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My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

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

Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 07 Jul 2010, 02:36

Indigo Child wrote:I know that most of you are average joes and janes. I know most of you have not gone beyond
high school and still are at high school.

You may not be talking to me, but I'm chiming in as I think your statement is out of line.
I received an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and my graduate degree from Regis University (one of the top 5 business schools in the Western United States.) I am currently an Adjunct Professor of Management at a major university.
What's really kind of funny is based on your thought process, I thought you were the one still in high school. I really did. Where did you get your degree in Philosophy Indigo?
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby Indigo Child » 07 Jul 2010, 03:35

You may not be talking to me, but I'm chiming in as I think your statement is out of line.


Did I say anything about you in particular? I said "most of you" I was certainly right about the magician
that represents your ilk.

A degree in business is not a degree in a science, logic or philosophy related subject by the way. You
are not qualified in the areas that matter when it comes to rational thinking, critical thinking and scientific
thinking.

I have seen you pass judgements on professional scientists and question their scientific expertise, and
what is ironic, you have no background in science yourself.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 07 Jul 2010, 04:10

Indigo Child wrote:
A degree in business is not a degree in a science, logic or philosophy related subject by the way. You
are not qualified in the areas that matter when it comes to rational thinking, critical thinking and scientific
thinking.

Sorry, gotta disagree to the full extent on this. Rational and critical thinking are required to complete graduate school.
A degree in philosophy is not a degree in science in any way. Having a Ph.D in Biology does not make a person an expert in anything but biology (and even that expertise can vary). Let's take Dr. Gary Schwartz. He has a solid resume in Psychology. Ph.D from Harvard, professor at Yale, yadda yadda yadda. What does a Ph.D in Psychology have to do with talking to dead people? Unless it's hallucinations, I would say very, very little if anything.
Having said that from both sides of the spectrum, I will reiterate that one does not need to be a scientist, or even have a high school diploma, to know you should always look at both sides of a story, as there almost always is another side.
So, unless you have a degree in alien life from The Andromeda Galexy, I'm just as qualified to discuss alien life forms as you...
Bottom line, education level really has nothing to do with discussing the paranormal.
Indigo Child wrote:I have seen you pass judgements on professional scientists and question their scientific expertise, and
what is ironic, you have no background in science yourself.

I don't remember passing judgements on scientists as people, however, you may have seen me pass judgements on their methods, lack of replicated experiments, their reports of findings, or clarify that their results did not produce proof of anything. Of course, if you were a critical thinker, you would have done the same thing rather than take their word as gospel.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby Indigo Child » 07 Jul 2010, 05:20

A degree in philosophy is not a degree in science in any way. Having a Ph.D in Biology does not make a person an expert in anything but biology (and even that expertise can vary). Let's take Dr. Gary Schwartz. He has a solid resume in Psychology. Ph.D from Harvard, professor at Yale, yadda yadda yadda.


Having a degree in any of the physical sciences will give you expert knowledge on the scientific method,
various research methods, how to set up experiments, how to do controls, as well as understanding various theories
and perspectives in science(there is not just one perspective)

A degree in philosophy will give you knowledge on analysis, logic and argumentation, and the competing ontologies
and epistemologies and the major problems within all systems.A philosophers analysis deconstructs the very conceptual process
behind any theory, exposing it bare. It forces one to ask questions and formulate better questions and better methods.
As philosophy is general and not particular, a philosopher can apply philosophical analysis to any subject. The main area we guys
specialise in is logic and we also study logically formally and we study the development of thought. You can trace back philosophy to
its beginning in India and Greece, it emerged out of the necessity to critically examine statements using formal methods and to formulate
statements using formal argument structure. The developments in philosophy then lead to the development of science and scientific method.

Philosophy is one of the most rigorous subjects you can study. The standards for critical thinking and argument are very high and precise
and you always have to think very deeply about your subject. It does not favour any particular ontology, be it materialism or idealism or
any particular epistemology: empiricism or rationalism.

He has a solid resume in Psychology. Ph.D from Harvard, professor at Yale, yadda yadda yadda. What does a Ph.D in Psychology have to do with talking to dead people?


Having a Ph.d in Psychology does not give him anymore knowledge than yourself on talking to dead people. However, having a Ph.D in psychology does give him more knowledge on how to scientificallly
test for talking for dead people. How to set up the experiments, how to control for variables, how to analyse the data. This is something he is an expert in, and you are not, so before you
even think of passing judgements on him, you better know what you are talking about.

