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April 18, 2005

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Ugh. This reminds me of "The Field" by Lynne McTaggart (see here). In fact there's probably a deal of overlap: trying to explain the paranormal (clairvoyance, spiritual healing homeopathy, and probably the Loch Ness Monster) in terms of obscure physics, in McTaggart's case zero point energy.

Awesome post! I almost fell over laughing at that one. Woo-woo indeed!

I really enjoyed this piece. I must admit that the film pretty much had me sold when I first watched it, but some discussion and waving off the post-movie daze helped me to really start to question these things. Your expose on the entire thing really shed some light on the glaring questions that the film brings up and kills it for the most part. Thanks!

Calling it woo woo is MUCH too kind.

LOL

I actually like movies of this ilk. It makes it so much easier to argue with "True Believers" when they think they can finally make a scientific arguement. Whether they understand what that arguement is or not is another matter...

"What The (Bleep) Do We Know?" Obviously more than the imbeciles who wrote this stupid movie. Will people ever learn to stop professing deep understanding of a subject they clearly know nothing about?

The icing on this critical cake is the filmmakers' rebuttal, wherein they reverse course and zealously testify about their loving belief and commitment to JZ Knight's religion (I refuse to refer to Ramtha as an actual entity).

Great article - I found it from a link on James Randi's weekly roundup. Looks like a very interesting blog you've got here. I'll add a link to you on my own blog - yes, you will be one of the lucky few to be Ecks Rated - if you don't mind.

Ecks: glad you liked it - please link all you want.

I must agree that this is a great article. I also linked from Randi's site. I have one minor correction. J Z Knight is actually based out of a small town named Yelm which is about 30 miles south of Tacoma. I should know, it is my home town and this whole Ramtha woo woo is a little close to home for me. I have had this movie recomended to me by many well meening friends in the area. It is good to have skepical information about it.

the film is a true example of living gnostics in the new era. Trully... look at what they say and compare it with texts from the ancient gnostic texts. Then again... "if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you could move this mountain"...

Read the first line of their answer. They used the 'hit a nerve' fallacy. IE if someone protest to what you're saying you've hit a nerve. Combine this with the 'hush-up' fallacy and any reaction proves any statement made by anyone true:
If someone agrees they confirm by agreeing, if no one answers their trying to hush you up, and if you disagree you've hit a nerve.
I guess that's what quantum physicists call a win/win/win situation.

Regarding the tale of natives not seeing the ships of Christopher Columbus, there is some truth in this. However,I believe the truth has been twisted in
traditional "post modern theory" fashion.
When the British were building their Empire, (cue marching band music) the locals sometimes ignored them. Aboriginals in Australia were known for this, they could see the ships (I think they just called them big canoes) but because they had no concept or context of how to comprehend what they were seeing they carried on about their daily life. I suppose it's similar to the reaction some people have when witnessing a UFO, they can't explain it, so they just shrug their shoulders and sink another beer. To the author of this article; just because you can't find something about this subject on the internet doesn't mean it ain't real...you aborigine!

The response reminded me of a story of how L Ron Hubbard, at a meeting of scifi writers in the late 50's, said that all the money was in religion and how, less than a year later, he had his own. These folks have their own as well.

I thought the natives not being able to see the boats was at the heart of the problem with this movie.

There is evidence to show that africans and native ameircans where trading goods before and during the birth of christ. This fact is supported by evidence that egyptian mummies were tested with mass spetrometers and reveled cocaine, tobacco and cannabis residue traces. The cocoa plant only grows in the americans.

Also natives had seen large ships before, the large dugouts rowed by carib or grarifuna. These dugout held upto 20 paddlers at a time. So big boats fit into their world view.

Sadly there is a historical perspective this society has on things that has nothing to do with reality. It's sad that a movie with some valuble info, falls into the standared BS by not looking at the past for the truth but builds on lies.

Please refer to "They came before Columbus", revised edition by Ivan Van Sertima for more info on this imporatant and hidden past

About seeing ships. The aborigines not only saw the ships, they painted images of them on solid rock. It's there for everyone to see. They did not just carry on as if they hadn't seen anything.
Following the theory that we can't see what we haven't seen before, as it doesn't exist in our reality..hmmmm

excellent work! i've been following this ramtha stuff ever since i found out who knight was on coast to coast am with george noory. she seemed normal enough at first when she was talking about like your typical new age hokum, but then started talking about all this 35,000 atlantis blah blah blah... the part that mystifies me though is how everybody went so damn nuts over this movie, when all the ideas are at least like 30 years old. figures, i guess

The part about the indigenous people not seeing the ships could also be taken to be deeply, subconsciously racist.

I DID NOT SAY that they couldn't SEE the ships, I said they chose to ignore them, they may well have painted pictures, but they didn't like the intrusion and did their best to refrain from contact. Of course they recognised them as ships.
For the last time, they saw the ships, to say they acted as if they didn't see the ships is a euphemism, a more subtle way of explaining their reaction.

"At the end, the main character in the film throws away her prescription meds because, since she creates her own reality, she doesn’t need them. (Don’t try this at home.) And that was it."

Uh - isn't creating your own reality a reason to be on medication in the first place?

Great succinct review - I linked here from the Skeptics Circle. I also had to rent this hilarious film to see what all the hubbub was about - though I really felt bad by giving the filmakers any of my money, even the little Bullockbuster trickles through to them...

Though the initial pop-psychology message of the power of positive thinking seems harmless enough, the attempts to "prove" it with distorting science is beyond maddening. Sure a positive attitude will help you through your day, but that message can be fully expressed on a bumper sticker, or better still, a happy hour bar-napkin. No need dragging poor Heisenberg into this...

Film craft wise, I was expecting some pretty lame stuff, but I was not prepared for the whole Polish wedding scene - it is truly an exercise in horror. I shudder to think about it now.

And if I may chime in on the Columbus boat issue, I can see (no pun intended) this as another example of new agers sloppily taking allegorical and metaphorical ideas as statements of fact. As just shown in the last sentence, "see" can mean many things, such as "comprehend the implications of" and "neurons firing on the visual cortex". Unless Douglas Adam's concept of the Somebody Else's Problem field is accurate.....

And in one final comment, I do find it ironic that the medium of film does allow someone to create their own reality, at least for 100 plus minutes (or whatever this one ran...it felt much longer!).

do you not realise that by being so extreme in your sceptism you are equally woo woo? You are totally closed which would lead to no scientific investigation.There must be a deep seated reason for you to spend all your energy 'exposing' sceptics. We all believe different things, so what! Why is it so essential for you to feel superior? At the end of the day it is all down to personal choice what one beleives in.It would be a grim and boring world if we did not have diversity. Including you extreme and equally out of balance pontificating.Which indeed it is as knowledge is constantly growing. Where did you get your sceptical memes from? The whole theory that spiritual or religious memes are a stronger or worse virus than anyother is totally illogical!

girlknight-

If you were to provide some type of hard evidence that this woo can actually channel an ancient warrior, we would be more than happy to consider it. Are YOU so closed minded you can't examine evidence showing channeling Atlanteans is bullshit? Let's reconsider the "closed mindedness" of skeptics: we review available evidence and call it woo-woo when there is none. If we simply dismissed claims without debunking them, that would be closed minded. We did review JZ Knight's claim. It's bullshit.

girlknight:

Read what Rockstar wrote – he said it pretty well.

