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S2000magician
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
Rotfl Your asking me to prove that you cannot prove that something cannot happen.

No, I'm not.

I'm asking you to admit that your contention that one cannot prove a negative is a statement of faith, not science.
tommy
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The truth is that it exists and it does not exist at the same time.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cliffg37
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From Vocabulary.com

faith. When you have faith, you trust or believe in something very strongly. Some people have faith in a higher being, others put their faith behind the Red Sox. This noun comes from the Old French word feid, meaning “faith, belief, trust, confidence, pledge.”

On an unrelated side note... I hate the Red Sox!

Proof. Evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement.

From Psychology Today...

Let's sum up. If "you can't prove a negative" means you can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that certain things don't exist, then the claim is just false. We prove the nonexistence of things on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, "you can't prove a negative" means you cannot prove beyond all possible doubt that something does not exist, well, that may, arguably, be true. But so what? That point is irrelevant so far as defending beliefs in supernatural entities against the charge that science and/or reason have established beyond a reasonable doubt that they don't exist.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
From Vocabulary.com

faith. When you have faith, you trust or believe in something very strongly. Some people have faith in a higher being, others put their faith behind the Red Sox. This noun comes from the Old French word feid, meaning “faith, belief, trust, confidence, pledge.”

On an unrelated side note... I hate the Red Sox!

Proof. Evidence or argument establishing or helping to establish a fact or the truth of a statement.

From Psychology Today...

Let's sum up. If "you can't prove a negative" means you can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that certain things don't exist, then the claim is just false. We prove the nonexistence of things on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, "you can't prove a negative" means you cannot prove beyond all possible doubt that something does not exist, well, that may, arguably, be true. But so what? That point is irrelevant so far as defending beliefs in supernatural entities against the charge that science and/or reason have established beyond a reasonable doubt that they don't exist.

That's really fascinating, Cliff.

Irrelevant, of course, but fascinating.

Back on point: you make the claim that one cannot prove a negative. Therefore, as the person who made the claim, the burden of proof of the claim rests with you. Either you can prove the claim, or else you cannot. If you cannot, then you're asking to accept the truth of the claim without proof; i.e., on faith.

Which is it?
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1. I accept that the burden of proof rests on the shoulders of the one making the claim.
2. I accept the mathematical idea that you can prove some negatives mathematically. (Still not sure about irrational numbers, but I do bow to your superior experience in that matter, and so I let that one slide)
3. I still maintain there are physical constructs that very likely either never happened or never existed that cannot be proved. I am not speaking of faith and will avoid that topic as irrelevant to the issue.

This is a question asked with neither anger nor sarcasm. I mean it as a serious intellectual debate. I consider "civil" intellectual debate between informed and educated people to be the beginning of real learning and so I enjoy it.

Back to my previous dragon example.
1) Do you believe there were ever Fire Breathing Dragons on Earth? (It is a serious question and I will accept your answer without judgment)
2) If you answered yes, can you prove it?
3) If you answered no, can you prove it?
4) If you are not sure... Why not?

You have said, and I do not argue, that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. But I maintain that I can not. I believe there were never creatures on Earth that could breathe fire.
Can I give you mathematical proof of this? No.
Can I give you evidential proof? Not really. I can point to fossils and make claim about what isn't there, but again that is trying to prove a negative. It doesn't mean there aren't fossil I have yet to see or analyze.

I hope no one takes offense to this post. This is likely the first thing I've posted on this thread that I really enjoyed. As I said above, I like civil intellectual debate.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
1. I accept that the burden of proof rests on the shoulders of the one making the claim.

Good to hear.

To be sure that we're on the same page, that's you, here.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
2. I accept the mathematical idea that you can prove some negatives mathematically. (Still not sure about irrational numbers, but I do bow to your superior experience in that matter, and so I let that one slide)

Good to hear. However, understand that my example was intended as an intellectual curiosity; it's not germane to the thrust of this discussion.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
3. I still maintain there are physical constructs that very likely either never happened or never existed that cannot be proved. I am not speaking of faith and will avoid that topic as irrelevant to the issue.

I agree with you on that, but that's not the topic of discussion here.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
This is a question asked with neither anger nor sarcasm. I mean it as a serious intellectual debate. I consider "civil" intellectual debate between informed and educated people to be the beginning of real learning and so I enjoy it.

