The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Pseudo-Skepticism, Institutional Propaganda and Cultivated Ignorance

Latest Trends in Acceptance of UFO’s – Not Good News for Fake Skeptics

Sixty percent of the informed and critical thinking American public believe that UFO’s constitute something other than conventional, natural or man-made phenomena. Much to the disdain of fake skeptics, the phenomenon will not go away – no matter how many celebrities they foist into the spotlight, nor how many verbatim podcasts they produce, and no matter how many times they scream ‘woo!’.

Robust Intelligence Data Portends a Persistent Experiential Base

The latest numbers released by Gallup News Service and its contracted Princeton Survey Research Center do not portend good news for fake skeptics with respect to trends inside public consideration of the UFO subject.1 2 3 A September 6th 2019 Gallup article by Lydia Saad, which highlighted release of the June 2019 (Poll 1) and August 2019 (Poll 2) data by Gallup News Services and was entitled Americans Skeptical of UFOs, but Say Government Knows More, offers a quasi-pessimistic framing of sentiment around the UFO subject on the part of the American public. However, once one looks inside the Gallup data, one finds that Americans are not buying classic failed fake ‘skepticism’ (which is the normal meaning of the word when employed by the media) surrounding UFO’s as much as the article might imply. Indeed, 88% of the informed, non-religious public hold that UFO’s are a real phenomenon, and are not imagined nor halucinated. A mere 33% of that same public segment (not religious nor ignorant) still hold fast to the notion that 100% of UFO sightings are either man-made or can be explained by conventional phenomena. This percentage of holdouts continues to shrink each decade. Much to their disdain, the phenomenon will not go away – no matter how many celebrities they foist into the media spotlight, nor how many verbatim podcasts they produce, and no matter how many times they scream ‘woo!’. Not particularly heady days right now for UFO fake skeptics.

The purpose of this blog article is not to lend credence or denial support around any particular sentiment inside the UFO debate, rather to outline errant method and irrational behavior among those who are faking at their skepticism. There is an extraordinary amount of bunk inside the UFO topic – nearly everyone inside the rational and informed public debate on the topic agrees on this. However, this issue does not constitute the critical path question at hand.

The critical path question entailed is this:

Are a subset of these observations sufficient to establish necessity under Ockham’s Razor? Is official investigation and public oversight warranted?

If the answer to these two questions is ‘yes’, then we can no longer dismiss the UFO matter through a simple wave of the skeptical ‘simplest explanation’ hand.

Demarcation of Skepticism

Once plurality is necessary under Ockham’s Razor, it cannot be dismissed by means of skepticism alone.

In the instance outlined in the two points above, the Demarcation of Skepticism has been called into play. Addressing this demarcation and ethical method of science, is the purpose of this blog article; not any form of attempt to prove UFO’s through an ad populum fallacy. Nor is the purpose of this article to review the confidence interval calculations on the adequacy of the Princeton s-sample base, as that would distract from the critical path argument laid out herein. So, now that we have made all that clear, let’s take a look at the raw results from the Gallup poll summarized by the Saad article. The following is an illustrative graphic we developed depicting the data results in a way in which they can be better understood and analyzed.

Idiosyncrasies Inside the Polling Data

One should take notice of several alert flags inside the data. They are outlined by the following five assertions which signal where oversampling adjustment was needed in the polling regression work:

1.  14% of the respondents had never heard of nor read about UFO’s before. These respondents should have been removed from the study immediately, but were not. Moreover, these respondents were artificially added into the ‘disagree’ responses. This is a professional error in poll work. The respondents should have been excluded from the data. Below, we have done that.

2.  16% of the population has actually seen what they consider to be a UFO. That actually surprised me. This signal group must be counted because there exists an epistemic difference between an informed bias to a modus praesens and an ignorance bias to a modus absens. The latter group is not a valid signal group. This poll did not address that.

3.  The most important warning flag inside the data, was the 22% of the respondents who believe that life only exists on Earth alone, in the entire cosmos. This sol-nihilist sentiment is the dictatum of a specific religious order. This data group should have been removed from the study under the same rationale regarding ignorance, as was used to exclude the group in assertion 1. above. Below we address this adjustment which should have been compensated for through oversampling.

