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Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.

Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby Scepcop » 05 May 2010, 04:48

Here is another way of refuting the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" argument that was sent to me.

In re: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Page2.htm

I can appreciate the effort you have put in to push back against this ridiculous notion, but I think the logic is far simpler still.

First of all, nothing unreal can exist, so therefore, anything that does exist, no matter how seemingly extraordinary, is actually no more or less ordinary than anything else that exists.

In fact, planets existed in our own solar system long before anyone proved that they existed and they are no more extraordinary than finding a dead possum on the side of the road.

We’ve also now learned that planets are ordinary compliments to many star systems.

Telegram for debunkers:
Things are either real or they are not. Stop.
There is no elevated form of existence/reality that demands more proof than the next. Stop.
Discovery is better than a full denial face plant into warm oatmeal. Stop.

The jurist is truth and she is blind. She only knows that something is real, or it is not.
There is just no such thing as an extraordinary claim or extraordinary proof. Everything that exists, every single damned thing, is really quite ordinary.


Best :)
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 05:30

Scepcop wrote:Here is another way of refuting the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" argument that was sent to me.

In re: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Page2.htm

I can appreciate the effort you have put in to push back against this ridiculous notion, but I think the logic is far simpler still.

First of all, nothing unreal can exist, so therefore, anything that does exist, no matter how seemingly extraordinary, is actually no more or less ordinary than anything else that exists.

In fact, planets existed in our own solar system long before anyone proved that they existed and they are no more extraordinary than finding a dead possum on the side of the road.

We’ve also now learned that planets are ordinary compliments to many star systems.

Telegram for debunkers:
Things are either real or they are not. Stop.
There is no elevated form of existence/reality that demands more proof than the next. Stop.
Discovery is better than a full denial face plant into warm oatmeal. Stop.

The jurist is truth and she is blind. She only knows that something is real, or it is not.
There is just no such thing as an extraordinary claim or extraordinary proof. Everything that exists, every single damned thing, is really quite ordinary.


Best :)

Hmmm, not bad...not bad at all. I like the statement "nothing unreal can exist." Hence if psi is unreal, then it doesn't exist. Right?
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby ciscop » 05 May 2010, 06:27

wow

with this kind of argument you wanted to debate shermer?

damn..
are you in for a major intellectual beating..
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: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby jakesteele » 07 May 2010, 05:19

I love that question. Here's how I address it. First off, who says that only debunkers are allowed to define it? Only they do. Who says something like alien UFOs is an extraordinary claim? They do. Since I wasn't consulted about defining that term, I reject outright their definition. The reason is that if you consider the staggering, incomprehensible potential numbers of possible planets in the universe logic dictates that there is a much greater chance of life than no life.

Here is a vid of Phil Plait answering a question of the possibility of life elsewhere.

http://www.dailygrail.com/Alien-Nation/2008/11/Astronomers-and-UFOs

Go to 1:16 and here Phil Plait's take on life in the universe.


I feel the same way as Phil, but when anybody uses the word/concept of "life" it is never defined precisely. In this context "life" could mean anything from bacteria, to bugs to sentient beings with flying saucers, etc. Think of Star Trek and its five year mission to seek out new civilizations...anything goes.

In this larger context, to hide behind the Unicorn Gambit – (When asked the question, “Do you believe in UFOs?” a debunker will sarcastically say something to this effect: “Sure there might be a chance, about as much chance of Unicorns and Faries.” This is nothing more than a sarcastic way of saying no without have to bear the burden of proof and superficially maintaining the appearance of objectivity.

The Drake Equation shuffle and the Unicorn Gambit are mutually exclusive of each other.

To say there is a chance that their is life in the universe, but there are no such things as UFOs that can't be easily explained away is an extraordinary claim. The numbers just aren't with you.

