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Why "sceptic" claims there is no evidence don't hold water

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posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Mintwithahole.


So you are really just restating that eyewitness testimony is invalid despite the fact that it is a cornerstone of our legal system.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by Malcram]




posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 03:43 PM
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Originally posted by Mintwithahole.
reply to post by Malcram
 





Of course eyewitness testimony counts for something. It is a valid category of evidence that must be taken into consideration with the other types of evidence.


It honestly doesn't matter that much because of personal bias, imagination, faulty memory, etc. You put forward the example of if my car was stolen to show that eye witness evidence is valid. When there's an accident the police interview witnesses there and then because they know full well that our memories are prone to being interferred with by our imagination. You see a bright star crossing the skies on a Monday, Tuesday morning it's become saucer shaped and by Friday it's silver and comes complete with portholes!
Yes, eyewitness testimony shows that something interesting happened and that the witness has seen something, but it's then a huge leap of faith to start talking about alien piloted vehicles. In the end your description of an event will be marred by your own personal bias and beliefs. One mans star is another mans flying saucer.



Your right your brain will attempt to fill in any gaps off your personal beliefs and knowledge. I read somewhere that when people remember an incident each time new information gets added to it thats the way are brain works psychologists have long recognized that gap filling and reliance on assumptions are necessary to function in our society. For example, if we did not assume that mail will be delivered, or that the supermarkets will continue to stock bread, we would behave quite differently than we do. We are constantly filling in the gaps in our recollection and interpreting things we hear. For instance, while on the subway we might hear garbled words like "next," "transfer," and "train." Building on our assumptions and knowledge, we may put together the actual statement: "Next stop 53rd Street, transfer available to the E train." Indeed, we may even remember having heard the full statement. So if someone saw a light a day later it could be they saw a saucer because information is constantly reinterpreted with what you know at that moment.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 


And so I'll make the same reply to you dragonridr, since you make the same basic argument.

So you are really just restating that eyewitness testimony is invalid despite the fact that it is a cornerstone of our legal system.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 


If witness testimony was so dubious it would not be used in court rooms. If you saw somebody murder a loved one, then went to give testimony on murder, and the police said, "How do you know it's not your brain filling in false details etc" Somehow I don't think you will be agreeing with them


[edit on 30-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 04:17 PM
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reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


In countries with decent legal systems courts have lawyers, juries, solicitors, police evidence, forensics, and legal frameworks. Which gets things wrong, but less so than witnesses evidence alone. Police do ask questions like that, when they don't there have been miscarriages of justice where people have, for various reasons, made false confessions. Witnesses also get stuff wrong.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by jackphotohobby
reply to post by Indigo_Child
 


In countries with decent legal systems courts have lawyers, juries, solicitors, police evidence, forensics, and legal frameworks. Which gets things wrong, but less so than witnesses evidence alone. Police do ask questions like that, when they don't there have been miscarriages of justice where people have, for various reasons, made false confessions. Witnesses also get stuff wrong.


No one disputes that and yet the Legal System is able to make good use of witness testimony. There is no reason why the same thing cannot be done with eyewitness testimony to ET/UFO's. You make a good case for developing a system for processing the eyewitness testimony based on the model of the Legal System - and I would completely agree with that - but you do not make a case for dismissing the testimony as useless.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 04:52 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
No one disputes that and yet the Legal System is able to make good use of witness testimony. There is no reason why the same thing cannot be done with eyewitness testimony to ET/UFO's. You make a good case for developing a system for processing the eyewitness testimony based on the model of the Legal System - and I would completely agree with that - but you do not make a case for dismissing the testimony as useless.


I don't think eyewitness testimony is useless, I do think in ufology that often too much weight is placed on it. I think there's plenty of good cases involving eye witnesses, like the 1966 Westall UFO incident, that Chadwickus posted a thread about earlier, and other reports that stand up to basic scrutiny like the diamond shaped UFO in the recent MOD(UK) FOIA release.

What they are/were is another debate, I won't bore people by being like a broken record - but I don't think eyewitness testimony is useless, just that it should all be looked at sceptically.

[edit on 30-3-2009 by jackphotohobby]



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 05:54 PM
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reply to post by jackphotohobby
 


In general I agree with you. I don't think witness testimony is the only kind of evidence, and normally I like to see something in addition to witness testinomy. In the cases of UFO I like to see corroborating radar reports and pilot testimonies. I also prefer UFO cases where the UFO is moving and performing gravity-defying moves, in cases when one just sees a light in the sky which then vanishes, there is not enough to draw a conclusion.

