Oct 24 2017

The Mandela Effect

mandelaeffect1Do you remember when Nelson Mandela was killed in prison in the 1980s? Apparently there are a lot of people who, for some reason, had this memory. Of course, Mandela was not killed in prison, he survived and went on to become president of South Africa.

This false memory, however, gave rise to the term, “The Mandela Effect,” which refers to remembering some detail of the past that is simply not true. There is a disconnect between our memory and reality.

This should not be surprising to anyone, especially anyone even slightly familiar with memory research. Our memories are constantly changing, they merge, details shift, and entire memories can be confabulated. If there is a conflict between our memory and documented reality, it is clearly our memory that is at fault.

Despite this obvious answer, there are groups of people who feel that the Mandela effect represents something else. The disconnect between our memories and reality is due, they argue, to a shifting in reality, perhaps due to a crossing of the streams between parallel universes. Alternatively it can be a glitch in the Matrix that happens when they apply a new patch or expansion.  Between physical reality and memory I would say that memory is the one that is slippery and changing, not reality.

Their alleged evidence for the parallel universe interpretation is that many people have the same false memory. OK, I will acknowledge that this deserves an explanation, but again parallel universes would not be anywhere near the top of my list.

There are many lists of common Mandela Effect examples, and here is a subReddit where people discuss their false memories. These are fun reminders of how unreliable our memories are. The one that really surprised me was the girl with braces in the movie Moonraker. In an online survey 47% of people said that Dolly’s braces were the feature that first attracted Jaws to her, but Dolly never had braces. That is a false memory.

In the SubReddit discussing this particular example, one person explains that they viewed old VHS tape and the tape shows that Dolly has no braces, to which another responds: “Thats how MEs work, no proof.”

Of course there is a problem with any belief that is based on there being no evidence.

So what can be going on here? Many MEs are simply misremembering small details. It wasn’t, “Sex in the City,” it was always, “Sex and the City.” In this case many people’s memories drifted over to a slightly easier to say and perhaps more intuitive phrase. In the same way, it isn’t, “Interview with a Vampire,” it’s “Interview with the Vampire.” But,  “With the” doesn’t quite role off the tongue as easily as “With a.”

Other MEs probably occur from confusing common words. It isn’t “Jiffy” peanut butter, it’s “Jif”. But “jiffy” is a word (I’ll be there in a jiffy) and so many people just substitute a known similar word for the brand name.

Other interesting example include the fact that Hannibal Lecter never said, “Hello, Clarice.” While I have a clear memory of someone saying, “Well hello, Clarice,” that is probably a memory of someone else imitating Lecter. That is a very common phenomenon. Carl Sagan never said, “Billions and billions,” but Johnny Carson did when making fun of Sagan. Cagney never said, “You dirty rat,” but every one of his impersonators did.

Essentially our memories tend to consolidate onto more pithy, concise, poetic, and easier to say phrases. Many people share these false memories simply because we have similar brains that tend to make similar mistakes. This is also partly how language evolves – phrases and words tend to get shortened, simplified, and easier to say.

Also similar to language, these false memories can spread. We contaminate each-other’s memories (this is the meme idea), and we can even think of a competition of memories in the ecosystem of our culture with the versions that resonate the most predominating (even if they are not accurate).

Many MEs are probably due to confabulation. For example, in one episode of Spongebob (which I watched with my daughters), Patrick reveals an embarrassing picture of Spongebob at the Christmas party. However, he never actually shows the picture itself. But I have a memory of the picture.

There are two possibilities here. I am remembering another embarrassing picture of Spongebob from another episode and merging the two memories. Or, I imagined the picture and my imagination became a memory.

Now, of course, people actually made possible pictures of Spongebob (because the internet has everything) and so my memory is contaminated by these pictures.

The Mandela Effect is a fun example of the vagaries of culture and human memory. It is not evidence of parallel universes or the Matrix, however, because such interpretations rely on their being no actual evidence to validate these alleged effects. Further, they are massive violations of Occam’s razor.

While the Mandela Effect can be fun, I am most amazed by how fallible my own memory is.

125 responses so far

125 Responses to “The Mandela Effect”

  1. Nidwinon 24 Oct 2017 at 8:52 am

    It gets even weirder when you add long term mermories from daydreams(own created fantasies) and sleep dreams when recalling truly happened past events.

    I although don’t consider this a memory failure Dr Novella “I am most amazed by how fallible my own memory is” but just a side effect of our memory’s flexibility to be higly adaptable. We lose on reliability but we do win in adaptability. This helps us to soften all the crap happening during our life.

  2. Marshallon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:21 am

    The most popular of these is the spelling of the Berenstain Bears–many people remember it as being spelled “Berenstein.” There’s even a Wikipedia section on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berenstain_Bears#Name_confusion.

    Side-note: is there a help section to indicate markup? Can we just use regular html links like this?. Testing.

  3. Marshallon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:21 am

    The most popular of these is the spelling of the Berenstain Bears–many people remember it as being spelled “Berenstein.” There’s even a Wikipedia section on it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berenstain_Bears#Name_confusion.

    Side-note: is there a help section to indicate markup? Can we just use regular html links?

  4. Marshallon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:22 am

    Sorry–not sure how the double-comment occurred.

  5. MWSlettenon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:29 am

    “Luke, I am your father.” Nope.

    This phenomenon is one of the reasons I cut people slack. Calling someone a liar who truly believes what they are saying isn’t helpful in reaching accord.

  6. vaguelyon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:36 am

    Is a simpler solution not that people are conflating Mandela with Steve Biko, who did die in prison and who was the subject of a major motion picture (Cry Freedom) as well as a Peter Gabriel song?

  7. Nareedon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:39 am

    What if memories are not as fallible, but we are told they are in order to keep parallel universes under wraps? 🙂

    BTW, Darth Vader never said “Luke, I am your father.” The actual dialogue is something more like:

    Vader: Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.
    Luke: He told me enough! He told me you killed him!
    Vader: No, I am your father.

    For a more esoteric ME, lots of people claim to recall a scene on Babylon 5 with Susan and Talia kissing. No such scene was ever shown, though a romantic relationship was implied.

  8. Lobsterbashon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:46 am

    Just like how so many people don’t want to concede that our error-prone brains are the source of alien sightings/encounters, or whatever fantastical experience. And that reflecting on such experiences can only serve to reinforce and exaggerate the mistakes, and increase our confidence in them. It’s jarring to believe that our memories, our main anchor in reality, is shifty.

    Beyond memory, people not educated in psychology, philosophy of science, skepticism, etc are seemingly more uncomfortable with acknowledging the inherent bugs with our neurological wiring in a modern, information-rich world. They are uncomfortable admitting that they have been possibly tricked (by themselves) into believing things with which they have unshakable faith and confidence. “The arrogance of scientists, telling me my thinking is biased!”

    It’s much easier to believe we are fine, and the problem is external.

  9. Barryon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:56 am

    Fun video about this from Captain Disillusion: https://youtu.be/YGgUrj10HdM

  10. bendon 24 Oct 2017 at 10:39 am

    Fun post. My favorite example? Shazaam.
    https://www.snopes.com/sinbad-movie-shazaam/

  11. mumadaddon 24 Oct 2017 at 11:17 am

    Apparently Sherlock Holmes never said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

    I recently listened to an SH anthology on audiobook (read by Stephen Fry, highly recommended); I kept an ear out for the phrase and can attest to not hearing it.

  12. Pete Aon 24 Oct 2017 at 11:22 am

    For many years, I’ve been trying to figure out why so many people insist on using incorrect equations in some fields of maths and science. Whenever I explain the correct equation(s) I’m either ignored or I’m told that I obviously don’t understand the subject because I disagree with ‘the Internet’, or an author who wrote about the maths of the subject decades ago, etc.

    This isn’t the effect being discussed, but it strikes me as being a similar effect. Confirmation bias alone doesn’t explain it. Has anyone else experienced this problem and/or found an explanation?

  13. hardnoseon 24 Oct 2017 at 11:45 am

    “our error-prone brains”

    Since our brains are so inferior, it should be easy to design an intelligent computer that is perfectly logical and has perfect memory, and is free of our many defects.

    But it turns out that computers, with their perfect memory and perfect logic are still dumb as rocks, and have no “common sense.”

    Our memory and reasoning abilities are far more complex and sophisticated than anything computers are capable of. Things that you “skeptics” consider defects are usually the result of intricacies that psychologists do not yet understand.

    A computer can store every piece of data it receives, and can run complicated algorithms for retrieving it, but it still won’t perform anything like a human. It does not have the intricate networks that our minds create for retrieving the right data flexibly in the right context.

    If psychologists understood how our memory really works, we would have AI by now. But instead of trying to understand it, they are busy finding and publicizing the supposed defects.

    And why are these supposed defects so interesting to psychologists? Because the majority of psychologists are materialists, and they enjoy exploring why the less educated public is so ignorant and delusional.

  14. Lobsterbashon 24 Oct 2017 at 11:51 am

    Yes, our error-prone brains. Thanks for the demonstration, hardnose, you may take your seat.

  15. bendon 24 Oct 2017 at 11:51 am

    Who said “inferior?” Error-prone is objectively accurate and in no way suggests inferiority. Your setting up some bizarre strawmen here.

