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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
First off I never claimed I had all of the answers so again the skeptic is trying to debate something that I never claimed.


Actually, you said the evidence points to only one explanation. You said the evidence only supports aliens or extradimensional beings. The evidence does not support that; even if you want to make the claim there is a non-human-intelligence behind it, you cannot say they are aliens. Because you do not know.


Originally posted by platosallegory
I'm still waiting for him/her to present the evidence and we can weigh it within reason.


He did. But you fail to realize, it's the same evidence you are presenting.




posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 03:33 PM
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Originally posted by RedCairo
reply to post by Xcalibur254
 


Abduction scenarios have been successfully recreated in laboratory situations by manipulating certain parts of the brain.


I know that's the popular myth, but this is not accurate by any means any objective review would accept.

First of all, the majority of what Persinger has been able to accomplish in the lab by mucking about with people's brains amounts to things like "I have the sensation my leg is crawling up the wall!"

After some time of those sorts of things leading to highly publicized theories about how "maybe this would explain alien abduction accounts!" a few of Persinger's subjects -- one was featured on a television special during an experiment, a young college man -- promptly began insisting that this was what they were experiencing during the experiment -- the young man in question with a grin and sneer on his face, in his delight; I have seen psychics with turbans I trusted the 'subjective reporting' from more than this subject.

There is no doubleblinding protocol in these experiments; all the reporting is fully subjective; nobody ever, EVER reported anything even remotely like 'alien abduction' in Persinger's work until it became highly publicized that perhaps his work could "explain away" abductions, at which point a small number of subjects began adamantly insisting this is what they were experiencing -- and sounding like people who watch too much TV.

I will do those who doubt this subject the honor of not insulting them by considering that evidence or lack of evidence either; regardless which side of the debate one is on, there's got to be data better than that.

I might add that I am not against the idea that the brain could even be a sort of 'doorway' to 'levels of perception' (for lack of better terminology) that might literally involve what we'd call an experiential reality.

I think some nexus where Persinger's work meets the McKenna's, for example, is a very interesting sort of idea.

I also think it's not impossible that our physiological definition of reality is learned as well as hardfiltered; in other words, that the amount of information our body is innately capable of physically perceiving is vastly greater than that information which we normally DO perceive consciously; and that potentially, chronic exposure to certain frequencies might cause some neurological side-effect where people's conscious awareness of certain information (vibrating energy, like anything else) may start to 'shift' so that it becomes more conscious for them.

I don't feel this would invalidate psychic functioning, abduction experiences, or other things often explained away with the idea of technology such as Persinger's; it's science, ALL legit data is good, it doesn't matter what the answer IS; only that there is a genuine quest for information that may lead to an answer eventually.

However, using the results of Persinger's trials as a magic wand to explain away detailed 'encounter' accounts from around the world and throughout time no less, is insufficient. It is my opinion that Persinger has devalued his own worthwhile work by his personal behavior regarding this subject, both its science and his role in media. I believe his work is fascinating and deserves better.

Best,
PJ


Great post.

Dr. Michael Persinger and Mckenna's work could be linked and that would be interesting but it's silly to try and use his work to explain abduction cases.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 



Hi there,

You or me cannot define what this protocole(s) have to be, but I really doubt that witness testimony even coming from officials & government is RELIABLE.

Check this out, here is a protocole that could be used but first in order to do so, a consensus has to be reached within the scientific community regarding this protocole :

adsabs.harvard.edu...

As you will see, this has nothing to do with witness testimony...


Cheers,
Europa






[edit on 18-3-2009 by Europa733]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733
reply to post by Malcram
 



Hi there,

You or me cannot define what this protocole(s) have to be,


Agreed, it is the phenomena which does that. If the protocols ignore the manner in which the phenomena presents itself then investigation is impossible (which is exactly what some people would prefer). The protocols need to be adapted to the phenomena and the evidence it presents, rather than insisting the phenomena fit the protocols. Protocols must be devised which fit the scientific method and the phenomena being investigated. That has not been done. It is done in every other field of investigation. But not with regard to ET/UFO's. Why?




but I really doubt that witness testimony even coming from officials & government is RELIABLE.


Would you say that the legal system and it's protocols are an expression of the 'scientific method"? If not, do you consider the legal system to be invalid and useless for establishing 'fact'? The legal system, does, of course, accept witness testimony as valid evidence that is used to constitute proof.




Check this out, here is a protocole that could be used but first in order to do so, a consensus has to be reached within the scientific community regarding this protocole :

adsabs.harvard.edu...

As you will see, this has nothing to do with witness testimony...


