Are You A Quack?

Discussion in 'The Cesspool' started by paddoboy, Sep 25, 2016.

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  1. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    So pointing out where somebody is wrong is "force"?
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  3. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    I don't want to argue for the existence of ghosts or ufos or whatever. But I do want to argue against a philosophical assertion that I strongly disagree with. In particular, I think that while this remark of Stumpy's may or may not have a grain of truth to it, it's overstated to the point of absurdity:

    Then how is evidence for or against any objective state of affairs possible? In particular, how is science possible? Scientists make observations, which seems to have just been ruled out on principle. Scientists might use instruments, but if they do that, how do they learn what the instruments' readings are? They might take photographs, but what good is a photograph unless somebody looks at it? A great deal is made of repeatability, but if observation has no credibility, what value is there in multiplying it?

    I would argue that science is empirical by its nature. And 'empirical' means 'based on sense experience'.

    The underlying question here seems to be what the distinction supposedly is between empirical evidence and anecdotal evidence. That's an important question. It certainly isn't trivial. I don't think that the distinction can plausibly be based on anecdotal evidence being based on actually witnessing something and the other being based on... what?
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
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  5. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    Confirmation by other observers.
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I already told you where you can fill your vast ignorance on this topic. I've already schooled many skeptics here on the evidence in this field. Go to the fringe section if you doubt me. Also, research it yourself and build some credibility for yourself instead of making up excuses to deny it. In the meantime, I'm not going to contribute to your derailing of this thread with a topic that has nothing to do with the OP. The topic is calling people quacks who criticize mainstream science. Stick to that or move on.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    As in sightings involving more that one person? Happens all the time.
  9. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    That would certainly be better evidence than a single witness. Of course, the interpretation is important too. Seeing "something" is not evidence of alien spaceships if it is interpreted by other observers as a weather balloon.
  10. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    60 schoolchildren seeing an oval silver craft land near a playground with short beings emerging and then drawing pictures of it is compelling. Dozens of airport workers and pilots witnessing a disk hovering over the airport and then suddenly bursting up thru the clouds leaving a hole is compelling.
    Hundreds of people witnessing a huge silent triangular craft over Phoenix Arizona is compelling. There is no reason to doubt accounts like this. And no, they aren't weather balloons.
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    This is the blatant hypocrisy of the skeptic, using an essentially empiricist science that relies on sense perception to deny the reliability of sense perception just so they don't have to believe in ufos or ghosts. It's the same tactic over and over. "Oh seeing is just so unreliable. Now, where did I put my car keys? I better go look for them."
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member


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    No, this topic is about the quacks that continually criticize and/or deny accepted mainstream science, without a shred of evidence to support their claim/s, and or continuing refusal to offer references or citations that do support what they claim and the hidden agenda they persue.
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  13. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    I agree with what you have stated here but before I go further, do you believe that a quack is deliberately trying to deceive others, or does a quack actually believe what he/she is trying to pass of as fact, and just doesn't have any actual factual evidence to support his/her assertions?

    People accusing/mocking MR on this thread for example doesn't make sense to me, because while I haven't browsed through all of his recent threads, I remember most of them appearing in the fringe area. I know someone already addressed this with me, but there should be leeway in those subsections of the forum. This is a science forum, but there are sections for pseudo-science and fringe theories, etc... This is reminding me of religious debates I've witnessed with atheists, to a degree...where atheists want to get the religious people to stop believing in fantasy, and trying to prove it exists. It probably drives the scientists of this forum a bit crazy when they read some of what is posted in these fringe sub forums, but then again, some of what MR posts, has merit. (except time travel, MR!)

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  14. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    for starters: the scientific method eliminates the subjectivity of the individual by various means. read up on it.
    nope. there is a difference between an observation and "eyewitness testimony". you will need to read the above link to understand this part... and also the other psych links i left regarding the eyewitness testimony and why it is so random and horrible

    plus, a scientific observation is not typically a singular observation, for starters (typically it's multiple observations to insure credibility - see CERN and the Higgs for more evidence of that one). it is also able to be validated in that every person will see the same thing. it's not dependent upon mood, food, timing, bad hair days, threats, or the various mental illnesses that alter a persons perception about reality around them. (again: read up on the scientific method - it's far more descriptive than what i've shared)

    this is how hypothesis are made ad knowledge evolves into Theory and built upon for better and more accurate knowledge/predictions - and why predictions are effective when coupled with known scientific evidence.
    that is how it starts, but that is also just the tip of the iceberg. note that experimentation and the removal of subjectivity is important in the scientific method (again: see link above)

    there are different levels of evidence (eyewitness testimony being the worst possible in the heap)
    start by reading here:
    again, please note that repeat-ability and non-subjective evidence is the best. and also note that there is an extension to what science argue about empirical evidence in that it is measurable.

