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Author Topic:   Crop circles and intelligent design
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3428
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 106 of 149 (620374)
06-15-2011 11:01 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by Peter
06-14-2011 8:15 AM


Re: Evidenced Speculation
Don't get me started in the Pyramids!!

I wouldn't dare go that off-topic. We'd get moosed in a heartbeat.

Technological Life:

Technological life developed on Earth. We therefore must conclude that tech-life is a possible consequence of (well for me) natural evolutionary processes.

(snip)

I appreciate that the coincidence of tech-life's depends on it's actual rarity (which we do not know), but it makes it somewhat more than 'weak' in the inference stakes.

My heart wants to believe but the evidence is too weak. The materials requirement for 3rd generation stellar systems, the billions of years required for life to evolve out of the single celled stage, etc. And now we are seeing paleontologists and neurologists hypothesizing that the rapid growth of the hominid brain to human proportions may be the serendipitous result of a unique confluence of events on the African plains. Rare indeed.

I concede nothing by agreeing with you, though the evidence seems to indicate sentience and thus technology, may be rarer and younger than we would like to believe.

The thing about eye-witness accounts that increases credibillity is multiple, independant corroboration. The problem is when non-objective criterion get involved and all the debunking starts. When looked at, the alternate 'sciencey' explanations are more far fetched than a straightforward 'that's what happened' one.

What, you don't like ball lightning and moon beams bouncing off of Venus?

Then there are the mass hallucinations surrounding Our Lady of Fatima.

And the thousands of people who all saw spaceships in the Phoenix Lights.

In the Phoenix scenario, everyone reported different configurations of alien spaceships until one rendering was published in the Arizona Republic. Then everyone saw the same thing.

Okey dokey.

Eye witness is a joke in science these days. And even the DA'a won't take it into court without separate evidence aside from the eye witnesses. The Defense council will kick their teeth in with expert testimony of just how bad human recollection really is.

Sorry, Peter. This dog don't hunt.

UFO's ... well they ARE real ... UNIDENTIFIED being the operative word, but there is not a government on earth that hasn't conceded that there are sightings which have not been explained.

Granted. But this has nothing at all to do with aliens. Unidentified does not equal aliens.

Unless you want to say that the unidentified robbers of a west Phoenix bank yesterday means they must have been aliens. Though I suppose in another context you would probably be right.

Governments cannot keep secrets -- and they know it.

That's why they let loose the loons along with the genuine article.

Riiight.

"Someone has evidence of this "unknown" process? Really? Where?"

http://www.openminds.tv/crop-circle-science-101/

Oh good. BLT Research.

- They find iron droplets in the ground and this says "aliens"? Well, they weren't found outside the circle in the rest of the field! And did they dig up and destroy the entire crop to reach this conclusion? Or the field next door? Or any other field anywhere?

No.

Well what of the composition of the iron. You can get a good idea of where and how it was smelted by a good Mass Spectrograph.

Say what?

- They found node elongation in the wheat shaft and this says "alien"? But they can duplicate this by nuking it in a microwave! Hell this happens every August in Kansas after a rain. The combination of excessive heat and moisture.

here

Cannot warrant the informational content ...

I don't blame you. It sucks.

Oh, and there is nothing in there or any other woo crop circle woo site that is inconsistent with plank-and-board or plank-and-chord or Stroh's-and-hose or any of the other techniques used by the human Picassos of Plants.

Edited by AZPaul3, : fixed link

Edited by AZPaul3, : one more thought ... i hope

Edited by AZPaul3, : spelins

Edited by Adminnemooseus, : Changed "moosed" to "Moosed".

Edited by AZPaul3, : Too far, Moose. This is MY message, not yours!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by Peter, posted 06-14-2011 8:15 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by subbie, posted 06-16-2011 2:52 PM AZPaul3 has responded
 Message 111 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 12:04 PM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 107 of 149 (620439)
06-16-2011 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by Peter
06-09-2011 11:20 AM


ALL Conceivable Causes
Peter writes:

Weak 'positive' evidence for Human ONLY formed crop circles:

The only known source of crop circles is human construction. Scientific inductive reasoning thus leads to the tentative and falsifiable theory that ALL crop circles are constructed by humans. This theory can be falsified by presenting concrete evidence of ANY other source of crop circles which is not human in origin. This theory predicts that where the source of any specific crop circle becomes known, human construction will be found to be the cause. This prediction has been borne out in all known cases. This theory is not weakened by assertions that unevidenced causes of crop circles (such as cereal goblins or alien beings) might exist anymore than evolutionary theory is weakened by baseless alternatives such as Last Thursdayism for example.

Peter writes:

How is the above claim any different to "evolution could NOT have happened because..." ?

Apart from anything else there is masses of positive evidence that evolution did occur. Provide some positive evidence of alien constructed crop circles and you can then maybe start making such comparisons.

Peter writes:

If there is no evidence at all (one way or another) then I give everything equal scientific validity regardless of my personal opinion as to the liklihood.

In a vacuum of all evidence I would give all possibilities equal weighting too. But there is no such thing as a vacuum of all evidence. All human claims are made in the highly evidenced context of human psychology, history and culture.

Peter writes:

To me, science is not about opinion or credibility it's about evidential support for a stated potential explanation.

Yes - Supporting evidence such as the evidence that humans can and do make crop circles.

Peter writes:

By evidential support I mean accumulated failure to refute.

Our ability to conceive of unfalsified possible causes of crop circles (or indeed anything else) is limited only by our imagination. If faced with a crop circle of unknown origin you think science should give equal weighting to the human construction hypothesis, the farting celestial cow hypothesis, the alien construction hypothesis, the fluctuations in the matrix hypothesis, the underground morphic field hypothesis, the cereal goblin hypothesis etc. etc. etc. etc. - Then you obviously don't understand how scientific inductive reasoning made on the basis of positive evidence works.

Peter writes:

If we accept 'unlikihood' as evidence against one thing, we must accept it across the board.

Nobody is citing unlikelihood as evidence. We are saying that any conclusion devoid of supporting evidence is unlikely to be correct.

Peter writes:

Since there are many areas (ID being one) where we reject 'unlikihood' as sufficient, we cannot accept it anywhere else either without being hypocrytical.

You are conflating IDist claims of impossibility that fly in the face of the evidence with the argument being made here that completely unevidenced claims are unlikely to be correct. The fact that the word "unlikely" features in both does not make them the same.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by Peter, posted 06-09-2011 11:20 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 12:11 PM Straggler has responded

  
subbie
Member
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 108 of 149 (620445)
06-16-2011 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by AZPaul3
06-15-2011 11:01 PM


Re: Evidenced Speculation
AZPaul3 writes:

The Defense council will kick their teeth in with expert testimony of just how bad human recollection really is.

I don't want to drag this endlessly fascinating thread off topic, but I'm very curious about this statement. Can you give me some instances of this, because I've never heard of a court ruling expert testimony on the reliability of eye witness testimony admissible.


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by AZPaul3, posted 06-15-2011 11:01 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by AZPaul3, posted 06-16-2011 11:35 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3428
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 109 of 149 (620466)
06-16-2011 11:35 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by subbie
06-16-2011 2:52 PM


Re: Evidenced Speculation
The issue is not the court ruling whether to admit eye-witness testimony, the issue is the Defense negating that testimony with expert witnesses.

This may help some.

And one more here

There are a number of cases listed where the court allowed the Defense to bring experts against eye-witness testimony.

In the second source note the caution the author gives against trying to do so in any Texas case.

Edited by AZPaul3, : added info about link.

