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"Yeah, but is it possible?"


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#1    QuiteContrary

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:48 AM

Yeah, but isn’t it possible?
The Catch-22 question, at least for me.

(This is from a skeptical perspective)

My concern has to do with the frustrating and hair-pulling remark “Yeah, but is it possible?” Used in discussions of cryptids that we have no specimen or any scientifically sound evidence for.

--Why should I follow the reasoning that “possibilities”, concerning description/habits/characteristics/lack of evidence/etc., of undocumented creatures, warrant my attention and consideration just because science can’t or hasn’t proven them?

--What makes one possibility carry more weight or deserve consideration from the skeptical community than another possibility when discussing a creature we have no evidence for?”

--What weight do/should possibilities carry when discussing something undocumented?

--Does the argument “Isn’t it possible?” always win out with a “Yes”? Because it so happens to be something you can not prove with a concrete formula or scientifically sound evidence.

--Must I conclude: “Yeah, it is possible, but ___________ is why I do not think it is probable, but yeah it is possible.” And how much of the previous statement do proponents of cryptids hear?

-- If you’ve understood me this far, where does “No, it’s a myth" come in? From the skeptical viewpoint and the proponents’ viewpoint and the scientific viewpoint?

--Despite that science will not say “It is not possible for x cryptid to exist.” I still don’t see “Isn’t it possible?” as carrying any weight in cryptid discussions when we have nothing to go on.

--Am I wrong to demand more than possibilities to reach the conclusion that my belief ‘bigfoot is a myth’ is wrong?

If my concern makes sense to anyone other than me, I appreciate replies from anyone who is willing to help me sort this out.
QC


Edited by QuiteContrary, 04 December 2012 - 04:54 AM.


#2    Codeblind

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:51 AM

using similar logic it must also be possible that its not possible !
I hear you on this but I regard it as a "whatever" reply and usually take it as a sign of defeat.

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#3    Arbenol

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:08 AM

View PostCodeblind, on 04 December 2012 - 05:51 AM, said:

using similar logic it must also be possible that its not possible !
I hear you on this but I regard it as a "whatever" reply and usually take it as a sign of defeat.

What he said.

You can ask the "is it possible" question on an almost infinite number of implausibilities. And the answer is always "yes". It makes the question completely meaningless.

The real mystery is why more people don't get this.


#4    QuiteContrary

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:41 AM

View PostCodeblind, on 04 December 2012 - 05:51 AM, said:

using similar logic it must also be possible that its not possible !
I hear you on this but I regard it as a "whatever" reply and usually take it as a sign of defeat.

Would you rephrase what I put in boldface for me, not sure what you mean, thanks!

Edited by QuiteContrary, 04 December 2012 - 06:42 AM.


#5    CRIPTIC CHAMELEON

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:27 AM

Bugger now you got me confused.  :unsure2:


#6    keninsc

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:40 AM

There isn't a simple answer to the questions posed in your post. If you go entirely on the basis of hard evidence, then there isn't any. No DNA, no bodies, no skeletons, nothing in the fossil record. What we have are anecdotal stories, fuzzy pictures, even fuzzier videos, some oddities such as trees broken and twisted.....even a few inverted, and some foot prints. Now considering that these creatures are supposed to have been here for as long as humans have been in North America, someone should have stumbled onto something more tangible, or some hunter should have shot one.

Fuzzy pictures and photos can be faked or simple be mistaken due to the lack of clarity. Trees broken, twisted and wrenched around can be explained by severe and highly localized wind......even small tornadoes or what are now called micro-bursts. Footprints can be faked without a lot of effort really and a number of people have come forward and admitted having made them. The lack of bodies or skeletons can't be easily put aside either when you consider that hunters, hikers and just every day folks have come upon the skeletons of all known woodland creatures........except these silly Bigfoots.

Now being the cynical old baisterd I am I have to wonder how the odds of having a breeding size population living here which is supposed to be eight to ten feet tall, weight between 600Lbs and 1200 Lbs, strong as a Mountain gorilla and in some cases territorial as hell managed to evade human detection for all this time. The odds are most likely greater that those involved in winning the lottery. So based on evidence and the sheer laws of probability this creature couldn't possibly exist anywhere except in the minds of people and in those of myth legend.

