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Frightened of ghosts ???

 
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:
Any scientific theory is governed by our limitation of knowledge, it is more about what we do not know and would like to know, than what we know and are happy with that.



Good point..
 
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Originally posted by shankar Iyer:

Dinosaurs were wiped out because their numbers increased to a massive proportion unable to handle by the planet!!! Some other species may have existed even before dinosaurs and were wiped out beacause of the same reason.



Dude, the dinosaurs had a run of over 300 million years. Their population was stable for most of that time (as, indeed, all populations are over the long term). They went extinct (over a period of some 50 million years) due to a number of reasons, believed to be mostly around climatic change caused by changes in the sun (well out of human or saurian control) and from increased vulcanism in the Earth (ditto).

There were lots of earlier species to dinosaurs. Dinosaurs evolved from them. And yes, there were earlier mass extinctions - the biggest and baddest probably being the Cambrian extinction. It happens.


Human race will also meet its end in a similar fashion , because of the increasing burden it is causing on the planet.
All these are nature's ways of protecting itself from external influences causing atrocities on it and is controlled by a power greater than physics, chemistry or Maths can explain .



What burden on the planet? Humanity represents almost no threat to the biosphere of the Earth. Individual species, yes, but even if we nuke or overpollute ourselves to hell and back, life would survive and bounce back, bigger and better than ever. Nothing humanity can do to the planet hasn't already been done before, up to and including a runaway greenhouse effect.

The belief that some people hold that humans can "destroy the earth" is really just a symptom of our species narcissim. We can not destroy the Earth. We can certainly destroy ourselves, but that will be our own fault, not some mystical supernatural effect.

Nature doesn't "protect itself". Nature doesn't care, and would not need protecting even if it did. And humans are part of nature - a beaver's dam or a wasp nest or a bee hive are all just as "unnatural" as a skyscraper.
 
Robert Watkins
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:

Possibly. Some species do suffer from over population, but I would guess that the vast majority of extinction events have other factors contributing significantly to them, commonly environmental changes. Often global warming/cooling or changing gas make up of the atmosphere are put forwards as likely theories.



No species suffers from over population for more than a few generations. All ecosystems, by definition, however in stable states (which are not static) - if an ecosystem becomes unstable, it is because of a new factor, and results in an often rapid transition back to a stable state (possibly a different one).

Note that population cycles of boom-bust can be considered stable.
 
Robert Watkins
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Originally posted by Sripathi Krishnamurthy:

MIND is the best example of what science cant explain. It does not mean mind does not exist.
There are numerous experiments conducted on human brain to see how mind operates, but scientists are not able to get even 1% breakthrough.
Why and How does one dream?
Why does 2 kids who may be brothers/sisters have completely differently attitudes? even though they are in a controlled environment.
It boils down to perception. And why do each person percieve a single thing differently.
If science cant explain these, that means science has its limitations.
So if science cant explain ghosts, that does not really mean ghosts cant exist.



Mind is probably an emergent characteristic of the neural network that is the brain. It does not have to be supernatural, and probably isn't. Emergent characteristics of even simple dynamic systems are known to be able to produce extreme complexity.

How does one dream? That's been explained (though don't ask me for an explanation - I'm not a neuroscientist). The _mechanics_ of dreaming, like the mechanics of thought, are understood. Why do we dream? Who knows? However, it's not just a human characteristic. Many mammals dream.

2 kids with different attitudes? Why not? They're not identical, even if they are identical twins. Furthermore, life is chaotic - you can not repeat events exactly, even if it is deterministic. Even minor differences in initial conditions can contribute to dramatic differences (the so called butterfly effect).

Science has no limits - the scientific method is perfectly adequate to dealing with any situation. Humans, however, do. And just because science can not disprove ghosts (or prove them - many parapsychologists are trying to prove ghosts exist) doesn't mean that they do any more than it means they don't - it just means that there is no scientific evidence.
 
Robert Watkins
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Originally posted by shankar Iyer:

Hey,
Why doesent the JREF also prove something to us!!!
Why dont u disprove the existance of God??



