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Forums Forums Answering Skeptics and Debunking Cynics The ‘claims’ of skeptics

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  • #62838
    lucianarchy
    Participant

    Originally posted by sgrenard

    Randi’s recent debunking of a 10-year child for peeking is an excellent example and an excellent teaching tool.

    Really? How do you know that the child peeked / cheated? Did you take Randi’s word for that, or is there a replication of the alledged “peeking” which actually *demonstrates* the claim of “peeking”?

    #75349
    Pam B
    Keymaster

    Let’s have the benefit of proper context here. Steve’s quoted words come from this post.

    #75350
    sgrenard
    Participant

    Yes. Thanks Pam. The child peeking example was meant to exemplify the finest standards of legitimate debunking involving a physical, observational experiment on a single subject who was a claimant.

    The details of this case can be found on Randi’s website a few weeks back, in two lengthy parts. In front of witnesses, including the child’s parents/guardians and their attorney, when Randi suspected the child was somehow able to “see” as a
    result of a small aperture that occurred in the blindfold due to the
    structure of her nose, and he corrected that, this child was no longer able to read blindfolded. This was a prleiminary test to Randi’s challenge, which she failed. It did not require replication.

    Frankly it doesn’t matter whether I accept Randi’s word on this or not, and in fact, I did not, until he released the second part of the report. And until I saw the photos and the diagrams. It was an excellent example of why everyone should be skeptical of extraordinary claims until convinced or proven otherwise.
    I am an outspoken critic of many things Randi writes, says or does but I am the first also to admit that when he’s right, he’s right.

    #75336
    sgrenard
    Participant

    The introduction to Winston Wu’s essay deals with the very subject of this thread and certainly the typical call for replicable experimentation to falsify or validate a claim:

    http://www.survivalscience.org/debunk/ww/introduction.shtml

    Anyone with a serious interest in the tactics of cynics and some types of skeptics in dealing with such matters should read this essay, or at the very least, the introduction.

    #76773
    Kasin
    Participant

    SGR, in reference to:

    “The details of this case can be found on Randi’s website a few weeks back, in two
    lengthy parts. In front of witnesses, including the child’s parents/guardians and their
    attorney, when Randi suspected the child was somehow able to “see” as a
    result of a small aperture that occurred in the blindfold due to the
    structure of her nose, and he corrected that, this child was no longer able to read
    blindfolded. This was a prleiminary test to Randi’s challenge, which she failed. It did not require replication. “

    I remembered a paragraph in a book on mediumship I was reading. It mentioned that in reference to mediums, the spirits/energies, use humans as the transporter of information. The resulting information relayed by mediums is dependant on many things, including the physical environment conditions and the emotional tone of the reader and the sitter(s) – receptivity and the like.
    Could the child in this experiment still truly be psychic yet have been upset by the adjustment of the blindfold and thus be interfered with emotionally so that she didn’t read as before? Just a thought, an aspect, that wasn’t addressed priorly.

    #76784
    sgrenard
    Participant

    Randi, of course, looked at this child as the perpetrator of some sort of canrival trick. He may or may not have been wrong since I dont believe anyone considered mediumnship as an arbiter of this child’s claimed skill.

    He produced a diagram of the means by which she peeked. I have tried it and she obviously has a very wide field of vision because I couldn’t do it at the distances that were involved.

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