4.  Moreover, if we assume that 5 points of the ignorance group in assertion 1. above responded with ‘No Answer’ (as they ethically should have, but apparently most did not), and if we assume that 4 points of this group are one-in-common (overlap) with the sol-nihilist group identified in assertion 3. above – we are left with 5 percentage points of the respondents who answered the questions, but did so from a standpoint of ignorance under pretense. It is important to note that, of those who had never heard the term ‘UFO’ before – 65% (9 of 14 percentage points) were dishonest in their responses to the successive question series, making specific claims to expertise about something they had admittedly never even heard of. This is called a ‘telltale signal’ in polling research.

The dishonesty quotient grows unduly high as one moves to the right hand side (denial & fake skepticism) of the above graph. This is clearly evident in the response data. This shortfall in human integrity is solely the handiwork of the social skepticism cabal. We address this agency in the polling data below.

5.  Therefore, if we combine the 5 percentage points for exclusion from assertion 4. above, with the 22 percentage points of exclusion from the sol-nihilist religious group in assertion 3. above, we end up with a total of 27 percentage points who should not have been included inside the respondent groups. Both these respondent classes are no different in principle than a Crate-Bradley effect signal grouping – and ethically should have been excluded from the regression data. Below, we have rectified this error.

Up to 53 points of the 60% ‘disagree that UFOs are real’ response group in Poll 2,
hold their positions precisely from ignorance of even the term UFO itself (14%)
or further from being religiously trained that intelligent life only exists on Earth in the entire cosmos (48%).

This is a very big problem socially – and is the direct fault of social skepticism and the embargo influence it imparts upon the media and science.
This is called agency, and is not a valid signal in polling results.

Crate-Bradley Effect Adjustments to Eliminate Embargo-Agency Bias

Three Crate-Bradley sampling bias errors were included inside these poll results.  First including sentiment of those who had never heard of the topic. Second, including responses from those who knew nothing about the topic, but were instructed to throw the poll results. Finally, treating both of these groups as valid ‘Disagree’ sentiment signal data. While we recognize that dogmatism and social conditioning exist on both sides of this issue and as well are concerned about the small numbers of ‘I don’t know’ responses in the poll data, there exists an ethical difference between an informed-yet-mistaken hunch, versus making a circular-club-recitation claim to authority based upon a complete absence of exposure (ignorance) to a topic at all (green eggs and ham error). In reality, the former is participating in the study, the latter is not. The latter ends up constituting only a purely artificial agency-bias, which requires an oversampling or exclusion adjustment (see A Word About Polls).

One cannot capture a sentiment assay about the taste of tiramisu, among people who either don’t even know what tiramisu is, or have never even once tasted tiramisu because they were told it was made of cow manure.

Such an action would be dimwitted and unprofessional (I am not sure how the Princeton Survey Research Center even allowed this to slip by its quality control red team in the first place). This type of data respondent is typically and ethically removed from most polling data marts. We remove some (not all) of this artificial gain-boost of the latter group, from the data, below. Indeed, the Gallup Poll is called ‘How Skeptical Are Americans of UFO’s?’ – and not ‘How Many Americans are Ignorant of What the Universe or a UFO Even Is?’

One cannot answer a question about evidence for/against UFO’s if one believes that both life, and especially intelligent life, do not exist in the Universe to begin with. This is tantamount to refusal to participate in the poll. One cannot be ‘skeptical’ if one knows absolutely nothing about the topic, or already has been instructed under an agency which does not allow a respondent to answer the poll question in the first place. Would you want a poll which asked “Is Jim a good guy?’ to be responded 48% by Jim’s ex wife’s family with whom he is in a child custody battle? Of course not, as such a poll would be invalid. What if we threw in another 15 percentage point respondent group who had no idea who Jim even was at all? Moreover, what if we then counted that 15% as ‘No, Jim is not a good guy’ respondents, simply by account of their lack in knowing who Jim was to begin with (utile absentia fallacy)?  This would result in a poll in which suggests that almost two-thirds of the people who know Jim, hate Jim. This is pollster Tom Foolery and is exactly what was done inside this Gallup poll. It constitutes a common form of academic pseudoscience.

