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MikeZimmer

Thoughts on the Types of Information we Use

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MikeZimmer

I have been thinking about the sorts of information we are exposed to when looking at Sasquatch (or any other thing for that matter). I am first going to present a general sort of description of the types of communications we are exposed to. Then, I will try to post some thoughts on how it applies to the Sasquatch phenomenon. This approach may not resonate with others, but I think it is helping me clarify my thoughts on what is going on in this world of Sasquatchery, with the evidence, the unambiguous encounters, the totally ambiguous encounters (with red circles), the wishful thinking, the theorizing, the leaps of faith beyond the data, the nonsense, the lies, and perhaps the cover-ups.

 

 

Here is a description of the types of information we are exposed to in regards to Sasquatch, or anything. In the end, most of it is obtained by way of communication from others, although sometimes we do have the benefit of first hand experience.

 

Communication

2020-06-09

I am going to use the neutral term communication to cover the transmission of information from one person to another. We do not have a special term for information that is correct, although we have special terms for information that is incorrect, misinformation, and for information the is deliberately deceptive, disinformation.

Below is a mind map showing these relationships. After the diagram, I will expand a bit on these ideas.

communication-1.png?w=552

1 - Information

Some times communication contains true assertions. This can happen in at least two ways:

  1. Logical truth
  2. Coincidental truth

Some true assertions are arrived at correctly, logically, reasoning from evidence. If the premises are correct, and the logic is sound, then the conclusions are supported by reason.

Some true assertions are arrived at by chance, guess work, or whim. They are not arrived at from true premises and logical reasoning. Although the conclusions are true, this is only a coincidence.

2 - Misinformation

Some times communication contains false assertions, but not outright lies. This can happen in at least these ways:

  1. Poor logic
  2. Mistaken evidence
  3. Incorrect premises
  4. Clinical delusion
  5. Confabulation

Poor logic means that even if the premises are true, the conclusions do not follow because the logic is shaky. If the premises are false, you will not have a logically supported conclusion either.

On the other hand, with coincidentally correct assertions, it does not matter if either the premises or the logic are shaky, you get a true conclusion that is not justified.

Evidence requires interpretation. Sometimes, this is straight forward, but frequently it is not. So, conclusions based on suspect interpretations of evidence are of course also suspect.

Incorrect premises can not produce correct assertions through logic. Sometimes our premises are articulated explicitly, and sometimes they are really left ambiguous. In either case, if they are wrong we can not reach a correct conclusion by reasoning from them.

Clinical delusion will result in an inability to think coherently and consistently. It is not likely to lead to logically supported assertions.

Confabulation is another pathological condition where people come up with fact free explanations for events in order to interpret life experiences, to answer questions. It is not deliberate lying, but results in inadvertent lies.

3 - Disinformation

Disinformation is deliberate deception. It comes in at least two varieties:

  1. Propaganda
  2. Recreational lies

Governments, organizations, businesses and individuals engage in deliberate deception all too often, in order to gain an advantage at the expense of others, or to cover their own misadventures. It is called propaganda when done by governments and organizations, advertising when done by business, and lies when done by the rest of us. In any case, it generally puts the recipient of the disinformation at a disadvantage, and sabotages trust if found out.

Recreational lies and hoaxes are common among people who take delight in duping or gas-lighting others. It takes a certain amount of malevolence, narcissism, Machiavellianism, sociopathy or even psychopathy to engage in this activity. Online trolls are one aspect of this. Hoaxers are another. There are just far too many who delight in spreading bull excrement.

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MikeZimmer

I think that one of the biggest problems we face in Sasquatch investigation is the amount of disinformation that surrounds the topic. Some comes from the pseudo-skeptics, some comes from trolls, some from people trying to capitalize of Sasquatch, in some way or another, some trying to draw attention to themselves, and perhaps some coming from parts of the government that are hostile to the truth. I want to go over these points.

