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Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Discussion about UFO's, Aliens, ET's, Alien Abductions, Ancient Astronaut theories, etc.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 30th, 2010, 3:09 pm

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Suppose that we discover 5 planets like Earth that support life, would it anymore deductively valid(i.e., logically certain)
to say there are more than 5 earth like planets with life on them? Suppose we discover 500 planets like Earth with life on them, would
it again be anymore deductively valid to say there are more than 500 earth-like planets with life on them? No, it will never be certain,
because it always possible there is no more life on other planets. Therefore it does not matter how large your sample size is, it will never
establish conclusively or certainly the rule that earth like planets harbour life.

In logic this is known as the problem of induction. Science can never know anything with certainty, because it always possible that there
will be an observation in the future that will falsify the rule. To go from particulars to universals is therefore a process of induction, not
deduction. However, we have no other choice, because we will always be beginning from ignorance. That is that there is an unobservable
universe and the best that we can do is build up our knowledge of particulars and how particulars interrelate to establish rules of how the
universe works. The law of gravitation is one such rule we can establish on the basis of the relationship between mass and gravitional field.
It does not require several instances to show that such a relationship exists, it only requires observation of mass and gravity. No amount of
observations are going to prove the rule, it will still be induction whether you establish the rule based on a single observation of the rule or 1000
observations. There is another induction we all make, and we only have one sample, the existence of other minds. I can only know for certain
I have a mind because of my private experience of it, but I cannot certainly state anybody else has a mind, because I cannot verify that.

So, if we can allow certain inductions based on observations, then there is no reason not to allow the induction that life exists on other Earth like
planets. If the conditions are present, then there is no reason at all to believe that life would not evolve on that planet.

This is a pretty strong argument, because rejecting this argument because of its inductive quality, would mean you have to be consistent and reject
all science, knowledge and inferences in general because they are all inductive.

The other consideration you need to make is look at how and why evolution would take place. It has been traditionally assumed that evolution is a random
and blind process, but this has failed to account for the amazing coherence observed within a biological organisms, where everything works in tandem with
everything else to bring about an outcome.
Now, overwhelming evidence is showing that evolution is purpose drive i.e., teleological. It is not a random and blind process, but it is driven by purpose and
thus inseparably tied to the needs of life. Considering this new understanding of evolution, the evolution of a planet would have to fit a purpose.

Here is a rough estimate of the number of planets in the known universe. From Wiki answers:

Astronomers estimate there are 10^21 stars in the universe. With a conservative estimate of three planets per star (some could have many more,
some would have none at all) this puts the estimated number of planets into millions of billions. The actual number of planets in the universe is difficult to ascertain.
However, we do know that the number is very, very large, and the true figure is completely beyond human comprehension. Estimates for the number of stars in our
galaxy vary between 100 billion and 400 billion, with most setting the figure at roughly 200 billion. There are very few estimates for the number of planets per star,
as we have only discovered 429 'exoplanets' (planets that orbit another star than the Sun; as of 9th February 2010: http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/atlas/atlas_index.cfm ).

However, with approximately 200 billion galaxies in the part of the Universe that we can see, even if there were only one planet per star there would still be around 40 trillion
billion in our observable Universe. It is likely that this estimation is very inaccurate, as we have no idea what the mean number of stars per galaxy is likely to be, nor have
we counted every single galaxy in the Universe. Nonetheless, it is also likely that the number of planets in the Universe is greater than all the grains of sand on this planet Earth.




If we go by conservative estimates then there are approx 40 trillion billion planets in our observable universe. That is huge amount of waste of space, if there is not life on most
of those planets. The very teleos of a planet is known to develop life, therefore a planet’s evolution is inseparably tied with the function of life. However, to be true to our induction,
we will rule out non-earth like planets for now(although life can form in any condition) the estimates of earth like plants is still a very staggering number. In the milky way alone, from CNN:

(CNN) -- As NASA prepares to hunt for Earth-like planets in our corner of the Milky Way galaxy, there's new buzz that "Star Trek's" vision of a universe full of life may not be that far-fetched.
An artist's impression shows a planet passing in front of its parent star. Such events are called transits.
Pointy-eared aliens traveling at light speed are staying firmly in science fiction, but scientists are offering fresh insights into the possible existence of inhabited worlds and intelligent civilizations in space.
There may be 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way, or one for every sun-type star in the galaxy, said Alan Boss, an astronomer with the Carnegie Institution and author of the new book "The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets."
He made the prediction based on the number of "super-Earths" -- planets several times the mass of the Earth, but smaller than gas giants like Jupiter -- discovered so far circling stars outside the solar system.
Boss said that if any of the billions of Earth-like worlds he believes exist in the Milky Way have liquid water, they are likely to be home to some type of life.


