The Ethical Skeptic

Challenging Agency of Pseudo-Skepticism & Cultivated Ignorance

Carl Sagan was Just Dead Wrong

Information is a market. ‘Extraordinary claim’ and ‘simplest explanation’ are two common buzz-phrases of that market’s huckster, hustler and shyster. Be very cautious of such easy and equivocal disposition, especially as it regards an implicit appeal to truth.

During one of my team’s overseas projects, we were tasked with the mission of observing a particular ancient and resurgent empire’s illegal mining operations inside our host country. The empire had become the de facto ruling entity in the region, despite this site not even being their country nor property at all. These illicit operations were enabled by various foreign and religious insurgent groups-for-hire who had invaded the countryside and conducted a war of terror on the local population. A war of intimidation, compelling the indigenous people into keeping quiet about the entire set of foreign invasion and mining activity.

Getting to our objective involved an excursion across a 12 mile trek of terrain bearing an odd set of features. We were outfitted in full pack and had to traverse the entire distance on foot, through thick waist-high beige colored savanna grass. The 12 mile journey extended across an ancient igneous lava dome which was formed of iron-rich magnetite and hematite. In fact, if one dropped a tool upon open hard ground there, its impact produced a curiously metallic sounding thump. A very slight but perceptible difference from standard earth. Various team members fascinated themselves by dropping items to the ground until we needed to assemble for the excursion.

Illegal immigration and insurgency are a Ruling Party’s method of punishing its constituency for having the audacity to attempt to hold it constitutionally accountable.

Numbered among the team of course were guides, familiar with the local trails and accessways to our destination, and possessing a rapport with the local tribal leaders. As we set up to make our journey, I directed that the team take a formation which was defensive, in the possibility that the savanna grass concealed opportunistic lions. Our guides advised that “The lions will not come here. They are sensitive to the magnetics,” suggesting that the mineral makeup of the lava dome itself, served to repel both prey and lion alike. It was actually both a fascinating and reasonable conjecture to my mind; probably even one which would stand up to scientific scrutiny. Indeed this was not an extraordinary claim by any stretch – easily the simplest explanation.

But this particular context of deliberation entailed a need for more verity than simply an estimation of the most probable, simplest or most likely explanation. The logical calculus in this particular situation, involved critical matters of value and risk: stealth in movement, team safety and state of focus, avoiding placing mission-critical personnel at risk, along with the primacy of the mission itself. The grass was ‘the fog of inquiry’ if you will. No, we were not afraid of being attacked, drug off and eaten. Rather, discharging weapons at or being distracted by marauding lions was not in the cards, as such activity served to place the mission, and more importantly the local allied population, at risk. Such activity was deleterious to value and exposed to risk (two different things).

An insistence upon sacrificing value or placing stakeholders at risk, constitutes the most extraordinary of claims.

So, despite our guides’ recommendation, we elected for the team to take a lion-disincentive formation – people side-by-side in front, and side by side to follow up our column of personnel. We were to present no lone stragglers – no lion tease or entrapment of any kind. Was the formation necessary? I am a skeptic; skeptical that us interlopers possessed the locus of existential knowledge commensurate with such a decision. Our guides regarded our decision as a form of extraordinary claim; one in which we bore no evidence. In the end, I elected to serve preservation of value, along with robustness to risk. Precaution; something well practiced on the high seas, as well as on land. Such is often the circumstance in science as well, especially when value, ignorance or risk are involved in its logical calculus or deployment upon stakeholders.

Ethical

/philosophy : ethics/ : a consistent praxis which is transparently focused upon benefiting its stakeholders in terms of value preservation and attainment, or robustness to risk. One who does not pretend to be everything to everyone, nor seeks to obfuscate any part of value and/or cost.

We made it both to and from our objective without being detected. We placed none of the local indigenous people in harm’s way of being questioned by insurgency squads. We brought back proof of this empire’s illegal activities in stealing our host nation’s mineral wealth. Three days later, a local laborer working on the periphery of that plateau, was killed by a lion.

