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Old 2nd March 2011, 09:55 PM   #3201
Akhenaten
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
As I have stated many times, "Can't see the forest for the trees" (CSTFFTT) is vague, subjective and untenable. Your clear attempt at muddying the water has been noted and envied.

The very term itself, "forest" is a meaningless descriptor. It can be used to describe virtually any group of anything, from machine learning to pubic hair, regardless of the existence of trees. Therefore lacking a better definition, "forest" is unacceptable for colloquial usage.

I have previously suggested a far simpler implementation, "can't see the trees," and so far no one has been able to suggest any rational reason why CSTFFTT should be regarded as the superior, or even, accurate, turn of phrase. Therefore it should stand as the more robust and workable witticism.


I stated:

Actually, now that I think about, it, """"""""""""trees"""""""""""" is a bit vague too. It could be referring to family trees, mug trees, money trees (sprouting $4 bills?), grass trees - in fact we just can't know.

Given this, and in cognisance of your point about the subjective nature of """"""""""""forest""""""""""", I therefore propose that CSTFFTT should be replaced with 'Can't See' (CS)

Seems appropriate for certain . . . umm . . . never mind.
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Old 2nd March 2011, 10:16 PM   #3202
laca
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Who said mockery was not effective or appropriate?

Thank you Rramjet for providing the prime example for when to use mockery.

Last edited by laca; 2nd March 2011 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Wording...
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Old 2nd March 2011, 10:39 PM   #3203
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Funny old world, innit?

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Old 3rd March 2011, 04:54 PM   #3204
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Originally Posted by laca View Post
Who said mockery was not effective or appropriate?

Thank you Rramjet for providing the prime example for when to use mockery.
So you believe mockery (in my opinion, as used in this thread, merely a form of childish and bullying abuse) is effective? Good luck with that.

Perhaps though (apart from the obvious bullying) it is being used as an attempt to distract from and avoid the principle debate?

Perhaps then you can define "extraordinary evidence" for us in such a way that it is distinguishable from "ordinary evidence" and in such a way as to prevent ECREE from being a nonsense phrase?
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Old 3rd March 2011, 05:50 PM   #3205
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Perhaps then you can define "extraordinary evidence" for us in such a way that it is distinguishable from "ordinary evidence" and in such a way as to prevent ECREE from being a nonsense phrase?
What makes a usual and expected number extraordinary, Rramjet?

Or perhaps you can explain your hypocrisy?

Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Azobacter actually have an extraordinary number of flagella
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
The number of flagella that Azotobacter has is the ordinary (usual) number that Azotobacter possess.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 06:14 PM   #3206
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Extraordinary silliness requires extraordinary mockery.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 06:15 PM   #3207
Beelzebuddy
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Originally Posted by rramjet
Perhaps then you can define "extraordinary evidence" for us in such a way that it is distinguishable from "ordinary evidence" and in such a way as to prevent ECREE from being a nonsense phrase?
Perhaps you can respond to my post HERE, rramjet. You were so insistent that I address your ridiculous argument directly, so I did, and now you pretend it never happened.

Dropping an active discussion just because you don't like the way it's going is every bit as rude as the "childish and bullying abuse" we're entertaining ourselves with while you limp off, sulking, to wait for your latest rhetorical whuppin' to blow over.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 10:50 PM   #3208
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Perhaps you can respond to my post HERE, rramjet..
I did respond to that post - remember the bit about me telling you that if you were simply going to make things up, then a rational conversation with you was impossible - However I will be happy to oblige you with a more detailed response if you desire:


Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The flaw in your argument is that it is circular. One can follow your logic to reach the very thing you claim to be refuting.
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Amid your usual bluster about already having won…
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…you begin with semantics...
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…by saying that because all evidence can be helpful…
I did not say that, but you may infer it from my argument.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…and a large enough amount of weak evidence can have the weight of strong evidence…
Not only did I not say that, nowhere in my argument is it implied. Nor have I ever stated or implied anything similar in any post of mine. In another response to you on this very post (!) I informed you that if you were simply going to make things up then it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…that there is no threshold we can call "extraordinary."
Again that is something I have neither said, nor implied.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
You move to replace it with just its underlying principle, "claims require evidence."
Claims do require evidence. I would have thought that much at least was obvious.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
But that's insufficient, and you know it.
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The evidence required for one claim is not the evidence required for another.
I would have thought the generality of that much was obvious – but still it is not necessarily true in all circumstances

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
If "evidence," any evidence, is all any claim needs, there's no effective way of telling truth from fiction.
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such. Evidence for claims are presented in all sorts of contexts every day. Are you contending that evidence counts for nothing?

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Empiricism must give way to asshattery.
So making up nonsense statements such as that advances your argument how?

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
So you build back up into, basically, ECREE with a coat of paint over it.
What are you talking about?

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
A given claim requires sufficient evidence.
You have cut the statement short. For the veracity of a claim to be believed, it requires sufficient evidence, yes.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
That sufficiency needs to be rationally justified.
Almost. The decision about whether the evidence is sufficient (or not) to support a belief in the veracity of the claim will have to be rationally justified.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
You seem to be aware of the similarity…
What “similarity”?

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…because you chop off the argument there.
I presume you mean:
Claims require evidence.
You either have the evidence or you do not.
That evidence will either be sufficient or it will not.
The judgement of sufficiency will (of course) have to be rationally justified.
Just how is that “argument” been cut short?

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Everything you've said since then has been putting your fingers in your ears and humming…
Now you are making no sense at all.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…insisting that your definition is somehow different and better, despite being wholly subjective and undefined.
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
If you progress forward just one more step, you'll note that one of the factors of sufficiency should be the claim itself.
Do you mean when assessing a claim, you count the claim itself as being able to provide evidence for itself?

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Unusual claims are going to need more than the usual evidence…
This is merely a restatement of ECREE – and you have not proved ECREE. Moreover, you cannot base an argument about the veracity of ECREE by using ECREE as the argument. This is circular…

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
…because they directly contradict what's thought to be known about the universe.
Ah, so the standard of evidence for a claim is shifted when that claim is an “unusual” claim?

But you have not justified why unusual (or extraordinary) claims require a different standard of evidence than any other claim that might be made. You are (again) simply basing an argument about the veracity of ECREE by using ECREE as the argument.

Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
Expand that a bit more: very unusual claims require very unusual evidence. ECREE.
The mere insertion of the term ”very” does not make your argument here any less of an unfounded assertion – and as such it may be dismissed.

And so of course returning to your initial contention:
Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
The flaw in your argument is that it is circular.
Seems more aptly applied to you own argument than mine.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 11:27 PM   #3209
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
So you believe mockery (in my opinion, as used in this thread, merely a form of childish and bullying abuse) is effective? Good luck with that.


So you think you can cast aspersions about someone else's belief based on nothing more than how well it matches your own self-serving opinion? Good luck with that.


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Perhaps though (apart from the obvious bullying) it is being used as an attempt to distract from and avoid the principle debate?


It's mostly being used to make the point that there is no principle debate.

You made an assertion in your OP that was quickly shown to have been unfounded. Everything after that has been little more than froth and bubble, with much flogging of a dead horse and hopefully some amusement for the readers provided by those with a penchant for pointing at dead horse floggers and laughing.


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Perhaps then you can define "extraordinary evidence" for us in such a way that it is distinguishable from "ordinary evidence" and in such a way as to prevent ECREE from being a nonsense phrase?


"Us" don't need "extraordinary evidence" to be defined in any way other than that in which "us", as reasonable people, already understand it.

