Sunday, February 15, 2009

Randi Backs Out of Challenge with Homeopath George Vithoulkas

As for homeopathic remedies, how would you judge that? If there was no physical evidence that they worked and yet the person feels better -- how could it be said that they didn't work? Even if they only work mentally, they still work.

Using myself as an example -- I know that acupuncture does not heal my back and neck problems. However, whenever I have it done it relaxes me so much that they feel better and I feel better overall.

Health and wellness is not just physical and almost any doctor will agree with that.

Randi Backs Out of Challenge with Homeopath George Vithoulkas

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rupert Sheldrake and Scientific Fundamentalism

Such a great article, you can find it here.

Some quotes:

The same is true of controversies about telepathy. Sceptics like Rutherford, who accused me of "crimes against reason", rely on the claims of other skeptics, like Michael Shermer, who rely on yet other skeptics such as David Marks, who ignore any evidence that goes against their beliefs.
Their beliefs. That is true and it totally excludes them from being considered skeptics and tags them as debunkers.

Science is our best method for exploring what we do not understand. But for some people science has become a religion. They need authority and certainty, and want to believe that the fundamental answers are already known.

Scientific fundamentalism serves deep emotional needs, but it is counter-productive for the progress of science itself. It inhibits scientific exploration, gives science a bad name and puts young people off. Science advances through questioning dogmas, by considering new possibilities, and through open-minded enquiry.

That is also completely true.

Certain people need certainty because they are afraid of the unknown. If there is an unknown that means that they really have no control. They are afraid of having no control.

In fact, it does inhibit science as well. I know several people who have come up with great inventions and patents simply by not following "scientific laws." Yes, by trying something new. By trying something that others told them would never work.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Journalist Terry Hansen wrote:

"[The Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal] is an organization of people who oppose what they contend is pseudo-science...CSICOP, contrary to its impressive-sounding title, does not sponsor scientific research. On the contrary, it's main function has been to oppose scientific research, especially in areas such as psychic phenomena and UFOs, two topics that, coincidentally or not, have been of demonstrated interest to the intelligence community over the decades. Instead, CSICOP devotes nearly all of its resources to influencing the American public via the mass media. As author Jerome Clark, editor of the International UFO Reporter, once pointed out, 'CSICOP's ability to influence media is legendary. It's Manual for Local, Regional and National Groups devotes 17 pages to 'Handling the Media' and 'Public Relations' and, tellingly, a mere three to 'Scientific Investigations'...' "
Yes! Exactly! These people try to appear as though they are scientists and that they are conducting actual scientific investigations when they are NOT! The only people that actually investigate UFO Sighting are Ufologists. Perhaps some of their investigation are not as scientific as some would like, but at least they are out there interviewing witnesses and investigating -- unlike CSI.

I have always suspected that CSI members have a hat and in that hat are all their silly theories, swamp gas, weather balloons, hedgehogs, Venus, owls and so on. When a case comes along that gets any attention they reach into that hat and pull out a theory rather than doing any actual investigation. Then they get on the phone to various media outlets and push that theory even though there was no real investigation. There are many times that I have noticed that CSI members are not even aware of the most basic facts of a case they may be commenting on and putting forth their theories on.

Robert Hastings writes:

The long-time and still-current Executive Editor of Skeptical Inquirer, Kendrick Frazier, worked for more than two decades as a PR Specialist at Sandia National Laboratories-although one will have to look high and low to find references to that employment in his magazine and even in his self-published online biography. Sandia Labs is one of the U.S. government's most important nuclear weapons labs.
Some snipping

So, who is routinely trying to debunk the reality of UFOs and the notion of a UFO cover-up in CSI's Skeptical Inquirer magazine? Why, a PR guy working for the U.S. government's nuclear weapons program! (Although he is strangely shy about publicly acknowledging where he picked up his paycheck for over 20 years, during the same period he was feverishly debunking UFOs, supposedly because of his "skepticism" about them!)
Why is a PR guy of any sort involved in debunking UFOs, but especially one working for the US Government? These people are NOT skeptics, they are debunkers and the entire situation reeks of a government sponsered disinformation program.

Another good question would be -- why does the media give these people the amount of attention that they do? I will guess there is less conspiracy there and mainly just pure lazyness of not taking the time to find out if these people actually deserve to be called scientific or skeptical.

Perhaps Ufology needs some PR people too? People that could point out the small amount of investigation CSI actually does and that they normally have no actual evidence for their claims. That is aside from them being a bit too cozy with the US government.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"More BS from CSI on Big Sur"

An excellent article by Robert Hastings. I hope to get around to commenting on it later.