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The idea that "eyewitness testimony is unreliable"

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posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:19 AM
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ZetaRediculian
reply to post by draknoir2
 




And can we please give the word "prosaic" a rest for a few years?

I have only used the word once and that was just a post ago and I don't even know what it means.


Count again.

And nobody does... because it's not a prosaic term.




posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:35 AM
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reply to post by draknoir2
 



Count again.

One.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 08:35 AM
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MaximRecoil
Someone inevitably repeats this bit of "folk wisdom" in practically every discussion about aliens and/or UFOs for which eyewitness testimony is the only evidence.


There's a good reason for this: eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

The real "folk wisdom" is that certain people, by virtue of their occupation or status, are immune to the normal human observation, perception, and memory failings to which the rest of us mere mortals are subject.



Three, Zeta. That would be an example of a normal human observation/memory failing.
edit on 27-3-2014 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:00 AM
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reply to post by draknoir2
 



Three, Zeta. That would be example of a normal human observation/memory failing.

I honestly have no idea but am honored that you read my posts and keep track of the words i use. My memory does suck for sure more than "normal".

quick test,
How often have I used the word "innocuous"?



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 09:18 AM
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ZetaRediculian
reply to post by draknoir2
 



Three, Zeta. That would be example of a normal human observation/memory failing.

I honestly have no idea but am honored that you read my posts and keep track of the words i use. My memory does suck for sure more than "normal".


I didn't. Used the word search function because I do not have super-human powers of recall like a famous astronaut would. Try it out.


ZetaRediculian
quick test,
How often have I used the word "innocuous"?


Once.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by JimOberg
 


You said:


So in a thousand reports of communication with the dead, you will always find SOME you find compelling? You will always find SOME stories of human levitation to be persuasive? Of all the claims, you insist that SOME people really have recently seen Elvis?


REALLY???

This has to be the oldest and silliest debunker tactic in the book. It reminds me when ATS debunkers used to try and compare UFO's to Santa. It made no sense then and it's even worse now.

The reason you bring up Elvis and Human levitation is because you're trying to dilute the strength of individual eyewitness accounts and close encounters in Ufology.

Elvis and human levitation have ZERO to do with the mountains of eyewitness accounts and close encounters in ufology. Again, you bring up these things because you can't debate the issue. I remember seeing the skeptic Michael Shermer losing a debate on UFO's and he brought out a figurine of a green alien. When Debunkers can't debate the issue they try to minimize the strength of these cases by doing silly things like mentioning Elvis sighting or human levitation. These things are separate and stand or fall on their own.

When you have eyewitness accounts from high ranking Government officials, Police Officers, Astronauts, Pilots and more talking about human levitation and Elvis sightings then I suggest you start a thread about these things and go over the evidence.

When you have Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and Edgar Mitchell talking about human levitation and Elvis sightings in the same way they do Aliens and they say Aliens exist, then you should start a thread about human levitation and Elvis sightings.

I just can't believe you pulled this silly, old tactic that debunkers used to use when I first got to ATS out of the hat. This really shows how strong the evidence is in Ufology because you can't debate the evidence so you have to try to dilute the evidence by lumping it together with human levitation and Elvis sightings LOL!!



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 11:23 AM
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ZetaRediculian
reply to post by JimOberg
 




So in a thousand reports of communication with the dead, you will always find SOME you find compelling? You will always find SOME stories of human levitation to be persuasive? Of all the claims, you insist that SOME people really have recently seen Elvis?

Its even better than that. He doesn't think bigfoot is real. Bigfoot sightings are based on eyewitness testimony. UFO testimony is reliable and bigfoot testimony is not.


Again, another example where common sense is just thrown out.

Who said Bigfoot testimony is unreliable?

I just use basic common sense and logic and this is something debunkers and pseudoskeptics don't use. I looked at the evidence for Bigfoot and based on the evidence I reached a conclusion that I don't believe Bigfoot exists. Again, this is what humans using reason and logic do all the time. They reach conclusions about things based on the available evidence.

The evidence for Bigfoot isn't the same as the evidence for UFO's and close encounters so as a human being with a common sense, I evaluate the evidence for Bigfoot and reach a conclusion and I evaluate the evidence in Ufology and reach a conclusion.

I might reach a different conclusion as more evidence accumulates. This is what a skeptic is supposed to do. Evaluate evidence. What pseudoskeptics and debunkers do is try to make everything monolithic because they can't debate individual cases and close encounters.

So you have to make the silly blanket statement that eyewitness accounts are unreliable. The truth is SOME eyewitness accounts can be unreliable and weak but SOME eyewitness accounts can be very strong. In fact, the paper you cited as evidence that eyewitness testimony is unreliable said the exact opposite thing. The paper said eyewitnesses are COMPELLING AND INDISPENSABLE.

