Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Skepticism

  1. May 25, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Beyond a doubt, the naysayers of the world play an important role in helping to strike a balance between wild-eyed claims, and theories that seek to explain those claims. At the same time many skeptics pretty much just say no no no, with nothing really of value to offer except denials. Often the most important details of some event are ignored in order to make safe a skeptical, naysayers position. I think a number of members here are grand exceptions to this rule - one of the most noteworthy being Zoobyshoe, who works to find answers that might account for the claims; as opposed to simply denying that anyone really saw, or heard, or experienced anything.

    I thought the distinction was worth mentioning.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2004 #2

    Janitor

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I'll hoist one high for Zoobyshoe.
     
  4. May 26, 2004 #3

    Tsu

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'll join you!!!!
     
  5. May 26, 2004 #4
    I completely agree skeptics keep the conspiracy theorists in line...
    thanks skeptics...keep up the good work ; )
     
  6. May 27, 2004 #5
    Scientism is just a modern form of superstition. 'If you can keep an open mind when all about you are losing theirs...'
     
  7. May 27, 2004 #6

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    Most cranks and kooks don't really know what they're talking about to begin with and could care less about why they're wrong - that's why they're cranks and loons. Others merely post some ridiculous statement and a bunch of links and demand to be proven wrong. Others rehash the same arguments over and over again and are too lazy to search the forums to find those arguments. Others still don't even understand common knowledge.

    And I have yet to see a crank/loon/ET nutter actually enter a forum with an argument and are willing to debate.

    You can see why the skeptic gets to the point of simply saying no no no.
     
  8. May 28, 2004 #7
    a classic skeptic posts.... :biggrin:
     
  9. May 31, 2004 #8

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    and when those skeptics get to that point, they are no better then the "cranks and loons" you accuse of being ridiculous. i find many people just want to take a stand-whether they thrive on consipiracy theories/pseudoscience or being a skeptic. there are many who just want to be labeled as a skeptic, thus they no, no, no everything instead of really use an honest objective judgement and find out for themselves. there are many consipiracy theorists who just want to believe in something they may or may not be there in reality.

    instead of being labeled either way, it would be better to approach everything openly, but objectively.
     
  10. Jun 1, 2004 #9

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    and when those skeptics get to that point, they are no better then the "cranks and loons" you accuse of being ridiculous.

    At least the skeptic isn't the one making ridiculous claims. And of course, the skeptic allows the crank/loon a chance to present his case while pointing out the flaws. If the crank/loon refuses to listen to reason, why should anyone give the crank/loon any respect at all? The crank/loon is obviously not here to discuss, why then should they be granted the appropriate etiquettes from other members?

    instead of being labeled either way, it would be better to approach everything openly, but objectively.

    I agree with you but the crank/loon does not approach things objectively. Their claims are usually built on the subjective, have no methodologies, provide no evidence and quite often don't even adhere to reality. However, the skeptic does approach everything openly, but applies heavy emphasis on objectivety.
     
  11. Jun 1, 2004 #10

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    there are many who just want to be labeled as a skeptic, thus they no, no, no everything instead of really use an honest objective judgement and find out for themselves.

    if you were a true objective skeptic, you would have addressed this comment also just as objective as you did to what i had to say about the "crank/loons" who advocate consipiracy theories. are you truly a skeptic, or just like to pound down any theory from the "loons"? :rolleyes:
     
  12. Jun 1, 2004 #11

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    there are many who just want to be labeled as a skeptic, thus they no, no, no everything instead of really use an honest objective judgement and find out for themselves.

    So far, I’ve not seen anyone here simply state no,no,no. Perhaps you could point out these many members who do that, as I can’t seem to find one. The arguments from the skeptics here have been excellent and in almost all cases, refute the claims made by cranks/loons.