 

Pseudo-skeptics - we have from time to time had people posting at Bigfoot forums who seemed to have an agenda to dismiss any and all arguments in favour of the reality of Sasquatch as a species of animal. Some were eventually banned from the forum for crossing over the line too many time, and some just seemed to fade away. Some went over to other sites favoured by the pseudo-skeptics and threw derision the way of those trying to systematically analyze the phenomenon. Anyone who has been a regular on the site for a few years knows what I mean, and probably has a few examples of who I mean.

 

I think we need to be skeptical, but that does not mean reacting dismissively; it means suspending judgment, questioning the interpretation and provenance of evidence, and generally trying to understand, not dismiss. It is beyond my understanding why anyone would come on here just to attempt to discredit those trying to investigate, as opposed to trying to understand.

 

Trolls - trolls are hard to distinguish from pseudo-skeptics, and in fact some may be both. A troll is at the heart of things someone with malicious intent, an individual who likes to stir the pot, who enjoys making others feel uncomfortable. They are not searching for truth, just seeking a mean-spirited sort of entertainment at the expense of others. Why they do this is beyond my understanding, but there is some reason to think that trolls generally are lower on empathy and are more narcissistic than a well-balanced person.

 

Attention seekers - we have no shortage of people who seem to have a need to attract attention to themselves. We have the well known example of the fellow who lived in Yakima who claimed quite implausibly to have gone to California with Patterson and Gimlin and wore the suit. This claim has been shown to be highly unlikely to the point of impossibility by several folks here. Despite that, there are many who think that the mystery is solved, and the suit was worn by Bob Hieronymous.

 

The Hoaxers - There is no shortage of people who have staged hoaxes. Some of these have been easy to detect, and some are still the subject of debate. A lot of the hoaxes are now presented on YouTube. What this means is that researchers waste time trying to disentangle hoaxing from worthwhile evidence. Of course, perhaps all reports are mistakes or disinformation, but some pieces of evidence, such as the Patterson-Gimlin film from 1967 seem to have held up pretty well under intense scrutiny. If fakery, it is amazingly well done, and also inexplicable in terms of the resources and capabilities of the individuals involved.

 

We have a lot of hoaxes which have gained traction, and sent people off on expensive and time-wasting wild-goose chases. This is much to be regretted.

 

Shills - This is an old word which implies that someone is spreading disinformation for commercial advantage. In my use of the term, I want to extend it to anyone who is deliberately spreading disinformation from some agency. I don't know if this is occurring in this case, but it is a possibility. If the creature exists, then it seems highly likely that senior members of governments are aware that this is the case, and are trying to hide the fact. This of course is a big maybe, but not an impossibility.

 

 

 

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starchunk
8 hours ago, MikeZimmer said:

I think that one of the biggest problems we face in Sasquatch investigation is the amount of disinformation that surrounds the topic. Some comes from the pseudo-skeptics, some comes from trolls, some from people trying to capitalize of Sasquatch, in some way or another, some trying to draw attention to themselves, and perhaps some coming from parts of the government that are hostile to the truth. I want to go over these points.

 

Pseudo-skeptics - we have from time to time had people posting at Bigfoot forums who seemed to have an agenda to dismiss any and all arguments in favour of the reality of Sasquatch as a species of animal. Some were eventually banned from the forum for crossing over the line too many time, and some just seemed to fade away. Some went over to other sites favoured by the pseudo-skeptics and threw derision the way of those trying to systematically analyze the phenomenon. Anyone who has been a regular on the site for a few years knows what I mean, and probably has a few examples of who I mean.

 

I think we need to be skeptical, but that does not mean reacting dismissively; it means suspending judgment, questioning the interpretation and provenance of evidence, and generally trying to understand, not dismiss. It is beyond my understanding why anyone would come on here just to attempt to discredit those trying to investigate, as opposed to trying to understand.

