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
 

Notices


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 4th June 2018, 02:18 AM   #1
OToTheT
New Blood
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 18
Evidence denial and ignorance (willful or otherwise)

Evidence: Factual circumstances which are accounted for, or supported by,
only one available explanation over any other.


Why is this so important? Because we don’t want to be fooled.
We want to make sure that the thing being claimed isn’t just made up.
In short, we want to make sure that it is real and that’s true.
Seemingly, not everyone seems to share this view.
Some people, especially religious and paranormal or kooky believers, think that evidence is not even required in their epistemology or belief systems.
They tell me “Why do I need evidence?” “I don’t need evidence.”
Apparently, they don’t need it but others do (special pledging),
think that’s it’s not required for beliefs that make empirical claims or are unaware of how it works
(ignorance of basic empirical epistemology, let alone science or skepticism).
The more professional ones are often dishonest and lean towards the latter than the former.
The ones I usually talk about are the uninformed, the misinformed ones, which leans towards the lack of scientific education.

Others seem to just avoid giving any, sometimes with the shifting of the burden of proof or ad hocs (which also need to be proved, making it more complicated and messy for the caliment). These people, again fall within the categories listed above (although the more dishonest ones do this more).

Last edited by OToTheT; 4th June 2018 at 02:24 AM.
OToTheT 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 4th June 2018, 04:00 AM   #2
P.J. Denyer
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,813
Okay?
__________________
"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 4th June 2018, 05:11 AM   #3
Delvo
الشيطان الأبيض
 
Delvo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 7,307
False definition; evidence is evidence regardless of how many explanations we could fit to it.
Delvo 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 5th June 2018, 11:57 PM   #4
Pixel42
Schrödinger's cat
 
Pixel42's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Malmesbury, UK
Posts: 10,315
It's very annoying and frustrating when people believe things for which there is no evidence simply because it suits their prejudices, yes.

Not sure what can be done about it. In many cases there is ample evidence against the belief freely available to anyone who bothers to look for it so the ignorance is, as you say, wilful. You can only educate people who are willing to be educated.
__________________
"If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
Pixel42 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 6th June 2018, 01:14 AM   #5
Puppycow
Penultimate Amazing
 
Puppycow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,790
Originally Posted by OToTheT View Post
Evidence: Factual circumstances which are accounted for, or supported by,
only one available explanation over any other.
Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
False definition; evidence is evidence regardless of how many explanations we could fit to it.
I agree with Delvo. Most evidence isn't that clear-cut. Usually it is compatible with one or more explanations (hypotheses if we want to get technical) and either not compatible with, or perhaps irrelevant to, others.

Take evolution: I don't think there's one single piece of evidence that proves it all by itself to the point where you wouldn't want more evidence to corroborate it. Rather it is the collective weight of all sorts of evidence, all pointing toward one hyposthesis, that seals the case.
__________________
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare
Puppycow 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 6th June 2018, 04:15 PM   #6
yuno44907
Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 161
How do we know electrons are not alive and this universe isnt a video game?
yuno44907 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 6th June 2018, 08:18 PM   #7
Kid Eager
Philosopher
 
Kid Eager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6,471
Originally Posted by yuno44907 View Post
How do we know electrons are not alive and this universe isnt a video game?
How do you know there are electrons?
__________________
What do Narwhals, Magnets and Apollo 13 have in common? Think about it....
Kid Eager 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 6th June 2018, 09:35 PM   #8
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 67,339
Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I agree with Delvo. Most evidence isn't that clear-cut. Usually it is compatible with one or more explanations (hypotheses if we want to get technical) and either not compatible with, or perhaps irrelevant to, others.

Take evolution: I don't think there's one single piece of evidence that proves it all by itself to the point where you wouldn't want more evidence to corroborate it. Rather it is the collective weight of all sorts of evidence, all pointing toward one hyposthesis, that seals the case.
I think you are conflating insufficient evidence with evidence that is not clear-cut, two different things.

Taking your example, Darwin began collecting evidence, but no one piece by itself at that point was sufficient to confirm evolution theory. It's not the evidence that was unclear in that case, it's whether the evidence was sufficient to draw a conclusion.

Genetic evidence, on the other hand, is now sophisticated enough we can identify if cases of e-coli in an outbreak come from the same source. That evidence stands on its own.

OTOH, there are many times evidence can support more than one conclusion. If I have a fever (evidence) there are a number of conclusions that evidence might support.

Going back to 'compatible with one's beliefs', that's a whole different can of worms. But again, don't conflate the actual evidence with interpretation of the significance of that evidence.


The point is, we should have our terminology down, what is evidence and what is a conclusion? What is an hypothesis and what is a theory? What is a scientific fact and how does that differ from other assertions of fact? The last one is a trick question if one doesn't understand the scientific process. Scientific facts are assigned certainty for the moment, but are never considered proven and are still subject to change should new evidence arise.
__________________
"Why do people say 'grow some balls'? Balls are weak and sensitive! If you really want to get tough, grow a vagina! Those things take a pounding!" — Betty White
Skeptic Ginger 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 10:08 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

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.