The nature of God, as stated literally in the Bible, is well and truly disproven. That's one reason why the definition of God (and, in particular, the location of Heaven) has shifted over time - religion always runs to where science can not shed light at the moment.
 
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Hey,
Why doesent the JREF also prove something to us!!!
Why dont u disprove the existance of God??



You misunderstand the purpose and mission of the JREF. They don't care about explanations of HOW something works. They don't care about God, and his existance or lack thereof.

they are not trying to prove or disprove anything.

What they are trying to find is ANY EVIDENCE of some supernatural ability. ESP, dowsing, telekenisis, telepathy, conjuration... The only evidence ever presented is anecdotal, or blatently fake. People who claim to have the ability to see objects while blindfolded are discovered to be peaking out along their noses. their ability seems to disappear when a screen is placed between them and the object.

people who claim to talk to the dead are doing what's called a "cold reading". Spoon benders, if they're doing it with mental power, are doing it the hard way. The easiest way to perform this "miracle" is to bend the spoon with your hands when the observers are distracted. just about any competent magician can perform all these tricks.

If you believe in God, great! If you want to believe in paranormal powers in humans, that's fine too. But until someone can demonstrate it in a controlled experiment, I choose not to. and so does the JREF.

(please remember i am not affiliated with the JREF in any way, and that this is my opinion of who they are and what they do.)
 
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The _mechanics_ of dreaming, like the mechanics of thought, are understood

Really? That's funny, because when I was taking all those cognitive psychology and biopsychology classes last year our knowledge of thought and the mechanics was limited to being able to trace electrochemical patterns in various regions of the brain on a very broad scale. That and we have some pretty good theories about how the electrochemicals move from neuron to neruon, but that is about it. Has there been some major break thoughs in the past year? Don't ge tme wrong, I don't think it will be long before we do understand the mechanics of thought, but we aren't there yet. (To the best of my knowledge)

The nature of God, as stated literally in the Bible, is well and truly disproven.

Another statement I am not quite sure of. The nature of God is never discussed, literally or figuratively, in the Bible. Science has, however, shown that many of the acts, such as the creation stroies (there are two), could not have happened as explained literally. Of course, most people who have done study in ancient writings such as The Old Testament, The Koran, the ancient Sumerian texts (like the epoch of Gilgamesh) would know that very little of the writing was literal...
 
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Originally posted by Barry Gaunt:
Where's all the dinosaur ghosts then?



In our gas tanks.
 
Paul Bourdeaux
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That's weird. I could have swore there were a couple of posts here a little bit ago from a person with an obviously ficticious name. Now they are mysteriously gone. Perhaps it was ghosts... I am calling JREF now...
 
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Originally posted by Robert Watkins:

Mind is probably an emergent characteristic of the neural network that is the brain. It does not have to be supernatural, and probably isn't. Emergent characteristics of even simple dynamic systems are known to be able to produce extreme complexity.

How does one dream? That's been explained (though don't ask me for an explanation - I'm not a neuroscientist). The _mechanics_ of dreaming, like the mechanics of thought, are understood. Why do we dream? Who knows? However, it's not just a human characteristic. Many mammals dream.

can science prove mammals dream? It cannot. It can present its own theory that mammals dream. But it cannot present any evidence. And more importantly why does one dream? I dont think science can answer these questions.

2 kids with different attitudes? Why not? They're not identical, even if they are identical twins. Furthermore, life is chaotic - you can not repeat events exactly, even if it is deterministic. Even minor differences in initial conditions can contribute to dramatic differences (the so called butterfly effect).
We all know they behave differently. The question here is WHY? and that cant be explained by science.

Science has no limits - the scientific method is perfectly adequate to dealing with any situation. Humans, however, do. And just because science can not disprove ghosts (or prove them - many parapsychologists are trying to prove ghosts exist) doesn't mean that they do any more than it means they don't - it just means that there is no scientific evidence.
pardon me, but science is not enough to handle any situation. if that was true humans should have been able to handle Tsunami, Earth quake, volcanoes before hand and save human lives. They just show some reports when the disaster happens which is of no use. merely saying earthquake was of magnitude 7 or 8 does not save lives my friend.