  16. bhobon 24 Oct 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Pop culture is where it seems to be most prolific. I can see a few new additions coming out: With the new Blade Runner out there will be people remembering Green Eyes over Brown as well as ‘I want more life father’ (directors cut) over ‘I want more life fucker’ (theatrical version). When i hear one of the many repeated i jump into epistemology mode and ask more questions in attempts to drill down and see what other facts they have miss-remembered.
    Regurgitation of pop culture factoids may be a cause for updating memories, for example somebody with the false memory was quicker to the punch in a conversation, you use the false memory to update yours hoping to be quicker next time. This, of course, seems to happen if the false memory goes unchallenged.

  17. Kabboron 24 Oct 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Looks like we have another incredible instance of the Mandela Effect! In my version of reality this blog post had absolutely nothing to do with AI or computers!

  18. Steven Novellaon 24 Oct 2017 at 1:45 pm

    HN has been attacking that strawman for years. He is (by all evidence here) pathologically unable to actually read what other people write and develop an understanding of their actual position. He uses superficial triggers to attack his rotating repertoire of hobby horses.

    This is a great example. I have been writing about neurological issues for years, and together my points are coherent. Human brains are fantastically powerful at some tasks but there are limitations due to trade-offs and the constraints of evolution (not to summon our other resident troll). We are great at pattern recognition, but tend to err on the side of false positives. Our memories are flexible and great and searching vast networks of information for matches, but are malleable.

    But HN has this very strange narrative that in reality our brains are all just perfect, and there is no real utility to understanding the biases, flaws, and limitations of our most important tools for understanding the world. Any attempt at doing so is really just a conspiracy by the elite to keep down the common people. Any promotion of education and critical thinking is an attack on his beliefs.

    As others have pointed out – HN ironically provides ample evidence of the very things I discuss while railing against them. He is an excellent example of what happens when you make yourself a slave to your own narratives, against all evidence and logic. His narrative is a dense prism through which he squints at reality. It is fascinating.

  19. Beamupon 24 Oct 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Other interesting example include the fact that Hannibal Lecter never said, “Hello, Clarice.” While I have a clear memory of someone saying, “Well hello, Clarice,” that is probably a memory of someone else imitating Lecter.

    This may be something of a double-Mandela. Because he DID in fact say it… but not in Silence of the Lambs. It was in Hannibal. The memory is likely accurate, and the attribution of the quote to the Mandela Effect is itself arguably a Mandela Effect.

    Prior to Hannibal’s release such memories would have been an ME, but today it would have to include a specific recollection of which movie it was in to qualify.

  20. Patrickon 24 Oct 2017 at 2:38 pm

    The chime in on the Silence of the Lambs ME. *Spoilers* – at the end of the movie, at the FBI graduation party, Clarice receives a call from Dr. Lecter and he opens with “Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?” Wouldn’t be too much a stretch that “Well” sounded like “Hello.”

  21. Pete Aon 24 Oct 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Dr. Novella,

    Since I starting reading your blog many years ago, you, and several of the commentators, have enabled me to step-by-step undo my childhood indoctrination in fringe religions, alternatives-to-medicine (sCAM), conspiracy theories, plus a plethora of pseudoscience and anti-science.

    I don’t know the correct words to convey the true depth of my gratitude.

  22. expblaston 24 Oct 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I’m starting to believe HN was created by another user to show all of the fallacies in the human narrative. How else could such a perfect example exist? I think he should stick around lest we not have a continuing example of the dogmatic mind. Sometimes I think he believes every article is an attack on him personally.

  23. Art Eternalon 24 Oct 2017 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve talked with some folks who had this memory error. In the past I thought the Mandela effect to be a result of the confusion between the Winnie the wife of Nelson, a convicted, social worker activist associated with murders of her own people and Nelson, the political leader.

  24. hardnoseon 24 Oct 2017 at 6:26 pm

    “He is an excellent example of what happens when you make yourself a slave to your own narratives, against all evidence and logic.”

    You have no evidence for your materialist beliefs. We have been through all that.

  25. BurnOuton 24 Oct 2017 at 6:40 pm

    Wow, HN. Strong reply to SN’s takedown. I am so impressed.

  26. chikoppion 24 Oct 2017 at 6:57 pm

    [hardnose] You have no evidence for your materialist beliefs. We have been through all that.

    Only in your head.

    Name one scientifically-established fact that is incompatible with materialism. Name one scientifically-established fact that definitively substantiates a “non-materialist” premise. Name a single objective and verifiable advancement in a “non-materialist” field of study.

    To whatever extent an individual endorses “materialism” it is due to a deafening silence from and complete absence of establishing evidence for competing positions.

  27. trampuspion 24 Oct 2017 at 7:26 pm

    I understand that the Mandela Effect is when a false memory is in play, but misremembering the name of a TV show or the color of CP3Os leg is not some effect other than… it’s hard to remember some details. Nor does it give us any insight into how our brain works. Sometimes misremembering something is because we just were not paying close attention to it in the first place. Sex in the City vs Sex and the City? I would have probably said Sex in the City, but not because of some effect or false memory, most likely because I didn’t ever give it much thought and maybe I heard it wrong from someone else. Why did I think CP3O’s leg was gold? Because of some false memory? No, probably because my CP3O action figure had two gold legs. It’s that simple.

  28. MosBenon 24 Oct 2017 at 8:03 pm

    This is the part of the conversation where HN falls back on “But cultures all over the world have had X beliefs/experiences for Y amount of time. You just fail to accept this evidence because of you materialist dogma!”

  29. Robneyon 24 Oct 2017 at 8:26 pm

    @hardnose, this is the same criticism you levelled at research into faulty pattern recognition.

    You assume that the researchers must be motivated by an ideological belief in materialism – but there is no evidence for this. It’s a ‘just so’ assumption you’ve made – ironically – because it fits with your ideological beliefs.

    In any case, it’s not true that all research into cognitive phycology focuses on the fallibility of our mind. But since its an objective fact that our minds are fallible (and you seem selflessly committed to demonstrating this fact) then there is value in exploring why this is the case, so we can work around our fallibilities and ‘think better’.

    Ask you yourself this – is there any way researches could investigate cognitive fallibility and do so in a way that is not motivated by any ideological commitment to materialism? IF so, how would this look different to what researchers are currently doing?

    What level of research into cognitive fallibility would be acceptable to you?

  30. edwardBeon 24 Oct 2017 at 9:02 pm

    “Play it again, Sam.” One of my all-time favorites! What a film! At least “Round up the usual suspects!” Actually was a spoken line, and not an ME.

    Perhaps HN should change his nickname to Dr. Pangloss.

  31. tb29607on 24 Oct 2017 at 9:45 pm

    HN

    “You have no evidence for your intelligent universe beliefs. We have been through all that.”

    There, I fixed it for you.

  32. Nidwinon 25 Oct 2017 at 4:33 am

    @Pete A

    “This isn’t the effect being discussed, but it strikes me as being a similar effect. Confirmation bias alone doesn’t explain it. Has anyone else experienced this problem and/or found an explanation?”

    May be it’s because you suddenly drag them outside their comfort zone by exposing them to a brand new element, a new and probably more adequate equation in your case.

    I can’t remember running into it myself but I do remember someone telling his or her mother (can’t remember the gender of that person) that he/she can make her skin tingle at will. The mother in question was a doctor or psy (medical world for sure) and her answer was a blantant No, not possible, end of the discussion. My guess is that you’ll constantly run into this kind of situation when you suddenly enter someone’s comfort zone as an outsider. Best case scenario you’ll get ignored as for the worst one … .

  33. Nidwinon 25 Oct 2017 at 4:55 am

    @Robney

    “In any case, it’s not true that all research into cognitive phycology focuses on the fallibility of our mind. But since its an objective fact that our minds are fallible (and you seem selflessly committed to demonstrating this fact) then there is value in exploring why this is the case, so we can work around our fallibilities and ‘think better’. ”

    Or just accept it as a fact without trying to find a work around to bypass it.

    I think it was Pete A, sorry if I’m mistaken, that wrote in another thread that it’s difficult or nearly impossible to unlearn something once it has reached long term memory and become part of subconscious behaviour (not cheking so it’s possible it’s a Nid’s ME). With accepting the falible part of our memory and it’s processes I think it’s much easier to just accept the failure and modify, correct the wrong part without creating some kind of mind-memory paradox up there.

    In Dr Novella’s case, he can’t just wipe out the memory he has of the sponge Bob picture. Although he can add to that memory part the fact that it’s a ME. This is also something, most of us constantly do, correct ourselves and keep a memory “flag/label” of both failure and correction.

    Fallibilities are bound to happen for multiple reasons, e.g. advancements in STEM, photographic and audiowhatever memories being a myth. Without a natural trained brain to cope with those fallibilities I think we would have a harder time when a false memory or wrong concept needs to be changed up there.

  34. Pete Aon 25 Oct 2017 at 8:07 am

    Nidwin,

    “May be it’s because you suddenly drag them outside their comfort zone by exposing them to a brand new element, a new and probably more adequate equation in your case.”

    That had never crossed my mind. The whole of your reply seems to adequately explain the problems I’ve encountered over the decades.

