The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
September 18, 2019, 01:11:22 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: The James Randi Educational Foundation on The Case of the Cottingley Fairies  (Read 10922 times)
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« on: March 03, 2014, 11:26:54 pm »

Interesting that James Randi's foundation has chosen the Cottingley Fairies as a subject included in a school curriculum to encourage skeptical thought among students. The texts for the lesson can be downloaded from this page for free:

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/jref-news/2208-new-jref-in-the-classroom-lessons.html

The booklet, in PDF format, gives a history of the hoax.

Upon reading this history, I had this thought:

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was most famous for writing the adventures of a character entirely devoted to science and reason, but he himself claimed to be a believer in these photographs, and in psychic powers, Spiritualism, and other subjects that would now be called parapsychology by their enthusiasts.

Is it possible that the private Doyle was much like the man of reason that he depicted in his Holmes stores, and that Doyle's public endorsement of pseudoscience was a hoax that he perpetrated on the public?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2014, 02:42:27 am by RJBowman » Logged
Atterton
Time Traveler
****

Only The Shadow knows


« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2014, 07:21:22 pm »

Or more likely it was due to his inability to deal with the death of his son.
Logged

Resurrectionist and freelance surgeon.
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2014, 09:14:18 pm »

I used to think Holmes was logical and calculating in his investigation of a crime, and then I read Terry Pratchett.  It now all seems so very contrived to appear clever. And that means I see no contradiction between Doyle and his fascination with the supernatural.

Quote
Mr. Vimes had told him never to get too excited about clues, because clues could lead you a dismal dance. They could become a habit. You ended up finding a wooden leg, a silk slipper and a feather at the scene of a crime and constructing an elegant theory involving a one-legged ballet dancer and a production of Chicken Lake.
The Fifth Elephant
Logged
Dr. Nikola
Officer
***
United States United States



« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2014, 10:37:04 pm »

I don't know if he's really "randy" or not  but I find his arrogant skepticism annoying and highly selective.  His willingness to assert publicly that even respected scientists who dabble in fringe areas are "self-deluded fools" is not my cup of tea.  
« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 10:39:25 pm by Dr. Nikola » Logged
rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 11:16:15 pm »

I don't know if he's really "randy" or not  but I find his arrogant skepticism annoying and highly selective.  His willingness to assert publicly that even respected scientists who dabble in fringe areas are "self-deluded fools" is not my cup of tea.  

I have to agree for the most part. He's right to question predatory con artists and such and I support that. Where I tend to disagree with him most is things like publicly shaming people for things like acupuncture or such. He takes the premise that since there is some data that says somebody who explains the benefits of using needles in the 'wrong spot' would resolve a problem and then the person notices some level of resolution to the problem from acupuncture in the 'wrong spot'... thus it's all lies and con artistry to be shunned and done away with. Um no. Because it does help through some mechanism of feeling like actively trying to help yourself can cause more posative outcome, psychosomatic effect and placebo effects, and endorphin response to needle stimulations. These could all remain valuble therapies for what they are used for.

I'd also add that there were some examples of some attempted 'cons' that he publicly shamed that where still amazing things. I remember a guy who had fine tuned his breathing control so that he could move leaves on a plant behind him, or partially cover a balanced dollar bill with an upside down fish tank and still effect air movements to cause the bill to turn. Hecould turn pages of a phone book without touching them, and roll pencils. The con was he was claiming psychic powers an teaching meditation and martial arts to bring people toward their goal of achieving similar abilities. Randy tore him to shreds and treated anybody who thought there was anything special about him as child like simpltons.

I don't know about you, but I can't breath in a way that lets me turn pages in a book without my hands, or roll pencils around or spin a balanced piece of paper mostly enclosed by glass. Yeah it's not supernatural, but I'll be damned if it's not an amazing talent.

I feel this way about many of the things he belittles. Maybe you cannot read minds so much as do tricks that make it easier to appear as if you had. Um, that's very close to splitting hairs, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe you cannot predict the future but you are good enough with improv and planning to handle the unexpected in a way to seem that you predicted the future.

