PDA

View Full Version : Why isnt there a forum for hoaxes/debunks/skepticism?



Heise
18th April 2013, 16:02
I think this site needs one bad. There have been too many promises and a lot of let downs in the conspiracy/whistleblower community. Many claims and the credibility of the people behind these claims have been outright exposed to be hoaxers, mental cases, or have fabricated some part of their personal lives to sound more credible. i.e faking college credentials, military clearances etc.


I believe to best serve the UFology community, and others, it is imperative to separate the trash from the diamonds in the rough - I use this analogy loosely. There have been far too much huckstering in this community and cultism where its like OM; you get banned for not believing whatever the admins and mods believe so they can push a 'single idea' blind sheep platform that frankly get ridiculed in reality.


People here always turn the other way when the words Debunking' and 'Skeptical investigation' are brought into any story challenging its authenticity. It's either a disinfo campaign or some save they try to throw around. But many cases have had far too many holes when you really look at them.

RMorgan
18th April 2013, 16:13
I agree with you.

Many things were cohesively debunked around here; theories, charlatans, con artists, youtube videos, etc...

I think the mods should move such threads to the appropriate section, which could be simply called "Debunked".

This would help us to avoid being caught in the disinformation vicious circle over and over again; You know, the same already debunked subjects keep coming back frequently.

Of course, this would tremendously help new truth seekers, who naturally tend to be very naive and gullible, to avoid wasting their time with disinformation.

If the forum had such section since the begining, a good percentage of its threads would be there. The forum database would highly benefit from such cleansing, which would allow all members to focus their time and energy on what is really important.

Thinking beyond the forum itself, I think the whole alternative community should get together to fight disinformation. One of the reasons the alternative media´s credibility is close to zero right now is for its inability, or unwillingness, to separate the wheat from the chaff.

naste.de.lumina
18th April 2013, 16:18
Hello Heise.
I agree with you the amount of garbage that exists on these subjects in all communities.
Only a comment regarding the scientific arena:
The scientific arena is paid to ridicule everything that is not interece their bosses, lords and masters.
Trash or not.
If you'll be waiting for the official scientific arena to be authentic and true in matters senciveis the status quo, I suggest you wait sitting.
PEACE.
Wander Brazilian

sheme
18th April 2013, 16:25
I think it would too final to dismiss all that apparently failed to come to pass, until we know all things!- each apparent debunk may in fact hold a clue repeated in subsequent debunks that proves them all to be evidence of something other than that which we first assumed it to be.

We must keep practicing discernment, "they"" must let the truth out, but when discovered they are very good at debunking . The debunked may be the best place to look for stuff.

If a subject is possibly debunked it should stay with the original thread perhaps a simple question mark with the title if it is found to be discredited, but in who's eyes should this be proven or not - we must be free to follow our own truths.

There are very few threads that are certain untruths. At best they are don't knows.

Strat
18th April 2013, 16:40
I think you are 100% right but it is naive to think that there will be any changes in the 'alternative media' community. 10 years from now everything will be the same. If you want more skepticism then maybe you should consider forming a little club of skeptics. That way you could be around more like minded people.

EDIT: Wait, just re-read the original post. I was a bit off the topic. I am a moron, my apologies.



The scientific arena is paid to ridicule everything that is not interece their bosses, lords and masters.


I generally agree because I've had to deal with this via my doctors. Only one of them has a heart.

I have epilepsy as well as cluster headaches so I've been to the doctor a million times. I've tried all sorts of medications (over the course of 10 years) and none of it was/is working. Two different doctors suggested brain surgery (one of the doctors is world renown).

I said absolutely no ****ing way. And I stand by this.

One of the docs tried to alleviate my concerns by saying it's no big deal yadda yadda. Here was my (paraphrased) argument:

"When I was first diagnosed I was told to take ______ everyday and my life would be back to normal. That was wrong. I was then told that medication doesn't 'work with me' so I tried an alternative. That plan didn't work either. Then I switched to a different one. No luck.

This has gone on to this day; seemingly haphazardly, taking different medications to see if they work. I was never informed of side effects, all meds only side effects were drowsiness. That was wrong as well.

So since I was diagnosed at 16 current neurology has failed me - literally - 100% of the time. There was never an instance where the medical community succeeded.

So now you want to take a knife and cut at my brain. You can not seriously expect me to have any trust or faith in this idea?"

