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Thread: The Mind of a Fanatical Skeptic

  1. #1 The Mind of a Fanatical Skeptic 
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    The Mind of a Fanatical Skeptic

    When a fanatical skeptic reads an exceptional account or story – They must break it down so as to be as mundane as possible – No matter what. There is always a more reasonable (mundane) explanation of the events described – even in cases in which no explanation has been offered and the witnesses are open to mundane explanations – the fanatical skeptic automatically assumes they must have leaped to an exceptional explanation, if only to feed their fanatic-ism and to give them something to do. They know of no other way to read such stories or accounts, but to immediately begin debunking it.

    For instance, let's say: 15 soldiers see a U.F.O. Land at a military base and 5 of the witnesses had strange burn marks on their bodies, which doctors said was from an intense heat caused from this object. Sounds fascinating, right? Well that depends on what type of person you are. The fanatical skeptic does not try to verify if this really did happen, as the 15 witnesses said so. They try to prove that it did not happen. They dig for inconsistencies, not in an attempt to prove the witnesses correct – but to prove them wrong, merely because they’ve claimed something sensational. The sensational event is what cast doubts on their testimony from the beginning. It’s important to understand that these inconsistencies typically found are not that important to the overall story, but a fanatical skeptic plays them up merely because the witness has “claimed something sensational”. This is why they love to use the phrase, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” They simply must leap to something mundane no matter what it takes.

    The biggest mistake a fanatical skeptic makes is in automatically assuming that because an explanation (of an exceptional event) is more mundane – then it’s more likely to be true. In a potentially sensational situation, how can we know what is more likely? Especially when dealing with something such as Ghosts, ET’s, Flying Saucers, Loch Ness Monster. There is virtually no “norm” associated with these events.

    When you get a mundane explanation, in an incredible situation it comes across as absurd or unbelievable to the non-fanatical. A reasonable person is astonished that anyone could come to such a conclusion, given the accounts and evidence at hand.

    It reminds me a bit of when I was a kid, watching Unsolved Mysteries growing up. They would study these UFO or haunting cases left and right and do a marvelous job of re-enacting them. The part that always made me the most frustrated was when they’d interview a fanatical skeptic and he would suggest something so mundane that it seem absurd and laughable. “How can he explain this, how can he explain that”? we would ask out loud. He really had no explanation, other than something simple because he could not (without suggesting something sensational) offer a reasonable explanation. The ironic part of this is that they enter into the pseudoscience that they themselves typically resent. Their fanatical search for mundane explanations actually leads them to an incorrect idea of what really took place and are no closer to the truth than when they started.

    A fanatical skeptic is nothing more than a person driven to find a simple solution to exceptional events which solves nothing and only creates more confusion and question’s for those involved.

    A fanatical skeptic, in reading this would be formulating a response right now. Getting their little debunkery responses in order to fight back, and put the power back in the hands of those intelligent enough to have it. I doubt they would make it through this entire writing, because I have to be the one who’s the fanatic! I have to be pushing pseudoscience! That’s how a fanatic thinks. I can’t be in the middle, for in their mind – there is no middle.


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    Fanatacism and scepticism are polar entities. Scepticism, scientific scepticism, is based on objectivity. Fanatacism is based upon subjectivity.
    The scientific method should be well known to you by know btimsah - it has been explained often enough.
    Science builds on two things: previously established facts, relationships and paradigms, and new observations or re-interpretations of old observations. This building is accomplished by questioning , severely, the established thinking, or the new evidence/observations.
    The bulk of the attacks on your evidence, here and in another place, has been of this type. It has been necessary because you have repeatedly failed to apply the rigours of scientific scepticism to your own observations. Most or all of your 'evidence' would never have seen the light of day if you had approached it scientifically. The starting point in being taken seriously by a scientist is to act like a scientist. I don't expect you to pay any more heed to this advice than to any other you have been given. That would be inappropriate for one who thinks an open mind is one which suspends disbelief: the latter approach is a mind set appropriate to absorbing fiction, not dealing with science.
    Finally, you really think the more mundane explanation is not the more probable? You need to study some basic statistics. (A dose of real life would do no harm either.)


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    Hello Ophiolite, good to see you found this place. Repo Man here. After the "discussion" of Andrea Dworkin with Xev, I abandoned Sciforums. I've no need to participate in a forum where the inmates are in charge of the asylum (Xev is a moderator).

