Corber’s Burden of Skepticism and The Omega Hypothesis

The Omega Hypothesis is the argument which is foisted to end all argument, period.
Social Skeptics work to defend this set of beliefs through several means. First they codify these beliefs into a partly unacknowledged, but comprehensively protected set. Further then, through application of an inverse negation fallacy, and conflating the ethics of skepticism with corrupted methods of cynicism they establish the preeminence of their favored beliefs, without or by skirting the rigor of science. All this stems from a principle of parsimony called Corber’s Burden. When one makes an authoritative claim as to possessing knowledge of a complete set of that which is incorrect, one must be 100% correct (or at least appear to be so).

Omeaga Hypothesis - CopyWho needs further science and hypothesis testing when you have skepticism? Further study of anything which falls outside of The Omega Hypothesis is pseudoscience. Why study it when we already have the answer through the magic of critical thinking and rationality? Such is the rationalization of the Social Skeptic. The Social Skeptic will then appoint their debunking resume with ample sets of Stooge Posed examples, case anecdotes of ridiculous debunking wherein their ‘critical thinking’ skills resulted in the correct answer. Jesus on a piece of toast, mermaids, swallowing whole bottles of sugar pills, statues drinking milk. An erstwhile skeptic Christmas tree adorned with such a profusion of correct ornaments that it will be difficult to impossible to locate any incorrect ones. They will imply that the entire suite of ideas they have disproved constitutes 100% bunk. But they need be cautious in such a claim. For god knows what the implications of being wrong are – when your job is to instruct everyone as to what is indeed, incorrect. This is related inside a tenet of parsimony, under Ockham’s Razor, called the Truzzi Fallacy or Burden of Proof. Making a claim to falseness is the same as making a claim. This applies as well to situations where the claimant implies falsity through various non-evidence avenues – or by attempting to shoot down or plausibly deny all alternative ideas.

When one makes or implies a claim to falseness, one assumes the burden of proof.¹

In ancient Biblical times, the test or ‘burden of proof’ of a prophet was that they need be correct in their prognostications 100%.² Thankfully we no longer rely on prophets to tell us a couple things about the future.  Now we rely upon Social Skeptics to instruct us as to ALL things about the present.  The nature of tendering answers in lieu of science (a false form of skepticism), demands that the purveyor of such correct conclusive thought – necessarily be correct in 100% of their claims.

For in those cases where you are right – you serve to simply re-enforce the prevailing dogma – thereby adding no real value.

And if even if in one case, you are wrong – even on 1% of the ‘pseudoscience’ you squelch without any research or real effort – your entire life’s contribution has been a net disservice to humanity.

This reality is born out in a principle called Corber’s Burden.

Corber’s Burden

Corber’s Burden Inverse Exponential Decaya. When one tenders an authoritative claim as to what is incorrect – one must be perfectly correct.

b. When a person or organization claims to be an authority on all that is bunk, their credibility decays in inverse exponential proportion to the number of subjects in which authority is claimed.

c. A sufficiently large or comprehensive set of claims to conclusive evidence in denial, is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority.

/philosophy : burden of proof : pretense/ The mantle of ethics undertaken when one claims the role of representing conclusive scientific truth, ascertained by means other than science, such as ‘rational thinking,’ ‘critical thinking,’ ‘common sense,’ or skeptical doubt. An authoritative claim or implication as to possessing knowledge of a complete set of that which is incorrect. The nature of such a claim to authority on one’s part demands that the skeptic who assumes such a role be 100% correct. If however, one cannot be assured of being 100% correct, then one must tender the similitude of such.

Corber’s Hypocrisy

/philosophy : pseudoscience : self misrepresentation/ : When a skeptic who dismisses a large set of specific subjects and who realizes that under Corber’s Burden they must be 100% correct in such a role – speaks often about ‘following the evidence’ or that they ‘withhold conclusion’ in a state of neutrality over such subjects – when indeed such claims of behavior are not the case at all in their habit or practice.

