The crop circle

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  • #26
Ivan Seeking
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Not sure why it would be called a legitimate paper other than it was published.

That is the measure that we use. The point is not that is stands of proof of the claim, rather that what you posted does not meet the minimum standard.

1. The paper shows correlations and does not show causation. In other words, are the things he detects caused by the crop circles? Levengood admits in the paper he is unsure.

Who made any arguments about causation? The evidence for a claim in no way depends on causation.

2. No one else published similar findings.

How many others have studied it? Why have no papers been published that refute the paper?

It's just another case of a bad paper being published.

Unless you can show evidence to support this in the form of published works, it stands as an unsupported claim. Technically it is a crackpot claim because you make it with no supporting scientific evidence.

To learn a little about the nature of the people that did publish here is a link:

http://www.rensselaer.edu/~sofkam/ISUNY/Journal/vol1_6.html" [Broken]

That source is also anecdotal and not acceptable as a scientific reference.
 
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  • #27
Moonbear
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‘High as a kite’ wallabies blamed for crop circles

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31539546/ns/world_news-weird_news

"We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles," The Mercury newspaper quoted Giddings as telling the hearing. "Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that are high."

Darn, you beat me to it! I just saw this story and thought of this thread. :biggrin:

Interesting that walking in circles is such a common stereotypy of opioid use. That's how they measure things like tolerance and sensitization in rats and mice when doing studies on addiction, by counting "rotations."
 
  • #28
ideasrule
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There's actually a hobbyist site for crop-circles makers (www.circlemakers.org[/url]), complete with a beginner's guide ([url]http://www.circlemakers.org/guide.html[/URL]). Anybody want to have a go at making a crop circle?
 
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  • #29
russ_watters
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One more point: Is there any evidence that the "flying saucer hoax" was a hoax, or was that just an assumption on your part?
Either you misread or I was unclear: The second part of the sentence is referring to the first part and nothing else. I did not say anything about the legitimacy of the 1966 event, only that those copying it were flying saucer hoaxsters. It isn't relevant.

But if you are looking for my actual opinion on such incidents as the 1966 event, you already know my default position: extrordinary claims require extrordinary (ie, high quality) evidence and lacking good evidence, only mundane conclusions are appropriate. So, as we have only the eyewitness account to go on, the only reasonable conclusions to consider are:

1. He [the person reporting the incident] misinterpreted what he saw.
1a. He was duped by a hoaxster.
2. He was a hoaxster.
 
  • #30
DaveC426913
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Finally, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5itNr658Uj8eeh0jqs721DL4zGz2gD991ILUO1" [Broken].
 
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  • #31
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There is a physicist named Levengood who claims that not all crop circles can be explained in mundane terms.

For example.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119267484/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

I've heard these exact sort of "strange anomolies" reported about crop circles that were later proven (they had video) to be simply-produced hoaxes. If people look at anything long enough and want to find something that looks strange, I'll lay money that they will "find it." But it's all imagination.
 
  • #32
Ivan Seeking
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I've heard these exact sort of "strange anomolies" reported about crop circles that were later proven (they had video) to be simply-produced hoaxes. If people look at anything long enough and want to find something that looks strange, I'll lay money that they will "find it." But it's all imagination.

That is all fine and dandy, but we have a published paper vs hearsay and what is almost certainly an untrained/amateur opinion... that is unless you have dedicated a good bit of time studying crop circles?
 
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  • #33
Ivan Seeking
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Either you misread or I was unclear: The second part of the sentence is referring to the first part and nothing else. I did not say anything about the legitimacy of the 1966 event, only that those copying it were flying saucer hoaxsters. It isn't relevant.

But if you are looking for my actual opinion on such incidents as the 1966 event, you already know my default position: extrordinary claims require extrordinary (ie, high quality) evidence and lacking good evidence, only mundane conclusions are appropriate. So, as we have only the eyewitness account to go on, the only reasonable conclusions to consider are:

1. He [the person reporting the incident] misinterpreted what he saw.
1a. He was duped by a hoaxster.
2. He was a hoaxster.

Of course it is still an assumption. In fact we can conclude what is most likely based on what we know, but that is hardly definitive.
 
  • #34
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But there is some many idiot diehard believers who believes what they want more than what is logical.

There are people who still believe in homeopathy and even alchemy (yes, alchemy, I saw a couple alchemy forums and they were serious.) There are just some people who will still blindly cling to their beliefs in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence. Don't even try to convince these people otherwise.
 
  • #35
Ivan Seeking
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I think the truth of the matter is that people tend to believe what they want to believe. It doesn't really matter which side of an issue they may prefer. In my experience, the true disbelievers - I define to be those who are predisposed to an authoritarian view of the world and who desperately need to believe that they understand the world completely - are just as bad as the true believers. I think they are two sides of the same coin because they both become irrational or unreasonable when their beliefs are challenged.

True disbelievers prefer to either attack the people making claims, misrepresent their claims, or address only the trivial or obvious cases, rather than addressing the interesting claims in a reaonable manner. The favorite trick is to trivialize the facts. Worst of all, they will deny any evidence that goes against their view, but readily accept any so-called skeptical argument with no proof whatsoever! The true believers cry foul when presented with evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They will deny, obfuscate, and redirect the discussion, rather than facing the facts.

In both cases, when on the losing side of an argument, they will disappear, only to appear later making the same argument in a different thread.

Imo, the sad thing is that interesting claims are often all but lost because they get tagged with a label. Crop circles are a good example. There almost certainly are crop circles that occur due to some natural phenomenon. It may be due to something as mundane as wind vortices, but there is some published physical evidence that there could be something more interesting in some cases [there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence supporting this notion as well]. However, because the claim was associated the notion of visiting aliens and the fantastic designs that appear from time to time, all crop circle claims get lumped into the same garbage heap.

Ball lightning and earthquake lights were once victims of association as well. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that many people fail to separate the actual claim, from the interpretation of events according to the witness. While a person may in fact have witnessed something unusual, their interpretation of what they saw could be completely wrong. The claim is then rejected based on the interpretation of events, rather than the reported events themselves. Once the skeptic has decided that Bubba didn't see ET [which was decided long before Bubba walked into the room anyway], he or she assumes that the entire report is useless, when it still might be quite intriguing given the proper frame.
 
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