I'm happy to answer your questions, but they're not relevant to the discussion.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
Back to my previous dragon example.

I'm buckled in.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
1) Do you believe there were ever Fire Breathing Dragons on Earth? (It is a serious question and I will accept your answer without judgment)

I do not.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
2) If you answered yes, can you prove it?

n/a.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
3) If you answered no, can you prove it?

Again, to be sure that we're on the same page, I'm presuming that you're asking if I can prove that there never were Fire-Breathing Dragons on Earth. (Your question could be interpreted as asking if I can prove that I don't believe that there ever were.)

As far as I know, I cannot prove that there never were Fire-Breathing Dragons on Earth. (I'm not trying to equivocate here. I'm pretty sure that I can't, but, to be fair, I've never tried. I may have a hidden talent.)

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
4) If you are not sure... Why not?

Again, to be sure that we're on the same page, I'm presuming that when you say "If you're not sure", you're referring to whether or not I'm sure about the existence of Fire-Breathing Dragons on Earth, not whether or not I'm sure about my belief.

In either case, n/a.

Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
You have said, and I do not argue, that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim. But I maintain that I can not. I believe there were never creatures on Earth that could breathe fire.
Can I give you mathematical proof of this? No.
Can I give you evidential proof? Not really. I can point to fossils and make claim about what isn't there, but again that is trying to prove a negative. It doesn't mean there aren't fossil I have yet to see or analyze.

I hope no one takes offense to this post. This is likely the first thing I've posted on this thread that I really enjoyed. As I said above, I like civil intellectual debate.

I certainly cannot speak for everyone here, but there's no way I could take offense at your post.

However, as interesting as all of this is, I believe that you're complicating a very simple idea, and you're bringing in a number of things that aren't relevant.

The only thing at issue, as far as my question goes, is this statement that you made: Science cannot prove a negative.

That statement is either true or false.

As you asserted it (as true), then the burden of proving that it is true is yours. As I see it, you have exactly two ways to handle that burden:

1. Prove that it is true. If you can do that, I'm very interested, as I believe that it would be a fascinating proof.

2. Admit that it cannot be proven (or, at least, that you cannot prove it).

If you choose the latter, then, either:

2a. You admit that it might not be true, or

2b. You continue to insist on its truth and accept (and, by extension, expect us to accept) its truth without proof.

So: which do you select: 1, 2a, or 2b?
yachanin
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Hi All,

I've enjoyed reading this interesting discussion and it led me to wonder if the following might be a sufficient proof of the claim that "Science cannot prove a negative"?

If X does not exist, then there is no evidence of X.
There is no evidence of X.
Therefore, X does not exist.

You might recognize the above as an example of the logical fallacy, "affirming the consequent." Thus, no matter how much science searched for evidence of X, but found no evidence of X, science could not conclude, "X does not exist," because to do so would be a logical fallacy.

Your thoughts?

My intuition tells me (and it's certainly been wrong in the past) that science can, under some conditions, prove a negative, while under other conditions, it cannot.

Regards, Steve
R.S.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, R.S. wrote:
From page 3 of the thread:

“It’s not a statement that psychic phenomena CANNOT be proven to exist. Rather, it has YET to be demonstrated to exist. ”

This is probably the source of the confusion. I think “proven” is the key word here.

The key word is "it's". What is the "it" to which you're referring?


“there has not yet been a (unambiguously statistically significant) demonstration of any psychic phenomena that has been accepted by the mainstream scientific community.”

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, R.S. wrote:
I never flat out said “it doesn’t exist”, but rather it has yet to be “proven”.


Interesting, so what did you mean when you said it, and I am quoting you, “doesn’t exist”?


Quote:
On Apr 16, 2019, R.S. wrote:

And the absence of replicable, significant, and unambiguous evidence for psychic phenomena after decades of investigation IS the evidence (so far anyway) that psychic phenomena doesn't exist.

Ron


And be fore you go off about “so far anyway” qualifying that, it doesn’t. The EXACT point is that science has not proven that psychic phenomena doesn’t exist. Not up till now. Not any time in the future. Science can not and does not prove that something does not exist. Any extrapolation to that end of scientific data is a belief unproven by science.


Your attempt to deflect from my unanswered question won’t work.

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
R.S.
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Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, R.S. wrote:

There was no “conflation” on my part.



