Is SciFo a science forum?

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by DaveC426913, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

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    4,132
    have you forgotten what side of an issue you are on? what have you disputed? i just agreed that there is no evidence. what i said was not anti-science. you completely made that up at this point. now you want to pretend i did not agree.

    are you not happy unless you can bully that forum, is that it? so if i concede that fringe cannot produce evidence based on the type of topics, you as a 'scientifically educated people' will dispute that? then by all means please, then dispute it by presenting scientific evidence in favor of ghosts, apparitions etc.

    i mean really how fierce or not of a farce can a challenge be when members who apparently pride themselves on their grasp of physical reality, the scientific method as well as current knowledge expect physical evidence for an apparition etc. you would have to be an idiot yourself to demand such knowing it's not possible.

    this is why the fringe does not belong here on this forum.

    lmao.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    No, I'm disputing that there is, as you claim, a "blind spot" and that science is approaching these claimed phenomena from an "ignorant" perspective.

    As I see it (though I will admit I have had better things to use my science for than futz about with UFOs and ghosts, so I may be a bit simplistic) science has explored the physical evidence for these phenomena, found nothing reliable - as you say - and then has moved on to alternative explanations, generally along the lines of misperceptions, psychology of individuals and groups, expressions of ancient beliefs, hoaxes and practical jokes, and so forth.

    I and others like me will contend strongly that there is a value to society to expose these notions for what they are. So I do not at all accept your proposed conclusion that they should be allowed to go on their merry way without challenge, deluding people as they go.
     
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  5. birch Valued Senior Member

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    maybe you should be reported for intellectual dishonesty, in light of how much you are touting your logic as correct and superior?

    the 'blind spot' is that you cannot dismiss a paranormal phenomenon based on nothing but the the simple convenience you did not experience it as well as using any conventional 'possible' excuses or rationales one can possibly throw at it as a solution because it sound so logical and convenient, which is what happens in particular with these subjects. in short, since you haven't figured it out yet, is neither does science know. so dismissal or devaluing others experience as unreal is not even intellectually right or even ethical.

    that's the intellectual dishonesty and blindspot. you are so egotistical that you assume just because someone has had an experience that they are not aware of the conventional logic, rationales and dismissals of such phenomenon. people do know how to be 'literal'.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
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  7. river

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    Science of UFO's evidence is around . It's a matter who in science has the courage to dig deeper into the evidence .
     
  8. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Consider this River.
    If there was anything worthy of a paper scientists would be all over it.
    Alex
     
  9. river

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    No they wouldn't , they can't . The powers that be , would never even consider the paper .
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Aha, a couple of personal attacks now, I see. Report me for intellectual dishonesty by all means. If a mod can point it out to me I will acknowledge the point. You are also making another personal attack on me, calling me "egotistical". I can sort of see how you might reach this conclusion, but that is because I have had a science education that has convinced me that science is a method of understanding the physical world of unsurpassed value. If that is egotism, to your way of thinking, then so be it.

    You have a partial point in that the absence of reproducible evidence for an alleged phenomenon does not prove that it does not exist. That is logically a fair point. (Ball lightning seems to be an example of something like this which may be moving now from scepticism towards acceptance by science). However scepticism is a part of the scientific method - a form of Ockham's Razor, really. So if one has an alleged phenomenon, relying on numerous anecdotal reports, none of which can be corroborated, none of which can be repeated under test conditions, and for which many of the witnesses are unreliable or have been exposed as hoaxers or charlatans, science is likely to give up on it and look instead at the psychological explanations.

    (I won't report you for these two personal attacks, by the way, even though someone more sensitive might consider them "bullying". I know it's just your style of argument, which is a bit wild at times.)
     
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    3,360
    You are probably right.
    If there are ufos as in ...from outta space..we would not want to panic the herd.
    We can only look forward to something beyond reproach like them landing on the white house lawn and ignoring the keep off the grass signs.
    Alex
     
  12. river

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    9,793
    Skepticism is part of the scientific method . But it doesn't need to be nasty nor cruel to those who propose a different thinking upon any ology .

    Skepticism is part of why I question paradigm theories etc .

    My outside of the box posts and threads ARE about and have always been about the spirit of the scientific method .

    Science is about understanding , everything .

    Paradigms have a duration , based on the information at the time , institutions that back a certain theory , politics , money , power etc.

    To be honest , I long for the time when ideas , were welcome . Discussed openly and Honestly . Without BS .
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2017
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    2,573
    It's not accurate to say that the paranormal activities could not be tested in the physical world. Claims are being made by human beings who themselves are of the physical world. If they can experience paranormal activities then there are tests that could be constructed.

    There have been tests to attempt to measure the effectiveness of prayer on terminally ill people. They just haven't shown results that were any different from not praying.
     
  14. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,637
    My reading of birch's post is that she is saying the phenomena are all one-off so incapable of being reproduced for that reason, and thus outside the remit of science.

