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Skepticism: A Call to Arms

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posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:14 PM
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Many of the posters seem to be using the term "skeptic" when they actually mean "Debunker". Bill Nye is a debunker. He (and others) refuses to look at the evidence. On the other hand, evidence is not proof. Many people not trained in a science don't understand that.
Without skepticism these threads simply become the sounding boards of cults. I "believe" that evidence shows that some UFO sightings represent actual unknown vehicles of some nature. I know that about 85% of "sightings" are explainable or have been explained. I don't "believe" people who post stories about their sightings for the same reason I don't send large checks to Nigerian post office boxes. Frankly, most people who see lights in the sky, day or night, do not have the experience to interpret what they've seen. The difference between a skeptic and a debunker is that the skeptic looks for and evaluates evidence while the debunker is convinced that there is no evidence to evaluate. The debunker and the true believer are equally useless in finding an answer to the UFO enigma, and reason can't be found in either camp.
If you are not interested in approaching the UFO subject from a scientific angle, it puzzles me why you would post to this thread at all.




posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:17 PM
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reply to post by Office 4256
 


I agree. That's why I try to remember to use skeptic in "" or say: self-proclaimed skeptic. I'm skeptical. I question everything. A year ago I thought all UFOs were black program trial projects. I kept asking more and more pointed questions and finally I got a lot of really decent information dropped in my lap that made me sort of "open" to the idea.

It's not that I believe, but I will defend those that do. I will also defend the idea of keeping an open mind on the subject and putting money towards research.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:18 PM
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Originally posted by Total Package
It's the same with all of them mate. Bill Nye with UFO's.... Michael Shermer with Psychics and PSI.... even Shermer has started weighing in with UFO debunking now... even though the clown has absolutely no idea and has done no investigation.


I'm aware of both of them and their positions and argumentation on UFOs.

I had read and heard Shermer on a different topic and I thought he was being very scientific, logical and overall seemed to know what he was talking about.

I then had the displeasure of reading and seeing him talk about UFOs several times and every time he sounded like an ignorant who has not done any research on the subject whatsoever constantly making absurd generalizations about the phenomena and the witnesses.



These guys might be idiots but they are all "credible" members of the scientific and skeptic community.


This is why I advocate for people to be more skeptical of what is being presented, regardless of the source.

As I've stated above I had heard and read Shermer on a different subject and if I wasn't as skeptic as I am I would've probably given more weight to his opinion on UFOs than clearly he deserves.

He might be right on other topics, but on UFOs, he has demonstrated time and time again that he is dead wrong.

Being the skeptic that I am, I looked at the evidence with a scientific approach, open to any and all possibilities, and while I might have not (yet) found undeniable proof to determine that UFOs are of extra-terrestrial nature, I could factually see how Shermer's allegations about the phenomena and the witnesses were unscientific and completely false.



Here is what I mean about Phil Plait... who uses science to prove everything he doesn't believe in..... yet takes the most flimsy of anecdotal evidence to prove that we landed on the moon.... because that's his agenda.


The good thing about scientific evidence is that eventually it is ultimately possible to determine who's wrong or right.

That's why I say ufology should be a strictly scientific field, because while Phil Plait, Shermer and others might make whatever claims they want and pretend they have scientific basis, we can ultimately show people how wrong they are.

On the other hand, if people keep touting the unfounded theories and stories like Greer's and Burisch's as evidence of anything, the Shermers et al. will keep getting away - for the most part - with their pseudoscientific dismissals of a real phenomena that very much deserves serious study.


[edit on 11-8-2009 by converge]



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori
It is okay, skeptics, to ask questions then mull it over a bit before you rush to judgment.


In my opinion one wouldn't be a skeptic if he didn't



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:28 PM
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Originally posted by converge

Originally posted by A Fortiori
It is okay, skeptics, to ask questions then mull it over a bit before you rush to judgment.


In my opinion one wouldn't be a skeptic if he didn't


*lifts glass*

Cheers, mate.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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Originally posted by azure-door
The second type is the real UFOlogist who actually searches for UFOs and investigates cases.


So a real UFOlogist carries a machine gun like your avatar?




We should be our own devils advocates, we should try to shoot down all UFO reports, the ones that dont fall down may be the real ones.


