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#209987 - 10/20/10 04:02 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: MoBOB]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
A lot of things there is no truth to such as religion and politics.

There is also no truth to such questions as "what is the best...".

The only things that are truth are scientific facts, and it is common for things that are not facts to be misrepresented as facts.
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Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile

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#209994 - 10/20/10 05:03 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
NAro Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 484
Originally Posted By: dweste
Behavioral analysis has developed tools that can increase the likelihood of detecting lies when you are talking with people through body language, speech patterns, etcetera. A fascinating study, as any internet search on "lie detecting" can show.


Those behavioral analysis techniques (which, by the way, are not scientifically unchallenged) proport to detect "deception." So we're still caught up in the logic-loop here: what the individual believesto be the truth, whether or not he is speaking consistently with his belief or deceptively, and what are actual facts in the matter... all balled up in the same can of worms.

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#210000 - 10/20/10 06:07 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: NAro]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I believe science challenges any technique, even those based on science, that are not able to predict with certainty and repeatability. Behavioral analysis is based on statistics and patterns of behavior, which as you point out are not universal across all persons, cultures, etcetera. That is why the detection of lies is described in terms of likelihood rather than certainty.

It is also true that the more samples you get for a given person, to establish baseline truth-telling as well as variances from thst baseline that suggest lying, the higher the probability of being accurate in lie detection.

You are correct that a person who tells an untruth that they believe to be true is not lying, just wrong, so there is no "lie" for behavioral analysis to detect.

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#210002 - 10/20/10 06:19 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
In other words, a person can tell the "truth" as the person perceives it, but the statement can actually be a false statement. For example, a witness of 9/11 may say that he saw meteors crash into the towers. A lie detector may show that witness is NOT being deceptive. However, that statement about meteors is false according to reliable evidence showing that it was not meteors that crashed into the towers.

A person's memory or perception is an unreliable indicator of what the truth actually is. The most convincing liar is the liar who is able to convince himself that he is telling the truth. I know two compulsive liars. They lie about almost everything, even if they don't have to lie. They lie so much that I believe they don't know when they are lying. Their skill is quite fascinating, at a distance that is.
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#210003 - 10/20/10 06:39 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Anyone Here Remember, The Short cartoon's of Commander McBragg?

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#210022 - 10/20/10 11:03 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: ILBob]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: ILBob

The only things that are truth are scientific facts.


Interview by Quentin Mac Anics with a famous scientist:

Quentin Mac Anics " I understand you have an infallible scientific fact for us".
I.N. Stein "Yes, E=MC2 explains everything"
Quentin Mac Anics "Everything?"
I.N. Stein "Yes everything".
Quentin Mac Anics " What about Black Holes?"
I.N. Stein......frantically scribbling
I.N. Stein......still frantically scribbling
I.N. Stein "I have a new infallible scientific fact: E=MC2 explains almost everything"
Quentin Mac Anics "I thought so."
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#210027 - 10/20/10 11:32 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: Byrd_Huntr]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
So, as we wade in a tidal pool in Oregon, we should feel that we understand the Pacific Ocean?


If the tidepool is our only source of data about the ocean, then our understanding is necessarily limited. Analyzing the tidepool, because it is part of the ocean, provides data that can form the basis of theories about the ocean. No rational person would claim a complete understanding of the ocean without the opportunity to get data direct from the ocean. Even understanding the tidepool is, of course, subject to continued revision as science seeks to refine and enhance the known truths about the tidepool - including the exciting overturn of early things believed true!

Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
Because miracles are by definition an unexplained occurrance, the fact that a scientist cannot explain them does not in any way diminish them.


Nobel prizes and a major place in history await any scientist who can get veriable data about a miracle. Sagan's point is only that the reported miracles are not "consistent with what else we know," by which I think it is fair to say he means exactly what you say - miracles remain unexplained ocurrences [so far].


Originally Posted By: Byrd_Huntr
I beleive that the "courageous self discipline" that Sagan refers to must be the humble admission that all human knowledge resides in the tidepool of the ocean of possibilities.


Sagan said: "We should pay attention to how badly we want to believe a given contention. The more badly we want to believe it, the more skeptical we have to be. It involves a kind of courageous self discipline. Nobody says itís easy." I believe his point, fairly read, is that we should have the courage to resist forcing the data into a preconceived meaning no matter how badly we would like to to do it. Sagan agrees with you that we know only a tiny, pitiful amount so far.

[Carl Sagan, Varieties of scientific experience, pages 229-230.]

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#210028 - 10/20/10 11:46 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I am loving this thread, in part because it is going in direstions and into places I did not forsee! I thought we might be discussing how to find out the truth about things we observe in nature, get from the media, etcetera. Instead we are sharing out thoughts about the limits of science, and even a little about the intersection of belief and science, etcetera.

I can't wait to see what comes next!

P.S. I am impressed by the civil tone of most of the discussion. You guys are great!

P.P.S. Thank you moderators for having patience with us.


Edited by dweste (10/20/10 11:47 PM)

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#210029 - 10/20/10 11:52 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
I certainly believe in science, and we are better off for it. The problem for me is something you allude to in this posting. A scientist emerges from his secret laboratory and makes a pronouncement. "Eureka! xyz is now a 'proven' scientific fact." This pronouncement remains a trumpeted fact for true believers until the inevitable day when a new 'proven' scientific contradictory fact is announced. Everyone celebrates and awards are showered upon all involved by old Scandinavian liberals. No one mentions the obvious fact that the original infallible pronouncement was wrong. Thus, science is an endless series of 'true and proven' facts celebrated by the believers, whereas the times traditional belief pronouncements are found lacking they are cited endlessly for centuries as obvious failures of faith-based belief.
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#210032 - 10/20/10 11:59 PM Re: How to find the truth? [Re: dweste]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1160
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: dweste
Sagan said: "We should pay attention to how badly we want to believe a given contention. The more badly we want to believe it, the more skeptical we have to be. [Carl Sagan, Varieties of scientific experience, pages 229-230.


A very true statement, but apparently some of the scientific community and the broadcast media would disagree with Carl when it comes to manmade global warming.
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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