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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 » 24 Jun 2013, 02:22

Perhaps Arouet needs more information relating to our little agreement. This video pretty much covers it:



I have to thank a very good friend for letting me know that this little ditty even existed. ;)
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 24 Jun 2013, 08:58

NinjaPuppy wrote:
justintime wrote:New research by Dr Newberg and Dr Persinger points to the difference in temporal lobe creativity between religious believers and skeptics. Richard Dawkins a famous evolutionary biologist agreed to be tested and concluded there was an evolutionary advantage to having a brain with the capacity to believe in god.

Fascinating! I Googled a bit but couldn't find anything (OK, so I only went to Wikipedia) on this. Do you have any quick links for us women folk?
justintime wrote:Have skeptics been working against their own self interest by ignoring medical diagnostics about their true condition, that they may be more than just a disparate group of insecure individuals and that they might be mentally inept?

Giggle... good one.


You might want to read the links Ninja - while certainly fascinating they don't suggest anything about the differences in the brains of skeptics and believers. They do help shed light on some of what is going on in the brain when people have spiritual experiences.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 24 Jun 2013, 11:21

They may be fascinating but I'll be darned if I can understand a word of what they are saying. :(
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 24 Jun 2013, 23:12

I'm no expert either - the gist of it though, as I can make out, is that they hooked people up doing things like meditating and were to identify certain areas of the brain that were active when they got into certain meditative states. The god helmet is about stimulating certain parts of the brain to trigger spiritual experiences (the god helmet as I understand it has faced difficulty with repetition).

They leave open the question of whether the fact that spiritual experiences have particualar neurological corelates tells us anything about whether there is any external reality to the experience.

Still very interestings stuff. We're still far from understanding how all of this works, but progress is being made steadily.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 24 Jun 2013, 23:17

Arouet wrote:I'm no expert either - the gist of it though, as I can make out, is that they hooked people up doing things like meditating and were to identify certain areas of the brain that were active when they got into certain meditative states. The god helmet is about stimulating certain parts of the brain to trigger spiritual experiences (the god helmet as I understand it has faced difficulty with repetition).

They leave open the question of whether the fact that spiritual experiences have particualar neurological corelates tells us anything about whether there is any external reality to the experience.

Still very interestings stuff. We're still far from understanding how all of this works, but progress is being made steadily.

That part I understood. I guess what I'm looking for is a better understanding of this:
They leave open the question of whether the fact that spiritual experiences have particualar neurological corelates tells us anything about whether there is any external reality to the experience.

I don't want to go and derail this thread and I know that we had a topic on the "God Helmet" some time ago.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby Arouet » 24 Jun 2013, 23:22

Well, presumably the external reality could simply trigger certain parts of the brain - but they weren't looking at that part.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 25 Jun 2013, 01:08

Thank you. I now understand.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 25 Jun 2013, 20:29

Very well put!
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby NinjaPuppy » 30 Jun 2013, 07:05

Besides no alien has died from human curiosity.

And we know that to be a fact because?????
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby ProfWag » 30 Jun 2013, 20:32

What's hypocritcal about that post is that we are all skeptics to some degree. If I said that I could turn the sky red and fly like superman, would you not be skeptical of my claims? Just where does the skeptical analysis end for those of you who do not consider yourselves skeptical?
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby ProfWag » 30 Jun 2013, 21:50

justintime wrote:only some sightings of alien spaceships crashing on their own.

Allegedly...
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 01 Jul 2013, 00:37

justintime wrote:
ProfWag wrote:What's hypocritcal about that post is that we are all skeptics to some degree. If I said that I could turn the sky red and fly like superman, would you not be skeptical of my claims? Just where does the skeptical analysis end for those of you who do not consider yourselves skeptical?

You are comparing a common cold to pneumonia. Yes, we all catch a cold occasionally but it does not all advance to pneumonia. People are more skeptical of skeptics than they are of charlatans because skeptics claim they apply critical thinking and scientific method and then get the science wrong by denying climate change which has more dire consequences than someone claiming to bend a spoon or reading some obscured cards.


No, he's not.
Now you are applying critical thinking. Without foresight, you've laid a sticky trap for yourself. Or to put it better 'open mouth insert foot'.
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 01 Jul 2013, 09:52

justintime wrote:How could I be applying critical thinking and at the same time laying a trap for myself?
Critical thinking definition: the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.

You don't have to show the definition, I know what it is.

justintime wrote:You not only contradict yourself but also confuse your use of metaphors. Just like Steve said: Skeptics do not understand or comprehend literary metaphors.

I've made no contradiction. I've only pointed out that you used critical thinking as a skeptic would so you've become the very thing you've disparaged in your previous postings.
Since you are fond of citing definition as if like an idiot I need to be reminded, here's the definition for "open mouth, insert foot". " It means saying something really stupid and offending another person."
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby really? » 02 Jul 2013, 03:23

justintime wrote:
really? wrote:
justintime wrote:How could I be applying critical thinking and at the same time laying a trap for myself?
Critical thinking definition: the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.

You don't have to show the definition, I know what it is.

justintime wrote:You not only contradict yourself but also confuse your use of metaphors. Just like Steve said: Skeptics do not understand or comprehend literary metaphors.

I've made no contradiction. I've only pointed out that you used critical thinking as a skeptic would so you've become the very thing you've disparaged in your previous postings.
Since you are fond of citing definition as if like an idiot I need to be reminded, here's the definition for "open mouth, insert foot". " It means saying something really stupid and offending another person."

If skeptics actually applied critical thinking instead of denying everything they don't understand they wouldn't be such absolute losers. You said you know what critical thinking is and then you go on to say because I used critical thinking I become the very thing I disparage(a skeptic). But that is why you need a definition of critical thinking.
Critical thinking definition: disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence:
Nowhere does it say critical thinking makes you a skeptic or disparaging of skeptics.

This is what makes you a skeptic:.
Skeptic definition: One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.

If I wanted to offend someone why would I put a foot in my mouth? I would put my foot in the other persons mouth to be offensive. So I can assume for all this time you had your foot in your mouth you were trying to offend me. But seeing you with your foot in your mouth is least offensive to me.
Skeptics might want you to keep that foot in your mouth so that you do not say anything more damaging to their cause to further embarrass them.


I will reply to one thing you written which I've embolden. People whom are skeptical of usual claims come in many varieties of their abilities to think critically about those claims. Some are cynically dismissive and some are not and others lay in between. But the primary reason you think all skeptics casually dismiss unusual claims is because those claims can usually be better explained with more prosaic explanations that assume less. And let's not forget there's not one shred of incontrovertible evidence for any unusual claim. All the rest you've written is laughable. :lol:

P.S. I will add one more thing a reply to the red text. Good grief you don't even understand how the "open mouth,insert foot" happens. That deserves two of these. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Why Randi, CSICOP, Skeptics are contradictions

Postby ProfWag » 02 Jul 2013, 08:59

justintime wrote:
Since when have skeptics started dismissing scientific evidence based on scientific research? I would say about 30 years ago according to CSICOP(the committee for the scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal) in 1982.

Could you provide an example of a skeptic who dismissed scientific evidence?
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