Saturday, March 22, 2014

More Museum Shenanigans

Back on Sept. 6, 2012 I wrote a Blog entry, Smithsonian-Affiliated "National Atomic Testing Museum" Promises UFO "Secrets" Revealed. It is still getting a lot of web hits - currently it's my third most-viewed entry, in spite of being a year and a half old. One would hope that in that intervening time things would have gotten better, owing to the bad publicity they received over this. Unfortunately, things seem to be getting worse.

I was at the recent International UFO Congress near Phoenix, Arizona, and so was the National Atomic Testing and UFO Museum of Las Vegas, and its director, Allan Palmer. In the dealers' room, nestled in with the Adamski Foundation and other New Age and UFO organizations, the Museum set up a table to promote itself to the UFO aficionados. Among their offerings was a discount coupon, exclusively to attendees of the UFO Congress, for entry into their exhibit on Area 51, which presumably still includes an "authentic alien artifact" from Russia, given to it by George Knapp, a frequent guest host of the all-night paranormal and conspiracy radio program Coast to Coast AM. As I wrote in my Psychic Vibrations column in the Skeptical Inquirer,  January/February, 2013, about a pro-UFO panel discussion at the museum:
 During the question and answer session, Las Vegas skeptic John Whiteside asked about the supposed “authentic alien artifact” in the Area 51 exhibit. The moderator referred the question to reporter George Knapp, in the audience, who (scandalously) was the source of that “artifact.” Knapp has made a career out of reporting on weird stuff like alleged saucers at Area 51, Robert Bigelow’s Haunted Ranch in Utah, etc.  Who had verified that supposed artifact? The Russians, and others. Who exactly? No answer.


The table of the National Atomic Testing and UFO Museum, at the 2014 International UFO Congress.

Allan Palmer (right), with Lee Speigel of the Huffington Post.


At the conference, I had the opportunity to meet the Executive Director and CEO of the museum, Allan Palmer. He is a personable sort of fellow,  and, I thought, much more of a showman than an educator. (Earlier, when he was the head of the San Diego Air and Space Museum, he brought in the exhibit The Science of Aliens.) I thought that he perhaps might be upset concerning what I had written earlier about his museum, but that did not seem to be the case at all. It's "write anything you want, as long as you spell my name correctly," I suppose.

As we discussed that controversial panel of pro-UFOlogists who presented dubious UFO claims at his museum (see my earlier Blog posting), Palmer explained the difficulties he had with the Smithsonian over his museum's use of the tag "Smithsonian-affiliated." They didn't like his use of that label when the subject matter is UFOs.

But, he replied to them, you have presented a program on UFOs yourself! And he reminded them that on Sept. 6, 1980 the Smithsonian Institution sponsored a half-day UFO Symposium in Washington, DC. 

It was held in the large lecture hall of the Museum of Natural History. Six leading UFOlogists, pro and con, were invited to participate. On the "pro" side were the late J. Allen Hynek, Allan Hendry (who at that time was CUFOS' chief investigator), and Bruce Maccabee. On the skeptical side were the late Philip J. Klass, James E. Oberg, and myself. If you're going to have a panel to discuss UFOs, that is the way to do it! (The UFO Panel at Palmer's museum consisted solely of UFO proponents.) We each gave our presentations, and took questions in writing from the audience. My presentation is on-line here. (One member of the audience who was furious at not having been selected as a panelist was Stanton T. Friedman, a professional UFO lecturer who bills himself as the "Flying Saucer Physicist." Throughout the presentations Friedman could be heard, muttering and loudly declaiming comments, whenever any speaker said something with which he disagreed.)

In November of last year, I received email from Lee Speigel, who writes Weird News for the Huffington Post. He said he was going to be giving a talk at the National Atomic Testing and UFO Museum the following month, and wanted to know if I had any photos or other information about the Smithsonian UFO Panel. (Speigel attended that panel, which is where I first met him.) I replied by sending him the picture you see below, the only one from the event I currently have, plus the link to my presentation.

Sept. 6, 1980: Yours Truly (left), with the late Philip J. Klass, and the late Michael Dennett
(UFO and Bigfoot skeptic). Photo by John Timmerman.


Armed with that information, Palmer apparently went back to the folks at the Smithsonian, and filled them in on their own forgotten chapter about UFOs. After which, he said, they told him 'do anything you want, just don't put our name on it.' So you will notice that, on the flier for the talk to be given at the Museum by Stanton T. Friedman, the "Flying Saucer Physicist," the words "Smithsonian-affiliated" do not appear. A small victory, I suppose. Very small.

(On April 19, 1978, the Smithsonian had presented a debate on the existence of ESP, between the celebrated Joseph Banks Rhine, and skeptic and humanist Paul Kurtz, which I attended. Again, a perfectly-balanced discussion by experts. Apparently the transcript of this debate was published by the Smithsonian Institution Resident Associate Program as "Key Issues in Science Today - The Paranormal: Science or Pseudoscience?" Where might we get a copy of this?)


The Museum is now sponsoring a talk by The Flying Saucer Physicist himself.

I was interested to see in the March/April, 2014 issue of the Skeptical Inquirer, a short News and Comment piece, "Pseudoscience Creep: Science Museums, Universities Host Pseudoscience" by Jessie Haynes. In it, she notes how in 2005, the Smithsonian Institution hosted the screening of an anti-evolution film by the Discovery Institute, in return for a $16,000 contribution from that organization. She also notes other dubious presentations by museums and schools, concluding "Pseudoscience is rampant in museums and schools across the United States, and unfortunately the media and likewise the public don't seem to care."

The entrance to the National Atomic Testing and UFO Museum


A coupon for discount admission to the Area 51 Exhibit, for UFO Congress attendees only.



78 comments:

  1. While I was wondering if the NATM has an Alien and Scalpel table, I was also thinking about this recurring theme of UFO secrets to be revealed soon. Maybe we should make it soon™, a new trademark for UFO outfits.

    From the time of Albert Bender and Gray Barker right on through to today, these claims have kept coming forth. Isn't the paucity of actual secrets a little odd? Considering how much stuff is pure fabrication, why not embroider a few "secrets"? Maybe someday soon™.

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    1. Some time ago, Martin Kottmeyer wrote: "Still Waiting: A List of Predictions from the 'UFO Culture." The first few items shouldn't have been included, but after those, there are over 200 failed UFO predictions.

      Here's part 1 (links to the other parts are at the bottom of part 1)
      http://www.anomalist.com/features/waiting.html

      Delete
    2. What was it that Bernard Shaw said about the triumph of hope over experience?

      Delete
  2. Stanton Friedman seems to be making progress. His books and articles usually bill him as a "nuclear physicist". Sometimes he becomes a "noted nuclear physicist". Now I see his latest advert describes him as a "renowned nuclear physicist". I thought he had abandoned nuclear physics decades ago and had instead become a "renowned" professional ufologist.

    If he were a citizen of the UK or commonwealth he might, just, be eligible for one of the various honors bestowed by the queen. A slight problem: in which field of work would he qualify for such honors - nuclear physics or ufology?

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  3. Perhaps he could be knighted with Sir Pope.

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  4. Thanks, Robert. An interesting and informative round up of information.

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  5. Pseudo-science is not the only problem. Many "real" scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming, the Big Bang, worm holes, black holes, etc. These latter are based on singularities or infinities and so cannot possibly be valid in a rational universe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, what? All of these things can, and do, have evidence...

      Delete
  6. To Robert, it is well known that Hynek worked on Sign,Grudge & Bluebook & promoted the Swamp Gas explanation.But in his later years he turned from Skeptic to UFO believer, obviously from his many case experiences, & the way the airforce was handling it by denial or ridicule.
    Since you faced against & met Hynek personally, was there any one case that convincingly changed his opinion on UFOs? & why?

    In regards to Smithsonian Museum, what is the most secret/hidden artefact/s
    rumoured to be in their vaults? (ie giant skeletons,ancient technology)

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  7. Deano, I interviewed Hynek and wrote about his UFO beliefs when his book The UFO Experience first came out. I don't think any one case in particular swayed him, but I do understand that towards the end he tended to a psychic explanation. That's something the UFO believers don’t tell you about.

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    1. Just from the few sites I have looked at, he asked many of his astronomer colleages if they had seen anything--the majority had.
      This makes sense from people whose chosen occupation is "staring at the stars".
      Didnt he often use Rocks from the Heavens(meteors) were considered fairytales until 200yrs ago, as how science can adapt to "new" observations?
      A recent video shows a circular object approaching the ISS then moving away. Is this why they are closing the "live feed"?
      When you interviewed him Ian, did he come across as a paranormal,"psychic explanation" nutbag?

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    2. Deano, I don't have time to write a lot about Hynek, he came across as an absent-minded professor who was unsure of what to do about UFOs. But actually, he was really a "closet believer" for a long time, and was given to making strange statements. See this collection I made of strange statements by Hynek: http://www.debunker.com/historical/CuriousHynekStatements.PDF

      Also read what Vallee writes about Hynek in "Forbidden Science."

      Delete
    3. Deano, Hynek struck me as well-meaning but naive. When his book came out I took him seriously, but not for long. He got seduced by the big time and became pretty flaky, as Robert says. (Think of anyone else in present-day UFOlogy who is following the same career path?) But he set up CUFOS, out of which came Allan Hendry’s excellent UFO Handbook, still required reading for every UFOlogist, so he did some good for the subject.
      The analogy with stones falling from the sky has always seemed to me to be self-defeating for UFO believers. Yes, scientists initially denied that such a thing could happen as there seemed no basis for it. But once sufficient evidence was collected they changed their minds. That’s how science works. As for UFOs -- we’re still waiting for some good evidence, even though UFO encounters are supposedly a lot more common than meteorite falls.

      Delete
  8. Paranormal: Science or Pseudoscience?

    This question exudes an anthropological ignorance. Why does a concept only hold relevance or truth if it can be fit into a test tube and examined?

    Can't questions of the paranormal (or the yet understood by science) simply fall into a category of ambiguity - 'we dont know yet'

    Why is it that we must always be trying to force mysterious elements of nature into a form from which we make naive attempts to describe it? Let it be uncategorized, at least until we are fully capable of providing our overreaching, egotistical proclamations of how the world actually is

    Skeptics of the fantastic have created their own political realm of truth wars, fighting against alternatives in trying to categorize all paranormal mysteries as BS. When all they really had to do was provide scientific proof that say, ghosts don't exist

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    1. Mark, why is it that many paranormal proponents are incapable of saying, "We don't know yet"?

      Why is it that paranormal proponents want their evidence excused from the standard rules fo evidence?

      Blaming skeptics is not evidence for the paranormal. The paranornalists have failed to make their case so far -- they have only themselves to blame.

