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Women's Intuition and Other Facts of Life PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Barbara Drescher   

intuition

in·tu·i·tion

[in-too-ish-uhn, -tyoo-]

–noun

  1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any reasoning process; immediate apprehension.

  2. a fact, truth, etc., perceived in this way.

  3. a keen and quick insight.

 

Word Origin & History

intuition

late 15c., from M.Fr. intuition , from L.L. intuitionem  (nom. intuitio )"a looking at, consideration," from L. intuitus , pp. of intueri  "look at, consider," from in-  "at, on" + tueri  "to look at, watch over"(see tuition).

I love Dictionary.com, don't you? It's so handy.  

Of course some words, when used in context, take on meanings which barely resemble the dictionary definition. For example, I doubt that many reading this post would be satisfied with the dictionary definition of "skeptic". However, this definition of intuition is very close to the one used by most psychologists who study the phenomenon. In essence, intuition is a process of direct knowledge – knowing without taking the time to reason. Intuition is implicit knowledge.

Intuition has been explained by pseudoscientists in ways ranging from the unlikely to the ridiculous, but the phenomenon itself is very real. In fact, we could not survive without it. We would be unable perform tasks as simple as recognizing objects or walking on the deck of boat. Most of our interactions with the world depend on implicit knowledge. When, for example, we hold a pencil at arm's length, then let it go, we know intuitively that it will fall to the floor.  

Psychologists have studied reasoning and decision-making for decades, identifying common errors and attempting to explain them. The first step in understanding these failures is the realization that brain development occurs through experience. Our experiences do not just shape our knowledge; they also shape how we obtain that knowledge. Experience provides us with rules of thumb we call heuristics. They do not always lead us to the most accurate answer, but they get us through the day.

Heuristics are implicit, even when applied to reasoning. They are performed with little effort and even less conscious thought. Most logical, rational thought involves conscious and deliberate reasoning. This is time consuming and costly; it is not always the most efficient way to deal with the world. In addition, rational thought is only possible when we have enough of the right information and we know what to do with that information.  

Experience, practice, study – these things lead to a form of expertise dubbed practical wisdom. The best teachers, doctors, and even janitors (in Schwarz & Sharpe's book on the subject) learn this wisdom as implicitly as they use it. It is the overreliance on such gut feelings that causes problems and this overreliance is usually attributable to overconfidence (or even arrogance).

"In some cases, intuition is built upon deep experience. It is not a casual process or a hunch about an area of limited expertise. Where the trouble can come in with intuition is when we apply it in areas where we don’t have this deep knowledge." – Robert E. Gunther in The Truth About Using Facts and Intuition in Decision Making 

There is irony in that our intuitions about our own expertise are often wrong (e.g., The Dunning-Kruger Effect). Add the myriad of confirmation and self-serving biases to which we are all vulnerable (e.g., it makes sense to me, therefore it is correct) and the result is the target of skeptical activism. The meta-irony (if I may make up a word) is that skeptics are not immune to it themselves.

Women's Intuition  

Probably the most widely known and the studied form of intuition is the decoding of facial expressions, often referred to as affective intuition, although it involves more than recognizing emotion. It is certainly true that people tend to believe that men and women differ in nonverbal communication styles. What may surprise you is that those beliefs tend to be generally accurate.

Consistent findings that women outperform men in identifying, discriminating, and interpreting nonverbal communication including facial expressions, gestures, body language, and inflections reach back to the 1970s. There are also findings which suggest that women encode expressions more accurately. Men and women differ in a vast array of nonverbal behaviors – smiling, touching others, proximity to others, laughing, nodding, gestures, and so on.  

What I find most interesting is that explicit knowledge cannot account for gender differences in decoding nonverbal expressions. Although women have been found to have greater explicit knowledge in this area, gender differences remain when this knowledge is controlled for.

The search for explanations for these gender differences has produced a number of plausible hypotheses. One researcher (Ickes) claims that differences in performance are not due to differences actual abilities, but rather motivation to live up to a stereotype. Although expectation is a major factor in virtually all behaviors, this conclusion should be taken with caution. recent years. Ickes' methods of testing empathy involve participants recording interpretations of an individual's thoughts and feelings while viewing a videotaped version of a personal interaction – in some cases an interaction in which the participant took part. This is a very different task from identifying whether a couple depicted in a photo is truly a couple or whether a smile is genuine. For example, in lie detection tasks women have been found to be more trusting than men. It should not be surprising, then, that the relationship between gender and decoding becomes more complex when verbal and nonverbal cues are mixed.  

Gender differences in affective intuition may be due to biological differences; there is no denying the role of hormones in emotion. However, precious few effects can be attributed to nature alone. There is evidence of differences in the expressive cues given by adults when interacting with male and female infants which, of course, affects learning of these cues. Another hypothesis, that differences in communication reflect differences in status, is also plausible since women are still, on average, lower in status than men. And so the science moves forward.

On a final note, it is important that we do not fall into the trap of oversimplifying what these differences mean in everyday life. They do not imply that women are superior to men or vice versa. They should not open the door to claims that any small sample of women, particularly a homogeneous sample such as "women managers", are expected to differ from a similar sample of men. Although differences in nonverbal communication are greater and more reliable than, say, differences in math ability, there is no reason at this time to think that they are of any practical significance.  

But practical significance is an issue in and of itself.

 

Some good reading on the subject:  

Myers, D.G., (2002). Intuition: Its powers and perils. Yale University Press.

Gladwell, M. (2007). Blink. Back Bay Books.  

Schwartz, B. & Sharpe, K. (2010). Practical Wisdom: The right way to do the right thing. New York: The Penguin Group.

Briton, N.J. & Hall, J.A. (1995). Beliefs about female and male nonverbal communication. Sex Roles, 32 (1/2), 79-90.  

