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skeptics_anonymous
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  07:14:52  Show Profile Send skeptics_anonymous a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi,

I used to be skeptical about everything out of the accepted norm all my life. Then one day I realized that NOT ONE SINGLE advancement has ever come out of skepticism. (it's a law you know).

I had to laugh when I discovered this site. I couldn't believe all the energy put into poo pooing some cockeyed idea. What are you afraid of? That someone's gonna get hurt building a Bedini motor?? Let'em have their fun. Who knows what might come out of some "impossible" pursuit, even if it doesn't do what they claim?

Is this the best thing you have to do with your time?

C'mon people, GET A LIFE !!!

Oh, never mind...

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  08:12:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by skeptics_anonymous

Hi,

I used to be skeptical about everything out of the accepted norm all my life. Then one day I realized that NOT ONE SINGLE advancement has ever come out of skepticism. (it's a law you know).

I had to laugh when I discovered this site. I couldn't believe all the energy put into poo pooing some cockeyed idea. What are you afraid of? That someone's gonna get hurt building a Bedini motor?? Let'em have their fun. Who knows what might come out of some "impossible" pursuit, even if it doesn't do what they claim?

Is this the best thing you have to do with your time?

C'mon people, GET A LIFE !!!

Oh, never mind...
There are several good reasons to promote skepticism and critical thinking. That you choose something as innocuous as a silly claim about a motor misses the point. In fact, it's a strawman. Take medical claims for instance. Should we just sit back and allow the anti vax crowd and their claims that vaccination can cause autism to go challenged? This is a life and death issue as many quack claims are, because when they become popular belief, because of missinformation, those kinds of claims puts everyone at risk.

Do you think it's okay for someone like Sylvia Browne to diagnose illnesses?

And how comfy are you to allow creationism to be taught in science classrooms?

As for no advancements coming out of skepticism, science can't function without it.

Did you wake up one day and stop thinking critically or have you not understood what skepticism is about? Maybe you never actually applied it to those things that count. Maybe you think all claims have equal value and we shouldn't have a method for determining what claims have real value and what claims are simply bogus and/or sometimes dangerous.

I doubt that you were ever a skeptic in the sense that you never saw the real value in having a method that cuts through bias to determine the truth value of any claim. If all you did was to doubt everything, which should lead to inquiry, you were just a skeptic in name only.

Yeah. Some of our application of critical thinking is of little consequence. On the other hand people are being fleeced by the promoters of things that can't work. When did you decide that it's okay to scam people?

Did you know that it was a skeptic who exposed the dowsing device that was being sold to militaries all over the world to sniff out explosives? That person saved lives. But maybe he should just "get a life" instead of saving them...


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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The Rat
SFN Regular

Canada
1342 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  09:02:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit The Rat's Homepage Send The Rat a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The entire post proves that 'skeptanon' either 1) knows nothing about what skepticism really means to its followers, and/or 2) he/she/it is a troll.

Bailey's second law; There is no relationship between the three virtues of intelligence, education, and wisdom.

You fiend! Never have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? - The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Blackadder II

Baculum's page: http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=3947338590
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  09:50:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by skeptics_anonymous
Then one day I realized that NOT ONE SINGLE advancement has ever come out of skepticism.
Considering that science is simply applied skepticism, you really couldn't be more wrong.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  10:08:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, ye gods!

Do you have any idea how many people have died; how much damage has been done to our environment; how many scams have ripped folks off world wide due to a simple lack of skepticism? One hell of a lot of them and it continues on today because too many people, such as yourself, refuse to think critically.

Would you go walking barefoot in rattlesnake country just because I told you it was alright?

Yeesh!





"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  10:45:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here’s an example: Higgs Boson found… maybe.
A rumor is floating around the physics community that the world's largest atom smasher may have detected a long-sought subatomic particle called the Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle."

The controversial rumor is based on what appears to be a leaked internal note from physicists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), a 17-mile-long particle accelerator near Geneva, Switzerland. It's not entirely clear at this point if the memo is authentic, or what the data it refers to might mean — but the note already has researchers talking.

Would you buy into this story with no more evidence than that? I certainly wouldn’t.





"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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skeptics_anonymous
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  11:05:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send skeptics_anonymous a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Not a troll, just impetuous maybe. I just couldn't believe there actually was something like this. Don't intend to argue. I guess everyone has to have something to do. You guys can have your fun too.

You probably should have just ignored the post. Better yet, delete it.

Blessings, Allasso
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kytheskeptic
New Member

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  14:25:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit kytheskeptic's Homepage  Send kytheskeptic an AOL message Send kytheskeptic a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Skepticism is following evidence with logic and reason, to see if something is true. By saying you're no longer a skeptic is like saying,"I used to NOT be gullible, but now I'm gullible, and choose to be gullible."

In regards to skepticism and advancement, James Randi used skepticism to show Peter Popoff's scam, through a faith healing. Stealing money from ill people, where they could have used the money for modern medicine to cure their illnesses.
Edited by - kytheskeptic on 04/23/2011 14:27:05
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skeptics_anonymous
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  16:11:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send skeptics_anonymous a Private Message  Reply with Quote
World English Dictionary
sceptic or skeptic (#712;sk#603;pt#618;k) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
1. a person who habitually doubts the authenticity of accepted beliefs
2. a person who mistrusts people, ideas, etc, in general
3. a person who doubts the truth of religion, esp Christianity

Sceptic or Skeptic (#712;sk#603;pt#618;k) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
1. a member of one of the ancient Greek schools of philosophy, esp that of Pyrrho, who believed that real knowledge of things is impossible

skep·ti·cism (sk#603;pt#601;#716;s#618;z#601;m) Show Spelled[skep-tuh-siz-uhm] Show IPA

–noun
1. skeptical attitude or temper; doubt.
2. doubt or unbelief with regard to a religion, especially christianity.
3. ( initial capital letter ) the doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics; universal doubt.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  16:49:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by skeptics_anonymous

World English Dictionary
sceptic or skeptic (#712;sk#603;pt#618;k) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
1. a person who habitually doubts the authenticity of accepted beliefs
2. a person who mistrusts people, ideas, etc, in general
3. a person who doubts the truth of religion, esp Christianity

Sceptic or Skeptic (#712;sk#603;pt#618;k) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

— n
1. a member of one of the ancient Greek schools of philosophy, esp that of Pyrrho, who believed that real knowledge of things is impossible

skep·ti·cism (sk#603;pt#601;#716;s#618;z#601;m) Show Spelled[skep-tuh-siz-uhm] Show IPA

–noun
1. skeptical attitude or temper; doubt.
2. doubt or unbelief with regard to a religion, especially christianity.
3. ( initial capital letter ) the doctrines or opinions of philosophical Skeptics; universal doubt.

Yeah. Thanks. That's called Argument by Dictionary: appealing to a dictionary definition as a means of settling a dispute. It's a logical fallacy when used the way you just used it. But I'm happy that you want to know what a skeptic is. Here are some good articles for you to read:

What is a Skeptic and Why Bother Being One?

Scientific Skepticism

Critical Thinking: What Is It Good for? (In Fact, What Is It?)

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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skeptics_anonymous
New Member

4 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  17:47:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send skeptics_anonymous a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I see. I was not aware of that definition of skepticism. When I stated "NOT ONE SINGLE advancement has ever come out of skepticism. (it's a law you know)." I was thinking of the dictionary definition of which I am familiar. Advancement cannot come out of simply doubting.

The thing I "awakened to", which I still fully believe, is that we limit ourselves by "disproving" ideas based on knowledge that is current and especially status quo. Advancements in science and technology have come largely through heretics who thought outside the "box" if you will, of the present-day accepted beliefs of science. Remember, the skeptics of those days ("skeptic" by your definition) truly believed that their science was correct, just as sincerely as you believe what you do. If you can receive this, I suggest to you that "science", as it tries to distinguish itself from "religion", is really just a religion also, ie, it is a set of beliefs, albeit whether you think your beliefs have more validity than another set of beliefs, based on the methods that have convinced you. Yes, you "know" you are right, absolutely convinced of it - until something comes along to convince you otherwise. It matters not what the method is by which you were convinced.

So I decided to accept that I just don't know everything. Knowing everything just puts limits, because nothing can exist outside that which you "know". I have come to look at scientific theories as models, rather than truths. The models are convenient methods for describing phenomena, and making predictions within the scope of the model. Newtonian physics was a very convenient models to use for describing certain things, and still is. But there are things that can't be described with Newtonian physics. So men started thinking about quantum physics to describe some of the things that were happening.

So if someone wants to try to build a Newman motor, or a Bedini motor, or whatever, I say, let them have it. I guarantee they are going to learn something valuable from it (and I don't mean just that it doesn't work). Most importantly, it will help them to get their thinking out of the Ten Commandments of accepted norm, and hopefully make them receptive to the universe full of yet to be seen realities, and recognize something truly innovative and expanding when it comes along.

As far as scams go, what does that have to do with science? That is a whole other issue in my mind. Scammers will always find something to scam with, and scammees will always be scammed.

I retract the above statement as an address to the purpose of this site, accepting that I may have been presumptuous in thinking that this site only has to do with scientific knowledge, and that it may be the mission of those here to address scams.
Edited by - skeptics_anonymous on 04/23/2011 18:11:27
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2011 :  18:21:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are plenty of people out there who engage in pseudoscience to make a buck. Those motors, I don't give a crap if anyone wants to spend their life trying to build one. What I care about is when they claim to have actually built a propetual motion machine. That is a real problem.

Then there are things like homeopathy, anti-vaccination, alternative/new age medicine, climate change denial, mediums (and anything dealing with talking to the dead), and.... the list is LONG. Almost all of it causes harm. There are real problems to be addressed, and scientific skepticism is the best tool to use against them.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2011 :  02:57:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by skeptics_anonymous

I see. I was not aware of that definition of skepticism. When I stated "NOT ONE SINGLE advancement has ever come out of skepticism. (it's a law you know)." I was thinking of the dictionary definition of which I am familiar. Advancement cannot come out of simply doubting.
Is that really so?
Imagine following situations:

Priest: The world is flat!
Skeptic: Is that really so? (Why don't we try to find out)

Greek Scholar: heavier objects falls faster than light ones.
Skeptic: Is that really so? (Why don't we design an experiment to see if it does?)

It is the starting point of knowledge: doubting "established truths" for which there is no evidence. It makes us unsatisfied by status quo.
Advancements in science and technology have come largely through heretics who thought outside the "box" if you will, of the present-day accepted beliefs of science.
I'm not sure you and I agree on what "science" is, as I don't acknowledge "beliefs of science" as valid description of scientific knowledge. If you take uneducated people, they may "believe in science" the same way they believe in God (of any of the major religions), but there is a huge difference in how that knowledge was gathered.

Remember, the skeptics of those days ("skeptic" by your definition) truly believed that their science was correct, just as sincerely as you believe what you do.
I'm curious... Who were "they", and what do you think we "believe"?

I suggest to you that "science", as it tries to distinguish itself from "religion", is really just a religion also, ie, it is a set of beliefs, albeit whether you think your beliefs have more validity than another set of beliefs
You mean like Christians do?
You're way off target, I can tell you that!
Religion and Science are two completely opposite paradigms for deriving truth value of any statement of fact, and knowledge of the world in which we live.

Skeptics know that any scientific knowledge is provisional, and subject to change should new evidence turn up which contradict previously established knowledge.

The models are convenient methods for describing phenomena, and making predictions within the scope of the model. Newtonian physics was a very convenient models to use for describing certain things, and still is. But there are things that can't be described with Newtonian physics. So men started thinking about quantum physics to describe some of the things that were happening.
Don't forget Einstein. He discovered that Newton was "mostly right" but there were situations where Newton's equations were incomplete.

I retract the above statement as an address to the purpose of this site, accepting that I may have been presumptuous in thinking that this site only has to do with scientific knowledge, and that it may be the mission of those here to address scams.
Science and addressing scams do have an intimate connection. It is through science, the scientific method, and scientific knowledge that we know that many scams are just that: scams. Take the Miracle Thaw for example. There's nothing miraculous about it, scientific knowledge enable us to explains how it works. Psychology explains how Sylvia Browne is able to "read" her victims. Mathematics can show you why a pyramid scheme necessarily must fail and why only the top echelon gets any money. You can't escape science: it's everywhere, in your daily life, hidden underneath the surface so you may not notice, but you can't escape it. Skeptics realise that.




Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13467 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2011 :  11:13:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
skeptics_anonymous:
Advancements in science and technology have come largely through heretics who thought outside the "box" if you will, of the present-day accepted beliefs of science. Remember, the skeptics of those days ("skeptic" by your definition) truly believed that their science was correct, just as sincerely as you believe what you do. If you can receive this, I suggest to you that "science", as it tries to distinguish itself from "religion", is really just a religion also, ie, it is a set of beliefs, albeit whether you think your beliefs have more validity than another set of beliefs, based on the methods that have convinced you. Yes, you "know" you are right, absolutely convinced of it - until something comes along to convince you otherwise. It matters not what the method is by which you were convinced.


Some were heretics. But it doesn’t matter. Confidence in a method, and that's what science is, a method, in no way resembles a beliefe in religion.

All conclusions in science are held tentatively and can change with the introduction of new and better evidence. That scientists are at first skeptical of something new is part of the process that science goes through in order to allow that new thing to be tested by other scientists. Religion is a dogmatic approach to “Truth” and its “Truths” are not considered to be provisional. And yes, religion at its core is a set of beliefs. Science at its core is a method. Religion, if they get into it, sets out to prove itself. Science goes where it goes, no matter what personal bias any single scientist may have. Also, science can’t move forward without new ideas. Not all of them are good ideas, but some turn out to be gems. We don’t know that they are gems until we take a good hard look at them though. Must separate the wheat from the chaff (to mix metaphors.)

What conclusions we have come to we hold provisionally because those conclusions are based on the best evidence available at the time. Religion is based on faith and has no requirement to justify itself with evidence. It doesn’t matter how convinced I am that evolution happens, for example, if a Devonian bunny rabbit were ever discovered, evolution would be in big trouble.

See the difference?

I have come to look at scientific theories as models, rather than truths. The models are convenient methods for describing phenomena, and making predictions within the scope of the model.

Yep!

From Carl Sagan’s, The Burden of Skepticism:

I want to say a little more about the burden of skepticism. You can get into a habit of thought in which you enjoy making fun of all those other people who don't see things as dearly as you do. This is a potential social danger present in an organization like CSICOP. We have to guard carefully against it.

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. Obviously those two modes of thought are in some tension. But if you are able to exercise only one of these modes, whichever one it is, you're in deep trouble.

If you are only skeptical, then no new ideas make it through to you. You never learn anything new. You become a crotchety old person convinced that nonsense is ruling the world. (There is, of course, much data to support you.) But every now and then, maybe once in a hundred cases, a new idea turns out to be on the mark, valid and wonderful. If you are too much in the habit of being skeptical about everything, you are going to miss or resent it, and either way you will be standing in the way of understanding and progress.

On the other hand, if you are open to the point of gullibility and have not an ounce of skeptical sense in you, then you cannot distinguish the useful as from the worthless ones. If all ideas have equal validity then you are lost, because then, it seems to me, no ideas have any validity at all.

Some ideas are better than others. The machinery for distinguishing them is an essential tool in dealing with the world and especially in dealing with the future. And it is precisely the mix of these two modes of thought that is central to the success of science.

Really good scientists do both. On their own, talking to themselves, they churn up huge numbers of new ideas and criticize them ruthlessly. Most of the ideas never make it to the outside world. Only the ideas that pass through rigorous self-filtration make it out and are criticized by the rest of the scientific community. It sometimes happens that ideas that are accepted by everybody turn out to be wrong, or at least partially wrong, or at least superseded by ideas of greater generality. And, while there are of course some personal losses-- emotional bonds to the idea that you yourself played a role inventing -- nevertheless the collective ethic is that every time such an idea is overthrown and replaced by something better the enterprise of science has benefited. In science it often happens that scientists say, "You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken," and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. 1 cannot recall the last time something like that has happened in politics or religion. It's very rare that a senator, say, replies, "That's a good argument. I will now change by political affiliation."


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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