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lestatdelioncourt

Response to "no scientific evidence" of ghost

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White Crane Feather

Just to nitpick, the margins of the bell curve don't really represent the great portion of...reality (or whatever it is you are measuring). That's kind of the purpose of bell curve chart: To show us where most of the beef is by lumping the greatest distribution in the middle of the curve.

Again, not really significant, just a nitpick.

Nonsense. The bell curve represents the whole reality. Not many people see ball lightning either. And theories of why it exists are all over the place. But far fewer people have experienced ball lightning than spirits. On an international flight in 1963 one appeared to a group of scientists, and the phenomenon has been gaining acceptance ever since. As I have mentioned already just because its in the margins of human experiences dosnt mean its not real.

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sinewave

Nonsense. The bell curve represents the whole reality. Not many people see ball lightning either. And theories of why it exists are all over the place. But far fewer people have experienced ball lightning than spirits. On an international flight in 1963 one appeared to a group of scientists, and the phenomenon has been gaining acceptance ever since. As I have mentioned already just because its in the margins of human experiences dosnt mean its not real.

Only evidence represents reality. Belief does not figure into the equation when you are talking about science.

Which international flight? What scientists? With whom is this idea gaining acceptance? Most of all, where is the evidence?

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White Crane Feather

Only evidence represents reality. Belief does not figure into the equation when you are talking about science.

Which international flight? What scientists? With whom is this idea gaining acceptance? Most of all, where is the evidence?

There is tons of evidence ;) but like usual what constitutes evidence is sorely missed amoung cynics and emphiri nazis.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/nature/climate-weather/atmospheric/ball-lightning.htm

http://news.discovery.com/earth/weather-extreme-events/ball-lightning-121012.htm

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2603/is-ball-lightning-real

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sinewave

There is tons of evidence ;) but like usual what constitutes evidence is sorely missed amoung cynics and emphiri nazis.

http://science.howst...l-lightning.htm

http://news.discover...ning-121012.htm

http://skeptics.stac...-lightning-real

I prefer skeptic. Cynics are a different group. I can be swayed by reason where cynics cannot.

I don't accept anecdotes as evidence but that should not be considered unreasonable. Questioning should not make someone the enemy. Belief for the sake of belief is fine but it is not science. This thread is about scientific evidence for ghosts. I keep hearing about it but have not yet seen it.

Ball lighting is a form of atmospheric plasma. It is rare but is known to occur. What does it have to do with ghosts?

Edited by sinewave

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aquatus1
Nonsense. The bell curve represents the whole reality.

The bell curve represents whatever you are measuring. And greater part it is in the center of the curve, not the margins. Even if you claim to be measuring "reality". I agree with most of what you said, but one must be cautious; as much as we enjoy rationalism, we are fighting against our brain's natural wiring. It is all too easy to forget that a tool specifically used to demonstrate the distribution of data (i.e. a bell curve) serves to tell you were the majority of relevant data lies; to comment that the margins of the curve represent a great bit of reality is a bit misleading. You are, after all, measuring probability, and in terms of probability the margins are not a great bit. They are the smaller bit, and by definition are in direct contrast, or even occasionally in opposition, to each other.

Not many people see ball lightning either. And theories of why it exists are all over the place. But far fewer people have experienced ball lightning than spirits.

I happen to be in that small margin. ^_^

On an international flight in 1963 one appeared to a group of scientists, and the phenomenon has been gaining acceptance ever since. As I have mentioned already just because its in the margins of human experiences dosnt mean its not real.

Nor, just because it has been observed by scientists, does it mean it is real. It just means there is greater probability of it being so. The key is to remember not to under-assign or over-assign credibility to probability. An open mind must be willing to accept the existence of the improbable, but it must also be willing to accept the greater likelihood of the vastly probable.

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aquatus1
There is tons of evidence ;) but like usual what constitutes evidence is sorely missed amoung cynics and emphiri nazis.

Come on now, White Crane. Cynics and Nazis? You're a better thinker than that.

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NewAge1
I don't accept anecdotes as evidence but that should not be considered unreasonable. Questioning should not make someone the enemy. Belief for the sake of belief is fine but it is not science. This thread is about scientific evidence for ghosts. I keep hearing about it but have not yet seen it.

