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Old 08-09-2003, 05:26 AM   #1
SkinWalker
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Lightbulb Ghosts, goblins, and UFO's: How they Stack up to Science

This is a Mulit-Thread Series on Science versus Psuedoscience.

The purpose of Multi-Thread is that it allows the Directory thread to be "stuck" and offer links to other threads in the series that are not "stuck". It even allows direct link to specific posts.

How to post
Simply click on one of the topics below to go to that thread, read the posts so far, then post your own! Posts that go here should be about this series as a whole, or about Multi-Thread as a concept. Please do not address topics of the Sub-Threads here, as they will be deleted or moved.

The Multi-Thread Outline

The Main Thread (MT): This thread.
Sub-Thread 1 (ST-1) : Anachronistic Thinking
Sub-Thread 2 (ST-2) : Seeking Mysteries
Sub-Thread 3 (ST-3) : Appeals to Myths
Sub-Thread 4 (ST-4) : Casual Approach to Evidence
Sub-Thread 5 (ST-5) : Irrefutable Hypothesis
Sub-Thread 6 (ST-6) : Spurious Similarities
Sub-Thread 7 (ST-7) : Explanation by Scenario
Sub-Thread 8 (ST-8) :
Sub-Thread 9 (ST-9) :
Sub-Thread 10 (ST-10) :
Sub-Thread 11 (ST-11) :



Sources of Information
Much of this Multi-Thread topic, Science versus Psuedoscience, Iím adapting indirectly from John Castiís book, Paradigms Lost, in which he summarizes the characteristics of pseudo-science. I say "indirectly" because the material is found in a well-written brochure by Dr. Massimo Pigliucci at http://www.rationallyspeaking.org.

Pigliucci, M., 2001. Science vs. Pseudoscience : Where is the Difference ? Found online at : http://www.rationallyspeaking.org

Casti, J., 1990. Paradigms Lost : Tackling the Unanswered Mysteries of Modern Science. Avon Books, New York.

Sagan, Carl.,1995. The Demon-Haunted World - Science as a Candle in the Dark . New York: Random House.

Shermer, Michael, February 2003. Psychic Drift: Why most scientists do not believe in ESP and psi phenomena.Scientific American, found at: http://www.sciam.com/psiarticle

Hyman, Ray, 1996. "The Evidence for Psychic Functioning: Claims vs. Reality" Found at http://www.csicop.org/si/9603/claims.html

Hyman, Ray. "Evaluation of Program on Anomalous Mental Phenomena," Journal of Scientific Exploration, Volume 10 Number 1. Found at http://www.mceagle.com/remote-viewin...air/hyman.html


Why this format ?
What I plan to do with the information provided in Dr. Piglicciís brochure is use his definititions, perhaps expand upon them a bit (particularly if they are overly technical), then add an example of a pseudoscientific claim that fits the each criteria. Each of the 11 criteria will have a sub-thread of itís own and be linked from this threadís first post (this post). Iíll edit this post from time-to-time to provide links to the sub-threads as I add them. My thinking right now is to add them no more than three at a time, so the 11th criteria might not be debuted for days or weeks. This is to allow enough time to discuss the previous criteria.

About The Sub-Threads
In each of the Sub-Threads, you will noticed a title, such as "Seeking Mysteries" along with a short code as to which topic it is, in the case of this example, "ST-2."

Each of these Sub-threads will contain a short quote from Pigliucci regarding one of Casti's criteria for distinguishing between science and pseudoscience.

I invite all sorts of comment on the topics themselves and hope that some interesting discussions will ensue.


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Last edited by SkinWalker; 09-14-2003 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:57 AM   #2
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I'll probably post the remainder of the Sub-Topics within this week (likely toward the end), especially since it doesn't seem to be going all that well as a discussion method.

Still, I am interested in what everyone thinks of the Multi-Thread idea.... I've got a few other ideas... some that might even span to other forums with the main-topic rooted in one. There are a wide range of topics that can be covered and I'm open to input (that is, should we decide to do this type of threading again).

It seems convenient as a method to discuss multiple, but related topics (religion anyone?) and I used pseudoscience as an example, but my real focus will be the 2004 election. I plan to start another mulit-thread in the early Spring and would like others to take on the Sub-Threads, with the Main-Thread acting as the "table of contents."

Please... let me know your thoughts, even if short one-line comments. I see that each sub-topic gets a fair number of views (at least as many as there are regular visitors), so perhaps some are reading and getting information, but have nothing they wish to share. If so, PM me or, better yet, post here and let me/us know.