Now that we have briefly touched on a context example, let’s examine Carl Sagan’s second most famous apothegm, aside from “All things being equal, the simplest explanation tends to be the correct one.”

‘Extraordinary’ is an Evidence-less and Risk-Ignorant Claim to Specific Value

Information is a market. ‘Extraordinary claim’ and ‘simplest explanation’ are two common buzz-phrases of that market’s huckster, hustler and shyster. Be very cautious of such easy and equivocal disposition, especially as it regards an implicit appeal to truth.

Carl Sagan is credited with the famous apothegm of social skepticism, ‘Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.’ And while this truism is a semantic truth, it is not also therefore a logical truth. That is to say, that the principle bears some utility in certain specific circumstances, but also bears the potential of encouraging a mistake of logical calculus when blindly applied in other contexts. In particular, when the apothegm is used to enforce certain conditions and conclusions which violate the precepts of skepticism itself. Ludwig Wittgenstein would have a field day tearing this apothegm apart by its predicates and permissives.

Extraordinary’ is a descriptive which is proffered by our minds most often in advance of knowing anything about a matter of contention. In advance of actually possessing any level of intelligence concerning a subject, one should instead err towards exposure to or conservation of value, along with robustness towards risk. Any claim which poses a logical calculus running counter to these ethics, must come necessarily with extraordinary evidence.

What my experience in developing trading markets (see The Future of Ethical Markets), and leading people under scenarios of risk has taught me, is that it is the ordinary which is most often misleading. And in being regarded as such, is also often the most harm-imparting. Some of our most disastrous case examples in trade, involve very ordinary claims to proof of product or proof of funding. In fact, ‘ordinary’ – or ‘you see it’s simple’ are most often the tradecraft and watchwords of the fraudster – the huckster, hustler, hustle-chain or shyster. The savvy executive and military leader learns lessons to which the scientist or academic is never exposed. There is a preeminent role for extraordinary evidence, which in this first priority has nothing whatsoever to do with addressing extraordinary claims.

Logical versus Semantic Truth

/philosophy : truth : species/ : a logical truth is a statement which is true, and remains true under all reinterpretations of its components or in all contexts aside from simply that of its apperception and crafting. A semantic truth is only true in certain given circumstances.

Which serves to introduce a correction to Carl Sagan’s semantic truth regarding extraordinary evidence.

The Semantic (Unethical) Truth of Extraordinary Evidence: Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

Carl Sagan was not just wrong, he was destructively wrong. This abortion of a philosophical principle helped usher in the grand suffering entailed inside the bullet pointed errors below – by focusing skepticism on the wrong issues. Equivocation promoting fecklessness. This apothegm was developed inside the cocoon of academic celebrity, and not through the requisite sampling of the breadth of human experience and exposure to risk.

If one could in theory constrain the equivocal context of the Wittgenstein object ‘extraordinary claim’ to those claims which serve to place stakeholders at risk, or be deleterious to value, then this semantic context might pass muster. But of course, semantically the apothegm is employed as a data filter, useful in squelching anything a fake skeptic finds unacceptable instead. Rendering the apothegm in reality, only useful for unethical activity. The actual principle, under ethical skepticism is expressed in the form of a logical truth as follows:

The Logical Truth of Extraordinary Evidence

Any claim which exposes a stakeholder to risk, ignorance or loss of value – regardless of how ordinary, virtuous or correct – demands extraordinary evidence.

Ghosts, Bigfoot and UFOs don’t cause harm – rather, rolling out untested-risk technologies or lying to large stakeholder populations at risk causes harm – this is what demands extraordinary accountability. Examples of ordinary, virtuous and correct claims – which should ethically have been supported by extraordinary evidence, and were not:

‣ Instructing the obese that they are obese from eating too much and watching too much TV.