To pass comment or judgement on a matter you are ignorant in is foolish. I know nothing about the in and outs of business, I am not going to comment on it. So why should you comment
on science and rationality?

Of course I am not saying you need a degree to comment, but you at least need to know the subject to high enough level to talk about it. I have already demonstrated you guys
know nothing about science and the scientific method, yet you comment on it all the time. Foolish.

What you guys peddle is pseudoscience. These arbitrary conditions "ordinary" and "extraordinary evidence" and "fool-proof experiment" and your postivist statements of what
are "facts" is not science and has nothing to do with science. Your lack of knowledge of the latest worldview in science also speaks volumes about how ignorant you are about science. Your
lack of knowledge of such concepts as realism, naive realism and postmodern views of science further shows you know nothing about the concepts within science. Mistaking science
for technology just confirms how clueless you are about science.
Last edited by Indigo Child on 07 Jul 2010, 05:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 07 Jul 2010, 05:34

Indigo Child wrote:
A degree in philosophy is not a degree in science in any way. Having a Ph.D in Biology does not make a person an expert in anything but biology (and even that expertise can vary). Let's take Dr. Gary Schwartz. He has a solid resume in Psychology. Ph.D from Harvard, professor at Yale, yadda yadda yadda.


Having a degree in any of the physical sciences will give that person expert knowledge on the scientific method,
on research methods, how to set up experiments, how to do controls, as well as understanding of various theories
and perspectives in science.

A degree in philosophy will give that person expert knowledge on analysis, logic and argumentation. A philosophers
analysis deconstructs the very conceptual process behind any theory, exposing it bare. It forces one to ask questions
and formulate better questions and better methods. As philosophy is general and not particular, a philosopher can apply
philosophical analysis to any subject. The main area we guys specialise in is logic and we also study logically formally and
we study the development of thought. You can trace back philosophy to its beginning in India and Greece, it emerged out
of the necessity to critically examine statements using formal methods and to formulate statements using formal argument
structure. The developments in philosophy then lead to the development of science and scientific method.

Philosophy is one of the most rigorous subjects you can study. The standards for critical thinking and argument are very precise
and you always have to think very deeply about your subject. It does not favour any particular ontology, be it materialism or idealism
empiricism or rationalism.

He has a solid resume in Psychology. Ph.D from Harvard, professor at Yale, yadda yadda yadda. What does a Ph.D in Psychology have to do with talking to dead people?


Having a Ph.d in Psychology does not give him anymore knowledge than yourself on talking to dead people. However, having a Ph.D does give him more knowledge on how to scientificallly
test for talking for dead people. How to set up the experiments, how to control for variables, how to analyse the data. This is something he is an expert in, and you are not, so before you
even think of passing judgements on him, you better know what you are talking about.

To pass comment or judgement on a matter you are ignorant in is foolish. I know nothing about the in and outs of business, I am not going to comment on it. So why should you?

Of course I am not saying you need a degree to comment, but you at least need to know the subject to high enough level to talk about it. I have already demonstrated you guys
know nothing about science and the scientific method, yet you comment on it all the time. Foolish.

As for Schwartz, no he doesn't know how to set up an experiment. Neither did Targ and Puthoff. They don't know the methods people use to fool other people. It's a specialized area that would require specific, replicatable results. It is not my fault these scientists do not know how to establish their expereiments so they can be replicated. This is not my standard, it is accepted throughout the academic community.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 07 Jul 2010, 05:41

Indigo Child wrote:
Having a Ph.d in Psychology does not give him anymore knowledge than yourself on talking to dead people. However, having a Ph.D does give him more knowledge on how to scientificallly
test for talking for dead people. How to set up the experiments, how to control for variables, how to analyse the data. This is something he is an expert in, and you are not, so before you
even think of passing judgements on him, you better know what you are talking about.

To pass comment or judgement on a matter you are ignorant in is foolish. I know nothing about the in and outs of business, I am not going to comment on it. So why should you comment
on science and rationality?

Of course I am not saying you need a degree to comment, but you at least need to know the subject to high enough level to talk about it. I have already demonstrated you guys
know nothing about science and the scientific method, yet you comment on it all the time. Foolish.

What you guys peddle is pseudoscience. These arbitrary conditions "ordinary" and "extraordinary evidence" and "fool-proof experiment" and your postivist statements of facts
is not science and has nothing to do with science. Your lack of knowledge of the latest worldview in science also speaks volumes about how ignorant you are about science. Your
lack of knowledge of such concepts as realism, naive realism and postmodern views of science further shows you know nothing about the concepts within science. Mistaking science
for technology just confirms how clueless you are about science.

