Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 123

Thread: You say there is an invisible elf in your backyard. Here's how I prove you wrong.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015

    You say there is an invisible elf in your backyard. Here's how I prove you wrong.

    Every time I see this sig file, I think of new ways to do it.

    Then I think, maybe everybody should be in on the fun.

    For starters, we use fine powdered flour. After we put a layer down over the entire yard, we set it up to sprinke it from the sky as well. When there are no footprints, we know the elf is standing still.

    So we sprinkle the powder. When none lands on an invisible elf, we know there isn't one.

    See? Easy.

    Now before you start changing the elf into a magical somehow able to defeat the laws of physics elf, that isn't what you said. You said "invisible", not magical beyond physics.

    There are other ways to do it as well.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    7,803
    Box in the backyard, then fill it with a layer of water so that the ground is submerged.

    Then sweep the backyard with a long length of barbed wire.

    If the wire is caught on anything you cannot see you know there is something there. If it jumps the wire to avoid getting caught on it you should find the water being disturbed.

    Determining it's actually an elf would be another, much more complicated matter completely.

    I prefer the method you mentioned in the OP though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    13,423
    Invisible elf, yes. But unless you are constantly raining powder or flour on the yard, you cannot guarantee that said elf does not come and go. Or simply transfer to the front yard to avoid getting floured.
    Since the elf is invisible, you cannot feasibly guess his movements in order to jump out in front of him with a bag of flour.

    So although you may demonstrate that the elf is not likely to be present in the yard at that moment, you cannot say with certainty that the elf did not see you coming and head out of town for a hiatus until you finished your shenanigans.

    The elf is more wily than you gave him credit for- and no magic was needed.

    ETA: this applies to Spoons as well. The point of the question is to "Prove the nonexistence of the invisible elf."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    12,235
    Well, I can tell you where they can't be, and can tell you where they can be, but I can't tell you where there are. Sorry for being Tweedledeeish.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    13,423
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Well, I can tell you where they can't be, and can tell you where they can be, but I can't tell you where there are. Sorry for being Tweedledeeish.
    'Tis better than being Tweedledum.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    18,417
    Quote Originally Posted by Robinson View Post
    Every time I see this sig file, I think of new ways to do it.

    Then I think, maybe everybody should be in on the fun.

    For starters, we use fine powdered flour. After we put a layer down over the entire yard, we set it up to sprinke it from the sky as well. When there are no footprints, we know the elf is standing still.

    So we sprinkle the powder. When none lands on an invisible elf, we know there isn't one.

    See? Easy.
    Won't work. Dust will float right through the elf, just as it would the air. Prove me wrong.

    Now before you start changing the elf into a magical somehow able to defeat the laws of physics elf, that isn't what you said. You said "invisible", not magical beyond physics.
    I didn't say that the elf's abilities were constrained to just invisibility.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    18,417
    Anyway, you have the problem turned around.

    It isn't about proving there is an invisible elf in my backyard. You're being asked to prove that there isn't one.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    7,803
    This game was more fun before you embraced the CT strategies of vagueness and introducing new items to suit the argument.

    (I know, that's the point of it.)

    But if matter goes straight through your elf, it is invisible, completely undetectable and therefore has zero interaction with our world then what does it's existence matter.

    Were it just invisible, but otherwise normal (err, yes, I realise I just referred to an elf as normal) then either Robinson's or my method would show if it weren't there.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015
    Exactly.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015
    I knew as soon as a method was proposed to show there is no invisible elf, the conditions would change.

    But it doesn't matter. I proved there is no invisible elf in the back yard.

    Saying it moved out of the yard also means there is no elf in the back yard.

    It's fun proving things that don't exist don't exist.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    7,803
    Blue ribbon for you Robinson!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Anyway, you have the problem turned around.

    It isn't about proving there is an invisible elf in my backyard. You're being asked to prove that there isn't one.
    No, if somebody says , "I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?", I explain how I would prove that person is wrong. That there is no invisible elf. If there is no iElf (invisible elf), then the person is wrong.

    This isn't rocket science here!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    The elf hasn't been there for a long time. It simply told Van Rijn he was still there to mess with him. I know this because I have a direct line to the supernatural. Prove me wrong. :-P
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,084
    ...and we haven't seen Van Rijn's backyard, either...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015
    Be careful what you ask for ...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    13,423
    Neverfly=chopped liver...

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    Quote Originally Posted by sarongsong View Post
    ...and we haven't seen Van Rijn's backyard, either...
    No, but the invisible elf has and he told me about all the skeletons buried back there. ha!
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015
    This is going to go downhill fast ...

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    Quote Originally Posted by Robinson View Post
    This is going to go downhill fast ...
    How'd you know his background was on a hill unless you'd seen it?
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    7,803
    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis
    How'd you know his background was on a hill unless you'd seen it?
    Invisible topographical map. Naturally.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    7,015
    Actually Ara Pacis told me.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,084
    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    No, but the invisible elf...told me...
    Ah! A "witness!"---"Can you describe the defendent and did you hear a male or female voice, or could you tell?"

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW
    Posts
    7,803
    It was probably a high-talker, a la Seinfeld.

    Besides, if it's a quantum elf you can't measure it's sex without changing it.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    18,417
    Quote Originally Posted by sarongsong View Post
    ...and we haven't seen Van Rijn's backyard, either...
    Apparently, you don't remember this.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    13,423
    Ad at the top of this thread page:
    Love Science?
    Find a Geek Date Online Create a Profile Today!
    www.Gk2Gk.com

    Moving along...



    ETA: Since looking at the picture, I can see a lot of Ivy in Van Rijn's backyard in which said elf can take refuge from falling flour.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    18,442
    Ah, another mythological creature.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    9,084
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    There was a little voice going, "Are you sure---are you sure?", as I was typing that...Wow! definitely looks like elfin habitat to me---Robinson's got his work cut out for him!

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    18,417
    Quote Originally Posted by Robinson View Post
    I knew as soon as a method was proposed to show there is no invisible elf, the conditions would change.
    If you managed to show there was an invisible elf in my backyard, you would support my claim.

    If your method did not detect an invisible elf, you could not prove that it was an effective method for detecting invisible elves.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    Quote Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
    Invisible topographical map. Naturally.
    Funny you should mention it. That was my next point. The elf, being invisible, experiences a different gravitational gradient at said location, that makes his existence in Van Rijn's backyard a slippery slope. Now you know why he left.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    12,410
    Quote Originally Posted by sarongsong View Post
    Ah! A "witness!"---"Can you describe the defendent and did you hear a male or female voice, or could you tell?"
    It looked elvenish and used sign language. The invisible elf-herder had to translate for me.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 150
    Last Post: 2014-Jun-27, 08:36 PM
  2. Any scientists willing to do experiments to prove QM wrong?
    By dell in forum Against the Mainstream
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 2009-Jul-17, 01:40 AM
  3. Replies: 49
    Last Post: 2006-Dec-25, 04:12 AM
  4. Science and math prove Einstein was factually wrong
    By StevenCrum in forum Against the Mainstream
    Replies: 208
    Last Post: 2006-Sep-30, 12:47 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •