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The person who believes weird things has now responded to me. Naturally, I will respond to him.

His fanaticism eructs off the page with an invective extreme enough to strike the casual reader as amusing, perhaps even crudely compelling.

– I didn’t notice any fanaticism. I only saw one exclamation point in my entire first reply.

In the war against ‘evil’ – a curiously religious word for a skeptic – there is no room for compromise or even civil argument.

How does one define ‘civil’? I am strongly opposed to the use of ad hominem attack alone to determine the truth of ideas. I am not opposed to the use of informal rhetorical devices in argument, as long as those devices express a clear, relevant, and evidence-backed point.

Protesting loudly that discourtesy is the norm in the knockabout arena of rigorous debate, the paranoid style makes itself all the more transparent. The discourse grows ever shriller and more ill-mannered, until by degrees it degenerates into the desperate and the ridiculous.

I am strongly against name-calling in argument. Calling one a ‘crank’ is not an example of name-calling if good evidence is pointed out to support this accusation. I take into consideration the ideas of cranks on all points on which I consider them to not be very probably incorrect.

But when professedly rational skeptics label cranks as evil rather than harmless…

-I am thinking especially of the anti-vaccinationists.

…when they defend the persecution not only of pseudoscientists but of Galileo himself…

-The least charitable honest reading of my post on the subject would almost certainly not conclude I was in favor of literally persecuting Galileo, especially in the manner conducted by the Catholic Church. If Joolzey did not notice, the word “persecuted” appears in scare quotes in all places it is used by me in regards to the treatment of those with unconventional ideas. I did say that Galileo was laughed at “rightly” (quotes not used to scare), but that in no way equates to support for his persecution by the Catholic Church.

but when consensus opinion is taken on ‘faith’, a word surely anathema to genuine skepticism, this conservative attitude becomes groundlessly dogmatic and imperious.

I did not even use the word “faith” in my relevant posts. I am strongly opposed to faith in any authority.

Advocating for ridicule as a critical part of the process to ‘get closer to the truth about the world‘ suggests either a paranoid lack of confidence in debate and peer review or an authoritarian desire to shut people up.

-Nope. I support the use of ridicule to make the one with improbable (at first sight) views defend, modify, and clarify those views. What better defense is there against ideas as silly as young-earthism or homeopathy than ridicule? I have much confidence in debate (why else would I have continued the long YouTube debate between Joolzey and me?) and I have no desire to ‘shut people up’ (although I do support the marginalization of dangerous and non-scholarly views in popular media). I have much confidence in peer-review, as anyone who had read the paragraph just below my screenshots of Visocica can attest.

But if today, some virginal loner sat in a darkened room, poring over alchemical texts and tomes on the occult before publishing a revolutionary mathematical proof, he would doubtless be contaminated by these associations and not taken seriously at all, or declared ‘evil’ by this blogger.

-Nah. Mathematics is a field in which authority matters little. I am confident that if a modern-day Newton submitted his ‘revolutionary mathematical proof’ for peer-review, it would first be widely debated, then accepted.

If it was ‘only right and proper’ to laugh at Galileo, at what point should all this amusement have abated? When he was formally ordered to recant?

-The amusement should have abated when Galileo published and extensively discussed good evidence for his relevant beliefs and gave solid rebuttals to the ridicule he received.

To state categorically that nothing exists outside of the strictly measurable strikes me as foolhardy,

Since when did “falsifiable” begin to have the hidden meaning “measurable”?

Skeptics have little of value to say about the nature of consciousness,

-The key term must be “of value” (to Joolzey), I suppose.

(I cannot take my skeptic friend’s blustering comments on Bosnia, or indeed anything else given these observations, particularly seriously. His remark about ‘prior probability’ could in fact lend credence to a Bosnian pyramid given the weight of evidence from ‘Old Europe’. He also promised to show the Bosnian pyramid’s orientation relative to the cardinal points but I am still waiting for him to do so.)

For fuck’s sake, give us the evidence, not further unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks on the scholarly community! The prior probability of a Neolithic pyramid or mound existing in Bosnia is medium to high, the prior probability of Visocica specifically being an artificial pyramid is very low, indeed. I thought I already showed “the Bosnian pyramid’s orientation relative to the cardinal points” with the first image on my first response to Joolzey, but, apparently, some cannot accept the existence of a capital “N” with an arrow pointing up. Needless to say, the “Geodesic Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina” probably does a better job at adjusting its maps to True North than a regular human with Google Earth.

It is vital to cultivate an open mind, one that is wary of parameterised structures of thought, fiercely independent, thoroughly discerning, and free from all traces of credulity or complacency.

-As long as animals exist, there will always be error. Such a mind as Joolzey describes literally cannot exist.

Although he doesn’t explicitly accuse SCICOP of academic fraud the implication is clear enough. Scientific method is fine until it produces an unfavourable result.

-Not all research misconduct is fraud. Fraud is merely the greatest of the ‘sins’ of researchers. I still see no evidence CSICOP has committed any fraud except for some plagiarism that does not distract from the merits of its case.

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