The evidences are there for all to see and debate. You should do some research about cases and documentations and contact paranormal organisations. Testimonies, recordings, pictures, footages. There are plenty of good materials to look at but you won't find out about it in a scientific journal since these phenomenon and ideas appear to be at odds with the current scientific consensus.

Now if by scientific evidence you mean reproducable evidences through carefully controlled experiments no there is not. The phenomenon cannot be controlled nor reproduced with our current understanding. That doesn't mean ghost do not exist nor do I consider that a valid reason to deem it ''highly improbable''.

I prefere to consider it: ''possible''.

Edited by sam_comm
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White Crane Feather

I prefer skeptic. Cynics are a different group. I can be swayed by reason where cynics cannot.

I don't accept anecdotes as evidence but that should not be considered unreasonable. Questioning should not make someone the enemy. Belief for the sake of belief is fine but it is not science. This thread is about scientific evidence for ghosts. I keep hearing about it but have not yet seen it.

Ball lighting is a form of atmospheric plasma. It is rare but is known to occur. What does it have to do with ghosts?

I was pointing out sciencism. Less people claim to have seen ball lightning than spirits, despite some charged graphite experiments which are not real ball lightning, it cannot be recreated. There is no known vaerifiable model for why it occurres, nor does it fit into how we know electricity behaves, yet it is accepted now that it happens because its documented that credible people have seen it and recorded it. Is there a double standard here? You my friend are inconsistent in applying your standards. One post you were rightfully skeptical, but because of few articles you are now convinced. Ball lightning is an accepted phenomenon because of evidence... "Not scientific" evidence. It's to rare to study properly. Evidence for spirts is equally prolific. It just falls in the margins less so than ball lightning does. Jung spoke about the behavior that you just exhibited aswell.

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Frank Merton

I think the assertion that a phenomenon of unexplained lightning exists based on testimony is a lot more credible than that of dead souls pestering people. That said, as you point out, until the phenomenon can be pinned down it becomes merely acceptable, not part of science.

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White Crane Feather

The bell curve represents whatever you are measuring. And greater part it is in the center of the curve, not the margins. Even if you claim to be measuring "reality". I agree with most of what you said, but one must be cautious; as much as we enjoy rationalism, we are fighting against our brain's natural wiring. It is all too easy to forget that a tool specifically used to demonstrate the distribution of data (i.e. a bell curve) serves to tell you were the majority of relevant data lies; to comment that the margins of the curve represent a great bit of reality is a bit misleading. You are, after all, measuring probability, and in terms of probability the margins are not a great bit. They are the smaller bit, and by definition are in direct contrast, or even occasionally in opposition, to each other.

I happen to be in that small margin. ^_^

Nor, just because it has been observed by scientists, does it mean it is real. It just means there is greater probability of it being so. The key is to remember not to under-assign or over-assign credibility to probability. An open mind must be willing to accept the existence of the improbable, but it must also be willing to accept the greater likelihood of the vastly probable.

You don't think there are trained scientists and credible people that have not seen spirits? I bet there more than have seen ball lightning.

How are you calculating what is vastly improbable or not? Bell curves are not just about probability, its a distribution field that can give us information. I can tell you that black people have more genetic diversity than other groups of people. This tells me that the distribution of genetic traits amoung black people will cover more of the margins. This gives me tons of predictable power. I can tell you that most sports will most likely be dominated by black people, the fastest runner should be black, the tallest person ( outside of genetic defects like giganticism) will be black, and the largest (& smallest) shlong will belong to a black man. The greater distribution into the ends of the bell curve give me tremendous scientifically accurate predictable power. I used to tutor statistics and econometrics I know intimately how real the tips of curves are.

Do you want to make tons of money on the stock market? Listen up. Here is the secret to easy wealth. Find a stock that moves a lot but dosnt really go anywhere. Practice buying and short selling until you are 50% right. ( a coin flip should do it). Set your stop loss at 5% of your capital ( including transaction costs) and your stop profit at 10% ( including transaction costs). Once a stop hits repeat. Let the good times roll, and dont get rich and turn into an alcoholic. Aren't distributions fun? Careful, the wrong stock can have a greater probability of hitting your 5% loss before your 10% gain. Get your picks put to 60% accuracy and a lifetime of wealth is at your fingers. Take a coin and create a graph taking 10% gain on heads and 5% loss on tails. Let it go exponential and you will be in live with the stock market forever. ;)

The point is that the entire curve is important and useful. The marginalization that occurres in scienceism attitudes is heinous.

