« Casey Luskin's Junk Logic | Main | I Claim My Government Cash »

March 26, 2009

Comments

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

No, I am the one who is not sure of FS is a science (that is why I called it the art and science of FS), you are the one who is 100% sure FS is not a science.

Can you give me some evidence of that for each definition of science being used?


I already explained why it isn’t science.  You are the one claiming FS is at least part science – still waiting for that evidence.

It takes some nerve to write evidence free post after evidence free post, which we follow with continues requests for evidence, that are followed by more evidence free posts, and then demand evidence from others.

That is very funny, us Aussie do have a sense of humour (and wisdom). :-)


Can somebody help?

On a MacBook, which one is the delete key?

Ummm... there isn't a key labeled delete? Generally, keys are labeled, in my experience.

Evidence or GTFO dammit Howard! If you do not present evidence, NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THIS DISCUSSION. If you do not present evidence, this discussion is POINTLESS.

Hey I'm a psychic!

Just as I predicted!

Around and around it goes

Mr. Choy is either incredibly misguided or an exceptional Poe.

I lean to the former

Regardless, a stunning example of the dialogue that results when scientificy claims, like FS, are questioned

And by dialogue, I mean a one sided conversation where:

a claim is made; questions are asked and or contrary evidence is provided; these are ignored; the claim is restated in another way; the same questions and or contrary evidence is provided; this is again ignored; the claim is made in yet another way;...n

Interestingly, people that "think" like this want the seal of approval of science and also run screaming from the process especially when it shows their favourite thing to be the figment of the imagination.

A former co-worker use to claim to be a scientist and then would selectively apply the method

Beautiful architecture has physics behind it

And while Fung Shway can be "like" architecture or any other field of science, none of them support the ancient Chinese bedtime story promoted here.

For some strange reason, faith and belief in these lies makes people feel better about themselves in their personal universe

All in all, a rather egocentric narcissistic universe they inhabit

The deluderatti can have it

It's surprising how many woo's actually describe themselves as "scientist" on their websites and promo material. It's usually something like "shaman, trance healer, scientist, reiki master..."

As is obvious from the above, they seem to think "science" can be used to refer to anything that mentions "paradigm" or "quantum", or to any vaguely technical sounding jargon.

Terms like "falsifiable" or "evidence" have, by some strange coincidence, never quite filtered through to any of them.

Ok Howard, you're just getting more and more irritating now.

Going back to where we started may not be in the same plane of understanding and going somewhere for somewhere sake may get us lost, so may be another approach is not to say there is only just one way of thinking but in certain situations, circular thinking may even be better than linear.

What, precisely, do you mean by 'plane of understanding'?

Going somewhere with guidance (ie critical thinking and the scientific method) is not going to get us lost except on a few rare occasions, and once again, with the same guidance we will find our way back.

Circular thinking is for fools - it goes nowhere, proves nothing and never takes us anywhere new. Circular thinking is never a good mode of thought. Unless you think going back to the start and going over the same ground again, only ever going back to where you started, is a good way to find something new. Apparently, you do. Which explains a lot, and really makes any further conversation with you utterly pointless.

Lets just be absolutely clear why - circular reasoning, or begging the question, starts with its conclusion and uses the conclusion as part of the evidence for the conclusion. It is useless. People who apply circular reasoning stop looking for evidence at the start of the thought process, people who use 'linear' reasoning as you call it never stop looking, we're always going somewhere. You're just going where you've already been and seeing nothing new.

On earth, when we travel in a straight line we, get back to where we started

That is, as Skeptico pointed out, a shit analogy.

"Chinese" thinking is different to "western" thinking, we prefer to use correlation instead of logic because the concern is always with the human being, some some abstract concepts that a "westerner" has to get to out there.

This is, quite simply, bullshit. You do know there are Chinese scientists, don't you? You do know they use the scientific method, don't you? You do know that 'western' science (in particular the scientific method) started in Greece and the Islamic world, don't you?

There is no 'western' science - it is all just science. The scientific method is not a mode of thought restricted to a particular culture, and to claim that certain thought processes are restricted to culture is just nonsense. To say that the Chinese are more concerned with the human being than 'westerners' is also demonstrably ridiculous.

And for crying out loud, what the hell does 'correlated thinking' even mean? Are you saying the Chinese don't use logic? Even Chinese scientists?

The definition you gave "new age" seems to me like anything that is not intellectually vigorous enough for you...

Your point is? More accurate though would be to say that 'new age' is not intellectually rigorous, but not everything that is not intellectually rigorous is new age. Something can be intellectually vigorous and still be bull shit.

but is intellectual truth the only truth?

Where did I say it was? Where did I even say there was such a thing as intellectual truth? What certainly isn't truth is made up nonsense with little to no supporting evidence which relies on faulty logic and unwarranted assumptions, and whose proof relies on circular reasoning.

There is also emotional truth and being irrational is also part of being human.

