What is evidence?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Ophiolite, May 10, 2016.

  1. Bells Staff Member

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    Mod Note

    This is a science forum.

    Ergo, you will be required to support your argument with actual evidence. Plagiarising chunks of texts without even a link to where you got said text from is not "evidence". Nor is what you just posted evidence of your argument. Not to mention the fact that you were specifically warned about discussing UFO's and other things of the paranormal in this thread. I was discussing your use of evidence and how they do not actually amount to being evidence. This thread isn't about UFO's.
     
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  3. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    You're the one that brought up this specific ufo case with text from skeptic websites. I simply responded in kind with appropriate data. And no, nothing has been plagiarized dearie. You are lying because you lost an argument and have to use your mod hat as an out. Tip: don't derail science threads with fringe topic discussions. It just makes you look foolish.
     
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  5. Bells Staff Member

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    Mod Note

    You edited your post and put in the link after I put up my mod note to you.

    And I am not your "dearie" and referring to me as such is just going to make things that little bit worse for you. So can the sexist pandering. It isn't going to help you, nor are your personal insults going to help you here.

    Secondly, I referred to an example of your posting in my discussion about what you constitute as being evidence. I had advised you earlier that you would face moderation if you attempted to discuss Fringe subjects here as you have ultimately done. Mine was the use of examples as to what is not evidence and to show you that what you were posting on this site was not an example of evidence, not to mention that at times it would be classified as being fraudulent.. It was not an attempt to discuss UFO's in Texas. There is a distinct difference.

    If you cannot discuss what constitutes evidence or what is evidence, then leave the thread. If you wish to discuss UFO's as a subject, take it to the appropriate sub-forum.
     
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  7. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    LOL! You were the one that brought up the whole ufo issue, not me. Then you said it would be ok to post about it but be prepared to submit to sciency analysis. So you blatantly started this discussion, and then approved it yourself. I told you I would not be posting that evidence, but you persisted with your ball lightning lie which I have a total right to refute with appropriate information. As for the plagiarism, it takes me roughly 3 minutes to go back and copy the url of all text I quote. In that time you deliberately accused me of plagiarism because that's what you do Bells--you get mad and use your mod hat to infract and to win arguments. I'm not only done with this conversation, but I'm done with you and your slandering buddy Kittamaru who I reported for flaming and you totally ignored. Stay away from me.
     
  8. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    MR, please return to the thread topic and define, as comprehensively and concisely as you can, what you believe constitutes good evidence.
     
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  9. Bells Staff Member

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    Yes MR. As an example of what does not constitute actual evidence.

    I also provided you with examples which clearly showed that you failed to account for all other things that could explain UFO's and pretty much anything else you discuss in the Fringe sub-section. I was not discussing whether the sighting was real or not. I was pointing out that you failed to account for what scientists and others clearly disputed about it. I don't particularly wish to discuss the UFO sighting in Texas. What I wished to discuss was how and why you felt posting a video that was based on a false premise, constituted "evidence".

    And I believe I was quite clear about that.

    No, I said that I did not want you to post fringe subjects in the science sub-forum and I advised you that if you did, it would be up to scientific scrutiny, where you would be required to account for and support your argument with actual evidence, which would include and involve discounting anything mundane. You not only failed to meet those requirements, but you also then went on to post a whole spiel about one sighting in Texas, initially unsupported with even a link of where it was from until you were called out on it. I never said it would be okay for you to do this. I distinctly said that you should not and advised you that if you did, you would face moderation if you failed to support your argument with scientific proof. Do you understand how you did the exact opposite of what I advised you about?

    This thread isn't about UFO's or any fringe subject. It is about what is evidence.

    Yes I did accuse of plagiarism. Firstly, when I read your post, you hadn't edited it. I reloaded after reading it and no edit was made. I then issued the Mod note and the infraction, during which time you had edited it. I also noted this in your infraction.

    I am not trying to win arguments, MR. I am trying to get you to stick to the subject of "evidence". I have absolutely no desire to discuss the UFO's with you. I was pointing out how what you were using as "evidence" was not actually evidence. Understand how that was on topic and how what you posted and moderated on was not on topic?

