Why I became an atheist: Why did you not?

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Dinosaur, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,

    Since you've been alluding to trolling quite often in your last post, and since you are the only moderator who has ever banned me from sciforums for what I still believe to be a trumped up accusation. You actually banned me for SPAM for posting a link three times in a row to someone elderly whom seemed unable to find or read the links I was posting, or had been ignoring them.

    I shall make this short.

    Call it "God of the gaps" all you like.
    In missing gaps of technology people have filled in God as the cause of the witnessed effect. This is true.

    In the case we are discussing I say Telepathy is that technological gap.

    Now imagine for one moment that telepathy does exist. Just do this thought experiment.
    Okay. We are imagining telepathy is real. Would this mean that one mind was connected to another, or could it mean that every mind is connected in some way to every other mind?

    I think logically if one mind can connect to another then all minds would likely be connected via the same mechanism. This seems like a fair conclusion if telepathy were a real thing.

    Now with God of the gaps arguments normally you would find these gaps shrinking as technological understanding increased. i.e. Solar eclipses are explained, Volcanoes become understood.

    If telepathy were this gap then discovering a way to measure it might not shrink the gap. If we discovered telepathy in a 100% provable way, then we would be forced to look at the possibilities that we are all connected by the same method. It would force us to at LEAST consider the idea of a mass consciousness if not a god.

    I still disagree that this is a fitting example of that argument style.

    I also do not think labeling the argument as a certain type has any bearing on this conversation, and said the point was "Moot" in the post where I disagreed with the evaluation. I also say you are using "evidence of absence" arguments, which again bears no affect on the ability to establish whether god does or does not exist. It is just a style of argument.

    You just said,
    Again.... (sigh)
    This is okay to evaluate your personal belief, but is not "VALID" in science.

    You also just said,
    is trolling as if you are trying to set up justification for a ban, yet that quote is completely out of context as it was part of an analogy about a fictional character trying to prove radio waves 1000 years ago.

    If you were trying to disprove radio waves 1000 years ago "Evidence of Absence" based on absence of evidence would lead a skeptic to the wrong conclusion no matter how "VALID" you say it is.

    If a technologically advanced person 1000 years ago understood that radio waves must exist and made this claim, then skeptics would cry "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof". Yet this is not true. It needs proof to become science yes, but because he had no proof at all does not mean radio waves do not exist.

    The same with "Burden of Proof". These are phrases tossed around in these threads quite often. Does it not seem a bit ridiculous to ask a man to prove Radio Waves 1000 years ago. Even though the "Burden of Proof" is upon him and he fails to prove it, does this make Radio Waves non existent. Radio waves did exist, but could not be proven.

    Does it seem to be trolling when you include the story it was attached to. I moderated on a website 1000 times bigger than sciforums (yes that's 50 million+ members) in various languages (I speak a few). I hardly think your definition of trolling is called for there, but who cares. If I get banned from sciforums maybe I will publish more books.

    You say,
    I would be interested to see this, although I do not see how it could be of any real value. I have been forced to evaluate a number of fringe hypothesis myself since there is no mainstream theories that are accepted on this topic, and cannot imagine how someone could ..
    . But it would be fun to look at nonetheless. It would also be fun to see what Hypothesis they used to explain telepathy in the first place.

    We already know that certain types of psychic/psi tests give high probabilities psi exists, it is just that probabilities do not work with the scientific method. The only tools used in psi experiments are people themselves which already would lead to flawed testing. The only way telepathy could be proven is with machine measurement, which does not seem possible, however the "Global Consciousness Project" does use random number generation machines in their experiments.

    God cannot be proved.
    God cannot be disproved.

    Label the arguments as whatever type you like. I say that has no bearing on the topic.

    The OP used a religion choice as his proof god does not exist. This is flawed thinking. Religions are man made, and are in many cases ridiculous. If I was forced to choose a religion I would say Hindu or Buddhism are closer to the truth. I believe Jesus was someone who attended the Mystery Schools in Egypt and basically taught people the power of positive thinking a.k.a. "The law of attraction".
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  3. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Dude, why would someone a thousand years ago even think radio waves existed when there was no evidence for them?
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  5. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Spidergoat,

    This was a fictional story (analogy) to make a point.

    It is odd but in almost every post I made, I actually wrote "(Analogy)" or "(analogy only), because i KNEW the mentality of those in sciforums would jump on this story as if I was stating fact.