    Your memory was correct in your reply to Robney — I did mention in another thread the near impossibility of unlearning something once it’s been transferred to long-term subconscious memory/behaviour. I particularly enjoyed your statement “… This is also something, most of us constantly do, correct ourselves and keep a memory ‘flag/label’ of both failure and correction.” because it’s an excellent functional description of what the vast majority of people are capable of doing: provided that they genuinely desire to apply this innate self-correction mechanism to themselves.

  35. hardnoseon 25 Oct 2017 at 10:59 am

    SN:
    “HN has this very strange narrative that in reality our brains are all just perfect, and there is no real utility to understanding the biases, flaws, and limitations of our most important tools for understanding the world.”

    I don’t think our brains are perfect. “Perfection,” whatever that really means, does not occur in this world. Errors are an inevitable and natural aspect of our reality.

    But I strongly disagree with you “materialists” about the reason our thinking is error-prone. You believe it results from the haphazard process of evolution by natural selection. You believe (maybe secretly) that human designers could do a better job.

    For me, error is just part of how the world is structured. Living things aim at their goals and do not always succeed. This is especially the case in novel situations where the organism has to feel its way without the certainty that comes from experience.

    Error is part of the creative process of life and evolution, in my world view. In your world view, error is the result of a careless and mindless non-design process.

  36. MosBenon 25 Oct 2017 at 11:14 am

    Humans can’t currently replicate a human brain, flaws and all, so why would anyone think that humans would be able to improve on the brain in anything like the near future? What people might believe is that if a super intelligence were designing all life in the universe that it made some particularly questionable choices.

  37. Pete Aon 25 Oct 2017 at 11:47 am

    [hardnose] For me, error is just part of how the world is structured. Living things aim at their goals and do not always succeed. This is especially the case in novel situations where the organism has to feel its way without the certainty that comes from experience.

    Error is part of the creative process of life and evolution, in my world view. …

    So, if the universe consists of information, then its conveyance of its information is riddled with errors. Which is exactly what is predicted from a communications system that has a signal-to-noise ratio lower than +6 dB. E.g., your much-touted ‘psi’ phenomena, which have an SNR lower than −10 dB!

  38. JimVon 25 Oct 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Skeptics of AI and/or materialism ought to do an Internet search on “Alphago Zero”, the new version of Alphago in which the program looked for go-strategies all by itself, rather than studying games of human go-masters, and developed new ones which are better than those taught by human go-masters.

    This ought to (but probably won’t) end any controversy over the potential for provably-materialistic mechanisms to out-perform human intelligence. In my own case, the example of biological evolution creating our own nano-tech brains was sufficient. I suspect that in fact the same general, materialistic mechanism is used in all three examples (Alphago, human intelligence, and biological evolution): lots of trials, selection criteria (the elements of trial-and-error), plus memory.

    Of course this does not prove that only materialistic (non-magic) mechanisms exist, it just indicates that they are sufficient to explain everything we are currently able to understand.

  39. hardnoseon 25 Oct 2017 at 12:24 pm

    “So, if the universe consists of information, then its conveyance of its information is riddled with errors.”

    Any information system expects errors, or noise. Its success depends on how it deals with errors.

    And who said we are “riddled” with errors? We do a good job of navigating a treacherous world. More treacherous than ever now that we have automobiles.

  40. SFinksteron 25 Oct 2017 at 1:26 pm

    The cool thing about hardnose is, when you argue with yourself, you always win!!

  41. Pete Aon 25 Oct 2017 at 1:40 pm

    “[hardnose] Any information system expects errors, or noise. Its success depends on how it deals with errors.”

    Define: “expects errors”.
    Define: how this information system deals with errors. Provide evidence, not speculation! I can speculate that it uses something akin to cross-interleaved Reed–Solomon code error detection and error correction, but before I begin to speculate, the onus is entirely upon me to provide independently verifiable evidence that the communications system actually exists. Otherwise, my speculation is just Tooth Fairy science:

    You could measure how much money the Tooth Fairy leaves under the pillow, whether she leaves more cash for the first or last tooth, whether the payoff is greater if you leave the tooth in a plastic baggie versus wrapped in Kleenex. You can get all kinds of good data that is reproducible and statistically significant. Yes, you have learned something. But you haven’t learned what you think you’ve learned because you haven’t bothered to establish whether the Tooth Fairy really exists.
    —Harriet Hall MD

    Before we try to explain something, we should be sure it actually happened.
    —Ray Hyman

  42. bachfiendon 25 Oct 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘And who said we are riddled with ‘errors’? We do a good job of navigating a treacherous world. More treacherous than ever now that we have automobiles.’

    Then why are there so many road traffic crashes in good weather and visibility conditions where the motorists insist that they didn’t see the motorcyclist, cyclist or other motorist, despite looking at them?

    ‘You believe (maybe secretly) that human designers could do a better job.’

    No. The human brain is a very good general processor of information. It would be extremely difficult to design an artificial brain that does what the human brain does using 10 Watts of power. But human designers can design automated driving systems that are much better at avoiding collisions than human drivers.

    Evolution isn’t concerned with producing results that are error free, just ones that are useful. There’s no point in evolving human brains that are 100% certain that the rustling in the long grass is that of a hunting lion rather than just the wind, because they would be eliminated by natural selection. The not so good brains that see their owners climbing trees at the sound of the wind rustling the long grass would also survive the ambiguous occasions when there also was a hunting lion too.

  43. RickKon 25 Oct 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Hardnose is always trying to downplay the value of education, expertise and training – to preserve his inflated self-image by deflating others better educated, better trained or better endowed than he.

    One of his classic tropes: we think just fine. “We do a good job of navigating a treacherous world. ”

    Unlike every other part of us that can be improved with training, hardnose thinks the brain cannot. We’re pretty good at walking, yet an acrobat or dancer can be vastly more sure-footed than an average person. We’re pretty good using our hands, yet a surgeon or piano player or magician can be much more deft than the average person. The list goes on.

    But hardnose cannot accept that some people can train their brains to work better. Steven Novella was born smart and has put in his 10,000+ hours in deliberately looking at problems from all sides, investigating claims and evidence, developing structured, logical arguments and generally training his brain to think more clearly. The rest of us are somewhere along that training spectrum – most of us are far enough along to recognize excellence and our respective distances from it.

    Hardnose rationalizes his lack of training by rejecting the whole concept. Instead he sits back and hurls scorn like a beer-guzzling couch potato with the 35 BMI criticizing the performance of an Olympic gymnast or an NBA player.

  44. hardnoseon 25 Oct 2017 at 8:36 pm

    “hardnose cannot accept that some people can train their brains to work better.”

    I never said that. No one can be good at anything without experience, obviously.

  45. hardnoseon 25 Oct 2017 at 8:42 pm

    “Hardnose rationalizes his lack of training by rejecting the whole concept.”

    I have plenty of “training,” and I spent more time in school that most of you here. Yet I can still respect people who are less educated. While I was in school living on less than minimum wage, they were probably doing something more useful.

    Education is not the exalted thing you believe it is. Experts are not super-human.

  46. hardnoseon 25 Oct 2017 at 8:43 pm

    “Steven Novella was born smart and has put in his 10,000+ hours in deliberately looking at problems from all sides, investigating claims and evidence, developing structured, logical arguments and generally training his brain to think more clearly.”

    So we should believe whatever he says. Why bother thinking, when we have Novella to do that for us?

  47. CKavaon 25 Oct 2017 at 9:02 pm

    I have plenty of “training,” and I spent more time in school that most of you here. Yet I can still respect people who are less educated. While I was in school living on less than minimum wage, they were probably doing something more useful.

    Respecting less educated people does not require devaluing expertise. There are plenty of people who have high levels of expertise in a particular area and relatively low levels of university education. Recognising this is a non-issue.

    The problem with the worldview you promote is not that it dethrones formal education from some lofty pillar but that it places ideology before all other concerns. The only ‘experts’ you respect are those who support your ideologies and that is your core criteria for assessing competence: Does this person/researcher/study say what I want? Yes- then they are competent and their work is great, No- their work is terrible and their findings useless. Your approach represents the perfect inversion of the scientific method, what you want to be true is more important than any other consideration.

    As per your vaunted education, you have claimed in the past to have a PhD in experimental psychology. If this is true then it is almost certain that other people “were probably doing something more useful” when you were at university. You display no ability to accurately assess experimental designs and a level of competence in statistical analysis that is directly inversely proportional to your confidence in your abilities.

  48. Steve Crosson 25 Oct 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Pretty sure the only real job that hardnose has ever been able to hold is ‘unskilled labor on a wheat farm’.

    That is probably the only way that anyone could afford all of the raw material required to construct all of his multitudinous straw man “arguments”.

  49. bachfiendon 25 Oct 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Hardnose,

    “‘Steven Novella was born smart and has put in his 10,000+ hours in deliberately looking at problems from all sides, investigating claims and evidence, developing structured, logical arguments and generally training his brain to think more clearly.’ ‘So we should believe whatever he says. Why bother thinking, when we have Novella to do that for us?’”

    The 10,000+ hours is the amount of time to become proficient in a complex skill, whether playing chess, the violin or thinking logically.