There is simply no reason to believe that there is not life on those planets.


There are thus 3 incredibly strong arguments in favour of ET’s:

1) The inductive argument which establishes as a rule that earth-like planets would have to have some life on it
2) The teleological argument which establishes that a planets function is to support life
3) The statistical argument which makes it statistically impossible that Earth would be the only planet with life on it.

The arguments are strong enough to pretty much accept ET exists. To argue to the contrary reeks of religious sentiments where we want to believe that we are a miracle and a one-off creation by god almighty. If one is rational one would accept ET’s existence.






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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 30th, 2010, 8:47 pm


Again I have to disagree with you on your assertion that
Therefore it does not matter how large your sample size is, it will never
establish conclusively or certainly the rule that earth like planets harbour life.


If 5 earth like planets are found and they all have life, then it certainly seems like life is probable. If 500 are found and they all have life, then it is reasonable to suggest that the next earth like planet has life on it. Of course, the prediction is a probability. You seem to want to make this a yes or no answer. The observations we make are used to make predictive statement about the future. Those predictions do not have to be restricted to yes or no answers.

So, if we can allow certain inductions based on observations, then there is no reason not to allow the induction that life exists on other Earth like planets. If the conditions are present, then there is no reason at all to believe that life would not evolve on that planet.

This is a pretty strong argument, because rejecting this argument because of its inductive quality, would mean you have to be consistent and rejectall science, knowledge and inferences in general because they are all inductive.

I find the argument to be rather weak. I might call it extremely weak. I think it is more appropriate to state that if the conditions are present, then life might evolve on that planet. In other words, if we find a planet and we think that the conditions are right and there is or is not life we still have to investigate to see if the assumptions we make about the possibility of life are correct. The statment you make assumes that we would know what are the conditions leading to life. So I suggest we have to careful here in stating that our knowledge of 8 planets and lots of moons gives us a sufficient understanding of the conditions that lead to life.

Now, overwhelming evidence is showing that evolution is purpose drive i.e., teleological.

Enlighten me, because I see no evidence for that, nor do I see any such claims in the scientific literature.

Considering this new understanding of evolution, the evolution of a planet would have to fit a purpose.

The evolution of life is not related to the evolution of inorganic systems. Furthermore, I dispute that evolution has purpose. That is Lamarkian, and a long rejected evolutionary theory.

The very teleos of a planet is known to develop life, therefore a planet’s evolution is inseparably tied with the function of life.

I have to disagree. Where is the evidence for this?

There are thus 3 incredibly strong arguments in favour of ET’s:

1) The inductive argument which establishes as a rule that earth-like planets would have to have some life on it
2) The teleological argument which establishes that a planets function is to support life
3) The statistical argument which makes it statistically impossible that Earth would be the only planet with life on it.

1) As I stated before this argument is very weak
2) There is no evidence for this claim
3) It's a probability argument, not a statistical argument unless you are arguing from a sample of 1

You arguments are incredibly weak. I think you can do better than that. You are playing logic games instead of providing evidence.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 6:45 am


I will consider your responses in terms of the 3 arguments I outlined;

1) The induction that there is life on other earth like planets
2) The telelogical nature of evolution
3) The statistical argument of earth like planets existing in the universe

1) Your claim that discovering 5 more earth like planets would establish the rule of life being more probable is as much as an induction
as my induction of generalizing from one earth like planet. You are commiting a probability fallacy in fact, for the likiliness of an event
cannot be established based on repeat instances. If I toss a coin 1 million times and I get heads 100% of the times, then what is the probability
of getting heads on the next trial? It is the same as any other trial: 50%. Thus no induction by enumeration is going to establish a rule or the
probability of a rule. To set a number of instances(5, 500, 5000) whereby a rule can be established is not rational, but an arbitrary human rule.
As the certainty of the rule will still not be established. This is known as the philosophy of falsificationism, originally developed by the philosopher
Karl Popper. He demonstrated that no amount of observations will ever establish any rule, for instance Newtonian physics has been shown to be
correct for centuries over hundreds of thousands of trials, but then later was falsified by General relativity.