An example of this can be found in atheist activism. If one purports to be able to instruct others under the certainty that there is no god, and that the spirit realm and extra-material consciousness all do not exist – or further then that all these things have been ‘disproved by science’ – one ethically in this role is under the burden of needing to be 100% correct. In other words you better damn well be right – or you have committed a great harm to those you instructed. This burden applies to the greater domain of disdained topics as well. The likelihood of one harming others increases as one becomes more and more boastful as to those subjects in which one claims to be an authority to claims of both promotion or denial.

The Furtive and Mandatory Hypothesis

Corber’s Burden/Hypocrisy introduces an additional form of pseudoscience which fails the Popper Demarcation of science versus non-science. One which can be found in the practices regarding the employment of an invalid, hidden, but also mandatory null hypothesis, HΩ. The Omega Hypothesis is hidden precisely because of Corber’s Burden. The creation and unmerited protection of the Omega Hypothesis constitutes a form of hypoepistemology which is spun through practices of Inverse Negation Fallacy, and corruption of the standards and methods of science. It is an embodiment and method of ensuring that what we believe in Social Skepticism, is at any given time, regarded as 100% correct – in accordance with Corber’s Burden. Through these practices of social epistemology, an apparent coherence can be spun around a particular view of a subject, and protection by the corrupted institutions of science afforded until such time as a Kuhn Paradigm Shift is able to be precipitated. Sadly, this often only occurs upon the death of the key social epistemologists involved.

Omega Hypothesis (HΩ)

The argument which is foisted to end all argument, period. A conclusion which has become more important to protect, than the integrity of science itself.

/philosophy : pseudoscience : social epistemology : apparent coherency/ : the argument which is foisted to end all argument, period. A conclusion promoted under such an insistent guise of virtue or importance, that protecting it has become imperative over even the integrity of science itself. An invalid null hypothesis or a preferred idea inside a social epistemology. A hypothesis which is defined to end deliberation without due scientific rigor, alternative study consensus or is afforded unmerited protection or assignment as the null. The surreptitiously held and promoted idea or the hypothesis protected by an Inverse Negation Fallacy. Often one which is promoted as true by default, with the knowledge in mind that falsification will be very hard or next to impossible to achieve.

1.  The (Wonka) Golden Ticket – Have we ever really tested the predictive strength of this idea standalone, or evaluated its antithetical ideas for falsification? Does an argument proponent constantly insist on a ‘burden of proof’ upon any contrasting idea, a burden that they never attained for their argument in the first place? An answer they fallaciously imply is the scientific null hypothesis; ‘true’ until proved otherwise?

Einfach Mechanism – an idea which is not yet mature under the tests of valid hypothesis, yet is installed as the null hypothesis or best explanation regardless. An explanation, theory or idea which sounds scientific, yet resolves a contention through bypassing the scientific method, then moreover is installed as truth thereafter solely by means of pluralistic ignorance around the idea itself. Pseudo-theory which is not fully tested at its inception, nor is ever held to account thereafter. An idea which is not vetted by the rigor of falsification, predictive consilience nor mathematical derivation, rather is simply considered such a strong, or Occam’s Razor (sic) stemming-from-simplicity idea that the issue is closed as finished science or philosophy from its proposition and acceptance onward. A pseudo-theory of false hypothesis which is granted status as the default null hypothesis or as posing the ‘best explanation’, without having to pass the rigors with which its competing alternatives are burdened. The Einfach mechanism is often accompanied by social rejection of competing and necessary alternative hypotheses, which are forbidden study. Moreover, the Einfach hypothesis must be regarded by the scientific community as ‘true’ until proved otherwise. An einfach mechanism may or may not be existentially true.

2.  Cheater’s Hypothesis – Does the hypothesis or argument couch a number of imprecise terms or predicate concepts? Is it mentioned often by journalists or other people wishing to appear impartial and comprehensive? Is the argument easily falsified through a few minutes of research, yet seems to be mentioned in every subject setting anyway?