That is an example of how I address that question...my definition, my way, my game. If a debunker doesn't like it, then he can have a Coke and go f* himself.
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Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby ciscop » 07 May 2010, 10:51

wow..

easy on the language
remember you are talking to superior intellectual beings

also i wanna say that unicorns arent extraordinary nor leprechauns
i actually saw a chupacabras on my backyard! hiding behind a big pot of gold at the end of a rainbow
i was high on peyote
but that doesnt mean anything!
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: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby ProfWag » 07 May 2010, 20:49

I might add that 125 years ago, television or airplanes would have been an extraordinary claim, but they have since been proven to be possible and feasible. To me, extraordinary doesn't mean impossible, just that it hasn't been shown to be freasible at this point in time. Hence, if the JREF was around during the civil war and some guy said he could transmit a picture across the air and into someone's house, they may have offered a million bucks to see that. So although UFOs/aliens (for example) may not be extraordinary to you, they are to science.
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby Craig Browning » 08 May 2010, 02:16

ProfWag wrote:I might add that 125 years ago, television or airplanes would have been an extraordinary claim, but they have since been proven to be possible and feasible. To me, extraordinary doesn't mean impossible, just that it hasn't been shown to be freasible at this point in time. Hence, if the JREF was around during the civil war and some guy said he could transmit a picture across the air and into someone's house, they may have offered a million bucks to see that. So although UFOs/aliens (for example) may not be extraordinary to you, they are to science.


:lol: :lol: :lol: Yesterday's Magic = Today's Science :lol: :lol: :lol:

I loved it when William Shatner was hosting a show about Sci-Fi Tech. He shows a clip of the original communicator then whips out a cell phone that is smaller than the original trumped up piece and still flipped open... next insert is Next Generation crew hitting that little button on their uniform and then the contemporary shot of cops and military having nearly the same set-up in the works along with a GPS tracking system which, like Star Trek, allows a central control center to know where everyone is... it won't be much longer before such a "clip on" can read our vitals as well (the Pentagon is already tossing money at that idea).

But if we keep with the whole Psychic theme of things, look at the advancements made in neuro-medicine; the mechanical and PC controllers that operate from pure thought... table top games that likewise function based on either brain function or one's ability to get calm and thus, allow the energy to flow... an idea that is hauntingly close to what mystics have taught for thousands of years when it comes to psychic/magickle development. Even the idea behind remote viewing/clairvoyance is becoming a reality that just happens to fit neatly into the Star Trek element of Holodecks...

As one of America's great late 20th century geniuses pointed out; describe an elevator to someone that's never seen one and consider what they would think about it... (George Carlin)
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby really? » 08 May 2010, 03:07

I wish scepcop understood the difference between an ordinary claim and an extraordinary claim. I'll present an example.

Look there's a person walking down the street.
Look there's an elephant walking down the street.

Both are possible and plausible.The first claim wouldn't even raise an eyebrow. The second would cause a look see.
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby ProfWag » 08 May 2010, 03:16

"And when such claims are extraordinary, that is, revolutionary in their implications for established scientific generalizations already accumulated and verified, we must demand extraordinary proof."
Marcello Truzzi

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence"
David Hume
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby really? » 08 May 2010, 03:20

Craig Browning wrote: :lol: :lol: :lol: Yesterday's Magic = Today's Science :lol: :lol: :lol:



But if we keep with the whole Psychic theme of things, look at the advancements made in neuro-medicine; the mechanical and PC controllers that operate from pure thought... table top games that likewise function based on either brain function or one's ability to get calm and thus, allow the energy to flow... an idea that is hauntingly close to what mystics have taught for thousands of years when it comes to psychic/magickle development. Even the idea behind remote viewing/clairvoyance is becoming a reality that just happens to fit neatly into the Star Trek element of Holodecks...



That's nothing of the sort. 'Pure thought' is nothing more than electrical impulses traveling amongst neurons. And this not so veiled nod to some ill defined energy is just wrong too. It's all electrical impulses pick up by sensors stuck to skin and computer software that makes sense of those signals to perform a useful task. It has nothing in common with the belief of some mystical energy that can be tapped into that's prevalent within the New Age community.

