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Debunking Pseudoskepticism: Common fallacies

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posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child


Actually it was strongly believed by many scientists that flight in the sense of heavy flying machines actually flying would be impossible. They would have argued that birds, bees are light enough to fly.




I see. Must have been those scientists who didnt believe in catapults.




posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by nablator
 


This just a quibble on the meaning of the term by appealing to absolute meanings, when words do not have absolute meanings. So the issue is moot. I can make a word mean anything I want in how I use it. I am using null-hyothesis fallacy here with special qualification, and I explained it, "setting up an arbitrary condition on what can be accepted or rejected in ones worldview"


here are two 'types' of hypotheses: the null hypothesis (H0) and the alternate hypothesis (H1). The null hypothesis states that "there is nothing happening or no difference". For instance, if you are investigating the effect of temperature on the growth rate of the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, your null hypothesis would be that temperature had no effect on the growth rate (ie there is 'null difference' in the growth rates). The alternate hypothesis is the opposite of this, ie there is an effect of temperature. From a statistical and ethical perspective, to avoid any bias of your experiment you must always test the null hypothesis.


The fallacy begins when one does not accept any data that falsifies the null hypothesis, with demands like "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" and what is extraordinary must compete against the null-hypothesis, and when used fallaciously, nothing ever falsified the null hypothesis because of the arbitary conditions set.

In my Psychology textbook: Mind and Behaviour(4th edition) edited by Richard Gross there is a section discussing this type of fallacy on "conclusive experiment" (p.83)

This implies the strength of evidence needed to establish a new phenomenon is directionaly proportional to how incompatible the phenomenon is with our current beliefs about the world. If we reject the possibility of this phenomenon(its subjectivity validity is zero) then no amount of empirical evidence will be sufficient to establish the claim.

Thus if one commits a fallacy using null hypothesis they will create a condition where some evidence is not acceptable to retain the null hypothesis. It will appeal to statistical improbability of a phenomenon occuring or not, and when found the phenomenon is improbable it will be rejected as anomolus. If an experiment does produce anomolus data, then the experiment itself will be criticised and if not found "fullproof" the data will be rejected because the experiment is faulty. In other words ones hypothesis is set to null which does not allow any change.

When used in statistical test null-hypothesis does not carry the same connotation. I was indicating the misuse of such hypothesis, which some researchers do.

In any case I have explained what I meant by the term and illustrated it with plenty of examples to make it clear what I mean. You are just quibbling over terms, perhaps because you cannot refute the rebuttal itself.

Likewise, you are quibbling over the term "mechanical flight of heavy machines" when it is rather clear what I mean in the context it has been used. I was giving an example that it was thought that aeroplanes(qualification, powered types) were not possible and later it was falsified. I also said that it was also thought supersonic craft are not possible, but you did not quibble over terms there because there was nothing to quibble over. The irony is you agree with that it was indeed thought they were not possible, but are still quibbling with me. I suggest you focus on the argument themselves, or don't say anyting at all.

[edit on 26-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by debunky
 


A projectile in a catapault doesn't fly like a bird though, does it? The qualification of powered flight as suggested by Norbet would clarify it for you, but somehow I don't think the meaning of what I was trying to say needs a dozen qualifications. It is quite clear what I am saying. They believed flight was not possible, and they didn't.

Now, do you have anything to say on the actual arguments presented? I am very interested in your refutations, if you have any.



[edit on 26-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


This lets me know that you have not looked at the issue.

If you can't understand something so simple, then I don't know what to say.

The mere fact that UFO's exist gives us a body of evidence to build a hypothesis.

Quote me where I said that UFO's prove the ET hypothesis. Do you understand the english language?

I said validate not prove.

val·i·date (vl-dt)
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.

Again, you are debating a claim that I never made.

You are debating as if I said, UFO's prove the ET hypothesis. I would you would slow down and read what I said, instead of trying to debate things that I never claimed.

I then went on to explain that UFO's give us a body of evidence because all of these cases are not I just saw an object in the sky.

Some of these cases the eyewitness says they see a metallic craft, a long ship, a mother ship and more. We can even test radar and see if multiple witnesses saw the same thing.

So again Heike, you debate something I never claimed.

In the last thread I asked you to quote where I said anything about "exclusive" evidence.

You just want to debate these absolutes because your argument is weak. I told you, no matter how you frame the issue, you will always end up in an illogical black hole because you keep trying to debate things that were never claimed.

Here's a quote from your post.

And you said

"Right there you have validated the ET hypothesis."

Validated so please don't try to debate like I said prove.



[edit on 26-3-2009 by platosallegory]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:04 PM
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Originally posted by nablator
Wow. I'm actually commenting on this. When will I learn?