The LucasForums are going to get pretty active in the next few months (school is back in and JA is due out), so I expect the activity in the Senate to pick up a bit as well.

Help C'Jais (where is he anyway ) and I make it a welcome place for those who wish to participate in intellectual discussion and debate... but friendly and/or civil!


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Old 08-18-2003, 12:57 PM   #3
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friendly and/or civil
Lol. 'and/or'. Lol.

Hmmm. I've got not so much a topic, as a case-book example for this thread. Two in fact:

www.dhmo.org

www.evolution-facts.org

Both of these employ the techniques mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

To end this post, I think that the idea of a multi-topic thread is good, but I also think that people have to get used to it. Also, the topic of this multi-thread is rather vague and technically-sounding, and so perhaps not the best way of introducing a new concept. Just my .02Ä.

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Old 08-23-2003, 03:11 AM   #4
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Why Science vs. Psuedoscience ?

I see psuedoscience and the claims of psuedoscience as a danger to society.

A look at public schools shows a decrease in interest among students in the sciences. A look at colleges and universities reflects this trend with the number of enrollments that choose scientific fields. In my country (I acknowledge that there is a large number of members in LucasForums and the Senate who are non-American), many of the positions in scientific fields, particularly engineering, physics, and chemistry, are having to be out-sourced to those of other nationalities, which demonstrates the shortage of qualified personnel from within the country.

I also think, that because, partially at least, thereís a decline in interest with the sciences that there is a natural incline in the propensity to accept, at face value, the claims of the paranormal, supernatural, and mythological as fact.

The increased acceptance of pseudoscientific claims (from the "harmless" nature of cigarettes to alien abduction to psychic abilities) and the decreased number of scientists and researchers might create a society that will depend on the development and ingenuity of other nations. Already, the United States has shown to be far more consumer oriented and less discovery oriented. Thatís not to say that discovery no longer occurs, but ratio of self-sufficiency to dependancy on foreign resources is certainly more toward the latter at the turn of the 21st century than the turn of the 20th.

Finally, and perhaps more importantly, pseudoscience makes it difficult for actual research and development to proceed. The general public has, at times, a misconception of what the goals and needs for science is. A look at embryonic stem cell research is a good example. The word "embryonic" carries with it a mental image of a tiny human, when, in fact, embryonic refers to the blastocyst that is in the early stage of development and never gets the opportunity to become an human fetus.


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Old 08-23-2003, 07:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by ShadowTemplar
www.dhmo.org

www.evolution-facts.org

Both of these employ the techniques mentioned elsewhere in the thread.
As well as others I'm going to be posting this weekend. Particularly the Evolution-facts.org site.

Another tactic of the creationist proponents is to invent evidence entirely, such as the case of the Malachite Man.

Don Patton has claimed that the discovery of a number of malachite-encrusted skeletons between 1990 and 1996 is evidence that humans existed long before they were supposed to. It turned out that some of the photos of Malachite Man on his website were identical to photos that were published of the Moab Man skeletons in the February 1975 issue of Desert Magazine. Since then, the website has been changed to distinguish between the two finds. There is as yet no published material on these skeletons, but the fact that they were found in the same copper mine as the Moab Man skeletons suggests that they are also recent. For more info, check The Life and Death of Malachite Man


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Old 08-25-2003, 09:00 AM   #6
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like the ancient romans:
on the subject of science and para-science
I believe in none of them publically
and all of them privately.

what do I mean by this, well science and para-science both make
sweeping claims they can't live up to. both science and para-science i find are now walking the same path. I find that on shows based on science or claiming to, ie the discovery channel, all their specials (last one i saw nefertiti resurrected) they have all become historical re-enactments, with grandios plot build ups to not much of anything. all making it sound splashy, exciting and new. there is still so much that scientist claim hypothetically to be just so, and paranormal investigations are just so many just so stories. and science, well science has fallen a long, long way from grace to even be considered these days. where do students go after schooling? to corporations, no one wants to do research for the good of mankind any longer. no i saw a so called prominent and eminant pyschologist on 60 minutes, and what was he doing? using his extensive scientific mind to help car makers trick americans into thinking they want big huge SUV's. and the interview shows he lives in baronial splendor now. and what is accomplished by this? that 'we' the dominant species on the planet surface today are filling our tanks and ruining our enviroment with liquid dinosaurs *whom by the way were a dominant species a few years ago. "hey mister brontosaurus...walking in your foot steps" [no one seems to get this.] nor do they get, "I don't want to die just yet, only for a cigarette." anyhow back on topic...
science now wants to patten every single atom in our bodies, I am not objecting to this based upon religious beliefs, I am basing this on human rights, and dignity. does any man who finds a piece of genetic code, have the right to claim, pattend and engrave a serial number into a piece of my body? and science again (or medicine which is science) people donate their organs in the ultimate philanthropic and altruistic gesture that a human being can make, and where is this organic material going? to companies wanting to harvest the human geonome for profit.
I mean science,...well you wonder why people are losing faith in this grand and once man made religion, it no longer serves the common good, or produces miracles for the masses. so along come the Raelians and they get news coverage, and the X-Files become a huge cult phenomina, and sort askew, but Steven Speilburg, I have heard him give interviews about E.T he made that film because public opinion and alien movie culture was all about aliens, abductions, conquests etc. but now he made a new thing Taken. why has this film maker gone over to the other side?