That was the last time I've seen that doctor.

sheme
18th April 2013, 17:20
I think you are 100% right but it is naive to think that there will be any changes in the 'alternative media' community. 10 years from now everything will be the same. If you want more skepticism then maybe you should consider forming a little club of skeptics. That way you could be around more like minded people.

EDIT: Wait, just re-read the original post. I was a bit off the topic. I am a moron, my apologies.



The scientific arena is paid to ridicule everything that is not interece their bosses, lords and masters.


I generally agree because I've had to deal with this via my doctors. Only one of them has a heart.

I have epilepsy as well as cluster headaches so I've been to the doctor a million times. I've tried all sorts of medications (over the course of 10 years) and none of it was/is working. Two different doctors suggested brain surgery (one of the doctors is world renown).

I said absolutely no ****ing way. And I stand by this.

One of the docs tried to alleviate my concerns by saying it's no big deal yadda yadda. Here was my (paraphrased) argument:

"When I was first diagnosed I was told to take ______ everyday and my life would be back to normal. That was wrong. I was then told that medication doesn't 'work with me' so I tried an alternative. That plan didn't work either. Then I switched to a different one. No luck.

This has gone on to this day; seemingly haphazardly, taking different medications to see if they work. I was never informed of side effects, all meds only side effects were drowsiness. That was wrong as well.

So since I was diagnosed at 16 current neurology has failed me - literally - 100% of the time. There was never an instance where the medical community succeeded.

So now you want to take a knife and cut at my brain. You can not seriously expect me to have any trust or faith in this idea?"

That was the last time I've seen that doctor.

Have you tried leaving Garlic onions leeks spring onions shallots from your diet, this just came to my head so I thought I should share. Bob becks swears it is bad for the brain. search Bob Beck and garlic. Ps you are NOT a moron! please read my signatures!

sorry back to topic.

naste.de.lumina
18th April 2013, 17:29
Hello sheme.
I sincerely hope that you find a solution to your problem.
Positive thinking brother.
Peace, love and much positive thinking for you.
Wander Brazilian

sheme
18th April 2013, 17:40
Dear naste.de.lumina I am sure you meant strat , I concur with your sentiments. blessings friend.

kersley
18th April 2013, 17:41
Debunked? It would most probably be the most viewed on here.. Yes please..

Metaphor
18th April 2013, 17:48
The OP is totally right in that a lot of time/ and credibility goes wasted in mistankingly taking hoaxes and disinfo for real. But as always its the path that one has to take to learn discernment, isn´t it? And also there could be a lot of debate when users of the forum disagree that this or that person is not a hoax etc.
And who decides what is disinfo or debunked?
Sorcha Faal is one of the prime examples of a totally debunked nonsenical "journalist", or should I say paid disinfoagent. But there are others that are harder to prove wrong, but you just have that gutfeeling that something is fishy. This gutfeeling comes to me everytime I see interviews with stories sounding like total science fiction, like jumprooms to Mars etc. But who am I to judge? A few years back I believed that 9/11 was perfomed just like the officials said, so one has to unlearn everything and build from scratch.

Like the great author Tom Montalk said "Acquiring fringe knowledge is like digging for diamonds in a mine field" ;-)

ExomatrixTV
18th April 2013, 18:15
~claims of a hoax can also be a hoax!

John Kuhles
co-founder of "skepsiswatchers" in The Netherlands, being skeptical about so called "skeptics" and debunking the "debunkers" inspired by http://ufoskeptic.org"Pseudo-Skepticism"
by Marcello Truzzi - Founding co-chairman of CSICOP

Over the years, I have decried the misuse of the term "skeptic" when used to refer to all critics of anomaly claims. Alas, the label has been thus misapplied by both proponents and critics of the paranormal. Sometimes users of the term have distinguished between so-called "soft" versus "hard" skeptics, and I in part revived the term "zetetic" because of the term's misuse. But I now think the problems created go beyond mere terminology and matters need to be set right. Since "skepticism" properly refers to doubt rather than denial -- nonbelief rather than belief -- critics who take the negative rather than an agnostic position but still call themselves "skeptics" are actually pseudo-skeptics and have, I believed, gained a false advantage by usurping that label.