Imposterlösung Mechanism – the cheater’s answer. A disproved, incoherent or ridiculous contention, or one which fails the tests to qualify as a real hypothesis, which is assumed as a potential hypothesis anyway simply because it sounds good or is packaged for public consumption. These alternatives pass muster with the general public, but are easily falsified after mere minutes of real research. Employing the trick of pretending that an argument domain which does not bear coherency nor soundness – somehow (in violation of science and logic) falsely merits assignment as a ‘hypothesis’. Despite this, most people hold them in mind simply because of their repetition. This fake hypothesis circumstance is common inside an argument which is unduly influenced by agency. They are often padded into skeptical analyses, to feign an attempt at appearing to be comprehensive, balanced, or ‘considering all the alternatives’.

ad hoc/Pseudo-Theory – a placeholder construct which suffers from the additional flaw in that it cannot be fully falsified, deduced nor studied, and can probably never be addressed or further can be proposed in almost any circumstance of uncertainty. These ideas will be thrown out for decades. They can always be thrown out. They will always be thrown out. Sometimes also called ‘blobbing’ or ‘god of the gaps’, it is a bucket into which one dumps every unknown, hate-based, fear-based and unexplained observation – add in a jigger of virtue – then you shake it up like a vodka martini, and get drunk on the encompassing paradigm which can explain everything, anything and nothing all at the same time.

3.  Omega Hypothesis (HΩ) – Is the idea so important or virtuous, that it now stands more important that the methods of science, or science itself. Does the idea leave a trail of dead competent professional bodies behind it?

Höchste Mechanism – when a position or practice, purported to be of scientific basis, is elevated to such importance or virtue that removing the rights of professionals and citizens to dissent, speak, organize or disagree (among other rights) is justified in order to protect the position or the practice inside society.

Constructive Ignorance (Lemming Weisheit or Lemming Doctrine) – a process related to the Lindy Effect and pluralistic ignorance, wherein discipline researchers are rewarded for being productive rather than right, for building ever upward instead of checking the foundations of their research, for promoting doctrine rather than challenging it. These incentives allow weak confirming studies to to be published and untested ideas to proliferate as truth. And once enough critical mass has been achieved, they create a collective perception of strength or consensus.

4.  Embargo Hypothesis (Hξ) – was the science terminated years ago, in the midst of large-impact questions of a critical nature which still remain unanswered? Is such research now considered ‘anti-science’ or ‘pseudoscience’? Is there enormous social pressure to not even ask questions inside the subject? Is mocking and derision high – curiously in excess of what the subject should merit?

Entscheiden Mechanism – the pseudoscientific or tyrannical approach of, when faced with epistemology which is heading in an undesired direction, artificially declaring under a condition of praedicate evidentia, the science as ‘settled’ and all opposing ideas, anti-science, credulity and pseudoscience.

Poison Pill Hypothesis – the instance wherein sskeptics or agency work hard to promote lob & slam condemnation of particular ideas. A construct obsession target used to distract or attract attack-minded skeptics into a contrathetic impasse or argument. The reason this is done is not the confusion or clarity it provides, rather the disincentive which patrolling skeptics place on the shoulders of the genuine skilled researcher. These forbidden alternatives (often ‘paranormal’ or ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘conspiracy theory’ buckets) may be ridiculous or indeed ad hoc themselves – but the reason they are raised is to act as a warning to talented researchers that ‘you might be tagged as supporting one of these crazy ideas’ if you step out of line and do not visibly support the Omega Hypothesis. A great example is the skeptic community tagging of anyone who considers the idea that the Khufu pyramid at Giza might have not been built by King Khufu in 2450 bce, as therefore now supporting conspiracy theories or aliens as the builders – moreover, their being racist against Arabs who now are the genetic group which occupies modern Egypt.

5.  Evidence Sculpting – has more evidence been culled from the field of consideration for this idea, than has been retained? Has the evidence been sculpted to fit the idea, rather than the converse?

