ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 18th December 2017, 03:22 PM   #41
John Jones
Suspended
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 12,120
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Dowsing operates under the idea that there is an emanation from water that can be detected on the surface. Is that supernatural?
You are so eagerly credulous. Demonstrate that dowsing has empirical, reproducible effects, BobTheCoward, then demonstrate that it is supernatural.

I've got an autographed copy of the Last Supper dinner menu signed by Jesus H. Christ himself. Is that supernatural?
John Jones is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 03:53 PM   #42
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 21,228
Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Any doctor's surgery in the country can take a skin swab and get a result immediately or in a couple of days depending on how complicated the test is (a simple reagent with a long life kept on site incase it's needed or posting to a lab). Compare this to training up springers and then keeping them, with kennelling, food exercise, vet costs etc etc...........
I was talking about the development of a future swab-based system. That might take many years, whereas training dogs can be done in months.
__________________
"The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place." The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 03:58 PM   #43
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
You are so eagerly credulous. Demonstrate that dowsing has empirical, reproducible effects, BobTheCoward, then demonstrate that it is supernatural.

I've got an autographed copy of the Last Supper dinner menu signed by Jesus H. Christ himself. Is that supernatural?
Nothing in my posts suggest that I think there is anything credible to dowsing. But I can't figure out why smelling Parkinson's would be seen as not supernatural before testing.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 04:00 PM   #44
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by John Jones View Post
Good question. What do you think? Don't equivocate!
If I had an opinion, I would tell you.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 04:10 PM   #45
Rougarou
Thinker
 
Rougarou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 160
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Nothing in my posts suggest that I think there is anything credible to dowsing. But I can't figure out why smelling Parkinson's would be seen as not supernatural before testing.
Neither the sense of smell nor Parkinson's disease are themselves supernatural. Why would a heretofore unknown connection between the two be supernatural rather than a new scientific discovery?

The point of the Million Dollar Challenge, as I understand it, was to challenge the Uri Gellers and Sylvia Brownes of the world to put up or shut up, not to fund new scientific discoveries.
Rougarou is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 04:18 PM   #46
Lukas1986
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
When is it a claim of the supernatural and when is it not?
In my humble opinion smelling a disease is not supernatural even when its quite a feat but its still in the bounds of normal science and experience because animals are able to do these things so why not humans when we are part of the animal kingdom and we also have this sense?

Plus certain diseases have a characteristic smell which is known for example you can see it here:

Quote:
The following descriptions of diseases' aromas come from a paper published in 1998.

scrofula - stale beer
typhoid fever - baked bread
yellow fever - a butcher's shop
diphtheria - sweet
diabetic ketosis - a fruity aroma of decomposing apples
inability to metabolize methionine - boiled cabbage
hyperaminoaciduria - dried malt or hops
Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319615.php

So the lady only found out that Parkinson also has a odour nothing more.

Dowsing on the other hand was not seen in animals on this planet or other special powers people claim, like X-ray eyes.

I think this way it can be distinguished. If there are paranormal abilities then animals should have them too but nothing like this was found.

Last edited by Lukas1986; 18th December 2017 at 04:24 PM.
Lukas1986 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 05:23 PM   #47
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by Rougarou View Post
Neither the sense of smell nor Parkinson's disease are themselves supernatural. Why would a heretofore unknown connection between the two be supernatural rather than a new scientific discovery?

The point of the Million Dollar Challenge, as I understand it, was to challenge the Uri Gellers and Sylvia Brownes of the world to put up or shut up, not to fund new scientific discoveries.
On your first part, that makes a lot of sense.

On your second part, is it like porn? You know it when you smell it?
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 05:31 PM   #48
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If you were administering your own three years ago, what would you do?
But I wasn’t.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 05:37 PM   #49
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But I wasn’t.
And in this hypothetical scenario if you were?
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 05:55 PM   #50
P.J. Denyer
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,073
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
And in this hypothetical scenario if you were?
Hypothetically, I'd have taken advice on it from medical professionals to see if they had heard of such a thing, but subject to that I probably would have accepted it.

I'd have lost the prize but been part of what may prove to be an important discovery and demonstrated that Skeptics are open to new evidence (and the fact that the mechanism is explicable doesn't exactly undermine our point). In this case I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the prize money donated to fund further research as well so it would be put to good use.