    A person who is capable of thinking logically need not, and certainly won’t be, regarded as an authority on all subjects, in the same way that a virtuoso violinist specialising in baroque music won’t necessarily be a good interpreter of modern violin concertos.

    You, on the other hand, are an authority on nothing, save bullshit.

  50. chikoppion 25 Oct 2017 at 9:19 pm

    [Rickk] But hardnose cannot accept that some people can train their brains to work better.

    I understand what you’re saying here, but it’s not really a case of a brain “working better.”

    I work in a specialized field. I quite often meet with very smart people, smarter than I am and more accomplished in their field or industry. Yet, they can’t solve the problems that I can solve because they don’t have my expertise.

    Scientific research is not only itself an area expertise, but it also requires deep knowledge of whatever field it is being applied to.

    So yes. Listen to the experts. An individual shouldn’t presume to be qualified to assess expert opinion, no matter how “intelligent” one might think they are, unless they possess an equivalent level of expertise.

    P.S.

    I’m not objecting to anything you said, just adding my own emphasis alongside.

  51. hardnoseon 25 Oct 2017 at 10:02 pm

    “You display no ability to accurately assess experimental designs and a level of competence in statistical analysis that is directly inversely proportional to your confidence in your abilities.”

    In your uneducated opinion.

  52. RickKon 25 Oct 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Chikoppi,

    I understand – but I was referring to critical thinking: learning to spot bias and correct for it, learning how to evaluate evidence, developing a baloney detector, respecting what works rather than what feels good to believe – these are learned skills improved with practice and exposure and education and training.

    And it is critical thinking that hardnose rejects outright. He had a choice between ideological thinking and critical thinking. He’s made his choice and he takes pride in his ability to resist changing his mind.

  53. bachfiendon 25 Oct 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘In your uneducated opinion.’ Actually based on your inability to understand the news articles, abstracts and journal papers you link to, thinking (wrongly) that they support your worldview.

  54. chikoppion 25 Oct 2017 at 10:53 pm

    [RickK] I understand – but I was referring to critical thinking: learning to spot bias and correct for it, learning how to evaluate evidence, developing a baloney detector, respecting what works rather than what feels good to believe – these are learned skills improved with practice and exposure and education and training.

    Absolutely! It is trivial to confirm our own assumptions, biases, and desires. It is far more difficult to apply sound epistemological standards, knowing that doing so might lead to a less-prefered conclusion. “What” we think we know is of less value than “how” we came to know it.

  55. Steve Crosson 25 Oct 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Perhaps the hardest, yet by far the most useful lesson I’ve ever learned was to understand and believe the Richard Feynman quote:

    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  56. David Pritchardon 26 Oct 2017 at 4:45 am

    This is fascinating:

    http://forum.forteantimes.com/index.php?threads%2Fmoonrakers-dolly%E2%80%94braces-or-not.61527%2F

    It’s hilarious that people are so sure that their recollection is correct that they are prepared to believe that “they” have somehow gone back and digitally removed the braces from all copies of the film, except people’s VHS copies at home.

    Could it be that our memories are faulty? Noooooo… that never happens.

  57. SteveAon 26 Oct 2017 at 10:15 am

    David Pritchard

    I read the first page of the thread. It is really quite funny. Some of the theorising is bizarre.

    I used to subscribe to Fortean Times, many years ago. Kind of glad I gave it up.

  58. Pete Aon 26 Oct 2017 at 10:56 am

    David Pritchard and SteveA,

    Have you learnt nothing from the vocal proponents of “psi”. Nobody has, or needed to, edit-out the braces in the original movie because retrocausality!

  59. Sarahon 26 Oct 2017 at 11:39 am

    So ignoring the derailing troll –

    I recently had my own brush with a hardcore Mandela Effect believer. Specifically, he contacted me because of a fantasy story I’d written years ago that featured something like it, and he wanted to know if I’d “predicted” it.

    Needless to say, he flipped his shit when I said I didn’t believe in it, and didn’t think much of it.

    He went through most of the excuses we discuss here, and after I painstakingly went through and dissected each one, his response was to shout at me, livid with anger for “disrespecting his beliefs.”

    His response in the end was (paraphrased) “So what if I have no proof? I know what I know. It’s the most satisfying answer. The Mandela Effect has consumed my life, I know for a fact that I’m not living in the same world I was. Why do you care, how does my belief matter to you?”

  60. Art Eternalon 26 Oct 2017 at 12:00 pm

    It may prove functional for humans to live with their cultural illusions. Of course, they may find it difficult to traverse the metaphorical fork in the road.

  61. hardnoseon 26 Oct 2017 at 12:53 pm

    People believe whatever they are told, unless it contradicts something else they have been told or have experienced. Those contradictions lead to skepticism and questioning. The more varied information you are exposed to, the more likely you are to be skeptical. And I mean “skeptical” in the original meaning, as someone who questions authorities and experts. NOT someone with blind faith in a the philosophy of materialism.

    What you have constructed is a system where experts and authorities are revered, as long as they are atheists/materialists.

    People who question authorities are not called skeptics anymore. They are called pseudo-scientists, conspiracy theorists, science deniers, etc.

    For example — let’s say someone wonders if some vaccines might sometimes harm certain children who have certain genetic defects. They wonder if, maybe, some of the research funded by big vaccine companies might sometimes be biased. Well that person will immediately be slammed by the mainstream scientific establishment as an irrational anti-vaxer who doesn’t care if children die from preventable diseases.

    Or maybe someone wonders if the current mainstream theory of evolution really can explain the complexity of life. They are immediately slammed as Christian creationists who believe every word of the Christian bible as literal truth.

    Or someone might wonder why paranormal experiences are, and always were, so common. You immediately decide they are illogical and gullible and unable to think critically.

    You don’t want people to wonder and question anymore. You want the popular sources of information, like Wikipedia and Google, to screen out “illogical” and “unscientific” information, because it will confuse the ignorant gullible public.

    Wikipedia is definitely controlled by materialists. So congratulations you control the minds of students.

    I think you are doing very well, unfortunately, at creating new atheists. But you are NOT creating open-minded critical thinkers. Just the opposite.

  62. Willyon 26 Oct 2017 at 1:21 pm

    hardnose: You couldn’t be further from the truth than you are. Your supply of straw must be enormous.

  63. chikoppion 26 Oct 2017 at 1:39 pm

    People believe whatever they are told, unless it contradicts something else they have been told or have experienced. Those contradictions lead to skepticism and questioning. The more varied information you are exposed to, the more likely you are to be skeptical. And I mean “skeptical” in the original meaning, as someone who questions authorities and experts. NOT someone with blind faith in a the philosophy of materialism.

    Only extremely credulous people match that description.

    “Skepticism” is not about prioritizing personal experience or devaluing expertise. It never was, ever…not even in the Greek philosophical origins.

    “Skepticism” is about the application of epistemology to determine a standard for justified belief with respect to knowledge claims, even when evaluating personal experience.

    How is it that are you always wrong about the terms you use?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology

    You don’t want people to wonder and question anymore. You want the popular sources of information, like Wikipedia and Google, to screen out “illogical” and “unscientific” information, because it will confuse the ignorant gullible public.

    “Wonder and question” all you like, but don’t present fantastical musings as knowledge.

    How a claim of knowledge was established is more important than what the claim is. If you haven’t demonstrated the work then you don’t have a claim.

    THAT is why “non-materialist” speculations are consistently ignored, they are devoid of any substance.

  64. Pete Aon 26 Oct 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Willy, It will soon be Halloween then Guy Fawkes Night! Dr. Hardnose, PhD seems to be an expert in continual smouldering combined with sporadic flaming.

  65. Kabboron 26 Oct 2017 at 1:57 pm

    I just want to take the time to thank hardnose for giving an opposing view point. It allows the intelligent and hard working commenters and our host on this blog to illustrate the deficiencies in reasoning that we can all work hard to avoid and correct in our own thinking. I personally wouldn’t have the confidence to continue to make assertions that are so roundly dismantled.

    I can’t help but feel I might be better served if the opposing view were more convincing or served up with more rigour though. I consistently have a tough time seeing your perspective from the posts you and others make about throwing doubt at relatively settled science. This community is all about changing opinions when the evidence is good, so I don’t know what railing against the current consensus on any given topic accomplishes.

  66. Pete Aon 26 Oct 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Kabbor,

    QUOTE
    The wedge strategy is a political and social action plan authored by the Discovery Institute, the hub of the pseudoscientific intelligent design movement. The strategy was put forth in a Discovery Institute manifesto known as the Wedge Document,[1] which describes a broad social, political, and academic agenda whose ultimate goal is to defeat materialism, naturalism, evolution, and “reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions.”[2] The strategy also aims to affirm what it calls “God’s reality.”[3] Its goal is to change American culture by shaping public policy to reflect conservative Christian, namely evangelical Protestant, values.[4] The wedge metaphor is attributed to Phillip E. Johnson and depicts a metal wedge splitting a log to represent an aggressive public relations program to create an opening for the supernatural in the public’s understanding of science.[5]

    Intelligent design is the religious[6] belief that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not a naturalistic process such as natural selection. Implicit in the intelligent design doctrine is a redefining of science and how it is conducted (see theistic science). Wedge strategy proponents are opposed to materialism,[7][8][9] naturalism,[8][10] and evolution,[11][12][13][14] and have made the removal of each from how science is conducted and taught an explicit goal.[15][16] The strategy was originally brought to the public’s attention when the Wedge Document was leaked on the Web. The Wedge strategy forms the governing basis of a wide range of Discovery Institute intelligent design campaigns.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy

  67. Kabboron 26 Oct 2017 at 2:53 pm

    Ah, so this is the grand strategy of the usual suspects? Interesting. In case it was not clear from my prior post I am happy to see the efficacy with which so many commenters respond to the various claims and assertions.