    From last post
    From post 161
    from last post
    or even further back to post 123
    I probably could find more.

    You must have been fun at storytime.

    I am sure this analogy could be moved forward in time to the age of Marconi, and could name real scientists and real skeptics, but it was not necessary to make the point.

    Aside from being completely fictional.. Maybe my character was a genius with a complete cosmology understanding, or perhaps his tooth filling was picking up television broadcasts from Mars or UFO's.

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  7. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    I banned you for spam for behaving like a shoe salesman. You posted the same link in multiple threads across multiple subfora, some of which it had, in my opinion, no relevance at all. If you genuinely have a grievance over this take it to SFOG, but at least we're getting to the root of your bullshit attitude towards me.

    This may be true of some people, it certainly isn't true of all. Most people, I would expect, develop a hypothesis, test the predictions of that hypothesis, and discard or refine it.

    It's a technology gap because... We don't have the technology to measure it yet? What am I missing here, it seems like you're splitting hairs.

    In some cases perhaps, however, we still can't directly test what is happening inside a blackhole. It doesn't mean we can't make predictions regarding the effects that what is going on inside the black hole might have outside of the blackhole. It doesn't mean there are old ones, demons, or angels inside them.

    And should evidence emerge of measurable, predictable effects as technology improves...

    You're entitled to your opinion, I guess.

    You don't think that identifying an argument as a fallacy is valid? Maybe you should cast your eyes back across our 'discussion' so far and take another look at how much emotional capital you have invested in telling everyone that their argument is a fallacy. Do you see my point here?

    Case in point.

    How about addressing the rest of what I said at the same time. You know, the context of the post, instead of cherry picking the part you don't like and waving it around like some kind of trophy. What I actually said was this: I have a hypothesis that unobtanium exists. My hypothesis that unobtanium exists makes predictions about the properties of Earths magnetic and gravitational fields. The absence of evidence of those effects could be regarded as evidence of the absence of unobtanium. I can either 1) Accept that Unobtanium does not exist. 2) Revise my hypothesis to see if it changes the predictions to match my observations. 3) Complain that the technology simply does not exist to measure the predicted effects.


    If I wanted to ban you, I would. This is just an artifact of your bullshit attittude towards you.
    If I wanted to ban you, I would. If I wanted to infract you, I would. If I wanted to give you a formal in thread warning (as opposed to an infraction) I would. If I wanted to report it to draw the attention of admin to it because I did not trust my own judgement, I would. I have done none of these things, and yet you're still riding my ass and wailing at me like some kind of gay banshee.

    It was not presented out of context. I included the entirety of that part of your post in my response. Your accusation is baseless. An analogy can be a troll, depending on context and the analogy itself. If I made an analogy between theists and an intellectually disabled person licking a power socket, would you accept the analogy or would you complain that I was trolling?

    1. I provided you with an experiment that could have been conducted 1000 years ago to demonstrate their existence, in fact, spark gaps, and the transmission of sparks between them was one of the key discoveries that led people to discover radiowaves WITHOUT BUILDING RADIO SETS
    2. What's your point. That occasionally Science gets it wrong? That occasionally Science rejects a valid hypothesis because it lacks evidence? There's even a name for it (at least in statistics) It's an error of the second kind.

    If a technologically advanced person 1000 years ago understood radiowaves he would be able to demonstrate evidence of their existence. It would then be up to his peers to either accept his self consistent theory or reject it. It's analagous to finding a genuinely guilty prisoner not guilty.

    I really don't give two shits about your opinion or your experience.

    Have you been reading my posts in their entirety?

    One prediction of any theory of telepathy is that it has an accuracy rate better than random chance. One example of how this prediction might be tested would require five people. You have the transmitter and their handler, you have the receiver and their handler, and you have the controller. A control group can be used, any number of groups can be used (the more the better)

    The job of the receivers handler is to record some aspect of the receiver continuously and submit it to the controller at the end of each day.
    The controller randomly determines a time each day. At that time he relays a set of instructions to the transmitters controller for the transmitter to undertake.
    Any theory of telepathy predicts that matches should occur at some rate higher than random chance. The only question left then is the matter of what constitutes significance.

    And there we have it. I was wondering if you would get around to trotting out that old chestnut. "It works, just not in a verifiably repeatable fashion".


