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Author Topic:   Peanut Gallery
PaulK
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Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 74 of 1725 (509402)
05-21-2009 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 73 by Percy
05-21-2009 3:59 AM


Re: "cdesign proponentsists"
I find it interestign that Fallen chooses to focus on the young Earth issues - which are a red herring - while ignoring clear evidence that "Of Pandas and People" simple relabelled "creation" as intelligent design. And it is fundamentally silly to say that Old Earth Creationists aren't creationists.
This is the smoking gun. The definition of "intelligent design" in "Of Pandas and People" is
"Intelligent design means that various forms of life began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features already intact. Fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc."
This is pretty clearly a definition of creationism in the general sense - and it originally WAS a definition of "creation".
There's a lot more from the Kitzmiller trial that could be considered. Behe's testimony for instance - both his argument that the definition of science should be broadened and his treatment of the evolution of the immune system are highly relevant to showing that ID is less than scientific.

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 Message 73 by Percy, posted 05-21-2009 3:59 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
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Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 186 of 1725 (534994)
11-12-2009 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 185 by Percy
11-12-2009 9:45 AM


Re: Kaichos Man in the Information Thread
On the other hand, consider EMA's current behaviour on The Psychology Behind the Belief in Heaven and Hell, where not only is he obviously misreading the Bible (to the point where it looks as if he is deliberately ignoring the text) his posts are littered with disparaging comments directed at anyone who disagrees.
I can name some past members with equally bad problems (infamously Randman, for one).
This is not just an isolated incident with one individual.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by Percy, posted 11-12-2009 9:45 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 187 by Percy, posted 11-12-2009 10:58 AM PaulK has not replied
 Message 188 by Blue Jay, posted 11-12-2009 11:00 AM PaulK has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1143 of 1725 (622429)
07-03-2011 3:16 AM
Reply to: Message 1142 by Chuck77
07-03-2011 1:57 AM


Re: RAZD and bluegenes
Thanks for that I was going to say that you must have had the participants reversed and this proves that I was correct. RAZD is the one taking an unreasonable position, not bluegenes.
It's pretty well-known that the IPU was made-up, just like the Flying Spaghetti Monster (and I assure you that RAZD believes it). And we know why they were both made up - to point out that if you can argue for the existence of God you can also argue for the existence of more obviously silly beings.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1142 by Chuck77, posted 07-03-2011 1:57 AM Chuck77 has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1147 of 1725 (622445)
07-03-2011 5:22 AM
Reply to: Message 1145 by Chuck77
07-03-2011 4:51 AM


Re: Huh?
I guess that you just don't get it. RAZD starts using logical fallacies in the first post - while falsely accusing bluegenes of having done so. While I wouldn't go to the lengths of describing bluegene's proposal as a theory, it is quite clear that RAZD is the chief abuser.
Can you name one single scientific theory that has been absolutely proven in every single conceivable case ? Because that is what RAZD demands right upfront. You admit that RAZD has the responsibility to disprove bluegene's claim. But right in the first post he tries to duck that responsibility by demanding unreasonable and unrealistic standards of proof:
Curiously I do not need to claim, assert or believe that "supernatural being (X) can exist" -- all I need to do is present you with a concept of a supernatural being, like supernatural being (X), and then it is your task to demonstrate, with objective empirical valid evidence, that these concepts are unequivocally and absolutely a fictional invention and not a supernatural being.
In fact this is clearly false. To disprove bluegene's claim, RAZD has to produce a valid counter-example. He clearly shirks that responsibility.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1145 by Chuck77, posted 07-03-2011 4:51 AM Chuck77 has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1155 of 1725 (622499)
07-04-2011 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1151 by Chuck77
07-04-2011 2:52 AM


Re: bluegenes circular reasoning with RAZD
quote:
Straggler, Modulous and PaulK. All three of you are arguining in favor of what you pounce on Creationists for. Basically using the Bible to prove the Bible is true. It's the same logic here. Bluegenes is doing the SAME exact thing that you argue against when it comes to Creationist tactics.
You made the claim now you have to support it.
You might like to consider the fact that you were wrong in your assessment of the debate, that RAZD started out by demanding a grossly unreasonable level of proof, and I demonstrated it by quoting RAZD himself. In contrast you rely almost entirely on RAZD's assessment of the debate without considering his obvious bias. You need to show that bluegene's really is arguing in this way - and that I support it - instead of relying on "RAZD says so".
And let me ask you a question. If bluegene's case is so weak, why does RAZD make such an obvious attempt to rig the debate against him in the very first post ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1151 by Chuck77, posted 07-04-2011 2:52 AM Chuck77 has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1159 of 1725 (622556)
07-05-2011 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1158 by Chuck77
07-05-2011 1:57 AM