      Delete
    2. Terry the Censor; in my experience, proponents of the paranormal who are practiced, tend to be fairly confident in the concepts they put forward. Should they lie about what they're tapping into just to meet the shallow expectations of newtonian skeptics?

      I'd agree with you if we were criticizing a paranormalist for attempting to describe what they experience in scientific terms. But they're not. They're simply going about their practices whilst they're viciously attacked by cynical and ignorant others.

      I can say for a fact that most paranormal phenomenon as it is currently described, exists or occupies an arena which is not within the reach of our test tubes. So unfortunately, paranormal experiences are most often not mass verifiable. They're not repeatable. And their construction is not sympathetic to our logically rigid, robotic and perhaps, three dimensional methods of verification.

      I'm sorry to say that science may not be compatible with paranormal happenings. So if you're one inclined to believe only that which can be verified in rigid scientific terms, that's ok, I respect that. And good luck to you on your jour journey in search of truth.

      But I couldn't give fk whether science can prove or disprove the paranormal frankly. I can say with confidence that there is shlt going on that science can't explain. I've had three intelligent whilst imaginatively conservative family members swear to have seen an 'apparition' of some kind. They don't care to presume to know what it was or where it came from. All they attest to is that they know what they saw, and there is no skeptical A hole on this planet that can tell them otherwise. Coming from these people, that I know are telling it like they saw it, is good enough for me.

      Call it what you want. My grandparents told me and my father they woke up to see a young girl standing by their bed... and it wasn't no dream, they didn't sleep for the rest of the night. How do I rationalize that in real world terms...? Oooh I know! I'll simply call BS... Or claim that somehow they must have been mistaken, or that they're victims of a hoax.

      Having said that, though, I still cannot bring myself to believe a word that comes out of John Edwards mouth. "Biggest douche in the Universe" south park.

      Delete
    3. When you say repeatable, you mean on demand. However, was it repeated? Did the same thing happen many times over the years, to you and others?

      Delete
    4. @mark
      > Should they lie about what they're tapping into just to meet the shallow expectations of newtonian skeptics?

      You present false choices. And you misrepresent the paranormalists.

      As well you know, paranormalists think they do have scientific evidence. Paranormalists constantly demand that scientists look at their evidence. And when paranormalists don't deliver the goods, they blame scientists and skeptics.

      The paranormal is a culture of complaint.

      Delete
  9. Mark; You're ignorant of the philosophy of science, and guilty of shifting the burden of proof. Extraordinary claims are worthless until proven otherwise.

    The burden of hypothesis, evidence and tentative proof lies with the advocate. (That would be you.)

    Choose your extraordinary hypothesis for today, negate it, gather evidence and show how it negates the negative thus tentatively proving your positive extraordinary hypothesis is worthy of further consideration and testing.

    That's the way the scientific method works.

    Out of some bad mental habit, you pretend that advocates' questions about hypothetical unknowns create special-status "unknown entities," ghosts or "UFOs" that demand the attention of scientists. That's called "Appealing to Ignorance"--for the hundredth time.

    But such absurd negatives, ghosts and "UFOs," do not preexist, suspended in a hypothetical world by mere suggestion, waiting to be discovered. Such thinking imitates the process of discovery, but substitutes implausible, considered and dismissed unrealities for the plausible real-world objects of scientific discovery.

    And whining about Skeptics is completely worthless also.

    This Skeptic couldn't care less about imaginary "unknowns" suggested by naïve and superstitious paranormalists. Got any evidence of ghosts? Then Show It! The burden of proof rests on the advocate of extraordinary claims. Got it, Mark?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_burden_of_evidence

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    1. Zoamchomsky; Seriously, I don't disagree with you. In fact, I respect your starc, purely scientific stance against all the hypothetical, speculative fallacy which sadly occupies and contaminates the civilized conscience. The vulnerable progress of mankind rests on the steady shoulders of men who resist the temptation to wander into possibility, and instead choose to hold the fort of reason and true science.

      I completely understand science and all philosophy a tune to its significance.

      However, my job, as in, my sense of responsibility, lies in a different place. And so here I am deliberately and selflessly casting myself as a champion of the unscientific, because I truly feel as though the scientific method is being over-applied and abused. Often without a true intention to gather new knowledge, rather to reaffirm previously held beliefs. Science has been captured by a cult of intelligent people who religiously believe their minds are free from bias, and in turn expect their science to be impartial, when in truth they're using a pure method of reason to engineer a perpetuation of their own impure paradigm.

      I do not wish to PROVE that the paranormal exists. I know I can't. So therefore, I am not challenging your scientific position. I am merely accusing you of a totalitarian ignorance to all themes predestined in your mind to hold no value, at no point, before having surveyed it scientifically. That, Zoamchomsky, is a behaviour you practice which is wholly separate to science.

      So one can see that my opposition is not to science, but to ignorant old dogs who can't learn new tricks (don't intend to insult)



      Delete
    2. > I am deliberately and selflessly casting myself as a champion of the unscientific

      That is hilarious!

      May we touch the hem of your garment? I assume you feel that unscientific form of ancient healing is being suppressed by the cult of medical science.

      (Hoo-hoo, haha!)

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    3. Terry

      It's selfless because I have to put up with ridicule from people who, in the real world, normally are not in a position to act as superior. People such as yourself.

      To answer your rhetorical question; No, I don't think ancient healing is being suppressed by medical science.

      Though, I do feel you don't know wtf you're talking about when you refer to ancient healing. So interestingly, I once again find myself conflicted with an ignorant cynic casting ridicule towards concepts and ideas that they have ZERO experience in, and ZERO knowledge of

      Just to be precise, do we agree that meditation is a form of ancient healing? And do we agree that mainstream medical practice now supports and advertises meditation as a useful tool for healing?

      Huh? Haha. Dumbass

      Delete
    4. > It's selfless because I have to put up with ridicule from people

      You know, Mark, ridicule can be earned.

      Ah, you were so right to exclude yourself from "the cult of intelligent people"!

      (Hehehe!)

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    5. It is my central contention that ridicule is often too easily earned, as some people are too quick to allow predisposed conclusions to rule their philosophy, Terry.

      For example, you ridicule 'ancient healing'. Then, I provide you with an example of ancient healing in modern medicine, contradicting the terms of your prejudice against 'ancient healing'

      That is a basic demonstration of just how ignorant your opinions are. Or, if you prefer, how unscientific you must be. Take your pick

      What is most entertaining to me, and probably others, is that the irony of your position is lost on you. That, Terry, is a characteristic you share with those who suffer from down syndrome.

      Congratulations Terry! :D
      Good boy Terry!

      Delete
    6. Mark, Please repost with those final comments edited out, which have no place in such a discussion.

      Delete
    7. "What is most entertaining to me, and probably others, is that the irony of your position is lost on you. That, Terry, is a characteristic you share with those who suffer from down syndrome.

      Congratulations Terry! :D
      Good boy Terry! "

      Whoa, settle down.

      Interestingly, one contention is that skeptics dismiss things until scientifically proven, that being "unscientific" is part of being open-minded, but that something known as ancient healing includes a process that is now scientifically valid.

      This all sounds suspiciously like using the scientific method. Irony- an overused word that may sneak up on us.

      Delete
    8. Jozzcooper; I'm in no way adverse to science itself. So it isn't ironic for me to speak scientifically, or make use of apparently scientific processes.

      As I have always maintained, my disillusionment is born of prejudicial human assumption which masquerades as the objective, but somewhat limited, scientific method.

      The perfect example of this is posted above. Terry the censor wrongly assumed that 'ancient healing' was unscientific. Moreover, he'd have us believe that science has proven this to be the case.

      The real truth of the matter is - no one knows shlt. Everyone is way out of their depth. And pretending we know what science CAN or CANNOT prove is at best short sighted, ignorant of scientific history and frankly, a belief system separate of science

      Just show some humility. Accept that our universe is crazy as fk. Accept that established science is an ever-transforming model, reflecting our intellectual shortcomings more so than the universe itself

      Get to the heart of your interpretation of info. Question the concepts which uphold your most fundamental beliefs. Then ask yourself, why is it that I feel adeptly wise and empowered to proclaim what is and isn't possible. Or without first hand experience, what is or isnt real.

      Science can only do so much guys. At this point, it cant even be used to survey or demonstrate String Theory. Have a think about that. There's no experiment that we can manufacturer to demonstrate the leading scientific theory of everything. And here we are on a forum, trying to tell other people that the paranormal doesn't hold up to reality become we're yet to capture it in undeniable scientific terms. C'mon.

      Get to the heart of your beliefs and ask why

      Delete
    9. It was ironic because you earlier cast yourself as the champion of the unscientific.

      The problem with your spiel there is that we can only go by what we know, not by what someone hopes may be discovered.

      We know, scientifically, that the Earth is spherical. However anyone else feels about that, it will always be held to be true. We feel the same way about a great many things, including the basic ideas which cause us to visit this blog, and that UFO visitation is so extraordinarily unlikely that extraordinary proof is required. We're still waiting.

      Be wary too. Don't seize at anything before you really look into it.

      Delete
    10. Mark, you are obtuse and offensive and think these are marks of intelligence and culture. You are hilarious!

      It's too easy to mock you -- only simply has to get out of the way and let you discredit yourself.

      I facetiously refer to "touching the hem of a garment" as ancient healing -- it's a JOKE! -- and you proceed to lecture me about my ignorance of the subject! Mark, do you really think touching the hem of a garment was an established ancient medical practice rather than a simple show of modesty in a scene from one prophet's life?

      And using Down syndrome as an insult! Oh! You have revealed yourself to have no integrity, no judgement, whatsoever.

      I said ridicule can be earned. I thought you undersetood it should be avoided, not courted.

      Delete
    11. Mark, like most of the "guerilla ontologist" sort of woos I've met, thinks in logical fallacies. It could be that it's the only way their nonsense seems sensible or it could be that TNI is one of the few books they've actually read. (Ouch! But so "Shockingly Close....")

      "Model know-nothingism" is a kind of radical skepticism, a fundamentally misconceived kind, because not only is its philosophical skepticism ground mistaken--since we do know the world as it is--the application of this radical skepticism to our one scientific reality is just another logical fallacy, the fallacy of composition or more specifically--a category error.

      Mark and people who think like him are fundamentally irrational and want the world to be irrational also. It's as if they believe that since the ultramicroscopic Plank-scale world is chaotic and so indeterminant, our macroworld must be indeterminant and chaotic also. That's a category error in semantics, in philosophy, in physics and in our everyday reality. Events in the world may seem chaotic but that has absolutely nothing to do with quantum indeterminancy.