Holodecks aren't real CB.
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby NucleicAcid » 08 May 2010, 03:52

'Pure thought' is nothing more than electrical impulses traveling amongst neurons.


So where does consciousness come from? Why do neurons cause conscious experience? Is there a certain threshold over which consciousness occurs, or are all things conscious?

You are conscious right now and experiencing things subjectively, yes?

What is it about purely physical neurons firing that allow me to exist?

These are hard questions that currently have neuroscientists totally baffled.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby really? » 08 May 2010, 11:23

NucleicAcid wrote:
'Pure thought' is nothing more than electrical impulses traveling amongst neurons.


So where does consciousness come from? Why do neurons cause conscious experience? Is there a certain threshold over which consciousness occurs, or are all things conscious?

You are conscious right now and experiencing things subjectively, yes?

What is it about purely physical neurons firing that allow me to exist?

These are hard questions that currently have neuroscientists totally baffled.


It doesn't come from anyplace except within the brain.
Like I told Jakesteele the New Age community has a lower tolerance for ambiguity.
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby NucleicAcid » 08 May 2010, 22:50

Do you have any proof for that position? Cause I can offer a bunch of proof that it isn't generated by the brain.
Hey, you there. Yes, you. Read more journal articles.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby jakesteele » 08 May 2010, 23:16

really? wrote:
NucleicAcid wrote:
'Pure thought' is nothing more than electrical impulses traveling amongst neurons.


So where does consciousness come from? Why do neurons cause conscious experience? Is there a certain threshold over which consciousness occurs, or are all things conscious?

You are conscious right now and experiencing things subjectively, yes?

What is it about purely physical neurons firing that allow me to exist?

These are hard questions that currently have neuroscientists totally baffled.


It doesn't come from anyplace except within the brain.
Like I told Jakesteele the New Age community has a lower tolerance for ambiguity.



I don't think you understand what cognitive closure is about:

The Need for Closure Scale exhibits low to moderate association with the following: “authoritarianism, intolerance of ambiguity, dogmatism, need for cognition, cognitive complexity, impulsivity, need for structure, and fear of invalidity, while retaining considerable distinctiveness from those various constructs”.[


Someone with high need for cognitive closure has an all-or-nothing, black and white, fundamentalist type mind set that is seen more often in debunker types.

absence of evidence of evidence of absence.”
is typical of a debunker." While on the other hand:

In the New Age movement there is a saying, "Some things have to be believed to be seen." A lot of new agers exhibit way too much magical thinking and will accept just about anything...to a fault.

It is the New Ager types who exhibit child like, magical thinking and have more of a tendency to believe in anything that says, “Boo!” or goes bump in the night.
Debunkers think all UFO photos are fake,
especially the real ones.
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Re: Another way to refute the "extraordinary evidence" argument

Postby Craig Browning » 09 May 2010, 01:40

Really?
That's nothing of the sort. 'Pure thought' is nothing more than electrical impulses traveling amongst neurons. And this not so veiled nod to some ill defined energy is just wrong too. It's all electrical impulses pick up by sensors stuck to skin and computer software that makes sense of those signals to perform a useful task. It has nothing in common with the belief of some mystical energy that can be tapped into that's prevalent within the New Age community.
Holodecks aren't real CB.


Ok, where did I say to the contrary?

Even when I describe to students of metaphysics and my show audiences, I more or less incorporate (almost word for word) what you just said, minus the arrogance and condemning demeanor. My job is to give folks the information and let them mull it over – it’s the old Honey vs. Vinegar trick.

If thought is nothing but electrical impulse a.k.a. “Energy” it must therefore create a measurable and expressed sense of action – Physics 101. Thus, what you have stated and what has been taught for thousands of years is one in the same thing, just different ways of both, explaining and relating to the situation… believe it or not, our ancestors didn’t have the knowledge we have today for better defining and describing such phenomena, just knowledge that it was and understanding that we can train ourselves to not just be more sensitive to it but aware of it… even to the point of manipulating it… just as today’s science has done and will continue to do, constantly learning how to exploit the finer and finer energies, many of which we weren’t even aware of a decade ago… super subtle impulses that are akin to that famed butterfly in the Amazon who’s wing flaps trigger the motions that bring about a tremendous storm on the other side of the globe… granted, that’s an extreme example but it does convey the more balanced sense of genuine reality.