I actually think that such a result, a genuine furtherance of medical science, would make soliciting a replacement prize easier rather than harder.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 06:00 PM   #51
Trebuchet
Penultimate Amazing
 
Trebuchet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: The Great Northwet
Posts: 14,796
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
If a woman can diagnose Parkinson's by smell, then how quickly could we train up some springer spaniels? Seriously so much better at smelling than us, training a few pooches could be an awful lot quicker and cheaper than developing a skin swab.

Is there any advantage in detecting Parkinson's early? As I understand it there aren't any drugs anyway, so finding out earlier doesn't seem to give either patient or doctor any great advantage.
Sinemet. Might not help with the progression, but is very helpful with the symptoms. My wife was recently diagnosed and it was prescribed.
__________________
Cum catapultae proscribeantur tum soli proscripti catapultas habeant.
Trebuchet is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 06:01 PM   #52
Whip
Muse
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 620
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Nothing in my posts suggest that I think there is anything credible to dowsing. But I can't figure out why smelling Parkinson's would be seen as not supernatural before testing.
maybe superhuman would be a more appropriate term.
Whip is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 06:10 PM   #53
Rougarou
Thinker
 
Rougarou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 160
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
On your first part, that makes a lot of sense.

On your second part, is it like porn? You know it when you smell it?
I feel confident in saying that James Randi and the JREF never expected to award the million dollars, not because it was a scam, but because the point of the challenge was to show that people who were willing to accept money, whether from everyday people or from the media, to perform their miracles were unable or unwilling to perform those miracles for a huge sum of money under controlled scientific conditions.

The Million Dollar Challenge was a tool for calling out charlatans. By the time I found this site (as the JREF forum) the challenge had become a magnet for the deluded or for those seeking attention, but that was not the original intent as I understand it.

Last edited by Rougarou; 18th December 2017 at 06:21 PM. Reason: punctuation
Rougarou is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 11:05 PM   #54
rjh01
Gentleman of leisure
Tagger
 
rjh01's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Flying around in the sky
Posts: 23,278
Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
If a woman can diagnose Parkinson's by smell, then how quickly could we train up some springer spaniels? Seriously so much better at smelling than us, training a few pooches could be an awful lot quicker and cheaper than developing a skin swab.

Is there any advantage in detecting Parkinson's early? As I understand it there aren't any drugs anyway, so finding out earlier doesn't seem to give either patient or doctor any great advantage.
This has got me puzzled. Why have we not already trained dogs to sniff out such things? Could have been done in the 1950s or earlier. No advanced technology required.

Are there types of smell that humans can detect that dogs cannot?

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Any doctor's surgery in the country can take a skin swab and get a result immediately or in a couple of days depending on how complicated the test is (a simple reagent with a long life kept on site incase it's needed or posting to a lab). Compare this to training up springers and then keeping them, with kennelling, food exercise, vet costs etc etc....
<snip>
This assumes that we know what chemical we are looking for and it is easy to detect. Once we know the answer then you are right.
rjh01 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th December 2017, 11:56 PM   #55
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
And in this hypothetical scenario if you were?
I'd more interested in how I'd managed to time travel than worrying about a challenge!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 12:49 AM   #56
MikeG
Now. Do it now.
 
MikeG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 21,228
Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
Sinemet. Might not help with the progression, but is very helpful with the symptoms. My wife was recently diagnosed and it was prescribed.
I'm sorry to hear this, Treb.
__________________
"The Conservatives want to keep wogs out and march boldly back to the 1950s when Britain still had an Empire and blacks, women, poofs and Irish knew their place." The Don That's what we've sunk to here.
MikeG is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 02:19 AM   #57
MRC_Hans
Penultimate Amazing
 
MRC_Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 20,606
Originally Posted by Rougarou View Post
I feel confident in saying that James Randi and the JREF never expected to award the million dollars, not because it was a scam, but because the point of the challenge was to show that people who were willing to accept money, whether from everyday people or from the media, to perform their miracles were unable or unwilling to perform those miracles for a huge sum of money under controlled scientific conditions.

