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Archive through May 17, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru June 2002 » Archive Thru May 2002 » Ouija Boards - The Real Shit? » Archive through May 17, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Pikkle
Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 1:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Perpetual motion dildos!
Anatomist
Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 12:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"You can obtain vast amounts of measured data from anything and you can fit this to back up practically whatever you like. So all this nonsense about the importance of measured data and the implication that such data will lead to an impartial judgement is rubbish."

That's absolute bullshit. Show me one scientific study ever done anywhere that demonstrates gravitational acceleration is reversible (i.e., a repellant force). The ignorance behind this kind of sweeping condemnation of science is on par with creationists... oh wait, creationists say the exact same thing. Science is limited in that it can only get answers to questions it asks, but the answers to a given specific question are not arbitrary, or subject to the whims of the researchers. If they were, we'd have cures for all diseases, warp-speed vehicles that did not require fuel, etc... I think you read too much Richard Bach and fell asleep during too many science classes.

K.
Anatomist
Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"But eventually we realize that they don't work and stopped using them. Well, the Chinese are not dumber than we are.

If acupuncture did not work, they had a couple thousand years to figure that out."

... I knew a guy who studied at an accupunture school. Just around the time he was graduating, we were talking about someone's neck/back pain after an Aikido class. He seemed to know the names of the muscles involved, but didn't have a very good idea of where they attached or what joint actions/planes of movement were involved. Upon questioning, I discovered that becoming a certified accupuncturist involves almost no study of internal anatomy! Certainly not hands-on study of actual cadavers, and, oh, say, NERVE structures, for instance... I thought that would have been a basic prerequisite. It turns out that the chinese never did much in the way of studying internal anatomy and correlating it with their medicine, primarily due to the superstitions surrounding dissecting human bodies. If they are unwilling to do this kind of investigation, how are they going to figure anything out?

In fact, western medicine suffered from some of the same superstition-based hindrances until very recently (and still does, obliquely, due to the low percentage of healthy, economically well-off people willing to donate their remains). The primary difference between the two cultures - and the reason we aren't still indiscriminately using bloodletting, lobotomization, etc... - is not who is smarter, it's the scientific method, which rigidly insists on repeatable, empirically verifiable results. Medical researchers stopped guessing or assuming what was on the inside of bodies, and actually started cutting some open and had a look... often having to resort to midnight grave-robbing to do so.

K.
Lordhobgoblin
Posted on Friday, May 17, 2002 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Pickle,

"Hard data means nothing unless you know what to do with it."

Surely you mean "Hard data means nothing until you decide what result you want the hard data to support".

I used to work in industry taking market data (from well respected sources) and manipulating it to present whatever picture I wanted to present.

Scientists (like everyone else) approach things with a preconcieved notion of of what they consider to be their 'preferred' result. They like everyone else are motivated by predjudices, pre-conceived ideas and vested interests. They look for evidence to back up the ideas that they already hold.

You can obtain vast amounts of measured data from anything and you can fit this to back up practically whatever you like. So all this nonsense about the importance of measured data and the implication that such data will lead to an impartial judgement is rubbish.

Science is not this semi-impartial discipline as much of society seems to believe and data proves nothing.

Hobgoblin
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 11:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

HAHAHA... I'm righter than you!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! MOre righter!!!! I'm the righterest!!!! And more cheesier!!!!
"Mom, it's more cheesier!!!"
"No son, it hasn't been proven by science to be more cheesier. Now finish your cod and grits before your father, my brother, gets home from the stun line!"
"Aw mom!"
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 10:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

BJ, wrong example. Unlike Ouija boards or laying of hands, acupuncture has been shown to work for certain conditions.



Yes. It has been demonstrated to posibly produce mild analgesia. That's it.

http://www.ncahf.org/pp/acu.html
http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html


Quote:

If acupuncture did not work, they had a couple thousand years to figure that out.



