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A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are You

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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby Arouet » 30 Dec 2013, 06:35

Yep, its pretty bad over there now, but there are plenty of examples on both sides of the fence.
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby SydneyPSIder » 30 Dec 2013, 22:36

really? wrote:A noble ideal too be sure, but as you've seen exemplified on another forum anything short of fully embracing the psi hypothesis is met with anger and will create an adversarial relationship. And though that site is just a small percentage of all similar sites it is representative of many sites.


good heavens, what is 'the' psi hypothesis?
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby Arouet » 30 Dec 2013, 22:59

The hypothesis that there is such a thing as psi. I suspect you just want to get into a semantic game over the fact that there are numerous psi hypotheses - yes there are, but people also refer to psi generally and therefore it is perfectly fine to refer to the it generally.
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby SydneyPSIder » 02 Jan 2014, 19:53

Arouet wrote:The hypothesis that there is such a thing as psi. I suspect you just want to get into a semantic game over the fact that there are numerous psi hypotheses - yes there are, but people also refer to psi generally and therefore it is perfectly fine to refer to the it generally.

well, how can you just 'partly' embrace that there is such a thing as psi? I mean you either accept it or you don't, it's a binary state. Or you can choose to be agnostic and say it may exist but you have not seen any evidence of it yet, but there's no embracing in there, full, partial or otherwise.

I think 'fully embrace' is a redundant or meaningless phrase, it's like being half pregnant.

Further, there ARE a number of types of psi possible, some of which strain credulity more than others, if that is possible. I'm curious to know, for instance, what Randi's 'preliminary test' was all about when people responded to his challenge -- what was he measuring with his 'test' exactly?

I've spoken to a friend in the US recently who turned out to be a psychic -- something I never knew before, and clearly demonstrated within minutes in a conversation -- who had never heard of the Randi Challenge in her own country. When I mentioned it she just 1) dismissed it as probably never being paid out via sleight of hand, and 2) not wanting the personal exposure.

I mean, if it's that easy to find a psychic amongst your group of friends (and I know several now), clearly Randi et al aren't trying very hard to elucidate anything...

I've corresponded with arch-sceptic (= pseudosceptic material denialist) Andrew Skolnick on a number of occasions, and he is a wanker of the first order on this sort of matter.
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby SydneyPSIder » 02 Jan 2014, 20:05

justintime wrote:Modern skeptics are caught between a rock and a hard place. They have endorsed the scientific method as their defense against woo. But science is not the perfect creature skeptics envisioned it to be.

There are several studies that exposes the "The Myth of the Self-Correcting Nature of Science."

It will therefore not come as a major surprise that peer reviewers are also not very successful in uncovering scientific fraud. Even the most reputable journals appear to accept articles that contain glaring inconsistencies overlooked by reviewers.

And just how unscientific are scientists in their approach to fellow scientists. Shockingly, science is based on trust not scientific method as the following paragraph will reveal.

Quote:
So how can we explain the failure of the self-correcting processes of science? One major reason is that science is based on trust. As already mentioned, scientists do not expect their colleagues to falsify their data and therefore do not look for signs of fraud when reading manuscripts or articles. This is probably the reason why hardly any fraud cases are discovered by the peer review process. It is only in extreme cases of data patterns that are simply too good to be true that fraud is considered as a possibility.

http://pps.sagepub.com/content/7/6/670.full

The brightest minds are recruited by financial institution and engineering conglomerates where there are tangible results and rewards for the individual careers. Only third and fourth tier candidates apply for science. Even here they have to compete for research grants and have to produce results quickly or lose funding and public interest. Scientists are forced to pander to the public's imagination by producing science fiction literally or embellishing their research along similar lines with sensational announcements of breakthrough discoveries or inventions. The stuff that science fiction is make of.

Unfortunately the public are able to separate facts from fiction and do not see the justification for millions of dollars spent on research that struggles to produce the same results as those of a creative science fiction writer and ruining a titillating experience at the end.

It doesn't help when skeptics are defending such fraudulent behavior and are as much in denial as the scientific community is over how common fraud is the sciences. The same scientific methodology is now used to systematically promote fraud and once again the methodology is being proven ineffective because it only perpetuates fraud like it did in past research or we would not be questioning it today.