The irrational nature of humanity has nothing to do with the nature of a physical claim. This is completely irrelevant to whether or not Feng Shui is a concept with actual tangible results that can be replicated and quantified. It is a good admission of the probable origins of Feng Shui and its supporting concepts, and the emotional investment of its believers however.

Perhaps the appropriate guideline is not to go to the extreme of these two complementary opposites but find a balance and a harmony in between.

More relativist bullshit. As has been pointed out, when faced with two extreme positions the best result is most certainly not always the middle ground. Some ideas really are stupid. Some ideas really are dangerous. Compromising on them is not beneficial just because people cherish them.

The appropriate guideline when faced with two opposed claims is to evaluate those claims on their evidence and base conclusions so, whether people like the conclusion or not.

Who is to be the judge of this harmony and balance? For the "Chinese" it is the human well being and for the "westerner" it is the Absolute Truth.

Complete and utter bollocks. Where do any 'westerners' say that? Your racism is really starting to creep in Howard. You want concern for human well being? Try here. Ask Tibetans how much the Chinese are concerned about human well being. Your smug sense of superiority is really starting to wear thin. Your repeated attacks on 'westerners' are starting to piss me off.

So why not have a jury instead of one judge?

We do. They're called scientists.

I can see where you guys come from and the world needs guys like you, but there is no need to be too extreme throw the baby (that is anything you don't quite understand or accept) out with the bath water.

As King of Ferrets pointed out, you haven't shown there even is a baby yet. All you have done is claim that there must be a baby because there is a baby bath with water in it.

Why can't the new agers and the skeptics co-habit together, you never know, some of them may fall in love and have babies together and wash themself in the same water called Life.

Ah yes, because skeptics must lead such miserable unfulfilled lives. You really are starting to irritate.

For example, we observe the yin yang relationship between the mountains and the water courses, we look at the movements of the heavenly bodies and human comfort and human needs, then came up with the Siling Model and the Mingtang concept in FS to function as a checklist for site selection.

At last, some claims we can examine. What is the relationship between the mountains and the water courses and how is it applied to Feng Shui, and with what reproducible and consistent results? What do the heavenly bodies have to do with human comfort and human needs in relation to Feng Shui? What are the reproducible and consistent results?

What is the evidence for this?

The Siling model and the Mingtang concept have been tested for hundreds of years and we still use them to a high degree of success today.

Tested under what conditions and by whom? Practitioners and believers? People invested in the belief you mean?

I think that part of FS fits in quite well with western science as we know it today.

No it doesn't. The fact that you think it does explains why you think Feng Shui is part science.

Contrary to your believe and understanding, we are also interested in the pursue of knowledge but may not do it in the exactly the ways you are familiar with, but there are similarities and some of them are suitable to be called "scientific".

Oh sure, because Chinese scientists don't use the scientific model at all ever. No sir. But go on, explain how 'western' science only originated in the west and how only westerners use it. And those pesky Japanese of course. And Indians. And Koreans. And Arabs.

But if you think there is a monopoly to your science,

No Howard, you don't understand at all. WE do not think there is a monopoly on science. YOU are the one who calls it 'western' science. YOU are the one who thinks there is a monopoly on it. WE just think, and can demonstrate, that Feng Shui is not scientific, and neither are its underlying principles. If ANY part of Feng Shui were scientific it could be tested by science - and science is not a cultural construct. Science is not reliant on where its practitioners are born.

There is no such thing as western science. There is only science.

We are in fact fighting over nothing

Nonsense. We are, in fact, fighting over everything.

the misunderstanding came about because you guys don't know anything about FS nor the Chinese culture,

An assumption on your part for which you have no evidence other than your own prejudices and bias. You don't like what we say, so you assumed that we didn't know anything.

all you are judging on is critical thinking and you are doing a pretty sloppy job of that, because you don't have the neccessary information to be critical.

In your opinion. And quite frankly, that's not worth much at the moment.

I have news for you, the baby does exist but you refused to see it.

No Howard. The baby does not exist but you think it does because you concluded that whenever there is a baby bath and water, there must be a baby. Guess what though? In order for you to claim there is a baby you have to show some physical evidence that there is one. Like, you know, the baby. The only thing you have done in this discussion is say:

"There is a baby and you can't see it because you are from there and I'm from here. But trust me, there is a baby because I've seen babies. You just can't see babies like I do. And there have been babies for thousands of years, which proves there is a baby here."

You are living, breathing and dying in FS.

More circles Howard.

One of the FS hypothesis (the Siling model) is a three sided enclosure facing the warm sun is more conducive to human comfort and plant growth

Why just three sides? What was done to show it has to be three sides? Have more sides ever been tried? Less? With what effect? How, exactly, does thinking that warm sun improves human comfort and plant growth amount to anything more than biology and common sense? What is the evidence to show that this effect is only down to Feng Shui principles?

Absolute truth cannot be spoken, nor can it be investigated.

Which, as usual with you, doesn't answer the question that was asked.

Your failure to deal directly with most of our questions and requests is very telling Howard. And it is getting very old.

So why not have a jury instead of one judge?

We do. They're called scientists.