Edited by AZPaul3, : clarity


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by subbie, posted 06-16-2011 2:52 PM subbie has acknowledged this reply

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 110 of 149 (620855)
06-21-2011 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 105 by Modulous
06-15-2011 3:37 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
Rabbits:
OK -- my mistake.

My main point was that you rushed to that conclusion without full consideration and then had to amend what you said to justify the conclusion.

You did this by bounding the conclusion.

We likely have better than 20% for rabbit generation though, since there are likely to be numerous genetic studies that point to natural-norn-inheritance. I don't know that for 100% fact though.

"It is as proved as"

terrestrial books are written by human authors"

Confidence level 98% (We have direct knowledge of many authors and their works, and no reason to suspect their humanity).

"raindrops fall from clouds"

50% (They may originate in clouds, but depending on your precise dfinition of rain drop some fall from gutters etc. or other objects upon which they alight briefly).

"terrestrial poems are composed by human poets"

85% (see books and take some off since many ancient texts are poems rather than books).

"terrestrial crop circles are made by human pranksters/artists."

20% (The highest level of 'proof' we actually have is heresay, but there are some which have been filmed in action ... and 20% may be too high on that basis).

I don't think that the origin of crop circles is anywhere near as clear cut as many people seem to think. I stress that I'm not out to 'proove' alien intervention ... just to point out that there is more to the claim that all crop circles were made by humans than scientific conclusion with tentativity .... there IS a political aspect.

People who report seeing 'aliens' or even 'UFOs' are immediately disbelieved and convoluted explanations brought forward for what might have 'really' happened.

But why?

As a race, are humans scared of the possibilities and so ridicule anyone who puts forward the idea?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by Modulous, posted 06-15-2011 3:37 AM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 12:18 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 111 of 149 (620857)
06-21-2011 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by AZPaul3
06-15-2011 11:01 PM


Re: Evidenced Speculation
Intelligent doesn't necessarily mean human, surely?

The article on the 'oddities' of evidence says they looked within the circles and took samples from outside at increasing radius (or was that another site I was reading??).

These are features which don't appear in plank-and-board crop circles suggesting that some OTHER method was used.

Curiously I say some swirled, flattened grass in an unoccupied paddock next to one of my horse's paddock recently ... not a pattern or anything, but unlikely to have been done by a human since there was no track to or from the site. Odd wind effect maybe??

Maybe there's an errant storm god drawing piccies ... some of them are Egyptian I read somewhere

The thing about the indepenence of eye-witnesses is, of course, used in court rooms (it's all about the win after all, not the truth).

But for the abduction cases there are similarities between people who have never met -- and whose stories were compiled before it became popular to be abducted ... so maybe it's just a natural figment-of-the-imagination-gene that generates the same stuff -- really don't know and am wandering off to that territory I was steering clear of again....


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by AZPaul3, posted 06-15-2011 11:01 PM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 112 of 149 (620860)
06-21-2011 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by Straggler
06-16-2011 2:09 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
If one starts from a conclusion, then only looks for support of that conclusion (i.e. positive evidence) one is not being scientific.

What is the 'falsifiability' of human created crop-circles?

What features could we look for to refute the claim?

I would suggest that there are none ... making human-crop-circles-are-the-only-ones unfalsifiable in itself.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Straggler, posted 06-16-2011 2:09 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 12:22 PM Peter has responded
 Message 122 by Straggler, posted 06-23-2011 8:13 PM Peter has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7509
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 113 of 149 (620861)
06-21-2011 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Peter
06-21-2011 11:47 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
My main point was that you rushed to that conclusion without full consideration and then had to amend what you said to justify the conclusion.

Nope, I left it open for falsification for the purposes of illustration. This is not the first time I've had this kind of conversation, after all. Other possible falsification are phenotypical rabbits that are born from human invented genomes in test tubes or hares that are genetically modified to be more rabbitish. The theory is meant to not only be falsifiable but to be easy to see how it would be falsified. Unlike 'some crop circles were created by aliens' which is entirely unfalsifiable.

