Author Topic: Adams interview  (Read 20962 times)

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Offline Denis 20100

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Adams interview
« on: July 18, 2006, 01:45:38 AM »
RE: Neal Adams.  After we've heard a few of these pseudoscientific nutjobs I believe we will have gotten a picture of how these people think incorrectly and how they bandy about the same logical fallacies.  A couple more  similar interviews would be plenty.

Sadly their beliefs are immutable, and there is no way one could ever have them see otherwise; it would take an epiphanic experience, (like a good whack on the head.)

I feel the approach taken by our panel was appropriate, with the post-interview analysis for our benefit being most useful.

I would also like a future discussion on the genesis of such disordered thinking.  How can it be prevented? How much is innately normal, basic, human thinking? how much is poor public education? how much is psychiatric ? etc, (Adams displayed in my mind traits of narcissistic personality disorder, with what seemed like  a delusion of grandeur, not to mention the complex delusional construct he has worked on for 40 years !  This type of seemingly intelligent disordered thinking in my mind verges on pathology.

What I found most grating during the interview was enduring the thick, tempered arrogance.  He really thinks he is smarter than EVERYBODY.  I agree with Perry that Adams' self-deprecating false modesty  is merely a calculated tactic he has learned to use in order to assuage and seduce others.  Guys like this are the ones who start cults. Besides, who would listen to him if he were a pompous ass?

Fantastic work guys, love the podcast

Offline Wonko the Sane

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Re: Adams interview
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2006, 03:49:10 AM »
Quote from: "Denis 20100"
I would also like a future discussion on the genesis of such disordered thinking.  How can it be prevented? How much is innately normal, basic, human thinking? how much is poor public education? how much is psychiatric ? etc, (Adams displayed in my mind traits of narcissistic personality disorder, with what seemed like  a delusion of grandeur, not to mention the complex delusional construct he has worked on for 40 years !  This type of seemingly intelligent disordered thinking in my mind verges on pathology.


Ahhhh the skeptics dilemma. Can we really spread critical thinking and stop this kind of bunk at the root, or are we just shoveling water uphill? sounds like a good topic.
'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

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Offline Ze Kraggash

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Adams interview
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2006, 05:27:45 AM »
I enjoyed the Adams interview although, as other have mentioned, it was hard to sit through. I would like to hear more of these pseudoscience interviews. However, it might be fairer to tell the speaker that his or her arguments are going to be analyzed. Let them decide if this should be done during the interview (they will be able to cover less, but respond to the critics), or after.

My impression is that after 40 years of “study”, Adams seems to have no idea whatsoever of what science is about. If you want to debunk a subject (all of science in his case), you must first learn at least the basics of it.

This same problem also dogs those of us in the “skeptical movement”. I am pretty sure astrology is baloney. However, life is too short for me to invest my time learning it in sufficient detail to debunk it. This is particularly true since astrology has different mutually incompatible schools. Evolution denier’s ideas seem to mutate faster than a white moth on a grey wall! Lucky for me, there are organizations like NESS, the JREF, and CSICOP that have people willing to study this stuff. Thanks. :!:

Offline gost

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Adams interview
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 08:36:57 AM »
Welcome to the boards, Denis. Always nice to have another doc around.

You raise an interesting point about the genesis of this type of thinking. I have encountered others with this ability to maintain a skewed perspective despite overwhelming contrary evidence. It does not seem to be related to intelligence, but rather, an ability to completely ignore that which does not fit the mindset. I don't know if "disordered" thinking is the right term, however. It almost seems like an obsessive (forty years!) ordering of data in an unexpected way. The most disturbing part was what seemed like an honest belief that soon the world will realize what a genius Neal Adams is.

After perusing his web site, New Model of the Universe, I've actually come to realize that Neal Adams was actually quite restrained during the SGTTU episode. His false modesty is nowhere to be seen, and is in fact replaced by an even stronger arrogance than we heard on the podcast. An angry arrogance. Here's an example:

Quote from: "Neal Adams"
You see the landmasses of Earth? The water is taken away so that you don't become confused (as scientists apparently are!) and think that land masses float like rafts in the water. (I'm gritting and grinding my teeth at the incredible stupidity of scientists using word float when referring to continental movement. For example, India they say 'broke off' of Africa and 'floated' across the Indian Ocean, to 'crash' into Asia. "Crash into Asia?" They say this stupid thing! Stupid-stupid-stupid hel-lo stupid! Do you believe this?

Ultimately, I guess what I find most disturbing, is that this guy has the ability to persuade not with science, but with comicbook art: Earth Project

Ah, the power of graphic arts!
Quote from: "Neal Adams"
Of course if I explain it all, I won't be able to sell you my tape and my book.

Offline obstreperous

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Interview
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 09:48:27 AM »
My vote is in favor of allowing the guest to put their ideas out with interruption for clarification not necessarily debunking.

Why?

1.  It's nice in this world of argumentative shouting matches and rude hosts on radio shows to be able to point out that because we depend on facts not on volume, we have no fear or feel no anxiety about letting people with new ideas present them rather than defend them.  

2.  Often, perhaps because they are more accustomed to being defensive, when given the time to really explain their ideas in full, without attacks, the absurdities come out cleanly and completely.  When you have a ridiculous claim, it is easy to prepare against potential attacks, it is much harder to just to present all at once your idea in a coherent and logically consistent manner.  You may end up saying things like "I don't believe in gravity" which probably does more to discredit you than any argument from the host which may come across as bullying and elicit sympathetic inclinations to less skeptical listeners.