It's also important to split up testimony into a category of credibility. Obviously one would give more weight to testimony from a high level official than they would to an average joe.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by jackphotohobby
 


Absolutely, I agree.

I think that there is a core of high quality evidence of every type, including eyewitness testimony, that passes the most stringent tests and is sufficient evidence to validate the ETH.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by LogicalResponse
The picture you provided has been debunked as a model in the past, and actually bears striking resemblance to the types of models used in other earlier hoaxes from that era.


I wasn't aware of this. Could you provide your source please?



The YouTube video you provided has been revealed to be several (around 11) oil platforms viewed through a FLIR camera. They weren't "flying" at all. (Fox NEWS is also very sensationalist and somewhere on par with newsgroups like "Pravda" from Russia. Though they never did reveal the actual source of these videos, the NGC special "UFOs: Are they real?" has.)


An alternative explanation has been put forward that it was oil rigs but I wouldn't say it's been proven. Again without knowing your source of information it's hard to weigh the evidence but I'm willing to look at it. (BTW I would rate Pravda as worse than Fox but the point is irrelavant anyway. The story was carried by other media and the case was released in the first instance by the Mexican military).



Again, all testimony here absolutely must be disregarded and clearly shows favoritism for the existence of alien craft.


Could you provide the links to the original testimony that mentions alien craft?




You missed out cases where unidentified phenomena have been seen by more than one trained observer from separate locations.


But no evidence was recorded to corroborate these witnesses stories. Therefore, they must be dismissed.


Why must they? What recorded evidence would you accept? Video/photos can be hoaxed. You've stated that radar is unreliable.





You also missed out cases where the phenomenon has been sighted by trained observers as well as confirmed by reliable ground radar.


Almost all of these cases have proven to be examples of RADAR ducting, false returns, and atmospheric ducting. Many of the RADAR tapes are available for examination which can verify this. Many that aren't have been withheld by proponents of UFO phenomena to obstruct a closer look that may falsify their claim.



'Almost all'? I linked to one specific case where the ufo was also seen by the pilot. Are you suggesting RADAR ducting causes a visible phenomenon in the atmosphere? Who are these 'proponents of UFO phenomena' who have such power over military and civilian organisations that they can make them withhold evidence just on their say so?




I'm sorry but I can't agree with your assessment that this amounts to nothing.


This is expected on a website where belief in the paranormal is favored over careful scrutiny.

It's okay. I came prepared for things of this nature having been a member of Phil Plait's BAUT and James Randi's JREF for years.



Good for you.



Skeptics are voicing more and more concern over strange beliefs and the popularity of UFOs having been developed from a lack of information/education. Many MANY more will be through these parts I'm sure.


I'm sure my strange 'beliefs' will continue as long as you make pronouncements without providing sources. I'm more than willing to look at the evidence and make up my own mind. Just because someone has an open mind about such things doesn't mean they lack education. For example, I wouldn't accuse Edgar Mitchell of lacking information/education. You might try being a little less condescending.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 07:39 PM
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Regarding eye witness testimony something just occurred to me.

If you asked me what I had for dinner two weeks ago I probably couldn't tell you. Why? because it's mundane and I have dinner every day.

I could be wrong but I reckon if I saw an alien or a flying saucer it would pretty much be seared into my brain.

What about all those veterans of the first and second world wars who still have vivid dreams, flashbacks and memories of the horrors they witnessed? Should we dismiss their memories too?

Isn't everyone supposed to remember what they were doing when they found out Kennedy had been shot?

I just don't buy this theory that a light in the sky can become a physical vehicle with portholes and waving aliens, no matter how much time passes.

The people who say 'I'll believe it when I see it' presumably a week later will be saying 'well, I remember seeing it, but my memory is unreliable' so now I don't believe it.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 09:18 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram
reply to post by dragonridr
 


And so I'll make the same reply to you dragonridr, since you make the same basic argument.

So you are really just restating that eyewitness testimony is invalid despite the fact that it is a cornerstone of our legal system.




If eye witness testimony was all thats needed we wouldn't have police detectives would we? We wouldn't need D N A evidence we wouldn't need corroborating evidence to place the person at the seen of the crime and why do we need other evidence you ask. Because any attorney can rip apart a case if you only have witness testimony because all lawyers are taught how to make witnesses alter there facts. The only people convicted off witness testimonies is people that cant afford a lawyer.



