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Tags Johanna Michaelsen , Pachita , psychic surgeons

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Old 15th June 2017, 04:50 PM   #1
Setsurinvich
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tips on spotting charlatan "psychics"

does anyone know how one can detect fakery when looking at a "psychic" surgeon or the like? Are there ways to be able to learn how to spot slight of hand tricks?

For example here is a photo of a "psychic" surgeon that I once mentioned on this forum

http://culturacolectiva.com/wp-conte...oliterarii.jpg

It claims to be a photo of a pancreatic "surgery" but I as many of you guys have my doubts.

For example it looks like the "surgeon" is simply pressuring down on a point of the belly rather than cutting into a person. I don't think that's what a person's stomach looks like when its being cut can any surgeons confirm?

Also I don't think that's were a pancreas is located in a human body or what a pancreas even looks like.

Would those be signs of fakery that I just pointed out?
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Old 15th June 2017, 04:56 PM   #2
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The best way to determine if a psychic surgeon is a fake is if they call themselves psychic surgeons.

Then, you know.
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Old 15th June 2017, 05:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
The best way to determine if a psychic surgeon is a fake is if they call themselves psychic surgeons.

Then, you know.
I am aware but its to help debunk to those people that think its for real. Does my analysis make sense in light of the photo?
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Old 15th June 2017, 05:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
does anyone know how one can detect fakery when looking at a "psychic" surgeon or the like? Are there ways to be able to learn how to spot slight of hand tricks?

For example here is a photo of a "psychic" surgeon that I once mentioned on this forum

http://culturacolectiva.com/wp-conte...oliterarii.jpg

It claims to be a photo of a pancreatic "surgery" but I as many of you guys have my doubts.

For example it looks like the "surgeon" is simply pressuring down on a point of the belly rather than cutting into a person. I don't think that's what a person's stomach looks like when its being cut can any surgeons confirm?

Also I don't think that's were a pancreas is located in a human body or what a pancreas even looks like.

Would those be signs of fakery that I just pointed out?
If you are asking what particular signs you can look for that a particular "psychic surgery" itself is fake, that's a difficult question to answer. The photos you run across are going to be staged well enough that you can't detect the trickery. Obviously, the "surgeon" is just pushing down on a point on the stomach and has chicken guts and blood filled ballons palmed away. The methods are well-known.

A photo isn't going to be enough all on it's own to debunk something to someone who truly believes. Hell, there isn't much that is going to sway a true believer.

I've always thought that the best way to debunk a psychic surgery is to pose as a true believer, arrange for one and film it. Then, right after the "cut" is made, the photographer should shove the "surgeon" out of the way and reveal that there is no cut and that his hands already have the guts and blood in them. It's a really simple trick; James Randi has a great expose of it in one of his books -can't remember which right now.
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Old 15th June 2017, 05:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
I am aware but its to help debunk to those people that think its for real. Does my analysis make sense in light of the photo?
Here you go.
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I AGREE

James Randi Exposing Psychic Surgeons
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Old 15th June 2017, 05:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
If you are asking what particular signs you can look for that a particular "psychic surgery" itself is fake, that's a difficult question to answer. The photos you run across are going to be staged well enough that you can't detect the trickery. Obviously, the "surgeon" is just pushing down on a point on the stomach and has chicken guts and blood filled ballons palmed away. The methods are well-known.

A photo isn't going to be enough all on it's own to debunk something to someone who truly believes. Hell, there isn't much that is going to sway a true believer.

I've always thought that the best way to debunk a psychic surgery is to pose as a true believer, arrange for one and film it. Then, right after the "cut" is made, the photographer should shove the "surgeon" out of the way and reveal that there is no cut and that his hands already have the guts and blood in them. It's a really simple trick; James Randi has a great expose of it in one of his books -can't remember which right now.
Ok I understand but what about the points I brought up so they make sense in light of the photo I mentioned ?
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Old 15th June 2017, 06:56 PM   #7
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You will make little headway with that method even if you become expert. The best way -- and there are times you will make little headway with this method -- is to know what confessed magicians, etc., can do. When someone presents an event as miraculous, put the ball firmly on their court by asking why you should believe something is supernatural when you have seen the same or better using tricks.
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Old 15th June 2017, 08:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
You will make little headway with that method even if you become expert. The best way -- and there are times you will make little headway with this method -- is to know what confessed magicians, etc., can do. When someone presents an event as miraculous, put the ball firmly on their court by asking why you should believe something is supernatural when you have seen the same or better using tricks.
I see what you mean. It's this one I mentioned bothered me personally because the person behind it was behind lots of nonsense and this undermines her craziness
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Old 15th June 2017, 10:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
I see what you mean. It's this one I mentioned bothered me personally because the person behind it was behind lots of nonsense and this undermines her craziness
The problem is one magician-debunkers have always faced.
"Here's what I think you did."
"No, I didn't do that."
"But I can clearly see you are making the same motions."
"Yes, they appear to be the same, but they aren't really. It just looks the same."