The Million Dollar Challenge was a tool for calling out charlatans. By the time I found this site (as the JREF forum) the challenge had become a magnet for the deluded or for those seeking attention, but that was not the original intent as I understand it.
Part of the terms were that the JREF must accept the claim as supernatural. This was not the cop-out it might seem. There were regularly applicants who claimed perfectly ordinary things to be supernatural. Like looking at clouds till they disappeared.

Hans
__________________
If you love life, you must accept the traces it leaves.
MRC_Hans is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 02:33 AM   #58
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 25,704
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Part of the terms were that the JREF must accept the claim as supernatural. This was not the cop-out it might seem. There were regularly applicants who claimed perfectly ordinary things to be supernatural. Like looking at clouds till they disappeared.

Hans
ISTM that this highlights the internal contradiction in words like "supernatural" and "paranormal". They suggest that there is a class of phenomena that doesn't follow any laws, but can be invoked by certain people in certain ways - which sounds indistinguishable from the statement that they follow laws, because otherwise how could they be used at all? It might be more productive to look for phenomena that don't follow the currently known laws of physics, if the challenge had been to seek out new science; but, of course, since the sort of people it was aimed at didn't think in those terms, it wouldn't have been anywhere near as effective at exposing charlatans.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 02:43 AM   #59
Rougarou
Thinker
 
Rougarou's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 160
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Part of the terms were that the JREF must accept the claim as supernatural. This was not the cop-out it might seem. There were regularly applicants who claimed perfectly ordinary things to be supernatural. Like looking at clouds till they disappeared.

Hans
Right. I assumed the use of miracle in this context would imply the supernatural.
Rougarou is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 02:55 AM   #60
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Part of the terms were that the JREF must accept the claim as supernatural. This was not the cop-out it might seem. There were regularly applicants who claimed perfectly ordinary things to be supernatural. Like looking at clouds till they disappeared.

Hans
I think that came about because of the case I mentioned earlier. Humans are a lot more remarkable than we often think we are - without embellishing with supernatural powers - people can have on the face of it seemingly "impossible" talents but ones that do have a grounding in reality.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 02:58 AM   #61
DevilsAdvocate
Illuminator
 
DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,731
Has Barran's experiment been published in any scientific journal?
__________________
Heaven forbid someone reads these words and claims to be adversely affected by them, thus ensuring a barrage of lawsuits filed under the guise of protecting the unknowing victims who were stupid enough to read this and believe it! - Kevin Trudeau

Last edited by DevilsAdvocate; 19th December 2017 at 02:59 AM.
DevilsAdvocate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 03:00 AM   #62
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Not that I could find.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 03:02 AM   #63
DevilsAdvocate
Illuminator
 
DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,731
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Not that I could find.
Is that a cause for concern? Aren't these things usually published in journals before they hit the news?
__________________
Heaven forbid someone reads these words and claims to be adversely affected by them, thus ensuring a barrage of lawsuits filed under the guise of protecting the unknowing victims who were stupid enough to read this and believe it! - Kevin Trudeau
DevilsAdvocate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 03:08 AM   #64
P.J. Denyer
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,073
Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
This assumes that we know what chemical we are looking for and it is easy to detect. Once we know the answer then you are right.

Quote:
A team from Manchester has found distinctive molecules that seem to be concentrated on the skin of Parkinson's patients
From the article linked in the OP. Based on that they seem to have found it quite quickly which suggests it's reasonably easy to detect (as does the fact that it's sufficiently concentrated for a human to smell). I don't doubt a dog's ability to do the job, but I don't see the practicalities working out as a screening test, especially in a cash and personel strapped NHS.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 03:26 AM   #65
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Is that a cause for concern? Aren't these things usually published in journals before they hit the news?
I think you are putting the cart before the horse, what we have at the moment is a remarkable but apparently singular ability

When (and if) they can isolate the molecules and also develop a diagnostic test - then the effectiveness of the test is what I would expect to see published in a journal which deals with diagnostic tests so it can be peer-reviewed.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 03:39 AM   #66
DevilsAdvocate
Illuminator
 
DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,731
Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
From the article linked in the OP. Based on that they seem to have found it quite quickly which suggests it's reasonably easy to detect (as does the fact that it's sufficiently concentrated for a human to smell). I don't doubt a dog's ability to do the job, but I don't see the practicalities working out as a screening test, especially in a cash and personel strapped NHS.
There were articles a few months ago about starting a project for dogs to smell Parkinson's based on the Milne reports. I think it was the University of Michigan, or maybe based on some study from that university. I can't find it now.

