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. Rumraket: Like, just deleting the raw data? They did the best they could, but failed to just throw it in the trash. Instead they did something much more nefarious, by making it hard to get on the internet.

    No, by waiting years to publish it in its entirety, instead only publishing the parts that were favorable to their predictions. I guess you didn’t google that part.

    But you have already admitted you know nothing about it but believe it anyway, so we already know you are full of shit.

    Poor baby. Are you feeling butt-hurt? Do you need a time out. Maybe Richard can comfort you. I heard he knows all about being burped, his wife does it for him all the time.

  2. phoodoo,

    The only savior is that after a while, you start to learn the buzzwords of their church. You catch certain phrases, certain references to studies you know have been discredited, you hear certain names, and you go ding, ding, ding, skeptic alert-bullshit is coming forthwith!

    Interesting. I assumed the general/special relativity-GPS story was true.

  3. phoodoo: But eventually I found the data, I found out more information about what actually happened, and low and behold I was right, and all the so-called experts were wrong. And they are still wrong, the experiment was a failure, and its still pretty hard to actually find that out unless you really look.

    I haven’t studied the experiment myself, so I have not come to an opinion about it. But you have not persuaded me that it was wrong. The sort of empty rhetoric that you are using is completely unpersuasive.

    So if in the mid 70’s you could even get 4 clocks to agree on time, how could you get a satellite clock to agree perfectly with an earth clock? You couldn’t.

    Any two clocks will drift apart, unless they are re-synchronized. That’s because time is a somewhat artificial construct. What makes a clock perfect, is that it has been declared to be the official standard. So it depends on an arbitrary human convention.

    But that does not prove that the experiment was wrong. The experimenters presumably knew that there would always be drift. I presume that their experimental design took that into account.

    And here’s another funny twist to the story. I didn’t have an opinion about evolution one way or another growing up. I assumed it must be true, because pretty much everything you read at that time told you of course its true.

    Much the same here, except that I did not assume it was true. Rather, I took evolution to be interesting, and I agreed that it would explain a lot of what we see in nature. But, at that time, I chose to remain undecided on the issue.

    But I thought about that as well. I started thinking about irreducible complexity before I ever knew there was such a term.

    I won’t claim to have thought of irreducible complexity. However, it did seem a problem, that statistical convergence is slow and could not easily explain the complexity of biological systems. However, I found the Crick-Watson work to be convincing support for evolution. I remain skeptical of the role of natural selection. And, for that matter, I am skeptical of Bayesian epistemology, and for the same reason — it wanted statistical convergence to produce complexity.

  4. colewd,

    Of course, because its so pervasive, its hard to know otherwise.

    Now of course, it is still claimed that the relativity correction would be necessary, but since they error correct the clocks in other ways already, its sort of like saying, but if we didn’t then…

    And there is also another complicated angle to the story, clocks rely on physical movement of parts, including atoms. Atoms obviously get moved differently in higher gravity environments than lower gravity ones. Even pushing a metal arm, which involves presses on atoms, which then press on other items, which results in near instantaneous movement from one end of the metal to another, is different in lower and higher gravity fields. So we can’t even know for sure if this, or even other quantum effects, is what is responsible for clocks running different in different places. And then there is temperature, vibrations, interference from other sources…

    So in truth, its all just a red herring, because the clocks never run for long without being corrected anyway. Its not like they just set the clocks, and say, ok, we figured out the formula, let them run. That’s a lie.

  5. phoodoo: No, by waiting years to publish it in its entirety, instead only publishing the parts that were favorable to their predictions. I guess you didn’t google that part.

    Why even publish the full results then? Why the fuck would they publish it if, as you believe simply because you can fit it into a larger narrative about a conspiracy against your worldview, it undermines their work?

    Why not just outright falsify the raw data then?

  6. Neil Rickert: I haven’t studied the experiment myself, so I have not come to an opinion about it. But you have not persuaded me that it was wrong. The sort of empty rhetoric that you are using is completely unpersuasive.

    Well, that’s sort of your problem, I have no desire whatsoever to persuade anyone. The experiment failed. That is an undeniable fact. Whether or not you believe that is irrelevant to me.