“Holodecks” as shared on Television and in the films are very much a fantasiful thing… sort of. The technology doesn’t only exist but R&D is happening that will make such a virtual world possible, some of the more primitive aspects of this technology has been in the hands of the public for years now, 3-D imaging in its various forms being part of the next big step. But if you had read what I was saying in my previous post, you would have noticed that I was talking about how science is catching up with Sci-Fi… showing how fantasy became reality; much of it within a 30-50 year course of turn-around if we are to take the Rodenberry or Lucas points of view.

Someone with high need for cognitive closure has an all-or-nothing, black and white, fundamentalist type mind set that is seen more often in debunker types.

Actually, this is true of most any zealot regardless the issue. Try going toe to toe with a die-hard fundamentalist of any religious flavor, it’s the same sort of narrow-minded, “I’m better than you because…” attitude. Ego always in the mix and mucking it all up for the rest of the world.

In the New Age movement there is a saying, "Some things have to be believed to be seen." A lot of new agers exhibit way too much magical thinking and will accept just about anything...to a fault.

Actually this isn’t a New Age point of view; you will find a similar context in the New Testament with Doubting Thomas or even in the Old Testament with several different prophets of note as well as the Koran and most any other spiritual tradition out there. Ironically, there is a truth to this wisdom teaching for you cannot possibly comprehend the miraculous until you learn to let yourself see the miracle. It is to this same course of wisdom teaching that you will find the theologians and philosophers pointing out how knowledge is akin to Pandora’s Box and once we have opened the door on it, there is no turning back and it will consume us unless we are ready to meet it with faith and the desire to grow.

Sadly, most that so enjoy opening the door of knowledge do so out of greed, ego and a lust for power – domination vs. spiritual and moral greatness. They have voluntarily blinded themselves and made themselves deafened to the secrets of the soul, the mind and the heart.

No, it’s not mysticism and boogiemen; it’s a part of learning how to give yourself permission to be a human being, no more, no less.

Roughly 1,700 years ago the church ripped science from the confines of religion by casting it in a dark light as evil and against god. The ignorance of the orthodoxy, coupled with its lust for political power prevented it from recognizing that all things that are of the divine are natural, tangible, obtainable as well as explainable. The on-set of the Dark Ages was a time in which such knowledge… all knowledge other than what this new cult allowed to be shared… to become cursed, much of man’s advancements up to that point, destroyed!

This “New Age” you seem to despise, has some horrid faults about it. Similarly, there exist quieter factions who are studied and quite aware of the deeper occult truths and how they parallel with modern science and thus, how the Magick of Our Ancestors is very much the Science of our Present as well as the Future.

I’ve always found it amazing, the fact that so many “debunkers” and “Cynics” found in these on-line groups, not only reach out to paint me as some sort of fool, but likewise prove to the rest of the world that they are not mature enough to not just weigh things as they are meant to be considered (that is to say, without all the bloody nit-picking and hair-splitting) and in so doing, meet the “believer” half-way. Not that you would be converted or some such, but so actual communication and positive exchange can take place and both parties able to walk away learning more than they first came to the table with, and having new thoughts and points of view that required contemplation.

I’m told almost daily that I just need to stop defending my points of view when it comes to this stuff and stop trying to “teach” the cynical anything in that they are like the proverbial horse that was lead to the watering hole and refused to drink. My digging my heels in, makes me look bad and, according to many, accomplishes little. This is an age old argument that few, if any self-styled intellectuals ever view from a position other than the one they came to the table with, and determined to cram it down everyone else’s throat.

It’s sad, how we ignorant believers and patrons of metaphysical thinking are willing to go further in digesting such contrary modes of thought and yet those that see themselves superior to them, refuse to take a single step in a similar gesture.
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