[ October 25, 2005: Message edited by: Sripathi Krishnamurthy ]
 
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
Do you believe in Black holes.

Did you say yes ??


I believe that unless the existence of something can be 100% proven either way, a definitive statement as to its existence is a fallacy. This means that I cannot say "I 100% believe that Black holes exist". I have seen some indications that they exist, largely consisting of scientific literature. This in no way constitutes proof, but it does lead me to think that its likely that black holes exist. I'll review the level of probability of existence that I assign to black holes as and when I see any information relevant to its existence.

They key thing here is that I consider the existence of things not to be a binary exists/not-exists thing but to be a probability of existence.


What I am trying to say that, if there are things which can be measured and proved by science, then there are things that can not be measured and proved by science, and that is supernatural.


I guess we're talking about defining things in different ways. Personally I think that just because something can't be measured, it doesn't make it unnatural. Some things can't be measured because we haven't got the technique yet, but one day will do. Others can't be measured because we never will have the ability -how do we measure the weight of a grain of sand on the other side of the universe? We can't measure it, but it doesn't mean that the grain of sand is unnatural. Some other things can't be measured currently because of their size - we can't properly measure a very small subatomic particle without altering its state and invalidating the measurement. Again, this does not make the thing unnatural.


Black hole cant be measured.

For me black hole if exist is supernatural.


Its possible to measure light distorting as it moves past a supposed black hole. It may one day be possible to lob an object into a black hole and watch what happens. Both of these would be suitable measurements to indicate the possible existence of a black hole. In that a black hole is simply an object dense enough that it doesn't allow light to escape, I don't think its that unnatural, and is certainly within the bounds of natural possibility. Unusual, yes, but not unnatural.


I have yet to meet a person who has not experienced Deja-vu.
I have yet to meet a person who has not got up in night for no reason.


Both of these could have perfectly natural reasons behind them. The brain is a complicated thing, and its not unreasonable that deja-vu could be a brain glitch/complication. Some people also wake up in the night because they have sensed (and by this I mean received information through their sensory organs) something, but do not remember what because their brain dealt with the information before being fully awake.

Just because we don't yet understand something, doesn't mean that its supernatural. This is a mistake that has often been made through out history. People used to think that earthquakes were caused by titans trapped underneath mountains. To them earthquakes seemed to have no reason for happening, so they were attributed to a supernatural cause. Now we understand about plate tectonics, something way beyond the science of the past.

Why only when woman is pregnant she gets milk in her breast.


Makes sense to me. Why waste the huge amount of calories it takes to generate milk when its not needed?


Can evalution theory tell me what is the need of two genders in animal ?


Again, this is not unreasonable. Its proven to be a mutational trait that aids the survival of a species (allowing specialisation for some towards better child birth, causing advanced breeding organs to be developed, and most importantly causing greater genetic variation through avoiding evolutionarily slow a-sexual reproduction), so its no surprise its stuck around.
[ October 25, 2005: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Sripathi Krishnamurthy:
So if someone asks "does ghost exists"? will you say I dont know whether they exist or does not exist?


If someone asks if Father Christmas exists, what will you say? Father Christmas can't be disproved, so its a fallacy to say he absolutely doesn't exist. The best approach is to say something like "I think it is highly unlikely that Father Christmas exists". This is the same approach I have to ghosts - I think they're about as likely as Father Christmas, fairies at the bottom of the garden and the sandman. None of them can be disproved, but then again all of them are unlikely in the extreme.
 
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Originally posted by Sripathi Krishnamurthy:

can science prove mammals dream? It cannot
[ October 25, 2005: Message edited by: Sripathi Krishnamurthy ]



I guess science does have an answer to that.....
Mammals do dream....

Originally posted by Sripathi Krishnamurthy:


And more importantly why does one dream? I dont think science can answer these questions.

[ October 25, 2005: Message edited by: Sripathi Krishnamurthy ]



Yeps makes sense, science hasn't been able to crack that as yet but it will one day.
[ October 25, 2005: Message edited by: Devesh H Rao ]
 
Sripathi Krishnamurthy
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Originally posted by Devesh H Rao:


Yeps makes sense, science hasn't been able to crack that as yet but it will one day.

