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Guest BlurryMonster

Bigfoot And The Dragon In My Garage

133 posts in this topic

That claim doesn't include anything about anyone else's garage, and, as RayG explained, Sagan isn't under any obligation to to check everyone's claims along the same lines. If somebody makes a claim, it's up to them to provide the evidence for it.

This line of thinking leads me to another important part of analytical thinking: logical fallacies and avoiding them. It's very easy to fall into using one, and they can be seen quite often (more than most people probably realize). But logical fallacies are another thing that lead to nowhere; if you avoid arguing a position, you're doing nothing to prove or disprove it. It's always best to avoid using them.

See my response to RayG above.....

Edited by Jodie
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Huntster, on 11 May 2011 - 05:42 AM, said:

Yet none have gone to the extent of Sagan and his allies in securing government funding and support in a first ever official investigation like SETI. Why is that?

1) You don't need an expensive radio antennae array to detect evidence of bigfoot.

All the more disheartening, since it wouldn't take $60 million in funding to conduct an honest sasquatch survey.

A camera, rifle, or station wagon will do just fine.

Sorry, the camera isn't going to cut it. The PG film is proof enough of that. It has to be a carcass. Denial is just too powerful.

The station wagon is a lame excuse for the complete absence of official wildlife management agencies to look into this matter. Imagine the DoD wishing for a herd of camels to run over Osama Bin Laden because they're having a difficult time finding him.

The rifle? Now you're talking. Make it legal to shoot a sasquatch, and make it mandatory to turn in the carcass for a $250K bounty, and maybe you'll get a carcass the easy way (which is clearly what you're demanding).

If, however, the objective is to detect radio signals from advanced civilizations light years away, the hardware is going to require a more substantial investment.

There is no *adjective* evidence to indicate even a remote possibility of getting an answer, so why was so much public money invested in it in the first place? (Not my position..........it's yours...........substitute "advanced civilizations light years away" with "sasquatch").

2) Sour grapes duly noted.

And rotten core within your industry ignored.

When the scientific pillars of bigfootery (Meldrum?) can start to make cogent arguments for a significant investment in bigfoot research to the people who control the pursestrings you might see something different.

So exactly what line of BS did Sagan use to extract $60 million from the U.S. government to get ET to phone Earth?

Until that time, it's no more logical to complain about the money that went to SETI than it is to complain about the research money that has been invested in any similar endeavor, e.g., space race, cancer research, biofuels, etc.

Wrong. Investments like the space race, cancer research, biolfuels, etc all offer tangible returns, even if just spinoffs.

Sending radio messages to outer space on the fully unsubstantiated hope that somebody will call back borders on fantasy.

And investing just a few million on trying to determine if reports and trace evidence of bipedal apes or primitive hominids still exist (because we know they existed in the past) are true (especially since we have layers of agencies responsible to manage wildlife, and especially endangered or rare wildlife) is simply living up to their responsibility.

3) Money invested, aliens not found, money pulled.

Sasquatch money not invested, sasquatches still reported, money not forthcoming.

Edited by Huntster
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So this is the problem I have with Sagan's analogy:

Sagan says, "Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?"

"This garage contains a dragon whose presence cannot be detected in any way," is a statement that really doesn't tell you anything at all. It is irrelevant whether it is true or false. If it was relevant that would mean that the presence or absence of the dragon would leave some kind of effect behind. However, there is no noticeable effect, and by definition there is no way to detect the dragon.

So if someone says, "This garage contains a completely undetectable dragon" and a skeptic says, "This garage doesn't contain a dragon at all," they are not disagreeing. The garages described are the exactly the same upon observation.

What usually happens is like what happens in Sagan's later example, where there's questionable evidence that is presented by believers that supposedly found the evidence. So a dragon that sometimes leaves footprints, possibly scorching a few things here and there, wouldn't be considered undetectable because they are leaving behind trace evidence. When no trace evidence is available then you can say there are no dragons.

So now we have the trace evidence analyzed in order to draw whatever conclusions can be had from the evidence. This evidence can't be replicated so the dragon remains undetectable. Sagan would then say, "There is currently no evidence that this garage contains a dragon." So is this the same thing as saying the garage doesn't contain a dragon?

I really don't think it is. In my opinion the garage contains a dragon which is elusive, but sometimes leaves footprints and scorches a few things. A skeptic says, "This garage doesn't contain a dragon." Sagan says, "This garage contains no currently detectable dragons." The skeptic disagree's with me but not with Sagan. But is there really any significant difference between mine and Sagan's statement? Not really, that's why I think the whole analogy is a straw man fallacy.