Skulptur Mechanism – the pseudoscientific method of treating evidence as a work of sculpture. Methodical inverse negation techniques employed to dismiss data, block research, obfuscate science and constrain ideas such that what remains is the conclusion one sought in the first place. A common tactic of those who boast of all their thoughts being ‘evidence based’. The tendency to view a logical razor as a device which is employed to ‘slice off’ unwanted data (evidence sculpting tool), rather than as a cutting tool (pharmacist’s cutting and partitioning razor) which divides philosophically valid and relevant constructs from their converse.

Also, the instance common in media wherein so-called ‘fact-based’ media sites tell 100% truth about 50% the relevant story. This is the same as issuing 50% misinformation or disinformation.

6.  Lindy-Ignorance Vortex – do those who enforce or imply a conforming idea or view, seem to possess a deep emotional investment in ensuring that no broach of subject is allowed regarding any thoughts or research around an opposing idea or specific ideas or avenues of research they disfavor? Do they easily and habitually imply that their favored conclusions are the prevailing opinion of scientists? Is there an urgency to reach or sustain this conclusion by means of short-cut words like ‘evidence’ and ‘fact’? If such disfavored ideas are considered for research or are broached, then extreme disdain, social and media derision are called for?

Verdrängung Mechanism – the level of control and idea displacement achieved through skillful employment of the duality between pluralistic ignorance and the Lindy Effect. The longer a control-minded group can sustain an Omega Hypothesis perception by means of the tactics and power protocols of proactive pluralistic ignorance, the greater future acceptability and lifespan that idea will possess. As well, the harder it will to be dethrone as an accepted norm or perception as a ‘proved’ null hypothesis.

One key sign that an Omega Hypothesis is being promoted, is the tactic of declaring any non-conventional alternative explanation as constituting ‘magical thinking.’ This paranoia about every thought that threatens one’s beliefs as stemming somehow from magic, is in itself a version of religious thinking. Three conditions typically lead to this tactic, and highlight a person’s religious clinging to the Omega Hypothesis:

A.  Forcing a Null Hypothesis from an idea which has not really been matured into an actual scientific hypothesis in the first place,

B.  Assuming the Null Hypothesis to be true,

C.  Assuming all competing hypotheses to be declarations of ‘magical thinking’ – in an attempt to obviate any scientific testing or maturing of such an idea.

All the above a set of practice which abrogates a Popperian view of the threshold and rigor of adequate science, relying instead on the promotion of an invalid null hypothesis (HΩ) through academic inertia, ignorance of the discipline, promotification science, social skeptic campaigns or corporate pressure. Now to be fair, this set of unethical practice was also developed and perfected by Abrahamism and other religions, both currently and in the past. It is not something practiced by only Social Skeptics by any means.

The Signals of an Omega Hypothesis at Play:

omega hypothesis truck - Copy
Proselytize Children or College Students

Do they tout the wonders of ‘critical thinking’ before one possesses a deep or even a nascent understanding of the world around them?

Bears a Similitude of Science or 100% Correct Authority

Do they love to wear the robes of, or enjoy the regard of self, as being equivalent to an expert or scientist on a subject? Are they never wrong or uncertain?

Promoted by Means of an Inverse Negation Fallacy

Do they just happen to habitually apply methodical doubt to every idea except for a favored few?

Defended by the Martial Art of Denial

Instead of bringing evidence, do they habitually and only provide excuses or plausible outs as to why opposing evidence could be invalid?

Involves Clubs, Literature and Bandwagons Events to Re-enforce

Do they only hang with their fellows, or regularly celebrate visible membership and fealty to positions of club opinion and membership? Conventions, outreach literature?

Byzantine Enforcement of Preferred Ideas Through Social Pressure Rather Than Empirical Study

Do they wink and nudge, loudly alert their fellows for action, patrol forums, and loudly decry anyone who thinks differently about ideas they disfavor? Do they cite your dissent as constituting a ‘lack of critical thinking skills’ – and position you inside a pigeon hole of canned irrationality?