    I also find that most skeptics who have valid arguments here are the ones who have already found out for themselves what is credible and what is not. Most cranks/loons haven’t even taken a first year physics course, so I would venture to guess it is they who need to find out for themselves.

    are you truly a skeptic, or just like to pound down any theory from the "loons"?

    Why would I bother doing that? If someone comes to this forum or any other forum with a theory or idea that is sound, I’ll be one of the first to congratulate him or her.

    I’ve only met one crank/loon with a theory on gravity that I simply could not find a problem with and I appropriately told him so. I encouraged him to write a paper and submit it for peer review.
     
  13. Jun 1, 2004 #12

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    You can see why the skeptic gets to the point of simply saying no no no.

    so, what skeptic are you referring to that is saying no, no, no? i would seem to me that there is a pre-disposed bias you already have towards these "cranks", and i am sure understandbly so. i have met a few who are just a little too anxious to bring up silly theories myself, and i have spoken to a few skeptics here on PF who are also anxious to jump on the bandwagon of debunking every theory because it is their duty as a skeptic. i will not name those members that i see this tendency of, as we are not here to assign "blame". my point is, let's not label ourselves as either one, and just keep an objective but open mind to either way
     
  14. Jun 1, 2004 #13

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    so, what skeptic are you referring to that is saying no, no, no?

    Probably the same ones you refer, but I've not yet seen any here. My point was to state how easy it is to get to the point of saying no, no,no. I have never simply made a post with that kind of response but I have seen it on other forums.

    i would seem to me that there is a pre-disposed bias you already have towards these "cranks", and i am sure understandbly so.

    Cranks and loons do considerable damage to science by promoting and propagating ignorance. I am biased against ignorance.

    i have spoken to a few skeptics here on PF who are also anxious to jump on the bandwagon of debunking every theory because it is their duty as a skeptic.

    It is the duty of everyone to reveal ignorance, skeptic or not. If the theory stands, then the debunking will fail. If it appears that every theory is getting debunked, what does that say about the theory?

    let's not label ourselves as either one, and just keep an objective but open mind to either way

    And that is exactly what is happening. However, it would be remiss of me to sit idly by while cranks/loons run amok.

    They will feel the sword of reason strike deep, swiftian with rapier-like thrusts.
     
  15. Jun 1, 2004 #14

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    i always did find it interesting how these skeptic types were such huge Lord of the Ring fans... :rolleyes:
     
  16. Jun 1, 2004 #15

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why must there be a theory involved at all? Science begins with observations, then we develop a theory to explain what was observed and to make a prediction that acts to test that theory. My objective is to listen to [read, whatever] what people have to say, and then to try and sort out what may or may not be genuine, provable, testable, or at least worthy of discussion. I see no room in the discussion here so far for simply considering what people have to say that they saw, heard, or experienced. Do only loons listen to other people's stories without judging; without the need to make declarations of true or false? If we can't know what happened then we can't know. We can only watch, listen, log the data, and look for more of the same elsewhere.

    Q, you seem to have your mind made up about nearly all topics considered here. That's great. You are happy with your universe. Conversely, I think that many questions remain for science and that we don't have all of the answers - to what may or may not be possible. Does that make me a crank or a loon? If I don't accept your theories for each and every example that we can find, for whatever sort of claim, I'm a crank? You can explain all that there is and all that can be?

    Also, you're mostly right about our members here. Most are valuable contributors whose input is greatly appreciated. Take Russ Watters for example. Russ and I disagree on all sorts of things, and Russ and I have had more than one heated discussion, but I have great respect for Russ. He is a really smart guy. Sometimes I'd like to beat him with a stick but I'm sure that he has felt the same way. Self Adjoint is also a greatly valued skeptic in this forum. There are many others as well. The reason I landed here at PF in the first place is that some of my very general statements about skeptics mostly do not apply [here]. Every now and then someone pops in just to say no and then go away and really that's fine. My intent with this thread was really to honor the caliber of our skeptics here at PF. It was not intended as a put down.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2004
  17. Jun 1, 2004 #16

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    i always did find it interesting how these skeptic types were such huge Lord of the Ring fans...