Those are skill sets. Don't detract from their amazingness by calling them tricks and cons. A person who seems always able to handle unpredictable events as though they foresaw them, can control a situation enough to make calls about what others are thinking correctly and how can pull small scale airbender tricks may not be a Jedi for reals, but I'd study under them as an apprentice to learn those skillsets.
Logged

RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 12:22:27 am »

You seem to be arguing that if a person has the ability to do something unique and wondrous, then they are fully justified in claiming that they are doing it through a different means, causing incredulous people to believe in supernatural phenomena that don't exist. People believing in pseudoscience can actually be harmful to those people, and carries a social cost.
Logged
rovingjack
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 12:57:36 am »

no what I'm arguing against is that things that few people can do are not worthless and stupid as Randy seems to make them all out to be. I've no issue with the fact that the guy with the breathing got charged with fraud.

My point is that Randy essentially comes off as more of a young kid who had a magic trick spoiled for him as a kid and runs around trying to point out to everybody that there is nothing really amazing in the world. He's not simply saying that these things can be learned and are not supernatural, he's just dismissing everything as some elaborate scam. It smack of bitter kid robbed of his sense of wonder and determined to make everybody else a humbug too.

Like I said if the ability to do some of things could be done in workshops or through apprentiships I'd do some of them. Not because they are super natural or magical things but because they are neat skills I don't have. In a way it's like finding out about abstract painting and deciding to take lessons on it.

I just think a better approach would be to figure out how they all do it. offer up free or for pay booklets to teach yourself to do those things, publicly expose any fraud by letting people know they too can do it and it's not mystical. and then let people decide what they would do with the ability to do those things if they could. As it is now I can't learn some of these things to use in art or performance to instill a sense of wonder or skill.

Your a phony a big fat phony
Logged
GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 03:53:37 am »

Actually, James Randi (his professional name, with an "i"; he was born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge) was himself a professional magician, performing under the name "The Amazing Randi", for many years. My perception of him is that, like me, and Houdini before us, he is open to belief in the supernatural but has yet to find proof. And, like Houdini, he reserves his most severe scorn for those who prey upon the weak (and weak-willed) by claiming paranormal powers they do not possess.

His foundation has, for years, offered a $1,000,000 prize for proof of the paranormal. The criteria are that both the claimant and Randi agree on the conditions of the test, and that the claimant must then be able to reproduce whatever their alleged ability is within that controlled environment.

You know...scientifically.

Of the many, many claimants for the prize, no one has received the prize. Why? Because under scientific scrutiny (where they aren't able to have plants in the audience, pre-perforated spoons, pre-show questionnaires, an assistant on the other end of the receiver in their ear, etc., etc, ad infinitum), none of these claimants can demonstrate their alleged supernatural abilities.

Why would (or should) Randi be so dogged in his pursuit of the truth? To prevent predators (for that is what they are) from preying upon the vulnerable. Houdini himself desperately wanted proof of the supernatural (specifically the afterlife) following the loss of his mother. In fact, he worked out with his wife a code so that, should he precede her in death (which he did), she would know a legitimate post-life contact from the innumerable frauds and scams operating at the time. (She never received that code, by the way; a recent claim that she did is entirely apocryphal.) Houdini, Randi, and their ilk, being very well-versed in the artifices of illusionists and mentalists, were/are protecting the weak from themselves.

Randi is simply promoting the idea that we use utilize that part of our brains responsible for critical thinking. If someone makes a claim, they should be able to prove that claim. If they cannot prove it, in a situation/environment which eliminates any possibility of fraud and deception, then their claims are verifiably false. And yes, these fraudsters deserve scorn, as do those who refuse to see, in light of hard evidence, that their emperor of choice is naked.

Doyle is a tougher nut to crack. On the one hand, he was an ardent spiritualist, a belief spurred on by the death of his son (as noted in a previous post). On the other hand, this is the fellow who gave the world the premiere paragon of logic, Sherlock Holmes. If we take his belief in the supernatural as sincere, and everything I've ever read indicates that he was, his son's death seems the only logical trigger for the man abandoning the plausible in favor of the implausible.

