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NSF to ATS: You're Stupid!

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posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 12:32 AM
Hmmmm looks like an attack on religion to me.

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.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 12:42 AM
My major beef with the Chapter in question is with the assertion that UFOs are included and the article almost reads like an indorsment of all things CSICOP.

The UFO phenomena is a mystery that has played itself out in the Press and in Military circles in real time in recent history. The chapter addresses UFOs as if the Scientific Community has conclusively determined that UFOs do not exist and any opinion or "belief" to the contrary demonstrates a lack of critical thinking.

That could not be further from the truth. Despite CSICOP's objections and assertations the Scientific Community is more than willing to accept evidence of the unknown in form of UFOs.

In fact Ball lightning has been a topic of Scientific papers for several decades and UFO reports are the main evidence used by "Science" to hypothesis and theorize about the nature of Ball Lightning.

In the late 1990's Dr. Erling Strand was publishing Papers about Unknown Aerial Phenomena and the NSF article has no mention of this?

There is no mention of France's CNES UFO investigations "GEPAN/SEPRA". (Recently re-initiated as GEIPAN )

I'd go as far to say that whoever actually wrote the Chapter in question must feel awkward considering recent revelations such as the Brazilian Air Force ( FAB )admission last year that they have tracked UFOs in Brazilian Air Space since 1954. Or the more recent MoD CONDIGN Report that states in the first paragraph of the executive summary " That UAP exist is indisputable."

[edit on 1-9-2006 by lost_shaman]

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 12:57 AM
Are religious types considered similarly by the NSF?

I fail to understand how conspiracy theorists or just those who believe in some paranormal subjects like cryptozoology could be deemed less able to conduct their lives than those who believe in some form of contemporary mass accepted religion.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 01:32 AM
How pathetic. I believe, according to their criterion, every major scientific discovery over the last 500 years was made by people who 'lack critical thinking skills'. Most of the true forward thinking geniuses of science were ridiculed by the scientific priesthood of their day. The wright brothers were derided, Faraday was ridiculed, the list is long and illustrious. This NSF group can join the so called church fathers who attempted to silence Galileo for all I care. I guarantee also that the next major discovery will come from some area of what is now considered 'fringe' science. It couldn't be otherwise.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 01:50 AM
National Science Foundation is a shill for the feds.
While insulting they would say this about UFO/alien belief, it doesn't surprise me.
This is the same outfit that publishes dubious scientific "research" to justify
outlawing cancer and AIDS patients' access to medical cannabis.
Despite all of the other private and university study, the govt only parrots
the NSF talking points. So when they equate UFO study to the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, I just have to laugh. They say whatever their funding tells them to say.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 01:56 AM
Å vem bryyr se i va ni jänkar aschöl säger?!

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 02:31 AM

No that's not a reality , it is the fault of the article to associate a known "pseudoscience" "Astrology" with a true Scientific mystery. i.e UFOs.

I'm not trying to imply or willing to endorse anything but the obvious , the NSF "goofed" by including UFOs without justification in an otherwise sane and competent argument. A sane and competent argument that fails IMO because of the unjustified and "goofy" inclusion of UFOs that represent a true Scientific Mystery.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 04:08 AM

Originally posted by behindthescenes
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

This scares me more than it upsets me, to be honest with you.

All the things listed:"paranormal, UFOs, cryptozoology, fringe science, etc" would fall into a catagory of Science Fiction rather than Science Facts.

If this is true then their ignorance of history leaves much to be desired. Science Facts have always been preceded by Science Fiction, or how would an observer know to look for what he has never even contemplated as possible?

Silverback Gorillas were Science Fiction for hundreds of years according to Europeans, prior to them actually having the physical proof (because taking the word of African hethens was a sin).

The Manhattan Project while trying to make a nuclear bomb got the idea of using a chain reaction from a science fiction book written nearly 50 years earlier.

In a science fiction book written nearly 80 years prior to the moon launching, the author of the science fiction book chose not only America, but Florida for the launching, for the same reasons that NASA did, but long before NASA even existed, but they got the idea from Science Fiction, because it was not science fact, yet.

