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Why is the skeptics OPINION given any weight?

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posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla, in reply to Brighter:
....Your fallacy lies in your claim that if I've never read a book about some unknown variable that no one has any conclusive data to quantify, a subject that is ridden with speculation, that my fitness to see the planet Venus and call Venus for what it is, is questionable?
Wow. Yet again, Druscilla, you unwittingly expose your own ignorance of the UFO topic. Here you manage to do it in a single sentence. (The first one, above.) It's a little concerning that you don't see the circularity (blindingly apparent to most others, I assume) which plagues both that sentence and your reasoning on the topic as a whole.

Here's the fundamental question:
If you've not read the most significant and reliable UFO literature (Condon, SR#14, Hynek, etc.), then how in the world do you arrive at your 'conclusion' that "no one has any conclusive data to quantify" the UFO problem, that it's all just basically a case of mistaken identification?

Do you not see that your conclusion is a premise within its own justification? How could it possibly be otherwise, given that you've admittedly looked at so little data? This kind of reasoning of yours is clearly a problem....

How does one draw reasonable conclusions on a topic if ignoring substantial amounts of highly relevant data?

Since you insist on doing no reading of your own outside these forums, as you've admitted, you're unaware of the data that does exist. You've simply assumed, incorrectly, that it doesn't.

Go take a look at Blue Book Special Report #14. After digesting the data, and pondering the conclusions that data reasonably would and would not support, ask yourself how the Air Force ended up where it did: concluding "it just can't be", apparently, and telling the public that only a few percent of UFOs remained unexplained, while "the data" -- actual data you refuse to look at -- unambiguously shows that the true percentage of unknowns found by the Air Force and Battelle scientists was closer to 22%.

Better yet, the unknowns comprised 33% of the highest reliability sightings. And remember, this is with the low quality reports having being tossed out, and with prosaic explanations having been eliminated one by one. In other words, "the data" completely contradicts your (and other so-called skeptics') two favorite arguments.

I think most people would find it relevant that, in the largest statistical study of UFOs to date, the unknowns were found to be statistically significant, i.e., distinct from the knowns in very fundamental ways: by speed, shape, brightness, and other characteristics.

You've professed a love for statistics and even urged others to educate themselves on the topic. Why do you ignore these particular statistics, which, again, were found by Air Force and Battelle scientists?

Read Special Report #14. There's real data in it. That small bit I just provided is merely one example of the kinds of advantages accruing to those actually familiar with the primary sources, who've taken the time to actually read about the topic.

Again, if not those I listed above, from what sources do your UFO conclusions spring?



Originally posted by Druscilla
...If anything, I posit exposure to UFO literature INCREASES the risk fro probability bias in favor of X=0 where misidentification of, or willful refusal to properly identify Y variable objects and phenomenon becomes more common.
So reading about the UFO subject somehow "biases" a person's point of view on UFOs? Interesting perspective.... So, it biases a person's point of view how exactly? Do you mean the reader is biased before having a chance to reach the only true and reasonable conclusion that exists, the conclusion which sounds an awful lot like yours, and which should apparently be based solely upon the extremes of ATS and upon no outside data at all?

This statement of yours, that reading about a topic somehow improperly biases a person toward it, is among the most absurd things I've read in 2012. Really. It would be somewhat funny were it not actually offensive, literally, to the intellect, and to the core concepts of science itself.

I don't know if you're serious when you say this, or if you just hope that fewer people will be persuaded to go look at "the data"....

And finally, just to preclude your most predictable response, there is no ad hominem attack anywhere in what I just wrote. My claim , which is that you, Druscilla, are ignorant of the UFO topic,
a) is obviously and directly related to the UFO topic, and to whether you can actually reach an informed conclusion regarding it, and
b) involves no attack upon any irrelevant personal traits of yours.


edit on 26-8-2012 by TeaAndStrumpets because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 10:05 PM
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Originally posted by Druscilla

Riiiiiight. Because your papa use to be Sheriff of this town and when the Dalton gang up and shot him to death, that left you with the tin star to sort such out? */sarcasm*

Your attacks are entirely irrelevant. Fitness in drawing any objective conclusion regarding any aspect of the UFO phenomenon?
Really?
Can you get any more full of yourself?



