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Author Topic: A conundrum for all skeptics, including TomDavidson
MattP
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quote:
My beef is that Tom, et al, don't seem to see that skepticism can be taken too far.
How so? What are the negative results of requiring sound logic and compelling evidence prior to investing belief in something?

quote:
Also, using the "you're arguing from authority" thing has been taken too far in this discussion, and others.
You only feel this because you do not value logically coherent arguments. You put more weight in intrigue than rigor.

quote:
if someone else has vastly more experience and training in a particular area than you
...then they should be able to present convincing arguments for their position. Those arguments, rather than the names of those people, should be presented.
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MattP
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quote:
How do you explain the Communist purges?
Stalin was an evil psychopath. His atheism was incidental.

[ March 15, 2007, 12:15 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Knowing you, Tom, the way I do, I am not so sure you can say "it just depends". Can you?
*blink* I have absolutely no idea why you think you know me. Do you believe we were acquainted in a past life or something?

But no, I never say "it just depends," at least consciously. I always try to say "it depends on the following things...."

And for what it's worth, there's a reason they're called "Communist purges" and not "atheist purges." (That reason has quite a lot to do with the way adjectives work.)

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johnson
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Only a young man thinks that logic is all there is to life. The proof of this? I used to believe in it a lot more than I do now. I think the "old dudes" on the forum would agree with this to some degree.

What irks me about this is that skeptics are so willing to come down on the side of "there is no soul, or anything like it". That makes me automatically mistrustful, because you're not keeping an open mind on the issue. Which is healthier, usually...an open mind, or a closed one? Hey, just asking.

The same can be said for the skeptics' perspective on UFOs or any other issue. You don't know the truth of any issue, usually, until you've studied it, and being automatically skeptical does not, in the long run, give you any better results than being an automatic believer, all other things being equal. No extreme is useful, skepticism or otherwise.

Skepticism is not about keeping an open mind. Skepticism is a belief system that rigidly refuses to believe in anything. Which I applaud. However, wrong is wrong, and when you look silly, you look silly. I'd rather know the truth than be a perfectly logical being. I admit to being a little unscrupulous in my methods. I am not so sure than the opposite of unscrupulousness is logic, however. I am not against logic. But it is only one method of finding the truth. A good one, and it should be used whenever it is useful. But then, and only then.

Not everything can be completely scientifically verified. The older you get, the more you realize this.

[ March 15, 2007, 12:44 AM: Message edited by: johnson ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
That makes me automatically mistrustful, because you're not keeping an open mind on the issue. Which is healthier, usually...an open mind, or a closed one?
Dude, you seriously need to learn to discern between things it's okay to just let slide, and things which are kind of crazy.

People on the other end of the radio = okay to believe
People on the radio talking to you personally = kind of crazy

Aliens exist = okay to believe
Aliens have anally probed our livestock = kind of crazy

Good to keep an open mind = okay to believe
Necessary to believe everything by default = kind of crazy

And don't pull that "older" crap, really. I'd wager that I'm at least as old as you are, and I'm getting more skeptical with age as I look at the ravages inflicted by time upon the naturally credulous.

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johnson
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Tom, if you'd keep your pronouncements on hatrack to areas you know a great deal about, I'd be 100% behind you. However, in addition to comments about video gaming, RPGs, D & D, comic books, sci-fi, fantasy, and music, you sure do like to flog away at things you don't know any more than the average hatracker does. The tone, however, varies not at all. There's no, "I could be wrong" "IMHO" or any of it. OK, that's not entirely true. However, it's a little true. Tom, immersing yourself in something in makes you an expert in that subject. You are pretty close to being one in some areas. However....sometimes I shake my head and laugh when you post. I'm perfectly willing to let you go on and on about Goth bands, comic books, et al, and sometimes I enjoy your comments about sci-fi and fantasy novels quite a bit. However, I would not mind if you'd....go easy on the whole soul issue until you've lived a full life.

Wasn't Einstein a Deist? Was he an illogical fool? A poor scientist? I bet you I could name a few other great scientists who believed in souls and perhaps God all their lives.

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MattP
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quote:
There's no, "I could be wrong" "IMHO" or any of it.
Congratulations! You are poster #2343 who has to be explicitly told that "IMHO" is implicit in any message board post. Everything is, by default, "IMHO" and adding "IMHO" to every post would just be annoying.
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MattP
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quote:
Wasn't Einstein a Deist? Was he an illogical fool? A poor scientist? I bet you I could name a few other great scientists who believed in souls and perhaps God all their lives.
And?
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MattP
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quote:
Not everything can be completely scientifically verified. The older you get, the more you realize this.
What, no IMHO? Like Tom, I've become more skeptical as I've aged. I only shifted my self-identification from "agnostic" to "atheist" in the last year.
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johnson
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I've never seen him use IMHO in one of his "there are no souls, period" posts. That says something, I think. Particularly when he is so willing to use it in plenty of other subject areas.
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MattP
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quote:
I've never seen him use IMHO in one of his "there are no souls, period" posts.
Some people add it for a specific purpose, such as irony, or they'll add it to soften a potentially unpopular position. That doesn't mean that every other post automatically becomes an authoritative statement of fact.

[ March 15, 2007, 01:14 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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johnson
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So, Matt, your definition of a great scientist, is what, then? Someone who gets results, or someone who is an atheist? I would put Einstein near the top of a list of scientists of the past 150 years, and he was a Deist. Many scientists who never acheived what he did, or anywhere close, were/are atheists.

I lump atheists and believers in the same category. Extremists.

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johnson
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Cling to those beliefs, Matt. Cling hard!
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MattP
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quote:
So, Matt, your definition of a great scientist, is what, then? Someone who gets results, or someone who is an atheist?
That's a ridiculous question. A great scientist produces great science. Their personal beliefs are not relevant any more than Atheism is important in evaluating the actions of Stalin.

quote:
I would put Einstein near the top of a list of scientists of the past 150 years, and he was a Deist.
That's debatable. His version of god is the "nature is God" god, which differs from the prime mover god of deism. The "nature is god" position is not necessarily different from atheism unless you ascribe intention to nature.

quote:
Many scientists who never acheived what he did, or anywhere close, were/are atheists.
And many were Christians, Buddhists, or Hindi. What is your point?

[ March 15, 2007, 01:27 AM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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MattP
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quote:
Originally posted by johnson:
Cling to those beliefs, Matt. Cling hard!

Which beliefs would you be referring to?
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MattP
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A choice quote from Einstein: "If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
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johnson
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Orson Scott Card, our esteemed host, has commented on more than one occasion that extremely intelligent people can be found in every religion, as well as among atheists. He's right. The simple fact that he is a practicing, believing Mormon is proof of that. Most of Hatrack is proof of that.

Ther's nothing logical about Mormonism, much. However, I do not dispute Orson's brains.

You asked me, "what beliefs would you be referring to?" OK, I'll bite. The ones that you're trying to convert me to. Those beliefs. Along the lines of "Believing in a soul is the worst thing you can do!". Is that not an accurate picture of your beliefs?

[ March 15, 2007, 01:36 AM: Message edited by: johnson ]

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MattP
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quote:
You asked me, "what beliefs would you be referring to?" OK, I'll bite. The ones that you're trying to convert me to. Those beliefs. Along the lines of "Believing in a soul is the worst thing you can do!". Is that not an accurate picture of your beliefs?
Not even close. I've got six kids, and go with them (and my wife) to church every week. I don't believe any of it, but if I believed anything even close to "believing in a soul is the worst thing you can do" then I'd have a lot of explaining to do, no?

I'm not trying to convert you to believe anything. I'm simply explaining to you why I don't consider the evidence that you have put forth to be sufficient to justify the beliefs that you have also put forth. My exposition of a stricter threshold of proof than the one that you consider adequate is by no means a missionary effort.

Finally, I think you conflate the beliefs of some atheists with atheists as a whole. Atheism is not an organized group. Some atheists do believe something like your "worst thing you can do" example, but their views are not representative. Atheism simply means a lack of belief (or active disbelief) in deity. Any judgments about the relative value of the beliefs held by others goes way beyond the definition of atheism.

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
That's my point. No matter how logical and intelligent you are, if someone else has vastly more experience and training in a particular area than you...I don't know. It just depends. It just depends.
Okay. I've said it so many times in this thread, it appears I have to beat you over the head with it. Evidence!

EVIDENCE! EVIDENCE! EVIDENCE! EVIDENCE!

Experience, logic, are incidental. Evidence is what matters. Cold, hard proof. Indisputable. Something that every honest person in the world can look at for themselves and come to the same conclusion. This is what science is based upon, and what you have been trying very hard to avoid because you don't have it. I don't care how many "experts," eye-witnesses and fuzzy photographs you can produce.

When dealing with subjects as fantasical as acupuncture or aliens, due to the inherent fallibility of human judgement you must always apply three principles:

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. You want me to believe aliens have been visiting Earth? I want them to show themselves. Park their ship on the White House lawn and hold a press conference. Offer a sample of DNA or their equivalent for study. Blurry photographs and lights in the sky don't cut it.

The burden of proof is on the positive. If you're making an extraordinary claim, it's your responsibility to prove your claim. It's not up to me to debunk it.

Occam's Razor: If one is confronted with a series of phenomena for which there exists more than one viable explanation, one should choose the simplest explanation which fits all the observed facts. This is the fatal flaw in pretty much all Ufology to date.

quote:
What irks me about this is that skeptics are so willing to come down on the side of "there is no soul, or anything like it". That makes me automatically mistrustful, because you're not keeping an open mind on the issue.
I think everyone who is truly skeptical will admit to not being certain about whether the soul exists or not. The same is true of God. We can't say with certainty these things don't exist. You can't prove a negative. But what we can say is that there is no compelling evidence for the existence of a soul, and so it would be irrational to believe it exists.

I'm open to the existence of a soul, an afterlife and God. It would be wonderful to know that when I die, that I will still exist. But I can't bring myself to believe in something just because it's comforting. That's just wishful thinking.

Likewise, I can't bring myself to believe in alien visitation, even though that would be neat. Making contact with another intelligent lifeform would change the entire course of human history, and it would be incredible to live at a time that such a thing happened. But, once again, there just isn't evidence of that and I won't be satisfied with comforting delusion.

quote:
Which is healthier, usually...an open mind, or a closed one? Hey, just asking.

Skepticism is not about keeping an open mind. Skepticism is a belief system that rigidly refuses to believe in anything.

You couldn't be more wrong. When people talk of "skepticism," they aren't talking about pure skepticism in the sense that you don't accept anything to be true. That would be pointless; about equally as pointless as, I would say, having a completely open mind. This is such a simplistic caricature that I find it difficult to believe you actually think people are like that.

Skepticism, put simply, means requiring evidence to believe something is true. And when you do believe some it true, that belief is tentative and subject to change pending further evidence.


quote:
being automatically skeptical does not, in the long run, give you any better results than being an automatic believer, all other things being equal.
I beg to differ! Being automatically skeptical means that you have a reliable method of determining what is right and what isn't. If you're automatically credulous about everything, you'll never be able to know what is true and what isn't.

quote:
I'd rather know the truth than be a perfectly logical being. I admit to being a little unscrupulous in my methods. I am not so sure than the opposite of unscrupulousness is logic, however. I am not against logic. But it is only one method of finding the truth.
I think you are confusing logic with evidence. Evidence is independently verifiable whereas logic, in my estimation, is more abstract. It's more difficult to tell when you're wrong with logic. But logic is certainly a crucial tool in examining evidence and forming hypotheses.
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Adam Lassek
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quote:
I would put Einstein near the top of a list of scientists of the past 150 years, and he was a Deist.
Einstein used the word "God" to refer to the sum total of natural laws. That is all.

quote:
I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.