Were my catalog retailer to employ such clueless customer sentiment analytical error in its distribution list and A/B testing, we would go out of business for misinforming ourselves about our customer’s true needs and likes/dislikes. Mitigation of this species in polling bias is usually taught in undergraduate A/B analytics, polling regression and signal group analysis courses (see Stanford University course in Polling, Data and Decision Theory).4 

But in this instance, apparently because UFO’s constitute one of their pet socially primed issues, immunity from professional standards is permitted, answers have to be introduced in compliant code, and inference be drawn only slowly – all so as to avoid offending fake skeptics and to assuage their tender tantrum-throwing egos.

After all, we are looking to see what rational and informed people have to say about this subject, not the random null-informed nor children/invalids who have no idea what the Universe or a UFO even is, but just happened to answer the phone. Bodies would count, informed opinions would count less. In professional contrast, the method we employ below is not formulated under any interest in measuring an affect as to how well a particular message has been embargoed by the media. Our method only concerns the full spectrum of informed choice. We cannot afford to have people who have never tasted tiramisu, show up as part of a signal group which ‘does not like tiramisu’.

The approach adopted here nonetheless does still leave us a representative group of 33% of the rational population who believe that UFO’s are comprehensively explainable as conventional natural or man-made phenomena. A reasoned position from at least a small basis of information. One might call this a position of ignorance as well (the idea that all UFO’s are man-made or natural objects has been falsified at least 1,000 times over), however for purposes of this study, we shall only deem ignorance to constitute an individual who has never heard of nor read about the topic of UFO’s at all (assertion 1. above) or has no idea what the universe even is (assertion 3. above) – and not an opinion which is merely casually informed.

This being said, let us now consider how sentiment ranks inside the informed and rational segment of the US population.

The Real Breakout of Public Sentiment Surrounding UFO’s

Below we have redeveloped the raw poll data from Poll 1 and used it to adjust the results in order to remove Crate-Bradley effect media imbued ignorance from both Polls 1 and 2. The graphic below shows the data correctly adjusted for that static bias, by means of the removal of the 27% (ignorance and sol-nihilism bias) or 18% (sol-nihilist bias only, after overlap with the ignorance group has been removed) as applicable based upon the domain logic of the question asked.

What is demonstrably clear inside this data is the fact that:

1.  60% of the rational and informed US population believe that UFO’s are something other than a natural or man-made phenomenon.

2.  25% of the rational and informed US populace have observed something they consider to be a UFO. This is rather remarkable.

3.  A supermajority, 88% of US citizens believe that UFO’s are not imaginary nor hysteria. They believe there is something that people are seeing flying around in the skies. 28 percentage points of that 88% believe that the things flying around in our skies are man-made exclusively.

4.  93% of the US population considers it valid to hold that there exists life on other planets in the Universe – while 67 percentage points of that group believe that some of that life could also be intelligent. I remain amazed that these percentages are still this low.

5.  76% of the US population thinks that its government knows something about these phenomena, and for good or for bad, is withholding that knowledge from the American public.

6.  Moreover, I find alarm in that the ‘No/Disagree’ group inside these queries should ethically respond with anything besides ‘I do not know’ (the truth). This incumbent dishonesty stems precisely from having been taught a false form of skepticism. The social conditioning around this issue has reduced the set of ‘I do not know’ responses to a level well below what they ethically should be for these questions (from both sides). However, in the case of the modus absens claims in particular (claiming that something is not, without evidence), these are unseemly and grandiose claims to knowledge of an absence, which the claimants could not possibly have derived objectively. They have been socially primed in this response. This species of claim is wholly different than a mistaken claim from a set of positives (modus praesens).

Emotional Priming – a process of pseudo-education wherein a popular controversial issue such as Creation-Evolution, or Monsim-Dualism is framed as a whipping horse, posed in a false dilemma, so as to polarize the general public into ‘science’ and ‘woo’ camps of belief. The visceral reaction to the woo camp of belief inside academia imbues a type of anchoring bias and emotional agency on the part of those who self appoint or are tasked to ‘represent science’ – thereafter influencing their objectivity just as severely as would a religion. ​

Curiously 48 points of the 60% of the respondent group who did not believe that UFO’s were real, also did not believe there was any intelligence life in the cosmos at all, besides us.  This leaves only 12% of the population who competently live in today’s reality, and still think that UFO’s are not valid.

Skeptics claim that their thinking is representative of 60% of the American population. This is an error on their part, as the people in this signal group are not skeptics at all. Skeptics are simply taking advantage of their ignorance. They are useful idiots.

