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Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 22:12

NinjaPuppy wrote:Where does your claim come from? If I were to do a my own experiment, you mean that my findings would be 80%?


Where is the data that confirms that Jimmy Hoffa is even dead other than a court ruling for legal purposes and an educated guess, since he was born in 1913? Where are any findings that a dead body has a GPS locator for a spirit to know a fact such as this?

To answer your second question first, you're right, I guess, that there are no findings that a dead body could locate itself. But if a dead person can show Edward a picture of a rose and he interprets that as a sign of love, then surely a dead person could show him a picture of a football stadium (metaphorically speaking, of course...)
To answer your second question, yes. Your findings would be about 80% or higher. It's called the Forer Effect: http://www.humanhand.com/forereffect.html
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby NinjaPuppy » 05 May 2010, 22:49

ProfWag wrote:To answer your second question first, you're right, I guess, that there are no findings that a dead body could locate itself. But if a dead person can show Edward a picture of a rose and he interprets that as a sign of love, then surely a dead person could show him a picture of a football stadium (metaphorically speaking, of course...)


Again, I must clarify part of your statement and ask you some questions. I don't think I will get much rebuttal if I say that we pretty much have proof that a dead body can't show squat to anyone except perhaps show a medical examiner the cause of death. The physical components no longer are capable of motion or action of any sort. So are you basing your skeptical opinion of mediumship being impossible based on the existence of some form of unexplained 'energy' actually existing?

ProfWag wrote:To answer your second question, yes. Your findings would be about 80% or higher. It's called the Forer Effect: http://www.humanhand.com/forereffect.html

I have heard of the Forer Effect but I am not particularly educated in this area. Thanks for the link, I will do some reading.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 23:15

NinjaPuppy wrote:
Again, I must clarify part of your statement and ask you some questions. I don't think I will get much rebuttal if I say that we pretty much have proof that a dead body can't show squat to anyone except perhaps show a medical examiner the cause of death. The physical components no longer are capable of motion or action of any sort. So are you basing your skeptical opinion of mediumship being impossible based on the existence of some form of unexplained 'energy' actually existing?


Uhm, I think that you WOULD get a lot of rebuttal from people who say that a dead body can communicate (not from me, though). John Edward, Van Praagh to name a couple. They often use the chest or the brain as signals of from the other side as to how a loved one died.
I am actually basing my skeptical opinion on the fact that hearing a loved one tell me they are okay doesn't begin to show me there exists an "other world."
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby Eteponge » 05 May 2010, 23:23

ProfWag wrote:"In his book The Afterlife Experiments, Schwartz describes the Herculean efforts he went through to understand cold reading. He knows that many tricksters use cold reading to defraud others by pretending to know secrets about them and he wanted to make sure than none of the psychics he tested was a fraud. However, in his zeal to understand cold reading, he overlooked the most essential element in the process: the way subjective validation functions in the evaluation of any reading. Forer and others have been able to get a high rating of accuracy for phony readings without cold reading. Schwartz has been so diligent to make sure his subjects weren't cheating that he overlooked the obvious: the high ratings given psychic readings were probably due to subjective validation. Ruling out cold reading and cheating, while important, are not sufficient to ensure an accurate assessment of rater bias."
Robert T. Carroll

The key here is that his critique is drawn from The Afterlife Experiments, released in 2003, which consists of Dr. Gary Schwartz's EARLY 2000-2003 experiments, during which the experiments were single-blind and had various design flaws that were corrected in later experiments. You see, each passing year of the experiments, the controls were stepped up and tightened, and it went to double-blind, and then triple-blind. Many of the problems with the early experiments were corrected in later experiments.

ProfWag wrote:Here's a question that I am a little curious about. Why do all the mediums who want to have their abilities validated only go see Dr. Gary Schwartz at the Univ of Arizona? If they are so confident in their abilities, why don't they go knocking on the door at Harvard, Yale, or a host of other Psychology Departments?

Are those universities also conducting triple-blind experiments with mediums?

ProfWag wrote:If John Edward could talk to dead people, then he should be able to talk to Jimmy Hoffa and find out where he's really buried rather than validating that he just wanted to pass on to his family that "he's doing okay."