I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood to be anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.

The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.

Letter to Hans Muehsam March 30, 1954
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johnson
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All good points, Adam. However, you are missing two salient points: First, I largely don't care what you think. The only person whose opinion I seek on this subject is the person who knows more that I do about it. I see no EVIDENCE, to use your word, that you know the subject. I see lots of EVIDENCE that you are beating your head against a wall. Not only do I discount your opinions on the subject, because of your lack of study, but I tend to talk mainly to myself anyway, even in conversations. Most of what I say is thinking out loud. I largely don't care what the people around me think.

I don't think you've studied UFOlogy enough to make the assumptions you seem to be making. I'm not offering proof on this thread that I myself consider to be completely convincing. What do you want me to do, post the entire text of some of the books on the subject here? That's not reasonable.

What I'm saying is, all the relevant areas of inquiry/experience I have seen all point to the same thing. I am pretty convinced, by several things, including the books I've read. However, the fact that we went from "oh, planets are very rare, and gas giants are the only ones out there" to "planets are ubiquitous, and rocky planets are fairly common" in 20 years says a lot to me. Think about it--the more we've learned about other solar systems, the more we realize how average and common our sort of system really is. There's been no circularity to it, it's been a straight drive for the last 40 years or more. That in and of itself, wouldn't convince me. It's that, plus all the UFO experiences in books, plus the fact that the Chinese seem to have believed that their 3rd emperor was actually from the Sirius star system and flew here in a spaceship, plus the fact that many traditional tribes have talked about people that fly around in aircraft for hundreds of years, that more or less convinces me. All of it together. More or less.

You are also laboring under an assumption I do not entirely share. I do not believe the aliens would necessarily be, or are, as the case may be, helpful. I make no assumption in that direction.

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seekingprometheus
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johnson-

quote:
You asked me, "what beliefs would you be referring to?" OK, I'll bite. The ones that you're trying to convert me to. Those beliefs. Along the lines of "Believing in a soul is the worst thing you can do!". Is that not an accurate picture of your beliefs?
The only belief people seem to be trying to convert you to is the belief that arguments should have logical validity.

Nobody really cares what you personally believe in, the point of this forum is to provide space to put forth arguments and reasons for maintaining a given belief. You've opened this thread (seemingly) to provide reasons for credulity rather than skepticism, and everyone has been pointing out that your arguments are illogical and incoherent. I understand that this is frustrating, but you really seem to be missing the point of what everyone else is saying.

It seems like you are trying to validate the conclusions you leap to based on the subjective experience of your personal perceptions and cognitive processes. But nobody else has access to your processes, and the way you express them doesn't make sense from an outside perspective.

Matt certainly doesn't seem to have said anything even remotely close to: "Believing in a soul is the worst thing you can do!". This seems to be a conclusion you've leapt to without sufficient warrant. I'm sure that you have personal reasons why this seems like a valid conclusion to you, but it doesn't seem valid to anyone else.

Based on what I know about Matt, I'm fairly certain that you are factually wrong in this assertion, and I further believe that the process you go through to incorrectly leap to that erroneous conclusion is precisely what people here have been criticizing. I would guess that your conclusion-generating process here flowed from the premise that Matt is an atheist to some experience you have had with another atheist who believed that "Believing in a soul is the worst thing you can do!" and you have determined that such a link was sufficient warrant to conclude that Matt was making this argument. But he wasn't.

Your reasoning is simply insufficient. That another atheist may have argued such a thing doesn't mean that Matt is arguing such a thing. Your reasoning is invalid, and this is born out by the factual error of your conclusion.