Thus what the above discussion shows, if you can follow it, is no amount of observation or trial will ever establish a rule or the probability of a rule.
So logically it does not matter whether you generalize from one instance, or from 500, it is still an induction. You are within your rights to reject
induction, but you must do so by rejecting all inferences and science. The fact of the matter is you do indeed generalize from one example all
the time, you infer the existence of other minds from the one private experience of your own. Therefore you are guilty of inducing a general from
one instance, and therefore for you to reject my induction of ET life on earth like planets from Earth commits the fallacy of inconsistency. You are
therefore forced to accept that ET life exists on Earth like planets. Any rejection of this, will not be rational, but just sentimental.

2) It was shown above that no amount of instances will ever confirm any theory. Therefore the naturalist evolution theory is still a theory. It is still
possible that a teleogical theory of evolution is true. As it has been shown earlier that no induction by enumeration of instances will confirm a theory,
it means that we require other means to test theories, and those means are logical tests. Using the principle of non-contradiction in logic if we can reduce
a theory to absurdity then that theory can be rejected. If one critically evaluates the naturalistic theory of evolution one will find it rests upon the assumption
of materialism. That is that there is a real material world, to which everything is reducible and all things are separated and act upon each other deterministically
and in this scheme mind and consciousness are emergent properties of matter. Therefore as they are emergent properties they themselves cannot affect matter.

Materialism is no longer supported by science. The new view which has arisen due to quantum physics is that there is no such as a real material reality where things exist in separation from one another, but at the fundamental level or quantum world everything exist in a quantum superposition state and is is inseparable(empirically proven by the test of the Bell inequalities) Furthermore, in this new view mind has a direct effect over matter because no real material world exists without the presence of consciousness, which is required to collapse the wavefunction. Earlier quantum physics only applied to microscopic objects, but now quantum behaviour can be seen exhibited by macroscopic objects, meaning quantum physics has now emerged as a universal theory encompassing all phenomenon.
It has been long observed that matter exhibits coherence and synchronized behaviour, even in a simple organism the entire body operates in tandem with each other, such that nothing is working in isolation, but interconnections. This coherence is not just limited to the internal structure of the organism, but the organism itself is in coherence with the environment itself, that changes in the environment will directly affect the organism. To add to the complexity it has now known for a fact that mind is also in coherence with matter, that ones mental states will also affect ones physical states.
In other words both matter, organic matter and even mind are in coherence with one another and work inseparably that nothing can happen in isolation as predicted by the older naturalist theory of evolution. Therefore it is impossible for evolution to be a purposeless actvity, the coherence can only be explained as an organizing intelligence present within nature that it is capable of purposeful actvity. Hence reducing to absurdity the naturalist theory.
The new understanding in biology admits the existence of purpose-driven behaviour in nature. Such as the science of epigenetics. To give an example, cited by Dr Bruce H Lipton: Protein switches in the cells membrances respond to environmental signals by relaying secondary signals into the cells cytoplasm. Some membrance derived signals regulate the cells physiological functions; other membrance singnals are directly sent to the cells nucleus where they control gene activity.
In other the previous essentialist theory of evolution where genes are determinants is now shown to be false, instead is is now known that genes respond to signals from the environment and transform accordingly. Thus explaining why organisms adapt to their environments and evolve exactly that which is needed to survive in the environment.
The following article is a good article discussing the competing theories on evolution and the new views on evolution emerging: http://www.noetic.org/publications/revi ... arman.html
There now exists a vast database of scientific studies which clearly show the coherence of mind, matter(inorganic and organic) and also the fact that mind is more fundamental than matter. In other words matter is in service of the needs of mind, therefore everything within the universe is service of life. Therefore the function of a planet is also in service of life, and as there are an estimated 40 billion trillion of them in our obserable universe it means life must be abundant in the universe.

3) The discussion here will be very brief, because I do find your rejection of this argument to be based on weak grounds. I will use the terms of probability, if you find the term of statistics improper. The probability of there being no other life in the universe other than our own is extremely unlikely as to being impossible according to probability theory, because of the staggering amount of earth-like planets estimated in the universe. The fact is clear that life emerged on this planet rapidly within moments in Earth time, suggesting the clear relation etween the chemical ingrediants of the Earth and the emergence of life. Therefore even probablistically the existence of ET is certain.

So I will reiterate again the 3 arguments again which logically establish the existence of ET. A rational being can simply accept the existence of ET, even without having any empirical confirmation. Therefore the ET hypothesis can be admitted as a part our observable universe and knowledge, and can be used to explain phenomena we encounter, such as UFO's. The fact that the common description of a UFO is that they are physical, intelligently controlled flying objects which defy all human physics, necessarily then means that they belong to non-human technological beings i.e., ET's.
The evidence for UFO's is so overwhelming that a rational being cannot maintain they do not exist. The link between UFO's and the ETH is so logical, that a rational being cannot maintain that UFO's are not of ET origin. Indeed, today some UFO's maybe of human origin due to the reverse-engineering of ET UFO's and secret government experimental crafts, but historically going back to the beginning of the 20th century and prior they could not have been of human origin.

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 7:13 am


I apologise for the inconsistencies in formatting, I am having a lot of trouble composing a post
in the text window, beyond a certain point it does not let me scroll anymore. I just wanted to finally
add a comment to your claim my "arguments are weak" I do not think so at all, because my arguments
are informed by a strong understanding of logic, epistemology, philosophy of science and modern science.
On the contrary, if I may say so, you do not seem to be aware of such considerations and the nuances between
an inductive and deductive argument. This is fine, one has to study philosophy and logic to be aware of them,
but then it would be wrong of you to state my arguments are weak, when in fact they are highly complex, nuanced
and professional.

You also seem to have an outdated understanding of science. For example you are talking about theories of evolution
which have long been superceded and ontologies of the world which have long been proven to be false.

The new worldview in modern science, to use the terms of the contemporary philosopher of science Ervin Laszlo, is
"enchanted" We now understand the intimate relationship between consciousness and the universe, and the existence
of planes of reality beyond space and time where more fundamental activity take place. It is now known that all activity
begins in non-physical planes of reality(or in other words minds) and we know how thought have the power to manifest in
reality as physical and tangible things. In this worldview, life is a cosmic imperative, not a cosmic accident. Therefore life
is very much pervading all of reality and all planes. In fact the existence of ET is no longer that amazing, as is the existence
of spiritual planes of reality populated by gods, angels and spiritual masters. I say this as humbly as I can: Get with the times.

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 31st, 2010, 9:48 am


Your use of the coin flip is a logical fallacy. The purpose of flipping a coin is to discover the probability of it coming up heads. If a coin flip comes up heads a million times in a row, then the discovered probability is that the coin will come up heads on the next flip. But here you claim to know the probability of the coin flip. How do you know that probability? Maybe the coin in question has 2 heads, or is weighted to always come up heads.

If we were to use your coin flip as an analogy, then you claim that the probability of a planet having life on it is a known probability. That's false. You do not know. In fact, the way you have proposed this so-called logic is to call into question anything including gravity. I drop a million rocks and they all fall towards the Earth. Are you next going to claim that this series of experiments is meaningless and cannot be used to predict the direction the next rock falls?

Thus no induction by enumeration is going to establish a rule or the probability of a rule. To set a number of instances(5, 500, 5000) whereby a rule can be established is not rational, but an arbitrary human rule.

I never set a limit. You did. I do not see that a limit of interest.

You are arguing what is well known in science. That is why they are called facts and not truth.

Thus what the above discussion shows, if you can follow it, is no amount of observation or trial will ever establish a rule or the probability of a rule.

Your logic is mistaken. This is a falsehood. The computer in front of you uses electronic devices that are based on probabilistic equations and you seem to think that your mistaken logic makes these devices and the means of developing these devices impossible.

You are within your rights to reject induction, but you must do so by rejecting all inferences and science.

The use of this straw man argument suggests to me that you realize how weak your arguments are.

The fact of the matter is you do indeed generalize from one example all the time

This is an unimportant and side issue to the matter at hand.
Therefore you are guilty of inducing a general from one instance, and therefore for you to reject my induction of ET life on earth like planets from Earth commits the fallacy of inconsistency. You are therefore forced to accept that ET life exists on Earth like planets. Any rejection of this, will not be rational, but just sentimental.

