Friends, here is something to do.
Read this about Null Hypothesis
"In hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis is the one you are hoping can be disproven by the observed data. Typically, it asserts that chance variation is responsible for an effect seen in observed data (for example, a difference between treatment and placebo, an apparent correlation between one variable and another, a divergence between a sample measure and some benchmark, etc.) "
Fundamental Attribution Error--we assume that something in the person accounts for the behavior rather than the situation. In the case of a gentleman whose publicists claim that he lives without eating: Is he a special, highly evolved human being?
Or is he in a situation set up so that it appears he is living without food but is covertly being given food by others--which means he is has the energy needs of an ordinary human but is in a stage managed *situation*?
Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence
"One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities
required to explain anything."
Professor Steve Dutch has this:
What evidence would it take to prove your beliefs wrong?
I simply will not reply to challenges that do not address this question.
Refutability is one of the classic determinants of whether a theory can be called scientific.
Moreover, I have found it to be a great general-purpose cut-through-the-crap question to determine whether somebody is interested in serious intellectual inquiry or just playing mind games. Note, by the way, that I am assuming the burden of proof here - all you have to do is commit to a criterion for testing. It's easy to criticize science for being "closed-minded". Are you open-minded enough to consider whether your ideas might be wrong?"
Here is a tiny bit, just a tiny bit, from an article by Professor Dutch on Pseudoscience. It is one of a library of links he provides on his website--well worth a citizen's time.
Logical Structure of Pseudoscience"Galileo Fallacy" "They laughed at Galileo, and he was right, so I could be right too."
(Professor D) They may have laughed at courageous mavericks. They also laughed at clowns.
For everyone labeled a crackpot who turns out to be a persecuted genius, there are a thousand who are merely crackpots.
The Galileo affair is far more complex than the popular stereotype, and far more interesting. It includes Galileo antagonizing fellow scientists and a healthy dose of politics, Italian style.
"Residue Fallacy" After all the bad data is eliminated, there are *still a few observations* that are unexplained.
(Professor D) The real question is this: if 90% of the observations are faulty, why shouldn't we assume the remaining 10% are also faulty?
Explanation by Default. If science can't explain something, but the pseudoscientist can, his explanation is probably right.
(Professor D) Even if something can't be fully explained, it's often possible to show that a lot of proposed explanations are wrong. Often science can explain the alleged anomaly, but the explanation is concealed or dismissed. We do know how the Pyramids were built.
Distortion of the Term "Theory"
(Professor D) A theory is any organized body of ideas used to account for some set of observations. Theories can be true (heliocentric astronomy), false (Ptolemy and epicycles) or debatable. Many theories are not in the least doubtful or hypothetical: number theory in mathematics, stress theory in engineering, music theory in music.
Some scientists have attempted to defuse this issue by redefining "theory" and restricting it to mean a body of ideas that has been confirmed. Apart from being intellectually dishonest, this definition is flatly wrong and contradicts all historical usages of the word.
Attacks on Inference and Deduction.
(Professor D) If you go home and find your room trashed and your stuff stolen, will you let the police dismiss it as merely "inferring" that you were burglarized?
Exaggeration of Uncertainty Extreme Relativism, Solipsism Catch-22 Arguments, Buzzwords Conspiratorial outlook.
(Professor D) The single most reliable indicator of pseudoscience. Almost every pseudoscientist sooner or later (usually sooner) claims to be *the victim of a conspiracy* to suppress his discoveries, or the theory itself revolves around a conspiracy.
Is It Fair to Reject All Conspiratorial Theories?Erroneous Use of Terms.
*Often the term "conspiracy" is used incorrectly. Failure to use a simple word accurately doesn't inspire confidence in the person using the word.
**If there's no attempt at secrecy there is no conspiracy. Planned Parenthood will give you a bushel of literature if you ask. Some people may oppose them, but they're not a conspiracy.
*Making a common effort or having a common goal is not a conspiracy.
*Criticism is not persecution, and widespread criticism or opposition does not constitute a conspiracy. It more likely is evidence that the individual is wrong. The existence of a conspiracy is irrelevant to the issues.
*The objectives may be morally acceptable. The D-Day invasion and the Manhattan Project were clothed in deep secrecy and engaged in deception. By any reasonable definition, they were conspiracies. Sometimes secrecy is necessary. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 decided at its very first meeting not to take minutes because they wanted delegates to feel free to change their minds without being accused of caving in or selling out.
Immoral conspiracies are immoral *because of their goals and methods, not their secrecy.* The problem with Al-Qaeda isn't its secrecy, it's that it flies airplanes into buildings.
Conspiracy Arguments Are Intellectually Dishonest
*Conspiracy are impossible to disprove so they can't be tested. Conspiracy believers can rationalize away any anomaly. (No null hypothesis can be applied. You cannot prove a negative)
*The less evidence there is, the more powerful and far reaching the conspiracy is because it is so good at concealing itself.
*Conspiracies for which there is no evidence at all must be incredibly powerful.
*Conspiracy arguments are an appeal to emotions instead of facts.
*The conspiracy argument is designed to arouse anger and create sympathy for the purported victim of the conspiracy.
*Conspiracy arguments poison the climate of debate. If you doubt the existence of a conspiracy, you must be either a supporter or a dupe. Who can have a meaningful debate in such a climate?
It's not proper to dismiss an idea solely because it postulates a conspiracy. It is proper to insist on debating solely on the merits of the argument. For most conspiracy believers, that takes all the fun out of it.
(Finally)You'd think people would be relieved to find out the world is not filled with powerful, malevolent conspiracies, but people fight tooth and nail to hang on to conspiracy beliefs.
A Nation of Jailhouse Lawyers/Freedom of Speech
Pseudoscientists often appeal to their right to free speech.
Unless opposition becomes intense enough to constitute harassment (and merely being thin-skinned won't do it), opposition in itself is *not*a violation of free speech.
Nowhere does the Constitution promise immunity to criticism. Nor does the Constitution promise any results for free speech; it doesn't guarantee acceptance of a paper, finding a publisher, or acceptance of ideas.
Okay, end of lecture. Now, here is a fun homework assignment. Read the article given below in the URL. Using what you have read, apply it to the article. Tell us what you found.
"The Man Who Would Not Eat