Sunday, September 16, 2007

Here's Who I Think Will Win At Wwe Unforgiven And A Rebuttal To Jason Kuznicki Debunking on the book The Gold Leaf

1. The Undertaker v.s Mark Henry- The Undertaker
2. Batista V.s Rey Mysterio V.s Great Kahali- Batista and becomes new wwe champion
3. Beth Phonex v.s Candice Michelle- Beth Phoenix new womens champion
4. Triple H v.s Carlito- Triple H
5. Randy Orton V.s John Cena- and still the wwe champion John Cena
6. Matt Hardy and Montel Porter v.s Deuce and Domino- new tag champions Deuce and Domino

The Gold Leaf Review By Jason Kuznicki. Jason Kuznicki Trys to debuunk the recent book out by Parapsychologist Dr. Stephen Braude you will see his opinions on it then you will see my responses below every statement.



Basically I try to stick to common sense, and to retain a humble attitude when I can’t explain things myself. A showy, strident, I’m-smarter-than-you attitude comports badly with the unexplained. I found just this sort of attitude in the excerpt from The Gold Leaf Lady, and I think it’s a good first reason to be suspicious.


Leo: Here we have bias that the paranormal is impossible and that there can't be any other explanation besides a materialistic explanation.

The skeptic prefers common sense not because the extraordinary never happens, but because it rarely happens, and because he knows that the human temperament tends to find just the opposite, and to see wonders where none exist. Human beings intuitively want to be on the verge of something incredible; we all want a life-changing experience of discovery; we want the revolution — and we want it now, too. But this is a dangerous instinct, and it leads down all sorts of blind alleys.

Leo: Sometimes yes but we can't make reality as simple as a materialist paradigm does. A skeptic is a open-minded sadly there are not many of them.

In its place the skeptic offers explanations that are plausible and efficient. He does not insist that he has any grand new systems to explain it all. Nor does he insist that no one can ever explain it all. Either one would be hubris. The skeptic takes the cautious middle path. He tests. He tries to repeat stuff. He shares evidence and tries hard to record everything he can.

Leo: I agree here but it comes to a point where materialist explanations no longer explain the data such as in this case.

The skeptic takes little steps, and he takes them seldom, and he deeply regrets having to venture away from the territory of common sense. Skepticism is often emotionally unsatisfying (witness the increasingly unhinged commenters at Prescott’s blog) but at least it saves one the trouble of having to believe many dozens of contradictory and impossible things all at once (again, witness the increasingly unhinged commenters at Prescott’s blog).

Leo: here we have an attack saying well because they are emotionally needed it to be true wrong because they have done there own research on life after death and psi.

The true skeptic most certainly does claim to recognize nonsense — at times. At times: as when brass foil with recognizably industrial characteristics “somehow” materializes on a woman’s body. And as with the gold leaf lady’s other, even more absurd claims. Indeed, I was surprised to find myself faulted for failing to address them, when even a few moments of thought could provide obvious explanations. But such is the uncritical mind, always hoping for wonders.

Leo: here he has it wrong a true skeptic considers all possibilities and see which one fits the data.

So here are her other purported miracles:

She clairvoyantly detected the scent of some marijuana that had not yet appeared in an unsecured place, but that did appear there in the future. Come on people, this is ridiculous. This is so trivially easy to fake that I can’t even believe it made it into the book.

Leo: I like to see you do it if it's so easy.

She supposedly helped in finding stolen goods. This though is quite easy when your confederate has stolen them. Let her consistently find objects hidden by independent researchers somewhere in a large public space, and then we will have some very strong evidence of a new phenomenon. Not until, unless an experiment of similar rigor can be designed.

Leo: here we have an assumption that she stoled good with no evidence to back up that claim.

She produced writing in medieval French although she is supposedly illiterate. A skeptic, however, knows that it’s also quite easy to memorize a four-line poem (an exotic-sounding “quatrain”), even if it’s in an unfamiliar language, and even if you’re illiterate. A skeptic also knows that poems in the style of Nostradamus are ridiculously easy to fake, since Nostradamus is widely published, and since much of his writing is ungrammatical nonsense.

Leo: A skeptic knows all this wow even if this were true does it explain away the rest of the data?

So these are the claims we have to deal with in this case. You don’t have to be a dogmatist to think that the simplest explanation is the best here. Particularly not when faced with the alternatives. For the gold leaf lady, your choices are as follows:

a) Angels, ghosts, demons, aliens, or other supernatural beings put foil on her skin for reasons unknown. This is the first time in all of recorded history that they have done such a thing, and the foil just happens to look like the ordinary earthbound stuff. These angels/ghosts/demons/aliens told her about criminal activity happening nearby, since they care very, very much about U.S. laws against marijuana. They also help her to write a few lines in medieval French, which everyone knows is a perfectly impossible feat.

Leo: here we have him saying that it's impossible for a ghost to do this feat.

b) A unique and previously unknown chemical reaction is happening in the woman’s body. It produces foil with characteristics identical to the foil produced in a modern metal press. This process creates absolutely no other chemical changes to her body and virtually no physical ones. This is the first time in all of recorded history that the phenomenon has been observed. This process just so happens to render her olfactory passages so sensitive to marijuana that she can even smell it into the future. Oh, and she also writes in medieval French, which everyone knows is perfectly impossible.

c) She stuck foil on her skin when no one was looking. She or a friend aped some bad poetry from Nostradamus, which is not after all impossible. A friend planted some pot on the beach and told her about the stuff he stole.

Leo: the date does not fit c and b seems a bit more plausible but not really.

Call me a closed-minded dogmatist, but until some really compelling evidence changes my mind, I’m going to have to go with c). It’s by far the least improbable. It’s not a certainty, but any claim to the contrary is going to have to face some pretty strict standards of evidence. I found them wanting in the excerpt I read. The skeptic believes that great claims require great evidence. The evidence for this woman’s abilities only occasionally rises to the level of intriguing.

Leo: true but here we have great evidence and this guy refuses to consider it.

Also, I find it pretty telling that our test subject refused a strip search by an impartial observer. As one of my commenters noted, Katie’s near-Victorian concerns for modesty could easily have been addressed in a dignified and professional manner: If we really are on the verge of discovering angels/ghosts/aliens/the astral plane/some wacky new biochemistry, then one might think that modesty could be set aside, perhaps for a few seconds at least. But no! Modesty is just too, too important, and only a friendly doctor can be consulted.

I have to assure you that I’m sorry to rain on your parade. I know which world you’d rather live in. You’d rather have the spirits, and the unexplained mysteries, and the sense of wonder. It’s a gripping and even a beautiful vision of the universe. Yet it just takes too many clunky improbable ad hoc new hypothetical phenomena to make it work. And all of them are centered on this one woman who curiously doesn’t like submitting to scientific examinations. Doesn’t that strike you, even a little, as suspicious?

Leo: the same can be said about you like to have a world that fits into oyur ego and materialist's beliefs.

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