« “Intelligent Design” cannot be displayed | Main | Debating IDiots »

October 19, 2005

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ramen, brotha!

Skeptico:

That pithy response may be regurgitated by your favorite blogging Rockstar...

Very well put.

Skeptico missed again.
It is indeed a valid argument that someone is "too close-minded" because that means that he will dismiss even valid argumentation and evidence if it contradicts his believes.
Skeptico and his "skeptical" friends do everything in their power to expose ID as a
scientific sounding mask of God believers.
As God is for them obviously a thing no rational men can believe in, skeptics want to point out that the faith in God is not supported by a lack of good counterarguments; it means that persons are
ignoring the arguments. You cannot discuss with them. The arguments are there, but they
are willfully ignored. So someone who do
ignore arguments can be called "too close-
minded."
Unfortunately Skeptico gave himself an example that he is really close-minded; After putting blind trust in an article I told him that a crystall ball is not able
to ignite something in the mentioned distance due to focal length. Instead of
thinking about it he fully trusts the article which he otherwise would have dismissed as "anecdotal evidence".
Anyway, he is talking about "fantasy", "fantastic story", "claims that make no sense","good ideas" and "bad ideas". He is
giving them adjectives but what on earth *are* the criteria to divide something in "fantastic", "senseless" or "good/bad" ?
If there were ways to identify ideas into "good" or "bad", good ideas could not be
ignored for centuries while bad ideas survive millenia.
Of all things Skeptico could use he took germ theory as example for skeptical scientists. Ignoramus. Ignaz Semmelweis was
totally ignored even after he wrote several
articles in 1847/1848 and his friend Skoda
hold a speech in the Academy of Science in Vienna. Pasteur and Koch were attacked by
Virchow, Roux, Pidou and Liebig. The last one even published a vulgar satire "Die
Lösung des Geheimnisses der alkoholischen
Gärung" (The solution of the alcoholic
fermentation secret). Most of the scientists in the 19th century considered "germs" as a bad or ridiculous idea.

TSK:

I will ignore most of that barely comprehensible rant. I will just comment on this:

Re: Of all things Skeptico could use he took germ theory as example for skeptical scientists. Ignoramus. Ignaz Semmelweis was totally ignored even after he wrote several articles in 1847/1848 and his friend Skoda hold a speech in the Academy of Science in Vienna. Pasteur and Koch were attacked by Virchow, Roux, Pidou and Liebig. The last one even published a vulgar satire "Die Lösung des Geheimnisses der alkoholischen Gärung" (The solution of the alcoholic fermentation secret). Most of the scientists in the 19th century considered "germs" as a bad or ridiculous idea.

Ignoramus yourself. Yes, germ theory was not accepted immediately. But it was eventually. And do you know why? Because the evidence eventually convinced everyone. Not because of dopey calls to be “open minded”. “Open minded” “believe anything” types would never have discovered germ theory. That was the point of the example. Sorry you couldn’t figure that out for yourself.

And the point flies right over TSK's head.

Oh, since you're talking about arguments in favor of God, perhaps you'd like to present some? I've never heard a cogent theist argument, much less a valid one.

TSK blustered: The arguments are there, but they
are willfully ignored.

Okay, TSK. Present the arguments and evdence for God/ID and I will evaluate--not ignore--them. (Which, by the way, is exactly what real biologists have been doing in response to the claims of the ID crowd. Seems you've been doing some willful ignoring yourself. Go here, since you're so open-minded: https://www.pandasthumb.org/ )

If I refute your arguments with superior arguments and evidence, will you accept my refutation, or continue to call me "close-minded" (sic)?

Martin,

you have misunderstood me. I am not an ID proponent, I fully accept evolution. I am even
not interested in the ID debate since where I live we haven't much christian
fundamentalists.
It was an example to show that some people
are not convinceable even by valid arguments. And I think you have enough experience with some ID proponents to admit that these people exist. But skeptics are as human as ID proponents and there are some skeptics like Skeptico who on the other side ignore arguments if they disturb their worldview. So his article can be summarized
as:
Self-praise stinks,
friends praise hinks,
the stranger's is sincere,
and may last for a year.