      Again, it's the kind of thing that people like Mark believe because it's a meta-rationale, an excuse, however fundamentally misconceived and erroneous, for considering all sorts of paranormal nonsense, ancient mysteries, pyramid power and "UFOs" are just as plausible as the factual subjects of geology, biology and astronomy. Even though it's obviously nonsense to those of us in the rational world, they insist on believing it. Unfortunately, they also insist on telling us. And repeated acts of embarrassing self-exposure do not deter them.

      Since in Mark's bizarre world knowledge is impossible, we can't be sure that the Sun is really big and really hot or even real at all, or that scientists have recently discovered evidence of gravitational waves. None of us can know the world or anything in it as fact because Mark doesn't know anything and resents those who believe they can and do. If all that were the case then there would be no point in doing anything because nothing is real and our world reality might as well be over. It might, if Mark's misanthropic "model know-nothingism" wasn't a worthless load of fundamentally misconceived junk and pointless Internet-contrarian noise.

      Mark's squirrelly, contradictory and self-defeating "guerilla ontologist" act gets him nothing but the criticism it deserves. If it hadn't been so obviously ridiculous decades ago, it might be slightly funny, but in 2014, why does he even bother?

      http://www.debunker.com/texts/inquisit.html

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_agnosticism
      Oh, No. It's been deleted! I just hate when that happens!

      But here it is: "Model Know-nothingism" is Antiscience; the failed philosophistry of pseudoscience popularized in TNI, a kooky, trashy, poorly written, self-published book by an already forgotten self-important fool and new-age charlatan.

      Delete
    12. Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      Zoamchomsky; Seriously, I don't disagree with you. In fact, I respect your starc, purely scientific stance against all the hypothetical, speculative fallacy which sadly occupies and contaminates the civilized conscience. The vulnerable progress of mankind rests on the steady shoulders of men who resist the temptation to wander into possibility, and instead choose to hold the fort of reason and true science.

      Scientific research is about speculation and possibility.
      The computer and the internet you are using to publish your nonsense are the product of people wandering into possibility.



      Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      I completely understand science and all philosophy a tune to its significance.

      The strawman of science and scientists that you just built, proves that you do not understand. And anybody you has even a little experience in or inclination for science and skeptical thinking, can see right through your nonsense.



      Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      However, my job, as in, my sense of responsibility, lies in a different place. And so here I am deliberately and selflessly casting myself as a champion of the unscientific, because I truly feel as though the scientific method is being over-applied and abused. Often without a true intention to gather new knowledge, rather to reaffirm previously held beliefs. Science has been captured by a cult of intelligent people who religiously believe their minds are free from bias, and in turn expect their science to be impartial, when in truth they're using a pure method of reason to engineer a perpetuation of their own impure paradigm.

      And yet that method makes the computer and the internet, which you are using, possible.
      What has the "unscientific" achieved? What new knowledge has the "unscientific" provided to humanity? What is this "unscientific" that you talk about?

      Why don't you provide some specific examples of this abuse of scientific method, of this lack of true intention to gather new knowledge, of this re-affirmation of previously held beliefs?
      Why don't you show us examples of scientific knowledge that depends on the personal bias of an individual scientist?
      What is this "impure paradigm" scientists are perpetuating?

      Or maybe providing actual evidence in support of your claims is too scientific for you?



      Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      I do not wish to PROVE that the paranormal exists. I know I can't. So therefore, I am not challenging your scientific position. I am merely accusing you of a totalitarian ignorance to all themes predestined in your mind to hold no value, at no point, before having surveyed it scientifically. That, Zoamchomsky, is a behaviour you practice which is wholly separate to science.

      Please, provide evidence that these "themes" have been dismissed out of hand, before being examined.
      Do not dismiss out of hand the possibility that these "themes" have been examined scientifically and found lacking in evidence and plausibility, that the "no value" they hold is a conclusion of a scientific survey.



      Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      So one can see that my opposition is not to science, but to ignorant old dogs who can't learn new tricks (don't intend to insult)

      What new trick have you learned "unscientifically"?

      Delete
    13. Mark McFarlane (April 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM):
      Jozzcooper; I'm in no way adverse to science itself. So it isn't ironic for me to speak scientifically, or make use of apparently scientific processes.

      Crackpots, creationists and conspiracists also make use of apparently scientific processes. But we can tell that they are not scientific in the substance.



      As I have always maintained, my disillusionment is born of prejudicial human assumption which masquerades as the objective, but somewhat limited, scientific method.

      Please provide some specific examples of these limitations and of new knowledge gained by "unscientific methods".



      The perfect example of this is posted above. Terry the censor wrongly assumed that 'ancient healing' was unscientific. Moreover, he'd have us believe that science has proven this to be the case.

      The real truth of the matter is - no one knows shlt. Everyone is way out of their depth. And pretending we know what science CAN or CANNOT prove is at best short sighted, ignorant of scientific history and frankly, a belief system separate of science


      Please speak for yourself. You are certainly not the standard against which human knowledge is measured. And the fact that you are out of your depth does not mean that everybody else is.

      Indeed, the computer and the internet you are using to spout your ignorant claims is proof that somebody knows enough to modify nature for specific purposes. Slinging mud at the people who actually achieve something, makes you only look like a loser. The grapes are not sour, but nice and sweet; you just could not reach them.



      Just show some humility. Accept that our universe is crazy as fk. Accept that established science is an ever-transforming model, reflecting our intellectual shortcomings more so than the universe itself

      Where is your humility? If science is so "ever-transforming", how did we manage to use a centuries-old theory to put satellites in orbit, navigate accurately probes in the Solar System and land men on the Moon?

      It looks like that you are the one who is ignorant of science and showing his intellectual short-comings.



      Get to the heart of your interpretation of info. Question the concepts which uphold your most fundamental beliefs. Then ask yourself, why is it that I feel adeptly wise and empowered to proclaim what is and isn't possible. Or without first hand experience, what is or isnt real.

      Why don't you make an example of yourself and show us how it is done? Show us how Mark McFarlane questions the concepts which uphold Mark McFarlanes most fundamental belief. Then Mark McFarlane should ask himself, why is it that Mark McFarlane feels adeptly wise and empowered to proclaim what is and isn't possible to know: "The real truth of the matter is - no one knows shlt".



      Science can only do so much guys. At this point, it cant even be used to survey or demonstrate String Theory. Have a think about that. There's no experiment that we can manufacturer to demonstrate the leading scientific theory of everything.

      And yet, your computer and the internet work.....


      And here we are on a forum, trying to tell other people that the paranormal doesn't hold up to reality become we're yet to capture it in undeniable scientific terms. C'mon.

      Get to the heart of your beliefs and ask why


      Feel free to go first: put your money where your mouth is.

      Delete
    14. "Indeed, the computer and the internet you are using to spout your ignorant claims is proof that somebody knows enough to modify nature for specific purposes. Slinging mud at the people who actually achieve something, makes you only look like a loser. The grapes are not sour, but nice and sweet; you just could not reach them"

      I made near enough to 200k last year. I'm 24 years old. My girlfriend is at least an 8/10 (I can supply proof of these claims if you so desire)

      So, call me what you will Papageno, I hold it as a fact that you're incorrect, at least on that front.

      In response to the rest of your comment

      I actually don't disagree with all that you put forward, on the merit of each part. I think they're each well fitted to the characterisations you're depicting

      Problem is, the character you have imagined to represent me, in fact, doesn't. Your responses are based on a set of prejudices which hold no relation to me. And they're so broadly shuffled in my direction I'm unsure which matter to take up, refute and dispose of first

      Though, you do seem to have a little more difficulty than others on here in understanding exactly where I'm coming from. I think you're too quick to misconstrue the essence of my angle to ever be a chance of having it sink in.

      "And yet, your computer and the internet work....."

      This being the prefect example. You have created yourself a bone to pick. How did you manage to so narrowly rationalize my earlier comments?

      You have irritating habit of reading what you intend, rather than what is intended. It's kinda debilitating for the discussion

      Understand this, I'm not saying in any way, shape or form that science does not work in facts. Or that science has not provided us with an almost immeasurable amount of near factual data from which we can build upon our tangible experience. I'm simply putting forward the idea that IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY that there are parts of our experience which effect our lives which science is yet to touch on. Im also putting forward that IT IS A FACT that science exists to transform (this statement does not intimate the belief that every part of science will inevitably be proven wrong)

      You total ******
      Why did that require an explanation?

      Delete
    15. > My girlfriend is at least an 8/10 (I can supply proof of these claims if you so desire)

      A falsifiable claim! Now you're getting scientific. Yep.

      Delete
    16. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    17. Well its subjective you see. My personal opinion is that she would be at least a '9', so my modest estimate of 8 should allow for the majority of varying tastes.

      Just trying to keep everyone happy, Terry!

      Delete
    18. "I made near enough to 200k last year. I'm 24 years old. My girlfriend is at least an 8/10 (I can supply proof of these claims if you so desire)"

      You forgot to say that your dad can beat up his dad.

      Delete
    19. Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):

      (p.:) "Indeed, the computer and the internet you are using to spout your ignorant claims is proof that somebody knows enough to modify nature for specific purposes. Slinging mud at the people who actually achieve something, makes you only look like a loser. The grapes are not sour, but nice and sweet; you just could not reach them"

      I made near enough to 200k last year. I'm 24 years old. My girlfriend is at least an 8/10 (I can supply proof of these claims if you so desire)

      Congratulations. Give yourself a pat on the back and have a cookie.
      None of your bragging changes the fact that you are spouting ignorant nonsense about science and scientists, which makes you look like the fox calling the grapes sour.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      So, call me what you will Papageno, I hold it as a fact that you're incorrect, at least on that front.

      You can hold whatever you want. What matters is that you carefully avoided providing evidence in support of your claims.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      In response to the rest of your comment

      I actually don't disagree with all that you put forward, on the merit of each part. I think they're each well fitted to the characterisations you're depicting

      Problem is, the character you have imagined to represent me, in fact, doesn't.


      Pot calling the kettle black.

      You depicted scientists as "men who resist the temptation to wander into possibility, and instead choose to hold the fort of reason and true science" and "intelligent people who religiously believe their minds are free from bias, and in turn expect their science to be impartial, when in truth they're using a pure method of reason to engineer a perpetuation of their own impure paradigm."

      Also, I didn't have to represent you: you did all the work yourself.
      You presented yourself as "champion of the unscientific, because I truly feel as though the scientific method is being over-applied and abused" and claimed that "the real truth of the matter is - no one knows shlt. Everyone is way out of their depth", as if you were the standard against which all human knowledge is measured.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      Your responses are based on a set of prejudices which hold no relation to me. And they're so broadly shuffled in my direction I'm unsure which matter to take up, refute and dispose of first

      Right... You don't want to address specific claims. If you stay vague, you cannot be pinned down and you can weasel out of the responsibility of providing evidence for your claims.
      Just like any crackpot, creationists and conspiracist out there.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      Though, you do seem to have a little more difficulty than others on here in understanding exactly where I'm coming from. I think you're too quick to misconstrue the essence of my angle to ever be a chance of having it sink in.

