When you don't think Rationally, you are prone to be amazed and filled with wonder about the unknown to you, even when you just explained it a moment before you became filled with wonder. Ignorance is false bliss. It isn't ignorance that cures disease, or makes the computer you're reading this with, nor will it deflect that asteroid next year. Oh and don't worry about it next feburary, people that are not clinging to the bliss of ignorance are working on it. See when you care about what's true, you research and learn what is true regardless of preference. Nobody prefers a meteor to crash into the earth (well apart from some religious sects but nevermind that.) Now, back to my original point.
My friend, I'll call her "Mandy" and I were discussing the luxery boat called, 'The Queen Mary' because of the Scottish games. Turns out she's been there and took the 'haunted tour!" [bom bom bommmmm] So she has a service dog, is a religious jew yet fancies herself scientifically minded. Like all religious scientists, she is scientific in some areas, but not others. It's like turning a switch on and off.
Mandys story has been shortened to save time. "The annoying thing is Disney owns the Queen Mary and made the haunted tour too 'Disneyfied.' She says, then sites an example. Before I get to it I would like to also point out that she's attempting to impress me with these stories the way she impresses her other friends from northern California. So I will go through varies examples of hers.
Example 1: The room was supposed to be haunted by children and its said you can hear them playing sometimes. However they were using stereo speakers to pipe in the sounds of children playing. This upset Mandy because the volume from these were so loud, if you could hear the real ghosts then they would have been drowned out by the fake audio. Clearly this tour was Disneyfied like she said. I wasn't impressed by this story obviously so she moves on with the tour. (As I retype this I find myself rather shocked to think that she actually thought this story was impressive.)
Example 2: After a history lesson about a cold and foggy night during the World War, the Queen Mary crashed into a small boat they were supposed to meet up with and under orders were unable to stop and help. The tour had a 'reenactment' full of screams and water flooding the place. Mandy's service dog got scared! "Was it the noise and water? Or, was it the ghosts? I don't know." she says. If you think about it, the first room her service dog was fine, but in the second room he was not fine! WooOooOoOoOoOoOoo She actually asked for my thoughts on it. Seeing the unimpressed look I was giving her, she decided to move onto the next story. (Truthfully I was quite stunned she had asked for my thoughts on that one. o_O)
Example 3: 'The Strong Case' Yeah I gave this one a title because she felt this was the knock down strongest proof. (Did I mention these examples she was calling proofs?) Within this third room, she literally "Felt a presence" that made her hair stand on end. Further, after the trip she was speaking with a friend whom also went on that tour but a few weeks prior. Her friend was able to confirm that same presence in the exact same room, down to the exact same spot. She felt it would be a good scientific test to talk with her friend and see if she too felt the presence.
By this point I was giving her a real, 'wtf is wrong with you' expression so then Mandy took everything into a different direction. She began talking about how her mind is more open then mine is to the possibility of ghosts because I don't believe in them. She of course was quite condescending in how she was saying it but nevermind that. "No" I interrupted, "I simply acknowledge that the Ghost Hypothesis has not yet met its burden of proof. Take for example, you are on a "Disneyfied" boat as you put it, and you find a spot where you 'feel' your hair stand on end in the same room your friend felt it weeks ago, down to the exact same spot of the room. Why hasn't the ghost moved in all this time? I was surprised it didn't move, it's very easy to recreate that effect and cheap yet have it moving around the room as well. I wonder why they didn't do that." Desperation began to set in her, so she pulls out one more story to prove it.
Example 4: "The Finale" After the tour, her service dog refused to enter the Gift shop! NO matter how hard she tried, he wouldn't go in. Upon asking the shop keep about this, he said "Well, the shop is haunted." This did not have the desired effect upon me as a proof.
What makes her think a dog can sense ghosts better than humans? What makes her think dogs even grasp the concept? Why was her dog unhappy about meeting the ghosts in the reenactment and the gift shop while being unaware of the playing kids in example 1 or aware of the presence in example 3? Mandy felt the presence, doesn't that imply we are better at sensing ghosts then dogs are by her own examples? I should remind you, that this 'is' a "Disneyfied" boat we are talking about.
With regards to the Example 4, my immediate thought was the song, "Take on me" by Ah-hah. The high note causes my dog to panic and that's a pitch human are even able to hear! Wouldn't that be more likely then ghosts in a gift shop, full of fragile stuff in tight spaces on a haunted and Disneyfied boat in a country where they legally cannot refuse access to animals? If I ever make plans to visit the Queen Mary again, I'd like to bring a device to see if I can find the pitch the dogs can hear that we can't coming from there. See, that would be a fun scientific test. See if my hypothesis is correct or not.
The belief in Ghosts requires many baseless assumptions be made: We have souls that are influenced by physical forces that can exist outside of the physical body, etc. Not going to waste our time going into all those details. All that aside though, she's trying to persuade me with stories and experiences that contradict each other. Using a Disneyfied boat to go ghost hunting is as silly as using the Hollywoodified show "Ghost Hunters' to gather scientific data which I was about to point out to her. ........ but she beat me to the punch by bringing up Ghost Hunters as a source of scientific data collecting on Ghosts.
I changed the subject to Myth Busters and how they disproved the Hollywood myth of bullets traveling through water like air.
“Science is more than a body of knowledge, it’s a way of thinking. A way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility. If we are not able to ask skeptical questions, to interrogate those who tell us that something is true, to be skeptical of those in authority, then we’re up for grabs for the next charlatan, political or religious, who comes ambling along.” -- Carl Sagan