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The Declining Standard of Proof


Active Member
Like many, I am given to a certain amount of curmudgeonry. I suppose this post is reflective of that in that it [is] basically just a rant.

Recently, there was a post from a user who was basically complaining about, what has been called a directed energy weapon (DEW). The moderator responded appropriately and there were a few posts and the thread was removed. I have seen these kinds of posts from time to time. I am not sure that I have ever responded to one, but if I did, I hope it would be along the lines of see a doctor, lawyer, and police. That is how I might have responded if I did, but it was not everything I was thinking…some of that was usually expressed by others.

A few days ago, I came across this story. If you don’t like or trust simple mass media news reports, his story has been well documented and he even gives TED talks on what happened. The story is a great read! Essentially (and summary does not do it justice), he has a very atypical adrenal condition. A portion of his adrenal glands were acting as though they were tumors, except he had no tumors. It was an atypical expression of a very atypical condition.

Medical science was stumped and he went through “everything” with them. News flash: MDs do not know everything and they have a limited arsenal and that should always be kept in mind (and in other news, water is wet). At a point, seeking a Psychiatrist was recommended, and it was not a dismissive, presumptive or arrogant referral. To me, it was an, “I am out of ideas” maybe this approach will help.

He persisted to extraordinarily lengths and, well, you can read the story (not cured by any stretch regardless of the article title). His quality of life was severely compromised and he did something about it and those who helped him did so while adhering to a high standard of proof throughout. He is doing better and we have advanced.

Go back to the DEWs issue. I read some more about it at the time of the post and was absolutely amazed by the lack of a standard of proof. When I say “a standard of proof”, I don’t mean a mathematical proof, I mean evidence as accepted by reason and logic and science.

For example, look at this page [link added] and a reference to “proof” of the many who are suffering from, what they say, are DEWs . You can watch the “proof” yourself from session 10 (see the video linked on this page) [edited: you need to enable javascrit or some such crap that I didn't have to do the first time I watched it - there is also a transcript of the session on that same site]- this is a legitimate conference and that section was for public comments and that “proof” is in the form of anecdotal reports.

This is my point. I can believe somebody is suffering and not know why. I can’t however simply believe that the suffering is caused by a micro implant device that cannot be detected by any means, or an electromagnetic wave that also can’t be detected by any means. Yet, the victims are certain of what is causing the problem and their certainty is not based upon evidence that lends itself to scientific investigation.

The risk of that approach is that you open yourself up to all manner of exploitation to help you for a price. In my opinion, such exploitation can be found everywhere, including mainstream marketing like this advertisement . Now, if you bought this device and you used it and it cured you – good deal! I am happy that your suffering ended, but do not think that such an occurrence alone means that you were targeted by EMF that was causing the problem and the device protected you. To draw such a conclusion requires demonstrable evidence and I have not seen that in such cases, but if you have such evidence, please let everybody know..

As a life-long scientist I am well aware that things that we take for granted today (e.g., viruses and bacteria) were unknown and nothing more than fantastic ideas just a few hundred years ago. True also is that ideas that were, at least somewhat, accepted years ago, are routinely viewed as having no demonstrable evidence for their existence. I am fine with that. I would like to believe that I am open-minded, but I can’t believe in an anti-science approach with such matters and I will not apologize for that.

Rant over.
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Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
That's a very well written post DrG
Unfortunately some of us live and witness stupidy on an hourly basis.

If I was mean I would destroy stupids by feeding them to animals. I don't

It's not getting us and a Country anywhere though. You can't change stupid. It's not possible to make stupid people more intelligent. As long as easy money is available.... stupids will steal as much as they can.

Sorry for chirping here on your thread.



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Most Helpful Member
Also... people that don't vaccinate are a breed of their own. Why are these morons even doing it?

I mean vaccination has proved to be the most successful way of stopping things like Polio etc.....

Now clowns who know nothing....try to prove everyone wrong.....

Stupid people doing stupid things.


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I REALLY dislike stupid people or groups of them that all think the same way.

Someone once said: "Never fight stupidy....if you do it will it will make you insane and you will find yourself stopping lower and lower to understand WTF they are on about"

I made the chirp above up. But it's true.

Stopping above is meant to be stuping

Am I gonna blame auto correct... probably.


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Most Helpful Member
Very thought provoking. I recently watched a series of lectures entitled "History of science from 1700 to 1900" which was very enlightening. It also made me realize that we don't know "much" more about what electricity is than 150 years ago. They just thought electricity was a fluid that repelled itself - not too unlike our current knowledge - skin effect etc. Always makes me wonder what we don't know that we don't know. I wonder what the next amazing breakthrough will be? Maybe protons could be made to flow around a circuit to produce super electricity - I might suggest that on an "Alternate Energy" site to see how far the idea might travel.

BTW, I don't think anyone is stupid enough to believe in a flat earth - I think it's just trolls having a bit of fun. Actually, reading that CNN article, I could be wrong!!



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The decline started long before, but the explosion of the internet has accelerated the provision of a whole host of attractions/distractions for the 'curious'.
The good thing about the internet, is that content can be recorded and uploaded in short time, becoming available to the masses.
The bad thing about the internet, is that content can be recorded and uploaded in short time, becoming available to the masses.
The separation between the good and the bad used to be analyzed using scientific methods that were taught in school.

As an example of declining standards, here is a question from an entrance exam in 1933, in the UK, for eleven-year-olds:

“A man sets out at 9.15am to walk from A to B, a distance of 15 miles. He walks at the rate of 3.75mph. His friend agrees to cycle from A to B and travels at 11.25mph. At what time should the friend start out so that they may arrive at B together?”

25% for writing your name correctly.
Q1: If you have 4 oranges and someone takes half from you, how many months will you spend on probation for GBH?
Q2: You start work at 8:00 AM, what is an acceptable time to turn up;
1. 9:00
2. After lunch
3. Tomorrow
Q3: How many times do you have to attend your 'Gran's' funeral before your employer gets suspicious?
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Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
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BTW, I don't think anyone is stupid enough to believe in a flat earth - I think it's just trolls having a bit of fun. Actually, reading that CNN article, I could be wrong!!
They never really were, it's just a modern myth that people in the past thought the earth was flat, most knew it round even thousands of years ago.

One old Greek even measured the diameter of the earth using just a stick and a hole, to a decent accuracy as well.


Active Member
There are phenomena where people actively disregard evidence and passionately embrace a position that has little or no supporting evidence. This goes well beyond some kind of cognitive dissonance.

I remember a televangelist and his wife many years ago. Very popular and they built this large retreat and they sold shares in the retreat. In fact, they oversold the shares to a ridiculous extent. Eventually, he went to jail. Even then, a lot of people still said what a great guy he was. No doubt they had invested in him and holding the position that he was great was preferable to holding the position that he bilked them and that they were saps. I am being simplistic,but you get the idea.

The latter situation is a special case though and does not explain so much of what I see going on with this ignorance revolution. Perhaps trolling is part of it, but it almost looks like, by intent, people embrace "alternative evidence" and disregard actual evidence, to seek an identity or some kind of validation. It is disturbing.


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a couple of things not taught in public schools in the USA (they were taught when i was in high school) are logic, and the scientific method.

in addition to "flat earth" theories, there are theories that the government puts mind control drugs in commercial jet fuel, theories that the government has bought off all the scientists in the world to hide the "fact" that the sun is going to nova in a few years (novas only happen with a particular type of star that's in it's last stages of using up it's fuel). all of these theories require ignorance of basic physics, geometry, and in the case of the "chemtrails" myth, ignorance of FAA regulations as well as high temperature physics and chemistry.

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