Lieberman, M.D. (2000). Intuition: A social cognitive neuroscience approach. Psychological Bulletin, 126(1), 109-137.

Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Gut feelings: The intelligence of the unconscious. New York: Viking  

Pretz, J.E. & Sentman Totz, K. (2006). Measuring individual differences in affective, heuristic, and holistic intuition. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 1247-1257.

Ickes, W., Gesn, P. R., & Graham, T. (2000). Gender differences in empathic accuracy: Differential ability or differential motivation? Personal Relationships, 7(1), 95-109.  Hall, J. A. (2006). Nonverbal behavior, status, and gender: How do we understand their relations?. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 30(4), 384-391.

Rosip, J. C., & Hall, J. A. (2004). Knowledge of nonverbal cues, gender, and nonverbal decoding accuracy. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 28(4), 267-286.

 

Barbara Drescher teaches research methods, statistics, and cognitive psychology at California State University, Northridge. Her research interests include perception, attention, learning, and reasoning. At ICBSEverywhere.com, Barbara evaluates claims and research, discusses education, and promotes science and skepticism.

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written by Zoroaster, May 31, 2011
The problem with the dictionary definition is that it implies the intuitive process will always yield "facts" or "truth". We need to realize that wrong guesses can arise from exactly the same process as right ones.
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The post is more than the 1st couple of paragraphs
written by badrescher, May 31, 2011
This post includes notes that intuition sometimes fails. One way that we have learned so much about it is studying its failures. Perceptual illusions teach us how perception works just as cognitive failures teach us how we think.
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Another way to look at the meaning of intuition, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@ jjudgej, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@Goddess
written by mariamyrback, May 31, 2011
I take it you haven't run into jjudgej aka Mabus aka David Marzuke before. He's a pretty infamous troll of skeptical and atheist blogs. He's also mentally ill and reportedly dangerous. I do my best to keep him at bay by banning him whenever he pops up. Unfortunately I don't always get to his posts before you all are subjected to his rants.

Best thing to do with him is to ignore his posts or report them as abuse. The sooner I know about it the sooner I can get rid of it.
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He is coo coo . . . , Lowly rated comment [Show]
@Goddess
written by mariamyrback, May 31, 2011
Unlike Mabus, you can be reasoned with. He's something else altogether.
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Thank you Mary
written by goddess, May 31, 2011
I appreciate that. B
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..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
Wow.
written by badrescher, May 31, 2011
Great argument "Caller X". One expects better from readers of Swift or rather I expected better.
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..., Lowly rated comment [Show]
A much-needed essay!
written by MarkJHenn, June 01, 2011
We know that experts, when commenting outside their fields, are no longer experts. It is ironic that skepticism, necessary in part because of our cognitive biases, may be practiced by people who are so accustomed to living with these biases that they do not seem to realize they apply as well to themselves. This article is a nice start; I hope to see more, though! We could use an entire series on the contributions of social-cognitive research, on heuristics and biases, and on the psychology of belief, even among skeptics.

To expand on the last paragraph of your first section... you note the efficiency of heuristics, and the relatively costly and time-consuming nature of rational thought. With the influence of our self-serving biases (confirmation, etc., which would be a nice topic for a future post), isn't it quite possible (likely, even) that an initial decision, arrived at intuitively (and, perhaps, incorrectly), will now serve as the anchor for our subsequent costly thought? Might we often be not rational, but rationalizing? To meta your meta-irony, if we as skeptics are using our costly logic and rational thought in support of a stance we initially took intuitively, and in part defend our conclusions based on the in-group bias (we're skeptics--we think more rationally than the average person!), then our identification as skeptics might actually get in the way of our actual skepticism!

Perhaps the first step is to realize that we are as vulnerable to bias as anyone else; seeing our commonality with, say, dowsers, might be a first step in overcoming the errors we are both prone to.

Again, a much-needed article, and I hope only the first of many!
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written by Well-written, Well-Served, June 01, 2011
I really enjoy your occasional posts on JREF, Barbara, because they always take that slightly interrogative and intellectual take on a challenging topic. They're a wake-up call when many seem to sit on their laurels. This is no exception!

The last JREF article you did on education and critical thinking was particularly well timed with its call to get skeptics more involved with getting out and learning for themselves what's happening in schools; getting to know what programs are in place, rather than assuming that there's NOTHING happening out there and that the wheel has to be reinvented (let alone reinvented by skeptics!).

I look forward to more articles like that; critical thinking in education is somehow a topic that is almost "fringe" amongst the active skeptics' more advertised interests and yet always seems to be a 'pet hobby' mentioned with the keen and aspiring movers-and-changers in skepticism (often with more enthusiasm than qualifications and/or relevant experience!). I see the thread of that education piece in this article - I'll be passing this one onto some younger people I know who will be investigating something similar to this as a part of a course they're doing on thinking skills. I recommend your approach to others with this kind of fine work.

In reference to "identification as skeptics might actually get in the way of our actual skepticism" as per earlier commentator Mark - how many checks and balances really exist out there in terms of knowing what's what? Just like the education article, could it be that certain terms and phrases get knee-jerk responses of yay or nay -- rather than a considerate ear? The "dowsing" analogy is quite an apt one, although maybe "Who Watches The Watchers" might be better? Which then leads to "who then watches the watchers of the Watchers..." and so forth!

After all the (often hysterical and eventually off-putting) pointing about people like Brian Dunning, Laurence Krauss and Shermer and TAM9 and all, is there really a need for an overarching body that could be genuine about progress and guidance, rather than witch-hunting (or burning)? Reading the "105 Guide" by Daniel Loxton in regards to really making sure that you're "knowing what you know" might be something that has to be revised for a new generation, or at least a revitalization for those who don't seem to understand the lesson of genuine humility that underpins skepticism.

