1235: "Settled"

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby rmsgrey » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:08 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:If you want to go down that route, it's not conclusively settled that there isn't an undetectable spider-web filling my doorway.

Hold on there. You're applying the undetectability thing about ghosts to the rest; that's not what I was saying. Nobody (well, probably some handful of ultra-fringe kooks, but nearly nobody) is saying that Bigfoot doesn't show up on film or what-have-you.


True, but people are saying that Bigfoot is secretive, reclusive, and good at not being caught on camera, that UFOs have upgraded their stealth technology, and that Nessie has a clever hiding place - the upshot is that, after the fact, it's predictable that it was impossible to observe them - that there's no possible negative observation that could show they don't exist.

What is pretty much settled is that, for example, Bigfoot as presented in popular culture is not out there in the way that is suggested by the number of sightings and photos from the last 50 years of the last century.

I have to question what presentation you're getting from "popular culture" wherein Bigfeet are as common as whitetail deer and regularly live around and venture openly into areas of high population density, and could therefore consequently be expected to be a common subject for candid photography by every schmuck with a cell phone. Even Harry and the Hendersons wasn't that divorced from the actual reputed habitat and behavior of the critters.


The "popular culture" where when I was younger, you'd have 2-3 Bigfoot sightings reported a year (and that was only on slow news days here in the UK) - it's not like deer where you can go down to the woods for a couple of nights and have a good chance of a sighting, but with tens of thousands of people in a position to possibly encounter a Bigfoot, no reported encounters for a couple of years is like living in the woods for thirty years and never seeing a deer...

If you say that something exists, but can never be detected when an attempt to formally document it is conducted, then you're putting forward an unfalsifiable hypothesis - on the same level as there being a label on my forehead that everyone apart from me can see, but which everyone reads as saying something different (well, some people read the same thing, but not everyone)

I'll basically agree with that. On the other hand, for the sake of argument, why should a thing be obligated to conform to your methods of investigation simpy because you want it to?


It's not about "my" methods of investigation; it's about people saying they've had a particular result from a particular procedure, and then saying that no-one else following their recipe (or any reasonable variation) will get the same result.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Thibaw » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:37 pm UTC

What about Santa and the Tooth fairy?

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby sorceror » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:40 pm UTC

Scott Auld wrote:And yet, we can't get any video footage of a plane crash happening at noontime on a Saturday in the most tech-savvy city in the US?


Voila: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2013/07/07/vo-plane-sf-plane-crash-on-cam.courtesy-fred-hayes

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Angelastic » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:49 pm UTC

Retsam wrote:*reads comic*
"Hmm... what if ghosts exist but can't be photographed?"
*reads alt-text*
"Ah."

Angelastic wrote:
da Doctah wrote:But okay, everyone's got phones now. Everyone's got cameras. Everyone's got reference libraries. What should we shoot for next?

I'm thinking harmonicas.

I'm thinking water buffalo.

I like you.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby ijuin » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:51 pm UTC

What the ubiquity of cameras does is eliminate the cases of "I swear to God that I saw it, even though I don't have a picture or any evidence besides my own words". Anything that can be seen by the eye, and that hangs around for enough time (20 seconds?) to be photographed, and that doesn't have some weird paranormal "can be seen by eyes but not by cameras" thing going, will be photographed if the person who sees it thinks that it is worth photographing.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:56 pm UTC

As previously explained, absence of evidence when it's being looked for is indeed evidence of absence.

Sure, a lack of pictures despite the ubiquity of cameras doesn't *prove* these things don't exist, but it is increasingly strong evidence that they don't. You need a pretty heavy dose of special pleading if you want to explain away the fact that the quality and frequency of alleged pseudoscience-creatures images haven't increased along with the quality and frequency of pictures of damn near everything else.

Sure, my camera phone isn't as good as a DSLR, but it's a lot better than any readily available digital cameras were, say, 20 years ago.

