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    "You Can't Prove a Negative"

    07/19/08

    "You Can't Prove a Negative"

    One of our strongest arguments in the case for the paranormal is simply one of You asked us to prove what has been witnessed or experienced happened, why not prove how it could not have happened as well? Basically, the onus is on any claim to produce evidence...

    A quick aside... Carl Sagan used to often quote Marcello Truzzi's famous statement, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." What Sagan often forgot to add... other than he stole the phrase... is that later in life, Truzzi left the sceptical organisation he help found as they had gone from "doubters" (a true scepticism) to "deniers" (poor science based on proclamation rather than actual study) and revised his comment as I have above... CLAIMS (of all sorts) REQUIRE EVIDENCE.

    Problem is, that's fine when one witness makes a singular claim about one experience.

    ...but, more often than not, non-believers cloaking themselves in the word "sceptic" will knee-jerk and claim all experiences are bupkiss.

    Ergo: The claim is now theirs... and they must produce evidence to back up that claim.

    Simple enough... and literally all the scientists, doctors, and generally people with an IQ over 46 that we've spoken to agree that a "knee-jerk" denial is inappropriate without some sort of empirical data to substantiate it.

    One of the common things we hear when we toss the Prove it's all nonsense challenge at so-called (incurably stupid) sceptics is, You can't prove a negative.

    Sorry? Come again? Didn't quite catch that...?

    You can't PROVE a negative???

    Bad news folks, when these scientists clock out this argument, vacuums just ceased to exist.

    Something else to consider, and this could go on a history blog, but do you know what some anthropologists consider the sign of an advanced civilization? The realization of those people of the concept of "zero".

    ...think about that.

    Remove ALL your logic and learning... what is "nothing"? How would you describe "nothing"? How would you show a symbol for not having anything? Showing SOMETHING is easy, but what about nothing...?

    ...and if we have nothing in a VERY basic society, would we bother to account for it? Would we need to document "nothing" if we were at a very fundamental survival level?

    We take it for granted now, but the idea of building a symbol or even a word to describe "zero" is a rather impressive philosophical and logical step...

    ...unless you're a so-called sceptic who feels that it can never be done...

    ...in which case, let me catch you folks up... the secret is to bang the rocks together.

    If coming to the idea of "zero" is so important to the building of an advanced society, what do you think about intergerial mathematics?

    Dave, the normal person, owes Bob, the so-called sceptic, ten dollars... but Dave only has seven dollars... How much money does Dave theoretically have?

    ...according to some, Dave cannot exist... the money cannot exist... Bob cannot exist... because you cannot prove a negative!

    Next time one of these wizened veterans of the "sceptical" trade spew forth the concept that proving negatives is impossible, I may give them my credit card company's numbers... I'll be debt-free in a puff of bad logic!

    Scientifically, mathematically, and logically, you CAN prove a negative... so this is a moot argument... and now, thanks to this post, when someone makes that claim, I'm just pointing them here to have a read... and perhaps, learn something about the basic principals of science, logic, and yes, advanced society...

    ...and then, perhaps, they will start banging the rocks together and catch up with the rest of us.

    7 comments

    Comment from: CSWM [Visitor]  
    CSWM

    That was one of the dumbest things i’ve ever read on the web.

    02/27/09 @ 06:19
    Comment from: Sue [Member]  
    Sue

    CSWM -> But yet…it’s true. Sorry!

    And with a statement like that it is quite obvious you are a newbie to the internet.

    02/27/09 @ 06:43
    Comment from: Matthew James Didier [Visitor]  
    Matthew James Didier

    Yeah, the article is a bit like saying “Cool granite is hard” or “Internet trolls don’t use real e-mail addresses”. I know… nothing worse than belching out something that really is incredibly self-evident… but c’est la vie! Some people just can’t (or don’t) want to acknowledge the truth.

    02/27/09 @ 06:48
    Comment from: Dreamsinger [Visitor]  
    Dreamsinger

    You obviously don’t understand the concept of why you can’t prove a negative, so let’s see if this does do the trick:

    Factually prove that Santa Clause does not exist; and remember, lack of evidence to show existence does not mean that something does not exist.

