The Ills of the Skeptical Movement

In another post, recent contributor TomMueller stated that GPS satellites use relativistic synchronization to match up their clocks with earthbound clocks.  I explained to him that this was not so, even though its easy to believe, if you don’t think critically, that it is.

Tom followed my post to him with a litany of ad hominem, “Oh, you are a moron, you are a troll, creationist idiots,  I read about it on a credible site, I talked to a physics professor about it…” and on and on he went with his insults and denial.

Now to be fair to Tom, if you just read mainstreams sites, like Wikipedia, or Wired or Salon, or even many science websites, this is the information you will find-that GPS satellites use Einstein’s theory of relativity to sync their clocks to earth clocks.  Its written everywhere, surely it must be true.  But I know why its not true, because I actually thought about it. At first I just had a hunch about it, but again, if you just google it, most sites will tell you its true.  But it didn’t make sense to me, for so many reasons.  What clocks are the satellite clocks syncing with, a GPS’s receivers clock?  Huh?  How precise are they?  For that matter, how precise are any clocks.  Its nearly impossible to ever get ANY two clocks to match.

I also read about the so called Haefele-Keating atomic clocks, where relativistic changes in clocks due to speed was tested and confirmed aboard airplanes going around the earth. Again, everywhere you looked online, they say its true.  It was tested, it worked.  And its bullshit.  But how would one know, if all you did was read what is supposedly credible sources, written by academics and scholars and Wikipedia…

I wouldn’t even bother telling you how I learned it was not true.  I wouldn’t even bother citing sources, because all skeptics do is try to spew the same old defense, “Oh, that source is for cranks, try MY sources, they are the best parrots for information.” I learned by thinking, skeptics will never understand that.

 

And so here’s the thing, I didn’t learn that things are complete bullshit, by just going to the vast amount of sources online that claim they are true, instead I thought about.   But here’s what skeptics, as ironic as it sounds, tell you to do.  They tell you to just accept the common wisdom.  Accept that these science facts must be true, because someone famous says so.  Accept that evolution is true, accept that GMO foods are good for you, accept that Oswald acted alone, accept that alternative medicine is all fake, accept that bigPharm is looking out for your best interests, accept materialism, accept that every time you hear about a study which contradicts strict materialism it must be wrong, accept that every time someone challenges the scientific consensus, then they are by definition quacks, and basically just stop thinking for yourself.  The skeptical movement is founded on the exact opposite principle of be skeptical, instead it means to simply follow whatever the skeptic movement tells you must be right.

 

Its the same everywhere, on podcast like the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, or anything with Seth Shostak, or Michael Shermer, or Phil Plaitt, or Neil Degrasse Tyson or Bill Nye, or any of the whole community of people who identify themselves as skeptics, by virtue that they all believe exactly the same things.  This toxic thought has seeped into virtually every source of information you can find, be it television, news, blogs, everywhere.  They will claim they are deep thinkers, and this is how they found the answers, buts its a con game, they are anything but, they are sheep.  They never have an original thought, ever.  I think I even read Lawrence Krauss repeating this same crap line about relativity and GPS satellites-and he has a PhD in physics, for crying out loud.  But don’t ask him to think, he prefers to just parrot the party line, its so much easier.

So nowadays where do you find truth, it sure as hell ain’t easy, thanks to these brainwashed preachers of the scientific consensus.  Its what leads Allan to make ludicrous statements about what fitness means, its what leads parrots like Tom Mueller to say, “Oh, I read it about it, so how dare you say its not true! Moron!”

 

The skeptic movement is one of the biggest diseases to stifle learning that I can think of.  They cloud every news article, and every attempt at understanding with their atheist based need to preach their worldview.  Its just like Lynn Margulis said, they want to tell everyone what to think, by telling them to stop thinking.  I despise these types of thought Nazis.  They are the worst thing that has ever happened to academia.