Edited by White Crane Feather
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White Crane Feather

Come on now, White Crane. Cynics and Nazis? You're a better thinker than that.

Hahaha I think cynics is an accurate description of many pseudo skeptics. They don't actually look at the data critically. Emphiri Nazi is my pet word I made up to describe people that think reality can only be what we can empirically reproduce. It's a form of fundamentalism. It's just a fun word.

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White Crane Feather

I think the assertion that a phenomenon of unexplained lightning exists based on testimony is a lot more credible than that of dead souls pestering people. That said, as you point out, until the phenomenon can be pinned down it becomes merely acceptable, not part of science.

That's merely an opinion based on your world view frank. If a dead soul had pestered you, you would recalculate your assumed probability of what is credible and what is not.

At the moment, I am much more sure of the existence of spiritual entities than I am of ball lighting.

Edited by White Crane Feather

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Frank Merton

Ah but dead souls have pestered me but I've never seen ball lightning. I still find the latter more credible.

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White Crane Feather

Ah but dead souls have pestered me but I've never seen ball lightning. I still find the latter more credible.

Hmmmmm well you got me. Jung would have something to say about that. The marginalization of the individual has succeeded in you I guess.

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aquatus1
You don't think there are trained scientists and credible people that have not seen spirits?

Where did you get that from?

How are you calculating what is vastly improbable or not?

We aren't calculating anything. We are defining how a bell curve graphs distribution of any kind. The part in the middle is where the greatest distribution lies. The margins are the least, and are both in contrast or even in opposition with each other. By sheer definition, whatever is being graphed has the greatest probability of occurring during whatever is defined as the middle of the curve.

Bell curves are not just about probability, its a distribution field that can give us information. I can tell you that black people have more genetic diversity than other groups of people. This tells me that the distribution of genetic traits amoung black people will cover more of the margins. This gives me tons of predictable power. I can tell you that most sports will most likely be dominated by black people, the fastest runner should be black, the tallest person ( outside of genetic defects like giganticism) will be black, and the largest (& smallest) shlong will belong to a black man. The greater distribution into the ends of the bell curve give me tremendous scientifically accurate predictable power. I used to tutor statistics and econometrics I know intimately how real the tips of curves are.

That...was not a very good explanation of how a bell curve works. More genetic diversity will cover more of the margins? Have I been out of the academic field so long that this statement doesn't make sense to me? No, I don't think it is me. Assuming you did indeed used to tutor the subject, please don't make the assumption that others are completely ignorant in the field. I am not even primarily a mathematician (nor, for that matter, do I particular like numbers, as many here know), but even I can look at that paragraph and see little more than tap dancing. What exactly are you distributing? What is it being measured against? Why do you repeat yourself twice about the scientific accuracy of the margins knowing the entire time that you haven't provided any references as to how you are measuring accuracy? Heck, that's just on process along, just on how the Gaussian distribution works; I won't go into the factual data being unlikely to be correct because it isn't directly relevant to the point.

Do you want to make tons of money on the stock market? Listen up. Here is the secret to easy wealth. Find a stock that moves a lot but dosnt really go anywhere. Practice buying and short selling until you are 50% right. ( a coin flip should do it). Set your stop loss at 5% of your capital ( including transaction costs) and your stop profit at 10% ( including transaction costs). Once a stop hits repeat. Let the good times roll, and dont get rich and turn into an alcoholic.

Yes, that's exactly how it works. :sm

Aren't distributions fun? Careful, the wrong stock can have a greater probability of hitting your 5% loss before your 10% gain. Get your picks put to 60% accuracy and a lifetime of wealth is at your fingers.

Yeah, yeah numbers and all, hate 'em, got my worst grades in my MBA in the accounting and investment courses. Won't comment on the accuracy of your advice save to say to others...you may want to learn a bit more about the market before trying this.