‣ Citing as medical authority that diabetes is caused by ‘sugar’.

‣ Citing as medical authority that heart disease is caused by excess serum blood ‘cholesterol’.

‣ Citing as medical authority that tinnitus is caused by exposure to loud noises.

‣ Citing as medical authority that ‘one gets all the nutrition they need, from a western diet’.

‣ Citing as medical authority that ‘supplements are useless and/or harmful’.

‣ Citing as medical authority, without any study whatsoever, that a skyrocketing medical trend is ‘simply a matter of change in diagnosis’.

‣ Rolling out a major change in food technology for every human to eat 3 times a day for life, and then only testing that product on rats for 240 days after you have deployed the technology, and only after the stakeholder population started to complain of new and skyrocketing chronic, autoimmune and intestinal diseases.

‣ Rolling out a 68 event vaccine schedule without safety testing even one single vaccine injection at all, and then only conducting unethical linear affirmation studies of mild statistical observation of absences, in the wrong population of people, only after the population/doctors started observing skyrocketing related maladies in our children.

‣ Despite persistent observation or suffering by millions reporting direct personal or eyewitness experience, instructing the world as scientific authority and without any research, that ________________ does not exist.

‣ Instructing millions of ulcer sufferers that they were the cause of their ulcers, for doing _________________.

The assertions which served to precipitate these large-scale actual events of harm – these assertions constitute the real ‘extraordinary claims’. This is a core philosophy which drives ethical skepticism. It satisfies my soul to be able to apperceive, craft and teach this much needed philosophy.

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December 11, 2019 Posted by | Ethical Skepticism | , | 3 Comments

When a Social Skeptic Claims to be ‘Science Based’

gollum skepticsOh so you’re evidence based. I should go cower in my corner of delusion. I am so impressed. One must understand that claims to being ‘evidence based’ or ‘science based’ are t-shirts which fake skeptics wear in order to maintain an air of unquestionability. Remember, it is not about the science, the issue at hand, or any concern for your health at all… it is always about them – how they are perceived. This is their One Ring. This is much more important an issue to them than your health. This is obdurate cruelty and malevolence.

If I had listened to this incompetent Richeliean Appeal dickhead from Science Based Medicine, I would have never felt the fresh breath of life which flowed into me the very 10 minutes after I took my first L-methylfolate under my tongue. It is like being able to breathe ATP and oxygen, for the very first time. It is that dramatic for me.

Millions suffer today from the same depression, disease and anemia producing malady – why? Because of ignorant people just like this, speaking as authorities.

Folic Acid vs Folate

I recently had a social skeptic member of Science Based Medicine and ‘doctor’ tell me, no actually he screamed at me and called me a ‘dumbass,’ that there was ‘no difference between folic acid and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (aka l-methylfolate or levomefolic acid or methylfolate or ‘folate’)!’ He contended through the artifice of rhetoric (remember there is always a targeted victim inside rhetoric, it is never innocent) that the two compounds are exactly the same chemical. Watch him double down by claiming that the cancer incidence which is associated with the non-food industrial chemical folic acid (something my real professional MD has asked me to avoid), is therefore attributable to the body-critical vitamin l-metylfolate.1 I sincerely wish physicians were better trained in organic chemistry; but sadly sometimes, the position of authority runs to their heads and they begin to no longer listen, study or learn.

In this particular case, I began to smell the oft-too-familiar rotting stench of old incomplete science and enforced dogma. This physician’s occulted-but-main (rhetoric) point being that the substance behind the relatively new study of the MTHFR mutation and its role in a shortfall in conjugation of synthetic folic acid into levomethylation, was bunk. When I challenged his claim as unsubstantiated and an intimidating appeal to authority (actually this particular person practices the dark art of the Richeliean Appeal), he responded by making the astounding claim that he was ‘evidence based’. I love it when a social skeptic takes a fairly immature arena of study and immediately declares one well supported aspect of it to be bunk-through-the-evidence. Spinning the fairy tale that they were just awash with evidence from a whole career of studying the issue themselves (presciently aware that this necessity would arise some day), along with the 1255 other nascent issues inside which they claim expert authority through the simple self-designation of being ‘evidence based’. This type of denial action constitutes probably an 80% Pareto of typical social skeptic specious bunk aspersions.