More specifically, "us" have absolutely no interest whatsoever in having "extraordinary evidence" redefined for "us" in such a way that it will be more amenable to "your" ridiculous arguments against it.
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Old 3rd March 2011, 11:51 PM   #3210
laca
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
So you believe mockery (in my opinion, as used in this thread, merely a form of childish and bullying abuse) is effective?
Frankly, Rramjet, after this thread, I couldn't give a rat's ass about your opinion. I most certainly believe that mockery is effective against people like you. It might be the only thing that's effective.

Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Perhaps though (apart from the obvious bullying) it is being used as an attempt to distract from and avoid the principle debate?

Perhaps then you can define "extraordinary evidence" for us in such a way that it is distinguishable from "ordinary evidence" and in such a way as to prevent ECREE from being a nonsense phrase?
Been there, done that. Just like dozens of other posters. Guess what? Mockery is all that's left.
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Old 4th March 2011, 08:08 AM   #3211
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The only thing of real interest in this thread (other than the excellent mockery) is further proof that all woo positions ultimately boil down to ignoring the evidence and insisting that the woo's questions haven't been answered. UFOs, birthers, 9-11 truthers, religion, it all comes down to ignoring the evidence and insisting the other side won't answer questions, even in the face of overwhelming evidence and detailed answers.
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Old 4th March 2011, 03:16 PM   #3212
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Ohh, so you wanna get back to the omnislashing, do ya? Well, lemme girdle my lions, and we'll get the commencin' all up in this.

Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
I did respond to that post
No, you omnislashed the first paragraph and went "this is stupid. You're stupid. I'm going home."

Quote:
- remember the bit about me telling you that if you were simply going to make things up
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.

Quote:
, then a rational conversation with you was impossible -
I don't believe this yet; you must have a rational bone in your body somewhere, I just know it.

Quote:
However I will be happy to oblige you with a more detailed response if you desire:
"Detailed" != omnislashing each sentence into multiple fragments.

Quote:
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.
Then respond directly and rationally, and expose its wrongness.

Quote:
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.
I have previously quoted you directly. Are you even bothering to read the posts you don't omnislash to nothing?

Quote:
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.
The definition of "semantics" can be found HERE. Semantics is all your argument rests on.

Quote:
I did not say that, but you may infer it from my argument.
Just so long as you agree.

Quote:
Not only did I not say that, nowhere in my argument is it implied. Nor have I ever stated or implied anything similar in any post of mine.
Originally Posted by rramjet
However when we consider evidence of lower quality, which by itself is perhaps “not very convincing”, if we have a large amount of that kind of evidence (and especially if derived from independent sources) then we might consider the weight of evidence also sufficient to draw a positive conclusion.
Oh my goodness is this a quote of you saying exactly that? Why I believe it is!

Quote:
In another response to you on this very post (!) I informed you that if you were simply going to make things up then it would be impossible to have a rational conversation with you.
If you're going to simply ignore anything you don't want to hear, I don't know how it's possible for you to have a rational conversation at all.

Quote:
Again that is something I have neither said, nor implied.
Originally Posted by rramjet
Extraordinary evidence does not exist. When critically examined, all attempts to define it have resulted in the alleged extraordinary evidence being ultimately indistinguishable from ordinary evidence.
Well, golly gee, turns out you did do just that. And all this is from that post you keep people to respond "rationally" too, as well. At least try to keep your argument straight, okay?

Quote:
Claims do require evidence. I would have thought that much at least was obvious.
On that much, we agree.

Quote:
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.
So you think it is sufficient? Does every god exist, then? They all have evidence.

Quote:
I would have thought the generality of that much was obvious
We're on page 80 in a thread about nitpicking colloquialisms. Clearly, we can't make any guesses on what you can and can't generalize here.

Quote:
but still it is not necessarily true in all circumstances
Demonstrate it. Provide a mundane and an unusual claim with the same necessary and sufficient standards of evidence. I'll give you a hint: the larger a postulated effect becomes, the smaller n you need to reach significance.

Quote:
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.
a.k.a. "I don't wanna answer so I'll misdirect"

Quote:
Evidence for claims are presented in all sorts of contexts every day.
Yes. So, how do you filter it? Can all claims be addressed by the same evidence? Where do all the gods (all with evidence up to and including sworn eyewitness testimonies, mind you) live? Do they ride around on invisible pink unicorns and drink space tea?

Quote:
Are you contending that evidence counts for nothing?
No, you are. All evidence counts, but the set of claims it may be sufficient evidence of is limited by its total quality (as you yourself have used it, above).

Quote:
So making up nonsense statements such as that advances your argument how?
Well, are you being empirical?

Quote:
What are you talking about?
Your own argument. Did you even bother to read the post amid your phrase-by-phrase nitpicking?

Quote:
You have cut the statement short. For the veracity of a claim to be believed, it requires sufficient evidence, yes.
Ah, a new weasel word. I'll note that the veracity of a claim does not mean it's true, merely that it's truthful, e.g. that the Kansas yokels really thought they saw something, not that what they saw was an alien.

Quote:
Almost. The decision about whether the evidence is sufficient (or not) to support a belief in the veracity of the claim will have to be rationally justified.
Yeah, there it is again. Well, I'm not in the business of determining what people should believe, only in determining what is actually true. Does "sufficient (or not) to support a belief in the veracity of the claim" have anything to do with the claim actually being true?

Quote:
What “similarity”?
The similarity you're trying very very hard to talk around.

Quote:
I presume you mean:
Claims require evidence.
You either have the evidence or you do not.
That evidence will either be sufficient or it will not.
The judgement of sufficiency will (of course) have to be rationally justified.
For starters, though you have yet to present a workable definition for "sufficient," "rationally justified," and now I guess "veracity."

Quote:
Just how is that “argument” been cut short?
It's not finished. It means nothing, but instead collapses in a pile of subjectivity. Objectively define those terms and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Quote:
Now you are making no sense at all.
It's only one extra logical step. How should an independent observer determine sufficiency in a dependable manner?

Quote:
This is a mere unfounded assertion and may be dismissed as such.
You keep using that word.

Quote:
Do you mean when assessing a claim, you count the claim itself as being able to provide evidence for itself?
No, the claim factors into the definition of "sufficiency." It influences the standard of evidence needed to support the clam.

Quote:
This is merely a restatement of ECREE – and you have not proved ECREE.
Don't need to. You're going to do it for me. You're already most of the way there. When is evidence sufficient to demonstrate a claim?

Quote:
Moreover, you cannot base an argument about the veracity of ECREE by using ECREE as the argument. This is circular…
Pointing out a circular argument is not a circular argument.

Quote:
Ah, so the standard of evidence for a claim is shifted when that claim is an “unusual” claim?
Yes, naturally. A strange and/or contradictory claim requires better evidence to have a "sufficient" amount.

Example:

I tell you, I have an uncle living in Kansas. This is not an unusual claim. Lots of people do. My own testimony is sufficient for your average person to believe me.

I tell you, I have an uncle with six toes living in Kansas. This is an unusual claim. People will naturally be incredulous. But if I support my argument with a picture of a dude with six toes, so long as the background might be Kansas, they'd believe me. That, then, is sufficient.

I tell you, I have an uncle from Omnicron Persei 8, with six toes, living in Kansas. This is an extraordinary claim. A photograph of a six toed green dude in what is unmistakably Kansas is no longer enough. They'd actually have to meet him, or conclude I'm full of ****. The sufficient evidence is now also fairly extraordinary.

Quote:
But you have not justified why unusual (or extraordinary) claims require a different standard of evidence than any other claim that might be made.
I have, repeatedly.

Quote:
You are (again) simply basing an argument about the veracity of ECREE by using ECREE as the argument.
Then disprove me. Should be easy. Where are the gods? Why aren't all myths true? They all have evidence.

