd ever met. What he obviously meant was that if you're skeptical of only one category or set or related set, you are not a skeptic.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby really? » 27 Jul 2010, 21:51

Wilhelm wrote:
ProfWag wrote:
Wilhelm wrote: I'm a skeptic, so I don't buy into the sort of garbage that you guys evidently do.

Can I ask what you are skeptical of? Science, pseudo-science, or something else?


And that perfectly illustrates the folly of pseudoskeptics.

Robert Anton Wilson once said that the so-called "skeptics" at CSICOP are about as skeptical as any Roman-Catholic he'd ever met. What he obviously meant was that if you're skeptical of only one category or set or related set, you are [b]not a skeptic.[/b]


Please elaborate some more on which categories you have in mind. I want to avoid any confusion as to what you mean.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Eteponge » 27 Jul 2010, 22:00

ProfWag wrote:You may have remembered the quote incorrectly Eteponge. He actually said this: "In my first book, Bad Astronomy, I have a chapter about UFOs in it. I have the usual sort of debunking in it, but I made a point I had not seen anywhere else at that time: why don’t astronomers see relatively more UFOs than laypeople?"
It's not that he said NO astronomers have seen UFOs, but that they don't see relatively MORE of them.
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badas ... ufos-myth/

Ah! I see. It was awhile ago, on The Paracast Forums, that someone explained the situation in a thread, and linked the YouTube clip. I must have misremembered the quote.

Perhaps the individual I heard about procuring a HUGE list of astronomer sightings of UFOs and Lunar Anomalies was to combat the idea that they don't see more UFOs than laypeople.

It's been awhile, I need to find that thread again.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Wilhelm » 27 Jul 2010, 22:08

really? wrote:
Wilhelm wrote:Robert Anton Wilson once said that the so-called "skeptics" at CSICOP are about as skeptical as any Roman-Catholic he'd ever met. What he obviously meant was that if you're skeptical of only one category or set or related set, you are not a skeptic.


Please elaborate some more on which categories you have in mind. I want to avoid any confusion as to what you mean.


Easy. All.

By the way, the stuff about astronomers and UFOs is kind of ridiculous. You're focusing at one point in the sky though your telescope; pretty much the worst conditions possible to be observing anything else in the sky other than what you're looking at. Pilots would be the group to ask, not astronomers. Pilots are looking at a much bigger portion of the sky, and much more often.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Craig Browning » 27 Jul 2010, 23:15

The incident I speak of where, rather than standing corrected on his sweeping blanket statement (which also proves he's never actually researched the topic in any real depth, as just barely scratching the surface, you can find astronomer accounts of UFOs and Lunar Anomalies going back hundreds of years) he gets pissed and personally attacks the guy who corrected him on a blog.


yea... that's more of the James Randi I recall seeing :lol:

There is some elusive footage from the Dick Cavet show (memory serving), in which Randi storms off the stage in a grumble because of similar circumstances... I think it was because of a dowser that kept proving him wrong but don't quote me on that... I just remember seeing him turn into a raging bull and run away.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby ProfWag » 27 Jul 2010, 23:24

Craig Browning wrote:
The incident I speak of where, rather than standing corrected on his sweeping blanket statement (which also proves he's never actually researched the topic in any real depth, as just barely scratching the surface, you can find astronomer accounts of UFOs and Lunar Anomalies going back hundreds of years) he gets pissed and personally attacks the guy who corrected him on a blog.


yea... that's more of the James Randi I recall seeing :lol:

There is some elusive footage from the Dick Cavet show (memory serving), in which Randi storms off the stage in a grumble because of similar circumstances... I think it was because of a dowser that kept proving him wrong but don't quote me on that... I just remember seeing him turn into a raging bull and run away.

Ahh yes. Not sure how a discussion on Bad Astronomy with Phil Plait turns into a bashing of Randi, but I guess some people really have a personal vendetta against other people for reasons I can't understand.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Wilhelm » 27 Jul 2010, 23:34

ProfWag wrote:
Craig Browning wrote:
The incident I speak of where, rather than standing corrected on his sweeping blanket statement (which also proves he's never actually researched the topic in any real depth, as just barely scratching the surface, you can find astronomer accounts of UFOs and Lunar Anomalies going back hundreds of years) he gets pissed and personally attacks the guy who corrected him on a blog.


yea... that's more of the James Randi I recall seeing :lol:

There is some elusive footage from the Dick Cavet show (memory serving), in which Randi storms off the stage in a grumble because of similar circumstances... I think it was because of a dowser that kept proving him wrong but don't quote me on that... I just remember seeing him turn into a raging bull and run away.