 

Trolls - trolls are hard to distinguish from pseudo-skeptics, and in fact some may be both. A troll is at the heart of things someone with malicious intent, an individual who likes to stir the pot, who enjoys making others feel uncomfortable. They are not searching for truth, just seeking a mean-spirited sort of entertainment at the expense of others. Why they do this is beyond my understanding, but there is some reason to think that trolls generally are lower on empathy and are more narcissistic than a well-balanced person.

 

Attention seekers - we have no shortage of people who seem to have a need to attract attention to themselves. We have the well known example of the fellow who lived in Yakima who claimed quite implausibly to have gone to California with Patterson and Gimlin and wore the suit. This claim has been shown to be highly unlikely to the point of impossibility by several folks here. Despite that, there are many who think that the mystery is solved, and the suit was worn by Bob Hieronymous.

 

The Hoaxers - There is no shortage of people who have staged hoaxes. Some of these have been easy to detect, and some are still the subject of debate. A lot of the hoaxes are now presented on YouTube. What this means is that researchers waste time trying to disentangle hoaxing from worthwhile evidence. Of course, perhaps all reports are mistakes or disinformation, but some pieces of evidence, such as the Patterson-Gimlin film from 1967 seem to have held up pretty well under intense scrutiny. If fakery, it is amazingly well done, and also inexplicable in terms of the resources and capabilities of the individuals involved.

 

We have a lot of hoaxes which have gained traction, and sent people off on expensive and time-wasting wild-goose chases. This is much to be regretted.

 

Shills - This is an old word which implies that someone is spreading disinformation for commercial advantage. In my use of the term, I want to extend it to anyone who is deliberately spreading disinformation from some agency. I don't know if this is occurring in this case, but it is a possibility. If the creature exists, then it seems highly likely that senior members of governments are aware that this is the case, and are trying to hide the fact. This of course is a big maybe, but not an impossibility.

 

 

 

 

10 hours ago, MikeZimmer said:

I have been thinking about the sorts of information we are exposed to when looking at Sasquatch (or any other thing for that matter). I am first going to present a general sort of description of the types of communications we are exposed to. Then, I will try to post some thoughts on how it applies to the Sasquatch phenomenon. This approach may not resonate with others, but I think it is helping me clarify my thoughts on what is going on in this world of Sasquatchery, with the evidence, the unambiguous encounters, the totally ambiguous encounters (with red circles), the wishful thinking, the theorizing, the leaps of faith beyond the data, the nonsense, the lies, and perhaps the cover-ups.

 

 

Here is a description of the types of information we are exposed to in regards to Sasquatch, or anything. In the end, most of it is obtained by way of communication from others, although sometimes we do have the benefit of first hand experience.

 

Communication

 

2020-06-09

 

I am going to use the neutral term communication to cover the transmission of information from one person to another. We do not have a special term for information that is correct, although we have special terms for information that is incorrect, misinformation, and for information the is deliberately deceptive, disinformation.

 

Below is a mind map showing these relationships. After the diagram, I will expand a bit on these ideas.

 

communication-1.png?w=552

 

1 - Information

 

Some times communication contains true assertions. This can happen in at least two ways:

 

  1. Logical truth
  2. Coincidental truth

 

Some true assertions are arrived at correctly, logically, reasoning from evidence. If the premises are correct, and the logic is sound, then the conclusions are supported by reason.

 

Some true assertions are arrived at by chance, guess work, or whim. They are not arrived at from true premises and logical reasoning. Although the conclusions are true, this is only a coincidence.

 

2 - Misinformation

 

Some times communication contains false assertions, but not outright lies. This can happen in at least these ways:

 

  1. Poor logic
  2. Mistaken evidence
  3. Incorrect premises
  4. Clinical delusion
  5. Confabulation

 

Poor logic means that even if the premises are true, the conclusions do not follow because the logic is shaky. If the premises are false, you will not have a logically supported conclusion either.

 

On the other hand, with coincidentally correct assertions, it does not matter if either the premises or the logic are shaky, you get a true conclusion that is not justified.