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Huntster, on 11 May 2011 - 05:45 AM, said:

Carl Sagan has never been to my garage, nor millions of other garages. His "confirmation" is limited to the garages he investigated, isn't it?

Yes, exactly where the claimant said it was supposed to be. Given the complete lack of evidence, Sagan asked, "what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?"

The difference, obviously, is that one dragon is invisible, incorporeal, and floating, and the other doesn't exist.

But, then, I wouldn't know. It wasn't my garage, and I didn't look for a dragon in anybody else's garage. I'm not into dragons.

I'm into sasquatches.

Jodie said:

Not in my opinion. Like Huntster, I took it literally and wondered why Sagan thought he knew what was in everyone's garage.

Nowhere does Sagan say anything about a dragon in everyone's garage. The original claimant never says, a fire-breathing dragon lives in everyone's garage, he says, "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage." Sagan is under no obligation to check every garage on the planet for this dragon, the burden of proof is on the claimant.

Yet he looked into the claimant's garage? Don't dragons fly? Crawl? Walk? Isn't it possible that the claimant's dragon left before Sagan got there? One, quick look, and Sagan, the great scientist, dismissed it all?

So why did we need a radio that will blast a signal across the galaxy looking for his ETs? Why not an inexpensive model to radio a signal to Venus if only looking into one garage for a dragon will offer a solution to the question?

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Sasquatch money not invested, sasquatches still reported, money not forthcoming.

IMO, this inertia is maintained unscientifically. Compelling evidence has been gathered - but the cultural perception of bigfoot has infiltrated and obstructed the scientific lens.

Edited by forest
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Maybe I over simplified it, that's OK. :lol: Basically I think Sagan's analogy using the invisible dragon in the garage is an over exaggeration of how the majority of folks interested in cryptids behave, therefore, it makes his analogy a straw man fallacy IMO.

Actually, Sagan was stressing the importance of not believing something based on someone's say-so. If you read further, Sagan says as much (keep in mind he's the one claiming he has the dragon in his garage, and you the reader are the one searching for the evidence):

  • "I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won’t work.
    Now, what’s the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there’s no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exists? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it is true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I’m asking you do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so."

The rifle? Now you're talking. Make it legal to shoot a sasquatch, and make it mandatory to turn in the carcass for a $250K bounty, and maybe you'll get a carcass the easy way (which is clearly what you're demanding)...

Sending radio messages to outer space on the fully unsubstantiated hope that somebody will call back borders on fantasy.

So should we send hunters into the forests on the unsubstantiated hope that somebody will bring back a squatch? Doesn't that border on fantasy as well?

In my opinion the garage contains a dragon which is elusive, but sometimes leaves footprints and scorches a few things. A skeptic says, "This garage doesn't contain a dragon." Sagan says, "This garage contains no currently detectable dragons." The skeptic disagree's with me but not with Sagan. But is there really any significant difference between mine and Sagan's statement? Not really, that's why I think the whole analogy is a straw man fallacy.

But a skeptic shouldn't be saying that. They should be saying, "Show me this dragon." And/or "Where is the evidence for this dragon?"

It's not up to the skeptic to show that the dragon doesn't exist in anyone's garage, it's up to the claimant to show the evidence in favor of it.

RayG

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*cough*not dinosaurs*cough*

you answered your own point by quoting me below:

View PostSaskeptic, on 11 May 2011 - 01:27 PM, said:

These days, we often refer to the "non-avian dinosaurs" when we mean things like Brachiosaurus or Triceratops. Such creatures had vanished from the planet tens of millions of years before the first human could have laid eyes on them.

What do you think you are refuting? He was talking specifically about dinosaurs.

Note the bolded portion, which is his argument. The fact that there are extant populations of creatures that are either contemporaneous with or OLDER than the dinosaurs shows that it is perfectly possible for life that old to survive to present day, thus refuting his argument that there is no way human could lay eyes on them. And indeed, in certain parts of Africa, for example, people DO claim to have laid eyes on at least one type of extant dinosaur, and have for some time.

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That logic doesn't just apply to things that can be tested in a lab, it applies to everything scientific. As a matter of fact, the person that drilled those points into my head the most is the prefessor of an archeology class. Archeology is kind like bigfoot research (if you want to look at it this way), because it's a science based purely on the study of things that people find. Everything found at at archeological site is evidence, the same way everything found during bigfoot research can be considered evidence. The problem with what is usually presented as bigfoot evidence, including the things you listed, is that (so far) nothing conclusive has been found.

Back to the evidence = proof fallacy we go it seems.