    What is more relevant, is that people like Richard and Rumraket would automatically believe the experiment was true, even when they admit they don’t know the first thing about it. And they would continue to argue it, and pretend they know otherwise, just because that is what they are. They are just drones. Like so many skeptics.

    If that hasn’t been shown to be obvious by this thread, then I suggest its because people aren’t very perceptive.

  7. colewd:
    phoodoo,

    Interesting.I assumed the general/special relativity-GPS story was true.

    And you’re not even a skeptic. I thought we were supposed to be the only people who accept stuff said by the scientific community without checking everything down to the level of raw data.

    And if a single example can be found where we have not done that, checked and verified everything down to the level of raw data, then obviously it’s because we sycophantly believe everything we read, just because we want to.

    Says a guy who claims it’s all bullshit, because he read it on the internet and now sycophantly believes it simply because it fits into a narrative he has going about a conspiracy against his views.

    And that’s what is called irony.

  8. Neil Rickert: Any two clocks will drift apart, unless they are re-synchronized. That’s because time is a somewhat artificial construct. What makes a clock perfect, is that it has been declared to be the official standard. So it depends on an arbitrary human convention.

    Precisely.

    Because there is no such thing as precisely!

    Hey Neil, maybe you really are a skeptic. I mean the real kind, not the skeptic kind.

  9. Then: “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.”

    Now: “there are other variances that affect the clocks, which need to be error corrected, which are more important than any small relativistic effects anyway.”

  10. phoodoo: Well, that’s sort of your problem, I have no desire whatsoever to persuade anyone. The experiment failed. That is an undeniable fact.

    No it isn’t. So far all it is, is a claim. And that claim is mirrored in a document that purports to show raw data that later got adjusted.

    How do we verify that the raw data is authentic?

    If all it takes for it to constitute an “undeniable fact”, is for you to just state as much, then any idiot can do the same. Here goes: It is an undeniable fact that the experiment was a great success, and it is the guy who wrote the document that claims to contain the raw data, who is a fraud.

    Who are we to believe? You seem to have made your choice that it is fraud. You believe the guy who claims it is fraud. Why? Do you know him? Did you get the original data print outs send to you?

  11. Rumraket: There is no back and forth of any sort. Phoodoo isn’t interesting in discussing whether he is, or even could be wrong.

    Looks like he’s pretending to be a skeptic.

  12. Rumraket: This is up there with the intensely debilitating stupidity of Mung’s “… except when it doesn’t”-remark.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying that, except when there is.

  13. Rumraket,

    I will say it one more time, and try to get it through your fat head. I don’t care if you believe it. You believe it, whether you know anything about it or not, you have already admitted that. You are wrong, but that’s way besides the point.

    You BELIEVE it is true, even when you don’t have the faintest notion about it.

  14. phoodoo: Now of course, it is still claimed that the relativity correction would be necessary, but since they error correct the clocks in other ways already, its sort of like saying, but if we didn’t then…

    And there is also another complicated angle to the story, clocks rely on physical movement of parts, including atoms. Atoms obviously get moved differently in higher gravity environments than lower gravity ones.

    What the fuck does that even mean, “atoms get moved differently”?

    Already here it is obvious that it is you who have no fucking idea what you’re talking about.

    Even pushing a metal arm, which involves presses on atoms, which then press on other items, which results in near instantaneous movement from one end of the metal to another, is different in lower and higher gravity fields.

    It’s different? In what way? Are those effects measurable, and what is the magnitude of the effect?

    You’re straight up just talking out of your ass here.

    So we can’t even know for sure if this, or even other quantum effects, is what is responsible for clocks running different in different places. And then there is temperature, vibrations, interference from other sources…

    Holy fucking cow you are absolutely goddamn clueless about this whole thing.

    You haven’t worked shit out by yourself. You’ve read that document that says the raw data was adjusted, and now you’re just blathering technobabble with no connection to reality.

    So in truth, its all just a red herring, because the clocks never run for long without being corrected anyway. Its not like they just set the clocks, and say, ok, we figured out the formula, let them run. That’s a lie.

    Who is it who has even stated this lie? Who ever claimed “we figured out the formulate, let them run”?