The whole point of the trickery is to duplicate the appearance of no trickery at all. Because of this property - the real and the fake must look identical - it's only a pattern of behavior that adds mounting evidence of fraud. Occam's razorWP also helps here.

It's also worth noting how difficult it can be to "cross pollinate" a debunking. When debunking mediums was popular, magicians exposing the frauds were met with, "Of course that medium was bogus, but my preferred medium doesn't use trickery."

One way forward is to provisionally accept the fraud and ask why, if this person had this power, they don't use it in the way commonsense dictates? Why aren't they healing world leaders? Why aren't they spreading their techniques at a school for doctors? The fraudsters will have the lamest excuses for not doing what we'd all do if the miracle were real.
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Old 16th June 2017, 08:58 AM   #10
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Why aren't they practicing at the Mayo Clinic? Johns Hopkins? Northwestern Memorial?
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Old 16th June 2017, 09:41 AM   #11
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i see the point of you guys, but still... the photo shown its not what a pierced stomach should look like right?

I am asking because this story bothered me personally when I was younger
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Old 16th June 2017, 10:08 AM   #12
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Ask to see the procedure from different angles at the same time. That is, with multiple video cameras. You never will...
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Old 16th June 2017, 10:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
I am aware but its to help debunk to those people that think its for real. Does my analysis make sense in light of the photo?
I'm old. Randi did it, My long dead father could do it, I can do it. It is trivially easy.
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Old 16th June 2017, 10:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
Broken link.
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Old 16th June 2017, 11:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
i see the point of you guys, but still... the photo shown its not what a pierced stomach should look like right?
The photo link doesn't work. It's giving a no hotlinking page instead.
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Old 16th June 2017, 11:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
The problem is one magician-debunkers have always faced.
"Here's what I think you did."
"No, I didn't do that."
"But I can clearly see you are making the same motions."
"Yes, they appear to be the same, but they aren't really. It just looks the same."

The whole point of the trickery is to duplicate the appearance of no trickery at all. Because of this property - the real and the fake must look identical - it's only a pattern of behavior that adds mounting evidence of fraud. Occam's razorWP also helps here.

It's also worth noting how difficult it can be to "cross pollinate" a debunking. When debunking mediums was popular, magicians exposing the frauds were met with, "Of course that medium was bogus, but my preferred medium doesn't use trickery."

One way forward is to provisionally accept the fraud and ask why, if this person had this power, they don't use it in the way commonsense dictates? Why aren't they healing world leaders? Why aren't they spreading their techniques at a school for doctors? The fraudsters will have the lamest excuses for not doing what we'd all do if the miracle were real.
This is true, but the argument isn't to say that because it can be faked all similar procedures must be faked (because then a video of surgery on a show like House MD would discredit real surgery). The argument is: because an indistinguishable fake can easily be made, this does not constitute sufficient evidence that anything extraordinary is happening.

It always comes back to standards of evidence. And for psychic surgery I can think of plenty of simple tests that one could go through to demonstrate the claimed powers. Eventually we return to the point that, rather than provide that evidence, all the surgeon provided was a video that could be easily faked.
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Old 16th June 2017, 11:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
It always comes back to standards of evidence. And for psychic surgery I can think of plenty of simple tests that one could go through to demonstrate the claimed powers. Eventually we return to the point that, rather than provide that evidence, all the surgeon provided was a video that could be easily faked.
And that video, in turn, is likely to be all the evidence we ever get. Which is why the burden of proof is such a great principle.

"Prove I didn't do what I say" vs. "Prove you did."
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Old 17th June 2017, 05:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dumb All Over View Post
Broken link.
Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
The photo link doesn't work. It's giving a no hotlinking page instead.
The link actually works IF you copy the address, open a new window and paste it in to the address bar.

It's a black and white photo.
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Old 17th June 2017, 05:42 PM   #19
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If they use the word psychic to describe themselves, They are fake.
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Old 18th June 2017, 06:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Setsurinvich View Post
I am aware but its to help debunk to those people that think its for real. Does my analysis make sense in light of the photo?
Paradoxically the more you address the minutae of things like the look of the incision, the position of the pancreas and so on the more credibility the thing seems to get, almost seems to make it more believable. And practitioners and believers will always have an excuse for all your arguments.