As far as the rest of your points go, you strike me as a person that clearly doesn't trust science,

Science as a proposition, I trust. The modern institution of "Science" and modern scientists not so much.

and I don't really feel like defending points when you're not going to listen to them anyway. If you have a question you'd like me to try to answer, I'll do my best, but there's not much I really can say to assertions that science is wrong.

Good thing that's not my claim. Now how about answering my points?

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Huntster, on 11 May 2011 - 04:51 PM, said:

The rifle? Now you're talking. Make it legal to shoot a sasquatch, and make it mandatory to turn in the carcass for a $250K bounty, and maybe you'll get a carcass the easy way (which is clearly what you're demanding)...

Sending radio messages to outer space on the fully unsubstantiated hope that somebody will call back borders on fantasy.

So should we send hunters into the forests on the unsubstantiated hope that somebody will bring back a squatch?

Not particularly, but if you refuse to send your official wildlife managers, sending Billy Bob might still get the job done.

Doesn't that border on fantasy as well?

Not nearly as whimsical as hoping for Billy Bob to do it for you while it's illegal to do.

In fact, that's a bit different than "fantasy" or "whimsical". It's...............well, rather than get in trouble with the mods again, I'll just say it's typical of the skeptical/denialist community.

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So this is the problem I have with Sagan's analogy:

Sagan says, "Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all?"

"This garage contains a dragon whose presence cannot be detected in any way," is a statement that really doesn't tell you anything at all. It is irrelevant whether it is true or false. If it was relevant that would mean that the presence or absence of the dragon would leave some kind of effect behind. However, there is no noticeable effect, and by definition there is no way to detect the dragon.

So if someone says, "This garage contains a completely undetectable dragon" and a skeptic says, "This garage doesn't contain a dragon at all," they are not disagreeing. The garages described are the exactly the same upon observation.

What usually happens is like what happens in Sagan's later example, where there's questionable evidence that is presented by believers that supposedly found the evidence. So a dragon that sometimes leaves footprints, possibly scorching a few things here and there, wouldn't be considered undetectable because they are leaving behind trace evidence. When no trace evidence is available then you can say there are no dragons.

So now we have the trace evidence analyzed in order to draw whatever conclusions can be had from the evidence. This evidence can't be replicated so the dragon remains undetectable. Sagan would then say, "There is currently no evidence that this garage contains a dragon." So is this the same thing as saying the garage doesn't contain a dragon?

I really don't think it is. In my opinion the garage contains a dragon which is elusive, but sometimes leaves footprints and scorches a few things. A skeptic says, "This garage doesn't contain a dragon." Sagan says, "This garage contains no currently detectable dragons." The skeptic disagree's with me but not with Sagan. But is there really any significant difference between mine and Sagan's statement? Not really, that's why I think the whole analogy is a straw man fallacy.

Precisely! TRUE science vs Skeptic "science"...well said!

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Note the bolded portion, which is his argument.

Mulder, what the Sam Hill are you on about now? I wrote that there are no extant non-avian dinosaurs, and that the best evidence we have suggests that tens of millions of years passed between the last living non-avian dinosaurs and the earliest humans. Therefore, no human has ever seen a living, non-avian dinosaur.

I neither wrote nor implied a similar statement concerning other ancient life forms, of which there are many great examples that both pre-date dinosaurs in the fossil record and have extant representatives today.

As for extant sauropods in remote African swamps, someday you may figure out that just because someone says they saw something doesn't mean they did. We have no reliable physical evidence of such creatures.

. . . And just to take us back to the good Dr. Meldrum because you insist on whining that he is persecuted for his beliefs, on repeated requests you have failed to provide any evidence for the anti-bigfoot bias you claim. Just because Meldrum writes in his book that he's some truth-seeker oppressed by the scientific establishment doesn't make that so, or at least it doesn't provide the whole picture. If you're going to claim editorial bias, then you need to provide some evidence. To suggest that I am one of the great Meldrum-oppressors is nonsense. I've never reviewed one of his bigfoot manuscripts. In fact, very few people can say that they have - that's the problem. Finally, just how oppressed is oppressed? Jeff Meldrum is a tenured associate professor at a major U.S. research university. News Flash: That's a pretty good job in America.

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There is no *adjective* evidence to indicate even a remote possibility of getting an answer, so why was so much public money invested in it in the first place? (Not my position..........it's yours...........substitute "advanced civilizations light years away" with "sasquatch").

It's not my position. I'm no great defender of the money invested in SETI. The point, however, is that big investments like that come from Congress, not scientists. We scientists have a million different things we'd like to see funded out the wazoo - all pet projects and all differing wildly in their potential practical benefits to humanity. We make our best case for each to the people in power. Some small percentage of them stick and the money pours in.