    also note: anecdotal evidence can be used in science (some science still use it, anyway... like medicine). it is not a very strong evidence, therefore it is not used in other areas... mostly because of the subjective nature of the evidence.

    case in point: i know a person that believes the posted anecdotal evidence about a magnetic cube that cures all known cancer... in his own words
    now, this is acceptable to him but, as i put forth:
    how does he know that the actual machine did the healing?
    where is the evidence? is it just the posted claims?
    how does he know if those claims are legit?
    it's not like companies haven't paid people to promote their product in the past.... hence the evidence speaks more to the failure of the company to get FDA approval in the US than his healing. i listed the requirements for FDA approval for cancer fighting test trials... they were ridiculously low and needed only to show a minor ability to help a patient... the fact that they can't get approval speaks volumes about the efficiency and effectiveness of the machine.
  15. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    Magical Realist
    russels teapot argument? ('s_teapot )
    that is what you want to use to prove your UFO's?
    so because you can't actually provide evidence that is compelling enough (or not debunked by) scientists, the onus of proof is on me?

    you made the claim, you provide the proof.
    and linking a fringe delusional site with mixed debunked bullsh*t and non-scientific (or verifiable) evidence is not evidence of proof
    epic failure, sparky... you should join a cult (like the electric universe) or are you already in one?

    and you are calling people like me stupid for following the mandate of the scientific method, which is to follow the evidence....
    hence it is a related argument and very poignant (as well as relevant) to the topic
    you're a quack. i'm not. i have credibility because i can actually link references out the wazoo supporting my argument (you know, like mainstream science does) and you've yet to be able to validate a claim made to me. it aint derailing the thread: you've demonstrated what a quack is and why people dislike them. (primarily due to the lack of evidence and your fanatical adherence to delusional belief sans evidence)... you know... "a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality".
    deal with it.

    per Paddo's post, you've given a great example spelled out in the article... i guess we should thank you?

    yeah... it's not like a whole group of people can see a mass delusoin...

    oh wait! hysteria delusion&f=false

    Hey Magical Realist - that last one is especially relevant

    Oh... school children are never influenced by inquiry then? Questions and Child Witnesses6-2011.pdf

    No, it's called using logic, common sense and not getting conned by some snake oil salesman seeking to make a mark out a person... and asking for evidence that is reputable as well as capable of being validated. and your attempt to put the pressure on me to prove you wrong is called Russels Teapot argument (see link above).

    if you could provide evidence that can't be refuted you would be linking it here proving you are not a delusional crackpot with conspiracist ideation issues.


    and i am this way for everything. period. it is one reason i have been so successful in the past. it was my job and it is a way of life.
    don't take my word... ask my wife. it's not like i am anonymous.
  16. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    thank you @Paddo

    most of the quacks are in it for a reason. some are in it for the lulz, some for the attention, and some for the money... usually this is determined by how they present the information and what they reference. a few good examples of those seeking monetary gain for suckering a mark are:

    the electric universe (hereafter noted as "eu") and their web-sites, links and "science books" that "explain it all"... (as i said before - no studies means no science)
    reg mundy and his anti-gravity "it's all expansion" belief which you, too, can understand if you buy his book

    then you have the believers who can exacerbate the problem as well as help promote the idiocy:
    you see this in posters who claim evidence for [x] while linking to the website as evidence. or a book. or quotes from another true believer (and usually wildly misinterpreted science)

    a lot of these are so dedicated to the belief that they truly believe and accept it as fact, and no evidence you provide from anywhere will be effective in negating said belief. you can see this in the ever unpopular Zephyr of reddit aether fame. i think he's been banned from here a few times too... he's been banned more than a hundred times from

    you note that this is like discussing religion, and it really is the same. all that changes is the names of the belief and the tenets which drive the cult like mentality.

