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The Skeptics Dilemma

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posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:36 AM
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Just thought I'd throw a question into the mix.

Is it possible for a phenomenon to be real and yet not provable by scientific method?

It may be in the nature of the UFO phenomenon that it actively resists scientific scrutiny.

Science is good at telling us how physical processes work. They are observable and repeatable. But what if the phenomenon under study was intelligent and being deliberately deceptive in order to hide its true nature? Science thrives on data but if that data is being deliberately withheld or selectively released how could science ever come to a true conclusion?




posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax
Is it possible for a phenomenon to be real and yet not provable by scientific method?


I think the best answer to this is to refer you to Sagan's "dragon in the garage" parable. If there is no possible way to test the phemenon, it leaves us in a neutral position.


Originally posted by MarrsAttax
But what if the phenomenon under study was intelligent and being deliberately deceptive in order to hide its true nature?


While it may be possible, this kind of thinking lends itself to circular reasoning.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex




You missed the operative statement.



No, the operative statement was an example of your doing exactly what you claimed only the narrow minded at ATS do, which is to take sides and make proclamations regarding the supposedly unique faults of the 'other side', such as when you said of mockery and ridicule en masse: "this particular activity is endemic only to the believers."




You've been here all of a week. Hardly enough time to declare ATS rife with anything.


Is this an example of how you conduct 'research', even when the evidence is a mere four inches from your nose? I have been a member at ATS for a year and have been reading here for several years. My first posts were made last year. So why are you repeating this little that mantra that I "have only been here a week"?



Explain how it is hollow? You have done nothing but dismiss it out of hand, saying by concerns are invalid by virtue of them existing. This makes no sense.


Your concern that the label 'Bogus Skepticism" might be applied ad hominen rings hollow because you have used that tactic yourself in this thread - and indeed in your last post - when you claimed to know the supposedly hidden motivations of other members in referring to 'Bogus Skepticism'. You attack our supposed motivations rather than the definition of 'Bogus Skepticism' itself. That is ad hominem.




The fact you are so concerned about defining what skeptics are allowed to do is proof


No, Society is concerned with defining what skeptics are "allowed to do", the scientific community is concerned with what skeptics are "allowed to do", which is why the designation "bogus skepticism" arose in the first place. You just don't want it used here. There are rules to the scientific method and to a fair and honest investigation, when they are not followed then that needs to be identified and noted. Thus phrases like 'pseudo science' and 'bogus skepticism' appear, as an indicator that these rules are not being followed. Now I have no problem if you or other skeptics follow the appropriate rules of the scientific method and fair and honest investigation or not. But, if not, I just prefer to call a spade a spade, and call bogus skepticism bogus skepticism. And note, the label is applied to the argument, not the person.



You do not want to worry about arguments, you want to dismiss a person based on a label.


LOL. That is ad hominem. Are you a mind reader? Stop making accusations about what I supposedly secretly "want" and deal with the issue itself. You are attacking my motives, which you don't know.



f you think someone is a bogus skeptic, you will not have to concern yourself with any of their arguments.


I assure you, if I think someone using "bogus skepticism" I will show very keen interest in their arguments, in order to demonstrate that they are employing bogus skepticism.

[edit on 17-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by Europa733
 


Great video. I like what he said about the 'giggle factor', that's what I was alluding to in my first and second posts.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by spitefulgod
Where is the evidence that can be taken to a wide scientific audiences and proved as extra terrestrial.... there is none, just a load of "look at me"s and a few trivial "could be this or that" pictures.

Sure they could be here and the government could be doing one hell of a job to cover it up, but from what I've seen on this site and others. The images and videos seem to have the same following as the paranormal images.. flying orbs, cgi hoaxes and "eyewitness" accounts.

When I see something I'll believe.