Apparently Howard has never heard of peer review.

Incidentally, if y'all are tired of the posts all being in italics, I discovered something. Instead of clicking on a link to the most recent comment, click on the link to this post. Then at the bottom, click the "Show more comments" link. All the comments that are displayed after you click that won't have the italics problem.

I'm getting sick of this guy's racism.

Through this exercise I have got to know what Skeptics are like.

All these heated discussions with me boiled down to whether FS is part science and part art and the outcome, as I understand it so far, is FS is neither a science nor an art, but it uses some of the elements from both categories.

I really don't think FS is an art, because one cannot just do what one pleases and not follow the laws of nature to have a safe and comfortable building.

Will this conclusion be acceptable to the Skeptics?

No, you're completely wrong. FS has NO scientific elements at all. None. Nada. Zip. Zero. Jack. The fact that you apparently can't provide the evidence and are reduced to just saying "people believed it for a long time!" to try to prove it shows that. Art? Sure. But having a safe and comfortable building doesn't appear to have anything to do with FS, and you haven't provided any evidence that it does, despite repeated demands for some, so your objection to it being just art doesn't stand.

So, are you going to GTFO or are you going to provide evidence?

I really don't think FS is an art, because one cannot just do what one pleases and not follow the laws of nature to have a safe and comfortable building.

In haiku, an art, one can not just do what one pleases and still have haiku. Same with writing in iambic pentameter, you have to pay attention to syllables or it can become something other than iambic pentameter.

Same with gymnastics. You literally must follow real "laws of nature" or you simply can not do gymnastics. Do you think gymnastics is a science? We may discuss whether it is art or a sport, but it certainly is not science.

Doing something that follows laws of nature (and I have little idea what you mean by that with regard to Feng Shui) hardly makes it science. Something that helps you understand laws of nature on the other hand, may be.

I think you have not understood what science is. If you did, you would have been able to fill in the multiple requests for ways to measure Qi, Yin and yang or even studies that shows feng shui fulfilling a prediction of its use. Your three sided enclosure example could have been perfect, if you had, in fact shown some evidence that the FS actually participated in any way with the plant growth or human comfort. But instead you just said that it does. In order for the science to happen you need to show that the plant growth was not as good without the feng shui part.

Until you start doing science with FS, FS will not be science. We can not have a conversation about if FS is anything other than art unless you present evidence for analysis that supports your claims.

I can only echo Tech's and KoF's statements, and add a question.

Why do you want to call feng shui science anyway?

You refuse to have anything to do with things like verification, evidence, corroboration by peers, falsifiability of theories; you denigrate science as "western", and narrow, and as being too crass to understand feng shui. Yet you have spent this whole discussion squirming around trying to get feng shui recognised to some degree as scientific.

Why?

If you don't think any of the essential aspects of science are worth even attempting to fulfill, then why do you want it to be even associated with science?

And why don't you do a little background reading before demanding recognition in a field? You keep on displaying a remarkable ignorance. Well not that remarkable really. It's the same ignorance of people who've only read new age "science" books, and keep on innocently repeating the authors' howlers and can't work out why everyone else is laughing.

And how about some evidence for some of those grandiose claims, by the way?

Howard

Your comment here, as with all your others, is an epic FAIL. In all your posts, with all the time you have spent posting here, you have not once come close to defining what Feng Shui even is and why it should be called science, except it’s everywhere, look at the mountains and the stream, they inspired this school or that school of Feng Shui, none of you know what it is so you shouldn’t criticize it, read this book, you westerners don’t think like us, science doesn’t know everything, science is sometimes wrong, Feng Shui has been around for a long time, it doesn’t matter if it’s art or science, it’s art and science, there’s no absolute truth, you don’t understand, blah blah. And after all that you now have the nerve to say, well, it’s not art, are we agreed? Will this conclusion be acceptable? No moron, you FAIL. No one here agrees with you. What thread have you been reading?

Pathetic, Howard. Coming from someone who claims he is a Feng Shui architect, who makes money practicing this drivel, who even teaches courses in it, and yet you can’t even define what it is, let alone explain why it is science or what evidence there is for it, and now you just expect us to go, “OK, we agree”? Moron.

fascinating, it's the same conversation every single time

Topic and players change, but the song remains the same

no greater liars than charlatans - other than their customers

"But having a safe and comfortable building doesn't appear to have anything to do with FS, and you haven't provided any evidence that it does" .

One of the prime aim of FS is to "jue sheng qi", that is to gather or to find the synergy that encourages life and growth in a building. If a building is not safe or comfortable, then how can it be life enhancing for the occupants? I interpret this as an evidence that FS has something to do with the safety and comfort of a building. Hence it has to follow some safety rules and standards derived from science and technology.

Why do you want to call feng shui science anyway?

If you read my previous post, I already said FS is not a science but it has to follow the laws laid down by science and parts of it (say 10% for argument sake) can be studied with scientific methods. Maybe 10%. art as well, if art means a spark of genius and freedom of doing what one wants and disregard the needs of your clients, but that still leaves 80% unaccounted for.