Some additional points from me:

do you not realise that by being so extreme in your sceptism you are equally woo woo?

Please define “extreme”. Please define where the line is where my skepticism has to stop. And please show your work.

You are totally closed which would lead to no scientific investigation.

Au contraire. Science is a skeptical endeavor. Scientists try very hard to prove their theories wrong, on the basis that what is left standing has a good chance of being true. If you believe anything could be true then you will never discover anything new.

As I wrote here, the skeptical approach has served us well, preventing many wrong ideas from gaining foothold (for very long, anyway) and providing all the amazing discoveries that surround us. The people who did make new scientific discoveries were all applying this method, not people like you who think you have an “open mind”. An earlier version of you would have said, “Your skepticism is too extreme – you are closed to the idea that humors exist” to justify bloodletting. By focusing uncritically on bloodletting you would never have discovered germ theory any more than JZ Knight or “The Ramtha School of Enlightenment” will discover anything useful. Germ theory was discovered by a scientist who followed the skeptical method.

Most believers like yourself are closed minded to the possibility that your beliefs might be false. If you can’t say what it would take to convince you your beliefs are false, you are the closed minded one.

There must be a deep seated reason for you to spend all your energy 'exposing' sceptics.

I don’t expose skeptics. And psychobabble won't make your case any more valid.

We all believe different things, so what!

Some beliefs are wrong, that’s what. Do you believe anything anyone tells you? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you. If you don’t, how do you determine what to believe in and what not to believe in? Please describe your method for evaluating claims.

The whole theory that spiritual or religious memes are a stronger or worse virus than anyother is totally illogical!

Why?

Scientists and pseudo scientist/religious factions all to often head off and dig in on the point of "close mindedness". The end result of these conversations is typically about 10-45 minutes of hot air, ending where it started... both sides say to the either "Your mind is closed." This seems awfully self contradictory, where the "close minded" people insist that the other party is "close minded". I would like to offer a definition of an open mind, so that maybe the meaning of a close mind can be more clearly discerned. An open mind has:

The ability to receive ideas. Do not confuse "receiving" with "accepting" or "agreeing". To hear someone out, to listen to their point of view is open minded. If, after listening and considering, they say "what a bunch of bunk", then that's their deal.

Within the arena of the open mind, one should be able to reason, compare, contrast, analyze, and consider. In short, one should THINK about the tumult of ideas that barrage them from the outside world. To think about something, you need evidence. This all leads to this important point: To have a strong opinion, or to readily reject ideas that do not hold in the face of contradicting evidence, to think that one is "right" or "correct" in their thoughts, and to stand for that strongly, is not close minded. But, to hold fast to any opinion or idea, even in the face of greater conflicting evidence... to INSIST that one is right even when all the signs and evidence point to "No, sorry, you are incorrect sir! Play again next time!" That is close minded. To stand firm in an idea is a reasonable thing to do... after all, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. But, when evidence points to the contrary, the ability to stand on a chair and shout to the world "Hey, look! I was wrong, and this is why!" That is a trait of an open mind. An open mind asks "why?". It questions, doesn't answer. Answers are just a pleasant side effect of enough questioning.
I hope that helps. Feel free to crucify me if your surfing the net with idle hands.

Some Guy - brilliantly put.

I agree that this movie presents radical ideas and is probably a money grab, but regarding the subject of the nature of conciousness its very hard to be 'right'. All information presented on this subject can easily be made to seem wrong. You either agree with the ideas or you dont. To make fun of these people would suggest you know the 'right' answer. You obviously have never experienced psychic phenomenon personally or you would notice nuggets of truth in what they say. I do agree that this movie has failed to describe what reality is because it tries to describe a subject that is indescribable with words. You are either aware, or you are blinded

Zone:

I agree that this movie presents radical ideas and is probably a money grab, but regarding the subject of the nature of conciousness its very hard to be 'right'. All information presented on this subject can easily be made to seem wrong. You either agree with the ideas or you dont. To make fun of these people would suggest you know the 'right' answer.

You appear to be suggesting that if I can’t prove them wrong their ideas have equal validity with any others. This idea is absurd. An idea only has validity if there is a reason to suppose it is true. In the case of this movie, it is obvious that their ideas are just wrong. We do not create reality with our thoughts. Period. The science does not say that. Their examples are bogus.

You obviously have never experienced psychic phenomenon personally or you would notice nuggets of truth in what they say. I do agree that this movie has failed to describe what reality is because it tries to describe a subject that is indescribable with words. You are either aware, or you are blinded

You mean like this blind person? BZTTT, answered that one already.


The Ramtha woman? Anybody else notice how she was spouting about beauty being from within and how the the physical world isn't important? But have you ever seen more plastic surgery on one person in your life?

Just wanted to say a big thank you for an illuminating post and links - this film is coming to the UK and I was wondering whether it was worth seeing. I shan't be wasting my time and money.

As if I believe in anything at all, I'd suggest to JZ Knight to throw back Ramtha and get a spirit to channel that doesn't make her sound and look like a hermaphrodite...

The minds boogle, Guardian reviews from four scientists: Richard Dawkins, Clive Greated, Simon Singh and Joao Migueijo.

Prove there are no Unicorns. As I think I understand quantum theory, it simply expresses the probabilities of various possible outcomes of a (generally) sub-atomic interaction, so of course we cannot KNOW what happened until someone observes the outcome. If the outcome depended on the observer, extraordinary results would be observed more frequently by some observers compared to the majority of observers. So far as I know there is no evidence of this. Quantum mechanics extends into the macro-world, in that a pot of water placed over a gas stove burner COULD freeze solid, although to my knowledge no such result has ever been observed, presumably because the probability of such is so small it would take billions upon billions of carefully controlled experiments before such would occur. However, as Arthur Eddington pointed out,any event is slightly different for each different observer, no one can ever perceive something the exact way someone else does. What I call RED, your vision might perceive as what I would call GREEn; but you would have learned to call it RED, so we would never realize the difference in acual perception.So if I claim to have seen "ghosts", you may consider me lyimg or hallucinating; but because you have more people on your side than I do on mine doesn't PROVE ghosts don't exist

I think that this was a great movie if nothing else just for the fact that it challenges people to break out of the everyday norm. It presents ideas and concepts that are on the forefront of our technology and understanding of the universe and presents one interpretation of reality. They are not trying to recruit people into some crazy cult(well, that atlantis thing might be)but as a whole, i think the movie was made with good intentions. hell the guy even said at the end not to take their words for things and to get out and research it yourself. nobody knows the true nature of the universe and how it all came together or our realationships with one another, but this film was a nice start to get people thinking in the right direction. no i dont agree with some channeled spirit from atlantis , but for the most part the science and reasoning from the film were sound. quantum physics is a radical new science and requires some changes in how you think about the world. rather than making fun of a film that tries to help people better themselves perhaps you should read between the lines and take something useful from it and then apply it to your own life.