Excellent point and I'm with you there. I've been into this sorta thing for years on end but still there's nothing solid to go on. Just speculation. Now personally I have seen these flying saucers four times in my life and at a very close range might I add, but I still can't prove anything to anyone or even myself that what I witnessed was extraterrestrial in nature. I'm just searching for the truth like everyone else. I always think one should be a logical skeptic until presented with irrefutable evidence. If some of us have been fortunate enough to be presented with this solid evidence (an encounter with an extraterrestrial being or something of that nature) and still refuses to believe then they are in denial. A lot of people who I have told about my UFO encounters do not believe me and this is because seeing or experiencing an event for oneself is needed by some to believe. I can stand on solid ground and say I've seen flying saucers and go to my grave with it knowing that I am not lying but I cannot confirm that it was piloted by an extraterrestrial being, human or even anyone at all. Another thing is one can make the argument that I was hallucinating, so then it's up to me to present to that person with evidence that they deem plausible that I was not and my experience was real. How am I supposed to do that if for most people proof is being there in the moment and seeing for themselves. It's a dead end.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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Originally posted by Malcram
So why are you repeating this little that mantra that I "have only been here a week"?


Because apparently I'm still stuck in 2008.


Originally posted by Malcram
You attack our supposed motivations rather than the definition of 'Bogus Skepticism' itself. That is ad hominem.


I have stated my position on the definition multiple times. You have ignored it as almost every step.


Originally posted by Malcram
And note, the label is applied to the argument, not the person.


Not according to your signature...


Originally posted by Malcram
That is ad hominem. Stop making accusations about what I supposedly secretly want and deal with the issue itself. You are attacking my motives, which you don't know.


You should look up the definition of "ad hominem," nothing of what I said falls under the criteria of an ad hominem attack, neither abusive, circumstantial or tu quoque. Stating I am against such labels because they promote lazy-thinking, used as a crutch to dismiss arguments, is not an ad hominem.

Rather, the very term "bogus skeptic" is an ad hominem, in this case an ad hominem circumstantial. "He's a bogus skeptic, therefore we can dismiss his arguments."


Originally posted by Malcram
I assure you, if I think someone using "bogus skepticism" I will show very keen interest in their arguments, in order to demonstrate that they are employing bogus skepticism.


And here you prove my point. Instead of focusing on the the substance of their argument, you will focus on showing how they are a "bogus skeptic."



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:05 AM
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From a more practical perspective, most of us know that the skeptic is a dying breed. Healthy skepticism is one thing obviously, a "skeptic" however is a radical, overly obsessed with their own viewpoint.


These are not people who live healthy balanced lives. The skeptic physiologically may have some hemispherical cerebral imbalance, with the left obviously pronounced. Simply put, they will usually have very little interest in creative endeavors and their personality most likely lacks those empathic qualities that most would consider normal.


Afterall, mainstream science has been at the point of accepting that the substance of the universe is mere connection/communication for some time now.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by poomouth
From a more practical perspective, most of us know that the skeptic is a dying breed. Healthy skepticism is one thing obviously, a "skeptic" however is a radical, overly obsessed with their own viewpoint.


When I read ATS for example, the people that are obsessed with their belief pattern & viewpoint are usually "true" believers. The kind of people that see UFOs as ET spaceships => (I should say IFO of ET origin) on almost every "odd" Nasa video or YouTube stuff.

It's just laughable most of the time and instead of trying to find an answer some of these believers just ask skeptics to debunk the stuff, so who needs who ?

Something not undestood by the average Joe does not become magically ET evidence but I guess that's what happens a lot of times. Why, because people ignore the scientific method or don't understand how it works.

Let me say it one more time, something unexplainable or not well understood does not suddenly become ETI evidence. Unfortunatly many people (even some scientists) take this shortcut.

Maybe believers should ask themselves this simple question :

Who is Ufology's true enemy ? Skeptics or charlatans (on the believer side) ?

My answer is clear, charlatans, because skeptics that comes up with receivable prosaic explanations do not harm ufology, charlatans with their "woo-woo land" theories do harm it for sure.

Cheers,
Europa



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:39 AM
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What drags me down about skeptics , is that they use outmoded thought to reason with believers. Believers think that there are races out there whos technology can liken them to Gods, taking themselves from one side of a galaxy to the other, in the time it takes to get to the front of a line at the local starbucks. Skeptics argue FTL is an impossibility, where as most physics proffs will tell you that the laws of physics (which are THEORY AT BEST) do not support the idea. THAT leaves a massive hole in the skeptic defense.
You see skeptics are trying to argue against a race of beings umpteen hundred times our IQ. I mean come on, if you figured out warp drive you would feel pretty damned clever right ? So if we establish that our science is grade school crap, then things open up a wee bit , and they have to come up with other arguments like "why is there never any physical evidence?" Well sometimes there is... most of the time its a hoax, and the rest of the time it gets covered up, and cover ups tend to be done well enough that you wouldnt know there had even been one unless you happen to have your eyes WIDE open .
And one more thing , if you cant imagine that there could be a race so clever and so evolved , as to be able to travel the void unworried by the distance, then come here to study us, then leave without leaving trace evidence then I would like for you to remember that in ancient times in Japan, Ninjas would be able to get in and out of some pretty well defended places, without being detected. We do it to ourselves all the time, why would a race with the most advanced vehicles we have seen, have ANY problem doing the same ?