well it's early or late and the coke rush is wearing into mumbles of sleepiness, I tried to be serious in this post. I find myself of late wanting to believe in both science and para-science; while at the same time disenfranchised by both science and para-science, but i can not come to terms with either. maybe it is because when IBM supposedly the largest computer company, yada ya made computers, they did not actually believe there would be a need for PC's personal computers in the home. maybe it's because after Y2K we still have a 4digit computer roll over date, which is going to Y3K or whatever, and still no one has fixed it. maybe it is because Bill Gates is eager to keep making computers with bugs in them while holding a monopoly of a science and technnology which should be helping and improving mankind, but instead it is creating a nation of pale eyed swollen eyeballs who amusingly enough, when the power failed on the great eastern coast of this brave new world, sat around in the dark wondering how to light a candle or make a flash light work. and most ironic of all; in the great field of technical tele communications, cel phones which are suppose to be such a god send, were useless when that good old scientific edisson invention failed.

I find myself these days becoming both a science and para-science aetheist these days, since neither of them are perfect or accurate or even capable of producing any tangible proof of life; out there, or on our planets surface.




Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, lick once and you suck forever
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Old 08-29-2003, 10:25 AM   #7
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Darth Eggplant:
I find myself these days becoming both a science and para-science aetheist these days, since neither of them are perfect or accurate or even capable of producing any tangible proof of life; out there, or on our planets surface.
The same way I can ask if anything in your life is truely direct and tangible. You would momentarily see that nothing is. And what do you consider the "measure of accuracy" needed for proof to be tangible?
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Old 09-14-2003, 10:51 PM   #8
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Updated the Main Thread to reflect the two new threads on Spurious Similarities and Explanation by Scenario.

I realize that not many people seem interested in posting in these threads, but since I started it, I feel compelled to finish Also, it is such a relief to occasionally get something other than religion to debate, so perhaps someone will take an opposing stand....

I suppose I could start dissin' the Mothman myth and lure Darth Groovster back


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Old 09-30-2003, 12:55 AM   #9
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"SkinWalker" Isn't this forum so lonely with out me here to bash whatever you have to say.

I think it's pretty well know how I feel about science and religion. So I can't really argue with you on psuedoscience as a danger. If you would like to take up defending it I would be more than happy to let you have it...


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Old 10-18-2003, 02:24 AM   #10
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THE OCCULT, BABY CHEESE, AND THE MID TERM EXAMS


Baby Toothpicks
and one great hanging Celestial Mobile
Corn Flake Boxes
electric charged Potatoes with roots
hanging off to the power of 2
the Pentagram of Dirty Socks underneath
Pizza Boxes stacked to the sky
the Phone never stops ringing
the Ghosts like Pizza,
they have not had it in years;
the House Dwellers go to their beds
and sleep through the din
trying to get use to the New Tenants
wishing they would only pay some rent.

Our Electives keep us busy at school
then you have to work
for some Extra Scratch
little time do I find for myself
I have no time for the Ghosts;
for Baby Cheese and Crew
such is the life
of the Ex-Assistant Manager
gone back to school,
from the counter job
at an Anorexic Doughnut Hut
What Evil Possessed me?
Why did I go back to School?
You want me to Believe in the Occult;
Convince me of Reality first.




Beware the lollipop of mediocrity, lick once and you suck forever
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Old 10-18-2003, 05:57 PM   #11
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Believe it or not Darth E., I'm gonna leave that here!

At first I was thinking, "wtf?" But I read it again and I get it (okay... almost get it). I like the last two lines.


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Old 12-06-2003, 07:13 PM   #12
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This topic is dead....

I'm "Un-Sticking" the thread.......


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