This is another example in which the conditions to not imply your conclusion. You have not produced a cogent argument, because you insist on drawing a conclusion which you can't justify. Your conclusion is nothing more than wishful thinking.

2) It was shown above that no amount of instances will ever confirm any theory. Therefore the naturalist evolution theory is still a theory. It is still possible that a teleogical theory of evolution is true.

Having failed in step 1 you now claim something that is simply not true, that "no amount of instances will ever confirm any theory." That's just not what science is about. Theories are confirmed all of the time. That is what makes a theory, a theory: it's the confirmations.

I get the notion here that you are using the word theory in the vernacular and not in the scientific sense. The way you claim lack of theory confirmation tells me that you are not using confirmation in the sense that it would be used in science.

Materialism is no longer supported by science.

Here is another claim you make without evidence.

Furthermore, in this new view mind has a direct effect over matter because no real material world exists without the presence of consciousness, which is required to collapse the wavefunction.

This is word salad. If you differ please provide evidence.

Earlier quantum physics only applied to microscopic objects, but now quantum behaviour can be seen exhibited by macroscopic objects, meaning quantum physics has now emerged as a universal theory encompassing all phenomenon.

There are very few ways in which quantum behavior can be observed in large objects.

Skipping down through what I see as piles of nonsense I have to say that the following conclusion based on no evidence is simply wrong.

Therefore it is impossible for evolution to be a purposeless actvity, the coherence can only be explained as an organizing intelligence present within nature that it is capable of purposeful actvity. Hence reducing to absurdity the naturalist theory.

Then you go on to mention a paper and provide a link where the paper is not listed. The author's name is not listed, and the work is done in some place not associated with science.

Here is what your posted.
Now, overwhelming evidence is showing that evolution is purpose drive i.e., teleological.

I asked for evidence
Enlighten me, because I see no evidence for that, nor do I see any such claims in the scientific literature.

What you provided was not something from the scientific literature.

3) The discussion here will be very brief, because I do find your rejection of this argument to be based on weak grounds. I will use the terms of probability, if you find the term of statistics improper.

Statistics involves sampling. Where is the sampling? You are providing a probability that life exists in the universe. You are not sampling other planets, dwarf planets, or moons. If you were you'd see a trend that life does not exist beyond the known sample of the Earth. It's not improper, but rather the wrong term to use.

So what you use is the claim that it is unlikely that the only place in the universe with life is right here on Earth. You offer no evidence for or against. You offer nothing other than an appeal.

The fact is clear that life emerged on this planet rapidly within moments in Earth time, suggesting the clear relation etween the chemical ingrediants of the Earth and the emergence of life. Therefore even probablistically the existence of ET is certain.
[/quote]
There is a big mistake in your thinking. Sure life emerged quickly, but life existed as single organisms until recently. For billions of years life was single cells. You are equating life with intelligent life. That's a big leap.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 31st, 2010, 9:55 am


The reason I find your arguments so weak is that you try to slide by on logical arguments devoid of evidence. You provide no evidence and make appeals which are of the type my kids make, "oh please, oh pretty please let me buy something." That's the way they come through to me. You make claims which are weak or use disconnected conclusions and then state that if you don't agree then you have to reject everything and anything. No. You, not me, have to fix your argument.

I figure you got away with using polysyllabic words to cow the folks over at ATS. Does not work here. You need to provide simple arguments with evidence. You make up examples that are not relevant or are misrepresentations of the issue such as the million coin flips. I'm not buying any of this.

My position on this issue is not what is at stake. I may believe in the possibility of life existing outside of the domain of the Earth. I may not. What is certain is that I do not find your arguments to be valid.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 11:38 am


Nostradamus,

With all due respect to you, your knowledge of science is limited and outdated. I do not say this as an adhominenm, which was what most of your previous post to me were full off, but as a critical assessment of the lack of your knowledge of crucial problems in the philosophy of science(I will discuss this in this post)

You are going to have to do better than “This argument is weak”, “this is not important”, “this is wrong” These are what I call the fallacy of proof by assertion. You cannot just state something without giving a valid reason for why your statement is true. You have to engage the arguments of your opponent and show why what they state is wrong, and why what you say is right.