I used to think when threads such as this one appeared we should make an effort to defend skepticism. However, it is apparent there is no point. Considering this is the third such topic in a week decrying the evils of skeptics, it is also apparent that some here are less concerned with the truth (whatever it may be) and more concerned with browbeating any who do not agree with them.

This sums up that attitude...


Originally posted by platosallegory
The pseudoskeptic vs. the skeptical person who accepts the ET hypothesis.


Despite claims that this is not about skeptics, the evidence is clear. Any who do not accept their particular view as the truth is not a genuine skeptic and worthy of any sort of condescending derision. They have confused browbeating critics into silence with proving their hypothesis. There is an agenda, though perhaps not intentional, to create an atmosphere wherein any critic can be dismissed without their arguments being heard. Any critic; those who have been labelled as pseudoskeptics, irrational, illogical and so forth has run the gamut from skeptic to believer.

Heike and Nablator have done yoemans' work in defending both skepticism and open-minded thinking. But I would not recommend further discussion with this particular brand of people on this particular topic. You have done enough to expose their closed-mindedness. Anyone reading this thread can see that. Engage them when they want to discuss evidence and only then; do not fall in to their traps when they want to discuss personality instead of the topic.

[edit on 26-3-2009 by SaviorComplex]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by nablator

Originally posted by Indigo_Child
Actually it was strongly believed by many scientists that flight in the sense of heavy flying machines actually flying would be impossible. They would have argued that birds, bees are light enough to fly.


No. It was argued that powered flight is impossible, because of the weight/power ratio of steam machines, the best available at the time.



"Heavier than air flying machines are impossible" - Physicist and Engineer, Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society, 1895.

[edit on 26-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 



I think if you review this thread you will find not a single response from a critic(debating against the ETH proponents) has gone unheard. Every response has been engaged and discussed, in many cases every quote.

I think we can do without your false attribution of the martyarship to the critics.

The arguments put forward so far by the critics can be summarized as(in order of importance)

1. There is no evidence and we don't need to investigate to judge/evaluate
2. Science proves things
3. I will believe what I want to believe about UFO's

Is there any surprise that the critics are getting such a hard time?



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:20 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 




Despite claims that this is not about skeptics, the evidence is clear.


No SC, despite the evidence that this thread is not about skeptics, your intent to slander is clear.

You are in fact one of the most ardent defenders of pseudo-skepticism and proponents of ad hominem smear campaigns at ATS. Please don't try to rally legitimate skeptics to your aberrant cause with lies about supposed attacks on "skepticism" when the evidence clearly shows that is absolutely not the case, as anyone who reads the thread can see. Your intent is to quash any exposure of pseudo-skepticism by pretending it is an "attack" on skepticism. We see through it and you. I suggest you take your own advice and move along, or debate the issue raised rather than make baseless accusations about those who raised it.

Now I won't be accessory to your attempts to hijack and derail another thread. You have make your thoughts clear regarding us and I have made mine clear regarding you and your ilk. Any further discussion I have with you on that matter will be via PM, rather than posted here to pollute this thread. But if you stick to debating the issues raised in the OP, I am happy to discuss them with you here.

[edit on 26-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by SaviorComplex
 


Complex said


Despite claims that this is not about skeptics, the evidence is clear. Any who do not accept their particular view as the truth is not a genuine skeptic and worthy of any sort of condescending derision.


You made this same argument on another thread and when it failed you left.

It's simple, there's plenty of threads debating the evidence within ufology and the pseudoskeptic goes on those threads and they don't debate the evidence, they try to belittle the evidence.

If they can spread there illogical opinions on every thread, then we can question their illogical opinions.

We can debate evidence and the illogical opinion of the pseudoskeptic when it comes to ufology. We can walk and chew gum at the same time.

It's obvious why the pseudoskeptic doesn't like threads like these because it exposes many of them as not being skeptics but closed minded debunkers.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
I used to think when threads such as this one appeared we should make an effort to defend skepticism. However, it is apparent there is no point.

Yes. We're not discussing anything with platosallegory and Indigo_Child. We have no common ground. They have no understanding of logic, scientific methodology (the null hypothesis) and even basic words like "validate" (even with the help of a dictionary). It's hopeless.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by nablator
 



I think we have our first full fledged pseudoskeptic here. I think you have behaved like a troll in this thread, unnecessary attacks, dismissing arguments, quibbling with minor terms, but saying nothing of substance about the main arguments. So I am putting you on my ignore list. Congrats.

[edit on 26-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by nablator

Originally posted by SaviorComplex
I used to think when threads such as this one appeared we should make an effort to defend skepticism. However, it is apparent there is no point.

Yes. We're not discussing anything with platosallegory and Indigo_Child. We have no common ground. They have no understanding of logic, scientific methodology (the null hypothesis) and even basic words like "validate" (even with the help of a dictionary). It's hopeless.