Actually, Brighter's point that you have admittedly not familiarized yourself with the literature most relevant to an accurate understanding of what the UFO problem actually is is quite relevant. The fact that you regularly (perhaps unintentionally) mischaracterize the nature of the problem in your posts is a strong indication that you are indeed unfamiliar with the most thorough, intelligent and informed explication and analysis available regarding this subject. There's no reason not to "look at the evidence" - which in this case involves reading at least a few select books by those most familiar with the UFO reports and the people who make them. At least then you could critique the subject in a credible way. You're an outstanding writer and obviously very intelligent, but it's equally obvious that you are poorly acquainted with the fundamental writings on this particular subject. That fact cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to this conversation.



One needs never to have seen or even heard of the UFO phenomenon to be able to look at a balloon in the sky and say, "Hey, that's a balloon", or to be able to Identify Venus, a Satellite, a meteorite, a Bolide, a comet, a Lenticular cloud, a helicopter, CGI, or any number of other objects or phenomenon which are entirely relevant to the Y variable where X may very well equal Y. Anyone with Inductive or Deductive reasoning, especially as is applicable to the Y variable, is entirely qualified.


That paragraph is irrelevant and wrong. In the High Strangeness reports (as Hynek would call them), all of those possibilities you mention are quite reasonably ruled out. In The UFO Experience: A Scientific Inquiry, Hynek discusses what he calls "close encounter" reports:


The definition of Close Encounter is best given by the observers themselves, operationally: what are the most frequent distances reported in cases in which the object was close enough to have shown appreciable angular extension and considerable detail, in which stereoscopic vision was presumably employed, and in which fear of possible immediate physical contact was reported? From the reports themselves this appears to be a few hundred feet and often much less - sometimes 20 feet or less. In any event, the reported distance is such that it seems only remotely likely that the actual stimulus could have been far removed, particularly when the object or light passed between the observer and some object (tree, house, hill, etc.) from a known distance away.

It is in Close Encounter cases that we come to grips with the "misperception" hypothesis of UFO reports. While some brief can possibly be established for this hypothesis in the case of the first major division of UFO reports - those that refer to sightings at a distance - it becomes virtually untenable in the case of the Close Encounter.



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by TeaAndStrumpets
 


Show me an alien.
Show me a flying saucer.

If you can produce one at will, and accurately describe every detail of what you produce, down to its DNA, or Propulsion System, then you have quantified something and given it identifiability.

Thus, please, I challenge you; produce one flying saucer, and I'll purchase tickets to meet you where we can go fly around in it, and quantify every aspect of it. I'll even get a team of engineers to assist in the quantification of the flying saucer after the joy ride.

Please, I challenge you to produce an alien, any non-terrestrial species will be fine, and we can begin dissecting it immediately to quantify every aspect of said alien.

Wait. What?
You can't produce a flying saucer, or an alien at will?
Oh, no worries then. Please tell me who can and we can then have them do it for us.
Oh, none has as of yet produced a flying saucer or alien that can be dissected?

Hmmm.

No one actually has any proof that aliens or flying saucers do in fact exist?

Hmmm again.
Sounds like there's some lack of quantifiability there.
You may want to look into that.