Bullshit. People believe in all sorts of things that cannot be demonstrated to work. That's the whole point of this thread.
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 9:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Chinese also believe ground up tiger bones have medicinal properties... much of traditional Chinese medicine is based in superstition... some of it works, some of it doesn't, some of it works on some people where the same doesn't work on others... the power of the mind has more sway over the body than most of the Western world would like to admit... that is why science can explain not as much as it would like to claim, it can't explain the mind, only the chemistry of it, not the substance of it's existance...
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 9:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yeah... just look at chiropractors... now you talk about snake oil salesmen...
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 8:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

"Accupuncture is particularly amusing because it is one of those things that has managed to slip under the radar and gain wide acceptance, even by the government, despite being based in superstition and lacking in proven scientific merit. They even have certifying bodies and licensing boards. I just wonder what it would take to get your accupuncture license revoked, since being able to cure anything obviously isn't a requirement... "

BJ, wrong example. Unlike Ouija boards or laying of hands, acupuncture has been shown to work for certain conditions.

We Westerners have done stupid things in the name of medicine: blood-letting, lobotomy, chemotherapy.

But eventually we realize that they don't work and stopped using them. Well, the Chinese are not dumber than we are.

If acupuncture did not work, they had a couple thousand years to figure that out.

Please do not confuse the fact that you cannot explain how it works with whether it does or does not work.

If I drop a radio on a Stone Age tribe, someone may twist the dials and make it work. They don't know shit about ICs and batteries and radio stations, but the thing works anyway. Except for the BJ of the tribe, who insists that that music is not there...because, logically, there is not enough space in that little box for all the people making music!

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is undistinguishable from magic."
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 6:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Gordie Howe does that to... but he can, I still wouldn't fuck with Mr. Elbows...
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 6:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Seperated at birth?

stromkeeper

I have a friend who work at the capitol, and has on many occasions witnessed Strom copping feels off of women who get their picture taken with him. EEEee!
Chevalier
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 6:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Strom's got a good battery pack. Does he still dye his hair orange?
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 6:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Today on CNN:

US Congress Votes Unanimously to Repeal Inevitablity of Death

Passing both the House and Senate with 100% bi-partisan majorities, the bill has not been without certain opposition in the scientific and religious communitites.

Senator Strom Thurmond led the fight for the passage of the bill amidst strong objections from scientists in disciplines ranging from medicine and biology to physics. "That's bloody stupid" Brittish microbiologist Newt Toastley is quoted as saying. "You can bloody well vote gravity out of existence too while you're at it and see what good it does you. Twits."

Said Sen. Thurmond "We're considering that too, we don't want to rule anything out."

Proffessor Emetrius of Physics at MIT Walter Fledgewick was also opposed, until Congress threatened to cut all research funding to his institution. As of press time he is quoted as saying "Well. Um. I mean, anything, anything is possible, really. And I think, I think this is a great idea, on the part of the government. Really."

The Vatican was also strongly opposed, speaking through it's spokesman Bishop Elmer Stookley. "How then is anyone supposed to get their divine reward? How the hell does anyone go to Hell? It's ridiculous."

Religious opposition faded quickly when it was revealed that a rider on the bill restricted the change to members and former members of Congress.

Notably absent from the Inevitablity Repeal Act were taxes, things going up coming down again, and buttered toast landing butter side downwards.

Said Sen. Thurmond "We aren't done here yet, not by a long shot. We'll get there- heck, we've got all the time in the world!"
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 5:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

You can, apparently, learn acupuncture at Duke.



They have a parapsychology department too.

I can study divinity at Georgetown, but it doesn't mean that there is a God.

Accupuncture is particularly amusing because it is one of those things that has managed to slip under the radar and gain wide acceptance, even by the government, despite being based in superstition and lacking in proven scientific merit. They even have certifying bodies and licensing boards. I just wonder what it would take to get your accupuncture license revoked, since being able to cure anything obviously isn't a requirement...
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 5:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

The U.S. scientific community (dependent on grants from the above mentioned) agreed wholeheartedly.




Well, back in 1943, when it was originally banned (or, a weird prohibitive tax was put on it, since the federal government didn't have the power to make it illegal), they had a whole long line of scientists saying it was basically harmless, and ONE who said it was dangerous (he injected it into a dog's brain and the dog died). The government named HIM to head the commission, and ignored the rest of the evidence.