    You keep making up this ridiculous strawman to knock down. The skeptics and scientists you are fighting are a figment of your imagination. Just look at your OP, which purports to contain lots of claims and statements by scientists and skeptics, none of which you can back up with quotes or examples.

    You just sit there and outright lie through your teeth.

  15. phoodoo: So you mean, some views might be based on science, but not necessarily, its more like faith based views. Or like groupthink. It certainly doesn’t have to be scientific! Its skeptic based.

    No my illiterate friend. What I mean is that there’s other things besides science. For example, basic philosophy, such as logic.

    The word “besides” doesn’t mean “in opposition to.” It means “in addition to.” I’m not surprised that you would not understand this, given your illiteracy.

    I already mentioned your inability to read for comprehension, poor semantics, and your tendency to hasty conclusions based of poor semantics. I appreciate your willingness to keep providing examples, but there’s no need. Still, thank you.

  16. Richardthughes: GPS satellites use relativistic synchronization to match up their clocks with earthbound clocks

    Try to understand this sentence Richard. Try your best. And then after that fails, try asking your wife. Ask her to draw a picture for you.

    No, they don’t! They don’t use relativistic synchronization. They use synchronization!

  17. phoodoo:
    Rumraket,
    I will say it one more time, and try to get it through your fat head. I don’t care if you believe it. You believe it, whether you know anything about it or not, you have already admitted that.

    But there are many things I believe without having checked. I also believe a heart surgeon on how to perform heart surgery. And a mechanic on how to fix my car. We all do this implicitly in many cases.

    As I stated earlier, when it comes to claims made by scientists, my trust is in the greater scientific community in general, not really to individuals. And I have no illusions about the possibility that fraud takes place. There are already many infamous cases of that, so I am not against having my mind changed on this experiment at all. But you seem extremely reluctant to actually make any work towards addressing the authenticity of the “raw data” document, why is that? Are you afraid of what you might find out?

    You are wrong, but that’s way besides the point.

    Perhaps I am, but in that case I’d like to find out if I am. I don’t find that out by just blindly believing what you say, or some obscure internet document. I’d like to first of all find out whether the raw data is purports to contain is authentic.

    You BELIEVE it is true, even when you don’t have the faintest notion about it.

    No actually I used to believe it was true, because yes I generally have a trust towards consensus views of the scientific community. That’s just the nature of the game. There are many scientific claims which I accept as true without having really checked, either because I don’t have time for it, or because I can’t check it even if I wanted to, often times because I’m simply not qualified to do that.

    But I am also interested in discovering whether I am wrong. You’re the one scolding skeptics for just believing something written by some authority, and here you are blindly believing the experiment is a fraud because you read something on the internet that fits into a larger narrative you have going in your head about science and skepticism.

    So the correct procedure is to verify the authenticity of the document that is claimed to contain the raw data. How do we do that?

  18. It’s a while since I guano’d a comment. I’m giving phoodoo leeway as he’s in a minority here. I’m also hoping for a little restraint from the majority.

  19. Rumraket: So phoodoo found out what was wrong with everything by basically googling stuff and then mindlessly believing what he read.

    I don’t think Google was around back then.

  20. phoodoo,

    Its clearly too complicated for you. Why do they need synchronizing? BackPeddle Phoodoo knows, he listed some of the reasons, including “relativity”.

    You’ve got no better since you critiqued an article you hadn’t read.

  21. Mung: Do I taste salty?

    Well he seems really angry and can barely compose a post without somehow calling someone fat, or stupid, or a sycophant or what have you. When posts are that full of swear words the person writing it is usually quite emotional.

    So the evidence before us is: Phoodoo is quite worked up.

  22. Rumraket,

    Oh, are you still butthurt Rummy? Count to ten, but don’t hold your breath.

    You don’t know that clocks are affected by their physical environment, by gravitational fields, by different temperatures? You know gravity affects light, you think it wouldn’t affect an atomic clock (we are not talking relativity, try to keep thinking for a few more seconds if you can)? Its ok, you can’t know everything.

    Sometimes you can’t know anything. But if you are a skeptic its ok, just believe.

  23. phoodoo: No, they don’t! They don’t use relativistic synchronization. They use synchronization!