In science, the burden of proof falls upon the claimant; and the more extraordinary a claim, the heavier is the burden of proof demanded. The true skeptic takes an agnostic position, one that says the claim is not proved rather than disproved. He asserts that the claimant has not borne the burden of proof and that science must continue to build its cognitive map of reality without incorporating the extraordinary claim as a new "fact." Since the true skeptic does not assert a claim, he has no burden to prove anything. He just goes on using the established theories of "conventional science" as usual. But if a critic asserts that there is evidence for disproof, that he has a negative hypothesis -- saying, for instance, that a seeming psi result was actually due to an artifact -- he is making a claim and therefore also has to bear a burden of proof. Sometimes, such negative claims by critics are also quite extraordinary -- for example, that a UFO was actually a giant plasma, or that someone in a psi experiment was cued via an abnormal ability to hear a high pitch others with normal ears would fail to notice. In such cases the negative claimant also may have to bear a heavier burden of proof than might normally be expected.

Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves "skeptics," often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all, though such a stance would be appropriate only for the agnostic or true skeptic. A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence. Thus, if a subject in a psi experiment can be shown to have had an opportunity to cheat, many critics seem to assume not merely that he probably did cheat, but that he must have, regardless of what may be the complete absence of evidence that he did so cheat and sometimes even ignoring evidence of the subject's past reputation for honesty. Similarly, improper randomization procedures are sometimes assumed to be the cause of a subject's high psi scores even though all that has been established is the possibility of such an artifact having been the real cause. Of course, the evidential weight of the experiment is greatly reduced when we discover an opening in the design that would allow an artifact to confound the results. Discovering an opportunity for error should make such experiments less evidential and usually unconvincing. It usually disproves the claim that the experiment was "air tight" against error, but it does not disprove the anomaly claim.

Showing evidence is unconvincing is not grounds for completely dismissing it. If a critic asserts that the result was due to artifact X, that critic then has the burden of proof to demonstrate that artifact X can and probably did produce such results under such circumstances. Admittedly, in some cases the appeal to mere "plausibility" that an artifact produced the result may be so great that nearly all would accept the argument; for example, when we learn that someone known to have cheated in the past had an opportunity to cheat in this instance, we might reasonably conclude he probably cheated this time, too. But in far too many instances, the critic who makes a merely plausible argument for an artifact closes the door on future research when proper science demands that his hypothesis of an artifact should also be tested. Alas, most critics seem happy to sit in their armchairs producing post hoc counter-explanations. Whichever side ends up with the true story, science best progresses through laboratory investigations.

On the other hand, proponents of an anomaly claim who recognize the above fallacy may go too far in the other direction. Some argue, like Lombroso when he defended the mediumship of Palladino, that the presence of wigs does not deny the existence of real hair. All of us must remember science can tell us what is empirically unlikely but not what is empirically impossible. Evidence in science is always a matter of degree and is seldom if ever absolutely conclusive. Some proponents of anomaly claims, like some critics, seen unwilling to consider evidence in probabilistic terms, clinging to any slim loose end as though the critic must disprove all evidence ever put forward for a particular claim. Both critics and proponents need to learn to think of adjudication in science as more like that found in the law courts, imperfect and with varying degrees of proof and evidence. Absolute truth, like absolute justice, is seldom obtainable. We can only do our best to approximate them.

Marcello Truzzi (1935-2003) was a professor of sociology at Eastern Michigan University. This article is reprinted, at the author's suggestion, from the Zetetic Scholar,#12-13, 1987. In his view this criticism of pseudo-skepticism claiming the authority of science, but actually impeding science, is as relevant as ever.

http://ufoskeptic.org

UhWRY1WodjQ

~sometimes (more than you think) there is more religion (attitude) in authoritative "scientific" communities than there is science in religion!

John Kuhles~maybe useful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debunker

Australian Professorial Fellow Stephan Lewandowsky and John Cook, Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland (and author at SkepticalScience.com) co-wrote Debunking Handbook, in which they warn that debunking efforts may backfire. Backfire effects occur when science communicators accidentally reinforce false beliefs by trying to correct them.
Cook and Lewandowsky offer possible solutions to the backfire effects as described in different psychological studies. They recommend spending little or no time describing misconceptions because people cannot help but remember ideas that they have heard before. They write "Your goal is to increase people's familiarity with the facts." They recommend providing fewer and clearer arguments, considering that more people recall a message when it is simpler and easier to read. "Less is more" is especially important because scientific truths can get overwhelmingly detailed; pictures, graphs, and memorable tag lines all help keep things simple.
The authors write that debunkers should try to build up people's egos in some way before confronting false beliefs because it is difficult to consider ideas that threaten one's worldviews (i.e., threatening ideas cause cognitive dissonance (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance)). It is also advisable to avoid words with negative connotations. The authors describe studies which have shown that people abhor incomplete explanations – they write "In the absence of a better explanation, [people] opt for the wrong explanation". It is important to fill in conceptual gaps, and to explain the cause of the misconception in the first place. The authors believe these techniques can reduce the odds of a "backfire" – that an attempt to debunk bad science will increase the audience's belief in misconceptions.