You've used a similarly flawed reasoning process in to justify your conclusions this entire thread. Whether or not your beliefs are factually correct is actually somewhat immaterial here--the reasons you have provided for believing in your conclusions are simply flawed, and thus no weight is given to your conclusions.

[ March 15, 2007, 02:50 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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seekingprometheus
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Adam-

I'd never derogate the importance of evidence, but we've been laboring to explain to johnson that evidence and logic are necessary for generating a valid conclusion. He has actually offered a great deal of evidence (eye-witnesses, stories of abductions etc) he just doesn't seem to understand how to process such evidence logically.

[ March 15, 2007, 03:00 AM: Message edited by: seekingprometheus ]

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0Megabyte
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Again, how can you disagree with my imaginary friend having done the things you claim?

After all, I know him very well, and you can't beat personally knowing the person who did it, and witnessing it several times yourself.

How, exactly, do you disregard my claims? Because there's no evidence? Or because you just don't believe it? I figure it's more the latter.

It's the same thing that causes people to believe that succubi are draining their life-force at night, or that the dark contains evil monsters.

You've shown yourself to essentially be using wishful thinking ("--the more we've learned about other solar systems, the more we realize how average and common our sort of system really is" et al, with the implication that it means that life will be common, without any evidence) among other fallacies.

A logical fallacy is something that doesnt follow. If I said that, say, conservatives are wrong because it'd be absurd to want to destroy the planet with unregulated corporate pollution, that'd be a straw man, something that didn't follow from what I was saying, and it doesn't follow because I was creating a false arguement and beating it up, that is, building a straw man and beating that instead of a real person, and trying to pass it off as real. That among all the others don't work!

Just because one claims to be an authority doesn't automatically mean they know what they're talking about. So believing them for that solely is wrong, because they could be wrong.

When yuo get older, you claim that people start believing people who could be lying more often? I call bull on that. That they start failing to discern between straw men and real men?

"Only a young man thinks that logic is all there is to life. The proof of this? I used to believe in it a lot more than I do now."

So, you use yourself alone? So if you've only seen one crow, and it was pink, you'd assume all crows were pink, then? That's absurd. It doesn't make any sense. I doubt older people would make such a foolish mistake more often than younger.

If older people DO lose their logical ability, that is, their ability to actually figure things out, and worse, think that being unable to distinguish fantasy from reality is a virtue, then, sorry, I'd rather kill myself before I became a fool. Luckily, I dno't believe that to be a fact, due to the numerous (not just one) people I've seen that have grown wiser as they got older. (the fact that I tend to still not listen is due to the fact that I'm young and stupid, and still have a ways to go, not the other way around, though.)

"I don't think you've studied UFOlogy enough to make the assumptions you seem to be making."

Hmm. I don't think you've studied these people enough to make the assumptions about them you seem to be making.

---

You haven't listened to anything here, have you? You realize that in the 50's, the people who claimed they were abducted said stuff that was totally false many times. Like they would say they were taken by people from Venus or Mars, even though those planets are barren, have no life on them, have no civilizations on them? They were either making it up, delusional and mixing stuff they knew with fantasy, or just got the place name wrong in those cases.

Which is more likely? The first two, I'd say, are far more likely than the third.

Often, abductees claim the alien message is to stop this or that, the current seeming threat to the world or whatever, because they could see the future and cuold tell where we were headed.

If that was true, why didn't they warn about stuff such as AIDS before AIDS came into existence? They certainly complain about our handling of it now, if the abductees are any indication!

Why did they only talk about stuff that the abductees themselves could have learned about on tv, or else had no possible way of verifying?

Why is it that the whole alien abduction thing seems so similar to the cases of centuries past, of demons and succubi and whatnot plaguing sleeping mortals?

-----

Anyway, as for planets, lately we've been learning that the Sun ISN'T that common, actually.