Such is the state of knowledge regarding UFO’s on the part of the American public (as represented by an adjusted Gallup scientific sampling by means of cell phone and land line). It is the mission of ethical skepticism, not to promote ideas regarding UFO’s necessarily, but rather to ensure that the dogmatic forces which seek to squelch knowledge, ironically in the name of science, are not able to play their sordid game of obfuscation. Let the chips fall where they may. We are all grown-ups (save for 27% of us).

Sixty percent of the informed and critical thinking American public believe that UFO’s constitute something other than conventional, natural or man-made phenomena. Such sentiment continues to rise, much to the chagrin of those inside the fake skepticism cabal. Does such sentiment then warrant Ockham’s Razor plurality? Are official public investigation and oversight now justified? The American public’s answer to both these questions is a resounding, ‘Yes!’. They preside as proprietary rights-holder over all the information inside this topic. Indeed, even if the issue involves matters of national security. This knowledge should not be unduly restricted from their purview, nor embargoed by forces of religion nor ignorance.

Accordingly, this is part and parcel to the fabric of our mission as ethical skeptics.

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September 9, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , , , , | 2 Comments

Ethical Skepticism – Part 7 – The Unexpected Virtue of Allow-For Thinking

Did your husband really chase a flying refrigerator doing Mach 8 and 15 G’s in his F/A-18 and get it filmed on his gun cam? Did your trustworthy neighbor really see a 2 foot tall man in a green suit and derby wander through his backyard yesterday? As long as we constrain to parsimonious coherency of definition, that which has been reliably observed, the ethical skeptic allows for potentialities and refuses to participate in the unwise dogmatic actions of denial and belief. He neither accepts nor rejects, but instead relies on the acute discriminating virtue of the Allow-For.

What is the Allow-For?

what is the allow forThe Allow-For is the neutral zone of tolerance practiced inside the spectrum of disposition regarded by an ethical skeptic.¹ Put more simply – it is that set of subjects for which you have not decided either way, to dismiss or to accept. The Allow-For is the practice limit which keeps the open mind of the ethical skeptic from wandering into either methodical cynicism (the black box) or methodical clinging to belief (the blue box) as both are depicted in the graphic to the right. The practice of Allow-For thinking is not tantamount to a confirming belief nor a denial belief on the part of the ethical skeptic. It is not a belief at all, nor is it either simply synonymous with a ‘lack of belief.’ Rather, it is a practical allegiance to science, a pledge to allow a matter of coherently observed plurality its day in the court of science; no matter what methods our personal prejudices, provisional knowledge, bunk intolerance, and social pressures might tempt us to bias.

doubtThe Allow-For is an idempotent (processed but not altered in the processing) discipline which allows the ethical skeptic to maintain a field of coherent and possibly observed phenomena to exist as plausibility. It is a realm of scientific consideration, however not necessarily scientific investigation; as investigating everything in the Allow-For is simply not feasible. To a detective, the Allow-For would equate to the group of suspects in a murder. They are not guilty, they are not innocent. But filtering any person into the Lack of Allow-For and Acceptance domains too hastily is most often not a wise practice. Murders fall into two groups: Crimes of passion, and Crimes of deception. ‘Occam’s Razor’ is not a best practice in the latter. Yes, a suspension of belief is certainly in order, but even more importantly a tolerance of the Allow-For is critical in the mind of the ethical investigator. This mental discipline as well allows-for the consideration of multiple pathways of explanatory construct, in absence of a setting involving personal prejudice, belief or bias. It is encompassed, rather than by provisional stacks of favored explanations which are often then spun into truth or the null hypothesis, instead, a plural set of explanatory constructs which are given sufficient accommodation to be examined for merit, simultaneously. This is anathema to the fake skeptic, who favors the former practice over the latter. This ability to hold several explanatory construct in mind at the same time is embodied in the expression per hoc aditum:

per hoc aditum

/philosophy : logic : ethics : alternative reasoning/ : according to this approach. The ethical skepticism version of provisional or stacked arguments, which allow for the examination of a postulate, construct or theory in an unbiased pathway of consideration; often as one of a plural set of explanatory approaches. The ability to hold more than one explanatory pathway in mind and fairly consider the strengths, shortfalls and ramifications of each without a priori based beliefs or prejudices unduly influencing the ability to discern the core argument/application at hand.