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:44 AM
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reply to post by Europa733
 


All great points, Europa. However, I think poomouth is our friend spiritualevolution. Notice they share a similiar rhetorical style and viewpoint, as well as the fact poomouth registered just today and spiritualevolution yesterday. I have a feeling he'll have himself banned again soon enough.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by MarrsAttax

Is it possible for a phenomenon to be real and yet not provable by scientific method?



If some sort of event occurred that defied our current understanding of physics, and was therefore unanalyzable, our inability to understand it would not be equivalent to its having not occurred.

If scientific method failed to produce an experiment that could produce the same or a similar event, it would seem that the question (the event) would have been misunderstood, and the right question was not asked.

The phenomenon of the sun rising in the east and setting in the west produced a theory that the sun revolved around the earth.

So yes, it is possible for a phenomenon to be real, but misunderstood because it is not provable by the current scientific method.

because we cannot manipulate energy, is no reason to believe that no one can, and is not grounds for dismissal of an event. (suppose you see what you believe to be an alien craft pass through solid rock)

If, during the experimental phase, things simply aren't working out, it probably ISN'T because the approach of scientific method is wrong, it may be the case that the puzzle isn't understood enough to ask the proper question of the thing or theory.

In other words the questioner isn't able to ask the proper question due to his/her own limitations.



[edit on 17-3-2009 by akalepos]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by poomouth
From a more practical perspective, most of us know that the skeptic is a dying breed. Healthy skepticism is one thing obviously, a "skeptic" however is a radical, overly obsessed with their own viewpoint.


These are not people who live healthy balanced lives. The skeptic physiologically may have some hemispherical cerebral imbalance, with the left obviously pronounced. Simply put, they will usually have very little interest in creative endeavors and their personality most likely lacks those empathic qualities that most would consider normal.


Afterall, mainstream science has been at the point of accepting that the substance of the universe is mere connection/communication for some time now.


You clearly do not understand skepticism.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
Skeptics argue FTL is an impossibility, where as most physics proffs will tell you that the laws of physics do not support the idea.


That is quite the extraordinary claim. Which physicists support this idea?


Originally posted by TrueBrit
You see skeptics are trying to argue against a race of beings umpteen hundred times our IQ...


You are making a lot of claims that are nothing but speculation and confusing that speculation as fact. Even if extraterrestrials are visiting the planet, you have no idea how they are doing it.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by chronox12
I've been into this sorta thing for years on end but still there's nothing solid to go on. Just speculation. Now personally I have seen these flying saucers four times in my life and at a very close range might I add, but I still can't prove anything to anyone or even myself that what I witnessed was extraterrestrial in nature.

Very good post. Many of us on this forum have seen things that we can't explain. Or we wouldn't be here looking for answers. I saw a big red sphere for a few seconds near Paris. Europa saw two gray orbs in Miami. We're both skeptical of the proposed explanations, not about the phenomenon itself. Have you posted a report somewhere? I'd be interested to read it.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:10 PM
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reply to post by Donnie Darko
 


The SR-71 Blackbird took it’s first run at Groom Lake Nevada, in 1962 near area 51 and was considered a UFO, until being retired in 1998. If the technology was available in the 60’s don’t you suppose there are lots of other UFO’s not yet retired from Ford Aerospace or the US government? They test these things in the back hills of Nevada and other parts of the country but are occupied by the human species. I believe there are unidentified flying objects but not aviated by Martians or aliens.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:29 PM
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Originally posted by nablator

Originally posted by chronox12
I've been into this sorta thing for years on end but still there's nothing solid to go on. Just speculation. Now personally I have seen these flying saucers four times in my life and at a very close range might I add, but I still can't prove anything to anyone or even myself that what I witnessed was extraterrestrial in nature.

