Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread archive

Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread archive

Postby fayfreethinker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:23 pm

The NWA Times had an article entitled:

Bigfoot search illegal, say U.S. park rangers
Guide fined for expedition without permit

It's located here (the article is now in the archive and you can't read it). A fellow was organizing paid tours looking for Bigfoot, in a national park without a permit. Not a real big deal.

I made the following comment at the top of the thread:

(quote article)"...he’d rank Arkansas in the top three for Sasquatch activity.
“There were certainly things that happened that convinced me that there are Sasquatches in the Buffalo River area,” said Pruitt. “We definitely heard sounds that were indicative of Sasquatch. Characteristic vocalizations. Very compelling observations.”>>

Yes, because there is an entire species of large unknown hominid running around North America, especially Arkansas, and no one seems to be able to catch one or even an unblurry photo of one (never mind a patch of hair, a den, or a bit of poop). If only we had a few hunters out there looking, or people in helicopters!
First person to bring me a Bigfoot gets my house.

That a person would offer a house for Bigfoot very much bothered some friends of his and started off a thread that has now reached 275 posts. Some of them rather long and containing interesting data/research etc. It is the comments in this thread that have inspired our legally binding affidavit backing up our offer, and also our $10,000 Reward Psychic Test which will be conducted April 22.

The main "psychic" in this thread has now flamed out and is reduced to threats of filing a "restraining order" if any more comments are directed to him (I actually, literally, had to catch my breath and I slightly strained a muscle in my side on that one). So in the interest of preserving the good data in that thread (before the censors at NWA might hack it up because of Phillip's bad behavior), I will archive all of my posts in this thread. Others are welcome to join in or post theirs as well, of course.

*** ***
PH: My days of snarking people who believe... paranormal activity ended when I experienced it.">>

Phillip, my offer of a house as bounty for a Bigfoot (preferably alive) is bona fide, and entirely serious. I don't say things I don't mean and I don't make offers that I will not back up, with binding contract if required.

About ten years ago when there was a string of reports (six) on the local TV news regarding sightings of Bigfoot (he was going around banging on people's mobile homes and then running off, which is very rude), I drew up an oversize check and went on the 40/29 evening news and offered $50,000 to anyone who could bring this annoying fellow in. Then bear season ended and the news reports kind of fizzled. If we are going to get to the bottom of this, there is nothing wrong with offering a considerable incentive to people so they can bring one of these undocumented rapscallions in.

Regarding "paranormal experiences," I "had some" nice ones myself and I've been studying the issue since about 1980. For the last 12 years or so, through the Fayetteville Freethinkers, I have offered rewards for $1,000 - $10,000 for a demonstration of paranormal activity under proper observing test conditions. We have conducted hundreds of tests. All of them fail, no exceptions. Whether I personally believe something paranormal is or could be going on (ESP, levitation, prediction, astral travel, telekinesis, whatever), is immaterial (I don't). I am interested in having my beliefs inline with what is true, and if there is a tribe of Bigfoot living in Arkansas, I very much want to believe that. If someone believes they have a paranormal ability, I am very much interested in helping them confirm it, or not, if the case may be. Of course, regarding unexplained "just so" stories, we all have those.

I spent years invested in belief in these things (and had a huge library) but then stumbled upon methods of critical thinking and how to examine these things rigorously, skeptically, to see if they are actually true or if perhaps we could be fooling ourselves. While magicians have known for centuries how easy it is to fool other people, folks often don't realize it is even easier to fool yourself. Magicians have been at the forefront of helping people to learn how this happens, for a very long time (i.e. Houdini).


Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012

PH: "I don't know all there is to know, but I know I don't know all that isn't.">>

We can't confirm all that is not, but that doesn't mean we should hold back from confirming what is. One can't prove the negative that something has not or cannot occur, but one can show that when a certain claim is tested, it fails, every time. After awhile it starts to look like the claim is not correct, and may be an error in thinking or an illusion. After over a century of careful testing, this is the current case with paranormal claims. Consider for instance, the example of Susan Blackmore:


PH: "Have you ever tried to find a Bigfoot?">>

The notion that there is an undiscovered hominid running around North America, is preposterous and I make no apology for saying this plainly. Produce a Bigfoot, receive a nice home in Fayetteville on .75 acre, clear title. If you think you have a paranormal power/gift that can be replicated in any way shape or form, I would be pleased to discuss how we could go about confirming it and advancing our understanding of the world while simultaneously becoming famous.

"I'm not a skeptic because I want to believe, I'm a skeptic because I want to know." --Michael Shermer

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012

CORALIE: "Sharks can detect electrical fields in the water, and butterflies can navigate for 100s of miles over land and sea...">>

Forgive me if I am misunderstanding what you are saying but... you need new examples if this is the God of the Gaps argument (the precise name for this fallacy is: argumentum ad ignorantiam or "appeal to ignorance"). See:

When we have a gap in knowledge, it has always been tempting to stuff a god or a supernatural sprite of some sort into that gap. But this is not useful in a search for truth for two reasons:

a) a supernatural "explanation" has no explanatory power and thus explains nothing
b) it retards progress and gives a false illusion of answering something when it doesn't

All supernatural "explanations" are intellectual dead ends and only create a bigger mystery. If a child at a magic show asks how a trick is done, is it an answer to say "magic?" No, because "magic" isn't an answer, it's an evasion that contains no explanatory power.

Regarding your examples: That sharks can detect electrical fields in water isn't too surprising, how birds and butterflies can navigate for thousands of miles is a much more interesting mystery (now apparently solved).

Now imagine if we had just sat back and went with the "right-brain" thinkers who postulated it was something mysterious? We did that for thousands of years, and we let the priests tell us how the world works. And all of their answers, were wrong. Better, scientists went to work on this interesting puzzle and it was in just December's issue of Scientific American that our current progress is explained:

"Magnetic Sense Shows Many Animals the Way to Go" [Preview]
Animals' magnetic sense is real. Scientists are zeroing in on how it works ... ass-within

Want to see a nice magic trick? Enjoy:

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012

Phillip: " I hate to group you with James Randi,">

Please do. Our prize has always been patterned after his. He knows of our offer and I have talked with him regarding specifics of our tests.

PH: "he made the same bet:">

Not a bet, not past tense, currently does. He has offered a reward since 1964, and the current $1 million offer has been in place for over a decade. See:

PH: "prove under laboratory conditions that paranormal phenomenon exists... pay $1M">>

No laboratory required, just basic, common sense observing conditions agreed upon by both parties in advance.

PH: "Several... with psychic talents spoke to him about the offer">>

Hundreds of people have come forward to be tested under contract, not "talked with him." The process is straightforward and easy to understand. Applications are here:

PH: "each time he made modifications to his requirements">>

You are repeating unsubstantiated nonsense you've heard on the internet. There are no modifications to the contracts which are signed and legally binding. Here's how it goes:

The claimant with some asserted paranormal ability describes what they think they can do. This is the hard part, since those with claims of paranormal powers are often extraordinarily vague about what they can do.

Then, a simple straightforward test, so simply a child could understand it, is put together. The test is done in such a way that the outcome/result is objectively true or false, providing an outcome that does not require subjective interpretation. You either get the word right x amount of times, or not. You either find the under ground water pipe x amount of times, or not.

Both parties agree to the test under written, signed binding contract. I have done many of these myself.

PH: "...[Randi] basically made it impossible for him to lose.">>

Wrong. Again, you are repeating gossip and nonsense spread by those made furious by Randi's offer to pay people if they can do what they claim they can do.

PH: "I'm not saying you're devious in your offer like James Randi,">>

There is nothing devious about his offer. You don't know what you are talking about. Avoid smearing people with claims you can't back up.

PH: "people who challenge someone to force them to believe in...">>

No one is forced to believe in anything. People are given the opportunity to confirm their extraordinary claims and offered a large reward if they can. So far, no one, without exception, can.

PH: "[they]... they want to prove the challenger wrong.">>

"Want" is irrelevant. A claim is made, tested, the outcome is what it is. If someone can indeed do something paranormal, I want to confirm it.

PH: "Save your money for... when a UFO lands on your front lawn...">>

For confirmation of alien contact, with physical evidence, I offer two houses, clear title.


PH: "I see dead people. Tell me how you're going to develop a testing protocol to prove that.">>

Hence the problem I already referred to, claims too vague to be falsifiable. There are ways to test this but it will require some specifics to differentiate between actually "seeing dead people" and an "active imagination." That people make unfalsifiable paranormal claims, is to be expected, and rather boring.

PH: "Here's the part that people I've talked to say...">>

Not interested in what you've heard "people say." Don't smear people with claims you can't back up.

PH: "he avoids paying out his offer: nothing is acceptable as proof.">>

You are confused. What is "acceptable as proof," and successful completion of a test, is clearly laid out in the contract in advance. You don't know what you are talking about.

PH: "Who are your "experts" who have specialized knowledge of my claim?">>

"...statisticians, magicians, and others with specialized knowledge relevant to the claim."

Your claim is laid out in the contract you sign before any testing occurs. Make sure it comports exactly with the ability you think you have. Hundreds of examples of these specific exchanges, over the years, are posted here:

PH: "What evidence will you accept,">>

Plainly stated in the agreement, as per your unique claimed abilities.

PH: "what are the proper observing conditons?">


PH: "Tell me how to prove to you that I can see dead people.">>

Tell me how your ability to see dead people differs from a hallucination or active imagination. If your claim is so vague (as you are clearly attempting to make it) as to be unfalsifiable and veridically worthless, it's unlikely your claim is likely to be of interest to adults. Children however, may find them very interesting to hear about when sitting around the campfire.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012


Carl Sagan's example is instructive here:

THE CLAIM: "A fire-breathing dragon lives in my garage."

'Show me,' you say.
I lead you to my garage. You look inside and see a ladder, empty paint cans, an old tricycle - but no dragon.
'Where's the dragon?' you ask.
'Oh, she's right here,' I reply, waving vaguely. 'I neglected to mention that she's an invisible dragon.'
You propose spreading flour on the floor of the garage to capture the dragon's footprints.
'Good idea,' I say, 'but this dragon floats in the air.'
Then you'll use an infrared sensor to detect the invisible fire.
'Good idea, but the invisible fire is also heatless.'
You'll spray-paint the dragon and make her visible.
'Good idea, except she's an incorporeal dragon and the paint won't stick.'

And so on. I counter every physical test you propose with a special explanation of why it won't work. Now, what's the difference between an invisible, incorporeal, floating dragon who spits heatless fire and no dragon at all? If there's no way to disprove my contention, no conceivable experiment that would count against it, what does it mean to say that my dragon exits? Your inability to invalidate my hypothesis is not at all the same thing as proving it true. Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder. What I'm asking you to do comes down to believing, in the absence of evidence, on my say-so."
--Carl Sagan's *The Demon-Haunted World, Science as a Candle in the Dark* (pg. 171)

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012

I said: "Hence the problem I referred to, claims too vague to be falsifiable.">>

PH: "Already wiggling out of it?>>

You really shouldn't be impressed that you are capable of concocting unfalsifiable claims. They are extremely easy to make and accomplish exactly zero. Observe:

"Planets move because invisible angels push them"
"Everyone has 4,000 invisible elves on their shoulders at all times"
"You see dead people but they don't interact with the world in any way."

Boring. Most people who claim to see dead people are also smart enough to give them attributes that interact with the world in some way. If you can't think of any examples I provide some below.

PH: "What part of 'see dead people' don't you understand?">>

All of it. But unless your dead people pass along information or can interact with the world in some way, your claim is unfalsifiable and you are simply making Sagan dragons. Boring.

PH: "I've been told that people who applied for the challenge...">>

That someone told you something accomplishes nothing for your claim. Turn your gullibility knob down just a touch.

PH: "were never able to offer proof that was acceptable,">>

They were mistaken or lying, and passing along misinformation as you are doing now.

PH: "regardless of what was agreed on in advance.">>

What is agreed upon in advance is a legally binding contract and enforceable by law. You can't back up your anecdote because it isn't true.

PH: "That's not a smear, that's a fact.">>

It doesn't follow that something is "a fact" because someone "told you" something. Good grief.

PH: "How does one differentiate between seeing dead people and having an active imagination?">>

By conducting a test.
1) Can you speak with these dead people?
2) Can they communicate with other dead people and pass along privy information?
3) Can they go in a sealed box and identify information?
4) Can they interact with a physical object in any way?

Etc. There are lots of ways. Or you can be obtuse and just keep moving the goal posts for the purpose of making your claim a worthless Sagan dragon.

"...statisticians, magicians, and others with specialized knowledge."

Ph: "Name them.">>

When I put a test together to test a local dowser, I called in U. of A. Psychologist Brian Bolton to calculate the 1/1000 odds for the test. I also talked to Randi, magician, for help on making sure trickery wouldn't be involved.
Claimants can of course engage their own experts to add input as an agreeable proper test is established. This really isn't a mystery just because you haven't thought about these things.


[FFT said: "Your claim is laid out in the contract... before any testing occurs. Make sure it comports exactly with the ability you think you have."]

PH: "I see how this works.">>

It's pretty clear you don't. Perhaps you should think about these things before you go on about them in public.

PH: "The degree of specificity is set to make sure it can't be achieved.">>

Wrong. The claimant agrees ahead of time that it in fact can, or the test does not occur. You don't know what you are talking about.

PH: "Tell me the proper phrasing... so you know what I mean when I say "I see dead people.">>

The phrasing is perfectly fine. What is needed is some meat on the bone. Some beef in the burger. Again: do these dead people in interact with the world in any way shape or form? If so, a test can be put together to see if your claim can be established. If they do not, then the utter vapidity of your claim is not only not interesting to others, it's probably not even interesting to you. Get your vision checked.

PH: "You set up the proof so it can't possibly be applied,">>

Actually, that is the role you are trying to play right now, rather lamely. So you have understood the Sagan example exactly backwards.
The claim is made and if it is falsifiable (learn about this here: )

then the test will show that the claim is, in this instance, true.

PH: "Penn has Teller as a mute midget for a sidekick,">>

Raymond Tellor, (who I have met and is a very close friend to Randi), is neither mute (when not acting) nor is he a midget. He's 5 foot 9 inches. See:

You're not much of a detail person, are you Phillip?

PH: "do you have anything [for a sidekick]?">>

Apparently we are doing a ventriloquist bit right now, and you are the puppet on my knee flapping your gums.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012


Phillip is trying to pretend these testing issues are not honest or need be overly complex. That's not true at all. Here is a little review of the history our local reward offers.

For over a decade the Fayetteville Freethinkers have offered various rewards (and advertised them in this paper), all of them legitimate and backed by money in the bank.

1) I already mentioned the spat of Bigfoot sightings and our offer of a $50,000 reward to anyone that could bring him in. Bring in this new hominid, get the money.

2) At our Springfest booth we (meaning me) regularly offer a $5,000 cash reward, on the spot, to anyone who can move a little Styrofoam ball three inches (under a glass cover), using only the power of their mind. This is a legitimate offer, move the ball, get the money. We have had people from New Age schools where they supposedly *teach* this skill, give a 15 minute serious attempt.

3) Also, at our booth we offer a $1,000 cash reward to anyone that can discern a word that is hidden in an envelope in a box. Pick your word, write it on the form, I sign to confirm, we open the box, if it's the right word, you get the money (we've had several hundred attempts, new word loaded each time).

4) We have long offered (more than a decade) $1,000 standing reward to anyone who can perform a supernatural/paranormal event under proper observing conditions (as determined by all parties involved, in advance). We had a lady go for this prize based upon her claimed ability to identify the gender of a corpse in a grave using her dowsing rods. We went to a cemetery and she tried her skills on 20 graves where we temporarily hid the gender from her. She claimed 90% accuracy (as most dowsers do) but we only required her to get 16 out of the 20 right (80% accuracy) for her to win the $1,000 which would be handed to her on the spot. Chance along would predict about ten right. She got 9 out of 20 right, less than chance.

I think any one can see that these are rather simple, fair and straightforward tests of paranormal claims people regularly claim to have.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012

PH: Finally you gave me something solid to work with">>

You are the one making the claimed supernatural ability, and thus it is you who needs to come up with something solid to work with (if you are interested in making your claims sound plausible to others).

"1) Can you speak with these dead people?"
PH: "Yes."

Lots of people talk to dead people, the question is, do they talk back? What would make this claim interesting is if it could be shown to differ from just a personal mental experience. Saying something is occurring in your head doesn't show something is going on outside of your head.

PH: "many times there are groups of people from different families...">>

Same as above.

"3) Can they go in a sealed box and identify information?"
PH: "If it was up to me I'd say no."

Scratch that one.

PH: "whether they will or not is impossible for me to say beforehand.">>

Of course.

PH: "I find it insulting,">>

There is probably a good chance "they" will too then.

"4) Can they interact with a physical object in any way?"
PH: "Generally, the answer to your question is yes.">>

Why "generally?" You already said they have, so the answer, is yes.

PH: "I have seen objects move, which proves it can be done,">>

Well, not exactly. People misapprehend nature very, very, often. Especially when the lights are down a bit.

PH: "they're generally indisposed to someone trying to make them prove they exist.">>

But of course.

PH: "I have many friends and acquaintances who have received...">>

Anecdotes and ghost stories have always been very popular and most religions are founded on them, but they don't actually provide anything verifiable, which is perhaps why they are so popular. I can say that yesterday I said the words "ice cream" and a tasty ice cream cone appeared before me, but this would be a claim that is conveniently not testable in anyway. All anecdotes suffer from this. About 250 years ago Hume pointed this out:

"no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavors to establish;...
When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened. I weight the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority, which I discover, I pronounce my decision, and always reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous, than the event which he relates; then, and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion."
--David Hume


PH: "Two examples:...">>

Anecdotes are not going to demonstrate anything to someone wanting to confirm something. Ever.

PH: "two examples of literally hundreds.">>

Of course. Numbers don't help here. Humans are very imaginative and prolific with their stories. Always have been.

PH: "If you were open to the possibility...">>

I am open to any possibility that can be demonstrated, but as I said, I have been looking at these things carefully for 32 years. After a while, a pattern emerges. And it is very consistent. Later on I learned that these seance type claims are ancient and how people trick themselves into believing in them has been well understood for centuries.

PH: "it sounds like you're a die-hard skeptic.">>

I'll follow the truth where ever it leads. Anecdotes aside, you might notice you haven't specifically claimed an ability that differs from a person having an internal mental experience. And these other entities you claim to experience are rather uncooperative in any specific interaction.

PH: "Your mind is already made up,">>

My opinion is not irrelevant. Either one can show they are having an experience going on with something outside of their head, or their claims are vague enough to go in the garage with Sagan's Dragon. It's looking like the latter, but perhaps you will think of something specific that would be falsifiable (falsifiable is a good thing).

PH: "I wouldn't take your house from you...">>

The house was never offered for spooks confirmed. But Mr. Randi will certainly give you his million. Your claim is very popular, ancient and how you have set it up with lack of specificity, entirely normal.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 29, 2012

PH: "You and Randi are more alike than I realized.">>

Thank you for the compliment (although you've revealed you don't know anything about Randi other than anonymous smears you can't support).