    I made repeated comments about sticking to the subject of this thread, which is "what is evidence"..

    As for my buddy Kitta.. It is just another clear example of your false statements of fact without any actual evidence. In short, you could not be further from the actual truth.

    So again, stick to the subject of "evidence". Post your criteria. And I think Ophiolite asked you a very good question as to what you think is "good evidence" - which is what I was advising you of before that what you were posting was not "good evidence"...
     
  10. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    To me evidence is not interpretation, it is not bias, it is not opinion.
    To me it is the facts of what is observed.

    If someone shows me a video of a blurry dot in the sky and says "this is evidence of the existence of extraterrestrial life" then to me the evidence is of a video that shows a blurry dot.
    The interpretation that the person has put on that evidence is that it is of ET origin.
    But the interpretation is not the evidence.

    To me evidence is only for something, or of something, if it rationally leads to the conclusion of that something.
    If the evidence could lead to two things then, to me, it is evidence of/for neither.

    Too often I find people promote evidence as being for something and can't appreciate that the "for" is merely their interpretation of the evidence.
    They think that everyone will interpret it the same way.
    We don't.
    Some start from the a priori position of that something existing and thus the evidence is interpreted as fitting the notion of existence.
    But for those that do not start from such a position, the evidence can be interpreted differently.
    The interpretation in the former case is subject the unwelcome fallacy of confirmation bias.

    But it all starts at recognising what the evidence actually is.
    It is the factual information of the observation, cleansed of interpretation and opinion not inherent within the facts.
     
  11. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Too true, Baldee!
    Take for instance the entirety of this Thread..."the facts of what is observed", by reading the entire Thread from the beginning, is "evidence" of what is "Par for the Course" on SciForums these days.
     
  12. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    I suspect that you mean that in a negative, perhaps even derogatory, way.
    If that is the case, would you please identify specifically what in my OP is sub-standard.
    If that is not the case, would you please clarify what you mean.
     
  13. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    So, Ophiolite, what "Evidence" can you Cite in my Post that leads you to "suspect that" I "mean that in a negative, perhaps even derogatory, way" ?
    Ophiolite, I clearly stated : ...the entirety of this Thread..."the facts of what is observed", by reading the entire Thread from the beginning, ...
    I neither singled out your OP, nor did I state anything about any "standards", nor indeed anything about anything being "sub-standard".
    To "clarify" what I Posted : By reading this entire Thread, an unbiased persons examination of said "evidence", i.e., "the facts of what is observed", would/could/might possibly cause said unbiased person to conclude that it is how Threads on SciForums proceed these days, i.e., that it is "Par for the Course", so to say.

    BTW, Ophiolite, I found your OP to be quite good...the way this Thread was steered and derailed after your OP...well...
     
  14. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    1. A strong implication that threads in sciforums are not very good at present.
    2. A clear statement that this is reinforced by reading this thread "from the beginning".

    Since my OP was the beginning, then clearly you had singled it out.

    You implied threads on the forum were sub-standard. Which is why I used the word suspected, to indicate uncertainty. And why I asked for clarification. If you had made your point clearly I should not have asked for clarification.

    Now I understand what you intended to say, however your original post was ambiguous.

    Thank you.
     
  15. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    ...
     
  16. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    And this is a philosophical thread. The nature and function of evidence is a fundamental question in epistemology, along with related issues regarding the justification of belief. The issues here are all about philosophy and have very little to do with science. (Except indirectly, in the sense that like most of human cognition, science is applied epistemology.)

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evidence/

    Is evidence even applicable to the question of what evidence is and how it functions? There would seem to be some circularity creeping in there. Instead of asking for evidence, wouldn't it make more sense to apply any proposed formulations of how people should conceive of evidence to problem cases? And isn't that what's happening here?

    The first post in this thread was an interesting and stimulating contribution by Ophtiolite. He was the one who first referred to evidence regarding ghosts, gods and ufos, along with other things. So the topic of the applicability of evidence to those kinds of problem cases was there from the very beginning. The second post was a piece of foolishness about religion and tortillas posted by a moderator. The third post was a short reference to big-foot by Daecon. Then the first page of the thread went off the rails completely with "humor" and "banter" and images of scorched tortillas. I think that it was Exchemist that endeavored to pull it back on-track. MR didn't have any role in any of that (but your moderator corps did).