We should keep in mind that what was possible to achieve with film, whether in photographs or film, was still being discovered and discussed. Because of the sometimes jerky nature of early films, it is quite possible to imagine an audience being fooled into believing that the filmmakers had somehow captured live dinosaurs on film in the first cinematic version of Doyle's The Lost World. Allegedly, Doyle himself initially believed this to be the case (I say allegedly, as I suspect this anecdote is apocryphal, although I have no hard proof one way or the other). However, the dinosaurs were merely the result of the stop-motion efforts of Willis O'Brien. The Cottingley Fairies, on the other hand, should have fooled no one, despite the children and the cardboard "fairies" being in the same frame; they simply don't match anything else in the picture. It is easy to believe that Doyle was complicit in this particular hoax. (He was widely believed to have been involved in fabricating the "finds" that resulted in the Piltdown Man hoax.)
Logged
Heckler
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 10:15:28 am »

Randi is simply promoting the idea that we use utilize that part of our brains responsible for critical thinking. If someone makes a claim, they should be able to prove that claim. If they cannot prove it, in a situation/environment which eliminates any possibility of fraud and deception, then their claims are verifiably false. And yes, these fraudsters deserve scorn, as do those who refuse to see, in light of hard evidence, that their emperor of choice is naked.

I applaud his stand against the phony who will take people for every penny but his skepticism verges on the religious.   As a magician it is easy to fall into the mind-set of assuming that everyone is out to take you and to look at everything you see presented as paranormal as capable of being replicated using an existing method used by mentalists, but that mind-set is as fallacious as assuming that the sun won't rise if we don't prey to RA.

I take Fort's view on it, open minded skepticism, just because the paranormal doesn't perform in a lab doesn't mean it doesn't exist.  To start from the view point that it cannot exist and therefore it doesn't is as daft as the scientists in Fort's time who said that meteorites couldn't exist because there are no rocks in the sky.

Randi started from the right place but it feels like over time he's talked himself into a place he can't back away from, if someone levitated right in front of him I'm sure he'd find a reason not to pay out and that's a shame.

Logged

We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far.
H.P. Lovecraft
"The Call of Cthulhu"
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 10:16:55 am »

Beware of the all-or-nothing approach to either empiricism or skepticism or both (or any system for looking at the world and life); it tends to create logical traps for itself.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 10:18:43 am by MWBailey » Logged

Walk softly and carry a big banjo...

""quid statis aspicientes in infernum"
bicyclebuilder
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Netherlands Netherlands


A.K.A. Scanner Camera Builder


« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 11:01:51 am »

I like Randi's approach, but he should take his research out in the field. If someone claims to have supernatural strenghts, he/she should be able to show it in his/her own conditions. Document it on site, have it repeated and investigated. Mister Randi knows most of the magician tricks, so he should be able to debunk the supernatural claim on site.

Many paranormals aren't always able to do their activity. We are all human beings. A trained runner can run the fastest time in the world, but not every time, all the time. Like others say before me, just because it can't be reproduced in a lab, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

That said, I have yet to see a convincing paranormal activity or an acurate fortune teller. I've had some pretty drastic life changing events in my life, but not one fortune teller has ever predicted one of them.

About the Cottingley Fairies: now knowing what is possible with photography and photo manipulation, I'd say this is fake. If I would have been an average person in that time area, I'd probably be puzzled about the pictures. I would have basic knowledge of photography, knowing it is basically what you see is what you get. I guess an average person would take the pictures as real. Probably create a story of his own, passed on to friends and family. Making the pictures more "real" with every story.

It would take a lot of efford, evidence and ruling out the obvious to pull off something like the Cottingley Fairies. We now have basic knowledge of what is possible with photo and video manipulation. Just a couple of pictures isn't enough to convince the mayority of people.

Same goes with mentalists and fortune tellers. I have seen a documentory about what can be used and abused from information on the internet. For instance, lots of us have a Facebook account where we post anything and everything without thinking about it. That info can be harvested and used to "prove" paranormality.