The difference here is I just use a little common sense. The reason debunkers throw out common sense when it comes to these areas is because they want to make all these things monolithic and lump them together so they can make blanket statements like eyewitness accounts are unreliable and they think this absolves them from actually having to think and evaluate evidence and eyewitnesses from individual cases.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 11:24 AM
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neoholographic


I just use basic common sense and logic


You use the phrase a lot, I'll give you that.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 11:36 AM
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draknoir2

neoholographic


I just use basic common sense and logic


You use the phrase a lot, I'll give you that.


Of course I do because pseudoskeptics and debunkers just throw out common sense when talking about these issues in an effort to lump things together. Why did he throw human levitation and Elvis sightings into the mix? Because he can't debate the evidence when it comes to things within Ufology. You bring up human levitation and Elvis sightings as a way to try and lump things together. It's an old and silly debunkers tactic that didn't work when I first came to ATS and it just looks silly and desperate now.

It's also like saying eyewitness are unreliable. The reason people make these blanket statement is because if they used just a little common sense, they would know that some eyewitness accounts are unreliable and some eyewitness accounts are very strong and compelling. The reason why debunkers make these blanket statements about eyewitnesses when debating these things is because if they admitted that eyewitnesses are COMPELLING AND INDISPENSABLE like the paper said that Zeta posted then they would have to actually think and evaluate the eyewitness accounts and close encounters on a case by case basis instead of just throwing eyewitnesses into a monolithic box labeled unreliable.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by neoholographic
 


What if the lack of evidence for Bigfoot is because they pilot UFOs. :O
i know right, mind screw.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by neoholographic
 


I honestly can't read your posts any more.

Ad nauseam is a Latin term for a discussion that has continued so long that it has continued "to [the point of] nausea".[1][2] For example, the sentence "This topic has been discussed ad nauseam" signifies that the topic in question has been discussed extensively, and that those involved in the discussion have grown tired of it.

Argumentum ad nauseam or argument from repetition or argumentum ad infinitum is an argument made repeatedly (possibly by different people) until nobody cares to discuss it any more. This may sometimes, but not always, be a form of proof by assertion.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 02:04 PM
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neoholographic
Of course I do because pseudoskeptics and debunkers just throw out common sense when talking about these issues in an effort to lump things together.

Dude, you're lumping things together in this very first sentence where you're accusing others of lumping things together!



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 02:15 PM
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draknoir2

MaximRecoil
Someone inevitably repeats this bit of "folk wisdom" in practically every discussion about aliens and/or UFOs for which eyewitness testimony is the only evidence.


There's a good reason for this: eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.


And it is also notoriously reliable, and therein lies the inherent problem with fallacies of oversimplification, or "argument by slogan". The aspects of eyewitness testimony which tend to be the most reliable are the fundamental details, and the fundamental details are what are most important in a UFO sighting, e.g., general appearance and nature of flight. Imagine if such fundamental details were all that mattered in court, i.e., a testimony like:

"I saw the crime committed by a human, who then ran from the scene."

How likely do you think it is that a testimony like that would be accurate?

It's been said in this thread that eyewitness misidentifications are the most common cause of wrongful convictions in court. Those are all cases of mistaking one human for another human. But what did they get right? They certainly correctly identified that a human did it, as opposed to e.g., a dog.


The real "folk wisdom" is that certain people, by virtue of their occupation or status, are immune to the normal human observation, perception, and memory failings to which the rest of us mere mortals are subject.


No. As a generalization, certain people, by virtue of their occupation or status (or other things), are more credible than others. No one is infallible however, obviously.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 02:59 PM
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MaximRecoil

draknoir2

MaximRecoil
Someone inevitably repeats this bit of "folk wisdom" in practically every discussion about aliens and/or UFOs for which eyewitness testimony is the only evidence.


There's a good reason for this: eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.


And it is also notoriously reliable, and therein lies the inherent problem with fallacies of oversimplification, or "argument by slogan". The aspects of eyewitness testimony which tend to be the most reliable are the fundamental details, and the fundamental details are what are most important in a UFO sighting, e.g., general appearance and nature of flight. Imagine if such fundamental details were all that mattered in court, i.e., a testimony like:

"I saw the crime committed by a human, who then ran from the scene."

How likely do you think it is that a testimony like that would be accurate?

It's been said in this thread that eyewitness misidentifications are the most common cause of wrongful convictions in court. Those are all cases of mistaking one human for another human. But what did they get right? They certainly correctly identified that a human did it, as opposed to e.g., a dog.


The real "folk wisdom" is that certain people, by virtue of their occupation or status, are immune to the normal human observation, perception, and memory failings to which the rest of us mere mortals are subject.


