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Thread: I come in peace earthlings...

  1. #1 I come in peace earthlings... 
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    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Tom and I am 36 years old and a bit of a free-thinker. Iím not someone who just accepts what he is told, but instead question everything. I wouldnít say I am a conspiracy theorist, but I do think that we are often spoon-fed lies by the powers that be, and, unlike most people, I am not easily fooled.

    I look forward to contributing to the debates on here. Hopefully I will become a good friend to the site, but be warned and I do not tolerate fools gladly!

    Use by brain, but don't ABuse is!!!

    Yours in friendship,

    Tom


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  3. #2  
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    Hi Tom, welcome to The Science Forum. You seem to have the right Credentials for this Site. I personally do not question everything because I have difficulty remembering what it was I was going to Question. And I have no problem with suffering with fools, someone must be sacrificed first. Hoping to be able to post to your first Thread. westwind.


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  4. #3  
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    Welcome!
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  5. #4  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Eddison View Post
    a bit of a free-thinker
    So far, you seem to have demonstrated that, in common with most people who describe themselves that way, you don't actually think that hard. Most "free thinkers" appear to be people who just dismiss ideas they don't like. Not exactly scientific.

    I’m not someone who just accepts what he is told, but instead question everything.
    You need to learn to question your own ideas with the same degree of scepticism as you do other ideas. In particular, if you come up with an answer that contradicts everyone else, a rational reaction is "hmm... where did I go wrong".

    The "free thinker" reaction appears to be "ha! those fools! I have spotted the simple arithmetic error that has been missed by the greatest thinkers for 500 years!"

    I wouldn’t say I am a conspiracy theorist, but I do think that we are often spoon-fed lies by the powers that be, and, unlike most people,
    I am not going to be spoon-fed stories about lies and conspiracies. Please provide some evidence.

    I am not easily fooled.
    You seem to have fooled yourself pretty well.

    I do not tolerate fools gladly
    As this is a science site, you will find that attitude fairly common. So tread carefully. Feel free to ask questions. Feel free to discuss things you have expertise in. But, in future, I suggest you try and refrain from making forceful assertions about things you clearly know nothing about.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  6. #5  
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    Hi Strange, I must admit that I am a little surprised by the visceral response some of my posts have received from people on this forum (yourself included). But I suppose if you are the first to question something that no-one else has questioned you can expect some hostility from 'the establishment' (see Gallileo and Darwin (both have Wikipedia pages)).

    Don't worry though, I accept your apology and you can rely on my areas of expertise whenever they are called upon!
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  7. #6  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Eddison View Post
    But I suppose if you are the first to question something that no-one else has questioned you can expect some hostility from 'the establishment' (see Gallileo and Darwin (both have Wikipedia pages)).
    The number of times this argument is used by the ignorant is truly amazing.

    The reason you had such a strong reaction to your posts is because they are factually wrong in almost every respect (as 30 seconds research confirms) and yet presented with absolute certainty. Attempts to correct your misunderstandings were met with increasingly bizarre demonstrations of ignorance.

    If you had asked questions ("how was MSL was able to get to Mars in this time?", for example) you would have got multiple pleasant and detailed explanations.

    Or even, if you had presented your conspiracy theory with a little humility ("I have reached this conclusion, is there a possibility I have made a mistake?").

    Instead, you come to a science site and make blatantly incorrect assertions. As you say, "we don't tolerate fools".
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    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  8. #7  
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    Hmmm, I'm not sure about that, but I suppose we are both partially wrong so I accept your apology (and apologise myself) and will try to be less assertive when I am challenging firmly held beliefs in future.
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  9. #8  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Eddison View Post
    Hmmm, I'm not sure about that, but I suppose we are both partially wrong
    Please show me:
    (a) Where I was wrong (I am wrong fairly often and find myself retracting statements with depressing regularity)
    (b) Where you were correct (apart from the distance travelled, I don't think anything else you said had any basis in reality).

    and will try to be less assertive when I am challenging firmly held beliefs in future
    That would be good. It might also be useful to understand the difference between "belief" and "science".
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_Eddison View Post
    Hmmm, I'm not sure about that, but I suppose we are both partially wrong
    You keep saying this, but nobody is buying it. You were wrong all the way. If you really still think your claims in this regard have any merit, then there is very little hope for you. I am always intrigued by this: do you really think you have the necessary scientific knowledge to be so sure of yourself?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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  11. #10  
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    It might also be useful to understand the difference between "belief" and "science".
    Simple really.

    In science there is no belief. None, nil, zilch, none at all.

    What we have in science is acceptance.

    We accept that the evidence we have excludes many things, and makes some other things more likely or very likely.
    We accept that many things cannot be known with absolute certainty (which is where belief often comes in).
    We accept that we may not yet be able to reduce our uncertainties in various areas to those that non-scientific people are happy with.

    We also accept that some things have absolutely no evidence to justify any further investigation or examination.
    We accept that if some evidence turns up that challenges or contradicts the current view, we will have to re-think that view.