Re: bluegenes circular reasoning with RAZD
quote:
What I think is happening is there are two different stndards of evidence being worked into one topic. I'll try and take an unbiased approach (not that im bias).
It seems odd that you claim to be unbiased when you seem to be taking the position that RAZD must be assumed to be correct, no matter what.
quote:
ADZ may be a little to "staunch" on the evidence he is demanding from bluegenes. I think RAZD likes to push the limits and get people to realize what they are actually saying. bluegenes stated he has a "strong" theory. Maybe this wouldn't have gotten to the point it has if he simply said a "strong" opinion. RAZD is asking for the Scientific method to be followed here with a simple, albiet, strong statement.
RAZD is demanding a standard of proof BEYOND that which is even possible to science.
quote:
If RAZD were to "play along" im sure it would be for a better debate, but like I said, RAZD seems like he enjoys pushing the limits and getting people to actually think before they speak and have a little fun with it at the same time.
It looks to me more that RAXD is setting a grossly unreasonable standard because his own position is indefensible.
quote:
Of course what RAZD was asking for is impossible, being there is no way to test the supernatural.
It is impossible to science full stop. The supernatural element is not relevant (and in fact supernatural beings could act in such a way in that bluegenes explanation would not be a reasonable explanation for some supernatural beliefs).
quote:
RAZD got caught up on bluegenes over confident stance and called him on it and simply kept that mindset throughout the entire debate without letting up. I think RAZD was just pushing him around for the fun of it because of bluegenes arrogance, IMO.
There's a long history behind this argument, which you are unaware of. However your "explanation" even fails in the context of this specific debate since RAZD is intentionally setting the level of proof he demands way above anything that can be justified by bluegenes statements. In short it seems that RAZD was trying to rig the debate in his favour.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1158 by Chuck77, posted 07-05-2011 1:57 AM Chuck77 has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1163 of 1725 (622693)
07-06-2011 2:36 AM
Reply to: Message 1162 by Chuck77
07-06-2011 2:16 AM


Re: Same logic
quote:
I'm not sure what else to add. I've nothing more to say on the matter.
In other words you can't produce any examples of circular reasoning from bluegenes actual posts.
quote:
I suppose the standards for theorys are different on this site, im learning. You can make simple yet profound statements and if you are totally 100% against there being supernatural beings well, you need not to back it up. Only the folks who claim the opposite need evidence.
Of course, this is completely untrue. Nobody is saying anything of the sort.
You will note for example that I have been able to produce significant evidential support for my assessment of the debate, while you have not.
If you could produce real evidence that bluegenes was using a circular argument - rather then just repeating RAZD's accusations we would listen. Instead of trying to make excuses as you have done.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1162 by Chuck77, posted 07-06-2011 2:16 AM Chuck77 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1164 by Chuck77, posted 07-06-2011 3:59 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1165 of 1725 (622699)
07-06-2011 4:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1164 by Chuck77
07-06-2011 3:59 AM


Re: Same logic
quote:
Would you be interested in addressing the content of my comment? You know, my "theory"? Or are you going to just skip over it altogether? PaulK? It's right in the middle of comment 1162. You are addressing the beggining and the end of my comment without addressing the actual substance in it.
In fact it was not the main substance of your post and it's relevance depended on the truth of the points that I did address. But I will go and look at it, if you really want.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1164 by Chuck77, posted 07-06-2011 3:59 AM Chuck77 has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1166 of 1725 (622700)
07-06-2011 4:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1162 by Chuck77
07-06-2011 2:16 AM