most-brilliant-oppressionNor is the Allow-For tantamount to Michael Shermer’s ‘whimsy;’ as there should really exist no fantasy, ethereal-speak, gonzo-terminology or incoherent babble inside the Allow-For. It is not a skeet shooting range where we entertain ourselves by seeing how smart we are in shooting down ideas presented to us on a proof-on-silver-platter we have demanded. This is the folly of the fake skeptic – the Methodical Cynic who proudly dwells inside the black box on the upper left, and makes sure that he gets lots of attention in doing so. Instead, those issues which contain a material subject, bearing a coherent definition and/or an observation base – even sometimes without a fully matured, at least nascent coherent definition; these are the elements of consideration which exist in the ethical skeptic’s domain of Allow-For.

What the Allow-For is Not

allow for erThe Allow-For is not

  • Gullibility/Stupidity/Credulity/Lack of Scientific Literacy
  • Immediate acceptance of a conspiracy theory
  • Immediate acceptance of anything
  • Whimsy (Shermer)
  • A provisional knowledge set
  • A committed pathway of conclusion
  • Visioneering/Dreaming
  • A practice outside of the methods science
  • Belief
  • Denial
  • Cynicism
  • Faith
  • Acceptance
  • The Lack of Allow-For
  • The same thing as a Lack of Belief*

Its Contrast with the ‘Lack of Belief’ Boast

lack of beliefNotice the last bullet point. The Allow-For practice is neither a belief, but more importantly for the ethical skeptic, nor is it solely a lack of belief – rather it is a species of lack of belief. Everyone claims to lack belief, except those who claim the belief itself. At least they are being honest. Not everyone on the ‘lack of belief’ side is being honest however. This is an important point which distinguishes the mind of the ethical skeptic from that of those who have arrived at Acceptance and those who practice denial based Cynicism.

There are several phenotypes of ‘lack of belief.’ Occulting your motive/agenda by gaming this equivocal domain slack is not a practice of ethical skepticism.

If you do not comprehend what the sentence above is saying, you are probably already participating in it (see Slack Exploitation (Ambiguity)). The virtue of the Allow-For requires a clear mind, and self-circumspect discipline. The species of lack of belief are outlined below, using the artifices of belief in God and the backyard leprechaun your neighbor saw yesterday, as examples of application in each case, where appropriate.

lack of belief and allow forThe Methodical Cynicism Disposition – the methodical cynic claims a lack of belief, however in reality actually possesses a belief and extreme commitment to a particular antithetical construct. He hints at this epistemic commitment through his disdain and intolerance for every other thought domain inside the argument at hand. This can be best exemplified by contrasting the Atheist, agnostic atheist and ignostic atheist.

Nihilist Atheist – claims to possess a lack of belief, however in practice dwells inside the realm of methodical denial, an apologetic crafted to defend a set of beliefs antithetical to the belief dogmatist. A lack of belief can dwell anywhere on the chart to the above right. So its claim is a distinction without a real discriminating definition. An apologetic which exploits philosophical slack, used to masque and defend a residence in the black box of denial. They know what a deity is defined as, and know that science has actively found no evidence for such thing through physical measures. They employ the ‘lack of belief’ moniker, and while correct, enjoy the perception luxury of equivocation, amphibology and apparent epistemic neutrality it affords them.

Note: By Margold’s Law, how one handles the material argument around deities is also how one will handle material arguments of deontological science. Take note ethical skeptic.

Backyard Leprechaun – as a skeptic and a person who regards physical measures and repeatability as the standard by which we arrive at conclusions, the Methodical Cynic is bound into a method which will never allow anything other than his dogmatic set of beliefs to ever rise to the surface. He rejects the little man in the green suit and derby sighting by his neighbor as a ‘sincere but deluded’ contention. Science has never found existence for leprechauns, therefore they do not exist (Wittgenstein Error or Appeal to Ignorance). He filters this information along with millions of other data which threaten his inner-peace, by means then of Occam’s Razor.

