Alex Tsakiris and Tom Jump Debate Near Death Experience Sceicne |408|

#41
Hey. I'm with you... Fearlessly go where the data/evidence leads. We're a rare breed...
I'm actually ok with the extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence.
cool... I know that you are based on yr posts (BTW still owe you a couple of relies on some of yr excellent past ones). I think ES nailed this in his post, but I'll ad that it's really amazing/interesting/telling that more folks don't get this. I remember an interview I was having with rupert sheldrake and richard wiseman a few years ago. wiseman blindly walked into this position. I mean, here's a guy who's supposed to be a top media scientist in the UK and he doesn't get this point.

there's an old football coaches express attributed to former new york giants coach bill parcells " you are what your record says you are." I think this applies to science, "science is what it's record is." science is a human / political / cultural / socially engineered enterprise. "real/true/pure science" is a meaningless term.
 
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#43
cool... I know that you are based on yr posts (BTW still owe you a couple of relies on some of yr excellent past ones). I think ES nailed this in his post, but I'll ad that it's really amazing/interesting/telling that more folks don't get this. I remember an interview I was having with rupert sheldrake and richard wiseman a few years ago. wiseman blindly walked into this position. I mean, here's a guy who's supposed to be a top media scientist in the UK and he doesn't get this point..
Alex,
I look forward to your replies!

This is a great forum. I like to argue hard, but expect to get back at least as hard as I dish out. I believe that we sharpen ourselves against each other. ES' response to me about extraordinary claims/proof has me thinking. The assertion still feels right, at least in certain circumstances, but I'm thinking about it.

If the park ranger sees a big hairy thing standing 8 feet tall, etc., my first reaction isn't going to be, "Hey. It must have been sasquatch!". I'm going to think it's probably a bear or an escaped gorilla. I'm really going to need to see something like DNA from hair samples found on a bush that tells me this really is new creature. In that absence of that kind of evidence, I'm not going to take his observation that seriously. If the ranger tells me he saw a bear, I'd be far more likely to accept, based on a half melted foot print in the snow, that a bear had been in the area. It's in that sort of scenario that I think extraordinary proof makes sense at a gut level, at least to me.

there's an old football coaches express attributed to former new york giants coach bill parcells " you are what your record says you are." I think this applies to science, "science is what it's record is." science is a human / political / cultural / socially engineered enterprise. "real/true/pure science" is a meaningless term.
Right. That's what I'm saying too in going easy on TJump; or at least being understanding of his position. I disagree with him, of course, but understand why he is being the way he is. As I said, he's being conservative and playing the odds, which gives him a pretty good batting record; albeit not 1,000.

We are interested in those instances where TJump strikes out, hits an easily caught pop fly, etc.. He is interested in strutting his all star batting avg.
 
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#44
If the park ranger sees a big hairy thing standing 8 feet tall, etc., my first reaction isn't going to be, "Hey. It must have been sasquatch!". I'm going to think it's probably a bear or an escaped gorilla. I'm really going to need to see something like DNA from hair samples found on a bush that tells me this really is new creature. In that absence of that kind of evidence, I'm not going to take his observation that seriously
Be careful though... you are conflating two different points in the scientific method. Plurality and Proof.

Observations are used to establish Plurality (Ockham's Razor) of Hypothesis (see The Real Ockham's Razor)​
Full Scientific Method is required to establish Proof (Reduction of Hypothesis). (Actually 90% of science never establishes final proof either)​
The Trick of the pseudo-skeptic is to say 'this does not PROVE the issue, therefore I can toss it out as an observation.' < --- this is false and this is not how science works. Never trust a person who does this, even (and especially) if they hold a PhD...​

What Alex is arguing is a 'Necessity of Plurality' - and decrying The Trick. He is a hero in doing so... and most of his guests fail to grasp his syllogism in this regard.

The Whole Scientific Method.png
 
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#45
Be careful though... you are conflating two different points in the scientific method. Plurality and Proof.

