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What's The Deal With Skeptics?

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thermalman

While focusing your eyes on a scene for some time, other preceptions are formed with our brain and thinking. Multiple witnesses to the same accident, or event, will come away with many differing details of it. Details from some will contradict with details from what other witnesses notice at the same time. No disrespect, just a fact of life.

http://www.optical-i.../moving-images/

http://www.vision3d.com/sghidden.html

Edited by thermalman

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Stan Norton

^Indeed, but this doesn't really cut the mustard for the volume of purported accounts, which do by and large demonstrate a thread of consistency and coherence, over many decades, irrespective of age, creed or location, that defies explanation based upon simple 'misidentifaction/hallucination' theories. The big issue is the fact that encounter databases can rarely (ever?) be subject to meaningful statistical analyses, but that should not distract us from the reality that there is, in fact, a tangible consistency to purported encounters with sasquatch. That is fascinating and, for me, intellectual opium. Sceptics ain't the issue: data is.

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DWA

I have long since lost patience with anybody who chalks this all up to misidentification; hallucination; lying; or (by very very far the very craziest most unlikely possibility and it says much about skeptics that they don't understand this) ...some random you know mix of the aforementioned.

 

Stop.  This demands explanation, precisely because of the beyond-the-pale unlikelihood of the comprehensive false positive.  And if one's explanation cannot be proven to be the case...one's explanation isn't really worth anything, and pursuit of the explanations that can be proven is what should be going on.

 

 

 

 

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Doc Holliday

gotta agree with chele about becoming more skeptical over time....... after 30 years or so i might even say jaded is more like it.

 

theres a few things outside my own "maybes" that keep me interested.

 

however, usually now whatever new BFery news / story/ TV show pops up i just wait for the implosion.

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Crowlogic

 

What bigfoot skeptics engage in is a peculiar 21st-century disease:  if it is not proven, it cannot be real.  There is really no way to get a handle on that; it's kind of a scary mindset to contemplate, and glad I am not there.  The only open-minded opinion, on anything, possible, is:  I don't know; I wasn't there; I await further evidence.  What I see here a lot instead is:  I know just how the world is; I'm done accumulating knowledge; and what I have so far says this is impossible.  The problem with this field - skeptic and proponent alike - is that it is almost entirely populated with people who cannot evaluate evidence; who know little to nothing about the natural world; who don't know how to relate the things they do know to this topic; and who don't understand that the evidence not only makes this likely, but just about the most logical thing to expect.

 

But you gotta get there first; and that implies being interested.

Hold on a moment!  I am a skeptic and I know the workings of the natural world.  I grew up in the natural world and I spent a significant part of my working life engaged in study of the natural world.  Frankly I've grown weary of the Bigfoot proponent's lament that we must have open minds.  I had an open mind for about Bigfoot for half a century.  Half a century, got that?  I am one who has given the idea a huge benefit of the doubt.  But a half century on and a person is entitled to close the door.  A person is entitled to look back at the history of Bigfoot and conclude that there is nothing here now.  

 

One must evaluate evidence and one must evaluate the effect and results of that evidence.  Eventually we are in the situation of Linus and The Great Pumpkin. It is a worthy aspiration but one where statistically there is no pay off.  There is a tipping point where the grand Bigfoot escapades that provide nothing of substance are understood to be the core of the issue and perhaps have always been.

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DWA

Oh, okay, then you just aren't applying what you know properly.  On any count.  People do that, including scientists whose "case against" I can shoot full of holes without effort (as they could themselves, would they just apply themselves to this).

 

It's an odd approach to close the door when the evidence mounts by the week.  But if one wants to do that one can.  It doesn't change what others do, or should do.

 

Yes, one must evaluate evidence.  But bigfoot skeptics show a conspicuous lack of such evaluation.  Way it is and not much I can do about that.

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Cotter

Hi Crow - can you please link me to some report (newpaper, website, or what have you) that describes a law enforcement officer or forest service type personnel that claim to have seen a unicorn?

Can you please show me where PhD's are actively out searching for unicorns or testing purported unicorn DNA?

 

Can you please show me a culture where they have lore of unicorns living amongst they woods they inhabit?

 

Now, I've no idea if any of those things exist, but if we are to make the association, shouldn't the commonalities be more widespread?

 

If they do not exist, why do you choose to ignore those unique situations when considering the unicorn and BF phenom to be the same?

 

I mean, I can look at a watermelon and agree it's 97%, I can look at a cloud and agree it's 99.99% water.  I can't look at both of them and agree they can be interchanged.