Incidentally, some UFO enthusiasts themselves are losing faith in the idea: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstop ... r-all.html

Edit, on the topic of there now being pictures of pretty much everything worth photographing:
A couple weeks ago a complete double rainbow was visible near Boston after an evening thunderstorm. Every single one of the local people I follow on Instagram had posted one or more pictures of it. And yet, when someone claims to have photographic or video evidence of a UFO over a populated area, we rarely if ever see the same kind of quantity of corroboration. It turns out that raindrops or insects or floating lanterns aren't visible over as large an area as a bright alien ship would be.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:33 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:True, but people are saying that Bigfoot is secretive, reclusive, and good at not being caught on camera, that UFOs have upgraded their stealth technology, and that Nessie has a clever hiding place - the upshot is that, after the fact, it's predictable that it was impossible to observe them - that there's no possible negative observation that could show they don't exist.

Which is exactly why the comic's conclusion is wrong-headed. Again, I'll agree that, for progressively narrower search areas (one lake versus the forests of an entire continent versus space) and greater search efforts, it does strain credibility more to claim that searchers' luck has just been that bad. And if we're accepting the premises of these things at all, they provide progressively more credible explanations; it's difficult to imagine that a big lake monster is that good at hiding, but a smallish population of solitary, reclusive, forest-dwelling hominids could much more plausibly stay hidden, and it's hardly a stretch to suggest that if a species can manufacture interstellar passenger spacecraft, they should be pretty good at evading detection.) And once again, there is a huge difference between saying that there's no persuasive evidence for the existence of something and saying its nonexistence is "conclusively settled."

It's not about "my" methods of investigation; it's about people saying they've had a particular result from a particular procedure, and then saying that no-one else following their recipe (or any reasonable variation) will get the same result.

But again, if you accept the premise of ghosts at all, you open up a whole world of loopholes for this...I agree that "you can't record evidence for them" does not a convincing argument make, but still.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Klear » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:40 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:(...) and it's hardly a stretch to suggest that if a species can manufacture interstellar passenger spacecraft, they should be pretty good at evading detection (...)


But if they are so good at evading detection, that means that none of the people claiming to have seen a UFO have actually seen one.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:49 pm UTC

It's not a matter of whether an argument is convincing, but whether it's scientific. An untestable claim is not a scientific claim, in the sense that science cannot say anything about it one way or the other.

You can go ahead and "believe" any number of such claims, whatever that may mean, but just remember that there is literally no empirical meaning to an untestable claim.

Of course that's not actually all that relevant to this topic, anyway, since the claims proponents usually make *are* in fact testable ones. They claim that ghosts and UFOs and Bigfoots *do* show up on film, and then proceed to produce really shitty examples of said film. They claim aliens and Bigfoots have DNA, and then proceed to produce nothing inconsistent with a contaminated sample of mundane human DNA. They claim Bigfoot leaves big foot prints, and then they proceed to produce examples of bear prints, most often.

They make plenty of testable claims, in short, which all very consistently fail such tests as are applicable.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:53 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
What is pretty much settled is that, for example, Bigfoot as presented in popular culture is not out there in the way that is suggested by the number of sightings and photos from the last 50 years of the last century.

I have to question what presentation you're getting from "popular culture" wherein Bigfeet are as common as whitetail deer and regularly live around and venture openly into areas of high population density, and could therefore consequently be expected to be a common subject for candid photography by every schmuck with a cell phone. Even Harry and the Hendersons wasn't that divorced from the actual reputed habitat and behavior of the critters.


The "popular culture" where when I was younger, you'd have 2-3 Bigfoot sightings reported a year (and that was only on slow news days here in the UK) - it's not like deer where you can go down to the woods for a couple of nights and have a good chance of a sighting, but with tens of thousands of people in a position to possibly encounter a Bigfoot, no reported encounters for a couple of years is like living in the woods for thirty years and never seeing a deer...