    "That would be inappropriate for one who thinks an open mind is one which suspends disbelief". - That really is the heart of the matter isn't it?

    During the early 1970's, when I was just a boy, UFOs were in the news almost daily, and books like Erich Von Daniken's Chariots Of The Gods were best sellers. I believed in the claims that we were being visited by intelligent extra terrestrials who possessed interstellar space craft, and other technology much more advanced than our own.

    As I grew up, I began to realize that as much as I would lke to believe that we are/have been visited by ETs, so far there has been no evidence of it that could withstand any reasonable scrutiny.
    To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.
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    Edit: 7/31/05 - 16:52 I'm tempted to edit my own post as I have revised my position, but I'll leave the original text intact. Read, however, both of my posts if you are interested in commenting on this one.

    First, there is no such thing as a "fanatical skeptic." Either one is 'fanatical' -enamored with the extraordinary; a signficance junkie; a mystery monger; and seeks outlandish claims to explain that which is unknown- or one is 'skeptical' -one who questions; seeks the truth; and is willing to believe that the unexplained does not automatically imply outlandish explanations.

    The skeptic does, indeed, accept that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. But claiming that "15 soldiers witness the landing of an unidentified flying object" is not necessarily extraordinary. That they experience "burns" would be, but could be readily evidenced by showing the burns. What would be extraordinary as a claim is that the unidentified flying object was an alien spacecraft and not simply an aircraft that the soldiers were unable to identify.

    Moreover, what a skeptic would be right in criticizing is the very nature of the account. Is the account being shared first hand or second, third, or even fourth hand as in many of the so-called "alien spacecraft"-UFO stories. Communications of this sort degrade over time. Indeed, even the accounts of first-hand witnesses will degrade and/or embellish over time in much the same manner as a good fish story.

    So the skeptic is not "fanatical" at all in the manner you would like to have others believe. Nay, the skeptic merely questions the validity of assumptions that mystery mongers and significance junkies are prone to speculate on with the barest of evidence.

    Certainly the hypothetical 15 soldiers witnessed something. It is the claim as to what they witnessed which requires the implementation of the baloney detection kit.

    You criticize skeptics of accepting more "mundane" explanations as being "more likely to be true," but you fail to see the very flaw in your attempt at applying logic here. Of course more mundane and prosaic explanations are more likely to be true. The reason? Because we have evidence that these explanations have occurred in similar circumstances or situations in the past. We have zero evidence, real and physical evidence, of alien spacecraft that have visited our planet. We have zero evidence of remote viewing, esp, telekineses, channeling, etc. What little evidence that was produced for alleged creatures such as Loch Ness monster & bigfoot have long been admitted to be fakes.

    We do, however, have evidence of anomalous radar signatures due to meteorlogical phenomena. We do have evidence of misidentification of military aircraft by even experienced military personnel. We do have evidence of embellishment by witnesses in controlled studies -even witnesses considered to be credible and better than average qualified.

    We also have evidence that television shows seek ratings and audience approval. Indeed we have evidence that television audiences approve of mystery and sensationalism, therefore popular shows like Unsolved Mysteries which reinact situations for which they seldom seek unbiased and skeptical explanation for are not credible sources of education, however marvelous of a job they do.

    Quote Originally Posted by btimsah
    A fanatical skeptic is nothing more than a person driven to find a simple solution to exceptional events which solves nothing and only creates more confusion and question’s for those involved.
    Not even close. If a skeptic is fanatical about anything, it is finding the truth or refusing to make assumptions based on what we want to be true over what is likely to be true.

    Skepticism is a good thing. It must exist if answers are to truly be found. That doens't mean that being skeptical of asserted claims means that the claim is wrong. It may very well be that the UFOs that people report seeing are alien spaceships. But there just doesn't seem to be any credible evidence to support that.

    What truly irks the sensationalist junkie and the mystery monger is that there are those among us who refuse to buy into their wild speculations. I no more accept them than I do the belief that witches in West Africa fly about the night on banana leaves and abduct isolated travelers or that the there are trees near their villages that can eavesdrop on conversations and pass them along. It is possible that these things happen, but it is more likely that natural predators abduct people who started these stories to protect their loved ones from wondering far from home; or that gossip shares secrets that the secret-holder blames on this particular stand of trees.

    These are more mundane explanations and far more acceptable. I should think that even the most hard-core UFO believer would agree with me -unless they would simply assert that the abductions are the result of aliens and the trees are disguised alien technology.