I would take the tack that no one would allow this sort of surgery on themselves, such a thing in reality would be well nigh impossible. Yet there are loads of people who do just this as stage magic every day.

Show them this video and ask them whether they think the subject actually did remove his own heart -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjEaLsl1BuM

(Because that would be a little silly!)

Then the question is if removing a heart in this way is so obviously impossible why on earth would they believe it was possible to remove someone's pancreas in the same way?

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Old 18th June 2017, 07:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
(...) Which is why the burden of proof is such a great principle.

"Prove I didn't do what I say" vs. "Prove you did."

What you’re saying makes sense, but would it always work in practice?

If a psychic sets up shop, or someone who does astrological readings, or someone who claims they can summon and talk with the dead, and you’re just an everyday ordinary man who’s curious about these things, then how does that burden of proof thing work for you? Chances are these people won’t go out of their way to “prove” (or validate) their claims for you, not beyond a brief discussion or perhaps a cursory demonstration (if that). So what do you do, then? They haven’t given your proof, and you realize the burden of proof is theirs (not yours) : so the only thing you can do is just walk away from there, right?

But what if you’re interested? You could be, couldn’t you, despite being a perfectly rational and reasonable person? What then? (Not a rhetorical question, I'm interested in the answer/s.) This practical consideration seems to indicate that the burden of proof may lie, not in theory but in practice, on the person who happens to be interested!

Incidentally I think this is one very positive contribution that the JREF Million Dollar Challenge made to rational thought. It brought these clowns forth in droves, and then had them spending a great deal of time and effort to “prove” their claims in the threads here, and in the process giving people a chance to clearly dissect those claims and expose their spurious nature. I find those old threads fun reading. (And not just fun in terms of poking at the clowns and watching them jump, those old threads are often instructive too, in terms of direct demonstration of just how these spurious claims can be exposed.)

[The Challenge itself would have exposed them even more directly and even more clearly (than the discussions on here), but I haven’t gone round yet to checking to see if there are links leading to descriptions/recordings of specific challenges being played out.]
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Old 18th June 2017, 11:54 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JesseCuster View Post
The photo link doesn't work. It's giving a no hotlinking page instead.
http://culturacolectiva.com/pachita-...adie-recuerda/


here is a better one
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Old 18th June 2017, 03:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
What you’re saying makes sense, but would it always work in practice?

If a psychic sets up shop, or someone who does astrological readings, or someone who claims they can summon and talk with the dead, and you’re just an everyday ordinary man who’s curious about these things, then how does that burden of proof thing work for you? Chances are these people won’t go out of their way to “prove” (or validate) their claims for you, not beyond a brief discussion or perhaps a cursory demonstration (if that). So what do you do, then? They haven’t given your proof, and you realize the burden of proof is theirs (not yours) : so the only thing you can do is just walk away from there, right?

But what if you’re interested? You could be, couldn’t you, despite being a perfectly rational and reasonable person? What then? (Not a rhetorical question, I'm interested in the answer/s.) This practical consideration seems to indicate that the burden of proof may lie, not in theory but in practice, on the person who happens to be interested!

Incidentally I think this is one very positive contribution that the JREF Million Dollar Challenge made to rational thought. It brought these clowns forth in droves, and then had them spending a great deal of time and effort to “prove” their claims in the threads here, and in the process giving people a chance to clearly dissect those claims and expose their spurious nature. I find those old threads fun reading. (And not just fun in terms of poking at the clowns and watching them jump, those old threads are often instructive too, in terms of direct demonstration of just how these spurious claims can be exposed.)

[The Challenge itself would have exposed them even more directly and even more clearly (than the discussions on here), but I haven’t gone round yet to checking to see if there are links leading to descriptions/recordings of specific challenges being played out.]
I'm honestly not sure what you're asking here. The burden of proof is a philosophical concept. No individual is forced to believe in any philosophical ideas they don't like, and simply explaining the rationale behind them can not force an unwilling individual to accept them.

All the concept says is that the burden of proving a claim rests upon the one making it. If an individual claims to have psychic powers then they have to demonstrate that. If I say they don't, well, I might be asked to prove that and then have a very hard time. In that regard, if you want to make a purely rational argument the best you can ever say is: no psychic powers have ever been demonstrated to exist.

In honesty, I don't believe that psychic powers exist in anyone, but the argument for that is a much lengthier, more convoluted, and less certain one.

For instance, with a psychic surgeon, all they have to do is take a scan of a person with an appendix, remove the appendix, and then do another scan showing it's now gone from the person (all under controlled conditions, of course). Any conventional surgeon can, and in many instance even would as part of standard practice, do this. So why does the psychic surgeon rely on videos that can easily be mimicked by sleight of hand?