Again, I'm not saying all of the above is fake, but I'm not yet convinced it is real.
Logged

The best way to learn is by personal experience.
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 11:12:49 am »

About the Cottingley Fairies: now knowing what is possible with photography and photo manipulation, I'd say this is fake. If I would have been an average person in that time area, I'd probably be puzzled about the pictures. I would have basic knowledge of photography, knowing it is basically what you see is what you get. I guess an average person would take the pictures as real. Probably create a story of his own, passed on to friends and family. Making the pictures more "real" with every story.

The thing about the Cottingley fairy photographs is that they were "real" - there was no manipulation of the image at all.  The public and sceptics of the time were familiar with photo manipulation - it's as old as photography -and appeared to concentrate on trying to find evidence that the plates had been tampered with.  Which they hadn't.  I suspect this is because they couldn't believe that the girls could be guilty of the hoax and that there must be an adult somewhere in the scheme and that the girls were being manipulated.  That the whole set-up was as simple as tracing paper, scissors and hat pins wasn't considered.

If the audience is convinced that a supernatural photograph can only be faked by manipulating the negative/plate/file, then any low tech approach that doesn't rely on manipulating the image is more likely to be accepted.  Ghost photos, fairy photos, photos of ectoplasm, etc. in the Victorian style are very easy to fake without manipulating the image.
Logged
Heckler
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2014, 11:32:47 am »

Indeed the photo of the ghost praying at the altar of a country church shown here:

http://www.northern-ghost-investigations.com/ngi-blogs/mark/top-five-ghost-photos.html

Was shown to not have been manipulated and the film was unchanged between exposure and development.  However other factors were not taken into consideration, namely that in the dark interior the photographer used a very long exposure and during the period he was there, a cleaner was in the church.

Basically the cleaner had cleaned the steps in front of altar, her movement appearing in the long exposure as a blurry ghostly image.  He hadn't noticed her doing this because he hit the button on the long exposure and wandered off, the cleaner not realising the photo was being taken because he wasn't behind the camera.
Logged
bicyclebuilder
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Netherlands Netherlands


A.K.A. Scanner Camera Builder


« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2014, 12:01:52 pm »

Oh come on! One can't tell that this fairy isn't a cutout?

According to Wikipedia, even the father saw it was a cutout. True, the photographs hasn't been manipulated, technically. But one can clearly see that the fairies don't have the same light and shades as the surroundings. Unless fairies are two dimensional beings.  Undecided

#SNIP# If the audience is convinced that a supernatural photograph can only be faked by manipulating the negative/plate/file, then any low tech approach that doesn't rely on manipulating the image is more likely to be accepted.  Ghost photos, fairy photos, photos of ectoplasm, etc. in the Victorian style are very easy to fake without manipulating the image.


I guess that's why nowadays Paranormal/Cryptid claims are made with low tech camera's. The blurrier the image, the more convincing. One could get away with a big man in a ghillie suit. Photomanipulation is getting harder to pull off. Now DSLR camera's use RAW files. It is concidered the original negative of a picture. Unable to be manipulated but able to tweak the light, sharpness and saturation. It also shows the conditions the picture was taken. Shutter speed, diafragma, ISO, used lens, used flash. So any out of camera manipulation will show on the exif-information.

Also, I think we all know now that one picture isn't enough proof. Same goes for a video image. We need more info to proof a claim. Hair/skin samples to even a caught specimen. It makes it harder for scam artists.
Logged
CorneliaCarton
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Scotland Scotland

Gravatar


« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2014, 04:34:21 pm »

I dislike Randi with a passion. He expects people with paranormal abilites to recreate them as if it can be done all the time. It can't. Not everyone with paranormal abilities can do it all the time. Also, sometimes, even psychics can get it wrong. The future is not set. It is entirely subjective.
I once went to a fortune teller at a Fayre in my local town, just for the laugh. She gave me a palm reading. All that she predicted came true. She also told me things that only I knew, things that were not obvious. Like the fact that I lived with my Grandparents, that my parents were not married. All that's left to come true is me getting married young and having three kids. If that comes true, well, I'll start believing that not all fortune tellers are frauds. But it's not as if what she predicted were so broad termed that I could inadvertently make them come true. Things she predicted were out of my control,  as in, outside factors. Like a close friend of mine being in an abusive relationship and needing help with escaping.
Logged

Ginny Audriana Irondust Moravia. Pleased t' meet ya.
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 04:52:23 pm »

Photomanipulation is getting harder to pull off. Now DSLR camera's use RAW files. It is concidered the original negative of a picture. Unable to be manipulated but able to tweak the light, sharpness and saturation. It also shows the conditions the picture was taken. Shutter speed, diafragma, ISO, used lens, used flash. So any out of camera manipulation will show on the exif-information.