AJ

Re: for the most part the science and reasoning from the film were sound. quantum physics is a radical new science and requires some changes in how you think about the world.

Sorry, but the science was not sound. There is no reason to suppose that the macro world we live in behaves anything like the quantum world in any meaningful way. Since the science was wrong it does not lead to the conclusions they drew.

Re: rather than making fun of a film that tries to help people better themselves perhaps you should read between the lines and take something useful from it and then apply it to your own life.

Such as?

well lets look at the science for a minute. quantum physics has only a couple of major theories about the nature of particles. first we have the many worlds theory, which states that for every possible quantum event an entire new universe is created so that each possibility becomes a whole new reality. imagine duplicating the whole universe about 20 times for a single electron and its possible states. thats insane, that would mean that i have single handedly created millions of seperate universes just while typing this post. the only other explaination that fits is that a particle must be observed in order to lock it into a single state or position. so then the we come back to the idea that some form of observation is required in order for reality to actually become "real" so then we have to think, if everything in the universe is made up of these particles and for these particles to actually exist then some conciousness must observe them then its only natural that we say conciousness is conected in a fundamental way with everything. now, i suppose you can dismiss all of this as some crazy theory but most all of the physicist in the world are working with this in one way or another and nobody has the answer yet but its a start. now as far as the positive aspects of the film... whats wrong with challenging people to take control of their lives and not live day after day being lead around like a puppet by their emotions and events of the day. people have the ability to litterally create their own day. not in a sense of physical properties but by their attitude and how they want to take things that they are given. if you get up in the morning and take a minute to think about how you would like your day to go and how you would like to feel today then most people will have a much happier and productive day. its more a matter of psychology than physics but its all connected. overall i think the movie had a very positive message even if it did have some questionable "experts"

AJ

Re: well lets look at the science for a minute. quantum physics has only a couple of major theories about the nature of particles.

I think you mean interpretations. And there are many more than two.

Re: first we have the many worlds theory, which states that for every possible quantum event an entire new universe is created so that each possibility becomes a whole new reality. imagine duplicating the whole universe about 20 times for a single electron and its possible states. thats insane, that would mean that i have single handedly created millions of seperate universes just while typing this post. the only other explaination that fits is that a particle must be observed in order to lock it into a single state or position.

There are others. Look">http://mist.npl.washington.edu/npl/int_rep/tiqm/TI_toc.html">Look Here for a discussion of his transactional interpretation compared with some others.

In addition, this month’s edition of Discover Magazine describes a new idea from Roger Penrose. Briefly he thinks that gravity pulls very small particles between the different “suppositions”, but is not strong enough to do this for larger items. And he thinks he has a way to test it.

Re: so then the we come back to the idea that some form of observation is required in order for reality to actually become "real" so then we have to think, if everything in the universe is made up of these particles and for these particles to actually exist then some conciousness must observe them

Wrong again. “Observe” can just mean to measure – the micro item connects with a macro item (the measuring instrument).

And even if consciousness is involved at the micro level, it is taking reductionism to absurd levels to suggest consciousness can change reality the way these film makers suggest.

Re: then its only natural that we say conciousness is conected in a fundamental way with everything. now, i suppose you can dismiss all of this as some crazy theory but most all of the physicist in the world are working with this in one way or another and nobody has the answer yet but its a start.

You’re right there – nobody has the answer yet. So why do these film makers tell us what the answer is?

Re: now as far as the positive aspects of the film... whats wrong with challenging people to take control of their lives and not live day after day being lead around like a puppet by their emotions and events of the day.

First of all, I don’t need to be challenged to take control of my life – I already have I can assure you. (You did say to me, “you should read between the lines and take something useful from it and then apply it to your own life”.)

Secondly, it’s good to get people to take control of their lives, but only if you tell them to do so in a way that is real. This film gave them a totally false way to do this. People leave the movie perhaps feeling empowered etc, but in a day of so when they realize they can’t really alter their reality the way the woman does in the film, they can regress to a worse position than the one they were in before.

I’m sorry but if the premise of the film is false, the conclusions don’t follow from the premises. It’s just meaningless feel good drivel. If that’s what floats your boat, go for it. I prefer something based closer to reality.

I am a physicist, and frankly I am amazed at how easily people will eat what they are fed, even if it looks and smells like shit. Physics is NOT all theory and speculation, as some people wrongfully believe and tell others. Math is a slave to physics, especially in the 17th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Physics does not need math to be correct or to be law. Any law of physics can be expressed in words just as easily as it can using equations.

This movie encourages a distrust for facts, that is very dangerous thinking. Before any of you attempt to define physics, as I've seen so many do so incorrectly, please do a little research. Read some books by Stephen Hawking or Kip Thorne, Penrose's Road to Reality would be nice. Learn from people who know what they are talking about, and who are respected by their peers for that.

And those people who do take this movie seriously, well, I hope they join that stupid cult and then commit mass suicide so that the average IQ of the planet can increase.

your review and thoughts of the movie are of a mind that is closed.

Ooh, I’m “closed minded”. Wow, what a devastating response to my detailed review – john smith you have totally debunked by review with your detailed and insightful comments. I realize now that “What the Bleep” was a brilliant movie, and I am going to cancel my blog and join the Ramtha School of Enlightenment today. Thank you john smith for opening my eyes.

Please share some more of your brilliant comments with us, o-wise one.

And btw, this is what ‘closed minded” really means.

Hee-hee
/spits out burrito laughing

As usual I'm late to this. Just wanted to say that movie was the worst piece of crap I think I've ever seen. Thankfully, I only rented it for $2 and after fast forwarding off and on through the first hour I gave up. In fact, it might have been when that Ramtha woman appeared that clinched it.

The woman at the movie rental store wanted to know what I thought because "oh everyone wants to see that..everyone is talking about it". So I said, "well tell everyone it's crap, boring, and fake, save their money".

I still can't believe ANYONE sat through this thing, skeptic or not. Crikey!

I sat through it for the greater good. And so that no one could accuse me of being closed-minded. ;-)

Fortunately I'm with Netflix so at least it didn't cost me any extra money.

You know, it seems to me that some people have some sort of (psychological?) need to believe stuff of a mystical nature, and will hook onto pretty much anything that comes along. It has little to do with evidence or reality. If you really want or need to believe in "something out there", then you will, and neither Skeptico nor anyone else will be able to do anything about it. You may even feel better for it. But don't waste your time trying to persuade others of your particular fantasy; most of them will actually want evidence, so you'll be on a loser. Don't waste your breath on them - create your own reality and live in it. Leave the real world for the rest of us.

