0808: "The Economic Argument"

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Mapar
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Mapar » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:27 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:The US military already admitted that they used remote viewing, and closed the program down--then they quietly reopened it after 9/11.



Still, [citation needed].

As for whether or not companies profit from the results of dowsing, you are making the classic skepticult illogical argument--because you don't believe it works, it does not work, therefore no one can be profiting from it. Yet they keep using it.


No, he isn't. There is absolutely no proof that oil companies' success is a consequence of the fact that they dowse for oil fields. There are a few geologists who are capable to detect oil fields by measuring shockwaves (seismometer). The principle of this method is fairly easy to explain (density; transversal waves can't pass through fluids, etc.). It looks a lot like dowsing, but unfortunately for the magic believers, it's not.

EDIT: At least, that's what they told me at school.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:33 pm UTC

If only it hadn't also been shown repeatedly to work! No, my original statement stands. Successes cannot be dismissed. Statistics can be used to hide a multitude of sins (such as the fact that not every dowser works equally well, and some may have disproportionately high rates of failure).

Of course, multi-billion dollar oil companies are stupid, and like to throw their money away on such things. Interesting conclusion...doesn't seem logical, does it? Really?

Understand, I am not making an argument for the efficacy of dowsing. I'm making an argument for the fact that the jury is still out, and those who claim otherwise are operating on faith.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Mapar » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:34 pm UTC

The original skeptic's statement also stands. There's no proof that those successes you speak of are due to the dowsing.


EDIT: in fact, quite the opposite. Was explained in my previous post.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:36 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:As for whether or not companies profit from the results of dowsing, you are making the classic skepticult illogical argument--because you don't believe it works, it does not work, therefore no one can be profiting from it. Yet they keep using it.
It's not my belief, it's been demonstrated time and time again that it doesn't work. As for why these oil companies would continue to use dowsing (which we're taking on your word), it's because the alternative methods might not produce drastically improved results. If the alternative is educated guessing, then what does it matter if the guy doing the guessing is holding a coathanger?

You're hardly the first person to come here and chastise people for being close-minded on things, and yet you nor anybody has brought a single shred of actual evidence that these beliefs are anything but fantasies and/or delusions. I'll readily believe things that are demonstrated to me to be true, but what benefit is there in believing in things that can't be distinguished from fantasy?

Try to be more open-minded when it comes to examining the shear lack of evidence that this phenomenon exists.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Rackum » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:I hate to break this to you, but you are missing some checkmarks. No, I am not kidding.

Astrology IS used by big business--a surprisingly large number of them, actually. What's more,there are astrology-based consulting services devoted to doing chart work for businesses. Astrology is fixed--Tarot is a free-form sortilage, not closely related to astrology (more closely related to crystal balls and tea leaves).

Dowsing IS used in oil prospecting. Surprisingly often.

Remote viewing isn't used in oil prospecting, that I know of, because it doesn't lend itself easily to that use. Remote viewing is used by the military. Yes, right now.

Whether or not the military uses magickal curses is 100% unknown, because there is no chance that they will ever declassify it and admit to it if they do. We can be sure that Nazi Germany did so, because we have evidence. The USSR probably did, which means it's unlikely that the US government hasn't dabbled.

Auras don't really have anything to do with health care. As for homeopathy and 'remote prayer' (as opposed to up close prayer?), alternative healing methods actually set themselves up in competition with conventional medicine, intentionally or otherwise, and not all methods are equally efficacious. What is surprising is that the amazing placebo effect is not taken advantage of more often--there's a reason drugs are tested against placebo instead of being tested against nothing at all. The sugar pill can affect some amazing cures for some individuals, indicating that our understanding of the workings of the human body is only a bit better than that of a witch doctor anyhow.

Crystal energy was never said (by any majority who works with it) to have anything to do with conventional energy. It is said to be an energy form that has not yet been mechanically detected, so unless and until it is, there is no way to harness it to do anything.

What does all of that mean? Well, just that the jury is still out on many of these things, because you cannot rely on human behavior to give you a strong answer on how well they actually work. If you go by what people use...that indicates they work, because people keep using them.


Once again, used =/= made a killing with. End of story. Are the businesses that use astrology/tarot/crystal balls trouncing their competition? No. Are the oil companies that use dowsing finding the large reserves while non-dowsing competitors get the scraps? No. Did the militaries that used psy-ops and curses have some supreme advantage over the others? No (also the US military has ceased all attempts at using any sort of psychic ops because it didn't work).

As for homeopathy/remote prayer/alternative healing methods, those have all been covered at great length in this thread and deserve no revisitation.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:50 pm UTC

My point is that the burden of proof lies in the middle, not on one side or the other. Any other path is illogical. Dowsing has not been disproven. There is evidence to support it, just as there is evidence against it. Neither is conclusive, so to come to a conclusion, one must employ faith.

My issue with the comic is simply that it left out checkmarks. Obviously you cannot make conclusions based on what people are using to help give them an economic edge. It's completely illogical to dismiss the possibility that dowsing gives companies an edge--if they didn't think it was giving them an edge, they wouldn't be using it. Since you have no direct experience with it, and have not seen any of their documentation, you cannot draw a conclusion based on some unrelated inconclusive experiments of a questionable nature.

You have just made a series of statements which you cannot support. Are companies outdoing their competition if they use astrology? I don't know. Do you? If so, how? Do you know by any rational means, such as having seen their books, and comparing them to their competitor's to conclude that, all else being equal, using astrology had no effect? Now, I don't personally believe in astrology either, but I'm not stupid enough to believe that means it doesn't work. My belief has no bearing, all that matters is evidence, and you don't have the evidence to draw the conclusions that you just drew.

