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Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 02 May 2013, 06:23

Paranormal beliefs, metaphysical, supernatural, new age beliefs, cult beliefs are all outside the realm of science and therefore untestable. So why are Skeptics going about claiming to debunk what are outside the realm of science and therefore untestable.

Excellent point!
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby SydneyPSIder » 07 May 2013, 06:37

NinjaPuppy wrote:
Paranormal beliefs, metaphysical, supernatural, new age beliefs, cult beliefs are all outside the realm of science and therefore untestable. So why are Skeptics going about claiming to debunk what are outside the realm of science and therefore untestable.

Excellent point!

hmm, but it's not exactly this? I didn't read the article, but the quote says rather that:

"Any belief which is structured in such a way that it is positioned outside the realm of methodological naturalism by definition cannot be examined by the methods of science.”


i.e. the sceptics 'claim' they cannot figure out a way to 'measure' the alleged phenomena or provide a 'method' to study it. Although the supernatural could easily be regarded as natural, so the second half of the phrase 'methodological naturalism' doesn't jibe. Who defines what is 'natural'? Are invisible radio waves natural or unnatural? Once upon a time wifi would be seen as witchcraft as it transmits data by invisible means.

What we see in actual fact of course is no honest attempt by self-titled 'sceptics' or rather pseudosceptics to measure any unusual phenomena, but instead they go all out to find ways to reject it or discredit it prima facie -- hardly the mark of a good, real or legitimate scientist by any definition. But then, the vast, vast majority of (pseudo)sceptics are not trained scientists at all, just cynical misshapen little mental dwarves. Or as Victor Zammit accurately describes them, they are not scientists, but 'material denialists'. e.g. in an earlier age they would have denied the existence of radio waves or their ability to carry information because they can not see them.

The point is, what the pseudosceps don't really concede, is that they go after the easy targets of the frauds -- the ones who claim they have a magic black box that helps you balance, or crystals from the ground that heal you, or an alternative therapy like candling, and so on, that plays to the placebo effect. Or fake fairground psychics using cold reading etc. You can have a field day exposing these frauds, they're easy targets. They throw out the baby with the bathwater, however, in not acknowledging or recognising or seriously studying genuine psi abilities some people seem to possess, or, indeed, evidence of a post-organic afterlife. This area is within the realms of methodological naturalism, and therefore can be studied with the methods of science, but they can not or will not concede that. Besides which, they've got no gear, because they're not really scientists, just sneering cynics with no money and no equipment.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby TruthJunkie » 26 May 2013, 04:48

I find Novella's statements quite credible. Because spirit is outside the parameters of science does not invalidate science or spirituality. Anyone who has experience with both has a much deeper understanding of reality and that is minimal at best due to the nature of the human condition and advancements in scientific measurement. In general we are dealing with intellect regardless of whether we are framing the effects of a natural system or exploring mental states and personal experience. All parties have had to make adjustments over the years. I have had brief contact with CSI, Jref, and Shermer. I have learned about their POV and got to discharge a whole lot of invalidation and mostly by recognizing blindness or lack of real experience. They are people who are navigating the same world.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 17 Jun 2013, 20:26

Hey Justin-
I don't think that anyone here approves of comparing someone's sexual orientation to skepticism. At least I don't and your posts are starting to wear thin.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 18 Jun 2013, 00:13

So time to ban justintime - but don't delete the post Ninja as it will make clear to others that the reason for his banning isn't his lame attempts to troll skeptics but rather his homophibic posts which despite a warning he seems intent on continuuing with.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby TruthJunkie » 18 Jun 2013, 02:18

Skeptics run for cover ... when they're not slinging shit at psychics ...

Grow some balls folks. We are having a discussion concerning a highly controversial topic, well, at least for the inexperienced. I don't agree that a path of logic and reason and sexual choice are related or that the skeptic movement is watered down as a result of personal choices people make. At all. Every information movement evolves as do the rest of humanity.