[ October 25, 2005: Message edited by: Devesh H Rao ]



The link you provided is full of "Freud assumed" and "I believe". So all the theory is based on the scientists personal assumptions and nothing is proved on a significant basis.
 
Devesh H Rao
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Originally posted by Sripathi Krishnamurthy:


The link you provided is full of "Freud assumed" and "I believe". So all the theory is based on the scientists personal assumptions and nothing is proved on a significant basis.



It is a one off link which I provided, but if you dig deep you will come across studies which were carried out where neural patterns were observed and mapped for humans and apes when asleep. Though again not a very conclusive proof of apes being able to dream, the same did point to similarities in neural activity while both were asleep.

I will try to post any link to the above, though at the moment I do not have it with me.
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
I have seen some indications that they exist, largely consisting of scientific literature. This in no way constitutes proof, but it does lead me to think that its likely that black holes exist. I'll review the level of probability of existence that I assign to black holes as and when I see any information relevant to its existence.



I think now we coming to same wavelength.

You are right, when you say that you will review the probability of existance of balck hole because of science theory.

The same way, there are different evidance that suggests that there are things that till now could not be solved by science as per today.

So what is supernatural today tomorrow it might not be.

Today science is not able to measure the ghost(let us say), but tomorrow it might able to capture the ghost or atleast able to sense the ghost(say a unusual pattern of electronic wave that appears for no apparanet).

So all things that exist but can not be explained/measured by science is supernatural/ghost/God etc.



A good question comes, what is that that exists but cant be answered by science.
Look around yourself, you would find yourself..

But just to give you a hint, in "A Beautiful Mind", Rosell used to see characters that do not exist, can science explain this or measure it ??

They key thing here is that I consider the existence of things not to be a binary exists/not-exists thing but to be a probability of existence.
Unnatural things exist, becasue some other theory says so.
There is a probability that you would experence it some day.

Unusual, yes, but not unnatural.
Good, again we are at the same frequency

First thing, in theory, black hole is more than just mare light absorber.
All physics laws are suppose to behave in unknown manner inside the black hole.

Means, Newton's law of gravity to Kelvin's absolute temprarture would behave unpredicted manner.
Apple might not fall down, it may go zig-zag, it may go up, it may go some unknown, undefined pattern in side black hole.

Black hole is just hypothesis, even not a theory, still needs a prove to become theory.

But if we can believe on something which does not exist because it is predicted by one followers.

Then why cant we believe on something which does exist[as people are here who have experienced it] but ironically still science has failed to solve it.

Makes sense to me. Why waste the huge amount of calories it takes to generate milk when its not needed?
Looks like you fail to see the question.
Huge amount of calories might goes in packing the milk but not generating

Can science artifically make one woman to produce milk without bearing child. Atleast not today....
It may tell you what harmones are required and when they are released etc but ..

Even "honey" is naturally supernatural cause science is not able to produce it artificially.

allowing specialisation for some towards better child birth, causing advanced breeding organs to be developed, and most importantly causing greater genetic variation through avoiding evolutionarily slow a-sexual reproduction
Its a bouncer
AW I think woman would prefer to lay egg than carrying baby for 9 months and then go through labour pain.
 
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I ask all guys, who do not belive in ghosts, to spend few nights at Graveyards nearby , should get a Strong answer for existence of Ghosts!!
 
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Fear probably isn't the best reason for a rational system.
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
So all things that exist but can not be explained/measured by science is supernatural/ghost/God etc.


I think we're using different meanings for the word "supernatural". To me it means something which is not only unexplained, but rather spectacularly goes against the way I had thought the universe worked. It appears to me as if you are using the word to mean "something which is not yet scientifically proven or strongly indicated".

Fairies appearing doing the cancan would be supernatural. A cat walking up to me and starting a debate on dialectics would be supernatural. Geese flying backwards while humming the French national anthem would be supernatural. The hand of God reaching through the clouds and handing me an ice-cream would be supernatural.