Hmmm... what famous, well documented liar are you starting to resemble? I already have proven where and how you initiated the “conflation”. Your repeated denial of it will not change that fact.


What has been “proven” is that you are desperate to avoid answering my question by repeatedly making false and IRRELEVANT accusations of “conflation.”

(bolding in your post below is mine)

“Death Rays, being a “psychic”, and yes, even ignoring the then current understanding of medicine are all irrelevant to my simple comparison of the similarities between the very basic technique in common between Cayce and modern corporate medicine.”


Quote:

Quote:

So now it’s “obtuse humor”, huh? Between obtuse humor and alliteration, you oughta get a standup gig.


Thank you. Yes, others have mention I have a knack for stand-up comedy. My interest in stage time rests elsewhere, so I don’t see that happening in the near future. And for clarity’s sake, it is not “so now”; it always was. You just missed it. But I applaud your attempt to mischaracterize it.


Quote:


Quote:
Let’s put my post and yours side by side for comparison:

MINE:
“As far as Cayce, he (probably unwittingly) employed the standard psychic technique of throwing out many predictions (and prescriptions in his case) and counted on the fact that people would remember the occasional hit and forget all the misses.”


YOURS:
“As far as Cayce, he (probably unwittingly) employed the current corporate medical practice of throwing out many predictions (and prescriptions in his case) and counted on the fact that people would remember the occasional hit and forget all the misses.”


[I]“I was simply addressing YOUR statement about “throwing out multiple diagnosis (and prescriptions) hoping that the misses will be forgotten and the successes will be remembered. Example after example of You said “PRECISELY”!


Hmmm... I don’t see the word “PRECISELY” in your quoting of me. Perhaps you can share which use of “PRECISELY” you are referring to, so I may accurately address it without jumping to a conclusion about what you mean.


Again, from another post of yours:

“I was simply addressing YOUR statement about “throwing out multiple diagnosis (and prescriptions) hoping that the misses will be forgotten and the successes will be remembered. Example after example of modern corporate medicine show this is precisely the method being used…”

This directly relates to your “fix” of my post:

“As far as Cayce, he (probably unwittingly) employed the current corporate medical practice of throwing out many predictions (and prescriptions in his case) and counted on the fact that people would remember the occasional hit and forget all the misses.”

So it’s obvious to everyone that you were equating Cayce’s methods as precisely that of modern science-based medicine. If it wasn’t obvious in your original “fix” of my post (it was), it certainly was obvious in your follow up explanation.

But then when I asked whether you would rather see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD you desperately tried to shift the focus to death rays and Armageddon.

Quote:

Quote:

OK, but do you think I should see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD?


You? You should see someone like Cayce. Smile


Why?

Quote:

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
On Apr 16, 2019, R.S. wrote:

And the absence of replicable, significant, and unambiguous evidence for psychic phenomena after decades of investigation IS the evidence (so far anyway) that psychic phenomena doesn't exist.

Ron


Quote:
On Apr 21, 2019, R.S. wrote:

my current position on the status of psychic phenomena (that it has yet to be demonstrated) is not a declaration that it cannot ever be proven to exist.

Ron


So your position has changed in the last five days?


Your attempt to deflect from my unanswered question won’t work.


It was a courtesy, Ron. It is plain to see from the direct quotes of your words above that something has changed. One can only ponder is it:
A. Your position has changed in those five days and you trying to come to grips with that while hoping to cover it up.
B. Your understanding of science has changed in those five days and you are trying to come to grips with that while covering it up.
C. You simply mis-spoke at first.
D. You are just here for the joy of the sport of arguing.
E. Any one of a number of things more alarming than these.


Your attempt to deflect from my unanswered question won’t work.

There is one question on the table, and anything other than a yes, no, or maybe answer is just noise and deflection:

Would you rather see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD?

Ron
"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry." Thomas Paine
S2000magician
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Quote:
On Apr 23, 2019, R.S. wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, S2000magician wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, R.S. wrote:
From page 3 of the thread:

“It’s not a statement that psychic phenomena CANNOT be proven to exist. Rather, it has YET to be demonstrated to exist. ”

This is probably the source of the confusion. I think “proven” is the key word here.

The key word is "it's". What is the "it" to which you're referring?

“there has not yet been a (unambiguously statistically significant) demonstration of any psychic phenomena that has been accepted by the mainstream scientific community.”