It's a single star without a sibling, in an area which isn't too crowded. That's a bit unusual. Such areas that are TOO crowded could get too much radiation for life as we know it to evolve.

Anyway, we don't know a lot about planets and when life can evolve. We really don't.

But even if life is common, why does it make it more likely that aliens told ancient humans in China, who liked to stick needles into people, about the pressure points in the human body, when trial and error could account for it equally as well, and is less weird?

Better yet: How could the tribes of the Amazon learn the capabilities of all the plants, know how each would affect the human body, etc? Trial and error, or spooky aliens guiding them so they could learn all of the capabilities of the plants in the region? After all, most of them probably have religious beliefs about beings that have some resemblance to aliens.

Furthermore, the God of the Old Testament has some resemblence to an alien too! Maybe HE was from anothe rplanet, right?

After all, there's Ezekiel and the whole chariot of fire. Wouldn't that be a good way to describe a UFO, come to whisk him away?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
However, you are missing two salient points: First, I largely don't care what you think.
I would make this my .sig if we had .sigs.
It's nicely succinct, and certainly explains why you persist in such throbbing ignorance.

That you failed to expand your second salient point only made it perfecter. [Wink]

[ March 15, 2007, 09:25 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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feuhrerfam
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I know you guys like science fiction so of course your first assumption is to jump to some thing alien, but we are talking about deeply spiritual people.
I would imagine it was with meditation, intuition and probably lots of studies on the human body. Asian people have always been very smart remember?
I'm sure they already had lots of studies on the human body and came up with the theory that it was possible.
With lots of meditation and research they put it together and when they tried it, it worked. So they recorded it, perfected it and voila there she is.

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vulture
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Belatedly getting back to this ...

quote:
Originally posted by johnson:
vulture, I referenced an article that suggested that the reason for higher genetic diversity in the tropics is because of the higher average temperature there. Assuming that's true, then, given the narrow temperature range required for carbon-based life to exist, one can assume a median length of time for higher life to form, barring extinction events.

There are several assumptions depending on each other there which may well be unjustified, and even if you can work out some plausible median time for sentient life to evolve it doesn't tell you much - you need to know the probability distribution of timescales for sentient life to evolve. What I've been trying to say is that given that the progress of life on this planet seemed to hinge on one or two extremely low probability flukes, we have no meaningful idea of what the median time might be, and it might be very long indeed (or it might be rather short, we simply don't know).

quote:

As far as the rest, I appreciate your admitting we know very little yet. I do, however, find it compelling that the direction suggested by every relevant discovery , without exception, over the last 40 years in astrophysics, has been that we are much more common than we think.

Back in the 80s it was said that planets were rare, and were probably all gas giants. We now know that's false. Prior to the last few hundred years, many people believed that we were it, that there were no other solar systems. Nothing we have learned in astrophysics has sent us in the direction of "oh, well, maybe we are more rare than we thought.", wouldn't you agree?

No, I wouldn't agree.

Some discoveries in astrophysics would increase an estimate of how common conditions suitable for the evolution of complex life might be, while others would decrease it. In many more, all we are doing is finding out the limitations of our equipment [Smile] .

Much of what we've learned suggests that (for example) a planet with a relatively massive satellite like the moon is a rare occurrence, and it has been suggested that the moon has a significant role in shielding us from meteor impacts, which greatly increases the chance of complex life arising - in reality life doesn't have the whole 'lifetime' of a planet to play with - it only has the time between major impacts, which serve to more or less reset things by wiping out any of the more specialised creatures.

As I mentioned before, there is evidence that the abundances of elements in our solar system may be atypical, although that is a particularly thorny thing to measure for a whole host of reasons.

Elemental abundances also appear to vary across the galactic disk, being higher in the middle and lower towards the edges - probably due to questions of where star formation is taking place and therefore where the majority of supernovae are which generate most of the heavy elements for the next generation of stars (and significant quantities of those heavy elements are required for things like rocky planets and complex chemistry, of course).