491 thoughts on “The Ills of the Skeptical Movement

  1. Mung: Note that the term ‘random variable’ is something of a misnomer, since a function from one set to another is neither random nor a variable. Even the determination of a random variable’s input need not be random.

    – The Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy

    If that’s supposed to be a defense of you buddy’s definition of ‘random’ to mean ‘lucky’ it’s a very bad job.

  2. walto,

    Then what the hell does random mean, if not lucky?

    You are so big on consensus and numbingly following the herd, well, if you ask the herd, that is pretty much much what they will tell you random means. Lucky. Happenstance. Totally without meaning. Fluke.

    You prefer fluke mutations adding up? Totally without meaning mutations adding up?

    At some point you are going to run out of words, in your attempt to make evolution sound more believable.

  3. newton,

    NPL staff worked very closely with the BBC production team to make sure the experiment had the best chance of success.

    A non-skeptic might have noticed that line.

  4. phoodoo:
    walto,

    Then what the hell does random mean, if not lucky?

    You are so big on consensus and numbingly following the herd, well, if you ask the herd, that is pretty much much what they will tell you random means. Lucky.Happenstance.Totally without meaning.Fluke.

    You prefer fluke mutations adding up?Totally without meaning mutations adding up?

    At some point you are going to run out of words, in your attempt to make evolution sound more believable.

    I honestly don’t have any interest at all in ‘making evolution sound more believable.’ Why should I care about that? As for what random means, I think you should either take a statistics course, or, at least, read a statistics book. There’s generally a lot of material on it in them. There’s no reason at all for spouting nonsense about it here when there’s so much elementary material available free of charge.

  5. walto,

    To know what random mutations means requires an advanced course in statistics?

    Gee, I thought random mutations was about actually things, not statistics. So evolution is really just a model?

  6. phoodoo:
    walto,
    To know what random mutations means requires an advanced course in statistics?

    It doesn’t. Anyone who isn’t a hostile reader with an intense contrarian bias can understand what it means.

    Gee, I thought random mutations was about actually things, not statistics.So evolution is really just a model?

    Statistics is a way to make sense of things using mathematics. Evolution can be modeled and statistics is part of that. A way of describing what is happening.

    The same way statistics can be used to make sense of, and describe physical systems like the changes and flow of, and qualities like pressure and temperature in gases, fluids and solids. There’s a whole field of physics called statistical mechanics, or statistical physics.

  7. newton: Sure I can, but these are not studies they are replications of the original experiment with better technology. For instance: http://www.npl.co.uk/news/time-flies. You seemed disinterested in anything other that repeating the original was a lie.

    He has done absolutely zero work to establish that it was a lie.

    Here’s what has actually transpired. Phoodoo once heard about time dilation of clocks, then he heard of the Hafele-Keating experiment. Then he went googling and found some people who deny the experiment. On some random internet forum, phoodoo came upon a document in which someone says the raw data was faked. That document shows a small table with a few numbers on it, which is claimed to be the raw data. Phoodoo simply believed this claim, without having ever been in a position to verify the claim.

    So phoodoo has essentially just decided on a whim, that a source he is not in a position to verify, is absolutely right when they claim the raw data was faked. And he’s now absolutely sure the experiment was a fake, and that anyone who doesn’t instantly come to the same conclusion is a gullible idiot. Yet what is the difference really between phoodoo and those he accuse of being gullibile idiot? Phoodoo has simply elected to believe one side. Why? Why does he put that much credibility on that one side of it? Can he even explain that?

  8. Rumraket,

    Wrong, I actually studied it before I made an option. I read the actual data, as hard as it was to find. Unlike you, who decided you believed it, because its on Wikipedia.

    You are such a true skeptic.

  9. Rumraket,

    No Rumraket, when we are discussing random mutations, we are not discussing some model of evolution-we are discussing evolution. You can call it whatever you want in a model. No one needs to take your model seriously.

    You don’t know the difference?

  10. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,
    No Rumraket, when we are discussing random mutations, we are not discussing some model of evolution-we are discussing evolution.

