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When does evidence become proof?

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posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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This thread is for believers and skeptics alike and is intended primarily as a bit of fun but hopefully you will see there is a serious question that I'm asking - at what point does evidence turn into proof of a phenomenon?

Imagine if you will that people have started reporting seeing dragons, previously thought to be only mythical creatures. Consider the following scenarios:



    1. Someone in the pub tells you they believe in dragons because a friend of a friend has seen one.

    2. Two policemen tell you how they saw a dragon fly over their squad car.

    3. A policeman reports how he came across a dragon that had landed in the desert which then took off. The dragon left footprints and burned brush at the scene, which were photographed.

    4. Your friend in the pub tells you he has now also seen a dragon.

    5. You read a book describing how the US army captured a dragon in the fifties but covered it up. The book contains witness testimony from hundreds of people including a doctor who says he handled some of the dragon’s scales.

    6. You hear of a young Australian pilot who radioed in to say a dragon was flying over his plane. The radio cut off and no trace of the pilot or his plane was ever found.

    7. A picture comes to light of the US Army firing at a dragon above a major city.

    8. An astronaut reveals in his biography how he personally saw dragons flying over his air base when he was an air force pilot.

    9. A group of friends witness a dragon that overpowers and makes off with one of them. The poor unfortunate goes missing for 5 days after which he is found in a confused state and claims to have been taken to the dragon’s lair. The group are given polygraph exams which they all pass.

    10. Thousands more people across the world claim to have been abducted by dragons.

    11. Dragons are captured on air radar at he same time as being visually spotted by witnesses on the ground.

    12. People in Russia report a dragon landing in their town and walking around the local park before flying off.

    13. A man later elected to the office of President of the United States of America describes how he witnessed what he believed was a dragon.

    14. Hundreds of pilots, both civilian and military, report seeing dragons flying in the air with them.

    15. Retired military officers break silence to claim that dragons are real and that the US government is aware of the fact.

    16. Several nations begin releasing previously classified files detailing encounters between military, law enforcement agents, ordinary citizens and dragons.

    17. The US government announces dragons are real and show a live captured dragon on the news.

    18. You see a dragon with your own eyes.




My question to you is this: at what point would you accept that dragons are real?




[edit on 9/3/2009 by MarrsAttax]




posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


#18



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:00 PM
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As Learhoag said (starred). The saying "seeing is believing" is so very true for nearly all human knowledge/theory. There are always exceptions depending on the individual and how open they are to 'dragons.'



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:07 PM
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I'd be giving it great weight at 11.

Second line, eh?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:11 PM
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At what point turns evidence become proof?
- When it's seeable + hearable: either LIVE footage, by others and myself
- When it's measurable
- When one can TOUCH it
- When one can take samples of blood, skin etc
- When pictures and footage are flooding the world, web included


When DO I believe? I DO believe but that kind of believing isn't part of this 3-D/4-D world



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by Learhoag
 


I guess I walked into that one with such a closed question but people should feel free to expand on their answers - this is a discussion forum after all


Personally speaking I'd go with #16 (probably no surprise to you there). For me each scenario in isolation can be discounted but when put together they become harder to ignore.

Can you think of no other scenario where you would believe other than seeing for yourself? What if members of your family told you they had seen one?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:26 PM
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I think true skeptic will always pick 18.
But you got to laugh at them when they keep refering to NASA as their source of fact to what is supposed to be.
Taking what NASA says without seeing it with their own eyes.
Claim photoshop or movie editor to ufo clips.Easy to do for that,then alot easier for NASA to do.

I would of been an 18 some years back but having had seen with my own 20/20.Now know that this planet is not alone with life in the big black ocean.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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With the ever increasing number of hoaxes out there, even more with the advent of the Internet and Digital photography, I have to admit I have become quite cynical.

What that being said I would have to say #18 for me.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
at what point does evidence turn into proof of a phenomenon?


It's headed in the right directions when we're actually able to get an idea of what specific phenomenon we talking about it proving. A real photo of a flying saucer is evidence, but what is it proof of? Government black projects, aliens, time travelers, angels, thought forms?

At the very least, we should be able to look at a piece of evidence and say, "This is evidence of (this specific thing)." Too bad we don't have anything like that.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 06:50 PM
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While it would have been nicer, maybe, to offer an expanded reply, this is not the kind of post that requires expansion.

I'm a skeptic, an open-minded one who has seen and videotaped UFOs.