The scientific community has not unanimously supported the marijuana ban today, either. Quite a few have come out in favor of medical use, and even the ones who are TRYING can't make it look dangerous. It is the government, not the scientists, who are insisting that it has no medical use, or, more humorously, that its medical use could lead to harder drugs. On the othr hand, morphine and methamphetamine and cocaine are all acceptable for medical use. I guess morphine can't lead to harder drugs because there ARE no harder drugs...
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 5:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wanna learn the accupuncture point that floods my body with endorphins... fucking sevina habanero's are getting too expensive!
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 5:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

How do you know it was used for three or more thousand years? Were you there???
Dr_Ordinaire
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 4:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Whatever we may say about science, there is one thing we must accept. Science is above politics.

The U.S. House of Representatives (scientists all!) voted almost unanimously to proclaim that cannabis sativa has no medical use.

The U.S. scientific community (dependent on grants from the above mentioned) agreed wholeheartedly.

So it came to pass that cannabis, used for three (or more) fucking thousand years as a medicine... has not medical value. Now.

We have to be thankful for our wise, disinterested, saintly scientists.
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 4:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

As to the rest of this, it's just going around in a circle. But I do have one last thing to say-

http://www.duke.edu/deptdir/Acupuncture.html

You can, apparently, learn acupuncture at Duke. For treating addiction, stroke rehabilitation, headache, menstrual cramps, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia (chronic generalized musculoskeletal pain), low back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and asthma, pain, nausea (that was a cut-and-paste...)
Mr_Rabid
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 4:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alisoviejoguy, anytime you wanna write is fine by me- that rocked.
Pikkle
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 4:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

hey... let's just all have fun and drink absinthe, no matter how it all comes to fruition... YEAH!
Alisoviejoguy
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 4:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Chevalier! I was trying to recount it as best I could in writing.

I think the thread went off on it's own though...
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 4:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

So give me all the data you have, it's all a matter of conjecture.




Sure is, but conjecture based on strong evidence tends to be much more reliable than conjecture made without evidence. That's all I'm saying.

As for the manipulation of data, of course t can be done, but that is the point of things like peer-review, accepted protocols and reproduction of results. It certainly doesn't make manipulation of the data impossible, but it helps.
_Blackjack
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 3:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post


Quote:

OK, Blackjack- first off, I didn't say Fakir's had 'special powers' I said they had a great deal of control over thier bodies. And they do.




Just to be clear here, the biofeedback studies done in the 1970's were done with Hatha Yoga practitioners, not Fakirs, and they related to the apparent ability of thes yogi to reduce their metobolic rate and enter a state of deep relaxation. It had nothing, as far as I know, to do with control of blood flow. Fakirs, technically, are Sufi mystics, but the term is commonly used the refer to wandering Indian sadhus and "god-men" who are, as I said, con-men and tricksters.

What the studies produced, BTW, was the conclusion that anybody could be taught to replicate these techniques in a couple of days. Nothing mystical, just measurable biological functions.


Quote:

I have seen film of a man, who was in the biofeedback study (based on the teachings of a Fakir to a scientist) slash his arm open with a razor. Deeply- not that a shallow cut wouldn't bleed- spread the lips of the wound. No blood.
This was on PBS, so I lend it a good bit of credence.




I haven't seen the film in question, so I can't comment on it, but there are all sorts of ways to cut oneself without a lot of blood. Part of it is just cutting the right place in the right way with a sharp enough knife, and part of it may well be a function of relaxation.

As far as I know, however, biofeedback hasn't been demostrated to be useful in much more than teaching people to relax and lower their heartrate. I'd be curious to see if there is evidence that it could teach people to do something so specific as control circulation to sigle parts of the body. For one thing, it would require that they be getting feedback SPECIFICALLY both for the blood vessels they were supposed to shut off and for the ones they would need to keep open.


Quote:

Essentially, this isn't because of the scientific method, but rather the cultural component of science in the west. The automatic writing off of superstition-



It certainly isn't a universal aspect of western culture, since surveys indicate a good half of the population or more in the US believe in various unproven "supernatural" things, and an even larger portion for things like "alternative" medicine. If it is cultural, it is a very specific sub-culture primarily composed of people with a strong education in the sciences. Go fig.


Quote:

Acupuncture works-



No it doesn't. There is some indication that it may provide mild analgesia (so will getting slapped...), but otherwise, it has failed again and again under empirical study. And even if ONE of its claims proved to be true, that would not mean ALL of them were, nor that the system upon whic they are based is valid.
Chevalier
Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2002 - 3:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Alisoviejoguy, you're enough of a writer to grab my attention and keep it. Thanks for your story.

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