I applaud Randi for honoring his path. I can only imagine the persecution he withstood over the years while facing the church which are known to condemn one or more populations in the name of god; imagine that. Not a wonder Randi and many others dismiss the church and even find a path of crucifying the church. The mystics have had their bouts with various religious forces as well. And of course the skeptics find great fun in persecuting psychics. They don't call it persecution they call it scientific inquiry but in fact it is another form of persecution and in humanity persecution is a powerful control mechanism. Just read about Geller. Not a single skeptic outside of Randi ever met or spent time with Geller yet there are many quick to condemn not only Geller but those who have worked with Geller. Again I suggest that some folks need to grow some balls and wake up. Unless you were there you DO NOT KNOW. Randi is a small guy too and being gay and small tends to bring out what is termed "little mans disease" or the effect of compensating for "inherent" inadequacies (social delusion) in order to survive. Hence the mean intimidating Randi who hunts the all elusive psychic. Anyone who can't approach the subject in a neutral fashion is in fact on a quest and with an agenda. Skeptics for the most part align with Science but the main players are not scientists and they make that fact well known. In fact the skeptic movement has transitioned from debunker to investigator according to CSI. What I find unbelievably discomforting is the outsider likes to play the role of authority when in fact they are often preaching blindness as truth. This trend is quite disturbing but not unfamiliar in the land of "con" for personal gain. But alas none of this is relevant to me and I have years of direct experience in the subject. I am long past being held accountable by skeptics.
Last edited by TruthJunkie on 18 Jun 2013, 02:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 18 Jun 2013, 02:24

Criticise Randi and skeptics all you want - but yours and justintime's homophobic slurs have no place on this forum.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby TruthJunkie » 18 Jun 2013, 02:35

Arouet wrote:Criticise Randi and skeptics all you want - but yours and justintime's homophobic slurs have no place on this forum.


Are you suggesting I am homophobic? Back that with evidence please. I am hardly homophobic. At all.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 18 Jun 2013, 02:56

TruthJunkie wrote: Randi is a small guy too and being gay and small tends to bring out what is termed "little mans disease" or the effect of compensating for "inherent" inadequacies (social delusion) in order to survive.


This came off to me as homophobic. Perhaps you didn't intend it that way. You also appeared not to be critical of justintime's much more apparent derogotary comments towards gays - which I also perceived as tacit agreement - again, perhaps you didn't mean it that way.

In case you are not aware though, justintime is a troll. He's not really interested in having a back and forth discussion - he really just tries to piss people off. He will rarely respond directly to people's responses to his posts, and will post the same thing over and over again. He can be entertaining while he does it and frankly he's quite a successful troll since people seem to take the bait each time (not sure if that's still the case, haven't looked at his JREF thread in awhile) but when he crosses the line as he did here it is time for him to go.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby TruthJunkie » 18 Jun 2013, 04:34

Arouet wrote:
TruthJunkie wrote: Randi is a small guy too and being gay and small tends to bring out what is termed "little mans disease" or the effect of compensating for "inherent" inadequacies (social delusion) in order to survive.


This came off to me as homophobic. Perhaps you didn't intend it that way. You also appeared not to be critical of justintime's much more apparent derogotary comments towards gays - which I also perceived as tacit agreement - again, perhaps you didn't mean it that way.

In case you are not aware though, justintime is a troll. He's not really interested in having a back and forth discussion - he really just tries to piss people off. He will rarely respond directly to people's responses to his posts, and will post the same thing over and over again. He can be entertaining while he does it and frankly he's quite a successful troll since people seem to take the bait each time (not sure if that's still the case, haven't looked at his JREF thread in awhile) but when he crosses the line as he did here it is time for him to go.


Derogatory remarks and pissing people off can be useful. It can show us how much we cling to identity and ill informed perceptions. This is the basis of much suffering. Because a troll spanks someone and I don't make a counter statement does not mean that I agree with the statement. I am used to human ignorance on every street corner. I am not losing sleep over it. Nor should you. There will never be a universal equality among humanity. Not for quite some time. This has to do with human evolution.