Truzzi attributed the following characteristics to pseudoskeptics:


Denying, when only doubt has been established
Double standards in the application of criticism
The tendency to discredit rather than investigate
Presenting insufficient evidence or proof
Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof
Making unsubstantiated counter-claims
Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence
Suggesting that unconvincing evidence provides grounds for completely dismissing a claim

Truzzi characterized "true" skepticism as:


Acceptance of doubt when neither assertion nor denial has been established
No burden of proof to take an agnostic position
Agreement that the corpus of established knowledge must be based on what is proved, but recognising its incompleteness
Even-handedness in requirement for proofs, whatever their implication
Accepting that a failure of a proof in itself proves nothing
Continuing examination of the results of experiments even when flaws are found

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoskepticism


~if you are a TRUE SKEPTIC and you are like me researching suppressed news, hidden history, conspiracies etc. for more than 2 decades, you can clearly see how "science" is completely politicized after studying THIS LINK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism Most "Avolonians" will agree, that "authoritative scientific community" has been hijacked by so called "political correctness" not those who serve to search for the real truth! (as far as we are able).

John KuhlesI distinguish between "objective criticism" and the "art" of debunking.

The difference between the two forms of skepticism is basically that a "true skeptic" asks for evidence to substantiate the claim. This is important to prevent the acceptance of claims that might be disinformation or delusional in nature. If insufficient evidence is given, then s/he withholds judgment and calls the claim unsubstantiated.

A genuine skeptic will explore alternative explanations such as the evidence has been withdrawn/tampered with by third parties, etc. Essentially, true skeptics are critical but open minded. They won't accept unsubstantiated claims, and will consider alternatives. They often take an agnostic position on unverified claims.

The 'genuine skeptic' tends to be respectful of the claims by experiencers that are personal and therefore deeply emotional. Genuine skeptics tend to have a scholarly background as in the case of Dr Haisch.

A debunker (pseudo- or pathological skeptic) on the other hand, will say that the absence of sufficient evidence means that the person is a fraud, liar, delusional, etc. Alternative explanations such as the evidence has been withdrawn/tampered with by third parties is dismissed as hogwash.

Debunkers take up extreme positions on the claims of experiencers/whistleblowers who are dismissively regarded as 'true believers', 'delusional' or 'disinformation agents'. Debunkers tend to have non-academic backgrounds and develop strong prejudices through questionable research methods. Their position closely resembles that of the atheist, rather than the agnostic. They can be very disrespectful towards experiencers or whistleblowers.

Debunking is the tactic used by many UFO researchers who claim to use the scientific method. However, it's not science to call someone a fraud/liar/delusional if insufficient evidence is given. Nor is it science to dismiss alternative explanations such as a "hard cover up" by national security agencies when evidence is removed/tampered with, or witnesses silenced.
This is especially the case with experiencers/whistleblowers, of 'benevolent' extraterrestrial contact, who have a real problem with intimidation/intervention by various government agencies.

Such agencies regularly intervene to prevent such information from coming out into the open.

Michael Salla


Special research Tip for Heise (Poster of this forum-thread):

Zen, and The Art of Debunkery (http://web.me.com/dandrasin/Dansworld/zen.html)
Or, How to Debunk Just About Anything (http://web.me.com/dandrasin/Dansworld/zen.html)
by Daniel Drasin: http://goo.gl/tTd7d


~if there will be an extra section called "hoaxes-debunks-skepticism" on Avalon, I am looking forward to that, having fun poking endless (false) assumptions & holding mirrors!

cheers,
John

Hervé
18th April 2013, 18:44
Why isnt there a forum for hoaxes/debunks/skepticism?


I think this site needs one bad.

[...]