Re: Same logic
Since Chuck insists, I will address the alleged substance.
quote:
I suppose the standards for theorys are different in your opinions, im learning. You can make simple yet profound statements and if you are totally 100% in agreement with those statements you need not to back it up. Only the folks who claim the opposite need evidence. So, using that logic I would like to propose the same line of reasoning with the same standard of evidence.
Let us note that Chuck admits here that his argument is simply meant to illustrate his false assertions. And that rather than defend those assertions he instead demands that we deal with the argument - which has no relevance unless those assertions are true. So, really this post contributes nothing more than a further demonstration of the failings of Chuck's reasoning.
quote:
1: A supernatural being exists outside of my imagination because im finite whereas the
supernatural is not.
Begs the question by assuming the existence of the supernatural
quote:
2: A Supernatural being is beyond human understanding or imagination therefore doesn't
depend on our imagination for it to be true or untrue.
Poorly reasoned. If supernatural beings really exist then - like everything else that exists as a concrete entity they would not depend on our imagination. This then, is irrelevant.
quote:
3: Humans have no knowledge of supernatural beings existence, nor it's nature within it's finite mind or imagination excluding the imagination as any sort of verifiable evidence either for or against.
This simply proposes that the supernatural is unfalsifiable. It fails to address the possibility that supernatural entities - if they existed - could be able to provide evidence of their existence. And in fact, it seems to suggest that bluegenes is correct about any proposed supernatural entities that humans might believe in. The only difference is the assumption of unknowable entities which might as well not exist.
So we don't have anything like a decent argument here. The premises are poorly
constructed, there is no clear reasoning or even an identifiable conclusion. Indeed it seems to support bluegene's position, although that was clearly not the intent.
But of course, none of this has any relevance to the actual discussion...
Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1162 by Chuck77, posted 07-06-2011 2:16 AM Chuck77 has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1219 of 1725 (624039)
07-15-2011 2:37 PM


Great Debate
I will say that the Great Debate format did save Chuck from being dogpiled, even though he did a far better job of making Straggler's case than supporting his own.
(And if Chuck wants to debate the Bible in a Great Debate format then I am up for it - so long as we can agree an acceptable topic)

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 1541 of 1725 (631702)
09-02-2011 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 1524 by RAZD
08-30-2011 10:47 PM


Re: "detectable but not in an empirical manner"
I think that my comments may provide some insight. Let us note that RAZD does not explicitly state what is being non-empiricably detected. I will take the charitable view that he is asserting that religious experiences might be detections of supernatural beings, which he believes do not qualify as empirical. There is nothing else which seems to qualify.
quote:
If you met a supernatural being, would that not de facto be classed as a religious experience?
On the face of it, no. An encounter with, say, a ghost or a werewolf need not even have any religious content, let alone invoke the strong emotional response associated with the more technical meaning that I think is intended.
quote:
Are there documents of religious experiences where people claim to have met supernatural beings?
Certainly there are, but whether they reflect actual encounters is another matter entirely.
quote:
Can you detect when religious experiences occur (ie changes in brain activity)?
Certainly this is true.
quote:
Can you empirically test religious experiences to see if they actually are experiences of supernatural beings etc?
In practice it appears to not be the case - although it certainly would not necessarily be the case if such experiences were genuine contacts with supernatural beings. Moreover, the fact that religious experiences may be artifically induced tends to suggest that they are more likely not contacts with supernatural being. As is the fact that the interpretations often owe far more to the subject's pre-existing beliefs than the experience itself.
quote:
Can religious experiences be broadly or narrowly classed as consistent?
The raw experiences seem to be - provided we let go of the idea that any possible encounter with a supernatural entity would qualify - however as stated above the interpretations are far less so. And the idea that the experience represents contact with a supernatural being is an interpretation, not part of the raw experience.
But let us note that the experience itself qualifies as an observation (and therefore is empirical) - indeed it is sometimes claimed that they represent the operation of a sense. Arguments based on comparing such experiences - even if it were not the case that the experiences could be induced in the laboratory - would clearly be inductive arguments based on repeated observation - clearly empirical. To forestall one possible objection I should repeat a point I have made before - detection does not have to be direct, and in fact even the concept of direct detection is dubious (all our senses are mediated by our sensory apparatus, at the very least).
Thus, it is hard to see how such experiences can be classified as non-empirical detections. If they are detections, they are observations and therefore empirical. We are still left with the difficult question of how a detection can fail to involve an observation of some sort, a question which RAZD's post clearly fails to address.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1524 by RAZD, posted 08-30-2011 10:47 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1553 by RAZD, posted 09-04-2011 7:06 PM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1556 of 1725 (631986)
09-05-2011 1:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1553 by RAZD
09-04-2011 7:06 PM