PH: "You both pretend to be open to the concept of paranormal phenomenon,">>

No, we both offer substantial rewards to people who will demonstrate the ability to do, what they already claim they can do. This is appropriate.

PH: "every single example given to you is dismissively waved away.">>

Anecdotes are not demonstration. See my ice cream example, see the David Hume reference.

PH: "You demand proof...">>

Not at all. We simply offer the *opportunity* to back up claimed abilities, with demonstration. Participation is voluntary, and free.

PH: "[you] never seem to find an acceptable level of it,">>

Not true. The "acceptable level" is easy enough for a child to understand and agreed upon in advance.
--For the discern the word test, discern the word.
--For the move the ball test: move the ball.
--For the bring in Bigfoot challenge, bring in Bigfoot.
It's not clear how this could be made more simple.

PH: "ensuring you'll never find it and suffer the humiliation of [being] wrong.">>

Not true. And again, opinion is irrelevant. The science doesn't care what you believe or what I believe. Honest people go with the test results. Feynman put it this way:

"If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it."

Those claiming to be spirit mediums usually know better than to go near tests of their claims, and it can make them furious to consider it. This is the demonstration we are seeing now.

PH: "I don't think.... you are so motivated by curiosity...">>

The motivation is to educate people about how the world works and increase our knowledge. A side benefit is to educate people how to not get ripped off or have their emotions yanked around by a person pretending to talk to their dead relatives while peddling a centuries old table tipping, toe tapping, spirit medium trick. How spirit mediums "work" has been know for a very long time.

PH: "[I don't think] you'd be willing to give away large sums of money or property...">>

Well, as usual, you're wrong. The contracts I refer to are legally binding. Let me know if you would like to enter into one today (go to Perhaps you can find a spirit who can cooperate to discern a simple word in a box and win a $1,000 for a worthy cause. Or perhaps something more simple. Randi once did his word test with a professional psychic for the $1M prize. The fellow discerned "intuition," the answer was "black." I've done this test, under contract, in public, over many years, perhaps 200 times. Sometimes the truth is just really simple. People can't magically discern a word hidden in a box. Big surprise!

PH: "skeptics motivations have nothing to do with proving anything,">>

Not true.

PH: "superior their intellect">>

One doesn't need a superior intellect to put together straightforward tests. I have a high school education with no formal science training. What one needs is the courage to consider whether their beliefs, usually based upon emotions, may not be true.

PH: "compared to "those ignorant people and their supersititions.">>

You could always try making up words that I didn't say and putting them in my mouth. But that wouldn't be honest. Would it be safe to say, when you do your performance, you have some experience with putting words in other peoples mouths? Yes I think so.

PH: "Your schtick is no different than the ring toss at a county fair,">>

Now you are projecting. I think readers are well aware the spirit medium "schtick" has long been a favorite at the country fair. Perhaps you should have picked an insult that doesn't line up so perfectly with your gig.

PH: "the rings are made to just the right size so they won't drop...">>

Yes, but that doesn't apply to our tests. Discern the word, as per the contract, in front of dozens of witnesses, win the prize. How is that test a dishonest trick Phillip? I know how your trick works. Should I tell?

PH: "Take your hustle somewhere else - we're on to you.">>

The hustler here is the one pretending to have special powers that conveniently evaporate and become invisible weightless dragons when someone comes along with the unmitigated audacity ask for evidence.

Talking to dead people, one of the oldest carnival tricks of all. It was really big in the 1840's. See a little background here:

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "No amount of logic, bluster, bravado,">>

You've provided lots of bluster and bravado, but where is the "logic" in accepting your extraordinary claims upon no evidence beyond your mere say so? There is none.

PH: "the only reason you're doing this is to promote your ego,...">>

Let's see, you are the one claiming to have the superpower of being a human receiver for the entire spiritual realm of dead people, and a person who who has the audacity, the unmitigated gall to not accept this without some evidence, is the person with an "ego?" You have it backwards.

PH: I can think of two things that would cause [this]">>

Then you don't have much of an imagination. We're not in a seance where you can just make things up and people will go "woooooo....".

[snip psychological analysis of my childhood based upon imaginary, false, strawman assertions].

PH: "abusive father who never acknowledged his son...">>

I have a great relationship with my father, always have. So a swing and a miss. If you make enough guesses, you'll get something right. Just like when you perform.

PH: [Randi] was a frequent guest [on shows].">>

He still is. When I was chatting with him at his The Amazing Meeting 8 a few years ago (1,300 in attendance), he had to step away to do a media interview.

PH: "He's very seldom seen these days, however.">>

For an 83 year old fellow who recently recovered from abdominal cancer, he keeps a very busy schedule of lectures, articles (each issue of Skeptic magazine) and media appearances. To complain that a person in their eighties slows down a bit, is a rather shallow shot but I am sure you can go lower.

PH: "His contorted attempts to explain away sightings of things like UFOs">>

As usual, you forget to back up your claim with any substance whatsoever. The UFO community has been on life support for years, and for very good reason. I'll let Sagan explain why (course, you could ask him directly):

"I would love it if there were aliens here, even if they are a little short, sullen, grumpy, and sexually preoccupied. So, if they are harbingers of an advanced civilization and they're here for heaven's sake, let's find out about them. My mind is open.
...People make mistakes, people misapprehend natural phenomena, people look for attention, money, or fame. People sometimes experience alternative states of consciousness--hallucinations are very common in all human beings, including normal people. And with that as the background, to really believe one of these cases you need really good physical evidence. And there is none." --Carl Sagan, March/April '95 issue of Skeptical Inquirer. (pg.52).

PH: "now people don't call on James Randi much anymore.">>

As usual, you speak about things you have no knowledge of. I can provide you many examples refuting your claim if you like. But it's not really relevant to anything other than [the fact that] skeptics, people who ask for evidence, annoy you.

PH: "Pardon me if I seem impolite,">>

Not at all, if you had something of substance to say about these things you would be able to address points directly and put together a post of something besides made up insults.

PH: "you share a lot more with James Randi than you acknowledge.">>

Thanks again.

PH: "Have you considered putting up a booth at the county fair?">>

Had you been paying attention to the comments in this thread you would already know that I have made reference to this several times.

PH: "midget... Like a Penn and Teller.">>

Raymond Teller is 5 foot 9 inch. It really would be a breath of fresh air if when you make a mistake you would acknowledge your error, so one can see that you can learn new things.

PH: "people would see [what you do] it for what it is.">>

What we have done at our Springfest booth for nigh a decade, is teach the kiddies and public how to do simple straightforward scientific tests of paranormal claims so they don't grow up and not be swindled by the legion of people who, for instance, claim to be able to speak to their dead relatives.

If you want to get the mean old skeptic, and you know you do, there is only one way to do it. It's the one thing you would dearly like to do but cannot: show your claims are something other than simple, well understood, antique parlor tricks and self-deception.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012


Last edited by fayfreethinker on Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread

Postby fayfreethinker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:28 pm


COR: "concerning... sensing abilities of other animals.">

We have naturalistic, science based explanations for these observed abilities. So there is no benefit to postulate something paranormal (which would have no explanatory power anyway).

COR: "I'm specifically speaking about telepathy.">

The CBS article you cite is using a simple equivocation of how the word telepathy has been used for ESP, and is (incorrectly) being used in this instance.

COR: "[I am] suggesting that maybe we are drawing the boundaries too narrowly,">>

Science loves moving boundaries. We wouldn't learn anything new if we didn't constantly move them and always be open to moving them. But this telepathy example is an equivocation.

COR: "it's 'science' if you can move objects with your mind in the lab:">>

An example:
If someone 200 years ago had said (here in Arkansas): "I can chat with a person in Africa, right now!" This would be understood to be an ESP type claim. However, now, because of science and cell phones, this happens routinely. Did something magic happen to verify telepathy? No. The process is entirely naturalistic. Our language has absorbed this change.

That a brain has very weak electromagnetic signals has been known for perhaps a century. That these can be measured and perhaps effected by the owner doing different actions, for many decades. That these can then be measured and hooked up to elaborate apparatus which then perform actions, perhaps a decade or two.

This has nothing to do with the traditional claims of telepathy that a mind can move objects or communicate, *by it's own power,* without the science apparatus. This has nothing to do with confirming telepathy, as the word has been used in the past, any more than a cellphone changed our understanding of the fact that minds cannot communicate over long distances (without the cellphone).

Also, there isn't much connection between our ability to measure crude brain wave patterns and this being associated with "thoughts." We may get there but we are quite a ways from that. When we do, it will be quite natural, with nothing supernatural about it.

Also, these brain waves are very minute and they decrease in power greatly with distance. Within a inch of the head or so, there is almost nothing to measure. So not only is truly independent telepathy extremely unlikely, without apparatus attached to your head, it is unlikely even into the very far future.

COR: "to posit that maybe minds can sense other minds, why that's just plain crazy!">>

It's not crazy, but all experimentation shows it is wrong. There is no reason to think, or even a hypothesis of how a physical brain could possibly sense or detect the minute waves of a brain more than an inch away. And of course, the extremely crude brain waves we can measure at this point (alpha, theta etc.), are not to be confused with being able to detect "thoughts." Measuring one has nothing to do with understanding the latter.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "Reports of... Lewis and Clark [ridiculed in the press]...">>

This is where we are to compare you to the great discoverers Lewis & Clark because of comments in the press. I think they would ask for evidence for your extraordinary claims before believing them too.

PH: In 1663, Galileo Galilei was tried and convicted...">>

This is where we are to believe you are the great science based martyr, bravely standing up to the supernatural based claims of the day. Of course, you have it exactly backwards. You are the peddler of woo, firmly committed to protecting your own metaphysical claims from scientific scrutiny. It's an old analogy, and you have it exactly backwards.

PH: "Christopher Columbus was ridiculed for suggesting the world was round,...">>

No, this is an old chestnut, entirely false. We knew the earth was round thousands of years before Columbus. Learn about this here and avoid this false analogy in the future:

PH: "History is full of naysayers who laugh loudly at ideas that stretch their minds.">>

Your claims don't stretch minds because your claims (conveniently) can't be discerned to be real. You have carefully concocted invisible dragons. History is replete with such claims. Progress is only made when the true ones are separated from the false ones. And you are not interested in seeing if your claims are true because you already know they are based upon emotional investment.

PH: "Skeptics have a proud tradition of being wrong...">>

Science is based upon finding out what is wrong. It is based upon skepticism, testing, confirmation, replication and discarding unnecessary assumptions. I hope no one is surprised you don't know this.

PH: "Skeptics Declare Flat Earth Society Lives On In Spirit.">>

See the pamphlet I have on the flat earth here:

The flat earthers are firmly in your camp and always have been.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "FFT only accepts information that conforms to his preconceived view...">>

I accept any information that can be shown to be true. You're information, by careful design and quite on purpose, avoids the ability to fall in that category.

PH: His tests are designed to prove his view of reality,">>

My simple tests are designed to test any claim of reality that is open to observation. Your claims are designed to be immune from scrutiny, on purpose.

PH: "our understanding that must stretch to reach the phenomenon.">>

But first you would need to have a "phenomenon" that needs explanation. You can't show you have that.

PH: "Demanding a phenomenon perform in such-and-such a manner">>

There is no demand. A skeptic simply has the audacity to stand up and point out that your extraordinary emperor has no clothes. I can see his naughty bits from here. I've looked behind the curtain and seen the "wizard" yanking on the levers. Once you know how the trick is done (and your tricks are very moldy indeed), it doesn't appear magical.

PH: "All scientists who make valid discoveries do so with an open mind, not a skeptical mind.">>

You should learn something about science before you speak about it. With all due respect to deep nonsense, Sagan put it this way:
"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense." -- Carl Sagan

“I try to read and stay informed on as broad a range of subjects as I can, and to the devotees of superstition and pseudoscience, let me just say this: you don't know what you're missing. The universe is a grander, stranger, more majestic and more mysterious place than any human being has ever imagined, or can imagine. The unsubstantiated claims and inventions of people, as wondrous as you may find them, don't come close to doing justice to reality as it truly is. At what other age in human history have you been able to look on a shooting star or a volcano and know what it really is? In what other age has anyone been able to see the Earth rise in the night sky from the surface of the Moon? In what other age did we understand the molecular roots of life, the building blocks of matter, the power sources of the stars?
It was not crystals or prayer nor Tarot cards that brought us these things. It was not superstition that was responsible, nor mysticism, nor credulous acceptance of extraordinary and unverified claims. It is the scientific method — institutionalized skepticism, rigorously and comprehensively applied — that has given rise to these wonders of understanding and accomplishment. We can either stay on that path, and some day realize the full potential we've only begun to tap — or we can sink back into the darkness of unreason, and stay frightened, brutish, short-lived and ignorant. I know which path I choose to take.” -- Adam Marczyk, age 21

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "Throwing pearls before the swine is not my forte.">>

It's a little late for that claim.

And some little piggies know exactly what fake pearls look like.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "For your information I was not quoting you.">>

You imputed that to me, and used quotation marks. Don't do that.

PH: "I could explain the limitations on this ability.">>

What ability?

PH: "The unmitigated gall is of the person who believes they have the power to command natural forces to bend to their will.">>

You can do that too?

PH: "I'm pretty sure Jesus could do that,">>

Why would you think that? It says so in a book? I need a bit more than that, but we all set the bar on believing things a little differently. Some don't even have bar. Best to have a bar.

PH: "How interesting that you snipped the reference to growing up dirt poor and being teased about it.">>

Why would I include additional extraneous false claims you make up with no basis whatsoever? Are we currently in a seance? Have I passed away and didn't notice? What are all of these false pearls doing laying around?

PH: Unlike your act, I don't do performances.">>

Of course not.

PH: "There is nothing contrived or concocted.">>

I'm sure that's right. After all, you said it and people don't make mistakes about such things.

PH: Nothing of value sticks.">

Why don't you try something of value and see?

Did you know I can make ice cream appear on command? Happened yesterday. But if you doubt this, I am not allowed to change your belief about it. So don't expect any verification. Rules are rules.

Hey Phillip, wanna buy an ice cream cone? See:

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "I don't charge money for anything.">>

That has no relevance. A monetary charge is not required for people to be swindled, deceived and the memories of their dead loved ones, soiled.

PH: [no] chance of beating your impossible demands.">>

Get the word, move the ball, do what you already claim to be able to do. You're right, way too hard!

FFT: ["Raymond Teller is 5 foot 9 inch."]
PH: "My mistake,...>>

Acknowledgment of error. A start.

PH: "...hundreds of people... have participated with me in communicating... with... other side">>

Sure they have.

PH: "[they] know how the process works...">>

Penn and Teller also know how the process works. But they are honest magicians (and quite good). They even have an episode of their hit show devoted to showing how "the process works." Perhaps you should watch it:

And remember, Mr. Teller isn't a midget (Penn is just really big).

PH: "Your childish expectation of parlor tricks...">>

How does what you do differ, in anyway, from the standard, centuries old parlor trick of pretending to have seance? Did your really not investigate the history of your hobby?

A few years ago, the living Fox sister admitted she had been cracking her toes the whole time. I thought was rather honest. A little late though.

"I've gone into thousands of [fortune teller's parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her." -- NYC detective

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

PH: "The quotation marks were used to indicate a paraphrase.">>

Right, you made something up, attributed it to me, and put it in quotation marks. That's not honest. Don't do that.

PH: "Now I'm beginning to understand your mind,">>

Oh no... have a passed over? Or can you "understand" the minds of the living too?

PH: "How many times do you wash your hands at night?">>

Why don't you have a dead person watch me and then inform you? Surely there would be some of them over there up for that.

PH: "I don't fault you for growing up dirt poor.">>

What basis do you have for this claim? Is it similar to the basis for the other things you conjure up (no pun) and then presume to be true?

PH: "But some of my best friends were dirt poor...">>

That's nice. Have you given up talking about the topic and are reduced to fishing for personal attacks based upon pure imagination? Why? You're presumptions about the wealth, or not, of my parents, is a dead end for you. As they say, even a blind psychic finds an acorn once in a while. But you haven't found one yet.

PH: "...there's no way I can ever recover those 3 minutes...">>

Sesame street sometimes has important lessons for adults who didn't pay attention when they were kids. It's never too late to learn be skeptical of extraordinary claims. Don't buy invisible ice cream cones (don't take donations for them either).

PH: "Someday,... I'll show you something that proves you're wrong about talking to 'dead' people.">>

Name the time and place. Tomorrow's good. If an afterlife is decided by vote, I vote yes. But all the evidence points to no.

PH: "I hear the old adage about leading a horse to water...">>

I would be pleased to see your water, but all I see now is a fellow in a desert pointing to something shimmer over the horizon. Why don't you lead the way and we'll do a test and see if it's water...

Don't miss that Penn & Teller episode here:

They thought this topic of talking to the dead so important they made it episode #1 (now 6 seasons last I checked).

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

Phillp claims I grew up "dirt poor," I asked: "What basis do you have for this claim?"

Phillip explains his scientific based reasoning:

PH: "In true scientific fashion, I tried out a hypothesis.">>

A hypothesis that I grew up dirt poor?

PH: "I watched the results to see if they matched my hypothesis.">>

You have results that show I grew up dirt poor?

PH: "I came to a conclusion based on the results.">>

There is nothing remotely scientific in your mere assertion, based upon absolutely nothing, that I grew up "dirt poor" (which is ridiculously false, my family always was and is moderately well to do).

Are you not well Phillip?

PH: "The only lesson I got [from the sesame st. clip] was there are devious people in the world.">>

So, some of your friends are psychic too.

PH: "move the ball" trick is conditional on your being able to witness the movement with your eyes.">>

Wrong. It can be measured in other ways if you prefer. But if the ball moves 3 inches, why would it be a problem for eyes to detect this? Your waffle makes no sense at all.

People claim to be able to move things with the power of their mind (telekinesis), this little test doesn't prove that can't happen, it only shows that when ever it is tested in this manner, as science predicts, it has always failed. And there is no reason why it should move.

PH: "Your "discern the word" trick is [based upon using] your eyes to compare two words.">>

It's a word clearly typed on a piece of paper shown to a group of people witnessing the attempt. The piece of paper is given to the participant to verify and have. Why are we to believe that eyes can't observe a word on a piece of paper? Your objection makes no sense at all.

PH: "Your "bring in the Bigfoot" trick is conditional on your being able to see Bigfoot in front of you...">>

No, there's no reason why the Bigfoot couldn't also be smelled, touched, heard, and tasted. But why would "seeing" a big hairy hominid be a problem? Your waffles are getting more and more desperate and absurd.

If a Bigfoot can't be detected with any of our senses, how does a world *with* a Bigfoot differ from a world that does *not* have a Bigfoot? It wouldn't. Do you ever tire of making Sagan dragons?

PH: "...mediumship is manifested internally on the same palette that imagination is projected.">>

Thus, indiscernible from pure imagination. Confusing imagination with reality is common in humans, especially children, but adults have developed methods of critical scrutiny to differentiate the important difference between the two. That's why you have a scientific computer to tap your stories on.
If your Bigfoot has no footprint in discernible reality any way shape or form, you are just making unfalsifiable claims and talking about invisible dragons. If your imagined conversations with the deceased can't in any way be differentiated from you having conversations with yourself, the same applies.