The Milne study was over two years ago. I find it somewhat disconcerting that I cannot find anybody who has attempted to repeat the study with Milne or anybody else.

The only evidence that I can find of this claim is a single study of Milne in 2015 that was a rather limited test (although with substantial results). Did nobody else repeat the experiment Milne? Did nobody else try to find another person that could reproduce the results?

This is not only a huge discovery regarding Parkinson's but also in understanding smell. Why aren't there more published studies on this?

I'm confused. This should be a huge medical breakthrough. Both with the discovery of the small ability in 2015 and the more recent findings in chemical compounds. But all I find are newspaper stories and no scientific papers.
__________________
Heaven forbid someone reads these words and claims to be adversely affected by them, thus ensuring a barrage of lawsuits filed under the guise of protecting the unknowing victims who were stupid enough to read this and believe it! - Kevin Trudeau
DevilsAdvocate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 04:04 AM   #67
DevilsAdvocate
Illuminator
 
DevilsAdvocate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 4,731
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I think you are putting the cart before the horse, what we have at the moment is a remarkable but apparently singular ability

When (and if) they can isolate the molecules and also develop a diagnostic test - then the effectiveness of the test is what I would expect to see published in a journal which deals with diagnostic tests so it can be peer-reviewed.
I disagree. Milne’s ability was tested around October 2015. It has been over two years. The only test during that time, or at all, was that one single small test in 2015. Why has the test not been repeated with Milne by someone else? Why has the test not been confirmed with another person with exceptional smell?

The article your OP linked to said they HAVE isolated the molecules. It says they tested people with and without the disease and identified certain molecules that are present in people with the disease and not in people without the disease. That is not only something that would be expected to be seen in a journal, but something that absolutely MUST be in a journal.

The article says they want to confirm if their findings actually result in positive tests. But that isn’t needed for publication in a journal. Even a small study that shows a statistically significant correlation between compounds and a disease is a very significant study that would be and SHOULD be in a peer-reviewed publication.
__________________
Heaven forbid someone reads these words and claims to be adversely affected by them, thus ensuring a barrage of lawsuits filed under the guise of protecting the unknowing victims who were stupid enough to read this and believe it! - Kevin Trudeau
DevilsAdvocate is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 04:09 AM   #68
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I disagree. Milne’s ability was tested around October 2015. It has been over two years. The only test during that time, or at all, was that one single small test in 2015. Why has the test not been repeated with Milne by someone else? Why has the test not been confirmed with another person with exceptional smell?

The article your OP linked to said they HAVE isolated the molecules. It says they tested people with and without the disease and identified certain molecules that are present in people with the disease and not in people without the disease. That is not only something that would be expected to be seen in a journal, but something that absolutely MUST be in a journal.

The article says they want to confirm if their findings actually result in positive tests. But that isn’t needed for publication in a journal. Even a small study that shows a statistically significant correlation between compounds and a disease is a very significant study that would be and SHOULD be in a peer-reviewed publication.
Not seeing what has got you excited about this - they could have a paper in progress with a journal or they consider they are not at the stage yet for publication.

The only time "MUST" and "SHOULD" come into it is if they want the test to be used in the wild by others. Then of course its effectiveness, false positive rates and so on need to be published and peer reviewed.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 04:32 AM   #69
Liamo
Occasional Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 121
Because the claim was that a smell was the marker. We already know how smells are produced and detected, so not supernatural.
Liamo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 05:00 AM   #70
Nay_Sayer
I say nay!
 
Nay_Sayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Long Island
Posts: 3,388
Smelling a disease, long before this, was already shown to be possible.

We can construct a reasonable model about how someone could produce different pheromones while sick.

If you can't see how that differs from billy joe bob saying his Grandpa's lucky stick always finds water, Then I have a bridge to sell you.
__________________
I am 100% confident all psychics and mediums are frauds.
----------------------------------------------
Proud woo denier
----------------------------------------------
“That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.” -Christopher Hitchens-
Nay_Sayer is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 05:33 AM   #71
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
I'd more interested in how I'd managed to time travel than worrying about a challenge!
Why are you fighting the hypothetical?
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 05:49 AM   #72
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by Nay_Sayer View Post
Smelling a disease, long before this, was already shown to be possible.