His contention under the scientific method, his guilty null, was that folic acid, the synthetic form of the isomer, has been scientifically proven to be sufficiently equally as effective in every human body as the food nutrient, l-methyfolate. Not only that, but enough proof had been brought to medicine such as to render any claims and research to the contrary, pseudoscience. Remember that the Omega Hypothesis affords the fake skeptic the luxury of contention that the science is done, and no further research is warranted. I won’t go into the specifics here, but that contention turned out to be grossly false when I examined conclusions inside both the old and the new studies on folic acid. We have very scant data on exactly what happens to folic acid as it enters the human body, only a couple ideas and a beneficial 1983 to 1991 suggestive study series on pregnancy and neural tube defects.¹ Don’t get me wrong, folic acid fortification has produced beneficial results in general, so we do know that it is effective in many human bodies. But this is certainly not enough basis for an all too preliminary claim to ‘consensus’ or ‘evidence’ on the actual scientific method question at hand. More recent science which has actually looked at the issue and asked the correct scientific question, has falsified the Science Based Medicine doctor’s extraordinary claim.² ³ Folic acid is neither the same chemical nor is it processed in the same fashion, nor is it fully effective in any resulting levels of l-methylfolate, in every human body.† His evidence boast turned out simply to be exactly what I had smelled, an appeal to authority.  To sling your title in medicine around (one not even related to this research), and yet not even be able to get either the science or the medicine right, is pretty abysmal. He was still fighting a fight in his head from 1996 FDA rancor and politics.¹ But this is a pattern with this group. Technicians pretending to be scientists; and not only that, scientists attempting to squelch research in a variety of fields and issues of grave human impact.

This is not only quackery, but is more diabolical than quackery.

One must understand that claims to being ‘evidence based’ or ‘science based’ are t-shirts which fake skeptics wear in order to maintain an air of unquestionability. Remember, it is not about the science, the issue at hand, or any concern for your health at all

…it is always about them – how they are perceived. It is a costume. A lie.

misinformed vs lyingThey take a couple outdated and partially salient studies, and conflate them into a disproof, King-of-the-sHill, you-must-disprove-me-now, false claim to scientific knowledge (See The Five Types of Null Hypothesis Error). For me as an ethical skeptic, and not having carried around an old argument in my head for 30 years, scripted to defend ‘settled science,’ I had to actually go do a little research, use my past experience and do some personal testing. I did not adopt a rehearsed old talking-points script at face value – then claim to be an expert. Such a thought!

This premature claim to being an expert based on evidence, is not the same error type as is the state of being misinformed – and a person who practices the philosophy of ethical skepticism understands this. I might be misinformed, but I will not push claims of expertise within arenas inside of which I have a high risk of being wrong (see Kilkenny’s Law below). The former error is simply wrong; the latter not even wrong – rather it constitutes lying.

Callous lying which serves to harm millions of people. Claims to expertise which bear false information resulting in harm (or even bearing potential harm) to large portions of the population, like those of us with the C677T SNP (Ala222Val) mutation. That is the essence of malevolence. I, like millions in my genetic ilk, suffered decades of depression and anemia from this deficiency complex – a situation fostered by Science Based Medicine and people like this nasty cretin.