Are you gonna just talk about it or are you gonna do something about it? I.e. join the mod team and make it your project to collect and gather together all the past debunked cyclical hoaxes; like I did in this thread about the ever resurrecting Nibiru:

Nemesis, Tyche, Nibiru, Planet X, Brown Dwarf & Binary System: Myths & Realities (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?57644-Nemesis-Tyche-Nibiru-Planet-X-Brown-Dwarf-Binary-System-Myths-Realities)

sheme
18th April 2013, 18:47
That fat lady hasn't sung yet!

soleil
18th April 2013, 18:52
i agree with this too - as i unintentionally posted something of disinfo yesterday, which i am sorry for. it is NOT my intention to ever do that without thoroughly searching PA first.:doh:

so i appreciate an area that can be searched first before posting.

Deej
18th April 2013, 18:55
That fat lady hasn't sung yet!

Yes... and why would we "need a forum" on this? We are already inundated by Main Stream Propaganda!

Hervé
18th April 2013, 19:06
That fat lady hasn't sung yet!

Your ears must have "blinked" :)

Frank Hewitt
18th April 2013, 19:18
I think it is a fantastic idea, but as Exomatrix says, we must be truly skeptical instead of being paranoid and make claims without sufficient proof, i had some of that myself, i have done 2 debunking threads, one about the Dalai Lama http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?57501-The-Dalai-Lama
I think i did it very politely or at least not too aggressively, but in my next thread about debunks i was way too harsh and paranoid, the original name was "david icke is an agent, but not only him", i think the new title is more apropiate http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?58058-Yet-another-claim-of-David-Icke-is-an-agent-but-not-only-him
I think that all the information i added (except for the accusation against Bill Ryan) had interesting information, but anyway, yes i did do something silly and many people slapped me in the face, so i moved on from that and now i go back to skepticism, are all the ascended masters truly evil?
Anyway, i think we should be doing this with a filter we sometimes loose.

BrianEn
18th April 2013, 19:48
That would be a difficult task for the moderators. Would the criteria be? For something that's absolutey been discredited sent to a debunked section. I think it would be just more work for the mods. I'm not sure.

Cidersomerset
18th April 2013, 20:01
My favourite is 'agent Pope' either one, Nick or the one in the Vatican...LOL...I can
see where you are coming from,and the forums are full of disinfo and contradictions
but I would be wary of how its done, we do not want censorship or ridiculously
outlandish claims either. I think we have a wide enough breadth of knowledge and
experience to tackle all threads, whether we believe them or not, many of us
resonate differently to different experiencers, researchers and the possibility of
mind controlled delusionals or government shills or trolls. I must say most on here
seem genuine and some who have worn their hearts on their sleeves and have
moved on. Some also have been asked.

Many people make mistakes and read evidence different to others, that's what
makes us human. So I would not like to see people picked on for disagreeing or
posting something that others know is B.S. without the opportunity for
cross checking, and it may well put people off joining or posting if they feel they
will be ridiculed. Likewise we don't want shills disrupting the forum. The mods have
a difficult job keeping the balance and letting the forum flow and I think they have
done a good job, unless I've missed something.

I am pretty easy going but I have done several threads on our friendly MOD
Mulder and his interview with Anthony Hilder and other interviews where he
follows the government line on 9/11 just adds fuel to my ' Shill 'dar '
Others may see him differently and a genuine disclosure witness.



http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?54857-UFOs-and-the-Media-by-Nick-Pope

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?32423-Face-to-Face-with-Annie-Machon&p=389353&highlight=Nick+Pope#post389353

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?48767-Nick-Pope-UFO-s-are-more-likely-to-be-Russian-than-Alien-.

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?54849-Pentagon-Is-Covering-Up-Details-On-UFOs--RT-Archive-UFO-News-

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?24901-Nick-pope-questions-recent-UFO-videos.

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?21700-Nick-Pope-EXPOSED-as-Dis-Info-Agent..-

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?21678-Government-Crop-Circles-VIDEO&p=231974&highlight=Nick+Pope#post231974

donk
18th April 2013, 21:29
This was good, speaks to Exo's post:

JKHUaNAxsTg

golden wonder
18th April 2013, 22:15
Amzer Zo 'Are you gonna just talk about it or are you gonna do something about it? I.e. join the mod team and make it your project to collect and gather together all the past debunked cyclical hoaxes; like I did in this thread about the ever resurrecting Nibiru:'

This is offensive and perhaps one of the reasons why this line of questioning raised in the first place.