As a musician, writer who generally lives in a pretty mystical world already, I'd just like to say that after having seen "What the Bleep" I really have to say
Ya "What the Bleep WAS that?"

who wrote this article...the movie gave me a high ...u bloody spat in my soup!

It isn't real? I have been wasting all my energy on something that was a bunch of garbage? For the past three weeks I have been practicing so I can walk on water like it said I could do in the movie. All I can do so far is walk on the depth that a glass poured on the floor covers but I was sure I could make it to at least two glasses in the next few weeks and now you say none of this is true.

This is so devistating.

Wow. I've been hearing a lot about the media and their talk about how blogging is going to be a bright and shiny new beacon of journalism for years now.

Finally, journalism.

This is excellent work. Well thought out, you back up your facts, you offer evidence and proof for the statements you make. And you wrap it up in a personable and friendly voice.

Good fucking work.

Wonderful article! Several friends of mine raved about this movie and dragged me along to see it. I was stunned by the overwhelming amount of BS in this film that was passed off as "science" -- not to mention the lousy production values. It made me angry, because a lot of people watching the film (including my friends) are in no position to critically evaluate the "information" that is presented(intentionally, no doubt) in an overwhelming, confusing and disjointed avalanche of imagery, fact, and fantasy.

To read something really disturbing, go to the Bleep's Web page and read the posts from fans of the movie. Yipes! The typical response is "what a wonderful film", "thank you!", "it re-affirmed what I've secretly believed all of my life" ... which was -- exactly what now? That we can all walk on water? That Indians couldn't see Columbus' ships? That meditation will create world peace? That happy thinking will purify water?

The film makes very little sense. People clearly project onto it whatever they want to see and want to believe. Which is OK, I guess. But it ain't science.

And, to be totally honest, JZ Knight just creeped me out.

I'm happy to find this discussion. I watched it with a friend who was of the 'it affirmed what I already believed'. Even my attempts at debunking of the so called science (I'm a molecular biologist) had no effect. I think there is something to the idea that people have a psychological need to believe in mystical things. It doesn't mean that these things don't exist, but it certainly doesn't mean they do.

Also these are all old ideas-read Illusions by Bach. He claims the power of positive thinking will enable people to walk on water.

I was young and gullible at the time and almost jumped out of my dorm window to prove I could fly via the power of positive thinking. (That was also due to the power of yukon jack).

So these ideas can be dangerous-I vaguely remember a couple of teenagers driving into a brick wal based on these ideas. This would have been late 70's early 80's.

You're all dumb faggots with no lives, sitting on your fat asses typing all day. Blogs are retarded, go outside, smell the air, roll in the grass.

Charles Barnes:

You're a dumb faggot with no life, sitting on your fat ass typing all day. Leaving insulting but content-less comments on blogs is retarded, go outside, smell the air, roll in the grass, grow up.

I attended a local Religious Science Church, until I saw What the Bleep....

The heavy promotion of this movie by the church officials and membership as "scientific proof" of their spiritual beliefs, sent me running and screaming, and pushed me to agnosticism.

Had you done your homework you would know that when JZ Knight goes into her trance and Ramtha takes over her body, her body rapidly goes through changes that are not humanly possible and the body physically dies. She had been hooked up to equipment on several occasions, because the results of each test were beyond belief, and she made followers of many of the scientists that performed the tests, as they started out wanting to discredit her. In addition, years later, "advances in science has created the availability of tests and equipment that can scrutinize this phenomenon from a physiological, neurological and psychological point of view, which can determine and rule out the possibility of fraud. These scientific studies took place on JZ in 1996 when a distinguished panel of 12 scoholars comprised of neuroscientists, phychologists, socioligists and religious experts, studied JZ before, during and after the channeling Ramtha. After they conducted their studies, the conclusions were unanimous that the readings taken from JZ Knight's autonomic nervous system responses were so dramatic that they categorically ruled out any possibility of conscious fakery, schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder."
I can understand your fear in beleiving in Ramtha, I was there myself many years ago, and until each of us is ready to accept these teachings as truth, there is no one who is going to be able to talk you into it. When it is the right time for your mind to be opened, it will become your truth. It might not be in this lifetime, but I am thankful that mine has been opened. SO BE IT. TO LIFE!

Debbie:

Such remarkable claims as “her body rapidly goes through changes that are not humanly possible and the body physically dies” would be of serious scientific interest. Please provide cites to the peer reviewed scientific publications that report on these scientific tests.

Debbie, calling Debbie, is there a Debbie in the house?

It’s easy to make claims – anyone can do that. But they mean nothing if you can’t back them up, and Debbie can’t back up her claim.

We can not know what Debbie is really talking about. Were these tests administered independently, by people qualified to perform them and with a true scientist’s desire to try to prove something wrong? I think it’s probably unlikely. I do think it highly likely that whatever she is talking about (if it even happened), was a conjuring trick the likes of which James Randi or Penn & Teller would be able to replicate with ease. Whatever it was, it’s just a worthless anecdote.

As for not being “open minded” or having “fear in believing in Ramtha” – these are just ad hominems designed to draw attention away from the charlatans we should be focusing on: JZ Knight and the Ramtha organization. Never mind what my motives are – you should be examining whether this Ramtha story makes any sense or not. I think I showed pretty well it doesn’t. Over to you Debbie to show where I was wrong.

It is truly amazing the number of otherwise rational adults who watched WTB and didn't say WHAT THE F**K?

What the **** do we know?

A heck of a lot more than the sort of people who enjoy this nonsense.

seems to me a bunch of you would have been in in "the world HAS to be flat" gang...

what's wrong with asking questions? what's the crime in stepping outside your box and having a look at the other side, another way? i, too, cannot step outside my box and accept that ramtha is really being channeled... does this mean it can't be true? because i can't accept it as a possibility?
i can recognize my own shortcomings in regards to how i perceive and justify knowledge but, are you hearing her message? is there anything fundamentally wrong with what she has to say? does it really matter she's passing it off as science?

did gravity exist before newton made it a "law"?

step outside your box - maybe you don't understand as much as you think you do... maybe you do, but i doubt it, or i wouldn't be reading your work in a blog...

Boney:

Your piece is just another variation on the “have an open mind” fallacy.

There is nothing wrong with asking questions or stepping outside the box, etc. But after you have done that you still have to ask yourself if what you saw outside the box made any sense. By all means examine other ways, but examine them critically. And if they make no sense then you should reject them. If you refuse to reject things that make no sense then you are just as bad as people who will never examine new ideas at all. You are in freefall: you will believe in anything. Your way of thinking means you would have been in the “humors have to be real” gang. People with that attitude would still think disease was caused by humors, and would never have discovered germ theory. Germ theory was discovered by skeptical scientists who rejected bad ideas so that they could get to the good ones.