    At some point we must accept or reject the hypothesis.

    I guess if your happy accepting a fallacy as proof of something... But if your happy accepting a fallacy as proof of something, and you don't care whether or not something is a fallacy, then, obviously, something being a fallacy is no grounds for rejecting an argument, so no more of this "You can't proove a negative" crap you keep abusing mmkay?

    I thought not.

    I really don't give two shits about your opinion of modern religions.
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    No, the analogy doesn't apply because religious people aren't like people from the future that know something exists because evidence from their time exists. You seem to be supporting a faith position which lacks evidence by making an analogy to something which is not a faith position.
  9. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,

    Wow.. Swear much. lol

    Any idiot could design a telepathy experiment that will or can fail, and you yourself seem to have outlined a protocol which suits you. telepathy aimed at REM sleep has much higher success than any other types of experiments no matter how many crackpots James Randi interviews. I have seen probabilities that indicate telepathy is real, and the evidence further has presented itself in some cases in extreme manners. I also do not give a crap about your opinions here, and if anything have sympathy for those who have not experienced or been involved in psychic experiments. It is your loss. Not mine, although you can convince yourself you have the "evidence of absence" on your side.

    The Unobtania I am talking about does not affect magnetic currents (that we know of), or make any other predictions that fail. Unobtania might be a good example for some things, but does not suit this discussion.


    How can you pass judgement on what future science holds. The phrase "Finally we know everything" below my name is there because I have listened to this crap argument from skeptics for ages. The "know-it-alls" assume we must accept or reject the hypothesis.
    Go ahead and accept or reject then... But science does not work that way.

    There may be a floral teapot floating in space (Attn: Spidergoat. This is in reference to an earlier post and is NOT REAL).

    I will happily accept what science says is possible or impossible. I will not accept what every moron says is possible or impossible.

    So what if the tools did not exist at the time to measure or explain the solar eclipse?

    I really don't give two shits about your opinion

    @ Spidergoat,
    I laughed out loud when I read this and explained it to my youngest son (8). I am proud to say he understands the analogy comparing telepathy skepticism (which could be base for mass consciousness or even a god) to historical radio wave skepticism. This analogy is common, and I am not the first to use it.
    other comparisons of the two..

    Do you seriously not understand how these two relate in the context I have described? I think this is some joke, as I had given you more credit than this prior to now. I have worked as a Soil Engineer and published many reports (although edited), I am a published fiction writer, and I have done all the writing on my various websites. I speak several languages. I do not think this was a hard concept to grasp, and think my description was fine. My suggestion then is if you cannot understand this simple analogy or how it applies you should get an eight year old to explain it to you.

    When i first used this analogy in post 117, Arauca grasped it and commented,
    in post 118

    Why can he grasp it and not you?

    This is obviously you arguing for sake of it, as it is not a reach to understand, or maybe the world really is less intelligent than I thought.

    Let's look again..

    now if you add "that at one time ALSO lacked evidence" you might (I don't know anymore) grasp this.
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    Even though we know radio waves exist, it would not have been rational to believe it 1000 years ago. In the same way, it's not rational to believe in telepathy or other such phenomenon today.
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member


    The other point about radio waves is this. We know the brain emits low-level radiation. If there was even a remote chance that thoughts can be transmitted, then it would have to be via this low level radiation. In fact some jumble of data is transmitted. In controlled tests the jumble of data can be reduced to emissions from, say, the speech centers, which, if you are claiming words are conveyed, would be active during telepathy. If you are saying its imagery, the the PET scans for the visual cortex would light up.

    So far so good. But here is the fatal flaw. Nothing can be induced in the brain by sending low level radiation into a brain. Good thing too or we would all be "hearing" cosmic rays, cell phones, air traffic control, and - worst of all -- Rush Limbaugh. Just as you say you have personal knowledge that this really happens, we all have knowledge that reception does not happen. That makes for overwhelming evidence that there is something seriously wrong with your beliefs.
  12. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    This is one of the points I have been trying to make. The whole analogy is base on a fallacy. Apparently he's comfortable with that.
  13. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Aqueous Id,
    I in no way believe telepathy could be related to radio waves in any way shape or form. An Analogy is simply a story showing comparisons about how radio waves could not be proven then, inasmuch as telepathy cannot be proven now. Your entire post seems to be built on the premise I think telepathy is related to radio. I do not.