    On the wedge strategy, it is funny how people will do whatever they think they can get away with if it is ‘for the cause’. The bible didn’t say anything about manipulating and scheming undermine science, so it must be OK!

  68. Pete Aon 26 Oct 2017 at 3:30 pm

    Kabbor, See also:

    QUOTE
    Non-materialist neuroscience is a reactionary, anti-science movement, like creationism and intelligent design. Rather than a hypothesis that leads to predictions and experiments, it is simply a catalog of things modern neuroscience supposedly cannot yet explain.

    Computational modeling and non-invasive imaging of living brains has allowed researchers to begin describing how complex thought emerges from the firing patterns of neurons. Modern neuroscience is rapidly reducing much of human thought, emotion and behavior into component pieces of neuronal interactions.

    When materialist causes become both necessary and sufficient to explain all of human thought then parsimony dictates that references to a soul or other supernatural entities can be tossed out. In a way, neuroscience is the death knell of dualism.

    The primary proponents of the movement are Michael Egnor [my empahasis], a neurosurgeon and recent contributor to the Discovery Institute blog, Denyse O’Leary, a Canadian “journalist” who runs her own blog dedicated to non-materialist neuroscience and likes to copy and paste these entries over on William Dembski’s blog as well, and Mario Beauregard, the author with O’Leary of a recent book on the subject of non-materialist neuroscience: The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul.

    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Non-materialist_neuroscience
    END of QUOTE

    and
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pious_fraud

  69. Willyon 26 Oct 2017 at 3:37 pm

    “Rather than a hypothesis that leads to predictions and experiments, it is simply a catalog of things modern neuroscience supposedly cannot yet explain.”

    Precisely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ain’t no “science” to it at all.

  70. hardnoseon 26 Oct 2017 at 3:55 pm

    ‘Computational modeling and non-invasive imaging of living brains has allowed researchers to begin describing how complex thought emerges from the firing patterns of neurons. Modern neuroscience is rapidly reducing much of human thought, emotion and behavior into component pieces of neuronal interactions.”

    Now THAT is a good example of pseudo-scientific BS.

  71. Pete Aon 26 Oct 2017 at 4:14 pm

    “Now THAT is a good example of pseudo-scientific BS.”

    No, 21st-century science and epistemology have reached the level of adequately describing your anti-science BS!

  72. bachfiendon 26 Oct 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Now THAT is a good example of pseudo-scientific BS.’

    Another of your usual ‘brilliant’ counter-arguments.

  73. BillyJoe7on 26 Oct 2017 at 4:18 pm

    He wouldn’t recognise pseudoscientific bv||$h!+ if it reared up and smacked him hard in the nose.

  74. Pete Aon 26 Oct 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I’m still waiting for Dr. Hardnose, PhD, to explain how his proposed information model of the universe, which operates at a signal-to-noise ratio lower than −10 dB [confirmed by his sources], “expects errors” while at the same time blatantly revealing that it has no reliable mechanism for error detection and subsequent correction.

    Information transmission systems, and information storage-and-retrieval systems, just happen to be two of my several areas of expertise, therefore I’m always more than willing to discover any flaws that exist in the well-established scientific theories.

  75. RickKon 26 Oct 2017 at 5:50 pm

    hardnose, thank you again for the gift of your dishonest straw man arguments. By providing such a striking contrast, your example does so much to demonstrate the value of intellectual honesty promoted by this blog.

    Nobody here has EVER said vaccines are 100% safe or has objected to testing safety.
    Nobody here has EVER said all those who question evolution are Biblical literalists.

    Seriously, why is it so easy for you to distort and lie? Do you think it somehow helps your argument or furthers your ideology to be caught in obvious falsehoods over and over and over and over? Is it a compulsion?

  76. CKavaon 26 Oct 2017 at 7:49 pm

    Hardnose,

    In your uneducated opinion.

    lol… I thought university qualifications didn’t matter? Regardless, I’m not going back down a cozying shaped rabbit hole, my points remain valid whatever my education.

    You have repeatedly declared to possess a ‘love of statistics’ but have simultaneously demonstrated no actual ability to understand even basic principles of statistical analysis, like why reporting a handful of ‘significant’ findings after running 36 comparisons is not a compelling finding. The same goes for experimental design. Ironically, you are probably the best example you could provide of why having a PhD does not automatically lend someone credibility or critical thinking abilities.

    It’s amazing how long you have been here and how little you have learnt or contributed. You are trotting out the same long refuted arguments and straw men after every single post. It’s actually a pretty impressive achievement to have followed a blog for so long and learnt absolutely nothing from it in the process.

  77. hardnoseon 26 Oct 2017 at 9:38 pm

    “You have repeatedly declared to possess a ‘love of statistics’ but have simultaneously demonstrated no actual ability to understand even basic principles of statistical analysis, like why reporting a handful of ‘significant’ findings after running 36 comparisons is not a compelling finding.”

    Maybe you are (incorrectly) referring to Bem’s precognition experiments, and maybe you are saying that my understanding of statistics is at the same level as his. Thank you for the compliment.

  78. hardnoseon 26 Oct 2017 at 9:40 pm

    “Nobody here has EVER said all those who question evolution are Biblical literalists.”

    Novella calls anyone who questions evolution by natural selection a creationist.

    And, like you, he refers to evolution by natural selection as simply “evolution,” as if there were only one possible theory of evolution.

  79. chikoppion 26 Oct 2017 at 10:20 pm

    [hardnose] And, like you, he refers to evolution by natural selection as simply “evolution,” as if there were only one possible theory of evolution.

    Oh yes! Just as there are many possible theories of what “fire” is, such as phlogiston theory.

    However, SCIENCE has demonstrated that “fire” is the result of rapid chemical oxidation, just as it has demonstrated that evolution is the result of variated mutation within a reproductive population subjected to natural selection.

    Pretend ignorance all you like. No one cares. At this point it’s merely boring. Why don’t you try evolving for a change?

  80. bachfiendon 26 Oct 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘Novella calls anyone who questions evolution by natural selection a creationist.’

    Quote and link please. I doubt whatever you claim. I’m a sceptic, which means I want verifiable evidence for whatever is claimed.

    Natural selection is a mechanism of evolution, and not the only one. There’s also neutral drift, sexual selection, the founder effect… all of which are partially independent of natural selection.

  81. RickKon 26 Oct 2017 at 11:13 pm

    Hardnose said: “They are immediately slammed as Christian creationists who believe every word of the Christian bible as literal truth.”

    That is false, and since you can’t man up and admit it, you dig yourself in further by suggesting “creationist” means “Biblical literalist”.

    Hardnose, do you even know the difference between truth and lie?

  82. Nidwinon 27 Oct 2017 at 4:42 am

    “Non-materialist neuroscience is a reactionary, anti-science movement, like creationism and intelligent design. Rather than a hypothesis that leads to predictions and experiments, it is simply a catalog of things modern neuroscience supposedly cannot yet explain.”

    Useless except for a god of the gaps.

    vs

    Neuroscience
    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1770/20131680

    Science that gives me something usefull on a specific topic that I’ve a personal interrest in.

    As for hardnose I’m wondering how much damage indoctrination (especially religious ones) can do to someone’s brain.

  83. SteveAon 27 Oct 2017 at 7:12 am

    hardnose: “People believe whatever they are told, unless it contradicts something else they have been told or have experienced”

    HN, I’m sending this message while standing on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine.

    Since the above statement doesn’t contradict other information you have on my current whereabouts, and my location lies outside of your experience, do you automatically believe me?

    Even if you were inclined to believe me, wouldn’t you want further evidence before you accepted it as fact?

    If you spent as much time thinking about your posts as writing them, we wouldn’t have to wade through so much BS.

  84. bhobon 27 Oct 2017 at 12:34 pm

    SteveA,
    You have an interesting opportunity to execute a ME experiment should your crew be cut off from the world for months at a time. I hope that you get an opportunity to exploit it!

    While i was in the USN serving on a submarine we (Navy Nukes) crafted quite a few experiment to run underway when we were no longer allowed to drill. Most involved a power transient of some kind and predicting the outcome on all quantifiable (logged) data measurements at each watch station. Everything from reactor power to hotwell levels and temps were predicted. The winner not only had to have the most predictions correct they, in true Navy Nuke fashion had to explain in detail how they came to their conclusions at the end of shift debrief. The overall winner was awarded a training debrief to the entire Nuclear crew and didn’t have to take that week’s Continuing Training Test. Good Times!

    Don’t ask me about in port experiments and i’ll tell you no lies.

  85. bachfiendon 27 Oct 2017 at 5:47 pm

    SteveA,

    ‘HN, I’m sending this message while standing on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine.’

