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 13th August 2007, 01:02 PM   #1
andyandy
anthropomorphic ape
 
andyandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,377
Dawkins' Enemies of Reason

Just watched the first episode....it was good stuff.


anyone else catch it?

ooh! New smilies....

__________________
"Contentment is found in the music of Bach, the books of Tolstoy and the equations of Dirac, not at the wheel of a BMW or the aisles of Harvey Nicks."
andyandy 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 13th August 2007, 01:08 PM   #2
cyborg
deus ex machina
 
cyborg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,981
Yep. Good program.
__________________
The phrase deus ex machina (literally "god out of a machine") describes an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot...
cyborg 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 13th August 2007, 01:17 PM   #3
Mid
Graduate Poster
 
Mid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,067
Yep, saw it too thought it was quite good also managed to cover quite a few JREF sub forums (even CT )
Mid 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 13th August 2007, 01:25 PM   #4
Civilized Worm
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,718
Now the poor guy is going to have to deal with conspiracy theorists at every turn on top of all the other woo!


Great show though, I had a good laugh at that guy who argued that "a rock has a very rock-like quality to it".
Civilized Worm 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 13th August 2007, 01:27 PM   #5
bujin
Thinker
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 165
Very good programme, but annoying camera work at times!

One woolly believer on another forum has already dismissed everything he's said, saying that his astrology experiment was unscientific (therefore everything he says is utter rubbish).

Naturally, I've tried to put her right on that, but let's face it, she's never going to change her beliefs on the basis of what Dawkins says...
bujin 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 13th August 2007, 01:42 PM   #6
articulett
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,404
Does anyone have a torrent to it or is it up on youtube-- we probably won't get the show in the US...
articulett 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 13th August 2007, 02:15 PM   #7
mummymonkey
Did you spill my pint?
 
mummymonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2,052
Originally Posted by Civilized Worm View Post
Great show though, I had a good laugh at that guy who argued that "a rock has a very rock-like quality to it".
"Rockness". if you will. Here in Scotland the lochs have similar properties.
__________________
Knees bent, arms stretched, Ra! Ra! Ra!
mummymonkey 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 13th August 2007, 02:20 PM   #8
Rrose Selavy
Stranded in Sub-Atomica
 
Rrose Selavy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 3,395
As one of the people who while agreeing with him, was critical of "Root of Evil" - this was a much better programme.

Now I need help. I think I am in danger of falling out with a close friend who is into "Woo" - just now had a phone conversation with them when I mentioned the programme . It will probably be in vain as they are unlikely to budge but I need a link to a good critique of Astrology to assist me when we next meet .
Rrose Selavy 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 13th August 2007, 02:25 PM   #9
andyandy
anthropomorphic ape
 
andyandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,377
Originally Posted by mummymonkey View Post
"Rockness". if you will. Here in Scotland the lochs have similar properties.
indeed, there's plenty of woo in your lochness
__________________
"Contentment is found in the music of Bach, the books of Tolstoy and the equations of Dirac, not at the wheel of a BMW or the aisles of Harvey Nicks."
andyandy 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 13th August 2007, 02:40 PM   #10
JonWhite
Muse
 
JonWhite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 691
Great programme. Really enjoyed it and Brooker was right in that Dawkins came across much better than in the "Root..." progs. I almost felt that he was probably suppressing a laugh at the stupidity of it all rather than the obvious anger that the previous religious zealots fostered.

Any woos that saw it will probably still retreat into the same form of denial as the dowsers did and ignore the reality staring them in the face. But as long as he (and everyone else) keep chipping away...