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Old 18th June 2017, 04:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
The best way to determine if a psychic surgeon is a fake is if they call themselves psychic surgeons.

Then, you know.
As a corollary, if one calls oneself a psychic or a psychic anything, one is a fool, a liar or a likely criminal. Those are the only options.
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Old 19th June 2017, 04:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Resume View Post
Why aren't they practicing at the Mayo Clinic? Johns Hopkins? Northwestern Memorial?
Cos they're being boycotted by Big Pharma.
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Old 19th June 2017, 06:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
I'm honestly not sure what you're asking here. The burden of proof is a philosophical concept. No individual is forced to believe in any philosophical ideas they don't like, and simply explaining the rationale behind them can not force an unwilling individual to accept them.

All the concept says is that the burden of proving a claim rests upon the one making it. If an individual claims to have psychic powers then they have to demonstrate that. If I say they don't, well, I might be asked to prove that and then have a very hard time. In that regard, if you want to make a purely rational argument the best you can ever say is: no psychic powers have ever been demonstrated to exist.

In honesty, I don't believe that psychic powers exist in anyone, but the argument for that is a much lengthier, more convoluted, and less certain one.

For instance, with a psychic surgeon, all they have to do is take a scan of a person with an appendix, remove the appendix, and then do another scan showing it's now gone from the person (all under controlled conditions, of course). Any conventional surgeon can, and in many instance even would as part of standard practice, do this. So why does the psychic surgeon rely on videos that can easily be mimicked by sleight of hand?

I agree, the “burden of proof” is a philosophical concept, and what is more I do agree with it entirely. But philosophy is, after all, a framework for looking at reality, interpreting it, understanding it, and dealing with it. And I was trying to suss out what the philosophical concept of burden of proof might mean in our everyday lives.

Perhaps presenting some context is in order. A conversation I’d had some time back, which I’d presented and discussed in this thread, led me to the understanding that simply saying "the burden of proof rests with one who is talking of some idea, like God for instance” -- as I myself had done -- doesn't work all the time. These concepts / heuristic rules aren’t quite the set-in-stone all-weather tools that we (or at least, some us) think them to be. Like most tools, they need to be handled with care, with proper understanding of the context and the situation, and there are times when the application of this tool may not be appropriate at all.

My perspective from that thread set me thinking along these lines when I came across marplot’s comment on here. To answer your question, this is what I’m asking, and saying in the context of this thread :

When Psychic Healer (PH) sets up shop and solicits your attention, then the burden of proof as regards his claims rests squarely on him. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Nevertheless -- to paraphrase again what I’d said earlier -- should an ordinary person be interested in this sort of thing (and why not? he's *interested*, I say, he’s not swallowing it whole, he’s merely *interested*), then, for this ordinary person (as opposed, for instance, to a foundation dangling a million dollar bait), chances are that PH will not really go out of his way (except only to a very limited extent) to prove his claims. Agreed? So then this ordinary person, what does he do? The “burden of proof” philosophy, how does it help him in this real-world situation?

Well, he recognizes that the proof presented thus far isn’t adequate. He further realizes that the burden of that proof lies with PH. But then, after that realization, what? He walks away? But he’s *interested* in the possibility of there perhaps being something there (a possibility that he would most certainly not be justified in jettisoning). The only thing he can do, if indeed he is interested, is, like OP, to find out how he can test and debunk PH’s claim.

In other words, he has, in effect, taken upon himself the burden of proof (because of his interest in the matter, and despite appreciating the philosophical concept that the burden of proof vests with PH).

Which leads me to think aloud that perhaps the burden of proof rests, in practice, with the person who is interested in a certain concept or phenomenon (be it PH’s mummery, or be it, to extrapolate to the big question, some religion or some God).

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Old 19th June 2017, 07:17 AM   #27
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I looked at the photographs and the main one showing a hand seemingly in flesh removing something that looks like part of a chicken. I note that the person being operated on seems to be very overweight with large amounts of flesh to roll, kneed and push. I also note that the four fingers are visible but not the thumb. and the blood is filling the depression created by heaving and pressing the flesh.

Because the thumb is so hidden I suspect either a false thumb or a palmed object containing blood is being used with the hidden thumb being used to push out the blood. That knife like object being used to spread the flesh further is a nice touch.

And of course it is obvious that the "Surgeon" is pressing into the flesh which is not what a real surgeon would do. Surgical incisions are not pressed into the flesh like that. One would expect a cut that would open up the person which would be clearly visible. Further some one else is pressing the flesh together with both hands in order to make it easier for the "Surgeon's" hands to "disappear in the heaving mass of flesh.

