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March 24, 2005

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Richard,

That is one of the funniest web pages I've ever read. I had to stop continuously because I couldn't see through the tears and shaking...

I've saved a link to the main page of his site so I can go back for ONE page a day or I'm sure I'll O.D...

Told you it was funny.

Pope passed away today of natural causes (as most popes did). Popes ride around in bullet-proof cars, stand behind bullet proof glasses, have consistent access to health care, full meals (or feeding tubes), good doctors and science, and a team of secret service quality bodyguards. Vatican is and should be doing everything it can so the Pope does not get starved, harmed by a crazy fanatic, get sick without insurance, and always has access to good caring doctors. Most of the above instruments and protective gears are science-made not miracle-based. They interfere with one dying of natural causes (by prolonging life) through manipulation of natural causes. Why can’t people (sheep)see the hypocrisy: If they were not so infrequent we would not have to call them miracles! If all my employees called it a miracle every time I got something right or showed up to work, my butt would have been fired a long time ago. But I guess it’s difficult to fire an invisible CEO (God) who is very ruthless and powerful and presents Satan as the only other CEO alternative.

Pope passed away of natural causes (as most popes did). Popes ride around in bullet-proof cars, stand behind bullet proof glasses, have consistent access to health care, full meals (or feeding tubes), good doctors and science, and a team of secret service quality bodyguards. Vatican is and should be doing everything it can so the Pope does not get starved, harmed by a crazy fanatic, get sick without insurance, and always has access to good caring doctors. Most of the above instruments and protective gears are science-made not miracle-based. They interfere with one dying of natural causes (by prolonging life) through manipulation of natural causes. Why can’t people see the hypocrisy: If they were not so infrequent we would not have to call them miracles! If all my employees called it a miracle every time I got something right or showed up to work, my butt would have been fired a long time ago. But I guess it’s difficult to fire an invisible CEO who is very ruthless and powerful and presents Satan as the only other CEO alternative.

Do any of you ever wonder if it's possible for you to grow up and stop whining about everyone's religion? Also have you ever considered looking at the more than abundant evidence that the Randi challenge is completely fraudulent?

Do any of you ever wonder if it's possible for you to grow up and stop whining about people who adopt critical thinking? Also have you ever considered looking at the more than abundant evidence that the Randi challenge is totally genuine?

The fact is your group doesn't know a thing about critical thinking. You operate on a priori assumptions and then systematically attack true skeptics (look it up sometime; you don't count as one) who consider the possibility that modern science doesn't know everything and there are still phenomena to investigate. To this end you create challenges daring anyone to prove psychic ability, but only as long as you control all aspects of the test and can easily get out of any situation. It doesn't matter if on one side is a Nobel Prize physicist and on the other is a former stage magician with no scientific credentials. What matters is bullying anyone who disagrees with you.

To: 172.174.178.225

Re: The fact is your group doesn't know a thing about critical thinking. You operate on a priori assumptions and then systematically attack true skeptics (look it up sometime; you don't count as one)

Oh puleeze – this “I’m a true skeptic, you’re not” routine is just empty old rhetoric from someone who wants to claim to be a skeptic but who is nothing of the sort. Post something with real content or don’t bother.

Re: who consider the possibility that modern science doesn't know everything and there are still phenomena to investigate.

Your “modern science doesn't know everything” whine tells us you are no skeptic.

First, it is a Straw man – I have never said modern science knows everything. Not even close.

Secondly, of course modern science doesn't know everything. But you draw the wrong conclusions from this. You think the corollary is that anything you like the sound of, that hasn’t been proven false, is worthy of consideration. But that is wrong (and it is why you are no skeptic). Something is only worthy of consideration if there is a reason to suppose it is true. That usually means some kind of evidence. So do you have any? Because for astrology (which is what I assume you are talking about, since this is an astrology thread), not only is there no reason to suppose it works, but there is plenty of evidence that astrology doesn’t work and that astrology is just made up bullshit.

So Mr. skeptic wannabe, do you have any evidence that astrology works, or not?

Re: To this end you create challenges daring anyone to prove psychic ability,

Actually I have created no such challenges. If you were a skeptic you would know that a key feature of critical thinking is that the person making a claim backs up that claim. So if someone claims to be psychic it is up to them to demonstrate they are. So why doesn’t any psychic pass Randi’s challenge?

Re: but only as long as you control all aspects of the test and can easily get out of any situation.

No, just scientific protocols with controls to prevent anyone from cheating. What is wrong with that?

Re: It doesn't matter if on one side is a Nobel Prize physicist and on the other is a former stage magician with no scientific credentials.

Argument from authority followed by ad hominem.

Re: What matters is bullying anyone who disagrees with you.

No, just trying to teach people like you critical thinking.

but only as long as you control all aspects of the test and can easily get out of any situation.
The field is rife with cheaters. Besides, the JREF test protocols have to be agreed upon by both parties. If a psychic can't perform under particular circumstances, the JREF won't force them to.

It doesn't matter if on one side is a Nobel Prize physicist and on the other is a former stage magician with no scientific credentials.
Of course it doesn't matter. All that matters is the evidence. Nobel prize winners are not gods. They are not idols to be worshipped. They are not locked in some ivory tower with knowledge beyond our comprehension. Science is available to everyone. If a five-year-old child can find an experimental flaw, his age is of no relevance. His lack of credentials doesn't majikully make his argument invalid. A valid argument is a valid argument, no matter who says it. An invalid argument is an invalid argument, no matter how many majikul letters you have after your name.

I HATE people who think science is nothing but expert worship. If astrology works, show us the evidence! Show us the data! That's the only thing that will convince us. We may not have the fancy letters, but we think like scientists: With skepticism and critical thinking.

As an aside BronzeDog, what would this credulous cretin say if a Nobel Prize winner said that there are invisible gnomes running around shitting gold nuggets. Should we just take his word for it because he won a prize?

Exactly. It makes you wonder. Well, it makes me wonder at any rate: I don't believe anything because some scientist said so: I think primarily in terms of studies, statistics, and data: Most of the time, I don't bother to remember the scientist. I couldn't name a Nobel Prize winner to save my life.

It's really nifty-keen if your work makes you worthy of a prize, but that doesn't make you any less human. Anyone can be foolish. Letters after your name do not make you immune. The moment you think they do is the start of the descent into woo.

In addition, being a “stage magician” (former or otherwise) most likely makes you better that a Nobel laureate at spotting trickery.

True. A magician who can't fool his audience (or make them fool themselves) will fail. So, of course they know a thing or two about that field. Additionally, Randi brings in other specialists when he needs their advice, so he can effectively borrow other people's credentials.

What matters is bullying anyone who disagrees with you.

I suppose the next thing you're going to complain about is the grocery store bullying you to pay for the stuff you take out, or maybe the police officer bullying you into following the speed limit or stopping at red lights.

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