 

Evidence requires interpretation. Sometimes, this is straight forward, but frequently it is not. So, conclusions based on suspect interpretations of evidence are of course also suspect.

 

Incorrect premises can not produce correct assertions through logic. Sometimes our premises are articulated explicitly, and sometimes they are really left ambiguous. In either case, if they are wrong we can not reach a correct conclusion by reasoning from them.

 

Clinical delusion will result in an inability to think coherently and consistently. It is not likely to lead to logically supported assertions.

 

Confabulation is another pathological condition where people come up with fact free explanations for events in order to interpret life experiences, to answer questions. It is not deliberate lying, but results in inadvertent lies.

 

3 - Disinformation

 

Disinformation is deliberate deception. It comes in at least two varieties:

 

  1. Propaganda
  2. Recreational lies

 

Governments, organizations, businesses and individuals engage in deliberate deception all too often, in order to gain an advantage at the expense of others, or to cover their own misadventures. It is called propaganda when done by governments and organizations, advertising when done by business, and lies when done by the rest of us. In any case, it generally puts the recipient of the disinformation at a disadvantage, and sabotages trust if found out.

 

Recreational lies and hoaxes are common among people who take delight in duping or gas-lighting others. It takes a certain amount of malevolence, narcissism, Machiavellianism, sociopathy or even psychopathy to engage in this activity. Online trolls are one aspect of this. Hoaxers are another. There are just far too many who delight in spreading bull excrement.

 

 

 

I think Stick Structures make a good example for misinformation; I have yet to see a single case where someone has claimed to see such a creature arranging sticks, trees, stumps, etc, no photos, no video, no direct observation, nada, just assuming based on...…?" 99% of what is presented, even much of the odder stuff is gravity, wind, snow load, nature. I frequent areas where this kind of stuff is common enough that you would thought bigfoot would be trailside selling tours of it. Then it balloons through copycatting on social media and the hoaxers add it to their repertoire. Rinse and repeat.

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NorthWind
4 hours ago, starchunk said:

 

 

 

I think Stick Structures make a good example for misinformation; I have yet to see a single case where someone has claimed to see such a creature arranging sticks, trees, stumps, etc, no photos, no video, no direct observation, nada...

 

There is this guy...

 

 

 

I'm not saying I believe this is a squatch, though. 

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starchunk
8 minutes ago, NorthWind said:

 

There is this guy...

 

 

 

I'm not saying I believe this is a squatch, though. 

 

 

Too blurry to be anything definitive imo.

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MikeZimmer

"Too blurry to be anything definitive imo."

 

That brings up the whole topic of the ambiguity of the evidence. It is a continuum I think.

 

Some evidence is first hand and totally unambiguous to the person or persons involved: viewing conditions are good, the light is good, there is not much obscuring brush, the air is clear, the observation is close range, and the duration of the event is long enough to make sense of what is happening. In such a situation, the observers can determine that they are seeing something that is large, moving, manlike, hairy, and so on. If they are qualified observers, familiar with other large mammals, they are in a position to say that they did not see a bear. Then the contest is between unclassified primate-like mammal, or a person in a suit (well, if it floats your boat, we might say alien, but I digress).

 

There are other things, pictures and videos particularly, where even with red circles and a microscope you can only come up with descriptions based on pareidolia. Stick structures are somewhere in-between. We can say that the sticks or trees are arranged in an unusual way. We don't have a report to my knowledge of some being being seen arranging such a structure. So, we are left with a problematic situation. We can interpret the structures in various ways, with little to guide us in ruling in or out interpretations. We can of course say that the simplest explanation is best (Occam's razor or parsimony's bludgeon?), but that really is not as useful as many contend. I will leave that idea for another discussion.