PH: "psychic information is received passively.">>

If there is no possible way to show psychic information is received, then it makes no sense to refer to it as being received.

PH: "...describing with the ball is called psychokinesis. I don't do that.">>

I know you don't do that. After several hundred tests, it seems no one else does either. With good reason.

PH: "What you're describing with the word... I've done that.">>

Then fell free to do it again. I'll pay you, or your favorite charity, a thousand dollars each time you get the word right. When you get it wrong, you don't have to pay me anything. We can do ten attempts. Those are very good odds, if you *really* believe what you say. I guess we will see.

PH: "What you're describing with Bigfoot is sheer lunacy - they can run faster than any man,">>

Good point, how could we possibly catch something running quickly on two legs? After all, we've never caught a cheetah, and they can go 75 mph. Oh wait, we've caught lots of them. How about a non blurry photograph by someone who doesn't happen to also own a costume shop? Can Bigfoot run faster than the speed of light? Apparently.

PH: "Bigfoot... can tear a person limb from limb before a scream...">>

How do you know? You believe in Bigfoot? I thought he couldn't be seen with my "eyes"? Is there anything so outlandish you don't believe it?

PH: "Bigfoots don't mean harm to anyone,">>

How do you know? Would it matter if they were raised by "dirt poor" parents? Then they might be a little grumpy.

PH: "You may end up on a distant planet as...">>

Phillip, I really don't mean to pick on you. But you really aren't making any sense at all. Perhaps you should lie down and rest for a bit.

Tip: When you poke freethinkers, they poke back.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 30, 2012

COR: FFT says "claims of telepathy that a mind can move objects"--that isn't strictly speaking telepathy but telekinesis.">>

Exactly right. My mistake. I meant telekinesis. Thanks for the correction.

COR: "it is most likely that humans retain some of the extra senses that other animals have.">>

Certainly. But claiming those are ESP, psychic or supernatural in someway, would call for, at a very minimum, there to be an observed phenomenon in need of an explanation (after which we could try to discover that). After over a century of testing, there is no observed ESP in need of an explanation (if there was, I would be a lot more careful with my prize money!).

COR: "In other words, what is being called supernatural here is in fact natural.">>

And this has long been the historical pattern. Everything formally attributed to the supernatural, has been found to be natural. Of very often, our misunderstanding of nature (see the fantastic way bees communicate by dancing for instance).
So, for the shrinking category of things we still don't understand or can't explain, I think it's warranted to look for natural explanations and never warranted to presume supernatural or magical ones.

COR: "to be strictly scientific, should you not say: "As far as we know, minds cannot communicate over long distances (without the cellphone).">>

Sure, we can be agnostic about it, or anything. But since, based upon our knowledge of brains, there is no method by which this could or should occur, and, after over a century of testing, no known instance of it occurring, I tentatively put it in the "doesn't occur" bucket, until someone shows they can make it occur.
Since we have almost 7 billion people engaging in thousands of acts per day, we are going to find some fantastic one in a billion coincidences happening every minute. People remember these, and they don't remember all of the mundane things that aren't unique.

COR: "Some of them may be "feelings" rather than "thoughts,">>

Okay. But our understanding of the body tells us that all perception, all feelings, occur in the brain and brain stem. No brain, no feelings, no known exceptions.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 31, 2012

PH: "new generation of science is embracing the unseen world of energies and quantum realities.">>

Perhaps you should set the Deepak Chopra aside. Your misunderstandings of physics have nothing to support your supernatural claims. This is just "God of the Gaps" again. When stuck, a favorite refuge of supernaturalists is to appeal to their near total lack of understanding of physics, especially QM. If this "new generation of science" had support for your fantastical claims, then we should see a tendency of support for you among those who understand this field the best. But we don't see that, we see the opposite. And this has long been the case. Observe:

"Leading scientists still reject God

The question of religious belief among US scientists has been debated since early in the century. Our latest survey finds that, among the top natural scientists, disbelief is greater than ever — almost total.

Research on this topic began with the eminent US psychologist James H. Leuba and his landmark survey of 1914. He found that 58% of 1,000 randomly selected US scientists expressed disbelief or doubt in the existence of God, and that this figure rose to near 70% among the 400 "greater" scientists within his sample [1]. Leuba repeated his survey in somewhat different form 20 years later, and found that these percentages had increased to 67 and 85, respectively [2].

In 1996, we repeated Leuba's 1914 survey and reported our results in Nature [3]. We found little change from 1914 for American scientists generally, with 60.7% expressing disbelief or doubt. This year, we closely imitated the second phase of Leuba's 1914 survey to gauge belief among "greater" scientists, and find the rate of belief lower than ever — a mere 7% of respondents.

Leuba attributed the higher level of disbelief and doubt among "greater" scientists to their "superior knowledge, understanding, and experience" [3].

Our chosen group of "greater" scientists were members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Our survey found near universal rejection of the transcendent by NAS natural scientists. Disbelief in God and immortality among NAS biological scientists was 65.2% and 69.0%, respectively, and among NAS physical scientists it was 79.0% and 76.3%. Most of the rest were agnostics on both issues, with few believers. We found the highest percentage of belief among NAS mathematicians (14.3% in God, 15.0% in immortality). Biological scientists had the lowest rate of belief (5.5% in God, 7.1% in immortality), with physicists and astronomers slightly higher (7.5% in God, 7.5% in immortality)."

So we see, the trend is quite against you and what you claim, with no basis beyond opinion. The better a person understands how the world works, the less likely (by far) they are to believe your claims. And with good reason.


PH: "There isn't any way someone stuck in 18th century methodology can comprehend this [quantum realities].">>

Perhaps you should learn about these things before you go on about them. In fact it was specifically "18th century methodology" that confirmed these "quantum realities." Note:

"The history of quantum mechanics dates back to the 1838 discovery of cathode rays by Michael Faraday. This was followed by the 1859 statement of the black body radiation problem by Gustav Kirchhoff, the 1877 suggestion by Ludwig Boltzmann that the energy states of a physical system can be discrete, and the 1900 quantum hypothesis of Max Planck.[2]"

PH: "When you devise a test to prove dreams are real let me know,...">>

That brains have different states of awareness is rather mundane and it's observed in (last I checked) at least all mammals. So not an extraordinary claim. But do keep looking for a gap to insert your supernatural into.

PH: "I'd like to take it [that test].">>

It's entirely clear you are not interested in backing up your claims or putting them at risk of being tested and shown to be not true. And with good reason.

"[The supernatural] is still parasitic in the interstices of our knowledge which have not yet been filled. Like bed-bugs in the cracks of walls and furniture, miracles lurk in the lacunae of science. The scientist plasters up these cracks in our knowledge; the more militant Rationalist swats the bugs in the open. Both have their proper sphere and they should realize that they are allies." --John Haldane in "Science and Life: Essays of a Rationalist"

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 31, 2012

PH: "The reason FFT and his merry band of athiests will never "get it" is because they're spiritual nihilists.">>

I have a policy, and I think it is a good one, to not take seriously the advice that is given about the opinion of atheists, by people who don't know how to spell the word. A very basic requirement.

PH: "If it can't be physically sensed it doesn't exist.">>

No, if it can't be detected in any way, we don't have a good reason to assume it exists. You know this is true for normal things, but you make an exception if it supports the religious beliefs you are emotionally invested in (beliefs which tell you you have very special gifts). I am consistent and don't make that exception. I used to though.

PH: "Don't know how they explain the voices coming out of a radio box...">>

We knew that one about 1891, so this gap won't work for you.

PH: "Animals, birds, fish have it (clairvoyance).">>

Except when tested, then they don't. Curious.

(Not really).

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 31, 2012

PH: "Last time I checked 1838 is in the 19th Century,">>

I think your attempt to use 4th century methodology to explain current day realities, is a bigger problem for you.

PH: "devise a test to prove the reality of dreams.">>

Define dreams. We have a nice tract on your attempted "argument from ignorance" fallacy here:

For your dream gap to work, you first need to have a gap. Demonstrate your gap. Keep sliding.

PH: "You slid away from the challenge">>

You are the one doing all of the sliding. And now, of course, changing the subject.

You claim to be able to detect a word seal in a box, but when offered $1,000 to do what you claim you have done, you slide. So we see you don't even believe your own claim. If you don't, why should anyone else?

PH: "any study that purports to claim animals, birds, and fish are devoid of intuition.">>

And now you move the goal posts from "clairvoyance," to "intuition" (whatever that means to you). If you think you have psychic birds and psychic fish, you have a burden of demonstration. That is, if you want adults to take you seriously. But since you believe in Bigfoots that can't be seen, balls that move but can't be seen to move, and words that can be detected while sealed in boxes but can't be read with "eyes" when the box is open, that ship has sailed. You lack a line between reality and unreality. And that's unfortunate. Because that line is very useful if you want to know about the world, and not just imagine things about the world.

"Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles, and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods. For these men know that once ignorance is put aside that wonderment would be taken away which is the only means by which their authority is preserved." --Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)

Posted by: fayfreethinker
March 31, 2012


Phillip is furious and his posts are a mess. Now he's just trolling for insults rather than attempting honest communication. Boring.

First person who brings in Bigfoot gets my house.

Visual confirmation required.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 1, 2012

COR: "Sagebrush plants "engage in self-recognition and can communicate danger to their “clones” or genetically identical cuttings planted nearby...">>

So we have a phenomenon observed (which therefore differs entirely from any of Phillip's claims) thus being worthy of a search for an explanation. Do we have a potential naturalistic explanation, or is it a gap in knowledge suggesting an appeal to a metaphysical "answer?" Aside from the fact that no gap is ever answered by an appeal to the supernatural (appealing to "magic" only makes a bigger mystery), the natural answer is provided in your article:

"The sagebrush communicated and cooperated with other branches of themselves to avoid being eaten by grasshoppers, Karban said. Although the research is in its early stages, the scientists suspect that the plants warn their own kind of impending danger by emitting volatile cues. This may involve secreting chemicals that deter herbivores or make the plant less profitable for herbivores to eat, he said." ... 171244.htm

Plants have been experimenting with defense mechanisms, via natural selection, for about half a billion years (just on land). So it shouldn't be too surprising that they have gotten *exceedingly* good at it.

It continues...

“Plants are capable of responding to complex cues that involve multiple stimuli,” Karban said. “Plants not only respond to reliable cues in their environments but also produce cues that communicate with other plants and with other organisms, such as pollinators, seed disperses, herbivores and enemies of those herbivores.” --ibid

It's tempting to Anthropomorphize the word "communicate" here and think this has something to do with consciousness, but there is no basis for such an assumption. Plants turn to the sun, change in the seasons and do countless other things in response to chemical (and many other) clues.

"...Karban found that “volatile cues are required for communication among branches within an individual sagebrush plant. This observation suggests that communication between individuals may be a by-product of a volatile [chemical] communication system that allows plants to integrate their own systemic physiological processes.” --ibid.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 1, 2012

COR: "I at least have made no "supernatural" claims.">>

Great. You'll want to be careful to avoid using "ESP" or "extra" along with "sensory perception." It wouldn't be useful to try and "define" something supernatural into existence by using words alone.

The phrase "ESP" has been used, since about 1927 to refer to supernatural perception. I say this not because you have done it, but you refer to humans and other animals that may have "sensory perception" that is "extra" in some sense, but if it is natural (as you say), then it's not ESP in any supernatural sense.

COR: "trying to work up an hypothesis or describe a mechanism to explain human telepathy as I have experienced it on countless occasions.">>

That sounds like a very interesting project. These are questions worthy of finding answers to. In the process, you will want to first rule out basic potential errors and mistakes humans make in perceiving these occurrences. Two big ones come to mind:

1) Confirmation bias. See:
This is where we remember the hits, and forget the misses.

2) Misremembering the past. Human memory has been shown (with careful testing) to be *far* more malleable than we realize. We don't notice this illusion until we test it.

There are about 15 other pitfalls detailed here:

COR: "there may be more than one kind of telepathic experience and more than one mechanism.">>

And there may only be people misapprehending the phenomenon. With over a century of careful testing, no ESP as been observed, and/or withstood peer review and replication. That's a very long track record. This doesn't prove ESP doesn't or can't exist (nothing could), but it is looking like it is unlikely to have merit.

COR: "[Why suppose] a human who senses danger is having an experience totally different from [an animal] that senses danger?">>

I wouldn't. Humans and animals have inaccurate/wrong senses of danger all time, and probably at about the same rate. Our house cat is so jumpy with false danger signals we've named her "Spooky."

COR: "[likely] police or soldiers, become sensitive to clues that others would miss.">>

Absolutely. And having "sensory perception" that is "extra" in this sense, is entirely natural, as I am sure you agree (and has all of the expected false positives), an nothing to do with "ESP."

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 2, 2012
COR: "an example of sensing danger... cabin in the woods... strong feeling of "Snake, snake.">>

Unless you can provide the necessary context of how many times you felt a sense of danger and there was nothing, this could be the very compelling illusion of confirmation bias. Remembering the hits, forgetting the misses. This context is absolutely essential to confirming how unique this "hit" was.

COR: "it is possible that I could smell a rattlesnake 20 feet away,">>

There are much more likely reasons for this interesting correct hit.

COR: "some kind of moth... can smell... miles away--and they don't even have noses or brains!">>

Do tell. It seems unlikely there is a moth that doesn't have a brain. And if it is in any sense smelling, the apparatus would be, by definition, a nose.

COR: "venomous snakes may have a stronger "vibe" than others.">>

We have machines with great sensitivity to "electromagnetic" activity. If there was *anything* you were picking up at 20 feet, we would easily be able to measure this with instruments and this would be a known well established quantity of snakes.

COR: "It's possible that there is a flesh-and-blood transducer in the brain...">>

There are about 15 other much easier explanations. As William of Occam pointed out about 800 years ago, it's better to have less assumptions. Simpler is better:

This is very important scientific principle. I know a physics professor at the U of A who likes to say it is perhaps *the* most important principle of science.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 2, 2012
[quote] "Reproducible results are essential to the conventional scientific method, so many scientists discount any irreproducible data no matter how credible the source."

COR: I object to the idea that the methods of the hard sciences are the only true methods of science.">>

Coralie, I didn't ask that you reproduce your results (that's a later step), I asked you to consider whether they are statistically significant in the first place. To know that, we would need to know that you are not engaging in common errors of perception such as confirmation bias, and a whole host of pitfalls that those who report such phenomenon have to be careful to rule out.

COR: "I don't understand why what I am calling ESP would contradict the laws of physics.">>

It wouldn't necessarily. There are no doubt interesting attributes of physics we don't know about yet. But there is no need to postulate ESP if the observed phenomenon is in fact an error in human perception. After more than a century of testing, it's never been more than that.

COR: "If by "normal senses" we are referring to five, there are more than five senses.">>

Notice that all of those from that wiki quote are subcategories of the main five senses.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 3, 2012

COR: "He [FFT's] trying to be tactful but I put this in the same bag with... people discounting my experiences...">>

You say this as if "trying to be tactful" is a bad thing. But it probably wouldn't matter how much a person tip toes while discussing these things. My providing an opportunity to show how extraordinary claims can be shown to be rigorously true, rather than interesting anecdotes, is likely to be perceived as "discounting" your "experiences." I perceive it as showing how to rigorously "confirm your experience." If the phenomenon you report is rigorously true, then it can only gain from careful examination and should stand up to scrutiny.

Likewise, when people claim to be able to remote view, move objects with the power of their mind (or that there is a Bigfoot), conducting a test or offering an award is an opportunity (and incentive) to confirm the claimed ability (which incidentally, is exactly what science does). But as we see in this thread, this opportunity is ridiculed as only a skeptics attempt to dis-confirm a claim (which, is exactly what peer review, and science, does). Tests can be done with or without money, in public or private, with results revealed or not. The tests we have been involved in (and the one I observed by JREF two years ago at a skeptics convention in front of hundreds) have always been conducted professionally and respectfully. The dowser we tested thanked us for showing her how to do a blinded test (she didn't know) and we left on perfectly friendly terms.

See for instance how this attempt went:

Having spent two decades in the New Age swimming pool and believing nearly all of it, followed about 15 years out, I have much experience on both sides and have shown I can and will change my beliefs to go with new evidence (I have as much incentive to believe in an afterlife as anyone else). But my extensive study of this issue informs me that there is no "deep end" in that swimming pool, it's a kiddie pool from end to end. (If it smells like pee, as claimed above, it isn't from the skeptics).

COR: "those who considered me neurotic because I had decided for myself, without asking a doctor,">>

We've known coffee has this effect (of making a person jumpy, etc.) for centuries, so I don't know why your doctor didn't mention this, or that you are surprised to have figured this out on your own (it's a test I conduct each and everyday). Wiki has a very nice blurb on the history of caffeine, which we identified chemically in 1821:

Its properties were noted over a thousand years ago.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 3, 2012

Last edited by fayfreethinker on Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread

Postby fayfreethinker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:35 pm

PH: "...explain how a dog can walk over a thousand miles to find its owner at a location the dog has [never] before been to in its life.">>

Going back to 1923 for your anecdotes? And you've not gotten your facts straight. Bobbie the Wonder Dog, returned to his own home, as the story goes.

PH: "explain this in ways that conform to your understanding of reality.">>

There is no evidence differences in perception describe different "realities." For instance, you say above:
"...the human mind. It can directly access intelligences, information, and forces literally on the other side of this and other universes."

Explain why anyone should believe that. You can access minds on the other side of "other universes," but you can't read your own anecdotes correctly?

So we have an interesting, 90 year old doggie story, and you would like to know of a possible solution without appeal to the supernatural. Excellent.

Take a moment to read the David Hume quote I provided for you on the 29th:

Thomas Paine gives a more succinct version:
" it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course; but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time; it is, therefore, at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie." –Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, pg. 95

We are told that this doggie story, was investigated by the Humane Society, in 1923. Were the investigators competent? I don't know. It did make it into "Ripley's Believe it or Not."

But that's not exactly peer reviewed. So to begin with, considering how extraordinary the claim is, I have questions about how the accuracy of the claim in the first place. But let's skip all of that and assume it is solid gold.

The Hume and Paine quotes above refer to "miracles," but this doggie story isn't reporting a miracle or contradicting any laws of physics (unlike your across universe mind reading) but rather an event that is just very highly improbable. The odds of this happening are very small. But in order to say anything about odds, we need to have the context of knowing how many events we are talking about. Without that, we can say nothing about odds or probability.

One in a million odds happen every million events. If the probabilities against an event are a million
to 1, if you run a billion trials, it will occur about 1000 times. We have 7 billion people fiddling around and each of them are engaging in thousands of little events, every single day. Extraordinarily profound correlations, astonishingly unlikely, will necessarily occur, every hour. The interesting things are remembered, the great mass of uninteresting things are ignored. Hence: Confirmation bias.


