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(Listverse)   Top 10 things you can't prove but people believe anyway   (listverse.com) divider line 237
    More: Interesting, empirical method  
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16803 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Nov 2012 at 10:47 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-05 02:23:51 PM

StoPPeRmobile: Smeggy Smurf: The female orgasm

*Shakes tiny fist*


Work on that technique, and it will no longer be a myth.
 
2012-11-05 02:42:31 PM
I believe I like bacon.
 
2012-11-05 02:44:37 PM

Slaxl: slayer199: I don't believe in Aliens but I believe it's statistically likely there's intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.

So... you do believe in aliens?


No, it's capitalized. What he means is, he denies the existence of the movie franchise.
...or possibly just the 2nd film.
 
2012-11-05 02:52:29 PM
Actually karma is very easy to prove, the word simply means "action". You do something, something happens. How hard is that?

Oh wait, that's different from all of the New Age BS. In that regard no, you can't prove it.
 
2012-11-05 02:57:26 PM

nmemkha: amoral: No mention of gravity? Is it because more people believe in aliens than gravity?

A you need to do is find a high gravity object of low mass and "gravity" (i.e. the current theory) is busted.


I've always wondered if you got two center of masses to touch each other (therefore making an infinite denominator in the gravitational formula), could you ever pull them apart again?
 
2012-11-05 03:11:55 PM

homarjr: nmemkha: amoral: No mention of gravity? Is it because more people believe in aliens than gravity?

A you need to do is find a high gravity object of low mass and "gravity" (i.e. the current theory) is busted.

I've always wondered if you got two center of masses to touch each other (therefore making an infinite denominator in the gravitational formula), could you ever pull them apart again?


Quantum Fusion?
 
2012-11-05 03:26:30 PM
Try telling someone that the door they are next to has wet paint. NO ONE WILL BELIEVE YOU.....EVERY SINGLE PERSON WILL TOUCH THE DOOR TO SEE IF THE PAINT IS ACTUALL WET.

But that History Channel (WTF....History???) UFO dude with the funky Don King hair and only the one brown suit can say some aboriginal statue is "incontravertible proof" that aliens have visited the Earth.....ZOMFG.
 
2012-11-05 03:27:12 PM

DVDave: No, it's capitalized. What he means is, he denies the existence of the movie franchise.
...or possibly just the 2nd film.


I deny the existence of Aliens after the 2nd film. Prometheus doesn't count because it's technically a prequel.
 
2012-11-05 03:32:05 PM
that depends on what abbey means by "prove"
 
2012-11-05 03:34:33 PM

Girion47: Beaver1224: kroonermanblack: Also: why does everyone always say the earth is 'an insignificant backwater'? I mean, what's that based on?

Presumably because it is a small planet in a solar system halfway out on an arm of a galaxy - fairly small/insignificant spacially; and its inhabitants are not yet capable of visiting other planets/solar systems/galaxies - unable to be significant sociopolitically on a universal scale.

Besides, it's funnier that way.

And it's Mostly Harmless.


I almost said "unfashionable arm."
 
2012-11-05 03:37:15 PM

slayer199: DVDave: No, it's capitalized. What he means is, he denies the existence of the movie franchise.
...or possibly just the 2nd film.

I deny the existence of Aliens after the 2nd film. Prometheus doesn't count because it's technically a prequel.


Alien 3 is highly under-appreciated, if you ask me.
As for Alien Resurrection? Winona Ryder. That pretty much does it for me.
 
2012-11-05 03:38:19 PM
Quite a few of those things are provable if they do in fact exist.
 
2012-11-05 03:49:03 PM

HallsOfMandos: karma


Odd that the list includes "Karma" but not "Sin"...

...not so odd that they got karma all wrong. Probably the same people who think evolution has a goal.
 
2012-11-05 03:54:54 PM
The big bang theory is surprisingly absent...

With that being said, life belongs to those who hold it. To each their own and such. You can think someone is stupid if you prefer, but the truth is: it's their life. And until they personally have an effect on yours, leave them alone. My point is, you have no right to tell anyone what they can and cannot believe in and you have no right to tell them they're wrong when your theories cannot be proved, though they may be more widely accepted.

As Trey Parker and Matt Stone so beautifully put it in South Park "Go God Go," we'll fight over any ideology -- it's what we do. We don't like people different than ourselves no matter what the basis.
 
2012-11-05 03:58:28 PM

alwaysjaded: And I don't know how I feel about intuition. I'm naturally skeptical


I've always viewed my intuition as linked to my scepticism. Dress a 'gut-feeling-about-something' however you want, we all get them.
 