The government used psi-ops for 20 years, and then claimed they shut the program down. Yeah, they used it for 20 years...and claim it didn't work? For 20 years. How illogical do you have to be to believe they got no results, but kept it going for 20 years for the fun of it? I know the government has a reputation for stupidity, but there are limits. One should be incredulous of the claim that they ran a program for 20 years with nothing to show for it. Then they started looking for people to start it back up after 9/11. There is absolutely no reason to believe they did not do so. It's all classified, so we cannot actually be sure unless we have clearance. This means you cannot be sure they aren't using it right now, just as I cannot be completely sure that they are.

I stand by the term 'skepticultist'. It applies to anyone who draws a conclusion in the absence of conclusive supporting evidence. It's not good enough for the majority of evidence to support something if it doesn't ALL support it. Drawing a conclusion in the absence of conclusive proof is pure faith.

The fact that people get so angry about it further supports the notion that this is pure faith. I've never heard of a skeptic getting angry when someone suggests that the conclusion they are leaning toward may be wrong--they actually consider it. Because they're not married to it--they don't have faith. Only those with faith froth at the mouth and rage when contradicted...only those with faith fail to entertain the idea that the 'other side' might be right.

I have no idea why people are so terrified of the term 'inconclusive'.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby MadScientistWorkinig » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:53 pm UTC

What is surprising is that the amazing placebo effect is not taken advantage of more often--there's a reason drugs are tested against placebo instead of being tested against nothing at all. The sugar pill can affect some amazing cures for some individuals, indicating that our understanding of the workings of the human body is only a bit better than that of a witch doctor anyhow.

What is even more surprising is that most people don't know what the the placebo effect is. First of all depending on what drug you are testing it may never actually be compared against a placebo. A lot of drugs are tested against something that has a known biological effect for the disease or condition being tested. This actually gives you a baseline as to whether or not the drug actually works better than the current treatment. Second of all the placebo effect is not a mind over matter issue. In general its a catchall term for a lot of cognitive and psychological issues that arise when interacting with people. This includes issues like regression to the mean and the observer expectancy effect. Regression to the mean means that some people will generally get better without any intervention. The observer expectancy effect is a phenomenon that the influences of the person running the trial can subtly influence the results of it. In fact the placebo is medically useless. Outside of minor pain improvement it fails miserably.
http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM200105243442106
And why would the military even consider admitting that they use remote viewing, or any form of 'magic' for that matter? The whole world would mock them for it.

You do realize that the military using remote viewing is actually common knowledge. Richard Wisemen actually was involved with the research involved with stopping it back in the early nineties.
I will nonetheless continue to go to my chiropractor that finishes his sessions with acupuncture, heal my cold with homeo and eat arnica when i hurt myself.

You know we are actually trying to help you here. Most of us arguing against homeopathy knows it can't possibly work. As I said before I'm a chemist. Homeopathy is in direct conflict with so many laws of physics that there is no way it could work without a complete overhaul of traditional science. So you may be wondering to yourself if homeopathy is useless why does it matter to me if you take it. Well the problem is that for some extremely stupid reason I can't fathom a lot of homeopathic drugs contain ingredients that if in the sufficient quantity are poisonous. Its becoming increasingly more common to have homeopathic drugs that actually have enough active ingredient that that can cause harm and well the results aren't pretty. The first episode that I remember had a large amount of people lose their sense of smell. My best guess is that its the cold remedy you are taking. The second episode is even more horrific. Imagine poisoning babies with one of the toxic plants in the western hemisphere. Yeah... Apparently, homeopathic belladonna is useful for teething medicine. Turns out that poor quality control meant that the parents were actually giving their kid actual belladonna.
About that Oscillococcinum. If Wikipedia is to be trusted, you take the heart and liver of a duck, grind it up, put it in water in a container, then rinse out the container 200 times. Take what remains in the container and coat sugar pills with it and sell that.

If homeopathy involves water then why do dehydrated pills do anything?
The government used psi-ops for 20 years, and then claimed they shut the program down. Yeah, they used it for 20 years...and claim it didn't work? For 20 years. How illogical do you have to be to believe they got no results, but kept it going for 20 years for the fun of it? I know the government has a reputation for stupidity, but there are limits. One should be incredulous of the claim that they ran a program for 20 years with nothing to show for it. Then they started looking for people to start it back up after 9/11. There is absolutely no reason to believe they did not do so. It's all classified, so we cannot actually be sure unless we have clearance. This means you cannot be sure they aren't using it right now, just as I cannot be completely sure that they are.

Have you seen the person who actually ran a lot of those experiments for the government? I'll just sum this up succinctly by saying that even Jesse Ventura thought he was crazy.
Last edited by MadScientistWorkinig on Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:58 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Mapar » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:55 pm UTC

@WingedWolfPsion

Yes, of course it is inconclusive. Technically. Actually it's just like all other forms of superstition (tooth fairies, ghosts, The Eye, the Flying Spaghetti Monster). We don't have proof that there is no tooth fairy. But we have good reasons to believe that it doesn't exist.


EDIT: @MadScientist: you attributed those quotes to the wrong person (except for the first one). Pandastick wrote that.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 3:59 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:There is evidence to support it, just as there is evidence against it. Neither is conclusive, so to come to a conclusion, one must employ faith.
Based on what? What actual evidence do you have that dowsing works?