      The essence is: "I don't understand it, therefore nobody can!"
      You just don't want come out and say it clearly.

      Delete
    20. Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      (p.:) "And yet, your computer and the internet work....."

      This being the prefect example. You have created yourself a bone to pick. How did you manage to so narrowly rationalize my earlier comments?

      Because your comments blow a lot of hot air around, trying to hide the essence of your position. I am refuting your bold claims of universal human ignorance and fickleness of science by providing real-life examples of knowledge successfully applied to modify the world for specific purposes.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      You have irritating habit of reading what you intend, rather than what is intended. It's kinda debilitating for the discussion

      You can complain about my style when you have taken responsibility for your claims and provided evidence in support of them. If it is too much effort for you, then maybe you should think twice before making bold claims.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      Understand this, I'm not saying in any way, shape or form that science does not work in facts. Or that science has not provided us with an almost immeasurable amount of near factual data from which we can build upon our tangible experience. I'm simply putting forward the idea that IT IS HIGHLY LIKELY that there are parts of our experience which effect our lives which science is yet to touch on. Im also putting forward that IT IS A FACT that science exists to transform (this statement does not intimate the belief that every part of science will inevitably be proven wrong)

      What a back-pedalling, spineless weasel you are!
      First you make bold claims and accusations and now, when you are asked to provide evidence, you turn around and run away from your claims.



      Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      You total ******
      Why did that require an explanation?


      You did not explain, you changed your tune without acknowledging it.

      What was the Monty Python song? Ah yes...


      Behold, brave McFarlane, the champion of the unscientific:

      Bravely bold McFarlane
      Rode forth on the internet.
      He was not afraid to post,
      Oh brave McFarlane.
      He was not at all afraid
      To be refuted in nasty ways.
      Brave, brave, brave, brave McFarlane.


      [...]

      Brave McFarlane ran away.
      Bravely ran away away.
      When ev'dence reared it's ugly head,
      He bravely turned his tail and fled.
      Yes, brave McFarlane turned about
      And gallantly he chickened out.
      Bravely taking to his seat,
      He beat a very brave retreat.
      Bravest of the braaaave, McFarlane!

      Delete
    21. "You can complain about my style when you have taken responsibility for your claims and provided evidence in support of them. If it is too much effort for you, then maybe you should think twice before making bold claims"

      What claims?

      I put forward ideas in refute of culture and the misrepresentation of science. They're ideas which aren't directly challenging to any individual piece of established science, in fact, they're intently positioned to challenge exactly the opposite - that which science is yet to establish I.e. mystery

      What I am challenging are the cultural belief systems which act to control the paradigm of possibility. The cultural directives which, are not scientific, but nonetheless dictate to us what is and what is not possible. The same cultural directives which motivate materialists to proclaim that Ghosts cannot possibly be real, simply because science is yet to measure it. That is CULTURAL, not SCIENTIFIC. A real scientist would hold the position that it may be possible, and that only time and science will reveal the truth. Unlike the religious and cultural platforming held in force on this website.

      Note: simply because something is yet to become scientific, does not mean it is impossible

      Note: There is a logical and comprehensive difference between the completely absurd/improbable and the logically possible/probable. (So quit using ridiculous analogies in petty attempts to uncover fallacies)

      I've got to say, Papageno, you really do struggle to understand me at all. Your characterisations are utterly naive, hubristic and childlike. Your thinking is rushed, shallow and belligerent. You need to trust yourself less, open yourself to conjecture and complexity, and then implement your knowledge after the fact. This will help you somewhat. Aside from that, it seems you aren't particuarly gifted with a broad mind, this will not bode well in your endeavor to actually think for yourself, as opposed to upholding a religious confidence in all that authority asserts and nothing more.

      You use words like "evidence" because they make you feel empowered, not because it holds relevance or application to the discussion. You're, by definition, a cynical and foolish materialist, reductionist scientific sucker Fish, who is no closer to finding truth than an Islamic extremists intoxicated on their own delusion.

      You're not scientific mate, your just a dumb ass. I refuse to respond to you going forward until you can manage to form a response based on what I write, not what you choose to think I write.

      Delete
    22. "So quit using ridiculous analogies in petty attempts to uncover fallacies.....no closer to finding truth than an Islamic extremists intoxicated on their own delusion"

      Yep, ridiculous analogies.

      Science is the systematized observation of phenomena and experimentation with same. It concerns human knowledge, and the functions of the physical universe.
      -paraphrased from the OED

      Robert used a term that is important in discussing science- falsifiability. For a claim to hold scientific merit, it should have a condition that makes it a false claim.

      For instance, if I am sitting at this computer and drop the mouse, it falls to the ground. If it were to fall upward, gravity would be in serious question.
      Ghosts, vampires, and most of the paranormal, are immune to the falsifiability principle. It's not a scientific mind-set that considers the "logical possibility" of ghosts. That's for philosophers, not scientists.

      Are UFOs falsifiable? Is there a saturation point, some condition that can be reached, that conclusively disproves the phenomenon? If not, then the whole thing becomes just a matter of belief. Sounds religious.

      Delete
    23. Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      [p.:] "You can complain about my style when you have taken responsibility for your claims and provided evidence in support of them. If it is too much effort for you, then maybe you should think twice before making bold claims"

      What claims?

      Short memory?
      Let me refresh it for you:

      --------
      1. Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      "And so here I am deliberately and selflessly casting myself as a champion of the unscientific, because I truly feel as though the scientific method is being over-applied and abused. Often without a true intention to gather new knowledge, rather to reaffirm previously held beliefs. Science has been captured by a cult of intelligent people who religiously believe their minds are free from bias, and in turn expect their science to be impartial, when in truth they're using a pure method of reason to engineer a perpetuation of their own impure paradigm."

      You provided no specific examples of "over-application and abuse" of the scientific method and of the "true intentions" of scientists.
      You provided no explanation of this "impure paradigm" that you accuse scientists of perpetuating.


      --------
      2. Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      "So therefore, I am not challenging your scientific position. I am merely accusing you of a totalitarian ignorance to all themes predestined in your mind to hold no value, at no point, before having surveyed it scientifically."

      You provided no evidence that Zoamchomsky has not "surveyed scientifically" these "themes" before dismissing them.


      --------
      3. Mark McFarlane (March 25, 2014 at 3:39 AM):
      "So one can see that my opposition is not to science, but to ignorant old dogs who can't learn new tricks (don't intend to insult)"

      You provided no examples of "new tricks" learned "unscientifically".


      --------
      4. Mark McFarlane (April 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM):
      "As I have always maintained, my disillusionment is born of prejudicial human assumption which masquerades as the objective, but somewhat limited, scientific method."


      You provided no example of these "limitations".


      --------
      5. Mark McFarlane (April 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM):
      "The real truth of the matter is - no one knows shlt. Everyone is way out of their depth. And pretending we know what science CAN or CANNOT prove is at best short sighted, ignorant of scientific history and frankly, a belief system separate of science"

      Here you even speak of truth, and yet you do not even provide examples in support of this "truth".
      You presume to speak for everyone, when in reality you can only speak for yourself.

      Your appeal to "scientific history" is misguided and misguiding, because that history shows us exactly how learned more and more about the universe.

      The science we use today to put many satellites in Earth orbit, navigate space probes across the Solar System for decades, predict the motion of celestial bodies, land men on the moon and rover and robots on other bodies in the Solar System, is the same that Newton developed centuries ago.
      We have learned when it is more accurate and less accurate, to the point that we realized that it was not enough and we developed new theories that incorporate it.

      You are completely oblivious of the science behind the engineering and technology that you are enjoying, and of how old some parts of it are. And yet you presume to know "the truth".

      The truth is, you have no idea what you are talking about. You are just happy to claim that the grapes are sour.

      Delete
    24. --------
      6. Mark McFarlane (April 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM):
      "Accept that our universe is crazy as fk. Accept that established science is an ever-transforming model, reflecting our intellectual shortcomings more so than the universe itself"

      You have not provided examples of this "ever-transforming model".
      You claim that the universe is "crazy", but that only reflects your own short-comings, not anybody else's.


      --------
      7. Mark McFarlane (April 1, 2014 at 9:46 PM):
      "Science can only do so much guys. At this point, it cant even be used to survey or demonstrate String Theory. Have a think about that. There's no experiment that we can manufacturer to demonstrate the leading scientific theory of everything."

      And yet your computer and the internet work as designed...


      --------
      8. Mark McFarlane (April 10, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      "Understand this, I'm not saying in any way, shape or form that science does not work in facts. Or that science has not provided us with an almost immeasurable amount of near factual data from which we can build upon our tangible experience."

      This is your spineless back-pedalling, without acknowledging that you changed your tune.

      First, "The real truth of the matter is - no one knows shlt."
      Then "I'm not saying in any way, shape or form that science does not work in facts."

      You blatantly contradicted yourself, but you don't have the balls to admit.
      At least the scientific history shows that science can admit and correct its mistakes.
      What were you saying about "intellectual short-comings"?


      --------


      Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      I put forward ideas in refute of culture and the misrepresentation of science. They're ideas which aren't directly challenging to any individual piece of established science, in fact, they're intently positioned to challenge exactly the opposite - that which science is yet to establish I.e. mystery

      Translation: 'I don't want to be pinned down to specific claims." A tactic typically used by crackpots.

      And mystery in science is what drives research and speculation... like string theory. But it is not the kind of 'mystery' UFOlogists and other paranormal supporters promote.



      Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      What I am challenging are the cultural belief systems which act to control the paradigm of possibility. The cultural directives which, are not scientific, but nonetheless dictate to us what is and what is not possible. The same cultural directives which motivate materialists to proclaim that Ghosts cannot possibly be real, simply because science is yet to measure it. That is CULTURAL, not SCIENTIFIC. A real scientist would hold the position that it may be possible, and that only time and science will reveal the truth. Unlike the religious and cultural platforming held in force on this website.

      Lack of information is not new information.
      A scientist would hold the position that "ghosts" (or ET crafts) do not exist, because there is no evidence of a physical phenomenon. A scientist does not have to consider a phenomenon possible, if there is no evidence that such phenomenon actually exists.
      "I do not know what I saw." is not the same as "It is something science cannot explain."

      If we apply your "method", we can as well say that invisible pink unicorns are responsible for "ghosts". Or maybe Santa Claus.

      Delete
    25. Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      Note: simply because something is yet to become scientific, does not mean it is impossible

      You brought up the example of "ghosts".
      Please shows us that "ghosts" are not invisible pink unicorns or Santa Claus on his day off.
      Apply your "method" to this example, so we can understand how it can be used to gain new knowledge.