I guess so... but the real ones are likely to shoot back



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:37 PM
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So a real UFOlogist carries a machine gun like your avatar?


My attempt at humour, I am from Northern Ireland, we have many terrorist groups who are called UF this and UF that.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori
I hear very few self-admitted skeptics querying people. I hear them immediately rush to the: It could be this...It could be that...It's probably this...It's probably that...

That is one of the problems with what happens on ATS, in most cases we can only look at photos or videos, posted by people that are not the real witnesses.

Also, in some of the cases in which the witness is the ATS member that posted the photos or video, when someone starts asking questions he/she gets in trouble with some people that see that as a proof that he/she is just a "disinfo agent" that is trying to discredit the witness.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 01:04 PM
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...And blew it he did. Nye shed his scientist costume in the debate portion of the show and revealed himself to be a flat-out debunker. Don t care to cite specific examples, but he doesn't believe in UFOs and is a perfect example of someone who refuses to even entertain to concept of visitation. He almost had me fooled.

IMO, debunkers are just as ignorant as doe-eyed believers.

CDS



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 02:04 PM
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I once heard it said

" extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence "

I have sat in church and heard people talk of god , the spirit of faith , ....and these same people can't define the words they use in anythng but circular ways ...

I can beleive in god , only when I understand the words I use .

intagration is the root of integraty.... my life style , politics , beleifs and manor of conducting my life are all uniform and intagtated... seamless , simple and easy to understand .

with that in mind... I open my self to any one who will challange me , I seek out those who can shake my heart , mind or soul .

and await any one who can... totaly open to change my veiws in a moment .

not because I like to crush any fool who makes the attempt , but because I need to trust in what I beleive , for every one that trys and fails... I feel more sure of myself , more sure in what I beleive .....

what is remarkable , I never back down, never look away , never run away... give the other person all the latitude they need to hang them selves , open all to exsamination with out hesitation... and deliver up the weakness to my resolve freely...

ready for them to think it out better than myself....

because ..." extraordinary claims do require extraordinary evidence "... for me at least.

frankly I find no extraordinary evidence for ET what ever...

but I see no reason to question UFO's or the remarkable creatures with in them at all , I have never seen the polar ice shelf , but people of good charicter have seen it and report to me that it is real .

I have never seen a ghost , or the easter bunny... one I think is real , the other is a story told to children .

frankly speaking... it is not what you have seen... it is who the person is who saw it .
and even then... what they saw... may not be what they say it was .

I am a capitalist , conservitive , republican surrounded by 10,ooo liberal dem's .... and not one has every thought thru their politic's
... I know , because I have tried to find just one ...

as a debunker , I have earn'd the right to say, "changed my mind , give it your best shot ... keep it civil , keep your voice down , don't get angry or call me names "

what I find is... the only people who don't beleive in UFO's keep their eyes tightly shut , poke their fingers in their ears , and sing loudly ....

where they come from is a diffrent matter altogather .
I don't care what they tell us , I am not even slightly surprised what is reported , form follows function... and there are simply to meny things that down in my gut lack ... have not the ring of truth .



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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Regarding the US winning a war, that depends on what you mean by "win". All to often a country has gotten over it's head in a war and "soulved" the problem by just declaring victory and leaving. Since generals always fight the last war, often there is a sad lack of planning for the next one. The CIA's goal has among others always been at a loss to really predict the next war. An educated guess is the best they can do. When it's not enough, we pay the price.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by arbiture
 


I don't understand what is the relation between your post and the topic of this thread.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by converge
Being the skeptic that I am, I looked at the evidence with a scientific approach, open to any and all possibilities, and while I might have not (yet) found undeniable proof to determine that UFOs are of extra-terrestrial nature, I could factually see how Shermer's allegations about the phenomena and the witnesses were unscientific and completely false.


The odd thing about Shermer, as well as many of the more notable skeptics, is that if someone is going to allow for the possibility of ET life and intelligence (even though absolutely no proof has been found for it), then it must logically be admitted that there is a possibility that they've visited or are visiting Earth.

Yes, we know that the universe is mind-bogglingly huge, faster than light travel as we currently understand it is essentially impossible, and travel from one star system to another would take a very, very long time. But that still doesn't automatically negate it as a possibility.