Nobody is going to prove with absolute certainty that something doesn't exist - it can't happen. If you take that to mean that everything is equally likely to be reality, than you've crippled your ability to distinguish fact from fiction. A person needs to make rational decisions based on the available evidence, and if there was actually evidence to support the claims of dowsing, then surely someone would have come up with it by now, instead of whining about others being close-minded.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:if they didn't think it was giving them an edge, they wouldn't be using it.
AGAIN, it doesn't matter what they think will give them an edge, it's what actually gives them an edge.

You don't have to be perfect to gain from an advantage you have - if Company A operates in the exact same flawed fashion as Company B, with the exception that Company A has some distinct advantage (eg, they hire a psychic as their head of marketing), then they'll still out-perform Company B, and economists would be able to see that.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby MadScientistWorkinig » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:00 pm UTC

Mapar wrote:
EDIT: @MadScientist: you attributed those quotes to the wrong person (except for the first one). Pandastick wrote that.

I'll fix it later. I'm sorry about that. The quote function stopped showing up in the middle of me typing the post so I could only quote Pandastick.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Mapar » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:01 pm UTC

MadScientistWorkinig wrote:
Mapar wrote:
EDIT: @MadScientist: you attributed those quotes to the wrong person (except for the first one). Pandastick wrote that.

I'll fix it later. I'm sorry about that. The quote function stopped showing up in the middle of me typing the post so I could only quote Pandastick.

No problem, I was just pointing it out. ;-)
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:03 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:My point is that the burden of proof lies in the middle
No, it really really doesn't. There is no plausible mechanism by which dowsing could work, and every time an actual study is done (to collect data, rather than anecdotes), dowsing comes out as nothing. Therefore, the burden of proof is *entirely* on the side of the purveyors of magic. In the face of the overwhelming preponderance of evidence against it, they're going to need to come up with a great deal of evidence to shift the balance. The "middle" between sense and nonsense is still nonsense.

The fact that people get so angry about it further supports the notion that this is pure faith.
No, it just supports the notion that we get frustrated when arguing with people who don't understand science or confirmation bias or how evidence works.

I've never heard of a skeptic getting angry when someone suggests that the conclusion they are leaning toward may be wrong
First, that's a No True Scotsman fallacy right there: You only haven't heard of that because you've decided ahead of time that anyone who gets angry must not be a "true" skeptic, but a "skepticultist". Second, we're not getting angry about the possibility that we're wrong. We're only angry at your insistence that we're wrong despite the fact that all the evidence is on our side and now yours. The willful disregard for evidence is what's making people angry, not the fact that we're not 100% certain about something.

There's nothing wrong with the term "inconclusive", when it is actually applicable to the situation at hand. But every study that's been done about most of these things *is* conclusive, in that it implies *conclusively* that there is no effect larger than some very small epsilon (which varies with the kind of magic under consideration and how much it's been studied).
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:30 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:There's nothing wrong with the term "inconclusive", when it is actually applicable to the situation at hand. But every study that's been done about most of these things *is* conclusive, in that it implies *conclusively* that there is no effect larger than some very small epsilon (which varies with the kind of magic under consideration and how much it's been studied).


This just reveals that you haven't done enough research. It quite simply isn't true.

Your use of the term 'plausible' also implies an inherent bias. You personally don't find any of the explanations you've heard plausible--that does not mean that there aren't any plausible explanations. Plausible is a subjective term being applied to the objective. Different people will find different things plausible--and yes, every one of them can be a scientist, and still come to different conclusions on what's plausible.

You're so used to taking sides--'metaphysical phenomena do not exist' versus 'metaphysical phenomena exist'. I'm saying, neither side actually knows that, and anyone who claims to is operating on faith, pure and simple.

This does not mean all things are equally likely--that's an extremist conclusion which is the exact opposite of what I've been saying. I'm saying that coming to a conclusion without 100% of the results agreeing is illogical. The only CONCLUSION you can make from inconclusive results is 'the results suggest that this is unlikely', or 'the results suggest that this is likely'. There are no absolute statements that can be made from it.

You do not know whether oil companies actually benefit from dowsers. In fact, I would wager you have never seen a bit of data on that at all. You're guessing based on your faith. Real science is about not making unwarranted assumptions without evidence. If dowsing did not work with specific people in specific experiments, that does not mean it cannot work with different people in different circumstances. To suggest otherwise is purely illogical, particularly since this has long been held to be a skill which some people possess and other people do not. That must be acknowledged.

If you want to say 'it's 80% unlikely that dowsing gives companies an edge' (or some other probability based on SOME kind of evidence), that would be acceptable, logical, and reasonable. But don't try to pretend that "I've never seen a conclusive test that showed dowsing works, so it isn't giving companies an edge" is actually good logic.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Mapar » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:33 pm UTC

Will you please post links to the studies you keep talking about.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby StNowhere » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:There's nothing wrong with the term "inconclusive", when it is actually applicable to the situation at hand. But every study that's been done about most of these things *is* conclusive, in that it implies *conclusively* that there is no effect larger than some very small epsilon (which varies with the kind of magic under consideration and how much it's been studied).


This just reveals that you haven't done enough research. It quite simply isn't true.

Your use of the term 'plausible' also implies an inherent bias. You personally don't find any of the explanations you've heard plausible--that does not mean that there aren't any plausible explanations. Plausible is a subjective term being applied to the objective. Different people will find different things plausible--and yes, every one of them can be a scientist, and still come to different conclusions on what's plausible.