Well . . . there's the problem: that most certainly isn't the "it" that was the topic of discussion when you wrote that sentence.

Please go back and reread your post on page 3, dated Apr 18, 2019 06:08 am.
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To us gamblers certainty and impossibility are nonsense: that which exists to us are the various probabilities that lie between those two extremes. So we say that scientific proof is a myth because one cannot prove or disprove anything absolutely. There is only a chance that something is true, which means that there is also a chance that it is not.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Cliffg37
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Quote:
There is one question on the table, and anything other than a yes, no, or maybe answer is just noise and deflection:
Would you rather see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD?
Ron


Ron, among all else, I didn't realize this was the question. To me the answer is obvious. I am going to see my board certified M.D. if I need medical care. There is no argument on that at all... FOR ME. I don't claim to put words in anyone else's mouth, nor do I have the right to make decisions for anyone else, but for me that is my truth and my plan.
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tommy
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Scientists can believe something today and not tomorrow and so on. It all depends on what they think they know at the time. They cannot exclude the possibility of new evidence coming to light which might affect their conclusions. Put simply, you never know.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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Quote:
On Apr 23, 2019, R.S. wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, R.S. wrote:
I never flat out said “it doesn’t exist”, but rather it has yet to be “proven”.


Interesting, so what did you mean when you said it, and I am quoting you, “doesn’t exist”?


Quote:
On Apr 16, 2019, R.S. wrote:

And the absence of replicable, significant, and unambiguous evidence for psychic phenomena after decades of investigation IS the evidence (so far anyway) that psychic phenomena doesn't exist.

Ron


And be fore you go off about “so far anyway” qualifying that, it doesn’t. The EXACT point is that science has not proven that psychic phenomena doesn’t exist. Not up till now. Not any time in the future. Science can not and does not prove that something does not exist. Any extrapolation to that end of scientific data is a belief unproven by science.


Your attempt to deflect from my unanswered question won’t work.

Ron


Not deflecting from anything. Just pointing out your lie.
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Quote:
On Apr 23, 2019, R.S. wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 22, 2019, R.S. wrote:

There was no “conflation” on my part.



Hmmm... what famous, well documented liar are you starting to resemble? I already have proven where and how you initiated the “conflation”. Your repeated denial of it will not change that fact.


What has been “proven” is that you are desperate to avoid answering my question by repeatedly making false and IRRELEVANT accusations of “conflation.”

(bolding in your post below is mine)

“Death Rays, being a “psychic”, and yes, even ignoring the then current understanding of medicine are all irrelevant to my simple comparison of the similarities between the very basic technique in common between Cayce and modern corporate medicine.”


Quote:

Quote:

So now it’s “obtuse humor”, huh? Between obtuse humor and alliteration, you oughta get a standup gig.


Thank you. Yes, others have mention I have a knack for stand-up comedy. My interest in stage time rests elsewhere, so I don’t see that happening in the near future. And for clarity’s sake, it is not “so now”; it always was. You just missed it. But I applaud your attempt to mischaracterize it.


Quote:


Quote:
Let’s put my post and yours side by side for comparison:

MINE:
“As far as Cayce, he (probably unwittingly) employed the standard psychic technique of throwing out many predictions (and prescriptions in his case) and counted on the fact that people would remember the occasional hit and forget all the misses.”


YOURS:
“As far as Cayce, he (probably unwittingly) employed the current corporate medical practice of throwing out many predictions (and prescriptions in his case) and counted on the fact that people would remember the occasional hit and forget all the misses.”


[I]“I was simply addressing YOUR statement about “throwing out multiple diagnosis (and prescriptions) hoping that the misses will be forgotten and the successes will be remembered. Example after example of You said “PRECISELY”!


Hmmm... I don’t see the word “PRECISELY” in your quoting of me. Perhaps you can share which use of “PRECISELY” you are referring to, so I may accurately address it without jumping to a conclusion about what you mean.


Again, from another post of yours:

“I was simply addressing YOUR statement about “throwing out multiple diagnosis (and prescriptions) hoping that the misses will be forgotten and the successes will be remembered. Example after example of modern corporate medicine show this is precisely the method being used…”

This directly relates to your “fix” of my post:

“As far as Cayce, he (probably unwittingly) employed the current corporate medical practice of throwing out many predictions (and prescriptions in his case) and counted on the fact that people would remember the occasional hit and forget all the misses.”

