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Date Posted: 11:46
Author: Mike Drake - 5 Jun 2001
Subject: Re: Burbank, Microfiche and Statistical Blunders
In reply to: Waqidi - 5 Jun 2001 's message, "Re: Burbank, Microfiche and Statistical Blunders" on 11:45

1. Dark Matter

First, perturbations caused by the movement of our sun around another star would be not “subtle”. Second, it’s not merely that modern science does not “support” the stellar companion notion; it’s that it's findings render the notion utterly implausible, for reasons stated (and misquoted).

I have discussed this issue exhaustively – certainly sufficiently enough for any reasonably objective reader to come to a conclusion. I therefore suggest that you take the issue up with a professional astrophysicist.

2. Burbank

Here you are being evasive. The “nature” and “quality” of the article is there to see at the Infidels site, which contains lengthy quotations. But it is hard to see how such a collateral attack will aid your cause – it’s an interview. (You would be attacking the quality of Burbank’s own statements.) Who wrote it is immaterial if the nature and quality are there to see. And given that it is an interview, your apparent desire to consider the existence of witnesses seems odd: How many interviews do you know where there are “witnesses” involved?

The article (and I have found and ordered a copy) was written during Burbank’s lifetime – which gave Burbank a chance to challenge any inaccuracies. So your saying that you would count Yogananda’s recollections years after Burbank’s death is clearly special pleading. (Both accounts are “secondhand”.)

Your appeal to the nature and scope of the friendship between the two is relatively immaterial, and in any case circular, since it is established by the very text (the AOY) that is at issue. Anyway, I have already stipulated that there was some relationship.*

Your argument based on Theosophy Magazines choice of subject matter doesn’t have much force here, as far as I can see.**

Look, we’ve a relatively narrow issue, so let’s stay focused: While Yogananda attributes to Burbank a firm belief in reincarnation, Burbank allegedly himself said to the papers in an interview that “reincarnation is untenable.”

This gives us two subissues: (1) are the statements contradictory?; and if so (and given that both accounts are secondhand), (2) which ought to be given credence?

Since you are so energetically trying to debunk the Burbank interview, I take it you think the statements are contradictory. And I’ve already argued why a contemporary interview should be accorded greater credence than recollections made years after Burbank’s death. More may be said, but perhaps it should wait until I post a copy of the news interview.

* Although it would be interesting to find an independent remark by Burbank about his allegedly close friendship with Yogananda. Anyone have anything?

**By the way, the quotation you provide seems to be attributed to Edison. Is it Edison’s or Burbank’s?

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