You're so used to taking sides--'metaphysical phenomena do not exist' versus 'metaphysical phenomena exist'. I'm saying, neither side actually knows that, and anyone who claims to is operating on faith, pure and simple.

This does not mean all things are equally likely--that's an extremist conclusion which is the exact opposite of what I've been saying. I'm saying that coming to a conclusion without 100% of the results agreeing is illogical. The only CONCLUSION you can make from inconclusive results is 'the results suggest that this is unlikely', or 'the results suggest that this is likely'. There are no absolute statements that can be made from it.

You do not know whether oil companies actually benefit from dowsers. In fact, I would wager you have never seen a bit of data on that at all. You're guessing based on your faith. Real science is about not making unwarranted assumptions without evidence. If dowsing did not work with specific people in specific experiments, that does not mean it cannot work with different people in different circumstances. To suggest otherwise is purely illogical, particularly since this has long been held to be a skill which some people possess and other people do not. That must be acknowledged.

If you want to say 'it's 80% unlikely that dowsing gives companies an edge' (or some other probability based on SOME kind of evidence), that would be acceptable, logical, and reasonable. But don't try to pretend that "I've never seen a conclusive test that showed dowsing works, so it isn't giving companies an edge" is actually good logic.


Arguing "incomplete evidence" or "insufficient evidence" for a claim is much less powerful when you have offered no evidence of incompleteness or insufficiency.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

You do not know whether oil companies actually benefit from dowsers.


1. Some successful oil companies may or may not regularly employ dowsing in their attempts to find oil resevoirs.
2. Dowsing in any of its forms has been demonstrated consistently and repeatedly to be no more effective than guesswork.
3. Therefore, if any oil company actually uses dowsing, it has no advantage over one that employs guesswork.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Rackum » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:The government used psi-ops for 20 years, and then claimed they shut the program down. Yeah, they used it for 20 years...and claim it didn't work? For 20 years. How illogical do you have to be to believe they got no results, but kept it going for 20 years for the fun of it? I know the government has a reputation for stupidity, but there are limits. One should be incredulous of the claim that they ran a program for 20 years with nothing to show for it. Then they started looking for people to start it back up after 9/11. There is absolutely no reason to believe they did not do so. It's all classified, so we cannot actually be sure unless we have clearance. This means you cannot be sure they aren't using it right now, just as I cannot be completely sure that they are.


That was an amazingly deep, sincere, and well-formed argument. I'll attempt to craft a response to match it in every way:

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!1111111oneoneone

Are you trying to contradict yourself or is that just a side effect of having no clue what you're talking about?

WingedWolfPsion wrote:Remote viewing is used by the military. Yes, right now.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:The US military already admitted that they used remote viewing, and closed the program down--then they quietly reopened it after 9/11.

And then this gem of a sequence from the post I just linked:
WingedWolfPsion wrote:Then they started looking for people to start it back up after 9/11.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:There is absolutely no reason to believe they did not do so. It's all classified, so we cannot actually be sure unless we have clearance.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:...just as I cannot be completely sure that they are.

Trust me, as someone with this magical "clearance" you refer to, the only psy-ops that are in existence today are psychological operations which have not shit to do with psychic operations.

Edit:
WingedWolfPsion wrote:You do not know whether oil companies actually benefit from dowsers. In fact, I would wager you have never seen a bit of data on that at all. You're guessing based on your faith. Real science is about not making unwarranted assumptions without evidence. If dowsing did not work with specific people in specific experiments, that does not mean it cannot work with different people in different circumstances. To suggest otherwise is purely illogical, particularly since this has long been held to be a skill which some people possess and other people do not. That must be acknowledged.

We don't need to see data on oil companies benefitting from dowsers since it can be inferred quite easily from the data that shows time and again dowsers failing miserably at their craft and never succeeding. To suggest that every dowser that has ever been tested can perform it unless being watched by a skeptic is what is truly illogical (and is the very close neighbor of delusional). The fact that something has been held to be true for a long time has no bearing on its actual validity (see spontaneous generation, a belief held for 2000 years before being disproved). So all that must be acknowledged is that some people have no understanding of science and are willing to believe fantasy even in the face of overwhelming contradictory evidence.

Did you even bother to read the first 7 pages of this thread where we covered this stuff ad nauseum?
Last edited by Rackum on Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:54 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

Mapar wrote:Will you please post links to the studies you keep talking about.
No, because they either don't exist or aren't very good. Better to just keep repeating baseless assertions and trying to pretend that we're all extremists, because that makes WWP appear more moderate. At least, to people who don't understand the discussion.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:This does not mean all things are equally likely--that's an extremist conclusion which is the exact opposite of what I've been saying. I'm saying that coming to a conclusion without 100% of the results agreeing is illogical. The only CONCLUSION you can make from inconclusive results is 'the results suggest that this is unlikely', or 'the results suggest that this is likely'. There are no absolute statements that can be made from it.
Yes, and what we're saying is that "dowsing works" is extremely unlikely to be true. We're not claiming 100%, we're just claiming very nearly 100% (here's another very small epsilon, in other words).

You, on the other hand, are arguing for something much closer to 50%, even if you're not advocating exactly 50%. And based on all the available evidence, that is a very illogical position to take.
Last edited by gmalivuk on Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:53 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:49 pm UTC

My point is that the burden of proof lies in the middle, not on one side or the other.


If I claim to believe the tooth fairy is real does the burden of proof rest with me, the person claiming that a magical being exists or with everyone else who go with boring old reality?
Does it rest in the middle where everyone should half accept my unsupported, unproven and completely made up claim and assume it to probably be true until proven otherwise?