    @ Spidergoat,

    It would not have been rational 1000 years ago. That is my main point.

    A skeptic 1000 years ago would never believe in radio waves, and would also be wrong.

    I am equating telepathy with a mass consciousness that is or could be a part of god.

    A skeptic today may not believe in telepathy, mass consciousness, or god, and could also be wrong.

    It is not possible to prove god does or does not exist, so all arguments for or against god are a waste of time.

    I would argue though, that this threads moderator also agrees God is science or this religion thread would not be in the science section.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Put on your bigboy pants. Alternatively, stop making provocative/insulting posts and bitching when they provoke a response.

    Again with the insults. How about you stick to discussing the argument rather than trying to insult your interlocutor.

    I gave one possible example. The advantage of that example is it's adaptable, for example...

    Fine then. Introduce a third group. The sleepers. The person doing the sleeping can be woken at random intervals. The person doing the telepathic reading is instructed by the controller to do a single reading during the night. Only the controller has posession of all of the information.

    Haven't you noticed yet? In this discussion between you and I, you're the one that keeps mentioning Randi, not me. I don't give two shits about who Randi has or hasn't interviewed.

    That's nice. So you have a body of annecdotal evidence, much the same as, for example, homeopathy claims to (and churches, for that matter).

    On the one hand, you're not really in a position to go around making comments such as this. On the other hand, I have yet to offer my opinion on the matter. You only have your ASSumptions about my opinion on the matter. As I have stated repeatedly, I have no intention of discussing my personal opinion of psychic phenomena because it's irrelevant, nor have I offered you enough information to reasonably infer my opinion. The sooner you get that through your head and into brain, the better off we will all be.

    Once again. Repeat after me: If a hypothesis makes a testable prediction, and we fail to confirm that prediction we must review our hypothesis or abandon it.

    For someone who has just spent a post having a go at others for not understanding their analogy, you've sure done a piss-poor job of comprehending mine. Go back and read it again, clearly you haven't comprehended it the first time around. I'm fairly sure, at least, the other readers of this thread will be able to correctly infer the point of the analogy.

    Nope. It's the truth. If a prediction of a hypothesis can not be confirmed, then the hypothesis must be reviewed or abandoned. It really is that simple.

    This is what you fail to understand, repeatedly. I'm not.
    Why are you failing to understand it? Because you see the word "reject" in the sentence and react emotionally to it instead of taking a step back to think rationally about what I am actually saying.
    Take a moment to think about it.

    Think about it in terms of the Higgs Boson, or Gravity Waves. Why did they continue the search for the Higgs Boson even though they kept failing to find it? Why do they continue the search for gravity waves even though they continue to find it? Because the hypotheses involved in both predictions are immensely successful and have passed numerous tests. So it seems more likely to us that we are simply not searching the right parameter space as opposed to our hypotheses being wrong.

    Actually, it kinda does work that way.
    We make an observation.
    We develop a hypothesis to explain the observation.
    We use that hypothesis to make predictions.
    We test those predictions by conducting experiments and gathering data
    We review and revise the hypothesis in light of this new information.
    If the results of the experiment matches the predictions, then we can accept the hypothesis or test it further.
    If, however, the results of the experiment do not match the experiment we can:
    1. Revise the hypothesis - We can explore the hypothesis further to see if it can be ammended to predict the correct outcome.
    2. Explore the hypothesis further - Sometimes this can be helpful in that it can give you some partial insight (if, for example, some but not all predictions are correct).
    3. Reject the hypothesis - The first thing that anyone claiming to do science must face is the possibility that they were wrong to begin with. Rejecting a hypothesis is an option that no true scientist should ever take off the table.

    Occasionally we reject a hypothesis because we failed to correctly identify the evidence for it. As I pointed out earlier, in statistics there is even a name for it, an error of the second kind. I suggested you google it. Have you done so yet?

    There you go, chastising someone for failing to understand your analogy when you so completely failed to understand mine. I, personally, based on the information before me, would be quite confident in suggesting that the most likely correct answer is that there is, in reality, no teapot.

    Science has (AFAIK) yet to find any evidence supporting telepathy. At what point do you propose that we abandon the hypothesis that telepathy exists?

    Again with the insults.