Apologies, if I am evaluating you wrong, but you sound like a classic pseudoskeptic to me, which are notorious for making statements or attempting debunking, without actually demonstrating it. Alternatively, I will actually demonstrate why you are wrong, by engaging all your important statements, and not simply state it.

On induction:

Your use of the coin flip is a logical fallacy. The purpose of flipping a coin is to discover the probability of it coming up heads. If a coin flip comes up heads a million times in a row, then the discovered probability is that the coin will come up heads on the next flip. But here you claim to know the probability of the coin flip. How do you know that probability? Maybe the coin in question has 2 heads, or is weighted to always come up heads.


No it isn’t, I think you need to talk to a mathematician. The probability is determined by the possible outcomes of an event, there are only two possible outcomes in tossing a coin, it will either be heads or tails. Therefore the probability is always 50%.

The common sense explanation you are giving of determining the probability of something is a common mistake made by people by ignorant of the mathematics of probability.

If we were to use your coin flip as an analogy, then you claim that the probability of a planet having life on it is a known probability. That's false. You do not know. In fact, the way you have proposed this so-called logic is to call into question anything including gravity. I drop a million rocks and they all fall towards the Earth. Are you next going to claim that this series of experiments is meaningless and cannot be used to predict the direction the next rock falls?


It is not meaningless, it certainly is indicative of something, but it does not certainly guarantee that on the next trial the rock will fall. If something is logically certain it should be impossible for the conclusion to be false and the premises true. However, because there is a logical possibility that the conclusion can be false when dropping a rock, the argument is not deductively valid.

Let me give a better example: x drug is shown to cure y disease 100% of the times, but it is possible that x drug will not cure y disease on the next trial, therefore it is not certain that x drug cures y disease.

As there are potentially infinite variables which affect the outcome of an event, and we can only control for certain variables and not all potential variables, it means it is possible that a certain variable could be revealed that falsified the law of gravity.

The problem of induction is several centuries old and is something every philosopher of science knows. So the point, which I made very clear earlier, is no amount of trials will ever confirm any observations or rules derived from observations. To go from the particular to the universal is always an induction.

The argument that I am making that earth like planets support life is as much as inductive as your argument that a rock will fall on the next trial. Therefore if you reject my argument, you necessarily reject yours too.

I never set a limit. You did. I do not see that a limit of interest.

You are arguing what is well known in science. That is why they are called facts and not truth.


Actually you did, you said that if 5 earth like planets are discovered with life on them then it is probable that the next earth like planet will have life as well. You reject generalization from particular to universal based on one instance, yet you accept it based on 5 instances. It is a completely arbitrarily set limit, there is nothing rational here. It hardly matters how many instances you accept they will always be inductive.

This is an unimportant and side issue to the matter at hand.


No, it is very important, because it shows your inconsistency. You will accept some inductions, but not others, which shows you are selectively choosing based on your own interests. The argument for other minds is a famous argument by Bertrand Russell, the fact is you only have one known instance of mind, and the inference that other minds exist is based on an induction based on that one instance.

So I am going to put it to you blunt now: What is it going to be? Are you going to accept science and knowledge based on inference, or not? If you are, you are forced to accept my induction that earth-like planets have life on them.

Having failed in step 1 you now claim something that is simply not true, that "no amount of instances will ever confirm any theory." That's just not what science is about. Theories are confirmed all of the time. That is what makes a theory, a theory: it's the confirmations.


This is where you show your ignorance of falsificationism, which is a major philosophy underpinning modern philosophy of science. It’s opposite, verificationism is now obsolete. A theory is never confirmed by an experiment, because

1) There is no such thing as a fool-proof experiment
2) There are unknown variables
3) Theories are interpretations of facts, and interpretations themselves are not facts.

Theories are constantly being revised or rejected based on new observations. Newton’s theories, which I would not be surprised you think is still right, has long been proven to be wrong. The universe simply does not behave in a mechanistic manner as it was believed in Newton’s theory.

On materialism and quantum physics:

There is no word salad in what I am saying, rather you simply do not understand the words because you seem to be ignorant of basic concepts like “wave function” in quantum physics. I will reiterate you have an outdated Newtonian view of science, which is now more than 100 years old. If you pick up a basic primer on quantum physics you will discover just how different the modern scientific view of the world is.