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MikeZimmer

I want to share some ideas I have about misinformation. Here are my contentions:

  1. If we have two assertions that are mutually contradictory, they cannot both be correct. This is the law of non-contradiction. It does not follow that either are correct. If we have any number of mutually contradictory assertions, at most one of these can be correct. There is no guarantee that any are correct.
  2. On any reasonably complex topic, there is more often than not controversy, with mutually contradictory assertions proliferating. You can see this on almost any site or publication where opinions may be tendered. Hey, how about Big Foot Forums for instance? It is clear from logic that the general rule applies; most of these assertions are going to be wrong. We might get lucky and have some set of views that is right, but in truth, only the omniscient one knows.
  3. A lot of people can tell a good story - seemingly buttressed by evidence, coherent, convincingly told
  4. A lot of people can also tell an equally good story which contradicts many of the assertions of the first one
  5. I think that the implication of this is that most of what we assert, what we believe, what we opine is on pretty shaky ground.
  6. But, I could be wrong about this. :rolleyes:

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Twist
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, MikeZimmer said:

I want to share some ideas.....


What it all boils down to is it’s 99% conjecture till we have a type specimen.  A mountain of evidence won’t equal proof in this case.   IMO of course.   

Edited by Twist
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ShadowBorn
41 minutes ago, Twist said:
Spoiler

 

A mountain of evidence won’t equal proof in this case

No, I would not say this just yet since finding evidence can equal some thing. Like these so call stick figures which some do happen to find. I say this since prints do happen to be found near by these stick figures where they were made. Not just that but also sighting of the creature in the given area. All though it might not prove that this creature created these tree structures in this given area. It does give credence to them making these structures giving that they were seen in the general area. Not just that but as well finding their prints after a sighting gives even more credence.

 

3 hours ago, MikeZimmer said:

misinformation

 In my opinion I think that misinformation comes from that no one wants to be wrong . What I mean is that we all have ideas of what and how these creatures should be. But are they truly what people think they are or might be. We all have opinions and it all gets in the mix and it all leads into the mix.  There are all these different directions that everyone wants to take these creatures. But there is not one group or person who can agree on what these creatures are. If there was true science at work here on these creatures then it should have lead every person researching these creatures to one mind and thought.  But this has not happen. Science is science and when it is done right it can only lead to a single point. If researchers are observing these creatures then there observation should lead them to a single point.

 

If there is misinformation that is coming in about these creatures . If it does not conform with what others are reporting then it is just misinformation. What messes this with what is going on with what we are dealing with is misinformation by those who are denying. Denying the things that are really going on with these creatures. The reporting aspect by known researchers who do not want to confront the truth.

15 hours ago, starchunk said:

Disinformation is deliberate deception. It comes in at least two varieties:

The is just some thing very wrong with this . I have a very hard time dealing with this. Since it is so easy to fall into this trap. I  see this as to deceive in order to gain knowledge . Why should one work hard so that another can gain that knowledge that person worked hard for. I believe that we all have been hoaxed. Even those who have Doctored in Education can be hoaxed.  It is the deception that one can never get over. Sure it will bring that person down and take time to trust there intuition .One has to learn to move past it. Maybe I am getting this all wrong but this is my take on this thread. Like always this is just my opinion.  

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MikeZimmer

I think that a type specimen would be very useful, with some caveats:

  1. If there are government agencies that really do not want this thing solved (something I consider a rational possibility) the evidence might just disappear.
  2. If there are government agencies that really do not want this thing solved, bought and paid for experts might be hired to say that black is white.
  3. Someone shooting one of these things might just not make it out alive with any part of the specimen, if reports of the creatures capabilities are correct.
  4. The chances of finding a carcass of any rare large animal in the woods is probably not very good
  5. Someone might find a body killed by  vehicle. There was some report of this happening in the U.S. and a story that some mysterious goings on by officialdom made the body disappear
  6. There are stories, which may be total nonsense, of live animals and bodies found after the Mount St. Helen's eruption. Again, without knowing the people personally telling the stories, it is hard to have any felling for the veracity of the stories, if they are anything other than tall tales.
  7. There are at least two reports of these things being shot that come to my mind, one from British Columbia on the coast and one from Manitoba in a wooded area. The latter is a very interesting report. Of course the fellow who told the tale could have been telling a tall tale, for whatever reason. I certainly don't dismiss the story out of hand.  If I knew that man personally, I would have some basis for judging his soundness of mind and his veracity. It was a very unambiguous report. We almost always have to rely on second, third, or Nth hand accounts.