    Didn’t you agree in this very thread, that they adjust their clocks to run a bit slower, in proportion to the effects of special and general relativity, and that in addition to this, they are also periodically sychronized to Earth-bound standard clocks to make sure they “keep up”?

    It seems to me that both methods can be employed simultaneously.

    So:
    1. The sattellite has an on-board atomic clock, and this atomic clock is programmed to run time slower than Earth-clocks in a proportion that is commensurate with the cumulative effects of special and general relativity.
    2. The satellite clock is also periodically synchronized to so-called “standard” atomic clocks on Earth.

    The combined effect is that the satellite-based clocks are well-synchronized to Earth clocks.

    But you’re saying #1. above is wrong, is that correct? You’re saying that atomic clocks on satellites do not factor in a relativistic time adjustment, and that they are exclusively and continously corrected by synchronizing them to an Earth-based atomic standard clock?

  24. phoodoo: They don’t use relativistic synchronization. They use synchronization!

    To be fair to phoodoo, I’d agree on this point. Relativistic effects can be compensated for by daily re-calibrating the satellite clocks from the Master Clock. But I’d argue that it’s relativistic effects that necessitate that re-calibration.

  25. Alan Fox: phoodoo: Evolution=good
    Alternative medicine=bad
    GMO food=good
    Monsanto=good
    Rupert Sheldrake=bad
    David Suzuki=bad
    Bill Nye=good

    That’s about the craziest fucking list I’ve ever seen. It’s like phoodoo singing a chorus of “These are a few of my (least) favorite things” and then assuming that everybody he disagrees about one of them with, he must agree with all of them about. (He forgets that, e.g., mung and Sal are Trump supporters (or at least not Trump detractors.)

  26. Alan Fox: To be fair to phoodoo, I’d agree on this point. Relativistic effects can be compensated for by daily re-calibrating the satellite clocks from the Master Clock. But I’d argue that it’s relativistic effects that necessitate that re-calibration.

    I don’t see why they have to be mutually exclusive. In between periodic re-synchronization, the on-board atomic clock could still apply a small relativistic time adjustment. If the on-board atomic clock is re-synchronized every minute, it still ticks for a full minute at it’s own speed. It seems such a trivial thing to have it apply a relativistic adjustment for this period.

    But phoodoo seems to be saying that is not done at all. Not just that they are synchronized to an Earth-clock, but that the relativistic adjustment simply does not take place at all. And that he worked this out just by thinking about it.

  27. Alan Fox: But I’d argue that it’s relativistic effects that necessitate that re-calibration.

    Well, think about it then Alan. They already know what the relativistic affects would be, so of course its not that. If that were the case, all you would have to do is program in the difference one time, and you would be done.

    Now try to explain it to Richard, he doesn’t understand what synchronizing clocks means.

  28. walto: That’s about the craziest fucking list I’ve ever seen.It’s like phoodoo singing a chorus of “These are a few of my (least) favorite things” and then assuming that everybody he disagrees about one of them with, he must agree with all of them about.(He forgets that, e.g., mung and Sal are Trump supporters (or at least not Trump detractors.)

    And don’t ask him to support any of those with quotes by skeptical organizations or individuals. Phoodoo thinks that when he says something is “an undeniable fact”, then by his mere uttering the words, reality bends itself to match his claims.

  29. phoodoo: Did you mean skepticism, as in the skeptic movement?Is English your second language as well?

    Is “skeptic” a noun, an adjective?

    What were you saying about being illiterate?

    This from the guy who called Neil names when he pointed out that he wrote “infinity” instead of “affinity.”

  30. phoodoo: Well, think about it then Alan. They already know what the relativistic affects would be, so of course its not that. If that were the case, all you would have to do is program in the difference one time, and you would be done.

    Yes. And then that is what they do? The atomic clock on the satellite counts a second, then a line of code subtracts a small relativistic effect that has been worked out beforehand. Then it counts another second, and again the relativistic effect is subtracted. Then when (say) a full minute has passed and this process has repeated sixty times, the satellite contacts an Earth-based time keeping station to synchronize it’s clock to the “standard time” on Earth. And the cycle repeats.

