Sunday, April 08, 2007

Doggerel #72: "I Go Beyond My Five Senses!"

Welcome back to "Doggerel," where I ramble on about words and phrases that are misused, abused, or just plain meaningless.

It's always struck me as bizarre that woos think skeptics like us are limited to believing in stuff we can perceive with our 'five senses.' Putting aside the fact that humans have plenty of other senses, they don't seem to realize just how much invisible stuff science has revealed to us. Our vision, for example, is limited to a very narrow band of the electromagnetic spectrum. But we use the invisible portions of that spectrum all the time: Radio waves, microwaves, infrared, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays all have scientific uses. Moving beyond that, there are magnetic fields, tiny, tiny particles we can't perceive directly, and probably lots of other things my blogging friends will point out.

If anyone can claim to go beyond human senses, it's the scientists.

All of those things I listed have reproducible, predictable effects. They're quite knowable. The woo's "sixth sense" either doesn't exist, or is so weak to be indistinguishable from chance. You know where you can prove me wrong. Whenever you hold a woo's "sixth sense" to the same standards as any of the above, however, they start making exceptions, talking about how fickle and unpredictable it is, or otherwise claim it's unknowable and untestable. And they say we're negative.


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1 comment:

Dikkii said...

I've been guilty of referring to a "sixth sense" in the past.

If I get quizzed about this, I normally say, "Yeah. You know, Common Sense."

Won't be doing that anymore, although I did get the odd laugh or two.