Quote:
The mere insertion of the term ”very” does not make your argument here any less of an unfounded assertion – and as such it may be dismissed.
The mere repetition of your mantra does not make your argument valid – and as such it may be dismissed.

Quote:
And so of course returning to your initial contention:
That this thread is a huge waste of time and semantic-arguing ********?

Quote:
Seems more aptly applied to you own argument than mine.
Since I'm summarizing your argument, I don't see where you're going there.


Twice you've pretended to respond to my argument and twice you've ended up dodging where you could and dismissing where you couldn't, until nothing was left. The first time you tried to blow me off entirely, the second time you're trying to bury me with omnislashing. Well, I have a tolerance. If you'd care to respond directly and in context, I would welcome it.

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Old 5th March 2011, 09:01 AM   #3213
RoboTimbo
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Azobacter actually have an extraordinary number of flagella
What makes a usual and expected number extraordinary, Rramjet?
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
There is nothing that would make a “usual and expected” number extraordinary RoboT. Such a number is by definition not extraordinary.
Then why did you try to defend that position with someone else's quote when I questioned you about it?
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
“…Azotobacter is peritrichous, and that it possesses an unusually large number of flagella.” (Summary - p.701 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...00700-0080.pdf)
So how can there not be extraordinary evidence? After all:
Originally Posted by Carl Sagan in "Billions and Billions" page 60
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
Originally Posted by Carl Sagan in "Billions and Billions" page 85
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
Originally Posted by Carl Sagan in "Conversations with Carl Sagan" page 47
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"
There is certainly no way that you can argue with someone else's quote, is there? Not if you use that method yourself, right?

To do otherwise would by hypocritical of you.
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Old 5th March 2011, 05:59 PM   #3214
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Beelzebuddy - Do you think quoting fragmented and context-less sections of my statements and replying to them as if they constituted a logical whole with – in turn – context-less statements is a rational form of debate?

Do you also think that lying is going to enhance or detract from your credibility?

What you have created in your previous post is a meaningless “wall of text” where any legitimate points you might have made are simply lost under a barrage of nonsense and lies. This neither advances your cause nor the cause of rationality in debate.

RoboT – what do you think your repeated (and repeated, and repeated) asking of the same old questions - that I have already answered on numerous occasions - is going to achieve?
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Old 5th March 2011, 07:10 PM   #3215
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Rramjet, you have never satisfactorily answered that question. You've waffled on it, you've shown your hypocrisy on it, you've changed from saying that it is an extraordinary number to saying that it isn't. Just answer the question honestly and satisfactorily without hypocrisy and I won't need to keep asking it.
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Old 6th March 2011, 12:37 AM   #3216
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post

RoboT – what do you think your repeated (and repeated, and repeated) asking of the same old questions - that I have already answered on numerous occasions - is going to achieve?
It doesn't count if you dodge the question and talk about semantics.
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Old 6th March 2011, 12:49 AM   #3217
Akhenaten
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Beelzebuddy - Do you think quoting fragmented and context-less sections of my statements and replying to them as if they constituted a logical whole with – in turn – context-less statements is a rational form of debate?


As a means of highlighting your own habit of employing this tactic I'd say it's not only rational but it's very effective as well.
For 'tis the sport to have the enginer
hoist with his owne petar.


- Hamlet (a prince)

Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Do you also think that lying is going to enhance or detract from your credibility?


What do you reckon this kind of equivocation does for yours?


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
What you have created in your previous post is a meaningless “wall of text” where any legitimate points you might have made are simply lost under a barrage of nonsense and lies. This neither advances your cause nor the cause of rationality in debate.




Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
RoboT – what do you think your repeated (and repeated, and repeated) asking of the same old questions - that I have already answered on numerous occasions - is going to achieve?


Embarrassment for the person who keeps falsely claiming to have answered the question and mirthful amusement for everyone else.

It's working a treat.
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Old 6th March 2011, 04:14 PM   #3218
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Rramjet, you have never satisfactorily answered that question. You've waffled on it, you've shown your hypocrisy on it, you've changed from saying that it is an extraordinary number to saying that it isn't. Just answer the question honestly and satisfactorily without hypocrisy and I won't need to keep asking it.
I stated that Azotobacter paossesses an extraordinary number of flagella when compared with the number of flagella other bacteria of the type possess.

You then asked what makes a usual and expected number extraordinary.

I replied that there is nothing that would make a “usual and expected” number extraordinary RoboT. Such a number is by definition not extraordinary.

I also supplied a reference to an academic article - as evidence in support of my contention that Azotobacter possesses an extraordinary number of flagella. That is: ”…Azotobacter is peritrichous, and that it possesses an unusually large number of flagella.” (Summary - p.701 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...00700-0080.pdf). Given that the definition of extraordinary is couched in terms of “unusual” (out of the ordinary), then I simply assumed that scholarly quote demonstrated that my contention has veracity: Azotobacter possesses an extraordinary number of flagella.

In response to your repeated questioning on the matter I then restated the above in various forms, until it got to a point where I considered there was only a limited number of ways in which restating could possibly be useful - and that if the recipient still had not understood, then it was pointless to respond further.

Precisely how then is that waffle?
How is that being hypocritical?
How is that “changing” my point of view?
How is that not answering honestly?
How is that not a satisfactory answer?

Unless …of course you simply do not understand that it is the comparative context that makes things extraordinary. That is the number of flagella is extraordinary in the context of Azotobacter compared with other bacteria.

Beauty is a good example to illustrate the point. Not for nothing is the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” well recognised. What to us in our cultural context might seem like extraordinary beauty, in another cultural setting might be assessed as very ordinary, plain, or even downright ugly.

Sagan’s claim: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence suffers from being acontextual in that regard. What to some might seem an extraordinary claim, to others is just another claim. Why should some people demand that some claims require a different standard of evidence than other claims? It makes no sense. It is merely “shifting the goalposts” for claims that you happen not to believe.

No, ALL claims require evidence but the standard of evidence is entirely context driven. For example, for the same claim, in a “watercooler conversation” a lower standard of evidence (say anecdotal) might be accepted - while in a forensic examination, nothing short of empirical evidence will suffice.

Originally Posted by Frying Dutchmen View Post
It doesn't count if you dodge the question and talk about semantics.
I find it hilarious when, in order to understand ECREE, I ask ECREE supporters for a definition of extraordinary evidence, said supporters then resort to semantic arguments to try and adequately define it (and often pushing the definition of extraordinary beyond common meaning in order to do it) - and then turn around and accuse me of indulging in semantic argument! That’s rich that is.
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Old 6th March 2011, 05:26 PM   #3219
RoboTimbo
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
I stated that Azotobacter paossesses an extraordinary number of flagella when compared with the number of flagella other bacteria of the type possess.
No, you didn't. Go back and look at the context. You simply said that Azotobacter had an extraordinary number of flagella and cited someone else saying the same thing, without that context that you say you are so concerned about.

Quote:
You then asked what makes a usual and expected number extraordinary.

I replied that there is nothing that would make a “usual and expected” number extraordinary RoboT. Such a number is by definition not extraordinary.
And yet you've said that Azotobacter has an extraordinary number of flagella, although they have the usual and expected number that an Azotobacter has.

Quote:
I also supplied a reference to an academic article - as evidence in support of my contention that Azotobacter possesses an extraordinary number of flagella. That is: ”…Azotobacter is peritrichous, and that it possesses an unusually large number of flagella.” (Summary - p.701 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...00700-0080.pdf). Given that the definition of extraordinary is couched in terms of “unusual” (out of the ordinary), then I simply assumed that scholarly quote demonstrated that my contention has veracity: Azotobacter possesses an extraordinary number of flagella.
So you admit that the other person's quote was without context and they were simply making an unfounded assertion of their opinion that Azotobacter has an extraordinary number of flagella. On the other hand, I provided you with references to Sagan's famous quote from multiple sources.