I note that part of the pancreas is located behind the rib cage and that it is located just below the liver and is a highly difficult area to operate in because of the chances of damaging the liver, small intestine to say nothing of the pancreas itself. I further not the person is wearing a ring while doing this!!! Can you say infection if the person was doing this for real!!

Sorry but this is an obvious fake.
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Old 19th June 2017, 07:57 AM   #28
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A fairly easy test would be to get some of the blood that resulted from the operation and compare that with the patients. Is the the same blood type? Is it from the same species? etc
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Old 19th June 2017, 11:32 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Greebo View Post
A fairly easy test would be to get some of the blood that resulted from the operation and compare that with the patients. Is the the same blood type? Is it from the same species? etc
Does the blood cluck under the otoscope?????
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Old 20th June 2017, 08:15 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
When Psychic Healer (PH) sets up shop and solicits your attention, then the burden of proof as regards his claims rests squarely on him. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Nevertheless -- to paraphrase again what I’d said earlier -- should an ordinary person be interested in this sort of thing (and why not? he's *interested*, I say, he’s not swallowing it whole, he’s merely *interested*), then, for this ordinary person (as opposed, for instance, to a foundation dangling a million dollar bait), chances are that PH will not really go out of his way (except only to a very limited extent) to prove his claims. Agreed? So then this ordinary person, what does he do? The “burden of proof” philosophy, how does it help him in this real-world situation?

Well, he recognizes that the proof presented thus far isn’t adequate. He further realizes that the burden of that proof lies with PH. But then, after that realization, what? He walks away? But he’s *interested* in the possibility of there perhaps being something there (a possibility that he would most certainly not be justified in jettisoning). The only thing he can do, if indeed he is interested, is, like OP, to find out how he can test and debunk PH’s claim.

In other words, he has, in effect, taken upon himself the burden of proof (because of his interest in the matter, and despite appreciating the philosophical concept that the burden of proof vests with PH).

Which leads me to think aloud that perhaps the burden of proof rests, in practice, with the person who is interested in a certain concept or phenomenon (be it PH’s mummery, or be it, to extrapolate to the big question, some religion or some God).
Well if he's not a total maroon, then he'll walk away knowing how silly the PH is for having made any such claims, and he'll be satisfied with his decision to walk away.

Asking what you do when a liar keeps on denying his lies is a rather pointless. You either stay, to point and laugh, or you walk away.

When some yokel tells you he has a 10-foot-tall Sasquatch in his backyard, it ain't your job to go about debunking it, regardless of your interest in the tale.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:34 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
I agree, the “burden of proof” is a philosophical concept, and what is more I do agree with it entirely. But philosophy is, after all, a framework for looking at reality, interpreting it, understanding it, and dealing with it. And I was trying to suss out what the philosophical concept of burden of proof might mean in our everyday lives.
It applies to everyday life in the following way: you don't have to believe in anything which has not been demonstrated. You do not have to disprove anything in order to not believe in a claim.

Quote:
Perhaps presenting some context is in order. A conversation I’d had some time back, which I’d presented and discussed in this thread, led me to the understanding that simply saying "the burden of proof rests with one who is talking of some idea, like God for instance” -- as I myself had done -- doesn't work all the time. These concepts / heuristic rules aren’t quite the set-in-stone all-weather tools that we (or at least, some us) think them to be. Like most tools, they need to be handled with care, with proper understanding of the context and the situation, and there are times when the application of this tool may not be appropriate at all.
"Talking of some idea" is unclear. I can talk about dragons, the burden of proof only applies if I were to make a claim about dragons. For instance, if I said that dragons actually exist but only in France it applies as such: I have to prove that France has dragons. You don't have to prove that France has no dragons.

It's only when someone makes a factual claim that the burden of proof is relevant.

Quote:
My perspective from that thread set me thinking along these lines when I came across marplot’s comment on here. To answer your question, this is what I’m asking, and saying in the context of this thread :

When Psychic Healer (PH) sets up shop and solicits your attention, then the burden of proof as regards his claims rests squarely on him. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Nevertheless -- to paraphrase again what I’d said earlier -- should an ordinary person be interested in this sort of thing (and why not? he's *interested*, I say, he’s not swallowing it whole, he’s merely *interested*), then, for this ordinary person (as opposed, for instance, to a foundation dangling a million dollar bait), chances are that PH will not really go out of his way (except only to a very limited extent) to prove his claims. Agreed? So then this ordinary person, what does he do? The “burden of proof” philosophy, how does it help him in this real-world situation?
It "helps" before he sets foot in the door. It sets the standard for what the PH needs to do in order for the ordinary person to believe his claims. If the PH doesn't provide sufficient positive evidence that he can do what he says he can do then you are under no compulsion to believe a word of it.