Sagan was an eloquent speaker and an inspiring leader whose passion was astrobiology. "We are a way for the universe to know itself." Holy crap, that is profound. When Meldrum comes up with some nuggets like that maybe he'll have some success in getting some serious investment from Congress to pursue bigfoot. Just remember - it's not going to happen unless politicians in Washington decide that it's something they can take back to their constituents and proudly claim "This is what we're doing with your money!" For a while that worked with SETI. It's not working now, and they're having bake sales to try to keep the place operational. That's the way it goes.

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It's not my position. I'm no great defender of the money invested in SETI. The point, however, is that big investments like that come from Congress, not scientists.

And, again, it's not necessary to obtain such obscene amounts of money for the first official inquiry into sasquatchery.

We scientists have a million different things we'd like to see funded out the wazoo - all pet projects and all differing wildly in their potential practical benefits to humanity. We make our best case for each to the people in power. Some small percentage of them stick and the money pours in.

You are, of course, quite correct in that statement. Perhaps you can now understand my "sour grapes" with regard to Sagan, who IMO was one of those who had great influence over scientific investment, and who invested poorly, to say the least.

Sagan was an eloquent speaker and an inspiring leader whose passion was astrobiology. "We are a way for the universe to know itself." Holy crap, that is profound.

Not to me. AFAIC, he was just another silver tongued huckster with credentials.

When Meldrum comes up with some nuggets like that maybe he'll have some success in getting some serious investment from Congress to pursue bigfoot.

"Nuggets" like Sagan's smooth talk? Sagan had no scientific or evidentiary "nuggets". He had pure BS.

Just remember - it's not going to happen unless politicians in Washington decide that it's something they can take back to their constituents and proudly claim "This is what we're doing with your money!"

Screw Washington DC. I'm more interested in Washington state. That's where a sasquatch might be found.

For a while that worked with SETI. It's not working now, and they're having bake sales to try to keep the place operational. That's the way it goes.

I won't be buying any of their cookies. Never did. They were selling cow pies disquised as cookies all along.

Edited by Huntster
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Mulder, what the Sam Hill are you on about now? I wrote that there are no extant non-avian dinosaurscoelecanth, and that the best evidence we have suggests that tens of millions of years passed between the last living non-avian dinosaurs coelecanth and the earliest humans. Therefore, no human has ever seen a living, non-avian dinosaur coelecanth.

Reads EXACTLY the same way, prior to one turning up in a fisherman's net. Yet we know the coelecanth were there the entire time. Same with the frilled shark, the cycaids, etc. If they can survive, there is no reason why one or more of the smaller species of dinosaur could not ALSO adapt and survive.

Furthermore, the conclusion is NOT demonstrated by the evidence. The best the evidence could hope to demonstrate is that there is no evidence at that time that there are none to be seen.

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I neither wrote nor implied a similar statement concerning other ancient life forms, of which there are many great examples that both pre-date dinosaurs in the fossil record and have extant representatives today.

Which is precisely my point. There is no principle of science that forbids the existence of relict non-avian dinosaurs, nor that of a relict great ape/hominid.

It's called logic, Sas.

As for extant sauropods in remote African swamps, someday you may figure out that just because someone says they saw something doesn't mean they did. We have no reliable physical evidence of such creatures.

Note the use of the qualifiers and the dismissal of the eyewitness testimony. Typical Skeptic "science". Fence the debate into terms favorable to your preferred conclusion.

. . . And just to take us back to the good Dr. Meldrum because you insist on whining that he is persecuted for his beliefs, on repeated requests you have failed to provide any evidence for the anti-bigfoot bias you claim.

Read his book. He quotes "scientists" making biased and un-scientific anti-bf statements.

I've never reviewed one of his bigfoot manuscripts. In fact, very few people can say that they have - that's the problem.

Yes, it is...you (and they) should be doing so...he HAS written one. So has Fahrenbach.

Finally, just how oppressed is oppressed? Jeff Meldrum is a tenured associate professor at a major U.S. research university. News Flash: That's a pretty good job in America.

That has been threatened on at least one occasion in the past by his "colleagues" at said university based on his research.

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Sagan was an eloquent speaker and an inspiring leader whose passion was astrobiology. "We are a way for the universe to know itself." Holy crap, that is profound.

Frankly, that's sophist nonsense, since secular science denies that there even IS in most senses some unique characteristic of man that gives insight or the ability to impart meaning. We're just "clever apes" according to the prevailing view.

it's not going to happen unless politicians in Washington decide that it's something they can take back to their constituents and proudly claim "This is what we're doing with your money!"

That is true.

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