Quote:
In response to your repeated questioning on the matter I then restated the above in various forms, until it got to a point where I considered there was only a limited number of ways in which restating could possibly be useful - and that if the recipient still had not understood, then it was pointless to respond further.
You mean there were a limited number of ways that you could try to spin your hypocrisy. Out of one side of your mouth you say that Azotobacter has an extraordinary number of flagella when compared to other bacteria. Out of the other side of your mouth, you say that an alien raygun would NOT be extraordinary evicence when compared to your anecdotes.

You are a hypocrite.

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Precisely how then is that waffle?
See above.
Quote:
How is that being hypocritical?
See above.
Quote:
How is that “changing” my point of view?
See above.
Quote:
How is that not answering honestly?
See above.
Quote:
How is that not a satisfactory answer?
Now that you know in what respect it isn't satisfactory, how do you intend to answer?

Either you claim that usual and expected numbers ARE extraordinary.

or

Alien raygun would be extraordinary evidence compared to your anecdotes.

Quote:
Unless …of course you simply do not understand that it is the comparative context that makes things extraordinary. That is the number of flagella is extraordinary in the context of Azotobacter compared with other bacteria.
I've been giving you the benefit of the doubt as far as understanding goes. Either you DO understand that comparing an alien raygun to your anecdotes would make the raygun extraordinary evidence or you are a hypocrite.

Quote:
Beauty is a good example to illustrate the point. Not for nothing is the phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” well recognised. What to us in our cultural context might seem like extraordinary beauty, in another cultural setting might be assessed as very ordinary, plain, or even downright ugly.
In the context of your anecdotes, an alien raygun or alien body or alien spaceship would be extraordinary evidence. I'm really trying to make it as simple as I can for you but you have to go to some effort yourself to learn.

Quote:
Sagan’s claim: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence suffers from being acontextual in that regard. What to some might seem an extraordinary claim, to others is just another claim. Why should some people demand that some claims require a different standard of evidence than other claims? It makes no sense. It is merely “shifting the goalposts” for claims that you happen not to believe.
For the ones who think UFOs are aliens, they already have a religious like belief system and eat up anecdotes like gullible fish. For rationally minded people, your anecdotes aren't going to cut it. You'll need extraordinary evidence for your extraordinary claims. You aren't going to be able to use the rocket sled with your goalposts.

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No, ALL claims require evidence but the standard of evidence is entirely context driven. For example, for the same claim, in a “watercooler conversation” a lower standard of evidence (say anecdotal) might be accepted - while in a forensic examination, nothing short of empirical evidence will suffice.
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. See above.

Quote:
I find it hilarious when, in order to understand ECREE, I ask ECREE supporters for a definition of extraordinary evidence, said supporters then resort to semantic arguments to try and adequately define it (and often pushing the definition of extraordinary beyond common meaning in order to do it) - and then turn around and accuse me of indulging in semantic argument! That’s rich that is.
It's richer that you think cats and refrigerators and night clubs are extraordinary and a god would be ordinary. Tell me again about semantic arguments?
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Old 6th March 2011, 06:09 PM   #3220
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RoboT – it is quite obvious that rational discourse with you is absolutely impossible. If I claim “White”, you ask “Why did you claim Black?” and go on to contend that I am a hypocrite for claiming Black. You then flip it around again to argue in circles that White is White because it is White – as if I had not claimed White in the first place. You then project onto me the very semantic nonsense you indulge in. As I say, rational discourse with you is absolutely impossible.

Get back to me when you have something sensible to contribute to the debate.
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Old 6th March 2011, 07:51 PM   #3221
RoboTimbo
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Rramjet, if you can't satisfactorily answer the question, you're a hypocrite. If you won't answer for your own hypocrisy, you really don't have anything to say.

Let Rramjet's anecdotes be represented by the number of flagella that ordinary bacteria possess.
Let alien raygun, alien spaceship or alien body be represented by the number of flagella that Azotobacter has.
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
The number is extraordinary in comparison to the usual amount such (species of) bacteria possess (and the "usual amount" can be quantified).
Just do the math.

I was hoping that using your own words would help you understand. What part of your own words above do you find fault with?
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Old 6th March 2011, 11:11 PM   #3222
Rramjet
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
I was hoping that using your own words would help you understand. What part of your own words above do you find fault with?
As far as I can tell, there is no fault in my own words – rather – it is yours within which fault can easily be discerned.

Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
(P1: ) Let Rramjet's anecdotes be represented by the number of flagella that ordinary bacteria possess.
(P2: ) Let alien raygun, alien spaceship or alien body be represented by the number of flagella that Azotobacter has.
(C1: ) The number is extraordinary in comparison to the usual amount such (species of) bacteria possess (and the "usual amount" can be quantified).
(Note: C1 was originally a statement of my own that RoboT has inserted to form part of his own argument and I have added the labels in brackets for ease of comparison – see below)

Though you don’t make it explicit (and for good reason as we shall soon see) I can only suppose you mean this to be some form of analogical argument and that the real argument would be something like:
P1: Let Rramjet’s anecdotes represent the ordinary amount of evidence presented for a claim.
P2: Let an alien raygun (alien spaceship or alien body) represent an extraordinary amount of evidence.
C1: The alien raygun is therefore an extraordinary amount of evidence when compared with the ordinary amount.
First, I don’t believe your premises have been proved and second, the conclusion does not follow from the premises (it is a mere restatement of them – it does not logically – of necessity – follow from them).

In P1 you have attempted to quantify an “ordinary” amount of evidence - and you need to do this because unless you can quantify an ordinary amount of evidence – an extraordinary amount cannot be defined in comparison.

However, anecdotal evidence is not the only evidence “ordinarily” provided for claims. For example society produces anecdotal, physical, and empirical evidence routinely, usually and ordinarily for all sorts of claims, everyday, and in all sorts of contexts. One cannot then simply claim that “anecdotal evidence” is the ordinary amount of evidence produced – as clearly all sorts of other evidence is also routinely produced. So P1 is false.

(Not to mention that if "anecdotal evidence" is the ordinary standard then any evidence that is not anecdotal becomes extraordinary evidence and as that would mean all physical and emprical evidence ( for example) is extraordinary evidence, then there is simply no way to avoid demanding extraordinary evidence for ALL claims that require physical or empirical evidence - and ECREE becomes - in effect - ALL claims require extraordinary evidence! This is clearly a nonsese and the whole thing devolves inot the immediatley recognisable and scientifically justifiable "All claims require evidence.")

In P2 you attempt to define alien objects as extraordinary evidence. This is I suppose a direct response to me asking for a definition of extraordinary evidence so that we can make sense of ECREE. However, as I have stated to you many times (and as you have ignored my statements in this regard equally as many times), an alien raygun (spaceship, body, etc) may be an extraordinary object and the production of such may be an extraordinary act, but as evidence, it is merely physical evidence in support of the claim that such things exist.

So that you might understand this point I provided an analogy concerning a photograph of the alien objects you mention.

Just because it is a photograph of extraordinary objects, does not mean that the photograph itself is extraordinary - it is after all merely a Kodak, 35mm, colour photo – precisely the same type of photo I presented as evidence for my ownership of a dog. There is nothing intrinsic in the photograph that makes it extraordinary, rather there is something extraordinary about the subject of the photo. It is the subject of the photo that is extraordinary, not the photo itself. And so we can see it is the subject of the evidence that is extraordinary, not the evidence itself (as evidence it is merely photographic evidence. As evidence it is merely physical evidence.) So P2 is also false.