    I don’t believe it. I want evidence. The number of people who’d be standing on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine at any one time would be very low, and the number of those who’d be allowed to use an electronic device at the time would be minuscule.

    I accept hardnose’s claim that he has a PhD in experimental psychology. There are many people being awarded PhDs each year, so there’d be numerous people with PhDs around, even in experimental psychology, and many of those would have degrees not worth the paper they’re written on. Having a PhD doesn’t mean that the person has competence in logic or statistics now. The person might have managed to fool the examiners after considerable direction from the candidate’s supervisor. And it’s not impossible that someone with a PhD could have lost whatever skills he’d acquired since then.

    Now if hardnose had been claiming to have a Nobel Prize, then I’d doubt his claim. Having a Nobel Prize or standing on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine would be of the same order of rarity, and are extraordinary claims.

    I assume that’s the point you’re making, and that you’re not on a nuclear submarine?

  86. hardnoseon 27 Oct 2017 at 10:19 pm

    “SCIENCE … has demonstrated that evolution is the result of variated mutation within a reproductive population subjected to natural selection.”

    Science has not demonstrated this. It is a hypothesis. It is the only hypothesis compatible with materialism, and that is why you believe it. NOT because of evidence, since there is none.

    I have said this before but somehow you can’t understand it:

    There is evidence for evolution, and for natural selection. There is NO evidence that natural selection can explain evolution.

  87. bachfiendon 27 Oct 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘There is evidence for evolution, and for natural selection. There is NO evidence that natural selection can explain evolution.’

    I have said this before but somehow you can’t understand it. The cause of evolution isn’t natural selection, it’s change within the environment of reproductively isolated populations (including climate, competitors, predators and prey).

    Change in the environment explains evolution, not natural selection.

    Change in the environment of a reproductively isolated population will favour some genetic variants within the population, which will then be favoured by natural selection to leave more offspring than other variants. And that’s all evolution is. The cause of evolution is change in the environment. The mechanism (or at least one of the mechanisms) of evolution is natural selection.

    The Guppy Project being carried out on Trinidad is evidence of my assertion.

    If you think I’m wrong, then what is your ‘non-materialist’ explanation of evolution?

  88. chikoppion 27 Oct 2017 at 11:23 pm

    [hardnose] There is evidence for evolution, and for natural selection. There is NO evidence that natural selection can explain evolution.

    What do you mean by “explain?”

    Because the process of evolution, the factors that result in change in species, is understood. Yes. We know how evolution happens. The theory itself, the causal model, has been demonstrated to the Nth degree. We know the necessary and sufficient mechanisms, which is the demarcation for a complete theory.

    What is it SPECIFICALLY that you think remains “unexplained?”

  89. RickKon 27 Oct 2017 at 11:27 pm

    hn said: “It is the only hypothesis compatible with materialism,”

    You know what else is compatible with materialism? Every physical law, every answer we’ve ever found about how our universe works, every cause ever discovered for any natural phenomenon, every single component of every piece of technology and everything we’ve learned in every branch of science.

    But you still doggedly defend a worldview that after centuries of failure, fraud and flapdoodle has yet to provide a single definitive answer to any question.

    But hey, since being right or honest hold no importance for you, you might as well stick with it. Maybe the horse will learn to sing.

  90. hardnoseon 28 Oct 2017 at 7:14 pm

    “You know what else is compatible with materialism? Every physical law, every answer we’ve ever found about how our universe works, every cause ever discovered for any natural phenomenon, every single component of every piece of technology and everything we’ve learned in every branch of science.”

    You don’t know what “materialism” means.

  91. hardnoseon 28 Oct 2017 at 7:18 pm

    “Because the process of evolution, the factors that result in change in species, is understood. Yes. We know how evolution happens. The theory itself, the causal model, has been demonstrated to the Nth degree. We know the necessary and sufficient mechanisms, which is the demarcation for a complete theory.”

    That statement is completely wrong. The theory of evolution by random changes and natural selection is just an idea. There is no scientific evidence for it.

    The evidence is for evolution, and for natural selection, separately. You are confused.

  92. hardnoseon 28 Oct 2017 at 7:20 pm

    “I have said this before but somehow you can’t understand it. The cause of evolution isn’t natural selection, it’s change within the environment of reproductively isolated populations (including climate, competitors, predators and prey).”

    I can’t understand it because it makes no sense. So what if you think the ultimate cause of evolution is changes in the environment? It’s an empty statement without evidence.

  93. hardnoseon 28 Oct 2017 at 7:22 pm

    “If you think I’m wrong, then what is your ‘non-materialist’ explanation of evolution?”

    I am a skeptic. I don’t make up explanations. My guess is that evolution is something that naturally happens in this universe. But no one has the answer to this kind of question. The Dawkins answer is a myth, because some people need to feel they understand everything.

  94. chikoppion 28 Oct 2017 at 8:51 pm

    [hardnose] That statement is completely wrong. The theory of evolution by random changes and natural selection is just an idea. There is no scientific evidence for it.

    The evidence is for evolution, and for natural selection, separately. You are confused.

    Your desperation is truly pathetic. There is no such thing as “evidence for natural selection” distinct from “evolution.” Natural selection, by definition, is an evolutionary mechanism.

    Here are many thousands of independent scientific studies demonstrating the causal relationship between the mechanism of natural selection and the process of evolution.

    https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_vis=1&q=evolution+by+natural+selection&hl=en&as_sdt=1,14

  95. hardnoseon 28 Oct 2017 at 9:02 pm

    “Natural selection, by definition, is an evolutionary mechanism.”

    Maybe it is by your definition. That does not make it true.

    We know that natural selection occurs — it has to. We know that only members of a species that survive to reproductive age can reproduce. This is an inevitable fact. But is it a necessary and sufficient cause of the development of new species?

    The answer depends on your ideology. Real skeptics have to admit that no one knows. Materialists will insist that natural selection is a sufficient explanation for evolution. But why? Simply because materialism can’t be true unless natural selection adequately explains evolution.

    The reasoning is circular and unscientific.

  96. bachfiendon 28 Oct 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘I can’t understand it because it makes no sense. So what if you think the ultimate cause of evolution is changes in the environment. It’s an empty statement without evidence.’

    We know that you don’t have the sense to understand. You prove it over and over again.

    All it is is allopatric speciation and the biogeographic distribution of similar but discrete species. All that happens is that a single species is divided into more than one reproductively isolated population by some geographic barrier (such as South American finches being blown by a storm to the newly formed Galapagos Islands), which then diverge genetically from the original species as a result of differential survival in the new environment, eventually becoming incapable of interbreeding with the original species.

    You correctly note that natural selection is not the cause of evolution. No one with any knowledge of evolutionary biology believes that it is. Natural selection is a mechanism of evolution, and not the only one anyhow. Egnor’s caricature of evolutionary biology as ‘natural selection plus random mutations’ is just a highly inaccurate distortion.

    ‘I don’t make up explanations. My guess is that evolution is something that naturally happens in this universe. But no one has the answer to this kind of question. The Dawkins answer is a myth, because some people need to feel they understand everything.’

    Then why did you contribute so heavily to the 1000+ comment previous threads on evolution, including your proselytising of Shapiro’s Natural Genetic Engineering (or rather your distorted understanding of it)?

    Your problem is that you need to feel that you understand nothing. You’re succeeding. No one with any sense believes that they understand everything (unless they’re suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect). If everything was understood about evolutionary biology, then why is experimental research on it continue to be performed, such as the Guppy Project on Trinidad – which is looking at how experimentally changing environments are changing the species?

  97. chikoppion 28 Oct 2017 at 11:21 pm

    [hardnose] We know that natural selection occurs — it has to. We know that only members of a species that survive to reproductive age can reproduce. This is an inevitable fact. But is it a necessary and sufficient cause of the development of new species?

    “Speciation” is a sub-set of “evolution.” Natural selection is a de facto mechanism of evolution.

    Is it necessary? YES. An organism that cannot function or species that cannot survive to reproduce in a given environment cannot exist. Even at a molecular level, natural selection acts to weed out mutations that do not function or otherwise cripple an organism. Natural selection is an inescapable mechanism of evolution, as all change is subject to it.

    Is it sufficient? It is one of several mechanisms that shape the evolutionary process, including speciation.

    The answer depends on your ideology. Real skeptics have to admit that no one knows.

    No, ideology is what drives the denialists. The evidence is painfully and abundantly clear. Stop using the word “skeptic.” It does not mean “denialist.”

    Materialists will insist that natural selection is a sufficient explanation for evolution.

    NO ONE who actually understands modern synthesis SAYS THAT. Even your strawmen are inept!

    And stop using the word “evolution” when you mean “speciation.” Those words are not synonyms.

    The theory of modern synthesis, including the role of natural selection and the process of speciation, is detailed, robust, and supported by more research than you could read in a lifetime.

    But why? Simply because materialism can’t be true unless natural selection adequately explains evolution.

    Your grasp of logic is as wanting as your grasp of evolutionary theory. In no sense whatsoever does “materialism” depend on any particular model of evolution. “Materialism” predates Darwin by an entire millennia. If we were to throw modern synthesis out the window it would have no bearing whatsoever on “materialism,” nor would it make “non-materialism” any more probable.