Does it really matter she's passing this stuff off as science? Yes – if it is not science of course it does! If the science is bullshit then there is no reason to suppose the conclusions she is drawing are true. So why present this bogus science? Obviously just to hoodwink the gullible into believing her brand of nonsense.

When you next step outside your box, try to think critically about what you see - maybe you don't understand as much as you think you do... maybe you do, but I doubt it, or I wouldn't be reading your work in comments in a blog...

The very nature of quantum physics is that it can't be understood. When you disclaim the opinions of the filmakers you are implying that you have a finite definition...that you have the answers.. is this true? Was there not one idea you found interesting or profound in the movie? It's so easy to point out the bad in things and so hard to see the good.

Art is difficult - criticism is easy...

Boney:

Re: The very nature of quantum physics is that it can't be understood.

Exactly. Then why did the film makers think they understood it? And why did they then think they could explain it? And why did they draw conclusions from something we both agree can’t be understood? That’s called “making things up”. Which is OK, but don’t expect any rational person to give it credence.

Re: When you disclaim the opinions of the filmakers you are implying that you have a finite definition...that you have the answers.. is this true?

I’m implying nothing of the kind. I never said anything even remotely like "I have the answers". But I do know there is no reason whatsoever to suppose the film makers claims are true. And as these were their claims, it is up to them to demonstrate they are true, not for me to provide an alternative. The burden of proof is upon person making the claim to back it up with evidence.

Re: Was there not one idea you found interesting or profound in the movie? It's so easy to point out the bad in things and so hard to see the good.

Not one. It was complete garbage.

Re: Art is difficult - criticism is easy...

Not if it had been factually based. It was easy to criticize it because it was crap.

so, i guess the lesson is, don't ever try...

don't open your mouth until all skeptics have left the room. don't ask questions until you have ALL the answers...

don't dream of flying until you have a blueprint for an airplane? COME ON!?!

how does anyhing ever move forward if you don't dream or inquire first? be clear. YOU think this movie is crap. like you said, you don't have the answers. the movie is clear that it doesn't have concrete answers. the statement you ridiculed, "live in the mystery", sums that up. to think they are stating this as concrete fact is absurd. they are presenting IDEAS.

i know you think it is a fallacy to have an open mind, but if you can't disprove their ideas, try having one of your own before insulting and ridiculing those who can accept there are things we simply can't understand... and who try to think in new ways...

given your arguments, i still think you would have fought long and hard to prove the world is flat. that space travel is absurd and impossible. that witches really lived in salem. YOU would have argued that humors cause disease. when they determined germs were the issue, it was because they approached the problem from a whole new direction, something you are clearly demonstrating you are incapable of... unless it has been predetermined, you don't want to hear about it. what a boring world!!!

NO NEW IDEAS! NO RADICAL THINKING! OUR SCIENTIFIC METHOD IS SO CONCRETE, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY,POSITIVELY NO WAY TO THINK ABOUT ANYTHING ANY OTHER WAY! I KNOW THIS!

STOP DREAMING! (if you can't prove it right now, it must be impossible)

STOP ASKING QUESTIONS! (unless you have ALL the answers before you ask them)

THE WORLD IS FLAT!!!

OOOF!

given your arguments, i still think you would have fought long and hard to prove the world is flat. that space travel is absurd and impossible. that witches really lived in salem. YOU would have argued that humors cause disease.

What a f*****g strawman. Stop using logical fallacies, man. It's irritating.

Being a long time reader, I can assure you Skeptico would do this regarding a flat earth: review the evidence, find out it's bullshit, declare it so. Just like he did this..."film".

Man, I've seen my share of trolls, and along comes "Boney".

so, i guess the lesson is, don't ever try...

don't open your mouth until all skeptics have left the room. don't ask questions until you have ALL the answers...

don't dream of flying until you have a blueprint for an airplane? COME ON!?!

Straw man. You can dream of airplanes. Just don't expect us to climb inside one until you've tested it.

how does anyhing ever move forward if you don't dream or inquire first?

It doesn't. But without skepticism to weed out the bad ideas, you're just flopping around uselessly. Maybe even backwards.

YOU think this movie is crap. like you said, you don't have the answers.

Lies aren't answers.

the movie is clear that it doesn't have concrete answers. the statement you ridiculed, "live in the mystery", sums that up. to think they are stating this as concrete fact is absurd. they are presenting IDEAS.

Very poorly thought-out ideas.

i know you think it is a fallacy to have an open mind,...

Fallacy/Propaganda technique: Straw man. Skeptics are very open-minded. We're willing to change our beliefs when presented evidence.

but if you can't disprove their ideas,

Fallacy/Propaganda technique: Shifting burden of proof.

try having one of your own before insulting and ridiculing those who can accept there are things we simply can't understand... and who try to think in new ways...

Fallacy/Propaganda technique: Straw man. Try understanding that we aren't against new ideas: We're in favor of testing ideas before they're plastered in a movie that seems to advocate throwing away medication. Try actually reading about skepticism from a skeptic, and not the propaganda sources you're parroting.

Additionally, "things we can't understand" is a defeatist attitude. Skepticism and science are about learning. The "New Age" is about making bold declarations about the universe and never testing them.

if comes from a "source" on skeptico, it's logic. if it's something you can't ,or won't, comprehend, it's a logical fallacy.

had i phrased it another way, you'd be explaining to me how if i listened to any new idea re: the world and its roundness, i'd believe anything anyone told me. and vice versa, re: the world and its flatness, i'd be weak minded for following the conventions of thinking for the time.

you can't have it both ways, rockstar. there are many things and phenomena in this world we (and, yes, even bloggers) can't comprehend. it doesn't mean there not true...

granted, i have trouble with the whole notion of ramtha, but simply because she can't prove it in ways i can see or understand, does that mean they aren't true? i'm not that pretentious to think that only things that WE can perceive is the extent of our reality. get over yourself. it's much, much bigger and much, much more complex than we'll ever understand. so, i see no problem in trying to see it different ways... even if they lead to some dead ends.

ironicaly, it sure does seem to scare a lot of people on this site though...

I'm suddenly reminded of an argument online about the Nintendo Revolution controller. For the non-gamers here, it looks more like a TV remote than a typical controller. I'm currently in the camp that thinks it's a bad idea.

One person complained about the naysayers, talking about how we were against innovation and such crud. Which completely dodges the point: I'm all for innovation, but that controller still doesn't look any better. Of course, since I can't live without Metroid and Zelda, I'll inevitably get a Revolution and end up using that controller. If it turns out to work just fine, I will change my belief, like any skeptic would.

if comes from a "source" on skeptico, it's logic. if it's something you can't ,or won't, comprehend, it's a logical fallacy.

Please be specific. Oh, and logical fallacies are very well defined. It should be easy to point one out.

had i phrased it another way, you'd be explaining to me how if i listened to any new idea re: the world and its roundness, i'd believe anything anyone told me. and vice versa, re: the world and its flatness, i'd be weak minded for following the conventions of thinking for the time.