No. As a generalization, certain people, by virtue of their occupation or status (or other things), are more credible than others. No one is infallible however, obviously.


Bingo!

This is just basic common sense. This is the way we have dealt with eyewitnesses for years and this is why the paper Zeta linked to called eyewitnesses COMPELLING AND INDISPENSABLE.

The problem here is, debunkers can't look at things like eyewitness accounts and close encounters with any logic or reason because they know they will find very strong cases with very credible eyewitnesses. In order to get around this, they make blanket statements that have nothing to do with reality or common sense.

Everyone knows that there will be some strong eyewitnesses and there will be some weak eyewitnesses and you just can't stuff all eyewitnesses into a box labeled unreliable.

We also weigh the credibility of the witness. We do this in all walks of life. If a Police Officer witnesses a crime, his testimony will be given weight because we know in his profession he's trained to pay attention to detail in stressful situations. I remember being in the Army and we would play these war games and have to dig foxholes. There would be all sorts of things going on around us and it was important that we paid attention to detail or are Battle Buddy could get shot during the games. Everyone doesn't go through this type of training and I was just a Specialist in the Army. I can imagine the training of Pilots and career Military personal. Of course, this doesn't mean their infallible but in this case like in many cases the debunker doesn't use common sense and they try to render all sightings by Pilots, Police Officers and Military Personal meaningless.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 03:04 PM
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EyesOpenMouthShut
reply to post by neoholographic
 


What if the lack of evidence for Bigfoot is because they pilot UFOs. :O
i know right, mind screw.


Bigfoot is real.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 




And it is also notoriously reliable, and therein lies the inherent problem with fallacies of oversimplification, or "argument by slogan".


I think you are right about this to a point. Its easy to dismiss witness testimony like this but there is some truth to it also. People are very good at distinguishing animals from people as you pointed out. But that is not what people are doing when they are witnessing something they have never seen before flying in the sky.

The courtroom analogy doesn't really fit. I brought up the paper about witness misidentifications to illustrate how real information can be applied in a real way instead of making dismissive statements. I think the point that is being missed is that there is a body of knowledge that shows how people misidentify UFOs for something else. There is no body of knowledge of people correctly identifying alien or interdimensional craft. Could someone correctly identify that they saw a previously unknown experimental aircraft? Sure. And that would be useful information also. And then there are the cases where people mistake unknown aircraft for UFOs. So there is all kinds of data that could be useful that is specific to "witnesses to UFOs". Saying that people can distinguish people from cats has absolutely no relation to how well people can identify unknown things flying in the sky.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by draknoir2
 



Bigfoot is real.

Bingo!

This is just basic common sense.
edit on 27-3-2014 by ZetaRediculian because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by ZetaRediculian
 


People also distinguish human males from human females with a high degree of reliability (cases like Pat notwithstanding), so it doesn't have to be as drastic a difference as a human vs. a critter. In how many cases has a man been wrongly convicted based on eyewitness misidentification, and the true perpetrator turns out to be female, or vice versa?

With UFO sightings, the most important detail is the nature of flight, followed by a general description of appearance. The strongest cases are the ones with multiple witnesses describing a certain flight maneuver that no publicly known aircraft or natural object can do, because at that point the description of the appearance doesn't even really matter. In the O'Hare case we have this, i.e., ~instant ~vertical acceleration from hovering to high velocity, and even leaving physical evidence of that maneuver in the form of a neatly vaporized column of cloud cover (i.e., a "hole punched in the clouds"). Not only can no publicly known aircraft do this, but no publicly known object of any kind can do this.
edit on 3/27/2014 by MaximRecoil because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 04:45 PM
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neoholographic This is just basic common sense. This is the way we have dealt with eyewitnesses for years and this is why the paper Zeta linked to called eyewitnesses COMPELLING AND INDISPENSABLE.

The problem here is, debunkers can't look at things like eyewitness accounts and close encounters with any logic or reason because they know they will find very strong cases with very credible eyewitnesses. In order to get around this, they make blanket statements that have nothing to do with reality or common sense.

Ad hominems are not basic common sense.



posted on Mar, 27 2014 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by MaximRecoil
 



People also distinguish human males from human females with a high degree of reliability

Guys make this mistake all the time. They just never admit it.

The point I am trying to make is that we should look at the data where people identify people and apply that to people identifying people. The point also being, there is actual data to look at where people see things in the sky that they report as being something entirely different than what it is. So people, as far as I know, don't mistake people for being metallic robots from another planet either. If we attribute people to being good witnesses like the way you think, then 3 witnesses seeing an alien kill someone should fly in a courtroom. Baring any other evidence would this be accepted as a closed case?

This is why I think the courtroom analogy doesn't work. We can go back and fourth with bizarre hypothetical examples, but that seems pointless. Why not look at how people actually misidentify things?



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