Saturday, February 23, 2008

War of words by skeptics on the paranormal part 1

Some skeptics are downright closed minded and cast a bad light on open minded skeptics who would rather research themselves instead of having words tossed to them that all paranormal phenomena is bunk. I recently have been debating with two skeptics Chad and Damien ehre is all discussions.

First Chad and Me

Leo
This is a big mistake on your part Chad many things have been proven as a scientific fact way before the scientific community catched on such as the wright brothers when they showned that machines can fly the scientific community first laughed at them. Also as far as I know cold fusion experiments are still happening. It's not that that these scientists who question evolution but they clearly saying that there are gaps in evolution also that evolution cannot explain how a feature came into existence because selection can only work once the feature appears.

Chad
Leo, scientist did not laugh at the Wright brothers for SHOWING that heavier than air craft could fly; it was obvious that it could once the plane was in the air. They were skeptical at the hypotheses, but obviously they were able to prove their hypothesis correct, which is the way science works. Also, yes fusion experiments are still taking place, however NOT using the same methods as Pons, it would be ridicules to keep repeating the same method over and over when it has already been shown not to work. Further, the scientist at the creation institute do in fact deny evolution all together and clearly by your comment on selection you have a misunderstanding of evolution.

Leo
Chad,

Professor jeffery Schwartz his theory is that a mutation in the broadist sense arises usually in the unexpressed or resitated state in biological sense we would call it inactive spread silently through the population and you have individuals with copies for novelty and then they produce offsprings that have both copies that evolution can only explain how novelty evolved not where it originated from the same applies to entire species. As Jeffery also points out a feature can only have selection act on it once it appears. Jeffery Schwartz theory rips at the heart of evolutionists who use darwin's theory to explain everything very simply as a gradual procession with a purpose.

Also about PONS

Read this Now there's news U.S. Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center has achieved cold fusion.

Building on the techniques first reported by Fleischmann and Pons - two of the most reviled, ridiculed, and ostracized figures in the recent history of science, dismissed as frauds and quacks, vilified around the world, deprived of funding and made the butt of countless jokes - yes, building on the work of these two men, the Navy's researchers have apparently found a way to produce low energy nuclear reactions that can be "replicated and verified."



Many the commenters on the DailyTech story are suddenly adopting the line that yeah, sure, of course cold fusion is real, we knew it all along, but since it's not practical for generating electricity, it's no big deal. This tracks nicely with what Arthur C. Clarke (a longtime proponent of cold fusion) has called the three stages of acceptance of any new idea:

(1) "It's crazy - don't waste my time."

(2) "It's possible, but it's not worth doing."

(3) "I always said it was a good idea."

With cold fusion, we currently seem to be at stage 2.

Now, it's it's probably cruel to do this, but I thought it might be interesting to see what that noted defender of science, James Randi, has had to say about cold fusion over the years.

Here's his expert opinion:

The "cold fusion" farce should have been tossed into the trash heap long ago, but justifiable fear of legal actions by offended supporters has stifled opponents. . . cold fusion is a dead duck, the earth is not flat, and the fault lies not in our stars, but in ourselves.

In 1998, Randi gave a Pigasus Award (a plaque featuring a flying pig) to ABC News "for their unquestioning and enthusiastic endorsement of 'cold fusion,' ESP ... and all sorts of junk science." (Both quotes appear, with citations, here.)

In other words: It's crazy - don't waste my time. (Stage 1.)

And here's an essay (in PDF form) by skeptic Victor Stenger, arguing that cold fusion claims have many instructive parallels to ESP research. Of course, Stenger's point is that both cold fusion and ESP are bogus examples of pseudoscience at its worst.

If cold fusion is for real, does this mean that Stenger and Randi will now take another look at ESP?

Don't hold your breath.

Here's the article here on this discovery of Cold Fusion

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=7168


Chad

I couldn't make heads or tales of what you were attempting to say about evolution. I'm not here to debate the fact of evolution but if you like i can. On Pons I was using his research as an example of the necessity for evidence and repeatability in science. In the article you quote, or in the blog that you copied/pasted from, there is no mention of replication of Pons results. Something may come of cold fusion, or it may not, the results of the experiment in the article are very preliminary and will have to be repeated and confirmed MULTIPLE times to be accepted by the scientific community. Until that time, as with paranormal research, scientist will continue to scoff. Again, evidence to support a claim is required.


Leo

Psyhical Research has presented evidence for survival and for psi to conventional science what did they do? ignored it because it conflicts with materialism

Chad

You mean the Society for Psychical Research that touted the Creery sisters as evidence for psi? The same society that's been around since 1882 and fully supported people like Rhine and Soal; with their extraordinary evidence for ESP? All three of which were found to be not so extraordinary after all. In fact I believe the Creery sisters were found to be, surprisingly, cheating and both Rhine and Soal weren't so honest in their methods either.

I don't mean the sarcasm, but you would think in the 125 or so years that the society has been actively seeking evidence for the paranormal they would have contributed something to society.

Leo

They have contributed a lot to society to our understanding of our place in the universe. Yes there was cheating but there was also lots of valid evidence I can cherry pick too evidence I believe is fraud.




I can't deny the existence of an afterlife, because such a thing is unobservable and untestable. Agnosticism is the most anyone can say about it's existence. However, when claims are made about the physical world, as I have said before, they are open to scientific inquiry. If someone claims they are experiencing a paranormal event; it is up for investigation and as of so far, natural explanations have been found for nearly every example


Have they? this is where your knowledge fails if you have been researching the paranormal you would know that many paranormal phenomena remain unexplained no natural explanations fit.

"I am absolutely convinced of the fact that those who once lived on earth can and do communicate with us. It is hardly possible to convey to the inexperienced an adequate idea of the strength and cumulative force of the evidence." William Barrett

If my opinion no one has the right to say that psychical research was not worthwhile if they have not studied the evidence.


Chad

Leo, I guess this is one thing that skeptics and believers will always disagree on. Believers find a barely over chance hit rate as compelling evidence for psi, skeptics don't. I just feel that after over a 100 years of testing psi; someone could of come up with some compelling results or maybe a useful application for it. If we could predict the future or communicate with psi it would revolutionize science! I guess we'll have to settle with the boring things that science has given us; that is until psi works out. Note: There is independant replication of psi experiments with positive results]

No, I do mean that relativity over through classical mechanics(Newtonian Mechanics). I guess i shouldn't say it over through all of Newtonian Mechanics; relativity over through some parts of it and highly modified others.

Yes string theory is a compelling new idea and many people are working on it. However, it may be completely wrong. As of so far there are no experiments to test its predictions and until they do it's still just ideas.

No comments: