Lie Detectors and Graphology: Incomplete Sciences

What are lie detector tests? I know that they have a history of being wrong or at very least inaccurate, but do they tell us anything useful?

There are a bunch of different kinds of tests, but I don’t think they are going to find the golden solution. Namely for this reason: lying adds stress to the brain, but you can’t zero in on that stress unless you know all the other stresses effecting the subjects mind at that time. Without an absolute zero, there’s almost no point in the test at all.

We can measure stress, and identify the point in the test when the subject was stressed. We can look at the question that prompted the stress. But we don’t know why that question caused the stress. For instance “Did you murder this person?” can be a stressful question even if you didn’t murder the person. If you over-analyze like me, you may freak out because you know that your answer to this question may determine your guilt or innocence. You stress over not stressing, even if you did nothing wrong. Their equipment says you’re freaking out, and it’s right, but it cannot tell them why.

Graphology is a similar science. If you’re not familiar, it’s the study of handwriting as it relates to someone’s personality. Here’s how it ties in to my theories about the human concept of time:

The more stressed your mind and body, the slower your perception of time. The more time in each pen stroke. The smoother the writing, the better the concept of time. Here’s a glimpse of what I’m talking about.

1200px-Writing_by_a_Parkinson's_disease_patient

They say that shaky handwriting such as this could be an indicator of Alzheimer’s, but they just don’t know why. Imagine having ten separate thoughts in the time that it takes to write the letter “C”. That is absolutely terrifying.

So what should our takeaway from graphology be? A change in handwriting could and probably does signify a change in the state of mind of the subject.

If you’re curious, take note [horrific pun] on your own handwriting and as it changes throughout the day and day-to-day. Think about your current mood and stresses, and see if that has any effects on your writing. Spoiler alert: it does. 

 

 

A brief critique of science

Science is a very useful tool that has lead us to some wonderful discoveries. Here’s how it can lead us astray:

Just because the data collected in the experiment is as predicted, doesn’t make the theory in question right. The scientific theory is simple and powerful, and it’s been used correctly for thousands of years to help us discover some amazing things. But consider for a moment that the hypothesis is wrong, and the experiment verifies it. Other scientists check the logic by repeating the experiment, and if it checks out, it must be correct. Then the next guy comes along and expands on that theory with a new idea, and a new experiment to verify it. 

Before long, there’s so much information that could be a left turn from the truth. The craziest part of all of it, no one will ever believe me. Science is written as truth, [and in most fields it is] so anyone that questions it must be wrong.

The idea that all the science leading up to this point is right, makes it where we can’t really have any more big discoveries. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

Science fills in gaps with theories, without saying they’re theories. “I don’t know” are the most powerful three words for new developments. Speculation masked as fact just muddies the waters for new research.

Science is not clear on what is still a mystery. The unknowns in medicine would terrify you, so we pretend like the aren’t unknowns.

So how did I come up with my theories? I looked at only data. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I didn’t have any major background that made my theories fit with ten other ones. I was only looking for the truth. Not something that sounded good when your doctor said it.

How can I question science?

I have a background in hard science, so I know how it works. The science of vision is not hard science. Psychiatry is not hard science. Genetics is not hard science. That lead me to one more question: why? The answer to that is that we don’t understand how the human brain works.

Really smart people can conduct really interesting studies and completely miss the point if they have the wrong assumptions, and it happens more often than you would think.

So why do I think I’m right? Because all I did was use the data already gathered in other studies, I just made the right assumptions, and things started to fall into place.

I don’t ignore case studies that don’t fit the model. I try to explain them. My theories are not bigger than the truth. I made a model to fit the facts, instead of cherry picking facts to fit a theory.