Or should the weight be on me to first produce evidence of a magical being appearing to collect teeth.


Dowsing has not been disproven.


Despite many many attempts nobody has ever been able to demonstrate it in a double blind test.
If a dowser can't so much as locate a bucket of water or anything else whatsoever in the room bellow without being able to see it then it's a good indication that they don't have magical powers.

My issue with the comic is simply that it left out checkmarks.


it most certainly did, my issue is that whill it did it's a poorly thought out, poorly researched comic.

It's completely illogical to dismiss the possibility that dowsing gives companies an edge--if they didn't think it was giving them an edge, they wouldn't be using it.


Just for argument sake it could be giving them an edge, not because it works better but because it simply works the same or a little worse but faster.
instead of spending months arsing around to get an educated guess you spend days playing with coathangers to get an educated guess.

inconclusive experiments of a questionable nature.


They might be using magic fariy dust, the mere fact that any experiments done have shown zero proof of the existence of the tooth fairy means nothing!

but kept it going for 20 years for the fun of it?

I know the government has a reputation for stupidity, but there are limits.

They also kept using the cavalry charge long after the invention of the repeating rifle even when it was clear it didn't work.
Did they do that just for the fun of it?
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"

I'm also going to ask for some citations.

There is absolutely no reason to believe they did not do so. It's all classified, so we cannot actually be sure unless we have clearance. This means you cannot be sure they aren't using it right now, just as I cannot be completely sure that they are.


We also can't be sure they're not developing an invisible unicorn cavalry unit.
It's all classified, so we cannot actually be sure unless we have clearance.
This means you cannot be sure they aren't using it right now, just as I cannot be completely sure that they are.

It's not good enough for the majority of evidence to support something if it doesn't ALL support it.


Is there anything whatsoever which you believe to be false at all?

I have no idea why people are so terrified of the term 'inconclusive'.

By your defintion every study, every test, everything that has ever been done ever is 'inconclusive' since you can never proove anything to absolutely 100%.
I'll settle for 99.99% confidence.

You're so used to taking sides--'metaphysical phenomena do not exist' versus 'metaphysical phenomena exist'. I'm saying, neither side actually knows that, and anyone who claims to is operating on faith, pure and simple.


So all the trials, test etc etc etc etc are allllll just a waste of time then?

There are no absolute statements that can be made from it.


Yes there have been trillions of trials done every day, indeed every moment but that doesn't mean gravity is real.
There's a finite chance that things stick to the planet by random chance.
We can draw NO CONCLUSIONS WHATSOEVER!
All those opponents of the no-gravity hypothesis are just going on faith.

In fact, I would wager you have never seen a bit of data on that at all.

I'd bet you haven't either.

that does not mean it cannot work with different people in different circumstances


just because gravity appears to work with specific people in specific situations doesn't mean it's real. with different people in different circumstances you might just float off.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:09 pm UTC

Mapar wrote:Will you please post links to the studies you keep talking about.


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=positive+evidence+ ... xperiments

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:12 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
that does not mean it cannot work with different people in different circumstances


just because gravity appears to work with specific people in specific situations doesn't mean it's real. with different people in different circumstances you might just float off.


You might, but it's vanishingly unlikely, because there is no evidence against the existence of gravity. There is actually a great deal of positive evidence for many so-called paranormal phenomena, including dowsing and remote viewing. The fact that you aren't aware of any of it means you haven't bothered to look, which is kind of sad, considering how firm you are in your faith that it doesn't exist.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:21 pm UTC

That is not a link to studies. That is a link to a google page that has quite a few results irrelevant to the current discussion, quite a few completely unreliable sources, and quite a few that hit those keywords but explain how dowsing is *not* real.

So while there may be a few gems in there about good studies that find positive results, you're going to actually have to sift through those yourself and tell us which ones you think are good and relevant.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:The fact that you aren't aware of any of it means you haven't bothered to look
No, it means we have looked and it wasn't there. Anecdotes and journals of "psychical research" are not good positive evidence, and disregarding them doesn't mean we aren't aware of them.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby StNowhere » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:13 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:That is not a link to studies. That is a link to a google page that has quite a few results irrelevant to the current discussion, quite a few completely unreliable sources, and quite a few that hit those keywords but explain how dowsing is *not* real.


That last bit was my favorite part. The last link on the first page of Google results is a link to James Randi and several readers' experiences with such claims.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:23 pm UTC

James Randi is not a reliable source, lol.

I'm not going to do your homework for you. Sift away. You're the one claiming you've looked at everything. What is most likely, however, is that any source found that reveals positive results, you will dismiss as 'not credible'. It's that circular logic thing going on again. "Paranormal phenomena do not exist, therefore any test that shows positive evidence must be wrong, and isn't credible"--"No credible tests exist showing positive evidence, so paranormal phenomena do not exist".

Credible to whom? You see, it all boils back down to a subjective analysis--someone decides what's credible, and what isn't. I could tell you what's wrong with all of the negative tests, too...why have you not spent as much time debunking them as you have the positive ones? Don't tell me it's because there's nothing wrong with them...if you were honest, you would admit you never tried. If you were a true skeptic, you would apply your skepticism equally. There's no such thing as a foolproof test that accounts for ALL variables. Nor can you claim you know which variables may be important in these types of tests. In many cases, the phenomena hasn't even been defined, and they're trying to test it based on broad assumptions about what it is, and how it works, rather than setting down something concrete and testing it specifically.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby StNowhere » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:04 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:James Randi is not a reliable source, lol.