Seeks Control of Media and Legislation in Lieu of Science

Do they seek to head off science by intervening through legislature or inflammatory articles, or consider the thoughts of the common man or those who have experienced anecdotes or health problems to be beneath them?

Enforced Through Celebrity and Priest

Do they seek the authoritative backing of celebrity voices, or celebrity for themselves, as a means of adding credibility to their message?

Employs Mocking and Derisiveness on All Opposing Thought

Is their first and primary resort to argument, a mocking disdain and derisiveness towards those who are honestly (and maybe errantly) seeking answers inside their lives? or are suffering a health challenge?

A word: Regard people who practice the above as DISHONEST.

shortcutsYou will find that the philosophy of Social Skepticism rarely if ever, delves into the philosophy of ethics, particularly in regard to the mantle assumed by one when undertaking the role of skepticism as an authority. Nor do they examine their steps in regard to enforcement of The Omega Hypothesis. Moreover, one would think that the role of the skeptic and free thinking would be to challenge The Omega Hypothesis. Sadly this is never the case inside Social Skepticism.

When philosophers speak of skepticism being the foundation of science, they are not referring to the unbridled spewing of methodical cynicism and prejudicial doubt which is practiced by those who today pretend to be, or assume the mantle of representing, science. Skepticism carries no agenda, save for the idempotent ethic of defending the knowledge development process. It challenges manipulation of data and methods through fear, establishment of control, practices of disdain, squelching of ideas, observations or persons, mafia elite powers and the cultivation of ignorance. This is why the definition of Ethical Skepticism begins with the statement:

Skepticism is the complement of sound science, not the privilege sword of a few pretenders. It is the handiwork of those who possess the grace, integrity and acumen requisite in the wielding of great ideas.

It is not, and never has been a license to spew denial as if one bore no responsibility in its offing.

¹  Philosophic Burden of Proof, Wikipedia;

note: An example of a false employment of a common misconception of burden of proof can be found here: RationalWiki Burden of Proof

In the definition cited, Rational Wiki cites that only ‘new and remarkable ideas’ bear the burden of proof. That once evidence is presented, it is ‘up to the opposing side to disprove the evidence.’  Specifically they employ the Error of the Default Null: “If someone has presented you with an idea and says that the burden of proof is on you to disprove the idea, work out what the null hypothesis is and then put their evidence for the idea against it. The person claiming something is possible or has happened needs to produce evidence to refute the null hypothesis.”

All of these fallacious ideas are employed inside fake skepticism.

²  McCoy, Ryan, “Biblical Tests of a Prophet,”

The Burden of Proof (in Gumballs)

Sometimes ‘simple’ is itself the extraordinary claim. A burden of proof may not always reside where we regard it. A claim that something is false, can be just as extraordinary as the claim that something is true. It is important that The Ethical Skeptic distinguish between claims which bear a burden of proof, those that do not, and those which are by their non-sequitur nature, irrelevant.

kids and teacher how many gumballs - CopyI was attending one of my kid’s school parties, a father/student night in elementary school one evening years ago, when an interesting contest arose. The teacher challenged the fathers to all guess how many gumballs were in a jar of gumballs she had on her desk. We all dutifully wrote our guesses down on a sheet of paper and tore it off into a small folded sheet to hand to the students’ homeroom teacher. Once all the slips of guesses were placed into a bowl, the teacher pulled each one out and wrote the guesses on the whiteboard for all to see.  110, 245, 43, 66, 190, and so forth. Number after number came up, and I waited dutifully for my guess of 143 to show. I had made the guess by counting the number of gumballs in the size of one fist. A fist is a common quick measure of volume in situations where one does not have any available measure for volume estimate. 11 Gumballs to a fist, 12 fists to the container – then a little sluff for the neck of the jar, which appeared to be full to the brim. 11 x 12 = 132, plus another 11 I could count in the neck. Thus my guess was 143.