If the PH says "Can you prove that I'm NOT a psychic healer?" the ordinary person can say "No, but that's irrelevant and I still reject your claim".

Quote:
Well, he recognizes that the proof presented thus far isn’t adequate. He further realizes that the burden of that proof lies with PH. But then, after that realization, what? He walks away? But he’s *interested* in the possibility of there perhaps being something there (a possibility that he would most certainly not be justified in jettisoning). The only thing he can do, if indeed he is interested, is, like OP, to find out how he can test and debunk PH’s claim.
I might not be able to test an unwilling PH's claims. He might not be willing to provide the evidence required for me to believe him. If he doesn't, and I can't test it, then it ends with me not believing him.

I can't make a baseball bat out of burden of proof and beat him until he gives in. All I can do is say "I don't have any reason to believe you.".

Quote:
In other words, he has, in effect, taken upon himself the burden of proof (because of his interest in the matter, and despite appreciating the philosophical concept that the burden of proof vests with PH).

Which leads me to think aloud that perhaps the burden of proof rests, in practice, with the person who is interested in a certain concept or phenomenon (be it PH’s mummery, or be it, to extrapolate to the big question, some religion or some God).
No, this is a misunderstanding.

I might want to debunk a psychic for the fun of it, or because of scientific inquiry, but all the burden of proof says is: I don't have to believe anything if the person making the claim hasn't provided positive proof.


The best way to think about how "burden of proof" gets used in reality is to think of criminal trials. We place the burden on the side accusing a suspect of a crime - the accuser has to prove that the crime took place and that the given individual is responsible.

The defendant does not have to prove that he didn't do it. And the jury don't rule that he definitely didn't do it. "Not guilty" is the default assumption.

All I'm doing is saying the Psychic Healer is "not guilty" of doing what he claims.
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Old 21st June 2017, 11:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Pacal View Post
I looked at the photographs and the main one showing a hand seemingly in flesh removing something that looks like part of a chicken. I note that the person being operated on seems to be very overweight with large amounts of flesh to roll, kneed and push. I also note that the four fingers are visible but not the thumb. and the blood is filling the depression created by heaving and pressing the flesh.

Because the thumb is so hidden I suspect either a false thumb or a palmed object containing blood is being used with the hidden thumb being used to push out the blood. That knife like object being used to spread the flesh further is a nice touch.

And of course it is obvious that the "Surgeon" is pressing into the flesh which is not what a real surgeon would do. Surgical incisions are not pressed into the flesh like that. One would expect a cut that would open up the person which would be clearly visible. Further some one else is pressing the flesh together with both hands in order to make it easier for the "Surgeon's" hands to "disappear in the heaving mass of flesh.

I note that part of the pancreas is located behind the rib cage and that it is located just below the liver and is a highly difficult area to operate in because of the chances of damaging the liver, small intestine to say nothing of the pancreas itself. I further not the person is wearing a ring while doing this!!! Can you say infection if the person was doing this for real!!

Sorry but this is an obvious fake.
thanks for confirming what I am suspecting, it looked REALLY suspicious for many reasons it doesn't even look like were the pancreas is located as pretty sure it isn't BELOW the ribcage

Last edited by Setsurinvich; 21st June 2017 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 07:42 AM   #33
Chanakya
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Originally Posted by Gilbert Syndrome View Post
Well if he's not a total maroon, then he'll walk away knowing how silly the PH is for having made any such claims, and he'll be satisfied with his decision to walk away.

Asking what you do when a liar keeps on denying his lies is a rather pointless. You either stay, to point and laugh, or you walk away.

When some yokel tells you he has a 10-foot-tall Sasquatch in his backyard, it ain't your job to go about debunking it, regardless of your interest in the tale.

I’m sorry, I don’t see what one’s interest in a particular subject has to do with their general IQ or their skin tone.

PH isn’t “denying his lies”. He is making a claim about his prowess to remove your, well gall stones for example, using the latest hokus pocus godus technique. And leaving it at that.

You seem to start with the assumption that he is lying. Surely you have no clue about that, to begin with? That’s putting the cart before the horse, that’s like entering the argument with the conclusion already assumed. We don’t know whether he is lying. For one thing, he could simply be deluded. And what is more, let us not forget, he could even be right! There is always some possibility, no matter how slim, of that. Surely you see that? The burden-of-proof rule does not say anything about the truth value of his claims : it merely indicates that the onus of validation rests on him, that is all.