"Pathetic, Howard. Coming from someone who claims he is a Feng Shui architect, who makes money practicing this drivel, who even teaches courses in it, and yet you can’t even define what it is, let alone explain why it is science or what evidence there is for it, and now you just expect us to go, “OK, we agree”? Moron."

It seems after doing FS for more than 30 years and spent half my life studying it and working with it, I still don't know how to put it in a pigeon hole, whereas you guys seems to be very sure what it is (art) and what it is not (science). So what can I sa?, I am a moron and you guys are genius, but will that really settle the true nature of FS? I am not convinced.

No one agree with me here does not mean a thing, I hope you understand this as a skeptic.

If you read my previous post, I already said FS is not a science but it has to follow the laws laid down by science and parts of it (say 10% for argument sake) can be studied with scientific methods. Maybe 10%. art as well, if art means a spark of genius and freedom of doing what one wants and disregard the needs of your clients, but that still leaves 80% unaccounted for.

It saddens me that you can write something as meaningless as that, and still have people read your blog and pay you for design services.

I know what you mean, the more I study FS the less I know about the subject, I now get to the point where I don't even know how to put it in a pigeon hole.

As to why people read my blog or ask for my design and learn Taijiquan and Qigong from me, you have to ask them. We have a saying in Chinese, "It is difficult to be muddled headed (hu-tu)" (nan de hu tu), may be that is why people come to me, because often I am hu-tu.

Just want to point something out: Personally, I feel no need to name it just art or anything. I oppose you saying that it actually has some beneficial effect generated by qi or yin yang, though, and I also refuse to allow you to misrepresent it as having anything to do with science.

Okay, so a building needs to be safe and comfortable to have feng shui? That does NOT mean that a building needs feng shui to be safe and comfortable. You'll have to provide evidence that it does.

Has this gone around in circles enough yet, or can we tell him to GTFO?

Why do you want to call feng shui science anyway?

Howard, that is one of the statements you came here to defend. We are all trying to get you to defend it, but you have so far tried every trick in the book to avoid defending it. You claimed it is science, you claimed it's only part science, you claimed you never claimed it was science, you claimed science is shit anyway. Now you are pretending it's only me who cares whether or not it's science. For me, feng shui is fine like it is. I leave people alone if they want to study it, and I stop them when they try and rearrange my furniture according to their randomly conflicting versions of it.

But if someone tells me it is scientific in any way at all at all, I take that seriously, because science is important to me. I want evidence for such claims, or I want the claims withdrawn.

and parts of it (say 10% for argument sake) can be studied with scientific methods.

Exactly. Statements like that are what make me think you are claiming some kind of scientific basis for feng shui. If you can fill out some details about the reasons why you make that statement, that would be the evidence that people regularly ask for after each of your comments.

No one is dismissing feng shui out of hand here. You came here making claims. Either back them up, or withdraw them.

So then, which "parts of it can be studied with scientific methods" and how. And, of course, after you have told us that, we will naturally want to know the results.

If you finally provide some information about that, then we can start with the real business of looking at the quality of the studies. Many if not most of the articles on this site deal with poorly designed studies which are palmed off on people as if they're meaningful, so please don't keep thinking you can fool anyone.

Howard,

Your last statement about it being difficult to be muddleheaded is one I can relate to, and find perfectly respectable and wise.

Maybe you want to back off on making concrete claims about the benefits of feng shui, and its testability?

"also refuse to allow you to misrepresent it as having anything to do with science."

What rights do you have to allow me or not allow me to express my opinions? Are you some kind of science police? LOL.


"Why do you want to call feng shui science anyway?

Howard, that is one of the statements you came here to defend. We are all trying to get you to defend it, but you have so far tried every trick in the book to avoid defending it."

I defend by yielding because I never said FS is a science, I said it is part science and part art and part many other things and it is not possible to put it in a pigeon hole.

Maybe you want to back off on making concrete claims about the benefits of feng shui, and its testability?

Look at the Imperial Palace in Beijing, it was one example of benefits from the past using FS. The Chinese gardens in Suzhou are also good examples, and there are many others if you travel around China a bit. As for its testability, some parts are possible, others are not. Just because it is not falsifiable, does not mean it is not useful or beneficial.

So why not have a jury instead of one judge?
We do. They're called scientists.

May be that is the problem, a jury made of people who all think the same way and have only one set of criteria (eg falsifiability) to judge everything under the sun.

Scientist don't all "think the same way". They criticize each other. they doubt. they force claimants to defend themselves. If they all though the same way we would not progress. We would not cast off the use of bloodletting, which was endorsed by many doctors and scientists for hundreds of years. Same with the idea of Vulcan. It was one scientist who thought one way to explain observations, which got thrown out by another scientist thinking another way about the observations.

There are, in fact, so many examples of scientists not thinking the same way you could write a series of books on it.

But there is one thing in common, its evidence that provides the truth as we know it. Its evidence that allows us to let bloodletting fall by the wayside. Its evidence that allows us to grow our knowledge to the point where we can build ridiculously huge buildings, send crafts into outer space, and grow more food per acre than anyone, at any time in history.