    Come on phoodoo, you must be able to do better than this example of, ahem, your mathematical and scientific illiteracy.

    Models can be made on the basis of data. When we’re discussing mutations we might be referring to the actual evolutionary phenomena, as in the mapping of the mutations; and the models that try and describe the phenomena, whereby the mutations’s distribution along the genomes follow what would be expected from a random distribution; sometimes about both. Sometimes it is useful to be explicit about which, sometimes it’s not necessary.

    phoodoo:
    You can call it whatever you want in a model. No one needs to take your model seriously.

    This is why models come with explanations. You can take them as seriously as you agree or disagree with the model.

    phoodoo:
    You don’t know the difference?

    Do you understand the relationship?

    P.S. You don’t seem to read very well. Rumraket had given you an explanation already.

    Rumraket: “The same way statistics can be used to make sense of, and describe physical systems like the changes and flow of, and qualities like pressure and temperature in gases, fluids and solids. There’s a whole field of physics called statistical mechanics, or statistical physics.”

    If only you learned to read for comprehension, you’d avoid making such a fool out of yourself.

  11. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,

    No Rumraket, when we are discussing random mutations, we are not discussing some model of evolution-we are discussing evolution.

    When we are discussing random mutations, we are discussing a mechanism that contributes to evolutionary change. But in order to understand the effect of that mechanism, we have to use mathematics and probability. This is usually called statistics.

    You can call it whatever you want in a model. No one needs to take your model seriously. You don’t know the difference?

    The models are out best attempts at useful descriptions of the real thing that make quantifiable predictions. But you are of course free to ignore them if you don’t like them, or just mock them out of fear as you always do.

    Models make predictions that can be tested observationally. We have models of biological evolutionary change, models of chemistry and chemical interactions, models of individual atoms and their interactions in molecules and minerals, models of societies and cultural and sociological change, models of economics and political systems, models of physical processes and phenomena, like weather, oceans, climates, even models of entire stars and galaxies.

  12. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,
    Wrong, I actually studied it before I made an option.I read the actual data, as hard as it was to find.

    You read the actual data? Do you have original print-outs? Or original or photocopied handwritten notebook numbers recorded by Hafele and Keating when reading a digital atomic clock display?

    I’m calling bullshit on that.

  13. phoodoo: “NPL staff worked very closely with the BBC production team to make sure the experiment had the best chance of success.”

    A non-skeptic might have noticed that line.

    So if tell you that your best chance for success in sports is to play hard, that guarantees your successful outcome?

    If the answer is yes, then where is this version of the experiment is the evidence of tampering with the data?

    Would you like another example of the experiment being replicated?

  14. phoodoo: Wrong, I actually studied it before I made an option. I read the actual data, as hard as it was to find. Unlike you, who decided you believed it, because its on Wikipedia.

    Again I ask if you, are going to falsify and lie about the data why include that data in the raw data? Your best chance for success would be to delete the unwanted data before releasing it not after the fact.

    You realize of course that Wikipedia has footnotes?

  15. newton: So if tell you that your best chance for success in sports is to play hard, that guarantees your successful outcome?

    If the answer is yes, then where is this version of the experiment is the evidence of tampering with the data?

    Would you like another example of the experiment being replicated?

    Phoodoo has confused “working hard to perform a successful experiment” with “working hard to make the experiment successfully yield a particular desired result”. He thinks an example of the latter was performed in place of the former.

    Phoodoo, you are aware that performing experiments correctly can actually be very difficult? A successful experiment is merely an experiment in which the outcome is easy to determine. Not one in which a particular outcome (which might or might not have been desired) was forced.

    A simple example would be an experiment set up to determine whether a ball in freefall towards the ground moves in a straight line. A successful experiment is one in which the trajectory of the ball can be unambigously determined. Not one in which, necessarily, the ball did move in a straight line.

    That means you shouldn’t have the experiment performed by a blind and deaf man (who died 3 days earlier), in complete darkness with a perfectly black ball and no recording equipment.