Unless of course you want to maintain that the photo is extraordinary evidence (ie; it is evidence and it is extraordinary so therefore it must be extraodinary evidence), just a you seem to maintain that an anecdote whose subject is extraordinary is extraordinary evidence… No? Then you cannot have it both ways RoboT. Either the subject confers extraordinariness on all the things mentioned (photos, anecdotes and evidence) or it does not. If it does, then photos and anecdotes become extraordinary evidence and are thus able to fulfil the criteria of ECREE.

But of course we only got into that unavoidable semantic difficulty because we allowed extraordinary evidence to exist. That is, it is an unavoidable consequence of allowing extraordinary evidence to exist. However, if we disallow the existance of extraordinary evidence then then all is right with the world again and we do not have to contenance such nonsense as photos and anecdotes as extraordinary evidence.

Do you understand now? If not then…
Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Just do the math.
LOL
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Old 7th March 2011, 01:21 AM   #3223
tsig
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
So you believe mockery (in my opinion, as used in this thread, merely a form of childish and bullying abuse) is effective? Good luck with that.

Perhaps though (apart from the obvious bullying) it is being used as an attempt to distract from and avoid the principle debate?

Perhaps then you can define "extraordinary evidence" for us in such a way that it is distinguishable from "ordinary evidence" and in such a way as to prevent ECREE from being a nonsense phrase?
Extraordinary evidence is ordinary evidence with a bit of extra thrown in.
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Old 7th March 2011, 01:55 AM   #3224
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
As far as I can tell, there is no fault in my own words – rather – it is yours within which fault can easily be discerned.

<snip>


See, there's your problem, Rramjet. There are dozens of well-informed second opinions available here that would disavail you of this misconception, but you refuse to listen to them.
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Old 7th March 2011, 07:33 AM   #3225
RoboTimbo
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
As far as I can tell, there is no fault in my own words – rather – it is yours within which fault can easily be discerned.
Ay, there's the rub. (Hamlet). You don't recognize your errors. Your error is in no longer wanting to reduce sentences to math equations when they go against your belief system.

Quote:
(Note: C1 was originally a statement of my own that RoboT has inserted to form part of his own argument and I have added the labels in brackets for ease of comparison – see below)

Though you don’t make it explicit (and for good reason as we shall soon see) I can only suppose you mean this to be some form of analogical argument and that the real argument would be something like:
P1: Let Rramjet’s anecdotes represent the ordinary amount of evidence presented for a claim.
P2: Let an alien raygun (alien spaceship or alien body) represent an extraordinary amount of evidence.
C1: The alien raygun is therefore an extraordinary amount of evidence when compared with the ordinary amount.
First, I don’t believe your premises have been proved and second, the conclusion does not follow from the premises (it is a mere restatement of them – it does not logically – of necessity – follow from them).
Well, to be fair, the conclusion part was your own sentence. Not my fault if it isn't logical. So you do admit that there is something wrong with your own words?

Quote:
In P1 you have attempted to quantify an “ordinary” amount of evidence - and you need to do this because unless you can quantify an ordinary amount of evidence – an extraordinary amount cannot be defined in comparison.
Actually, it was specific what the evidence was. Your anecdotes. I'm not quite sure why this is causing you such confusion.

Quote:
However, anecdotal evidence is not the only evidence “ordinarily” provided for claims. For example society produces anecdotal, physical, and empirical evidence routinely, usually and ordinarily for all sorts of claims, everyday, and in all sorts of contexts. One cannot then simply claim that “anecdotal evidence” is the ordinary amount of evidence produced – as clearly all sorts of other evidence is also routinely produced. So P1 is false.
But for UFO claims, we only have anecdotes and other non-compelling evidence. We don't have alien raygun, alien body, or alien spaceship. Unless you DO have one of them? Can you provide a link? No? They remain in the realm of extraordinary evidence then. Let me know when you do have one, k?

Quote:
(Not to mention that if "anecdotal evidence" is the ordinary standard then any evidence that is not anecdotal becomes extraordinary evidence and as that would mean all physical and emprical evidence ( for example) is extraordinary evidence, then there is simply no way to avoid demanding extraordinary evidence for ALL claims that require physical or empirical evidence - and ECREE becomes - in effect - ALL claims require extraordinary evidence! This is clearly a nonsese and the whole thing devolves inot the immediatley recognisable and scientifically justifiable "All claims require evidence.")
Clearly. So why do you espouse it? Oh, that's right.

Quote:
In P2 you attempt to define alien objects as extraordinary evidence. This is I suppose a direct response to me asking for a definition of extraordinary evidence so that we can make sense of ECREE. However, as I have stated to you many times (and as you have ignored my statements in this regard equally as many times), an alien raygun (spaceship, body, etc) may be an extraordinary object and the production of such may be an extraordinary act, but as evidence, it is merely physical evidence in support of the claim that such things exist.
You should note that I haven't ignored your unfounded assertions, just dismissed them as unfounded. Do you have anything to back up your unfounded assertion that there is no extraordinary evidence? No?

Quote:
So that you might understand this point I provided an analogy concerning a photograph of the alien objects you mention.

Just because it is a photograph of extraordinary objects, does not mean that the photograph itself is extraordinary - it is after all merely a Kodak, 35mm, colour photo – precisely the same type of photo I presented as evidence for my ownership of a dog. There is nothing intrinsic in the photograph that makes it extraordinary, rather there is something extraordinary about the subject of the photo. It is the subject of the photo that is extraordinary, not the photo itself. And so we can see it is the subject of the evidence that is extraordinary, not the evidence itself (as evidence it is merely photographic evidence. As evidence it is merely physical evidence.) So P2 is also false.
No, you are incorrect. A photograph is not extraordinary evidence. Photographs have been known to be hoaxed. What else do you have? Maybe if you could give an example of extraordinary anecdotal evidence? LOL.

Quote:
Unless of course you want to maintain that the photo is extraordinary evidence (ie; it is evidence and it is extraordinary so therefore it must be extraodinary evidence), just a you seem to maintain that an anecdote whose subject is extraordinary is extraordinary evidence… No? Then you cannot have it both ways RoboT. Either the subject confers extraordinariness on all the things mentioned (photos, anecdotes and evidence) or it does not. If it does, then photos and anecdotes become extraordinary evidence and are thus able to fulfil the criteria of ECREE.
Can you give an example? LOL!

Quote:
But of course we only got into that unavoidable semantic difficulty because we allowed extraordinary evidence to exist. That is, it is an unavoidable consequence of allowing extraordinary evidence to exist. However, if we disallow the existance of extraordinary evidence then then all is right with the world again and we do not have to contenance such nonsense as photos and anecdotes as extraordinary evidence.
It sounds as if you are saying that all is NOT right with your world if ECREE. Maybe the problem lies with the UFO creduloid world then?

Quote:
Do you understand now? If not then…

LOL
What makes a usual and expected number extraordinary, Rramjet?

Or perhaps you can explain your hypocrisy?

Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Azobacter actually have an extraordinary number of flagella
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
The number of flagella that Azotobacter has is the ordinary (usual) number that Azotobacter possess.
LOL

Let Rramjet's anecdotes be represented by the number of flagella that ordinary bacteria possess.
Let alien raygun, alien spaceship or alien body be represented by the number of flagella that Azotobacter has.
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
The number is extraordinary in comparison to the usual amount such (species of) bacteria possess (and the "usual amount" can be quantified).
Just do the math.