2012-11-05 04:04:24 PM

Meatybrain: HallsOfMandos: karma

Odd that the list includes "Karma" but not "Sin"...

...not so odd that they got karma all wrong. Probably the same people who think evolution has a goal.


sin exists without much of a doubt. it means to miss the mark. whenever you try and miss, you've sinned. it was often used in an archery context in old english. however, the analogy/metaphor works very well in chrisitianity. you may try to do well, but you miss. since anyone can create a mark to strive for, sin will necessarily exist everytime a person fails to reach that mark
 
2012-11-05 04:05:54 PM
I look at karma more as just a label to place on the coincidental events that seem to lead to someone being rewarded or punished for their behavior. It's not a force itself.
 
2012-11-05 04:12:39 PM

uttertosh: alwaysjaded: And I don't know how I feel about intuition. I'm naturally skeptical

I've always viewed my intuition as linked to my scepticism. Dress a 'gut-feeling-about-something' however you want, we all get them.


in fact it'd be interesting to see if the same areas in a brainscan showed for OCD attacks. Just a... um.. hunch.
 
2012-11-05 04:14:20 PM

uttertosh: uttertosh: alwaysjaded: And I don't know how I feel about intuition. I'm naturally skeptical

I've always viewed my intuition as linked to my scepticism. Dress a 'gut-feeling-about-something' however you want, we all get them.

in fact it'd be interesting to see if the same areas in a brainscan showed for OCD attacks. Just a... um.. hunch.


Are you suggesting that an OCD attack is akin to having rapidly repeated "gut feelings" that the stove was left on?
 
2012-11-05 04:16:11 PM

tuxq: The big bang theory is surprisingly absent...


The theory doesn't exist? huh....wha?
 
2012-11-05 04:17:32 PM

Meatybrain: Sin


"There's no grays, only white that's got grubby. I'm surprised you don't know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That's what sin is."

"It's a lot more complicated than that-"

"No. It ain't. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they are getting worried that they won't like the truth. People as things, that's where it starts."

"Oh, I'm sure there are worse crimes-"

"But they starts with thinking about people as things . . ."
/From Carpe Juglum, by Terry Pratchett.
//Let it be noted the old woman talking about sin is *not* a worshiper of any of the Disc's gods. In her own words, "I already have my hot water bottle."
 
2012-11-05 04:17:50 PM

tuxq: you have no right to tell them they're wrong


gah?! Who's "right"...dah?
 
2012-11-05 04:18:54 PM

tuxq: The big bang theory is surprisingly absent...


Labrat407: Missed these:
-Gravity
-Evolution
-Relativity
-Global Warming
-Elvis is still alive
-JFK Assasination

\they are not called theories for shaits and giggles folks


The list was of things without evidence. While nothing in science is 100% proven, all of the above (except maybe Elvis) have evidence supporting them.

For some of them, like Evolution and AGW, there is massive amounts of evidence. For gravity there is massive amounts of evidence that the force exists ... the explanations on how it works get a bit thin.
 
2012-11-05 04:33:23 PM

homarjr: nmemkha: amoral: No mention of gravity? Is it because more people believe in aliens than gravity?

A you need to do is find a high gravity object of low mass and "gravity" (i.e. the current theory) is busted.

I've always wondered if you got two center of masses to touch each other (therefore making an infinite denominator in the gravitational formula), could you ever pull them apart again?


Since the attraction of gravity at a center of mass is zero (the gravity of any non-singularity object cancels itself out there) they would drift apart by themselves in response to external perturbations.

/That's basically the reason the Ringworld is unstable in the plane of its rotation.
 
2012-11-05 04:33:49 PM

DVDave: Alien 3 is highly under-appreciated, if you ask me.


Especially the director's cut. So much better imo.
 
2012-11-05 04:38:43 PM

Hawnkee: DVDave: Alien 3 is highly under-appreciated, if you ask me.

Especially the director's cut. So much better imo.


Yes it is much better ... and yet still the worst in the series.
 
2012-11-05 04:44:31 PM
I took the George Cralin route and shortened my list to one item:
Happy Horseshiat.
 
2012-11-05 04:45:18 PM
Most of that list wasn't "things we don't know, but believe anyhow" as "things that have been proved conclusively not to be true, that people believe anyway".

Psychic mediums - Scientifically tested, all fake

Astrology - analyzed by statisticians (with too much time on their hands), doesn't work

Ghosts - tested. Nope. Entertainingly, the phenomena that cause people to imagine ghosts have been pinned down pretty well (infrasound and physiology, psychology)

Karma - statistical analysis applied. Again, no correlation to anything the philosophy claims correlated

Fate - counterexampled to hell and back. nope.