    Last time I checked, eyes predated the evolution of H. sapiens

    You don't really have the credibility to be making statements such as this. Remember, you're the one expecting everybody to accept on blind faith that telepathy and god exist and our inability to measure them is simply a reflection of a lack of the appropriate technology.

    Do you know what scientists did when the lacked the technology to determine if the Higgs Boson existed? They didn't accept on blind faith that it existed, instead, they developed alternative hypotheses in case they had to reject the higgs boson hypothesis.

    Do you know what scientists do when they find new information that confirms an old hypothesis? They admit they were wrong, elaborate on how the new information supports the old hypothesis and draw attention to the original description.

    That's just how science works.
  15. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,
    What other group (first two) did I introduce?


    Unlike your experiment however the subjects were awoken during REM sleep (during dreams). The Sender was in a locked room where sound could not be a factor and would receive random postcard photos to transmit. The sleeper was videotaped in a normal sleep lab. This is a situation with "double blinds".

    In some cases dreams were described and the judges who measured accuracy were given a dozen postcards to evaluate against the dream versus a questionnaire. These judges were not aware of which picture(s) were the ones broadcast, and could not base score on preferences.

    Yes. I also have witnessed and agree that I
    I also doubt that at this point I could ever
    With humans as the only measurement tool how could anything be proven?

    As long as the "review" can be anytime in the future I would agree (otherwise no). If a hypothesis can be proven false then it should be abandoned, but it should not be abandoned simply because we lack the ability to confirm it. In many cases technology has not been able to confirm some Hypothesis for many years, and there are many hypothesis out there waiting for a correct experiment. You yourself mention ongoing attempts at using experimental physics to confirm a hypothesis at CERN. If they cannot confirm the Higgs Boson should the Hypothesis be abandoned? (Note: Hypothetical question, I do not want any opinion).

    Dream telepathy - Wikipedia
    Obviously this type of thing, regardless of success; can be attributed to chance despite that it works.

    For now you can either look at these experiments very closely and/or replicate them. Then you can decide if probabilities and lots of anecdotal evidence is enough to make you consider this real.

    Relying on textbook knowledge based on many failed telepathy experiments will still lead many to common opinion. It's a shame.
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    You need to work on your english reading comprehension or your retention of information.
    This is where context is important.
    I suggested an experimental setup.
    You raised a contention regarding that setup.
    I was suggesting a modification to the original experimental setup, not attributing anything to you.

    When I say "Fine then. Introduce a third group." I'm not attributing anything to you, I am suggesting a modification to the original idea.

    You understand that REM sleep occurs during sleep right?
    So, if I wake people at random intervals during the night, some of those people are going to be woken during REM sleep, and some are not. The proportion of those woken during REM sleep is going to be proportional to the proportion of the sleep cycle spent in REM sleep.

    This setup does not describe a double blind setup.

    This still does not describe a double blind setup.

    Yes, I think we've all noticed that you've invested heavy emotional capital in this being right, much like you have

    As I have said repeatedly.
    By making predictions based on the hypothesis, and testing those predictions. It really is that simple.

    Go back, re-read what I said, and take the time to understand it. This is what happens when you cherrypick a portion of a quote and react to it. Go and re-read what I actually said.

    For example, consider it in the context of this portion:
    I have literaly lost count of how many times I have said this (or something to similar effect).
    A failed experiment can be evidence of a wrong hypothesis. Under those circumstances the responsibility is on us to review the hypothesis at that time. If at that time the hypothesis can not be revised sufficiently to account for the failed experiment, then the hypothesis should be abandoned. On occasion it can (and should) be tested to determine how wrong it is, however...

    Yes, it should. Believing in something there is no evidence to support is a faith based approach, not an evidence based one.

    Again, I find myself questioning your english reading comprehension, for one thing, I've effectively addressed this already. The case at CERN is relatively straight forward. Yes, theory predicted the existence of the Higgs boson. Yes, until recently experiment repeatedly failed to find it. Did they abandon the hypothesis? No, and rightly so. The hypothesis made a number of other correct predictions, and predicted that the Higgs Boson would be likely to appear in a range of experiments rather than a single experiment. This is what I meant before with my comment about exploring parameter space. In the case of the HIggs Boson, theory predicted a range of energies for its mass. Under these circumstances failed experiments serve to constrain, rather than exclude the hypothesis. In a sense, this is the second of the three outcomes I described, where we explore the hypothesis further. In this instance we explored it further because of the nature of the predictions that were made regarding the existence of the Higgs Boson and because of the success of the hypothesis in other areas.