He gets upset with those who do not bear his antithetical belief set and practice. They are beneath him philosophically and intellectually. He softens over time into the appearance of instructing the scientifically illiterate. He sells himself as a ‘science enthusiast.’ He campaigns on Twitter and forums to decry these opponents who may be operating in a realm of ethic he does not fully grasp. He scratches his head at Ethical Skepticism and concludes that it must surely be an opponent in disguise!

He claims to lack belief, but does not possess the self-circumspection and Allow-For discipline which would enable him to observe the dogmatic set of beliefs he is promoting.

95% of Twitter and forum fights over ‘science’ occur between Cynics and Dogmatists pretending to represent science; indeed rather defending one set of antithetical belief, and another idea which is belief. An ethical skeptic student or journeyman should be armed with its philosophy so as to quickly and easily spot this condition before they enter any fray.

Ethical Skepticism and the Allow-For Virtue

The Acceptance Disposition – the scientist who has arrived at Acceptance, lacks belief because he is basing his gnosis on falsification or a preponderance of science. Popperian science standards. No belief is entailed at all, at any time in his processes or thinking. Were the accepted issue to be falsified tomorrow, he would not bear such epistemic commitment as to drive himself across the dotted red line and into dogma or cynicism. Acceptance disposition is a hard fought, non-celebrated litmus of parsimony and discipline on the part of the ethical skeptic. I have many constructs I have disfavored, which now reside solidly in the Acceptance disposition in my mind. Two things qualify a material issue into the Acceptance domain:

1.  A consilience of evidence and successful record of theory prediction success underpin the material contention.

2.  A reasonable set of plausible alternative explanations have all been falsified.

Backyard Leprechaun – the Acceptance professional begins with the ethical skepticism Allow-For, conducts science looking only for 2ft tall men in green suit and derby at the neighbor’s house and then arrives at his acceptance through a Popperian standard of consilience and falsification. He is a scientist. He finds small shoe footprints in his neighbor’s backyard mud. He finds it interesting, he accepts what his neighbor has contended, but he takes it no further from there – and awaits more opportunity to investigate.

The Allow-For Disposition

Agnostic atheist – does indeed possess a lack of belief and to his credit innocently struggles for the ethical comfort zone of the Allow-For domain. He does not know or not-know. He has simply fallen for the sleight-of-hand promoted by the Nihilist Atheist and the Dogmatist, that we have a coherent definition for what is a deity.

Backyard Leprechaun – since my neighbor was not drunk, is always highly trustworthy, and this was an observation in broad daylight and fairly close up – I tender him the benefit of a doubt and idempotently catalog this piece of information. I Allow-For his observation. I do not allow for a kingdom of leprechauns and a nearby pot-o-gold. But incrementally I allow for the potentiality entailed in this observation until more evidence arrives.

The Lack of Allow-For Disposition – the Lack of Allow-For disposition is a hard fought, non-celebrated litmus of parsimony and discipline on the part of the ethical skeptic. I have many constructs I have favored, which now sadly reside in the Lack of Allow-For disposition in my mind. Two things qualify a material issue in the Lack of Allow-For domain:

1.  The matter has been falsified by a sufficient Popperian level of scientific method

2.  The matter possesses no coherent definition and/or observational basis.

Ignostic atheist – lacks an Allow-For disposition for ‘God’ or ‘deity’ because the term bears no coherent meaning or epistemically observable base. They are gonzo terminologies, falsely implying meaning and often used to intimidate. The perception that the term god or deity has a definition, is only an apparent coherency delivered to us by society. The ignostic atheist does not deny deities or actively campaign against specific beliefs, he simply lacks the Allow-For, for god. He considers the babble of both the Cynic and the Dogmatist about ‘God’ to be irrelevant and not the (salient, sequitur, constraining, advancing) next step of scientific inquiry.

Backyard Leprechaun – since my neighbor was not drunk, is always highly trustworthy, and this was an observation in broad daylight and fairly close up – I tender him the benefit of a doubt and idempotently catalog this piece of information. I Allow-For his observation. I do not allow for a kingdom of leprechauns and a nearby pot-o-gold. But incrementally I allow for the potentiality entailed in this observation until more evidence arrives. Subsequently another neighbor is laughing at a party about their two year-old running through the street in their last year’s Halloween costume, a leprechaun outfit. I therefore then arrive at the Lack of Allow-For, that a real leprechaun strolled through my neighbor’s yard.  I inform him of what I found out, and let him know that I did not take his observation lightly – I trusted him.