But you refuse to provide evidence for your statement that FS is science in any way at all. You refuse to show a single verifiable place where FS had any added benefit other than people like the way it looks.

So I got back to the two questions that pretty much summarize where FS as science fails.

1) can you provide a QI, Yin and/or Yang meter or method of measurement?
2) is gymnastics a science since it must follow scientific laws to work?

If you can provide #1 one and agree that #2 is not science, then lets just say FS is art (or an artistic method) and a way of thinking (as opposed to a way of knowing).

I never said FS is a science, I said it is part science

Exactly. Which part? In what way?

oops "can't" instead of "can" above in my last paragraph

If it is part science, you are claiming it is science. It's really not that hard. You can't say that it's part science and that it's not science; it doesn't work that way. If you're going to claim that it has anything to do with science, you will have to back up your goddamn claim. By the way, it seems to me you're of the opinion that it can't be tested by science alone or something. The problem is that anything with an observable effect can be tested by science. If it cannot be tested, it will not have a goddamn effect.

"But there is one thing in common, its evidence that provides the truth as we know it. Its evidence that allows us to let bloodletting fall by the wayside. Its evidence that allows us to grow our knowledge to the point where we can build ridiculously huge buildings, send crafts into outer space, and grow more food per acre than anyone, at any time in history." - TechSkeptic

"Which part? In what way?"

There you have it, we depend on science to continue to survive and multiply, and FS is about how to take advantage of life enhancing forces (jue sheng qi) which science is a part. So it is part science by using it.

When I pick up a tool, it becomes part of me, otherwise I cannot use it properly. FS uses many tools and that is why it is part of many things by association and integration. In doing so, FS becomes a tool itself as well, just like science.

We use things that have evidence and we use things that don't have evidence, as long as it is useful, we use them. We are like a Swiss knife, which science is only one of many blades, and a pretty good one at that.

"You can't say that it's part science and that it's not science; it doesn't work that way."

Why doesn't it work that way? Can you give me some evidence?

By the way, it seems to me you're of the opinion that it can't be tested by science alone or something. The problem is that anything with an observable effect can be tested by science. If it cannot be tested, it will not have a goddamn effect."

Some parts of FS can be tested by science, like why the Chinese preferred a courtyard house, Some parts can't, like the assumption we make that everything has qi. You may think qi don't have a goddamn effect, but the concept drove the Chinese civilization for thousands of years and still do.

Even science work on assumptions that cannot be tested, like cosmologists assume that the physical principles that apply on earth apply equally well to the rest of the universe, or tomorrow will be the same as today, and if it is statistically a certain percentage, than it is true.

I’m probably wasting my time,but I’ll try just once more:

FS is about how to take advantage of life enhancing forces (jue sheng qi)…

How do you know those forces exist? How do you know what effects they have. How do you know what way to use them?

We use things that have evidence and we use things that don't have evidence, as long as it is useful, we use them.

How do you know they’re useful if they are not supported by evidence?

Why doesn't it work that way? Can you give me some evidence?

No, YOU provide evidence it DOES work that way. It’s your claim. Back it up.

Some parts of FS can be tested by science, like why the Chinese preferred a courtyard house, Some parts can't, like the assumption we make that everything has qi.

…so how do you know that everything has qi if you can’t test it?

Answer those questions, Howard. No more waffle. No more diversions. Answer the questions. Come on. You’re the expert. You teach this stuff. These questions should be easy. Answer them.

Qi is an assumption and even science uses assumptions and in mathematics as well. An assumption is a proposition that is taken for granted, that is, as if it were known to be true.

There are quantifiable qi like tianqi(weather) and qixi (breath), etc. The there are also unquantifiable qi like gua qi which is a human construct but we still use them because it is a useful tool by experience, like art, philosophy and religion.

You take the attitude that anything that is not supported by science is meaningless, but to others science is only one aspect of life, a very important one, but nevertheless not all there is to life.

I am not asking you to agree with me, I am asking you to tolerance a different point of view.

No. The "life enhancing forces" are NOT science. You can't claim that they are until you provide some evidence they exist.

If you can't test qi, then it DOES NOT HAVE AN OBSERVABLE EFFECT. If you can't test qi, qi is USELESS. Science has, at the very least, the potential ability to detect any observable effect. There isn't really any practical difference between "no observable effect" and "doesn't exist". Appeals to tradition are FTL and don't prove anything.

We do have evidence for those assumptions (well, the ones that we actually do assume). We don't say tomorrow will be the same as today. It's always going to be different. However, it will be a similar length of time. We can predict that it will be a similar length of time because every single day we've ever measured was the same length of time. We don't even have to assume the same physical laws apply elsewhere; we have seen them in action outside of Earth. As for the statistics, we know statistical data can be falsified, or not representative. Which is why we ask for reliable sources, and preferably multiple independent sources.