I wrote this earlier, before I opened this thread and it seems to fit.

The problem that I have with making posts on Avalon is that the advice/answers/solutions and collaborators in my quest to find things out are embedded into too many threads.
Some people, like myself on the forum react to what they are reading on a visual basis. I immediately connect with an image and can scan it like a photo reader, as it goes I can photo read too. I just want to get to a point quickly, but it seems impossible to do that on Avalon, it has become complicated and the messages have become mixed over the last few years.
Avalon is a platform for global discussion of global concern, but it isn't inviting newcomers because of the complexity of it's CMS (content management system).
In order to manage the site, it needs moderators. But I have to agree that sometimes like the management of anything ought to looked at with scrutiny. A lot of the people who are shy to post don't take kindly to pontificaters, or those earning brownie points for the many thanks they get and their subsequent put down replies. Sometimes the replies are often bullish and insensitive to the thoughts of those concerned enough to post on Avalon in the first place.
Avalon mustn't miss the many visionaries out there who see things as they really are or discourage their confidence to speak on a platform like this.
Bullish answers and insensitivity are not encouraging the passion and views of those who are looking for/have the answers too.

So, I conclude, that the reason there isn't a forum for the above mentioned is because it has become less popular these days to discuss things on an online forum that perhaps needs some tweaking to it's moderation.
I have only made a few posts myself because of it.

Heise
18th April 2013, 23:14
Oh, I know all about the pseudo-skepticism and way back I remember someone mentioned this site as being a platform for all ideas and whistleblowers to contribute to the community. However, as time goes on and we transition past step one in initially giving every entity their time; we have to admit some of these cases can be outright dismissed with even the most rudimentary level of thinking.


i just think there is enough interesting counter evidence to at the very least, show all sides of a case. I already have compiled a lot of research and it is VERY interesting to contrast.


I can think of 5 cases that are easily dismissable and another 5 cases that are the classics, hard to dismiss i.e Betty & Barney Hill, Travis Walton, Phoenix Lights.etc..

golden wonder
19th April 2013, 00:03
and the rest you seem to think so VERY interesting? needs to be sent to another thread... x

gripreaper
19th April 2013, 00:18
Oh In dunno, with Nibiru entering our solar system, and the black hole opposite the great central sun in a binary universe opposite another sun along the galactic plane, with the photon belt transmitting energy which is being picked up by channelers who have disincarnate benevolent sources who are guiding us and rescuing us from our plight here on planet earth, through whistleblowers and sources uncovering the mass arrests of the elite banksters who are running scared and backed into a corner, and are about to go broke while Drake is rallying the military to stand with the people and we get to have a global jubilee and each get our Nesara global settlements of millions of dollars...

Why would you want to derail such info before we each get our free stuff? :p

golden wonder
19th April 2013, 00:32
Maybe I am tired and I don't like this thread being moderated. Such a loaded questions don't sit comfortably ...you don't need to do that to me..

noprophet
19th April 2013, 01:33
Skepticism is something that should always be carried in your back pocket, not printed on your T Shirt.

rgray222
19th April 2013, 03:38
I believe threads like this are useful because if helps define the forum, what does it want to be when it grows up. It will always have some of the brightest stars come in and post like crazy and burn out long before they should. This is useful in the short run but it does little to help the forum grow over the longer term. The forum zigs & zags as members pass through and as current news of the day dictates but you can start to see a recurring thread beginning to run through most posts.

I do think that people should always post the source of their original post when it is taken from a publication or some media source. Not so concerned about copyright but more about the the actual source. Virtually all the media has a fairly well defined agenda in 2013 and many people still don't get it.

Also when someone tries to pass off a load of rubbish as factual or meaningful they should be called out on it! A solid dose of skepticism is a healthy thing to have, if it is warranted it will hold up if it is not it will be shot down. Skepticism actually helps bring the truth out.

The problem with starting a section just for hoaxes is that many people might go their before they ever have all the facts. That is precisely the reason a forum is a good venue. A thread is started and everyone adds their 2 cents in and by the time it has run its course you can either come to the conclusion that the story has merit or it does not.

Sidney
19th April 2013, 04:33
Maybe I am tired and I don't like this thread being moderated. Such a loaded questions don't sit comfortably ...you don't need to do that to me..

ALL threads are moderated, and for good reason.