We can construct a reasonable model about how someone could produce different pheromones while sick.

If you can't see how that differs from billy joe bob saying his Grandpa's lucky stick always finds water, Then I have a bridge to sell you.
I would have been equally incredulous at Billy Joe Bob claiming his grandpa can smell Parkinson's.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 05:50 AM   #73
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Why are you fighting the hypothetical?
Fighting? I'm doing no violence to anyone or anything!
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 05:53 AM   #74
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 79,786
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I would have been equally incredulous at Billy Joe Bob claiming his grandpa can smell Parkinson's.
Thankfully the world isn't bound by what you know and can understand. We can access knowledge that others have accumulated over the millennia of human existence and also the knowledge we have accumulated ourselves.

Many of us know that smell has long been a proven diagnostic tool that medical professionals use.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 06:04 AM   #75
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Thankfully the world isn't bound by what you know and can understand. We can access knowledge that others have accumulated over the millennia of human existence and also the knowledge we have accumulated ourselves.

Many of us know that smell has long been a proven diagnostic tool that medical professionals use.
The doctor who met the woman was equally incredulous and thought the woman was nuts.

There is a leap to go from doctors being able to use smell to no doctor documenting their ability to smell and only this one person claiming to smell something no one else in the room can.

And if this claim was not supernatural, but dowsing is, what about a claim that a person can smell water underground?

Last edited by BobTheCoward; 19th December 2017 at 06:11 AM.
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 06:42 AM   #76
P.J. Denyer
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,073
I don't see why BobTheCoward's question is proving so controversial. From the point of view of the MDC a claim was paranormal if the JREF accepted that it was and claims on audiophile topics suggest that a degree of discernment in a physical sense that seemed abnormal could potentially be accepted. Yes, this is at the sensible end of the claim range but my personal opinion is that it is in the grey area where it might have been agreed. Others may disagree of course, I do not and never have spoken for the JREF.

Now possibly I'm setting myself up for a 'gotcha' from BTC, but I can't see anything terrible in saying that a genuine claimant could have been successful.
__________________
"I know my brain cannot tell me what to think." - Scorpion
P.J. Denyer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 06:51 AM   #77
BobTheCoward
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,815
Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
I don't see why BobTheCoward's question is proving so controversial. From the point of view of the MDC a claim was paranormal if the JREF accepted that it was and claims on audiophile topics suggest that a degree of discernment in a physical sense that seemed abnormal could potentially be accepted. Yes, this is at the sensible end of the claim range but my personal opinion is that it is in the grey area where it might have been agreed. Others may disagree of course, I do not and never have spoken for the JREF.

Now possibly I'm setting myself up for a 'gotcha' from BTC, but I can't see anything terrible in saying that a genuine claimant could have been successful.
I have way more questions about when the extraordinary becomes supernatural. What if someone claimed to run a two minute mile? A one minute mile?
BobTheCoward is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 07:11 AM   #78
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 13,314
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I have way more questions about when the extraordinary becomes supernatural. What if someone claimed to run a two minute mile? A one minute mile?

Given what's generally accepted knowledge of sports physiology in humans, the JREF would probably have declined to accept for testing, for reasons of safety. Same as if someone claimed the ability to levitate safely to the ground from the top of a tall building.

That would be a moot point, however, as there are innumerable athletic organizations that would be interested in such claims, properly equipped to test them, and in many cases able to dispense rewards potentially far exceeding the JREF's $million.
__________________
A zømbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 07:11 AM   #79
fagin
Philosopher
 
fagin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: As far away from casebro as possible.
Posts: 5,182
Let us know when they do.

I'm sure their local Olympic organiser would love to know as well.
__________________
There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda
fagin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th December 2017, 07:18 AM   #80
Porpoise of Life
Illuminator
 
Porpoise of Life's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,636
Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
I don't see why BobTheCoward's question is proving so controversial.
Because:
Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I have way more questions about when the extraordinary becomes supernatural. What if someone claimed to run a two minute mile? A one minute mile?
This whole thread will become a derail about epistemology, by grace of Bob's moving goalposts and JAQing off.
Porpoise of Life is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:51 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.