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NSF to ATS: You're Stupid!

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posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:01 PM
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I just wanted everyone to know that the National Science Foundation recently concluded that anyone who believes or has an active interest in the paranormal, UFOs, cryptozoology, fringe science, etc.:

a) lacks critical thinking skills

b) Is inable to make well-informed decisions

c) Probably shouldn't sit on a jury

d) Often confuses fact for fiction


At least, that's the general views expressed by the NSF (The group didn't mention ATS specifically, I was just inferring that from the paper).

www.nsf.gov...



Enjoy!

[edit on 31-8-2006 by behindthescenes]




posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:05 PM
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Probably shouldn't sit on a jury


Hey that's fantastic! I've actually got jury duty next week. I knew there were some good advantages to joining this site but never in a million years did I ever think it could get me out of jury duty.

Thank you ATS, thank you.

Spiderj



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:17 PM
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No jury duty! LOL.

I looked through the report and basically it was the usual complaining about scientific illiteracy combined with an elitist attempt to explain why most people cannot think as well as they can. Superstitious behavior,etc. Well, fine, thats their view about the best way to tackle the world problems and build a better world.

Now for my view: People who don't understand superstition, I believe, are detached from their own emotional well being. Thats the purpose of superstition. It doesn't compete with science, and as they see it as a competition, they are clearly blind to an orthogonal axis.

Its like back in the 1800s, when textbooks had sections about why dark skinned people couldn't think well. Only now its occupation, not skin color, and the NSF is publishing it. Embarassing.

Not everything superstitious is stupid. Believe it or not. Some of it can be quite emotionally healthy. Calling a psychic hotline might be the difference between contenment and being a scientist with hypertension.

I've now discussed the issue of the value of superstition. But there is a deeper problem with the writing in that report that deserves even more attention:

They claim fringe science is not scientific and should be labeled fiction.

It IS true that many superstitious people gravitate to the paranormal, and they lack the critical thinking skills and all that to do anything other than fall victim to scams.
The issue of scientific literacy and the role of superstition in the daily lives of people IS frightening. It IS true that this field has lots of wackos, fools, and easily duped people in it. Thats just the way it is. SO when they report on that, well, they are correct.

Yet to suggest that people's interest in the paranormal comes from an implicit irrational belief is disingenous. One does not follow from the other.

These people will literally use their own self-importance to try to talk you out of the experiences you clearly had in your own life.

That doesn't make it any less interesting or reasonable to study the field rationally and intellectually. If you are interested in TV UFO stories on the History Channel (assume well produced and honest., which is not always the case) because of pilot reports, you are a person with one of the critical skills required to be a scientist, curiosity. Not an irrational person who follows fiction.

HOW YOU PERSUE YOUR CURIOSITY DETERMINES IF YOU ARE A SCIENTIFIC THINKER OR NOT.

WHAT YOU PERSUE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

They went too far. They are zealots. And zealots almost always overstep rational bounds. Sadly, this report does so.

Thats just my 2 cents.

[edit on 31-8-2006 by Ectoterrestrial]



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:19 PM
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You should show up with a tin foil hat.




posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:21 PM
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Just claim that the accused is really a reptillian and if you could, you would spray him with Raid.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:29 PM
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Not only stupid, but dangerous, too.


I like how they lump every conceivable alternative viewpoint under the same umbrella -- everything is wrong except for what they say is right. How very... scientific... of them.

Good thing the US government doesn't believe in any of that junk! I'm sure the MK Ultra program was for entertainment purposes only.

Baack



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:31 PM
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Those who regularly watch shows like The X-Files, Unsolved Mysteries, Sightings, and Psychic Friends were significantly more likely than those who did not watch these programs to endorse paranormal beliefs (Sparks, Nelson, and Campbell 1997).[46]
Halfway down

It's things like this that annoy me. This DOES NOT support that these programs CAUSE the thinking, but that the programs are more likely to be watched by people WHO ALREADY HAVE AN INTEREST. Biased croc of poo. It's like saying that there are more seamstresses out there because they watch sewing project shows. Most women have picked up a needle and stiched long before they get into those programs. Yes, such shows do generate more interest in the field, but they can't show anything but kind flocks to kind.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:34 PM
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I use to respect the NSF.
After reading that though, I would'nt care if they were lined up
and shot.

I think the statements they made are dangerous ones to make,
especially about people not being able to make informed decisions.

Also, CSICOP is ome of the worst organisations out there,
there whole goal is to prove everything they don't believe to be false.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:42 PM
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Now hold on a minute.

Keep this in mind: There are people out there that insist that one particular segtment of a NASA video shows an object in space changing direction rapidly, when you can in fact see (from the original uncroppsed video) that the change in direction is from a change in camera zoom.

So when the NSF talks about people ignoring the facts to support their beliefs, well, I"m afraid they are 100% correct.

Where the NSF trips up is where the they start ignoring the facts to support their beliefs.

For example, if pilots report a UFO, and I become interested in their reports, I am clearly interested in the paranormal. Their report reads as if my interest in the pilot reports is because I am irrational. Clearly I am not. I merely am curious about the cause of the UFO sighting. They overstep their own bounds and fall into the same trap they described.

Doh.

[edit on 31-8-2006 by Ectoterrestrial]



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:42 PM
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a) lacks critical thinking skills

b) Is inable to make well-informed decisions

c) Probably shouldn't sit on a jury

d) Often confuses fact for fiction

I think that's pretty darn accurate as far as the people that bought into the Serpo B.S. are concerned. Or thermite at WTC, or Dragons at WTC, or Reptilians, or UFO's at WTC, etc. I see what you're saying, but I'm saying that theres a large part of the "conspiracy community" those 4 things apply or should apply to.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:47 PM
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Originally posted by WithoutEqual
a) lacks critical thinking skills

b) Is inable to make well-informed decisions

c) Probably shouldn't sit on a jury

d) Often confuses fact for fiction

I think that's pretty darn accurate as far as the people that bought into the Serpo B.S. are concerned. Or thermite at WTC, or Dragons at WTC, or Reptilians, or UFO's at WTC, etc. I see what you're saying, but I'm saying that theres a large part of the "conspiracy community" those 4 things apply or should apply to.


No, there is tremendous validity to what the NSF is saying. And yes, a good portion of those who attest to paranormal beliefs are more willing to believe in the extreme and more likely to dismiss a rational, scientific explanation for an event.

But as Ecto stated, they lump us all together instead of differentiating. And that's equally as wrong as the blanket statement that paper makes.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by behindthescenes

Originally posted by WithoutEqual
a) lacks critical thinking skills

b) Is inable to make well-informed decisions

c) Probably shouldn't sit on a jury

d) Often confuses fact for fiction

I think that's pretty darn accurate as far as the people that bought into the Serpo B.S. are concerned. Or thermite at WTC, or Dragons at WTC, or Reptilians, or UFO's at WTC, etc. I see what you're saying, but I'm saying that theres a large part of the "conspiracy community" those 4 things apply or should apply to.


No, there is tremendous validity to what the NSF is saying. And yes, a good portion of those who attest to paranormal beliefs are more willing to believe in the extreme and more likely to dismiss a rational, scientific explanation for an event.

But as Ecto stated, they lump us all together instead of differentiating. And that's equally as wrong as the blanket statement that paper makes.


I couldn't agree more, I was just pointing out how to a degree, the conspiracy community is it's own worst enemy. It shouldn't be that big of a suprise really, people are unfairly lumped together in other areas as well. Religion, Evolution, things of that nature. Same way everyone that believes something other than the govt's story about 9-11 is lumped together. It sucks.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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I would have to agree with WithoutEqual. On a daily basis there are people who consume and accept whatever is posted at face value seemingly disregarding how implausible or improbable pics, vids, or stories are presented.

This is not a blanket statement on ATS or its members the way I see it. There is a very wide range of positions and beliefs reflected on these forums and in particular here in the Aliens & UFO forums.

I'm not turned off or offended by their conclusions and have lost absolutely no respect for the NSA. I'll take factual scientific analysis of physical evidence over accounst, opinion, speculation any day. And in saying that, there is nothing wrong with keeping an eye out for that one in a quadrillion chance some physical evidence actually makes itself present.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:10 PM
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I largely agree with you Nullster, but I did lose a little bit of respect for the NSF

But fortunately, none of my funding FROM the NSF. (As long as I come up with good ideas and find realistic ways to evaluate them, they don't seem to criticize my scientific critical thinking skills.
)

The critical point here is that the article says things such as 'all paranormal shows should be labelled fiction' that point out that they

1. confuse the class of things explored through the scientific method with the class of things known as fact.
2. Confuse the class of things studied with the scientific method with the class of fact.
3. Confuse the class of speculation with the class of fiction

And so on. What they are really trying to do is create a world view in which science takes on the preeminent role in creating each person's world view. I can applaud that (but that is certainly not a complete human being despite what they might believe) and yet they seem to want to do things like demote hypothesis that does not fall under some NSF grant. Why? Are NSF funding proposals FICTION? Of course not. So take a speculative, yet honest, informative show about UFOs over Illinois being spotted by many police officers over Ohio. The show presents hypotheses, clearly labelled, about what the things might be. FICTION? I don't think so.