    As I said many posts ago - that leaves the debate as to what constitutes significance. Did you understand it then? Did you understand it now?

    One thing my job, which includes law enforcement, has taught me: Eye witnesses are terribly unreliable.

    If the hypothesis has been excluded through lack of evidence supporting its predictions, I don't see the problem with this.
  17. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ trippy,

    Quote Originally Posted by kwhilborn View Post
    You say
    So if I go looking for the higgs Boson by cracking two eggs and examining the yolks under a magnifying glass and fail to see it we should accept that it does not exist. It is easy to fail at any experiment if you want. Failed experiments do not prove or disprove anything, however I should expect this notion from someone who seems to think telepathy/god can be proven to not exist at this time.

    I am not sure why you were so anal about pointing out REM sleep occurs during regular sleep. I thought your experiment was fine with random awakenings, But pointed out how they had improved upon that thought to better hit dream sequences. Nobody said your experiment idea was wrong so why so defensive of it.

    like this??
    so.. umm... okay...

    A double blind study is where the results are concealed from the tester and the subjects until after the test. The Pepsi challenge is a double blind test if the tester is unaware what glass holds what. The Random envelopes were not known to the tester, and the sender was not allowed to open the envelope until after they were in a locked room. If you do not consider this double blind then you are challenging their definition of double blind, and my own. I am not sure how this could not be double blind. They claim these experiments were double blind. If my definition of double blind (as with Pepsi challenge example) is flawed (providing tester does not know what is in the glass) then you can enlighten us. I certainly would never expect you to admit being wrong.

    I say
    you say
    Humans are not some garden variety tool that can be used the same every time with on/off switches. They are subject to physical disease, mental diseases, or even death. If we were dealing with telepathy or remote viewing a persons own imaginings could pollute results.

    If you think it is
    then you should partake in paranormal research and show us all how it is done.

    Replicating the Sleep experiments described has nothing to do with eye witnesses. It has the object of test hidden from the tester and tested until after the test (apparently this is no longer considered double blind so call it what you will) even the judges are not aware of the correct pictures. I am unsure how this relates to eye witnesses?

    Most psychic experiments require two or more people. If someone approached me and said they hear voices, I would think they are schizophrenic and send them to an analyst. If several people take notes and consciously attempt to send and receive over a two week period at a certain time then this would be two person anecdotal evidence.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    And here we go, yet again.
    No. This is a false analogy and a dishonest representation of what I said. The theory that predicts the existence of higgs bosons does not predict that cracking two eggs together and observing them with a magnifying glass should reveal the higgs boson. The experiment you are conducting has NOTHING to do with the predictions of the theory.

    If an experiment fails where your hypothesis predicts it should succeed, then it is evidence that your hypothesis is wrong, in whole or in part and should be abandoned or revised. Anything less isn't science.

    No, that does not represent an improvement, can you figure out why? My design is actually more robust than anything you have described.

    That's one way of interpreting the requirements.


    Gosh, look at that. I challenged your assertions and you provided a more accurate description. This describes a double blind experiment, "Locked in a quiet room with a random photo" does not. Do you understand why not? Do you understand why these two summaries are different?

    And I certainly would never expect you to communicate accurately. Perhaps if you had provided a more accurate description to begin with, there would have been no need for trading barbs. Are we done here?

    Which is why when we're trying to understand human phenomena we tend to observe groups of them and deal with statistics rather looking at individual cases.

    As I said:
    You develop a hypothesis (Telepathy is real).
    You infer a prediction from that hypothesis (If telepathy is real, remote communication is possible).
    You test that prediction. If that prediction is not confirmed then that is evidence that your hypothesis is flawed, either in whole or in part.

    It does not matter one whit whether you are dealing with humans or chemistry it is UNIVERSALLY APPLICABLE.

    No thanks. I prefer hard science. I prefer making a difference in the real world to chasing after ghosts.

    Once again you manage to firmly grab the wrong end of the stick with both hands and come out swinging with it.
    It was, specifically, the reliance on annecdotal evidence that I was refering to with that comment.
  19. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Trippy,

    I had described the experiment as double blind. If you knew the definition of double blind when I had first said it, then perhaps someone less cynical might have taken that to mean double blinds were in place.