Black holes, by comparison, seem rather mundane. The thing about black holes is that they don't appear contravene my rather limited view of the universe. Should someone present evidence suggesting that black holes exist (perhaps like this) then it wouldn't require a radical shift of how I view the universe. To me this means that its not "supernatural", but rather "unusual" and/or "unproven, but possible". If, on the other hand, I was to see any of the stuff in the previous paragraph, I would be most confused and would probably have to look again at my view of how the universe is put together.


But just to give you a hint, in "A Beautiful Mind", Rosell used to see characters that do not exist, can science explain this or measure it ??


Scientists, more specifically psychologists or biologists, could probably put forwards a reasonable hypothesis for this without resorting to anything supernatural.

Unnatural things exist, becasue some other theory says so.


Sorry, I don't understand this. Do you mean that because a theory states something, that something must exist? I guess in a way it does, as an idea in someone's head, but not necessarily in a more materialistic way.


There is a probability that you would experence it some day.


Indeed. Its more then possible that I will experience something which will cause me to have to radically change my view of the world, but I expect that its not very likely.


Black hole is just hypothesis, even not a theory, still needs a prove to become theory.


While I would assert that there cannot be ultimate proof of a black hole (as I believe that almost nothing can have complete proof of existence), I think there are indications out there that black holes do exist. I'm sure there's some people who are more knowledgeable/pedantic about this then me who may refute this, but I'd be confident in calling black holes theoretical rather then hypothetical.


Then why cant we believe on something which does exist[as people are here who have experienced it] but ironically still science has failed to solve it.


Belief is a very personal thing. Everyone has to look at the world around them and determine what they think is real and what they think is not. I personally require a reasonably good indication of the existence of something before I consider that its likely. Hearsay, rumour and urban legend are often just not enough to convince me that something exists. Scientific investigation (which I see as more likely to be correct) is more likely to convince me that something is likely.

For this reason I (and possibly other people as well) will not believe in something just because a very small number of people claim to have experienced it. This is especially true when it largely contradicts more well established and understood factors in my understanding of the world.

If I introduced you to a group of people who said they saw the much quoted Spaghetti Monster then you'd probably laugh at them. I don't see the stories of ghosts as being any more credible, and probably won't until there are some reasonable indications of their existence.


Makes sense to me. Why waste the huge amount of calories it takes to generate milk when its not needed?

Looks like you fail to see the question.
Huge amount of calories might goes in packing the milk but not generating


I think I must have- I'm not sure what you mean here. It seems to me that the calorific loss is incurred when the milk is created by the mother rather then when it is stored. I'm guessing that this is not what you're talking about though, and am a bit confused!


Even "honey" is naturally supernatural cause science is not able to produce it artificially.


Why is it supernatural? We can't recreate the sun, but that doesn't make it supernatural. Honey seems quite natural to me, even if it does taste unnaturally foul


AW I think woman would prefer to lay egg than carrying baby for 9 months and then go through labour pain.


[ October 26, 2005: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
The hand of God reaching through the clouds and handing me an ice-cream would be supernatural.



Ghosts are not like this .....




And neither getting an ice-cream from God'd hand is supernatural...

I think supernatural would be if a person bang his head on the wall and still does not feel pain or is able to lift 200 Kg stone without the help of others.
Oh yes .. to do all this he has not practice at all.

This is supernatural.

Supernatural might be having a baby like man from a dog.

Supernatural might be having born with three eyes or four ears or 4 heads.

Supernatural might be a six month baby able to recite whole bible without listening it once.

Supernatural might be a English speaking person who has never heard of Urdu, starts speaking Urdu one fine morning.

Hmm... I think what you are confusing with unnatural .. I am calling it supernatural.

Like we have different medicine system(Homoepathy, Allopathy, Rieki, Auyrveda, Accupuncture, Tantra[please dont mistake Tantra with sex in different positions..] etc.) to cure same illness, I believe that there is a parallel system runing for the same cause for our science philosphy runs, "To understand nature."