But being a skeptic automatically makes me question claims not supported by evidence. Numbers 1 to 17 are hearsay and they are, therefore, unacceptable to me to make a commitment.

Only #18 satisfies my need for when I experience something or am offered irrefutable evidence will I accept it as (possibly) real.

You can be the most honest person in the world and wouldn't think of tricking me with an out-of-this-world tale. But whatever you tell me will have to sit in the back of my mind and not given any weight to until I experience the same thing. Then we can compare notes.

BTW, #9: passing a polygraph test is meaningless as quite a few criminals have passed such tests denying they were criminals when the evidence against them was overwhelming. Mafiosos, for example.


Originally posted by MarrsAttax
reply to post by Learhoag
 


I guess I walked into that one with such a closed question but people should feel free to expand on their answers - this is a discussion forum after all


Personally speaking I'd go with #16 (probably no surprise to you there). For me each scenario in isolation can be discounted but when put together they become harder to ignore.

Can you think of no other scenario where you would believe other than seeing for yourself? What if members of your family told you they had seen one?


[edit on 9-3-2009 by Learhoag]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 07:01 PM
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I would have to disagree with everyone that #18 is where you consider something to be real..

For example I have never seen a shark with my own eyes, does that mean they are not real??

I suspect we can all think of some animal that we have not seen with our own eyes that we know is real and in existence..

I think it would be a combination of a lot of those points and an accepted belief within society that dragons were real that would make me belief in them even if I have not seen one with my own eyes..

As for UFO's they are only UFO's until they are identified.. which is why they will remain mostly a mystery.. until I think a government puts there hands up and says it was us.. or it was them.. or both.. which is not likely to happen as they can use the UFO phenomena to cover up black projects.. as for NASA they see it.. all you got to do is look at the footage.. some of the astronauts reports that are finally coming out.. still we all don't believe.. so going back to the original question when do we believe.. I think some things are easier to believe then others.. and maybe there are some things the masses just don't want to believe..

interesting spin using dragons.. like it!!!



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 07:29 PM
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Your reply using a shark seems, on one hand, to be a good point in countering #18. But we're not talking about anything in creation that is known, and sharks are definitely known. But dragons are strictly in the fantasy realm and I doubt very much if in my lifetime a real dragon will be found. Cealacanths, gorillas, and other "extinct" and unknown animals are fair game and should have been used instead of dragons.

Dragons may have been thought as real in the old days (ancient) because various skeletons were mixed togethr and the result was of unbelievable creatures. But once palenteologists got it together, skeletons were put together with more care and knowledge. So far, dragon skeletons have not been found. ONE will be the evidence required. With wings of course.


reply to post by nosmokinggun
 



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 07:34 PM
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The "#18 effect" would be on something that would drastically change my view of the world.

If scientists discovered a strange fish in the congo, I would be more likely to believe any of the #'s on that. Unless it's existance would alter the status quo or what I currently believe, and then I would need #18.



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by Learhoag
But being a skeptic automatically makes me question claims not supported by evidence. Numbers 1 to 17 are hearsay and they are, therefore, unacceptable to me to make a commitment.


#11 is much more than circumstantial evidence.


11. Dragons are captured on air radar at the same time as being visually spotted by witnesses on the ground.


Certainly radar doesn't identify the object it only measures a very small set of characteristics (altitude, distance, speed, rough size approximation, etc) and confirms the existence of an airborne solid (ignoring inversions and scatter). However, if the characteristics it measures don't fit with any presently known identifiable objects it lends strong credibility to the witness's testimony.

This leads me to an interesting question.

Do you or don't you believe there are gas giants in other solar systems? What's your basis for this opinion? If you base it off current scientific technology you're basing your belief on the data results from multi-object spectrometers and our knowledge that CO2 has a unique infrared spectral signature.

In many ways this is even more speculative than the proof provided by #11. With #11 we have an additional data point. We have human testimony to verify the radar was working properly and to fill in details that couldn't be ascertained by the radar. Likewise the radar allows us to determine whether or not the witness is confabulating details and to ascertain the accuracy of the persons' guesstimates.

What makes UFOs (sorry breaking ranks from the dragon analogy) such a provable phenomenon is that these objects have not only been tracked by active radar, they've been picked up on passive (meaning whatever these things are they're emitting a electro-magnetic beam), they've been tracked by theodolites, magnetometers, and a whole range of other instruments.

So really the only question left is, what the hell are these things and how can we test our hypothesis?



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by MarrsAttax
 


BTW, excellent thread. Not long after reading the Why do you believe in alien UFOs thread, as a curiosity, I started breaking people down in to categories.