Isn't bigfoot supposed live in the Himalayas? I think cameras are much rarer there (and not that many people go deep into the mountains there either)... If he were to live on the summit of [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chomolungma]Chomolungma/Sagarmatha[/url] and hid if someone came there (which would probably be feasible, considering the lack of visitors) it seems probable that it remains undetected. I don't think many people looked for him, especially of those visiting the higher regions of the Himalayas.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:00 pm UTC

Yetis live in the Himalayas. Bigfoot is North American.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:01 pm UTC

Klear wrote:But if they are so good at evading detection, that means that none of the people claiming to have seen a UFO have actually seen one.

Not really. There are plenty of alternate hypotheses to explain it, from "they' re just the outliers" to "UFOs didn't used to be as good at evading detection."

gmalivuk wrote:It's not a matter of whether an argument is convincing, but whether it's scientific. An untestable claim is not a scientific claim, in the sense that science cannot say anything about it one way or the other.

You can go ahead and "believe" any number of such claims, whatever that may mean, but just remember that there is literally no empirical meaning to an untestable claim.

I don't disagree in the slightest. But an untestable claim is inherently not one you can say is "conclusively settled" (though it certainly is one you can say there's no good reason to believe.)

Of course that's not actually all that relevant to this topic, anyway, since the claims proponents usually make *are* in fact testable ones. They claim that ghosts and UFOs and Bigfoots *do* show up on film, and then proceed to produce really shitty examples of said film. They claim aliens and Bigfoots have DNA, and then proceed to produce nothing inconsistent with a contaminated sample of mundane human DNA. They claim Bigfoot leaves big foot prints, and then they proceed to produce examples of bear prints, most often.

They make plenty of testable claims, in short, which all very consistently fail such tests as are applicable.

Indeed - but crappy advocacy for a position does not actually invalidate the position itself. It may be invalid, but if it is it's not because the people who hold it do a terrible job of stumping for it.

PinkShinyRose wrote:Isn't bigfoot supposed live in the Himalayas? I think cameras are much rarer there (and not that many people go deep into the mountains there either)... If he were to live on the summit of [url=en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chomolungma]Chomolungma/Sagarmatha[/url] and hid if someone came there (which would probably be feasible, considering the lack of visitors) it seems probable that it remains undetected. I don't think many people looked for him, especially of those visiting the higher regions of the Himalayas.

You're thinking of the Yeti (though many advocates hold them to be the same or similar creatures.) "Bigfoot" proper is supposed to inhabit the forests of North America, particularly in the Pacific Northwest.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Klear » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:24 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
Klear wrote:But if they are so good at evading detection, that means that none of the people claiming to have seen a UFO have actually seen one.

Not really. There are plenty of alternate hypotheses to explain it, from "they' re just the outliers" to "UFOs didn't used to be as good at evading detection."


But if there used to be many outliers before cameras became ubiquitous, there should be plenty even now. Claiming that they got better at evading detection kinda invalidates the original claim - that since their technology is miles ahead of ours, they won't have any problems avoiding detection. You can't have both, you know.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:28 pm UTC

As I said, special pleading will get you an explanation for why sightings haven't gone up with the ubiquity of cameras. But it is most definitely special pleading.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Scott Auld » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:43 pm UTC

sorceror wrote:
Scott Auld wrote:And yet, we can't get any video footage of a plane crash happening at noontime on a Saturday in the most tech-savvy city in the US?


Voila: http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2013/07/07/vo-plane-sf-plane-crash-on-cam.courtesy-fred-hayes


Thanks, man. Took forever though, didn't it?

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:08 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Yetis live in the Himalayas. Bigfoot is North American.