Why is it supernatural?
Because science may tell you the composition but wont be able to reproduce it.

We can't recreate the sun, but that doesn't make it supernatural.
Or is it that I am saying, what is natural is supernatural
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by R K Singh:
And neither getting an ice-cream from God'd hand is supernatural...


It certainly does seem like we have very different meanings for the word "supernatural" then. That could make any agreement about it tricky!


Why is it supernatural?

Because science may tell you the composition but wont be able to reproduce it.

We can't recreate the sun, but that doesn't make it supernatural.

Or is it that I am saying, what is natural is supernatural


Sorry, I am still a bit lost at the point you are trying to make here. To me the Sun is one of the most natural things out there, irrespective of our ability to recreate it. Our scientific abilities have no bearing upon if something is natural or not.
 
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There is also quite a bit of confusion here over the definition of "science". Science attempts to explain things, and in that respect, can indeed explain the Sun, and honey, and seeing imaginary people, with varying degrees of success. Of the three, the Sun is best explained, because it is by far the simplest. But science has nontrivial things to say about the other two phenomena as well.

The process of trying to physically build something based on scientific theories is engineeering, not science. And engineers are making excellent progress towards building little Suns (controlled fusion reactions). To the best of my knowledge, no serious attempt has ever been made to engineer synthetic honey -- there's no need of it, as bees do an excellent job with an efficiency that would be hard to match. And our knowledge of the human brain is woefully insufficient for biomedical engineers to implant specific hallucinations, although it's very well documented that stimulating certain regions of the brain with an electrode can cause a person to experience incredibly realistic sensations of taste, smell, sound, and vision, and to recall specific memories (this stimulation is routinely done during preparation for brain surgery, to map out the brains functional areas to avoid damage during surgery.)

In a debate like this, one has to be careful not to confuse one's personal knowledge or abilities -- or lack thereof -- with the present or future knowledge of specialist scientists in any given field. Just because I can't personally build a miniature Sun doesn't mean that humanity doesn't posess all the requisite knowledge to do so.

One more thing I've seen in this discussion that I want to point out is the confusion between placing trust in scientists, and placing trust in anecdotal evidence presented by laymen. The difference is that a layman will simply say "I can call ghosts." There's no way to test that; you're taking one man's word for it. Whereas a scientist would say "In a controlled environment under low lighting conditions, 1.3% of subjects tested could cause the temperature profile of a room to change, with a t value of 0.96, by shaking a dead chicken and yelling 'Come out, Ghosts!' In Figure One, we see..." And another scientist would then try to replicate the results. If they were replicated, they would get some respectablity.
 
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
by shaking a dead chicken and yelling 'Come out, Ghosts!'



funniest thing I have read all day - I can guess which side of this discussion you sit
 
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by shaking a dead chicken and yelling 'Come out, Ghosts!'

Now you're just being silly. You would use a live chicken of course...
 
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EFH wrote:

Science attempts to explain things...



I would also like to add that science tries to OBSERVE things with as much detail as possible. As Ernest wrote, as many variables as possible are measured or eliminated.

Another important part of science is DOCUMENTING FAILURE. Every failed experiment helps other figure out where to look for more answers. Good science will try to explain WHY something failed, if possible ("our sample was tainted with mold" or "i used a Rhode Island White chicken, and should have used a Java" (yes, these are real breeds of chickens, as far as i can tell)).

Even if the failure can't be explained, in good science, it is documented, as in "in 92% of the cases, THIS occured". Implied here is that in 8% of the cases, the condition did NOT happen.
 
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Originally posted by Paul Bourdeaux:
by shaking a dead chicken and yelling 'Come out, Ghosts!'

Now you're just being silly. You would use a live chicken of course...




I prefer the ghost of a chicken past....
 
R K Singh
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
The difference is that a layman will simply say "I can call ghosts." There's no way to test that;



Well said, Ernest.

The point is that there are people who say, "I can call ghosts" and they do.

They are not ghosts like H/Bollywood movies with long hairs and bulgy eyes.

I think, best quote is

In a debate like this, one has to be careful not to confuse one's personal knowledge or abilities -- or lack thereof -- with the present or future knowledge of specialist scientists in any given field.