Observations are used to establish Plurality (Ockham's Razor) of Hypothesis (see The Real Ockham's Razor)​
Full Scientific Method is required to establish Proof (Reduction of Hypothesis). (Actually 90% of science never establishes final proof either)​
The Trick of the pseudo-skeptic is to say 'this does not PROVE the issue, therefore I can toss it out as an observation.' < --- this is false and this is not how science works. Never trust a person who does this, even (and especially) if they hold a PhD...​

What Alex is arguing is a 'Necessity of Plurality' - and decrying The Trick. He is a hero in doing so... and most of his guests fail to grasp his syllogism in this regard.

View attachment 1152
ES,
Gotcha. Now I understand what you're saying (and Alex too). No problem.

I would not throw out the park ranger's observation. I would keep it as a data point. I wouldn't conclude that he saw sasquatch, but I wouldn't dismiss his report. I'd file it under unexplained/needs more info.

And if more park rangers in the area started making similar observations, I'd definitely take interests and, with an open mind, I'd start to do in depth interviews, build a database, look for patterns and I'd send some unbiased zoological experts into the field to look for clues and evidence.

You are correct, TJump and fellow travelers just throw out the observation as silly, feel satisfied that was a bear or an escaped gorilla and wash their hands of the whole thing.
 
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#46
ES,
Gotcha. Now I understand what you're saying (and Alex too). No problem.

I would not throw out the park ranger's observation. I would keep it as a data point. I wouldn't conclude that he saw sasquatch, but I wouldn't dismiss his report. I'd file it under unexplained/needs more info.
Exactly -

A skeptic is a FRIEND of the paranormal researcher at the point of Ockham's Razor. Most skeptics do not get this. An ethical skeptic comes alongside and says:

"Interesting catalog of observations you have developed there. I love it, it suggests necessity (not 'Proof'). In order to develop this into a sponsorship hypothesis however, we need several things. Otherwise science won't look at it. But we want science to examine this issue, so let's set about the task of maturing this construct into a real hypothesis." See The Elements of Hypothesis.​

The real skeptic is then a tireless researcher who holds off on making a conclusion while the hypothesis is disciplined and the subject is reduced. See Reduction: A Bias for Understanding. This is a principle called epoché. Something we are in short supply of, inside modern Western skepticism.

Everybody wants to be the smartest person in the room, and what better way to fake that, than to show how fiercely and through how many YMCA martial art tricks, you can 'doubt'? Yawn.... See The New Debunker: Pseudo-Skeptic Sleuth.

But to a real skeptic, this charade only reveals scientific ignorance and extremely poor character.

The beauty of real skepticism is - none of this means that the skeptic has to BELIEVE the hypothesis - rather simply that they possess the highest quality nature of humanity - they respect their fellow man, understand our foibles, but most importantly, they want to know the answer.

If we lived in a just world, every time a person said the word 'proof' - a magic hand should materialize out of the ether and slap them across the face, and then disappear.

:eek:
 
#47
Exactly -

A skeptic is a FRIEND of the paranormal researcher at the point of Ockham's Razor. Most skeptics do not get this. An ethical skeptic comes alongside and says:

"Interesting catalog of observations you have developed there. I love it, it suggests necessity (not 'Proof'). In order to develop this into a sponsorship hypothesis however, we need several things. Otherwise science won't look at it. But we want science to examine this issue, so let's set about the task of maturing this construct into a real hypothesis." See The Elements of Hypothesis.​

The real skeptic is then a tireless researcher who holds off on making a conclusion while the hypothesis is disciplined and the subject is reduced. See Reduction: A Bias for Understanding. This is a principle called epoché. Something we are in short supply of, inside modern Western skepticism.

Everybody wants to be the smartest person in the room, and what better way to fake that, than to show how fiercely and through how many YMCA martial art tricks, you can 'doubt'? Yawn.... See The New Debunker: Pseudo-Skeptic Sleuth.

But to a real skeptic, this charade only reveals scientific ignorance and extremely poor character.

The beauty of real skepticism is - none of this means that the skeptic has to BELIEVE the hypothesis - rather simply that they possess the highest quality nature of humanity - they respect their fellow man, understand our foibles, but most importantly, they want to know the answer.

If we lived in a just world, every time a person said the word 'proof' - a magic hand should materialize out of the ether and slap them across the face, and then disappear.