Now, while I am still a cynical old baisterd, I freely admit that I'm open to the possibility of them being here and that is largely based on what I was told by two different friend of mine. No, that isn't logical or cynical, it's a leap of faith so to speak. While the vast majority of things I've seen offered up as some sort of proof can be easily explained or simply past off as fakes or misinterpretation, on occasion I see something that makes me wonder and want to learn more about it. Sort of a "Hmmmm?" factor. For instance, not long after I came here we were discussing a map showing that many sightings of Bigfoots seemed to follow areas near rivers in the central part of the country, suggesting a sort of migratory pattern. Proof? Hell no. Hmmmmmm factor? I'd say so.

It's difficult for me to explain exactly what is and is not something that I'm willing to look at more closely and what isn't.........but then it's a little like pornography.......I may not be able to tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it, and we all know porn exists......or......uhm......so I'm told.......never actually seen the stuff myself......you understand.

Some things speak to that intangible quality within me and most things don't I really can't tell you what it is, and that sucks, but that's how it is really.


#7    chopmo

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:21 AM

asia = dragons,

people all over europe including brittain feared these animals like they were common snakes. asia treated them as they were stray puppies. the only reason they are put to myth is this egotistical attitude on science science can not explain alot, they can not see dark matter or find where it actually is, close but so far. hence does it really exist. stephen hawkings talks about parrellel universes but yet we neither can see or acknowledge this but yet it is to be as fact. i'm not discrediting science but get off your high horse and take a actual look around.

my main point being suck eggs people will believe what they want that is the beauty of life. your same point could be used to the religions and why they are all different forms and names, but that wouldn't effect anything either :) enjoy what you want tune out of the stuff you don't where do you think the mute function came from.

Edited by chopmo, 04 December 2012 - 08:25 AM.

why is everyone so &^%$ing concerned with "the end"...
new beginnings is what you should be concerned about...

#8    orangepeaceful79

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:34 PM

Excellent question and posst as usual QC.  what you are speaking of I like to term the "Blank  Check of Hopefulness Theory of Cryptozoology"  

Believers will say when confronted with a lack of evidence concerning the Cryptid du Jour that science doesnt know everything so the cryptid in question is possible.  

I believe that most believers who employ this tactic have figured out that its easier to criticize science for not knowing everything than it is to understand how science works and go do actual research for themselves.  Then they apply a flawed understanding of logic and come up with "because we don't know everything, then this cryptid is a possibility!"  Thus validating their already established conclusion and fueling their hope that imaginary critters are actually real.

Throw the pure gullibility that seems present in many crypto internet researchers and well....you get what you get.


#9    Rlyeh

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:22 PM




#10    QuiteContrary

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

Thank you all for your replies!

@orangepeaceful, "Blank  Check of Hopefulness Theory of Cryptozoology"  haha  Fits perfectly.
And it gets written when not just discussing existence, but also images and characteristics and why we haven't caught one, etc (keninsc gave a couple more examples too)


#11    evancj

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:43 AM

"cant prove a negative", "science doesn't know everything", "lack of evidence doesn't mean it don't exist", "you cant prove it doesn't exist", "X amount of witnesses cant be wrong", "insert authoritative, experienced and qualified professional here...reported seeing one", "insert trusted individual here...told me they saw one", "I/they have no reason to lie", "I know what I saw", "they are super intelligent", "they bury their dead".

The above are all common variations of "its possible", you will find here. I believe this kind of statement is just the last resort/Hail Mary believers use to justify their belief in something they want to believe, when there is no real justification for that belief.


#12    evancj

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:05 AM

View Postorangepeaceful79, on 04 December 2012 - 01:34 PM, said:

Excellent question and posst as usual QC.  what you are speaking of I like to term the "Blank  Check of Hopefulness Theory of Cryptozoology"  

Believers will say when confronted with a lack of evidence concerning the Cryptid du Jour that science doesnt know everything so the cryptid in question is possible.  

I believe that most believers who employ this tactic have figured out that its easier to criticize science for not knowing everything than it is to understand how science works and go do actual research for themselves.  Then they apply a flawed understanding of logic and come up with "because we don't know everything, then this cryptid is a possibility!"  Thus validating their already established conclusion and fueling their hope that imaginary critters are actually real.

Throw the pure gullibility that seems present in many crypto internet researchers and well....you get what you get.

Wow!!! great post orangepeaceful, if I would have read this before I made the post above, I would have kept my mouth shut. You said it much better than I did.