Now, the actual point of discussion was the bell distribution? Can we get back to that?

The point is that the entire curve is important and useful. The marginalization that occurres in scienceism attitudes is heinous.

That the entire curve is important, well, in that it is pretty difficult to measure a distribution without a starting and ending point. That it is useful...not so sure I would agree with that. I mean, once you have determined the mean, or the median, or the mode, and your standard deviation, you are pretty much done with the margins. Heck, once you get past your 3 standard deviations, you are talking probabilities of less than a tenth, less than a hundredth, of a percent.

In all cases, all I'm saying is that if you have already used something (like plotting data on a Gaussian distrinution) to determine the probability of something occurring, to then point to what your graph shows to be the least likely point of distribution (i.e. the margins), meaning the least probable situation for whatever you are measuring to occur, and claim it actually represents a great deal of data, that it is a bit misleading.

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Frank Merton

Hmmmmm well you got me. Jung would have something to say about that. The marginalization of the individual has succeeded in you I guess.

I hallucinate but I know they are hallucinations so I give them no credit as evidence about what is really out there. I think most people hallucinate; they are just not sensitized to it so they pass it over.

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White Crane Feather

Where did you get that from?

We aren't calculating anything. We are defining how a bell curve graphs distribution of any kind. The part in the middle is where the greatest distribution lies. The margins are the least, and are both in contrast or even in opposition with each other. By sheer definition, whatever is being graphed has the greatest probability of occurring during whatever is defined as the middle of the curve.

That...was not a very good explanation of how a bell curve works. More genetic diversity will cover more of the margins? Have I been out of the academic field so long that this statement doesn't make sense to me? No, I don't think it is me. Assuming you did indeed used to tutor the subject, please don't make the assumption that others are completely ignorant in the field. I am not even primarily a mathematician (nor, for that matter, do I particular like numbers, as many here know), but even I can look at that paragraph and see little more than tap dancing. What exactly are you distributing? What is it being measured against? Why do you repeat yourself twice about the scientific accuracy of the margins knowing the entire time that you haven't provided any references as to how you are measuring accuracy? Heck, that's just on process along, just on how the Gaussian distribution works; I won't go into the factual data being unlikely to be correct because it isn't directly relevant to the point.

Yes, that's exactly how it works. :sm

Yeah, yeah numbers and all, hate 'em, got my worst grades in my MBA in the accounting and investment courses. Won't comment on the accuracy of your advice save to say to others...you may want to learn a bit more about the market before trying this.

Now, the actual point of discussion was the bell distribution? Can we get back to that?

That the entire curve is important, well, in that it is pretty difficult to measure a distribution without a starting and ending point. That it is useful...not so sure I would agree with that. I mean, once you have determined the mean, or the median, or the mode, and your standard deviation, you are pretty much done with the margins. Heck, once you get past your 3 standard deviations, you are talking probabilities of less than a tenth, less than a hundredth, of a percent.

In all cases, all I'm saying is that if you have already used something (like plotting data on a Gaussian distrinution) to determine the probability of something occurring, to then point to what your graph shows to be the least likely point of distribution (i.e. the margins), meaning the least probable situation for whatever you are measuring to occur, and claim it actually represents a great deal of data, that it is a bit misleading.

Yes it's been a dozen years or so myself.

The entire point is that science is based on statistics that necessarily throw out the margins. Most people that have an experience with spirits are misinterpreting something. This is the bulk of the curve for sure. The there is a portion of the curve of people who are probably mentally ill. Then there are the tips. Neither miss interpreting something nor mentally ill. If spirits exist, these are where the true experiences lye in the distribution of people just like the case with ball lightning. However, ball lightning does not have the emotional attachment to it nor the movement against its reality. I did find online some very good skepticism about it though. I was relieved actually. At least some people are sticking to the way they evaluate information rather than simply following the tide.

Yes, cynicism in the market as well. I'm not surprised actually. The emotional response is pretty typical especially when it comes to making money. Ironically it is exactly emotional responses why people screw up. With a little math, one does not need to spend an exorbitant amount of time learning about the markets. A week should do it. But one should spend some very productive time learning about ones self. If you can conquer your emotions all you need is entrepreneurship.

