Inquiry and the Supernatural

Are you talking about those network shows, or the trump-brigade? :smile::smile:

The ones that really turn me off are the “Solved” shows. They show or describe something “mysterious”. Then they go through some inane “possibilities” eventually saying “Nope, that’s not it”, and then reveal the real explanation.

Network shows. My favorite was this one on bigfoot, where the guy actually said “you can tell squatch was here because of the porcupine quills…it’s a known fact that squatch eat porcupine”.

Boy you have to admire such brazen ridiculousness.

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I know not everyone reads every one of my posts, so, here I go again. In most cases on the internet, when someone tells me to have an open mind, it leads down a road where I’m being told that I should accept any and all possible outcomes or theories that they accept. If I don’t, I’m not nice. They become the opposite of having an open mind to whatever I’m advocating. It can only get uglier after that.

There is a two-part solution to this. One is expressed in the Camus thread in the Philosophy section; recognize the person, be curious about why they think what they do, but you don’t have to agree with them or validate their arguments, only their humanity. The other is to use rigor and some sort of methodology. Be willing to explain your methodology and have it applied to your own thing, whatever you are attempting to verify. In other words, play fair.

I think that goes a long way - and as you say - both ways. When you meet someone from the other side of town for the first time, let it be eye-opening, not confrontational.

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Our current level of science and technology falls short of being able to detect empirical evidence for extra-sensory or paranormal activity.

I see several problems with this argument. First, it commits the fallacy of claiming “it can’t be proven so I have a reason to believe it is true”. This is called the fallacy of appeal to ignorance. It sounds like an insult but it’s not. Ignorance in this case just means that you don’t know the answer to the proposition.

Next, it makes the false claim that if something falls outside of our current understanding then science can’t examine it. In the case of the paranormal, people making the claim of its existence make specific claims of its effects on the physical world. This means that it is scientifically testable. If those effects don’t exist, then you have no justification in believing in it.

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Nicely put.

There are some areas where science has not yet been able to observe directly, such as at quantum scale, although we are making great strides in electron photography and are beginning to get glimpses of what nature is like in that nano reality.

But of course, whatever we will find, it will always be natural. If it was super-natural we would never be able to observe it.

Electron photography

Featured snippet from the web

The scanning electron microscope uses electrons and magnetic lenses instead of light and allows magnifications up to 100,000X or more and has incredible depth of field. To learn how a Scanning electron microscope works visit Wikipedia. Photograph of a Scanning Electron microscope by Etan J.Jul 16, 2017

Check out the link and be amazed at that part of the natural world. It’s absolutely frightening.