Roll on next weeks woo therapy based show.
__________________
"In cases where prior knowledge is available, the alternative to 'an open mind' is not 'a closed mind'.
It is 'an informed mind'.
In such contexts, any appeal to 'keep an open mind' is an appeal to prefer ignorance over knowledge" Ian Rowland

Last edited by JonWhite; 13th August 2007 at 02:53 PM.
JonWhite 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 13th August 2007, 02:48 PM   #11
andyandy
anthropomorphic ape
 
andyandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,377
Originally Posted by JonWhite View Post
Great programme. Really enjoyed it and Brooker was right in that Dawkins came across much better than in the "Root..." progs. I almost felt that he was probably suppressing a laugh at the stupidity of it all rather than the obvious anger that the previous religious zealots fostered.

I can't help but think that any woos that saw it will still retreat into the same form of denial that the dowsers did and ignore the reality staring them in the face. But as long as he (and everyone else) keep chipping away...

I'm really looking forward to next weeks more woo therapy based show.
i agree - i got the impression he was being more conscious as to how he would come across than in "The Root...". The only shame of the program is that it wasn't able to devote an entire episode to each astrology, cold reading and dowsing - but perhaps that is just being greedy
__________________
"Contentment is found in the music of Bach, the books of Tolstoy and the equations of Dirac, not at the wheel of a BMW or the aisles of Harvey Nicks."
andyandy 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 13th August 2007, 02:56 PM   #12
JonWhite
Muse
 
JonWhite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 691
Absolutely. If I were to make a complaint of the prog it would be that it really was far too short.
__________________
"In cases where prior knowledge is available, the alternative to 'an open mind' is not 'a closed mind'.
It is 'an informed mind'.
In such contexts, any appeal to 'keep an open mind' is an appeal to prefer ignorance over knowledge" Ian Rowland
JonWhite 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 13th August 2007, 03:01 PM   #13
Civilized Worm
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,718
There should be at least one program a week where Dawkins stares at people while they try to explain their woo.
Civilized Worm 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 13th August 2007, 03:20 PM   #14
articulett
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 15,404
Originally Posted by Rrose Selavy View Post
As one of the people who while agreeing with him, was critical of "Root of Evil" - this was a much better programme.

Now I need help. I think I am in danger of falling out with a close friend who is into "Woo" - just now had a phone conversation with them when I mentioned the programme . It will probably be in vain as they are unlikely to budge but I need a link to a good critique of Astrology to assist me when we next meet .
http://www.google.com/search?client=...=Google+Search

This is a good clip from Randi's Secrets of the Psychics (a great video)...

For my students I cut out the horoscope from the day before and all identifying labels and have them try and guess which one was their horoscope from yesterday...
articulett 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 13th August 2007, 03:24 PM   #15
TheDoLittle
Disco King Discombobulator
 
TheDoLittle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,842
I'll have to wait till it comes out on YouTube. No station here in the states would dare show it.
__________________
David O. Little
-=The DoLittle 8-)=-
America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week. - Evan Esar / No one can earn a million dollars honestly. - William Jennings Bryan (1860 - 1925) / If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you. - Don Marquis
TheDoLittle 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 13th August 2007, 04:00 PM   #16
Big Les
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,032
Originally Posted by andyandy View Post
indeed, there's plenty of woo in your lochness
Not to mention actual "rockness".

A good all-round effort I think. I got the distinct impression that the spiritualist guy knew perfectly well it was all nonsense, but genuinely felt he was helping them out and was terrified Dawkins was going to show them that there was no wizard behind the curtain. Just my impression - he was damned shifty and far less sure of himself than that insufferable Observer asstrologist. God he got up my nose with his smug mannered defensiveness. How would a test of his abilities be "perverse" exactly? What a turd.
Big Les 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 13th August 2007, 05:46 PM   #17
JoeTheJuggler
Penultimate Amazing
 
JoeTheJuggler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 27,766
Originally Posted by mummymonkey View Post
"Rockness". if you will. Here in Scotland the lochs have similar properties.
Nice!

