View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

great levitating ashtrays !!

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

great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby brett » 18 Aug 2009, 23:06

many moons ago - i used to visit a well known skeptic site in the UK :shock: ( yes the rampant believer quel horror ) - and one thing i noticed was that sometimes , some of the "explanations" that the skeptics came out with to debunk phenomenon ,where actually more implausible ( read crazy ) than the phenomena reported - one such was the saga of the levitating ashtray :o

the story as i remember it was that an ashtray was reported to have moved across a bar top of its own accord in front of witnesses - a long discussion followed where various "reasons " where given for this phenomenon ranging from vibration from heavy trucks ( the pub was in a quiet county location with the nearest road CAPABLE of accommodating heavy trucks being miles away ) - through a long winded argument about the "aerodynamics " of ashtrays , to , and i liked this one best , the viscosity of the film of beer left on the bar top allowing a breeze to move the ashtray on said film ( methinks someone had been watching too many western films where they slide the glasses down the bar to the customer ) - not , as was pointed out , a common practice in England where we have "bar mats " on bars and landlords are somewhat fastidious in cleaning up slops

well this went on for page after page post after post , getting patently more ridiculous as time went on needless to say we "believers " where laughing our socks off :lol: :lol:

a comment i saw in a film reminded me of this the other day and the comment was " why don't you guys just do what you do best ?? - take a simple problem and complicate it " - was Occam's razor being applied here - yea right !!

so why is it that skeptics will go to any lengths sometimes to explain away what is a simple case of an ashtray ACTUALLY moving under its own steam - oh i know unlikely - highly unlikely to be fair - but impossible ?? - one should never rule anything out if one is "open minded "

away you go then savage my post as you see fit ;) :lol: :lol:
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
User avatar
brett
 
Posts: 436
Joined: 06 Aug 2009, 22:23
Location: Plymouth UK






Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby brett » 20 Aug 2009, 22:37

interesting - - so valid criticism of a fine example of skeptics fallibility gets no comment eh ?? - hummm must remember that :?
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
User avatar
brett
 
Posts: 436
Joined: 06 Aug 2009, 22:23
Location: Plymouth UK

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby evoasbo » 20 Aug 2009, 23:51

i think this could be a case of what my mum calls "selective deafness", as has been wrote else where they only hear what they want to here (or read) :P

as you say -"oh i know unlikely - highly unlikely to be fair - but impossible ??"

i was thinking about how skeptics use the word "impossible" is it a word that should be used so freely with modern science where it is?

e.g. "and pigs will fly"or"purple unicorns"= "impossible"

as above unlikely? yes highly unlikely? yes

impossible? if you look at modern genetics and understandings of dna,rna,etc. and the fact that scientist already grow human ears on the back of rats etc. is it "impossible" to think with **time they "wont" be able to change the colour of a horse and make it grow a horn on its head? or make a pig grow wings on its back? (not that im saying we would ever have any reason to do it) but impossible?

impossible is a strong word, flaunted too easily by skeptics!!! (im not saying that everything is pausible this is a diffrent subject again)

** "time" i mean 100 years, 1000 years, million years, billion years (if we dont wipe ourselfs out by then :P )
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." ~ Plato
evoasbo
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 17 Aug 2009, 23:18
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby NinjaPuppy » 20 Aug 2009, 23:55

Go evo!
User avatar
NinjaPuppy
 
Posts: 4002
Joined: 28 Jul 2009, 20:44

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby ProfWag » 21 Aug 2009, 04:51

An honest skeptic rarely uses the word "impossible." Nothing, as they say, is "impossible." Highly unlikely, yes. Impossible, usually no. Myself, I probably would not have joined in on that conversation. There could be all sorts of reasons behind the moving ashtray to the story being totally made up or highly embelished. But don't discount the wet bar-top so quickly. I've seen that happen quite frequently with my pint when it's not on a towel or coaster, especially when the bar is not quite level.
Some skeptics give the rest of us skeptics a bad name I'm afraid. Though there are some that give the non-skeptics a bad name as well...
Wag
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby ciscop » 21 Aug 2009, 06:08

well...
i am a part time mentalist/magician

and i always find it funny
when after a show people try to backtrack what i did
their conclusions are way off of what i did... and YES, in magic, is pretty much always the easiest solution.

and because of my training and education i i would doubt that story entirely also would have doubted memory and perception as i have seen it fail so many times,
before i start wondering if an ashtray can have an own mind and start levitating on its own
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)
User avatar
ciscop
 
Posts: 1423
Joined: 22 Jul 2009, 12:04

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby Nostradamus » 21 Aug 2009, 12:38

There are all sorts of odd stories that require no explanation.

It is claimed that the great Scottish climber Ewan was able to sit on glaciers and slide uphill. Despite my numerous tries I have always tumbled downhill in less than elegant fashion. I suppose that this tale of wonderous upward glissage was more tale than fact.
Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
User avatar
Nostradamus
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: 08 Aug 2009, 14:08

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby brett » 21 Aug 2009, 14:11

well i know of a section of a leat ( a drainage channel used on Dartmoor ) where if you stand at a certain point it appears to be flowing uphill - it is not of course , but i have seen a few walkers standing and scratching their heads over the optical illusion :lol: - caught me when i first saw it too :oops:

anyways the point of the post was NOT to argue whether the ashtray actually moved of its own accord - but to point out that the lengths that some PsKeptics will go to to debunk something and the really daft theories they come up with to do so - and this particular discussion was a classic demonstration of this

as i said , the explanations to cause where weirder than the original ( alleged ) observation

humm sliding UP glaciers eh - now that's a good trick don't ya think ??
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
User avatar
brett
 
Posts: 436
Joined: 06 Aug 2009, 22:23
Location: Plymouth UK

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby evoasbo » 22 Aug 2009, 02:25

there is a place like that here in scotland.

its called the "electric brae" i think its in ayrshire somewhere.

if you roll a football on it looks like it rolling uphill lol

but i confess it is only an optical illusion ;)
"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." ~ Plato
evoasbo
 
Posts: 10
Joined: 17 Aug 2009, 23:18
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby Nostradamus » 22 Aug 2009, 10:38

The upslope glissage is rudely stated as an 'up the mountain rumpage' by those colonials across the waters.

Rather rude comment don't you think? No wonder they can't repeat Ewan's accomplishments.
Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
User avatar
Nostradamus
 
Posts: 1761
Joined: 08 Aug 2009, 14:08

Re: great levitating ashtrays !!

Postby brett » 22 Aug 2009, 11:39

Nostradamus wrote:The upslope glissage is rudely stated as an 'up the mountain rumpage' by those colonials across the waters.

Rather rude comment don't you think? No wonder they can't repeat Ewan's accomplishments.


yes agree - mind you those "damned colonials" never have been big on tactful description - what what ?? ;) :lol:
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
User avatar
brett
 
Posts: 436
Joined: 06 Aug 2009, 22:23
Location: Plymouth UK


Return to PseudoSkeptic Fallacies

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron