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04-10-2012, 12:04   #76
ButtimersLaw
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My guess is that men and women are equally as likely to believe in crazy ideas -- ghosts, astrology, ancient aliens or whatever. They just have different, culturally determined, preferences.

I think the onus is then on the rest of us to explore and question their ideas to see if they are likely to be bogus or if there is evidence that their crazy ideas might lead somewhere more interesting.

Personally, I don't mind ideas which might be crazy as it’s often the one crazy idea out of millions which is right and which helps man to progress, discover and learn about ourselves and the world around us.
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04-10-2012, 16:38   #77
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I think the onus is then on the rest of us to explore and question their ideas to see if they are likely to be bogus or if there is evidence that their crazy ideas might lead somewhere more interesting.
No.

In science the onus is on the person making the extra-ordinary claims to back them up with reproducible evidence.



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Personally, I don't mind ideas which might be crazy as it’s often the one crazy idea out of millions which is right and which helps man to progress, discover and learn about ourselves and the world around us.
A reminder that this is a science forum.

Only those crazy ideas that are falsifiable are allowed.
Until testable theories are proposed it's too early to call it science.


By definition you must accept that most of crazy ideas are indeed crazy.

Venture capital is about a whole litany of failure and bankruptcy with a few success having to pay for the cost of all the failures. It's no use having a crazy idea unless it's a game changer.



You also have to rule out background effects too.

Has anyone done a survey of the incidence of ghost sightings relative to the arrival of electric lighting ?

Also speaking of lighting you have to consider the Hawthorne Effect. The researchers thought they had found a link between increased lighting levels and worker productivity. Until they lowered the light levels again and productivity still went up, in the end it was the interaction between the researchers and subjects that may have been responsible.



Re the "one crazy idea" I like this bit from Terry Prachett , Small Gods. (It's a parody on ancient Greece)
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"What's a philosopher?" said Brutha.

"Someone who's bright enough to find a job with no heavy lifting," said a voice in his head.

"An infidel seeking the just fate he shall surely receive," said Vorbis. "An inventor of fallacies. This cursed city attracts them like a dung heap attracts flies."

"Actually, it's the climate," said the voice of the tortoise. "Think about it. If you're inclined to leap out of your bath and run down the street every time you think you've got a bright idea, you don't want to do it somewhere cold. If you do do it somewhere cold, you die out. That's natural selection, that is. Ephebe's known for its philosophers. It's better than street theater."

"What, a lot of old men running around the streets with no clothes on?" said Brutha, under his breath, as they were marched onward.

"More or less. If you spend your whole time thinking about the universe, you tend to forget the less important bits of it. Like your pants. And ninety-nine out of a hundred ideas they come up with are totally useless."

"Why doesn't anyone lock them away safely, then? They don't sound much use to me," said Brutha.

"Because the hundredth idea," said Om, "is generally a humdinger."

"What?"

"Look up at the highest tower on the rock."

Brutha looked up. At the top of the tower, secured by metal bands, was a big disc that glittered in the morning light.

"What is it?" he whispered.

"The reason why Omnia hasn't got much of a fleet any more," said Om. "That's why it's always worth having a few philosophers around the place. One minute it's all Is Truth Beauty and Is Beauty Truth, and Does a Falling Tree in the Forest Make a Sound if There's No one There to Hear It, and then just when you think they're going to start dribbling one of 'em says, Incidentally, putting a thirty-foot parabolic reflector on a high place to shoot the rays of the sun at an enemy's ships would be a very interesting demonstration of optical principles,"
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04-10-2012, 18:15   #78
ButtimersLaw
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[QUOTE=Capt'n Midnight;81088313]No.

In science the onus is on the person making the extra-ordinary claims to back them up with reproducible evidence.

QUOTE]

Yes, I agree. And if they don’t it’s my intention to question them and prod them into looking at the available evidence.

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No.

Only those crazy ideas that are falsifiable are allowed.
Until testable theories are proposed it's too early to call it science.


By definition you must accept that most of crazy ideas are indeed crazy.
Of course, crazy ideas are, by definition, crazy. And that’s true even if someone doesn’t accept it!

It would once have been thought to be crazy to have argued that the earth was not flat, and even after evidence was produced it was still thought to be anti establishment, so it took some time to persuade most scientists that the earth was not flat.

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You also have to rule out background effects too.

Has anyone done a survey of the incidence of ghost sightings relative to the arrival of electric lighting ?
I think it’s pretty clear now that many supernatural or psychic events are bogus. For example, homoeopathy has had about 250 years to come up with some evidence, and it has still failed to do so. How many more years will it need?

Ghosts, astrology and so and so on are similarly struggling to actually find any evidence beyond a willingness to believe.

The jury is not out on these things, it’s pretty evident they are bogus, and will remain so until such times as evidence is produced.
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04-10-2012, 20:49   #79
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It would once have been thought to be crazy to have argued that the earth was not flat, and even after evidence was produced it was still thought to be anti establishment, so it took some time to persuade most scientists that the earth was not flat.
Actually people didn't think the earth was flat.
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04-10-2012, 21:04   #80
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Actually people didn't think the earth was flat.
Do you know why this meme is so often repeated? People have thought the Earth was round for thousands of years.
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05-10-2012, 10:49   #81
ButtimersLaw
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Actually people didn't think the earth was flat.
I have no idea about people, and can only speak for myself. I am aware that some people didn't think the earth was flat, and others did. Actually, I think there is still a flat earth society and some of its people still profess the view that they think the earth is flat.

In any case, the flat earth reference was meant as a metaphor.
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04-11-2012, 03:25   #82
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I think it is clear that people have experiences that defy explanation. It would be more accurate to say that psychics and mediums take advantage of the fact that 'supernatural' and 'paranormal' phenomena are so inadequately explained.

But people do experience 'supernatural' and 'paranormal' phenomena and the feelings they cause are manifest in reality.

In other words, every sighting of a ghost has an effect on entropy.

In this sense, 'supernatural' and 'paranormal' phenomena are a result of natural and normal processes and science must concede that there is an area of research available to it in this field.

I would like to say something about 'onus' and 'burden of proof' now. While it may be the case that all psychics and mediums are cranks and thieves, this is not sufficient to show that supernatural phenomena and experiences can be dismissed by science. The fact that so many people make supernatural claims is in itself evidence of something and science has a responsibility to investigate these claims despite the fact that noone can prove that they have seen a ghost.

Let us consider a supernatural phenomena that is widely accepted as 'in existence' - Love.

How does one prove that they love someone? Does the purcase and presentation of flowers and chocolates qualify as incontrovertible proof of love? Some might consider that more to be proof of guilt. Does throwing himself off a high building constitute proof of a jilted jumper's love or does it demonstrate the instability of his/her mind? Who can know love except those in love?

And what approach should science take to love? Should anecdotal evidence have more scientific validity when it is related by a scientist?

Of course science must investigate the phenomenon of love in order to understand the human condition in a more complete way.

And it is the same for supernatural phenomena. There is an onus on psychics and mediums to prove that they are not thieves but there is also a burden on science to prove that they are in order to better understand human nature.

I'd like to say something about the male/female divide in relation to conspiracy theories, UFO sightings, etc., as I think this can be explained in the same terms as those I suggested as reasons for the male/female divide in relation to paranormal activity.

As I said earlier, it's a man's world and the problems of men trump the problems of women. That's why we have war - men don't mind sending their sons off to die as much as women do so the fact that we have wars at all is evidence that it is a man's world. In the case of women, empathy and guile are more useful tools than muscles and big sticks whereas the opposite is true in the case of men.

In the case of women, the mechanisms that are concerned with empathy and guile are the same mechanisms that give rise to paranormal perceptions and are a consequence of evolution that serve as a survival tool, a weapon even, for women. I'm not trying to state facts here, these are simply suggestions.

Women have to navigate a world of men and women and they have to do so without the aid of the 'might' and 'aggression' tools at the disposal of men whereas men need only be concerned about other men in a parallel world where empathy might be construed as weakness and strength and a big stick are much more useful as tools with which to overcome obstacles.

Women have evolved a mechanism, a kind of radar if you will, that is tuned to a particular frequency scanning for certain types of event that will, upon detection, elicit a certain response. In men, the equivalent mechanism has evolved to be tuned to a different frequency, scanning for a different kind of event which, upon detection, elicits a different response.

An intruder alert system would make a good analogy. Men and women have developed two different kinds of alarm system. One is based on a trip-wire which causes an alarm to be sounded and the other is a pressure sensitive mat which causes a two-ton weight to be dropped.

The thing is, there are things other than an intruder that can trip these alarms but the alarms themselves provide no data concerning such events. When the alarm is tripped, there is a subconscious assumption made that a certain type of event has occured.

In women, a false trigger is perceived as an 'other-worldly' unseen force whereas in men, a false trigger is percieved as a possible unseen enemy in the real world. In men, this gives rise to feelings of fear, suspicion and paranoia just the same as it does in women but it causes men to sharpen their swords in readiness to protect himself whereas women try to hide in order to protect themselves.

It is useful for man to perceive that conspiracies are in operation, it keeps him sharp. It is especially useful to men who are imperialistic by nature, i.e., do unto others what you suspect they want to do to you before they have the opportunity to do it. That's how empires are built and empires are built by superstitious men.

It's not supernatural or paranormal, it's evolution.

Last edited by Masteroid; 04-11-2012 at 03:30.
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04-11-2012, 03:47   #83
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i dont really believe in ghosts much but i want 2 no what the **** called me and my sister from our mum and dads room when we were younger...i wouldnt mind if it was just me who remembers it but so does my sister...like omg that fear i experienced when i heard that voice will stick with me for ever.....calling out our names omg
That reminds me of a time when we were at my grandparents' house in the country and my younger siblings, who had gone to bed, had been making noise in the room. My grandmother complained - so I snuck outside the window and intoned "I am the boogeyman - and I'm going to get " (names kids). There was a short pause, followed by terrified screams. My dad went into the room and , when he told them that there was no boogeyman, was informed that there was because they had heard him. The truth did out pretty quickly, though.
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