Edit: I wanted to add that The Untouchables have a certain Eliot quality to them. . . .but I couldn't figure out how to work it in.
__________________
"That is a very graphic analogy which aids understanding wonderfully while being, strictly speaking, wrong in every possible way." —Ponder Stibbons
JoeTheJuggler 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 13th August 2007, 06:05 PM   #18
cj.23
Master Poster
 
cj.23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,827
As you may have guessed, I have reservations... I have posted them on the Dawkins forum, in my short review, and feel it in bad taste to just cut and paste them or link them here, but on the whole a good show.

cj x
__________________
I'm an Anglican Christian, so I declare my prejudice here. Please take it in to account when reading my posts. "Most people would rather die than think: many do." - Betrand Russell

My dull life blogged http://jerome23.wordpress.com
cj.23 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 13th August 2007, 06:39 PM   #19
ChainLightning
New Blood
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 22
I found a link of a morning show in England that had Richard Dawkins on. He give a preview and talks with the hosts.http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/66043/detail/
ChainLightning 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 13th August 2007, 06:46 PM   #20
ChainLightning
New Blood
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 22
Sorry, did not know that someone posted this earlier.
ChainLightning 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 13th August 2007, 07:29 PM   #21
The Shank
All Hail King Murali
 
The Shank's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,339
Do you understand this, do you understand that, did anyone else think that priest/psychic copied his act straight from the "Colin Fry Handbook"?
The Shank 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 13th August 2007, 11:26 PM   #22
Explorer
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,149
Not bad entertainment, and the mild mannered Dawkins doing his bit for science, which is all for the good.

However, two points. The blind bat example of an original belief that this animal's method of dodging obstacles whilst flying was a paranormal effect, was actually a very good example of how scientific methodology can in a stroke, turn the paranormal, into the normal. This point has been debated on this board before, but rarely recognised, at least from the posts that I have seen before.

Secondly, I thought the dowsing tests were scientifically flawed and consequently, absolutely meaningless. It wasn't made clear at the outset whether or not the participant dowsers had a successful record of "sensing" or "divining" water contained in plastic bottles hidden in a series of polythene buckets, above ground. Dowsers you see, are no different to most of us, they are not experts in designing a correct applied scientific methodology to a test. Why should they be? Unless they are experienced experimental scientists first, and dowsers, second.

At the end of the test, with the inevitable result that the success rate was no better than random guesswork, the dowsers were flabbergasted, and unable to articulate the reason for their failure, apart from the chap who said that his god abandoned him for the day, so that particular clip had to be included for the writer of "TGD."

In previous threads on dowsing, I have made some suggestions for an improved test, principally in the field, rather than using bottles and plastic buckets inside a tent, with onlookers standing in the entrance holding their cups of coffee in close proximity to the test.

Dowsing may be like the bat phenomenon, or the bird migratory instinct. We may have some ability to sense underground running water, which was a survival tool in our ancient past. Or not, of course, but I am afraid that the test in the programme did not add to the scientific debate on this subject in any way.

Last edited by Explorer; 13th August 2007 at 11:32 PM.
Explorer 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 14th August 2007, 12:09 AM   #23
Diabolos
Thinker
 
Diabolos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 211
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
I thought the dowsing tests were scientifically flawed and consequently, absolutely meaningless. It wasn't made clear at the outset whether or not the participant dowsers had a successful record of "sensing" or "divining" water contained in plastic bottles hidden in a series of polythene buckets, above ground.
It's possible that they were given a "practice run", knowing where the water was, so they can satisfy themselves that their "equipment" and conditions are all working, but was edited out of the final cut.

Given that the experiment appeared to be conducted by Prof. Chris French, a well-known investigator and sceptic of paranormal events, I expect the experiment was probably more rigorous than we saw on the show.

Maybe someone fancies emailing him to ask? mailto:c.french@gold.ac.uk
__________________
"What I say is true because you can't prove it isn't, and what you say is wrong because I don't understand it."
Diabolos 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 14th August 2007, 12:16 AM   #24
Shaun from Scotland
Muse
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 864
I had to laugh at the astrolger from the newspaper (the name of which escapes me) who was being pressed to actually explain how Astrology works. It was obvious that even he knew it was utter cack. "Your'e looking for a mechanism aren't you?"

I had to not laugh...............

The spiritualist didn't come over any better.

All in all, a good shoeing for wooing!!
__________________
"Nemo Me Impune Lacessit"

Statements Richard G cannot back up - "You may not own a rifle, or a pistol in the U.K.. Period. One shotgun per person is allowed, under heavy regulations. Most owners have turned those in also, because the regulations, and registration are too difficult and burdensome"
Shaun from Scotland 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 14th August 2007, 12:19 AM   #25
Explorer
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,149
Originally Posted by Diabolos View Post
It's possible that they were given a "practice run", knowing where the water was, so they can satisfy themselves that their "equipment" and conditions are all working, but was edited out of the final cut.

Given that the experiment appeared to be conducted by Prof. Chris French, a well-known investigator and sceptic of paranormal events, I expect the experiment was probably more rigorous than we saw on the show.

Maybe someone fancies emailing him to ask? mailto:c.french@gold.ac.uk
OK, I'll do it, and report back with hopefully a lot more detail.
Explorer 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 14th August 2007, 12:27 AM   #26
Thing
...now with added haecceity!
 
Thing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 510
Neil Spencer, the Observer's pet idiot got an inept pre-emptive hit in on Sunday:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/revie...146775,00.html

Quote:
Evidently hoping to prove astrologers are know-nothings, Dawkins' interview started with a lengthy grilling about astronomy - the precession of the equinoxes, sidereal and tropical zodiacs, Kuiper Belt objects. There was the usual objection to astrology dividing people into 12 Sun signs, and my usual reply: that's eight more than the Myers-Briggs personality test used by commerce. Actually, astrology's basic personality types number 1,728.
Idiot.
__________________
One evening I came home to find my wife dissolved in tears. After crystallizing her over a bunsen burner, I managed to elicit the reason. S. J. Perelman
Thing 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 14th August 2007, 01:28 AM   #27
andyandy
anthropomorphic ape
 
andyandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,377
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
Secondly, I thought the dowsing tests were scientifically flawed and consequently, absolutely meaningless. .
where was the scientific flaw? It was double blinded, and significance could have been determined by a simple binomial model.

It was, if i remember, a choice of 1 from 12 repeated three times, so we could use

The probability of 0 =

$ {3 \choose 0 }(\frac{11}{12})^3 = 0.77

the probability of 1 =

$ {3 \choose 1 } (\frac{11}{12})^2 (\frac{1}{12})^1  = 0.21

the probability of 2 =

$ {3 \choose 2 } (\frac{11}{12})^1 (\frac{1}{12})^2  = 0.019

the probability of 3=

$ {3 \choose 3 }  (\frac{1}{12})^3  = 0.001

So for any significance on any particular trial you'd need p(>1) = 0.02

(but this is for individual trials, of course if you were testing 50 dowsers in one go you could expect someone to get this by chance)
__________________
"Contentment is found in the music of Bach, the books of Tolstoy and the equations of Dirac, not at the wheel of a BMW or the aisles of Harvey Nicks."
andyandy 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 14th August 2007, 01:37 AM   #28
Explorer
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,149
Originally Posted by andyandy View Post
where was the scientific flaw? It was double blinded, and significance could have been determined by a simple binomial model.

It was, if i remember, a choice of 1 from 12 repeated three times, so we could use

The probability of 0 =

$ {3 \choose 0 }(\frac{11}{12})^3 = 0.77

the probability of 1 =

$ {3 \choose 1 } (\frac{11}{12})^2 (\frac{1}{12})^1  = 0.21

the probability of 2 =

$ {3 \choose 2 } (\frac{11}{12})^1 (\frac{1}{12})^2  = 0.019

the probability of 3=

$ {3 \choose 3 }  (\frac{1}{12})^3  = 0.001

So for any significance on any particular trial you'd need p(>1) = 0.02

(but this is for individual trials, of course if you were testing 50 dowsers in one go you could expect someone to get this by chance)
You have missed the point Andy. I was not querying the applied maths, only the applied scientific method of the test, which in my view was flawed.

I have e-mailed Professor French with my points and invited him to reply. If he does, I will will post both my and his e-mails for your scrutiny.
Explorer 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 14th August 2007, 01:43 AM   #29
Mid
Graduate Poster
 
Mid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,067
Originally Posted by Thing View Post
Neil Spencer, the Observer's pet idiot got an inept pre-emptive hit in on Sunday:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/revie...146775,00.html


Idiot.
It's slightly ammusing that he gets the order the programs were going to be broadcast in the wrong way round though:

Quote:
In the first programme, he attempts to debunk alternative medicine, in the other to rubbish the ideas of astrologers, channellers and other so-called 'New Age' types.

Last edited by Mid; 14th August 2007 at 02:05 AM.
Mid 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 14th August 2007, 02:08 AM   #30
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Like explorer I thought the Enemies of Reason was good entertainment. As a show investigating examples of personal belief and delusion it was great. It showed how deluded people fail to use their powers of reason in various circumstances and when presented with certain questions. But a critical examination of controversial topics it was not.

The main criticism I have is that Dawkins choses the weakest of targets.
The "psychic" who gave him a reading was hilarious, complete with Shirley Ghostman vernacular. They must be two a penny at those new age fairs. And it was disappointing, to say the least, that dowsing was the subject of the controlled test, probably using a handful of dowsers pulled from the new age fair seen earlier.

If one of the points of this show was to critically examine the phenomena of "psychic ability" then why didn't he and Chris French spend Channel 4's money to go and see Edwin May and Joseph McMoneagle who might have been happy to give the TV crew a number of demonstration attempts at remote viewing?

I also thought the converstation between Dawkins and Satish Kumar was marred by communication problems. It seemed their language differences were getting in the way of understand what each were talking about. For example, when addressing his audience Kumar says "I was present the entire history of evolution". In reply to that statement I get the feeling that Dawkins would fail to examine the merits of a philosophical switch to mental monism but rather examine the merits of Kumars statement from within scientific materialism where he is bound to find contradiction. I don't think Kumar understood how greatly Dawkins is entrenched in his own metaphysics.
davidsmith73 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 14th August 2007, 02:18 AM   #31
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 90,401
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
Like explorer I thought the Enemies of Reason was good entertainment. As a show investigating examples of personal belief and delusion it was great. It showed how deluded people fail to use their powers of reason in various circumstances and when presented with certain questions. But a critical examination of controversial topics it was not.

The main criticism I have is that Dawkins choses the weakest of targets.
The "psychic" who gave him a reading was hilarious, complete with Shirley Ghostman vernacular. They must be two a penny at those new age fairs. And it was disappointing, to say the least, that dowsing was the subject of the controlled test, probably using a handful of dowsers pulled from the new age fair seen earlier.

If one of the points of this show was to critically examine the phenomena of "psychic ability" then why didn't he and Chris French spend Channel 4's money to go and see Edwin May and Joseph McMoneagle who might have been happy to give the TV crew a number of demonstration attempts at remote viewing?
Probably because what he was interested in was people who are representative of the majority of "psychics" and other people who claim to have magic powers; in other words the majority that actually interacts and influences the general public's view of these claims day-in-day out.
__________________
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 14th August 2007, 02:19 AM   #32
andyandy
anthropomorphic ape
 
andyandy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,377
Originally Posted by Explorer View Post
You have missed the point Andy. I was not querying the applied maths, only the applied scientific method of the test, which in my view was flawed.

I have e-mailed Professor French with my points and invited him to reply. If he does, I will will post both my and his e-mails for your scrutiny.
ok, then what aspect do you regard as flawed in the scientific method?
__________________
"Contentment is found in the music of Bach, the books of Tolstoy and the equations of Dirac, not at the wheel of a BMW or the aisles of Harvey Nicks."
andyandy 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 14th August 2007, 02:22 AM   #33
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
Like explorer I thought the Enemies of Reason was good entertainment. As a show investigating examples of personal belief and delusion it was great. It showed how deluded people fail to use their powers of reason in various circumstances and when presented with certain questions. But a critical examination of controversial topics it was not.
What would be?

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
The main criticism I have is that Dawkins choses the weakest of targets.
The "psychic" who gave him a reading was hilarious, complete with Shirley Ghostman vernacular. They must be two a penny at those new age fairs. And it was disappointing, to say the least, that dowsing was the subject of the controlled test, probably using a handful of dowsers pulled from the new age fair seen earlier.
I don't see any difference in psychics, regardless of where they are. If you have evidence to the contrary, feel free to share it.

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
If one of the points of this show was to critically examine the phenomena of "psychic ability" then why didn't he and Chris French spend Channel 4's money to go and see Edwin May and Joseph McMoneagle who might have been happy to give the TV crew a number of demonstration attempts at remote viewing?
Why don't May and McMoneagle offer to do this, in general?

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
I also thought the converstation between Dawkins and Satish Kumar was marred by communication problems. It seemed their language differences were getting in the way of understand what each were talking about. For example, when addressing his audience Kumar says "I was present the entire history of evolution". In reply to that statement I get the feeling that Dawkins would fail to examine the merits of a philosophical switch to mental monism but rather examine the merits of Kumars statement from within scientific materialism where he is bound to find contradiction. I don't think Kumar understood how greatly Dawkins is entrenched in his own metaphysics.
"Entrenched"? What do you mean by that?
CFLarsen 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 14th August 2007, 02:35 AM   #34
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
What would be?
A show that is balanced. Enemies wasn't in this respect. Perhaps it wasn't the intention to be so.

Quote:
I don't see any difference in psychics, regardless of where they are. If you have evidence to the contrary, feel free to share it.
I did. I asked why Dawkins and Chris French did not use Channel 4's money to go and see Edwin May and Joseph McMoneagle who have already claimed evidence of remote viewing. Instead Dawkins chooses to go to a local psychic deulsion fair. Thats fine if you want to demonstrate how people can be deluded, which he did very well. But if you want to critically examine the alledged phenomena then I think its common sense to go to the best looking claim.

Why didn't they do that?

Quote:
Why don't May and McMoneagle offer to do this, in general?
I don't know

Quote:
"Entrenched"? What do you mean by that?
I think he finds it difficult to look at issues of "spirituality" from a different metaphysical perspective.
davidsmith73 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 14th August 2007, 02:46 AM   #35
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 90,401
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
A show that is balanced. Enemies wasn't in this respect. Perhaps it wasn't the intention to be so.
What do you mean by "balance" in this context?
__________________
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 14th August 2007, 02:50 AM   #36
CFLarsen
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 42,367
Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
A show that is balanced. Enemies wasn't in this respect. Perhaps it wasn't the intention to be so.
Why does it have to be "balanced"? We sure don't see "balance" on shows that promote superstition.

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
I did.
Where?

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
I asked why Dawkins and Chris French did not use Channel 4's money to go and see Edwin May and Joseph McMoneagle who have already claimed evidence of remote viewing. Instead Dawkins chooses to go to a local psychic deulsion fair. Thats fine if you want to demonstrate how people can be deluded, which he did very well. But if you want to critically examine the alledged phenomena then I think its common sense to go to the best looking claim.

Why didn't they do that?
You will have to demonstrate the difference between what you correctly call "delusion" and what May and McMoneagle do.

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
I don't know
Why is that Dawkins' problem?

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
I think he finds it difficult to look at issues of "spirituality" from a different metaphysical perspective.
I think Dawkins understand the different " metaphysical perspectives" just fine.

Last edited by CFLarsen; 14th August 2007 at 02:52 AM.
CFLarsen 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 14th August 2007, 03:05 AM   #37
SusanB-M1
Incurable Optimist
 
SusanB-M1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3,658
Originally Posted by andyandy View Post
Just watched the first episode....it was good stuff.


anyone else catch it?
Wouldn't miss it - very good programme. I went to the BBC MBs this morning to see comments there but couldn't find any so I'll be poised with fingers on keyboard as soon as they appear!

Originally Posted by davidsmith73 View Post
Like explorer I thought the Enemies of Reason was good entertainment. As a show investigating examples of personal belief and delusion it was great. It showed how deluded people fail to use their powers of reason in various circumstances and when presented with certain questions. But a critical examination of controversial topics it was not.
I think on the contrary that because he gave all his interviewees plenty of time to say what they wanted and then relied on viewers to make up their minds, he was providing very adequate balance.

Last edited by SusanB-M1; 14th August 2007 at 03:08 AM.
SusanB-M1 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 14th August 2007, 03:07 AM   #38
Explorer
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,149
Originally Posted by andyandy View Post
ok, then what aspect do you regard as flawed in the scientific method?
The conditions of the tests were not ideal, for starters. Dowsers attempting to "sense" water inside a tent where an onlooker was standing in the doorway with a cup of fluid, presumably, tea or coffee near to their lips, does not suggest good controlled experimental conditions.

More importantly, and I am awaiting confirmation on this from the professor who supervised and presumably designed the test, did the participant dowsers have a successful track record of "sensing" or "divining" water in plastic bottles, hidden inside polythene buckets, most notably above ground? If they had in the past, then indeed this would be a good test for them, but I suspect that they hadn't.

If not, then perhaps the dowsers were simply invited to try the test for the sake of the TV programme. If they agreed to this, then did they as individuals, all believe that the test was representative of their skills successfully demonstrated in the field. Or, as was said above, were they were a just a few casual amateurs grabbed from the deluded in the fair depicted in the programme. Again I am awaiting confirmation on all these points from the professor. Let us be patient!
Explorer 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 14th August 2007, 03:09 AM   #39
davidsmith73
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 1,697
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What do you mean by "balance" in this context?
If Dawkins is claiming that the subject matter of "psychic clairvoyance" is delusion rather than demonstrating that there are many people who are deluded as to their "psychic ability" then I think he should be going to the best sources of the claim. It clearly was not a critical examination of the evidence for ESP, but perhaps it wasn't meant to be.
davidsmith73 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 14th August 2007, 03:21 AM   #40
Explorer
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,149
Originally Posted by SusanB-M1 View Post
Wouldn't miss it - very good programme. I went to the BBC MBs this morning to see comments there but couldn't find any so I'll be poised with fingers on keyboard as soon as they appear!


I think on the contrary that because he gave all his interviewees plenty of time to say what they wanted and then relied on viewers to make up their minds, he was providing very adequate balance.
The problem is I think that these so-called psychics are unable to formulate any reliable and testable hypothesis behind their claimed skills. Most, if not all of them, like the dowsers, are not scientists acquainted with scientific method. Their usual gullible audience ask not of them for an explanation of their claims, but are simply happy enough to accept it, as they too are unable to articulate an argument for disbelief. These people can only flourish in an environment of ignorance and/or poor educational standards.

However, having said all that, I agree with David that the programme chose the easy targets, and there was no real investigation into the subject matter, but then it was probably never meant to be like that. It was simply enough for Richard Dawkins to provide examples, any examples that is, of the gullible watching the gullible in action. The outcome of the subsequent personal interviews with Dawkins were entirely all too predictable. It served Dawkin's aguments well enough and complimented his views nicely in his book, TGD.
Explorer 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 08:08 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, 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.