It doesn't add up. Something in their philosophy isn't adding up. And I think what is missing is that they want control of what is hypothesized. Sadly, I think thats the crux of it.

Now, with that control they would get rid of a lot of frauds, sheisters, foolish religion, and cult-worship self role-playing, and untested hallucination. But they would also restrict hypothesis to that which is readily testible. And that is a dangerous and foolish thing to do.

((Though I agree that many UFO documentaries are disgustingly perverted in how they use the audience and don't provide facts.))

At another point, they manage to describe all curiosity in the paranormal as illogical. Thats just nonsensical.

I can't see this report and maintain my current level of respect for the NSF, no matter how much I love the NSF and what it stands for.

Besides, I've seen really half-a**** projects get funded by the NSF in my time, so hey, they aint' perfect. In this case, they just funded an overzealous council that is playing fast and loose with philosophy. What else is new.

Seriously, if this is the Illumination, they have some serious inner illuminating to do.

New Secular Order turns into New Incremental Allowance

[edit on 31-8-2006 by Ectoterrestrial]



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by Ectoterrestrial
At another point, they manage to describe all curiosity in the paranormal as illogical. Thats just nonsensical.

Hypothesize for a moment, with me.
When curiosity becomes wrongirrational, what happens next?

I don't like thinking in that direction.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:25 PM
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I agree. I edited my second post the more I thought about it. I think they really want a kind of "hypothesis thought control" to try to improve the thinking skills of the masses.

If people freely illuminate and start thinking critically, well then, great. But to label the media and apply such control. I don't think thats wise.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:30 PM
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Originally posted by WithoutEqual
a) lacks critical thinking skills

b) Is inable to make well-informed decisions

c) Probably shouldn't sit on a jury

d) Often confuses fact for fiction


I see what you're saying, but I'm saying that there's a large part of the "conspiracy community" those 4 things apply or should apply to.



Couldn't the same thing be said of Christians, Conservatives, Democrats, and people in general. Why single out the "conspiracy community".

I personally see the conspiracy community as being more open minded and able to investigate anomalous events more logically than most of the groups I previously mentioned.

Also the NFS has a vested interest in promoting their narrow view of the universe and it's called FUNDING. Most academics are as intellectually constipated as other group think factions of our society.

Question Authority!!!



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by Ectoterrestrial


Keep this in mind: There are people out there that insist that one particular segtment of a NASA video shows an object in space changing direction rapidly, when you can in fact see (from the original uncroppsed video) that the change in direction is from a change in camera zoom.

So when the NSF talks about people ignoring the facts to support their beliefs, well, I"m afraid they are 100% correct.


In all fairness , that is only two segments of one of David Sereda's "Evidence: The case for NASA UFOs part 1 " 35:25 - 45:54 where for whatever reason Sereda misses the fact that the camera zooms. I don't think that really equates to people ignoring the facts to support their beliefs.

To be fair you can find people on both sides of the fence willing to ignore facts to support their beliefs, however those people do not negate the competent arguments made by those on both sides who are focused on the facts.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:34 PM
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Originally posted by Ectoterrestrial
I agree. I edited my second post the more I thought about it. I think they really want a kind of "hypothesis thought control" to try to improve the thinking skills of the masses.

If people freely illuminate and start thinking critically, well then, great. But to label the media and apply such control. I don't think thats wise.


There's an even more frightening elitism demonstrated here. Let's say there's an individual who truly believes they are being abducted on a regular basis by aliens from another planet. But this person holds a job, has a family, is productive in life, etc. He just holds this belief that one can neither prove or disprove (although on the surface, the common person would scoff at the notion).

My question is, can and should this person be selected for jury duty? The NSF seems to imply that, no, that person's judgement is impaired in some way because of his belief, and hence he shouldn't be in a position to decide something based on evidence.

Is this just me, or is that line of thought a real slippery slope? I mean, then why should we allow devote Christians on a jury? After all, they have no real physical evidence for Christianity other than written record and faith. Is a Christian's judgement impaired?

The overall problem with the NSF's paper is the blanket language used; it implies that anyone who loves reading paranormal literature, watch ufo documentaries, even attempt to do scientific inquiries into things that are potentially paranormal have a critical thinking deficit.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 03:41 PM
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how many times have you heard the phrase "you have to think outside the box" kinda ironic that scientist would say this because people are thinking outside the box.
But then again the uptight scientific community has always been against non-scientist thinking outside the box, that would be part of the reason why alot of them wont come forward because they know they would be excommunicated from the scientific community.



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