As it turned out in this case, l-methylfolate is quite a bit different in chemical formulation and effectiveness from folic acid. In fact, so much so that the body treats the two in entirely different metabolic pathways, choosing to route man-synthesized folic acid for metabolism in the two phase conjugate toxin cycle of the liver, and routing food-borne levomefolic acid directly to the cells.  And here is why, there are three key differences between the naturally occurring element in food, and the synthetic chemical base:

levo (lē´vō) /organic chem prefix/ – a prefix applied to the name of optical isomers that rotate the plane of polarized light to the left (as opposed to dextro- right). An extra carbon atom presence and valences for 6 added hydrogen atoms causes a 90 degree left hand bend called levorotation. Compounds produced for use in the body can be made to work by fitting onto a certain part of a molecule it targets, the receptor, by means of its stereo structure (levo or dextro rotation). This is very important if the molecule ‘key’ is to fit the ‘lock.’  Levo simply means a left polarized lock-fit enabling the compound to perform a function in the body it could not otherwise accomplish.

methyl (meh´thl) /organic chem prefix/ – a prefix applied to an isomer made bio-effective by an applied moiety, -CH3. In  this case, the liver treats folic acid as a toxin and attaches a phase-II methyl bridge to allow it to be processed out by the human body safely. But not every body is equally effective at accomplishing this step.

folate (fō´lāt) /food vitamin B9/ – the cell receptive form of vitamin B9 which also occurs naturally in food. Folic acid has never naturally existed in food.

What Mud Bookman Old StyleBottom line: the mechanism, observations, science and the epidemiology all clearly demonstrate that folic acid and levo-methylfolate are not the same compounded substance nor effective expression in every human body at all. Moreover, this misunderstanding has resulted in harm to a great portion of the human population.³ † ‡

Nor are they anything alike in terms of handling inside the human body. Anyone who worked in the industry to overcome the levo-thyroxine, levo-triiodithyronine pseudoscience which was formerly spun by this same outdated-science, smarter-than-thou group (who were finally defeated by the real science on that set of issues in similar ilk to this battle) knows this well. The problem with the claim that folic acid is the same thing as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate inside the human body is that it is a baseless extraordinary claim and further ignores the facets of well established scientific differentiation (above). It dismisses a new horizon of risk inside human health, the MTHFR mutation series, and its impact on the ability to Phase II Conjugate toxin-convert synthetic folic acid in the liver, into levomethylfolate for further delivery to the cells.  The problems with this reside in the following:

  • New:  The science behind the MTHFR mutation series is a horizon of significant unknown³ – the claim by social skeptics that this research pathway is bunk, is an extraordinary claim (see Kilkenny’s Law below).
  • New:  The claim that synthetic folic acid is effective in every human has been falsified² – one must understand when a social skeptic is implying and enforcing an extraordinary claim to the contrary – based upon outdated science, they will not admit such at face value.
  • Risk:  The implications of the MTHFR mutation and the role of folic acid versus methylfolate in the human body comprise a significant amount of human health risk issues³ – when risk is routinely ignored by a person who claims to ‘follow the evidence:’ this is tantamount to an appeal to authority – and should be ignored.
  • Risk:  Foods do not naturally contain, nor does the body direct to the cells, folic acid – there is always a risk in making the naturalistic argument, but in this case the body definitely is commenting upon the difference between the two isomers by routing one to the liver and the natural form to the cell.
  • Risk:  The science upon which the conventional wisdom was founded, that synthetic folic acid is metabolized in the intestines of all humans, has been falsified² – any time old and outdated studies have been shown to be, at least in part or in whole, false – then the issue of making a claim to evidence is simply an appeal to authority.
  • New:  New science has indicated that a significant amount of folic acid is actually chosen by the body to be processed by the liver² – this introduces a new risk in human health, in that the liver of most modern consumers is under heavy stress from environmental toxins and glyphosate; therefore,
  • Risk:  New science has indicated that a significant amount of folic acid is actually chosen by the body to be processed by the liver.² – for those who study human health and test their liver enzyme on a regular basis, enough said there.

To ignore all this in favor of personal aggrandizement, especially if one claims to be a doctor, is the height of cruelty and obdurate malevolence.