:eek:
wow ES, yr like a Yoda on this stuff :)

I'd add one more thing in response to eric's very nice post -- science is a special case. science is its own sandbox. we don't expect politics / business / other stuff to run according to these rules, but when it comes to science we expect these guys to put the blinders on and play by these very strict rules so we they don't get fooled.

science says, "we know human beings have biases, prejudice are subject to corruption, so how can we set up a system to make sure that doesn't interfere with collecting and analyzing and measuring reality." when someone says "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" the scientist says, "I understand the practical aspect of the shortcut yr suggesting, but I'm committed to looking at things thru a very strict set of rules."
 
#48
wow ES, yr like a Yoda on this stuff :)

I'd add one more thing in response to eric's very nice post -- science is a special case. science is its own sandbox. we don't expect politics / business / other stuff to run according to these rules, but when it comes to science we expect these guys to put the blinders on and play by these very strict rules so we they don't get fooled.

science says, "we know human beings have biases, prejudice are subject to corruption, so how can we set up a system to make sure that doesn't interfere with collecting and analyzing and measuring reality." when someone says "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" the scientist says, "I understand the practical aspect of the shortcut yr suggesting, but I'm committed to looking at things thru a very strict set of rules."
The legal system in our country is supposed to be like that too (see image of blind folded Lady Justice).

I was telling ES how much I appreciate his yoda-esque understanding of the philosophy of skeptical inquiry in a private communication. For better or worse I've always had to perform analysis/research in an environment where "politics / business / other stuff" perennially intrudes.

I wonder if human corruption can ever be removed from the work. Actually, I doubt it. But we have to try.
 
#49
We keep on making the mistake of thinking there is this thing called Science which has agreed POVs. This is a complete misrepresentation of reality on two counts. One - such that Science exists it is constituted by many difference sciences and many different efforts at performing science - and no large consensual POV has been developed. Atheists misrepresent this situation persistently by claiming what they say is representative - it is not. Two - scientists as individuals do not have shared beliefs. It may be hard to discover what portion of current scientists are materialists - but there' no evidence to confirm it is a majority. Certainly, from an historic perspective we do know that the majority of scientists who contributed major findings to our canon of scientific knowledge were not materialists. And, contra Dawkins, a religious belief does not impede the performance of good science.

TJump may be mouthpiecing the position of some scientists - who may be an influential minority - but that does not mean sqaut. One need only observe the tortured objection to Quantum science to appreciate that diehard denialists clung onto their obstinate refusal to budge until there was no longer any chance of being right.

Materialism is a dying duck kept alive as an illusion only because some scientists have taxidermied it and people like TJump are running around calling "Quack quack!"
Pretty much
 
#51
let me take the counter position... "we keep making the mistake of thinking there is not a narrowly-defined dogma that constitute science as we know it." skeptiko level 2 :)
I think you are having a lend. Science as we know it - or at least as I know it - cannot be confined to a narrow dogma - at least not one yet articulated. We saw this with the struggle against quantum science and we are seeing this with those who oppose classical Darwinism and those who affirm it. Science as a field of endeavour commonly defined to us has been persistently unruly and non-consensual behind the mask of dispassionate objective inquirers in white coats.

It is probably worthwhile finding an historian of science able to discuss the reality of how science is done. I think it was Fuzzy Logic - The Discovery of A Revolutionary Computer Technology and How It Is Changing Our World (1993) that opened up for me just how bitchy respectable scientists can get.

You want to argue the case with Don DeGracia? What is a more radical disparity than a scientist who holds that yogic thought is the way to go a materialist hack with a science degree?

It is no more possible to have science dogma than there is to have a religious dogma. There ae multiple dogmas in each - but no overarching one for either. To the extend that materialism attained dominance in science it was a function of bullying and intimidation - not argument. And money. Moral scientists are a pain to profiteers. They want amoral science at least - and materialism gives them that in ways that other ways of knowing do not.

The politics of intellectual power is crass - as TJump demonstrates. You can always ask pesky mean minded questions that have no decent answers - and sound rational in doing so. But Michael Bene demonstrates that when game is reversed the cockiness of materialistic dogma turns into weakness.

You can tie up a debate on NDEs with finely argued points about brain states. We can't know so absolutely there is no debate left on the matter. So if you don't want NDEs to be real you can find a corner and build a wall and think you are defending yourself gallantly. But if you care whether NDEs are real you do not rely on brain states as the definitive condition for reality. That goes into a mix of multiple factors.