As for Caller X - what a RIOT you must be once you get in your cups! Unable to recognize referenced work with a bibliography? Oh, that's the list of PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS and BOOKS at the END, since you can't seem to weead any wyting. Ever done any real research beyond University of Google? smilies/wink.gif Wahammbulance on call for you, Tragedy-Anne, looks like your number is UP!

Never mind kicking against the pricks like Caller X, Barbara. They could always TRY to get a relevant education or do SOMETHING more with their life that could get them respected on stage at TAM9 like you are... as if clowns like them EVER could! *Wink Wink!*
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Too funny, Lowly rated comment [Show]
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written by Sadhatter, June 01, 2011
We all see the ratings , don't know why you seem to be unable to.

The post in which you complain about low ratings, for example, is at -7 right now.

Maybe going on rants completely unrelated to the subject at hand, and doing so in a whining " you guys are jerks." tone has something to do with it? Just a thought.
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There was 0 ratings, Lowly rated comment [Show]
And actually it still says +0 when I look at it, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@Goddess
written by Hierro, June 01, 2011
Funny you mention that quote by Einstein. He actually didn't say that, but here is something he did say;
"The value of a college education is not the learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think."
Life is certainly not lived in the lab or classroom, but it is certainly a great training area for the mind and critical thinking.

That's particularly what this article is about. We need to train our minds to realize we can be wrong and sometimes VERY wrong.
So when you say "like someone is watching over you and whispers in your ear but it sounds like you so you just take the credit and that's fine," you make the error in implying that there really IS someone whispering in your ear. Your intuition, in this case, has led you the wrong way.
Like Richard Feynman said, as we examine the universe more and more we quickly find that the laws of nature become less and less intuitive.

For you, it may be intuitive to believe there is a "spirit guide" who is whispering you advice. But you cannot rely on JUST intuition because it is filled with shortcuts in the thinking process that can lead us astray.
Your story involving Ric and John is interesting, but Carl Sagan also said "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." To believe those stories, there must be more evidence than 'I saw it with my own eyes.'

Your contention that we are immune to other points of views is false. Again, evidence is needed. I would recommend you take courses in science and critical thinking to understand what evidence truly is and how easily the mind can be fooled.
That's what education is for; to learn what we don't know from people who do know at a very deep level. There is nothing arrogant in that. It would be arrogant to say "I don't need a college education because my inner voice teaches me everything."
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Would also like to add...
written by Hierro, June 01, 2011
That this was a great article Barbara.
I had previously read Blink and found the topic of split-second thinking fascinating.
There certainly is something in the intuition process which can sometimes lead to better results than concentrated thought.

I had personally experienced this myself when taking courses in engineering and an answer just "didn't look right", but I would remind myself to examine why I thought it didn't look right. Sometimes thinking it through I would spot an error I had made through the quick-thinking that is sometimes necessary on tests and other times I couldn't understand why the answer looked wrong only to learn that my intuition was wrong and the answer was correct.

Thanks for the well written and thought-provoking article smilies/smiley.gif
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I always heard it as I wrote it but here it is according to a site of his quotes. .
written by goddess, June 01, 2011

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Albert Einstein

http://www.tc.umn.edu/~burc0050/quotes_einstein.html
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@goddess
written by badrescher, June 01, 2011

Under "misattributed": http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein

BTW, Google is just a search engine. It will show you all manner of sites, good, bad, and ugly.

Although it is true that one does not need a classroom to be educated, it certainly helps. Regardless, nobody learns if they don't want to learn or if they believe that they already know what someone is trying to teach them.
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I will check it out, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Reason rather than intuition.
written by jalfarmer, June 01, 2011
“Intuition has been explained by pseudoscientists in ways ranging from the unlikely to the ridiculous, but the phenomenon itself is very real. In fact, we could not survive without it. We would be unable perform tasks as simple as recognizing objects or walking on the deck of boat. Most of our interactions with the world depend on implicit knowledge. When, for example, we hold a pencil at arm's length, then let it go, we know intuitively that it will fall to the floor.”
Anyone who claims intuition gives them some form of special insight beyond what our senses and experience tell us about our surroundings and the people and events we encounter is probably lying or self-deluded.
We all have flashes of intuition, but reliance upon intuition and/or “gut instincts” often times causes more problems than it solves. It might lead to a snap judgment of a person based upon first impressions that may be totally unfounded. I know I have done this only to later find out how wrong I was. I learned long ago to file away most of my intuitive responses and not make immediate and possibly rash decisions based upon mere intuition.

Alan
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@Well-written, Well-Snogged
written by Caller X, June 01, 2011
As for Caller X - what a RIOT you must be once you get in your cups! Unable to recognize referenced work with a bibliography? Oh, that's the list of PEER REVIEWED JOURNALS and BOOKS at the END, since you can't seem to weead any wyting. Ever done any real research beyond University of Google? smilies/wink.gif Wahammbulance on call for you, Tragedy-Anne, looks like your number is UP!


Oh, you can bet I've had a toddy or twenty when I post here, yet I seem to be able to avoid the ad hominem approach. Perhaps you should consider lubing up. And yes, I can identify a bibliography in the wild without resorting to the Peterson Field Guide to Literature. The article is essentially "the sky is blue" with a bibliography, not utter rubbish, but just filling space. Oh, except the part about walking on the deck of a boat is utter rubbish.
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@jalfarmer
written by Caller X, June 01, 2011
Anyone who claims intuition gives them some form of special insight beyond what our senses and experience tell us about our surroundings and the people and events we encounter is probably lying or self-deluded.


So is anyone who tells us that intuition helps us walk on the deck of a boat, or tells us that a pencil will fall.
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I'm sorry Alan, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Caller X
written by goddess, June 01, 2011
You crack me up. Cheers!
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Bodice
written by Caller X, June 01, 2011
Yet I remember giving you a pretty good grilling when we first met. I think we have the makings of a CBS crime dramedy here.
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You have to be patient, but ...
written by rosie, June 02, 2011
... right down at the end of the Dictionary.com "skeptic" entry there is some really good sense:

Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found. [Miguel de Unamuno, Essays and Soliloquies, 1924]
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That is a nice interpretation of skeptic
written by goddess, June 02, 2011
but not the truth when you actually deal with them.