    As a scientist I don't buy that, for the fundamantal philosophical reason that science succeeds by finding patterns in nature. Asserting that something follows no pattern at all, i.e. cannot be replicated, is just a challenge to find the pattern - and thus an explanation. But I have to admit that this conviction that there must be an explanation is just an axiomatic belief of science, rather than anything provably true.
     
  15. river

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    Patterns start with the first , phenomenon .
     
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    birch:

    These things are really "dismissed". The scientific point of view is mostly that there just isn't sufficient evidence of anything paranormal to be convincing. It's always possible, in principle, that better evidence will come to light some time in the future.

    To use an old adage: extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

    Since paranormal stuff, by definition, involves effects and incidents that do not fit with anything else we know from science about the physical world, there is necessarily a heavy burden on proponents to provide evidence that is convincing that the alleged phenomena actually occur. Nobody has convincingly met that burden. Not for psychic powers, not for ghosts, not for the existence of Bigfoot or the Yeti, not for astrology, not for crystal power, not for iridology or reiki, etc. etc.

    Even for things that are not completely scientifically implausible, like alien visitation, the evidence just isn't there.

    When people claim to have psychic powers, or to benefit from crystal power, or to have been kidnapped by aliens, there are almost always explanations in terms of known science that fit the data at least as well as the paranormal explanations, but which do not require an overturn of our hugely successful scientific understanding of the world.


    Seattle:

    Such tests have actually been done for various claimed "paranormal" phenomena. Some tests have debunked the paranormal claims beyond reasonable doubt - I'm thinking of things like homeopathy here.

    That's another one.
     
  17. river

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    The only way to put the paranormal phenomeon at rest is to have those that are connected to this world collaborate with scientists . Until then the two will collide .
     
  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, and that has been done. The null hypothesis is never rejected by the paranormal activity being tested. That's the problem. Were that not the case, paranormal would be part of mainstream science.
     
  19. river

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    Null hypothesis ? What does that even mean ? where is the real evidence ?
     
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    If would be helpful if you knew more about the subjects that's you taken hard positions against.
     
  21. river

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    It would be more helpful if you would explain fully what this " null hypothesis " , actually means .

    What of remote viewing . Which was carried out by the cia and russians , scientifically.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  22. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    30,644
    The "null hypothesis" is a statistical term that refers to hypothesis testing.

    For example, suppose I want to know if Drug X is effective at reducing the length of the common cold. I might test this by taking 100 people who have colds, giving 50 of them Drug X and 50 of them a placebo (i.e. something that has no pharmacological effects). Then I would collect data about how long their colds last for. There would be an average across all participants, but we'd need to compare those who had drug X with those who didn't.

    The test in this case would be "Is drug X effective at reducing the length of the common cold?" The positive hypothesis is "It is effective", while the null hypothesis is "It has no statistically significant effect." We might also separately test the negative hypothesis "It actually lengthens the duration of a cold" against the null hypothesis, but that's a separate analysis.

    To know which result is justifiable from looking at the data, we need to consider the chance of obtaining the actual experimental result (whatever it was) purely by random chance. Then we choose a probability that we are willing to accept for it being a chance result - often a 1% probability is chosen. An alternative is to use a statistical test that actually estimates the probability of getting the experimental result by chance.

    For example, suppose that 30 people out of the group of 50 who were given drug X have a shorter cold than average, while 25 people given the placebo have a shorter cold than average. Can we say drug X is effective, then? The answer depends on the statistics of how likely it would be for those "extra" 5 people given drug X to have had shorter colds purely by chance.

    ---

    Applying these ideas to "paranormal" phenomena, what Seattle is telling you is that whenever rigorous tests are done of supposed paranormal phenomena, the null hypothesis hardly ever ruled out. This doesn't mean that phenomena don't exist. It could conceivable be, for example, that they operate at such a low level of reliability, that they are indistinguishable from no effect unless you do a phenomenal number of tests.

    Suppose that we did the test and we determined that there was a 20% probability that the test would produce 30 people with shorter-than-average colds, purely by chance. In that case, if we wanted a "1% effect", we would have to reject the hypothesis that drug X is effective and accept the null hypothesis. The effectiveness of drug X simply isn't established under the conditions we set.

    Note that accepting the null hypothesis in this case doesn't mean that drug X is ineffective. It just means that we can't tell whether it is effective from the test that we actually carried out, to the level of confidence we wanted.
     
  23. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    7,314
    I'd have put it a little more succinctly.

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    The null hypothesis essentially states that there isn't a relationship between two things unless it is shown statistically to be so.

    One does not start off assuming something (like a drug) is effective. One starts off assuming there is no effect, and that the onus is on the data to show there is some efficacy.

    Sort of: it ain't so till it's so.

    It is critical to objective research, and it exactly the thing that many fringe proponents here don't employ when it comes to paranormal phenom.
     

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