The experience which ethical researchers have had with regard to this and other tough medical issues with respect to human health, introduces an important aspect of Ethical Skepticism which must be kept in mind before one enters into a discussion where they are defending their rights to access to supplements and healthcare, from control oriented social forces. Remember, it is your health which is the key question inside the scientific method. You hold the Ockham’s Razor, so use Kilkenny’s Law, as thus:

Kilkenny’s Law

/philosophy : logic : evidence : skepticism : ethical/ : Final claims to expertise and evidence may be tendered inside established trade, transactional, technical and diagnostic disciplines. Therefore:

 I.  A conclusive claim to evidence inside a subject bearing a sufficiently unknown or risk-bearing horizon, is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority, and

 II.  Corber’s Burden: A sufficiently large or comprehensive set of claims to conclusive evidence in denial, is indistinguishable from an appeal to authority.

III.  If you have brought me evidence based claims in the past which turned out to be premature and harmful/wrong, I will refuse to recognize your successive claims to be evidence based.

Kilkenny’s Law

human bodyAs for me, I continue to use the things that Science Based Medicine indicates as bunk, as my candidate list of things to try regarding health. Their practices are so bad with respect to science that ironically they are useful as a means of sniffing out issues of potential health merit.  Supplementation by means of methyfolate is another example in the long chain of things I have found to be effective for my personal health, which were decried at first introduction by the screaming appeal to authority voices at Science Based Medicine. Let me be clear here:

The difference for me, between taking folic acid supplementation (which I have taken all my life) and L-methylfolate, stands in contrast as does the difference between a winter day spent with a sweaty-weak flu versus a healthy cool spring walk in sunshine.  It is that stark. The effect happens within 10 minutes after taking a l-methylfolate tablet under my tongue.

I have the MTHFR methylation C677T SNP (Ala222Val) mutation

MTHFR C677T (aka T677T) = a cytosine is changed to a thymine at nucleotide 677 with a TT variant. Also called Ala222Val = MTHFR A222V – amino acid change from alanine to valine. Also identified in genome medical reports as the SNP-ID: RS 1801133 flag, in my case the TT variant, homozygous.

Persons of this genetic group begin with an ability to conjugate folic acid into l-methylfolate about 30% of a normal individual, which then degrades as they age. Thereafter severe anemia kicks in gradually, until such time as the victim finally realizes it and reports it to their doctor, wherein they have in reality already been suffering from it for decades. The simple fact exists that almost half the population bears some form of degradation in ability to conjugate folic acid into folate. So for ‘Skeptical Raptor’ to claim that both chemicals are the same thing, is malicious pseudoscience. This is a habit of him and his arrogant group of skeptics.

When I fly through airports or visit cities where I traveled even 20 years ago, I can recall how weak I felt back the last time I traveled that locale – but not knowing that my weakness and anxiety was irregular at the time. I recently visited the Greenwich Observatory and Naval War College in London; one of my favorite tour sites. I recall how weak I was as I toured the maritime museum back in 2004. Never knowing then that it was the result of macrocytic anemia – from a lifelong shortfall in l-methylfolate.

There are other negative impacts of this condition upon its sufferers as well – and the blame for our ignorance around this resides right at the feet of Dr. David Gorski and those oppressive and malicious trolls like him.2

If I had actually listened (as many people do) to this incompetent Richeliean Appeal dickhead from Science Based Medicine, I would have never felt the fresh breath of life which flowed into me the very 10 minutes after I took my first methylfolate under my tongue. It is like being able to breathe ATP and oxygen, for the very first time in a long time. It is that dramatic for me. The sweating of lactic acid, severe lack of energy, anxiety, weakness – all gone.

You sir, at Science Based Medicine, the evidence reveals you to be a malevolent and complete idiot.