What of the grand discovery of gravity? Did Sir Isaac Newton discover it from observing an apple fall? Not really. He discovered many of the apects of gravity by noticing the apple fall, and then asked himself: "Why does the apple fall, but the moon does not?"

What of the Fish that was instinct for millions of years, and then was caught by fishermen off the southern coast of Africa. Was the NSF right when the fish was instinct? Yes, they were, until the fish was caught.

Dear NSF,

If given the choice to follow your beliefs, or the beliefs of Science Fiction, i will choose Science Fiction, as it has opened more doors than Scienc Fact. Which came first, Science Fiction or Science Fact?

Which came first Science Fiction or Science Fact?

In each and every case from the perspective of humanity, the answer is a resounding: Science Fiction has always preceded any and all Science Fact. There is no new future for Science Fact without "FRINGE SCIENCE", for how can one go from the known science to the unknown science without journeying to the FRINGE???

NSF is a bunch of dumb bastards who have forgotten from whence there own NSF came from!!!!

[edit on 1-9-2006 by Esoteric Teacher]

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:11 AM
Again, let me say that there are those in this world who take any belief to the extreme -- with subjects like UFOs, cryptozoology, conspiracy theory etc., all the way to religion and even philosophies of governing.

But it bothers me to think that just because I use my "critical thinking" skills to examine possible evidence pointing out other implications for 9/11, or that not all areal phenomena can be naturally occurring, as to yet unexplained, that I am unable to grasp scientific reasoning, unable to conduct my daily life and be a productive member of society, or even exercise my right as a U.S. citizen and sit on a jury.

It's these blanket conclusions that make the NSF document dangerous, although it just points out what the mainstream scientific community believes anyway.

And to those who pointed out that ATS took the document out of context when seen from the light of the subject -- not so. That document very much could be seen as NSF's statement of policy, which is why we're all perterbed and disappointed.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 09:27 AM
Funny, I thought that questioning the unknown was what science was about. Hmmmm. I guess Einstein, Tesla, and Edison were all fools for believing what was the unknown of their time. Didn't expect to hear this from the NSF.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 10:16 AM

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

a) I'd like them (NSF) to take my College Proficiency Exam on Critical Thinking, and see if they even get CLOSE to my score...
(I aced it)

b) we are talking about a bunch of guys who wear bow ties and are generally afraid to speak with girls...such are not well-informed decisions. Ok, so that's an ad-hominem fallacy attack, but then again, doubt the NSF would really even know what that means.

c) Or we might what? Let OJ loose?

d) You mean like the fact that the Ceolocanth was extinct for millions of years? Oh wait, one was found alive in the 70's. I guess we know who is confusing fact with fiction!

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 01:12 PM
I guess nobody got my humor.
The interesting part of that letter would be that the unable to make well-informed decisions blackmail nsf with some well-informed threats.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 04:01 PM
This is the quote that shocked me. Apparently, noone here can make "wise" "day-to-day decisions."

What really gets me about the entire article, is how they cite certain things, which have had studies, or statistics carried out, but for their wildest claims, such as difficulty in day-to-day decision making, they leave such footnotes out (because no such study exists.)

"Their beliefs may indicate an absence of critical thinking skills necessary not only for informed decision making in the voting booth and in other civic venues (for example, jury duty ), but also for making wise choices needed for day-to-day living."

I also just love the fact that the "scientific community" has come under recent flak, because it's becoming more and more apparent, that for years scientists have falsified data, reported inaccuracies, and a slew of other unethical, and certainly unscientific practices, because of the vicious competition for funding.

I am surprised, however, that they didn't include 'belief in a deity' as part of their little article.

Always remember... the "authoratitive 'scientific' community" at one time believed that the earth was flat, oh, and anyone who said otherwise was a heretic.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 04:31 PM

Originally posted by BlaznRob
I also just love the fact that the "scientific community" has come under recent flak, because it's becoming more and more apparent, that for years scientists have falsified data, reported inaccuracies, and a slew of other unethical, and certainly unscientific practices, because of the vicious competition for funding.