  16. Rumraket: He has done absolutely zero work to establish that it was a lie.

    Here’s what has actually transpired. Phoodoo once heard about time dilation of clocks, then he heard of the Hafele-Keating experiment. Then he went googling and found some people who deny the experiment. On some random internet forum, phoodoo came upon a document in which someone says the raw data was faked. That document shows a small table with a few numbers on it, which is claimed to be the raw data. Phoodoo simply believed this claim, without having ever been in a position to verify the claim.

    A true non skeptic would never do that, he would give both sides the the best chance for success.

  17. newton: Again I ask if you, are going to falsify and lie about the data why include that data in the raw data? Your best chance for success would be to delete the unwanted data before releasing it not after the fact.

    You realize of course that Wikipedia has footnotes?

    This is what doesn’t make any sense. Actual fakers outright fake the raw data. They record it in notebooks by just writing the numbers they want, or they photoshop or otherwise edit their machine printouts.

  18. newton: Again I ask if you, are going to falsify and lie about the data why include that data in the raw data? Your best chance for success would be to delete the unwanted data before releasing it not after the fact.

    You realize of course that Wikipedia has footnotes?

    Right, you believe they used their own time and own money to do these tests, and so they could have just thrown away the results if they wanted, instead of just trying to hide them as long as they could.

    Another great skeptic.

  19. Rumraket: When we are discussing random mutations, we are discussing a mechanism that contributes to evolutionary change. But in order to understand the effect of that mechanism, we have to use mathematics and probability.

    How is that going to change whether or not those changes are random?

    Why are so afraid of calling those changes what they are Rummy, is it because you know it makes your theory look absurd?

    You still haven’t said what made up word you want to use instead to hide the random fact?

  20. phoodoo: Right, you believe they used their own time and own money to do these tests, and so they could have just thrown away the results if they wanted, instead of just trying to hide them as long as they could.

    Another great skeptic.

    You have no fucking idea how anyone does any science do you? You think there’s some sort of big Institute of apperatus-measurements that magically knows what some machine outputs and records it? Or that a team of people are standing around to make sure someone is correctly reading and not messing with the display, or a print-out?

  21. phoodoo: So evolution is really just a model?

    There is at least one mathematical model in population genetics in which selection is deterministic.

  22. phoodoo: How is that going to change whether or not those changes are random?

    Who even says it is going to change whether they are random? I have already described the sense in which mutations are random, and what that actually means.
    You are so desperate to make it appear as if something nefarious is going on. But which one of us is actually constantly trying to change the use of words, and which one of us is spending the most time trying to give the full and accurate descriptions?

    Why are so afraid of calling those changes what they are Rummy, is it because you know it makes your theory look absurd?

    It is actually you who is afraid of calling “those changes” what they are.

    You don’t want to call them “mutations that happen randomly with respect to their effect on the fitness of carriers (meaning the frequency of adaptive mutations that occur, is not higher than usual under periods of strong selection)”.

    That is the correct and full description of the term “random mutations”.

    But you don’t even want to call them “random mutations”, you want to call them “lucky accidents”.

    You still haven’t said what made up word you want to use instead to hide the random fact?

    Notice how the word random is still in my description. It is YOU who is trying to hide something, because once the full description is given, rather than your debilitatingly dumb caricature, your intuition that there’s something absurd about the adaptive and constructive potential of mutations, goes completely out the window.

    It is you who is being a deliberate fraud by trying to hide something. You don’t even want to define how you understand the word random. That’s how afraid you are. I have in fact provided several definitions of that word on this forum and described how misunderstandings arrive because it is used differently in different situations.
    Here’s a post where I did exactly that:
    “I will agree that many people, including many popular scientists are very impresise with their word of the use random. It doesn’t help that there’s actually several different ways the way can be understood.

    Some use “X is random” to mean “X has several outcomes with an equiprobable distribution” (An example could be a fair coin).

    Some use “X is random” to mean “X has several outcomes, but they don’t need to be equiprobable to still be random” (An example could be a weighted coin that has a bias towards one side).