Rramjet, you've trapped yourself in a semantic game that you can't extricate yourself from. Trying to get ECREE invalidated, you've tried to turn the English language on its head. You've claimed that usual and expected numbers, cats, refrigerators, and nightclubs are extraordinary. You've claimed that a god would be ordinary. You've claimed that a photograph of a UFO is extroarindary but an alien raygun would be ordinary.

You want to claim that one thing is extraordinary in comparison to something else. You just don't want that to apply to evidence.

That is your hypocrisy.

Sagan's universally respected and understood maxim stands - "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
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Old 7th March 2011, 12:38 PM   #3226
Beelzebuddy
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Well, I'd hoped you'd reply to anhekntahn, since he said all that needs to be said, but clearly you feel this is a personal thing.

Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Beelzebuddy - Do you think quoting fragmented and context-less sections of my statements and replying to them as if they constituted a logical whole with – in turn – context-less statements is a rational form of debate?
Why not? You appear to - in your last megapost you split a single sentence of mine into no less than five phrases which you quoted and responded to individually. I'm at least sticking to complete sentences and paragraphs here, so yeah, I think that makes me the better man.

Quote:
Do you also think that lying is going to enhance or detract from your credibility?
I'm quoting you chapter and verse. Are you so confused that you can't even recognize your own BS when it's thrown back at you?

Quote:
What you have created in your previous post is a meaningless “wall of text” where any legitimate points you might have made are simply lost under a barrage of nonsense and lies.
Oh my goodness, is that what I'm doing? Golly gee, I thought I was just rationally debating you the way you rationally debate others. U just butthurt cause I'm better at it.

Quote:
This neither advances your cause nor the cause of rationality in debate.
Agreed. So stop doing it, and I'll stop showing you up at it. You have my post. Whenever you care to address the argument itself, instead of nitpicking around it and dismissing the rest, I'll respond in kind. But if you're just going to keep omnislashing, son, I'll keep slapping you back down.
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Old 8th March 2011, 04:57 AM   #3227
Aepervius
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Well afetr having thought of the issue , I think he might have a point ECREE does not exists because extraodinary evidence don't exists, you cannot recognize they are extraordinary without a context.

How about :
ECRSCIPKBE and its little cousin ECRSCIPKBRE ?
Extraordinary Claim Require : Solid, Incontrovertible, Culturally Independent (and possibly Reproducible), Previous-Knowledge Breaking Evidence ?

naturally some of us might still use Extraordinary Evidence as a synonym of "Solid Incontrovertible Culturally Independent Previous Knowledge Breaking Reproducible Evidence".

Naturally that also means that with ECRSCIPKBRE (or even the more general ECRSCIPKBE) there is STILL no evidence of alien visiting earth, but hey.

Last edited by Aepervius; 8th March 2011 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 8th March 2011, 05:02 PM   #3228
Beelzebuddy
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Quote:
extraodinary evidence don't exists, you cannot recognize they are extraordinary without a context.
Pretty sure rramjet's the only one demanding that the definition not involve context.

All ECREE really means is that a claim which contradicts what we think is true requires evidence sufficient to make us realize we were wrong. That's entirely contextual. The more the claim contradicts, the more extraordinary it is, the better the evidence you need.
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Old 8th March 2011, 08:15 PM   #3229
Rramjet
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If many of you suppose that the only way to negate my arguments against ECREE is to lie about my position on it (and other issues) and to misinterpret and misrepresent my statements – then that is your choice. However, in the real world, rational debate requires evidence and/or logical argument in the refutation of ideas.

I will add one thing: Context is of primary importance in the definition of extraordinary. Extraordinary is a comparative term. If you cannot define “ordinary” then extraordinary cannot be defined.

What is an extraordinary claim? It will depend on the context. What for you is an entirely ordinary claim (eg; I went to a nightclub last night), for me will be an extraordinary one (I have never been to a nightclub in my entire life so for me to make the claim would be extraordinary). Yet the evidence needed to prove either claim (both the ordinary and the extraordinary variety) will be the same in either case (perhaps an eyewitness account, perhaps a photograph, perhaps the ticket receipt, perhaps the door stamp on the back of my hand, perhaps even fingerprints off a drink glass, perhaps DNA evidence from the same… just the usual evidence that one would produce for any claim – depending on how certain you wanted to be).

So where is the extraordinary evidence? It is all just evidence of different types - and the type of evidence required will depend on the purpose of the enquiry. Over a watercooler chat you might accept an eyewitness anecdotal account as evidence (eg; one of your friends says to you “Oh yeah, it’s true! I went to that club on the night and I saw him there!”). However if my being at the nightclub provided an alibi for murder, then nothing short of the forensic evidence will suffice (“I saw him there” will just not do it).

We must also remember the concept of weight of evidence. As an alibi for murder, I might not be able to provide the empirical fingerprint or DNA evidence, but if there were multiple eyewitnesses and a photo, with the door receipt and a stamp on the back of my hand, then one would have to consider that the weight of evidence definitely supported my claim to have been there. It would not be “proof” (in the empirical or forensic sense) but it certainly would be strongly suggestive.

But nowhere in all of that is extraordinary evidence required for my extraordinary claim. Just the usual types of evidence that would be required to support any claim. All claims require evidence. It just depends on the context what type of evidence (anecdotal, physical, empirical…) will be sufficient.

Can no-one actually define extaordinary evidence for me?

ETA: Oh and if you think that extraordinary claim is one that contradicts what we think we know, then how do you know that what you think you know is truly representative of reality? History is littered with the carcasses of dead theories that seemed entirely reasonable at the time.
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Old 8th March 2011, 08:25 PM   #3230
RoboTimbo
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
If many of you suppose that the only way to negate my arguments against ECREE is to lie about my position on it (and other issues) and to misinterpret and misrepresent my statements – then that is your choice. However, in the real world, rational debate requires evidence and/or logical argument in the refutation of ideas.

I will add one thing: Context is of primary importance in the definition of extraordinary. Extraordinary is a comparative term. If you cannot define “ordinary” then extraordinary cannot be defined.

What is an extraordinary claim? It will depend on the context. What for you is an entirely ordinary claim (eg; I went to a nightclub last night), for me will be an extraordinary one (I have never been to a nightclub in my entire life so for me to make the claim would be extraordinary). Yet the evidence needed to prove either claim (both the ordinary and the extraordinary variety) will be the same in either case (perhaps an eyewitness account, perhaps a photograph, perhaps the ticket receipt, perhaps the door stamp on the back of my hand, perhaps even fingerprints off a drink glass, perhaps DNA evidence from the same… just the usual evidence that one would produce for any claim – depending on how certain you wanted to be).
So, in this context, it would be extraordinary for you to have a ticket receipt since you've never been to a nightclub in your entire life. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! Rramjet proves it!

Quote:
So where is the extraordinary evidence? It is all just evidence of different types - and the type of evidence required will depend on the purpose of the enquiry. Over a watercooler chat you might accept an eyewitness anecdotal account as evidence (eg; one of your friends says to you “Oh yeah, it’s true! I went to that club on the night and I saw him there!”). However if my being at the nightclub provided an alibi for murder, then nothing short of the forensic evidence will suffice (“I saw him there” will just not do it).

We must also remember the concept of weight of evidence. As an alibi for murder, I might not be able to provide the empirical fingerprint or DNA evidence, but if there were multiple eyewitnesses and a photo, with the door receipt and a stamp on the back of my hand, then one would have to consider that the weight of evidence definitely supported my claim to have been there. It would not be “proof” (in the empirical or forensic sense) but it certainly would be strongly suggestive.