      Or do you just wait for the scientists to do the hard work of producing new knowledge?


      Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      Note: There is a logical and comprehensive difference between the completely absurd/improbable and the logically possible/probable. (So quit using ridiculous analogies in petty attempts to uncover fallacies)

      Show us how this "method" works in practice to gain new knowledge. Show us how you distinguish "ghosts" in the traditional sense from invisible pink unicorns.

      Please, be aware that logically possible/probable is not the same as physically possible/probable.



      Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      I've got to say, Papageno, you really do struggle to understand me at all. Your characterisations are utterly naive, hubristic and childlike. Your thinking is rushed, shallow and belligerent. You need to trust yourself less, open yourself to conjecture and complexity, and then implement your knowledge after the fact.

      Please give us an example of how you do it. Show us how it works in practice.


      Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      This will help you somewhat. Aside from that, it seems you aren't particuarly gifted with a broad mind, this will not bode well in your endeavor to actually think for yourself, as opposed to upholding a religious confidence in all that authority asserts and nothing more.
      You use words like "evidence" because they make you feel empowered, not because it holds relevance or application to the discussion. You're, by definition, a cynical and foolish materialist, reductionist scientific sucker Fish, who is no closer to finding truth than an Islamic extremists intoxicated on their own delusion.


      What were you saying about "utterly naive, hubristic and childlike" characterizations?
      Calling people that don't agree with you closed-minded and extremists is the trite response of crackpots who can't deal with criticisms.



      Mark McFarlane (April 19, 2014 at 6:11 AM):
      You're not scientific mate, your just a dumb ass. I refuse to respond to you going forward until you can manage to form a response based on what I write, not what you choose to think I write.

      Taking your toys and running home?
      Why are you behaving like a run-of-the-mill crackpot?

      Delete
    26. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    27. It's disappointing to see someone so devoted to technical thought, lack the depth of mind to manifest or juggle with philosophical concepts the way in which you do, Papageno.

      As I continue to reiterate, I have little problem with Science itself. My dissatisfaction and cynicism lies in it's misuse by self proclaimed scientific warriors, such as yourself. For example: simply because you hold genuine scientific intention, does not ensure that all your opinions and beliefs are founded on the real science, or objective scientific opinion. As I have demonstrated, you're totally bias and science has become your tool to reinforce prejudice

      1. "You provided no specific examples of "over-application and abuse" of the scientific method and of the "true intentions" of scientists.
      You provided no explanation of this "impure paradigm" that you accuse scientists of perpetuating."


      (Withholding my disappointment and boredom)


      I hadn't accused scientists of these things. I had accused patrons of this blog, namely, Zoam and yourself. What's more, if you had managed to comprehend the essence of my posts, it would become quite obvious that I had already demonstrated precisely why I feel this way.

      2. "You provided no evidence that Zoamchomsky has not "surveyed scientifically" these "themes" before dismissing them"

      Evidence? It's a matter of opinion, Pagageno. Based on the shape and consistency of his argument it was apparent to me that, yes, he had not surveyed the paranormal scientifically. Not to mention, the burden of proof lies with the person defending the science

      C'mon mate, surely you aren't going to have me reply to 20 more of these type of nonsensical questions? 

      In short, the only part of your break down that I can agree with is; the use of the term 'ghost'. It was lazy and stupid of me. What I intended to convey as 'ghost' was the collection of strange but consistent accounts of experiences which reassemble what pop culture knows as 'the paranormal'

      And to be absolutely clear, there is no part of my opinion which requires me to back peddle. What you see as contradictory terms is just a reflection of your own inability to accurately deduce the intended meaning.

      "And mystery in science is what drives research and speculation... like string theory. But it is not the kind of 'mystery' UFOlogists and other paranormal supporters promote."

      Total rubbish. You couldn't be anymore wrong. There is verifiable mystery, known as theory, and there is non verifiable mystery, known as mystery. Yes, mystery can seem to fall into categories of potential value, but that is illusory. It's mysterious precisely because we cannot define it, not because we have defined it.

      Delete
    28. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    29. Jozzcooper; I couldn't agree more

      "For instance, if I am sitting at this computer and drop the mouse, it falls to the ground. If it were to fall upward, gravity would be in serious question.
      Ghosts, vampires, and most of the paranormal, are immune to the falsifiability principle. It's not a scientific mind-set that considers the "logical possibility" of ghosts. That's for philosophers, not scientists."

      You're right, it's not scientific. I am preaching to reason here, not science. Yes, they're different and the same.

      If one chooses to consider only that which science can verify, that is ok. I commended you on your security of mind. I'm sure it's very reassuring to know that you'll most likely never be wrong. But let's not pretend that everything which falls outside of the current catalog of hard science, must, at all costs be relegated to the realm of the absurd.
      Whether we can falsify it or not, is not a measure of the subject. It is simply a hurdle that science must overcome.

      Do you empathize with this point?

      I can appreciate the reluctance of reasonable others to say, 'well how do we measure what is and is not absurd if we cannot measure it scientifically?', I totally understand this position. But surely, a reasonable mind can, at least, hold itself open to what is sworn by millions of people to be a real experience? A real experience! Experience is the key here. I know experience is a BS word, but whether science likes it or not, the reported experience of such phenomenon is what separates it from any other possible claim, and raises it to an issue of legitimate concern.

      I know that experience accounts for very little in scientific terms, but, when we are dealing with a phenomenon which is, culturally and historically accepted as real in most parts of the world, surely we can temper our cynicism and impartiality and just accept it as a reported experience which, unfortunately, doesn't lend itself to falsification. Resist the reductionist tendencies which drive you to want to classify and categorize everything, and accept that it is completely unjustified, in any terms, to categorically dismiss the potential for truth

      I don't sit at home waiting for science to prove that gravity is not real. That would be absurd, and there is no part of our experience which warrants it. Conversely, we have a cultures built around such paranormal experience. Whether we like it or not, this counts for something. It is what acts as a logical distinction between what is worth waiting to verify, and the invisible, pink unicorns which do not...

      I feel it is reasonable, and even logical, to state that a reported worldwide and culturally transient phenomenon, whether currently verifiable or falsifiable, holds enough value to justify a degree of intellectual faith that there may be truth hiding in amongst it all

      In not suggesting we open our minds to the potential existence of invisible, unicorns, because there is no experiential basis for this

      Having a history as testament to a reported phenomenon does not make it scientifically valid. Nor does it make it scientifically likely. It just means that, in absence of either definite verification or falsification, it's not reasonable, smart, logical or rational to compare 'the paranormal' to pink unicorns.

      So pull your head in, and restrain your partiality. For Gods sake, behave scientifically!

      Delete
    30. I know how Sisyphus felt.

      A couple of things I wanted to convey to you, Mark:
      1. What science is, since you often call others unscientific and their thinking more along religious lines.
      2. That the paranormal, in defying falsifiability, exhibits traits that require of its proponents a belief that sounds suspiciously religious.

      The final point was an invitation, to you and anyone else, to explain what would falsify the idea of UFOs as alien spacecraft, at least in your mind.

      My viewpoint can be refuted by simply producing an alien and his ship.
      What would convince you?

      Delete
    31. Mark McFarlane (April 26, 2014 at 6:18 AM):
      It's disappointing to see someone so devoted to technical thought, lack the depth of mind to manifest or juggle with philosophical concepts the way in which you do, Papageno.

      Belittling who doesn't agree with you won't change the fact that you cannot substantiate your claims. You can be condescending after you have taken intellectual responsibility for your claims.


      As I continue to reiterate, I have little problem with Science itself. My dissatisfaction and cynicism lies in it's misuse by self proclaimed scientific warriors, such as yourself. For example: simply because you hold genuine scientific intention, does not ensure that all your opinions and beliefs are founded on the real science, or objective scientific opinion. As I have demonstrated, you're totally bias and science has become your tool to reinforce prejudice

      Please, champion of the unscientific, show us where you demonstrated that my opinion of the "paranormal" is purely the result of prejudice and bias.


      1. "You provided no specific examples of "over-application and abuse" of the scientific method and of the "true intentions" of scientists.
      You provided no explanation of this "impure paradigm" that you accuse scientists of perpetuating."

      (Withholding my disappointment and boredom)

      I hadn't accused scientists of these things. I had accused patrons of this blog, namely, Zoam and yourself. What's more, if you had managed to comprehend the essence of my posts, it would become quite obvious that I had already demonstrated precisely why I feel this way.


      What a pathetic, back-pedalling weasel!

      Since you started you long-winded rants against science and the scientific method, you never made a distinction between scientists and non-scientists. Even when I mentioned explicitly and repeatedly scientists in my replies to you, you never corrected this "misunderstanding".

      But now suddenly you change your tune and claim that you were not actually talking about scientists.
      For somebody bragging about his intellectual prowess, you seem to have a hard time providing a consistent argument and supporting it with evidence. It looks like that you didn't think your claims through.

      Delete
    32. Mark McFarlane (April 26, 2014 at 6:18 AM):
      2. "You provided no evidence that Zoamchomsky has not "surveyed scientifically" these "themes" before dismissing them"

      Evidence? It's a matter of opinion, Pagageno. Based on the shape and consistency of his argument it was apparent to me that, yes, he had not surveyed the paranormal scientifically. Not to mention, the burden of proof lies with the person defending the science


      You made the accusation, yours is the burden to prove it.

      Anyway, you just admitted that you jumped to a conclusion about Zoamchomsky: you accused him of dismissing certain "themes" out of hand, and yet you did exactly the same with his position.


      C'mon mate, surely you aren't going to have me reply to 20 more of these type of nonsensical questions?

      Yeah... let scientists do the hard work of supporting their claims with evidence and gain new knowledge. You can just sit in your comfy armchair and pontificate about what we can or cannot know.


      In short, the only part of your break down that I can agree with is; the use of the term 'ghost'. It was lazy and stupid of me. What I intended to convey as 'ghost' was the collection of strange but consistent accounts of experiences which reassemble what pop culture knows as 'the paranormal'

      It does not change the essence of my reply: show us how "unscientific methods" help gaining new knowledge.


      And to be absolutely clear, there is no part of my opinion which requires me to back peddle. What you see as contradictory terms is just a reflection of your own inability to accurately deduce the intended meaning.

      It is your your intellectual cowardice that requires you to back-pedal. Crackpots like you feel the need to change their tune when they realize that they cannot support their claims, but don't want to admit that they got it wrong (unlike science, by the way).


      "And mystery in science is what drives research and speculation... like string theory. But it is not the kind of 'mystery' UFOlogists and other paranormal supporters promote."

      Total rubbish. You couldn't be anymore wrong. There is verifiable mystery, known as theory, and there is non verifiable mystery, known as mystery. Yes, mystery can seem to fall into categories of potential value, but that is illusory. It's mysterious precisely because we cannot define it, not because we have defined it.