Wrongful Conviction: 50% of Mistaken Eyewitnesses Certain After Positive Feedback

US Navy study

eye witness testimony and cryptozoology

I can keep going to prove there is thousands of links but anyone who has taken psychology knows humans just make bad witnesses. I included the last link because its pointing out that just because unknown animal is spotted by someone doesn't mean it exists, Sort of the same problem with UFO testimonies.



posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 10:00 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

So you are really just restating that eyewitness testimony is invalid despite the fact that it is a cornerstone of our legal system.



People are fallible.

People lie.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 02:35 AM
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reply to post by dragonridr
 


Thanks for those links dragonridr. Caution is clearly required but that shouldn't mean we should dismiss all testimonies out of hand.

Do these studies imply that memory can never be accurate? No, only that it is susceptible to outside influence. Furthermore these studies seem designed to induce the false memory - the navy study in particular using 'high-stress' interrogation techniques. That doesn't necessarily reflect the conditions of a real world sighting.

Furthermore in the first case, although those involved misidentified the person they saw in the video later on I'm willing to bet none of them forgot that they'd seen the video in the first place, or that the person in the video was a human. The article also says nothing about the accuracy of the memories of the first group, the ones who received no feedback at all.

Here's another article to consider where a study has shown that there may be different types of memory that come in to play when remembering an event and that it may be possible to scientifically determine which sort is being used.



Children's Memory May Be More Reliable Than Adults' In Court Cases

ScienceDaily (Mar. 17, 2008) — The U.S. legal system has long assumed that all testimony is not equally credible, that some witnesses are more reliable than others. In tough cases with child witnesses, it assumes adult witnesses to be more reliable. But what if the legal system had it wrong?


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


www.sciencedaily.com...

Clearly though the interviewing of ufo witnesses must be done in a far more rigorous and scientifically acceptable way before their testimony will be widely accepted but I see no reason why this couldn't be achieved.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 03:01 AM
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Originally posted by dragonridr

If eye witness testimony was all thats needed we wouldn't have police detectives would we?


Hi Dragonridr. I never said that eyewitness testimony was "all that's needed". I said it was valid evidence and should be considered along with all other forms of evidence.


[edit on 31-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 04:23 AM
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Originally posted by nerbot

People are fallible.

People lie.


So does that mean our Legal System is invalid because witness testimony is one one of it's cornerstones? I note several people are avoiding answering this straight question.

The Legal System and it's methods are valid. Methods of investigation employed must suit the type of evidence that is available for the phenomenon that is being investigated. Would you insist on limiting the methods used to investigate quantum physics to the methods designed for classical physics? No. That would be absurd, because to do so would completely stall the investigation. If the ET/UFO phenomenon is presenting eyewitness testimony, then that evidence has to be addressed along with the rest of the evidence, not ignored.


[edit on 31-3-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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I get the impression some "skeptics" are just trying to argue away testimonial evidence. It's amusing to watch the attempts to get rid of witness testimony. Alas, one cannot do so at the risk of being logically inconsistent. As I said earlier to Dragon, if he he/she had witnessed a murder of a loved one, and he/she went and told the Police demanding some kind of action, and they did not accept their evidence or argued away the veracity of their testimony, he/she would not be agreeing. Period.

At the same time the people arguing against testimony will already have accepted many things based on testimony: the earth goes around the sun, the earth is not flat, we have evolved, there was a big bang and many facts that they have not validated themselves.

Imagine a world without testimony being valid. You go to a game and watch Manchester United beat Chelsea 4-1, then you go home and tell your friends, but because they did not see the match themselves, they say they can't believe you. This can be extended further, one sees a video clip of 9/11, but because they were not there and seen it themselves, they can't believe it really happened.

The Indian classical logical system accepts four means of knowing, mirroring our actual epistemological ways:

1) Percerption: You have witnessed something, it maybe that what you witnessed is not really what it is, such as mistaking a mirage for a lake, but there is no denying you witnessed it

2) Inference: You can draw inferences from your observations. There is smoke, therefore there is fire. I can see dark rain clouds, therefore it is going to rain.

3) Analogy: If you are told to go and get something of a certain description, you recognise that thing e.g., you are looking for a certain rare species of plant in a garden from a description in a book. When you find a plant that matches the description you know that is the plant.

4) Testimony: You accept the testimony of scientists,you accept that certain experiments were carried out and the results of that experiment, you accept the existence of many countries you've never been to. If someone gives you directions to a place, you accept those directions.

These are the means or methods of knowing that we are using all the time in life and each one is a valid means of knowing. To eliminate one of them is to admit logical inconsistency, because how can you eliminate one, and yet use it yourself in daily life.