In quantum physics there is no such thing as a physical reality, because everything is a wave function and inseparable, connected to each other by mutual interrelations, but no separates entities existing and no frameworks of space and time. Moreover, in quantum physics there is no collapse of the wave function of anything without the presence of consciousness. Now countless experiments have proven this.

Quantum physics applies as much to macroscopic objects as microscopic objects because everything is quantum entangled. This has now been experimentally demonstrated through quantum teleportation experiments, amongst others.

On evolution:

The web site I linked you, the institute of Noetics sciences funds and researches scientific investigations into matter and mind by physicists, neuroscientists, chemists, biologists etc So it is very much a part of science.

I don’t think you even made an effort to read the article(it is not a paper) and its discussion of new studies in biology.
You are again being selective about what you are willing to accept or reject, this time which scientific publication or group you want to listen to.

On statistics and probability:

I understand we agreed that we will not speak in the terms of statistics, but probability. The probability of there not being life on any other planets is impossible in probability theory, because when the probability of out an outcome is so infinitesimally small, it cannot happen. The probability of there being no other life in the entire universe is so small it cannot happen.

You now qualify your point by making a difference between life and intelligent life. Again, as you have no understanding of the mechanisms of evolution and why intelligent life would emerge on a planet, you can only rely on induction and therefore one can infer that all planets that evolve life will evolve intelligent life as well.
As discussed earlier as the older naturalist evolution theories fail to explain the phenomenon of coherence in nature or consciousness, the older theories of evolution has to be rejected. A theory that can explain this is teleological, where nature has to be given a purpose. The purpose is than that life evolves intelligence in order to experience itself and become self-conscious and self-aware. Therefore, necessarily where there is life there will be intelligent life as well.

Again I think your rejection of life on other planets reeks of religious sentiment. There is nothing rational I can glean from it.
Last edited by Indigo Child on May 31st, 2010, 1:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 12:09 pm


The reason I find your arguments so weak is that you try to slide by on logical arguments devoid of evidence.


Well, part of the reason for "sliding by" on logical arguments, is because I am appealing to rational people. I am showing why
the existence of ET and ETH is logically sound. You on the other hand have to rely on empirical facts only. For instance you are
not willing to accept other planets exist in other solar systems, because we have not actually detected them yet. You are not willing
to accept what reason tells us that there should be more than 40 billion trillion planets. I am not about to wait for empirical detection
of 40 billion trillion planets to be able to know that. There are some thing that cannot be known by empirical observation, that can be
known through logic.

The problems with empiricism is

1) It takes infinitely longer to know something that can be logically worked out quite quickly.
2) Empirical observations never actually confirm any theory to be true

There are many things I can claim to know of which I have had no experience, on the basis of logic.
Nobody has seen a quark, they are invisible and theoretical entities, but we predict their existence based
on logic.

I think your biggest problem is that you are very inconsistent. You will accept induction for some things, and
not others. You will accept logic in place of empiricism for some things, and not others. You will accept some
scientific studies, and not others. Then the truth be told, you are simply picking and choosing what you want
to believe. You are not really rational.

Finally, what you call "polysyllabic words" is really your admission that you have not heard those words before,
thus showing you do not actually have knowledge on basic issues in science today. Would I be correct in saying your
knowledge of science did not go beyond high school?It is not your fault actually high school teaches wrong science,
which is about a century old.

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 31st, 2010, 1:14 pm


To be succinct, I find your arguments very poor. What you need is scientific evidence to support your arguments. You offer nothing.

No it isn’t, I think you need to talk to a mathematician.

I am a mathematician and this is why I know you are wrong. For example, you assign uniform odds, why? What is your justification? Is it two possible outcomes?

You clearly have limited understanding of math, otherwise you would not be posting fallacious mathematical comments.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 1:25 pm


Well, seeing as you still have failed to demonstrate any of your statements, I am going to
assume you are incapable of rational discussion and not waste my time trying to reason with somebody
not ameniable to reason. It is impossible to discuss anything with somebody who never gives any valid
reasons for their statements, or valid reasons for critiquing others statements. You are very much a
classic example of the pseudoskeptic being debunked in this thread, and a great illustration of how a
pseduskeptic gets a torn a new one when they debate with real skeptics ;)

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 31st, 2010, 1:29 pm


Let me give a better example: x drug is shown to cure y disease 100% of the times, but it is possible that x drug will not cure y disease on the next trial, therefore it is not certain that x drug cures y disease.