 

:-)

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Wingman1

Another interesting thread regarding the existence and nature Sasquatch has been reduced to a back and forth argument between

skeptics and believers! Believing in Sasquatch should not really be an issue because belief generally connotes the acceptance of

something as true in the absence of objective evidence, or conclusive proof! It is usually equated with a position of faith. Science is

about subjecting hypotheses to evaluation by marshaling evidence that may either refute, or lend support to a premise. From a

scientific standpoint, a respectable portion of the evidence that has been done in an independent and highly correlated manner

suggests the possibility of an unrecognized ape known as Sasquatch. As it stands now, the conclusion of necessity here remains

tentative and provisional since the interpretation of the evidence, however persuasive it may be at this point, remains ultimately

inconclusive. It is also important to note that a pending conclusion has rarely provoked a scientist to abandon research that is

backed by empirical evidence. The sad fact here is that the scientists who have made the effort to review and evaluate the data

and are motivated, if not obligated to pursue their intellectual curiosity further are frequently labeled as "Believers" and are judged

incapable of further objectivity.

 

From the sidelines, ideological skeptics roll themselves in the banner of science, and profess that they are approaching a

controversial phenomenon from a rational and critical position. Extreme conservatism that is typically embraced by these

individuals is not without it's own problems. Michael Shermer who is the executive director of the Skeptics Society and editor

of Skeptics magazine offers an interesting caution - He states that the key to skepticism is to continuously and vigorously

apply the method of science to navigate the treacherous straits between "know nothing skepticism" and "anything goes credulity"

and to find the bearing in the middle of the two. That bearing unfortunately is almost as elusive as Sasquatch is. Many skeptics run

aground here though as they unwittingly list or deliberately steer toward the extreme of incredulity. This can be due to lack of

motivation to become more informed about the essential evidence, It can be the simple impracticality of thoroughly evaluating

every assertion that comes along, and even more likely the sheer lack of the requisite expertise to evaluate the evidence for such

a broad range of purported phenomenon. Whichever the case be, many professing skeptics do not let their ignorance of the

primary data (the word ignorance here simply means not yet having attained the knowledge. Not in the demeaning sense!) to

prevent them from pronouncing baseless and sometimes cynical condemnation of the subject matter and those most familiar

with it.

 

I don't think any legitimate researchers out in the field are out to convince the skeptics of anything in the absence of physical

proof, but to simply ignore or dismiss the current "body" of evidence that bears on this question is to have failed to navigate the

treacherous straits between "know nothing skepticism" and "anything goes credulity" Whether we agree or not, the nature and

extent of the evidence does justify more attention than it is currently given. As it stands now, we are doing all of the work for the

scientists! They only need to sit back and wait for us to bring them required evidence

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kitakaze

Plussed, Wingman. I won't ask for anything exhaustive, but neither would I want vague. Let's be very specific, what do you think are the top three most important pieces of evidence that a fence-sitter wanting to look as deep as they can into Bigfoot should study?

 

Answers like "the footprints", "the DNA evidence", "the physical evidence" are what I mean by vague. If there is something that falls in those categories, please cite specific cases. Thanks in advance.

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Darrell

Skeptic or believer, Sinner or Saint, it matters not. You will believe what you do based on your faith in the phenomena. I have lost my faith in the phenomena, so I am skeptical. Produce the creature and skeptisism disapates. Dont produce the creature and it abounds.  Dont look at the skeptic as the enemy of your belief, look at yourself. 

Edited by Darrell

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Cotter

Just a casual observation, but aren't you using the term 'skeptical' where 'cynical' should be?

 

Or can someone who gives credence to the possiblility never be a skeptic?

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WSA

The only "belief" I've ever had on this topic is that I believe I'd like some plausible answers to explain the body of evidence that gets perennially swept under the rug and ignored. Then I believe my curiosity will be better satisfied. 

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Cotter

In a seperate discussion, it was shown that the editor (former?) of Science, on certain topics, only publishes(d) papers supporting his side of an argument.

Could be the proverbial rug.....

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Crowlogic

Hi Crow - can you please link me to some report (newpaper, website, or what have you) that describes a law enforcement officer or forest service type personnel that claim to have seen a unicorn?

Can you please show me where PhD's are actively out searching for unicorns or testing purported unicorn DNA?

 

Can you please show me a culture where they have lore of unicorns living amongst they woods they inhabit?

 

Now, I've no idea if any of those things exist, but if we are to make the association, shouldn't the commonalities be more widespread?

 

If they do not exist, why do you choose to ignore those unique situations when considering the unicorn and BF phenom to be the same?

 

I mean, I can look at a watermelon and agree it's 97%, I can look at a cloud and agree it's 99.99% water.  I can't look at both of them and agree they can be interchanged.

 

:-)

People from all walks of life say and do all kinds of things.  A forest ranger or a policeman are not immune to misidentification or spinning tales.  Police have been known to break their own codes of conduct during duty so if that's any indication of what's possible then there is a certain yard stick to go by.  One of the Georgia boys was a police officer.  We have long past the [point of he said she said with this thing.  It's heart breaking to admit it's a dead issue and the only thing keeping it afloat is the circus of researchers who are either in it for the jollies, money, attention or other.  Please show one research effort that is not somehow mired in the circus.  One will do but there isn't one.  It's show biz, recreation and entertainment.  It's not science and I fail to see how it is even research at this point..

Edited by Crowlogic
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