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 10:45 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


if you don't want to 'believe' or consider anything until you have everything right in front of your face in picture form that is your choice. but don't then tell everybody else there is no evidence or not enough evidence to conclude the alien possibility.

sometimes evidence is not that clear, it requires connecting dots and taking into consideration many things whilst some of those things may be a particular picture the picture on it's own would not be enough to reach the conclusion.

one of things that makes me consider it, is the way governments react to them in their airspace, not just one government but many governments and often with visual contact. what they say after and how they treat the subject in public etc etc. those types of things cannot be captured in picture form, they require research. the way they act contradicts in my opinion what they say and the secret tech possibility although i would never discount it.

to explain a bit better what i mean, if money went missing from the til in the shop you own, you might not have proof who took it and NO visual evidence, but the way people act when you call the meeting to confront the issue can give off many clues about who might be responsible. you might not be able to confront them with clear evidence but you know from what is available to you they are the one who did it. then add in the times people were in and out of the building who was on the til and when, none of this is visual evidence, yet you can still reach conclusions based on the available evidence.



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by lifeform11
 


It's entirely your prerogative to use speculation or feelings to believe what you want to believe.
Every religion on the planet does the same thing.

Postulating definitives out of highly interpretive data sets is not a true definitive, and far away from proof.
Evidence is one thing, but, evidence falls under the umbrella of interpretive data.

You have X=Y where X is the unknown/UFO and Y is a known object/phenomena, in which case X=Y is a positive identification of known correlation.
You also have X=0 where 0 is Unknown. X=unknown, or 0 leaves speculation open to any interpretation you or anyone desires at least until new data may frame another answer.

X=0 leaves the question open for Time travelers, Aliens, Demons, Gods, Interdimensional Sentients, Optimus Prime, Predator, or anything else you or anyone else wants to toss into the grab-bag of possibilities.

I don't deny there are X=0 cases.
Putting a name or quantifiable value to that 0, however, would equate to PROOF, just as X=Y is proof of a known value.
Last I checked, there was no PROOF to quantify 0, just evidence, which is interpretive, regardless of however passionate anyone wants to be about it.



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


do you consider the time travel possibility? or secret tech possibility?

i see no proof of them that is 100% absolute, only evidence.

so why is it o.k. to consider those but not the alien possibility?



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 11:40 PM
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Originally posted by neoholographic
First, there's no such thing as extraordinary evidence.


Any evidence that helps in changing our understanding of the universe is extraordinary.


Originally posted by neoholographic
The scientific method doesn't require extraordinary evidence.


Actually, it does. While it does not use those exact words, any evidence that proves a hypothesis to be correct is "extraordinary" by its very nature.


Originally posted by neoholographic
There isn't some national scientific guidelines that say anything about extraordinary evidence.


Extraordinary evidence is simply a philosophical concept to describe the work and nature of science. It requires the extraordinary. While no guidelines will specifically say "extraordinary evidence" we see this philosophy at work in all branches of science.


Originally posted by neoholographic
You just have to have evidence that supports the underlying theory and there's doesn't have to be anything extraordinary about the evidence.


On the contrary, all evidence does not have equal weight. If the evidence is strong and supports a claim, in a way that the evidence cannot be interpreted as supporting any other conclusion, it is extraordinary. If the evidence cannot do this, then it is weak.


Originally posted by neoholographic
Show me a national scientific guideline that requires extraordinary evidence.


No scientist will put his career on the line for weak evidence that does not unequivocally (or at least strongly) supports his claims.

Show me a scientist who will, then you will have a case that the "extraordinary" does not rule science.


Originally posted by neoholographic
Saying Parallel universes exist is not an extraordinary claim especially if you understand quantum mechanics and string theory.


No, saying parallel universes may exist is not an extraordinary claim. Because they are hypothetically possible. However, they are still not a scientific reality. But saying that you have proof that such things are a scientific reality, measurable and objective, then yes, you are making an extraordinary claim and must have the evidence to support it.


Originally posted by neoholographic
An extraordinary claim is one that has no evidence to support the claim.


This shows you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about and have no understanding of the fundamental guiding philosophy behind science.

An extraordinary claim is not one with no evidence to support it. An extraordinary claim is any that would change our understanding of the universe.


Originally posted by neoholographic
Again, you don't understand how science works. Science is full of subjective claims and this is why you have debates on so many theories


No, science is not built off subjective claims. You are showing you have no idea what objective and what subjective are. If you are making a claim that something is a reality, you are not making a subjective claim, you are making an objective claim. This claim can be demonstrated to be either true or false.

Until you educate yourself on what science is and isn't, there is no point discussing any of this with you.



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 11:42 PM
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Originally posted by neoholographic
First off, that's just Tyson's opinion. For instance Stephen Hawking has reached the conclusion that Aliens almost certaintly exist.


When did Tyson claim that aliens did not exist?



posted on Aug, 26 2012 @ 11:45 PM
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I suggest you do some reading regarding current investigations into theoretical phenomenon: Wormholes, for instance where the appearance of reflective spheres could indicate the manifestation of a natural phenomenon wormhole endpoint interface into local space time where the endpoint disallows local interaction such that it displays high reflectivity where local light/radiation interaction is repelled due the nature of the interface being a nontraversable exit-only interface.
reply to post by Druscilla
 


I see no 100% absolute proof here, it would take a leap of faith, there is only evidence and no proof. it is all only opinions.

please show me one picture proving this is the cause of u.f.o's not just speculation.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:11 AM
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reply to post by WingedBull
 


You're post makes no sense. You said:


Extraordinary evidence is simply a philosophical concept to describe the work and nature of science. It requires the extraordinary. While no guidelines will specifically say "extraordinary evidence" we see this philosophy at work in all branches of science.


Translation:

I know what I said is nonsense, so let me just make something up.

The fact is there's no such thing as extraordinary evidence. There's just evidence. No guidelines will specifically say extraordinary evidence because there's no such thing. This is why you only hear about extraordinary evidence in areas of Ufology or Psi. It's only used by so called skeptics to give them a reason to ignore the available evidence and say it's not enough. It will never be enough as long as you have to have extraordinary evidence.

You said:


No, saying parallel universes may exist is not an extraordinary claim. Because they are hypothetically possible. However, they are still not a scientific reality. But saying that you have proof that such things are a scientific reality, measurable and objective, then yes, you are making an extraordinary claim and must have the evidence to support it.


Who said anything about proof? This whole thread I have been talking about probability. Who said they were measurable? They came to the conclusion that parallel universes exist based on the available evidence. This isn't a statement of absolute certainty but of probability.

It's like I said, I have come to the conclusion that extraterrestrials exist based on the available evidence.

For instance, one of the things Hawking based his conclusion on was the number of exoplanets being discovered. He used this evidence as one of the things that led him to say Aliens almost certainly exist. This is a statement of probability based on the available evidence.

You then said:


No, science is not built off subjective claims. You are showing you have no idea what objective and what subjective are. If you are making a claim that something is a reality, you are not making a subjective claim, you are making an objective claim. This claim can be demonstrated to be either true or false.


Again, you don't understand how science works. It's full of subjective debates over theories that are not objective realities.

Debates on the multiverse, debates on string theory, debates on the holographic universe, debates on the Higgs Boson, debates on Hawking Radiation. These things are not objective realities yet people have come to conclusions based on the available evidence whether these things are more likely to be true or false.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by lifeform11
reply to post by Druscilla
 


do you consider the time travel possibility? or secret tech possibility?

i see no proof of them that is 100% absolute, only evidence.

so why is it o.k. to consider those but not the alien possibility?


I didn't say that it wasn't fine and okay to consider Aliens as a possibility.
I thought it made it quite very clear in an X=0 situation, you can consider ANYTHING as a possibility.
Until there's quantifiable PROOF, it's all mental masturbation, and anyone is free to have dreams, speculations, or wild fantasies about the nature of what the value of any given X variable is.


Originally posted by lifeform11



I suggest you do some reading regarding current investigations into theoretical phenomenon: Wormholes, for instance where the appearance of reflective spheres could indicate the manifestation of a natural phenomenon wormhole endpoint interface into local space time where the endpoint disallows local interaction such that it displays high reflectivity where local light/radiation interaction is repelled due the nature of the interface being a nontraversable exit-only interface.
reply to post by Druscilla
 


I see no 100% absolute proof here, it would take a leap of faith, there is only evidence and no proof. it is all only opinions.

please show me one picture proving this is the cause of u.f.o's not just speculation.


