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What are best ways to educate a skeptic?

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posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 08:40 AM
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I've noticed that most people tend to assume that scientists are the best people to study UFO data and separate the chaff from the wheat. It seems to me that UFO data is more like intelligence data so somebody trained to analyze intelligence data (such as a retired CIA person) would be better than a scientist. Of course maybe CIA training wouldn't be so great considering their incompetence lately.




posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 08:43 AM
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I think what bothers me more than anything, is having someone present something, and asking people's opinion on it.
Then, when someone like me points out problems with it, or fail to see what they are seeing, we immedieatly get pounced on, and declared a "paid troll"

Now, first, I'm not paid to be here. Second, the OP of thread asked for opinions and feed back.

I can understand being upset if the "skeptic" posts something insulting the OP's intelligence, or just being insulting in general. If I see something posted that looks absolutely "Looney Tunes" to me, I stay out of the thread. That old saying of "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it."

I always try to be encouraging to the poster, or at the very least, agree that something might be there, but that we need to look further.
But when the OP, or others in the thread turn around and tell me "No! This is absolute proof! You can not question this etremely zoomed in and pixelated picture! You MUST believe what I am saying, as there can not be any other explanation for this. Never!"
It reminds me way, way too much of those comercials where the guy is screaming at the top of their lungs about how their product is the best, that no one else can top them, that you MUST buy it now! No! Don't wait! Don't compare! Pick up your phone and order NOW!

I'd rather retain the freedom of making up my own mind, and doing a bit of research first. If I think something is plausible, I'll say so. If I don't agree, I'll say so.

If the OP still feels that there is something there: :shrug: then that is what they believe and I'll agree to disagree and move on.

But don't call me a "paid troll" because I don't blindly accept people's post that they put out.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:14 AM
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Originally posted by cloudyday
I've noticed that most people tend to assume that scientists are the best people to study UFO data and separate the chaff from the wheat. It seems to me that UFO data is more like intelligence data so somebody trained to analyze intelligence data (such as a retired CIA person) would be better than a scientist..



Cloudyday, I understand your point although I think a rigorous, scientific, objective study is long overdue on the UFO subject -I think one of the main problems, as Peter Sturrock mentions below, is that many mainstream scientists are painfully unaware of the subject matter:




"Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view (prejudice) works against the presentation of relevant data."

Peter A. Sturrock, "An Analysis of the Condon Report on the Colorado UFO Project," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol.1, No.1, 1987




Perhaps Brad sparks has got it right in this clip:



Google Video Link



Cheers.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:29 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 





"Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view (prejudice) works against the presentation of relevant data."


Subjective evidence (aka "observations") are NOT scientific evidence. People also claimed that mermaids exist, doesn't make it true.

What we need is OBJECTIVE evidence...which has been lacking so far.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:39 AM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by karl 12
 





"Most scientists have never had the occasion to confront evidence concerning the UFO phenomenon. To a scientist, the main source of hard information (other than his own experiments' observations) is provided by the scientific journals. With rare exceptions, scientific journals do not publish reports of UFO observations. The decision not to publish is made by the editor acting on the advice of reviewers. This process is self-reinforcing: the apparent lack of data confirms the view that there is nothing to the UFO phenomenon, and this view (prejudice) works against the presentation of relevant data."


Subjective evidence (aka "observations") are NOT scientific evidence. People also claimed that mermaids exist, doesn't make it true.

What we need is OBJECTIVE evidence...which has been lacking so far.


The nature of UFO data is why I think scientists are not the people to study UFOs. Scientists can only study things that they can reproduce reliably and right now we can't reproduce UFO data.

However, intelligence analysts, journalists, attorneys - these people know how to study subjective data.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 09:48 AM
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reply to post by cloudyday
 





The nature of UFO data is why I think scientists are not the people to study UFOs. Scientists can only study things that they can reproduce reliably and right now we can't reproduce UFO data.


Again, subjective data isn't reliable to figure out the truth!! So if you think objective witness accounts are reliable data to analyse, you are simply wrong. Only by using OBJECTIVE testable and verifiable evidence can you figure out the truth. Otherwise you have to accept people's word, and we all know how reliable that is (mermaids, lol).



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 10:01 AM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
Present the sceptic with real objective evidence and facts. I'm waiting


FYI: "Someone" who saw a "light" in the sky isn't considered proof or evidence because that's SUBJECTIVE evidence and pretty much worthless.


Are you honestly a 'skeptic' and yet think that all UFO's are distant lights in the sky? Not possible. Wouldn't a 'skeptic' be most interested in and focus his attention on those many cases which are clearly much more than lights in the sky?