Some people think it is vital that science acknowledge that the creature exists. I don't care very much. I personally lean to "almost certain," based on various cumulative lines of evidence. If science finally classifies them, I will probably enjoy saying "Told you so!" to a few folks. Apart from that, it is no big deal to me. I doubt that research on them will be any easier, even if funding is made available.

 

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MikeZimmer
2 hours ago, ShadowBorn said:

 I believe that we all have been hoaxed. Even those who have Doctored in Education can be hoaxed.  It is the deception that one can never get over. Sure it will bring that person down and take time to trust there intuition .One has to learn to move past it. Maybe I am getting this all wrong but this is my take on this thread. Like always this is just my opinion.  

 

 

The technical term for hoaxers is "scumbags."

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Twist
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, MikeZimmer said:

I think that a type specimen would be very useful, with some caveats:

  1. If there are government agencies that really do not want this thing solved (something I consider a rational possibility) the evidence might just disappear.
  2. If there are government agencies that really do not want this thing solved, bought and paid for experts might be hired to say that black is white.
  3. Someone shooting one of these things might just not make it out alive with any part of the specimen, if reports of the creatures capabilities are correct.
  4. The chances of finding a carcass of any rare large animal in the woods is probably not very good
  5. Someone might find a body killed by  vehicle. There was some report of this happening in the U.S. and a story that some mysterious goings on by officialdom made the body disappear
  6. There are stories, which may be total nonsense, of live animals and bodies found after the Mount St. Helen's eruption. Again, without knowing the people personally telling the stories, it is hard to have any felling for the veracity of the stories, if they are anything other than tall tales.
  7. There are at least two reports of these things being shot that come to my mind, one from British Columbia on the coast and one from Manitoba in a wooded area. The latter is a very interesting report. Of course the fellow who told the tale could have been telling a tall tale, for whatever reason. I certainly don't dismiss the story out of hand.  If I knew that man personally, I would have some basis for judging his soundness of mind and his veracity. It was a very unambiguous report. We almost always have to rely on second, third, or Nth hand accounts.

Some people think it is vital that science acknowledge that the creature exists. I don't care very much. I personally lean to "almost certain," based on various cumulative lines of evidence. If science finally classifies them, I will probably enjoy saying "Told you so!" to a few folks. Apart from that, it is no big deal to me. I doubt that research on them will be any easier, even if funding is made available.

 

 

I agree with a lot of your points.  I'm on a similar boat that based on a past experience I have had coupled with certain lines of evidence that I have enough data for me personally to lean towards existence.  With my current belief, if "science" officially acknowledged them I would be satisfied with those results sans a body.   

 

On a site like the BFF when discussing the discovery of BF I assume we are talking about the "scientific" body as a whole coupled with the  government and general lay persons stance on the subject.  On that playing field my personal journey concerning BF and what it takes to convince me is irrelevant.   I stand by the notion that it will take a body on a slab to break this thing free officially.  Its very much an uphill battle for reasons you listed above and there will be obstacles, nonetheless I believe there is only one solution for those that do not already hold a belief in BF,  a body.

Edited by Twist
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MikeZimmer
5 hours ago, Twist said:

 

  I stand by the notion that it will take a body on a slab to break this thing free officially.  Its very much an uphill battle for reasons you listed above and there will be obstacles, nonetheless I believe there is only one solution for those that do not already hold a belief in BF,  a body.

 

Yep, that it almost certainly the case. I am not enthused with those who want to kill one of these creature for science, for various reasons, which are out of scope for the topic. I also don't think that confirmation that they are real would be the major social event that some predict. Maybe for some with certain belief systems, dogmatically held, but not in general. Just a belief of mine, and predictions are seldom worth the paper (or LCD Screens) that they are printed on.