My new tag line is


The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer. Einstein
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@goddess
written by Hierro, June 02, 2011
"I do have someone whispering in my ear."
This is a demonstration of a failure through intuition. You find it intuitive to believe that there is a "spirit guide" whispering it to you, but it most likely is not so.
Quantum mechanics teaches us that particles such as photons and electrons behave like nothing we have ever seen and so our intuition about particles (such as imagining them as billiard balls or as masses on springs etc.) can prove to be very wrong. The same idea can be applied to other parts of our lives, such as when we believe we have 6th century wizard whispering in our ear.
I implore you to expand my "limited perceptions." For that, all I need is proof. Like they say in Missouri, "you have got to show me." Your false contentions of purity of heart don't fool anyone. Have a charity that you like? Maybe they could use a cool One Million Dollars for their cause. All you have to do is walk in and show your claims under scientific scrutiny and have the money transferred directly to a charity of your choosing. No money has to enter your hands or your account. In light of this, will you take the challenge? For some reason, I'm not holding my breath on that...

"Please show me the evidence that he did not say..."
Here you are demonstrating another failure through intuition. It is intuitive to think that you can prove that something is not so just like one would prove something is so. However, this assertion is false when examined under deep thought. The reason is because the only real claim you can make is "under these conditions we did not establish such-and-such connection," which leaves open the possibility of other conditions where such-and-such can be possible.
In that way, I cannot prove that an entity named "Merlin" is not speaking in your ear but the onus is on you to show that he is talking to you. The onus is on you to prove that your intuition is "always right," (which I find to be extremely arrogant by the way; even the top baseball players can claim to have failed only 7 times out of ten; you expect us to believe you have failed 0 out of 10 times?).

As for your new favorite quote of Einstein.
He was specifically talking about Atheists, not Skeptics. They are not synonymous (Bill Maher is an example of an atheist who is not a skeptic). Einstein himself was a Skeptic. He was skeptical of the existence of the "luminiferous aether" and, upon seeing very little evidence for its existence, showed how the laws of nature can be explained without the aether. He was skeptical of the traditional belief of God and was very much Spinozian in his beliefs. I find it ironic that you would quote him when he, most likely, would have found your beliefs to be strange and incorrect.
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Hierro . . . you need to get laid., Lowly rated comment [Show]
Sorry for the typo I guess you have not NOTICED, Lowly rated comment [Show]
Oh yea and at the same party, Lowly rated comment [Show]
An aside.
written by jalfarmer, June 02, 2011
I personally will neither read nor respond to any posts by “Goddess”/Beatrice Marot on this blog. I would suggest that all legitimate posters here who actually have something of value to add ignore her as well, then perhaps she will make good on her “threat” to leave this blog for good.

Alan
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An ASS side
written by goddess, June 02, 2011
Then don't engage me. I am simply responding to people. I am going to refrain from posting anymore on this site. I have gotten all I need and indeed, I have a wealth of information regarding the skeptic mentality. I thank you for that.

Now if someone addresses me directly or asks me a question, I will answer it. Au revoir . . . a j'amais!
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@ Caller X
written by jalfarmer, June 02, 2011
I agree with you on both points and would go on to include recognizing objects as not being so much intuitive but rather more based upon memory and experience. I see objects that I do not recognize frequently as I’m sure we all do from time to time. I work in aerospace in a facility that manufactures parts for airplanes. There are numerous oddly shaped parts that would be totally unrecognizable to someone who has never seen one before or knows what it is because they helped produce it. I still see parts that I do not recognize even though I know it goes somewhere on the airframe of a plane.

Gravity hardly requires a flash of intuition to experience its effects every moment of our lives. We know the pencil will fall because there is a provable and repeatable force at work. What might be intuitive is predicting the pencil will instead fly off into outer space and then have it do so.

I served 6 years in the US Navy on three different vessels and can say from experience that walking on a pitching deck in heavy sea states is learned through practice and experience. I got sea sick at first but that too passed once I became acclimatized. Then there is the odd sensation that you are still on a pitching deck when the ship pulls into port after 3 months at sea and you walk down the gang plank and have to get your “land legs” back.

Alan
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@ badrescher
written by Zoroaster, June 02, 2011
My comment (the very first comment on this post) was not meant as any sort of criticism of your article, which I thought was excellent, it was more of an observation based on what I learned from your article. I was pointing out that the dictionary definition of intuition might be misleading and might contribute to some peoples' notions that intuition is paranormal.
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We shall see.
written by jalfarmer, June 02, 2011
Ms. Marot wrote:
"I am going to refrain from posting anymore on this site."

I'll beleive that when she actually does what she says she is going to do. Third or fourth time around now?

Alan
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I told you if you address me
written by goddess, June 02, 2011
I will respond ... now why don't you do what you just said you were going to do and ignore me. What a goofball. lmao


smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif smilies/cheesy.gif
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Reverse psychology works!!
written by jalfarmer, June 02, 2011
Wow, reverse psychology really works! My trap was sprung even sooner than I expected. Beatrice Marot, liar, poser, charlatan, and hypocrite, indeed posted to this blog yet again after stating never again unless she was addressed directly or asked a question personally, neither of which transpired from me personally. She claims she is only responding to others but if you go to her first post in this thread it is100% unsolicited and posted sans prior question or request for opinion or response from anyone else.