What would you like the exif to say? - it's as editable as the image file Wink
Logged
bicyclebuilder
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Netherlands Netherlands


A.K.A. Scanner Camera Builder


« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 05:13:31 pm »

Randi doesn't expect them to recreate them, people who claim to be paranormal all the time can be tested by Randi. With a huge financial bonus for the person who is actually, without a reasonable doubt, paranormal.
I'm not saying that paranormality is a fraud but there are far more frauds than real ones. For now, I'm not convinced, but I do try to keep an open mind.
You wouldn't know how much personal information is out there to use. Facebook, phone tracking, facial recognition. And then there is cold reading. By looking at a person and his/her body language deducting behavioral patterns. By asking "mondane" questions and looking at minute reactions getting a non-verbal "yes" or "no". It's not exact science, but most of the time it works.
Now if a fortuneteller would have told me a decade ago that I would get married, get one daughter followed by two dead born sons, I would have believed the fortuneteller. THAT would have been something unpredictable.

About exif from a RAW file: that isn't editable.  Tongue
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 07:00:30 pm »

And never the twain shall meet...

Except...

I really don't have a problem with Randi. If I choose to believe something, I'll believe it and the rest of the world, Randi included, can go hang.

I laugh, by the way, at people who go around deluding themselves into believing that they've proven the nonexistence of something, and just because an event is faked does not necessarily mean that the event aspired toward is impossible. Think about it empirically: How can you possibly observe nonexistence? It is not possible. nonexistence is not there, literally, for you observe with your own eyes or to be tested in real time.

I think that's here a lot of people fall short of realizing Randi's true intent. I cannot speak for every single one of his exploits, but I've personally never seen him seek to prove nonexistence.
Logged
MWBailey
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United States United States


"This is the sort of thing no-one ever believes"

rtafStElmo
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 08:56:53 pm »


I laugh, by the way, at people who go around deluding themselves into believing that they've proven the nonexistence of something, and just because an event is faked does not necessarily mean that the event aspired toward is impossible. Think about it empirically: How can you possibly observe nonexistence? It is not possible. nonexistence is not there, literally, for you observe with your own eyes or to be tested in real time.

I think that's here a lot of people fall short of realizing Randi's true intent. I cannot speak for every single one of his exploits, but I've personally never seen him seek to prove nonexistence.




A bit harsh, perhaps. I suppose I should say that I find it amusing when people assert that they or someone else have managed to prove that something does not exist. It's a bit of a conundrum, really; it is of course obvious that there are no purple dinosaur droppings currently in my backyard, for example. That does not mean, however, that purple dinosaur droppings are impossible, or that they absolutely cannot or absolutely do not exist. I/we simply cannot see the evidence for such a thing. Commonsensically (pardon my neology), the lack of evidence is observable. However, the unconditional nonexistence is not observable. Just because the purple dinosaur droppings do not exist right in front of us, does not mean that they do not exist anywhere.

By the same token a faked example of an alleged phenomenon does not, by being faked, indicate the lack of existence of the alleged phenomenon.

By not having rescinded his offer of a cash payout to someone who can scientifically reproduce a supernatural phenomenon, Randi is de facto not alleging nonexistence. That he says he does not think they can do so is not an assertion of the nonexistence of the supernatural, but rather an expression of his own belief that they (the proponents of the supernatural) cannot scientifically prove it's existence.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 09:04:57 pm by MWBailey » Logged
bicyclebuilder
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Netherlands Netherlands


A.K.A. Scanner Camera Builder


« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 10:10:37 pm »

And yet, it hasn't been proven.  Undecided

I would love to see a supernatural phenomenom scientifically proven. Believing is nice, but I need more than that.

