Thursday, October 11, 2007

David Ray Griffin and the Fone Faker

In Pat's previous post he commented on David Ray Griffin's latest article in his pathetic "fake phone call" argument. Once I got over the whole offensive nature of the argument, I was most interested in the following claim he was making:

In D9D, however, I pointed out that already in 1999, Washington Times journalist William Arkin reported witnessing a demonstration in which the voices of Generals Carl Steiner and Colin Powell were perfectly duplicated. I also reported an advertisement for a voice changer said to be good enough for people to fool their spouses.[5] I am not sure, therefore, why Kornkven considers implausible the suggestion that Deena Burnett was fooled four times.

That advertisement, which identifies by name further on in the article is the "Fone Faker". This feature is even described on their website:

Can I change my voice?

FoneFaker allows you to select either a Male or Female voice when making a call. The feature works in real-time and allows the caller to speak in a normal tone - the person on the other end of the line will hear the changed voice.

What Griffin is lying about though, is that the voice changer does not disguise your voice as someone in particular, but just makes your voice unidentifiable. It does not allow someone else to fool your spouse into thinking they are you, it just makes it so you can call your spouse and they can't tell who it is (at least that is what they claim). This is a rather trivial feature that has been available in children's toys for years. As far as the Washington Post article, the scientist behind that device has specifically commented that his device could not be used as implied, for starters it was based off a recording.

What is next, is he going to start arguing for the Star Wars Death Beam theory based off of a laser pointer he saw in the Sharper Image catalog?