Let's use golf as an example. When playing golf, getting a hole in one is very rare. This site reports the odds are about 12,000 to one:

The more you play, the more likely you will have one. Jack Nicklaus supposedly has had 21, (Tiger Woods - 18). But what about making two in a row? That would be incredible. This site says the odds are 67,000,000 to one.

What about three in a row, impossible? Of course not. It's possible a person could hit one every single time, it's just very very improbable. The link above reports:

"Successive golfers: The record is 3 in a row, same hole, made by a group 12/9/1986, at Santa Barbara, CA Community Golf Course, 13th hole."

If you have enough golfers, whacking enough balls, you are going to get some extraordinarily rare events. Necessarily.

Back to the doggie... let's say that this story is the most impressive lost/found pet event in a 100 year span. We need to know, for our century, how many pets there are, how many get lost, how many are found, etc.,. The ASPCA has some stats:

How many pets?
"About 78.2 million dogs..."

How many lost? "Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year..."

The number would be far greater than that, since this number would miss the many pets that would die in the wild, or be adopted by new owners.

How many returned?
"According to the... (NCPPSP), less than 2 percent of cats and only 15 to 20 percent of dogs are returned to their owners. Most of these were identified with tags, tattoos or microchips."

Again, the number would be far larger since probably most pets are either returned/found, or not, without going through the shelter system.

So if we look at your story as a one of, super exceptional, event of the century, *just for the US* we need to look at it in the context of literally, several billion dogs, having hundreds of millions of lost events over that time. Thus, we absolutely should expect some examples of exceedingly extraordinary lost/returned events. Even more so if we consider the whole planet (which we should).

We could ignore this rational, natural, odds consideration, give up and say it's magic. But I don't do that for two reasons:

a) we don't need that larger assumption
b) appealing to magic, is never, ever, an answer

This was interesting. I may turn it into a lecture for a freethinker meeting.

Hope this helps.


Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 4, 2012


"In reality," says mathematician John Allen Paulos, "the most astonishingly incredible coincidence imaginable would be the complete absence of all coincidences." When Evelyn Marie Adams won the New Jersey lottery twice, newspapers reported the odds of her feat as 1 in 17 trillion-the odds that a given person buying a single ticket for two New Jersey lotteries would win both. But statisticians Stephen Samuels and George McCabe report that, given the millions of people who buy U.S. state lottery tickets, it was "practically a sure thing" that someday, somewhere, someone would hit a state jackpot twice. Consider: An event that happens to but one in a billion people in a day happens 2000 times a year. A day when nothing weird happened would actually be the weirdest day of all.

Our intuition, as I explain in "Intuition: Its Powers and Perils," fails to appreciate the streaky nature of random data. Batting slumps, hot hand shooters, and stock market patterns may behave like streak-prone random data, but our pattern-seeking minds demand explanations. Yet even the random digits of pi, which form what many mathematicians believe is a true random sequence, have some odd streaks that likely include your birth date. Mine, 9-20-42, appears beginning at the 131,564th decimal place. (To find yours, visit .)

The moral: That a particular specified event or coincidence will occur is very unlikely. That some astonishing unspecified events will occur is certain. That is why remarkable coincidences are noted in hindsight, not predicted with foresight. And that is why even those of us who believe in God don't need God's special intervention, or psychic powers, to expect, yet also delight in, improbable happenings.”
--Social psychologist David G. Myers, author of Intuition: Its Powers and Perils

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 4, 2012

Long day, didn't get home till about 11:00. Some Christians from "Crusade for Christ" approached my son on campus and asked if he "knew about Jesus." So we had them over for a 3 1/2 hour Bible study. It went quite well. Now I see Phillip is making things up and saying things that aren't true. He shouldn't do that. Let's unpack:

PH: "You're ignoring the other 'anecdote' I posted that took place in 2010.">>

So you ask me to specifically look at the one doggie story, and now, rather than respond to my answer, or any of the points made, you complain that I didn't respond to another doggie story you didn't specifically ask me to look at. Three reasons why I didn't look at your "other story:"

a) you didn't ask about that one
b) it's certainly less spectacular than the Bobbie story
c) my reply to the anecdote you presented, applies equally well (even more so) to the other

PH: "I intentionally chose those two examples to give some historical depth.">>

You specifically asked: "I'd like to see if you can explain how a dog can walk over a thousand miles to find its owner at a location the dog has before been to in its life." I provided an answer, and all you do now is move the goal posts and introduce a different story and (of course) more doggie stories.

PH: "There have been many other cases...">>

People do like to tell lots and lots of stories. What is your answer to this story? I see you don't try one. Is it more plausible, reasonable than mine? Do you have anything but to go straight for the nonanswer of magic?

PH: "Typically, a skeptic's Randi-esque response might claim the dog somehow used its nose to sniff its way home.">>

Since Phillip can't address a single aspect of what the skeptic he actually asked *actually* said, he instead, dishonestly, makes up an absurd strawman pseudo-response about "a body odor so strong he could be detected a thousand miles away" and some utter stupidity about "prevailing winds would blow molecules of the owner's BO." Does Phillip even grasp my answer? Apparently not.

PH: "Your refusal to address the 2nd example">>

Phillip, you didn't ask about this other example. You asked specifically about a dog that walked a great distance. This other example, which you either didn't read or didn't understand, the dog didn't walk but rather got a ride and then was reunited due to the tracking of it's microchip. A nifty coincidence (same town!) but not as impressive as Bobbie. Do you even read your own stuff carefully? Do you even understand your own questions?

PH: "information that isn't convenient to the argument is simply denied, or ignored.">>

You didn't ask me about this other doggie story which you apparently didn't even bother to read.

PH: "Randi... denies the existence of any proof that would confirm a paranormal claim.">>

Now you are just being dishonest. What constitutes success and failure in such a test is explicitly detailed in a signed, binding, legal, contract. The outcomes success or failure is defined as clear and objective without requiring any subjective interpretation. You claim to be able to remote view a word? Get the word right. Claim to be able to move the object? Move the object. Claim to be able to get identify the gender of a grave occupant via dowsing? Get the gender correct. You object to such simplicity and specificity because you are terrified of actually participating in anything that could possibly falsify your emotionally held beliefs which you use to presume you have super human powers. That people outside of the kiddie pool don't believe you, is infuriating.

PH: "You avoided answering the question and instead chose to go on about perception and realities.">>

I addressed your question directly. What part are you having trouble with? You don't say.

PH: "avoid answering by clouding the discussion with irrelevant arguments and observations.">>

What did I say in my answer that was irrelevant? You don't say.

PH: "[this] shows why a claim to award money or property to someone will never be paid.">>

Again, entirely dishonest and wrong. I have put my money where my mouth is. You tuck tail and run. You claim to have paranormal powers but do nothing but double back flips attempting to purposely make them unfalsifiable and shield them from detection. I offered to meet and put this under binding contract. Nothing. If you can move things but the tiny styrofoam ball is just too hard, state what you can do. If the discern the word test is too hard because of the "font," (!) explain what you *can* remote view. Would you like to provide your own words? Fine. Write them with you own hand writing? No problem. As long as the test is falsifiable and a fair test, I am fine with it. But this is precisely what you cannot have and must avoid at all costs. A fair test. Nothing causes a psychic to be incontinent in the kiddie pool faster than that. If you actually, really, thought you could do *anything,* (and I don't for a minute think you believe this) you would be coming up with the necessary fair test, instead of running full speed from anything suggested.

PH: "Moving goal posts and raising the bar has been taken to an art form.">>

Indeed you have done this, from the beginning. When I accuse someone of committing this fallacy (or any other), I always specifically provide the example. You don't do this because you cannot. What goal post did I move? You don't say. You asked about one doggy story and when I answered it, you don't respond to any of my points but instead make up a strawman answer I didn't give and then go on to set up another goal with another story which you didn't even read carefully. What an embarrassing display.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

PH: "Hume and Paine ridiculed people who believe in the Bible and its various religions as ignorant, superstitious morons.">>

I don't care.

PH: "I don't see any difference between them and the material I read at ">>

Then you won't have any trouble at all backing your charge by providing a specific example of that site ridiculing the Bible or religion as being believed by people that are "ignorant, superstitious morons." I'll watch for you to do this. Why don't you try being honest Phillip? Because when you aren't honest, I shall bust you every time.

PH: "you explain a dog travelling thousands of miles cross country to rejoin its master: random chance.">>

No, I didn't say "random chance." This need not be random. Since we are dealing with a somewhat conscious being that was taken on a trip, he perhaps observed the road and the direction (a lot less roads in 1922). This could remove a great deal of the "randomness." You really haven't given any thought to these questions you ask have you Phillip?

PH: "Cats are just as capable...">>

Of course, more goal post moving rather than addressing my comments. What is your solution? Is it more reasonable than mine? Will we ever know?

PH: "and it happens much more frequently than you claim.">>

Is that frequency greater than would be expected considering the number of pets? Make your case, get off your bottom. Think. Are these stories that you find floating around verified, verifiable? Do you care? Is there anything you don't believe?

PH: "Carl Sagan... discusses the 4th dimension">>

Sure he does. I would have better confidence of your mutterings about other dimensions if I saw some evidence of you having competency in the one we see you flopping around in.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

Now comes Phillip with a "catalog of the various" skeptical assertions, but Phillip forgets to address any of them, or suggest why they are inappropriate. Let's give a few a poke and see how they hold up:

PH: Argument # 2: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.">>

Why is this incorrect? We all operate with this rule daily. If someone says they climbed a tree, the evidence bar is low. If some says they ate an entire oak tree yesterday, we require more evidence. If they say they ate the tree while traveling on a UFO and talking to a person on the other side of another universe (Phillip's great powers extend far beyond our little universe), then we require much more evidence. Why is this principle not appropriate? You don't attempt to say.

PH: "Argument # 3: The Occam’s Razor rule.">>

Why would more assumptions be better than less assumptions? You don't attempt to say.

PH: "Argument # 4: The "invisible pink unicorn / dragon in the garage" false comparison tactic.">>

Why is the bedrock scientific principle of falsifiablity inappropriate? Are you really unaware of this principle? I already gave you a link.

PH: "Argument # 5: The "anecdotal evidence is invalid" argument.">>

No, but anecdotes only go so far, and it isn't very far, unless they can be replicated. And yours are purposely crippled so as to avoid detection and replication. If I say I made ice cream appear on demand yesterday, and you ask for a demo, it's not going to be very persuasive if I respond (as you already have). "Your mind is already made up, and I'm not allowed to force you to change it." That's a transparent, gutless, duck.

PH: "Argument # 6: The memory malleability argument to dismiss anecdotal evidence.

I can bury you in data showing the malleability of memory. Let me know if you would like this.

PH: "Argument # 7: "The burden of proof is on the claimant.">>

How is this inappropriate? You claim to be able to talk to people on the other side of "other universes" and the burden should be upon someone else to show that you can't?

PH: "Argument # 8: "There is no hard evidence to support any paranormal phenomena.">>

Actually, you don't even have any soft evidence. You've got nothing, and you are devoted to keeping that way. If I believed in these things, I would be interested in confirming them.

Thanks for providing such an excellent format for teaching people about skepticism and avoiding your fallacious, flawed reasoning.


Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

PH: "problem with discussions about... ESP, psi, and paranormal phenomenon is there is no standard proof for what we're talking about.">>

Again, you reveal you have no understanding of the history or literature of this issue which goes back at least a century. We actually know something about how to test claims.

PH: "Paranormal phenomenon isn't physical, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.">>

Wrong. The only reason anyone has the slightest interest in mutterings about paranormal phenomenon is due entirely to the specifically claimed ability to interact with the objective world. You claim to be able to talk to people that actually existed (if you claimed to be able to talk to Bugs Bunny, you would have less clients). Otherwise, all you have is stories and really bad science fiction of interest to no one. You have already claimed to have abilities to interact with "physical" via paranormal phenomenon.

PH: "I illustrated this problem by asking for proof that dreams exist.">>

I know you are very impressed with this "prove dreams exist" but it's amazing you have such little grasp of how we come about knowledge. I assure you this question is quite the softball pitched very slowly over the plate (I can teach you trickier ones if you like). If you would like an answer to this question, simply post it our forum here: index.php

It's a much larger format, pictures can be posted, and other than porn/spam we do not censor. This one is an off topic rabbit trail so I didn't address it here. No doubt you will quickly change the subject to something else, but if you would like your answer, have the courage to post it and you will have it. You don't have a question anyone is afraid of.

PH: "There is no way to prove dreams are real because they don't have physical properties.">>

As much as you like to talk and bluster, you really don't know which way is up. Amazing.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

SPA: " Love the dream example--it's perfect.">>

The "dream example" is a simple ruse based upon a misunderstanding of how we obtain knowledge. Everyone here believes dreams exist because we have many good reasons to believe they exist (would you like a list?) and no good reasons to believe they don't. This differs entirely from a claim that a person can speak with entities on another side of another universe. Phillip is peddling a transparent ruse of trying to play on this and suggest that because we can't empirically prove dreams exist (nor to do need to, to have exceedingly solid reasons to understand how/why they do exist), that this provides a gap for him to squeeze in some ESP claims. You may fall for this simple trick, I don't.

SPA: "FFT,... you have done much good to help folks who misrepresent facts,">>

And Phillip has misrepresented facts and made false assertions repeatedly in this thread. So I will point this out.

SPA: "sign of strength... to appreciate that others have skills and abilities that you many not have,">>

I absolutely appreciate others may have skills and abilities I may not have. But I am not going to believe someone is talking to entities on another side of another universe based upon their say so, and I make no apology for pointing out this emperor parading before us has no clothes.

Note that this began because I offered a reward for Bigfoot. You are entirely entitled to believe in Bigfoot, and I can also offer a prize for finding Bigfoot. That Phillip that took offense that I would have the audacity to offer to back up my beliefs with something beyond assertion, is his problem.

SPA: "skepticism [can be] too be dogmatic...">>

Absolutely. Dogmatism is to be avoided. It's when someone rigidity holds to beliefs without being open to considering counter evidence. I have not done that, I am not doing that, I *never* done that. I am open to any counter evidence, for anything. I am bending over backward to consider any evidence that counters my belief. You have a reason to believe? Present it. I will even pay people to present it. And if they don't want to, fine. But they could stop complaining that I provide a legitimate offer to for them to demonstrate and confirm that they can do, *what they already claim they can do.*

SPA: [you're] lacking... simple humility... may be more ways than one to accessing knowledge">>

Excellent. What are these ways that are unamenable to science, reason and evidence? I would like to hear them.

SPA: "...some of us have skill or ability in those other ways.">>

Or maybe you don't. Maybe you are fooling yours self via the many well studied well understood ways that humans have fooled themselves about these things for centuries, as I have provided the tiniest outline for above. Have you considered that, or do you not allow yourself to consider that? (i.e. dogmatism) I have investigated these issues, in some depth, for decades. I don't think you can say that.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

Phillip, accepts my challenge to provide a:
"specific example of [] site ridiculing the Bible or religion as being believed by people that are "ignorant, superstitious morons."

Let's see his example.

PH: "There are many, many examples...">>

Of course. Let's start with your first best example.

PH: Slide 3 displays...

Favorite Howler (of many):
"Historical evidence that Jesus was supernaturally conceived of a virgin is more than substantial. Indeed, there are more eyewitness contemporary records of the virgin birth than for most events from the ancient world." (Geisler, _Baker...)">>

Ahh yes, that is indeed a favorite chestnut. You read it, but you really don't understand why it's a howler? Too bad you weren't at the lecture.

PH: "What is a "Favorite Howler" of many?'>>

That one is. Stop for a moment, clear your mind. Think. Mr. Geisler says there are "there are more eyewitness contemporary records of the virgin birth than for most events from the ancient world."

Records? Of a virgin birth? How could we *possibly* have a "record" showing that a young woman *did not,* at some time, have sex? And we are to believe that this, which don't have at all, is "more than substantial?" What could be less substantial this? Geislers claim is ludicrous in its entirety. A "howler" indeed. Two bonus points:

1) We have no contemporary eyewitness records of anything to do with Mary, period. The gospels are anonymous and written decades later by people who admit they are not eyewitnesses. The idea that we have substantial records confirming her sex life, is ludicrous. Not contemporary, not eyewitness.

2) The majority of NT scholars understand that Paul, the only author of the NT that can be identified (and earliest writer, he refers to no gospels), did not believe in a virgin birth. He said Jesus lineage was "according to the flesh."

But this is all rather moot. There isn't a drop of evidence that Paul, or anyone that wrote the NT, ever met Mary, never mind knew about her sex life.

So while I am glad you made an attempt to back your claim, your claim falls flat. Geisler's comment is a blatant howler from all angles. It cannot be redeemed and it is so ridiculous I suspect he would admit he shouldn't have said it that way.

Another howler from Geisler:
"...annihilation would be demeaning both to the love of God and to the nature of human beings as free moral creatures... This would be like a father telling his son he wanted him to be a doctor, and, when he chose instead to be a park ranger, the father shot him! Eternal suffering is an eternal testimony to the freedom and dignity of humans, even unrepentant humans."
—Geisler & Howe, When Critics Ask (pg. 494). This is Dr. Geisler explaining why God must burn unbelievers in hell for all eternity in order to preserve their "freedom and dignity."

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012
FFT said: [Since we are dealing with a somewhat conscious being that was taken on a trip, he perhaps observed the road and the direction...">

PH: "You're confusing the two examples. The dog was not taken on a trip - it walked.">>

Sorry, you are mistaken. We know you didn't read your Charlie dog story past the headline, and now we see you didn't read the "Bobbie the Wonder Dog" story carefully either. He was taken on the trip, and walked back, as I said.

PH: "roads that were, for the most part in 1923, winding cow paths.">>

We have no evidence whatsoever of the path Bobbie may have taken (or if he hitched a ride part of the way). The fact that there were less roads (far more substantial than winding cowpaths however), is very much to his advantage if he went the same route home.

PH: "explanation is more implausible than the original claim.">>

Then you should have no trouble showing how my explanation, based upon odds and probability, are less implausible than the original claim. Considering the hundreds of millions of pets and the frequency with which they have always gotten lost, and occasionally returned, the only amazing thing would be is if we didn't have many *extraordinary* and rare coincidences regarding their return. Again, we remember the hits, and discard all of the millions of misses that constantly happen. Confirmation bias.

PH: "Your questions is will YOU ever know.">>

There are indeed a certain percentage of events that we will not have adequate answers for (you haven't provided one yet, but it certainly can be done). The question then is, should we reach for the fallacious "argument from ignorance" and pretend a magical answer is an answer when it is not? I don't think so, for reasons already given.

PH: "My solution is elegant and simple,...">>

Lot's of elegant assertions are simple and wrong. "Magic," is a pseudo solution.

PH: "an understanding of nature and reality that you're apparently incapable of understanding...">>

I accepted your claims of "nature and reality" for most of my life. Then I studied the issue with careful scrutiny and learned the basic methods by which humans have long tricked themselves. Once you know how the trick is done, it doesn't trick you anymore. And you can't go back to being tricked.