Aaah, I thought Bigfoot was just another name for Yeti. Okay, so after reading the wikipedia article, it seems bigfoot doesn't have strong preferences for a specific living location (except for it being in North America, north of the Mexican-US border). I would say it could hide in Northern Canada or similar places, but if they are all over the place they should have been photographed.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Cynical Idealist » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:21 pm UTC

commodorejohn wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but negative evidence is - and the onus is on the believers to produce the evidence to support their extraordinary claims rather than on the skeptics to provide evidence that these things don't exist - any more than to disprove the existence of the tooth fairy or the easter bunny...

But A. "negative evidence" is highly subjective and arguably only applies to Nessie out of these (it's a pretty fair argument that in eighty years of actively searching a 20-square-mile lake, we ought to have come up with something, but it's a good deal harder to apply that to a reportedly reclusive woodland species in the whole North American continent, with much less organized search effort, accepting the premise of ghosts leaves wide loopholes open by which evidence could simply be impossible to obtain, and it just gets absurd when you start trying to apply it to space aliens, even if you're limiting yourself to only the space aliens who come within the bounds of the entire atmosphere of the Earth,) and B. there's a vast difference between not having any good reason to believe that something exists and saying that its nonexistence is "conclusively settled."

Negative evidence is not difficult to find. If you believe that E is evidence for X (or, to put it more formally P(X|E) > P(X)), you must accept that ~E is evidence against X (P(X|~E) < P(X)). Your expected posterior probability must be equal to your prior probability. Or, to put it a little more intuitively, your prior probability has to be equal to your expected posterior probability, because your prior probability is essentially your prediction of posterior probability (on average). P(X) = P(X|E)*P(E) + P(X|~E)*P(~E). If you have a strong expectation of weak evidence one way, it needs to be balanced by a weak expectation of strong evidence in the opposite direction. So if we believe that P(Bigfoot|photos) > P(Bigfoot), we must also believe that P(Bigfoot|no photos) < P(Bigfoot), and the exact amount depends on how likely we think it is that we'll find photos. If we don't think that it's likely at all, not finding photos is very weak evidence against Bigfoot. But we have an awful lot of people not getting photos. We also have people claiming to find tracks. Well, clearly, P(Bigfoot|Bigfoot tracks) > P(Bigfoot), so P(Bigfoot|~Bigfoot tracks) < P(Bigfoot). So when someone claims that they've found Bigfoot tracks, we need to decide P(Bigfoot tracks|person Y claims to have found Bigfoot tracks), which depends on how qualified we think person Y is to identify Bigfoot tracks vs any other sort of tracks, but is presumably greater than 0. Then we look at the tracks, and when we find that they are bear tracks, we need to adjust P(Bigfoot) down again. How far down depends on how credible person Y is, but even if they're some random idiot it needs to be adjusted down a little bit (this makes intuitive sense if you realize that even if it's some random idiot, examining the tracks consists of experts looking at part of the area where Bigfoot is supposed to exist and not finding any evidence). Now, you say that negative evidence is subjective. Perhaps it is, in that how strong you find a particular piece of negative evidence depends on what you thought of the proposition beforehand. However, for any given evidence E that is evidence for X, ~E becomes weaker negative evidence as you assign lower P(E) (and the lower your prior P(X), the lower your P(E)). In other words, the less you believe in X, the weaker any negative evidence is. So even if negative evidence is subjective, it will be weaker for skeptics than for believers, if they do the math.

So finding negative evidence isn't difficult. When we don't assign much credence to the idea in question, negative evidence tends to be weak, but if you have a lot of weak negative evidence, and very little positive evidence, you're going to end up assigning a very low probability to X. And if P(X) is sufficiently low, I think it's fair to say that we have conclusively settled on ~X. We haven't absolutely disproved X, but science isn't about absolute proofs.

commodorejohn wrote:
Klear wrote:But if they are so good at evading detection, that means that none of the people claiming to have seen a UFO have actually seen one.

Not really. There are plenty of alternate hypotheses to explain it, from "they' re just the outliers" to "UFOs didn't used to be as good at evading detection."