But nowhere in all of that is extraordinary evidence required for my extraordinary claim. Just the usual types of evidence that would be required to support any claim. All claims require evidence. It just depends on the context what type of evidence (anecdotal, physical, empirical…) will be sufficient.
No, you are incorrect. If you never go to nightclubs then any of the above would be as extraordinary as evidence as the claim that you went to a nightclub.

Quote:
Can no-one actually define extaordinary evidence for me?
So you're going to fall back on your dishonest position that no one has defined extraordinary evidence. In the real world, rational debate requires logical argument, not lying about others' position.

Quote:
ETA: Oh and if you think that extraordinary claim is one that contradicts what we think we know, then how do you know that what you think you know is truly representative of reality? History is littered with the carcasses of dead theories that seemed entirely reasonable at the time.
So, do you have that alien raygun, alien body, or alien spaceship yet? No? They would certainly be extraordinary evidence of an extraordinary event if you were to have any of those.

By the way, what makes a usual and expected number extraordinary, Rramjet?
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Old 8th March 2011, 09:14 PM   #3231
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
So, in this context, it would be extraordinary for you to have a ticket receipt since you've never been to a nightclub in your entire life.
Ummm…well, gee RoboT ...if you want to be pedantic about it, then perhaps my statement should have read ”...in my life prior to me making the claim”. Perhaps though I should have known that you would not understand my meaning unless it was explicitly spelled out. Oh ...wait ... there is still a loophole you can exploit ...let's try "As far as anyone who knew who I was, other than myself, was aware, I had never been to a nightclub in my life prior to me making the claim". Better?

Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! Rramjet proves it!
Oh yes, a very mature argument from you there RoboT. Should I likewise poke my tongue out back at you? Perhaps I should also jump up and down and wave my arms about in excitement?

Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
So you're going to fall back on your dishonest position that no one has defined extraordinary evidence. In the real world, rational debate requires logical argument, not lying about others' position.
All attempts at definition so far have failed. They either lead to unwanted consequences (such as allowing photos and anecdotes to become extraordinary evidence) or they do not distinguish from the usual evidence that is presented for claims everyday.

Perhaps you can provide an adequate definition? No? (shrugs).

Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
So, do you have that alien raygun, alien body, or alien spaceship yet? No? They would certainly be extraordinary evidence of an extraordinary event if you were to have any of those.
Do I have the physical evidence to support claims about the existence of those things? No. I have never claimed those things exist, let alone to have the physical evidence for them.

But if someone did have those things you describe, why would such physical evidence constitute extraordinary evidence RoboT?

Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
By the way, what makes a usual and expected number extraordinary, Rramjet?
LOL. You brain seems to be stuck in some kind of inescapable loop here RoboT - and it seems nothing I can say will snap you out of it. Perhaps someone else will be so kind as to gently explain to RoboT that nothing would make a “usual and expected” number extraordinary?

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Old 9th March 2011, 12:17 AM   #3232
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
If many of you suppose that the only way to negate my arguments against ECREE is to lie about my position on it (and other issues) and to misinterpret and misrepresent my statements – then that is your choice.


It is indeed our choice but as you point out yourself, making it would be conditional on our finding it to be the only way of countering your 'arguments', and such is not the case.

Fact is, your position is untenable and your own statements work exceedingly well to demonstrate this. All the Debunkly Skerricks™ need to do is extract these statements from the Walls o' Waffle in which they are secreted and highlight them.

No misunderstanding or misrepresentation is required to acheive this end - just a little creativity to keep the non-participant readers amused.


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
However, in the real world, rational debate requires evidence and/or logical argument in the refutation of ideas.


This is the real world, Mr Rramjet. Do you think you're arguing the toss with a bunch of automatons here? As amusing as that would be, it's unfortunately not the case, and the refutation of your nonsense has indeed been accomplished by very real people, with very real ideas.

Really.


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
I will add one thing: Context is of primary importance in the definition of extraordinary. Extraordinary is a comparative term. If you cannot define “ordinary” then extraordinary cannot be defined.


So you keep saying, way beyond the poiint of it being extraordinarily tedious to have to keep addressing it. Still . . .

Yes, of course context is important (and nobody but your strawmen have claimed otherwise) but not for the simple purpose of establishing the very meaning of the word 'extraordinary'. It is, as you've pointed out yourself, just a comparative term meaning 'more than ordinary'. Your pretending not to understand the meaning of 'ordinary' or quibbling about the meaning of 'more than' are your problems, and yours alone.

For everyone else it's just a cheap, convenient source of entertainment.


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
<blah, blah, blah . . .>


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Can no-one actually define extaordinary evidence for me?


Easily. But you refuse to be satisfied with anything other than defining it in such a way as to ensure that the definition allows for the inclusion of anecdotes. This again is solely your problem, and again again your foot-stampy insistance that we solve it for you is a source of amusement, rather than the weighty obligation you seek to make of it.


Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
ETA: Oh and if you think that extraordinary claim is one that contradicts what we think we know, then how do you know that what you think you know is truly representative of reality? History is littered with the carcasses of dead theories that seemed entirely reasonable at the time.


That's what you think.
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Old 9th March 2011, 04:03 AM   #3233
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Ummm…well, gee RoboT ...if you want to be pedantic about it, then perhaps my statement should have read ”...in my life prior to me making the claim”. Perhaps though I should have known that you would not understand my meaning unless it was explicitly spelled out. Oh ...wait ... there is still a loophole you can exploit ...let's try "As far as anyone who knew who I was, other than myself, was aware, I had never been to a nightclub in my life prior to me making the claim". Better?
No, not really. If you had never been to a nightclub and then suddenly announced to your friends that you been to a nightclub, they would be entitled to think that it was extraordinary. It would be the correct use of the English language even if you didn't find anything extraordinary about the event.
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Old 9th March 2011, 05:16 AM   #3234
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Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Ummm…well, gee RoboT ...if you want to be pedantic about it, then perhaps my statement should have read ”...in my life prior to me making the claim”. Perhaps though I should have known that you would not understand my meaning unless it was explicitly spelled out. Oh ...wait ... there is still a loophole you can exploit ...let's try "As far as anyone who knew who I was, other than myself, was aware, I had never been to a nightclub in my life prior to me making the claim". Better?
If you wish. In that case, it isn't extrarodinary that you went to the nightclub, it is entirely ordinary. You'll need to make up your mind whether the claim is ordinary or extraordinary first so that you have the proper context. You really should make an attempt to understand your meaning before you post.

Quote:
Oh yes, a very mature argument from you there RoboT. Should I likewise poke my tongue out back at you? Perhaps I should also jump up and down and wave my arms about in excitement?
If you don't like your childlike and hypocritical arguments shown up for what they are, don't make them. You are hypocritical when you claim that you going to a nightclub would be extraordinary but any confirming evidence that you did so was ordinary. If you are now saying that you going to a nightclub is ordinary then the evidence for doing so is also ordinary. We know ticket receipts exist and that you might possess one if you went to a nightclub. Alien rayguns, aliens spaceships or alien bodies, not so much. Unless you happen to have one? No? A pity, those would be some extraordinary evidence.

Quote:
All attempts at definition so far have failed. They either lead to unwanted consequences (such as allowing photos and anecdotes to become extraordinary evidence) or they do not distinguish from the usual evidence that is presented for claims everyday.
No, all attempts to get you to understand have failed. I've told you before, we can only do so much, you have to go to some effort yourself and be able and willing to learn.

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Perhaps you can provide an adequate definition? No? (shrugs).
Well, isn't that mature? LOL What makes a usual and expected number extraordinary, Rramjet? You don't have an adequate explanation? No? (sighs and shakes head)

Quote:
Do I have the physical evidence to support claims about the existence of those things? No. I have never claimed those things exist, let alone to have the physical evidence for them.
No, of course you don't have extraordinary evidence that would support your extraordinary belief system. Do you see why it is a faith based belief system that you have? If not, why not?