Have you read the Condon Report and Bluebook Special Reports? Because instead of "waiting" for data, those two sources (and their most well-known critiques) would be a good place for the 'true skeptic' to start. A true UFO skeptic, after all, is familiar with what's contained within those sources, and applies his rigorous skepticism to the question of whether those reports' conclusions comfortably fit their data.

What do you think of SR14's statistical analysis? How about that same analysis after deletion of the astronomical '"known" cases? What do those methods and conclusions imply? Is the U.S. Air Force's/Battelle's "Flying Saucer" model too narrow, or too broad, or flawed in any other ways? I'd honestly like to see more skeptics apply their craft to these types of old questions, because there are definitely some very interesting and informative discussions to be had, with many concerns that have never been adequately addressed.

My personal view is that one cannot understand the UFO phenomenon, with all of its social and psychological complexities, without going back to and understanding the events from the1947-1955 period. Therefore, any 'skeptic' whose research is currently taking place without that appropriate historical backdrop is, again, too under-informed to claim that lofty label of "skeptic." There's no such thing as an ignorant skeptic, because a skeptic is, by definition, appropriately informed. (Otherwise where is the pride and meaning in such a label?) A skeptical but uninformed person is just... a skeptical but uninformed person. How useful is that?



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by TeaAndStrumpets
 


I used "lights in the sky" as an example for all witness reports, which are ALL scientifically useless because they don't represent reliable objective evidence.

Neil Degrasse Tyson does an excellent job at pointing out why that subjective data is USELESS:

LINK



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 10:12 AM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by cloudyday
 





The nature of UFO data is why I think scientists are not the people to study UFOs. Scientists can only study things that they can reproduce reliably and right now we can't reproduce UFO data.


Again, subjective data isn't reliable to figure out the truth!! So if you think objective witness accounts are reliable data to analyse, you are simply wrong. Only by using OBJECTIVE testable and verifiable evidence can you figure out the truth. Otherwise you have to accept people's word, and we all know how reliable that is (mermaids, lol).


O.k., I've never understood exactly what people mean by objective versus subjective and the scientific method and all that. All I know is that the CIA is able to utilize gossip overheard at cocktail parties, reports from dissidents, lies from double agents and lunatics, fuzzy photographs, etc. Somehow the CIA takes that data and tries to discover the truth. Likewise courts determine the truth everyday based on judgements of testimony from witnesses. Similarly the newspapers print the truth based on this kind of information.



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by MrXYZ
 


Not realy, there are aspects to the UFO subject that allow for objective scientific scrutiny like (sometimes multiple) radar confirmed flight characteristics, electromagentic interference effects, ground trace evidence etc..

There also already exists quite a few comprehensive scientific reports on the UFO subject - check out Dr James Mcdonald's work published in AIAA, Icarus and other peer-reviewed journals or look into the work of organisations like NARCAP who are conducting serious investigations into the subject -there's a list of some of their work here if you're at all interested.



If you’ve been too lazy to check out the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena’s extensive Project Sphere report, here’s an example of the level of detail:






Dominique Weinstein belongs to the French National Center for Space Studies’ UFO study, GEIPAN. He analyzed 300 cases of unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) activity reported across the world by military and civilian pilots from 1947-2007. In support of NARCAP founder Richard Haines’ contention that these encounters pose flight-safety hazards, Weinstein addresses 39 incidents, or 14 percent, involving electromagnetic effects.

Specificaly, 15 planes lost some form of UHF/VHF radio communication; nine had their magnetic compasses screwed up, including one that showed two compasses pointing in opposite directions; seven automatic radiocompasses went haywire; six planes experienced engine problems; five reported varying levels of weapons-system failure; and three logged general electrical issues. In all but two cases, the effects were temporary, as systems returned to normal when the UAP left the vicinity.

Eighty seven percent of these encounters occurred at cruising altitude. Radar data confirmation, or lack thereof, was available for 146 reports. Eighty one of those incidents generated radar data, with 15 reflecting both ground and air radar coverage.


link



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 10:25 AM
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By the way, no one's denying UFOs exist...they are unidentified flying objects, which definitely exist. When I'm talking about objective evidence, I'm talking about proof that those UFOs are of alien nature. And that's something that hasn't been proven or shown to be true. Showing a bright light in the sky like in the photo above isn't proof of anything but a bright light showing up on a photo. You can speculate what it is, but it's NOT proof of aliens.

Here's why scientific method and objective evidence are so important: LINK



posted on Feb, 3 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


Karl 12, did the scientists in the French study attempt to reproduce the airplane malfunctions to understand the mechanism. For example, it would be interesting to see what kind of electromagnetic field could reproduce the malfunctions. Maybe they could shield critical airplane parts. Better yet maybe they could build a sensor to detect UFOs.