PH: "Your agenda isn't to learn new truths,">>

My agenda is exactly to discover and reveal truth. And truth has nothing to hide and does not fear questions or tests. Truth is discovered and strengthened by testing. If Bigfoot exists, I want to believe that. And I want to give a house to the person that teaches me this "new truth" by introducing me to him. (Incidentally, this is simply a smart business decision. The discovery and a new hominid in N. America would be the greatest discovering in a century. A Bigfoot would be worth millions).

PH: "[you want] to teach people how foolish they are,">>

I have no interest in that whatsoever (you have constantly confused confidence and competence with "ego"). I used to believe all of these things (specialty was astral travel) and I wasn't dumber then than now. It has nothing to do with being smart but rather having tools of critical examination, skeptical scrutiny and the courage to consider whether your beliefs are actually, rigorously, true. Incredibly, most people (including me 25 years ago), are afraid to do that, especially with regard to spiritual/religious claims. Oh well, one does what one can.

On March 30 you said: "Someday,... I'll show you something that proves you're wrong about talking to 'dead' people."

When can we set this up so you can do this and keep your word? Email: [fayfreethinkers @]

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

SPA: "In your skepticism, you are indeed dogmatic.">

Then if I have, and dogmatic is when: "someone rigidity holds to beliefs without being open to considering counter evidence," you should have no trouble providing a specific example of me doing this. But you didn't do that, and you cannot because there are no claims I am not open to hearing counter evidence about. I have no sacred cows. Abbie Hoffman once said: "Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger." And I agree with Jefferson here:
"There is not a truth existing which I fear... or would wish unknown to the whole world."

SPA: "that, to me, isn't "free thinking",>>

You should familiarize yourself with what "freethinking" is. I can tell you aren't familiar with the word because if you were, you would know it's one word not two.

free-think-er n.
A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. -- Webster's New World -- Third College Edition

So, a person who doesn't get their opinions about religion based upon faith, tradition, authority or established belief. And sometimes when people try to shield their beliefs/claims behind those four pillars of orthodoxy, freethinkers point it out.

SPA: "skepticism... [is] myopic,">>

Then perhaps you can explain why asking for good reasons to believe extraordinary claims, is "myopic."

SPA: "Skepticism, when it comes to psi, is handicapped... psi by it's very nature does not respond to the kind of proof that a skeptic...">>

This certainly appears a convenient attempt to shield a claim from scrutiny (see Sagan Dragons above). When people who claim to be able to do x (and the only reason anyone pays attention to these things is because psi specifically claims to be able to do many types of x), we are to believe it is inappropriate for it to demonstrate it can do x, because... "of its very nature." I am reminded of the axiom,"the invisible and the non-existent look very much alike."

It's a common tradition to suggest that it's okay to point out falsehoods, unless they happen to be regarding religion, then we mustn't do that. I don't agree. If a person claims the world is 6,000 years old, Noah saved the world with his boat and it's okay to have slaves, oppress gays, oppress women, carve up an infants genitals or fly planes into buildings, I don't hold back from giving reasons why these things are wrong, just because a person believes these things under the guise of religion.

SPA: "I'm with Philip on this one.">>

Perhaps he can find some comfort in that. Whether these things are true or false of course, has nothing to do with whether people believe in them, or how many.

SPA: "I've had too many unexplainable experiences myself to discount them.">>

Me too. Until I became curious enough to study and educate myself about these interesting questions and rigorously try to discover what explanation has the best evidence. Very few people do that.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

PH: "I didn't say, or even imply, that the fft website used those exact words to ridicule the followers of religion.">>

Of course you did. You said Hume and Paine ridiculed Christians as ignorant, superstitious morons, and that you "don't see any difference between" that (unsupported assertion), and what is on the freethinker site. So you show, once again, you make false accusations you cannot support and throw them at people. You've done this from the beginning (examples upon request). Don't do that.

PH: "FFT... displays his Favorite Howler and then lists, in detail, the reasons why he ridicules Geisler.">>

A "howler" is: "a mistake, especially an embarrassing one in speech or writing, that evokes laughter; a very humorous mistake or a funny blunder."

So let's see if Dr. Geisler's comment might qualify. He claims to have:

a) historical evidence (he doesn't)
b) that Jesus was supernaturally conceived of a virgin (evidence a girl was a virgin?)
c) is more than substantial (it isn't).
d) there are more eyewitness (he has none)
e) contemporary (not one)
f) records (none)
g) of the virgin birth than for most events from the ancient world." (ridiculous)

Mr. Geisler can crank out a series of whoppers like that, and a giggle is not appropriate? Calling his comment a howler is putting sugar on it.

PH: "it's even more clear why I don't see any difference between what Hume and Paine said and what FFT is saying.">>

Hey SPA, if you were wondering exactly what dogmatism looks like, Phillip provides an excellent example.

There is no reference material on that freethinker site, referencing the Bible, that isn't supported by standard mainstream Christian scholarship. At no time are Christians called or considered "ignorant, superstitious morons." Some of the founding members are Christians who attend church and sit on church boards (Methodist). Incidentally, Paines comments about the Bible, aside from his rails against the clergy and various hypocrites, are supported by standard modern Bible scholarship.

"Non-Christian sources are instructive in tracing parallels to the cult of Mary. Virgin birth stories (e.g., Hera, Rhea Silvia, Brigid) were circulated in other cultures, as were tales of mothers mourning lost and deceased children (e.g., Demeter and Phersephone; Isis and Horus). Iconographically, just as Mary was often portrayed holding or nursing the infant Jesus, so too was the Eygptian goddess Isis depicted suckling her infant son, Horus. Even as Mary was called Queen of Heaven and sometimes depicted surrounded by the Zodiac and other symbols, so too were deities Isis. Magna Mater, and Artemis. Such parallels show that Mary's cult had roots in the cults of the female deities of the Greco-Roman world, cult ultimately eradicated by Christianity...." --Oxford Companion to the Bible, (a standard Christian scholarly reference work) pg. 500, article on Mary

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 6, 2012

Phillip, having given up on supporting yet another false accusation, now provides a quotation from a very good book: "The Perfect Mirror: The Question of Bible Perfection."

It's about the doctrine of biblical inerrancy and contains well established standard mainstream Christian Bible scholarship. The doctrine of inerrancy hasn't been taken seriously by Bible scholars for 150 years so there is nothing improper about pointing that out. It's available at our local Hastings, in the "local authors" section.

The enlightenment wasn't kind to Phillip's peddlers of woo, and he is still stinging a bit about it (but he does enjoy his computer). If he thinks Paine and Hume were too harsh (Phillip provides no evidence he has read them), he might try some Jefferson:

“I rarely waste time in reading on theological subjects… Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. If it could be understood it would not answer their purpose. Their security is in their faculty of shedding darkness, like the scuttle-fish, thro’ the element in which they move, and making it impenetrable to the eye of a pursuing enemy, and there they will skulk until some rational creed can occupy the void which the obliteration of their duperies would leave in the minds of our honest and unsuspecting brethren."
--Jefferson, letter to Francis van der Kemp, August 6, 1816

Jefferson certainly chose the proper word with "duperies."

I once took a poll at a freethinker meeting asking if we were, as a group, perhaps too hard on the Christian fundamentalists. By show of hands, of about 70 people, the response was, of 3 choices:

Just about right = 80%
Not hard enough = 19%
Too hard = one person

So aside from Phillip's unsupported protestations, we've apparently got it about right. Now if he can point to something we've said that isn't true, then he might have something interesting to talk about. But he can't do that, and as we've seen, discerning between what is true and not true, is not a strong area for Phillip.

Phillip says if one can take their skeptic brain out and put it on a shelf, then it might be possible to believe his claims. I agree. And the frontal lobes need to go first. If a person disregards their rational mind, critical thinking skills and reason, then they can and will believe anything. But I don't have an interest in believing anything anymore.


Incidentally, I have very good friends who work in Phillip's industry and we get along very well. My mother in-law is a psychic healer and makes a living traveling the country doing this. We get along wonderfully. Tomorrow I am having brunch with a psychic who has been a dear friend since 1987 (first met her when hiring her for a session). She channels entities and writes books about it and has done tours all over the world. We get along fantastically. The reason I have chosen to make an example out of Phillip here (and he has played his part as expected), is not because he is terribly sloppy with language, can't get his doggie stories straight and likes to talk about things he has no knowledge of, it's because he is not an honest person. He's not honest with language and he makes false accusations he can't back up.

So no, am I not interested in his offer of an apprenticeship, because I don't engage in dealings with people who are not honest. I will however correct their errors when they post them in public, and make no apology for doing it.

As Paine once put it:
“It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error. But nature has not given to everyone a talent for the purpose; and among those to whom such a talent is given there is often a want of disposition or of courage to do it.” --Thomas Paine, Age of Reason

"There is no harmony between religion and science. When science was a child, religion sought to strangle it in the cradle. Now that science has attained its youth, and superstition is in its dotage, the trembling, palsied wreck says to the athlete: 'Let us be friends.' It reminds me of the bargain the cock wished to make with the horse: 'Let us agree not to step on each other's feet."
--Robert Ingersoll, about 140 years ago

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 7, 2012

The methods of finding Bigfoot, may be also useful in finding a "Jewpacabra," as this very instructive South Park episode reveals (see at least the first 4 minutes): ... jewpacabra

PH: "I knew...">>

Is this the same fellow that used his super powers to "know" that I had an abusive father or grew up in poverty? Is this the same fellow that "knew" Raymond Teller (5' 9") is a midget? Is this the same fellow who claims to have: "used psychometry and Remote Viewing to visualize objects and people at a distance..." but doggone it, just can't do it under conditions that would show he actually has or can do is? Oh, that fellow.

Well, we really mustn't get started on what this fellow claims to "know" but clearly does not.

PH: "I knew from your first posts that your claim to give your house away with proof of a Bigfoot was fraudulent and dishonest.">>

Well, we shall just have to put on the pile one more example of you making up a smear that is false.

I just got off of the phone with my lawyer. He is working on the sworn statement and performance contract (will be posted online) that will confirm my legal obligation to sign over the deed to a house I own in Washington County, that he has established to be owned by me, free and clear, to anyone who delivers into my possession and ownership a heretofore undiscovered, unknown (confirmed by DNA evidence), Bigfoot, primate, hominid, native to North America.

Need I say, invisible, undetectable, "Bigfoots," don't count? Probably.

Of course, if "Bigfoot" learns of this offer and finds it too tempting to resist, I am perfectly agreeable with arranging to sign the house directly over to him and his family.

That is, as long as he doesn't vote republican (and for some reason, I suspect he might).

ps. Just kidding about the voting part.

pps This is really going to be fun to explain at our next meeting.

ppps If anyone from this paper would like to contact me about doing a story on this offer, feel free (email given a few posts up).

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 7, 2012

Poor Randi, he's been dealing with this sort of thing for decades.

PH: "Thank you for proving to the world how correct I was in declaring your offer a fraud.">>

Actually, my lawyer informed me that my public offer (March 28, and again in another thread) was already a legally binding contract, so this extra step of a sworn, notarized contract of performance with further details, is just a little exercise to conclusively refute your false charge.

PH: "It's been a fraud since the first day you first proposed it.">>

Actually, just as when I went on the evening news about a decade ago with a $50k offer, this one is legally enforceable. Out of my hands, nothing I can do. My house is in the hands of... Bigfoot.

PH: "Only now,... actually create a legal document to back up your empty claim.">>

I've always backed offers like this with legally binding contracts. This one is in the works, sorry for the delay. It is the weekend.

PH: "still as dishonest as it ever was.">>

I don't think you understand the law. And why would you? You freely break the laws of physics all the time.

PH: "You don't anymore believe you'll have to surrender your property...">>

To be clear, I think it rather unlikely. However, if Bigfoot is brought forward, I will have no choice but to give the house. And I will gladly.

PH: "than would I if I offered a similar claim for anyone who brought me proof of a leprechaun.">>

Thanks for plainly revealing who is the dishonest one here! But we already knew that. Here's how it works, if you offer a reward for x, and someone produces x, you don't have any say whatsoever on giving up the reward. The court arranges this for you. Try it and see.

PH: "The only reason... you don't expect to have to honor it.">>

You are just now catching on that I am rather skeptical of the existence of Bigfoot? Good.

Earlier I said: "The notion that there is an undiscovered hominid running around North America, is preposterous and I make no apology for saying this plainly."

Actually, I think the word "preposterous" greatly understates the situation.

PH: "will never be paid no matter how much proof is proffered.">>

That's out of my hands actually. Deliver Bigfoot, get the house. It's a done deal. Do it during the month of April, and I'll throw in a goat.

Quick lesson on the belief engine:

"The bottom line is that they all fail, when properly and fairly tested. There are no exceptions. Even after they have clearly and definitely failed, they always continue to believe in their powers. Why should this be so?"

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 7, 2012

SPA: "Do you mean that *had* unexplainable experiences *until* you started to find an explanation for them?">>

If I understand your question correctly, yes.

SPA: "That you no longer have them?">>

Nothing recently. It's quite possible to have an experience that can't be explained. The vast majority of reports of UFO's for instance have good plausible explanations (or the exact known explanation), but a small % of the time, there isn't one. It's truly a "report" of an "unidentified" FO. This is to be expected.

SPA: "...curious about your odd/unexplainable experiences.">>

Traveling to Canada in the late 80's, we crossed the border around Vancouver (pop. aprox 2 million even back then). I only know about six people in that area (cousin, sister and couple others). I was roughly in the area of the suburb of my sister, and we stopped at a place selling boats to call and get directions. When I walked in, the fellow greeted me and my wife by name. Turns out, he was the boyfriend of my best friends sister, who were going to see later (didn't know where they lived in Vancouver). So a very nifty coincidence. These things happen when you have 7 billion people bopping about.

SPA: "In your estimation, are their psychic abilities "real",>>

No, I don't think they have real, psychic abilities. There are much more likely explanations. I am certainly open anyone showing they have such abilities.

SPA: "in the sense that they are not faking or scamming...with their claims?>>

I think they are sincere. They both provide a type of feedback/counseling that people may find useful, quite regardless of whether anything psychic is going on. They are both aware of my public offers to test PSI claims.

SPA: "what explanation do you have (if you have one) for their skills?">>

People are exceedingly good at taking information and making it fit with what they want. Example. Ray Hyman, an exceedingly accomplished psychologist and statistician, used to do some palmistry while a student in college. His clients said he was very good and very accurate and kept coming back. Then a magician friend, suggested he try an experiment. Say the exact opposite of what the lines in the hand tell you you should say.

The result?

His clients found him to be as much or more accurate than before. This reveals the "skill" of palmistry (and the many variations of such readings) has nothing to do with lines in the hand but rather the skill of people to fit assertions into what they think about themselves.


This is covered nicely in this (2000) PBS show, "Secrets of the Psychics." You can watch it, in parts, here:

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 8, 2012 ... 8/#c116182

Okay, taxes are done, let's take a look:

SPA: "freethinker" is a bit of a misnomer.">>

Not to the people that actually use the label and have for a couple centuries. You've just learned the meaning of it and that it's one word.

SPA: "I see you re: you being dogmatic in your presentation.">>

I have no interest in how you see my presentation. Here's how my "dogmatism" goes:

Psychic: I can do X, Y and Z!

I say, hey, let's put together a test to see if we can verify that you are actually doing X, Y or Z.

PSY: You're rude!

I'll pay you $5k. I'll give you a house if you bring in Bigfoot.

PSY: That's being rude and dogmatic!

Offering the *opportunity* for claimants to verify that they can do, what they already claim to be able to do, isn't dogmatism, it's common sense. Only in areas of religion do people pretend it's inappropriate to use such common sense.

SPA: "some definitions of "dogmatic" refer to... strongly held opinions of any sort,">>

I strongly believe water seeks its own level and bears often poop in the woods. Is that being inappropriately "dogmatic?" No.

SPA: "I think "dogmatic' still applies,">>

You confuse confidence and competence with dogmatism. If it applied, you could have provided an example of a "strongly held" belief that I am not open to considering counter evidence for. But didn't do that because you can't do that because I have no belief, not one, that is not entirely open to scrutiny and counter evidence which could refute it. *That* would be dogmatism. Can you say the same? Perhaps when you can you'll be in a position to teach us about "dogmatism."

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 9, 2012
COR: "Back to looking for a possible scientific hypothesis for at least some psi phenomenon--because FFT said no hypothesis exists.">>

No, I haven't said that nor would I. I would say no hypothesis is necessary. People can make up no end of "hypothesis" for anything (and they do), but it certainly seems cart before the horse to do so before the phenomenon in question has been shown to exist. After a century or so of testing, that's not been done. We can construct hypothesis about how people could levitate, remote view or move things with only the power of the mind, but there is no need for such hypothesis since no one has been able to demonstrate such phenomenon exist. Shouldn't that come first? I think so.

Einstein's description of conventional religious thought: "an attempt to find an out where there is no door."
--'Einstein: The Life and Times', Ronald W. Clark, Page 516

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 9, 2012

PH: "I remote viewed them [Bigfoot] to see why no one can find them. Turns out they're not merely big hairy creatures - they're much more complicated than that.">>

Of course it's "much more complicated." Sagan Dragon's, like all unfalsifiable claims need careful maintenance and constant adjustment. An invisible magic dragon (like a Bigfoot) probably needs more care than even a real one would. If not correctly adjusted (goal post moving) they might actually develop an attribute that could be detectable, and we mustn't have that.

PH: "This is also how people can sense when someone is watching them,">>

Why should anyone believe "people can sense when someone is watching them?" Don't attempt your case unless you are comfortable with seeing it carefully unpacked.

PH: "FFT and [Susan Blackmore] have something in common: they spent years exploring psychic phenomenon... and then they became bitter...">>

More dishonesty with language. Ms. Blackmore didn't say she is in any way bitter and I am not bitter in any way either. The truth is refreshing and I love learning about the methods of knowing whether things are true or not. That you find it discomforting and infuriating that people don't believe your outlandish claims, has nothing to do with being bitter. That's just your insecurity. She said that she "feel slightly sad" that her 30 year crusade to confirm your PSI beliefs didn't give her the result she hoped for. But she's entirely different than you. She knows what she is talking about. She obtained a very rare PhD in parapsychology. She got off of her butt and trained herself to be a world renowned expert on these issues. Having read a hundred or so peer reviewed scientific papers on the issue myself, I at least have a novice understanding of this area of knowledge. How many have you read?
Knowledge is specialized. If one wants to say something that rises to the level of interesting about this issue, and not just put their hand in their armpit and make flatulent sounds, they should demonstrate the intellectual courage and gumption to at least learn a few of the most introductory basics about this issue and the great deal of data that people have spent decades studying with great care and detail. Thinking, studying, becoming an expert in such a field takes a lot of *hard work.* Sitting on the behind and believing is easy, intellectually lazy and cowardice and accomplishes absolutely nothing to increase human knowledge about these interesting questions.

PH: "it wouldn't take me 20 years to figure out I was chasing one of Sagan's dragons.">>

Figuring it out takes an afternoon. The very hard part, is gathering the intellectual courage to consider the question in the first place. Very few people have that courage. The real cowards get furious at the mere suggestion.
"Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers." -Bruce Calvert


PH: "we also have the right to defend our beliefs from people who would try to tell us which of our experiences is "real" or not,">>

As AlphaCat pointed out, you are making things up again. If you had an honest case to make, there shouldn't be any need to constantly make things up. And *please,* begin defending your claims. What's holding you back?

PH: "he and his ilk heap on ridicule and scorn to prove their point.">>

I know you find a simple offer to allow you to back up your claims infuriating. Oh well. When I claim to have a skill, I have no problem with demonstrating it.

PH: "freethinker" website... has some of the most illogical conclusions and arguments...">>

And then, out of 19,800 posts, where the general public can post anything (zero censorship other than porn/spam) we are treated to a cherry so foolish it boggles the mind. A 9/11 Truther floats some quacky bit about the Pentagon crash (these Truther's are the people that think Bush did 9/11 as an inside job and in this case, sent a missle to hit the Pentagon rather the hijacked jet), and a skeptic has the audacity to respond with:

"The Pentagon is not a small target [true]. The plane went three levels deep into the Pentagon [true]. What is your claim? Be specific."

This, Phillip calls a "screed." This is Phillip's first and best example of: "the most illogical conclusions and arguments." That he would think this comment inappropriate shows just how desperate he is to find anything to throw.

Incidentally, the person who asked that question later gave a lecture at the library (freethinker meeting) on the physics regarding that crash site and the multiple reasons why we know it was the jetliner that hit the Pentagon.

PH: "when [fayfree website] get into anything like psi or paranormal phenomenon they flail around making ridiculous accusations.">>

Of course, Phillip completely forgets to provide an example of one of those. Does anyone wonder why? I don't.

If Phillip wants to tango with the Freethinkers, why doesn't he come over there? This place has 3k per post, we have 60k, plus pictures, plus user post editing etc.

Come Phillip, teach us about these wondrous. things.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 9, 2012

PH: "waiting to see when FFT posts the claim surrendering his house for proof of a Bigfoot,">>

Poor Phillip, he has forgotten that I did that in the very first post in this thread. It's that very comment that so got his knickers in a twist. Someone actually doubtful, skeptical, of Bigfoot! How dare they. And to even put their money where their mouth is? Rude! Dogmatic!

And as usual, he doesn't get it quite straight. The house is *for* Bigfoot, not merely what you might be able to bring yourself to believe is "Bigfoot."

I sent the last draft to my lawyer this afternoon (had a contract expert in Los Angles look at it too). He just needs to sign it and send it back to me. What I had hoped might be two paragraphs turned into a three pager. Oh well. I have no illusions that this will have any effect whatsoever upon someone so devoted to unreason. But perhaps Phillip will try something new. Randi's prize has been authenticated many times by independent parties, and as we have seen, this doesn't stop people like Phillip from passing around blatant untruths about it.

Phillip has been very entertaining and useful here. I've sent my challenge all around to maybe 50 people plus Facebook. I may still run an ad and we'll probably make it a front page feature on our main website. At least one other popular site wants to do an article on it, so it may go viral after that (that's happened before, and it's fun).

It's amazing to me that anyone could for a moment think this is in anyway gambling or there is a risk involved. Anyone who thinks that probably hasn't really thought about it. Those that suggested a concern about the house were quickly able to be convinced otherwise with a little appeal to common sense. They just had to stop and think about it for a bit.

So, we're gonna use Bigfoot, this most classic human boogie man, to finally accomplish something useful: teach people how to think critically about such claims. Thanks so much Phillip. Wouldn't have done it without you. You provide the lemons, we'll make them into lovely lemonade.

"He who cannot reason is defenseless; he who fears to reason has a coward mind; he who will not reason is willing to be deceived and will deceive all who listen to him."

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 9, 2012

Last edited by fayfreethinker on Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread

Postby fayfreethinker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:42 pm

PH: "I'm not wasting my bandwidth replying...">>

Of course not. On a battlefield of ideas, it would require some effort and mettle to stand up and provide reasons to believe. Just what you have lacked from the beginning. You should have stopped digging some time ago. Now your in the muck and it doesn't look good on you.

PH: "I'll be forwarding the offer to Bigfoot sites all over North America,...">>

Please do. And my thanks in advance.

PH: "I'm studying... and have discovered some startling information...">>

But to discover information, would require some skills in discernment and the ability to identify accurate information, from deep nonsense. This is not your forte'.

So then, Phillip, not sleeping well perhaps, gets up at 4ish in the morning to see if he can possibly find anything nastier to throw. And low and behold, the internet provides. Imagine how angry Phillip is with me for not believing in Bigfoot, and then consider how mad psychics have been with Randi for not believing in their super powers for half a century. And to even say it on the TV in front of everyone! That's just rude. Dogmatic!

PH: "[quote] "Randi has been involved in a number of lawsuits.">>

Indeed, and as Randi notes, the outcome of those efforts have resulted in:
"I never paid even one dollar or even one cent to anyone who ever sued me." ... ne.html#i6

Seems to me that if these charges had any merit, he would have lost in court and had to pay. Those who have sued him, repeatedly, can't say the same:

"Geller was ordered to pay substantial damages to CSICOP" --Randi's wiki

So then Phillip, now more furious, reaches for the most base of insults. We are to believe a good reason to dislike Randi is that he is gay (a fact publicly acknowledged for years, he's been with the same individual for decades). Perhaps if Randi was of a different color, Phillip would stoop to using that too.


This is all old, well worn baseless smear. Phillip treats us get some cut and paste from David Icke. Should David Icke be considered a credible source? I was just helping someone out on Facebook the other day regarding him, so I'll just quote it (standard information carefullly referenced at Icke's wiki blurb):

"David Icke thinks cancer is a fungus, and believes "reptilians from the constellation Draco, who walk on two legs and appear human, live in tunnels and caverns inside the earth." He gets this based upon nonsense from another crack pot, Zecharia Sitchin. Icke believes these alien reptiles, from a 4th dimension interbred with humans and that...

"43 American presidents and the Queen Mother, who he wrote in 2001 was "seriously reptilian." All have taken part in Satanic rituals, paedophilia, kidnapping of children, drug parties and murder, needed to satisfy their reptilian blood lust, which allows them to retain their temporary human form."

I could go on but it's not nice to make fun of the mentally ill. David Icke is probably ill and people who take him seriously should get their heads examined, or at least do a little investigating into who they are citing. People with rudimentary discernment do not cite David Icke or Alex Jones as reliable sources of information *on anything.*"

It's probably best that Phillip isn't going to waste anymore "bandwidth replying" to people who can conduct conversation as adults. His behavior has become embarrassing. I'm a little surprised he can find any deceased individuals that can stand his company.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 10, 2012

SPA: "Vancouver [experience]... more of a coincidence than a real psi...">>

How do you know? How dare you denigrate my special super experience (just kidding). When PSI it isn't vague and subjective it can be tested. When it's tested, it fails. Maybe PSI only works when skeptics aren't looking. Doubtful.

SPA: "interested to hear one of your psi experiences.">>

Not interested in swapping two decade old anecdotes.

SPA: "neither of us is going to change the other's minds...">>

I'll change my mind if someone provides good reasons. Faith, by definition, is not a good reason. If it was, it wouldn't be faith. Sometimes I ask religious people what the word faith means. They usually don't know. It's quite amazing how effective the indoctrination has been.

SPA: "It's the subject matter I am most interested in.">>

I was happy to read endless stories and reports but always wondered where the beef was. Why can't these people convince those outside of the New Age community if these things are occurring? Then I learned how people trick themselves into thinking there is beef, when there is no beef. One main method is to lower the bar and appeal to faith as a reason to believe.

SPA: "There are many unexplained phenomenon.">>

Of course. But this doesn't suggest we should make up and assume an answer where there isn't one and then believe it by faith. And attributing something to "magic," is never an explanation.

SPA: "How would you define real psychic ability?">>

A psychic doing what they claim to be able to do, better than chance, and under proper observing conditions which attempt to rule out cheating and self-deception.

Someone familiar with this field should have some knowledge of at *least* the following errors and pitfalls to avoid:

"optional starting and stopping; shotgunning; sensory leakage; experimenter effect; not giving the null hypothesis a chance; displacement, analytical and associative overlay, psi-conducive state, psi-missing, psi-focus assumption, cold reading and subjective validation; selective thinking and confirmation bias; shoehorning, retrospective clairvoyance, and retrospective falsification; self-deception;"

Ms Blackmore could give a half hour lecture, on the spot, on each of these. I am familiar with most of them, and others not in this list. How many are you familiar with? Each of these are explained at a link I provided on the April 2 above:

Study, is hard. Appealing to faith, is easy, and lazy.

SPA: "if one believes that one is psychic,... then they are not a sham or faker?">>

I'm not interested in motives. I am interested in whether there are good reasons to believe claims are true. People have lots of complex reasons for holding entirely false beliefs. About 45% of the US believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old. That they believe this by faith, doesn't change that they are wrong.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 10, 2012

Alpha to PH: 'There are some 20,000 posts on the fayfreethinkers site. Did you check all of them?">>

There really isn't much on the forum about PSI. It's kind of like UFO's as an issue, it's on life support. After so long with nothing to show for it, there just isn't anything very interesting to anyone looking beyond stories and anecdotes. A year and a half a ago "Darrel" posted the following:

"This will be interesting to watch... new study suggesting precognition works:

"In case you missed it, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a flagship APA journal, published a study by Daryl Bem containing evidence for psi (precognition)... " ... 803#p22803

Then what? A year and half later (March 2012), we get peer review, further testing and a follow up to see what happened:

"In Nov, 2010 I pointed out it would be interesting to watch and see how his claim about psychic ability, supposedly confirmed in the laboratory, held up. Results are in.

"Psychic ability claim doesn't fly in new experiments
Research refutes study published in psychological journal last year"

A very excellent and thorough report: ... the_future

If the report had been that it had been confirmed, that would have been posted instead. Being fearless about accepting truth wherever it leads, is quite refreshing. It shouldn't be feared. The notion that we should throw out discernment, or lower the bar to let comforting pet ideas through or look to faith as a reason to believe things, is rather bizarre. It is very popular.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 10, 2012

SPA: " I *still* see you as dogmatic,">>

Of course you do. Perhaps you believe it by faith.

SPA: "a "freethinker" does not...">>

Best to not get too hung up on labels, and putting things in boxes. It's just a label.

SPA: "Thinking *freely* would allow one to consider and include any and all possible explanations...">>

An "explanation" by definition, has "explanatory" power. I am open to any explanations.

SPA: "including faith-based ones.">>

"Faith" isn't an explanation. It's only an appealed to when there is a lack of "reason" to believe. That's what the word means.

SPA: "you are dogmatic with freethinking.">>

I think it is better to believe things based upon good reasons rather than no reasons or poor reasons. Faith is, by definition, believing without good reasons. That's what the word means.

faith n.
1. unquestioning belief that does not require proof or evidence
2. unquestioning belief in God, religious tenets, etc.

People go to great trouble to convince themselves that believing things without good reasons is the way to go. I think it's better to have good reasons. I hope that's not too harsh.

SPA: "arrogance and narcissism">>

You can create derogatory labels and attributes to throw, but unless you can back them up with something, it's really not useful. I haven't the slightest interest in whether you or I are arrogant or narcissistic, or not. I care if you can support your claims with something beyond opinion and assertion.

SPA: "freethinking... cannot accomodate faith-based knowledge.">>

Right. "Knowledge" based upon a lack of "evidence." Freethinkers generally believe it is better to have good reasons to believe claims, rather than not have good, or any, reasons to believe claims. It's not clear why anyone would think otherwise. Perhaps you can explain why it would be better to think otherwise.

"I'm so skeptical I can hardly believe it!" --Chip Denman

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 10, 2012
SPA: " the Ozark UFO Conference is in Eureka Springs this weekend....">>

I've been a couple times. We tried to get a Freethinker table there once which would have had a bit of a skeptical bent (one of our founders is a leading member of a local MUFON group), but a non-supportive, skeptical table, was not allowed. Understandable I suppose, and certainly their right to not spoil the mood.

Those who have gone before may have been able to examine the "hard evidence" with the Bob White object. See:

Since about 1985 this has been an interesting artifact with an interesting story. I've held it myself and talked to him (he died in 2009).

It's now been discovered exactly what it is. We had a presentation at our Freethinker meeting on this a couple months ago based upon this article:

"Did this mysterious artifact actually fall from a UFO as Bob White claimed?

In this week’s eSkeptic, Skeptic co-founder Pat Linse is contacted by an expert who has the expertise to solve the mystery of Bob White’s UFO artifact—an object which has long baffled both the public and the scientists who examined it."

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 10, 2012

Let it be known.

The sworn signed affidavit demonstrating the legitimacy and binding legal nature my offer to provide a house in Fayetteville as a reward for bringing in Bigfoot, is now posted here, as promised: viewtopic.php?p=25259#p25259

Bring me Bigfoot, I'll give you my house.

I don't make claims I can't back up.

I don't make offers I will not fulfill.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 11, 2012
SPA: "I didn’t "create derogatory labels and attributes to throw.”

Yes you did.

SPA: "Narcissism is a Personality Disorder">>

If you are unaware that narcissism is a derogatory label, then we will have to add that word to the list of other words you are having trouble with.

I have no interest in talking about myself. None whatsoever. Zero. I am only interested in talking about these ideas. Your attempt avoid that by distracting with irrelevant personal abuse will be ignored as irrelevant ad hominem.

SPA: "As a mental health professional,>>

I am glad you have an area of expertise. This will help you understand a point I will make in a moment.

SPA: Freethinkers... unwilling to accept that faith based knowledge,">>

You say "faith based knowledge" as if that means something. At best it is question begging, at worst it is gibberish. To refer to something as "knowledge" suggests we have some "reason" to believe something as factual or true. Faith, by definition, is not a reason. If it was a reason, it wouldn't be faith. It is specifically a lack of a reason.

When you went to medical school did they have a part that went:

"Okay class, no we will be doing the Faith Based Knowledge part of the curriculum. This is where we will repair bone fractures by waving our hands, doing a little dance and shaking sticks in the direction of the patient."

If you went to the right school (and you may not have) then you weren't trained in that way because we have very good reasons for understanding why those methods do nothing.

SPA: "[faith...] different from scientific based knowledge,">>

Indeed it is. Science based knowledge has reasons for it's claims. Faith based "knowledge," does not. Guess which one gets results and which one does not?

SPA: "just as valid in some instances...or more valid,">>

Then you won't have any trouble providing an example of a "faith based" claim getting objective facts about the world correct more often than "science based" claims.

SPA: " can know things without having the facts to back it up with psi,">>

There is no reason whatsoever to believe that assertion and very good reasons not to. And appealing to faith is not a reason (never mind a good reason), by definition. For you to be aware of these reasons you would need to gather the courage to set aside fluffy books filled with stories that tickle your ears and reinforce comforting beliefs, and pick up some of the substantive material done on these issues by experts. Until you do that, you are going are not going to be able to talk about these issues beyond anecdotes which don't accomplish anything.

SPA: "Some faith-based thinkers [think] that only faith-based knowledge is valuable.">>

Look in your mental disorder book for that one. It's absolutely there. As one fellow put it about 140 years ago: "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." --Nietzsche

SPA: "Zealotry and dogmatism lie at the extremes;... "moderates..." don’t manifest “zealotry”,...">>

You are just trying a new substitute for "dogmatism" which didn't work for you either.

An example:
If a friend of yours and a known epileptic collapses and has a seizure while in a group with you, and some "faith based knowledge" person comes up and declares the person has a demon and says we should begin beating them to get the demon out, you would probably point out, that no, we have good reason to understand it is epilepsy, not a demon.

And that you would speak about this issue with some "confidence and competency," as opposed to the superstitious person, doesn't mean your are being dogmatic. It may just be that you know what the hell you are talking about. You may even be zealous in your defense of your science based beliefs. Hopefully. Here's what happens when you aren't:

Another example:
Suppose someone goes to a meteorology convention and begins telling the experts that there is a more "simple and elegant solution" to the rain question: It's angel tears. That the response would be given zealously and with some "confidence and competency," would not make it in any way inappropriately "dogmatic." We've considered the faith based "angel tears" hypothesis and found it to be vapid, worthless and wrong.

Regarding: "Maybe PSI only works when skeptics aren't looking."
SPA: "I'm sure you're aware of the phenomenon that when observing an experiment, the behavior of a particle will change,">>

a) People aren't particles.
b) Don't conflate quantum phenomenon with classical. They are not the same.

SPA: "Actually, it's likely, [only works when skeptics aren't looking].">>

Why is it likely? You give no reason. Is this a "Faith Based Knowledge" you have? Saying something works, but can't work when tested or observed, is just a transparent attempt to construct an unfalsifiable claim. A Sagan Dragon. Worthless.

SPA: "How are we to believe that you have actually really had an unusual experience yourself?">>
Everyone has unusual experiences. I gave you an example of one. Anecdotes are fun but they have no calories. When you get tired of "just so stories of woo," reach for the adult stuff. If PSI is demonstrated (and it may be, I have nothing against the notion) to anyone outside of gullible groups passing around anecdotes, it will be done by skeptics and scientists. Because they are the only ones checking to make sure they aren't fooling themselves.


SPA: "Some folks probably do go on faith.">>


SPA: "Others just remain open-minded, and accept that "more will be revealed",>>

That's me. Open minded and open to anything being revealed. But I no longer fall for the obviously false stuff. Not by a long shot and for good reasons. I don't discard that which has already been revealed. If you want to learn about what has been revealed through exhaustive and careful study over nigh a century by people who have worked their bottoms off and went to the trouble to become experts on these matters, pick up something introductory such as a magazine like "Skeptic" or "Skeptical Inquirer." Something that doesn't tell you and reinforce what you want to believe.

In 1990 I accidentally ordered a skeptical book that I thought was comfortable New Age stuff. I still have it. Here it is:

When I saw that it talked about these subjects, and my beliefs, skeptically, even ridiculed them, I put it on the shelf. And then it bugged me. Why was I afraid to read this book and consider what it said? I don't know if it was months or a year later, but my cowardice bothered me like an itch. So I read it. And finally, instead of anecdotes, I had substance, footnotes, people knowing what they are talking about. That was a baby step. Once you know how the magic trick is done, you can't go back to not knowing. Sometimes I tell others how the trick is done. Rude!

SPA: "some folks are not comfortable with shades of gray.">>

There is lots of gray, and I am entirely comfortable with the vast areas of gray, and completely black too. But this doesn't mean we should denigrate or throw out that which we do know. And to be aware of what we do know, takes work. Fortunately, most of it has been done for you. All you have to do is have the courage to get informed about it.

FFT [said]: " I am familiar with most of them, and others not in this list. How many are you familiar with?>>

SPA: " gave a nice list of criteria for evaluating psi,">>

Again, how many of these are you familiar with?

SPA: "What would make you go "WOW, that's awesome and I can't explain it?">>

I did answer this, directly. Again: "A psychic doing what they claim to be able to do, better than chance, and under proper observing conditions which attempt to rule out cheating and self-deception."