Quote:
But if someone did have those things you describe, why would such physical evidence constitute extraordinary evidence RoboT?
Because it would be compelling, confirming evidence that something extraordinary had occurred. See? It isn't that difficult.

Quote:
LOL. You brain seems to be stuck in some kind of inescapable loop here RoboT - and it seems nothing I can say will snap you out of it. Perhaps someone else will be so kind as to gently explain to RoboT that nothing would make a “usual and expected” number extraordinary?
Originally Posted by Rramjet View Post
Azobacter actually have an extraordinary number of flagella
Or, perhaps someone could get you to honestly answer the question without hypocrisy? LOL

Sagan's universally understood and respected maxim "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." stands.

Rramjet's hypocrisy fails.
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Old 9th March 2011, 05:47 AM   #3235
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Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Sagan's universally understood and respected maxim "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." stands.
The evidence you haven't provided for the universal understanding and respect, that would be extraordinary evidence too? It's not an alien raygun, but an alien opinion would do I suppose. All the alien opinions would be extraordinary, I'll give you that. Of course, your contention would still fall at the hurdle it's failing to clear here - Rramjet is of the universe, but does not understand or respect the maxim.

I personally never had any awareness of the maxim before encountering this thread, but you stand as a very poor spokesman for it - you're mostly arguing against Rramjet, not even his position just the fact that he's a bit interested in UFOs. Not even arguments, come to that, it's mostly cheap rhetorical flourishes, thinly-veiled ad homs and bold assertions.

Your position is revealed as "evidence for an extraordinary claim is, necessarily, extraordinary" so ECREE is kind of redundant. ECREvidence, apparantly. No surprises there, no profundity...no need for the first E at all...

I dimly recall dipping in here 40+ pages ago to point out that both sides are right, it's technically meaningless but stands as a symbol for a meaning which is being rightly defended. You can't end an argument when it's actually two unrelated, unresolvable positions. Apparantly you can't end one when one of the participants is interested in UFOs either...just in case someone thinks he won, and goes on to assume UFOs must be aliens (which Rr denies anyway) and then what? Disaster! The sky will fall! The aliens are coming! Burn him! Or worse, maybe someone would decide not to read Cosmos after all! Have you considered taking it door-to-door and encouraging people to read it?

Still, it's fascinating entertainment, I'll give you that. I have a colleague I see sporadically who always asks me to log on so he can see how the ECREE thread is getting on.
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Old 9th March 2011, 09:49 AM   #3236
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I have a colleague I see sporadically who has a peer he sees infrequently who has an associate she sees occasionally who never asks about this thread.
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Old 9th March 2011, 10:10 AM   #3237
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Originally Posted by blobru View Post
I have a colleague I see sporadically who has a peer he sees infrequently who has an associate she sees occasionally who never asks about this thread.


I sporadically peer at my colleague and she frequently threatens to never associate with me again. I'm considering starting a thread to ask about it.
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Old 9th March 2011, 10:17 AM   #3238
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Extraordinary. Your colleague needs to get over herself. IMEHO.
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Old 9th March 2011, 11:17 AM   #3239
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Smile Returning to the title of the OP -

So long as the larger concept being summarised is not nonsense, then the summary-phrase cannot be nonsense either.

Summary-phrases encapsulating large concepts are often used in informal discussions such as those which occur in internet forums, and are ordinarily not a problem, because everybody knows that summary-phrases help discussions flow, and anybody having a problem with fully comprehending a summary-phrase can ask for an explanation of the broader concept. Attempting to parse a summary-phrase as a stand-alone, without reference to the larger concept behind it, may however well be nonsensical methodology.

e.g. Voltaire famously remarked that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. If he had meant that as a serious complaint against the HRE, rather than simply making a witticism that relied on being nonsense, then his complaint would have been nonsensical methodology, because the larger concept of exactly what constituted the HRE was perfectly well understood by anybody who needed to have formal interactions with an official representatives of the HRE. The larger concept of a distinct State known as the Holy Roman Empire was not nonsense at all.

That a precise explanation of that referenced concept might be rather complicated is exactly why any summary-phrase becomes popular. The lack of a simple definition for a pithy phrasing used in informal discussion is not a significant problem when the more complex concept is what is actually used in any formal analysis.

Again, so long as the larger concept being summarised is not nonsense, then the summary-phrase cannot be nonsense either. There may perhaps be more precise ways to phrase it, however if a less precise but more poetic summary-phrase is found to be an effective aide-memoire for the larger concept, then that's the one that most people will prefer to use.

Since the scientific method of critical thinking is not nonsense, and ECREE is simply a summary-phrase regarding the necessity of applying the scientific method to evaluating contentious claims when one wants scientific acceptance of one's claim, then ECREE cannot be nonsensical.

(I am, of course, willing to demonstrate exactly how ECREE is obviously merely a summary-phrase regarding the necessity of applying the scientific method to evaluating contentious claims if Rramjet asks me to, even though I am under the impression that earlier in the thread he has already conceded this to be so.)

Still, despite the fact that the lack of a simple definition for a summary-phrase of a larger concept does not make the summary-phrase nonsensical, nor invalidate its usage as shorthand in informal discussions, it is also obvious that simple answers to requests for explanations are nonetheless a useful tool for science education. Of course, Rramjet didn't actually ask for just a simple answer to his questioning the definition of terms in ECREE, he demanded an objective answer, so here goes:

"An Extraordinary Claim (EC) is a claim where the supporting evidence, as yet, has not withstood the critical scrutiny of the scientific method."
"Extraordinary Evidence (EE) is evidence sufficient to reject the relevant null hypotheses at a statistical probability equal to or greater than the 95% confidence level."

Plugging this into ECREE becomes the following rephrasing:

"Claims whose supporting evidence has not yet withstood the critical scrutiny of the scientific method require evidence sufficient to reject the relevant null hypotheses at a statistical probability equal to or greater than the 95% confidence level."

So we now have a fully objective answer, but although reasonably concise it is not a particularly simple answer, because the objective phrasing used necessarily introduce an entirely new set of terms encapsulating complex concepts in themselves. For anyone who has never heard of null hypotheses or confidence levels before, this objective definition is virtually meaningless, and would not help one understand what ECREE means to convey. But if objective is what you want, this is what you get.

For the goal of science education, my opinion is that this stiltedly objective definitional rephrasing of ECREE is unlikely to engage an audience new to science, because it assumes too much detailed knowledge of exactly how the scientific method works in order to fully understand the definition of EE. Sagan's ECREE formulation, particularly when combined with the preceding statements of his in each case that he used it to summarise a position on the necessity for applying the scientific method, is historically proven to widely engage audiences and start them asking more questions about how science works. That is, of course, another reason that it is so widely used as a maxim.

In parting, this note: demands for pat answers to unsophisticated questions about complex concepts are incompatible with scientific thinking. Such pat answers descend into absurdity, a la Voltaire's nonsensical deconstruction of Holy Roman Empire. So long as one is unwilling to even attempt to comprehend a more complex answer, then one cannot appreciate science, because scientific thinking is necessarily complex.

I now await my wall-o'-text

Last edited by tigtog; 9th March 2011 at 11:28 AM. Reason: edited one sentence for clarity due to redundant repeated term
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Old 9th March 2011, 11:35 AM   #3240
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Originally Posted by tigtog View Post

e.g. Voltaire famously remarked that the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.
Good old Voltaire, I never heard that one before. I almost caught him at Harrah's in Reno, I hear he killed.
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