Finally the teacher pulled up a piece of paper and started to read it, then stopped abruptly and smiled. “Well it’s obvious someone overhead me saying how many gumballs we had in the jar, earlier to Ms. Clemmens over here. So we won’t count that submission.” She set, what turned out to be my submission, aside.

The winning dad made a valiant guess of 127 against the correct count of 143 gumballs in the jar. Good job dad. I applauded his excellent guestimating skills and said nothing about the matter. After all, this is just elementary school. What we are taught here, does not matter in the larger scheme of things, right?  Such a drama-in-elementary exhibits an important principle with regard to claims of falseness.

When one makes or implies a claim to falseness, one assumes the burden of proof.¹

Under Ockham’s Razor, plurality should not be introduced without necessity. The homeroom teacher, by accusing me of exercising dishonesty in my submission, had violated Ockham’s Razor. The context of entrant anonymity in no way excused a direct or implicit claim of lying; as this is still the same contention. She had introduced a very complicated idea, by mistaking the challenge to be simple. She had chosen the simplest explanation – no one can guess EXACTLY the gumball count in my jar. As with fake skeptics, she failed to discern the real principle here, that of plurality – or hypothesis stacking – complicated-ness as it might otherwise be known. She chose without evidence, Hypothesis B below, and presumed it because of

Occam’s Razor‘ the simplest explanation – in my base of personal knowledge and critical thinking, the chance of guessing 143 gumballs is too unlikely to be considered as a valid outcome.

Therefore Hypothesis C below, had to be false, in her skeptical mind. Here are the available array of ideas surrounding my ‘lucky’ guess, as they stand:

Hypothesis A – One or more fathers is a psychic – one father reads minds and could ascertain from my thoughts that the gumball count was 143.

This Hypothesis fails Ockham’s Razor for the simple fact that it must first presume that psychic ability exists, that the teacher knows what being psychic even means, that there was a knowledge on my part on how to employ such skill here, that I possessed the desire to falsify a document and impress a crowd, that I was looking for glory as to how prescient I am, that this is the way I impress and provide a role model for my son, and that I held that desire so profoundly that I would apply it in the guess of a gumball count in a jar at my kid’s father/student party.

A highly stacked – or pluralistic – hypothesis

Hypothesis B – One or more fathers is a cheater and a liar – one father listened in on myself and my assistant and ascertained from my statement that the gumball count was 143.

This Hypothesis fails Ockham’s Razor for the simple fact that it must first presume that the submittant cheats and lies, that the teacher is so smart and skeptical, that she can correctly detect this condition in a person and in me, that I possessed the desire to falsify a document and impress a crowd, that I was looking for glory as to how prescient I am, that cheating and lying is the way I impress and provide a role model for my son, and that I held that desire so profoundly that I would apply it in the guess of a gumball count in a jar at my kid’s father/student party.

A highly stacked – or pluralistic – hypothesis

Hypothesis C – One father made a skilled and lucky guesstimate – from a pinch of math and a bit of english, one father correctly guessed a gumball count of 143.

This hypothesis ‘holds the razor’ even thought it could be considered unlikely to guess 143 exactly – it is the null or favored hypothesis until such time as there is necessity, and a sufficient threshold of plurality evidence is brought forward which showed I ascertained the correct count of gumballs by any mutually exclusive and alternative means.

unlikely-versus-simpleI simply employed a little bit of skill I have used in the field in Africa and Asia, with a bit of math, combined with a bit of estimator’s wisdom (english) to get lucky on my estimated count of gumballs.  Had the teacher selected hypothesis C above – perhaps I could have explained how I did this to the kids – showed an example of measuring concretions being formed into a housing brick in Africa, and how I pulled off the guess.

But, it is better that schools teach the false form of skepticism instead, right? Don’t step outside of the rules of expectations, there is no way to get the correct amount. There are penalties if you do. There is no such thing as a cure for cancer or IBS, if you feel bad it is a panic attack, supplements are all evil, there is no such thing as a spirit realm, there is no such thing as ghosts, there is no such thing as…. – All easy pat, Occam’s Razor compliant answers.