Jeff Kripal, in The Flip, made a powerful point when said that the sciences of examining dead matter is easy compared the sciences of studying human consciousness - the humanities. The easy stuff is dominant at the moment because it means that the technocrats can employ the educated 'useful idiots' to make stuff they can sell and profit from. Whereas the humanities scientists (not real scientists apparently - like me) are moral burrs - bothering them with questions about who and what is harmed in the manufacture and use of their gizmos.

No matter the mess we are in - materialistic science will save us by turning dead matter into marvellous machines or clever solutions. The human solution - the moral, the temperate and the compassionate will only disrupt the agenda. So the technocrats flog STEM education because that's our salvation. Arrant bullshit!

There are proper scientists who agree. But these days getting and keeping a job so often means selling your soul.So they are quiet unless they get to work with morally decent organisations.
 
#52
Exactly -

A skeptic is a FRIEND of the paranormal researcher at the point of Ockham's Razor. Most skeptics do not get this. An ethical skeptic comes alongside and says:

"Interesting catalog of observations you have developed there. I love it, it suggests necessity (not 'Proof'). In order to develop this into a sponsorship hypothesis however, we need several things. Otherwise science won't look at it. But we want science to examine this issue, so let's set about the task of maturing this construct into a real hypothesis." See The Elements of Hypothesis.​

The real skeptic is then a tireless researcher who holds off on making a conclusion while the hypothesis is disciplined and the subject is reduced. See Reduction: A Bias for Understanding. This is a principle called epoché. Something we are in short supply of, inside modern Western skepticism.

Everybody wants to be the smartest person in the room, and what better way to fake that, than to show how fiercely and through how many YMCA martial art tricks, you can 'doubt'? Yawn.... See The New Debunker: Pseudo-Skeptic Sleuth.

But to a real skeptic, this charade only reveals scientific ignorance and extremely poor character.

The beauty of real skepticism is - none of this means that the skeptic has to BELIEVE the hypothesis - rather simply that they possess the highest quality nature of humanity - they respect their fellow man, understand our foibles, but most importantly, they want to know the answer.

If we lived in a just world, every time a person said the word 'proof' - a magic hand should materialize out of the ether and slap them across the face, and then disappear.

:eek:
I'm with you, but......

......I work in the world of Big Business now and I do oversee the analysis of data, trends and other situations. I've worn other hats. I'm in my 50s. I've been at this a long time.

In all of my training and experience, I've rarely had the luxury of leaving questions open. Rather questions and answers have to be assessed to a degree of certainty and then action must be taken based on the assessment. There's always a lot at risk. There are limited resources that can be dedicated to a particular issue - and there are many issues. New ones arise all of the time and old ones linger.

So there's a tension between ethical skepticism and practical reality, at least for me, but I think it is prevalent in most areas of inquiry.

It is the omnipresent demands of practical reality that engenders some sympathy for TJump's position. Like I said, he's not batting 1,000, but he's still at an All Star level in the practical world (borrowing the analogy from Timothy Leary).

Of course, TJump isn't explaining himself through that lens and he is talking to Alex at a theoretical level. So maybe I'm being too generous.
 
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#54
I'm with you, but......

......I work in the world of Big Business now and I do oversee the analysis of data, trends and other situations. I've worn other hats. I'm in my 50s. I've been at this a long time.

So there's a tension between ethical skepticism and practical reality, at least for me, but I think it is prevalent in most areas of inquiry.
Agreed (but there is always a 'however' :))

Having been the CEO of one of the top strategy firms in the US, I have done a lot of business strategy. I quit doing that because I am weary of making rich people become brand monopolies and even more rich. But I did that for a long time. There are three species of such 'leaving questions open' analysis.