    Where is the evidence for any mechanism, any property, ANYTHING AT ALL that is “non-materialist?”

  98. BillyJoe7on 28 Oct 2017 at 11:59 pm

    This is not really a response to hardnoise.
    (Because he is beyond redemption)

    “But is [natural selection] a necessary and sufficient cause of the development of new species?”

    No, no, and no.
    Natural selection is neither a necessary nor sufficient cause of the development of new species.
    Natural selection is not a necessary cause, because there are other mechanisms such as genetic drift.
    Natural selection is not a sufficient cause because there has to be random mutation as well.
    (And please do not once again misrepresent (i.e. lie about) what evolutionary biologists mean by the word “random”, because it has been explained to you ad nauseam).

    “The answer depends on your ideology”

    Ideology has nothing to do with it.
    As always, the answer in science depends on the evidence.

    “Real skeptics have to admit that no one knows”

    A sceptic who “admits no one knows” is not a “real sceptic” but simply someone who is ignorant of the scientific evidence. Real scepticism depends on knowing the scientific evidence. A person who bloviates in a vacuum is not a real sceptic, but simply someone called Dunning Kruger.

    “Materialists will insist that natural selection is a sufficient explanation for evolution”

    Materialism has nothing to do with it.
    And “materialists” do not “insist” that “natural selection is a sufficient explanation for evolution”.
    The evidence points to random (again please do not misrepresent/lie about what evolutionary biologists mean by “random”) mutation and natural selection – which includes sexual selection – gene flow, and genetic drift as explanations for (or mechanisms of) evolution.

    “But why? Simply because materialism can’t be true unless natural selection adequately explains evolution”

    1) Nothing to do with “materialism”.
    2) And natural selection is neither a necessary nor sufficient explanation for evolution.
    3) And no connection between 1 and 2.
    Three fails in one sentence!

    “The reasoning is circular and unscientific”

    No, you are simply misrepresenting/lying about the reasoning.
    You have no idea why “survival of the fittest” is not circular reasoning.
    You have no idea what the phrase “survival of the fittest” actually means.
    You don’t even know what science is.

    The hubris of someone who knows nothing, and demonstrates is with every word he writes, is incredible.

  99. BillyJoe7on 29 Oct 2017 at 12:24 am

    Chikoppi,

    “Natural selection is a de facto mechanism of evolution…Is it necessary? YES”

    …um…okay…natural selection IS necessary for speciation, but not for evolutionary change.
    (Sorry, I’ve just returned from a run through the hills and haven’t finished my coffee yet!)

  100. BillyJoe7on 29 Oct 2017 at 12:29 am

    …but I don’t think this is correct:

    chikoppi: “Natural selection is an inescapable mechanism of evolution, as all change is subject to it”

    You can get evolutionary change via genetic drift which doesn’t involve natural selection.

  101. chikoppion 29 Oct 2017 at 1:18 am

    [BillyJoe7] You can get evolutionary change via genetic drift which doesn’t involve natural selection.

    Selection occurs at molecular level as well as at the level of organisms and populations. A mutation must first “survive” before it can be propagated. This is what I mean by “all change is subject to [natural selection].”

    For instance, a mutation that breaks DNA replication will not be passed on by any means.

    The only mutations eligible for propagation are those that are functional with respect to the replication process. Even if replicated, they would then have to produce a functioning organism (free from fatal genetic deficits).

  102. BillyJoe7on 29 Oct 2017 at 1:52 am

    chikoppi,

    “A mutation must first “survive” before it can be propagated. This is what I mean by “all change is subject to [natural selection]””

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding you but…

    …genetic drift is neutral with respect to reproductive fitness and therefore not subject to natural selection. Genetic drift can produce phenotypic changes over time. For a hypothetical example, the colour of fish species can change over time from equal percentages of red and yellow to 100% red as a result of pure random chance (especially if some random environmental change causes a “bottleneck” in the number of organisms in that species). If that phenotypic change does not impact reproductive fitness, then that change has not been subject to natural selection, by definition.

  103. chikoppion 29 Oct 2017 at 2:41 am

    @BillyJoe7

    Normally, I’d read the phrase “natural selection” in as you do above, which is the probabilistic influence of environmental factors on the propagation of genes in a population based on phenotype.

    However, deniers love to count the hits and ignore the misses. This includes all the mutations that fatally break DNA, lead to non-viable organisms, and create the five-billion or so species that “evolved” right into extinction.

    When people like hardnose claim that natural selection can’t “explain” evolution they mean that they don’t believe evolution can be random and unguided. Of course it isn’t. It is constrained (to functioning outcomes that are reproducible) and probabilistic (based on relative success in a given environment).

    I think it’s therefore important to recognize that the outcome of a mutation is determined a posteriori via a mechanistic process that it occurs at the first at the molecular, and then cellular, organism, and population levels.

    In other words, there is no “goal” to mutations. What we see are the remnants of what “worked,” as determined by natural and random processes—colloquially, “natural selection.”

  104. chikoppion 29 Oct 2017 at 3:26 am

    @BillyJoe7

    Shorter version…

    You have the correct definition of “natural selection,” but that isn’t what hardnose means when using the term. If he were using the term correctly he would never say something as ridiculous as, “There is NO evidence that natural selection can explain evolution.”

    What he means is that he doesn’t believe random and mechanistic processes can produce “novel traits” that result in “new species” that are progressing along some imagined evolutionary path of complexity.

    He’s shown a complete disinterest in learning the meaning of terminology (e.g., materialism, skepticism). I’m responding to his application of the term, not its proper definition (which would make no sense at all in this context).

  105. bachfiendon 29 Oct 2017 at 7:07 am

    chikoppi,

    Hardnose is being ridiculously illogical. He agrees that evolution is happening, and that natural selection is real and inevitable, but he’s incapable of putting the two together.

    He has the idea that evolution is his ‘innate tendency towards increasing complexity and intelligence within biological systems’ (by some unspecified, and in his opinion, unknown amd perhaps unknowable mechanism) and hence that new species must be more complex and intelligent than earlier ones.

    New species will, of course, be more complex and/or intelligent – if it pays to be so in their environment. If not – and being more complex or intelligent (which requires larger brains consuming more energy) incurs costs – then natural selection will eliminate them quickly.

    There’s no innate tendency towards increasing intelligence and complexity. Birds become flightless on oceanic islands free of predators. Cave fish lose their eyes. Parasites simplify their brains. There’s no predetermined direction in evolution.

  106. BillyJoe7on 29 Oct 2017 at 9:06 am

    Well, okay, but I don’t think talking down at his level is going to have any more effect on this guy than talking straight. He has a conclusion – which you have accurately characterised – through which he filters all the evidence. Nothing is going to change that conclusion. And, actually there is no excuse for him not knowing the correct terminology. He’s been around here long enough.

  107. BillyJoe7on 29 Oct 2017 at 9:13 am

    That was to chikoppi.

    Bachfiend: “Cave fish lose their eyes”

    Interesting you should mention that, because a recent discovery of a possible epigenetic mechanism for cave fish losing their eyes, has all the usual suspects bleating on about that paradigm shift that has been supposedly coming now for three decades.

  108. Pete Aon 29 Oct 2017 at 10:35 am

    I found it hilarious that hardnose stated “We know that only members of a species that survive to reproductive age can reproduce.” yet he refuses to accept the survivorship bias logical fallacy which predominates his pet subject “psi”.

    QUOTES from the Wikipedia article Survivorship bias, retrieved 2017-10-29
    Survivorship bias or survival bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that made it past some selection process and overlooking those that did not, typically because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. It is a form of selection bias.

    Survivorship bias can lead to overly optimistic beliefs because failures are ignored, such as when companies that no longer exist are excluded from analyses of financial performance. It can also lead to the false belief that the successes in a group have some special property, rather than just coincidence (correlation proves causality). For example, if three of the five students with the best college grades went to the same high school, that can lead one to believe that the high school must offer an excellent education. This could be true, but the question cannot be answered without looking at the grades of all the other students from that high school, not just the ones who “survived” the top-five selection process.

    As a general experimental flaw

    For example, the parapsychology researcher Joseph Banks Rhine believed he had identified the few individuals from hundreds of potential subjects who had powers of ESP. His calculations were based on the improbability of these few subjects guessing the Zener cards shown to a partner by chance.

    A major criticism which surfaced against his calculations was the possibility of unconscious survivorship bias in subject selections. He was accused of failing to take into account the large effective size of his sample (all the people he rejected as not being “strong telepaths” because they failed at an earlier testing stage). Had he done this he might have seen that, from the large sample, one or two individuals would probably achieve the track record of success he had found purely by chance.

    Writing about the Rhine case in Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, Martin Gardner explained that he did not think the experimenters had made such obvious mistakes out of statistical naïveté, but as a result of subtly disregarding some poor subjects. He said that, without trickery of any kind, there would always be some people who had improbable success, if a large enough sample were taken. To illustrate this, he speculates about what would happen if one hundred professors of psychology read Rhine’s work and decided to make their own tests; he said that survivor bias would winnow out the typical failed experiments, but encourage the lucky successes to continue testing. He thought that the common null hypothesis (of no result) would not be reported, but:

    Eventually, one experimenter remains whose subject has made high scores for six or seven successive sessions. Neither experimenter nor subject is aware of the other ninety-nine projects, and so both have a strong delusion that ESP is operating.