    And btimsah, I don't think you are fanatical. Just a bit duped by the senationalism of the alien visitor hypothesis for UFOs. It is, indeed, a far more romantic and exciting explanation for that which cannot be readily explained. One that I subscribed to for a long time.
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    Skinwalker,

    I'm not going to go against most of what you've said, but you've begun your whole piece with a false definition.

    You're trying to say that 'fanatical' has something to do with "enamored with the extraordinary; a signficance junkie; a mystery monger; and seeks outlandish claims to explain that which is unknown"?

    Errr.
    Not quite.

    A fanatic is someone who holds beliefs strongly and against all reason. There are arguments to be made that many who believe in science believe in the results of science to the point of fanaticism. They don't so much use the scientific method and skepticism to apply science to their world as they swallow whole the results of others work and hang all their hopes and dreams upon the structures thus built.

    This should be no surprise. Just because we live in a scientific and skeptical age, this doesn't mean that the vast majority of mankind is any different than the primitive monkeys from which they descended. People don't apply themselves to discerning truth from fanatasy. Instead they simply follow their gut reaction. This sounds right. This sounds wrong. A large percentage of people innately believe that they have an 'ear for truth'.

    This goes for science, religion, ufology, horticulturalism, ethics, philosophy, sexual techniques, whatever.

    So. There is no reason why someone can't be a 'fanatical skeptic'. It may be a sort of contradiction of terms, but that doesn't matter. Many people are walking contradictions. Nothing new in that.
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    Invert, I suppose I can agree with that.

    I suppose I wasn't so much drawing the distinction between the "fanactic" and the "skeptic" as I was the "believer" and the "skeptic."

    I stand corrected.

    Then It would certainly follow that one can be a "fanatical skeptic," but I would think that would entail being "excessively enthusiastic" about "doubting" what he/she observes.

    It is, without a doubt, that there are those among believers in all things supernatural/magical (UFOs, bigfoot, channeling, tarot, astrology, reiki, homeopathy, pyramid power, ancient astronauts, etc.) who perceive anyone who questions the validity of their claims and the spurious nature of their evidence as "fanatically skeptical," when it is quite clear that they are simply being logically skeptical with the appropriate amount of doubt.

    I'm prepared to accept that aliens drive spaceships we see as UFOs and that people can speak to the dead once there is genuine and tangible evidence that can be tested to demonstrate such. If the evidence isn't testable, or when it is tested proves to be false, then belief in the paranormal of the normal is illogical. There are normal explanations for that which we perceive to be abnormal, even if we don't know what these explanations are due to a lack of data to examine.

    I can't presume to explain what "15 soldiers" hypothetically observed on some random field exersize, but I have been in the room with 20 or more soldiers that were nearly all fooled by an instructor who was attempting to teach a classroom full of Military Policeman how to properly question witnesses to a crime. This was a variation of the classic "purse-snatcher" scenario and over 20 soldiers each had a different account of the events written on over 20 different 3x5 cards.

    This, however, is the type of thing that those that wish to believe in the supernatural refuse to consider. They somehow think that the human predisposition to believe or see patterns that don't exist is excluded from their own situations.

    The short of it is this: disregard my definition of fanatical as I was substituting "believer" and the fallacy is my own.
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    Then It would certainly follow that one can be a "fanatical skeptic," but I would think that would entail being "excessively enthusiastic" about "doubting" what he/she observes.
    Ah. But that's what I'm talking about. A contradiction in terms. A true 'fanatic skeptic' would believe absolutely nothing. Would get stuck in solipsism and would probably get nothing done in his life other than spinning wheels in mud (which only exist because he's there to observe it...)


    But. The thing is that there could be a 'fanatical skeptic' which is more along the terms that btsimsah outlines. I.e. someone who fanatically debunks any sort of ufo claim or whatever area one might wish to apply the fanatacism to.

    In this case, the fanatic would debunk something to the point of unreason. He would deny any and all evidence to the contrary of his beliefs which he holds about the field. He could have aliens, on a table in front of him, a couple opened up displaying their strange organs; a few more displaying telekinetic, telepathic, or other amazing innate abilities; examples of alien technology performing seemingly miraculous tasks. And the fanatic skeptic would proceed to debunk the whole situation and could never be swayed.

    Never.

    That's fanaticism.


    Now. Do I think that btimsah has come across any of these fanatical skeptics? No. I think he's far too gullible and sees anyone more skeptical than him as fanatic. I believe his perceptions of reality are skewed greatly towards an attitude of belief.