Nab, your efforts to debunk here have so far amounted to little more than an incorrect "correction" of Indigo's accurate observation that eminent scientists at one time insisted that heavier than air flight was impossible and a pointless quibble over a few words which didn't actually change anything. I agree. that's pretty hopeless. So I suggest you take comfort in your empty parting shot and quit while you're not too far behind.


And thanks for adding me to your "respected foes" list just now, however I'm afraid I can't honestly accord you the same honour.

Now is that the last of the dramatic exit flounces? Can we get back to the debate at hand?


[edit on 26-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:19 PM
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There are those here on ATS who subscribe to the ETH and who I have a great respect for. However, I would like to point out they are not participating in these discussion, railing against the horrors of skeptics. That should tell us something.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
 


If you can't understand something so simple, then I don't know what to say.


You are the one who lacks understanding.


The mere fact that UFO's exist gives us a body of evidence to build a hypothesis.


No, it doesn't. The fact that objects which CAN NOT be identified after study exist is the body of evidence from which the ET hypothesis was developed (according to your opinion).

The fact that there are many, many "UFO" reports every year which are natural, mundane objects which the witness did not identify, has zero zip zilch nada to do with the ETH and does not in any way support, validate, or provide evidence for the ETH.

How does a sighting of the planet Venus by someone who didn't realize what it was support the ETH? Because THAT is what you are claiming here.


Quote me where I said that UFO's prove the ET hypothesis. Do you understand the english language?


Oh, come ON! I know what you said, and never once did I use the word prove.

UFOs in the sense that LogicalResponse meant when he said "yes they are real" have absolutely NOTHING to do with the ETH because they are normal, everyday, natural, mundane things which people didn't recognize at the time.

That's what a UFO is, any object in the sky that the witness didn't recognize.
What part of this can't you understand?

YOUR definition of "unsolved cases" is not the correct definition of UFO.


Again, you are debating a claim that I never made.


No, I'm not. I'm telling you over and over and over again that UFOs have NOTHING TO DO with the ETH. They aren't even a factor. UNSOLVED CASES built the ETH, not UFOs.

Go check the Canada UFO reports site. Dozens of UFOs are reported every single day, but all but a few of them are later identified. That doesn't change the fact that they were initially reported as UFOs.


You are debating as if I said, UFO's prove the ET hypothesis.


No, I am NOT. One more time I'm saying that UFOs and UFO reports have nothing to do with the ETH. Until they are "unsolved cases" UFOs are birds, planets, satellites, stars, and planes which somebody was too stupid to identify. How in the world do those validate the ETH??


I then went on to explain that UFO's give us a body of evidence because all of these cases are not I just saw an object in the sky.


No. A bird that someone saw and said "oh, look a UFO!" provides no evidence for anything except the intelligence (or lack thereof) of human beings. Cases which have been thoroughly investigated and can not be explained as anything natural gave us a body of evidence. All unsolved cases are UFOs, but not all UFOs are unsolved cases.

Dude, you messed up. You pounced on something he said and tried to use it to benefit your side of the debate. You are claiming that he said something he didn't say. But I caught you out and instead of just admitting "okay, I see your point, I made a mistake" you're desperately trying to prove me wrong so you can still be right. Was it really that important? Everyone reading this already knows the truth, so why don't you just give it up. LogicalResponse did not validate the ETH, and that's all there is to it.

Unless, perhaps, you want to argue that the aliens are now masquerading as planets, flocks of birds, balloons, chinese lanterns, and flares?

He admitted, as any educated sane person would have to, that people see things they personally are unable to identify in the sky every single day.
End of story, and has nothing all to do with ETs.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by SaviorComplex
There are those here on ATS who subscribe to the ETH and who I have a great respect for. However, I would like to point out they are not participating in these discussion, railing against the horrors of skeptics. That should tell us something.


It tells us you despise those who challenge pseudo-skepticism and only deign to 'respect' those who are prepared to defend the ETH according to your skewed rules, without ever exposing pseudo-skepticism.

PS you have a message.


[edit on 26-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:40 PM
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Originally posted by platosallegory
You made this same argument on another thread and when it failed you left.


Hey cool .. by that logic your argument in the Dilemma thread failed, since you never responded to my last post.

How childish.

Being driven into such a state of frustration that they give up and leave rather than risk violating the T&C again is not the same as their argument having failed.


If they can spread there illogical opinions on every thread, then we can question their illogical opinions.


Again you seem unable to comprehend a simple difference. Those threads are about evidence, this thread is about people.

In a thread discussing evidence, any person has the right to give their opinion if it doesn't violate the T&C. You also have a right to ignore their posts and not respond to them.

This thread, however, and your previous thread, are not about discussing any evidence. They are, instead, about trying to devalue, demean, and belittle a group of people.