    He concludes:

    The experimenter writes an enthusiastic paper, sends it to Rhine who publishes it in his magazine, and the readers are greatly impressed.

    If enough scientists study a phenomenon, some will find statistically significant results by chance, and these are the experiments submitted for publication. Additionally, papers showing positive results may be more appealing to editors.[15] This problem is known as positive results bias, a type of publication bias. To combat this, some editors now call for the submission of “negative” scientific findings, where “nothing happened”.
    END of QUOTES

  109. hardnoseon 29 Oct 2017 at 1:01 pm

    “Hardnose is being ridiculously illogical. He agrees that evolution is happening, and that natural selection is real and inevitable, but he’s incapable of putting the two together.”

    I could put the two together, and I could say that natural selection explains evolution. But I don’t say it because there is no evidence for that hypothesis.

  110. hardnoseon 29 Oct 2017 at 1:03 pm

    “Birds become flightless on oceanic islands free of predators. Cave fish lose their eyes. Parasites simplify their brains. There’s no predetermined direction in evolution.”

    It makes sense to lose abilities that no longer have an advantage. And most species remain simple.

    I have said this many times in the past — the overall system of life on earth evolves in the direction of greater complexity. This is obvious, the evidence is obvious, and it is beyond doubt.

  111. BillyJoe7on 29 Oct 2017 at 4:15 pm

    And here we go again…nothing interesting to say, nothing substantial to say, no reply to the arguments, just easy ambiguous responses devoid of content.

  112. bachfiendon 29 Oct 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘I have said this many times in the past – the overall system of life on earth evolves in the direction of greater complexity. This is obvious, the evidence is obvious, and is beyond doubt.’ And you have to engage in hand-waving to ‘explain’ it.

    Except it isn’t. Bacteria dominate life on Earth. They have done so for the past 3,8 billion years. There will still be bacteria on Earth – even in Earth, in rocks to kilometre depths – long after humans and other more complex species have gone extinct.

    There’s no innate tendency to increasing complexity and intelligence in biological systems. It only occurs if it ‘pays’ in the ordinary evolutionary process of natural variants in populations accruing greater benefits than costs in changing environments being favoured by the natural process of natural selection to leave more offspring.

    The increased complexity and intelligence can easily disappear with the next Chicxulub asteroid. Or with global warming (if it’s not already happening anyway). If the environment changes in the wrong direction for us and other complex species, your ‘innate tendency to increasing complexity and intelligence in biological systems’ could easily become ‘an innate tendency towards decreasing complexity and intelligence in biological systems’ as the dominant bacteria become even more dominant.

    Except you won’t be around to regurgitate your ‘this is obvious, the evidence is obvious, and is beyond doubt.’

  113. chikoppion 29 Oct 2017 at 5:13 pm

    “Complexity” is a function of entropy. In thermodymics the available gradation of entropy is a function of coarseness, how much “churn,” how many degrees of freedom, and how much energy is available in a local system.

    Organisms sustain low entropy by converting available energy to maintain structure. So long as the thermodymics of a system provides for it, evolutionary mechanisms will expand to fill the available “complexity” capacity.

    Unsurprisingly, the chemical reactions that form the basis of organic life are those spontaneous process that decrease entropy.

    https://chem.libretexts.org/Textbook_Maps/General_Chemistry_Textbook_Maps/Map%3A_Chemistry%3A_The_Central_Science_(Brown_et_al.)/19%3A_Chemical_Thermodynamics

    There’s no hand waving. Just chemistry behaving according to physics.

  114. bachfiendon 29 Oct 2017 at 5:36 pm

    chikoppi,

    Another refutation of the creationists’ claim that Life violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics, so it must have had Divine Origin.

    That reminds me – Dan Brown’s latest terrible book ‘Origin’ (they’re all terrible – I only read them in the German translation in order to practice my German) – has the Universe evolving Life as a mechanism for more efficiently increasing entropy, despite the fact that the Universe does a perfectly good job of increasing entropy in all the locations where there’s no Life, such as Mercury. Or the Moon. Or almost the entire Universe in fact. The idea is that Life takes high value energy and efficiently converts it into low value energy, while at the same time maintaining its structure – committing the hardnose fallacy of not attempting to explain how the structure originated in the first place. It just ‘happens.’

  115. hardnoseon 29 Oct 2017 at 6:56 pm

    “Bacteria dominate life on Earth. They have done so for the past 3,8 billion years.”

    I said that most species remain simple. I said the system as a whole increases in complexity. Not my fault if you can’t understand that.

  116. bachfiendon 29 Oct 2017 at 9:19 pm

    Hardnose,

    ‘I said the system as a whole increases in complexity. Not my fault if you can’t understand that.’

    And I’ve also said that there’s nothing stopping the system becoming simpler. It’s inevitable that eventually the Earth will return to a system occupied by just bacteria as conditions on Earth become intolerable for higher forms of life as the Sun reaches the end of its lifespan and becomes a red giant.

    Not my fault if you can’t understand that.

    More complex or more intelligent life forms exist when the rewards outweigh the costs. If the environment changes so that the costs outweigh the rewards, then natural selection gets rid of them with the usual evolutionary outcome of extinction.

  117. bachfiendon 29 Oct 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Anyway, for readers of German – I’ve just finished ‘das Erwachen’, a science fiction novel by Andreas Brandhorst, which I thought was very interesting. It has a ‘Machine Intelligence’ taking over the Earth in 2031 (not an Artificial Intelligence, we’ve already got ‘dumb’ AIs already).

    I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to read his other novels eventually.

  118. SteveAon 30 Oct 2017 at 5:41 am

    bhob and bachfiend

    Didn’t mean to lead anyone on. I was not, in fact, in a submarine, but at a far more boring locale.

    I was trying to think of a situation that, while unlikely, was far from impossible.

  119. bachfiendon 30 Oct 2017 at 6:14 am

    Steve,

    I suspected that. When I asked for evidence, I also was wondering what would be adequate evidence too. Not even posting an image of the submarine from the conning tower would be convincing, since surely there’d be plenty of such images available on the Internet.

    A real sceptic requires adequate evidence for extraordinary claims. A faux sceptic, such as hardnose, thinks he’s a sceptic by doubting the opinions of experts making ordinary claims in their fields of expertise.

  120. Pete Aon 30 Oct 2017 at 7:33 am

    SteveA, I likewise suspected that. You’ve given a new meaning to the term “conning tower”!

  121. Nidwinon 30 Oct 2017 at 7:41 am

    SteveA, (sorry for going off-topic)

    While you were thinking and opted for the submarine situation, did you on a semi-conscious level experienced being there “standing on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine” ?

    I presume, sorry if I’m wrong, that you never stood on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine. But because you thought about it, wrote a note in this blog while giving it an afterthought could already grant you a memory of something you actually never experienced in reality.

    It probably has a specific name in psychology I’m not aware off.
    I find it fascinating how our brain/memory can make us remember or re-experience an event we never had in reality. I’ve plenty of those memories and experiences (beating long-jump world record, ski-jumping, lead guitar concert, flying, drowning). Not only can I remember them memory-wise but my body actually reacts the way it reacts when a I remember a real past event I truly experienced in my life.

  122. Pete Aon 30 Oct 2017 at 8:48 am

    Nidwin,

    QUOTE
    Role-playing refers to the changing of one’s behaviour to assume a role, either unconsciously to fill a social role, or consciously to act out an adopted role. While the Oxford English Dictionary offers a definition of role-playing as “the changing of one’s behaviour to fulfill a social role”,[1] in the field of psychology, the term is used more loosely in four senses:

    · To refer to the playing of roles generally such as in a theatre, or educational setting;
    · To refer to taking a role of an existing character or person and acting it out with a partner taking someone else’s role, often involving different genres of practice;
    · To refer to a wide range of games including role-playing video game (RPG), play-by-mail games and more;
    · To refer specifically to role-playing games.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing
    END of QUOTE

    Humans have the extraordinary ability to mentally rehearse a wide range of scenarios — either imagined or real. One of my favourite actors is Sir David John White, OBE, (stage name: David Jason) because in each of his various roles in which I see him acting, I can’t help believing that he truly is the person who he’s pretending to be, which causes me to suffer from a delightful form of cognitive dissonance 🙂
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Jason

  123. SteveAon 30 Oct 2017 at 9:38 am

    Nidwin:

    “While you were thinking and opted for the submarine situation, did you on a semi-conscious level experienced being there “standing on the conning tower of a nuclear submarine” ?”

    I suppose I did to a certain extent. I certainly visualised myself standing there. I also tried to ‘authenticate’ the experience by adding real sensations I’ve actually experienced in comparable situations e.g. enjoying the ocean view from large ships.

    PeteA:

    Congrats on first-class punning.

  124. Kabboron 30 Oct 2017 at 9:44 am

    Does the word ‘imagine’ cover this adequately? I don’t know if there needs to be a more specific term but there very well could be.

  125. Nidwinon 30 Oct 2017 at 9:58 am

    Imagine could work as description for it.

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