That's the bottom line. Cut through all the BS to that statement in boldface above. Not that I'm saying all scientist are bad or lazy, but there are likely more than a few who really enjoy working in fields that require little of them other than observation and testimony, safe in the almost elitist assumption that the ‘uneducated’ will have no choice but to accept their ‘enlightened’ interpretations of data.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 07:45 PM
All of the following quotes are from the article/assessment itself, which can be found (as linked to previously in this thread) here.

Does it matter if people believe in astrology, extrasensory perception (ESP), or that aliens have landed on Earth? Are people who check their horoscopes, call psychic hotlines, or follow stories about alien abductions just engaging in harmless forms of entertainment? Or, are they displaying signs of scientific illiteracy?

Why are these largely disparate topics painted into this assessment with such a broad brush? Is there any factual, scientific basis for the assumption that belief or interest in one of these phenomena makes one more likely to harbor a belief or interest in any of the others? Is this kind of generalization scientific in its approach?

Concerns have been raised, especially in the science community, about widespread belief in paranormal phenomena. Scientists (and others) have observed that people who believe in the existence of paranormal phenomena may have trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Their beliefs may indicate an absence of critical thinking skills necessary not only for informed decisionmaking in the voting booth and in other civic venues (for example, jury duty[38] ), but also for making wise choices needed for day-to-day living.[39]

The footnotes referenced in the above quote deal with [38] the importance of scientific scrutiny and critical thinking skills when one sits on a jury, and [39] the importance of science in sound judgment and decision making. It is not explained how belief or interest in any of the above outlined topics contributes to a lack or degradation of those factors.

Specific harms caused by paranormal beliefs have been summarized as:

a decline in scientific literacy and critical thinking;

the inability of citizens to make well-informed decisions;

monetary losses (psychic hotlines, for example, offer little value for the money spent);

a diversion of resources that might have been spent on more productive and worthwhile activities (for example, solving society's serious problems);

the encouragement of a something-for-nothing mentality and that there are easy answers to serious problems, for example, that positive thinking can replace hard work; and

false hopes and unrealistic expectations (Beyerstein 1998).

No examples or proof are provided which might demonstrate the links between belief or interest in the aforementioned topics and the harms outlined above. The lone link provided (Beyerstein 1998: "The Sorry State of Scientific Literacy in the Industrialized Democracies") will lead - with some googling - to an article that reads more like an opinion piece than anything else. The most concrete evidence presented in this article is a court case in which a judge ruled that chronic fatigue syndrome might not be psychological in nature, creating a precedent whereby others could make claims based on the various physiological hypotheses surrounding the syndrome. Recent studies, however, indicate a series of potential physiological pathogeneses for chronic fatigue syndrome, and the fact is that the jury is still out on the disorder. (To quote the FDA, "CFS is not caused by depression, although the two illnesses often coexist, and many patients with CFS have no psychiatric disorder." Source) Furthermore, the article never links that syndrome to the beliefs and interests dealt with in the NSF assessment. Is this scientific and unbiased?

The article also makes vague references to the "new age" belief that science is not always the best source of standards or empirical observations because of "relativism." Is it scientific to dismiss the fact that all observation is subject to interpretation by the human mind and therefore at least potentially fallible? Is it scientific to show such clear bias by generalizing any such notion or thought as "new age?"

For a better understanding of the harms associated with pseudoscience, it is useful to draw a distinction between science literacy and scientific literacy. The former refers to the possession of technical knowledge. (See "Understanding Terms and Concepts" in the section "Public Understanding of Science and Technology.") Scientific literacy, on the other hand, involves not simply knowing the facts, but also requires the ability to think logically, draw conclusions, and make decisions based on careful scrutiny and analysis of those facts (Maienschein 1999; Peccei and Eiserling 1996).