Thanks a lot for the link. I'll take a look. However, if it does not accept witness testimony, perhaps the protocols should be reworked, because witness testimony is at this stage one of the ways that the phenomena presents itself and the protocols need to fit the phenomena being investigated, in accord with the scientific method.


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


I stand by what I said:

What you tout as "evidence" is full of holes. It's evidence that people see UFOs, not that ETs exist and are visiting here.

No amount of evidence of that type will EVER constitute proof of UFOs.

How is saying that "bogus skepticism"?

Is wanting actual evidence that stands up to scrutiny too much to ask before I proclaim "I believe!" so bad?

I'm with the other "skeptics" here. All you (and a few others) are doing is attacking us because you have no coherent argument to counter our argument. There's no point arguing with people that don't listen, or choose to only when it suits them.

Well, as long as that's the case, and I think I speak for at least a few of the other "skeptics" here, we are not going to reply to posts of this type any more and get drawn into arguments that serve no purpose but to irritate everyone here.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 04:04 PM
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Originally posted by C.H.U.D.
reply to post by Malcram





I stand by what I said:

No amount of evidence of that type will EVER constitute proof of UFOs.

How is saying that "bogus skepticism"?


You stand by what you said? Really. Then why have you changed what you said! You actually said.



Evidence and proof are completely different things. No amount of evidence will ever constitute proof


And you repeated it in several posts to make your point perfectly clear. You did not say anything about 'type' of evidence until I proved your claim wrong and you then attempted to save face, as now, by pretending that wasn't what you really said. So you don't "stand by what you said" at all, rather you are again being dishonest. You are changing what you said and are pretending that is what you said earlier.



Is wanting actual evidence that stands up to scrutiny too much to ask before I proclaim "I believe!" so bad?


It wouldn't be, but you showed ZERO interest in the evidence that was presented to you before so, again, you are misrepresenting yourself. Your posts from the previous thread belie your claimed openness to evidence.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


In summing up what constitutes scientific evidence, during a symposium on unidentified flying objects sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, MIT physicist Philip Morrison remarked that the “absence of humans in the data link is [not] the criterion for good
evidence” (Morrison, 1969). While submitting that there are such criteria, he added that “from the point of view of drawing inferences about events, a witness is simply an extraordinary subtle and complex instrument of observation”.

I agree with this but I want to be humble and realistic with some of the questions you asked me, I'll just tell you that I cannot answer them, this is way too complicated for me as we also have a lack of referentials.

The "truth" is, nobody really knows how to study this "phenomenas" if indeed they have an extraterrestrial origin. Massimo Teodorani wrote 2 protocoles that I know of, but I cannot tell you at all if they are receivable or not, that is why I think that a consensus within the scientific community has to be reached. It's just a normal procedure.

We are just dealing with a very complex subject here.


Cheers,
Europa


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Europa733]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 05:44 PM
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Originally posted by Europa733

In summing up what constitutes scientific evidence, during a symposium on unidentified flying objects sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, MIT physicist Philip Morrison remarked that the “absence of humans in the data link is [not] the criterion for good evidence” (Morrison, 1969). While submitting that there are such criteria, he added that “from the point of view of drawing inferences about events, a witness is simply an extraordinary subtle and complex instrument of observation”.

I agree with this but I want to be humble and realistic with some of the questions you asked me, I'll just tell you that I cannot answer them, this is way too complicated for me as we also have a lack of referentials.

The "truth" is, nobody really knows how to study this "phenomenas" if indeed they have an extraterrestrial origin. Massimo Teodorani wrote 2 protocoles that I know of, but I cannot tell you at all if they are receivable or not, that is why I think that a consensus within the scientific community has to be reached. It's just a normal procedure.

We are just dealing with a very complex subject here


Thanks for posting those quotes Europa. I admire your open mindedness and understand your not addressing some of the questions I raised directly. As you say, this is a complex issue. And I take it from your response to the Morrison quote you posted that you do see the legal system and it's protocols regarding evidence, including the acceptance of witness testimony, to be a valid expression of the 'scientific method', appropriate for the particular field of investigation it was designed for, and valid in using such evidence to constitute "proof" and "fact". ("Proof. The establishment of a fact by the use of evidence." - West's Encyclopedia of American Law.)

Indeed, Society is prepared to accept that this particular expression of the scientific method known as the Legal System is justified in imposing the harshest penalties, based on cumulative evidence such as witness testimony, photographs, and so on. We are prepared to deny people their freedom and even in some cases their lives based on such evidence legitimately constituting "proof". And yet, when it comes to the ET/UFO debate, an issue without such grave consequences attached, but merely an issue of establishing fact, suddenly such evidence - or all available evidence - is somehow supposedly inadmissible, despite it being some of the main ways in which the phenomena presents itself.