    I do think that he's begun to see the light a little. But he has a long way to go if he's ever going to become truly rational when it comes to these beliefs of his.


    Now. While I won't say that you are this 'fanatic skeptic' I will say that you have some slightly fanatic tendencies. Case in point. Your definition of 'fanatic' being skewed to a definition to be used against btimsah's argument.

    Do you not think that there could be a 'fanatic skeptic' or more properly 'fanatic debunker'? Terminology is something that can be manipulated easily by both sides. The meaning of words shifted a little here, a little there, but the basic idea that he's getting at is quite simple and quite real.
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    I definately have some "fanatic" tendencies to debunk the bunk.

    The reasons are probably not what the typical believer thinks, however. Norval seemed to think (and even stated on at least two occasions) that I, as well as others, was a "disinformation agent" and even an actual "alien" working to discredit those that believe aliens are among us with nefarious plans.

    Others seem to think that is is the goal of the skeptic (for whatever reason) to discredit any alternative view so as to maintain the status quo at all costs.

    Neither of those would describe me. First, I'm all for paradigm shifts in science if the net gain is worth it. My own discipline/subdiscipline of anthropology/archaeology has seen its share and the "shifters," like Louis Binford shine even today.

    My interest in anthropology/archaeology always gravitate toward belief systems and magical thinking. I'm interested in what people believed in antiquity and, because of this, I'm always looking analytically at what people believe in modernity. Debating the finer points of belief versus skepticism forces me to not only think through all sides of the equation, it helps me to have fun while at the same time actually researching the concept of magical thinking among humanity.

    Sitting on my desk are several books: Science Confronts the Paranormal, by Frazier; The Profits of Religion, by Upton Sinclair; A Devil's Chaplain, by Dawkins; Mythos from Mesopotamia, by Stephanie Daley; and a textbook on bioethics. There's also the boxed set of Stargate SG-1! I'm skeptical of paranormal and magical claims, but I still have the fantasy that we will someday meet cultures from other worlds, which is why I allow myself to suspend disbelief temporarily in a good episode of Stargate.
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    Skinwalker, I too enjoy Stargate (most of the episodes anyway). I'm reminded of how I used to watch episodes of The X Files with my friend Lisa. I mentioned to her once during an episode that I did not believe that we have been visited by intelligent extraterrestrials. She was incredulous. "How can you watch this then?" she asked. I copped William Shatner's line from the Saturday Night Live episode where he addressed a crowd at a Star Trek convention. "It's just a TV show!" I replied. I don't believe in heaven or hell either, but that doesn't keep me from enjoying movies like The Excorcist.
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    There is no doubt that some true believers (or woo-woo's) can be fanatically un-skeptical. I was intending to writing about fanatical skeptics and how they appear to be un-reasonable to those less fanatical.

    True believers can be as (if not more) un-reasonable and fanatical in favor of the sensational. While this is not about them, I welcome any of you to write and describe why they are that way.

    What started me into this is my older brother. I tried to watch a show about hauntings with him. He litterally could not watch it - without casting doubt and debunking everything that came across the screen. To be fair to some of you here - he's a bad skeptic. Not just fanatical. It's unfortunate because the show is called "Most Haunted" and appears on the Travel Channel does a great job of investigating paranormal/ghostly disturbances. They did in fact get some amazing ghostly images on video and videotaped a chair and bed moving without anyone else being in the room. I believe their evidence will only get stronger over time. In fact - at the end of their shows they have a skeptic (I guess) review what they found.

    I could only figure my brother was too fanatical in his skeptiscm to simply leave something unsolved, because if he does so, then I or someone else may leap to something sensational - and he cannot have that.
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    We have a version of it in the UK on the same channel that shows Crossing Over with John Edward, James Van Praagh and Colin Frye, all medium shows. This channel is named, with no apparent irony, Living TV.

    What comes across to you as "fanatical" skepticism on the part of your brother is undoubtedly concern that you don't swallow the "paranormal as entertainment" on face value. Maybe he's overdoing it. Maybe you should listen to what he says. Decades of paranormal research has failed to find unimpeachable evidence of ghost activity, yet when they make a TV program they have no difficulty in a) finding an endless supply of haunted houses and b) demonstrating something "weird" is going on. This is not something a TV company would do unless they could guarantee some kind of entertainment and something happening, and consequently everything is set up in order to provide it. I only watch the trailers of this program, and the first thing to note is that they are always shot in green light, which indicates that the participants are being filmed with infra-red light and a special camera, which also indicates that they are always in utter darkness. So they're in a fairly creepy situation to begin with and (apart from the ones who are "in on it") are undoubtedly going to react strongly to the slightest thing. How hard is it for someone on the crew to be going around in night vision goggles and making the mysterious noises happen, would that were even necessary!