More nonsense. We can't ignore valid arguments. Please present some on any topic.

It was an example to show that some people
are not convinceable even by valid arguments. And I think you have enough experience with some ID proponents to admit that these people exist.

Blather blather, robble robble!

As a proponent of evolution you claim IDiots have valid arguments!? Show me one of their arguments, TSK, and I will show you why it's bullshit. Not because I ignore or dismiss it, but because I reviewed the "evidence" and proved it wrong.

No, I have not claimed that ID proponents have valid arguments, in fact I said that *they* (the ID proponents) ignore valid arguments.
Skeptico and others try to point out that the idea of ID is based on faith and therefore not reachable by rational argumentation; the cited text means that some *ID proponents* are not convinceable.
My critical tone of Skeptico & Co. may have brought you on the wrong track. But if I don't mean ID proponents the following sentence

But skeptics are as human as ID proponents and there are some skeptics like Skeptico who on the other side ignore arguments if they disturb their worldview.

makes no sense.

makes no sense.

Might be the only thing you've ever said I agree with, but not in the context you've used...

Okay, TSK, I see what you're saying. And I hope you can see how the wording of your original comment made me think you were coming from the position of being on the pro-paranormal, ID, true-believer side.

As for your opinion of Skeptico, I've never seen any indication from reading his blog for months that he's the kind of skeptic you think he is. Those kinds of skeptics exist, but Skeptico isn't one of them and his post simply points out the fallacies present in believers whose only comeback to people skeptical of their beliefs is "you have a closed mind." I thought Skeptico's post made an excellent point that a valid open-minded approach to any claim would be one that rigorously applied evidence and sought to weed out bad ideas from good. If you think this is a misguided view, or if you don't really think this is the view Skeptico espouses, I'd be interested to hear what your position actually is.

After rereading my first comment: Yes, I have used too much "You","them","someone", so it can be easily misunderstood. My fault.
Now, the reason I am absolutely not convinced
that Skeptico is open-minded can be read here:
https://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/03/loyd_auerback_a.html

It also explains why I don't waste my time discussing with BronzeDog and Rockstar.

Can you be more specific, possibly quoting from that comment list? All I see upon initial inspection is you committing fallacies and Skeptico calling you on them, and explaining why your arguments are fallacious. Of course, there are a few jabs at you, but those don't invalidate his invalidation of your arguments.

All I'm doing is asking for evidence of your claims.

It also explains why I don't waste my time discussing with BronzeDog and Rockstar.

Is that because I exposed the fact that your Argument to Authority doesn't mean dick, or because I used that little rhetorical device to show you are a "vacuous poseur"? Here's what I think you meant:

I spouted a bunch of bullshit and got called out on it. I'm taking my ball and going home!

Oh, yeah, I remember that part, now. Personally, I hate argument from authority in non-crunch situation, even if the authority is "legitimate". When you have time to frame your arguments, the evidence should do the talking, not the majikul letters after your name and your key to the ivory tower.

I remember the Auerback post. Personally, I thought Auerback sounded like a fool. And in the comments thread, I simply think Skeptico out-argued you. Sorry, but I call 'em like I see 'em. His tone may be brusque, but that isn't a sign of a skeptic's closed-mindedness so much as his frustration in having to deal with poorly expressed arguments. I get that way myself sometimes.

There is another problem that excessive open-mindedness can bring, it is not enough to simply not be so open minded that your brains fall out, it is eqully important to have adequate bullshit deflectors in place so that the unscrupulous don't just fill your wide open mind with garbage.

But why? The acronym GIGO leaps to mind. (Garbage In Garbage Out)

Simply put, the quality of information that you can pull out of any information system is directly related to the quality of information that you allow in.

ID is both not-science and nonsense, and goddidit is not an arguement. These are adequate reasons to dismiss ID as an ill concieved notion without first accepting it uncritically.