I'm pretty positive I also made it clear that such a speculation is indeed speculation, just like any Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis is speculation, and as speculation, it's no less relevant than any speculation regarding intelligently controlled spacecraft.

Anyone making any statement regarding a value of variable X as it applies to UFOs is making a speculation, whether they make claim that UFOs are piloted by pink unicorns, Aliens, machines, or that UFOs are critters or wormhole interfaces.
It's all speculation, with some speculation seemingly more probable than others, but, probable does not equal definitive, no matter the documents, anecdotes and reports cited and waved around like little flags, until there's proof, all we have is speculation.

X=0 is unknown.
If you can prove what the value of X is, you'll be an overnight millionaire.
Until then, no matter who argues what with presentation of any sort of interpretive evidence, where X=0, X will continue to remain an unknown.

Argue away all you want, but, until there's proof, no matter the evidence, it's still just speculation.





edit on 27-8-2012 by Druscilla because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:40 AM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


my point is - so are all the other possibilities and the one you linked. where u.f.o's are concerned every explanation is speculation and has no proof. if there was proof we would know what they are.
yet many skeptic's on the alien subject seem to always demand absolute proof, yet i don't see them doing the same on the other possibilities including the theory you linked on wormholes causing them, yet you accepted it as a possibility without the absolute proof.

my point is i don't think a lot of people are skeptical, they are just against the alien theory full stop and try to debunk it whilst accepting similar theories that are also based on speculation and no proof as a possibility.

the fact is whether you conclude it or not, the alien possibility is one of the many possibilities and just as valid as the others. because none of them have the proof but they ALL have evidence whether you choose to look for it or not.
therefore it will always come down to research and the individuals interpretation of the data. many people will be open to all possibilities or some possibilities. we are not all going to agree.

I understand you say you accept the possibility but you keep demanding absolute proof, there is none. if there were there would be no such thing as u.f.o's as we would know what they are.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by lifeform11
 


You just paraphrased what I said in your own words.

Where X=0, X is unknown, so, any possibility regardless of merit is game.

Until there's absolute proof, any and all speculation as to the nature of X where X=0, except where X=Y, is a total fantasy fap-off.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 12:58 AM
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reply to post by neoholographic
 


takes less effort to think things through for yourself , than to just except something that " kind of " agrees with your own thoughts on the subject.

At least that is what it seems like.

You can't generalize it though......Things need to be balanced in a discussion that is intelligent and productive.

So there needs to be somebody to be the skeptic... I think the problem is that people either don't ask enough questions or they don't ask the right questions.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 01:29 AM
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post removed because the user has no concept of manners

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posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 01:47 AM
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Originally posted by lifeform11
I suggest you do some reading regarding current investigations into theoretical phenomenon: Wormholes, for instance

I see no 100% absolute proof here, it would take a leap of faith, there is only evidence and no proof. it is all only opinions.

please show me one picture proving this is the cause of u.f.o's not just speculation.


And again we see the deniers' creed in action. Notice that above, since there's no absolute proof, there can only be 'evidence'... but even that does not matter, because 'evidence' can apparently be demoted to "only opinion" whenever necessary.



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 01:49 AM
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reply to post by TeaAndStrumpets
 


hey whats wrong with using skeptic logic when assessing skeptic evidence?



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 02:35 AM
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reply to post by TeaAndStrumpets
 


How many decades of documents has MUFON, and other groups collected? 50 years worth? How many 'official' and unofficial reports have been made with such as Blue Book, CONDON, COMETA?

Now, compare the entire forest of trees felled for all this paper, and count how many aliens, and how many UFOs have been proven without a doubt such that all this collected "evidence" is officially accepted by academia, governments, and citizens, everywhere, world-round?

Zero?