    Sorry, never read the books or saw the movies. I hear the movies have great battle scenes with very strange looking characters. I also heard about an 'Ent' - talking tree?
     
  18. Jun 1, 2004 #17

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Ivan, many of the skeptics type also forget the importance it is for those seeking more understanding of our world around us. No, we don't want people who have imaginations run wild, and to be honest, the only member of the PF community I remember running off with a wild imagination did so in the politics and current events forum! As far as those contributing here in the skeptics forum, I have never seen or witnessed in the 3 years I have been a member of PF any one running amock with outlandish claims, and at one time it was labeled the mystics forum! Those who are contributing to this forum are always doing so genuinely and in an inquisitory manner.
    Part of what makes Physics Forums a better place then other "Science" Forums (some of you know what I am referring to) is we do are not in the place of beating down others for learning and discovering. If there are members here seeking to do so, they would have a better time in those other forums where that attitude infests like bacteria in a swamp.

    To be skeptical is to keep wild imaginations in check, to be negatively doubtful of all those who choose to keep on finding answers in a genuine manner is just lame.
     
  19. Jun 1, 2004 #18

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    many of the skeptics type also forget the importance it is for those seeking more understanding of our world around us.

    No,no, no. Sorry, I had to do that.

    It’s not possible to forget since the entire point of being skeptical is to seek understanding. It is the crank/loon that confuses and complicates when they introduce ideas and concepts that tend to raise more questions than they answer.

    I have never seen or witnessed in the 3 years I have been a member of PF any one running amock with outlandish claims

    This forum is full of outlandish claims – that’s why it’s Pseudoscience.

    To be skeptical is to keep wild imaginations in check, to be negatively doubtful of all those who choose to keep on finding answers in a genuine manner is just lame.

    People who are trying to find answers in a genuine manner would most likely be looking in the science forums, not this one. Of course, there should be a place people can turn for some light entertainment value and maybe a good chuckle – this forum suits that purpose.
     
  20. Jun 1, 2004 #19

    (Q)

    User Avatar

    Do only loons listen to other people's stories without judging; without the need to make declarations of true or false?

    I’ve heard plenty of loons agree with other loons. I’ve also seen plenty of loons disagree vehemently with other loons.

    None of the loons had a clue.

    Q, you seem to have your mind made up about nearly all topics considered here.

    I fail to see how you arrived at that conclusion but that does not surprise me. Jumping to conclusion is your forte.

    That's great. You are happy with your universe.

    Yes I am. But I should inform you that we are of the same universe hence the same reality. The difference is that I choose to see reality for what it is as opposed to what I want it to be.

    Conversely, I think that many questions remain for science and that we don't have all of the answers - to what may or may not be possible. Does that make me a crank or a loon?

    Don’t worry, science will eventually find the answers. Nonetheless, science does know that some things are not possible, yet the cranks/loons fail or refuse to understand or acknowledge that. That said, I think you can now answer your own question.
     
  21. Jun 1, 2004 #20

    Kerrie

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    It’s not possible to forget since the entire point of being skeptical is to seek understanding. It is the crank/loon that confuses and complicates when they introduce ideas and concepts that tend to raise more questions than they answer.

    your opinion

    This forum is full of outlandish claims – that’s why it’s Pseudoscience.
    your outlandish opinion

    Of course, there should be a place people can turn for some light entertainment value and maybe a good chuckle – this forum suits that purpose.

    if that's the case, you must not find much entertainment elsewhere, as you seem to exert so much energy in this forum for someone who thinks it is useless.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Skepticism
  1. Skeptical Philosophy (Replies: 125)

  2. Myths of Skepticism (Replies: 5)

  3. Open for skepticism (Replies: 6)

  4. Hello From a skeptic (Replies: 17)

Loading...