A Skeptic's Retort
(?) June 1st, 2001

The virgin-pure sanctity of our wonderful mailing list was recently invaded by the likes of a paranormalite with an axe to grind.  This wasn't the first time we've come up against folks of MsPurdy's ilk, but this is the first time that everything we fight for has come under fire in one foul swoop.  So we just have to make fun of it.

I dont know how to start. 

Oh, this is gonna be goooood.

You cannot prove that there is life "out
there" so you assume it isn't there. 

Well, you're the expert on "out there."  Why don't you tell me?
Actually, I never assume anything.  Firstly, I've never tried to prove that life exists in the universe.  I have never once said that there is no life in outer space.  I just highly doubt that it's intelligent, let along visiting our planet.  Secondly, it is up to the believers to prove it, not the doubters.  

You cannot get proof that psycics can 
communicate w/the astal plane so you say they cant. 

There is no proof, therefore they probably can't.  I wish they could, I think it would another layer of mystery to the universe, and I would welcome anyone who can prove it to produce their results in an open scientific forum.  But they won't, because these people don't exist.  The astral plane does not exist, as far as we can tell.  Again, it's up to you to prove it.  Belief ain't enough.   

I am a true beliver, I know that the tv psycics are fake and I plan to
prove them fake but there are real ones. 

Really?  Instead of proving the obvious (that tv psychics are fake), why don't you prove the previously unproven, like the existence of these so-called "real ones?"  That would really blow the lid off.    

How can you proove that you
are breathing oxygen? You are alive(or so you think) but how can you
proove you are brathing oxygen? Maby some scintists can try and make
themselves think they are but personally how can you? You can hear
it. You can see your breath in cold "air" but that is your breath,
not the "oxygen" 

Do you really want to get into the scientifically verifiable realm of human respiration?  

OK, if the work of countless men and women on this subject wasn't enough for me, I would conduct an experiment.  Firstly, I would envelop myself in big garbage bag, making sure that it was sealed off from the outside air.  Secondly, I would start pumping in an exact chemical duplicate of earth's atmosphere, but with the oxygen subtracted.  If I suffocated, then I would know for a fact that I breathe oxygen to survive.  But I won't conduct this experiment because I know (and everyone else knows, too), that I do breathe oxygen to survive, and because I would be dead.  It would be a waste of my time, and a waste of a perfectly good garbage bag.

Psycics can prove to themselves that they are
communicating with others but have no need to prove it to others.

You're mixing up proof and belief.  A person can believe that he has psychic powers, and he is perfectly happy being the only one to believe it...his belief is not dependent on fact (as is the case with you, apparently).  But the moment you use the word proof, it leaves the realm of belief and enters the cold, unfriendly land of facts.  Proof is reliant on facts.  I'm sure you've heard of serial killers who believed that every person they killed was actually an undead zombie, animated by Satan to destroy humankind.  But the facts say that he had a chemical imbalance in his brain that made him psychotic and homicidal.  He can believe anything he wants, but that doesn't make it true.

A psychic can believe that he or she has mental powers, but no psychic has yet been able to prove it.  Just because he believes it doesn't matter one whit.      

Have you ever picked up the phone to call someone and they were on
it, or you and a friend decided you wanted to do the same thing w/o
talking about it, or maby just saw a long lost friend at walmart?

Oh, please tell me you're kidding...I see a long-lost friend at Walmart, and suddenly I'm a psychic!?

The scenarios you use would be compelling evidence in only these cases:

1) If you pick up the phone to call someone and they are already on the line, and this happens a few times a week, every week, then you might be psychic.  If it happens a few times in your life (and it's never happened to me), then you're probably not psychic.

2) If you come up with highly unconventional things that your friend is not likely to think of, and you both think about doing it at roughly the same moment, then you might be psychic.  Both of you wanting to go swimming on a hot day, both wanting to eat at a favorite restaurant around lunch time, or more of the same kind of thing, then you're probably not psychic.

There is a thing called coincidence.  You should look it up.  You might learn something.

Everyone has some inner Magik, although few use it. 

Do you mean "magic?"  Anywho, you can't prove that little tidbit, so as far as I'm concerned, it's not true.  

What a sad childhood each of you must have had. not beliving in santa or talking

I feel very sorry for you if you ever believed in talking animals...actually, that's starting to explain a lot.

Flights of fancy are wonderful.  I'm a science fiction writer by trade, and I love delving into fantasy whenever I can.  My favorite kind of movies are escapist.  I watch the X-Files on a regular basis.  But there's a difference between childhood whimsy and the real world.  When I grew up, I realized that a lot of the things that people believe are just not supported by facts.  It's not a lack of imagination that drives me toward this skeptical stuff, it's a desire to know.  I am constantly looking for that spark of paranormality that could actually be real, and have some kind of evidence to support it.  I'll be the first person to switch over to your side if psychic powers are ever verified, or if a chunk of UFO is ever verified to be alien in origin, or if someone captures a live (or dead) sasquatch.  But until it's proven, I won't (and can't) believe it.  

I feel so sorry for you that you never tried to belive. 

I believe in lots of things.  I believe in love, friendship, innate human goodness, etc.  But that's where it ends.  

I used to be a sort of fundamentalist Christian, back in my childhood.  But I woke up.  

You cannot find proof thatufo's exist because the government "has none"
belive me they do, they just wont give it to you. 

OK.  Let me know when they give it to you.  

They are trying to
mold the human race into people who will think exactly what they want
you to think so they can be into control. Congradulations you are
the first experiment of control.

Here's something for you to gnaw on: maybe the UFO community is trying to take control, too, and they're coercing people like you into joining their cause, even though they have no evidence to support their miraculous claims.  

Stranger things have happened.  Talking animals, for instance...  



June 11th, 2001

A Million Damn Dollars
May 31st, 2001

Government Stooges
May 13th, 2001