Re: "detectable but not in an empirical manner"
quote:
Actually, when you have any two word combination like "empirically detectable" it means there are three other possibilities to consider:
You seem to completely misunderstand even this point. I did not ask to be lectured on a simple and obvious point. I pointed out that in your example it was unclear exactly what it is that was allegedly being detected in a non-empirical way.
quote:
Where empirically is taken to mean testable and repeatable, rather than just a single point of data (ie the unique experience of a conscious and aware individual that has not been repeated or validated in any way).
This seems to be a non-standard usage, however the point is moot since religious experiences ARE repeatable. You yourself raised the issue of commonalities between experiences.
quote:
Here you have a potential situation where an individual could experience a supernatural presence, but the outside observer is not able to verify or test for the supernatural presence, even though they can test for whether or not the experience affects their brain patterns and identify the pattern common to religious experiences. You can detect and identify associated patterns but not the core experience.
However, not only is this detection "empirical" in the more common sense, the whole thing may be empirically investigated by collecting reports of the experiences and making comparisons. Not to mention the outputs of the brain scans, which may provide useful insights.
quote:
But would you or would you not then be a believer in ghosts or werewolves? You have had an experience that involves them. Would this not lead you to question other beliefs related to supernatural beings?
Which still would not make it a religious experience, even in a broad sense.
quote:
Isn't that the question? Are they real experiences of a supernatural presence or not?
If they aren't then they cannot actually be examples of non-empirical detection, can they ?
quote:
So the occurrence of the experience is detectable.
By empirical means. Which means that as soon as we confirm that the experiences ARE "detections of supernatural beings" (in the unlikely event that such should be the case) we would have an empirical means of detecting them...
quote:
In other words, detectable but not empirically testable. Thanks.
Because the experiences are devoid of anything that would demonstrate the truthfulness of the interpretation of them as a contact with a supernatural being.
quote:
Why so? Isn't this just an assumption on your part? Do you have a means to test for supernatural presence?
Because there is no reason to believe that supernatural beings are incapable of providing evidence of their existence through the experience.
quote:
Again we go back to your TV analogy: you can see an image when the TV is on and you cannot see it when the TV is off. Inducing it may only be turning on the mechanism. You would need a means to test for supernatural presence before you can say it is not present.
Of course this rests on the assumption that the primary mechanism is in the brain, rather than in a supernatural being reaching out to contact individuals. However, that situation is more consistent with the idea that the experience is internally generated - since we lack any plausible mechanism or reason why the brain might have such a capability that could be switched on or off.
quote:
Which only relates to the ability of the person to understand what they are experiencing, and how they naturally fit it into their worldview. That it would conform in a general way to similar previous experiences should not be a major surprise.
Which implicitly accepts the important point that the interpretation of the experience is unreliable, and cannot be taken at face value.
quote:
So are you arguing that detectable and empirical mean the same thing?
Unless you can show me a means of detection which is not classed as observation it would seem that using the broad sense of empirical they are the same thing, however I am not arguing that, it simply falls out. And while your criterion of repeatability might not be met in some theoretical cases, it clearly is in THIS case.
quote:
Curiously, what you are testing is whether or not the experience occurs, and then evaluating whether or not the experience matches information from other experiences, not whether or not a supernatural presence is involved.
But you miss the point that I am evaluating the experiences (and other data) to collectively test whether they appear to be contacts with supernatural beings or not.
quote:
So a person can have an experience that may or may not be of a supernatural presence, they believe that they experience a supernatural presence, they can describe the a supernatural presence, and you have a means where they can empirically test\determine if it really was a supernatural presence?
Of course I am not claiming that the work is complete. However work has been done on the question and at present the evidence tends to favour the view that such experiences are not detections of supernatural beings.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1553 by RAZD, posted 09-04-2011 7:06 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1557 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2011 10:49 AM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 1558 of 1725 (632039)
09-05-2011 12:15 PM
Reply to: Message 1557 by RAZD
09-05-2011 10:49 AM


Re: "detectable but not in an empirical manner"
quote:
So how do you detect the presence of supernatural beings?
That is the wrong question. The right question is whether religious experiences ARE detecting supernatural beings. If they are, your question is answered, if they are not, you have no example.
I see two promising approaches to that question. The first is to analyse what is going on in the brain. If the experiences are detections of supernatural beings we should find evidence of an input that cannot be accounted for by natural means. If, on the other hand, the evidence shows no such input then we should reject the hypothesis that the experiences derive from anything but the workings of the human nervous system.
The other, as I have mentioned before, is to examine the accounts for features that point to a source unavailable to the person having the experience. If we find such are common and can be verified, at the least it would make the supernatural hypothesis more plausible.
quote:
Would you agree that not being able to detect the presence of supernatural beings means that it is just an assumption that they are not present?
Firstly I will remind you that your point relies on the assumption that religious experiences ARE detections of supernatural beings. Secondly, I would suggest that if supernatural beings have no detectable influence on this world we should be strongly skeptical of their existence. As we should be skeptical of any unfalsifiable belief that lacks any supporting evidence.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1557 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2011 10:49 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1561 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2011 1:20 PM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 1563 of 1725 (632056)
09-05-2011 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 1561 by RAZD
09-05-2011 1:20 PM