    I objected most strongly to the show in which they're ghost du jour was Harry Houdini - a man who detested this kind of bunk and spent a lot of his career exposing mediums and other charlatans.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    We have a version of it in the UK on the same channel that shows Crossing Over with John Edward, James Van Praagh and Colin Frye, all medium shows. This channel is named, with no apparent irony, Living TV.

    What comes across to you as "fanatical" skepticism on the part of your brother is undoubtedly concern that you don't swallow the "paranormal as entertainment" on face value. Maybe he's overdoing it. Maybe you should listen to what he says. Decades of paranormal research has failed to find unimpeachable evidence of ghost activity, yet when they make a TV program they have no difficulty in a) finding an endless supply of haunted houses and b) demonstrating something "weird" is going on. This is not something a TV company would do unless they could guarantee some kind of entertainment and something happening, and consequently everything is set up in order to provide it. I only watch the trailers of this program, and the first thing to note is that they are always shot in green light, which indicates that the participants are being filmed with infra-red light and a special camera, which also indicates that they are always in utter darkness. So they're in a fairly creepy situation to begin with and (apart from the ones who are "in on it") are undoubtedly going to react strongly to the slightest thing. How hard is it for someone on the crew to be going around in night vision goggles and making the mysterious noises happen, would that were even necessary!

    I objected most strongly to the show in which they're ghost du jour was Harry Houdini - a man who detested this kind of bunk and spent a lot of his career exposing mediums and other charlatans.
    Well this show is an paranormal research show. They are trying to get actual evidence of ghosts/spirts and how David Acorah the medium can help them get that.

    As for my brother. As I said, he's just a very bad skeptic. He's so skeptical that he cannot watch anything fascinating without feeling compelled to debunk or ridicule it. I try to listen to him, and sometimes I agree with him. I'm actually quite skeptical! :-D But just sometimes he goes soooo far in his attempt to outrule anything sensational it get's amazing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by btimsah
    Well this show is an paranormal research show.
    No. This is not how research is conducted. This is an entertainment show.
    Quote Originally Posted by btimsah
    They are trying to get actual evidence of ghosts/spirts .
    They are trying to get viewers and advertising revenues.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by btimsah
    Well this show is an paranormal research show.
    No. This is not how research is conducted. This is an entertainment show.
    Quote Originally Posted by btimsah
    They are trying to get actual evidence of ghosts/spirts .
    They are trying to get viewers and advertising revenues.
    Have you actually watched this particular program?
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    I have seen it or its sibling. You do not conduct research on TV. Period. Never. Ever. Full stop. (I have five examples that show this to be a minor overstatement. None of them are remotely like this entertainment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I have seen it or its sibling. You do not conduct research on TV. Period. Never. Ever. Full stop. (I have five examples that show this to be a minor overstatement. None of them are remotely like this entertainment.
    Yeh or ney? Have you actually seen the show, "Most Haunted"?

    Secondly, it's not on live T.V. They merely record their findings and present them and it's very entertaining. They have several people who serve different functions. Historian, Medium, Skeptic, Scientist.. well I guess he is. He goes around measuring the temperature when they arive and throughout the day. He also has some sort of little gadgets he uses to measure energy changes or something geeky.

    They only way to investigate hauntings is to film it in my opinion - and they are doing that. I suggest all of you watch it - Derek Acorah is the best medium I've ever seen. They only use the medium to prove that he is in fact a medium and that he's connecting with these spirits. Then they use him to try and gather evidence about them and why they are there.

    So Ophiolite, your skeptical about this program huh? :-D
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    It might be interesting to note, they did catch some ghosts on film. It was pretty cool. You could see some faint, white light moving in their room. They videotaped a bed and chair moving on it's own.
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    So, btimsah, this is the British show you're watching, right? I watched part of it last night. I turned on just as they had they're most significant "manifestation" ever - one of the crew appeared to have been severely attacked by a ghost, to the extent of having been quite badly winded and shocked. Then Acorah and another crew member had to pick this guy up and try to get him out. This was serious, they were swearing up a storm!