This is how science and ethical skepticism are done.

what is ethical skepticism the allow for ethic

epoché vanguards gnosis

¹  Please note that when The Ethical Skeptic employs the initial caps version of the moniker, he is speaking of himself. When the lower case instance of the expression is employed, he is speaking of any student, journeyman or master ethical skeptic – those who bear an allegiance to a standard of practice.

And as a reminder, ethical skepticism is not a boast of morality, goodness or superiority. An ethical skeptic is critical of own thinking, almost to a fault. An ethical skeptic regards the fair treatment of others to be of utmost regard inside his ethic, save for those who are actively conducting or screening defense of human/planetary harm and suffering. Rather it is simply a blend of those facets of skeptical science and philosophical skepticism which can be brought to productive (and not intellectual self aggrandizing) mutual benefit for all mankind, inside the domain of one’s personal and social life. It is crafted to displace the current form of invalid social skepticism which is taught by agenda-bearing parties.



April 29, 2016 Posted by | Deskeption | , , , , | Leave a comment

Denial of Discovery Science

SSkeptics’ failure to differentiate between Discovery Science, Developmental Science and Engineering is purposeful and methodical.  But it by no means represents Science.  The focus on Experimental Methodology only as representative of the entirety of the scientific method, simultaneously constrains all science to the control of a few in a lab, and excludes critical steps of early Development Science diligence which might serve to introduce unwanted evidence and hypotheses.

discovery science vs developDiscovery Science as an activity set is a substantially different venture than is the controlled directed methodical discipline of Developmental Science.  Of course both domains involve disciplined measures, paths and processes; this is not in argument.  More importantly however, is a seldom heralded principle on the part of SSkeptics that, Discovery Science approaches do not apply in the same way as when one is simply ‘developing’ enhancing tests and falsifications inside the domain set of a fully developed theory, constrained hypothesis domain, or study discipline.  Discovering a new galaxy cluster for example, while exciting and serendipitous, is not what I am including under the definition of Discovery Science.  Improving our knowledge of the celestial makeup of the heavens is not Discovery Science, but rather Developmental Science.  Developmental Science relies on a shade different set of protocols and steps under the Scientific Method than does Discovery Science.  They both employ the analytical feedback and peer review process, but the logical address of issues in an around default/simplest explanations, alternative explanations, the role of sponsors versus researchers and peers, null hypothesis development, falsification hierarchies, and threshold of escalation are different.  String Theory investigation is not pursued in the same way as is sky-mapping. Both are science.

To the SSkeptic, only Developmental Science and Experimental Methodologies Exist

Now of course, in simple form this relationship is depicted in the chart to the right, one which I use in the labs I work with to help focus the technicians and scientists in a particular direction of effectiveness.  I do not let the Developmentally skilled researchers have power over the Discovery researchers, as this is a common mistake in managing labs.  In fact, in one lab I divided the entire organization into a development lab separate from a discovery lab, with separate professional directors.  These two did not always get along either.  But this was not a derivative of that relationship, rather an outcome of sound research practice.   I ask them in addition to set aside Cultivation of Personal Power and Pet Prejudices.  We do not filter data and ideas.  We do not attack Sponsors of an idea.  This removes a whole host of filtering and a priori errors which SSkeptics introduce into a Discovery Science process. Also, set aside for a moment the domain of Engineering, as Engineering relies on the analytical control and input sensitivity measures which are established in Advanced Development Science.  In order for Engineering processes to be undertaken, there are certain aspects of Developmental Science which must be completed, otherwise one cannot apply the discovery for benefit or creation of a business.  A benefit or business is ALWAYS derived from Engineering.  Many notorious industry mistakes have been made by attempting to begin a benefit or business straight from the Science only (Carbon Sequestration Seeding comes to mind).

When a SSkeptic’s goal is cultivation of ignorance and personal power, they will pretend that the Scientific Method comprises only Steps 8 through 15 and that only the ‘Lab Method’ or the broader Experimental Methodology can be utilized to produce observational data or vet escalation therein.  In an organization where groundbreaking Science results are paramount, the seasoned Scientist knows this approach to be fallacious.

The work of Sponsors is critical.  This does not mean that the Sponsors have to or necessarily ‘believe’ the subject at hand.