What happens when a theory gets falsified in real life? At first, minor changes are made to save it from falsification. Eventually the changes become so convoluted the theory is considered a failure. You have not falsified the theory that humans create all terrestrial crop circles even to the point where such additions or changes are required. All you have done is essentially assert that we haven't ruled out that there is a celestial tea pot.

Again, do you think school teachers should give credence to the 'magicians create rabbits de novo' theory, just because we cannot falsify it, or should they teach that rabbits come from other rabbits?

I don't think that the origin of crop circles is anywhere near as clear cut as many people seem to think.

But your only argument is that we haven't falsified the unfalsifiable. If you have a better argument, feel free to present it.

I stress that I'm not out to 'proove' alien intervention ... just to point out that there is more to the claim that all crop circles were made by humans than scientific conclusion with tentativity .... there IS a political aspect.

This is the first time you raised a political aspect, what is this political aspect?

People who report seeing 'aliens' or even 'UFOs' are immediately disbelieved and convoluted explanations brought forward for what might have 'really' happened.

Is it wrong for people to attempt identify something that was previously unidentified? There are two possible identifications, those which the person could not possibly know 'it must be an alien spacecraft' and those which can be supported by evidence such as 'it was Venus'. I once watched a news crew zoom in on a bright light in the sky and saw a few dots in a line on either side of it. Anyone that has looked through a telescope would immediately identify their alien craft as Jupiter and its major moons.

I don't know about convoluted, most of them are quite straight forward. Chinese lamps, lamp posts, planets, the moon, weather balloons and clouds - are all things which have been called unidentified flying objects.

As a race, are humans scared of the possibilities and so ridicule anyone who puts forward the idea?

If you feel that the notion that aliens sometimes perform art in a way that is identical to the way humans perform art is not ridiculous you have a lot of work to do to persuade me. Merely asserting that it hasn't been ruled out is insufficient, for what should be obvious reasons by now.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 11:47 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:21 AM Modulous has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7509
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 114 of 149 (620862)
06-21-2011 12:22 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by Peter
06-21-2011 12:11 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
What is the 'falsifiability' of human created crop-circles?

What features could we look for to refute the claim?

A crop circle shaped alien space craft sitting on one of them.
Or video footage of a family of shrews creating a crop circle.
Or crop circles spontaneously forming.
Or some weather event.
Or any cause that wasn't human.

Would falsify 'all crop circles are human created'

Nothing can falsify 'some crop circles are alien created.' other than some kind of crop circle omniscience which is never going to actually occur.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by Peter, posted 06-21-2011 12:11 PM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:26 AM Modulous has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 115 of 149 (621006)
06-22-2011 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by Modulous
06-21-2011 12:18 PM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
I understand falsification leading to a modified theory.

When I was referring to convoluted explanations I was referring to alien abduction tales.

My question at the end is perhaps the most on topic I've been for a bit. Is the reason that we discount some possibilities more to do with fear that they have merit or is it purely on th evidence?

There are, of course, two groups:

1) Most people :- they discount ideas without looking at the evidence so there must be something else informing their credibility limit.

2) Scientists :- they still have their own credibility limits, but hopefully are trained to be open minded. However, and this is where my political comment comes from, most also rely on their reputations to bring in research funding ... so giving any kind of credence to odd ideas is ruled out for the reason that it has been rejected by (1) above.

Perhaps if Galileo had adopted that stance he would have stayed out of jail ... and it would have been even more years before we figured out our place in the solar system.

I accept that one cannot investigate an unfalsifiable proposition.

I also, however, reject any refutation based solely upon support for a completely different theory.

And, of course, you cannot refute something which is unfalsifiable ...

Summarise my on-topic bit:

Acceptance of human-only-crop-circles (HOCC) with the anecdotal and very weak evidence that we have is akin to accepting the statements made by IDists.