She was banned from this site posting as” Bea”. She subsequently came back as “Goddess” and has done little more than post ad hominem attacks, insults, sarcasm, unverifiable anecdotal diatribes in support of her claims, and personal insults to numerous posters here. I have to ask the IT and web site management of this blog why this was allowed to happen? Why is this person is still allowed to post to this site? If you know who she is and banned her once before why did you knowingly allow her to return with an alternative identity of “Goddess” and continue to submit her posts, Maria? I saved the emails you sent me after you admonished me for “caustic name calling” even though she engaged in “caustic name calling” before I did. Ratings?

Alan
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You are really a sad pathetic little man
written by goddess, June 02, 2011
Grow up!
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Maria, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@jalfarmer
written by Caller X, June 02, 2011
She was banned from this site posting as” Bea”.


At what secret meeting did you receive that information? I didn't get the memo. Is there an inner circle of randi members that gets together for sex magick and gossip?
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lmao Caller X
written by goddess, June 03, 2011
I was banned as Bea for calling someone a moron and a couple of other mild insults but Maria gave me a second chance after I pointed out that J.R. does give out a Pigasus Award so come on. Maria was cool with me posting and I have tried to be nice but I'm the one that constantly gets slammed and I try to handle it graciously but this Alan dude needs a gorilla to fart in his face so he just shuts up for awhile.

This article is about intuition. This is something I am a bit of an expert on. I make my living having a superb intuition. I posted because this is my expertise, but I got some great quotes from Albert Einstein and he agrees with me regarding the similarities between "believers and non-believers".

Most people know "Goddess" is Beatrice Marot because I amm a Goddess visiting on Earth and it ain't easy being a Goddess on Earth. It's like being Rodney Dangerfield . . . you get no respect.

You have a great weekend Caller X and I will pop in to read your posts so keep writing. But I am over the skeptic gig. It's a snooze fest with very few interesting peeps but you are one of them. The only one really. I hope you write a book one day and reveal your true identity. smilies/smiley.gif
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@Bea
written by mariamyrback, June 03, 2011
I've read the entire thread from top to bottom. Bea, that's not why I gave you a second chance. I did that to show that even though we are a skeptical-based organization, we are open to seeing evidence from all sides. A good skeptic is, after all, open to new results. That, and you agreed to abide by the loose rules of conduct I've set down for this blog.

(For those not in the know that is 1) No physical threats are allowed. That leads to automatic banning. 2) No direct verbal insults because I want to keep this place at least somewhat civil.)

But there are a couple points I want to clarify: 1) The Pigasus Awards are are not a way to covertly call the award recipients porcine. Pigasus is a reference to an old adage "...when pigs fly". As in "Andrew Wakefield's flawed study will be validated as real research...when pigs fly.

2) You're rising to the bait. You're saying that unless you're addressed directly, you won't post here anymore. But when you were mentioned indirectly, you took that bait hook, line and sinker. Do you see that? I say this with respect when I tell you that sort of thing just makes you appear as though you cannot be taken seriously in ANY point you make and will possibly undermine any future, serious, points you try to make.
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@Caller X
written by mariamyrback, June 03, 2011
Alan emailed me directly about Bea and her conduct so I privately explained the situation to him rather than dragging it out here on the board.

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A little misunderstanding there Maria.
written by goddess, June 03, 2011
But thanks for clarifying what Pigasus means . . . it is a playful pun but to those receiving it is meant to be hurtful and it is an insult not an honor of some kind.

What I meant and I obviously did not make myself clear . . . if you mention me or ask me a question or comment about me in any way shape or form, I may post to it. Otherwise, I am not going to post on anymore new articles. I've had enough.

I wanted to sincerely connect with skeptics in hopes of them understanding a bit more about metaphysics but there is no open mindedness here.

Have a nice weekend Maria and Caller X.
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Oh bea...
written by Hierro, June 03, 2011
Your tears are so delicious. smilies/grin.gif

The way you squirm, shout, and scream when pointed out the hypocrisy in your statements is incredibly amusing. By the way, testing does not have to be done in a "lab" per se.

It could be in a house
with a mouse,
or in a box
with a fox.
It could be in the car,
Or at the bar.
How about on a train?
Or perhaps in the rain?
Would you do it in the dark?
Would you do it in an ark?
I would grant it on a boat,
even with a goat!
It could be here or there,
It could be anywhere.
All it needs is rigor,
So lets get started with much vigor!

Oh well, I guess those starving kids in Africa will have to endure another day because Bea is too scared of science and won't claim the money to feed them.

From Big Daddy Einstein:
"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
I think that's a statement that most Skeptics here can relate to.
That seems to be what you are incapable of relating to. Most on this board are not Atheist and Skeptics. They are simply Skeptics who have applied the concept of God to the same level of scrutiny.
Again, I recommend you take some courses on science and critical thinking. After all, what's wrong with a little bit of extra knowledge? Or does that frighten you? Does it frighten you to think you may have wasted much of your time in believing the nonsenses of the past? It doesn't scare me. If tomorrow it were to be incontrovertibly found that all of physics was wrong and psychics, astrologers, etc. were correct, I would have no problem in doing my research and accepting conclusions based on rigorous scientific investigation. That is key.

On top of that, you missed a significant portion of one of Einstein's quotes that you posted:
"At least that is the way I see it."
Einstein, as brilliant as he was, was still a human being with all the biases and limitations that we all possess (some in greater quantity than others). So for you to use him as some type of weapon and shield to defend your viewpoints is both laughable and sickening. The man had much more intelligence than you (or I) in both philosophical and scientific thinking. I will not quote Einstein anymore because to do so would be to oversimplify the philosophy of an intricately complex man.

As for my life in the boudoir, I had expected one of your spirit guides to point out to you that I usually do these posts after ______ (ask Merlin, he knows what I meant to put in there) and prior to turning in for the night.