Anything less, is prone to self-deception and wishful thinking. I openly offer the opportunity for psychics to be able to do what they claim to be able to do, and I will pay them or a charity if they can. In fact, we'll be doing a very public test, which you can participate in while at home, on Sunday 22. Details to follow.


Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 11, 2012 ... 8/#c117062
SPA: "examining psi it... What knocked your socks off...">>

Nothing. It's just piles of anecdotes. When I was young I was naive and didn't how often people lie, are mistaken, or not interested in believing things because they are true but rather because they provide emotional comfort. I want to know what is really true. If PSI is true, I want to believe that. It probably isn't true.

SPA: "the folks you know...they must be fakers or scammers, by your point of view.">>

No, they can be completely sincere and incorrect. It's very common.


20 years ago my wife went to some Halloween function as a tarot card reader. She knew a bit about it, had a little table and did several readings. She did extraordinarily well. People said she was very good and accurate. Should go pro! Why she was "very accurate" is very well understood. We didn't know that then, now we do. If you are using super powers to do "psychic readings" (and all of it's variations), you are doing it the hard way. Here's the easy way, all on one page: "Learn to be Psychic in Ten Easy Lessons" ... ... essons.pdf

SPA: "I can understand why the Ozark UFO Conference wouldn't want a non-supportive, skeptical table there.">>

I understand too.

SPA: "sort of analogous to allowing an anti-choice group outside an abortion clinic with signs, etc">>

Not really. I knew Doctor Harrison who recently died, and he would say protesting is certainly a right. Screaming at clients, vandalizing, taking numbers, intimidating clients, throwing buckets of urine on people, bombing buildings, and in the case of a close friend of Dr. Harrison, murdering him in church, is more the concern with the anti-choice crowd.

If the UFO people (Gawd love them, I am glad they have this novelty convention) were secure in their beliefs, they wouldn't be intimidated by two skeptics sitting at a table with some books and handouts that look at their claims from a relevant, yet different point of view.

When we chatted with Bob White with the "hard evidence" we were very polite. I very much doubt that he even knew we were skeptics. We asked questions but we didn't challenge any of them. It is an interesting object, but it's not extraterrestrial.

SPA: "The Day After Roswell",>>

It was reading about how incredibly weak the Roswell case is (and this is supposed to be a strong one) that made me completely give up on the whole UFO category entirely. I started on that category in about 1977. I haven't been able to take it seriously for 20 years. Even the skeptical stuff is of no interest to me. I did get dragged to a local MUFON meeting. They were passing around 20 copies of a photocopy of one picture that looked like Venus. After 45 minutes of that I asked if anyone checked to see where Venus was that day. They weren't impressed. I wasn't impressed either. The UFO category is on life-support.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 11, 2012

Having been given, as requested, an iron clad legally binding document, does Phillip admit that his charge that my offer is "fraudulent and dishonest" is false? Of course he doesn't. Phillip is not an honest person. I'll help him with relevant questions:

PH: 1.) The "principal" is anonymous and doesn't refer to any descriptions of the property to verify its condition.">>

It's currently occupied, rent is $550, has attached enclosed garage, is on .75 of an acre, I've owned it since 1996. Approximate realistic value (slightly depressed right now) is $80k.

PH: "there's nothing stopping him from assigning the legal rights of the principal to a hobo">>

I like the rent too much. Keep spinning.

PH: "FFT would hate to go back to chewing on shoe leather">>

FFT has several houses. Would you like blue or tan? Stop waffling. Bring me Bigfoot.

PH: 2.) The affidavit requires the DNA be tested at a laboratory of the principal's choosing.">>

Right. Bigfoot's R'us, doesn't get it.

Did anyone think Phillip would be happy with this confirmation showing his smear was wrong? Surely not.

PH: 3.) The claimant must bring in a body at least the approximate size and stature of a human.">>

Right. Why are you wasting precious hunting time? Go get him. Get a house. It's out of my hands.

PH :4.) The claimant is responsible for all legal fees,">>

Read for comprehension. Only if they don't really have a Bigfoot and are just wasting time with nonsense.

PH: "This is what James Randi does">>

Indeed it is. He backs up his offers/agreements with legally binding clarity. That's why of all of the 100's of people that have been tested no one has ever sued (certainly successfully) for having done what they said they could do, and not getting the prize.
No one has even made it past the preliminary basic testing phase.

PH: "he denies all evidence as valid,">>

The evidence you need here is Bigfoot. Everyone knows what that is. Stop making pathetic excuses. It's embarrassing.

PH: "Darrel" has his picture posted on the fft website...">>

That's nice. And *I* have my picture posted right here in front of you. That's me, in the picture.

PH: "I'd deny any publicity rights to the principal,">>

Actually, he forgot to put the bit in about me getting to keep the Bigfoot. Oh well. It's not likely to make a difference.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 11, 2012
PH: "I sent that freakthinker's...">>

If Phillip was an honest, thoughtful person with a good case to make for anything, he wouldn't have to resort to such childish name calling. But it is an interesting lesson in itself. The notion that requiring good reasons for believing things, would be considered "freak" but believing outlandish claims for no good reasons at all, is to Phillip, just fine.

PH: "bogus offer">>

Phillip shows he still can't accept the simple reality that the offer is legitimate. More denial of reality. Perhaps SPA can look this up in his book and describe the disorder? Best not to. That would be rude.

PH: "[sent it] to Bigfoot websites all over USA and Canada.">>

And I thank you. I see Skeptic Money, a fairly busy site, has picked it up: ... ree-house/

The more the better.

PH: "I also sent it to CoasttoCoastAm">>

Now there is a show with some discernment. The nice thing is, the freethinker forum shows hits so we can watch the traffic. Right now it's 45. One thread, started there due to a discussion on this forum, went to 5,000 in about a month. Now it's over 6k: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6610

PH: "link to this thread so people can see what type of person they're dealing with.">>

An honest person that puts their house where the mouth is. Don't you wish you could stand behind your claims like that? I wish you could.

PH: "huge increase in web traffic would probably exceed... bandwidth.">>

Poor Phillip, doesn't know much about computer or our bandwidth, but that doesn't stop him from going on about it.

PH: [freethinkers] minimal bandwidth limits and cost them a fortune">>

Pssst... I'll tell you a secret Phillip... The Fayetteville Freethinkers pay $7 a month for web service and of the 100,000GB available to us for "traffic," (I just checked) we currently are using .0021% of that. I think we'll be okay. You've over estimated your abilities, again.

Now get off yer Bigbutt and get a Bigfoot.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 11, 2012

SPA: "narcissism" is not a derogatory label. It's a clinical diagnosis.">>

So is "insanity." Is "insane" a derogatory label SPA?

Again, I haven't the *slightest* interest in talking about myself in any way shape or form. Stop trying to make this personal or about me for the explicit purpose of derailing a discussion of *ideas* with nothing but a transparent, lame, irrelevant, personal attack.

You are not your ideas. Your ideas are different than you. When someone attacks ideas, they are not attacking you, they are attacking the ideas. A distinct and important difference.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 11, 2012
PH: "Dolores Cannon is going to speak, I'm curious to know what her latest information is.">>

I've met her, bought a book, and paid ("donation" of course) to be in a discussion group with her. It was about 1991. She channels and writes books. At that time she was quite into talking to Nostradamus. And I mean that literally. When she would talk to Nostradamus, through his mirror I think, it was/is in real time for both of them. Nostradamus, in 1500 [whatever] time would be talking to her, in the future, right now, through his mirror, in realtime. It's a nifty idea.

It's probably not true.

I remember a specific prediction from her at that meeting. Most of these are all vague like a Nostradamus quatrain of course, but there was this specific one and I made a mental note to watch and see if it would come true.

Just getting my skeptic legs, I was interested in testing claims to see if they are true (rude!).

She said if a democrat was elected president in the next election (this was pre-Clinton), the US would quickly be engulfed in a major war. Well, considering the US habit for doing that sort of thing, this should have had a good chance of being fulfilled. It wasn't. If anyone would like to see how accurate the predictions of psychic claims about the future are, just buy one of their older books and see. They don't have a long shelf life.

"It does not pay a prophet to be too specific." --L. Sprague de Camp.

PH: "I never claimed I would produce a Bigfoot.">>

And no one claimed you did. SPA sets up the strawman, you give it poke. You do claim to be able to view them with super powers. And you did claim this offer was "fraudulent and dishonest." It isn't.

PH: "Cryptomundo">>

So Cryptomumdo puts up our offer of a house in livable condition (certainly a legalistic term), and then posts a bunch of pictures of houses not in livable condition. That makes sense.

If I can find an old picture that doesn't reveal too much, I may post it. Reasonable people will understand that I can't risk having people, slightly vicious and angry with a clear and demonstrated tenuous grasp on reality harassing my renter with nonsense.

The forum thread has 69 views as of now... vie...

I do believe we are going to have to upgrade to the fancy plan to deal with that kind of traffic. Maybe people are bored with Bigfoot.

"What the populace learned to believe without reasons, who could refute it then by means of reasons?" --Nietzsche

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 12, 2012

Coralie, I first learned of this interesting entrainment question about 12 years ago (from a Deepak Chopra book!), and talked to a physicist about it back then. It's curious but there isn't anything spooky about it. I talked to two more physicists from the U of A in the last two days. Neither one is interested in doing a presentation on it and they were unaware of why some of the New Age folks (like Chopra, not you), are trying to use it as a gap in knowledge and reason to believe in "woo." They think it would either be too technical and/or not of interest to a general audience.

The effect with clocks is a straightforward linear acoustic effect, as your link suggested, and with regard to lasers, well... the physicist quickly lost me when explaining that part.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 12, 2012
There is not going to be enough sugar in the sugar bowl to make this palatable.

COR: "I never claimed there was anything "spooky" about entrainment or that there is anything "spooky" about psi phenomena in general.">>

You are trying to define PSI into being a valid category of established science. Contrary to what Dean Radin says, it isn't. Not by a long shot. You said:

"Back to looking for a possible scientific hypothesis for at least some psi phenomenon--because FFT said no hypothesis exists. Now look at ENTRAINMENT."

What does PSI mean? Note:

"Traditionally the term [PSI] has had two sub-categories"
Psi-Gamma - Pertaining to paranormal cognition (ESP, remote viewing, etc.)
Psi-Kappa - Pertaining to paranormal action (psychokinesis, etc.)" ... ogy%29%22;

You think it's inappropriate to call that "spooky," and you would like to shoehorn all of that into science? That is to completely torture language. If the "paranormal" could be shown to exist, and it hasn't been, it would't be "paranormal" any more, it would be included into the "normal" category (just as if "alternative medicine," was evidence based, it would be included into normal, evidence based medicine). That's not happened. Radin is passing along sophisticated New Age claims and plainly making stuff up. This is very easy to show.

COR: " whole point here has been that that telepathy, at least, is a natural ability that is shared with other living things.">>

I know of no reasons, not one, to believe that. Contrary to what Mr. Dean Radin has claims, all of the science is against the position that telepathy occurs. Mr. Radin is not that far from Deepak Chopra and he is plainly wrong. He works at the "Institute of Noetic Sciences." I am glad they are there, poking around at the fringes of science, but it's a bit of a New Age camp. They are using the word science in a special way, at best.

COR: "a connection between entrainment and telepathy.">>

I don't know that Deepak claims it has anything to do with "telepathy," but according to the physicists I have talked to, who have specific *expertise* in this field (because it's their field), say entrainment has nothing whatsoever to do with PSI, paranorma, supernatural or whatever label of metaphysics you are trying to put it into (just as Deepak incorrectly does).


COR: "There is good scientific evidence,... that women who live in groups tend to sychronize their menstrual periods.">>

This was never a PSI claim (it was attributed to hormonal exchanges as I remember) but we now have extensive analysis of this idea (which started around 1971), which has found major flaws in the early studies. Note:

"H. Clyde Wilson of the University of Missouri analyzed the research and data collection methods McClintock and others used in their studies. He found significant errors in the researchers' mathematical calculations and data collection as well as an error in how the researchers defined synchrony. Wilson's clinical research and his critical reviews of existing research, including the suggestion that pheromones can trigger synchrony in humans,[10] demonstrated that when the studies are corrected for such errors, the evidence for menstrual synchrony disappears.[11] --Wilson HC (1992). "A critical review of menstrual synchrony research". Psychoneuroendocrinology

COR: "If that is happening at an entirely unconscious level, why could they not be influencing each other's dreams?">>

I see no connection at all between brain activity and a hypothesis of hormonal exchange and the "menstrual synchrony' claims (which were not PSI anyway) are now known to be highly dubious at best.

COR: "...personal experiences persuade me that my dreams can be influenced by outside events and other people.">>

The argument from personal religious experience, is very persuasive to the person having the experience, but not to others who often have completely contradictory experiences. We have 1 billion Muslims who expect 1 billion Christians to be roasting in their Muslim hell. And vice versa. That's a lot of "personal experience." The Christians and Muslims can't both be right, but they can both be wrong.

No one can speak to past personal anecdotes, which are immune to inspection. It doesn't make them wrong, it just doesn't mean they are useful to verify claims, which in this case, are extraordinary and need at least ordinary evidence in their favor.

COR: [quote] "scientism claims that science alone can render truth about the world and reality.">>

Then I don't agree with "scientism" (or much else this ranting anonymous definition).

COR: "Some scientists do take psi phenomena seriously:"

Not the good ones. I can point out several plain howlers in this Dean Radin link, if you're interested (and you probably aren't) and he is plainly making things up with his Sagan quotes, as is demonstrated in this careful and extensive this review of his book:

A very small percentage of scientists, even biologists, are creationists, even young earth creationists. What matters is if they can convince their peers of their claims. Creationists can't, and Dean Radin can't, and the peddlers of paranormal, can't.

COR: ... -phenomena

Coralie, that is the "Bem" study in the Psychology Today article I referred to above on Tuesday. See: ... 8/#c116739

When these claims came out, in Nov 2010, in a respected journal, they were posted in our forum with the comment: "This will be interesting to watch... new study suggesting precognition works"

Then, a year and a half later, it was followed up with the peer review. The Bem study was *absolutely,* completely, utterly, roasted to a crisp. It has been shown to be complete *rubbish.* If you don't read any of the links I give you, read this extremely thorough examination of the Bem study's claims. ... the_future

If you have trouble with that online version (there seems to be a formatting problem with the picture and text) I will print out the article from my issue of the magazine and deliver it to you. Bem's claims were interesting and provocative but upon review, there is nothing left of them. He was exceedingly sloppy, incompetent and wrong. It happens.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 12, 2012 ... 8/#c117335

Last edited by fayfreethinker on Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread

Postby fayfreethinker » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:56 pm

PH: "overwhelm any discussion with volumes of irrelevant or contrived arguments and facts.">>

It's mainly those "facts" that are giving you fits. A concern about irrelevancy from a person who is reduced to putting a full post together about "website traffic," and still manages to get it 100% wrong. This'll be quick.

PH: "It's obvious FFT doesn't know the difference between "traffic" and "storage space.">>

I specifically quoted the "traffic" statistic and not the "storage" statistic, as I clearly stated. These are two different things. We use a tiny percentage if either.

PH: "trying to ridicule my observation that a huge increase in web traffic will force him to pay extra fees to accommodate the added bandwidth">>

Trying? There's no need to try to ridicule your observation, it's ludicrous on its face. If your campaign (which I have encouraged from the beginning) to draw attention to that thread and it's offer of a house, was even moderately successful, we should see perhaps 150 views per hour, over several days. Thus it would have a few thousand views by now. This wouldn't remotely be a problem, but it would at least be mildly interesting.

It's had 124 views in two days. That's a real traffic jammer! We'll have to upgrade to the $12 plan. But where are we gonna find a "fortune" like $12?

That paltry number is easily attributable to Skeptic Money and a couple plugs on Facebook. Very little to do with your efforts (not that we don't appreciate your attempt to swamp our system with True Believers). It just seems there aren't that many people that take your Bigfoot seriously any more. These are people that realize "Harry and the Hendersons" wasn't a documentary.

The thread will get a little bump when a note goes out to the 430+ people on our list. Thanks again for being the stimulus for this interesting opportunity to get people thinking about why it's *extremely* unlikely that there is, or ever was, a Bigfoot.

New psychic test details and offer to follow in a few days.

"...the huge increase in web traffic would probably exceed the freakthinkers(sic) minimal bandwidth limits and cost them a fortune in added hosting fees! Oh well, too late now. He said it was fine with him if I did it." --Phillip, April 11, 2012 at 9:27 p.m.

Might be an idea to avoid this bandwidth issue...

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 13, 2012

Coralie says she doesn't want to debate with me, but clearly she does. Okay.

COR: "I wasn't giving those two links as backing for my own ideas...">>

Your own idea is that PSI exists, and that the people at those links support your belief. I directly addressed their claims. If you would like to go into great detail on Mr. Radin, lets.

COR: [gave them] only as evidence that psi could be subjected to experiment.">>

Safe to say if you had known the Bem study had been debunked, you wouldn't have reached for it. As you reach for things to validate your personal PSI experiences, you will want to not use that example, or these others.

COR: "trying to work toward an hypothesis to explain my own experiences.">>

Of course. And I have simply responded directly to your the lines of evidence you have put forward. And you ignore completely the most obvious and basic reason given from the beginning. That is, misapprehension, misunderstanding, selective cognitive biased reporting of the event in the first place.

COR: "[I'm] Actually thinking, not spewing out my ideological position.">>

Your comments aren't one penny less an "ideological spew" than anyone else's.

You put forward the notion of "entrainment." I didn't commune with Bigfoot or make something up like our resident clown and "Bigfoot whisperer" would, I got off my butt, got in my car, and drove to the home of a physicist to interview them about your suggestion. This is a person who obtained their doctorate in 1966, so we have some reason to think their half century study of these issues would make their opinion, (unlike yours and mine), somewhat informed. You dismiss this with a handwave because it doesn't comport with what you want to believe about your own personal telepathic abilities. That's not in any sense critical thinking or being open to new information.

COR: "My problem with you,... you always want to debate,">>

I investigate claims and see if they have merit and make no apology for it. In the past we have clashed on matters of homeopathy, 9/11 truther conspiracy claims, quack medicine and now PSI and your telepathy claims. For a person who fancies themselves a critical thinker, as I know you do, it's hard to find an area of fringe supernatural thinking that you don't embrace.

COR: "[debating] necessitates an opponent with a strong position.">>

Then perhaps pick claims with stronger positions. It's easy to debate when you start from a position that is actually true and can be supported. People who start with positions that are very mistaken, should avoid debating about them, unless they are secure enough to accept when they don't hold up to examination.


Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 14, 2012

COR: "So you set me up as a straw man.">>

No I haven't. That would be misrepresenting a claim and then responding to that misrepresentation. I have addressed your claims directly. In support of PSI you have now floated:

1) Connecting telepathy and entrainment... that doesn't work, or even make sense.
2) Bem Study... demolished upon peer review.
3) Menstrual synchrony... not PSI, not relevant and not established upon review.
4) Unsupported vague claims (and distortions) by Mr. Radin.

COR: "I have had the same problem with a couple other men.">>

The problems with these claims have nothing whatsoever to do with gender, but if you wish to blame the failings of these lines of evidence on gender, feel free.

COR: "I am saying that the categories are skewed in the first place.">>

You are using words in nonstandard ways and have from the beginning while trying to define PSI into the natural category.

COR: "some of so-called alternative medicine has been and is being incorporated into conventional... The result is often called "complementary medicine."

No, peddlers of foo foo medicine have attempted to get their non-evidence based medicine into the category of evidence based medicine without the evidence part. Learn all about this here:

The money shot:
Click "here" to see a list of the kinds of things that are being studied in the name of CAM.
Click "here" to see a list of ALL clinical trials supported by NCCAM.

They have nothing. This is a politics driven boondoggle. For example:

And: "Mielczarek and Engler[14] examined the grants and awards funded by NCCAM from 2000 to 2011, which cost a total of $1.3 billion. Their study showed no discoveries in complementary and alternative medicine that would justify the existence of this center. They argued that, after 20 years and an expenditure of $20 billion, the failure of NCCAM is evidenced by the lack of publications and the failure to report clinical trials in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals. They recommended NCCAM be defunded or abolished, and the concepts of funding alternative medicine be discontinued." ... e_Medicine

$20 billion bucks and goose egg to show for it.

See also: “Measuring Mythology: Startling Concepts in NCCAM Grants” co-authored by Eugenie V. Mielczarek and recently published in the January/February 2012 issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine.


COR: "FFT seems to scorn any type of personal experience.">>

No, I just point out that appeals to "personal experience" are immune from verification. You know this is true, because you necessarily dismiss the appeals to personal experience that contradict your own (examples upon request).

COR: "Only that which has been subjected to a double-blind experiment has validity.">>

I never claimed that. Now who's making up strawmen? That would be you.

COR: Without [personal experience], I don't know how one can put one foot in front of another.">>

The cause and effect of putting one foot in front of another is a mundane ordinary claim with rock solid evidence and thus a *complete* dis-analogy to your claims of telepathic, PSI, abilities.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 14, 2012
Well played AlphaCat.

As anyone can see for themselves, as Phillip desperately reaches out now to smear this local professor he can't even be trusted to quote his wiki page accurately.

Phillip is furious and reduced to attacking people he doesn't know and have not participated in this discussion. This is behavior he has displayed from the beginning.

RE: " organization dedicated to debunking Biblical teachings."

Actually, as clearly stated on the website:

"Who are the Fayetteville Freethinkers?

We are a group of citizens who are bringing our talents together to promote freethought. We are concerned about the level of gullibility, intellectual carelessness, and intolerance of dissenting views often displayed in our society in matters related to the supernatural and the occult. We promote a healthy level of skepticism about religion and all other supernatural claims.

What do the Fayetteville Freethinkers do?

Promote the scientific method and science education.
Promote up-to-date, scholarly, information about the Bible."

So the claim "dedicated to debunking Biblical(sic) teachings" is not true at all. Promoting "up-to-date, scholarly, information about the Bible," is true.

If Phillip can stop playing remote view peek-a-boo with Bigfoot for a bit, perhaps he can attempt to show something the freethinkers publish about the Bible that is inaccurate and/or not inline with standard mainstream Bible scholarship taught in every major university in America, as well as every major theological seminary that is independent of fundamentalist Christian financial pressure. To do that, he might have to learn something about the Bible in the first place (we offer free Bible studies).

I wish him Godspeed.

"There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably, some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he does not dare face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not real, he becomes furious when they are disputed." --Bertrand Russell

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 14, 2012
PH: "His own words quoted above prove the material on his site attempt to debunk Biblical teachings.">>

You forgot the part about showing anything I said that "debunk Biblical(sic) teachings."

Take care to not beg any questions as you try to make this point (if you don't know what the fallacy of "question begging" is, wiki has a nice write up).

Everything I say in your excerpt (or ever say about the Bible when being serious), is perfectly inline with standard mainstream Bible scholarship. I don't hold any beliefs about the Bible that aren't supported by standard mainstream peer-reviewed Bible scholarship taught in every non-fundamentalist university in the nation.

Course, for you to know anything about that, you would need to knowing something about the subject you are attempting to go on about. And that would certainly set a new precedent for you.

"One of the most amazing and perplexing features of mainstream Christianity is that seminarians who learn the historical-critical method in their Bible classes appear to forget all about it when it comes time for them to be pastors. They are taught critical approaches to Scripture, they learn about the discrepancies and contradictions, they discover all sorts of historical errors and mistakes, they come to realize that it is difficult to know whether Moses existed or what Jesus actually said and did, they find that there are other books that were at one time considered canonical but that ultimately did not become part of Scripture (for example, other Gospels and Apocalypses), they come to recognize that a good number of the books of the Bible are pseudonymous (for example, written in the name of an apostle by someone else), that in fact we don't have the original copies of any of the biblical books but only copies made centuries later, all of which have been altered. They learn all of this, and yet when they enter church ministry they appear to put it back on the shelf. For reasons I will explore in the conclusion, pastors are, as a rule, reluctant to teach what they learned about the Bible in seminary."
— Dr. Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible & Why We Don't Know About Them)

ps. Bigfoot forum thread has *five* more views today! Oh my. Servers must be working double time at freethought headquarters.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 14, 2012

PH: "Dr. Krueger, you really shouldn't...">>

Again. While Dr. Krueger has participated on NWAonline before, he has not posted in this thread.

PH: "FFT website is plainly a religious debunker website...">>

Again we see, unable to support your claim, you change it to something else. Boring.

PH: "I was predicting large amounts of **TRAFFIC** not STORAGE SPACE.">>

And you were wrong. Six views now in two days?
From our host:
Traffic: "Summary Traffic of 99999.0 GB limit (since Apr 3, 2012) ... 3.1GB
Storage: Avg: 590.16 of 1999999 MB ... total used: 452.58 MB"

I think the $7 plan is going to suffice. Why do you continuously say things that aren't true and talk about things you have no understanding of? It's not a useful habit.

PH: "I may or may not respond...">>

I have no interest in what you do. I do appreciate you perfectly playing the role of puppet on the knee. Sincerely.

PH: "Now why would godless atheists">>

Lots of freethinkers aren't atheists. We see again, you don't know what you are talking about. On April 1, in this thread you said:
"With arch skeptics, especially when they're a self-proclaimed atheist..."

But no one in this thread has "self-proclaimed" they are an atheist. Why do you find it useful to constantly say things that aren't true?

PH: "[freethinkers] passing out literature to children and young adults?">>

Indeed, we have distributed tens of thousands of tracts over the years and even more via the internet. Accurate honest education is very important.

PH: "They claim to be "free thinkers,">>

Actually, no. In my experience, freethinkers know how to spell the word.

PH: "[they] ridicule [Christianity] such as the Virgin Birth.">>

The majority of NT scholars think the Apostle Paul (who wrote most of the NT) didn't believe in the virgin birth.

Careful readers will remember your complaint (4/6 above) about the Geisler "howler," was that it was pointed out he claimed there was "substantial" historical eyewitness evidence of a "virgin birth" and there was more evidence for that than: "for most events from the ancient world."
As was explained, is absurd.

PH: "Why are they trying to influence children and young adults?">>

The children are the future. Superstition is in decline, we give it a little push.

PH: "Everyone should go to their website at

Please, and thank you.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 15, 2012 ... 8/#c117750


Public Psychic Demonstration

We wish to present an opportunity for the public to view a demonstration of two paranormal phenomena-- telekinesis and clairvoyance-- during our next meeting at the Fayetteville Public Library:

One week from now, on Sunday April 22, the Fayetteville Freethinkers will once again put their money where their mouth is and offer those who claim to have paranormal abilities two opportunities to take a considerable sum of money from us. These tests will be conducted and recorded live in front of an audience of about 60 people.

Telekinesis Test

A ping-pong ball will be placed on a slightly sloped surface under a glass cover. All are invited to come and demonstrate their ability to move this object using only the power of their mind. Touching the table or the glass case is not allowed. A successful participant will receive immediate payment of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) upon moving the ball, as verified visually and by instant replay.

Clairvoyance Test

For those whose psi powers are such that localized skepticism aurae render them useless, we will have a task you can accomplish from the comfort and safety of your home. We will bring to the meeting a small case, sealed and locked, into which two items will have been placed prior to the meeting:
-- an object of some distinctive sort; and
-- a word printed on a card in a large, legible font.
Correctly identify either the word, OR the object and receive an immediate payment of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). Correctly identify both the object AND the word and get an additional four thousand dollars ($4,000.00)-- a total of five thousand dollars.

The case-- loaded, sealed and locked prior to the meeting-- will be placed on the piano on the stage in full view of the audience at the beginning of the meeting. No one will be allowed to touch the piano or the case. If anyone touches the piano or the case at any time, the clairvoyance test will be terminated.

Up to five psychics who wish to participate in this demonstration in person will each be given one attempt to identify the object and the word, in person, at the meeting.

Between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m., up to five participants who attend in person will write down their identifications of the two items. Each pair of identifications submitted constitutes an agreement between the participant and Fayetteville Freethinkers. All identifications must be submitted to the moderator by 3:00 p.m.



Participants in this test who do not wish to attend the meeting may send in their answers, vial email, to between 2:30 P.M. CDT and 3:00 P.M. CDT. No answers will be accepted before 2:30 p.m. or after 3:00 p.m.; the time stamp on each incoming e-mail will be used to determine the submission time. For this test, only the first five entries sent via email will be considered. Each accepted entry sent by e-mail constitutes an agreement between the participant and Fayetteville Freethinkers.

We will check this email account at 3:00 p.m., in full view of the audience, and the first five valid entries sent by e-mail will be made public.

After the participants in attendance have submitted their identifications of the items, and the e-mail account is opened, the five pairs of identifications submitted by e-mail will be projected onto the screen at the front of the room, and the five pairs of identifications submitted in person will be read aloud to the audience. Descriptions will be read verbatim; words will be spelled as in a spelling bee: "Word. W-O-R-D. Word."

At approximately 3:15 p.m., one person yet to be chosen (perhaps randomly from the audience) will open the case in front of any participants present, the audience and the cameras. The two items placed in the case-- the object of some distinctive sort and the word printed on a card in a large, legible font-- will be photodocumented, as will be all pairs of identifications submitted by e-mail and in person.

In case of multiple correct identifications of either the object or the word, or of both, the appropriate award will be split among the participants who made the correct identifications.

Those who wish to participate in either test while appealing to outside experts such as professional psychics (published or not) or spirit beings (living or not) are strongly encouraged to do so.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 15, 2012 at 11:37 a.m. ... 8/#c117761

Isn't it precious how the skeptics know who Phillip [] is (using entirely naturalistic means) but it is Phillip, master of the underworld with mega powers of communication and surveillance extending to "other sides of other universes," who still flails about trying figure out who he is taking to? And he wants to do this only so he can distract from the issues, and digress with furious, irrelevant, personal attacks.

If Phillip wants to hurt the fayfreethinkers and make them eat a really big crow, he needs to dust off his super powers, get involved, and take our ten grand on Sunday. Will he have the courage to even try?

PH: "try a line of work you're good at. Lying isn't one of them.">>

If Phillip is going to throw the charge of lying around, he should have the courtesy of attempting to establish an example.

Speaking for myself, I can say that after several thousand posts on this forum, I have never once lied. By that I mean, stating an intentional falsehood or saying something I know to be false.

Challenge posted here: Psychic Test: FayFreethinkers offer $10,000 reward: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=6699

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 15, 2012


PH: "Doug,... It's a shame your children look so much like you...">>

Now Phillip is reduced to attacking the children of a professor who has not participated in this thread.

Phillip's behavior is now, unfortunately, likely to draw censorship issues by moderators. Since there is some good research here, I am going to archive all of my posts from this thread on our forum where they will remain for all time. Link will be provided.

PH: "Doug asks: [QUOTE:]
"1. Why did Jesus have to die for anyone's sins? If God is sovereign, he could just say, "OK, no one goes to hell for your sins." Instead, he has to take human form and get himself killed in order to take away sins. Why the human sacrifice?...">>

My tax accountant just informed me that instead of having to pay, Uncle Sam is going to send me $4.5k, so I am having a really good day regardless. But if only (if only!) there were a way to some how secretly trick, a peddler of Foo Foo and Woo, to spend time scouring our forum and website and then reproduce, within their very own posts, skeptical religious comments (that the person in question claims to abhor). How could we do that?

And then if only, we could get them to advertise our website, group and materials, and also be the instigation for us to make solid legal agreement on the Bigfoot offer (which they advertise), and then also get us to conduct our first ever psychic test at a meeting!

But what kind of person would be silly enough to do all of that for us? For free? What a blessing that would be.

PH: " the Bible advises this: Proverbs 26:4 -- "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself."

A classic. But Phillip should have read the next verse: "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit."

So when Phillip looks to the Good Book (poetry section admittedly) for the answer of whether he should "answer a fool according to his folly," he gets a flatly contradictory answer.

If Phillip wants to tango on biblical issues, freethinkers will be very pleased to show him how to begin. After all, we are indebted to him for all he's done.

"Who Knows What About Religion

The Pew Forum’s religious knowledge survey included 32 questions about various aspects of religion: the Bible, Christianity, Judaism, Mormonism, world religions, religion in public life, and atheism and agnosticism...

Overall, the three groups that perform best in this survey are atheists and agnostics (who get an average of 20.9 out of 32 questions right), Jews (20.5 questions right on average) and Mormons (20.3 questions right). Looked at another way, 27% of Jews, 22% of atheists and agnostics, and 20% of Mormons score in the top 10% of all respondents in overall number of correct answers to religious knowledge questions, getting at least 26 questions right." ... igion.aspx

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 15, 2012
PH now: "I'm not familiar with telekinesis, it's never been part of my training, but I believe it's possible.">>


PH then: "I have seen objects move, which proves it can be done, but my experience has been that they're generally indisposed to someone trying to make them prove they exist." --Phillip, March 29, this thread, here:

I don't think Phillip is aware of how good my memory is.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 15, 2012 ... 8/#c117793

PH: "That's 100% guaranteed to win because of the faulty assumptions made in the challenge.">>

AlphaC: "Of course no reasons are given, and no examples of faulty assumptions are offered.">>

Well lookie here. Look who has now been converted to skepticism and has become a Born Agin skeptic, and in just a few posts. And with 100% certainty at that!

Phillip now has less belief in these powers than me. I think it is entirely possible someone could do these things, I just think it is extremely unlikely. Phillip, who already claimed he has:

"used psychometry and Remote Viewing to visualize objects and people at a distance..."

And: "I have seen objects move, which proves it can be done,"

Suddenly becomes "100% guaranteed" skeptical that it can not be done when he is given the opportunity to do it, while being handsomely rewarded. I am starting to think Phillip has never had someone actually stand up to his nonsense before. Glad to be his first.

Regarding restraining order silliness, this is almost more silly than 40 year old recordings of animals making noises. If Phillip has a lawyer acquaintance (or he can even call Dr. Klebanoff), he should have them teach him a few things about:

1) Copyright law (and how great deference is given to excerpting claims made in public while providing critical review). Phillip has z-e-r-o protection from having these public comments not excerpted and criticized.

2) How harm or the potential for serious harm (and a few other things) must be shown when signing an affidavit to attempt to get a restraining order. Chatting on a blog isn't going to make it past the laugh test.

3) Arkansas law on frivolous lawsuits. Phillip isn't in California anymore.

I have archived all of my posts from this thread, about 32,000 words here:

where they shall stay until Bigfoot is dragged in, or Jesus returns. Whichever comes first.

ps. The fellow from Cryptomundo (I think) of:

called our attorney to inquire about the legitimacy of the house for Bigfoot reward. I suppose it all went well. Perhaps someone who has bothered to sign up on that site might tell him that further details regarding the house have been posted in the original comment: vie...

If I can find an old picture that doesn't reveal the location, I may post that. Can't have the current occupant being bothered by very very silly people.

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 15, 2012

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Re: Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread archive

Postby Erebos » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:41 am

Due to excessive attacks the Bigfoot thread has been terminated. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Bigfoot Search Illegal, comment thread archive

Postby fayfreethinker » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:47 am

Last one on NWAonline.

PH: "I offered to spend time with FFT showing him, but of course he ignored the offer">>

Now let's try the truth:

"On March 30 you said: "Someday,... I'll show you something that proves you're wrong about talking to 'dead' people."

[FFT] When can we set this up so you can do this and keep your word? Email: [fayfreethinkers @] ... 8/#c115756

The record shows it was Phillip who ignored following up on my prompt acceptance of his offer.

PH: "- it would have proven him wrong.">>

Sure it would have.

Bring in Bigfoot, get the house.
Move the ping-pong ball, get $5k
Discern the word/object, get $5k

Don't like those tests, explain what you can do and under what circumstances. Show how it differs from personal hallucination.

You've "seen" Bigfoot, you claim to have these very powers, but you won't even attempt to prove anything by testing them because, as you now say, you are 100% certain you can't do them. And with good reason.

PH: "you have tens of thousands of dollars to offer...">>

The FF have about $1k in the kitty. These other offers are put forward from a donor. You can call him Dark Lord.

PH: "for a publicity stunt.">>

All inspired by you. Thanks.

PH: "Besides your dishonesty...">>

It's just demonstrated once again, who has not been honest. I don't make claims I can't back up, as I told you in my very first response to you on March 29 in this thread. You should adopt this method. After a while, people begin to trust what you say. Your method has caused the opposite effect for you.

"Errors, like straws, upon the surface flow; He who would search for pearls must dive below." --John Dryden (1631-1700)

Posted by: fayfreethinker
April 16, 2012 at 9:31 a.m.

In conclusion:

After a couple weeks of relentless spanking, Furious Phillip flames out and gets the thread locked, as I predicted April 15. And he did it just in the nick of time. He was at his wits end (and his wits don't go very far). Changing his avatar from a clown to Freddie Krueger and then back again. And then the very serious restraining order threats that just didn't seem to spook anyone at all. Just as every other time he has bluffed, and been called on it. Let's quote these threats now, they are indeed precious to my heart:

Fayfreethinker ---

Do not contact me via online media, electronic media, print media, email media, or any media whatsoever.

Do not mention me in posts in this thread, or any other thread, on

Do not archive my posts from this thread, or any other thread, or otherwise reproduce or make available my posts from this thread or any other thread so they are available on any server, or in any other media whatsoever.

You do not have my permission to reproduce my words in any form, in any media. If you reproduce my posts from this thread, or if you contact me in any manner, in any media, I will file a restraining order against you.

If you are unclear on any of the items in this order you may have your attorney, and only your attorney, contact me by using the contact form available though my avatar.

Posted by: Phillip1955
April 15, 2012 LINK


The user Phillip D[.] sent the following message to you via NWAonline:


fayfreethinker - I've had enough of you. I'm not going to waste any more time replying to you.

Don't post any more messages to me in this thread or any other thread on

If you continue to do so I'll file a restraining order against you.

Cease and desist immediately.


This is perhaps one of my favorite exchanges of all time. Truly a classic.

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