That is the difference. Any time you want to discuss the evidence or the theories or the hypotheses or the cases, I'm ready. Let me know. And if the skeptics (of any variety) start insulting and belittling you instead of discussing the evidence, I'll be the first one to defend you.

But you always want to discuss PEOPLE and why they're so "wrong."

I notice you didn't accept my challenge. I didn't think you would. You can't handle a real debate.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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I respect the ETH and anyone believing ETs are visiting Earth. I was a believer myself not long ago. Despite my opposition to convoluted pseudo-logic and jumping to conclusions, I still think the ETH is a valid hypothesis. I have a personal preference, without any certainty for extra dimensional entities, that may be ET or not. Sophistry is not going to validate the ETH.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 


Heike, your not making any sense.

You just ignored the entire context of what I said.

I said VALIDATE. Do you even understand what validate means?

Nobody has said that every sighting supports the ET hypothesis but some of them do when people say they see spaceships, or metallic crafts that move like they were controlled by intelligence and they did things beyond our current understanding of physics. This is coming from people like pilots, military, ex governors, police and more.

So, yes UFO's validate the ET hypothesis because we use this data along with pictures, video, mass sightings, abduction cases and trace evidence to build a hypothesis.

Again, your trying to debate an absolute. I never made the claim that all UFO sightings support the ET hypothesis.

I said the UFO's validate the ET hypothesis.

You need to get out of the land of absolutes. Nobody ever said that every UFO sighting is evidence of extra-terrestrials. We weigh each case but because one case may turn out to be a weather balloon that doesn't mean we scrap the hypothesis.

You have to learn how to read people's post in context so you can respond to what they actually said.

It's like in the other thread, you kept trying to debate exclusive evidence when nobody made the claim.

In this thread, you have no idea what validates means.

You also said this:


I am not firmly convinced that ANY of the existing hypotheses are completely correct, but if you force me to choose one I'll pick extra-dimensional over extra-terrestrial.


This line alone tells me that your confused as to what the debate is about.

Why would you pick extra-dimensional over extra-terrestrial?

Obviosly it's because of reason. This is exactly what you have been debating against. You did what we do in everyday life. You pick the most likely explanation based on reason.

So, when I say extra-terrestrial or extra-dimensional beings are the most likely explanation for these things, I'm doing what you just did.

Nobody has ever claimed that other explanations can't be considered in order to weigh these things within reason.

How did you come to the conclusion that extra-dimensional would be a better explanation than extra-terrestrial? What did you use?

You are making me look psychic


Again, I said the fact that there are UFO's validate the hypothesis. I didn't say every UFO case has an equal probability of being true.

Some are weather balloons or flares but others are not in my opinion and in these cases the eyewitnesses explain what they saw and how it moved.

One more time;

val·i·date (vl-dt)
tr.v. val·i·dat·ed, val·i·dat·ing, val·i·dates
1. To declare or make legally valid.
2. To mark with an indication of official sanction.
3. To establish the soundness of; corroborate.

If you don't understand the context of the post your debating then you will just be debating a claim that was never made.

What happens is, you read a line in the post and you think your reading an absolute. You then post what you read and you debate an absolute point that was never made.

This is why pseudoskepticism is so illogical. That's because they exist in the realm of absolutes. So there arguments don't make sense and neither does yours.



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 03:01 PM
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reply to post by Heike
 





Those threads are about evidence, this thread is about people.


Nonsense. This thread is about refuting fallacies. It's a debate. It's not about "people". Try reading my signature regarding pseudo-skepticism and the comment about appeals to "emotion enflaming fallacies". Then stop using them.

As platosallegory pointed out, there are threads about the ETH and arguments - often fallacious - put forward to debunk the ETH. This is a thread debunking those fallacious arguments. Perfectly legitimate. Why try to twist things by claiming it is supposedly "about people", if not in an attempt to derail the debate?

[edit on 26-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 03:15 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by Heike
 





Those threads are about evidence, this thread is about people.


Nonsense. This thread is about refuting fallacies. It's a debate. It's not about "people". Try reading my signature regarding pseudo-skepticism and the comment about appeals to "emotion enflaming fallacies". Then stop using them.

As platosallegory pointed out, there are threads about the ETH and arguments - often fallacious - put forward to debunk the ETH. This is a thread debunking those fallacious arguments. Perfectly legitimate. Why try and twist things by claiming it is supposedly about "people", if not in an attempt to derail the debate?


Great posts.

The crocodile tears about this debate is pointless or it's about people and not the illogical arguments of the pseudoskeptics shows that we have hit a nerve.

That's because their positions are illogical so they have to try to say that the issue shouldn't be debated. Of course they don't want this debated because it seperates the skeptics from closed minded debunkers who try to hide behind skepticism.



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