When Results are the Goal and not Cultivation of Personal Power, THIS is the Scientific Method:













13.  PEER REVIEW (Community Vetting)



– – –

Discovery Science suffers from outsider beliefs, lack of sponsorship, lack of impetus, unclear falsifiability mandates, lack of mission and the false contention that no ad hoc ideas may be pursued

Adding data to a well understood falsification hierarchy, within mature knowledge and Peer Review frameworks, is an wholly different discipline than creating a market of data which will begin to describe a new explanatory framework altogether; one of which few have been aware or clearly understood.  Man discovering objects under the ocean for the first time ever, is an wholly different discipline than using technology to locate submarines.  Developmental Science is assumption based, simplest explanation, sponsorship, impetus, falsifiability and mission driven. NO ad hoc.  Discovery Science suffers from beliefs, lack of sponsorship, lack of impetus, unclear falsifiability and lack of mission.  Restriction of ad hoc pursuits is detrimental to Discovery Science and SSkeptics know this.  Failure to highlight this is a popular method utilized by Deskeption Cabal members. SSkeptics, commonly employ tricks enabled by the awareness that the protocols utilized in Discovery Science are nurturing in ideology and do not employ the triage effect of those used in Developmental Science.  They rely upon the layman’s, and many scientists’ lack of grasp of this distinguishing principle.  SSkeptics will critique Discovery Data Collection and Discovery Investigation/Sponsor methodologies and refuse them validity, by applying Developmental Science protocol – which in effect filters data early enough in the process to kill an idea; failing to acknowledge the challenge incumbent on the Discovery Researcher.  This portrays an aura of Science on the part of the SSkeptic, but is not Science at all.

SSkeptics will critique Discovery Data Collection and Discovery Investigation/Sponsor methodologies and refuse them validity, by applying Developmental Science protocol – which in effect filters data early enough in the process to kill an idea.  This portrays an aura of Science, but is not Science at all.

Deskeption: Deny Discovery Science – Symptoms to Watch For:

Discover Science Denial is enacted via some of the following Pseudoscientific Declarations:

1. You are not pursuing science, but only your pet idea – This is false. A researcher can sponsor and research a single avenue of Discovery Science under the Scientific Method.  This effort will involve falsification of competing classic explanations of course, but that does not mean he must fully investigate every alternative explanation first before he can pursue his idea.  That is Developmental and not Discovery Science.

2. Bring me evidence once case at a time only – By dealing only in an anecdotal fashion, SSkeptics pull the trick of skipping data aggregation and confidence interval threshold tests which could substantiate a case for plurality (see Knowledge Filtering).

3.  You have not considered nor tested for alternative explanations – This is a false enforcement.  Study of the diligent alternative, the discovery alternative and many times, the one which can be eliminated through falsification most easily, takes precedence over assigning the simplest explanation, every time. Contending that the researcher should look for evidence supporting alternative explanations first or only, is not even Developmental Science, but rather a false form of induction called Promotification. This is a very common pseudoscience game played by SSkeptics seeking to squelch ideas and data.

4.  No scientist seriously considers this a credible avenue of research – This is a false enforcement, as there are no scientists inside this subject (see What is Pseudoscience?).

5.  We have no compelling need to look into this/the subject is a waste of my time – In the presence of Ockham’s Razor level data, this is an a priori conclusion and is pseudoscience.

6.  Employment or Enforcement of a Null Hypothesis which cannot be tested for Falsification (see What Defines a Religion)This is false because the Null Hypothesis is an untestable domain which cannot be falsified.  It is not a construct.  This is the pseudo-scientific method (see Proof by Non-Falsifiability).

7.  You BELIEVE this – ‘belief’ is the battle-cry of the pseudo-skeptic.  A Discovery Researcher, as a true skeptic, does not have to be dispassionate about pursuit of his idea.  Indeed that passion drives him onward.  Given sufficient data, and sufficient impetus, his efforts to focus on one idea and chain of data are valid, even though it may not match the same protocols inside of Developmental Research.  It is his ability to tolerate his idea’s falsification which qualifies him as a true skeptic.  Faker SSkeptics will never admit falsification of their pet ideas; but rather, will chose to enforce them without circumspection or conscience.

February 27, 2013 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda, Argument Fallacies | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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