No. You can not assume the existence of qi. Science does not assume the existence of anything. Your examples weren't even arguing for the existence of thing, probably because you tried to cite actual scientific assumptions (that weren't really assumptions).

If it isn't supported by science, it's not meaningless. It is, however, if it's not an entirely new and untested idea, probably a good indicator of what it is: Worthless. And that worthlessness applies to all aspects of life.

I assume you mean tolerate. The problem is, this isn't a "different point of view"; this is a demonstrably false claim about the physical world. When people make demonstrably false claims like feng shui, some other people pay them money to do stuff that's absolutely worthless, or they use a worthless TCM remedy instead of actual medicine (which can kill people). When people have a demonstrably false claim to make, we prove it wrong, because they are harmful.

Now, give me some goddamn evidence or get the fuck out!

quelle surprise

In response to direct and pointed questioning, Mr. Choy responds with

"you think everything else is meaningless"

and

"please tolerate me"


typical display of the closed mindedness of these types

Which they project onto anyone that questions their favourite delusion, whether it be Fung Shway or the ability of Oh-Bomb-Ah to foment change you can believe in or HeySeuss

Qi is an assumption

Did we finally get somewhere? The entire basis of FS is around an assumption (I'm going to go ahead and presume that Yin and yang are presumptions also, unless you have some evidence that backs up their existence).

Scientific assumptions are not the same as this kind of assumption. For example, one of the most used example of a mathematical assumption is that parallel lines do not cross, euclid's fifth postulate. But we can examine parallel lines for a very long way along their length and see that they still have not crossed. Further, and more importantly, we have been using that postulate for two thousand years and nothing has countered it, except if you change the coordinant system to elliptic or hyperbolic. And even in those cases, we understand the assumption so well that we know its limitations.

But in the two or three thousand years that you claim FS has been around, you have yet to show one single piece of evidence that qi exists or even that the assumption of Qi is a good one, or that the thing you are claiming has to do with Qi can't be done without it. Breath is not a sign of Qi, breath is a muscular function that your brain signals based on O2 concentrations in the blood. No Qi required. we have determined hundreds of hormones and chemical reactions that make this possible. If you stop these processes, then there is no breath. Can you stop qi to prove that breath stops, and return it to prove that breath starts again? If Qi is an assumption, then there must evidence that the assumption is a good one.

You show an examples of FS like a 3 sided box, or a courtyard in a building and continue to fail to show how anything at all that supports the notion of Qi. That is like me showing you a lightbulb as proof that electricity without plugging it in. If this were 500 years ago and you didn't know about electricity and I showed you a light bulb unpowered, would you believe that there was this magic force that illuminated this glass thing if I didn't plug it in? Would you believe my contention that if electricity did not exist I couldn't have made this glass jar? What if I told you to assume that electricity existed, would you then believe that the bulb will light a room? Of course not, you would require that I plug it in to show you that it lights up.

So, plug it in. Show us that Qi is a good assumption.

Written before I saw Tech's comment (again)

- sorry for repeating some of Tech's points, and not as clearly.

Howard, you wrote:

we depend on science to continue to survive and multiply, and FS is about how to take advantage of life enhancing forces (jue sheng qi) which science is a part. So it is part science by using it.

Wrong. Science does not work with "life enhancing forces". It can't. Science can only be science if it can show that it works. If it can't be shown that it works, you have to call it something else. Maybe "feng shui" might be a good name. You should stick to that.

Qi is an assumption and even science uses assumptions...

Equivocation. Science makes assumptions where it has no other choice, not to protect personal preferences or financial interests of the scientist. You have a very big interest which you fail to declare. Sciecne is motivated by the search for better understanding. You are motivated by the need for better advertising. You are not dedicated to checking out if qi really exists or really works in the ways you think. At least you have not demonstrated the slightest interest in questioning your own assumptions, rather, protecting and promoting them.

You take the attitude that anything that is not supported by science is meaningless

Bullshit. We have repeatedly refuted that. You are making that accusation that out of blind prejudice, with no evidence from our statements here. Again, you are showing that you have never tried to understand even the most basic things about science. Willful ignorance.

I am not asking you to agree with me, I am asking you to tolerance a different point of view.

What? You have written over 8000 words here, about feng shui, on a site for skepticism and critical thinking. That looks to me like your viewpoint is being more than tolerated. That looks to me like people here are sincerely dedicated to giving you a platform to present your ideas as clearly and fully as you wish.

What you really mean by "tolerate" is you want us to allow you different standards of proof because you think you have a "different way of experiencing".

Actually, you are not tolerating the standards of science.

You haven't bothered to find out even the most basic things about the subject, yet you complain when someone makes what you see as an inaccurate statement about feng shui. Hypocrisy.

You are devotedly anti-scientific Howard.

Qi is an assumption

Thank you. Finally, you admit you just assume it is true. You agree you have no evidence for it. Since FS relies in qi, you have just admitted there is no evidence for FS.

I currently see no reason to assume (make up) the existence of qi.

and even science uses assumptions and in mathematics as well.