I have a novel idea. How about you show a little maturity. You throw around words and accusations that are very unsubstantiated. You make these claims that we know nothing of science and then you show Uri Geller videos saying that's proof of the paranormal when even the experimenters didn't say that. And you say I don't know science? Sorry Indigo Child, but I'm just about through discussing anything with you. If you would show you are willing to discuss rather than accuse, I may comment on your posts again.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby Indigo Child » 07 Jul 2010, 05:45

As for Schwartz, no he doesn't know how to set up an experiment. Neither did Targ and Puthoff. They don't know the methods people use to fool other people.


Sorry a magician does not know more than a scientist on how to do experiments. Stick to do what you do best, and let
the experts do their job. You don't know more than the experts, no matter how much you want to delude yourself into
thinking you do.

There has never been any requirement in science since the beginning of modern science to have a magician set up
an experiment. And there never will be. A magician is only qualified to do stage and party tricks, not to do science.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 07 Jul 2010, 05:55

Indigo Child wrote:
As for Schwartz, no he doesn't know how to set up an experiment. Neither did Targ and Puthoff. They don't know the methods people use to fool other people.


Sorry a magician does not know more than a scientist on how to do experiments. Stick to do what you do best, and let
the experts do their job. You don't know more than the experts, no matter how much you want to delude yourself into
thinking you do.

There has never been any requirement in science since the beginning of modern science to have a magician set up
an experiment. And there never will be. A magician is only qualified to do stage and party tricks, not to do science.

There you go again throwing accusations. You know, the more you criticize people, the less credible you become. As a "philosopher," you should already know that.

As for you other comments about scientists and experiments, perhaps you should review the information concerning Project Alpha. Since you're well versed in wikipedia.org, just type "project alpha" in any search engine and wiki's article pops right up first.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby Indigo Child » 07 Jul 2010, 06:15

Project alpha does not prove anything other than one particular researcher was deceived by a magician. This is
like the show Randi did, where he would expose psychics on his stage show. It involves selecting somebody who
you know is going to fail.

Here is another thing we do not do in science: generalization. Just because some people can be mistaken, it
does not mean all are mistaken. Every experiment is going to be unique.

Puthoff and Targ's experiments were unique, unlike the experiments that Randi exposed, and they controlled
for all normal variables, eliminating normal conditions. Again, in the double blind experiment Geller was able
to know which side of the dice was facing up inside the sealed box. How is it possible to do this by any normal
means? Simple, it is not. There is no trickery here. This is a scienctific experiment, not a stage show.

Your argument will only succeed if you can show me how it can be possible to know what side is facing up. However,
I know for a fact you cannot come up with any such explanation.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby Indigo Child » 07 Jul 2010, 06:47

I did some further research on project alpha and other than Randi, JREF and his followers,
there is no evidence that he fooled the Washington University parapsychologists. In fact,
based on their report, they were not fooled at all:

A research brief delivered at the Parapsychological Associ-
ation Annual Convention in August 1981, at Syracuse University, men-
tions several events that have occurred, including influence on standard
keys, Polaroid photographic film, and electronic fuses. However, ordinary
explanations exist for these effects, given the conditions under which they
have been observed. Thus, although several events of interest have tran-
spired, we do not claim that evidence conclusive of “psychic ability” has
yet been demonstrated in our research. We hope that in the future we and
others will be able to conduct tests under conditions which will allow us to
drawmore definite conclusions.
Peter R. Phillips
Mark Shafer
McDonnell Laboratory for Psychical Research

Randi is lying again. This man has lost all credibility in my eyes now.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby really? » 07 Jul 2010, 10:21

Indigo Child wrote:Project alpha does not prove anything other than one particular researcher was deceived by a magician. This is
like the show Randi did, where he would expose psychics on his stage show. It involves selecting somebody who
you know is going to fail.

Here is another thing we do not do in science: generalization. Just because some people can be mistaken, it
does not mean all are mistaken. Every experiment is going to be unique.

Puthoff and Targ's experiments were unique, unlike the experiments that Randi exposed, and they controlled
for all normal variables, eliminating normal conditions. Again, in the double blind experiment Geller was able
to know which side of the dice was facing up inside the sealed box. How is it possible to do this by any normal
means? Simple, it is not. There is no trickery here. This is a scienctific experiment, not a stage show.

Your argument will only succeed if you can show me how it can be possible to know what side is facing up. However,
I know for a fact you cannot come up with any such explanation.