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:50 AM
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reply to post by Jaellma
 


Simple: Narrow your search to articles and reports by law enforcement, military or pilots to begin with. This should weed out a great deal of the bunk out there while preserving a large volume of interesting reports.

While we all wish we could get to see a video of a ufo, and some believe that lack of such evidence is "proof" that they don't exist.... I would say you stand a good chance to be disappointed if you focus your search on videos and photos. There are a few that could be the real deal, but there simply is no way to confirm one way or another. So my suggestion would be to steer clear of photographic "evidence" and concentrate on fully referenced reports (where the witnesses are real people with names, especially multiple credible witnesses)

Ultimately, nobody has an obligation to convince a skeptic of anything. The skeptic is free to believe based on their available evidence (in fact, has a duty to do so), but it is up to them to determine their level of curiosity and research. This subject is where it is because most of the best evidence is not of a physical nature (consists of reports). It takes a certain mindset to be willing to entertain possibilities based on thin evidence, and for many skeptics this could a threat to their ego, since this mindset is easily mistaken with gullibility. Curiously, this same degree of evidence is all it takes to reach a conviction in a court of law, so it is a common skeptic mistake to dismiss evidence purely due to its non-physical nature. Non-physical evidence is still worthy of discussion and debate, and it has the potential to establish the veracity of facts in many other fields.

However, there is a very fine line between gullible and curious. Loosing the fear of judgement by others is the only way to venture into the subject and discover that line by yourself. Then be careful to stay on the rational side of it for your own sake.

-rrr



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 11:59 AM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by cloudyday
 





The nature of UFO data is why I think scientists are not the people to study UFOs. Scientists can only study things that they can reproduce reliably and right now we can't reproduce UFO data.


Again, subjective data isn't reliable to figure out the truth!! So if you think objective witness accounts are reliable data to analyse, you are simply wrong. Only by using OBJECTIVE testable and verifiable evidence can you figure out the truth. Otherwise you have to accept people's word, and we all know how reliable that is (mermaids, lol).


Research into the subject happens BECAUSE its truth / false state is not yet established. That is the reason why evidence of this nature is worthwhile, because it hasn't been prejudged. Ultimately what we do with the evidence could be as simple as narrowing further the search space. The evidence does not have to be "proven" for this to happen. Subjective evidence is not immediately worthless because of its inability to provide conclusive proof. Otherwise every act of a suspicious spouse would be misguided, every attempt to troubleshoot a system would be a waste of time (since it is based on unproven guesses and assumptions) and the judicial system would not work.

Clearly all of those endeavors are possible because people entertain unproven conjectures and use whatever little subjective information is at their disposal to pursue the subject further.

-rrr



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 12:04 PM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by cloudyday
 





The nature of UFO data is why I think scientists are not the people to study UFOs. Scientists can only study things that they can reproduce reliably and right now we can't reproduce UFO data.


Again, subjective data isn't reliable to figure out the truth!! So if you think objective witness accounts are reliable data to analyse, you are simply wrong. Only by using OBJECTIVE testable and verifiable evidence can you figure out the truth. Otherwise you have to accept people's word, and we all know how reliable that is (mermaids, lol).



Last time I checked every pain medication sold has it's safety and effectiveness established by statistical aggregation of subjective reports.

-rrr
edit on 16-2-2012 by rickyrrr because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by rickyrrr
Last time I checked every pain medication sold has it's safety and effectiveness established by statistical aggregation of subjective reports.

-rrr


"My pain went away"

is different than

"I think that light in the sky was not natural and was doing things that no Earthly made craft could do"



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 02:56 PM
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edit on 16-2-2012 by rickyrrr because: Removed because after fact checking my post was not quite correct.



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 09:13 PM
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reply to post by Jaellma
 


The answer is to use the scientific method. Provide some evidence, replicate it's existence and draw a convincing conclusion to your hypothesis. then let is stand up to others. Skeptics don't just believe - they need to be convinced through scientific proof.



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by Jaellma
 


The skeptic is normally the most "educated" one present.

The believers( one side or the other) are normally dismissing facts that might disrupt their beliefs.



edit on 2/16/2012 by Chamberf=6 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 09:54 PM
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Originally posted by Nikola014
We can't do anything about it. The only one who can change skeptic mind is himself. We can show them a dozens of proofs, but it still wouldn't matter because once you've decide not to believe in something, there is nothing that can change your mind. Skeptic will always be skeptic till he/she sees a UFO or alien...


There is proof and I can't agree more with you. To persuade skeptics it seems as if the only evidence they would accept is if they saw an alien being or UFO directly in front of them. You can't change their minds some are just plain ignorant to not accept the fact that we have been visited and the phenomenon is very real while others just need more evidence to persuade them.



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