How is this related. The cynicism, scienceism, and empirical fundamentalism against the existence of spirits is an emotional and unscientific movement.

Is there scientific evidence that spirits exist? No... I don't think so. Accepted scientific truth requirements are far to stringent to allow for something that would exist in the margins. But the flaw is not in the existence of the thing. The flaw ( a necessary flaw) is in scientific methodology itself. By its nature it must marginalize the fringes. This says nothing about the reality of the thing, only like my stock market strategy it must remain unemotional and results driven. That's not to say that fundamental or market analysis does not work. Science does a phenomenal job. But it's success comes with the sacrifice of leaving out some things that cannot be understood with empiricism. In these cases, if we are going to learn about the things that exist but cannot be investigated scientifically.. We are going to have to investigate with all the data that science simply can't accept. Lets look.

Ball lightning: accepted. Spirits: not accepted at least by some.

Ball lightning: sightings and documentation dating back to ancient Greece.

Spirits: sightings, documentation, and interactions going back well into human pre history.

Ball lightning: cannot be reproduced

Spirits: cannot be reproduced

Ball lightning: unsubstantiated theories to explain it

Spirits: unsubstantiated theories to explain them

Ball lightning: seen by credible witnesses and about 5% of the population ( including yourself)

Spirits: seen by about 18-40 % of adults ( the statistics were all over the place on googke so I just gave a range) many of which are scientists and credible witnesses ( including myself).

BL: often misinterpreted from something more mundane

S: often misinterpreted from something more mundane

I can go on, but I'm sure you get the point. Yet as Frank graciously and correctly stated BL is unscientific. The crazy thing is that it is unscientific but yet accepted by scientists. Where as there is a mountain of more and the same kind of evidence for spirits, yet it is not. Its only because of a fallacious emotional attachment done skeptics have against the existence of a spiritual framework of reality.

In tired catch everyone latter.

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Frank Merton

I have to be honest and say I think you have got your priorities mixed up. Ghosts imply an entire array of metaphysical consequences that ball lightning does not. The burden of proof for the former, because it is so much more extraordinary, than the latter is much, much greater.

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sinewave

Yes it's been a dozen years or so myself.

The entire point is that science is based on statistics that necessarily throw out the margins. Most people that have an experience with spirits are misinterpreting something. This is the bulk of the curve for sure. The there is a portion of the curve of people who are probably mentally ill. Then there are the tips. Neither miss interpreting something nor mentally ill. If spirits exist, these are where the true experiences lye in the distribution of people just like the case with ball lightning. However, ball lightning does not have the emotional attachment to it nor the movement against its reality. I did find online some very good skepticism about it though. I was relieved actually. At least some people are sticking to the way they evaluate information rather than simply following the tide.

Yes, cynicism in the market as well. I'm not surprised actually. The emotional response is pretty typical especially when it comes to making money. Ironically it is exactly emotional responses why people screw up. With a little math, one does not need to spend an exorbitant amount of time learning about the markets. A week should do it. But one should spend some very productive time learning about ones self. If you can conquer your emotions all you need is entrepreneurship.

How is this related. The cynicism, scienceism, and empirical fundamentalism against the existence of spirits is an emotional and unscientific movement.

Is there scientific evidence that spirits exist? No... I don't think so. Accepted scientific truth requirements are far to stringent to allow for something that would exist in the margins. But the flaw is not in the existence of the thing. The flaw ( a necessary flaw) is in scientific methodology itself. By its nature it must marginalize the fringes. This says nothing about the reality of the thing, only like my stock market strategy it must remain unemotional and results driven. That's not to say that fundamental or market analysis does not work. Science does a phenomenal job. But it's success comes with the sacrifice of leaving out some things that cannot be understood with empiricism. In these cases, if we are going to learn about the things that exist but cannot be investigated scientifically.. We are going to have to investigate with all the data that science simply can't accept. Lets look.

Ball lightning: accepted. Spirits: not accepted at least by some.

Ball lightning: sightings and documentation dating back to ancient Greece.

Spirits: sightings, documentation, and interactions going back well into human pre history.