That said, I do believe there is lots more than our knowledge and science goes. But I also know that belief is for my own comfort. Sometimes it is mentally better to think of something imagionairy rather than accepting the bitter truth.

Back to the Cottingley Fairies: I think someone took the fake pictures for real. The girls made the pictures with fun and game, not with the intention to hoax people. Not knowing the background story, one can clearly see that the fairies in the pictures are cut-out paper fairies. I think if you want to believe the fairies in the pictures are real, they will become real.
James Randi using these pictures to prove a point is shooting fish in a barrel. He should have picked a more "real" example. Pictures that are not obvious fakes. I'm sure he has a few of them who he hasn't debunked.
Logged
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2014, 10:24:55 pm »

About exif from a RAW file: that isn't editable.  Tongue

Of course it's editable.  What makes you think it isn't?
Logged
CorneliaCarton
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Scotland Scotland

Gravatar


« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2014, 10:54:37 pm »

Randi doesn't expect them to recreate them, people who claim to be paranormal all the time can be tested by Randi. With a huge financial bonus for the person who is actually, without a reasonable doubt, paranormal.
I'm not saying that paranormality is a fraud but there are far more frauds than real ones. For now, I'm not convinced, but I do try to keep an open mind.
You wouldn't know how much personal information is out there to use. Facebook, phone tracking, facial recognition. And then there is cold reading. By looking at a person and his/her body language deducting behavioral patterns. By asking "mondane" questions and looking at minute reactions getting a non-verbal "yes" or "no". It's not exact science, but most of the time it works.
Now if a fortuneteller would have told me a decade ago that I would get married, get one daughter followed by two dead born sons, I would have believed the fortuneteller. THAT would have been something unpredictable.

About exif from a RAW file: that isn't editable.  Tongue

She didn't ask. She told me. She told me that I had been born out of wedlock, that I lived with my Grandparents because of that. She told me I was worried about my future in employment.
As for facebook, only friends can see everything. Anyone else looking would just see my name.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 12:50:00 am by CorneliaCarton » Logged
RJBowman
Zeppelin Captain
*****


« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2014, 12:16:26 am »

And yet, it hasn't been proven.  Undecided

I would love to see a supernatural phenomenom scientifically proven. Believing is nice, but I need more than that.

That said, I do believe there is lots more than our knowledge and science goes. But I also know that belief is for my own comfort. Sometimes it is mentally better to think of something imagionairy rather than accepting the bitter truth.

Back to the Cottingley Fairies: I think someone took the fake pictures for real. The girls made the pictures with fun and game, not with the intention to hoax people. Not knowing the background story, one can clearly see that the fairies in the pictures are cut-out paper fairies. I think if you want to believe the fairies in the pictures are real, they will become real.
James Randi using these pictures to prove a point is shooting fish in a barrel. He should have picked a more "real" example. Pictures that are not obvious fakes. I'm sure he has a few of them who he hasn't debunked.

You don't seem to understand the point of the book. The point is to show that educated, rational people can be fooled by very simple fakery, and the Cottingley Fairy photos are an excellent example. These photos will be obvious fakes to the students, but were not obvious fakes to Doyle and the original 19th century readers of the Strand.

The purpose of Randy's book series is to teach critical thinking, not to give comfort.
Logged
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2014, 02:01:01 am »

About exif from a RAW file: that isn't editable.  Tongue

Of course it's editable.  What makes you think it isn't?

It's binary data in electronic form, and as far as I can tell the format does not include any sort of check block, error detection/correction or signature hash, so there's nothing to prevent the image or EXIF data from being modified.
Logged

By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 02:12:18 am »

James Randi using these pictures to prove a point is shooting fish in a barrel. He should have picked a more "real" example. Pictures that are not obvious fakes. I'm sure he has a few of them who he hasn't debunked.

As RJ pointed out, the purpose of the book (as I understand it) is not to debunk the photos, but to provide introductory lessons in critical thinking. To that end I should think a well-documented example would be the obvious place to start; analysis of unconfirmed hoaxes would best be "left as an exercise for the reader."
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.394 seconds with 16 queries.