Very good post. Many of us on this forum have seen things that we can't explain. Or we wouldn't be here looking for answers. I saw a big red sphere for a few seconds near Paris. Europa saw two gray orbs in Miami. We're both skeptical of the proposed explanations, not about the phenomenon itself. Have you posted a report somewhere? I'd be interested to read it.


Hi Nab',

I've seen 2+1 grey orbs not two, daytime 20 mn long sighting.


Did not find any prosaic & conventional explanation yet, as a matter of fact, I opened a thread about it : www.abovetopsecret.com...

I could easily jump to conclusions (ET probes or top secret advanced tech) because it sure was an "extraordinary" sighting because of it's complexity but would it help me into finding the truth ?

I guess not, so I'd rather leave it as it was and still is to me : UFOs

Unindentified flying objects not ETFOs as ET flying objects.


So, who said skeptics do not believe in Ufos ?


Sorry for the O.T, back on topic.

Cheers,
Europa



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:35 PM
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I find this type of thread the psycological core of Ufology - and very important. I think it is quite amusing how defensive people can get trying to convey their thoughts.

Can we ever approach this subject objectively? How do we know when we are? I think the skeptic's dilemma is just this. To call a skeptic mentally unstable or close minded is counter-productive. The skeptic would not be on here reading this if he did not think that an ET theory was at least plausible. If a person thinks this is an utter impossibility; I suggest they would think reading this is an utter waste of time. So have some empathy for the skeptic - its OK to be skeptical!!!

I think another problem for the skeptic is cases where people just draw wild conclusions from rediculous evidence. For example: that lawyer that wanted National Geographic to publish his proof of life on Mars. He went on to show his photographic evidence of all sorts of life contained in a photo from the rover. There is a thread on it here if you want to get a good laugh. This is the most extreme case I have seen of finding evidence when there is not, but there is alot of gray area in between. I say it is difficult for the skeptic to decide when "evidence" has or has not been twisted by this gray area.

I say that when a skeptic decides he sees "proof" he will admit it. Some people feel that skeptics disregard proof. Proof is a strong word and should not be used lightly. Proof is unrefutable. Many court cases are concluded with circumstantial evidence so I think that is a bad metaphor. Anyway I hope people can lighten up a little and have a little more respect for their fellow Ufologist - "skeptic" or "true believer" - in their eyes, they are just trying to keep it real



[edit on 17-3-2009 by iwantobelieve]



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
Many of us on this forum have seen things that we can't explain. Or we wouldn't be here looking for answers...


I saw something being chased by fighter-jets in August of last year.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by iwantobelieve
Can we ever approach this subject objectively? How do we know when we are? I think the skeptic's dilemma is just this. To call a skeptic...close minded is counter-productive.


And hypocritical. Some want to take the skeptic to task for having an opinion or not being open-minded when they themselves already have their mind made up. The problem is not that the skeptic is not open-minded enough but rather they do not agree with the person making the accusation.



posted on Mar, 17 2009 @ 01:03 PM
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I keep hearing this word proof from people when nobody has claimed that there's proof of extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings. You can have overwhelming evidence of something that you can weigh within reason without proof that it exists.

Just because we don't have the technology to prove it or we don't have the funds going to research to prove it doesn't mean we don't have evidence to weigh within reason and we can come to the conclusion that extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings exists.

We do this all the time. For instance.

MIT Professor Seth Lloyd has come to the conclusion that the universe is a quantum computer. He doesn't have proof but when he makes his argument he presents evidence to support his conclusion.

David Deutsch has come to the conclusion that parallel universes exists based on evidence and reason he doesn't have proof. He has never seen a parallel universe. He doesn't have pictures of a parallel universe yet he has reached this conclusion without proof.

Reporters and courtrooms do it all the time. They gather evidence from differents testimony and they weigh the evidence within reason.

The standard is not that extra-terrestrials or extra-dimensional beings exist beyond a shadow of a doubt but extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings exist beyond a reasonable doubt. This means the evidence is weighed within reason and if the skeptic can present information that counters these things then present it and we will weigh it within reason.

The skeptic wants every abduction case, every picture, every video, every case of trace evidence, every eyewitness account and every mass sighting to be weighed equally and that's illogical.

They want every case to stay unexplained or unidentified ad infinitum. This is so all possibilities have an equal probability of being true. This backwards logic only occurs when it comes to things like the paranormal or ufology.



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