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MikeZimmer
On 6/9/2020 at 6:11 PM, MikeZimmer said:

...

2 - Misinformation

 

Some times communication contains false assertions, but not outright lies. This can happen in at least these ways:

  1. Poor logic
  2. Mistaken evidence
  3. Incorrect premises
  4. Clinical delusion
  5. Confabulation

...

 

Some of the views I have read on Sasquatch seem to be coming from people with ongoing short circuits. However, it could be my own excessive impedance to alternative beliefs. Nevertheless, there are people who are unable to think clearly in a consistent fashion for various neurological reasons, beyond just being as thick as a post. Dementia, psychosis, and abuse of recreational chemical are a few things that come to mind. (As far as I can remember, no one has called me a loon to my face, however I do turn my back from time to time.)

 

There are people who are just somewhat dim overall, and may have very few intellectual assets in any realm of intelligence. (There may be those who believe that my  thinking shows a mind a few bricks of a load, so we might call it a draw.)

 

I guess if these folks had evidence for what they say is going on (e.g., telepathy, on-going habituation), I might be more open to their claims. I am left with the notion that their thinking is somewhat divorced from reality, as opposed to them just being liars. (On the other hand, I am pretty sure that there are those who believe my thinking is divorced from reality, so maybe we should call it a draw again?)

 

Often enough the claim is thrown out, frequently by the organized skeptics, that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!" It is a somewhat catchy mantra, but does it really hold up to scrutiny? I don't think it does. It is highly subjective, and mostly used to bludgeon folks who think differently than those who brandish it.

 

What a person regards as extraordinary depends pretty much on their current set of beliefs, their worldview. So, we might rephrase this along lines such as this: "If you are going to make a claim that falls outside of my comfort zone of belief, and you want to prove it to me, you want me to accept it, you had better do a pretty good job of showing me evidence to convince me." I think this is OK, and is a reasonable way to be a true skeptic and reserve judgment. However, this formulation makes it clear that there is a subjective component. In practice, a lot of people wielding this bludgeon are not really skeptics, just dogmatists, and go out of their way to denigrate anything and anyone who has an alternative system of belief.

 

I will note in passing that there are probably a few billions of folks in the world making claims that seem extraordinary to me, on numerous topics, but are accepted without question by their communities of belief.

 

 

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MikeZimmer
13 hours ago, ShadowBorn said:

... I say this since prints do happen to be found near by these stick figures where they were made. Not just that but also sighting of the creature in the given area. All though it might not prove that this creature created these tree structures in this given area. It does give credence to them making these structures giving that they were seen in the general area. Not just that but as well finding their prints after a sighting gives even more credence.

 

Evidence must be interpreted, and this interpretation is often not clear cut. We can think of odds of things happening together, but this does not show a clear chain of logical reasoning. It can be suggestive of certain conclusions. So, stick structures and footprints in proximity suggests that they might be related; neither should be dismissed out of hand. We need to consider various possibilities, not jump to conclusions, and look for other evidence.

 

I think that there is a tradition of argument using cumulative evidence. Maybe it is similar to corroborating evidence? I am not sure, and an Internet search for explanations of the idea of cumulative evidence does not come up with much. There is one philosophy text that discuss it, but it costs a bit, and is not available as an e-book. Apart from that it seems to be used by theologians, and I got the term from an article by a professor of philosophy and theology. 

 

Maybe stick structures associated with footprints provide cumulative evidence or maybe this is misapplying the concept.

 

One of the biggest problems in the interpretation of evidence  is that we do not consider other potential factors. These are called "confounds" by most researchers. That is to say, they are factors that  can confound our analysis. In experimental science, a researcher can attempt to control for confounding factors. In observational studies of wild animals, it is pretty hard to do anything remotely like that. It is pretty hard to do anything rigorously systematic.

 

 

 

 

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