Fallacy/Propaganda technique: Straw man. We're complaining because you listen to people who don't present evidence.

you can't have it both ways, rockstar. there are many things and phenomena in this world we (and, yes, even bloggers) can't comprehend. it doesn't mean there not true...

He's not having it both ways. There are things we understand, and things that we don't. There are also things that some people like to pretend we don't understand.

granted, i have trouble with the whole notion of ramtha, but simply because she can't prove it in ways i can see or understand, does that mean they aren't true? i'm not that pretentious to think that only things that WE can perceive is the extent of our reality. get over yourself. it's much, much bigger and much, much more complex than we'll ever understand. so, i see no problem in trying to see it different ways... even if they lead to some dead ends.

Skepticism and science are very good for finding things we can't easily perceive. They even help us come up with hypotheses to test. Ever heard of dark matter?

Skepticism is very self-correcting: If we're wrong, and something exists, despite thinking otherwise, it only takes one good example for us to change. The "New Age" people, however, will keep mulling around in their dead ends, unwilling to test to see if there's a wall.

"The "New Age" is about making bold declarations about the universe and never testing them."

Seems like a pretty bold declaration right there, bronzedog... well, if it suits YOUR argument, i guess bold declarations are okay? it seems to me you're just as much of a "strawman", but i'm not in pre-k so i'll skip returning a "troll" comment... (is it naptime, bronzedog? feeling cranky?)

and what of a society that has so many of its poeple on so much medication? maybe we should examine WHY this is, instead of throwing drugs at the problem.

soma, anyone?

Seems like a pretty bold declaration right there, bronzedog... well, if it suits YOUR argument, i guess bold declarations are okay? it seems to me you're just as much of a "strawman", but i'm not in pre-k so i'll skip returning a "troll" comment... (is it naptime, bronzedog? feeling cranky?)

Unlike all the "New Agers" I've encountered, I routinely test my bold declaration: I ask for evidence. Funnily enough, I never get any. Most just whine like you about us evil skeptics.

and what of a society that has so many of its poeple on so much medication? maybe we should examine WHY this is, instead of throwing drugs at the problem.

soma, anyone?

Some of those drugs work. In some cases, some of those problems are caused by nothing more than chemical imbalances. Of course, there are other causes. Drugs can sometimes help long enough to track down the real problems and solve them. At least science is studying the problems, rather than claiming solutions without evidence.

"You can dream of airplanes. Just don't expect us to climb inside one until you've tested it."

bronzedog, you can't even get to the point to climb into something until you have dreamed of its possibility.

take a chance!

OK Boney, I hate to pull this out, but you're an idiot.

what's wrong with asking questions? what's the crime in stepping outside your box and having a look at the other side, another way? i, too, cannot step outside my box and accept that Dr. Muck-Muck says colon cancer is really caused by invisible ass gnomes... does this mean it can't be true? because i can't accept it as a possibility?
i can recognize my own shortcomings in regards to how i perceive and justify knowledge but, are you hearing Dr. Muck-Muck's message? is there anything fundamentally wrong with what Dr. Muck-Muck has to say? does it really matter Dr. Muck-Muck's passing it off as science?

did gravity exist before newton made it a "law"?

Where do you draw the line in lunacy?

can't win the argument? call the other person an idiot! this is the type of fact skeptico can handle... ummm, i'm confused, maybe a bit bewildered... so i'll call you an idiot! or a troll! now that's a science you can believe in! name calling! nice one, shmuck.

get some social skills!

i'll step to your level... it seems that is all you can understand.

you're the ass gnome, rockstar. i can smell you from here. you're a pollop on the colon of life. by the way, get a life... idiot...

Oh dear. Boney blew a fuse.

Boney, your problem is either willful ignorance or poor reading comprehension skills: your points are either Straw Men (look it up) or points I have already answered. I’ll try one more time:

so, i guess the lesson is, don't ever try...

don't open your mouth until all skeptics have left the room. don't ask questions until you have ALL the answers...
don't dream of flying until you have a blueprint for an airplane? COME ON!?!

Lame straw man with martyr overtones. Get off the cross, someone else needs the wood.

how does anyhing ever move forward if you don't dream or inquire first? be clear.

It doesn’t. You have to dream, but (and this is the bit you’re missing), you then have to check the evidence to see if your dream might be false. People like you who insist dreams are true, despite evidence to the contrary, are the ones who prevent things from moving forward. The bad ideas have to be routed out to let the good ones flourish.

YOU think this movie is crap. like you said, you don't have the answers. the movie is clear that it doesn't have concrete answers. the statement you ridiculed, "live in the mystery", sums that up. to think they are stating this as concrete fact is absurd. they are presenting IDEAS.

Now you’re just being disingenuous. They tantalizingly float "live in the mystery", but then they explain what they think it means. Don’t act innocent, you know they present as fact that you can literally change your day by thinking about it. There are numerous examples in the film – I’m not going to repeat them all.

i know you think it is a fallacy to have an open mind,

Straw man again. Go back and read what I actually wrote. And them reply to what I actually wrote, not what you pretend I wrote because that pretend argument is easier to refute than my real one.

but if you can't disprove their ideas,

I don’t have to. Burden of proof fallacy. (Covered this too.) Although many of their ideas are demonstrably false.

try having one of your own

Cheap insult. Same to you. You clearly don’t have any ideas you didn’t get from this silly film.

before insulting and ridiculing those who can accept there are things we simply can't understand... and who try to think in new ways...

But we know they are wrong. They are taking just one interpretation of QM and (1) assume it is the correct one and (2) distort it to make it appear to mean what it absolutely does not. I covered this too. This is not open-minded. This is stubbornly insisting something is true when it is not.

given your arguments, i still think you would have fought long and hard to prove the world is flat. that space travel is absurd and impossible. that witches really lived in salem. YOU would have argued that humors cause disease. when they determined germs were the issue, it was because they approached the problem from a whole new direction, something you are clearly demonstrating you are incapable of... unless it has been predetermined, you don't want to hear about it. what a boring world!!!

Multiple straw men. Your way of thinking never rules anything out, which is why it never discovers what is real and what is not. Your way is a dead end.

This is the killer:

ironicaly, it sure does seem to scare a lot of people on this site though...

No, you are the one who is scared.

This is where we really get to see where you’re coming from. You were impressed by this film – you thought it was “amazing” didn’t you. Changed your life. And you now realize from this and other skeptical reviews that you’ve been taken in by a load of crap. You don’t want to admit that but your inability to actually refute any part of my review has left you scared. It's made you feel uncomfortable. Which is why we see the crazy content-free rants we’ve seen from you today. You have absolutely nothing except for “have an open mind”. Pathetic.

pathetic? again, brilliant discourse. very impressive... you'd think you were an actual journalist or something. sir, i disagree.... because your pathetic!

no, this movie didn't change my life. no, you and your blogger buddies do not scare me... IT'S JUST A MOVIE. read the posts... anytime anyone disagrees, you personally insult them... very, very professional... and effective...

is this not a content free rant, skeptico? (careful when you make accusations...)