Wasn't necessarily saying he was. I was more pointing out the fact that such a notable "skepticultist," as you might put it, appeared in the first page of your poorly constructed, snarky claim of positive evidence, which is poor evidence indeed. Irony; lol indeed.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:I'm not going to do your homework for you. Sift away. You're the one claiming you've looked at everything.


Actually, it's your homework. You claimed scientifically rigorous evidence in favor of paranormal phenomena. Though you are loathe to admit it, the burden of proof still rests with you, and as someone (I forget) is fond of saying, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof."

WingedWolfPsion wrote:What is most likely, however, is that any source found that reveals positive results, you will dismiss as 'not credible'. It's that circular logic thing going on again. "Paranormal phenomena do not exist, therefore any test that shows positive evidence must be wrong, and isn't credible"--"No credible tests exist showing positive evidence, so paranormal phenomena do not exist".


Thank you for informing me on what I will or will not consider "credible" evidence. Would you now like to posit a claim on what I consider "trolling"? Because your lack of evidence and lack of willingness to provide such evidence to back up your claims reduces you to that post.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:Credible to whom? You see, it all boils back down to a subjective analysis--someone decides what's credible, and what isn't. I could tell you what's wrong with all of the negative tests, too


Please do! I'll even make it easy for you. Start with a credible source, and give reasons why their research is flawed.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:There's no such thing as a foolproof test that accounts for ALL variables. Nor can you claim you know which variables may be important in these types of tests.


Quite right. And I assume you can? In your years of (unsubstantiated, at least in the case of this discussion) research, what claims can you make to your own expert knowledge, other than Googling bad papers and pages that conflict with your own claims?

WingedWolfPsion wrote:In many cases, the phenomena hasn't even been defined, and they're trying to test it based on broad assumptions about what it is, and how it works, rather than setting down something concrete and testing it specifically.


If it hasn't been defined, what are you even debating? That you can't completely disprove a nebulous phenomenon with no clear basis in logic that people swear exists and may or may not be used by corporations and the government, who in all likelihood would suppress any information that they use such "fringe theories" to questionable effect? Did I miss an actual explanation somewhere in there?

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:I could tell you what's wrong with all of the negative tests, too...
Let me guess - you'll leave it to us to do it for you.

I'm just in awe of all the things you can claim to do without actually doing them.
I don't know what to do for you

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:27 pm UTC

Sure, link me to an actual test with negative results--one that outlines the procedures used, including how subjects were selected. I'll be happy to tell you what's wrong with it.

I'm most certainly not going to look up something you claim exists when you refuse to look up something I claimed exists, lol. If you want to know what's wrong with it, link it, and I'll tell you.

As for the Google results, my point was that tests with positive results aren't hard to find, you can use Google and find at least one in less than 15 minutes. So the claim that you can't find any pretty much means you haven't looked. Yes, Google has negative information in the same search result...why that is important to you, I couldn't guess. It's a search engine.

I've studied this stuff for over 20 years. I have little patience with laziness by folks who have made up their minds after reading skepticultist newsletters and the information they link to, and nothing else. The burden of proof doesn't lie with me, because I'm not the one who made an absolute statement. Absolute statements are automatically suspect.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:44 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:Sure, link me to an actual test with negative results--one that outlines the procedures used, including how subjects were selected. I'll be happy to tell you what's wrong with it.
Gee, Mr. "Inconclusive", sounds like your conclusions are decided before you considered the evidence.

You pretend to be on the fence, but you're not fooling anyone, and you're no less exempt from supporting your claims with evidence just because you hide behind this false front of impartiality.

WingedWolfPsion wrote:Absolute statements are automatically suspect.
...and easily refuted, too! A single piece of solid evidence would utterly destroy the arguments of anyone making such absolute claims, and yet you insist on dancing around the issues. Rather than write another rant on "skepticultists", take that time and find a link. That's all anyone is asking for. So far you've done absolutely nothing in any way to substantiate a single word you've written, and yet you're calling everyone else lazy.
I don't know what to do for you

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:57 pm UTC

You managed to write a post without actually saying anything. I salute you for that, I think.

My only claim is that there is no conclusive evidence. You just challenged me to provide conclusive evidence that there is no conclusive evidence...lol.

I feel fairly confident in my ability to identify what is wrong with any psi test you produce, whether the results were postive or negative. No such thing as an unflawed research test. Hey, prove me wrong.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby StNowhere » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:06 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:As for the Google results, my point was that tests with positive results aren't hard to find, you can use Google and find at least one in less than 15 minutes. So the claim that you can't find any pretty much means you haven't looked. Yes, Google has negative information in the same search result...why that is important to you, I couldn't guess. It's a search engine.

I've studied this stuff for over 20 years. I have little patience with laziness by folks who have made up their minds after reading skepticultist newsletters and the information they link to, and nothing else. The burden of proof doesn't lie with me, because I'm not the one who made an absolute statement. Absolute statements are automatically suspect.


So, not only are you unwilling to provide a concrete result that supports your claim that there are positive studies, you also are unwilling to review a negative claim unless I do the synopsis for you? And you call us lazy? And while you've "studied this stuff for over 20 years," you cannot even broach the subject of a specific positive study without resorting to a poor Google search? Let alone mention a citation, just saying "Well, Rosenberg and Guildencrantz did a study back in the 90's that said ..." is too much work for an expert?