It sure is convenient how UFOs seem to be getting better at evading detection in lockstep with our ability to record evidence of detected UFOs. That feels more like an excuse than a hypothesis. It's like the guy with a dragon in his garage. Well, let's see this dragon! "Oh, it's invisible." Well, let's go anyway, see if we can hear it breathing. "Well, it's inaudible as well." Well, let's measure the CO2 levels, and see if there's something breathing in the garage that we can't see. "Actually, it doesn't breathe at all." Well, let's throw flour around and see it's outline. "The dragon is permeable to flour." Well, let's use an IR camera. "The dragon gives off no heat." At what point do we conclude that perhaps the explanation is not that the dragon can evade every test that we can think of, but that there's no dragon at all?
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:37 pm UTC

Especially when, as with both the dragon and UFOs, it's always only *after* a new way of detecting them is mentioned that the explanation is forthcoming. If a UFOlogist had suggested 60 years ago that aliens were getting better at stealth and so we should expect a sharp decline in reports, that would be one thing. But what you actually have are retrodictions made now to explain why, contrary to expectations, we haven't seen any increase in alleged evidence for these things.

And it's even sillier with Bigfoot and other cryptozoological specimens. Visiting ETs would likely know about our technology and could in principle improve their stealth attempts to counter it. But why would Bigfoot become more elusive just when cameras are becoming more common rather than, say, when people walking in the woods became more common? (A chart of national park visits in the US would probably look nothing like the plot in the comic.)
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby PinkShinyRose » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:40 pm UTC

Cynical Idealist wrote:
commodorejohn wrote:
Klear wrote:But if they are so good at evading detection, that means that none of the people claiming to have seen a UFO have actually seen one.

Not really. There are plenty of alternate hypotheses to explain it, from "they' re just the outliers" to "UFOs didn't used to be as good at evading detection."

It sure is convenient how UFOs seem to be getting better at evading detection in lockstep with our ability to record evidence of detected UFOs. That feels more like an excuse than a hypothesis. It's like the guy with a dragon in his garage. Well, let's see this dragon! "Oh, it's invisible." Well, let's go anyway, see if we can hear it breathing. "Well, it's inaudible as well." Well, let's measure the CO2 levels, and see if there's something breathing in the garage that we can't see. "Actually, it doesn't breathe at all." Well, let's throw flour around and see it's outline. "The dragon is permeable to flour." Well, let's use an IR camera. "The dragon gives off no heat." At what point do we conclude that perhaps the explanation is not that the dragon can evade every test that we can think of, but that there's no dragon at all?


I find it an odd assumption that alien technology would not improve while ours does. If our detection technology improves while they want to stay hidden the obvious solution would be to develop countermeasures. Similar to how stealth technology was developed in reaction to radar, though there is a major difference: we're not seriously trying to detect stealth aliens, whereas there were massive efforts to improve detection technology to detect other humans. I would therefore expect that the slower development of our non-specific detection technology should provide ample time to improve their own technology. Then again, this is no reason to just assume they are present.

EDIT:
gmalivuk wrote:And it's even sillier with Bigfoot and other cryptozoological specimens. Visiting ETs would likely know about our technology and could in principle improve their stealth attempts to counter it. But why would Bigfoot become more elusive just when cameras are becoming more common rather than, say, when people walking in the woods became more common? (A chart of national park visits in the US would probably look nothing like the plot in the comic.)


There could be other charts that do show some correlation. Maybe there is a relation between the number of gorillas escaping and big-foot sightings? Or orang-utans? other large primates? Are cages getting better? They are still only moderately effective in the Netherlands, but I have no idea about the US and Canada.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby rmsgrey » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:17 am UTC

PinkShinyRose wrote:I find it an odd assumption that alien technology would not improve while ours does. If our detection technology improves while they want to stay hidden the obvious solution would be to develop countermeasures. Similar to how stealth technology was developed in reaction to radar, though there is a major difference: we're not seriously trying to detect stealth aliens, whereas there were massive efforts to improve detection technology to detect other humans. I would therefore expect that the slower development of our non-specific detection technology should provide ample time to improve their own technology. Then again, this is no reason to just assume they are present.