    None of this obliges anyone to take unevidenced statements or belief statements as having any scientific value or justification.

    The simple fact is that, if we had evidence for a fact or a theory, the fact or theory would be worth considering.
    Without such evidence - and especially in the face of contradictory evidence - unevidenced facts and theories have to go to the back or the queue and wait their turn for scientific validation (or for new additional evidence).

    Considering how much mainstream science is not done every year for want of time, data collection, equipment, funds, that scientific validation will probably never come.
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  12. #11  
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    Hi Adelady, I think it was Popper who said a theory cannot be proved only disproved. ie. some of us don't just accept things, we question them. And the name for such people? Some people call us scientists, but I prefer the term 'free-thinker'!!!!
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  13. #12  
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    No scientist just accepts things.

    Scientists learn the theory/ies supporting their area of expertise. They gather and review data.

    Free thinker? More important for scientists in my view ........

    "Keep an open mind –
    but not so open that your brain falls out"
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    It might also be useful to understand the difference between "belief" and "science".
    Simple really.

    In science there is no belief. None, nil, zilch, none at all.

    What we have in science is acceptance.

    We accept that the evidence we have excludes many things, and makes some other things more likely or very likely.
    We accept that many things cannot be known with absolute certainty (which is where belief often comes in).
    We accept that we may not yet be able to reduce our uncertainties in various areas to those that non-scientific people are happy with.

    We also accept that some things have absolutely no evidence to justify any further investigation or examination.
    We accept that if some evidence turns up that challenges or contradicts the current view, we will have to re-think that view.

    None of this obliges anyone to take unevidenced statements or belief statements as having any scientific value or justification.

    The simple fact is that, if we had evidence for a fact or a theory, the fact or theory would be worth considering.
    Without such evidence - and especially in the face of contradictory evidence - unevidenced facts and theories have to go to the back or the queue and wait their turn for scientific validation (or for new additional evidence).

    Considering how much mainstream science is not done every year for want of time, data collection, equipment, funds, that scientific validation will probably never come.
    Good exposee! Im only slightly worried by the sentence in red:
    When we cant prove neither x nor not x , then we should not exclude research on either!
    Of course we cant help thinking one alternative might more likely be true but refusing the other alternative from consideration by claiming theres no evidence for it, might be prejudice. In the red sentence the word "further" investigation is mentioned which indicates honest research has been done so I accept with reservations.
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  15. #14  
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    then we should not exclude research on either!
    It gets excluded by the limitations on scientific activity generally.

    If something contravenes some well understood theories, lacks supporting evidence and has lots of contradictory evidence it's not going to be high on the list of items people might include on their proposals for theses. Equally, it's not going to get a guernsey when research funding is handed out - seeing as less than 10% of all proposals get funding now.

    The only way such ideas get on the list of possible research activities is if new evidence turns up to justify the time, effort and money required to pursue it.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    then we should not exclude research on either!
    It gets excluded by the limitations on scientific activity generally.

    If something contravenes some well understood theories, lacks supporting evidence and has lots of contradictory evidence it's not going to be high on the list of items people might include on their proposals for theses. Equally, it's not going to get a guernsey when research funding is handed out - seeing as less than 10% of all proposals get funding now.

    The only way such ideas get on the list of possible research activities is if new evidence turns up to justify the time, effort and money required to pursue it.
    Ops...will new evidence ever get to the top of the list,
    if theres always so much more important things to do?
    I sincerely hope so, but what guarantee is there?
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  17. #16  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The only way such ideas get on the list of possible research activities is if new evidence turns up to justify the time, effort and money required to pursue it.
    Or some wealthy individual decides to sponsor such research. There are examples of this both for fairly standard science (the Wellcome foundation, for example) and for slightly more "out there" things (spritualism, ESP, , UFOs).
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  18. #17  
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    Guarantee? Absolutely none.

    Considering how many really vital NASA missions have been cancelled and deferred for things that we really, really need - like weather observations for storm, flood, fire, hurricane tracking and such - weak theories with no evidence are seriously back-burner material.

    Then think about all the health monitoring and research and service delivery that loses out on the research grant merry-go-round each year when we know that the work would save lives. Do you think that research to find vaccines for HIV or various cancers or malaria should lose out on funding in favour of projects that have no scientific backing of any kind?

    Or research into crops or better forms of grain storage? Or hundreds of other projects in fisheries or forestry or childcare or psychiatric care or water storage or river water quality that have been turned down for funding this year should take a back seat to something which is not only highly speculative but is considered to be highly likely to be totally unproductive?

    Science is a competitive process. Not just for individual scientists but also for the institutions and projects that run the research.
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  19. #18  
    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    Once again, great stuff, adelady. Always get my backing the topics mentioned in your Poste. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Guarantee? Absolutely none.

    Considering how many really vital NASA missions have been cancelled and deferred for things that we really, really need - like weather observations for storm, flood, fire, hurricane tracking and such - weak theories with no evidence are seriously back-burner material.