‘Occam’s Razor’ says that the simplest explanation is that 143 is a hard count to guess, and cannot be guessed realistically, right? Something is up, if it is indeed guessed. Implicit in such a claim is a boast that I personally, hold the full domain knowledge of potentiality and likelihood. This is a common Social Skeptic implicit claim. The pitfall of the fake skeptic: I fail to be a skeptic of myself. Well the simple fact is, that

…sometimes, ‘simple’ is an extraordinary claim in and of itself.

Your effort will not be regarded as valid if you do not fit this errant version of ‘Occam’s Razor’ – simple contention – complicated-ness in knowing.  When one extrapolates this claim to Hypothesis B (see The MiHoDeAL Claim and The Appeal to Skepticism Fallacy), to apply to a whole domain of subjects they seek to discredit, under an air of authority as a skeptic – one is performing under Corber’s Burden. Under this burden, the skeptic must therefore always be right. Always. Or tender the appearance of doing so. Such is the enormous burden, the implicit claim, of the fake skeptic.

Which brings up the topic of proof gaming. Let’s examine that common social skeptic bad science method and fallacy, before we move on to our gumball examples.

Proof Gaming

/philosophy : argument : pseudoscience : false salience/ : employing dilettante concepts of ‘proof’ as a football in order to win arguments, disfavor disliked groups or thought, or exercise fake versions of science. Asking for proof before the process of science can ostensibly even start, knowing that plurality is what begins the scientific method not proof, and further exploiting the reality that science very seldom arrives at a destination called ‘proof’ anyway. Proof gaming presents itself in seven speciations:

Catch 22 (non rectum agitur fallacy) – the pseudoscience of forcing the proponent of a construct or observation, to immediately and definitively skip to the end of the scientific method and single-handedly prove their contention, circumventing all other steps of the scientific method and any aid of science therein; this monumental achievement prerequisite before the contention would ostensibly be allowed to be considered by science in the first place. Backwards scientific method and skipping of the plurality and critical work content steps of science. A trick of fake skeptic pseudoscience, which they play on non-science stakeholders and observers they wish to squelch.

Fictitious Burden of Proof – declaring a ‘burden of proof’ to exist when such an assertion is not salient under science method at all. A burden of proof cannot possibly exist if neither the null hypothesis or alternative theories nor any proposed construct possesses a Popper sufficient testable/observable/discernible/measurable mechanism; nor moreover, if the subject in the matter of ‘proof’ bears no Wittgenstein sufficient definition in the first place (such as the terms ‘god’ or ‘nothingness’).

Herculean Burden of Proof – placing a ‘burden of proof’ upon an opponent which is either arguing from ignorance (asking to prove absence), not relevant to science or not inside the relevant range of achievable scientific endeavor in the first place. Assigning a burden of proof which cannot possibly be provided/resolved by a human being inside our current state of technology or sophistication of thought/knowledge (such as ‘prove abiogenesis’ or ‘prove that only the material exists’). Asking someone to prove an absence proposition (such as ‘prove elves do not exist’).

Fictus Scientia – assigning to disfavored ideas, a burden of proof which is far in excess of the standard regarded for acceptance or even due consideration inside science methods. Similarly, any form of denial of access to acceptance processes normally employed inside science (usually peer review both at theory formulation and at completion). Request for proof as the implied standard of science – while failing to realize or deceiving opponents into failing to realize that 90% of science is not settled by means of ‘proof’ to begin with.

Observation vs Claim Blurring – the false practice of calling an observation or data set, a ‘claim’ on the observers’ part.  This in an effort to subjugate such observations into the category of constituting scientific claims which therefore must be now ‘proved’ or dismissed (the real goal: see Transactional Occam’s Razor Fallacy).  In fact an observation is simply that, a piece of evidence or a cataloged fact. Its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘claim’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

As Science as Law Fallacy – conducting science as if it were being reduced inside a court of law or by a judge (usually the one forcing the fake science to begin with), through either declaring a precautionary principle theory to be innocent until proved guilty, or forcing standards of evidence inside a court of law onto hypothesis reduction methodology, when the two processes are conducted differently.

