The Logical Trickery of the UFO Skeptic

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posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:26 AM
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Originally posted by draknoir2

Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets

Or, one can recognize that there are many reports of nuts and bolts craft which are seen by multiple witnesses,



Here's a report of a nuts and bolts monster [literally], complete with photographic "evidence" and submitted by a well respected, credible witness who just happened to be in cahoots with another public figure also claiming to have evidence of the same [footprints].

Now how much weight are we to give eyewitness accounts?

There seems to also be a growing body of evidence to suggest people do "see" nuts and bolts craft when it is obvious that it was something else. This type of evidence wasn't around 50 years ago. If this is the case, then we do have something to go on when attempting to put a value on an unknown.

eyewitness accounts should be well documented but put in their propper context.




posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by Brighter
 



You don't know what a false inference is, do you? I feel as though I'm constantly having to point this out, and it's truly a mystery to me, as it's not a difficult concept to grasp.

According to this reasoning, because some doctors are quacks, therefore all of them are.


And that is correct. We shouldn't reason like this but we shouldn't throw out this type of information either. This kind of documented misidentifiaction is valueble.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by Brighter
reply to post by draknoir2
 



Originally posted by draknoir2

Here's a report of a nuts and bolts monster [literally], complete with photographic "evidence" and submitted by a well respected, credible witness who just happened to be in cahoots with another public figure also claiming to have evidence of the same [footprints].

Now how much weight are we to give eyewitness accounts?



You don't know what a false inference is, do you? I feel as though I'm constantly having to point this out, and it's truly a mystery to me, as it's not a difficult concept to grasp.

According to this reasoning, because some doctors are quacks, therefore all of them are.

Do you see any problems with the general form of such a move?


I was talking to T&S, but no matter.

When one offers eyewitness accounts as "proof" of anything, then one can expect the reliability and implications of such accounts to be questioned. This was an actual example of why that is, having all the characteristics of a reliable report, per Tea and Strumpets; multiple, "credible" witnesses of an actual [nuts and bolts] thing. This example went even further with not one, but two forms of evidence - photographic and physical. The bottom line is that it was a deliberate hoax. The credible witnesses lied. The evidence was faked.

So no, I do not see a problem with using a real world example to cast doubt on the wisdom of building the "ET Theory" house of cards upon such a foundation. Concrete is the recommended material.

So my question still stands: How much weight are we to give eyewitness accounts?

edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by ZetaRediculian
There seems to also be a growing body of evidence to suggest people do "see" nuts and bolts craft when it is obvious that it was something else. This type of evidence wasn't around 50 years ago. If this is the case, then we do have something to go on when attempting to put a value on an unknown.

eyewitness accounts should be well documented but put in their propper context.


Another good point. Pop culture plays a big role in what eyewitnesses "see".



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by Brighter
So what I strongly suspect is happening is that people are letting X determine their initial belief (that UFOs don't exist), and that the real reason people continue to defend this irrational belief is rooted in current and previous concerns for social acceptance. It's certainly not rooted in education, evidence or clear thinking. In fact, those are the very things that expose the belief as not maintainable on rational grounds.


Still jousting with those windmills of your mind, I see.



Originally posted by Brighter

If you continue to fail to properly educate yourself, you will continue to simply defend a belief that was chosen for you. Education is about learning to think properly and for yourself. You will not become educated overnight by googling definitions for logical fallacies and then posting hyperlinks as evidence for your proper application of them. The ability to post a hyperlink does not imply knowledge of proper application, as evidenced quite often around here. They involve subtle points that are easily misapplied, and this is obvious to pick out to someone who's actually been trained and trained others in logic. You need to actually take courses in these subjects or undertake a serious, day in and day out reading regimen with proven texts. Even then, you're going to need someone to correct your mistakes and provide accurate explanations if you're going to learn. And even then, no one is going to force you to apply those same tools in critiquing your own beliefs. You have to do this on your own. Google or the Internet aren't going to do this for you.



This thread is about logic and its abuse. It is not about whether UFO's exist. You could stand to spend some time googling "logical fallacies" in order to educate yourself to the point where you can post coherent, on-topic responses to the actual, stated positions of others here.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:52 AM
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Originally posted by Druscilla
I'll stick with the more rigorously tested names thank you.
What's next, citing PhDs from the field of biology in your spurious attempt to prove there is nothing to UFOs? You're the one touting critical thinking skills, but I'm not seeing any. Fallacies on the other hand, seems there are plenty of those to pass around.
Do you even have a university degree? If you do, shame on you.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by draknoir2
When one offers eyewitness accounts as "proof" of anything
As proof? Who does this? I smell a strawman on fire.

Cases are so complex they need to be judged on a case by case basis, especially since the credibility of the witness can be an influential factor. Given the nature of the more solid experiences - those cases which get more perplexing and corroborated the more data is collected - there is simply no reason to assume that the mere existence of a hoax in one particular instance tells us anything about another case. Especially since we know that the percentage of hoaxed cases makes up a small number of the actual explanations.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:10 PM
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Originally posted by Brighter
So what I strongly suspect is happening is that people are letting X determine their initial belief (that UFOs don't exist), and that the real reason people continue to defend this irrational belief is rooted in current and previous concerns for social acceptance. It's certainly not rooted in education, evidence or clear thinking. In fact, those are the very things that expose the belief as not maintainable on rational grounds.


Someone recently made the above comment.
What I wonder is, where in this thread has anyone made statement that UFOs don't exist?
I'm fairly certain most everyone that's weighed in on the topic, has been quite comfortable with the existence of UFOs, whatever they are.

The problem arises when literature dependent thinking, or follow-the-leader rationalization occurs. ie; The ETH was published in a book by important people, so, it must be true.

In reality, that's complete nonsense.

UFOs are indeed 'real' in the sense they are a little understood, highly randomized, non-consistent, ambiguous phenomenon yet to be adequately identified, or defined with agency, or agencies of causation.

In more basic English for those less sophisticated:
1. UFOs do happen.
2. We still don't know what it is.
3. It happens randomly
4. Everyone has an opinion on what they think it is
5. No one actually knows much beyond diddle.
6. It's okay to say or keep on saying "I don't know what it is" instead of making things up.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by jclmavg

Originally posted by draknoir2
When one offers eyewitness accounts as "proof" of anything
As proof? Who does this? I smell a strawman on fire.



You are absolutely correct.


Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
We've got pages and pages of the same few 'skeptics' reminding us of the patently obvious -- that there's no hard proof in support of the ETH --


Amended to "evidence".

Thanks for keeping me honest.


Originally posted by jclmavg

there is simply no reason to assume that the mere existence of a hoax in one particular instance tells us anything about another case. Especially since we know that the percentage of hoaxed cases makes up a small number of the actual explanations.


Again correct, however that was not the assumption, nor was it my point.
edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by jclmavg

Originally posted by Druscilla
I'll stick with the more rigorously tested names thank you.
What's next, citing PhDs from the field of biology in your spurious attempt to prove there is nothing to UFOs? You're the one touting critical thinking skills, but I'm not seeing any. Fallacies on the other hand, seems there are plenty of those to pass around.
Do you even have a university degree? If you do, shame on you.


If a "Ph.D" [quotes intended] in plant biology can be cited in an attempt to prove the existence of "ion plasma vortices", a product of his own speculation, then why not?

And where does one obtain a Ph.D in "Ufology"? I'm sure some place offers them... I'd just like to get one for myself. Where do I send the check and SASE?
edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets

Originally posted by Harte
... Plasma balls certainly do explain some sightings. And these sightings would typically be ones that are classified as "unexplained."
Other incidents would have other explanantions, such as secret aircraft, hallucination, swamp gas, etc. These sorts would also have been classified as "unexplained," since nobody will reveal secret aircraft, hallucinations are not determinable at later times, and swamp gas must be observed at the same instant as the "sighting."
Exactly. This is why (as was done decades ago) you pull in experts from various and diverse fields, so that the 'UFO' can be compared to all phenomena in each arena: astronomy, geology, atmospheric physics, psychology, and so on.
When you've got a dozen people telling you they saw a disk-shaped craft hover a few hundred feet away and then speed off at incredible speeds, and then the radar operators in the tower of the nearby airport say they saw it and had it on radar, and THEN you bring in all of these experts and have them eliminate all practicably possible mundane explanations ... well, what's left?

Only plasma balls, in the above case.


Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
And as to ball lightning specifically, James McDonald dealt with it pretty convincingly in his paper "UFOs - An International Scientific Problem". (The pdf is floating around out there, and should still sbe at the Princeton archive site.) In that paper he makes aviation writer Phil Klass, the primary 'UFO = ball lightning' proponent, look wildly ridiculous. The basic problem is that ball lightning is still today associated mostly with thunderstorms, is small (a mere feet in diameter), and is short-lived.

Again:



The declassified Project Condign report concludes that buoyant charged plasma formations similar to ball lightning are formed by novel physical, electrical, and magnetic phenomena, and that these charged plasmas are capable of being transported at enormous speeds under the influence and balance of electrical charges in the atmosphere. These plasmas appear to originate due to more than one set of weather and electrically charged conditions, the scientific rationale for which is incomplete or not fully understood. One suggestion is that meteors breaking up in the atmosphere and forming charged plasmas as opposed to burning completely or impacting as meteorites could explain some instances of the phenomena, in addition to other unknown atmospheric events.[71]


No thunderstorm required


Originally posted by Harte
The point is, it is true that one can find sightings that cannot be explained away with plasma. However, that doesn't mean the sightings are unexplainable, just that they are unexplained by plasma balls.


Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
That's possibly the best anti-UFO point made by any rational mind in this thread, because it reinforces the idea that we don't like to base our conclusions on a process of elimination. Those who believe there's something 'strange' behind UFOs must acknowledge that the best arguments in support of the ETH (or EDH, etc.) have this logical form: "It couldn't have been A, B, C, D, E, F or G, so it must have been H." But of course we don't know that there's not an I or a J that should've also been considered up front.

All that's needed is for us to abandon the 20th-century assumption that 'they' cannot get here from there. Really abandon it. Because it's not a proper assumption.

I make no such assumption, though admittedly, there are a few people here that do.
No, I assume that if a thing exists, there will be actual evidence of its existence. As of now, we have none at all in the case of alien visitation.


Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
Next, consider the strangest yet still reliable/probable characteristics of those 'unknown' UFOs from that set of strongest cases: they're artificial or metallic-looking, instantaneously maneuverable, responsive and/or seemingly intelligent.

Last, we ask ourselves this question: how likely is it that there's a natural, Earthly phenomenon which mimics those 'unknown' characteristics and so appears to be an artificial, maneuverable and intelligent craft?

Again, plasma does all of the above. ALL of the above. Plasma balls are real. So are so-called "Earth lights."

What is usually (statistically) unreal is "eyewitness" testimony. There can simply be no question about this verified fact. Hence, such testimony is always questionable. This is why people use the radar image argument, isn't it? After all, radar doesn't care to elaborate on the facts the way individual people (unconsciously) do, as has been shown by multitudes of studies.

Harte



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
Maybe I'm dense, or maybe I just haven't taken special notice of your opinions, but I'm actually not sure which direction your jab is intended.



Originally posted by draknoir2
Then it was a successful post.


I suppose it was a success to you, because it did help you avoid answering my direct question, right?

So I'll ask you again: Do you think "they can't get here from there" is a valid assumption?



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:42 PM
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Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets

Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
Maybe I'm dense, or maybe I just haven't taken special notice of your opinions, but I'm actually not sure which direction your jab is intended.



Originally posted by draknoir2
Then it was a successful post.


I suppose it was a success to you, because it did help you avoid answering my direct question, right?

So I'll ask you again: Do you think "they can't get here from there" is a valid assumption?


It was a joke referencing the omission of the preceding invalid assumptions required to render that an invalid [or valid] assumption. I'm sure you are bright enough to figure it out.

It was intentionally vague, giving you pause to consider my actual meaning, so it was successful.
edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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Originally posted by draknoir2

If a "Ph.D" [quotes intended] in plant biology can be cited in an attempt to prove the existence of "ion plasma vortices", a product of his own speculation, then why not?

And where does one obtain a Ph.D in "Ufology"? I'm sure some place offers them... I'd just like to get one for myself. Where do I send the check and SASE?
edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)
The point is not, my friend, that there is a PhD in UFOlogy since I made no such claim. No need to sidestep relevant points here and think you're getting away with it.

It is however exceedingly silly to suggest that big names in science are more proper as default merely because they are popular, when it comes to an opinion on UFOs. There are plenty eminent scientist who are not in need of 101 introductory classes on UFOs and have actually done investigating. Thus when smartypants suggests a Hawkings is preferred over a Sturrock, the preference seems to amount to no more than willful ignorance. It is certainly not indicative of being much of an educated man or woman, and in the end all the heated stomping in this thread does not amount to much.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by jclmavg

Originally posted by draknoir2

If a "Ph.D" [quotes intended] in plant biology can be cited in an attempt to prove the existence of "ion plasma vortices", a product of his own speculation, then why not?

And where does one obtain a Ph.D in "Ufology"? I'm sure some place offers them... I'd just like to get one for myself. Where do I send the check and SASE?
edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)
The point is not, my friend, that there is a PhD in UFOlogy since I made no such claim. No need to sidestep relevant points here and think you're getting away with it.

It is however exceedingly silly to suggest that big names in science are more proper as default merely because they are popular, when it comes to an opinion on UFOs. There are plenty eminent scientist who are not in need of 101 introductory classes on UFOs and have actually done investigating. Thus when smartypants suggests a Hawkings is preferred over a Sturrock, the preference seems to amount to no more than willful ignorance. It is certainly not indicative of being much of an educated man or woman, and in the end all the heated stomping in this thread does not amount to much.


You are the one who implied that mainstream scientists are ill suited to speak on the topic of UFO's unless they are Ph.D'd in the field. Now who is trying to get away with something?

I never suggested any source preference, so I can't speak to the silliness of it.

And where does "opinion" factor in the evidential path towards proof of a unified "ET" theory?

Leave me out of the personal attacks.
edit on 20-2-2013 by draknoir2 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by ZetaRediculian
There seems to also be a growing body of evidence to suggest people do "see" nuts and bolts craft when it is obvious that it was something else. This type of evidence wasn't around 50 years ago. If this is the case, then we do have something to go on when attempting to put a value on an unknown.

eyewitness accounts should be well documented but put in their propper context.
I couldn't agree more with your last sentence. That's why we should be glad there are so many sensor systems available that can and have corroborated what multiple eyewitnesses have said.

I'm curious about something you mention: an apparent "growing body of evidence to suggest people do 'see' nuts and bolts craft when it is obvious that it was something else." I'd like to read about that. Can you point me to the sources?

It's well known that a small percentage of people DO sometimes attribute fanciful characteristics to mundane objects, based apparently on their expectation of or faulty early appraisal of that object's identity. There are entire sections on these perceptual issues in the Condon Report, which are not as helpful to your thesis as you might expect. The study seems to indicate that the percentage of people who might "see" or mentally construct a nuts and bolts craft where there really isn't one is less than 5 percent.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:37 PM
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reply to post by TeaAndStrumpets
 


I find it odd that you keep referencing the Condon Report.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
I couldn't agree more with your last sentence. That's why we should be glad there are so many sensor systems available that can and have corroborated what multiple eyewitnesses have said.

This is where I say alsmost entirely subjective. But my view is that this only corroborates that something is there. As far as I know, multiple witness accounts only corroborate that something is there also. Where I see "detailed" descriptions, its usually by one person. Admittedly, my knowledge base of accounts is limited.


I'm curious about something you mention: an apparent "growing body of evidence to suggest people do 'see' nuts and bolts craft when it is obvious that it was something else." I'd like to read about that. Can you point me to the sources?

What I am referring to is some articles by Jim Oberg. I think that he has done some good work with that. I have a feeling you are probably aware of those already. There are some interesting theories on the endogenous '___' stuff but that's usually applied to prophet visions and near death experience. To my knowledge, no one has applied that to UFO cases.


It's well known that a small percentage of people DO sometimes attribute fanciful characteristics to mundane objects, based apparently on their expectation of or faulty early appraisal of that object's identity. There are entire sections on these perceptual issues in the Condon Report, which are not as helpful to your thesis as you might expect. The study seems to indicate that the percentage of people who might "see" or mentally construct a nuts and bolts craft where there really isn't one is less than 5 percent.
That's interesting and all and probably more along the lines of Psych 101 and no, I wouldn't expect the condon report to help my "thesis". I am more interested in those full blown in-your-face type accounts rather than those fleeting seeing something out of the corner of your eye accounts.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by TeaAndStrumpets
 



So I'll ask you again: Do you think "they can't get here from there" is a valid assumption?


I think its an absurd argument. along with "why do they need lights?" either they are here or they are not. I don't think you are going to get that argument from anyone here. If any of my "friends" here choose that line of reasoning, they will go right into my "enemy list" without hesitation.



posted on Feb, 23 2013 @ 12:53 AM
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Thank you for replying to my post.

Originally posted by TeaAndStrumpets
But if those independent groups run counter to the mainstream, who will take them seriously?
I would appreciate it if you wouldn't dismiss my question with a question.

That's the point.
Its not, my question was that there are groups with scientists that are indeed studying the phenomena outside the mainstream. You are arguing that the mainstream is not vigourously persuing the topic, yet when I point out others are you debase it by begging that mainstream science must some how validate it. You create a paradox for yourself.

The Condon Report defined the mainstream. Actually, Condon's own Summary and Conclusions and Recommendations defined it -- saying there's nothing to UFOs -- and his conclusions don't fit at all well with the hundreds of pages of actual science that follow them. (Released later....)

Condon actually states that there seemed to be no new scientific knowldege gained from the studies of UFO.
The incidents in the report argue against that in the instances in which those incidents remained unknown. I agree it is a little dismissive but even his critics like Sturrock, as much as 20 years later, come to the same conclusions that they are still none the wiser and that all the evidence reviewed is inconclusive as far as the ETH is concerned.
If you are as honest as you are as vocal of Sturrock, you would have to accept that, if you are unwilling to accept that I think you should read The UFO Enigma: A new review of the physical evidence.

I cannot see how there is any disagreement between Condon and Sturrock other than the fact that Condon was ahead of his time.


They've stated at various times either that they believe the ETH is the most plausible answer
I understand that they may believe that is the most plausible answer, but considering the OP is examining the logical trickery of skeptics I find it amusing that you would answer my question by pointing out a belief when I asked if any of these groups can EXPLAIN ufo that is supporting ETH.
Who is the trickster amongst us?

or that it can't be ruled out, or that UFOs are simply an unknown on which they take no stance, but only gather information.
These are obvious statements, but I wanted to know if they could EXPLAIN ufo with the ETH.
This was my questions: Have any of those organisations publically stated that the ETH explains any of the UFO phenomena they have encountered?

From your respones, above, I could just as well state that you are saying "no, they don't but they believe ETH is plausible, can't be ruled out and needs to be studied more.


]But we can't say there've been "no results" yielded, can we?
To date we can, otherwise we wouldn't be arguing about the ETH relative to the UFO phenomena.

Are you familiar with the AIAA findings or the Sturrock results, when anonymously polling astronomers? Privately, a higher percentage of astronomers than of the general population say they've seen what's best described as a 'UFO'.
I am familiar with the poll. Just over 50% of the surveys were returned. Of the 1356 surveys returned, 65 incidents of UFO were reported. Just under 5% of the population. Stating that this percentage is significant relative to the general population is pointless considering the general population is being contasted against a specific population that is significant due to the fact that it is an Astronomical society.


And do you know how Jacques Vallee became interested in UFOs? He saw astronomer colleagues destroying data that suggested a true UFO. Apparently this was to avoid ridicule.
That is untrue, the data was destroyed by a superior at the French Space Commitee. They believed they has discovered a retrograde satelitte that was possibly an asteroid.
You do know Vallee argues against the ETH, don't you?

edit on 23/2/13 by atlasastro because: (no reason given)





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