      Now you want to redefine the meaning of words to weasel out of your responsibilities.
      Scientific research is a matter of wandering into possibilities and speculations. Scientists, unlike "champions of the unscientific" like you, do not stop at the "mystery". They actively work to gain more information.

      Delete
    33. Mark McFarlane (April 26, 2014 at 8:52 AM):
      If one chooses to consider only that which science can verify, that is ok. I commended you on your security of mind. I'm sure it's very reassuring to know that you'll most likely never be wrong. But let's not pretend that everything which falls outside of the current catalog of hard science, must, at all costs be relegated to the realm of the absurd.

      For somebody who complains about being mischaracterized by others, you surely like building strawmen. Maybe you should take your own advice and stop painting a cartoonish versions of other people.


      I can appreciate the reluctance of reasonable others to say, 'well how do we measure what is and is not absurd if we cannot measure it scientifically?', I totally understand this position. But surely, a reasonable mind can, at least, hold itself open to what is sworn by millions of people to be a real experience? A real experience! Experience is the key here. I know experience is a BS word, but whether science likes it or not, the reported experience of such phenomenon is what separates it from any other possible claim, and raises it to an issue of legitimate concern.

      Scientific studies have shown how inaccurate witnesses can be, so it is scientifically untenable to take reports at face value. Unfortunately, champions of the unscientific like yourself don't like to worry about accuracy and evidence, as long as you can claim that there is a "mystery".


      I know that experience accounts for very little in scientific terms, but, when we are dealing with a phenomenon which is, culturally and historically accepted as real in most parts of the world, surely we can temper our cynicism and impartiality and just accept it as a reported experience which, unfortunately, doesn't lend itself to falsification. Resist the reductionist tendencies which drive you to want to classify and categorize everything, and accept that it is completely unjustified, in any terms, to categorically dismiss the potential for truth

      This is just a long-winded way of saying "don't bother to search for the truth, because... mystery!"


      I don't sit at home waiting for science to prove that gravity is not real. That would be absurd, and there is no part of our experience which warrants it. Conversely, we have a cultures built around such paranormal experience.

      And we have cultures built around Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings... Appealing to the popularity of something, doesn't make it real.


      Whether we like it or not, this counts for something. It is what acts as a logical distinction between what is worth waiting to verify, and the invisible, pink unicorns which do not...

      Please, explain to us the procedure to distinguish between "real" phenomena, like your favourite "paranormal", and fictional phenomena, like invisible pink unicorns.


      I feel it is reasonable, and even logical, to state that a reported worldwide and culturally transient phenomenon, whether currently verifiable or falsifiable, holds enough value to justify a degree of intellectual faith that there may be truth hiding in amongst it all

      And have you taken into account the studies showing how inaccurate reports can be?


      In not suggesting we open our minds to the potential existence of invisible, unicorns, because there is no experiential basis for this

      Having a history as testament to a reported phenomenon does not make it scientifically valid. Nor does it make it scientifically likely. It just means that, in absence of either definite verification or falsification, it's not reasonable, smart, logical or rational to compare 'the paranormal' to pink unicorns.


      We are going to need more details than this. Show us the scientific survey you did to dismiss invisible pink unicorns as cause of your favourite "paranormal". Otherwise, you dismissal of unicorns is completely arbitrary and driven only by your bias and prejudice.

      Delete
    34. Papageno. Wow.

      Ok nice and simple this time

      I do NOT need to supply proof of my claims because I'm not claiming that science should interpret the Paranormal as scientific. So quit asking for proof. Jeez.

      I'm claiming, that we shouldn't categorically draw a line through the 'paranormal' as having potential to be scientifically framed. And I'm saying there is an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence which acts in support of this suspicion - there is a logical and undeniable distinction between the paranormal and unicorns. 1. Billions of people maintain that they have had paranormal experiences. 2. No serious culture or collection of people actually believe that Star wars or unicorns are real. So you can see how experience does count for something, irrespective of how unreliable or completely nonsensical it can prove to be, at times.

      I just find it strange that people such as yourself should be so determined to enforce the notion - that under no circumstances can there be any truth to paranormal reports

      Isn't that strange? Here I was thinking that science is represented by the prerogative to hold only objective and neutral opinions of a subject until conclusions can be surely established. But instead, I find science once again being represented by agressive minimalist, prejudicial attitudes, and again, these attitudes are masqueraded as objective scientific attitudes. It couldn't be more obvious to me, and every other person outside of this reductionist agenda, that there are deep seeded preconceptions at play here.

      Fact. The paranormal is not impossible

      Fact. The liklihood that there exists a dimension of truth within the paranormal fiction, is enhanced by the real world, real time experiences of real people.

      To conclude this boomerang of an argument; The paranormal is not scientific and may likely never be scientific. However, much like the cause for suspicion which drives research and hypothesis in all fields of enquiry, I feel it is within reason and a rational part of our experience to consider the paranormal as a potential prospect for scientific discovery in the forseeable future.

      If you cannot agree with this, then you're not free from bias, you're not separate from prejudice, and you most definitely are not representative of scientific values.

      You have proven this to be the case, Papageno. If you want to prove that you're the scientific rep you champion yourself to be, here's your opportunity to prove it, just admit: it may be likely, it may be unlikely, but the paranormal is not impossible

      Repeat those words!

      Delete
    35. Jozzcooper;

      I probably should have been a little more discerning in my first response. Most of it was intended for Papageno, though, I had only addressed it to you. My apologies for the confusion.

      Delete
    36. Jozzcooper

      In response to your first point (1)

      I understand what it is to be scientific. Though, the point I ride, and ride hard seems to be lost in translation - science as a lone entity, as an untouched individual framework, is itself objective, unbiased and clear in its operation. However, the implementation and representation of science by 'people' often leads to a contamination of sorts where science becomes a morphogenic tool for its user, and as a result, can be misrepresented by the subjective expression of its user.

      For example.

      Most physicists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries claimed the notion of a black hole to be preposterous and unscientific, because at the time there was no hard data to back it up. A lot even went as far as suggesting such a thing was impossible and fundamentally inconceivable. We can appreciate, these skeptical scientists were only preaching within the bounds of what science could define at that time. However, with retrospect, we can identify where their behaviour had shifted from scientific to religious. It is precisely at the point where they lose a neutrality to outcomes and become completely partial to the belief that black holes are BS. What's more, the illusion of science is to provide a logical basis for such dramatic partiality. Their conviction is twofold, one, science has yet to positively identify blackholes, two, blackholes are not falsifiable. So they allow themselves to be wholly directed by what science, in this case, couldn't tell them. Using this they led themselves to a false conclusion!

      My central hypothesis is: Science did not tell these physicists that Blackholes where a preposterous, absurd, inconceivable or impossible idea. Science simply told them nothing and they created the prediction. These scientists were not objective like science, the we're subjective, like humans who are naturally dependant on subjective influences of experience and fallable knowledge

      Therefore, when science tells us nothing about the paranormal. It is BY DEFINITION religious behaviour to proclaim that an absence of science tells us the paranormal is preposterous, absurd or even highly unlikely. A true scientist simply sits back, without any partial conviction, and says, I don't know but I'd sure love to know!

      So we can see, that the passionate dismissal of the 'paranormal' experience by the cynical hijackers of science, in force all over the world and on this site, is not scientific, but simply a subjective opinion leveraging on the absence of the real, pure objective science.

      In response to (2)

      Yes. Without question there is an element of faith.

      The difference between you and I, it seems, is that somehow I've managed to figure out that we're all dependant on faith whether we realize it or not. It's just a question of where you place that faith, and to what end you entrust it.

      From where I stand, you're not unlike the scientists of the 'blackholes' dilemma. They actually believed that their convictions and knowledge base were free from the guess work assumption of faith, little did they know that black holes are real, and it was the blind trust of their convictions and knowledge, and the faith of their intellectual capacity for reason which defined them as men of faith the day in which blackholes were inadvertently demonstrated to exist.

      So while the paranormal may forever exist only as a work of fiction in the minds of the faithful, its days as a fiction in the minds of the skeptical may be shortlived. Science hasn't told us shit. So while Papageno wants to bang on like a trumpet with rust holes, revisiting commonsense ideas and faith based convictions, I'm gonna call him out as the misconceived, wanna be 'scientists' he shows himself to be.

      I'm not a crank for entertaining the potential for truth in the 'paranormal', I've just managed to form a more complex hypothesis, which makes use of more than just blind science to gain a deeper view of the world

      Delete
    37. Ultimately, Mark, what I'm asking is if there is anything you can think of that would make you flatly disbelieve in the "UFO hypothesis"?

      Delete
    38. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    39. Flatly disbelieve? Perhaps, flatly cynical of the UFO hypothesis? Sure.

      Look, of course there are a number of aspects of the UFO narrative which, if proved to be untrue, it would certainly spell the end of my campaign supporting the UFO hypothesis. Without question.

      E.g. If most or all of the personalities like Dr. Steven Greer, Stephen Bassett and Leslie Keen where reasonabley demonstrated to have been fabricating significant parts the info they claim as legit, and, if a significant portion of seemingly trustworthy witnesses were demonstrated to be, fabricating or dramatically exaggerating their claims - I can say for certain that I would call BS on the entire push. In an instant I would be extremely cynical of the UFO hypothesis.

      In my impartial view, distinguished from any minimalist, reductionist agenda - the example I put forward, I believe is yet to happen. And therefore, I reserve my suspicion in favour of the ET Hypothesis holding truth, as opposed to it holding absolutely no truth what so ever. As is the only alternative hypothesis.

      Flatly, to me it just seems the most likely scenario as an explanation for the claims made by big players (e.g. COMETA report). But that opinion, in no way, affects my impartially to outcomes. If those men who published the COMETA report were proven to be attention seekers, or highly vulnerable to the rabble of baseless 'army tales', then sure, I'd forfeit my support. Straight up.

      But the truth is, all skeptics have got in their armory are circumstantial explanations, which often defy the order of the original accounts (of the most credible and reliable cases, of course)

      Like really, Jozzcooper, do you really think the COMETA Report was put together by morons? The nature of their experience is not reliant on singular, fallible events, as Sheaffer would have us believe. We're talking about entire careers built on the day to day dealings with both aerial and submarinal controversies, which are significant, and which are as real to those involved as any other experience in life.

      It would be the most astounding and improbable coincidence in all of human history, if all this turned out to be merely a collection of misidentification and confabulation.

      If science isn't able to provide a conclusion to this problem, then I'm afraid science may not be the only tool to use. Perhaps, some good old fashioned common sense discernment?

      Delete
    40. Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      I do NOT need to supply proof of my claims because I'm not claiming that science should interpret the Paranormal as scientific. So quit asking for proof. Jeez.