By the way, I have a great story to tell you. When I visited New Orleans once I spent some time at the Jackson Square and saw numerous tarot and palm readers scattered about. While my wife did a bit of shopping, I decided to have some fun of my own. I bought a folding card table from a nearby store and set up a free tarot and palm reading service (you can imagine how mad the others were since they were charging 10-20 bucks for their readings). One after another, people began sitting for their free reading. And, without fail, each one was amazed at how "accurate" I was with their reading. They even began offering to give me money, and only when I explained to them that I am not psychic and that I determined their personalities and "future" simply by looking at their clothing and making vague but serious sounding statements of the future did they relent. That was certainly a proud moment in my life, because I think I brought quite a few people face-to-face with their own limitations and taught them how to overcome them through serious thought.
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One final nail in the coffin...
written by Hierro, June 03, 2011
I wanted to sincerely connect with skeptics in hopes of them understanding a bit more about metaphysics but there is no open mindedness here.


I can truly understand that sentiment. I had felt that way too and still do when I hope that maybe the next "psychic" I speak to . But what I've learned is that it is nearly impossible for three reasons:

1) They are being paid NOT TO THINK.
2) You cannot explain all the relevant science even in 100 conversations, let alone one.
3) They are not concerned AT ALL with verifiability.

Here is a great quote by Rudolf Carnap in regards to metaphysics:
Metaphysicians cannot avoid making their statements nonverifiable, because if they made them verifiable, the decision about the truth or falsehood of their doctrines would depend upon experience and therefore belong to the region of empirical science. This consequence they wish to avoid, because they pretend to teach knowledge which is of a higher level than that of empirical science. Thus they are compelled to cut all connection between their statements and experience; and precisely by this procedure they deprive them of any sense.


The issue here is not about open-mindedness. Skeptics, by definition, have to be open-minded. Otherwise we would have disavowed of the theory of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics because they contradict the viewpoint of Newton.
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Hierro you are just an asshole plain and simple
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
How dare you place the burden of starving children in Africa on whether or not I would win a million dollars. That right there is proof of your own callous disregard for humanity.

Maybe if you and the rest of your kind of analectual idiots spent your time and money denouncing warmongers, corporate greed, religious intolerance, pharmaceutical chicanery, scientific quackery, you would get my vote. But no you and your kind are just a bunch of jerks that do absolutely nothing to make the world a better place but go after celebrities who denounce vaccination and write lame article after lame article and act as though it matters or will make an ounce of difference in the world. What a bunch of idiots. I would bet money that self proclaimed curmudgeon James Randi makes a nice six figure salary from his non-profit organization. Why is he not spending that imaginary million dollars of his on helping the starving children in Africa.

Fuck you Hierro.
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I have hundreds of these VERIFIABLE testimonials. How many lives have you touched? ZERO!
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
John Williams
Wow Bea there's so much love and appreciation on your page .. Look at all the people you're helping to heal with your detailed readings and guided journey/meditations! Me included.. Thank you sooo much 4 being YOU! ♥

Maria Elena Laas
Bea-uty, you are the best! You've opened doors to facilitate big changes in me & my life and I will be forever grateful. Thank you thank you thank you xx

Sherry Taylor

Bea, I want to thank you. What you did for me today was not only necessary but amazing. I had never been through a guided meditation.The plethora of information, I am in awe. I can't equate the feeling to anything I've ever experienced. very light, clear, empowered.

Justine Beirne
Bea- I really want to thank you for the guided meditation this weekend. And thank you for helping me see the worlds most beautiful angel and my name in lights. I am so happy that I met my spirit guide! it was truly a joyful (and tearful) life changing experience!

Uyen Nguyen
Thank you BEA; that was amazing. As usual. Just what I needed. You're still the best! Love you!

Veronica Krestow
sending you blessings of appreciation and love! Thanks for Bea-ing YOU! smilies/smiley.gif (p.s. all of your predictions continue to come true! You seriously have a gift!!!!)

Katie LaEgg
My heart has peace and I have immeasurable comfort. The guided meditation washed me, cleansed me, and gave me so much hope. I know that this is where I am suppose to be and going forward there is love and understanding and great opportunity. Thank you so much :0) Really... I feel renewed.

Indhushree Rajan
Bea!! I just wanted to thank you so much for the amazing guided meditation!! It was truly transformative, and I feel so much more empowered and at peace...you are awesome! What an incredible gift I received smilies/smiley.gif xoxo

Jade Alexis
Bea..
Everything you do changes my world & my perception to new & more beautiful heights of learning..seeing..being & believing..
The guided journey from yesterday still has me in tears
So Thank you for being a facilitator of change....thank you for constantly changing my world so that I may better serve the source..cleanse my spirit..& be a better conduit for sharing my story of light & dark..you have balanced me..set me free & I will be and am forever grateful. Walking into the waters of womanhood..forever believing in you.
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Your lame poetry regarding your sexual practices is off topic.
written by goddess, June 04, 2011

It could be in a house
with a mouse,
or in a box
with a fox.
It could be in the car,
Or at the bar.
How about on a train?
Or perhaps in the rain?
Would you do it in the dark?
Would you do it in an ark?
I would grant it on a boat,
even with a goat!
It could be here or there,
It could be anywhere.
All it needs is rigor,
So lets get started with much vigor!
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hahahahahahaha
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
I just noticed this site is promoting the poster child for skeptic hypocrisy Brian Thompson The Amateur Scientist . . . the one skeptic that I did a reading for and he interviewed me for about two hours on his radio podcast but edited it down to 30 minutes where he put the wrong answers to his questions and edited it in such a way . . . just to make me look bad.

I initially thought he was a nice guy but boy was I ever wrong on that point. What a lying scumbag he turned out to be.

Well, at least he took my advice and gave his podcast a comedic twist. I told him to do SNL style skits and he does it now but did not before my reading. That is what a good psychic does . . . I help people achieve their goals.