Cheers,

Naked Ape

That's another way of puting it.

If you know what logical fallacies are, you can legitimately shoot down useless arguments. ID, for example, relies heavily on argument from ignorance: We don't know how this could have arisen naturally, therefore goddidit.

Compare: We don't know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried, therefore he is buried on Mars.

Oh, Naked Ape: Do you happen to be related to Badly Shaved Monkey on the JREF Forums? ;)

Thanks for the answer.
I know that it is much to read and English is not my mother language, but I wonder, if you really read it, why did you after all wrote the name wrong ? (It is "Auerbach", not "Auerback"). So, sorry for my doubt, but can you tell me in the Auerbach comment section (here isn't the right place) on a example where exactly Skeptico "out-argued" me ? You needn't to do it if you find the whole theme boring but then I would expect a more neutral position.

Here's one point I feel like going over for some reason:

TSK: Loyd Auerbach said in his article:
----------------------------
In the name of Science, many raise the
issue of repeatability. If someone beat Randi's Challenge once, how does this meet the criteria of repeatability? What does this prove?

Skeptico: 1) Yes Auerbach mentioned repeatability, and other reasons why a “success” wouldn’t prove anything. If you read my post you’ll see I answered Auerbach’s question for him. The point is though, it is an irrelevant question, a point you apparently failed to grasp.

(Here, Skeptico is hinting at what should be obvious about the nature of science: It doesn't prove anything. Successes, however, would falsify the null hypothesis that there is no paranormal. For the preliminary JREF test, p<.0001, and for the formal test, p<.0000001. Those p values are the chances someone could pass by dumb luck (assuming they don't skillfully cheat their way through). We wouldn't be certain that the paranormal exists, but we would have more confidence. Replications of the test would make dumb luck less and less likely as an explanation.

Suspicions of cheating would probably occur, but the people with those suspicions would need to point out a flaw in the protocol.

If they find a legitimate criticism, the experiments should be replicated with tighter controls to compensate for the slip-up.)

TSK: And it is not irrelevant at all. The thing Auerbach wants to point out is not only if psi really exist, but under what circum-stances skeptics will change their mind.

(And there, Auerbach commits a straw man fallacy that should be obvious.)

Well, my uncle is a badly shaved monkey, but I don't think he posts on JREF. ;)

Cheers,

Naked Ape

TSK:
Why did I misspell Auerbach's name? Because I am (get ready for a shock) NOT INFALLIBLE! (Gasp!)

Anyway, here is an example of where I think you were out-argued by Skeptico. It's that you misunderstood Skeptico's original criticisms of Auerbach. In your first post to the comments section, you accuse Skeptico of missing the point in that he was essentially saying the same thing Auerbach was saying, that one person winning Randi's challenge wouldn't alone prove psychic powers were real. But you then went on to claim Randi's challenge is no different or better than a crank's challenge to real scientists to prove his crazy woo-woo theories false (like Kent Hovind), and thus, by implication, Randi is himself just another crank.

Skeptico promptly pointed out the distinction that you failed to grasp: "Randi does not have a theory that he wants proven false; he simply invites others to test their theories. The fact that claimants either (a) fail or (b) refuse to be tested because they know they would fail, falsifies their claims." Okay, you might think it was rude for Skeptico go on and call you an idiot, but ah-ha, note that YOU threw the first punch: "Why do you make sniding and insulting remarks for a 'debunking' that is EXACTLY
the same that AUERBACH said ?! Who is now the 'idiot'?"

Skeptico 1, TSK 0.

Also, in condemning Skeptico's snideness towards Auerbach, you clearly had nothing to say about Auerbach's snide and logically fallacious method of argumentation, which entailed the lame use of a straw-man skeptic.

For the record, Skeptico also argued you under the table on this page. You: "Of all things Skeptico could use he took germ theory as example for skeptical scientists. Ignoramus.... Most of the scientists in the 19th century considered 'germs' as a bad or ridiculous idea." Skeptico: "Yes, germ theory was not accepted immediately. But it was eventually. And do you know why? Because the evidence eventually convinced everyone. Not because of dopey calls to be 'open minded'. 'Open minded' 'believe anything' types would never have discovered germ theory." Touchdown, Skeptico. (Notice also in the above, you again started with the name-calling.)