The evidence in either case does not stand up well to scrutiny.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 12:18 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by Coyote, posted 06-22-2011 11:26 AM Peter has responded
 Message 121 by Modulous, posted 06-22-2011 12:47 PM Peter has responded

    
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6027
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 116 of 149 (621007)
06-22-2011 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by Peter
06-22-2011 11:21 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
Acceptance of human-only-crop-circles (HOCC) with the anecdotal and very weak evidence that we have is akin to accepting the statements made by IDists.


So turn this around and show us the evidence for non-human crop circles.

I would think that it is far more anecdotal and far weaker.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:21 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:27 AM Coyote has responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 117 of 149 (621008)
06-22-2011 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Modulous
06-21-2011 12:22 PM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
None of that is a falsification of the claim.

To falsify the claim we, surely, need to make predictions about the nature of human-made crop circles, then look for crop circles that do NOT match those predictions.

Even if I saw an alien drawing (?) a crop circle I can only conclude that THAT crop circle was made by the alien ... but that is sufficient when the claim is 'some are made by ...'

When the claim is 'All are made by...' we surely require a better standard of prediction.

If we cannot make predictions about the nature of human-made-crop-circles then the claim is, by definition, unfalsifiable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Modulous, posted 06-21-2011 12:22 PM Modulous has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 119 by Modulous, posted 06-22-2011 11:41 AM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1515 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 118 of 149 (621009)
06-22-2011 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by Coyote
06-22-2011 11:26 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
Both are equally weak.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Coyote, posted 06-22-2011 11:26 AM Coyote has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by Coyote, posted 06-22-2011 11:43 AM Peter has responded

    
Modulous
Member
Posts: 7509
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 119 of 149 (621010)
06-22-2011 11:41 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by Peter
06-22-2011 11:26 AM


Re: ALL Conceivable Causes
None of that is a falsification of the claim.

To falsify the claim we, surely, need to make predictions about the nature of human-made crop circles, then look for crop circles that do NOT match those predictions.

No, any evidence of a singular non-human made crop circles is enough to falsify the theory that ALL crop circles are human made. That would include finding an alien space craft landing on some crops, creating a crop circle. Or encountering an alien Picasso at work in a field.

Even if I saw an alien drawing (?) a crop circle I can only conclude that THAT crop circle was made by the alien ... but that is sufficient when the claim is 'some are made by ...'

But the falsifiable claim we are making is that ALL are made by humans. The unfalsifiable claim from the other side is that SOME crop circles are made by aliens.

Therefore, since in your example you now know there is at least one crop circle not made by humans this means that not ALL crop circles are made by humans.

If I was postulating that 'some crop circles are created by humans' you would never have bothered disputing that would you?

If we cannot make predictions about the nature of human-made-crop-circles then the claim is, by definition, unfalsifiable.

Except in the case where we have evidence of non-human made crop circles such as evidence that rodents, aliens or weather creates some crop circles.

To falsify 'all x are y' all that is needed is to show an x that is not y. Therefore all that is required is evidence that shows at least one x that is not y. This is basic fundamentals of science, surely?

The prediction that stems from the theory 'all crop circles are made by humans' would be that for any crop circle where we can identify the maker, it will turn out to be human. This can be shown to be in error if we were to able identify a non-human maker.

On the other hand, the only way to falsify 'some crop circles are made by aliens' is to identify the maker of ALL crop circles as being not-alien, which is of course an unreasonable demand in all areas of scientific and any other rational discourse.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:26 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 123 by Peter, posted 07-08-2011 9:26 AM Modulous has responded

    
Coyote
Member
Posts: 6027
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 120 of 149 (621011)
06-22-2011 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by Peter
06-22-2011 11:27 AM


Re: tentative nature of stated conclusions
Equally weak?

When we have 6+ billion people running around this planet, and no confirmed aliens?

Equally weak?

Got any bridges to sell?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by Peter, posted 06-22-2011 11:27 AM Peter has responded

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