The Burden of Proof (exhibited in the oft-applied gumball analogy)

Which brings up the whole subject of the Philosophical Burden of Proof, which differs from a legal burden of proof regarding innocence.¹ When is a claim under the burden of proof, and when is it not? And when does a claim enjoy a lack of burden of proof simply because it is non-sequitur? In general, when one makes a claim to veracity (not a call for sponsorship and research – that is different) – in other words, one makes a claim that they are correct – the burden of proof falls upon them.  If I spot a big hairy man-like ‘thing’ in the forest and then make the call for more research on the observation – I am NOT MAKING A CLAIM. Rather simply calling for research – as I have no claim, save for being shocked by observing something paradigm shattering for which I have no explanation. This could be a person putting themselves in danger inside a costume, or it could be similar to what others of credible background have observed.  It is not a claim.  A claim, is a claim to empirical or analytical authority – that all must now accept as establishment of fact, reason, rationality or critical thinking – that which I am contending is substantiated by the evidence.

But with regard to the gumballs in our classroom anecdote above:

gumball analogy - CopyClaims Which Bear a Burden of Proof – regarding the gumballs to the right

  • There are 143 gumballs
  • There are an odd number of gumballs
  • There are an even number of gumballs
  • There are only red white and blue gumballs
  • There are no green gumballs
  • There is something besides gumballs in this mix
  • People who have observed green gumballs are liars
  • People who claim to have seen green gumballs are suffering memory suggestiveness
  • Observations of green gumballs are only anecdote
  • There are not an even number of gumballs
  • There are not an odd number of gumballs
  • We cannot see some gumballs currently

note that bullet points 2 and 3 above stand as an example of plurality under Ockham’s Razor

Claims Which are Non-Sequitur – they fail or skip large parts of the scientific method and cannot yet be contended or even asked

  • There are not 143 gumballs
  • The mix of red white and blue gumballs remains the same throughout those we cannot see
  • People who believe in green gumballs are credulous
  • We see an even number of gumballs, therefore the total of all gumballs is even
  • There are all sorts of gumballs of varying colors
  • There are only gumballs in this jar
  • People who attend church believe in green gumballs
  • Observations of green gumballs are pareidolia
  • Gumballs taste rancid
  • Gumballs can only be observed by a specific gumball expert team
  • Gumball skeptics are critical thinkers
  • Science does not have any evidence for green gumballs
  • Gumballs are pseudoscience
  • Gumballs are inter-dimensional and therefore hard to find
  • Dead body gumballs are necessary before I look beyond the visible ones
  • Skepticism tells me there are only red blue and white gumballs
  • The universe is so large that there must be green gumballs
  • Richard Dawkins has disproved all non red white or blue gumballs
  • Green gumballs do not exist
  • I hold the unambiguous definition of what is a gumball
  • Science holds the unambiguous definition of what is a gumball
  • There are no gumballs
  • There are no more red gumballs than what we see here, the rest are all blue and white

Claims Which are No Longer Under a Burden of Proof – established by empirical observation

  • There are 17 blue gumballs visible
  • We see an even number of gumballs (and recognize some dissent)
  • There are at least three colors of gumballs
  • Reality does not contain an empty set of gumballs
  • There are more than 0 gumballs
  • Gumballs are seen by more than one credible observing authority

In the end, is it not easier to skip a claim to knowledge and let the data accrue on its own, before one begins to invest in large grand scenarios of skepticism or launch into fanciful pathways of non-sequitur entertainment?  Or perhaps – best put, let ideas falsify themselves through accrued verity – not personal brilliance and experience.

Such is the nature of Ethical Skepticism. Man, now I am craving gumball.

¹  Philosophic Burden of Proof, Wikipedia;