There's nothing stopping the study of UFOs from becoming a strictly scientific endeavor. Even the hoaxes and wild stories from enthusiasts and supporters can be filtered out to some degree. And there will always be a lot of noise in the data coming from government black projects. But there's a way to do it. And any scientist skeptic who isn't just a debunker for personal reasons would recognize that.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:39 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 08:46 PM
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reply to post by Total Package
 


See: Swamp Gas
Chinese Lanterns

I really don't care for scientists that have an ego problem. Bill Nye is a joke and always has been a joke.



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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Originally posted by Office 4256
Many of the posters seem to be using the term "skeptic" when they actually mean "Debunker". Bill Nye is a debunker. He (and others) refuses to look at the evidence. On the other hand, evidence is not proof. Many people not trained in a science don't understand that.

Without skepticism these threads simply become the sounding boards of cults. I "believe" that evidence shows that some UFO sightings represent actual unknown vehicles of some nature. I know that about 85% of "sightings" are explainable or have been explained. I don't "believe" people who post stories about their sightings for the same reason I don't send large checks to Nigerian post office boxes. Frankly, most people who see lights in the sky, day or night, do not have the experience to interpret what they've seen. The difference between a skeptic and a debunker is that the skeptic looks for and evaluates evidence while the debunker is convinced that there is no evidence to evaluate. The debunker and the true believer are equally useless in finding an answer to the UFO enigma, and reason can't be found in either camp.

If you are not interested in approaching the UFO subject from a scientific angle, it puzzles me why you would post to this thread at all.



This is just chat among mostly anonymous people form everywhere.

I totally ignore the labels of debunkers, skeptics, believers, etc. I've learned to approach every case with unanswered questioned from the beginning with no preconceived notion.

Someone claims an encounter with an alien entity. First one looks at the material evidence available. One ascertains a psychological profile of the claimant. One also has to take into account the similarities of the account to cultural and media available memes in circulation.

In 1809 an occurrence that's not fully understood might be attributed to a religious experience. In 1909 a supernatural one. In 2009, it's interpreted as an alien visitation.

Something happened, maybe in the outside world, at least in part interfacing with someone's internal world. But the templates for interpretation shift.

This is far more significant than most realize.


Mike



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by azure-door
Watch out skeptics, you might get logged



I'm completely lost.




[Mod Edit - removed off topic quote]

[edit on 12/8/2009 by Sauron]



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:49 PM
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Originally posted by converge

Originally posted by Total Package
It's the same with all of them mate. Bill Nye with UFO's.... Michael Shermer with Psychics and PSI.... even Shermer has started weighing in with UFO debunking now... even though the clown has absolutely no idea and has done no investigation.


I'm aware of both of them and their positions and argumentation on UFOs.

I had read and heard Shermer on a different topic and I thought he was being very scientific, logical and overall seemed to know what he was talking about.

I then had the displeasure of reading and seeing him talk about UFOs several times and every time he sounded like an ignorant who has not done any research on the subject whatsoever constantly making absurd generalizations about the phenomena and the witnesses.


Actually I've studied PSI and Psychic phenomena for over 22 years. It's a field where I regularly run into Michael Shermer debunking as that is his main area of *cough* expertise. The man is nothing but a fraud. What you saw with Shermer talking about UFOs I see every day where he talks about PSI.

I once watched Michael Shermer dissect a psychic reading by John Edward of a producer of a show Shermer was on... Shermer proclaimed that out of the 30 things John Edward said only 1 was correct and the other 29 was wrong. Yet amazingly although the entire reading was captured on film..... not 1 single second of footage of John Edward being so wrong was ever shown. He literally had all the supposed proof in the world which shows John Edward is a fraud and a cold reader..... and he didn't show any of that video evidence..... instead he just sat there and "told" everyone how wrong John Edward was.

Of course I had all these people then telling me that John Edward is a cold reader... and to this day you see people saying he cold reads and that Shermer proved it etc etc... yet it was never proven... and having seen John Edward several times myself in the flesh do his work can categorically state that Shermer is a liar and misinformed everyone. This is a SCIENTIST doing this.