There are a whole host of unknowns and oddities, but it certainly doesn't seem to be the case that every major discovery points towards life elsewhere being more common than previously thought. Arguably, the most direct test of this - the SETI project - points in exacly the opposite direction in no uncertain terms.

[ March 15, 2007, 11:36 AM: Message edited by: vulture ]

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0Megabyte
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"Asian people have always been very smart remember?"

Eh, that's pretty much a stereotype. (odd that the stereotype is that they're smarter than average now. How things change.)

I wouldn't say they're any smarter than the rest of us, on average. We humans in general, however, are pretty damn smart, especially over many generations. It can be easy to confuse the two things. [Big Grin]

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Adam Lassek
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quote:
Seekingprometheus said:
I'd never derogate the importance of evidence, but we've been laboring to explain to johnson that evidence and logic are necessary for generating a valid conclusion.

I wasn't as clear in my last post as I would have liked. Let me restate what I meant to say: logic is fundamental to science in evaluating evidence and determining what to test and formulating hypotheses. But, if you don't begin with reliable evidence, and you don't verify your reasoning with further evidence, then all the logic in the world couldn't help you.

Johnson's problem is that, even assuming his logic is flawless (and that's being generous) he's using dubious evidence and so the whole thing's still garbage-in garbage-out.

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Adam Lassek
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To johnson: [DOH]

I've never debated anyone so adept at missing the point. Really, it's astonishing.

You're right; debating you has been very much like beating my head against a wall.

I'm done.

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johnson
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then that's my good fortune.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
Johnson's problem is that, even assuming his logic is flawless (and that's being generous) he's using dubious evidence and so the whole thing's still garbage-in garbage-out.
I agree that the evidence is unreliable, but I still think that what is wanting is the logical rigor to understand how to examine the evidence he has proffered. If he understood how to process the evidence, we wouldn't have a five page thread of insanity. [Smile]
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johnson
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If anyone wanted me to listen to them alone, they'd have to find a way to get everybody else on board too. Then I might go along. Otherwise, it looks like the blind men standing around the elephant. "Listen to me, it's a snake!" "NO, listen to ME, it's a TREE!" Heh. I might be a joke, but none of you know how to help. None of you has the first idea. Telling me what to do won't help. I'm willful. I won't listen. Every single one of you criticizing me has shown your ignorance enough times here so that I can't take you totally seriously.

Work out your differences, find agreement and/or a leader, then I can listen. Otherwise....simply enjoy the few seconds of attention you get for saying something critical.

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TomDavidson
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Seriously, dude? "Take me to your leader?"
IIRC, Bob Scopatz tried to play that role for you and you completely dropped your end of the sofa after a few steps. Did you ever figure out what he was trying to teach you?

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MattP
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quote:
Every single one of you criticizing me has shown your ignorance enough times here so that I can't take you totally seriously.
Ignorance isn't, in itself, a bad thing. I'm ignorant about many things, and will remain ignorant about most of them until the day I die. I don't think I'll ever have the time or interest, for instance, to become well-versed in fluid dynamics.

Which particular areas of ignorance do you believe I've demonstrated in this thread?

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johnson
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If I can see the teacher's flaws, I cannot listen to the teacher. I expect everyone else to hold me to the same standard. It's not hard and fast, but....what does Bob have to do with this, Tom? You are not on the short list for a teacher, so why bother?
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TomDavidson
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I have to admit that I find the "you're not perfect, so I have nothing to learn from you" position to which you've retreated in defeat really, really funny. [Smile]
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johnson
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Tom, am I supposed to understand where you are coming from?
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TomDavidson
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Are you asking what I meant by that? Or are you asking if you're supposed to know my motives and background?
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johnson
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Then what's your theory about what's the matter with me? Can you make it succinct?
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