I have no problem with aliens' technology developing over time (though I'm not sure why more efficient slood-processing is relevant) - my issue is with the idea that alien technology would be in any sort of arms race with human technology - sure, they might come up with a more effective hyperwave jammer, or a smoother jump drive, but it's not obvious why they'd only develop chameleon paint or cloaking devices or whatever they're using to hide from our sensors within a decade of our starting to look for them rather than at any point in the previous thousand years (or however long it took them to get from our approximate current tech level).

We're talking about creatures who either have the technology to survive elsewhere in the Solar System and still visit Earth without obvious astronomical signs or who have the technology to travel between star systems, again without leaving obvious evidence of their arrival in our vicinity, and then mutilate cattle and abduct unreliable witnesses rather than actually doing anything intelligible - so either they're seriously incomprehensible (in which case why bother with stealth?) or their tech is good enough that reaching Earth is no big deal, and they can afford to do it just to carry out the interplanetary equivalent of student pranks - this is behaviour on the same level as painting a post box a different colour or putting a traffic cone on top of a street-lamp - in which case, why didn't they start out with effective stealth tech?

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby TheIronyChef » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:38 am UTC

willpellmn wrote:Can't agree with this one, Randall. After seeing some admitted fakes with movie-quality VFX on YouTube, I've come to the conclusion that I cannot be convinced that *anything* improbable-seeming is real by videographic evidence anymore. There's just too much Photoshop out there for photography to prove anything; henceforth I can judge based only on personal experience, which means I'll never again regard anything outside my local area (given that I have no plans to travel) as being more than a semi-credible rumor.

You seem to be basing your disagreement on the odd notion that Randall (along with most who laughably consider themselves 'skeptical') doesn't fundamentally believe in the non-existence of these phenomena, as well as apparently even the non-existence of purported photographs themselves. This is truly groundbreaking work in the annals of circular reasoning, advanced far beyond mere "I know God wrote the Bible because it's in the Bible". Pshaw, that's practically the scientific method compared to these merry-go-rounds:

1. Photos of 'flying saucers' inherently cannot be valid evidence because 'flying saucers' don't exist.
2. The non-existence of 'flying saucers' is confirmed by the complete lack of valid photographic evidence.

And wait for it, here's the pioneering contribution of this comic:

3. Even invalid claims of 'flying saucer' photos themselves don't exist because everybody walks around with cameras nowadays, yet 'flying saucers' don't exist, therefore 'flying saucers' don't exist.

Bravo, truly remarkable fundamentalism. Settled indeed.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby peewee_RotA » Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:35 am UTC

ijuin wrote:What the ubiquity of cameras does is eliminate the cases of "I swear to God that I saw it, even though I don't have a picture or any evidence besides my own words". Anything that can be seen by the eye, and that hangs around for enough time (20 seconds?) to be photographed, and that doesn't have some weird paranormal "can be seen by eyes but not by cameras" thing going, will be photographed if the person who sees it thinks that it is worth photographing.


Except that I couldn't get my darned phone out fast enough to get a picture of the capt. america float at the 4th of july parade. Grrr!!!
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby hexalm » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:01 am UTC

Some good discussion here :)

What I'd like to see is correlations between sightings/populations of black bears and Bigfoot, especially since last time it came up on this forum, the sightings were shown to coincide (probably by a linked article?) with the black bear's range.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby jtgd » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:54 am UTC

Dunno about anyone else, but I'd need to:
    Pull phone out of pocket [2 sec]
    Wake it up [2 sec]
    Launch camera app [5 sec]
    Aim [1 sec]
    Wait for focus [3 sec]
    Press shutter then wait for actual picture to record [2 sec]
I think in those 15 seconds the flying saucer / lake monster / ghost / bigfoot would be long gone.