No, you're not an expert. You're a troll. Good day.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:09 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:My only claim is that there is no conclusive evidence. You just challenged me to provide conclusive evidence that there is no conclusive evidence...lol.
No, your claim was that there is evidence to support dowsing.

If only it hadn't also been shown repeatedly to work! No, my original statement stands. Successes cannot be dismissed.
Dowsing has not been disproven. There is evidence to support it, just as there is evidence against it.
There is actually a great deal of positive evidence for many so-called paranormal phenomena, including dowsing and remote viewing.
etc.

We all know about the tests that refute dowsing, but you keep bringing up these comparable tests that support it, and "successes" that can't be dismissed. If you're going to make these claims, then provide an example. Otherwise, what do you expect to accomplish here? Your conviction isn't swaying anyone.
I don't know what to do for you

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:Sure, link me to an actual test with negative results--one that outlines the procedures used, including how subjects were selected. I'll be happy to tell you what's wrong with it.

I'm most certainly not going to look up something you claim exists when you refuse to look up something I claimed exists, lol. If you want to know what's wrong with it, link it, and I'll tell you.

As for the Google results, my point was that tests with positive results aren't hard to find, you can use Google and find at least one in less than 15 minutes. So the claim that you can't find any pretty much means you haven't looked. Yes, Google has negative information in the same search result...why that is important to you, I couldn't guess. It's a search engine.

I've studied this stuff for over 20 years. I have little patience with laziness by folks who have made up their minds after reading skepticultist newsletters and the information they link to, and nothing else. The burden of proof doesn't lie with me, because I'm not the one who made an absolute statement. Absolute statements are automatically suspect.



I think we're well beyond the point where it's blindingly obvious that this guy is just a troll and a lazy one at that.
I mean really.

*Fantastic claim of magic being real* followed by *well I'm not going to give any evidence, that's your job, do my work for me, in fact do all my debating for me since I can't be bothered*
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:34 pm UTC

My sole claim, this entire time, has been that there is no conclusive evidence for or against dowsing or most other so-called paranormal abilities, and that people who believe there is are operating on faith.

There is evidence to support both stances, but none of it is conclusive.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:My sole claim, this entire time, has been that there is no conclusive evidence for or against dowsing or most other so-called paranormal abilities, and that people who believe there is are operating on faith.

There is evidence to support both stances, but none of it is conclusive.


Re-read your own posts.

it's not.
Again and again you've claimed there is evidence for it.
You've mad far more claims than that.

If only it hadn't also been shown repeatedly to work! No, my original statement stands. Successes cannot be dismissed.
Dowsing has not been disproven. There is evidence to support it, just as there is evidence against it.
There is actually a great deal of positive evidence for many so-called paranormal phenomena, including dowsing and remote viewing.


you're standing on a molehill shouting up at those standing on the slopes of mount Everest that really the idea that they're higher up than you is unsupported and really there's evidence to support the idea that your molehill is as tall as Everest and all who thinks that Everest is bigger are operating on faith alone.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:59 pm UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:My sole claim, this entire time, has been that there is no conclusive evidence for or against dowsing or most other so-called paranormal abilities, and that people who believe there is are operating on faith.

There is evidence to support both stances, but none of it is conclusive.
Says you, but you still haven't demonstrated that there's any of this evidence, "conclusive" or not, that dowsing is a real phenomenon, nor have you refuted any of the evidence to the contrary that would seem to represent the scientific concensus on the matter, and clearly state that the evidence is conclusive.
I don't know what to do for you

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby WingedWolfPsion » Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:53 am UTC

You haven't provided any links to evidence to the contrary, either, but expect me to provide links to evidence supporting it. I've seen a number of studies, but not for years, lol.

See, the problem here is folks who do not understand the difference between evidence, and conclusive evidence. That and the basic skepticult faith-based mentality.

I'm not trying to prove anything, you are. I'm simply saying, there is no proof of anything either way. Proof is a pretty tall order in science. It just irks me to see people claiming to be skeptics displaying this type of faulty logic.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby Faranya » Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:56 am UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:You haven't provided any links to evidence to the contrary, either, but expect me to provide links to evidence supporting it. I've seen a number of studies, but not for years, lol.

See, the problem here is folks who do not understand the difference between evidence, and conclusive evidence. That and the basic skepticult faith-based mentality.

I'm not trying to prove anything, you are. I'm simply saying, there is no proof of anything either way. Proof is a pretty tall order in science. It just irks me to see people claiming to be skeptics displaying this type of faulty logic.


I'm sorry, but you have illustrated quite clearly that you do not know what you are talking about. Dowsing, as an example, does retrieve positive results. There is no denying that. The problem is that those positive results are indistinguishable from the probability of those results occurring randomly.

The military conducted remote viewing and other psychic studies and tests for 20 years because of people like you, who fail to understand the probabilities involved, and because of confirmation bias and an attempt to get returns on sunk capital, i.e. they spent so much time and money on it that they ignored the actual nature of their results to achieve a positive outcome. This is especially easy to happen in positions such as yours, that the whole thing is inconclusive.

You've played it out in your head that these things might exist. You want to know that they might exist, so you interpret any study or test that achieves a positive result for these things (e.g. dowsing), and ignore the statistical likelihood of that occurring. If I am trying to find water, and there are two wells (one dry, one full of water), dowsing is predicted by probability to be correct half of the time. Dowsing is not determined to be bunk because it fails every time. Actually, if it failed every time it couldn't be bunk, as it SHOULD work half the time. It is bunk because it fails to result in any statistically significant increase in successes or failures. If I had a dowsing rod that could NEVER find water, that is just as good as one that could ALWAYS find water. What I have is a stick I can point at the ground, and be right occasionally.