    Then think about all the health monitoring and research and service delivery that loses out on the research grant merry-go-round each year when we know that the work would save lives. Do you think that research to find vaccines for HIV or various cancers or malaria should lose out on funding in favour of projects that have no scientific backing of any kind?

    Or research into crops or better forms of grain storage? Or hundreds of other projects in fisheries or forestry or childcare or psychiatric care or water storage or river water quality that have been turned down for funding this year should take a back seat to something which is not only highly speculative but is considered to be highly likely to be totally unproductive?

    Science is a competitive process. Not just for individual scientists but also for the institutions and projects that run the research.
    What you have done is proving my point! I, as you perhaps noted, agreed with you from the beginning...
    but gave the reservation that your sentence in red showed there can be grave errors made unless you take care to avoid them.
    Now you tell me such errors occurs all the time...thereby confirming my worries!
    I rather wish you had shown my suspicion to be unfounded but things are as they are...
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  21. #20  
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    What errors?

    There are limited funds and other resources available. Who gets how much for what is determined largely by competitive tender.

    Unless we're prepared to put in far, far more money than we currently do, we will continue to not fund projects that any sensible person would regard as sensible and many would regard as overdue if not urgent. I have a few pet projects that I'll put money into should I ever win a lottery - have to buy a ticket I suppose. Many charitable organisations put research money in - but that is also subject to competitive tender. There are are just too many good ideas chasing too few funding sources.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    What errors?

    There are limited funds and other resources available. Who gets how much for what is determined largely by competitive tender.

    Unless we're prepared to put in far, far more money than we currently do, we will continue to not fund projects that any sensible person would regard as sensible and many would regard as overdue if not urgent. I have a few pet projects that I'll put money into should I ever win a lottery - have to buy a ticket I suppose. Many charitable organisations put research money in - but that is also subject to competitive tender. There are are just too many good ideas chasing too few funding sources.
    Considering how many really vital NASA missions have been cancelled and deferred for things that we really, really need - like weather observations for storm, flood, fire, hurricane tracking and such - weak theories with no evidence are seriously back-burner material.

    Then think about all the health monitoring and research and service delivery that loses out on the research grant merry-go-round each year when we know that the work would save lives. Do you think that research to find vaccines for HIV or various cancers or malaria should lose out on funding in favour of projects that have no scientific backing of any kind?


    Or research into crops or better forms of grain storage? Or hundreds of other projects in fisheries or forestry or childcare or psychiatric care or water storage or river water quality that have been turned down for funding this year should take a back seat to something which is not only highly speculative but is considered to be highly likely to be totally unproductive?

    Answer:Errors of judgment.
    I wrote:

    Good exposee! Im only slightly worried by the sentence in red:
    We also accept that some things have absolutely no evidence to justify any further investigation or examination.
    When we cant prove neither x nor not x , then we should not exclude research on either!
    Of course we cant help thinking one alternative might more likely be true but refusing the other alternative from consideration by claiming theres no evidence for it, might be prejudice. In the red sentence the word "further" investigation is mentioned which indicates honest research has been done so I accept with reservations.

    It seems that you dont recognize im accepting with the reservation that we should accept to consider new evidence... You say:
    The only way such ideas get on the list of possible research activities is if new evidence turns up to justify the time, effort and money required to pursue it.

    I answer:
    Ops...will new evidence ever get to the top of the list,
    if theres always so much more important things to do?
    I sincerely hope so, but what guarantee is there?

    If you now look at the underlined sentences in the blue in the quote in this post,
    then you will find that your statements is not at all dealing with new evidence!

    You go on bashing ppl like tom, thinking I am one of the kind and says the same things as he says...

    You are missing my point: you do not consider "new evidence"...thereby proving my point.

    PS Also you dont proofread your own text, or do you mean this sentence:

    Unless we're prepared to put in far, far more money than we currently do,
    we will continue to not fund projects that any sensible person would regard as sensible

    I bet there is a negation missing in there somewhere. But there was perhaps lack of time, effort and money

    I originally was impressed by your text and accepted it with a reservation.
    Im not saying I changed my mind and in particular my reservation.
    I think you mean well but maybe something more is needed.
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  23. #22  
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    No, I'm not bashing people.

    I'm just lamenting the fact that lots and lots of worthwhile projects are not funded and may never be funded. And pointing out that, even with supporting evidence, investigations into matters which are unsupported by current theory may never make it to the point of being considered for funding.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  24. #23  
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    Dear adelady. Simple, to hand, bits and pieces are available to investigate imaginative projects of research. Trouble being, this is not complex enough for many research Scientists. It's the big picture that they want to play a part in. Give me some clothes pegs, some rubber tubing, four or five jam jars, some yeast and some sugar, pick me a few apples and overripe pears, some mouldy, yeasty wine grapes, and some potatoes and stale bread, and I will concoct an alchoholic drink for you that Einstine and Bacchus wouldn't knock back. Cost. Some time . & fourpence. Get on with it you lazy good for nothing lay-a0bouts, would be Professors of talk Factories, get your bloody hands dirty and feed your brain some corn cobs. westwind.
    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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