Another avoidance tactic. Science doesn’t make up the existence of entities for no reason, like you do with qi. Either you have evidence or you don’t. You admit you don’t.

An assumption is a proposition that is taken for granted, that is, as if it were known to be true.

To put that another way, an assumption is something you make up and just say it is true.

There are quantifiable qi like tianqi(weather) and qixi (breath), etc. The there are also unquantifiable qi like gua qi which is a human construct

…yes – it was just made up by humans. Again, thanks for confirming it’s all just made up.

but we still use them because it is a useful tool by experience, like art, philosophy and religion.

And yet you have no way of knowing if it is useful or not.

You take the attitude that anything that is not supported by science is meaningless, but to others science is only one aspect of life, a very important one, but nevertheless not all there is to life.

Bollocks. I specifically said earlier this is not true. I said science is the best way of evaluating truth claims. I also asked you for your better way. You don’t have one. And yet you still claim FS is part science although you have agreed it is all just made up.

I am not asking you to agree with me, I am asking you to tolerance a different point of view.

Don’t be disingenuous. You are trying to persuade us. You have failed.


"You are devotedly anti-scientific Howard"

That is not true form my perspective. I spent 3 year getting a B.Sc degree and we are promoting a scientific approach to the study of FS, but we also realize that it cannot be a full science because of the nature of FS, just like architecture, but we are trying to bridge the gap.

http://howardchoy.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/the-first-monograph-on-scientific-feng-shui/


Zo, I goes to his proffered website and I finds this:

"To remove the shadow of superstition for Feng Shui practice, it is essential to use a scientific approach in the hope of combining and fusing ancient wisdom with modern knowledge in building science. Scientific Feng Shui has two meanings, namely (1) the verification of Feng Shui principles scientifically and (2) studying Feng Shui logically in a scientific way." - and ONLY US $27!!!!

Based on this thread, Mr. Choy is trying to bridge the gap by tossing scientific principles out with the bath water. His website is not as wishy washy about the scientific aspect of Fung Shway as the author is here.

In other words a snake oil salesman

Well that sums up your attitude perfectly, Howard. You "spent 3 year getting a B.Sc degree".

The way you worded that sentence, along with your attitude on this entire thread, reveals your lack of interest in science itself. Why did you "spend 3 years getting a degree"? - So you can tell people you have a BSc and are working towards "the verification of Feng Shui principles scientifically". Not investigating whether or not Feng shui actually works, like a scientist would.

That is exactly what I mean by anti-science.

And worse, you have been lying the whole time on this thread, haven't you. Here you've been saying it's "part science", and to your poor exploited students you say you have a BSc and you're "verifying Feng Shui principles scientifically".

Strange that you didn't say that here, eh. Forgot? Man, are you a slippery character.

aren't they all

Yup.

spent 3 year getting a B.Sc degree

So, do you have a degree in a science related field? Takes most people longer than 3 years.

Please note... a BSc may not be in science at all. here is a college that grants BSc in art and dance.

Howard, I'm going to say it again.

Evidence or GET THE FUCK OUT.

Ironic and sad. Feng Shui would probably be a perfectly legitimate artform, but he's turned into a fully fledged pseudo-science.

And that isn't enough. He then uses his fantasy world as a platform to attack science, on the grounds that it doesn't have any place for his fantasies.

again, so very typical of any woo-meister

it's like they all read from the same playbook

Same words phrasing and aphorisms

I used to read a political blog until I got fed up with the denizens and their intellectual dishonesty - while they spend all their time chattering about the intellectual dishonesty of the media, gov't, business etc.

One claimed to be psychic - that's why she(?) was so politically savvy

Another claimed to have a cure for the flu - grapefruit juice, mayonnaise and relish

Those "discussions" almost exactly emulate this one other than that was with a "room" full of prevaricators and their silent enablers

The blind leading the blind

It's amazing how robotic woos act. They're walking cliches.

Huh. I'm getting some weird errors.

Howard (if you are still there)...

Check this out...

http://www.reversibledestiny.org/home.php

If I could find something the opposite of Feng Shui this would be it: Procedural Architecture.

the founders and leaders are well published (uh... not in journals,just essays, magazines and books adn stuff) have math and medical degrees, and have built a number of building with their "science".

The main idea of procedural architecture is that comfort leads to being sedentary which leads health problems and early death. So they design things that are livable but constantly challenge you in your day to day activities, uneven floors, winding hallways and such.

They make houses and buildings that are the opposite of Feng Shui. These are called "reversible destiny houses"

Check out their description

From Newsweek...

Ten minutes of stumbling around is enough to send even the healthiest young person over the edge. Arakawa says that's precisely the point. "[The apartment] makes you alert and awakens instincts, so you'll live better, longer and even forever," says the artist.

They have anecdotes of peope buying their apartments and being relieved of hay fever and losing 20 pounds and all that good stuff.

When you ask what it is they pull the same sort of equivocation and unsupported claims that you have here.

The only difference might be that when they die, people may realize that they are full of shit and stop building stupid buildings.

Or they might not....