    Let me put it another way.

    If you had told me someone was in a locked room with a random photo participating in a double blind experiment, then I might imagine the double blind protocols are in place.

    Let me put it another way.

    I had said the experiment was with "double blinds".

    You say,
    NOTE: I underlined where I said it was "Double Blind". I think that is the most accurate way to say it is double blind, you know, by actually saying it.

    then you quote this line where I actually stated it was double blind and then say..

    Yet you questioned my comprehensive abilities. :roflmao:

    How can I more accurately say there were double blinds in the experiment than actually saying it was an experiment with double blinds?

    I'm sure you have some answer, but I'd rather not hear it. The question above was hypothetical.

    Now about testing your hypothesis on a human subject.

    I hypothesize I can send messages from person A to person B. The experiment works perfectly the first two tries, and on the third try person B drops dead, and your experiment fails. So much for using the scientific method with human tools. lmfao

    I said,
    Your reply was...

    A) Are you aware that Randem Eye Movements often signify dreaming in the subjects. What better time to awaken a person participating in a dream study (telepathic influence of), than when they are actually dreaming?

    B) Are you aware how rapidly people can forget dreams? There are many suggested scientific reasoning's why dreams cannot be vividly remembered, but it is the fact that most details in dreams are quickly forgotten that is important here.

    So how (again hypothetical; as I really do not expect a great answer) would waking up a person at random times make this dream study more "Robust"?

    so no...
    no, nope, not really...
  20. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    No. You claimed it was double blind. You asserted it was double blind. The setup you described failed to meet that claim.

    Let me put it another way.
    You made a claim, your description did not match that claim. I can accept on blind faith that you understand what double blind means, or I can question your assertion, querey whether or not you understand what a double blind protocol would actually be, and ask whether or not you understand that the experimental setup that you describe isn't actually a double blind setup.

    Why are you being so anal about this? Why so defensive? Why so much butthurt in response to a simple statement? This is just more of the bullshit attitude I have had to tolerate from you in this thread.

    Let me put it to you this way:
    You claimed the experiment was double blind.
    You provided no evidence to support your claim that it was double blind.
    You failed to describe how it was double blind.

    No. The most accurate way to describe the double blind setup is to actually describe the double blind setup and what form the blinding takes.

    You claimed it was double blind, the description you provided did not match the claim you made. I pointed out the discrepancy and got a more accurate description.

    What did you expect me to do? Accept on blind faith that your claim was correct?

    You really do not have the credibilityto be expending it in tirades and temper tantrums such as this.

    How about just saying this:
    To begin with.

    I'm sure you have some answer, but I'd rather not hear it. The question above was hypothetical.

    Now about testing your hypothesis on a human subject.

    Umm what, precisely, is your point here? It's not clear at all.

    Hence the REM in REM sleep.

    Do you actually want an answer here, or is this another one of your "theorectical questions".

    Yes. I'm well aware of this.

    Given your attitude towards this discussion I'm not sure I want to waste my time answering this question in depth.

    Somehow I am unsurprised.

    Would anybody else reading this thread care to take a stab at why waking a sleeper at random intervals during the course of the night might be more robust than waking them once during the night?
  21. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ trippy,

    Why once per night?

    I said the subjects were awoken during REM sleep in this dream study. I never said anything about once per night. REM sleep occurs every 90 minutes or more normally.

    I'd love to hear anybody take a crack at how waking someone up during NREM sleep could be as good as REM sleep for remembering dreams in a sleep study, considering REM sleep is actually during the dream. You and Trippy could then contact the Doctors involved in the linked experiment, and tell them how they were doing it wrong for 20 years.

    link here

    I said
    You said

    I think your "in depth" answer to this might sound better in your head than it would on screen.

    I do not have problems admitting I am wrong sometimes, and I find it funny to argue with people who have problems doing this.

    Your claim that waking people at random intervals during a dream study is better than waking them during REM sleep when you know REM sleep is indicative of dreaming and dream memories fade quickly is obviously wrong.

    How could you logically expect someone to better recall a dream during NREM (Non Rapid Eye Movement) sleep?

    I am willing to bet however that you will stick to your argument even while knowing you are in the wrong position, and this should almost be moved to the psychology thread so that trait can be examined.

    Heck. In the previous post you almost had me convinced I did not describe the experiment was double blind when I clearly stated the experiment was double blind. I STILL think stating something is a double blind experiment is the quickest way to describe a double blind experiment, but I will not argue the point again.