I know this and support this position.

The problem of induction is several centuries old and is something every philosopher of science knows. So the point, which I made very clear earlier, is no amount of trials will ever confirm any observations or rules derived from observations.

To confirm is not to deign truth. I'm sorry, but your lack of underestanding even basic scientific principles is getting to be astounding.

The argument that I am making that earth like planets support life is as much as inductive as your argument that a rock will fall on the next trial. Therefore if you reject my argument, you necessarily reject yours too.

This is false. I can drop many rocks and demonstrate the principle. For life on other planets the count is 0 of 7. Count the larger moons and larger Kuiper belt objects and the count is 0 for 40 or something of that order. I really do not see any similarity.

Actually you did, you said that if 5 earth like planets are discovered with life on them then it is probable that the next earth like planet will have life as well.

That's a typical misrepresentation you are making. I did not say that. Go back read and learn what I posted. I was following up your post where you used the numbers 5 and 500 or whatever numbers you pulled out of thin air.

Ther point is that you have 0 known planets outside of the earth with life and 40 some places in our solar system and yet you claim that finding life somewhere else is meaningless.

I never set a limit like 5 or 500. Those were your numbers. Nor would I being a mathematician pick a specific number. Then you continue on with this misrepresentation. No surprise there.

When all is said and done and you play your games you pretend are logical you provide no evidence.

Begin with the facts. Collect some data. Construct a theory. Test the theory.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 1:36 pm


I am a mathematician and this is why I know you are wrong. For example, you assign uniform odds, why? What is your justification? Is it two possible outcomes?

You clearly have limited understanding of math, otherwise you would not be posting fallacious mathematical comments.


If you are a mathematician, you are are a very bad one, and I hope you are not teaching maths to kids.
You do not know something as simple as the probability of getting a heads or tails on the next trial is 50%, and not
determined by how many times one gets heads or tails.

From wikianswers:

Q.If you tossed a coin 1000 times what is the probability the 785th toss is heads?
A. The number of times a coin is tossed does not alter the probability of getting heads, which is 50% in every case, as long as the coin has not been rigged (i.e., a double-headed coin, a weighted coin) to alter the result.

Come on, this is high school stuff. I am disappointed in your education.

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Indigo Child » May 31st, 2010, 1:44 pm


I know this and support this position.


Geez, then you accept that induction is not certain.

To confirm is not to deign truth. I'm sorry, but your lack of underestanding even basic scientific principles is getting to be astounding.


To confirm something is not to deign true? How does that work? If you confirm something you are saying you have validated or proven it. You just
agreed above you do not accept x drug cures y disease irrespective of how many trials x drug passes. Now you are saying the opposite. You are inconsistent.

As far as I am concerned you've lost this debate because your arguments are inconsistent. They contradict themselves.

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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 31st, 2010, 2:08 pm


If you are a mathematician, you are are a very bad one, and I hope you are not teaching maths to kids.
You do not know something as simple as the probability of getting a heads or tails on the next trial is 50%, and not
determined by how many times one gets heads or tails.

Let me give a primer to a very bad logician such as you. In an event has 2 possible outcomes, then an event has an outcome p or (1-p). To assume that p=0.5 to always be true is a failed statement. Very few things have p=0.5. Even a coin toss is not uniform. It is assumed to have 0.5. Actual testing of coins shows that the nonuniform distribution of mass in a coin leads to a nonuniform outcome even if the difference is small.

The problem Indigo Child is that your math skills are abysmal, not because you can't think, but because you won't.
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Re: Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies on ET/UFO

Postby Nostradamus » May 31st, 2010, 2:14 pm


To confirm something is not to deign true? How does that work? If you confirm something you are saying you have validated or proven it. You just agreed above you do not accept x drug cures y disease irrespective of how many trials x drug passes. Now you are saying the opposite. You are inconsistent.

Your inability to read is worse than your ability to put forth an argument.

Confirmation of a scientific theory supports the theory. It does not make it true. No one in science claims that a theory is true. It is simply the current theory that is tested and retested as more information is collected. To validate a scientific theory is not the same as truth.

The problem appears to me that you do not understand the scientific method.
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