But what a liar Brian Thompson is. He is like most of you skeptics ... who are just full of yourselves and could really care less about anyone else.
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I'm still just thrilled. . . Thanks Johnny Carson and the rest of my dead friends
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
The ONE AND ONLY SKEPTIC BRIAN THOMPSON that I have ever read for is not just being featured here . . . he has been HIRED to to be a field coordinator whatever that is.

What a great way to end my short tenure posting on this site.

Brian, maybe you will take James Randi's place after his demise when he will be partying with the guy that gave him big bucks to start his foundation, my buddy Johnny Carson.

Perhaps you will be the T.V. pitchman for the Million Dollar Publicity Stunt making my prediction from 2008 that you COULD be famous with your birth chart a reality. And I am the one who told you to use comedy skits and routines to make your skeptical cynicism more palatable for the masses and if you deny it ... you are a liar but I already know you are a liar so you will deny it.
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And Brian ... you can thank Johnny Carson for this gig!
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
I am thanking him right now. Johnny, I love you baby. You are the best and thank you for showing these skeptics you got my back.

Big Kiss Carnac ... you are Magnificent!!!!!
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Goooood....
written by Hierro, June 04, 2011
I can feel your anger. Strike me down with all your hatred and your journey to the dark side will be complete!

Whew, that was fun. Anyway, I believe it is necessary to point out that the JREF has one specific goal in mind and that is to encourage critical thinking and stand up to quackery and fraud. Anti-vaxxers have been fought off (but the battle continues), the ADE651 is no more and its owner under serious investigation (maybe already in jail?), and numerous skeptical chapters have been established throughout the country thanks in part to the JREF. That makes me more hopeful about the future. But then you have to start talking bea...

I am interested in hearing the specific podcast where you appear bea. Could you point me to which one it is?

Perhaps it was a low-blow to go straight for the starving African children. But why not just donate the money to your "friend" Johnny Carson's 'John W. Carson Foundation'? It's a great organization supporting education and health care.
First, you say you won't do the challenge because winning the money would sully your craft.
I point out you don't have to touch the money, just donate it to a cause or organization of your choice.
Then you say your craft can't be proven (in a controlled setting) and thus you can't win the challenge.
What I'm demonstrating here is that the issue here is not about altruism. It's simply because (a) you know your "powers" will be seen to not exist and (b) you have invested too much of your life to lose it all now.

Carson must have based the character of Carnac. With the constant stumbling of logic (rather than a step) and the continuous laughable insults (rather than curses), you're practically the splitting image. Except Carnac is much more entertaining and you don't have to pay $100-200 to see him.
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God you are thick Hierro
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
The skeptic I read for Brian Thompsonwas just hired by James Randi so why don't you ask him?

I know how my spirit guides work since I have been working with them for 20 years. It's just Johnny Carson's way of telling me "You go Bea!" I always say, "Down here, I'm nobody, but up there, I'm like Madonna!"

And seriously, Hierro . . . Me angry at you???? . . . Puhlease. You wish!

I'm angry about the mountain top removal in West Virginia. I'm angry about the garbage patch the size of Texas in the ocean. I'm angry about Child abuse, Sex trafficking, Domestic violence, Animal cruelty, the destruction of this planet. I am angry at the stupidity of men and their religions that cause war after war after war.

But I'm not angry at you or at anything you write. In fact, I don't even read most of it. I skim over it. You don't have any power to upset me one way or another you silly twit.

What I am is bored with all of you. (Except Caller X) smilies/wink.gif
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The last joke Johnny gave me
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
besides getting Brian Thompson a gig at James Randi's Foundation is the following:

He projected himself in my mind's eye as Carnac, turban n' all, put the envelope to his head and said, "Oh Shit, the Bitch is Back!"

Then he opened the envelope, blew into it, pulled out the card and said, "What the Pope says when he finds out that Beatrice has reincarnated!"

smilies/cool.gif
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Bea's name calling.
written by jalfarmer, June 04, 2011
Beatrice Marot just called Hierro "asshole." Are you going to give her a pass on this? She also posted "Fuck you Hierro." I'm beginning to wonder what is going on here.

Alan
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2+2
written by jalfarmer, June 04, 2011
I pretty much figured it out on my own when she stopped posting as Bea and started posting as “Goddess”. She didn’t even try to hide the fact that Bea and “Goddess” is the same person posting under two different user names. Maria, the site administrator, verified my suspicions via email.

Alan
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Sorry dear Maria . . .
written by goddess, June 04, 2011
But Alan and Hierro are both assholes. Alan cannot even take his own advice and ignore me.

Alan, everyone knows Goddess is me Bea aka Beatrice Marot. You just now figured it out. You're even dumber then I thought.

Johnny Carson gave me the best possible ending getting Brian Thompson a gig here and it is announced the same day that I decide I have had enough. Perfect timing as always!

Much love to you dear Maria. Your patience is a virtue and you shall be rewarded. Your wish is my command. Email me if you need anything. I am a Goddess after all and Merlin does what I tell him. smilies/wink.gif


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...
written by jalfarmer, June 04, 2011
“What I meant and I obviously did not make myself clear . . . if you mention me or ask me a question or comment about me in any way shape or form, I may post to it. Otherwise, I am not going to post on anymore new articles. I've had enough.”

Again, we shall see. No one mentioned her, asked her a question, or commented about her in this thread to prompt her initial and totally 100% unsolicited post.

“I wanted to sincerely connect with skeptics in hopes of them understanding a bit more about metaphysics but there is no open mindedness here.”

This all seems like an overarching obsession to me. Metaphysics is based upon the post physics of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle from his treatise “Metaphysica”, or after his “physical” works. Aristotle was a fairly good philosopher, a student of Plato, but his “physics” was totally wrong and way out in left field! Today metaphysics is associated primarily with abstract concepts of reality that have no apparent basis in rational and shared reality. Modern post Newtonian physics and the advent of quantum mechanics/dynamics/physics has rendered Aristotle’s take on physics not only obsolete but totally archaic and not based upon any rational model of reality commonly accepted today. Metaphysics opens the door to any and all abstract and arcane concepts regardless of whether or not there is any cognitive or evidence based reason to accept these concepts as having any basis in verifiable realty.