Now if we're talking about everyone having Google Glass Always On Recording then that's another story.
In fact no one will ever have to say, "Hey! Did you see that?" -- just show them the video.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:06 am UTC

jtgd wrote:Dunno about anyone else, but I'd need to:
    Pull phone out of pocket [2 sec]
    Wake it up [2 sec]
    Launch camera app [5 sec]
    Aim [1 sec]
    Wait for focus [3 sec]
    Press shutter then wait for actual picture to record [2 sec]
I think in those 15 seconds the flying saucer / lake monster / ghost / bigfoot would be long gone.


That's still way better than the equipment people used to "take photos" of bigfeet and UFOs. If they were able to take a photo before, way more people should be able to now.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:40 am UTC

drkslvr wrote:The cameras everywhere bit has also settled El Chupacabra... on the "Yes" side! Dun, dun, duuuunnnnn! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYemBLuou90

Alright, so maybe not. But it does look like a terrible cellphone video, showing that, as my serious point was, we will never actually convince people these things aren't real. They will continue to believe what they want to believe, even if cameras ARE everywhere.

I think someone's extracting the urine.

    When the video looks at the head, there are waves of stretching that I don't see arising from any reasonable camera path.
    There are no zoomed-out moving-all-around establishing shots.
    The left and right front feet are quite different.
    One of the rear feet was shown as being interesting, but the other foot was not shown.
    The preamble said that someone mistook it for a person, but it looks quadrupedal.
None of these features depends on camera quality.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby arthurd006_5 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 9:46 am UTC

Scott Auld wrote:And yet, we can't get any video footage of a plane crash happening at noontime on a Saturday in the most tech-savvy city in the US?

There's a rumour on RNZ in New Zealand that the delay was caused by commercial negotiations.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Whizbang » Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:59 pm UTC

Just to stir the pot...

The decline in bigfoot sightings in recent years may also be due to bigfoot dying out. It has always been assumed that they are rare, close to extinct, maybe only a handful left in the world. As we displace more and more animals and invade their habitats, it only stands to reason that big foot, assuming he exists, would also be affected, and perhaps die out. Another outcome would, perhaps, be bigfoots(feet?) rampaging in towns and villages, making war on the furless invaders. Unless they, for one, welcome the new furless overlords and have moved into nice, warm cottages next to the Hendersons. I've met a few people that might be bigfoot in disguise. Hell, I have enough fur that maybe one of my ancestors had a romp with one at some point.

Re: Alien sightings declining
Did no one read War of The Worlds? The aliens obviously came to earth, began probing things that shouldn't be probed, got HIV or TB and died out.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:38 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Just to stir the pot...

The decline in bigfoot sightings in recent years may also be due to bigfoot dying out. It has always been assumed that they are rare, close to extinct, maybe only a handful left in the world. As we displace more and more animals and invade their habitats, it only stands to reason that big foot, assuming he exists, would also be affected, and perhaps die out. Another outcome would, perhaps, be bigfoots(feet?) rampaging in towns and villages, making war on the furless invaders. Unless they, for one, welcome the new furless overlords and have moved into nice, warm cottages next to the Hendersons. I've met a few people that might be bigfoot in disguise. Hell, I have enough fur that maybe one of my ancestors had a romp with one at some point.

Re: Alien sightings declining
Did no one read War of The Worlds? The aliens obviously came to earth, began probing things that shouldn't be probed, got HIV or TB and died out.


I feel that I have to point out that in both of these scenarios the absence of photographic evidence in recent years correctly implies that there are no UFOs or bigfeet. Except for the disguise option, obviously. That one is quite compelling.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Whizbang » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:41 pm UTC

Klear wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Just to stir the pot...