PH has presented his claims. He very cursorily speaks with you. He fails to prove his claims to your satisfaction. He refuses to engage overly much beyond that for a small customer like ordinary-you, and simply goes back inside his tent or RV (or whatever) or on to his next customer.

So sure, you can walk away now. I said as much in my post. Most will. But what if you’re INTERESTED, nevertheless? Not convinced, not by any means, but simply interested? You’re no moron : you do not believe PH’s spiel, and you fully realize that the burden of proof was PH’s and that he hasn’t been able to validate his claim ; nevertheless you are interested, either in the abstract about psychic healing in general, or in the personal (in the context of some actual real-life healing or surgery). Think about it : given that interest of yours, and despite your let’s say average-or-better IQ, does the burden of proof then not, de facto if not in principle, rebound back on you?

Look at it another way. Say instead of PH you have a real surgeon, who is there to “popularize science and cutting-edge medicine”, and he’s explaining some new proven technology/technique. Let’s say he has enough scientific validation for his new cutting-edge technique. Nevertheless, despite that, you may still walk away if you’re not interested!

Whether you stick around or walk away, that would seem to be a function of your interest! And ultimately that is where the burden of proof seems to vest, in practice, on whether you stick around or walk away, that is on the person with the interest to study all this.

Or so it seems to me. This isn’t an article of faith for me, just a passing thought that I’m exploring : but as far as I can see my view, as I think more about this, seems to makes sense. If in fact it doesn’t really make as much sense as I think it does, I’ll be happy for you (or anybody else) to correct me.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 08:05 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
It applies to everyday life in the following way: you don't have to believe in anything which has not been demonstrated. You do not have to disprove anything in order to not believe in a claim.



"Talking of some idea" is unclear. I can talk about dragons, the burden of proof only applies if I were to make a claim about dragons. For instance, if I said that dragons actually exist but only in France it applies as such: I have to prove that France has dragons. You don't have to prove that France has no dragons.

It's only when someone makes a factual claim that the burden of proof is relevant.



It "helps" before he sets foot in the door. It sets the standard for what the PH needs to do in order for the ordinary person to believe his claims. If the PH doesn't provide sufficient positive evidence that he can do what he says he can do then you are under no compulsion to believe a word of it.

If the PH says "Can you prove that I'm NOT a psychic healer?" the ordinary person can say "No, but that's irrelevant and I still reject your claim".



I might not be able to test an unwilling PH's claims. He might not be willing to provide the evidence required for me to believe him. If he doesn't, and I can't test it, then it ends with me not believing him.

I can't make a baseball bat out of burden of proof and beat him until he gives in. All I can do is say "I don't have any reason to believe you.".



No, this is a misunderstanding.

I might want to debunk a psychic for the fun of it, or because of scientific inquiry, but all the burden of proof says is: I don't have to believe anything if the person making the claim hasn't provided positive proof.


The best way to think about how "burden of proof" gets used in reality is to think of criminal trials. We place the burden on the side accusing a suspect of a crime - the accuser has to prove that the crime took place and that the given individual is responsible.

The defendant does not have to prove that he didn't do it. And the jury don't rule that he definitely didn't do it. "Not guilty" is the default assumption.

All I'm doing is saying the Psychic Healer is "not guilty" of doing what he claims.



That criminal trial analogy is excellent. It does let us look at all aspects of the issue in a focused manner.

You’re right, the defendant does not have to prove he didn’t do it. Classic example of burden of proof.

Nevertheless, say you yourself are interested in a particular case, what then?

Okay, let us take an example. Let’s look at the hypothetical case of PK Thomson, a famous Olympic swimmer, who stands accused of killing his girlfriend and a male friend of this girlfriend. Sure, you’re right, the onus of proof is not on showing that he’s innocent, the onus of proof is in showing that he is guilty. Innocent until proven guilty. (The exact equivalent of “PH claims are hokum until proven valid”.)

Now take you, the ordinary man on the street. Say you happen to be interested in this case. Why exactly are you interested? Could be any number of reasons, like (a) simple curiosity, you read crime fiction and fancy yourself an armchair sleuth ; or (b) you’re the girlfriend’s friend yourself, and want to see PK punished ; or (c) you’re the girlfriend’s friend, and do want the killer punished, but personally think it unlikely that PK did it ; or (d) you’re PK’s friend, and don’t think he did it, and want to get him acquitted if he is indeed innocent ; or (e) you’re a reporter for a tabloid and have been assigned the case, and have your own theory about what happened, or (f) any other plausible or not-so-plausible reason you can think of why an ordinary person might be interested in the case.