3.  Letting the guest put forward their ideas so fully reduces the credibility of claims that they were not allowed to more fully explain their position.  Mr. Adams attempted this in a way, but as Dr. Novella pointed out, he knew this show had a time limit, he should have prepared a summary for it.  After all, I doubt would argue that within the parameters of that time limit, the portion of time he received for his presentation wasn't fair.


That being said, an occasional clarification or suggestion is not a bad thing.  I thought Mr. Adams dinosaur skeletal structure argument was just waiting to be destroyed.  Wouldn't a similarity in the bone density of say, pigs and elephants, be more than enough to destroy his argument?  I mean an elephant is at least  5 times the size of a pig and by his "logic" an elephant's bones must be 5 times as dense to support its body weight.
bi dubium, ibi libertas

Offline swpalmer

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Adams interview
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2006, 06:58:50 PM »
In the ongoing email exchange Steve wrote:
Quote
The interior of the sun has tremendous heat and pressure, which is necessary to force hydrogen nuclei to fuse together to form hydrogen.


It seems obvious that the second hydrogen was meant to be helium.  Bizarre how Adams compares the Earth to the Sun as if they are basically the same, but ones a little bigger than the other just because he needs a way for it to form heavy elements on it's own.  "No, I don't think so." :)  


I'm curious how long this exchange can go on with Adams not coming up with any credible evidence and dismissing the existing evidence just by saying "it can't be that way.",  "That's silly." ,etc.

Offline Wonko the Sane

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Adams interview
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 07:34:20 PM »
Quote from: "gost"

Ultimately, I guess what I find most disturbing, is that this guy has the ability to persuade not with science, but with comicbook art: Earth Project
LOL :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  he litteraly made a straw man to argue with (well a cartoon man)
'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

"People in bamboo houses should not throw pandas" -Jesus

Offline Clintsc9

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Adams interview
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 07:37:21 PM »
I'm imagining a cartoon of the two, seated at computers. One jumping up and down, slapping the keyboard and his own head, typing furiously, possibly salivating at the mouth.  The other calmly typing away with a bemused expression on his face, stopping occasionally to actually check a fact.   Guess which is which.  :)

The typing styles give it away with on the one side lots of capitalisation, multiple question marks, rows of dots.

Seriously though, Dr Novella is spending a lot of his time arguing our side with an authority a lot of us do not have.  For that, I for one am grateful.
Clint Lovell
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Why does confirmation bias always happen to me?

Offline Steven Novella

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Adams interview
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2006, 07:57:52 AM »
Thanks for the hydrogen/helium correction. I fixed it in the notes.

Actually, Neal's responses are much worse than they appear in the notes. I fix their formatting considerably (without editing at all for content) just to make them readable.
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Offline JHGRedekop

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Adams interview
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 08:33:25 AM »
Quote from: "Steven Novella"
Thanks for the hydrogen/helium correction. I fixed it in the notes.

Actually, Neal's responses are much worse than they appear in the notes. I fix their formatting considerably (without editing at all for content) just to make them readable.


I'd really love to see one of the originals. I'm sure it's quite impressive in its own right.

Offline gost

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Adams interview
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 10:26:54 AM »
Quote from: "Clintsc9"
Seriously though, Dr Novella is spending a lot of his time arguing our side with an authority a lot of us do not have.  For that, I for one am grateful.


I too would like to add my praise to Dr. Novella for his ongoing debate with Neal Adams. After doing some investigating of my own, I found I was completely unaware of how widespread this idea of an expanding Earth is becoming and I thank SGTTU for addressing it.

One thing I would find helpful would be some kind of notice here as to when a new response is posted by either Dr. Novella or Mr. Adams.

Offline Gilnei

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Adams interview
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2006, 12:11:22 PM »
Quote from: "JHGRedekop"
Quote from: "Steven Novella"
Thanks for the hydrogen/helium correction. I fixed it in the notes.

Actually, Neal's responses are much worse than they appear in the notes. I fix their formatting considerably (without editing at all for content) just to make them readable.


I'd really love to see one of the originals. I'm sure it's quite impressive in its own right.



You can have a taste of his writing style taking a look at the documents in his own site.

Take a deep breath and dig in, it might be worth the time. :)
Scientists are the leading cause of cancer in lab rats.

Offline JHGRedekop

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Adams interview
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2006, 04:30:23 PM »
Quote from: "Gilnei"
You can have a taste of his writing style taking a look at the documents in his own site.


It reminds me of Richard Hoagland's Enterprise Mission (http://www.enterprisemission.com/), only less well informed.

Offline Carl

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Adams interview
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2006, 12:44:08 PM »
Neil Adams wrote:
Quote
"I am well versed in synopsizing , extending and otherwise adjusting my format. "


Having read this gem in Neil's response to Steven's email I'm left wishing that Neil would adjust his format a little more in the direction of legibility.

Offline Jay

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Adams interview
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2006, 05:41:40 PM »
Quote from: "Ze Kraggash"
I enjoyed the Adams interview although, as other have mentioned, it was hard to sit through.


As a member of the board interviewing Neal I was very uncomfortable...it was hard for us as well guys.  When I was preparing for the interview I expected Neal to be more jovial and interesting.  I was also hoping to spend a few minutes on off topic questions about comics/ movies just to get a feel for his personality.  After the interview we all spoke in detail about how we think it went and if we should even include it in the next show.  I'm now glad we did even though it's a definite test of your listening patience.  

The exchange between Steve and Neal is pure skeptical gold.  I love reading Steve outclass Neal at every turn and I love the fervor that Neal pitches as we see his pseudoscience crumble.

Wait until you read the next installment of their exchange.  It will be on the site soon and I promise nothing short of a “Holy SH**” response by all of you.   :shock:
I don't believe it. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. - Ford Prefect  "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

 

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