Religious texts - historical components analyzed and found fraudulent at best, entirely fabricated at worst. Essentially zero correlation with contemporary historical records, ever (even though contemporary historical records are usually consistent with each other), this showing most of the supernatural events didn't happen either.

The dodgy ones that fall in the "not proven" instead of the "actually disproven" category have some big caveats, too:

Cryptids - There are definitely some undiscovered species around, but due to know impact and behaviors of large land-dwelling mammals, it can be safely said that none of them are large land-dwelling mammals, unless we're missing them because they're indistinguishable from some other species, in which case we've seen them and just don't fully get them yet. So... no bigfoot or mothman.

Aliens - There are probably some... somewhere. On another planet. The realities of physics (most relevantly the cosmic speed limit c) means that visitors would have to _colonize_, though, just dropping by and abducting people without showing up on the rather extensive near-earth monitoring we do for asteroids and debris is a big "ha, ha, no".

Intuition - It certainly exists in the sense of the sum of your experience, training, and instinct, but it's not a 'sixth sense' and it's not any more reliable than your conscious decision-making.

God - The word is essentially meaningless at this point because it means whatever the speaker finds it politically or rhetorically expedient for it to mean. So you could define coffee to be god and claim god exists. Most of the specific gods claimed by religions, though, no, disproved or shown to be logically contradictory.
 
2012-11-05 04:46:13 PM

Eats Kittens: wippit: Crypids in general should not be on the list. There are quite a few new species that were once cryptids/

Big foot and nessy not available for comment.


Dr. Lao proved Nessie beyond a shadow of a doubt.

And let me just add the alien one that sticks in my craw:

"Aliens exist, and they have the capability to visit us, they just don't because they have judged us as unworthy." I find that, especially when it comes from atheists, to be offensive, since all it does is put God back in through slight of hand. If they are vastly more powerful than us, it will be like us morally judging ants, rather than having better things to do.
 
2012-11-05 04:46:53 PM

Mr. Cat Poop: I look at karma more as just a label to place on the coincidental events that seem to lead to someone being rewarded or punished for their behavior. It's not a force itself.


Another common misconception. They are by definition NOT merely coincidental, nor do they have anything at all to do with reward or punishment. Karma is more like the reeeeeally basic laws of physics - if there is action, there will be effects, which then generate more effects like ripples in a pond, etc. It is considered bad form to think you are able to decide what actions to take based on what will happen, as you really can't know what the ultimate effects will be, nor will you be able to control even what little you do know will happen. Fighting karma is pointless, as you would be fighting it with actions, which only generate more uncontrollable and unknowable karma.

Karma is an observed phenomenon, not an attempt to explain good or bad fortune. That got appended later by a superstitious and uneducated bunch of yahoos and twitbellies.
 
2012-11-05 04:50:36 PM

slayer199: I don't believe in Aliens but I believe it's statistically likely there's intelligent life elsewhere in the universe.


Elsewhere implies that intelligent life exists on Earth.
 
2012-11-05 04:52:04 PM
"Can't prove? No.


"Have not proven?" Yes.
 
2012-11-05 04:53:03 PM

Meatybrain: Karma is an observed phenomenon,



Do go on.
 
2012-11-05 04:53:53 PM

StoPPeRmobile: Smeggy Smurf: The female orgasm

*Shakes tiny fist*


Hopefully our tiny fist had nothing tiny in it....
 
2012-11-05 04:58:22 PM
Whatever. Even if scientists claim they can prove or disprove anything, how credible is the source? If the mastermind of of our time, Stephen Hawking is really such a mastermind of masterminds, why can't he walk?
Get up and prove me wrong, veggie boy.
 
2012-11-05 05:09:17 PM

bikerific: Meatybrain: Karma is an observed phenomenon,


Do go on.


Whether I go on or not is not up to me.
 
2012-11-05 05:10:11 PM

Meatybrain: Karma is an observed phenomenon,


Thanks, asshole. Now all my labmates know I'm farking around on the internet instead of finishing the inspections because I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.
 
2012-11-05 05:19:57 PM

bikerbob59: Elsewhere implies that intelligent life exists on Earth.


Good point.
 
2012-11-05 05:38:24 PM

Jim_Callahan: Meatybrain: Karma is an observed phenomenon,

Thanks, asshole. Now all my labmates know I'm farking around on the internet instead of finishing the inspections because I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.