So, now that I've answered your question, please answer mine, which I will repeast here (further dodging will be called out): Skeptico's post made an excellent point that a valid open-minded approach to any claim would be one that rigorously applied evidence and sought to weed out bad ideas from good. If you think this is a misguided view, or if you don't really think this is the view Skeptico espouses, I'd be interested to hear what your position actually is.

Martin:

Re: Auerbach or Auerback

The Auerbach article I cited in my piece was authored by (and I quote) Loyd Auerback. So perhaps you should ask TSK if he really read it.

Yo Skeptico:

If you'll notice on that page, Auerbach/k's byline spells his name with a "k", then his bio right underneath spells it with an "h".

So does this guy even know how to spell his OWN name?

LOL!

To be fair I think the error may be Victor Zammit’s – it’s published on his site. But then, Zammit isn’t exactly known for his truth or accuracy.

Yes, Skeptico, but he'll give you a million dollars if you can prove he's not...

: Why did I misspell Auerbach's name?
: Because I am (get ready for a shock) NOT
: INFALLIBLE! (Gasp!)

Martin,
noone of us is infallible. You must understand that I cannot read your mind, so your impresson depends on that what I read.
My fault is that I normally talk and write
too much; I am always afraid that I missed
something important.

: But you then went on to claim Randi's
: challenge is no different or better than
: a crank's challenge to real scientists to
: prove his crazy woo-woo theories false
: (like Kent Hovind), and thus, by
: implication, Randi is himself just another
: crank.

Wrong.
Blue whales have fins.
Dolphins have fins.
So blue whales are dolphins.

Sharing attributes is not a sign of identity, so similarities between Randis challenge and a crackpot challenge says absolutely nothing about Randis status.
What I really want to say: Randis challenge and a crackpot challenge share vital
similarities; vital because they influence
the basic characteristics of a test: fairness, objectivity and reliability.
a) Money as honeypot and offering it to
*all* contenders.
The worst problem; greed is universal, so
your contenders will be mostly greedy and
lunatic. That will slow down the testing
progress immensely to filter them out and
worse, the sheer mass forces Randi to set
the barrier high.
b) Ignoring mainstream science.
That is not by default a bad thing if you
are simply interested in exposing frauds.
Here is the second problem with offering
the price to all contenders: Each
contender will have a different
challenge, so the data gained is useless
for scientific progress; it lacks
constancy. Moreover, Randi ignores
totally the current methods of scientific
research to evaluate if psi exists.
c) Randi/Crackpot define the rules.
If you think the challenge rules are
unfair, your problem.
d) Rule-bending.
Randi bend his rules if he is in the
right mood. He offered Jasmuheen the
challenge, but his own rules explicitly
forbids such contenders who claimed to
withhold food !

: Skeptico promptly pointed out the
: distinction that you failed to grasp:
: "Randi does not have a theory that he
: wants proven false;

Wrong.
His theory is the current scientific
theory: That there are no forces or information transfers which cannot be understand by the current science.

: he simply invites others to test their
: theories.

Wrong.
Randi himself stated in the JREF rules
that he is not interested in theories.

: The fact that claimants either (a) fail or
: (b) refuse to be tested because they know
: they would fail, falsifies their claims."

If John and Mary were in the room while Jack
is away and Jack comes back to see that is
watch is stolen, it is a correct implication
to say.

The thief must have been in the room.
Jack was in the room.
Therefore Jack was the thief.

If that is not a correct implication, Skepticos sentence is wrong.

etc. etc.

Sorry, Martin, I am skeptical that it makes
any sense to continue. I see simply no common viewpoints to come to a agreement and
I have the (probably unfair) impression that you simply regurgitate Skeptico. On the other hand, I owe you answers which I don't
give, so I admit that you have the upper hand in this discussion.