Do you know anyone who has had to hide or consciously (or not) compensate for a personal choice society does not approve of? Join the club. It's a rich membership that includes the entire human population. In fact there are very few completely secure individuals. The landscape of life does not readily align with such concepts. In the land of thin skinned souls we must learn to let the world rise and fall on its own terms. So there are homophobes, trolls, and haters of all stripes, the world keeps on spinning. It's part of the charm of the human experience. The internet is filled with trolls. Either they get moderated to elimination and everyone is safe or we let the trolls trip the wires that control internal perceptions so they can be cleared. Part of the psychic training I went through had to do with letting the world speak unfettered and allowing the reflections provide a source for obtaining freedom from the reactive body as a result of the stimuli. Clear the charge. For many that's the real journey. Personal liberation.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby TruthJunkie » 19 Jun 2013, 00:19

justintime wrote:The point I was trying to make was homosexuality has no evolutionary advantage for their species and according to the laws of Natural Selection only traits that benefit the species are passed on to offsprings thereby giving them a reproductive advantage.

The same goes with skepticism/skeptics. Richard Dawkins was asked if believers had an evolutionary advantage over non-believers. Dawkins is a evolutionary biologist. Dawkins agreed there was an evolutionary advantage having a brain with the capacity to believe in god.

That is 2 strikes against skeptics who are also gay and ugly makes it 3 strikes. So what about those so called good looking gays. Good looking people doing ugly unnatural things makes them just as awkwardly ugly. There you have the 3rd strike.



Like having milk and dirt for breakfast. Teaching nuclear physics to terrorists. Threading a needle with a machete.
You start in a reasonable manner but then you toss it all away with low ball judgments and pedestrian logic fit for a turd.

How can you possibly be taken seriously?
The answer = you can't.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 19 Jun 2013, 01:03

justintime wrote:The point I was trying to make was homosexuality has no evolutionary advantage for their species and according to the laws of Natural Selection only traits that benefit the species are passed on to offsprings thereby giving them a reproductive advantage.


Well, first of all- there are hypotheses that that is not true (one idea for example is that homosexuals helped raise the children). Homosexuality is common in the animal kingdom and might very well have an evolutionary advantage. However - not every trait a species has necessarily carries and evolutionary advantage - I don't think we understand enough how homosexuality works to really have a firm understanding of how it comes about.

I'm not aware of any law of natural selection that posits that only traits that benefits the species are passed on to offspring - infact, it quite certainly isn't the case. If a living being has offspring its non-beneficial traits will be passed on along with the beneficial traits.

The same goes with skepticism/skeptics. Richard Dawkins was asked if believers had an evolutionary advantage over non-believers. Dawkins is a evolutionary biologist. Dawkins agreed there was an evolutionary advantage having a brain with the capacity to believe in god.


I agree with Dawkins statement there (as quoted, I don't know if the quote is accurate)

Asking whether one's beliefs confer an evolutionary advantage is a category error. We don't pass our beliefs down through our genes. True, one can use evolutionary metaphors when talking about ideas (Dawkins himself advanced the idea of the meme in such a mannaer) but they are not the same process.

Dawkins point is that having a brain that is capable of beliefs (whether about god or anything else) holds an evolutionary advantage over a brain incapable of forming beliefs.

That is 2 strikes against skeptics who are also gay and ugly makes it 3 strikes.


Strikes in what way? Evolution doesn't happen to individuals, it happes to species. Individuals don't take evolution into account in deciding how to act. I don't have three children because I wanted to be evolutionarily fit - it didn't factor into my decision making at all. Neither should any of my other actions be judged on the basis that I am evolutionarily fit. I'll bet none of your decisions are based on whether you think they favour the survival of the species as a whole - and even if it did, then it wouldn't be natural selection but artificial selection.