Eh, depends on how you define it.

I would certainly argue that you could make a sort of.. hrm. Philosophical arguement? Not in the sense of a cosmic balance sheet, but more of a:
"If you are a dick to people, it tends to ruin their day. They then are often dicks to other people, and this builds and multiplies. Eventually, it will probably come back around to you and fark you over."
(This, of course, gives us great power as individuals, too. 'Cause when something bad happens to us/someone is a dick to us, we can choose *not* to allow it to alter how we treat other people. And thus, in a small way, decrease the amount of dickishness in the world.)

/... I'm also dicking around on the internet instead of doing labwork.
 
2012-11-05 06:28:51 PM

Jim_Callahan: Meatybrain: Karma is an observed phenomenon,

Thanks, asshole. Now all my labmates know I'm farking around on the internet instead of finishing the inspections because I nearly fell out of my chair laughing.


"Your karma ran over my dogma"
 
2012-11-05 06:29:53 PM

Labrat407: Missed these:
-Gravity
-Evolution
-Relativity
-Global Warming
-Elvis is still alive
-JFK Assasination

\they are not called theories for shaits and giggles folks


Yeah, "gravity" and "Elvis is still alive" totally belong on the same list.
 
2012-11-05 06:34:43 PM

Ambitwistor: Labrat407: Missed these:
-Gravity
-Evolution
-Relativity
-Global Warming
-Elvis is still alive
-JFK Assasination

\they are not called theories for shaits and giggles folks

Yeah, "gravity" and "Elvis is still alive" totally belong on the same list.


If Elvis was still alive, I'm sure he'd have his own gravitational field
 
2012-11-05 06:41:17 PM
Religious texts?
I believe in them, I have seen several. I was given a free copy of the book of Mormon once, I touched it (I even read some of it) it was certainly real.

I also believe that the Torah is real, the Koran too. I believe that the Christian bible exists and the Tipitaka (and not just because I saw him on TV with a talking monkey). I believe in the existence of the Bhagavad Gita...
 
2012-11-05 06:43:02 PM
A lot o' people don't realize what's really going on. They view life as a bunch o' unconnected incidents 'n things. They don't realize that there's this, like, lattice o' coincidence that lays on top o' everything. Give you an example; show you what I mean: suppose you're thinkin' about a plate o' shrimp. Suddenly someone'll say, like, plate, or shrimp, or plate o' shrimp out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin' for one, either. It's all part of a cosmic unconciousness.
 
2012-11-05 06:51:29 PM
#11: Tax cuts for the rich stimulate economic growth
 
2012-11-05 07:00:11 PM

Pincy: yves0010: But here's the thing people love to argue and not understand. Yes, we as Christians believe God created the universe and everything in it. The question is not yes He did or no he did not that we argue. It is how He did it. Some argue that He created them all in literal 7 days. Others believe that 7 days was a way we, as humans, can understand His power. There are concepts of how we think God sees our timeline. The one I like to think is that he sees our timeline as if He is viewing it from outside of time and sees it all at once. Every branch and every choice, the past, present and future. This allows Him to see and know everything. Giving that, which can explain His all knowing, all powerful, ever presents, we can also say that if science says evolution is true, why can we not say God himself guided life the way He saw fit.

Sorry, but the mental contortions you have to go through to justify your belief are amazing. Why can't you just say "I want to believe in God because I like the idea of God" and be done with it?


The real problem with the bible being taking literally, is that it is a book of parables and lessons, not history. When you look at it that way, there is no more mental gymnastics than most other things.
 
2012-11-05 08:24:34 PM
religious beliefs are based on faith, you pinheads.
 
2012-11-05 08:26:16 PM
Wait, equality wasn't on the list? Isn't that the most widespread myth in existence?
 
2012-11-05 08:27:00 PM
X-rays were fantasy for thousands of years of human evolution until their discovery.

Who is to say we won't invent a spirit cam someday and can see what our other senses cannot perceive? Hell Dark Matter makes up most of the universe and we have no farking clue what it is since we cannot directly perceive it.
 
2012-11-05 09:28:38 PM

lordargent:
I don't KNOW god(s) exists.
I don't BELIEVE god(s) exist (given measurable evidence)
But I do BELIEVE it's possible for god(s) to exist (regardless of how improbable).


These are not separate, but each is dependent upon the next.
You must believe in the possibility, to believe in the existence of, and ergo "know" the answer to be true.
Each is just a stage to the next level.

Now, since I think I am a piece of god, and I know I exist, therefore I know god exists, thus obviating the rest. :)
 
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