      You are evading the questions.

      I asked you to provide specific examples of "unscientific methods" providing new knowledge.
      I asked you to explain the criteria you use to distinguish "real" paranormal from "absurd" paranormal.
      I asked you to support your accusations that scientists/"non-scientists" dismiss "paranormal" out of hand, before "surveying it scientifically".

      Instead of putting your money where your mouth is, you just go around in circles to avoid answering the questions, like a run-of-the-mill crackpot or creationist, and then you pat yourself on the back for being so clever.



      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      I'm claiming, that we shouldn't categorically draw a line through the 'paranormal' as having potential to be scientifically framed.

      And why shouldn't we?
      The scientific method has proved to be very reliable in helping us gain new knowledge.
      After all, "paranormal" claims are about phenomena that can or should be observed and that are supposed to have an effect on the natural world. Why shouldn't we try and examine them scientifically?

      What reason do you have to not apply the scientific method? Because you don't get the answer you want to hear? Because it gives you a warm feeling of being more clever than others?



      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      And I'm saying there is an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence which acts in support of this suspicion [...]

      Scientists can turn circumstantial evidence into direct evidence with research and hard work.
      There was circumstantial evidence for the existence of a planet beyond Uranus, which was discovered later to be Neptune: the result of scientific research.
      There was circumstantial evidence for the existence of the neutrino: it took decades of research to actually find the particle.

      How long do we have to wait, before circumstantial evidence for the "paranormal" turns into direct evidence? What work are "champions of the unscientific" actually doing to get direct evidence and gain new knowledge about this "paranormal", instead of sitting around half the night pontificating about what scientists can or cannot know?

      If you run the zoo, what would you do to gain new knowledge about the "paranormal"?



      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      - there is a logical and undeniable distinction between the paranormal and unicorns. 1. Billions of people maintain that they have had paranormal experiences. 2. No serious culture or collection of people actually believe that Star wars or unicorns are real.

      1. There are many depictions of unicorns out there, including pink unicorns (just google it!). All these depictions are remarkably consistent with each other. How do all these people know what a unicorn looks like? How do you know they have not experienced invisible pink unicorns?

      2. Please, explain the precise criteria to determine when a culture is "serious" or not.
      For example, the 2011 census in England and Wales gives about 170 000 people who declare themselves of Jedi religion, the same order of magnitude as Buddhists and Jewish, more than Druids, Wicca and Pagans put together, more than agnostic, atheists and humanists put together.
      Would this be "serious" enough or do you have to resort to a no-true-scotsman fallacy to weasel out of it?


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      So you can see how experience does count for something, irrespective of how unreliable or completely nonsensical it can prove to be, at times.

      Please, provide us the criteria you use to distinguish between reliable and unreliable experience.

      Delete
    41. Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      I just find it strange that people such as yourself should be so determined to enforce the notion - that under no circumstances can there be any truth to paranormal reports

      Please, don't put words into my mouth.
      Address what I actually wrote, not what you wish I had written.
      After all, you are the one who complained about "utterly naive, hubristic and childlike" characterizations.


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      Isn't that strange? Here I was thinking that science is represented by the prerogative to hold only objective and neutral opinions of a subject until conclusions can be surely established.

      Science is also represented by a principle of parsimony, where entities are not assumed to exists unless necessary. The established fact that many "paranormal" claims have been or can be explained in terms of mundane phenomena, and that the inconclusive ones are so because of lack of information, points towards "not necessary".

      As I said before, the absence of information is not new information. Therefore there is no compelling scientific reason to assume the existence of new "entities".



      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      But instead, I find science once again being represented by agressive minimalist, prejudicial attitudes, and again, these attitudes are masqueraded as objective scientific attitudes. It couldn't be more obvious to me, and every other person outside of this reductionist agenda, that there are deep seeded preconceptions at play here.

      Prove it. Declaring it "obvious" doesn't make it so.


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      Fact. The paranormal is not impossible

      Invisible pink unicorns are not impossible either.

      But which "paranormal" are you referring to? Ghosts, vampires, zombies, ET crafts, bigfoot, chupacabra, men staring at goats, Jesus on a toasted sandwich, Santa Claus, Loch Ness monster, fairies, little people?
      Are they all "not impossible"? Or are some "less" impossible than others? And how can you tell?


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      Fact. The liklihood that there exists a dimension of truth within the paranormal fiction, is enhanced by the real world, real time experiences of real people.

      You mean, the real experiences showing how inaccurate and unreliable witness accounts can be? Like the ones where a group of flares or Chinese lanterns are mistaken for a giant spaceship? Or the ones where out-of-focus bugs are mistake for swarms of ET crafts?

      Isn't it possible that all the depictions of unicorns are consistent with each other, because there exists a dimension of truth within the fiction about unicorns?



      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      To conclude this boomerang of an argument; The paranormal is not scientific and may likely never be scientific. However, much like the cause for suspicion which drives research and hypothesis in all fields of enquiry, I feel it is within reason and a rational part of our experience to consider the paranormal as a potential prospect for scientific discovery in the forseeable future.

      Translation: let the scientists do the hard work of finding out what is real and what not.
      What happened to the "unscientific methods", oh champion of the unscientific?


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      If you cannot agree with this, then you're not free from bias, you're not separate from prejudice, and you most definitely are not representative of scientific values.

      What's the point of agreeing on empty platitudes and excuses?
      If you don't agree on the possibility that invisible pink unicorns exist, then you are closed-minded and not free from bias.

      Delete
    42. Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 5:14 AM):
      You have proven this to be the case, Papageno. If you want to prove that you're the scientific rep you champion yourself to be, here's your opportunity to prove it, just admit: it may be likely, it may be unlikely, but the paranormal is not impossible

      Why don't you go first? Admit that invisible pink unicorns are not impossible.
      After all, you are the only one who presented himself as champion of something.


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      I understand what it is to be scientific. Though, the point I ride, and ride hard seems to be lost in translation - science as a lone entity, as an untouched individual framework, is itself objective, unbiased and clear in its operation. [...]

      Science is not an abstract, separate entity. It is a body of knowledge and methods that humans have developed in order to understand nature and the universe. The methods emphasize the necessity of putting ideas and observations to the test, under controlled conditions where possible, in order to recognize and establish connections and patterns.


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      Most physicists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries claimed the notion of a black hole to be preposterous and unscientific, because at the time there was no hard data to back it up. [...]

      That's funny... Black holes have been predicted theoretically only in the 1930s ( http://physics.aps.org/story/v13/st23 ), with experimental evidence coming much later.

      Can you bring examples from real history, instead of making up stories to suit your purpose?


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      Therefore, when science tells us nothing about the paranormal. It is BY DEFINITION religious behaviour to proclaim that an absence of science tells us the paranormal is preposterous, absurd or even highly unlikely. A true scientist simply sits back, without any partial conviction, and says, I don't know but I'd sure love to know!

      A true scientist doesn't jump from "I don't know." to "God/ETs/Chupacabra/Bigfoot/Fairies/Nessie/Santa Claus/Invisible pink unicorns did it!"

      What Science "tells" us, is that witness accounts can be severely inaccurate and unreliable, and that many reports have been investigated and either found to be caused by mundane phenomena or lacking sufficient information to reach a conclusion. In the absence of direct evidence of "paranormal" causes and of more information, it is reasonable for the scientist to assume that "paranormal" reports are more likely mundane, but unidentified phenomena.


      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      So we can see, that the passionate dismissal of the 'paranormal' experience by the cynical hijackers of science, in force all over the world and on this site, is not scientific, but simply a subjective opinion leveraging on the absence of the real, pure objective science.

      As I said, absence of information is not new information.

      Show us that the "passionate dismissal" is not the result of a scientific survey of the "paranormal experience".

      Delete
    43. Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      Science hasn't told us shit. So while Papageno wants to bang on like a trumpet with rust holes, revisiting commonsense ideas and faith based convictions, I'm gonna call him out as the misconceived, wanna be 'scientists' he shows himself to be.

      So, what advances in knowledge have champions of the unscientific, such as yourself, produced? What do we know today, that we didn't know before, using unscientific methods?
      What have we learned about your favourite "paranormal phenomenon"?



      Mark McFarlane (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      I'm not a crank for entertaining the potential for truth in the 'paranormal', I've just managed to form a more complex hypothesis, which makes use of more than just blind science to gain a deeper view of the world

      "It's not impossible!" is not a deeper view, but a sterile platitude that doesn't lead anywhere. Despite all your long-winded blustering, you still have not managed to show us one piece of new knowledge that has been gained by means other than those that scientists use.

      Delete
    44. Papageno;

      My apologies for the late reply. Though, it isn't as if your comments draw a quickened response.

      My answer, generally speaking, to the last of your suppositions is twofold:

      1. Your facts are incorrect. Yet you present them as correct, while using them to stonewall opposing ideas. Also, you speak of using science with a pure and impartial approach, yet you present false information and leverage partiality from such false information e.g.

      You said: "That's funny... Black holes have been predicted theoretically only in the 1930s ( http://physics.aps.org/story/v13/st23 ), with experimental evidence coming much later. Can you bring examples from real history, instead of making up stories to suit your purpose?"

      That is presenting a false argument by either, deliberately or ignorantly misrepresenting facts - In fact, black holes were created and worked as a concept during the periods I mentioned, for example; in 1796 a Frenchman named Simon Pierre LaPlace had predicted just that....

      2. You cant even manage to to repeat the words "It could be unlikely, it could be most likely, but it is not impossible"

      Instead you use only "It's not impossible!"

      Again, this is a losers means of salvage and cover, and a failure to support your own position, whilst deliberately trying to misrepresent your opponents position.

      Well done mate. Your officially discredited!

      Delete
    45. Mark McFarlane (June 1, 2014 at 7:10 AM):
      "Papageno;

      My apologies for the late reply. Though, it isn't as if your comments draw a quickened response.
      "

      My comments ask you to provide rational arguments and evidence in support of your claims. Of course quick responses are not expected.


      Mark McFarlane (June 1, 2014 at 7:10 AM):
      "My answer, generally speaking, to the last of your suppositions is twofold:"

      And none of them actually address the main point of my comments:

      I asked you to provide specific examples of "unscientific methods" providing new knowledge.
      I asked you to explain the criteria you use to distinguish "real" paranormal from "absurd" paranormal.
      I asked you to support your accusations that scientists/"non-scientists" dismiss "paranormal" out of hand, before "surveying it scientifically".

      Despite taking your time to prepare a reply, you are still evading my questions.


      ------------------------------------------------

      Mark McFarlane (June 1, 2014 at 7:10 AM):
      "1. Your facts are incorrect. Yet you present them as correct, while using them to stonewall opposing ideas."