For all this accumulated paper that seems to incite some people into a near religious zealotry of mouth foaming ranting, we have zero aliens, and zero real, hard, can-poke-it-with-a-stick flying saucer craft.

All this paper for what its worth might even be worth more were it used for rolling paper for whatever it is some of its zealous adherents would seem to be smoking.
For all the worth of this paper in producing zero aliens, and zero flying saucers, except as "possible" explanations, the paper may serve better purpose shredded for use as bedding for all the world's children that have pet hamsters in need of bedding.

Cite your documents. Quote your heroes. Raise the pages up high like rallying banners along with your oh so self righteous fist. Argue and scream and fight over it all you want, but, in the end, no matter how much you want there to be aliens, and flying saucers, we still have ZERO aliens and ZERO flying saucers to poke at.

Zero Aliens.
Zero conclusive authenticated flying saucers.

paper scores 0

It's okay if this upsets you. Go outside and yell at the sky. Yell at your Aliens, or UFOs. Yell at your paper for not producing any. Don't be mad at me, however. I'm not preventing aliens or UFOs from popping up. I'm just saying what I see. If you see something else, then, good for you. Bake a cake and throw a party. Woooo!



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 03:05 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
...Where X=0, X is unknown, so, any possibility regardless of merit is game.

Until there's absolute proof, any and all speculation as to the nature of X where X=0, except where X=Y, is a total fantasy fap-off.


Whoa, hold on there a minute Druscilla. ;-) The above is simply not logical, nor scientific, nor true, thankfully, because we'd all be 'up a creek' if scientists had to conform to the restrictions you just mentioned.

That the explanation behind a phenomenon is unknown or unidentified does not mean that any explanation anyone can float out there is equally likely to be correct.

Like others, it seems that, at least with respect to this topic, you want all shades of probability to just evaporate, leaving only black and white until the very second that a saucer lands on the White House lawn... and then, bingo, black turns to white.

But all speculation is not equal. Some working hypotheses really are more reasonable, and in fact much more reasonable, than others. Watch...

I hereby 'speculate' that all UFO sightings are caused by particular models of Ford car headlights throughout the years, as the light in them is refracted in such a way that, when striking a specific species of North American pine tree, creates a mirage that looks a lot a like a metallic disk.

Do you actually believe that what I just wrote is equally as plausible as the ETH? Is the ETH "fantasy" to the same degree that fairies in the garden or the Mars teapot are fantasy? Or are there more reasonable and less reasonable levels of likelihood? Of course there are. One simply cannot deny the shades of probability.

And whether you admit it or not, the probability that a very tiny percentage of UFO reports are best explained by the ETH is indeed greater than the probability that those reports are best explained by giant swarms of gnats, or by headlight / pine tree interactions. No reasonable person would deny that. So now the door to UFO probabilities is open -- and it should never have been closed, because THAT is not science -- but this is when the real work begins.

Unfortunately, that work requires much reading -- some of it quite technical -- plus lots of sifting and cross-checking, and a healthy credibility meter. And after all of it, I think you'll find that even the most pessimistic views of human perception and human motivations that one could reasonably muster just don't add up to anything substantial enough to rebut the high-strangeness aspects of that top one percent (or two, or five, or whatever percent) of UFO cases that exist. Cases which have many characteristics in common... something which by itself auto- precludes many possibilities,

You've urged others in this very forum to study mathematical statistics so that they might understand where you're coming from, yet it does seem that you are yourself unable or unwilling to apply the most fundamental concept within that field -- probability -- to this one particular phenomenon. And I find that interesting. (Genuinely interesting. As in, I wish I had the time to seriously study the potential psycho-social explanations for that much-too-common thought process.)



posted on Aug, 27 2012 @ 03:34 AM
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reply to post by Druscilla
 


there is no 100% absolute proof that can be put in front of my face to many scientific theories, should i ignore them and throw them out as a result? and then keep implying it is a religion and fantasy and that we may as well believe in unicorns just because i cannot be bothered to go read the evidence that led them to their conclusion?



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