Overwhelmingly it seems like people believe in aliens because they've seen one or they've witnessed a craft that's of obvious non-terrestrial origin. Abstracting the various reasons why people believe in ETH I came up with three high-level categories:

  1. Evidence
    1. scientific data - requiring an abundance of data with less focus on circumstantial, witness testimony.
    2. tangible evidence - evidence in the form of a craft, lifeform, etc.

  2. Appeal to authority
    1. trustworthy source told me - parents, friends, authoritative acquaintance in related field, inter-personal relationships play an important role in shaping peoples views due largely to built-in trust.
    2. whistleblowers - no description needed.
    3. current authority - people who wait for official government announcement, or recognition of the phenomenon from academia.

  3. Internal confirmation
    1. saw one - as they say, seeing is believing
    2. logical disposition - people who are compelled by a belief logic (ie/ the size of the universe is infinite, therefore the universe must have many lifeforms). While its good to have a guiding principle to help steer research, it lacks material substance and therefore has to be considered similar to religious ideology (ie/ rare earth theory contradicts the "abundant life" theory and may be just as probable). Thus belief logic is foremost belief, logic is secondary.
    3. faithers - people who choose to believe for no other reason than they want to.

This data strongly suggests the best way to convince others of the phenomenon is to find ways to make people aware of sightings occurring in their vicinity.

[edit on 10-3-2009 by Xtraeme]



posted on Mar, 9 2009 @ 09:22 PM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
This thread is for believers and skeptics alike and is intended primarily as a bit of fun but hopefully you will see there is a serious question that I'm asking - at what point does evidence turn into proof of a phenomenon?

Imagine if you will that people have started reporting seeing dragons, previously thought to be only mythical creatures. Consider the following scenarios:



    1. Someone in the pub tells you they believe in dragons because a friend of a friend has seen one.

    2. Two policemen tell you how they saw a dragon fly over their squad car.

    3. A policeman reports how he came across a dragon that had landed in the desert which then took off. The dragon left footprints and burned brush at the scene, which were photographed.

    4. Your friend in the pub tells you he has now also seen a dragon.

    5. You read a book describing how the US army captured a dragon in the fifties but covered it up. The book contains witness testimony from hundreds of people including a doctor who says he handled some of the dragon’s scales.

    6. You hear of a young Australian pilot who radioed in to say a dragon was flying over his plane. The radio cut off and no trace of the pilot or his plane was ever found.

    7. A picture comes to light of the US Army firing at a dragon above a major city.

    8. An astronaut reveals in his biography how he personally saw dragons flying over his air base when he was an air force pilot.

    9. A group of friends witness a dragon that overpowers and makes off with one of them. The poor unfortunate goes missing for 5 days after which he is found in a confused state and claims to have been taken to the dragon’s lair. The group are given polygraph exams which they all pass.

    10. Thousands more people across the world claim to have been abducted by dragons.

    11. Dragons are captured on air radar at he same time as being visually spotted by witnesses on the ground.

    12. People in Russia report a dragon landing in their town and walking around the local park before flying off.

    13. A man later elected to the office of President of the United States of America describes how he witnessed what he believed was a dragon.

    14. Hundreds of pilots, both civilian and military, report seeing dragons flying in the air with them.

    15. Retired military officers break silence to claim that dragons are real and that the US government is aware of the fact.

    16. Several nations begin releasing previously classified files detailing encounters between military, law enforcement agents, ordinary citizens and dragons.

    17. The US government announces dragons are real and show a live captured dragon on the news.

    18. You see a dragon with your own eyes.




My question to you is this: at what point would you accept that dragons are real?




[edit on 9/3/2009 by MarrsAttax]


Remember, puff was magic and magic is illusion.

No doubt you've seen what you've seen. I've seen a dragon hover right over downtown san diego in the afternoon breathing fire onto the city in blue streaks. It was burnt orange, which I mistook for the sun until I realized the sun was over my head and the fact that this dragon was moving toward me.

I ran into my house to grab a camera, this was the first dragon I've seen, but by the time I got back outside, it had flown away.

These dragons are seen all the way back to Egypt. They are pictured on the head of horus. They are stars, real ones, not the ones you are told to believe in your whole life, but actual living stars, which station themselves every night.

Peace



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 12:18 AM
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Even when it comes to #18, "belief" must be tempered. I have seen things with my own eyes which turned out to be very different than I originally perceived. Yes, indeed, our own eyes can be fooled.