This paragraph would appear to endorse the time honored scientific process; however the entire assessment appears to be not wholly consistent with that process. There is no clearly described observational basis for the postulated link between all of the individual aforementioned phenomena, let alone their individual or collective links to the harms presented as being inherent in their appeal. There is no concrete evidence presented in support of any hypotheses that are summarized. There are no links to experimentation that overwhelmingly - or even persuasively, at least to my satisfaction - demonstrate evidence in support of those hypotheses. It reads like generalization at its best. Perhaps I am merely misinterpreting this assessment, but I see no persuasive reason to believe that.

Due to post length restrictions, I cannot continue without being cut short in the middle of subsequent paragraphs. The remainder of the assessment deals primarily with how common belief or interest in these topics is, and how the scientific community is attempting to combat what it portrays as rampant pseudoscience. I will conclude by saying that while I wholeheartedly agree that murky, ill defined areas of research such as those dealt with at ATS and elsewhere do naturally attract pseudoscientists and "less than critical" thinkers at times, no clear link is scientifically demonstrated to exist between interest or belief in those subjects, and the lack or degradation of scientific literacy or critical thinking skills in this NSF assessment.

posted on Sep, 1 2006 @ 08:33 PM

Originally posted by whaaa

P. you never cease to amaze me with your gems!! Wanna WATS

hey, thanks. sometimes i worry i only make sense in my own head.

AceWombat04, I agree with your position entirely; these people are laying claim to superhuman powers of objectivity, and I see no evidence to back up that claim.

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:17 AM
Albert Einstein once observed that, "the most beautiful thing that one can experience is the mysterious", and what was he referring to but the unexplained, the paranormal, fringe science? As has been pointed out previously in other posts, most if not all of the collossal advances in science and technology in our species' history have occurred because someone was trying to solve a scientific problem that previously had been deemed "pseudo-science".

It seems to me that over the last 30-40 years the scientific community has become more and more closed-minded to the understanding of the workings of the universe and more open to the supremely arrogant and elitest view that they have the "corner" on "True Science", while anyone with a more curious and thoughtful approach is considered a boob.

I am also a bit perturbed by the writer's repeated references to "Scientists, and others", as in, "Scientists and others believe..."; who are these others?Are they the true "man behind the curtain"?Are these "others" the ones pulling the strngs of the NSF? That might explain a lot, don't you think?

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 04:36 AM
The way I see things, it may be the guy who wrote the NSF article who lacks some critical thinking. I could imagine a situation where two people entered a room. A guy like the one who wrote the article for the NSF who doesn't believe in anything paranormal and one who does. They enter a house that people claim has evil spirits. They enter one room and suddenly they see small objects floating around. Then suddenly a guy in red seems to materialize out of thin air with a threatening pitch fork and speaks saying he's going to take them. The guy who believes in paranormal stuff who was cited for lacking critical thinking skills runs out of that place as fast as possible. Now the NSF guy stays, gets killed by the unknown entity and determines too late that he may have made a mistake.

If nothing bad happened to the NSF guy, the other guy would have used his nonexistent critical thinking skills to return (thinking it must be safe) and investigate further. The NSF guy is a bit shortsighted in my opinion.

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 05:26 AM

Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
What a load of crap. In fact, some of the greatest scientific minds in history also possesed either superstitions or paranormal beliefs, like Newton, Einstein, ect.

Maybe they should try and do some research themselves instead of claiming all paranormal as nonsense simply because it doesnt jive with their square views.

Everyday we learn and discover just how little we really know about everything. It is so called scientists like this who actually dampen and slow progress and discovery.

A real scientist fears not the powers of the unknown or superstition. he fears nothing but an end of discovery.

I agree. It is ignorance to believe that one knows everything. To group all non conventional thinking into one group is obvious ignorance and hypocritical thinking. I think you show how many of the greatest discoveries of our time come from those who had their own opinions despite the consequences. Imagine for a moment if Galileo had never been allowed to speak.

posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 10:25 AM

Originally posted by behindthescenes
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

My $.02. If the above is good enough for the White House, it's good enough for me!

Why, I remember the 1980's, when Nancy's astrology helped in WH decisions.

Seriously now...
Great reads in this thread. The motto of ATS is Deny Ignorance, and I certainly see that going on all the time here.

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