    Then they had one of the experts saying that this was the best manifestation they'd ever had, an actual physical contact rather than, as he put it, the small temperature differences and pressure differences that they were used to.

    A replay of the impact itself (which I hadn't seen) showed the crewman (in green light, in fact this whole thing was acted out in green light, they didn't even switch any lights on when the man was in evident distress) in slow motion, looking around and then suddenly collapsing to the ground. He did not fall as if he'd been hit. I'm willing to believe that he actually injured himself on the ground, maybe by landing on something, but certainly the reactions of everybody involved (except Acorah, who as he was helping the crewman out, started shouting that the spirit was holding onto the back of his shirt - evident bullshit) were highly convincing.

    I caught part of the repeat, and I saw that Derek Acorah guy was doing his schtick. He was just standing there acting up like he was in pain, and expressing the supposed anguish of the local spirits. I'm afraid I was not impressed by him at all, and neither should you be. The "best" medium is the one who talks to someone they have never apparently met, and seems to get accurate information about them from a spirit. There are special techiques called "cold reading" that can provide very convincing effects, and there are also cheating methods involving investigating in advance people known to be going to be participants. But the effects the mediums produce can be quite astonishing at times. Acorah just stands there wincing and moaning, and he is never dealing with relatives of the deceased who could confirm or deny what he says - he's the worst kind of medium!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    So, btimsah, this is the British show you're watching, right? I watched part of it last night. I turned on just as they had they're most significant "manifestation" ever - one of the crew appeared to have been severely attacked by a ghost, to the extent of having been quite badly winded and shocked. Then Acorah and another crew member had to pick this guy up and try to get him out. This was serious, they were swearing up a storm!

    Then they had one of the experts saying that this was the best manifestation they'd ever had, an actual physical contact rather than, as he put it, the small temperature differences and pressure differences that they were used to.

    A replay of the impact itself (which I hadn't seen) showed the crewman (in green light, in fact this whole thing was acted out in green light, they didn't even switch any lights on when the man was in evident distress) in slow motion, looking around and then suddenly collapsing to the ground. He did not fall as if he'd been hit. I'm willing to believe that he actually injured himself on the ground, maybe by landing on something, but certainly the reactions of everybody involved (except Acorah, who as he was helping the crewman out, started shouting that the spirit was holding onto the back of his shirt - evident bullshit) were highly convincing.

    I caught part of the repeat, and I saw that Derek Acorah guy was doing his schtick. He was just standing there acting up like he was in pain, and expressing the supposed anguish of the local spirits. I'm afraid I was not impressed by him at all, and neither should you be. The "best" medium is the one who talks to someone they have never apparently met, and seems to get accurate information about them from a spirit. There are special techiques called "cold reading" that can provide very convincing effects, and there are also cheating methods involving investigating in advance people known to be going to be participants. But the effects the mediums produce can be quite astonishing at times. Acorah just stands there wincing and moaning, and he is never dealing with relatives of the deceased who could confirm or deny what he says - he's the worst kind of medium!
    Well, I have not seen that episode. Even with your debunking and skeptisicm I still will and do enjoy the show. That episode will probably be on Friday so I can't wait! Sounds like a scary one.
    http://anomalous.wordpress.com/ - Vist Blog To See Video and Photographic Strange Sh...Stuff.
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  22. #21  
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    The kind of people who make up their mind before they have even attempted to investigate claims for advanced technology or paranormal experiances are not skeptics, they are religiously dogmatic.

    example

    http://quinnell.us/natural/manifesto.html
    "The present is theirs ; the future, for which I really work , is mine." Nikola Tesla
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  23. #22 THE MIND OF A FANATICAL SKEPTIC 
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    THE MIND OF A FANATICAL CYNIC, may, as a title, have drawn a lot less - very interesting and educational - flak: As Ophio has deftly pointed out, early on, the meanings of 'fanatic' and 'skeptic' are 'polar'.

    To all of this educational series of qualifications and argument (inspired by btimsah), I would add that the difference between a cynic and a skeptic are also 'polar'; whereas, correct me if wrong here, the word 'cynic' doesn't emerge anywhere in the issued melee, and I thought it belonged in this tumult somewheres so I added room for its consideraton, here (so there?).

    (Note: it's sorta like the difference between murder and killling and how the two words are commonly used interchangeably, which they definitely are not - interchangeable words with synonymous or parallel meanings.)

    "I'd put everything else in the middle if I knew where it began and ended."
    - R.W. Emerson
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