"This is where we really get to see where you’re coming from. You were impressed by this film – you thought it was “amazing” didn’t you. Changed your life. And you now realize from this and other skeptical reviews that you’ve been taken in by a load of crap. You don’t want to admit that but your inability to actually refute any part of my review has left you scared. It's made you feel uncomfortable. Which is why we see the crazy content-free rants we’ve seen from you today. You have absolutely nothing except for “have an open mind".

OH NO, AN OPEN MIND... WHATEVER WILL I DO? THEY'VE CITED A TERM FROM THEIR LIST AND NOW I'M A STRAW MAN! OH NO! THEY KNOW I AM SO SCARED! THEY KNOW ALL!!!

Once again, Boney, you don't even understand the nature of our complaints.

We're open-minded. You are not. Just because we shoot down bad ideas doesn't mean we're incapable of dreaming. In fact, personal experience seems to suggest that skeptics make up the bulk of the sci-fi and fantasy target audience. I've got 50 D&D books.

Our problem isn't people who come up with new ideas: It's people who fail to do anything with them. The creators of the movie have failed to question, much less test their ideas. Scientists, on the other hand, come up with new ideas and test them almost immediately. Imagine if Copernicus, Galileo, and other early astronomers never looked up at the sky and declared that the Earth revolved around the sun: We wouldn't take them seriously at all. There'd be nothing wrong with calling them crackpots.

But they weren't crackpots: They looked up at the sky, carefully charting the movements of the planets and stars with astounding precision. They used that DATA as EVIDENCE to prove heliocentrism was the superior model. What separates a scientist from a crackpot is method: A scientist gathers data and does everything he can to prove his hypothesis false. If it survives all the rigors of inquiry, it's probably true.

"It's just a movie!"

And Crossing Over is "for entertainment purposes only." They seem to be going out of their way to make it look real.

Considering your consistent use of straw men, I think you might be deliberately, maliciously, and premeditatively lying about us. You're trying to make us look like the largely mythical hollywood pseudoskeptic. Tough luck. Anyone who honestly bothers reading what we've wrote should see that we're the open minded ones, and that you are the close-minded religious zealot who can't even begin to question his views. Skeptics, on the other hand, can and will question their convictions if presented with evidence.

you're the ass gnome, rockstar. i can smell you from here. you're a pollop on the colon of life. by the way, get a life... idiot...

Should I point out that I just took what you said and...nevermind. Just see here.

BTW - it's "polyp", not "pollop" Boner. Try again.

In fact, personal experience seems to suggest that skeptics make up the bulk of the sci-fi and fantasy target audience. I've got 50 D&D books.

BD: Did I ever tell you ya sound like one pretty cool dude?

Yay! I'm cool! And that's coming from a rock star! ;)

Slightly related: Read a very interesting wikipedia article on the fictional Minovsky particle from Mobile Suit Gundam.

I'm very much into dreaming up new things. As always, my complaint is people who dream but won't test those dreams against reality. That's just how things work: Come up with lots of ideas, and throw out the bad ones. The result will be a mass of good ideas. Skepticism is about pruning out the bad ideas. It's that [frell]ing simple, but newagers have to propagandize it into some mythical hollywood archetype that exists solely to be torn up the the Halloween special monster.

Reading this series of posts has been extremely entertaining, to say the least. My view on this is that science and mysticism (or religion, or faith, or metaphysics, or the occult... whatever you want to call it) are completely separate issues. Trying to mix the two muddies up the waters invariably. What you end up getting is bad science, hurt feelings, and a constant barrage of "I'm more open-minded than you are".

Its interesting that I agree with the skeptics about 100% of the time, and I actually believe in magic and mumbo-jumbo. I think trying to pass of magic as some sort of misunderstood science, or giving it the "quantum" moniker for some sort of half-assed legitimacy, is doing both a disservice. Mixing science in with philosophy or mysticism, by contrast, is likewise doing a disservice. The world of particle physics, mathematics and scientific discover is magical enough without adding lame pseudo-scientific malarky to it.

In the end it comes down to this: Science follows known laws which are generally understood by both the creators of the experiment and its participants, while mysticism is a matter of faith requiring belief. Proving that psychic and supernatural phenomena exist can probably never be done to the satisfaction of science's rigorous requirements, nor can it be disproven (though by the burden of proof clause, that isn't required). If you want to believe is mysticism, go ahead, lots of people do and live full, interesting and rich lives. Just don't try to paint it off as scientific.

Just my two cents.

Proving that psychic and supernatural phenomena exist can probably never be done to the satisfaction of science's rigorous requirements

All that is required is passing a double-blind control study. That's not exactly "rigorous". The problem isn't science's minimum standards: It's just that most people who believe in those things seem to have very low standards.

UR A F-ING RETARD, IF YOU WERE IN ANY WAY INTELLIGENT YOU WOULD REALIZE THAT THERE IS SCIENTIFIC PROOF BEHIND EVERYTHING IN THE MOVIE!!!! just because you can't accept the fact that things aren't as they seem doesn't mean you should make a half assed attempt to prove the theories wrong, i say half assed because you only mentioned a couple examples that you managed to find some reasons that you think they are bogus, when there are dozens of major things you didn't mention that are i guess correct, making your statement that it is a pseudoscience WRONG. anyone who thinks that the movie is bull is either too close minded to accept it or too stupid to understand the basics of it

Re: UR A F-ING RETARD,

Charming. Perhaps where you come from this counts as a valid argument but it won’t get you anywhere here.

Re: IF YOU WERE IN ANY WAY INTELLIGENT YOU WOULD REALIZE THAT THERE IS SCIENTIFIC PROOF BEHIND EVERYTHING IN THE MOVIE!!!!

First genius, move your finger to the “Caps Lock” key – you’ll probably find it on the left hand side of your keyboard – and press it ONCE. Mkay?

Second – please present your scientific proof for "everything" in the movie. Start with “you can literally alter your day by thinking about it”.

Re: just because you can't accept the fact that things aren't as they seem

Please point to where I said that all things are as they seem.

Re: doesn't mean you should make a half assed attempt to prove the theories wrong, i say half assed because you only mentioned a couple examples that you managed to find some reasons that you think they are bogus, when there are dozens of major things you didn't mention that are i guess correct, making your statement that it is a pseudoscience WRONG.

Please list these “dozens” of items I missed that you “guess” are correct, with evidence they are correct, that shows the movie is not pseudoscience.

Re: anyone who thinks that the movie is bull is either too close minded to accept it or too stupid to understand the basics of it

Anyone who thinks that the movie is not bull is either too closed minded to reject it or too stupid to understand the basics of why it is bull. So which are you?

And another appeal to alleged closemindedness on our part. No evidence presented. We're not close-minded: You're content-mute, Dovicka.