1. Refinement. 95% of the domain is defined by industry knowledge, and one is simply deciding a minor issue inside the 5% unknown (i.e. pricing strategy, operating strategy)- this relies upon common sense, logic, some basic calculations/models, probability and what will be defensible before the board of directors. Advantage: you appear competent. Disadvantage: These companies eventually die or get consolidated - because they thought they knew the market; but they hit their Peter Principle instead. (pardon the pun of 'hitting their Peter', and masturbation... a joke we carried :D).​
2. Discovery. Only 50% of the domain is defined/known (i.e. brand strategy, market entry strategy, product diversification/segmentation, value chain strategy, market segment exploitation, creation of a new market, competitor strategy, exploitation of tariffs and embargo, sourcing strategy, patent layer strategy, loss leader strategy, price to constraints strategy, etc.) - this is where business is actually done. And we do not have enough information in any of these disciplines to tender a TJump-styled answer. Only people who have never done this, think that this is how it works.​
The error is embodied in this: Manager's Error.​
Manager’s Error – from Nassim Taleb’s tome Fooled by Randomness (2001). The principle of forcing an argument into an artificial binary or bifurcated outcome set, examining only that which is a priori deemed to be the more probable or simple outcome, and not that choice which can serve to produce the largest net effect or ‘payoff’. Only researching the most likely or simple alternative, will only serve to confirm what we already know, and bears a much lower payoff in terms of information which might be garnered through a black swan, less likely or ‘complex’ alternative turning out to bear any form of credence or final veracity.
But ethical skepticism is about understanding this and applying its theory into reality. The world is less defined and less supposed than we may know.
Soft grasses caress bare feet, while supple lips send heroes seaward
Yet still does measure of the world scatter madly at its bound
The formulaic grows insoluble as the question increases in import
The maid quivers most for that man she can have not.

And finally,
3. The Cheat. See What Corporations Do When Bankrupt of Ideas/Ethics. Artificially lock up legislation, supply chains, media, patent layers, courts, peer review, publication, money supply or information such that you create a defacto monopoly/oligopoly (Walmart, GE, Nike, Google, Facebook, etc.). Cheating is a great substitution for competence.​

This latter strategy is the choice of fake scientists, business persons and skeptics. Their analyses ALWAYS turn out to be correct. Amazing. The midmost is really where business is done. I have executed these 'The Cheat' strategies as well and have ethically objected when a large company put all the regional mom and pop's out of business so that their stockholders could extract wealth from that market segment - and put it into recession as a result.

Hence, part of the reason I do not do that any longer... those who 'wear the logo on their polo shirt' and fake competence inside a cheat play ... can kiss my ass.
 
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#55
The legal system in our country is supposed to be like that too (see image of blind folded Lady Justice).

I was telling ES how much I appreciate his yoda-esque understanding of the philosophy of skeptical inquiry in a private communication. For better or worse I've always had to perform analysis/research in an environment where "politics / business / other stuff" perennially intrudes.

I wonder if human corruption can ever be removed from the work. Actually, I doubt it. But we have to try.
yeah, business is a good counter-reality :)
 
#56
#57
So true.

You, ES and others may appreciate this primer for CIA analysts. For some reason the link opens to chapter four, but you can scroll down to the bottom and select chapter 1 (intro) or start at the meat and potatoes in chapter 2.

I know the CIA isn't too popular around these parts, but........

https://www.cia.gov/library/center-...psychology-of-intelligence-analysis/art7.html
Good Article.. I think what the author terms 'diagnosticity', should be more fairly termed 'inference'. Diagnosis refers to a certain type of inference called abduction. In diagnostics, we have a set of well established symptoms or outcomes, and a guidebook of well established causes. Only 1% of the set of happenstance violates that set of symptoms and causes.

But I can see why he would view the derivation of knowledge in this manner. Unfortunately intelligence gets this way - when a 'who done it' cast of characters is the 'usual suspect' list. This is diagnostics.

But inference involves much more than simply abduction. In order to solve the mystery we collectively prosecute here - will require every single type of inference we can muster....
 
#58
New NDE research shows that the brain keeps functioning after death. Personally, I’ve always realized that OBEs have physiological causes. However, this fact does not mean that they can’t have a spiritual component. In order for OBEs to provide evidence for the soul, people would need to acquire information that they either did not know about (like meeting a dead relative they they never knew about), or encountering things that their physiological senses could not detect (like seeing things from physically impossible vantage points). Some people report seeing Heaven and/or Hell, but these experiences cannot be verified scientifically. However, seeing an object in the operating room that’s out of view is a different story.
 
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