Proof isn't that hard to come by. You are making it out to be some elusive, mythical concept that constantly slips away from our grasp. I could say "Water doesn't boil at 100C" and most people would say I was wrong. However, I could just say that I or others have observed it boiling at different temperatures, thus it MIGHT boil at 100, but it also MIGHT NOT, there is no way to be certain. However, I'm still wrong, because it can clearly be shown that atmospheric pressure has a significant impact on boiling points. I'm not still right, just because I am ignoring supplementary science, and you are not right just because you are ignoring statistical analysis.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby SocialSceneRepairman » Wed Oct 27, 2010 5:51 am UTC

pandastick wrote:NO ONE is talking about using homeopathy to kill parasites or dangerous bacteria... or acupuncture to cure cancer for dawkin's sake, and I NEVER MADE THAT POINT. I'm talking about more common stuff where the hard stuff ain't necessary... just btw.... if that makes ANY difference...


No, you're talking about it to cure hematomae. All hematomae, regardless of cause... and still, you lecture us on "treating the symptom." Meanwhile, "allopathic" medicine would look to the cause of the hematoma, whether it's a bump on the shin or cancer, and treat it differently based on that. Where the hell does a homeopath get off lecturing allopathy on "treating the symptom"? All homeopathy is "treating the symptom!" The reason oscillocoscinum exists is because a duck fat overdose produced "flu-like symptoms"! Indeed, on the package, it doesn't say "flu," but "flu-like symptoms"! Whatever you think about herbal medicine (a few good remedies for minor problems where refined chemicals would be like firing small arms at mice), chiropracy (good for back and neck pain), crystal therapy (placebo), magnets (placebo), non-herbal religious healing (voodoo, exorcism, wiccan ritual, etc.) (placebo), prayer therapy (depending on interaction, placebo, secondary placebo, or bullshit), or meditation (honestly, I've got to respect this - it's placebo in its purest form), the alpha and the omega of homeopathy is treating the symptom, and worse, treating the symptom through water/vodka that's once touched what might exacerbate the symptom.

Now, if I see some evidence that it actually treats the symptom, I'll sit down, and I'll look for why it does treat the symptom. I won't care to debunk it based on little things like "chemistry," "physics," and "statistics." It won't even take that much; all I'll need is a double-blind study or two. You can make every last doctor and patient a believer in homeopathy for all I care, just as long as you have a double-blind study. What's that? "It relies on the relationship between doctor and patient"? Then it's a fucking placebo! That is the fucking definition of a placebo! If it's actually effective, then it should work whether or not the doctor or patient have any clue what it is. If not, then it's all built on the power of positive thinking - which, while not as powerful as Oprah might tell you, is still pretty fucking powerful - and so it's a placebo.

Some links to sign me out.

Minchin.
O'Briain.

Sadly, I can only find Europeans, since pretty much every American more famous than Randall is dumb enough to fall for your bullshit.
Last edited by SocialSceneRepairman on Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby HungryHobo » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:36 am UTC

See, the problem here is folks who do not understand the difference between evidence, and conclusive evidence.


I'm not sure you know the difference either.

Technically there is no *conclusive* proof that the effect of gravity is real, there's a finite chance, call it 0.0000000(insert a few years of pressing the 0 key here)000001% that things stick to the earth by chance and there is no such thing as gravity at all.
but anyone sane calls the evidence(the fact that we're not floating off into space) that there is an effect that we call gravity and that it's real conclusive.

You haven't provided any links to evidence to the contrary, either, but expect me to provide links to evidence supporting it.


Here's a nice meta analysis of hundreds of trials from the lancet.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lance ... 40-6736(05)67177-2/abstract

If you can't read that then go to a good library or place of learning with some journal subscriptions and try this:

Citation:

Aijing Shang, Karin Huwiler-Muntener, Linda Nartey, Peter Juni, Stephan Dorig, Jonathan AC Sterne, Daniel Pewsner, Matthias Egger, Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled trials of homoeopathy and allopathy, The Lancet, Volume 366, Issue 9487, 27 August 2005-2 September 2005, Pages 726-732, ISSN 0140-6736, DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)67177-2.
(http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 96ec58e8f1)

Homeopathy is no better than placebo.

So please.
provide a high quality peer reviewed meta analysis which shows homeopathy to work.
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Re: 0808: "The Economic Argument"

Postby uncivlengr » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:52 am UTC

WingedWolfPsion wrote:I'm not trying to prove anything, you are. I'm simply saying, there is no proof of anything either way. Proof is a pretty tall order in science. It just irks me to see people claiming to be skeptics displaying this type of faulty logic.
You're just being weasely with the word "conclusive" - you can take anything at all, and claim it's not "conclusive" enough, without defining what it is you mean by that. You haven't even described what makes the studies that represent the scientific concensus on the matter "inconclusive", aside from the fact that nothing can be proven with absolute certainty. If you're giong to ham-handedly reject these studies, you need a good reason for it beyond that.

Perhaps we'll see a press release tomorrow on the results of some tests that show clear evidence of dowsing - it's certainly possible, but that doesn't make every piece of evidence we have that denies dowsing inconclusive today.

As for "skeptics", nobody shares your perverse interpretation of the meaning of that term, where skeptics are required to explicitly and pedantically caveat everything they believe with "but I can't be absolutely certain about that because nothing can be proven with absolute certainty".
I don't know what to do for you


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