Regards,
TSK

TSK’s comments below in bold.

My fault is that I normally talk and write
too much

For once, TSK writes something we can all agree with.

What I really want to say: Randis challenge and a crackpot challenge share vital
similarities; vital because they influence
the basic characteristics of a test: fairness, objectivity and reliability.
a) Money as honeypot and offering it to
*all* contenders.
The worst problem; greed is universal, so
your contenders will be mostly greedy and
lunatic. That will slow down the testing
progress immensely to filter them out and
worse, the sheer mass forces Randi to set
the barrier high.

It provides a motivation to take part. If there was no money offered you would say, “Why should anyone take Randi’s test?” It doesn’t prevent anyone from taking part but provides motivation for anyone with special powers to do so. Doesn’t invalidate the test at all. Just lame.

b) Ignoring mainstream science.
That is not by default a bad thing if you
are simply interested in exposing frauds.
Here is the second problem with offering
the price to all contenders: Each
contender will have a different
challenge, so the data gained is useless
for scientific progress; it lacks
constancy.

Of course they are all different – a dowser has a different test from a spoon-bender. If the tests were all the same you would complain that that wasn’t fair.

Moreover, Randi ignores
totally the current methods of scientific
research to evaluate if psi exists.

Please justify this. What “methods” is he ignoring?

c) Randi/Crackpot define the rules.
If you think the challenge rules are
unfair, your problem.

Both sides have to agree to the rules. I suppose you would prefer it if the challenger made up all the rules?

d) Rule-bending.
Randi bend his rules if he is in the
right mood. He offered Jasmuheen the
challenge, but his own rules explicitly
forbids such contenders who claimed to
withhold food !

That’s not rule bending. Don’t be lame.

: Skeptico promptly pointed out the
: distinction that you failed to grasp:
: "Randi does not have a theory that he
: wants proven false;

Wrong.
His theory is the current scientific
theory: That there are no forces or information transfers which cannot be understand by the current science.

Wrong – he is just testing claimants to see if they can do what they claim. Randi makes no claims here.

: he simply invites others to test their
: theories.

Wrong.
Randi himself stated in the JREF rules
that he is not interested in theories.

Randi is testing claimants to see if they can do what they claim. What Randi means is that he is not interested in “theories” regarding how the claimants supposedly do what they claim to be able to do, just if they can do it.

: The fact that claimants either (a) fail or
: (b) refuse to be tested because they know
: they would fail, falsifies their claims."

If John and Mary were in the room while Jack
is away and Jack comes back to see that is
watch is stolen, it is a correct implication
to say.

The thief must have been in the room.
Jack was in the room.
Therefore Jack was the thief.

No matter how many times I read this, it still makes no sense. I can only conclude it is a false analogy. It just makes no sense the way you have written it – total non sequitur.

Sorry, Martin, I am skeptical that it makes
any sense to continue. I see simply no common viewpoints to come to a agreement and
I have the (probably unfair) impression that you simply regurgitate Skeptico.

Translation – I can’t defeat your arguments so I will insult you instead.

On the other hand, I owe you answers which I don't
give, so I admit that you have the upper hand in this discussion.

Wow – that’s two things you’ve written we can all agree with.

TSK, I think you just need to be more open minded with regards to Randi’s challenge.

Pointless obscenity adding nothing to the conversation deleted by Skeptico.

This is to the anonymous poster at ip 65.166.71.10 – add something to the conversation or go away.

How much does anyone want to bet the foul-mouthed anonymous poster considers exposing the truth is a waste of time?

Besides, he spent time out of his life to type a post with zero intellectual content, rather than give us evidence of whatever he supports. Probably so that he can waste his life in a fantasy world, rather than learn more about the real one.

Yes Bronze Dog, yet again the opponents of critical thinking expose their lack of any rational arguments.

Now the thread has degenerated to mindless obscenities from idiots, it is time to close it to comments. Sorry to anyone else who might have had something to contribute.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search site