Why don't you try spending all that angry energy on devising constructive criticisms of Skeptico's criticisms, rather than play the old "close-minded" broken record.

It is interesting to see the reactionary responses to the film itself...

I personally believe as I choose to believe and have long since realized that everyones POV is a deeply personal thing that will always lose something in the translation when exposed to another individual..

I myself have drawn my own conclusions about the film and have researched the individuals that where involved to be able to have a base opinion developed for my own pleasure..

So rather then try to draw you to a point whereupon you (meaning the basic "net" world) can see from my eyes what I have and have not discovered of and about this film, I will simply leave this post with a comment about how much "reality" is being virtually formed from the comments placed within this Blog..

It would seem that a side effect of this debate over the film hs generated quite a sea of information to view and choose from.. such is the human condition...:)

I watched the film last night (well, about half of it). And, like most of you, was astounded at how...lame it was. Stunning? Exciting? What the...?

Then it occurred to me that I'm perceiving the wrong reality. I'd assumed this film was what it appeared to be. But of course it's not - it's a brilliant parody/mockumentary in the "Spinal Tap" mould.

Can't you just see them in the script meetings: "Then we'll get some supposed "scientist" to spout this new-agey/post-modern 'nothing's real' nonsense - straight. It'll be hysterical."

And as for JZ - she is just piss-yourself-funny. And of course the photographer is the victim of a cruel practical joke - someone had slipped some acid into her beta blockers for a laugh.

I do have to ask the people who think this film is enlightening/exciting/eye opening – have you seen The Matrix? You'll find that really cool.

Cheers,

David

...If reality is variable, how would you know it's variable? It could capriciously vary when you're trying to examine it. Can we set up a machine designed to produce a particular result, and then have a guy try to change the result by changing reality on a consistent basis? And give him a million dollars if he does?

James A., when you look at a particular DBT study, does its results vary over time, depending on what you want them to be?

This film ranks up there with the likes of Pat Robertson's 700 club. If you want to laugh as hard as I did when watching this crap go to http://www.cbn.com/ and click watch now.

On 10/15, bronzedog wrote: "I've got 50 D&D books."

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...

that says it all...

i can't believe i spent time discussing ANYTHING with someone sitting at home in their chainmail and cloak, concerned over their diminishing hit points...

So, boney makes an ad homenim... This contributes to the discussion... how?

Try using actual arguments, boney, rather than the same childish insults (ad homenims), lies about our positions (straw men), and cries of "You can't prove there isn't a rocket ship in my backyard!" (shifting burden of proof.)

If you want to prove your open-minded, try answering this question: What sort of evidence would it take for you to admit you're wrong?

For me, it'd take double-blind control experiments for most such things, plus a few independant replications. I can probably go in more detail for specific claims.

i can't believe i spent time discussing ANYTHING with someone sitting at home at their computer, not knowing how to spell a simple word like "polyp"...

I think Boney's insult also qualified as sort of a late "poisoning the well" fallacy:

"Don't listen to him because he's a GEEK!"

Well, that's all 'ol boney has left. Kinda like when I was "debating" a Xian at God is for Suckers. She said that evolution broke the laws of nature because different species of the same "kind" couldn't breed. I asked why differing allele structures break the laws of nature. Her comeback?

I'm not responding to your insults.

Riiiight...nothin' left, eh?

I wonder how Boney's going to dismiss my arguments next time: Is he going to complain about my preference for brunettes? My liking for Dr Pepper? Or maybe because I prefer blues and greens over red?

Since I'm a heterosexual white male, at least he can't use my sexual preference, race, or gender against me... or can he?

Poisoning the well is a logical fallacy and propaganda technique that knows no bounds.

Oh, well. I've had my fun pointing out and even highlighting Boney's cheating methods, so back on topic:

Boney: Be sure to address my earlier question: What would it take for you to admit you're wrong?

I've already said a quick piece on what it'd take for me to do that, so I've painted a bullseye on my belief system's weak point. Be sure you do the same.

I"m from South Africa so only saw this movie recently. At first I was just shocked at how corny it was. What worries me is that I don't know much about Science so was not aware of the fact that what they were saying is crap. I could see that the people interviewed were into new age crap but didn't know that the science was also dodgy. Luckily I know someone who is into ramtha so I knew what it was about and that it's crazy. I only truly realised how dogy this movie is when I saw JZ Knight at the end. What worries me is that if I had not known about ramtha I might have thought that the science is true and they just drew dodgy conclusions from it.

bronzedog wrote: "So, boney makes an ad homenim... This contributes to the discussion... how?"

Did you mean "ad hominem"? (get that, rockstar?)

Please, enlighten me as to how these comments contributed to the discussion...

Rockstar wrote: "I hate to pull this out, but you're an idiot."
or
bronzedog wrote: "Man, I've seen my share of trolls, and along comes "Boney"."

This site should be called "hypocritico"

Maybe you should heed the words of your dungeon master... skeptico wrote: "Perhaps where you come from this counts as a valid argument but it won’t get you anywhere here."


An insult in addition to valid arguments isn't an ad hominem. Stop complaining about them and address the body of our comments.

How about this, Boney: You pick out what you think is your best argument, and we'll address it.

And then you address this key question which will tell us whether or not you're really worth debating: What would it take for you to admit you're wrong?

*deep breath*

what's wrong with asking questions? what's the crime in stepping outside your box and having a look at the other side, another way? i, too, cannot step outside my box and accept that Dr. Muck-Muck says colon cancer is really caused by invisible ass gnomes... does this mean it can't be true? because i can't accept it as a possibility?
i can recognize my own shortcomings in regards to how i perceive and justify knowledge but, are you hearing Dr. Muck-Muck's message? is there anything fundamentally wrong with what Dr. Muck-Muck has to say? does it really matter Dr. Muck-Muck's passing it off as science?

did gravity exist before newton made it a "law"?

When I wrote that boney, it was to show how ridiculous your previous post was. A little rhetorical device I learned from Skeptico. Since you need it spelled out for you, here we go:

I took what you said and changed a few words to show how vaccuous you comment was.

i can't believe i spent time discussing ANYTHING with someone sitting at home at their computer, not knowing how to spell a simple word like "polyp"...

Since you have trouble understanding:

When I wrote that boney, it was to show how ridiculous your previous post was. A little rhetorical device I learned from Skeptico. Since you need it spelled out for you, here we go:

I took what you said and changed a few words to show how vaccuous you comment was.

Did you mean "ad hominem"? (get that, rockstar?)

Apparently you don't know what an ad hominem is. It means attacking a person and not their argument as a way of defending your position. That's what you do. I simply point out you flaws and call 'em like I see 'em. Now do what BD says moron - address our points.

Boney:

This is not your private forum; it was not set up to allow you to make stupid comments or generally behave like a 12 year old. Stop being a jerk: either answer the direct questions, post a substantive claim about this film backed with evidence, or don’t post here again.

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