Thank you again Science Based Medicine. The addition of methylfolate (and elimination of folic acid completely from my diet) to my daily supplementation has resulted in a great boost in my energy and quality of life. Now your mission will be to scream loudly that my supplies of methylfolate are ‘impure and dangerous’ so that you can tax, monitor and receive unjustified income from their value chain.  Meanwhile let’s ignore monitoring of pesticide I eat 3 to 4 times a day. No need for ‘evidence’ there. Yes, we all get this game.

Your incompetence in making medical recommendations has proved reliable yet again.

epoché vanguards gnosis


¹  Suzanne White Junod, Ph.D., USFDA: Folic Acid Fortification: Fact and Folly; 04/14/2009 ; http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/WhatWeDo/History/ProductRegulation/SelectionsFromFDLIUpdateSeriesonFDAHistory/ucm091883.htm.

²  Patanwala, King, et. al; “Folic acid handling by the human gut: implications for food fortification and supplementation;” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2014, Jun 18 ; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24944062.

³  Sang-Woon Choi, Joel B. Mason; Folate and Carcinogenesis: An Integrated Scheme; The Journal of Nutrition, Oct 28, 1999; http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/2/129.long

†  Oregon State University, Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center; http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/folate

‡  Christensen KE, Mikael LG, Leung K-Y, et al. High folic acid consumption leads to pseudo-MTHFR deficiency, altered lipid metabolism, and liver injury in mice. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2015;101(3):646-658. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.086603; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4340065/

February 22, 2016 Posted by | Agenda Propaganda | , , , , | 5 Comments

Observation vs Claim Blurring

Claims and Observations are not the same thing.  When one develops a patent or a scientific report, the discipline between what constitutes an observation and what is declared to be a claim are manifest. But fake researchers and false SSkeptics over-use the term ‘claim’ for a reason. One which circumvents science and ensures that data is dismissed in the collection stage, through protocol sleight-of-hand.

“I refuse to hear your claims as this has all been disproved already.”  The term claim, is misappropriated by SSkeptics through invalid expansion of its logical and context footprint beyond what rationality would bear in the mind of the educated listener. SSkeptics feel they are tendered license to circumvent the diligence and standards of science, since after all their goals are one in the same with science and all of their practices and rationale are sciencey. Right? …Wrong. Observation versus Claim Blurring stands as one of the quintessential examples as to why it is science which much tender dispositions on challenging data, and not the Cabal of Social Skepticism. They have demonstrated throughout history that they cannot be trusted with this process.

Observation vs Claim Blurring

/philosophy : pseudo-skepticism/ : the false practice of calling an observation of data, 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 evaluated by science at face value before mature in the scientific method. Subsequently such data can be dismissed in the data collection stage, without fact or rationale, simply by equivocation with the protocol involved.  In fact an observation is simply that, a piece of evidence or a fact, and its false dismissal under the pretense of being deemed a ‘claim’ is a practice of deception and pseudoscience.

One of the most commonly practiced sleight-of-hand techniques employed by SSkeptics, is the practice of hi-jacking Carl Sagan quotes, and enforcing compliant arguments by twisting them around in misapplied contexts and at inappropriate stages of the Scientific Method.  In doing so, they tender the appearance that science supports their beliefs 100%.  In fact, to a scientist, such equivocation is never employed inside true lab disciplines or in the development of a patent. Were we to apply Social Skeptic ‘science’ to the lab or patenting process, very few cutting edge technologies would have ever been patented or discovered.  In fact, one of the most oft touted quotes by SSkeptics, “Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence” is more accurately a threat to common SSkeptic propaganda, than it is a logically effective counter against challenging observations which SSkeptics do not find compatible with Nihilist religious tenets.  SSkeptics are quick to whip out the ‘Extraordinary Claims’ quote taught them in the early days of Junior SSkeptic catechism. To a SSkeptic, this quip stands like a Bible Verse or Van Helsing Crucifix to be employed against the evil they have been taught to hate.  But most often, this quote of wisdom is abused by SSkeptics, who do not understand what Carl Sagan was attempting to communicate across a series of books from The Cosmic Connection through to The Dragons of Eden. SSkeptics lazily rest on the assured platform that sounding ‘sciencey,’ through utterance of this famous quote, will somehow tender them gravitas equal to that of a scientist. However, to a person who truly understands and works with the scientific method, one who daily prosecutes contentions which lever on their understanding of the differential between an observation and a claim, this statement does not sound as clever as SSkeptics regard it to be.