Ball lightning: cannot be reproduced

Spirits: cannot be reproduced

Ball lightning: unsubstantiated theories to explain it

Spirits: unsubstantiated theories to explain them

Ball lightning: seen by credible witnesses and about 5% of the population ( including yourself)

Spirits: seen by about 18-40 % of adults ( the statistics were all over the place on googke so I just gave a range) many of which are scientists and credible witnesses ( including myself).

BL: often misinterpreted from something more mundane

S: often misinterpreted from something more mundane

I can go on, but I'm sure you get the point. Yet as Frank graciously and correctly stated BL is unscientific. The crazy thing is that it is unscientific but yet accepted by scientists. Where as there is a mountain of more and the same kind of evidence for spirits, yet it is not. Its only because of a fallacious emotional attachment done skeptics have against the existence of a spiritual framework of reality.

In tired catch everyone latter.

So ghosts exist because atmophereic plasmas do? That is a faulty proof.

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Angel1510

So ghosts exist because atmophereic plasmas do? That is a faulty proof.

Are you actually reading the posts? Nobody is linking the two phenomena just using examples of how not everything fits in with the scientific template. Neither is proof of the other!

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White Crane Feather

I hallucinate but I know they are hallucinations so I give them no credit as evidence about what is really out there. I think most people hallucinate; they are just not sensitized to it so they pass it over.

You hallucinate spirits frank?

Edited by White Crane Feather

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White Crane Feather

So ghosts exist because atmophereic plasmas do? That is a faulty proof.

Wh9jL.gif

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aquatus1
The entire point is that science is based on statistics that necessarily throw out the margins.

And what I am saying is that this is incorrect. Science does not throw out the margins. It doesn't need to. By definition, the margins are the events that are rare enough to not represent the greater majority or probability of an occurrance. That is the entire purpose of a bell curve distribution. Throwing out the margins (or, for that matter, pretending they show anything other than the increasingly decreasing portion) defeats the entire purpose of using a bell curve.

Most people that have an experience with spirits are misinterpreting something. This is the bulk of the curve for sure. The there is a portion of the curve of people who are probably mentally ill. Then there are the tips. Neither miss interpreting something nor mentally ill.

What are you distributing? That's three different bell curves you have there, and they are not necessarily contradictory to each other.

If spirits exist, these are where the true experiences lye in the distribution of people just like the case with ball lightning. However, ball lightning does not have the emotional attachment to it nor the movement against its reality. I did find online some very good skepticism about it though. I was relieved actually. At least some people are sticking to the way they evaluate information rather than simply following the tide.

I'm glad you were able to note that science does not treat fringe science with the dismissal you thought it did. I do not, however, think you understood the reason for it.

It isn't the emotional attachment that makes something a fringe science. It is, rather, the credibility and validity of the support offered in its favor. Ball lightning, for all the lack of evidence we have for ts existance, is nonetheless a recognizeable phenomena. We do know that plasma can exhibit these properties, and we can even replicate plasma ball production on a smaller scale in a manner which indicates that naturally occurring plasma balls could be behind the mysterious ball lightning. Plasma is fringe more due to the current inability to definitively tie the scientific premise with the naturlly occurring premise.

Another example would be hypnosis, or even chiropractic work. Technically, neither field has proven that the techniques work for the stated reasons or in the assumed manner. There is a standing reward for someone who can determine from a double-blind line-up who has been hypnotized and who has not. There is evidence showing that the infamous "chiropractic subluxation" doesn't actually exist. And yet, when we plot the objective amount of occurrances of both hypnotic subjects or of people given chiropractice treatment in double-blind studies, we find a significant amount of subjects in the margins, enough to makes us acknowledge that something is occurring, although we don't have quite a firm grip of what, exactly.

This is the true value of the margin. The shallower the bell curve, the greater the indication that you are not asking the right question. If you are asking the right questions, your bell curve will have the lion's share of the distribution withing the three standard deviations.

The catch for the fringe proponent, then, is to show either that the mainstream's argument is a shallow bell curve, or to show their own argument with a well-proportioned distribution (while still being credible).

