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Hi all!

This is a typical answer when discussing issues with an 'academic' (mr. Fagan):

"I speculate that the pyramids of the Maya were built by Welsh purple-dotted unicorns wearing yellow jockstraps. I have no evidence whatsoever for this claim. But since you can't PROVE that it is wrong, you have to accept that it is right."

This is the answer I got to my thesis that unless you can prove a lost civilasation did not exist, you can't say it could never have existed. I did NOT say this means that the existence of a lost civilasation is proven this way.

This is simple a matter of two MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE HYPOTHESIS:
H 0: There was a lost civilasation
H A: There was NO lost civilasation.

If H O is proven untrue (significantly) then one can reject HO and except H A, and viceversa. One cannot prove H O or H A, so neither hypothesis can be rejected. Untill one is proven to be true or untrue.

Now lets look again at the answer of the esteemd mr. Fagan. Obviously he either - doens't understand basic statistics
- hasn't read the message
- thinks I'm stupid

because 1) No sign of two mutually exclusive hypothesis
H0:the pyramids of the Maya were built by Welsh
purple-dotted unicorns wearing yellow jockstraps
HA1:the pyramids of the Maya were built by
Scottisch blue dotted camels
HA2: the pyramids of the Maya were built by Belgian
red striped dogs.
HA3: etc...

because 2)If his rather silly hypothesis can't be proven untrue, then this does not mean it is true. It simply means one cannot say it is untrue. It is however very, very, very, very unlikely considering specific INDICATIONS (not prove!) These indications suggest something else.

His answer is a) patronizing. He obviously believes we are a
bunch of silly people.
b) false on two points (see above)

Conclusion: If Fagan is an academic, then surely not a brilliant one. I will not continue discussing with people like Fagan if they are inable to provide serious, appropriate replies.


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Subject Views Written By Posted
a typical response of an 'academic' 170 Christophe L. 30-Nov-00 18:59
RE: a typical response of an 'academic' 83 Vince 01-Dec-00 00:26

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