I vote for a "preponderance of evidence" criterion for essaying the validity of "dragons" or what-have-you. Keeping an open mind is key.

Equally important is the reservation of absolute judgment, even in the face of mountains of "evidence". The very foundations of our belief structures must be continuously held in a critical light, lest they deteriorate into dogma.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 01:34 AM
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First and Foremost, Xtraeme, your post was exactly what I came to this thread to say. Very well put!

So I'll pick up right where you left off...



Originally posted by Xtraeme
#11 is much more than circumstantial evidence.

Certainly radar doesn't identify the object it only measures a very small set of characteristics (altitude, distance, speed, rough size approximation, etc) and confirms the existence of an airborne solid (ignoring inversions and scatter). However, if the characteristics it measures don't fit with any presently known identifiable objects it lends strong credibility to the witness's testimony.


Exactly, and that's just one of many actual pieces of evidence present in the Battle of LA Case...


Originally posted by Xtraeme
So really the only question left is, what the hell are these things and how can we test our hypothesis?


Exactly again. And this is a question that Science can answer.

The OP's question, when does Evidence becomes Proof, Science also answers.

According to the Scientific Method:
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

Source: physics.ucr.edu...

In step 4, the method speaks of results, and modifying your hypothesis if it does not fit the results. This is the HUGE step I see many alleged 'skeptics' knowingly refuse to take.

The 'results' = evidence.

So in brief (using the Battle of LA as an example for clarity)
One hypothesis is that the UFO was a Weather Balloon
IF the UFO is proven on Radar travelling at over 300mph, and no machine built by man at the time (1942) had the capabilities shown by the UFO (speed being just one such capability...) THEN one's Hypothesis (in this case weather balloon) must be changed in order to fit the evidence or results of the experiment.

In a case like the Battle of LA, I've held up EVERY conceivable earthly explanation, and none of these hypotheses fit the observed evidence in the case.

This leads us (in a wierd way) back to Step 3 of the Scientific Method, making predictions based upon your hypothesis. These predictions must prove out in further experiments (or in holding the hypothesis up against other factors/observed evidence from the event in an unrepeatable event like the battle of la...).

So what we're faced with here, is a essentially a scenario where the best hypothesis, that fits with the observed evidence in the case, is in fact an Alien Spaceship from another world.

Where does this become proof? Well Science calls it proof when the hypothesis can be subjected to repeated experiments, all producing the same result. At this point, until/unless evidence to the contrary arises, the Theory or Hypothesis has met the standards of 'proof' according to mainstream science.

So, while I cannot offer you a piece of Alien DNA, for example, or whip out a piece of a flying saucer to 'prove' to you the existence of Alien life visiting our world, I Absolutely Can offer you proof in the form of a Hypothesis, that has been subjected to the observed and documented evidence and stands up to scrutiny. The tests I've done to test this Hypothesis (that the UFO was technology from another world) were extensive, and most importantly they are repeatable.

Any of you reading this can click the link in my signature, and read the thread. You will see in the first post, my Hypothesis. You will see pages of supporting evidence and documentation in national newspapers, radio, etc. You will see the tests I used to test my Hypothesis well outlined (speed of the object, size of the object, hovering capabilities of the object, photographic evidence (analyzed at this point beyond reasonable doubt) of the object blocking photons of light, the list goes on and on...

They are repeatable tests, that anyone can repeat for independent verification. These tests are passed by the Alien Spaceship Theory, and NOT by anything Earth had in 1942.

That, in my humble opinion, is what Science would call a textbook proof. And frankly until/unless evidence disproving the established proof arises, then the proof stands.

A Star for Xtraeme, and a Star for the OP for asking an interesting question a lot of people are unclear about!

-WFA



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 01:58 AM
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I am a believer myself. Nut if you are asking for others to belive i "dragons" you would need a smoking gun. A real life "dragon" and a "dragons lair" If perhaps i see the dragon, It is not proof to anyone but myself. The way i see this is there are gonna be non-believers until you have a real life sragon that states "I AM A DRAGON" then a scientist kills him and researches all the vitals and the scientist confirms "HE WAS A DRAGON" Until then there will be no "Mass proof" only individual.
#18 yes i believe i have
Before i was skeptic.



posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 02:29 AM
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I would say Number 17(with a twist)..The only twist would be that they would actually let people come in and view it with their own eyes and touch it with their own fingers. Seeing it on the news isnt good enough.
If the government however announced that it was real, and provided proof enough to show me enough that I can verify with all senses, than I would say its real.



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