So why are modern skeptics so out out sync with reality and the general public? What kind of a skeptic does one have to be to suffer such indignation as to be largely ignored by the general public and even shunned by fellow skeptics?


Very interesting, I can use that article. Also see this piece from The Atlantic on medical fraud similarly criticising peer review and falsified or dubious results of drug trials etc (= $$$$):

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby Arouet » 02 Jan 2014, 22:52

SydneyPSIder wrote:well, how can you just 'partly' embrace that there is such a thing as psi? I mean you either accept it or you don't, it's a binary state. Or you can choose to be agnostic and say it may exist but you have not seen any evidence of it yet, but there's no embracing in there, full, partial or otherwise.


I don't want to speak for really, but I think by "embrace" he just meant "believe psi to be true."

I think 'fully embrace' is a redundant or meaningless phrase, it's like being half pregnant.


So? This is just semantics.

Further, there ARE a number of types of psi possible, some of which strain credulity more than others, if that is possible.


Yes, I mentioned this in my post. Again, I don't think there's anything wrong with lumping them all together under "psi hypothesis" in the proper context. It makes having certain conversations easier. Context is important.

I'm curious to know, for instance, what Randi's 'preliminary test' was all about when people responded to his challenge -- what was he measuring with his 'test' exactly?


I'm not sure what the MDC has to do with any of this.
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby SydneyPSIder » 03 Jan 2014, 12:59

Arouet wrote:
SydneyPSIder wrote:well, how can you just 'partly' embrace that there is such a thing as psi? I mean you either accept it or you don't, it's a binary state. Or you can choose to be agnostic and say it may exist but you have not seen any evidence of it yet, but there's no embracing in there, full, partial or otherwise.


I don't want to speak for really, but I think by "embrace" he just meant "believe psi to be true."

I think 'fully embrace' is a redundant or meaningless phrase, it's like being half pregnant.


So? This is just semantics.

Further, there ARE a number of types of psi possible, some of which strain credulity more than others, if that is possible.


Yes, I mentioned this in my post. Again, I don't think there's anything wrong with lumping them all together under "psi hypothesis" in the proper context. It makes having certain conversations easier. Context is important.

I'm curious to know, for instance, what Randi's 'preliminary test' was all about when people responded to his challenge -- what was he measuring with his 'test' exactly?


I'm not sure what the MDC has to do with any of this.


because when you are debunking things, semantics is important. the whole exercise is about the choice of words, the impression you are creating. as with science, the art of debunking needs to be very precise.

in particular I sought clarification of what 'fully embrace the psi hypothesis' was supposed to mean. it's like saying do I 'fully embrace the physics hypothesis' -- well, which bit are you 'fully embracing' -- Newtonian theory, Einsteinian theory, string theory, and they're all just theories anyway. really? was making almost a nonsensical remark. can I fully or partly embrace string theory? of course I can, in that I accept that it's a theory that attempts to explain something, not that it is 'true' or has to explain everything etc. Newton had a hard time defending his 'theory of gravity' by the pseudosceptic pseudoscientific debunkers of his day who claimed to be his fellow scientists, because he was ahead of them in scientifically measuring a phenomeonon that they just liked waffling about to feel important -- he put parameters on how gravity worked using mass as a proxy without being able to fully 'explain' how an invisible force could be associated with that mass. because he couldn't 'explain' gravity to the nth degree, only measure the effect size, the 'debunkers' of his day went after him to tell him his theory was manifestly inadequate and just plain unsatisfactory -- never mind that you can use it to calculate trajectories or that it opens doors to new research into a more comprehensive theory of gravity as some form of energy.

does that help?
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Re: A Lesson in Modern Skepticism - What Kind of Skeptic Are

Postby Arouet » 03 Jan 2014, 21:33

SydneyPSIder wrote:in particular I sought clarification of what 'fully embrace the psi hypothesis' was supposed to mean.


You may have meant to seek clarification about "fully embrace" but the only thing you wrote was: "good heaWevens, what is 'the' psi hypothesis?"

As it stands in this case I don't think it really matters since really was making a general comment about the skeptics being censored on the Skeptiko forum.
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