So once again, is this just as true? Just as valid and just as scientific as say....steam engines based on the laws of thermodynamics?

It’s hard to imagine a more devastating end to this discussion for Howard and his arguments in support of Feng Shui. After 53 posts and many thousands of words, he finally admits the main tenet of FS (Qi) is just “an assumption” and “a human construct.” A human construct – in other words, a thing someone just made up. Howard could only have admitted defeat more comprehensively if he had said, “you got me – it’s all just made up nonsense”. I’m not sure he realized that was what he was saying when he wrote it. Maybe he realizes it now (at least on some level), since he hasn’t returned. Yet I’ll bet this won’t stop him from selling his services as a FS consultant and teacher. He’ll find a way to rationalize the vacuous drivel that FS has been exposed (and admitted by him) to be. He’ll keep selling his snake oil.

The conclusion of this discussion and admission by this FS practitioner deserves wider exposure. I’ll write a full post on this as soon as I get time,probably this weekend.

These are called "reversible destiny houses"

Holy crap that's awesome!

I want one of those now!

maybe gathering information from the posts the believers write, we can extract a generic template with only some few blank spaces that can be filled automatically as a form, I mean, an "auto-woo" page where you type the name of the woo, and the possible posts of the hypotetical believers, would be auto-generated by a script.
they are all the same after all, and if we had a larger sample, maybe we could even find some patterns!, (as in "they use this logical fallacy first, then they use that one, then they deny they wrote what in fact they did on their previous post..." and so on).

or maybe a "new age bingo", like the psychic one, including astrology, homeopathy, acupunture, feng shui, and so on.

hehehe, don't take me seriously, I'm just having a good laugh about the ridiculous claims, hehe.

anyway, since there is a specific device, that "compass thing," I really expected "hey, the guy that teaches this stuff, should know how it works, right?", but there was absolutely no explanation about that.
if there's a device, and it's supposed to be a compass of some sort, there should be an explanation of how it works to measure or point to "life forces", "qi", "ying and yang" or even the life-giving gophers (I loved that one :) ), or whatever it's supposed to measure or point to, right?.

....................

no?.

oh... too bad.
I wanted to capture some purple spotted invisible gophers.

procedural architecture looks like it is designed by a meds free schizophrenic

and it reminds me, iirc, of a form of torture where you leave your victim in a small room that is designed with forced perspectives and strange angles/colours

combined with sleep deprivation and unnatural day/night cycles

it quickly brings on hallucinations/psychosis and the victim loses their grip on reality

making it easier for the inquistors to hear what they want to hear

people easily led to absurdities can easily be made to commit atrocities

I'll have more respect for gophers from now on - rodentia vitae

BTW, my spelling of this tripe - fung shway - is how I was told it is pronounced

Funny thing is... at least I can understand the claim of weight loss with a reversible destiny house.

maybe gathering information from the posts the believers write, we can extract a generic template with only some few blank spaces that can be filled automatically as a form, I mean, an "auto-woo" page where you type the name of the woo, and the possible posts of the hypotetical believers, would be auto-generated by a script.

Pelger, I think Skeptico has addressed this idea with the Woo Handbook.

Yet I’ll bet this won’t stop him from selling his services as a FS consultant and teacher.

Which, by the way , I dont really have a problem with. There are tons of architects and interior designers that teach and get hired for their design philosophies. If you like the way they design something I dont see a reason why you shouldn't hire them or allow them to teach the way they design stuff.

My bitching is only confined to any claims of a relationship between feng shui and science or feng shui and any medical claim.

great :D
(gone to read the woo handbook!)

Hi Skeptico and others,

I have stopped writing because I realized that our Feng Shui (FS) is not working here.

In FS we say for two things to mutually support each other (like man and his environment and also us continue to speak to each other here) we need "ganying" (mutual resonance), without "ganying" there is no "qing" (love and affection), and without "qing" there is no "shengqi" (synergy of two or more things coming together to support growth) and if there is no "shengqi", things will drift apart and gradually die away.

Now I cannot give you evidence of "ganying", "qing" and "shengqi" and my translation are probably not that spot on, but I know from my life experience, like in this case here, that they are real to me. So you will not hear from me any more after this final quote below taken from Nassim Nicholas Taleb's "The Black Swan":

"Karl Popper was once asked whether one "could falsify falsification" (in other words, if one could be skeptical about skepticism). His answer was that he threw students out of his lecture for asking far more intelligent questions than that one."

I noticed that he did not give any evidence for his remarks either, may be it is too obvious?

I like to say a final goodbye now and thank you everyone here for giving me you valuable opinions, which will encourage me to work harder to explore and explain the differences between shallow and deep FS.

Goodday to you all.

LOL Howard. That’s the best you could think of in two weeks? That’s your comeback - it’s all our fault your magic fairy tale beliefs make no sense? I guess your Feng Shui really isn’t working for you then.

I just wrote a post summarizing how Howard admitted Qi is all just made up - Qi is a Human Construct. To keep life simple I’m closing this thread to comments. Please leave any comments you might have, at the new post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search site