So it’s obvious to everyone that you were equating Cayce’s methods as precisely that of modern science-based medicine. If it wasn’t obvious in your original “fix” of my post (it was), it certainly was obvious in your follow up explanation.

But then when I asked whether you would rather see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD you desperately tried to shift the focus to death rays and Armageddon.

Quote:

Quote:

OK, but do you think I should see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD?


You? You should see someone like Cayce. Smile


Why?

Quote:

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
On Apr 16, 2019, R.S. wrote:

And the absence of replicable, significant, and unambiguous evidence for psychic phenomena after decades of investigation IS the evidence (so far anyway) that psychic phenomena doesn't exist.

Ron


Quote:
On Apr 21, 2019, R.S. wrote:

my current position on the status of psychic phenomena (that it has yet to be demonstrated) is not a declaration that it cannot ever be proven to exist.

Ron


So your position has changed in the last five days?


Your attempt to deflect from my unanswered question won’t work.


It was a courtesy, Ron. It is plain to see from the direct quotes of your words above that something has changed. One can only ponder is it:
A. Your position has changed in those five days and you trying to come to grips with that while hoping to cover it up.
B. Your understanding of science has changed in those five days and you are trying to come to grips with that while covering it up.
C. You simply mis-spoke at first.
D. You are just here for the joy of the sport of arguing.
E. Any one of a number of things more alarming than these.


Your attempt to deflect from my unanswered question won’t work.

There is one question on the table, and anything other than a yes, no, or maybe answer is just noise and deflection:

Would you rather see someone like Cayce or a modern science-based MD?

Ron


There is no question. There is no table. It is utterly irrelevant to the topic. But it is entertaining, your fixation on it.

Last time. What this person or that person holds as a belief has nothing to do with scientific data. That you don’t understand that is very telling.
Cliffg37
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Quote:
The only thing at issue, as far as my question goes, is this statement that you made: Science cannot prove a negative.

That statement is either true or false.

As you asserted it (as true), then the burden of proving that it is true is yours. As I see it, you have exactly two ways to handle that burden:
1. Prove that it is true. If you can do that, I'm very interested, as I believe that it would be a fascinating proof.
2. Admit that it cannot be proven (or, at least, that you cannot prove it).
If you choose the latter, then, either:
2a. You admit that it might not be true, or
2b. You continue to insist on its truth and accept (and, by extension, expect us to accept) its truth without proof.
So: which do you select: 1, 2a, or 2b?


First, you set this up so beautifully, and I cannot resist a good pun so... "2b or not 2b that is the question."

Let's get serious...

My statement was that Science cannot prove a negative. That is you cannot prove scientifically that something never happened or cannot happen, you can only prove it did not happen here and now.
You first option was to prove the statement is true. I agree it would make a fascinating proof, but I lack the kind of creative thinking it would take to write and conceive of such a thing. Could Einstein have done it? Newton? Maybe. But I accept that I cannot. Indeed I have thought about it and the closest I can get is the mathematical joke proof that 1=2. Was it written as a joke? I don't know who write it or when, I first uncounted it in high school in the 1970's. Problem is, to the untrained it looks really good. Bottom line, I can't write the proof you speak of, so I won't choose number 1.

2. I DO admit that (Read this carefully) I cannot prove that Science cannot prove a negative. As I stated above perhaps someone of greater creative or mathematical prowess could, but I cannot.

2b. I have studied a bit of Science history, and I cannot think of even one example of anytime that Science proved a negative.

I don't know if I have fully answered your question, but I have tried to take it seriously, as I consider the question to be reasonable and worthwhile.
Just out of curiosity, can you think of a real example in which science has proved a negative?
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tommy
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What is a matter of faith is believing that certainties and impossibilities exist.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
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Quote:
On Apr 23, 2019, tommy wrote:
What is a matter of faith is believing that certainties and impossibilities exist.



That It Is. That It Is.

We all have faith in some of both; some just find it harder to admit.

Tom
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S2000magician
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Quote:
On Apr 23, 2019, Cliffg37 wrote:
Just out of curiosity, can you think of a real example in which science has proved a negative?

Apart from some mathematical proofs, I can't think of an example.

But I don't maintain that science (or anything else, for that matter) cannot prove a negative, so I'm not burdened by any of this.
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