The decline in bigfoot sightings in recent years may also be due to bigfoot dying out. It has always been assumed that they are rare, close to extinct, maybe only a handful left in the world. As we displace more and more animals and invade their habitats, it only stands to reason that big foot, assuming he exists, would also be affected, and perhaps die out. Another outcome would, perhaps, be bigfoots(feet?) rampaging in towns and villages, making war on the furless invaders. Unless they, for one, welcome the new furless overlords and have moved into nice, warm cottages next to the Hendersons. I've met a few people that might be bigfoot in disguise. Hell, I have enough fur that maybe one of my ancestors had a romp with one at some point.

Re: Alien sightings declining
Did no one read War of The Worlds? The aliens obviously came to earth, began probing things that shouldn't be probed, got HIV or TB and died out.


I feel that I have to point out that in both of these scenarios the absence of photographic evidence in recent years correctly implies that there are no UFOs or bigfeet. Except for the disguise option, obviously. That one is quite compelling.


Ah, but it does leave room for the existance of bigfoot and aliens in the recent past, back in the good ol' days when men were almost-men and magical creatures roamed the earth in search of holes to probe.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 09, 2013 1:55 pm UTC

If the conclusion is "there are none", I think it counts as settled =)

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Whizbang » Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:37 pm UTC


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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby bigjeff5 » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:01 pm UTC

arthurd006_5 wrote:
drkslvr wrote:The cameras everywhere bit has also settled El Chupacabra... on the "Yes" side! Dun, dun, duuuunnnnn! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYemBLuou90

Alright, so maybe not. But it does look like a terrible cellphone video, showing that, as my serious point was, we will never actually convince people these things aren't real. They will continue to believe what they want to believe, even if cameras ARE everywhere.

I think someone's extracting the urine.

    When the video looks at the head, there are waves of stretching that I don't see arising from any reasonable camera path.
    There are no zoomed-out moving-all-around establishing shots.
    The left and right front feet are quite different.
    One of the rear feet was shown as being interesting, but the other foot was not shown.
    The preamble said that someone mistook it for a person, but it looks quadrupedal.
None of these features depends on camera quality.


It's not a doctored video, it's a shaved honey badger. At about 2:40 you get a nice view of the distinctive white stripe on the top of its head.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby peewee_RotA » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:25 pm UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:it's a shaved honey badger


Woah, watch the language. There are kids around.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby mathmannix » Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:57 pm UTC

Pfft. Everyone knows ghosts don't show up on film (unless the few cases of actual alleged photographs of ghosts are real, in which case, also pfft.)
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:52 pm UTC

What do you mean, "few cases"? There are tons of alleged ghost photographs. More, I suspect, than bigfoot, UFOs, and Nessie combined, on account of people having believed in ghosts far longer.
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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Klear » Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:57 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:What do you mean, "few cases"? There are tons of alleged ghost photographs. More, I suspect, than bigfoot, UFOs, and Nessie combined, on account of people having believed in ghosts far longer.


...and they are much easier to fake, I think.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Whizbang » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:07 pm UTC

My friend does "ghost hunting" as a hobby, and travels all around to places where sightings have supposedly occurred. He looks at all sorts of photos with gray smudges and lense flares. He even watches video feeds of known haunts in the hopes of catching a wisp of motion or a flicker of light. I am not sure if he really believes in ghosts, or just likes the hobby of it.

Anyway, I offer that up as evidence that there are more than a "few cases" of photographs allegedly showing ghosts.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby TheIronyChef » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:35 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:What do you mean, "few cases"? There are tons of alleged ghost photographs. More, I suspect, than bigfoot, UFOs, and Nessie combined, on account of people having believed in ghosts far longer.


Reports and/or legends of every one of those predate the invention of the camera. The word sasquatch is Native American after all, so the age of that 'belief' is extremely difficult to determine.

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Re: 1235: "Settled"

Postby Angelastic » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:56 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Obligatory:
http://theoatmeal.com/quiz/bigfoot_love

Hmm, well Leonard Nimoy seemed to have survived it. He must've done wrestling.
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