I'm not sure I agree that we don't know how to study this phenomena. The phenomena itself dictates this, as always, I believe. I think, rather, that you were right when you indicated that we can't agree how to investigate it. And I think we can't agree - after 60 odd years - not because it's not clear how to investigate it, but because the result of such an honest public investigation would likely be so paradigm shattering that many - within the scientific community and within government as well as some of the general public - are actually not prepared to allow such a thorough investigation to proceed. The evidence is already available, enough to constitute "proof", in my opinion. But they, for various reasons, are not ready to honestly investigate it, and so the truth must wait.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 05:47 PM
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Quite a few pages of arguing on How to argue.

Will it change anything at all?


NOPE



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:03 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


i think you discount the diffirences between the ufo scene and the crime & justice arena. The ufo field is an industry and contains alot of players. Some are honest but im afraid alot are not. Whether you perceive it as such its a form of entertainment too.

Crime & justice is serious business. Its not done for fun we dont get tons of dishonest witnesses. Theres not many hoaxes in a court of law.

So i think your trying to compare 2 diffirent things. People would be willing to hoax a ufo but not many would hoax a court of law. People can tell tall stories and get attention in ufology. Almost nobody would walk into a court of law and do the same to send someone to prison.

Unfortunately theres alot of bunk ufology. 7 foot aliens in the shuttle docking bay , soul catchers on the moon etc



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:14 PM
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Originally posted by yeti101
reply to post by Malcram
 


i think you discount the diffirences between the ufo scene and the crime & justice arena. The ufo field is an industry and contains alot of players. Some are honest but im afraid alot are not. Whether you perceive it as such its a form of entertainment too.

Crime & justice is serious business. Its not done for fun we dont get tons of dishonest witnesses. Theres not many hoaxes in a court of law.

So i think your trying to compare 2 diffirent things. People would be willing to hoax a ufo but not many would hoax a court of law. People can tell tall stories and get attention in ufology. Almost nobody would walk into a court of law and do the same to send someone to prison.

Unfortunately theres alot of bunk ufology. 7 foot aliens in the shuttle docking bay , soul catchers on the moon etc


I understand the differences, just as I understand the difference between investigating the ET/UFO phenomenon and investigating sub atomic particles. That's why I said the UFO investigation was unique, as all fields of investigation are. My point is that I also recognize the similarities where they occur. And, where they occur, there are lessons to be learned from these other disciplines as to how to deal with the evidence.

And what makes you think there aren't many hoaxes in court cases? There are hoaxes in almost every court case. There is a truth to a court case but both the defence and the prosecution will be arguing that they alone are presenting it. One of their cases is necessarily flawed and in some cases actually fraudulent, because most guilty people profess innocence, and lie, and create false alibis, and lying witnesses are presented, others make false accusations, and so on. This is why they cross examine etc. So the similarities are startling, actually. And there is no reason why the UFO evidence cannot be subjected to a similar procedure as part of an appropriate scientific method.

Of course the evidence considered would have to be of the highest quality and credibility and just because there are hoaxes does not mean that there isn't also a core of extremely high quality evidence of all types.


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:16 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


well yes of course the people trying to get off will lie lol but we dont get many false witnesses trying to send somone down for a "laugh"


good evidence i think is hard to come by in ufology.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by yeti101]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:28 PM
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Originally posted by yeti101
reply to post by Malcram
 


well yes of course the people trying to get off will lie lol but we dont get many false witnesses trying to send somone down for a "laugh"

of course theres doshonesty and miscarriages of justice. But its not the norm. I cant say the same for ufology.


[edit on 18-3-2009 by yeti101]


I doesn't matter why someone would lie in court, the point is that they do and it happens in a great many court cases, just as there are a great many UFO hoaxes. We don't say "Oh no, many witnesses and defendants lie you know. We better just shut the courts" LOL. And I didn't mention "miscarriages of justice". I'm sure there are relatively few, because we have the protocols in place to deal with the courtroom equivalent of "hoaxers", courtroom liars, of whom there are some in almost every case. The point is we are happy to trust the scientific method applied in the legal system to do a reasonable job of dealing with this through appropriate protocols. The same can be done with UFO evidence.

Also, to establish that there are SOME ET Piloted craft in our skies we don't have to wade through every photograph and video or the testimony of every abductee and UFO eye witness etc. We don't need to consider the flawed and tenuous evidence, because we already know that there are some hoaxes. Nobody disputes that. All we need do is take the very best, most credible evidence, and investigate that.


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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reply to post by Malcram
 


yeah but the evidence isnt that strong for the ET hypothesis.

if you could point to 1 piece of evidence to convince someone that the ET theory is the best, what would it be?



[edit on 18-3-2009 by yeti101]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:32 PM
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Originally posted by Seany
Quite a few pages of arguing on How to argue.


Which is kind of the point. Some here want a rhetorical knee-capping of skeptics, so that can be be no questioning, no criticism, or alternative viewpoints expressed; they wish to design it so when any are expressed, they can derail the discussion by attacking the personality of a skeptic rather than the argument.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by yeti101
reply to post by Malcram
 


yeah but the evidence isnt that strong for the ET hypothesis.



LOL. The high quality evidence for the ET hypothesis is of greater abundance and weight than has ever appeared in any courtroom. I suggest you do some more research.

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by yeti101
reply to post by Malcram
 


if you could point to 1 piece of evidence to convince someone that the ET theory is the best, what would it be?



[edit on 18-3-2009 by yeti101]


I wouldn't do that because it's not part of the scientific method. I'd consider someone looking for "1 piece of evidence to convince" to be lazy and insincere in their interest.

Your question represents the investigative equivalent of "speed dating".


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
You did not say anything about 'type' of evidence until I proved your claim wrong and you then attempted to save face, as now, by pretending that wasn't what you really said. So you don't "stand why what you said" at all, rather you are again being dishonest. You are changing what you said and are pretending that is what you said earlier.




Then what's this?


Evidence and proof are two very different things. Evidence is evidence, and proof is proof. No amount of evidence will ever constitute 'proof',especially when it's as weak and full of holes as most evidence for UFOs is.

post here

And numerous times after that.

Stop trying to lie and distort your way out of this.

But at least people can see who is the real "disinformation agent" here.

Welcome to my ignore list.



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 


I can't believe you are continuing with this C.H.U.D. We've been through all this in the other thread, but if you insist on doing it again here, so be it .The quote you post directly refutes you. You made three points:

1) You said



"Evidence and proof are two very different things. Evidence is evidence, and proof is proof".


Which I proved absolutely wrong:




""proof (prf)
n.
1. The evidence or argument that compels the mind to accept an assertion as true." - The Free Dictionary Online (and other references)


2) You said:




"No amount of evidence will ever constitute 'proof'


Which you restated for crystal clarity:




"Evidence is like cow manure. You can build up a huge pile of it, but no matter how much you build up, it still won't turn into gold (proof).


Which I proved absolutely wrong:




"proof   [proof]
–noun
1. evidence sufficient to establish a thing as true, or to produce belief in its truth.
2. anything serving as such evidence: - Dictionary.com


Legal Definition of Proof

Proof.
The establishment of a fact by the use of evidence. - West's Encyclopedia of American Law.



3) Then you added




Especially when it's as weak and full of holes as most evidence for UFOs is.


You said, to paraphrase. "No amount of evidence will ever constitute proof. They are unrelated. Completely separate. No matter how much evidence you gather you will never be able to prove it. And, in any case, even if evidence could constitute proof, the evidence you have is worthless"

You did not say that evidence did constitute proof but the evidence you have is not sufficient, nor did you say evidence can indeed constitute proof but it has to be of good quality. Rather. you attempted to stall the whole premise of the When does Evidence become Proof? thread by jumping in and answering the question with the proclamation, "Never! No way, no how!" and then repeating it. And now, as then, because your claim was completely refuted, you are trying to squirm your way out of it, pretending you actually said something else, rather than do the honest thing and just say "Yeah, fair enough, I was wrong to make that claim".

[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 18 2009 @ 07:46 PM
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reply to post by C.H.U.D.
 



And how do we know for an absolute cast iron certainty that what you said above does not mean what you now falsely claim it means? Because MArrsAttax responded to your first comment above by asking you directly "So what is proof if not the sum of the evidence?" And you responded to him directly with the reply noted above, your cow BS quip, in which you dismissed his factual comment by again explicitly claiming of evidence, "no matter how much you build up, it still won't turn into proof".

Now, we were actually having a decent debate here at last regarding the scientific method and it's application to the ET/UFO issue, before you dragged your tired face saving lies from the other thread into here C.H.U.D. Can we get back to the debate now? Or is derailing debates about legitimate evidence and illegitimate pseudoskepticism your intent?


[edit on 18-3-2009 by Malcram]



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