Sure, the law will take its course. Sure, that official course will see the onus of proof rest on the prosecution. Nevertheless, if you personally are *interested* for any reason at all, then won’t you need to find out ways to sift both sides of the case and arrive at a conclusion for yourself? Which is another way of saying : you are taking on the burden of proof on yourself ! (Just for yourself, just for this single individual person who is interested in the case ; and that conclusion could be any of three alternatives : “guilty”, or “not guilty”, or “don’t know”). You very interest will make you want to arrive at your own conclusion, by yourself.

In the opposite scenario, say you are an ordinary person with no interest in the case. Let’s say there is overwhelming evidence that the PK is guilty. Nevertheless you may choose not to look at that evidence, not to look at the case at all, to ignore the screaming tabloid headlines and television newscasters, and hold a “don’t know and don’t care” attitude as regards PK’s guilt. That is by no means an illogical or irrational thing to do, right?

So ultimately, then, for you, the ordinary person, the onus of proof as regards the hypothetical PK Thomson’s guilt would seem to rest squarely on your level of interest.

Now in many cases that interest is casual, and when you’re asked “So, do you think PK really did it?”, your reply is the eminently rational “Oh, not proved in court thus far, so as far as I’m concerned he’s innocent”, or the equally rational “Oh, the lower court’s found him guilty, so until such time as the higher court does not say otherwise, my personal belief is that he’s guilty”. Sure, that’s rational. (And that is exactly equivalent to saying : Yes, the burden of proof rests with PH, and PH hasn’t proved/validated his case to my satisfaction, so as far as I’m concerned he’s a weirdo or a charlatan, and I’m not interested, and I’m walking away from here.) This, I suppose, is exactly what you mean when you say :
Originally Posted by Bladesman87 View Post
It "helps" before he sets foot in the door. It sets the standard for what the PH needs to do in order for the ordinary person to believe his claims.
Sure, that’s reasonable, and I agree with that POV : but surely (as I’ve tried to show) that is not necessarily the only possible rational reaction?

If your level of interest is higher than that casual-and-strictly-rational level (for any of the reasons I mentioned, or any other reason that you can think of), then doesn’t that bring the onus of proof back to you personally (in practice, although still not in theory)?

That’s what I meant, that perhaps the onus of proof lies, in practice, with the person who’s interested in the issue being discussed. That the burden of proof vests (in practice) with the person interested enough in some issue. Be it some court case (sensational or otherwise), be it some (psycho?) psychic’s claims, or be it the big daddy claim of god/religion/all that.

Qualification : I’m simply thinking aloud. This is by no means an article of faith with me! Just a casual thought that came up when I read that comment I initially quoted. I could be wrong, indeed since I seem to taking an apparently unusual position I recognize that chances are I actually am wrong, nevertheless I don’t quite see my error in thinking (if at all my thinking is erroneous) from where I stand.
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Old 23rd June 2017, 09:59 AM   #35
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I'm not sure how to make it any clearer. The burden of proof applies to claims being made and when others should believe them.

You can do all the investigating you want out of personal interest, and you may even feel like in order to be responsible that you should investigate it.

Those are separate issues. The burden of proof merely says that I don't have to believe the claim until its proven. It says nothing else.

In your hypothetical, say I want to investigate the case of PK Thomson, here's all the concept means:
I shouldn't believe Thomson killed his wife until I have proven that.
I shouldn't believe Thomson did not kill his wife until I have proven that.

While I'm investigating, I would treat it as an open question. The burden of proof does not apply to me because I am not making a claim. I am merely looking into it out of interest.

Quote:
If your level of interest is higher than that casual-and-strictly-rational level (for any of the reasons I mentioned, or any other reason that you can think of), then doesn’t that bring the onus of proof back to you personally (in practice, although still not in theory)?
No, because I haven't claimed that the PH is lying nor have I claimed he is telling the truth. The burden of proof only applies to someone making a truth claim.

Last edited by Bladesman87; 23rd June 2017 at 10:06 AM. Reason: changed "don't" to "shouldn't" for semantics
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Old 23rd June 2017, 05:38 PM   #36
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Know what? It's 2017.

Two years ago they removed my gallbladder. Had I challenged my surgeon he would have produced my organ, and had an independent lab confirm that it was:

1. A human gallbladder.

2. MY gallbladder.

A second ultrasound would be performed to confirm that my gallbladder no longer occupied my abdominal cavity.

Bottom line: Modern Medical procedures can be verified and substantiated.

Psychic Healers cannot.
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