    Some use “X is random” to mean only that “X is analyzed in terms of probability theory” (Everything for which the outcomes are expressed in terms of probabilities, like card-games or the lottery).

    And then there are some few who use “X is random” to mean “X is without a known cause”.

    To make matters worse, it’s often times not clear in which of these senses the word is used when it is and several of them are not mutually exclusive.

    So what sense of the word random is implied when describing mutations like this?:
    Mutations that happen randomly with respect to their effect on the fitness of carriers (meaning the frequency of adaptive mutations that occur, is not higher than usual under periods of strong selection).

    It means X has multiple outcomes (mutations can be deleterious, neutral, or beneficial), but is biased in their distribution (there are significantly more neutral and deleterious, than beneficial mutations), but the distribution of mutations that occur does not change under periods of strong selective pressure. Which also implies that the effects of mutations are analyzed in terms of probability theory.

    Now, which one of us is trying to hide something? You want to just call them “lucky accidents”, yet I’m the one who wants to increase understanding and inform people.

  23. Rumraket: There’s a whole field of physics called statistical mechanics, or statistical physics.

    What about a whole field of biology called statistical biology?

  24. Rumraket: But you don’t even want to call them “random mutations”, you want to call them “lucky accidents”.

    That’s better than saying random means random, like you did, using the term to define itself.

  25. Mung: What about a whole field of biology called statistical biology?

    Well, there’s this one called population genetics, because “population statistics” and “statistical genetics” weren’t descriptive enough.

  26. phoodoo: So the experiment was a lie. And people keep repeating this lie.

    Relativity may be true, but the experiment would still be a lie.

    I have no way of knowing what other experiments are being lied about.

    If you are unsure of whether Relativity is true or false, then how do you know that:

    phoodoo: The effects of time dilation are not observed in GPS satellites.

  27. phoodoo: Right, you believe they used their own time and own money to do these tests, and so they could have just thrown away the results if they wanted

    Yes I believe if one wants to lie about results gathered the easiest and safest way is to elimination the unwanted results rather than leave them laying about for the true non skeptic to find. You believe they are too scrupulous to delete raw data but then become nefarious enough to throw away the raw data. You need to explain how this non skeptic thing works again.

    instead of just trying to hide them as long as they could.

    Another great skeptic.

    You are the true non skeptic , so I guess for the true non skeptic it is better to publish the evidence then try to hide it than not publish it at all and have nothing to hide.

  28. Entropy: Well, there’s this one called population genetics, because “population statistics” and “statistical genetics” weren’t descriptive enough.

    Sounds like some kind of conspiracy to the non skeptical among us,I bet.

  29. Mung: Let’s start with this statement you made:

    That’s a description of random mutations, not a definition of the concept of randomness.

    If I had not included it (I could have used the word stochastic), phoodoo would then be claiming I’m afraid of using the term in combination with mutations. Perhaps you should be arguing with him then.

  30. Mung: There is at least one mathematical model in population genetics in which selection is deterministic.

    Well, Entropy has said that models are evidence, so I guess there is evidence that population genetics is deterministic.

  31. TomMueller:
    regarding “denial”

    Is it possible to calibrate two atomic clocks sitting side by side in the same lab?

    Yes

    If one of those clocks were then sent into geostaionary orbit,would both clocks still remain synchronized?

    No

    Can adjustments be made to one or the other clock which would correct for the discrepancy

    Yes

    Is the correction to the nanosecond predicated upon Special Relativity and General Relativity ?

    Yes

    Is all of the above happening even as we speak?

    Yes

    Is any of the above disputable?

    No

    Well then, would denial of any or all of the above still be l possible?

    Yes… possible, but not cogent!

    For more denial along lines similar to phoodoo’s refer to http://www.crank.net

    It has been a while since I glanced at this thread.

    Just for the record: am I correct in assuming phoodoo in fact owes me a public apology?

Leave a Reply