[edit on 31-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
...if he/she had witnessed a murder of a loved one, and he/she went and told the Police demanding some kind of action, and they did not accept their evidence or argued away the veracity of their testimony, he/she would not be agreeing.


What would happen is that the police would be called and they would arrive at the scene of the alleged altercation, interview witnesses and search for evidence in order to establish what happened.


At the same time the people arguing against testimony will already have accepted many things based on testimony: the earth goes around the sun, the earth is not flat, we have evolved, there was a big bang and many facts that they have not validated themselves.


Some have suggested that we are in a matrix-style system and that everything around us may be a hologram - this is ATS: Conspiracyland. Deny ignorance right?


The Indian classical logical system accepts four means of knowing, mirroring our actual epistemological ways:

1) Perception: You have witnessed something, it maybe that what you witnessed is not really what it is, such as mistaking a mirage for a lake, but there is no denying you witnessed it


Witnessing something does not make it so. I witnessed an ET spacecraft - however, it turned out to be Venus!


2) Inference: You can draw inferences from your observations. There is smoke, therefore there is fire. I can see dark rain clouds, therefore it is going to rain.


You do not need fire to produce smoke - chemical reactions, smouldering et al.

Rain does not always follow dark clouds.


3) Analogy: If you are told to go and get something of a certain description, you recognise that thing e.g., you are looking for a certain rare species of plant in a garden from a description in a book. When you find a plant that matches the description you know that is the plant.


You are told to pick a person out in an ID parade at the local police station. You pick out Bob - "That's the man" - after being convicted and released after 10 years in prison, Bob comes home only to be met by his twin brother Bill who thanks Bob for doing time for a crime that Bill committed.


4) Testimony: You accept the testimony of scientists,you accept that certain experiments were carried out and the results of that experiment, you accept the existence of many countries you've never been to. If someone gives you directions to a place, you accept those directions.


There are many people who question scientists, there are many scientists who question other scientist's experiments.

While we may be given information by other people we are free to choose what to do with that information. We are not forced to follow any directions other than those we choose to follow.

You need to stop telling people what they do or do not think.


These are the means or methods of knowing that we are using all the time in life and each one is a valid means of knowing. To eliminate one of them is to admit logical inconsistency, because how can you eliminate one, and yet use it yourself in daily life.


This does not make sense at all, mainly because everything you have stated above it is inaccurate, in my opinion, as I have demonstrated.

You need to chill. People will believe whatever they want to believe.

Stop trying to change people because they have their own point of view.

[edit on 31/3/2009 by skibtz]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by skibtz
 


You miss the point my friend. These are all means of knowing, and obviously each means is problematic. I alluded to this myself when I said for perception, your perception might mistake a mirage for a lake, but nonetheless you are still perceiving something. In this case you are perceiving a complex of the lake and heat and air. So it still a valid means of knowledge, it just needs refining.

The Indian logicians were aware of the problems with each of the means of knowing and created very sophisticated and strict standards on refining each, while admitting that one can only refine to a certain extent, it does not mean the refinement is final. Thus they would qualify their premises.

Take for example smoke, therefore fire. They would qualify by saying type of smoke and the example they would use had to be commonly accepted and agreed upon. If the example was controversial, they would use another example. So the revised argument would go like this, "I saw a particular kind of smoke, I know that this particular kind of smoke is caused is by fire, i see that particular kind of smoke now, therefore there must be fire in the locus"

Similarily in the use of analogy. They would use set logic. To identify a certain thing one would need to know its distinguishing characteristics which are specific only to it in what is already known. Some characteristics will be shared, while some will not be shared. So if I say to you go and find Bob in the market, he is the one that 6 ft 2, has blue eyes, a moustache, is wearing a brown jacket with a symbol of a star on it, and you go look for him, the chances of finding somebody else exactly of the same description are improbable, thus it is a valid means of knowing who Bob is from description. This mehod is used when trying to identify an unknown species in fields like botany.

So the point I am making is not that the means of knowing outlined are unproblematic, but that they are the means by which we collect data. Do you have an objection to that?


[edit on 31-3-2009 by Indigo_Child]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 09:43 AM
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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
So the point I am making is not that the means of knowing outlined are unproblematic...


I never said that was the point you were making - I was pointing out that the content of your post was incorrect, in my opinion.


...but that they are the means by which we collect data.


And I am telling you that I do not agree. That is not how I collect my data.


Do you have an objection to that?


How bizarre!


p.s. do you have any links/data to back up your info on the Indians 'logicians' et al?

[edit on 31/3/2009 by skibtz]



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