    You are obviously perturbed about losing this argument when you start with language like,
    You can tell when you are wrong when the swearing comes it seems.

    Anyways. I will not push this further. You will do some sideways talk and take words out of context and put together a post that will make even me believe the sun rises in the west.

    I will reiterate,

    A) You cannot prove telepathy does not exist. You can only affect your belief.

    B) You cannot prove God does not exist. You can only affect your belief.

    C) Burden of proof does not apply except for belief (analogy in post 117). If Heinrich Hertz decided not to prove radio waves they would still exist.

    D) Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof would be valid if we had proof at this time, but future proof may exist and cannot be ruled out. If Heinrich Hertz refused to prove radio waves they would still exist.

    E) Describing an experiment as double blind does describe it as double blind.

    F) REM is the best time to awaken a person if you wish them to recall their dream.

    You have tried to argue every one of the above points, and have refused to admit when you are wrong. It was amusing, but at this point it seems like your posts are nonsense. I think I will end it here (before you start cussing and swearing too much).

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  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Ooh! Ooh! Me, sir! Pick me, sir!

    I would think it provides a measure of control to the experiment.

    If you want to test the effectiveness of drugs, you don't just test it on its own, but against a control group.
    By waking people at random intervals you provide a semblance of that control, by helping to identify "noise" in the output.
    I'm sure there are other reasons as well, though?

    Please can you provide a link to where you last admitted that you were wrong?
    He said it would make a more ROBUST experiment. Sometimes the more robust an experiment is the longer it takes to get the data you need, due to all the controls that are in place to ensure the data is as reliable as it can be.
    Has he said it categorically does not exist? If he did then apologies for I missed it. But there simply is no evidence for it that can be rationally attributed to anything other than the mundane. And in the absence of such, the rational position would be to accept such claims as false, until such time as evidence presents itself.
    Ditto to the above.
    Burden of proof DOES apply to all claims of positive existence of a phenomenon.
    No one is saying that unless there is evidence then they DO NOT EXIST, but that without evidence we should not accept claims of their existence as true.
    Do you understand that difference?
    And until such time as that evidence presents itself we should not accept such claims as being true, irrespective of the objective reality of their existence or not.
    But it doesn't make the experiment double blind. Just saying that it is double blind does not mean that it is.
    When explaining experiments one should never just state that it was double blind and require people to accept your word. You should describe the experiment as performed and leave others to judge whether it was double blind or not.
    Ideally you would describe it and reach consensus on the double blind nature.
    Giving people pills is the best way to test the effectiveness of those pills. Yet experiments are more robust if there is a control group or two.
    And I don't just mean a blind test between the pill and another pill, where the placebo effect may come into play, but a control group that receive no pill at all.
  23. kwhilborn Banned Banned

    @ Sarkus,

    All I can say is wow.

    I know I have said a few times I was wrong on Sciforums, and perhaps the latest is archived here,

    I have said it better than that in the past, but am not going to search for an hour.

    @ Trippy,
    For the record Sarkus and myself also have had a history of arguing in the paranormal subforums.

    @ Sarkus,

    This is not a performance enhancing test/medical procedure. We are not testing affects of oxygen on plants. Please explain why you feel a control group would be necessary in a telepathy experiment.

    It would be the very first of its kind.

    Yes. I have heard of many experiments in many locations around the world, but have never heard of any of them using a control group.

    Can anybody guess why?

    Well yes; it is because these experiments are being measured against calculated random chance.

    Furthermore the judges in some of these experiments were given a dozen postcard photos after their questions from subject were answered and they had to select the correct one based only on those answers. This is also control.

    Perhaps you can name any psychic experiments in the history of our planet that has required a control group?

    The dreams needed to be recalled and questioned. Waking the subject up during NREM would just be silly and possibly even cruel (let the guy sleep).

    What will the guy not dreaming mention. Updates on Hockey scores or the weather perhaps?


    I was expecting some sideways talk here, but was amused to see Sarkus.

    I imagine you also will still think you are correct here. I am certain I do not.

    My argument is only we should not think it is false based on belief. I never said people should accept it as true. Science can rule out some things, but some things it cannot rule out. Although if you do not understand this point by now; I give up explaining.

    Belief and science are separate things.

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