Dean Radin is scathing of his own scientific community for the way they approach things like UFOs and PSI.... he even admitted himself that he was so brainwashed in his education as a scientist all the way through Uni that this is the way things are and you can only prove it using Science.... that when he started finding in his investigations that PSI was real..... his brain almost refused to acknowledge it because it went against everything he had been taught as a scientist. He is scatching of the other scientists out there that are more worried about being ridiculed and collecting a pay cheque than investigating phenomena like PSI and UFOs when the evidence is there that something is happening.


Originally posted by converge

The good thing about scientific evidence is that eventually it is ultimately possible to determine who's wrong or right.

That's why I say ufology should be a strictly scientific field, because while Phil Plait, Shermer and others might make whatever claims they want and pretend they have scientific basis, we can ultimately show people how wrong they are.

On the other hand, if people keep touting the unfounded theories and stories like Greer's and Burisch's as evidence of anything, the Shermers et al. will keep getting away - for the most part - with their pseudoscientific dismissals of a real phenomena that very much deserves serious study.

[edit on 11-8-2009 by converge]


Can't agree. Science has a limited place in Ufology. Science does not have the tools to cope and is too inflexible. Science are a set of flawed rules created by humans. It's no different to the bible as far as I am concerned.

Going back to the PSI for a second.... science refuses to acknowledge PSI exists because science is unable to prove it due to the limitations of science. Just because science had not invented the microscope... did not mean that microscopic organisms did not exist prior to the invention of the microscope.... science was just too limited to understand it. Same with UFO's... just because Science cannot understand it and cannot proof there is life on other planets because we are scientifically not advanced enough to travel.... does not mean it doesn't exist or that there are other civilisations out there that could do it. Hearing idiots like Bill Nye saying "It's quite a step to believe" makes me sick.

So with all that in mind... why the hell should Science be used as any sort of measuring tool. As you probably have noticed by now I have little respect for those who work in the science field because the majority of them are only there to make money... and to keep their credibility rather than actually investigating and thinking outside the square.

[edit on 11-8-2009 by Total Package]



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 10:52 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 11 2009 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by Total Package
I had read and heard Shermer on a different topic and I thought he was being very scientific, logical and overall seemed to know what he was talking about.

I then had the displeasure of reading and seeing him talk about UFOs several times and every time he sounded like an ignorant who has not done any research on the subject whatsoever constantly making absurd generalizations about the phenomena and the witnesses.

Can't agree. Science has a limited place in Ufology. Science does not have the tools to cope and is too inflexible. Science are a set of flawed rules created by humans. It's no different to the bible as far as I am concerned.

Going back to the PSI for a second.... science refuses to acknowledge PSI exists because science is unable to prove it due to the limitations of science. Just because science had not invented the microscope... did not mean that microscopic organisms did not exist prior to the invention of the microscope.... science was just too limited to understand it. Same with UFO's... just because Science cannot understand it and cannot proof there is life on other planets because we are scientifically not advanced enough to travel.... does not mean it doesn't exist or that there are other civilisations out there that could do it. Hearing idiots like Bill Nye saying "It's quite a step to believe" makes me sick.

So with all that in mind... why the hell should Science be used as any sort of measuring tool. As you probably have noticed by now I have little respect for those who work in the science field because the majority of them are only there to make money... and to keep their credibility rather than actually investigating and thinking outside the square.



I've heard this argument for a lifetime. Always considered it a weak excuse.

The fact that we're transmitting our thoughts by typing them and the data appears on screens worldwide in an instant says much about science.

Notice not too many are communicating by telepathy though it's been talked about forever.

You throw out science you might as well throw out mathematics and logic, too. Human constructs - flawed. Just claim they aren't the right tools to deal with your subject. Intuition, feelings, magic - they're OK.

Skeptics like Shermer may overreact - but I understand why. At least there's an attempt at honest and getting closer to the truth.

The entire UFO professional brigade - starting with the pure snake oil salesmen - Burisch, Deacon, Greer - and even down to the ones with some notion of self respect - Randle, Friedman - etc. They're just eking out a career appealing to the gullibility of an audience.


I'm equally intolerant of the self-delusional. Show me PSI happening consistently and reliably. Otherwise it's as real as my magic spoon.

My magic spoon works. A tradition that goes back thousands of years based on energy forces only some of us understand. But science is incapable of proving it.


M



[edit on 11-8-2009 by mmiichael]



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