    Why can’t that be how it works? You’re saying that this is definitely not how it works, is that correct? You’re saying the atomic clock on the satellite just ticks at it’s normal rate, that no continous adjustment is made, and that the satellite ONLY periodically synchronizes to an Earth-clock? Is that a correct understanding of your position?

  31. Rumraket:
    He didn’t work shit out of course. He read that document I found and then believed it instantly because it fits into a larger rationalization he has going about how scientific conclusions he don’t like are advanced as part of a giant secular conspiracy.

    That’s my sense too. He could successfully rebut this notion, if he’d actually write something substantive about it, instead of (in notably Trumpian fashion, incidentally), just telling us how smart he is over and over again and how gullible everybody else is). But he doesn’t do that. So our inference seems reasonable, at least for the time being.

  32. Rumraket,
    I’m still interested to hear phoodoo clarify what his beef is with GPS. It works brilliantly. Is it in spite of relativity, because of relativity or because relativity is a myth?

  33. phoodoo: And there is also another complicated angle to the story, clocks rely on physical movement of parts, including atoms. Atoms obviously get moved differently in higher gravity environments than lower gravity ones. Even pushing a metal arm, which involves presses on atoms, which then press on other items, which results in near instantaneous movement from one end of the metal to another, is different in lower and higher gravity fields. So we can’t even know for sure if this, or even other quantum effects, is what is responsible for clocks running different in different places. And then there is temperature, vibrations, interference from other sources…

    You’re swallowing a ton of consensus stuff there, bro. Haven’t you heard yet about the whole atom thing being “skeptic” bullshit?

  34. phoodoo,

    Atomic clocks are based on radioactive decay. Would you tell them to decay slower or mess with the half life? DERP.

    If your argument is that the synchronization doesn’t use relativity TO synchronize but must synchronize BECAUSE of relativity then your grasp of English is worse than we feared.

    Adjectives are descriptive not necessarily mechanically prescriptive.

  35. walto: Anyhow, you can continue to tell yourself that all the experts are wrong about everything you happen to disagree with them about, but right about those things you happen to agree with them about) because you are thinking thinking about these matters and nobody else is (or only those who agree with you are). But you should know that that it is just a comfortable, (and quite pompous) way of looking at the world.

    What is the word “about)” ? Is it Greek? I am unfamiliar with this word, Walto.

    I am thinking thinking what you mean.

  36. Alan Fox:
    Rumraket,
    I’m still interested to hear phoodoo clarify what his beef is with GPS. It works brilliantly. Is it in spite of relativity, because of relativity or because relativity is a myth?

    Yeah I don’t get it either. Scientists are actively lying about how GPS works, for myserious reasons. And I mean really mysterious reasons.

    Because if GPS didn’t incorporate relativistic effects, then obviously… then… uhm… something bad!

  37. Richardthughes: Atomic clocks are based on radioactive decay.

    Not really.

    But seriously, what is all of this “discussion” with phoodoo? What is he but the classic case of someone who doesn’t learn because he thinks that he thinks, and thus knows?

    Jesus told the parable of the beam and the mote, and nobody since then who actually had a beam in his eye (strange image at this time, btw) ever recognized that. Kind of the point, but then it seems pointless to make the point, at least to them. Some people are not teachable, including most of those at UD (Barry and Denyse being especially unteachable).

    Glen Davidson

  38. Richardthughes: If your argument is that the synchronization doesn’t use relativity TO synchronize but must synchronize BECAUSE of relativity then your grasp of English is worse than we feared.

    Oh the stupid is painful.

    They synchronize different clocks, because they are different clocks-it has nothing to do with relativity. There are things like temperatures, vibrations, unstable orbits, interference from other sources-all things THAT AREN’T RELATIVITY! SEE??

    Alan, come on, you are smart enough to understand this, can you please draw Richard a picture of a dog, to give himself to do?

  39. phoodoo: What is the word “about)” ?Is it Greek? I am unfamiliar with this word, Walto.

    I am thinking thinking what you mean.

    Your criticism of my copy-editing in that post are the are the first good points you’ve made on this thread, phoo. Bravo!

    I def should not have typed “thinking thinking”!! Excellent deep thinking!

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