#13    DieChecker

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:23 AM

View PostQuiteContrary, on 04 December 2012 - 04:48 AM, said:

Yeah, but isn’t it possible?The Catch-22 question, at least for me.
(This is from a skeptical perspective)
My concern has to do with the frustrating and hair-pulling remark “Yeah, but is it possible?” Used in discussions of cryptids that we have no specimen or any scientifically sound evidence for.
--Why should I follow the reasoning that “possibilities”, concerning description/habits/characteristics/lack of evidence/etc., of undocumented creatures, warrant my attention and consideration just because science can’t or hasn’t proven them?
Well, I don't know about you or others, but I find it highly entertaining. I personnally believe that anyone anywhere is going to use what I say here in their book, or to support any kind of theory they might have. So skeptic or Believer, what we discuss here has no point, other then entertainment.

Quote

--What makes one possibility carry more weight or deserve consideration from the skeptical community than another possibility when discussing a creature we have no evidence for?”
Several things... Does an equivalent animal exist already? Does the animal have a food source? Does the animal have people seeing it? Does the animal leave circumstantial evidence? Does the animal have enough room for a population? Does the animal conform to Natural Laws? (Such as having wings big enough to fly, or being able to turn people to stone.) And the list goes on and on. Some animals like the Orang Pendak, have room, food, witnesses and similar animals living nearby. While other animals like Nessie, have very limited food, limited room and no similar animals living nearby.
Some crypto animals are much more likely then others.

Quote

--What weight do/should possibilities carry when discussing something undocumented?
Basically I think it should depend on if there are real animals that have such a trait already and if some other animal could have that same trait. Take the Shunka Warun for example. Very similar to a wolf. So we can say that the habitat is right for the creature, and food and room are available. We then have to ask if there are other animals that are wolf like that exist/existed. And we see that such creatures do and did exist. We have wolf/coyote hybrids and we used to have Dire Wolves not too long ago. So a sub-species, or brother species to the wolf is not so horribly un-believable.

I think weight should be based on Nature and existing animals.

Quote

--Does the argument “Isn’t it possible?” always win out with a “Yes”? Because it so happens to be something you can not prove with a concrete formula or scientifically sound evidence.
Usually Yes. Obviously some creatures, like Mothra and Godzilla, or flying firebreathing dragons, or tiny 6 inch tall intellegent fairies, or creatures made of fire, or mud, or the Undead, werewolves, vampires, or various magical or otherwise impossible creatures are... actually impossible. But many creatures with no reason to not be real, could be real and thus, would have to be answered with a Yes, that they are possible.

Quote

--Must I conclude: “Yeah, it is possible, but ___________ is why I do not think it is probable, but yeah it is possible.” And how much of the previous statement do proponents of cryptids hear?
I think that is fair. I think a disclaimer that whatever critter is possible, but very unlikely or not real, because of X, Y, Z... is a good way to go about these discussions.

I am often incited by people who say some animal is Impossible. To say, "A spotted Tiger is impossible", is ignorant. Obviously such a thing is possible. A small genetic change is all that would be needed. Like with the King Cheetah, or White Lions.

Quote

-- If you’ve understood me this far, where does “No, it’s a myth" come in? From the skeptical viewpoint and the proponents’ viewpoint and the scientific viewpoint?
I think the "No it is a myth" comes from people who are mentally closed down, and not even willing to think about something before dismissing it. Or, sometimes, it is someone who has seen the same arguement/post time after time after time and is simply being Blunt.

Quote

--Despite that science will not say “It is not possible for x cryptid to exist.” I still don’t see “Isn’t it possible?” as carrying any weight in cryptid discussions when we have nothing to go on.
All there is, is speculation. Anything above that requires evidence. Discussion of speculation is not worthless, but it does not prove anything.

Quote

--Am I wrong to demand more than possibilities to reach the conclusion that my belief ‘bigfoot is a myth’ is wrong?
No, because if you want to base your belief on evidence, you should be able to ask for evidence.

Edited by DieChecker, 05 December 2012 - 02:26 AM.

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

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Qualifications? This is cryptozoology, dammit! All that is required is the spirit of adventure. - Night Walker

#14    QuiteContrary

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:36 AM

@Diechecker,
Great! Thanks!
I'll reply after I've reread your replies and thought about them more as they relate to what I tried to get across..


#15    DieChecker

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:36 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 05 December 2012 - 02:23 AM, said:

Well, I don't know about you or others, but I find it highly entertaining. I personnally believe that anyone anywhere is going to use what I say here in their book, or to support any kind of theory they might have. So skeptic or Believer, what we discuss here has no point, other then entertainment.
I meant to say, "I personnally doubt that anyone anywhere...."

Here at Intel we make processors on 12 inch wafers. And, the individual processors on the wafers are called die. And, I am employed to check these die. That is why I am the DieChecker.

At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Qualifications? This is cryptozoology, dammit! All that is required is the spirit of adventure. - Night Walker




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