The United States of Esoterica

Michael Shermer
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Author:  Fazer [ Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Shermer has the best giggle laugh. You need a good giggle laugh according to debunker specifications.

Author:  Clendennan [ Fri Feb 15, 2008 10:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Michael Shermer

Orpheus wrote:
I'll get straight to the point with this:

He's a total douchebag. Whatever valid points he may have are totally lost in the fact that he's as likable as herpes.


I think the first post really summed it up.

Author:  MYSTERYMAN [ Sat May 23, 2009 6:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Michael Shermer

He knows what he's doing ! Who's he working for ? He knows the truth !!!!
Sagan knew the truth !!! I love Carl Sagan ! Cosmos is a masterpiece !
On ufo's he was full of shit !!! Klass was more full of shit than anyone !
Friedman took care of Shermer on Coast last year .
I love these guys who act like they know about everything , when they don't even study the evidence.

Author:  DavidRavenMoon [ Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Orpheus wrote:
Yeah, Randi is another one.

Penn and Teller also sort of toe that line from time to time.

I must've missed where being a stage magician gives you credentials to discuss things other than stage magic.

I have to agree with you here. I used to like Randi as a kid when he was doing tricks. Same with P&T. But they aren't scientist, and they see everything as a trick. The point that's lost on these guys is; just because you can fake something, doesn't mean it was faked. All they are showing is they know how to simulate something. They found a way to do it. But that doesn't prove anything about the original. Randi's group had this woman that said she could see inside the human body, so they wanted her to look at a bunch of people and see which ones were missing a kidney. She got every one of them correct, but they disqualified her because she couldn't tell them if it was the left or right kidney. They said that was valid because she said she could "see" inside people. But if they took their smug heads out their rear-ends, they would have seen that statistically she went beyond guessing. So surely that should be looked into deeper?

But they don't "believe" it's possible, so end of story. Now THAT'S scientific thinking! Just like when Galileo tried to show the moons orbiting Jupiter through his telescope to his accusers, but they refused to look.

Now Shermer on the other hand is another douche bag. He's NOT a scientist either. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology/biology and a master's degree from California State University in experimental psychology. So just as the stage magicians think that everything is a trick, he thinks everyone is delusional! Except him it seems.

But on top of that, he has a chip on his shoulder. Why? Because he too bought into things like pyramid power and was a fundamentalist Christian. Apparently none of these things worked for him, he felt foolish, and then set off on a mission to rid the world of anything he didn't see fit to treat as a fact.

From Wikipedia:
After years of practicing acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, negative ions, rolfing, pyramid power, fundamentalist Christianity, and "a host of weird things" (with the exception of drugs) to improve his life and training, Shermer stopped rationalizing the failure of these practices.

Hey Mike, maybe you just weren't any good at them? Stick to riding your bike.

Bottom line is none of these people are very scientific at all, and without a thread of research into any paranormal topic, think they have all the answers.

Author:  DavidRavenMoon [ Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re:

Ebolarama wrote:
Fazer wrote:
vadersp wrote:
Why do you think it is a joke?

He doesn't believe in eyewitness testimony.
He doesn't believe in photo's, video evidence.

Eyewitness testimony and photographs aren't necessarily reliable sources of evidence. They may be used to corroborate more substantial empirical data, or data that can be repeated, tested, and falsified, but "taking someone's word for it" even if they have a polaroid, is not scientifically or skeptically rigorous.

First off, a real "skeptic" is not someone who doesn't believe anything but mainstream science. These people are not skeptics, they are debunkers.

Also to use "scientific method" you need to have an idea about how a phenomena works. You cannot test for something you have no clue about. This is why many new things are discovered by accident. They weren't looking for it, and didn't expect it either. How would you have looked for X-rays? You wouldn't even know they existed.

Now if you have 1,000 people that report seeing the same thing, you can't call them all crack pots and assume they were mistaken about what they saw. maybe some where, and others were not. People like Shermer go so far as to say we can't trust the eyewitness reports of pilots, because they are unreliable! This is about people who spend an awful lot of time in the sky and are familiar with most common aircraft.

If there is compelling enough eyewitness testimony, or photos, video etc, that is grounds to try and come up with some hypothesis. Let's look up the word hypothesis:
a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation

On the basis of limited evidence. There you go. But that's not what you get. I heard one skeptic on the Skeptico podcast say (I'm paraphrasing) that he didn't care if he saw a 50 foot Jesus walking down the street, he still wouldn't believe it because there is no such thing. he had his mind made up and that's all there is to it.

Now what about cases where you have multiple witnesses, who all see the same thing, and there is physical evidence left? This is grounds enough to say that what these people experienced did happen, but does not go on to prove what it was.

As an example I submit the following account:

I can attest that this actually happened, because I'm the person who submitted that story. I'm still in touch with two other people from the story, and they also remember it as if it were yesterday. (some details are incorrect in that article) Can we prove it scientifically? Of course not. But that doesn't mean we didn't experience that. Skeptics will think of the first lame ass answer for something though. On another forum, someone said "maybe some monkeys escaped from a local lab". Ummmm, OK. I asked him to find a listing for a "local lab" in that area that had monkeys. Of course there aren't any, and that would not explain what was seen. Shermer and company do this all the time though. Just spurt out an answer. It doesn't matter if it's more far fetched than the event they are trying to debunk. Just assume everyone but them are stupid. And God forbid they suffer the indignity to actually do some research on a subject they have already made their minds up on. Let's see... Michael Shermer, or Jacques Vallée? Sorry, but Vallée would win in my book, and he actually was a scientist and astronomer. He tells of the story of how he left astronomy when the people in charge of an observatory kept destroying photos of UFOs. They said they wanted nothing to do with them. Scientist destroying evidence. Wow, what a concept. Don't think that doesn't happen all the time!

The unfortunate side affect of the conservatism in the scientific community is that when something unusual is discovered, instead of it being looked into, it's dismissed because it rocks the boat and upsets the status quo. Science should be a constantly changing pool of facts, not a collection of dogma that keeps career scientists getting their grant money.

True believers and skeptics are flip sides of the same fanatical coin. Neither is open minded or objective.

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