If you have not met people like these who not only say but also do, it does not mean that there are no people who can do these things.

Like science they also have there own specific enviorenment, data, equipments etc.

As they say, seeing is believeing.
But at the same time, it does not mean that if you or your friends have not seen Taj Mahal then it means that it does not exist.
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Originally posted by R K Singh:

If you have not met people like these who not only say but also do, it does not mean that there are no people who can do these things.



Actually, in the rational empiricist mindset, it does mean they don't exist, although we have to use a broad definition of "met" to include observation by a trusted observer. That's the whole point of my post. If something can't be subjected to scientific inquiry, then it's as if it doesn't exist.

I don't need to see the Taj Mahal, nor have friends that have; it's enough to witness the body of travel literature that refers to it. The notion that rational empiricists "have to see for themselves" is a mischaracterization.

Overall, I'm really stunned by your response to my last post, because you clearly read the words, but don't agree with the meaning. It's making me think about what it must be like to be an international diplomat, dealing with representatives from different cultures with very different mindsets. I don't mean to imply that the issue in this conversation has anything to do with national origin, just that different individuals have very different -- and perhaps ultimately irreconcilable -- ways of looking at the world.

In my last post, I tried to use the logical tools of rational empiricism to make an argument for rational empiricism -- the fruitlessness of which pursuit is described in G�del's Incompleteness Theorem.

Is this why we see politicians appeal to the emotional lowest common denominator so often? Not because people are too lazy to think (as we in the U.S. often hear in the alternative press) but because people have different ways of thinking, so making logical/rational arguments is exclusive of some significant fraction of the electorate?
 
Paul Bourdeaux
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just that different individuals have very different -- and perhaps ultimately irreconcilable -- ways of looking at the world.

This is very true, and one of the things that makes it fun to participate in discussions in MD.

I think we can all agree on one thing: Scientific investigation has not been able to produce any reliable evidence that a specific supernatural phenomenon, such as ghosts, exists.

From that point we seem to separate into two schools of thought. The first says that because there is no empirical evidence to support the existence of ghosts, they see no logical reason to believe in them. Perhaps the lack of evidence is because they really don't exist.

The second group says that just because there is no empirical evidence to support the existence of ghosts, it does not guarantee that they don't exist, and therefore there is no reason not to believe in them. Perhaps the lack of evidence is because we haven't yet figured out a way to adequately test for the existence of ghosts.

The great part is that both groups are starting at the same basic fact arriving at completely opposite conclusions. Man, I love MD!
 
fred rosenberger
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different individuals have very different -- and perhaps ultimately irreconcilable -- ways of looking at the world.


as an undergraduate, i took an anthropology class. we read an article called Shakespeare in the Bush, about an anthropologist who told the story of Hamlet to the native tribe she was studying. She thought the fundamental ideas were so universal, everyone could understand it.

Naturally, things didn't go quite as expected...
 
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Originally posted by fred rosenberger:

as an undergraduate, i took an anthropology class. we read an article called Shakespeare in the Bush



LOL.. that was so endearingly funny!
 
Dave Lenton
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Originally posted by Paul Bourdeaux:
The second group says that just because there is no empirical evidence to support the existence of ghosts, it does not guarantee that they don't exist, and therefore there is no reason not to believe in them. Perhaps the lack of evidence is because we haven't yet figured out a way to adequately test for the existence of ghosts.


Its quite a fascinating view point. Personally I just can't comprehend how someone could hold this point of view, but the fact that I could be thinking this because of my social environment and upbringing rather then any inherent error in the view is really interesting. It makes me wonder how many other things I hold to be "obviously right" are not so for other people because of cultural and social reasons, and of course visa versa. Its both frustrating and wonderful at the same time.


The great part is that both groups are starting at the same basic fact arriving at completely opposite conclusions. Man, I love MD!


This is the really cool thing. The fact that people here are both reasonably intelligent and culturally diverse means that there are some really fascinating and informative debates. Reading the threads on here is a great way to get a different view point on life.
 
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