Re: "detectable but not in an empirical manner"
quote:
So if you can't tell if there is a supernatural presence\beings then how can you tell if religious experiences are detecting them or not?
I've already explained that.
quote:
But you haven't eliminated the possibility that supernatural presence is driving the whole system, and you don't see "evidence of an input that cannot be accounted for by natural means" because it is USING the natural means.
And the same might be said of any event once attributed to supernatural beings, but now explained by natural causes. What makes this particular case so special that we need to resort to absolute proof ?
quote:
You are just ASSUMING that there is no presence. You are like a Ben Franklin with his kite but no means to detect electricity explaining that "natural means" explain the light and thunder, because you have no test for electricity.
Obviously that is false. If the evidence shows that religious experiences may be adequately accounted for by natural inputs and events within the human nervous system I would conclude that it is not a detection of a supernatural being = because it is NOT detecting a supernatural being, only those natural inputs whether or not a supernatural being happens to be controlling them.
quote:
But to verify that they are actually talking about experiences of supernatural beings you would have to be able to test for the supernatural beings being present. Otherwise you are just making assumptions.
But obviously I am NOT just making assumptions. I am coming to a conclusion based on the evidence.
quote:
No, it relies on the fact that they MAY be actual experiences involving supernatural beings, and that you need to test for and empirically eliminate this possibility before you can claim supernatural presence is not involved.
In fact it assumes that they MAY be actual detections of supernatural beings. Obviously if we cannot detect supernatural beings this cannot be true.
quote:
How do you know whether or not they have a detectable effect if you cannot detect their presence?
I did not make the claim that they did not. I was responding to your hypothetical situation which ASSUMED that they did not. Of course if supernatural beings did have detectable effects, we would potentially have a means of detecting them...
quote:
Being skeptical is fine, however when you close your mind to possibilities that are not contradicted by any supporting evidence, then you are not addressing potentially valid possibilities to the question with proper scientific means
Obviously you are unfamiliar with the nature of science. Science ignores many, many scenarios that are not absolutely IMPOSSIBLE. It has to, since there are too many logical possibilities to address. Heuristics for eliminating the less likely options - such as parsimony - are essential.
quote:
Do you have any supporting objective empirical evidence that supernatural beings do not actually exist? If not, then shouldn't you be equally skeptical of people claiming that they don't?
Actually I should not be skeptical of people being strongly skeptical of supernatural beings because they are being rational ! If anyone claims an absolute belief that there are no such things, then I will be skeptical of THAT.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1561 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2011 1:20 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1565 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2011 3:09 PM PaulK has replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 1566 of 1725 (632085)
09-05-2011 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1565 by RAZD
09-05-2011 3:09 PM


Re: "detectable but not in an empirical manner"
quote:
I must have missed it.
Odd how you replied to the explanations you didn't see.
quote:
Agreed, as I have said elsewhere, that is another problem for you if you cannot test for the presence of supernatural essence.
No, it's not a problem for me, at all.
quote:
But you aren't "NOT detecting a supernatural being," you are just assuming that what you detect doesn't include supernatural presence -- you can't say you are not detecting supernatural presence UNLESS you have a means to actually detect supernatural presence.
By which you mean the fact that the alleged method of detecting supernatural beings is not detecting supernatural beings is not a good reason to conclude that it is not detecting supernatural beings because we don't have a way of detecting supernatural beings.
quote:
Obviously if you have no means to detect their presence, then you cannot detect them due to your failure to test for their presence and NOT because they are not there, no matter how you spin the argument. Without such a means of detection it remains a FACT that they MAY involve the presence of supernatural beings.
The question we are discussing is not whether supernatural beings exist, but whether religious experiences are detections of supernatural beings, and how we might decide that issue. If we examine the mechanism and find that it is only detecting natural phenomena we can conclude that it is only detecting natural phenomena regardless of whether supernatural beings exist or not.
quote:
Except where it relates directly to falsification of the hypothesis in general and to a proposed falsification test in specific. Ignoring evidence that the hypothesis may already be falsified is not a proper scientific approach.
In other words it is the presence of evidence that is important, not mere logical possibility. Which supports my point.
quote:
Confirmation bias is not a basis for rational thought.
Neither is innuendo.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1565 by RAZD, posted 09-05-2011 3:09 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1586 by RAZD, posted 09-07-2011 10:24 AM PaulK has replied

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