Disclosures, Observations and Claims: Laboratory and Patent Science

Patents, and for that matter experimental studies, are filed with several basic elements, the principal two of which are considered by the patent examiner or superintendent, Disclosures and Claims.  Disclosures are evidences, precedents, background, data and observations which the patent applicant desires for the patent examiner to understand prior to adjudicating the status of their proposed patent claims set.  A disclosure is simply the delivery of a fact or observation.  It is NOT a claim.  In fact, should a researcher desire simply to disclose research, background, precedent and observations – they typically do so in the form of a Provisional Patent Application, which is not submitted in an effort to be reviewed for acceptance, rather simply a registry of data. If a researcher intermixes the two, his or her patent or report will be rejected. A claim on the other hand is an extrapolation, contrivance or conjecture bearing an element of risk in its offing. It is something which has not been contended before, which must be supported by a sufficiently justifying set of corroborating information.

Observation

A facet of data, noted by a qualified eyewitness observer or reporting system/measurement mechanism.

Three Distinguishing Features of a Claim

a.  Leverages a non-observed extrapolation from one or more observations and their relationship(s).

b.  Avers an objective contention which has not been cited before in a methodical context of analytical support.

c.  Bears an element of acceptance risk.

Examples

Observation:  I distilled the liquid for 3 hours, observing mass loss of 44.3%, yet the chemical concentrations by weight at the end of distillation remained the same for both the ethanol and water in the mixture.

Claim:  Water and ethanol in solution execute dynamic evaporation phase states which can be modified through the application of direct electric current, and can achieve the same results which would appear azeotropic in nature, however are not concentrated at the 95.63% ethanol and 4.37% water (by weight) mixture required for azeotropic distillation.

Observation:  I saw a 2 foot tall, odd looking man in a green suit and with a green derby run across my lawn.

Claim:  Leprechauns comprise an entire civilization living under the ground, hidden from us all.

Claims are CLEARLY delineated in a patent application and in most of disciplined science – and are not simply observations.  Everything aside from a claim is an observation, fact or an enabling disclosure.  In other words, a patent examiner or lab superintendent is determining the validity of the claims made in the patent filing and not deciding whether or not to approve disclosures.  In true science, claims are not the same thing as observations.

SSkeptics Conduct Knowledge Filtering through Equivocation with Observations and Claims

SSkpetics eschew disciplines such as those that are applied in the patent prosecution process, as these disciplines hold THEM accountable.  Blurring the difference between what constitutes a claim and what constitutes an observation is a common tactic of deceit on their part.  In this way SSkeptics can categorize even reported observations as requiring extraordinary evidence (which they know cannot possibly be provided on demand).  This is a method of Knowledge Filtering and is Deskeption.

  • Observations are NOT Claims
  • SSkeptics fail to distinguish when their grand dismissive conclusions are themselves, extraordinary claims – which require extraordinary evidence

Critics who assert negative claims, but who mistakenly call themselves ‘skeptics,’ often act as though they have no burden of proof placed on them at all. A result of this is that many critics seem to feel it is only necessary to present a case for their counter-claims based upon plausibility rather than empirical evidence.”  – Marcello Truzzi (Founding Co-chairman of CSICOP (Claims of the Paranormal))

Perhaps Carl Sagan was less of a SSketpic, than control freaks think him to have been.  Maybe he was leaving a hint which has completely escaped SSkeptics all these years.

March 18, 2012 Posted by | Argument Fallacies | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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