Yes, cynicism in the market as well. I'm not surprised actually. The emotional response is pretty typical especially when it comes to making money. Ironically it is exactly emotional responses why people screw up. With a little math, one does not need to spend an exorbitant amount of time learning about the markets. A week should do it. But one should spend some very productive time learning about ones self. If you can conquer your emotions all you need is entrepreneurship.

The siren call that has led many to their current jobs flipping burgers. In all fairness, most "celebrity" professions do the same. People ignore the math, only see the success stories, and jump in unprepared, only to find themselves used, abused, or ignored, or sometimes all three, with only a small (but proportionally accurate) handful reaching the promised land. Drug dealers and aspiring Hollywood starlets share these traits.

How is this related. The cynicism, scienceism, and empirical fundamentalism against the existence of spirits is an emotional and unscientific movement.

I disagree. I say the cyniscism is the expected result of the exact same mistakes in process and procedure repeated over and over again. Nor can one level charges of "sciencism" (what an awkward term), without showing there is some controversial nature to the evidence offered in defense; As for empirical fundamentalism, it is precisely that expectation which brings about the aforementioned cynicism in most scientists.

It isn't the empirical data (or lack thereof) which causes scientists to "dismiss" a given phenomena, whether it be hypnosis, chiropratic, or ghosts. It is the insistence that science is "doing it wrong" for whatever their particular cause du jour is. It is the expectation that science should accomodate itself to one particular subject in ways that no other subject in the scientific field requires. The reason why hypnosis and chiropractic are not dismissed outright is because the evidence and support they offer do not exceed the claims they make (indeed, their communities make active efforts to restrain the unfounded claims made about their fields). Ghosts...well, the claims are fairly scattered, the properties pretty unreliably documented, the phenomena as a whole is defined only in the most vague ways possible; really, it's almost like the entire ghost phenomena's claim for scientific recognition consists of "I'm really, really real! Notice me!"

Is there scientific evidence that spirits exist? No... I don't think so. Accepted scientific truth requirements are far to stringent to allow for something that would exist in the margins.

There is no need for "truth" in the phrase "accepted scientific truth requirements". Science is not a philosophy and does not search for truth. And yes, by definition, accepted scientific requirements are very stringent and cannot be met by fringe sciences. In fact, that is precisely why they are called fringe sciences; They don't meet the requirements for mainstream science.

But the flaw is not in the existence of the thing. The flaw ( a necessary flaw) is in scientific methodology itself. By its nature it must marginalize the fringes. This says nothing about the reality of the thing, only like my stock market strategy it must remain unemotional and results driven. That's not to say that fundamental or market analysis does not work. Science does a phenomenal job. But it's success comes with the sacrifice of leaving out some things that cannot be understood with empiricism. In these cases, if we are going to learn about the things that exist but cannot be investigated scientifically.. We are going to have to investigate with all the data that science simply can't accept.

Unsurprisingly, I disagree. Much is made about the emotional component of scientific research, however, if one is to accuse the entire process of scientific methodology of a flaw, it is incumbent uppon the accuser to show the flaw actually does exist. It isn't enough to make redundant claims (Of course the fringes are marginalized. That's why they are called fringes. It's like saying "We are limited by our borders." Well, yeah, kind of by definition, "borders" are indeed "limits".) nor claims which are simply assumed (such as that of only empirical evidence being allowed to acknowledge the existence of a phenomena. There is an entire slew of things called "theoretical sciences" which consist of little more than mathematical or logical arguments).

Lets look.

Ball lightning: accepted. Spirits: not accepted at least by some.

Ball lightning: sightings and documentation dating back to ancient Greece. Spirits: sightings, documentation, and interactions going back well into human pre history.

Ball lightning: cannot be reproduced Spirits: cannot be reproduced

Ball lightning: unsubstantiated theories to explain it. Spirits: unsubstantiated theories to explain them

Ball lightning: seen by credible witnesses and about 5% of the population ( including yourself). Spirits: seen by about 18-40 % of adults ( the statistics were all over the place on googke so I just gave a range) many of which are scientists and credible witnesses ( including myself).

BL: often misinterpreted from something more mundane. S: often misinterpreted from something more mundane

I can go on, but I'm sure you get the point.

Yes, but do you? Have you noticed something about all the questions you posed? Something which is actually an incredibly common mistake, so much so that it is pretty much the first thing students must be taught in Experimental Research Design class?