A question that requires only a one word answer. Have you since we've been talking with each other considered you are wrong ? Answer Yes or No.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby Indigo Child » 08 Jul 2010, 12:49

It depends in which area. You should give examples where I could be wrong. I will admit,
however, that I have reconsidered my view that one must be an authority to discuss something,
realising that this is actually another human law, like your "extraordinary vs ordinary" evidence law,
and in fact anybody can speak on any matter, because everybody is allowed an opinion. I strongy
believe in freedom of expression, so I realised I was contradicting myself there. I will say this much,
however, if you are ignorant about something, you need to be more forthright about your ignorance,
because then you can learn. If I attended a business forum, I would be forthright about my ignorance,
and would allow mysef to be educated.

I have noted time and time again, that you guys choose to be ignorant on many matters, when you could
use that opportunity to learn something. I think, it would be very helpful for you, to drop your anti-paranormalist
agendas and simply enter a discussion on the paranormal to deny it, and actually allow yourself to learn about the
paranormal, it's adherants and its research.

I have never reconsidered any of the evidence I have seen for the paranormal, because the evidence is conclusive
for me. I would only reconsider the evidence if new information become available that forces me to review it. Until
that happens, I will continue to maintain it as conclusive.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 08 Jul 2010, 19:51

I can honestly say that I joined this forum to learn. I have done that time and time again. I used to think that everything about the paranormal is bunk. Now, although I still don't believe in anything paranormal, I have changed my stance and believe that more and more solid research is needed. Experiments should be fool-proof and replicated. The results should be absolutely conclusive. There should be nothing open to interpretation. I simply don't understand why science won't re-open the unbiased vaults that have been shut for so many years.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby NinjaPuppy » 08 Jul 2010, 21:05

ProfWag wrote:I can honestly say that I joined this forum to learn. I have done that time and time again. I used to think that everything about the paranormal is bunk. Now, although I still don't believe in anything paranormal, I have changed my stance and believe that more and more solid research is needed. Experiments should be fool-proof and replicated. The results should be absolutely conclusive. There should be nothing open to interpretation. I simply don't understand why science won't re-open the unbiased vaults that have been shut for so many years.

So...I see that you are finally learning towards the 'dark side', Grasshopper. :lol:
IMO, on all levels the problem is simple fear with anything paranormal. It goes against religious teachings for starters. Organized religions have much at stake when you are talking about ghosts and spirits. Some religions teach that any so called 'spirit' is a demon. Demon=BAD. BAD, BAD, BAD!!! Run into such a spirit and you are BAD too.

Next, let's put anyone who is interested in doing any sort of study into these sort of things. NUTTER! He/she has mentally snapped. The skeptic world eats them alive. Not so many years ago, people who tried to explain their experiences were thrown in mental institutions. To be totally accurate here, a few decades ago, anyone could have been thrown into a mental institution but of course there was plenty of names for people who claimed to 'see things' that weren't there. This may not be the best article on labotomy practices but it sure is plain English: http://www.neatorama.com/tag/lobotomy/
EVERBODY'S DOING IT
Lobotomies were the psychiatric cure-all of choice in the 1940s and 1950s. They were used not just on uncontrollable patients, but homosexuals, political radicals, “troublesome" personalities, and other so-called undesirables who veered from established norms. Even amateur surgeons got into the act; they performed hundreds of lobotomies without first performing psychiatric evaluations. Joseph Kennedy ordered a lobotomy on his “difficult" daughter Rosemary in 1941 without consulting anyone else in the family. Playwright Tennessee Williams was devastated to find in 1937 that his schizophrenic sister Rose Williams had been lobotomized, altering her personality utterly and permanently. The movie, Frances, is a true story of fiercely independent actress Frances Farmer (as played by Jessica Lange), who, after her lobotomy is a tragic picture of blandness.

Today, that good old 'ice pick' has been traded in for something more tragic... media criticism and public media castration. The pen is mightier than the sword in today's world.
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Re: My new video: Why Pseudoskeptics are NOT Real Skeptics

Postby ProfWag » 08 Jul 2010, 21:41

Just to be clear, noooooooo, I'm not going to the darkside. I'm just saying that it would help solve some riddles if experiments could be done and done correctly...
For example, there are obviously people out there who believe in Uri Geller's psychic abilities. A lot of learning has taken place in the past 35 years or so and I think protocols could now be set up to ensure the claimed psychic is not cheating. The experiments could then be handed over to another academic study who would replicate and then announce findings.
Forget Randi's MDC for a while and really focus on scientific study.
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