The fact that the Catholic Church (recovering former Catholic here) held fast to the Aristotelian Geo centric model of the universe for 1500 years and forced Galileo to renounce his teachings that Copernicus was right and that the Sun was the center of this solar system in direct opposition of the model that they got from Aristotle and his totally erroneous basis for the “universe” based upon seven concentric spheres with the Earth at the center of the universe is one of the primary reasons I began to question the Christian religion and eventually abandoned it as the utter made up nonsense it is, IMO.
Metaphysics = Make up anything you like and then challenge others to prove you are wrong. Too bad that’s not how it actually works in the final analysis.

Alan
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I can't even take one day off...
written by mariamyrback, June 04, 2011
Bea, I'm sorry but you violated the rules and you offered no apology to those people. Your "Goddess" account will be banned accordingly along with any subsequent accounts. I've tried to be tolerant and patient but you give me no choice.
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And now for the last word...
written by Hierro, June 04, 2011
Mr. Randi has far more important things to do than scrounge through someone else's podcast involving someone else's interview. You, on the other hand, have LOADS of free time. Hell, just ask one of your spirit guides to do it for you. All those guides must really make it easier to do chores around the house.

By the way, what is their compensation for all the work they do? Tickets to the latest Beyonce concert? Coupons to the local Barnes & Noble? Free room and board?
I certainly hope you're not taking advantage of them and not compensating them in some way. They got an eternity! Give em a trip to Vegas! And just in time for Tam 9 too smilies/wink.gif

Fuck you Hierro.

Sounds as much an admission of anger as I've ever heard one. Y'know, if this is stressing you out, why don't you just leave Merlin to handle the discussion? He seems much better able to handle high-stress situations. I mean, you'd have to be to fight in dungeons against dragons.

I'm angry about the mountain top removal in West Virginia. I'm angry about the garbage patch the size of Texas in the ocean. I'm angry about Child abuse, Sex trafficking, Domestic violence, Animal cruelty, the destruction of this planet. I am angry at the stupidity of men and their religions that cause war after war after war.

Ah! Now we have a point of agreement. However, where we will probably disagree is with how to deal with it.
A Skeptic calls for study and investigation and an arrangement of options combined with a cost-benefit analysis.
What would you call for? Praying? Psychic confabulations? Reading the stars? None of these will help. Here is a great quote that expresses what I mean better than I could:
Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer


What was the Carnac saver? Because that's about the worst joke I've ever heard.
And I doubt Carson is much your friend. He very much supported Mr. Randi's goals and often gave him time on his show even on short notice. He donated fairly often to the JREF and in large amounts. The character of Carnac was very much intended to make a mockery of so-called psychics.

And on a final note, I'm shocked how easy it was to bait you considering Merlin is supposed to be looking out for you! Man, what's Merlin doin'? Was he on a break? Welp, in the immortal words of Farrokh Bulsara, another one bites the dust...
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I'm always amused by the excuses...
written by noeltristan, June 05, 2011
Specifically, the excuses people give avoiding the task of applying for the prize(It's a million dollars, folks, don't give me the "I don't need it" or the "It'd cheapen what I do" garbage, we are creatures of opportunity, as human beings, and if we see one, we take it, the fact that you're Not tells me you know you have no actual bid for it.)

In this economy when everyone is hurting, here, have a few reasons to apply for it. Some will be condescending. Some will be humorous. At the core of it, however, it'll be for a reason, for those complaining how much the money would "Cheapen" their "magic".

1: Fund studies to test the efficacy of magic and it's practitioners.
2: Donate the money to a charity.
3: Start a free-to-attend school teaching your "Skills".
4: Purchase a portion of James Randi's beard to use in a voodoo doll.
5: Go to college with it to learn a Real skill.
6: Fund a lobby to congress to extend True equal rights to people of all faiths, including those without one.
7: Build A: the world's largest Rider-Waite artistic reproduction Wand in mixed medium 3-dimensional construction, and B: an enormous pair of pants to cover the giant phallus you've just constructed.
8: Purchase Hal's Alexander Hamilton wig(Please, for all of our sakes!)
9: Fund a NASA research project to ensure that the next satellite we send to Mars to do research will be shaped like a teapot.(Thank you, fellow astronomers, for getting that one!)
10: Find a more interesting hobby than compulsively responding to a blog populated largely by people who will point out every glaring flaw in your logic, your lack of reason, and your poor debate skills, thereby ensuring, once you do, that your confidence will soar and your need to cling to outdated belief structures and religious ideals will fall to the wayside.

Thank you, thank you.
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...
written by Willy K, June 05, 2011
@Hierro "...in the immortal words of Farrokh Bulsara..." Excellent reference!

@noeltristan "the next satellite we send to Mars to do research will be shaped like a teapot." Another excellent reference, one I've never heard of. I suppose I'll have to read some of Mr. Russell's works now. smilies/wink.gif
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settle down
written by Zoroaster, June 05, 2011
Come on guys your childish tattling and gloating only serve to vindicate Bea in absentia. I guess I was unknowingly involved in her first banning as the person she referred to as a moron. I simply took this as a clear sign that my extremely sarcastic attack on her comment had hit home. (I was a little peeved when she said she didn't see why we should care if people choose not to immunize their children.) Regardless, I hope that in the future the administrators as well as regular posters in these forums will be as tolerant as possible in order to allow for lively discussions and arguments. I know that it's a fine line between having a spirited argument and encouraging psychopathic trolls but I hope that we will continue to err on the side of inclusiveness and a free exchange of ideas. Otherwise we're just a bunch of arrogant nerds telling each other how smart we are just like they think.
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