Ahh yes. Not sure how a discussion on Bad Astronomy with Phil Plait turns into a bashing of Randi, but I guess some people really have a personal vendetta against other people for reasons I can't understand.


You're not sure? Maybe because they are both involved with the same nutty group, and that they employ similar tactics when people point out that their reasoning is seriously flawed. Hope that cleared it up a bit.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby ProfWag » 27 Jul 2010, 23:37

Wilhelm wrote:
ProfWag wrote:
Wilhelm wrote: I'm a skeptic, so I don't buy into the sort of garbage that you guys evidently do.

Can I ask what you are skeptical of? Science, pseudo-science, or something else?


And that perfectly illustrates the folly of pseudoskeptics.

Robert Anton Wilson once said that the so-called "skeptics" at CSICOP are about as skeptical as any Roman-Catholic he'd ever met. What he obviously meant was that if you're skeptical of only one category or set or related set, you are not a skeptic.

Really? So, let's think about this for a second if you don't mind. Let's say I'm skeptical of everything as you suggest RA meant to say. This includes UFOs, ESP, dowsing, RV, Bigfoot, etc. Then, one day, Bigfoot comes onto my property and eats one of my sheep and I had to chase him away with a baseball bat, getting a couple good licks in before he got away. Now, I am no longer skeptical of Bigfoot as I, in my personal experience at least, know he/she exists. Does that mean I can no longer be skeptical of UFOs? Dean Radin, Gary Schwartz, and the like do not appear to be skeptical of psi. Does that have any bearing on what they think about the Lock Ness Monster?
I think we should question everything, yes. However, does that mean we have to live our lives questioning everything or can we eventually come to a conclusion on a subject until new and different evidence becomes available? Not sure what this has to do with Bad Astronomer so apologize for being off-topic.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby ProfWag » 27 Jul 2010, 23:38

Wilhelm wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Ahh yes. Not sure how a discussion on Bad Astronomy with Phil Plait turns into a bashing of Randi, but I guess some people really have a personal vendetta against other people for reasons I can't understand.


You're not sure? Maybe because they are both involved with the same nutty group, and that they employ similar tactics when people point out that their reasoning is seriously flawed. Hope that cleared it up a bit.

No it didn't, but thanks for trying.
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Re: Bad Astronomer - Bad Universe TV Show

Postby Wilhelm » 28 Jul 2010, 00:01

ProfWag wrote:Really? So, let's think about this for a second if you don't mind. Let's say I'm skeptical of everything as you suggest RA meant to say. This includes UFOs, ESP, dowsing, RV, Bigfoot, etc.


He actually specified in one talk, and mentioned the AMA. He meant that CSICOP (like any religious fundamentalists) are only skeptical of things at odds with their own belief system, or things they already have decided are nonsense. Just to clarify.

ProfWag wrote:Then, one day, Bigfoot comes onto my property and eats one of my sheep and I had to chase him away with a baseball bat, getting a couple good licks in before he got away. Now, I am no longer skeptical of Bigfoot as I, in my personal experience at least, know he/she exists.


It could have been a guy in a suit, or a hallucination, or something that you perceived as a bigfoot, but it was really just a pelican. Or, ya know, a million other things. At that point you would have to assign a probability. You seem to think in very black and white terms.

ProfWag wrote:Does that mean I can no longer be skeptical of UFOs? Dean Radin, Gary Schwartz, and the like do not appear to be skeptical of psi. Does that have any bearing on what they think about the Lock Ness Monster?


I have no clue what they think of old Nessie. But that's still black and white terms. You know, both sides can be equally as wrong in their reasoning, even if they come to opposite conclusions.

ProfWag wrote:I think we should question everything, yes. However, does that mean we have to live our lives questioning everything or can we eventually come to a conclusion on a subject until new and different evidence becomes available? Not sure what this has to do with Bad Astronomer so apologize for being off-topic.


Nah, it's ok, it's on topic, in general.

I, personally, think Phil Plait is a pretty smart guy, when it comes to astronomy. But he's a moron when it comes to his pseudoskepticism. He could be 100% correct that astrology is bullshit, but his reasoning is idiotic. I really have no opinion on astrology, but he does, so it must interest him a lot more than it interests me.

At any rate, you are correct, we should question everything. Model Agnosticism. That's real Science, or at least the real spirit of Science. But my point here was that Phil Plait makes some pretty stupid arguments concerning the things he's "skeptical" of. But, of course, he isn't skeptical, he's made up his mind already. It's bad science.
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