    08/20/09 @ 19:19
    Comment from: Matthew James Didier [Visitor]  
    Matthew James Didier

    Hello Dreamsinger!

    Obviously, you don’t understand scientific models!

    Now, I could be rotten and say “Santa Clause” does not exist as you have stated and I believe you’re intent, as it’s “Santa Claus"… no “E"… but let’s play with this…

    From a strictly scientific viewpoint, what evidence do you have to show that Santa Claus exists? It is from there that I would look at the evidence and see if there’s proper and responsible arguments based on empirical evidence to challenge the statement.

    To be fair, it’s a moot issue… because Santa Claus does exist… in folklore… and there’s evidence to support this.

    Now, whether or not he’s coming down… well, possibly not your chimney if you’ve been bad… but “a” chimney could be quickly and easily proven wrong by simply setting up recording and other tracking devices to monitor the localised site.

    Of course, there is SOME evidence to support Santa’s Ho-Ho-Ho existence… such as “witness testimony"… but that testimony would need to be balanced with the witnesses… for example, was the witness “corrupted” by information that would lead them to assume they saw The Big Red Guy on Christmas Eve in the wee hours? Y’know, I think there may be…

    Could the witnesses also be fooled on occasion by “hoaxers” dressing up as the Jolly Red Elf… well, my golly! I think they might be!

    Ergo: The witness testimony MIGHT not be 100% perfect evidence!

    Still, this doesn’t prove that The Sleigh Driver with the Sack DOESN’T exist… it simply says that it’s not likely that Santa exists. I have zero empirical evidence in either direction… but the evidence for existence isn’t nearly perfect to tip the scales to existence… and the evidence against (at least, again, using the popular Western cultural “version” of Santa,) is very strong…

    …BUT WHAT HO! (I hear you say,) Surely people that see ghosts could be accused of the SAME! Aha! All bunk!

    …BUT THIS HO! (I reply,) Surely then they’d be seeing Casper, white sheets, and chain-rattlin’ spectres… and they ain’t!

    So, that’s a moot point… but thanks for playing! :)

    I suppose, like the morons who toss out the “Can’t Prove a Negative ‘Cuz Science Don’t Do Dat” (to which again, I ask, are maths and physics sciences? I coulda sworn they were…), we could simply say, “It’s all bunk!” which really, doesn’t answer anything and sends the overly credulous into the arms of people hoping to point out that we are nothing more than preachers of “non-faith” and would be QUITE happy to tell folks EXACTLY what they want to hear and make “us” the enemy… while usually dipping into their pockets… but hey, that’s just me!

    Your call! :)

    TRUTH: Science doesn’t say anything one way or another without empirical and tested evidence. Period. Full stop. That’s all folks. Honestly, ask about this… You might be shocked.

    08/20/09 @ 20:27
    Comment from: Creepy Bastard [Visitor]  
    Creepy Bastard

    I’m confused.

    Are you trying to say that even if you know in your heart of heart that Satan Claws doesn’t exist, you STILL need to go through ALL that work?

    Can’t I just post a couple of links from the inter-web that point to random commentaries from others that also say HE doesn’t exist?

    Isn’t that enough?

    I mean, if someone else says it, isn’t that just as good as doing the leg work yourself?

    03/09/10 @ 09:19
    Comment from: Matthew James Didier [Visitor]  
    Matthew James Didier

    Well, I disseminated the idea… and really, in the long run, and it IS proven above…

    SANTA CLAUSE EXISTS!

    …if only in folklore…

    Ergo: In essence, yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Clause.

    Territo Nothus, num is sum qui mentiar tibi?

    03/09/10 @ 18:56

    The entries found on this blog are based on the thoughts and discussion of Matthew Didier and Sue Demeter-St.Clair...two paranormal investigators/researchers based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada who just also happen to be a couple.

    We are founding members of The Ghosts and Hauntings Research Societies, PSICAN, and Pararesearchers of Ontario and are members and supporters of The Society of Psychical Research, and the Institute of Noetic Sciences

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