    here is an interesting look into the psyche of that group, and it's very relevant to this topic and thread: "The Role of Conspiracist Ideation and Worldviews in Predicting Rejection of Science"
  17. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Re eye witness accounts.
    I was at a party. A chap was playing up. I called him out. We near came to blows. As he backed away from me he fell and received a cut to the head. No blows were exchanged. I stayed out of town for a month and when I finally presented a month later everyone was coming up to me saying in effect."I hear you beat xxxx up".
    No no never touched him.
    Folk who were there saw me beat him senseless.
    If he had died from his head hitting the ground I don't know how I would have been found inoccent given all saw me beat him so badly.
    Eye witnesses account mmmm.
    They would have loved to see him beaten up and so that is what they saw.
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  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Here's another tale:

    I saw my friend at a meeting tonight. She was actually there.
    I saw the sun set over Portland tonight. It actually happened.
    I saw a homeless woman gazing up at an airplane this evening. It really happened.
    I saw a squirrel run up a tree this morning. It really happened.
    I saw a car cut me off in traffic today, It really happened.
    I saw two mothers meet their kids at the school bus this afternoon. It really happened.

    I could go on and on. And that's just today!

    Eyewitness accounts? Yeah.....
  19. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    I don't believe you.
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  20. Truck Captain Stumpy The Right Honourable Reverend Truck Captain Valued Senior Member

    and this can be validated by secondary sources right?
    you know... to prove it happened?

    and this can be validated by secondary sources right?
    you know... to prove it happened?

    even though this is anecdotal and likely just made up... it is at least plausible. statistically speaking, lots of people look up at airplanes, so it stands to reason that a homeless person would also do it
    but if there aint proof then it didn't happen

    and this can be validated by secondary sources right?
    you know... to prove it happened?

    more to the point, can it be demonstrated, repeatedly, by simply taking a squirrel and threatening it (so long as you choose the right type, that is)

    so - what type squirrel was it?
    grey? black? red? taxonomical nomenclature for reference preferred, but not necessary. i can live with colloquial identification.

    another anecdote that is likely made up, however, statistically probable as this happens to a lot of people daily
    but if there aint proof, it didn't happen.

    and this can be validated by secondary sources (depending), right?
    you know... to prove it happened?

    but you still don't comprehend what the difference is between evidence and belief ... so why bother?

    RULE 37
    yeah... it really works

    and just to make this perfectly clear... as @Daecon noted in a far subtler way than i:
    just because you say it doesn't mean it is really true
    the proof is in the evidence

    case in point:
    did you know that some delusional people actually hear voices and see things that don't exist??!!
    in fact, just taking into consideration PTSD patients we can see why "eyewitness testimony" and "because [x] said so" is not valid as evidence !!
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Ask me if I care...
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Magical realist.
    Do you suggest that I have been privy to the only time in history that an eye witness account account was wrong.
    Do you suggest eye witness accounts are infallible?
    Look you believe what you want I really don't care but you have never presented anything that I have read that contained anything compelling in support of any of the matters you raise.
    Just remember there are a few nutters out there who say they see stuff that they dont.
    I know a lady who sees the devil, so she says, and yet I doubt if the devil is there at all.
    She is delusional I suspect but certainly I think in her mind she sees what she describes.
    I was in law for many years and you get to hear many eye witness accounts and from my experience would say I would never rely exclusively on an eye witness account because they have been shown over and over to be unreliable.
    Are you sure you saw a squirrel.
    I remember stalking a rabbit for over ten minutes but when I got close it turned out to be a weathered brown paper bag.
    If I had had not stalked the thing I could have told friends that I had seen a rabbit rather than a old brown paper bag.
    Could your squirrel been an old paper bag?
    You ask others to accept what you present as reasonable and yet here I present a reasonable proposition as to eye witness accounts being unreliable yet you dismiss the notion ... So why is that?
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  23. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    No..I simply demonstrate that seeing is far more reliable than it is unreliable or we wouldn't get thru our day. Only when I present eyewitness accounts of ufos and ghost do people suddenly bring up the 1 in a thousand times they didn't see something they thought they saw. And that's disengenous. Everybody relies on eyewitness accounts every day. It is so reliable we never even question it. Unless ofcourse its suddenly something you don't want to believe in. Then its suddenly: "oh but they really didn't see a ufo. It wasn't really there. They must've hallucinated it." Right..Normal sane people---pilots, police officers, military people, doctors, farmers, truckers, politicians, etc.-- hallucinating the same saucer or triangular craft thousands of times over the decades all over the world. No..that doesn't happen. These are real craft.

    Oh..and yes it was a squirrel. You know how I know? I saw it right in front of me.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
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