You have only asked the "Yes" questions. The number one flaw that invalidates most experiments.

Yet as Frank graciously and correctly stated BL is unscientific. The crazy thing is that it is unscientific but yet accepted by scientists. Where as there is a mountain of more and the same kind of evidence for spirits, yet it is not. Its only because of a fallacious emotional attachment done skeptics have against the existence of a spiritual framework of reality.

No, it isn't. It is because quantity of evidence is not as valuable as quality of evidence. A thousand cups of weak coffee will not produce a single cup of strong coffee.

So ghosts exist because atmophereic plasmas do? That is a faulty proof.

Pretty sure that is not his argument.

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White Crane Feather

No, it isn't. It is because quantity of evidence is not as valuable as quality of evidence. A thousand cups of weak coffee will not produce a single cup of strong coffee.

Boiling it a bit will ;)

The quality of evidence for BL is not better then that for spirits it's purely anecdotal. It's merely your bias on the subject that you are leaning on. A credible scientists says he saw ball lightning... Awesome you probably believe him with some reservation. If the same credible scientists says he saw a spirit, you probably would instantly assume he is mistaken or worse. The bias is so great that many cynics would not even accept an incredible face to face encounter. Would you?

Please note. I have not been trying to show scientific evidence for spirits, I have been merely pointing out the flaw in sciencism or empirical fundamentalism, and the double standards that exist. Scientific evidence for spirits lies outside of science just as ball lightning does for the moment.

I can also show you how basing ones entire world view on empiricism absolutely eventually leads one to inconclusive or blatantly wrong conclusions. That doesn't mean it's not useful. I'm a huge fan of science. But I'm not under the delusion that it has all the answers or even can. I know enough about science to reject the commonly held belief that it holds the keys to ultimate reality. We will need all our disciplines and real unbiased logic.

Edited by White Crane Feather
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aquatus1

Boiling it a bit will ;)

It's been simmering for 500 years. At some point, you just have to admit its just black smelly gunk keeping you from enjoying the hot java the rest of us are sipping.

Have we driven that metaphor into the gorund yet?

The quality of evidence for BL is not better then that for spirits it's purely anecdotal. It's merely your bias on the subject that you are leaning on.

No, see, when a scientist (or anyone else), can show me a related phenomena where similar characteristics can be observed and replicated in objective, double-blind experiments, that's a heck of a lot more than anecdotal. It isn't direct evidence, but it is objective circumstancial evidence.

A credible scientists says he saw ball lightning... Awesome you probably believe him with some reservation. If the same credible scientists says he saw a spirit, you probably would instantly assume he is mistaken or worse.

Not at all. Assuming he was saying it as a scientific claim, I would listen to what he offers as support. If all he has is an anecdote, I would nod politely and not comment. If, on the other hand, he has some evidence to support his position in an objective fashion, I would be very, very interested.

Him being a scientist doesn't effect what I, personally, would require prior to considering something scientific.

The bias is so great that many cynics would not even accept an incredible face to face encounter. Would you?

Not if an encounter was all that it was. I am far too experienced in the physical workings of the mind to trust something as shallow as a mere encounter. If I was allowed to investigate a bit further, I would be willing to file a report, but I would go out of my way to record as much as I could about my state of mind at the time.

Please note. I have not been trying to show scientific evidence for spirits, I have been merely pointing out the flaw in sciencism or empirical fundamentalism, and the double standards that exist. Scientific evidence for spirits lies outside of science just as ball lightning does for the moment.

That's entirely possible. I, on the other hand, was simply pointing out that using current techniques incorrectly for the purposes of supporting something they do not support is...well, not credible, to be polite.

I can also show you how basing ones entire world view on empiricism absolutely eventually leads one to inconclusive or blatantly wrong conclusions.

You should probably start by showing anyone who does actually base their entire world view on empiricism.

I'm a huge fan of science. But I'm not under the delusion that it has all the answers or even can. I know enough about science to reject the commonly held belief that it holds the keys to ultimate reality.

Why are you treating science as something that doesn't change or evolve? Why do you believe that past phrase above refers to the current method of scientific methodology, and none other?

Edited by aquatus1

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