So what about those so called good looking gays. Good looking people doing ugly unnatural things makes them just as awkwardly ugly. There you have the 3rd strike.


And here is where your homophobia shows through - unless you didn't mean to suggest here that being homosexual is unnatural?
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby TruthJunkie » 19 Jun 2013, 02:21

Arouet wrote:
That is 2 strikes against skeptics who are also gay and ugly makes it 3 strikes.


Strikes in what way? Evolution doesn't happen to individuals, it happes to species. Individuals don't take evolution into account in deciding how to act. I don't have three children because I wanted to be evolutionarily fit - it didn't factor into my decision making at all. Neither should any of my other actions be judged on the basis that I am evolutionarily fit. I'll bet none of your decisions are based on whether you think they favour the survival of the species as a whole - and even if it did, then it wouldn't be natural selection but artificial selection.



Evolution exists in the micro and macro. A species evolves as witnessed in the evolution of the participants. In fact every living form evolves at a different rate unique to circumstance and experience.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 19 Jun 2013, 03:04

justintime wrote:It is therefore expected arboreal impulses in humans should have long become passe.


According to whom?

Similarly when dogs are allowed to socialize with other dogs. It is common to see them sniffing each others backsides and private parts. That sort of behavior is not expected of humans. It is the primary reason humans evolved to walk upright so they could avoid accidentally smelling each others backsides.


Often your trolling is funny - this is not funny.

So what would you say about homosexual behavior that basically retained canine impulses and their uncharacteristic social behavior?


Putting aside the nonsense of your example, it stands to reason that if humans evolved from other animals there'd be all sorts of traits we share with other animals - and we do - plenty of them.

Dawkins 'The selfish gene' takes a gene-centered view of evolution as opposed to the views focused on the organism and the group (wiki)
An organism is expected to evolve to maximize its inclusive fitness—the number of copies of its genes passed on globally.


No- an organism is not expected to evolve to maximize its inclusive fitness - at least not under the theory of evolution. There is no proposed mechanism that would lead to maximizing fitness.

Evolution by natural selection works by mistakes in copying of genes. Now, when that mistake hurts the organism's ability to pass on its genes - the line dies. If a mistake happens and the organism manages to pass on its genes, the mistake will get passed on with it. This favours mistakes that enhance survival because those organisms will have a greater chance of living long enough to pass on their genes.

In short humans compete at the gene level and not as groups or species. So essentially homosexuals are really working against their own self interest by limiting their propagation.


Homosexuals are only working against their self-interest if they are interested in having a child and don't. However, many homosexuals still have children. You seem to be saying that the decision not to have children is to be discouraged - I don't see any need for that. If human kind was endangered that might be a different story.

Subconsciously gays might be doing the human species a favour. But without equating motives, morals and other extenuating circumstances. There is very little support for homosexuality in evolution.


There's no support for anything in evolution. Genes get passed on, or they don't. Motive doesn't come into it.

Yes, homosexuality are found in animals. But animals all follow a pecking order and those that are at the bottom are unable to find mating partners and forced to seek other venues for expression. Humans do not follow a pecking order and therefore to humans homosexuality is a choice.


This is nonsense of course, but you know that.

There are fundamental laws of nature and when violated consequences follow. Climate change is one good example. Humans may have free choice but they are not free of the consequences of their choice.


I'm curious as to what you think the fundamental laws of nature are!
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 19 Jun 2013, 03:09

TruthJunkie wrote:Evolution exists in the micro and macro.


Actually, its only in the micro - macro is just looking at microevolution over a long time frame.

A species evolves as witnessed in the evolution of the participants. In fact every living form evolves at a different rate unique to circumstance and experience.


But an individual NEVER evolves (at least not in the sense we are discussing) - an offspring can be slightly evolved away from its parent - but most of the time this will not be noticeable until a lot of generations have gone by.

Yes evolution occurs on an individual passing on of genes, but its only identified based on populations. Agreed that environment plays a massive role and evolution will take place at different rates.
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