    Why aren't MR's cases evidence? If taken collectively and at face value, they would certainly seem to be evidence for the conclusion that ufos are something pretty extraordinary.

    Wouldn't it be better to say that MR's examples aren't good evidence? That obviously opens up the question of what makes evidence good or not-good. I'm inclined to think that your line of criticism is a promising one, that mundane explanations haven't been conclusively excluded. (That's the same argument that I would use.) But isn't that a sliding scale that can be set very low or very high? What determines that? Wouldn't setting the standard for good evidence so high that nothing can possibly satisfy it be equivalent to closed-mindedness?

    As for me, I suspect that we really have here is evidence that we don't personally find plausible. (I generally agree with you about your judgements of MR's examples' plausibility.) But when we don't find MR's evidence plausible, aren't we making a subjective decision, based in some large part on our own world-views and judgements about what is and isn't likely in the world as we conceive of it?
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    That's what I try to impart by posting multiple cases of ufo contact. I was slandered by exchemist for doing what a creationist does called the Gish Gallop where creationist apologist Duane Gish provides numerous examples in a debate. I've never heard of the rule in debating that you can't provide more than one example or piece of evidence. My intent is to show people what happens when you look at the ufo phenomenon over many cases instead of just one. My aim is to relay a sense of the phenomenon itself as a valid explanation that has certain typical traits that are repeated over and over again and also that has a higher probability of occurring than many assume. If I didn't know anything about ufo research, I too might assume it would be too improbable to occur. But looking over the entire range of cases gathered over around 70 years, it appears no less likely and recurrent than any other anomalous phenomena such as rogue waves, earthquake lights, comets, or anticyclonic tornados. I think it's exciting that we still have phenomena that science can't explain. I think the exception cases are what drive paradigm shifts in the global scientific community. And my hope is that mainstream science will one day return to its true spirit of exploration and curiosity and start taking such well-established phenomena seriously. It may revolutionize everything we think we know about the universe.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
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  18. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    No. We aren't. MR's "evidence" is irredeemably tainted by the fact he posts crap knowing it is crap, this idiotic Close Encounters stuff being merely the latest example. There have been many other occasions on which "evidence" he has offered has been shown to be fraudulent or misleading and he simply changes his story to say he knew that all along. Nobody can have any faith that anything he submits as evidence is something he really believes is evidence. It's all just a try-on, to see if anyone can be bothered to point out what is wrong with it. His posts are worthless.
     
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  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Couple that with the fact that his general anti science stance and relevant posts, are meant to inflame and enrage just as is the intention of a few other characters on this forum.
     
  20. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Support your claim with evidence then. Show how I post "crap" that I know is "crap". You won't even look at videos I post as evidence for ufos. You whine and bitch that you can't look at any more than one piece of evidence at a time. You put me on your ignore list because you can't handle my defense of my position. You continuously ad hom my character as someone who is deceptive and disengenous. And you constantly make excuses for not looking at any of the evidence I present. Why should anyone believe a single thing you say on this issue? And while you're at it, explain how what I believe effects the convincingness of the evidence I present in any way. Why would it? Good evidence is good evidence, regardless of the beliefs of the presenter.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  21. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    Why should he be held to a different standard than you? You refuse to so much as post your criteria, much less any real evidence beyond hearsay; in what world would it be equitable to require anything more from other posters?
     
  22. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    There's no rule in Sci Forums saying I have to post my criteria for anything. Especially when it is demanded by trolls who only aim to trap me in some inconsistency. I don't play games here.
     
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  23. Kittamaru Now nearly 40 pounds lighter. Staff Member

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    So you claim your criteria has no bearing on the evidence (given that there are several rules regarding supporting your claim with evidence)? Fair enough - at that point, considering we cannot validate your supposed evidence against any criteria, it may as well be dismissed as unusable - after all, at that point, for all we know, it was nothing more than a statement given by a sixty year old gypsy with dementia and schizophrenia.
     

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