And I happen to think we should be very careful about this type of thing, it might make some people think that the motive is to stir up some shiit. Just sayin. If you want to start a thread about something that you don't believe it, then start it. Whatever title you put on something, a thread, a forum, a topic, there will ALWAYS be difference of belief and opinion. We are all individuals. I feel like avalon is a place where people can talk about topics without walking on eggshells. If there was a subsection maybe for all the debunkers to hang out, then that might be a solution for that. But, human nature, not everyone is going to agree, on anything.

ExomatrixTV
19th April 2013, 10:18
This was good, speaks to Exo's post:

JKHUaNAxsTg

... excellent video :thumb:, I studied Rupert Sheldrake since he was on Dutch National TV 1993: http://youtu.be/SJzqHnwNbUY (that triggered me 20 years ago to study most of his work)

Heise
24th April 2013, 01:45
I believe if one is presented with enough evidence to show why something is false or a hoax, *some* people will see the light. Granted, other people will ignore anything and everything and simply believe the people presenting the evidence must be working for the government, disinfo, etc.. or want to believe their being open minded. Believe me, we've had enough of those. My reason for saying some people will see the light, is because I too used to be a "believer".

Spellbound
24th April 2013, 02:51
Nexus (and other forums) has a Debunked section. Why doesn't Avalon?? It would save people a lot of time looking into something that has already been deemed a hoax or disinfo. I realize it would be extra work for those involved (mods)....but wouldn't it be worth it?? Isn't one of the main objectives of Avalon to separate the wheat from the chaff??

Dave - Toronto

Paul
24th April 2013, 05:23
Nexus (and other forums) has a Debunked section. Why doesn't Avalon?? It would save people a lot of time looking into something that has already been deemed a hoax or disinfo. I realize it would be extra work for those involved (mods)....but wouldn't it be worth it?? Isn't one of the main objectives of Avalon to separate the wheat from the chaff??

Moving threads is an essentially centralized operation. Someone or some small group or some method (like voting) determines where a thread is. A thread is where it is, and all such methods to determine where it is are essentially crude.

Except in the trivial cases, reports here are not simply black or white, hoax or accurate, wheat or chaff. Rather they are a complex mix of all of it, seen somewhat differently by each viewer, from their changing and evolving perspective.

You can't make subtle decisions, varying by personal view and over time, using a single, crude, forum-wide mechanism. That's a basic mismatch.

Or, to put it in more familiar terms, my hoax may well be your inspiration, and since I'm the most active admin, you can be grateful that I'm not segregating what I think are hoaxes. If the shoe were on the other foot and you were the most active admin, I'd likely feel the same way, as odds are good I'd find that your decisions on what to segregate were not helpful to me.

That's just how it is :).

ExomatrixTV
22nd May 2013, 17:48
Dogmatists of any stripe are fundamentally wounded, whether they're Islamic terrorists, Christian abortion-clinic bombers or magicians with an ax to grind.

Picture this: A little boy with an imagination and a sense of wonder begins futzing with a deck of cards, sleight of hand ... as that boy delves deeper into magic, it's revealed to be nothing more than a world of smoke and mirrors, of "cons" and "marks." Stage magicians, like lawyers and secret agents, make a living from deception, so perhaps they assume everyone else does, as well. From that perspective, the connection between stage magic and skepticism makes sense.

What's more important, what science knows or what it doesn't (yet)? What's more beneficial to scientific inquiry, an open mind or a sense of self-importance? These are questions that beg to be asked of the skeptical movement, which convenes in Las Vegas this weekend for The Amazing Meeting, a benefit for the James Randi Educational Foundation. (The conference takes place at the Stardust and features Murray Gell-Mann, Nadine Strossen, the Mythbusters, Penn & Teller, Mac King, Jamy Ian Swiss, Phil Plait, Julia Sweeney, and Michael Shermer.) After all, while it's true that opportunists profit from the murky worlds of the paranormal and the unknown, and that some people will believe anything, it's also true that scientists have falsified data to get grants or overlooked inconvenient phenomenon to maintain the status quo in their field.

Well, as iconoclastic writer Charles Fort once noted, "Witchcraft always has a hard time, until it becomes established and changes its name."

But let's not generalize. Let's examine the contributions made by Randi, the skeptical movement's leading figure, to science and objective thought.