      I cannot stop you from presenting your arguments or even voicing your opinions. If facts get in the way of "opposing" ideas, then maybe those ideas are wrong.


      "Also, you speak of using science with a pure and impartial approach,..."

      Stop putting words in my mouth.
      I said (May 5, 2014 at 6:01 AM):
      Science is not an abstract, separate entity. It is a body of knowledge and methods that humans have developed in order to understand nature and the universe. The methods emphasize the necessity of putting ideas and observations to the test, under controlled conditions where possible, in order to recognize and establish connections and patterns.


      "...yet you present false information and leverage partiality from such false information e.g.

      You said: "That's funny... Black holes have been predicted theoretically only in the 1930s ( http://physics.aps.org/story/v13/st23 ), with experimental evidence coming much later. Can you bring examples from real history, instead of making up stories to suit your purpose?"

      That is presenting a false argument by either, deliberately or ignorantly misrepresenting facts - In fact, black holes were created and worked as a concept during the periods I mentioned, for example; in 1796 a Frenchman named Simon Pierre LaPlace had predicted just that....
      "

      Silly me...
      When you wrote (April 30, 2014 at 7:04 AM):
      "Most physicists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries [...]"

      I actually thought that you meant 19th and 20th century. I did not realize that you were referring to Michell and Laplace
      ( http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200911/physicshistory.cfm )
      ( http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2009JAHH...12...90M ),
      who were active a hundred years before the time period you mentioned.

      It must have been a sneaky paranormal double-typo turning "18th" into "19th" and "19th" into "20th"... Or maybe an invisible pink unicorn messing with your keyboard...

      Maybe you could explain us the gory details of Michell-Laplace's theory of "black hole" and compare it to the modern concepts. Then let the reader make up his mind if my information was incorrect in the context of your comment.

      Delete
    46. ------------------------------------------------

      Mark McFarlane (June 1, 2014 at 7:10 AM):
      "2. You cant even manage to to repeat the words "It could be unlikely, it could be most likely, but it is not impossible"

      Instead you use only "It's not impossible!"
      "

      I don't even know to what comment you are referring to. I can only suspect that you refer to this (May 5, 2014 at 6:01 AM):
      "It's not impossible!" is not a deeper view, but a sterile platitude that doesn't lead anywhere. Despite all your long-winded blustering, you still have not managed to show us one piece of new knowledge that has been gained by means other than those that scientists use.


      "Again, this is a losers means of salvage and cover, and a failure to support your own position, whilst deliberately trying to misrepresent your opponents position.

      Well done mate. Your officially discredited!
      "

      Pot. Kettle. Black.
      Now, why don't you address the points I made?

      Delete
  10. it makes money. It's rather like all the reality TV shows. I wondered if the producers and such really believed in the crap they were filming. I talked to a woman who was on a ghost hunting show. She had signed an agreement, but admitted that they had edited out all her "good comments". I discovered the program had edited her to sound "normal" and all the bits about the ghost having sexual relations with her several times a night (her main complaint about why she wanted the ghost removed) were edited out. If it's about making a dollar, people don't seem to see a problem Even our local humane society has a pet psychic come give readings. They only get 20% of her fee, which is $100. Still, since it makes money, the promote her twice yearly readings. Does anyone that works there believe in her powers? No, they said after you listen for hours to the same three readings, she has little variety or imagination, you stop believing. I

    ReplyDelete
  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So-called "ghosts" represent a conflation of alleged non-physical entities with physical properties; they are therefore impossible. The situation with psi is different. Physical machines, plants, and animal are mechanisms--there is nothing non-physical about them at all. Human beings, however, are part physical and part non-physical. The proof is that we are creative and have ethics, whereas machines, plants, and animals are not creative and certainly do not need or follow ethical principles. Non-physical units communicate by clairvoyance or telepathy and are the source of our intuition. I am well aware that most skeptics are pure physicalists, but they are dead wrong on this issue. The existence of psi stars disproves them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Incorrect. Animals certainly are creative and have ethics. Research shows that many animals (of which people are one) have every emotional response and creative impulse people have. Some, even more so. For a good primer on the current world of animal emotions, creativity, and 'ethics', read 'When Elephants Weep'. Though the author escapes me, it is easily found on Amazon and is scientific.

      Delete
    2. Nonsense. It's true that animals have emotions. But they do not have the Golden Rule and they do not create technology or art. They are physical mechanisms only. Human beings are part physical and part non-physical--this is our existential condition on Earth. Incidentally, whereas I believe there is sufficient evidence for telepathy and precognition and clairvoyance, I do not believe there is any real evidence at all for psychokinesis. And although I believe there is plenty of evidence for a Metaphysical Realm, I do not believe there is any real evidence for a supernatural, mystical deity.

      Delete
  13. My version of the Friedman lecture poster…

    National Atomic Testing Museum
    (Affiliated with Smithsonian? Oh, hell no!)

    Presents

    “The NeverEnding Roswell Story”
    by Stanton “The Flying Saucer Promoter” Friedman

    A special evening of being
    lectured by a has-been nuclear
    physicist and UFO attention-seeker.
    He sports a beard and wears glasses
    so he must know what he’s talking about.

    Admission Rates:
    $20 - Members (if any)
    $30 - Non-Members (Fantasy-prone and mentally challenged)
    $40 - Gullible tourists and other suckers off the street
    (Roswell aliens (dead or alive) will be admitted free of charge)

    RSVP (Rational Skeptics Vacate Please)

    6pm - Meet, Greet, and Snicker
    7pm - The show starts and the B.S starts flying.
    (Limited seating, and for good reason)

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    Replies
    1. TS4072.

      Don't be frivolous. You do realise that Stanton Friedman got a lot closer to the truth about Roswell than anyone else. This is because his book is entitled "Crash at Corona", whereas all other books about the infamous crash have "Roswell" in their titles.

      Since Corona is only about half the distance that Roswell is from the main crash site (i.e. the Foster ranch) it follows that Friedman is twice as correct as anyone else about the case.

      I trust you see the logic here. Of course you could argue that twice zero is zero, but I decline to comment further.

      Delete
    2. Besides, you can watch some of his lectures for free on YouTube. I'm an open-minded skeptic--if you can produce the saucer and the aliens (dead or alive) then I will believe you. Otherwise, I won't.

      Delete
  14. As a scientist and lover of sci-fi, it makes my heart weep that this garbage goes on when there is an entire, far more fascinating research on extraterrestrial life and events. Heck, there are even real cultural beliefs in other worldly life in religious texts and stories worldwide. Instead, we get a few crazy stories, made up events, and silly ideas. What about a discussion on the 'Wow!' signal? Or plants outside our solar system? Argh!

    ReplyDelete
  15. > It would be the most astounding and improbable coincidence in all of human history, if all this turned out to be merely a collection of misidentification and confabulation.

    I find it astounding and improbable that hundreds of thousands of UFO witnesses, investigators and believers, with their tens of thousands of UFO reports -- including over 9000 encounter reports! -- covering 67 years, cannot provide solid physical proof of their claims.

    > If science isn't able to provide a conclusion to this problem, then I'm afraid science may not be the only tool to use.

    By your own logic, let's throw out all the UFO photos, films and witness reports, all the UFO books and magazine, all the UFO blog posts. They have not provided a conclusion either.

    > Perhaps, some good old fashioned common sense discernment?

    Mark, your ideas about what constitute common sense are hilarious.

    Science can't prove a negative? Aliens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, I misspoke. Albert Rosales has updated the encounter case number:

      Total count as of August 30 2013: 16,982

      http://www.ufoinfo.com/humanoid/totals.pdf

      Delete
  16. Sir , I am sachindra nath pandey iam working in samsung saudi arabia aramko project oil and gas separation plant before 3 to 4 months. One day I finish my dinner and wating my wife missed call.and I am waking on the road suddenly I see one object extra lighting and blinking just like a star. After some time that object make little movement just like little up and down. After some time it will going just like a zooooom I cannot belive my eyes. That day I am wating in 1 o clock for next show . But he not come back.

    ReplyDelete
  17. otr214426
    INTERNATIONAL CONCEPT OF WORK FROM HOME
    Work from home theory is fast gaining popularity because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. Since one is not bound by fixed working hours, they can schedule their work at the time when they feel most productive and convenient to them. Women & Men benefit a lot from this concept of work since they can balance their home and work perfectly. People mostly find that in this situation, their productivity is higher and stress levels lower. Those who like isolation and a tranquil work environment also tend to prefer this way of working. Today, with the kind of communication networks available, millions of people worldwide are considering this option.

    Women & Men who want to be independent but cannot afford to leave their responsibilities at home aside will benefit a lot from this concept of work. It makes it easier to maintain a healthy balance between home and work. The family doesn't get neglected and you can get your work done too. You can thus effectively juggle home responsibilities with your career. Working from home is definitely a viable option but it also needs a lot of hard work and discipline. You have to make a time schedule for yourself and stick to it. There will be a time frame of course for any job you take up and you have to fulfill that project within that time frame.

    There are many things that can be done working from home. A few of them is listed below that will give you a general idea about the benefits of this concept.

    Baby-sitting
    This is the most common and highly preferred job that Women & Men like doing. Since in today's competitive world both the parents have to work they need a secure place to leave behind their children who will take care of them and parents can also relax without being worried all the time. In this job you don't require any degree or qualifications. You only have to know how to take care of children. Parents are happy to pay handsome salary and you can also earn a lot without putting too much of an effort.

    Nursery
    For those who have a garden or an open space at your disposal and are also interested in gardening can go for this method of earning money. If given proper time and efforts nursery business can flourish very well and you will earn handsomely. But just as all jobs establishing it will be a bit difficult but the end results are outstanding.

    Freelance
    Freelance can be in different wings. Either you can be a freelance reporter or a freelance photographer. You can also do designing or be in the advertising field doing project on your own. Being independent and working independently will depend on your field of work and the availability of its worth in the market. If you like doing jewellery designing you can do that at home totally independently. You can also work on freelancing as a marketing executive working from home. Wanna know more, email us on workfromhome.otr214426@gmail.com and we will send you information on how you can actually work as a marketing freelancer.


    Internet related work
    This is a very vast field and here sky is the limit. All you need is a computer and Internet facility. Whatever field you are into work at home is perfect match in the software field. You can match your time according to your convenience and complete whatever projects you get. To learn more about how to work from home, contact us today on workfromhome.otr214426@gmail.comand our team will get you started on some excellent work from home projects.


    Diet food
    Since now a days Women & Men are more conscious of the food that they eat hence they prefer to have homemade low cal food and if you can start supplying low cal food to various offices then it will be a very good source of income and not too much of efforts. You can hire a few ladies who will help you out and this can be a good business.

    Thus think over this concept and go ahead.

    ReplyDelete

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