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What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

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

Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Jackal » 19 Feb 2011, 06:43

One thing that skeptics seem to demand is that a certain paranormal phenomenon should be observable for all people nearby. However, this is not even always true for well-understood natural phenomena.

For example, people generally lose their ability to hear very high frequencies as they age. You could turn on a machine that emits a very high frequency noise and a 16-year-old will grimace and exclaim, "Oh! What a horrible noise!" and 60-year-old might look at him strangely and say, "What noise? I don't hear anything. Maybe you're just imagining it."

Similarly, people's perceptive faculties for paranormal phenomena may vary among individuals as well. It's totally possible that if four people are in a room where there's a ghost, that two people will see it and that the other two people won't because of the different perceptive abilities of their minds.

This is also something that skeptics need to consider. If it's not foolish that some people can hear certain frequencies and that others can't, then they should be open to the idea that it might be no more foolish that some people can see ghosts and that others can't. Paranormal phenomena shouldn't be held to standards that even scientific phenomena are not.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Paradox » 19 Feb 2011, 11:56

Truth is stranger than fiction.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby really? » 19 Feb 2011, 20:48

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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Arouet » 19 Feb 2011, 21:17

If we could reliably figure out which humans were able to perceive these ghosts and then study THEM, we might actually get somewhere in figuring out what is going on! Is anyone working on that? Persinger seems to be doing work along those lines.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 19 Feb 2011, 21:26

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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Jackal » 19 Feb 2011, 21:34

Last edited by Jackal on 19 Feb 2011, 21:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Arouet » 19 Feb 2011, 21:37

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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Jackal » 19 Feb 2011, 22:00

I think another mistake that skeptics make is that they assign low probabilities to paranormal events when in reality, too little is known about these things to even assign probabilities to them.

For example, if you told a scientist in the 1800s about muons (a type of subatomic particle), he might very well say that he thinks the probability of their existence is very low. However, it has since been discovered that around 10,000 muons hit every square meter of the earth's surface every minute!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muon

Similarly, it may be the case that we are continually surrounded by ghosts and that most of us just can't detect them.

Arguments using probability shouldn't be used because there are too many unknowns to make even rough estimates about these things.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 19 Feb 2011, 22:14

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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby NinjaPuppy » 19 Feb 2011, 22:17

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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby Steve Zalewski » 04 May 2013, 08:20

May 3, 2013

I'm very interested in extremely high quality papers from The Journal of UFO Studies, or from The Journal of Scientific Exploration.

The debunkers will NOT accept ANYTHING, even scholarly peer reviewed journal articles written by Ph.D level scientists, if the paper supports the position that UFOs are unexplained. They WILL gladly accept papers that "knock down" the UFO phenomenon as being all nonsense.

An exception to this rule was the papers by Hynek and McDonald in UFOs A Scientific Debate. I heard that Sagan allegedly edited out some of McDonald's harsh criticisms in his paper Science In Default.

If the UFO community WOULD CLEAN UP IT'S ACT, it would be MUCH HARDER for the debunkers to attack UFO researchers, and this topic and debunk it so easily. See my posting, Shutting Up UFO Debunkers, which was posted on April 28, 2013.

I also recommend that UFO researchers READ The Debunkers by Dr. David Jacobs. It is a brilliant, superb paper which describes how debunkers operate. I know Dr. Jacobs, and I have requested that he update this work, since Klass, Menzel, and Sagan are deceased. I also think that debunkers have become more brazen and arrogent and will stop at nothing to keep UFO information suppressed.

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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby TheLight954 » 25 Jul 2016, 12:50

One pseudoskeptic I debated said that ketamine induces exactly the same effects as NDEs. He claimed to be a true skeptic.
Then he gave a testimony of himself where he took ketamine and he saw other people's faces made of cheese.

Geez. Your ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS thing is funny, because it applies here. Using your own testimony to contradict your claim is the best way to damage other people's incentive to take you seriously.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby RedHerring » 28 Mar 2017, 03:25

I have recently been reading about mediums, psychics and skeptics and came across this forum. I thought I might get an answer here.

I come from a place where mediumship and even psychic phenomena (although not commercialized as much) is accepted as a norm. My skepticism, however, still overrides those norms sometimes and so here I am trying to get both sides of the story (so to speak).

This is what I don't get and perhaps I might get an answer: why do skeptics have the need to research the very thing they are trying to debunk? In researching the "paranormal" to such a deep extent, aren't they (in some shape or form) trying to find some truth in the claims? Why is it so important to them that everyone around them believe in the same things they do?

This is not a criticism or an attack on either belief. It's just a question.

It will be good to hear from someone regarding this.

Thanks.
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Re: What will skeptics accept as "evidence"?

Postby ProfWag » 30 Mar 2017, 18:51

Simple, how can someone form an educated opinion about a subject with reviewing the evidence, for or against? Yes, skeptics are trying to find truth in claims, even if that means the truth contradicts their beliefs. I would like to think that everyone uses the scientific approach to reviewing the evidence and throw out their personal beliefs. If their hypothesis is that people can talk to dead people, then they review the experiments and conclude that the evidence does not support their hypothesis, then the only logical conclusion is that people can’t really talk to dead people. It’s not so much that it’s important that everyone around them believes the same thing, it's that it is important that everyone reviews the evidence from an un-bias standpoint that can only conclude that scientifically, their conclusions should be the same thing.
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