Randi can be eloquent and is quite the showman; he is also wildly intelligent-he got a MacArthur genius grant in 1986. But according to his detractors, Randi's main qualities are his malice and hypocrisy. He's hell-bent on tearing apart anyone he deems a kook, including distinguished scientists and Nobel Prize-winners. This is amusing, as Randi has no scientific credentials whatsoever (although he did once write an astrology column for a Canadian tabloid and host a paranormal-themed radio show).

In 1997, Randi threatened to fly to Sri Lanka to persuade Arthur C. Clarke to stop advocating cold fusion. (Clarke, a genuine scientific visionary, inventor of the communication satellite and award-winning author, received degrees, with honors, in physics and mathematics.) In 2001, on a BBC Radio program, Randi attacked Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize-winner and professor of physics at Cambridge University.

Why? Josephson was interested in the possible connections between quantum physics and consciousness. Randi also has a penchant for lawsuits-he once tried to sue a writer known for covering the UFO beat, simply because he printed some unflattering but verifiable information about the magician. Randi left the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) because of all the litigation against him.

Charismatic psychic Uri Geller, whose abilities have been tested by a number of prestigious laboratories, has probably been Randi's biggest target. In the process of attempting to discredit the psychic, Randi has also attacked institutions, like Stanford, intrigued by Geller's alleged abilities. He defamed two eminent scientists, Harold Puthoff and Russell Targ, calling them "incompetent." At the time, author Robert Anton Wilson wryly observed, "Randi was not there, yet he claims to know what was going on [during the experiment] better than the two scientists who were supervising it. The only way he could know better ... is if he had 100 percent accurate telepathy."

Randi is probably best known for his infamous million-dollar challenge to "any person or persons who can demonstrate any psychic, supernatural or paranormal ability of any kind" under what Randi refers to as "satisfactory observing conditions."

Ray Hyman, a leading Fellow of CSICOP, has pointed out that Randi's challenge is illegitimate from a scientific standpoint. "Scientists don't settle issues with a single test ... Proof in science happens through replication." If Randi's challenge was legitimate, he would set up a double-blind experiment which he himself wouldn't judge. But considering his hostility toward scientists receptive to paranormal phenomena, this doesn't seem likely. His "challenge" is rigged, yet he can crow that his prize goes unclaimed because paranormal phenomena simply does not exist.

Compare this outlook to the philosophy adopted by followers of Charles Fort. Forteans (a term coined by screenwriter Ben Hecht, who, along with Theodore Dreiser, H.L. Mencken and Oliver Wendell Holmes, was a member of the original Fortean Society, formed upon Fort's death in 1932) entertain the notion that anything is possible until proven otherwise.

Some are scientists, some are street musicians. They are neither gullible nor pompous, neither "true believers" in-nor coldly dismissive of-anything. And they have a sense of humor largely missing from Randi's crowd.

"In and of itself," says a man once denigrated by the skeptical movement, "skepticism has made no actual contribution to science, just as music reviews in the newspaper make no contribution to the art of composition."

The universe is full of mystery, as well as charlatans. It is up to the individual to weigh evidence objectively. Just don't use your intuition to do so, or you could be the skeptics' next target.

onawah
22nd May 2013, 18:13
While debunking is certainly necessary, I can see Paul's point. Probably the Avalon Admin has allowed things to be as they are because of the problems inherent in being overly skeptical, that being just as much of a problem when it comes to conspiracy theory.
See the thread on Obsessive Debunking Disorder (ODD) :
http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?59200-Obsessive-Debunking-Disorder--ODD-&p=675308#post675308

And if I've learned anything, it's that it certainly helps to keep a good, strong sense of humor.

Bill Ryan
22nd May 2013, 20:14
-------

A forum (section) for known hoaxes isn't a bad idea. A few claims which have been proven to be hoaxes -- usually because deception has been admitted -- have the thread title amended so that the word (hoax) is added.

But whether this works or not depends on (a) what the original title was... and (b) whether the mods catch it.

As many reading this will realize, sometimes these things can't be proven, and there will still be differences of opinion. There are one or two instances (like Lawrence Spencer's fictional book ALIEN INTERVIEW) where I will stake my own reputation on the fact it's a hoax, and I'm willing to make the call on behalf of the forum.

http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?6865-HOAX-Lawrence-Spencer-s-ALIEN-INTERVIEW

Other instances, however, are not nearly so clear cut. Providing a platform for debating these issues responsibly and intelligently is one of the many functions of the forum.