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In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

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

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Jayhawker30 » 22 Nov 2011, 12:26

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 22 Nov 2011, 13:15

I agree! Can't get CW to see that though!
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 23 Nov 2011, 04:50

I think the only reason CW doesn't see it is because he doesn't want to admit he used a logical fallacy. Admitting so would create a very shaky foundation from which to continue the argument of his.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Epimetheus » 23 Nov 2011, 13:45

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 23 Nov 2011, 15:23

Welcome to the forum! You're couching it more philosophically that I did but I think we're saying similar things.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 23 Nov 2011, 19:24

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 23 Nov 2011, 21:09

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Epimetheus » 24 Nov 2011, 06:27

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 24 Nov 2011, 07:56

Epimetheus,
Very interesting argument, but just as with the skeptics, this sort of reasoning ignores the details in favor of sweeping statements. Unfortunately, it really helps to understand what a psi experience is and how it differs from ordinary experience. It is an incredible conceit to imagine that billions of people, who comprise the majority of humans on this planet cannot distinguish between a psychic experience and an ordinary one. I call this the skeptical "they're all stoopider than me" fallacy. That is an insane proposition. If you're going to argue that they cannot tell the difference, I think you should have some bullet proof evidence showing just how that works.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 24 Nov 2011, 09:00

Craig: its not about stupidity. I don't think you'll ever find a post where I suggest that proponents are stupid. I certainly don't think that you, or CB are stupid: quite the opposite, I think you're both quite bright.

There is a ton of discussion out there about why people believe weird things. In fact, I think someone even wrote a book about it! :)


Epimetheus: yes, while I'm not convinced that psi is real, that is not what I have been arguing in this thread, focusing only on the argument structure.
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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 24 Nov 2011, 09:28

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby really? » 24 Nov 2011, 09:30

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Epimetheus » 24 Nov 2011, 09:35

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Epimetheus » 24 Nov 2011, 09:54

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Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 24 Nov 2011, 13:03

Oh for Christ's sake! Do the math. Any single person's experience might be explained away. When you're talking about billions of people though, you cannot statistically explain that away. The chance that they are all wrong is so infinitesimally small as to be non existent for all practical purposes.

All I'm arguing for here is the power of extremely large numbers. All of the arguments I've seen put forth do not apply here because they cannot possibly hold up statistically when applied over billions of people. . . unless you can demonstrate your case with actual evidence.
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