If a Psychic revealed the location of the body of Jimmy Hoffa, skeptics would just claim that an old dying mobster "must have" dropped that information to the Psychic so that it would be revealed to the world where it couldn't be traced back to them. What better way to divulge a murder and burial confession but through an uninvolved Psychic? Even if you can't prove or provide any evidence whatsoever that the Psychic got the information on the location of his body from "inside sources" via the mafia, just bringing up that possible scenario is enough to provoke skepticism and dismiss it.

Same story if a Psychic won the lottery, "leaked inside information" or "a hell of a lucky guess, someone's gotta win the lottery, random luck just happened to land on someone who was an alleged psychic, nothing paranormal about that" would be the automatic skeptical responses.

Debunkers act as though they'd drop everything and fully believe if any of those extreme things happened, but in fact, you could *easily* pull off a skeptical cop-out explanation to not have to deal with it at all even then.

ProfWag wrote:For the sake of fairness, let's assume that Geraldo was biased in his assessment of Schwartz being a con man.
Here is a statement from Allison Dubois from her website:
" ... I do not endorse Dr. Gary Schwartz. I was disappointed to find out that the four years that I spent in the lab for "science" are, in my view, being misused by Dr. Schwartz -- even after I expressed my disapproval.

Gary says that I asked him to write a book about me which is a figment of his imagination. I actually asked him to NOT write a book about me which his publisher Hampton Roads is well aware of since they were served by my attorney before it released....He points to an e-mail from a year ago that he cut and pasted and only shows part of the e-mail trying to make the argument that I said I'd endorse his book.

Participating in lab studies with Dr. Schwartz was never to be a for-profit venture. I always understood that we were participating in scientific studies to help us and the world gain a better understanding of our abilities. Several of our "sitters" in the lab, unknown to many of the mediums, turned out to be writing their own books. In turn, Dr. Schwartz wrote forewords for those books or was mentioned in them. I was promised complete confidentiality and anonymity in how Dr. Schwartz and the University would report the results of these studies. Needless to say, I as well as other mediums were surprised to find our participation in the lab featured in so many other books."

I listened to an interview, I think it was on The Paracast, or maybe Marcel Cairo's radio show, where Dr. Gary Schwartz was interviewed and asked about the falling out between him and Allison Dubois and the things she was saying about him, and he point by point explained what went down, and his responses to each of her claims. I'll need to find it again though.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby Eteponge » 05 May 2010, 23:27

I think what would satisfy everybody is if Dr. Gary Schwartz did a series of new experiments where he invited highly skeptical, highly skilled cold readers, such as Derren Brown and other famous cold reading magicians, to be tested in his experiments with the exact same triple-blind protocols, to see if they can score as high and as convincing as his best mediums?

Agree? Disagree?
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 23:36

Eteponge wrote:I think what would satisfy everybody is if Dr. Gary Schwartz did a series of new experiments where he invited highly skeptical, highly skilled cold readers, such as Derren Brown and other famous cold reading magicians, to be tested in his experiments with the exact same triple-blind protocols, to see if they can score as high and as convincing as his best mediums?

Agree? Disagree?

I would tend to disagree. What does Derren Brown know about proper experimental academic protocols? I think if he were involved, the "believers" (for lack of a better term) would then cry foul.
I might be wrong, but I believe that in 2011, Schwartz is embarking on a new set of experiments and, again I could be wrong, but I believe one of our old friends, quantumparanormal, may be helping in the study. If I am wrong, I apologize. I'm going off an old memory...
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby Eteponge » 05 May 2010, 23:39

ProfWag wrote:
Eteponge wrote:I think what would satisfy everybody is if Dr. Gary Schwartz did a series of new experiments where he invited highly skeptical, highly skilled cold readers, such as Derren Brown and other famous cold reading magicians, to be tested in his experiments with the exact same triple-blind protocols, to see if they can score as high and as convincing as his best mediums?

Agree? Disagree?

I would tend to disagree. What does Derren Brown know about proper experimental academic protocols? I think if he were involved, the "believers" (for lack of a better term) would then cry foul.
I might be wrong, but I believe that in 2011, Schwartz is embarking on a new set of experiments and, again I could be wrong, but I believe one of our old friends, quantumparanormal, may be helping in the study. If I am wrong, I apologize. I'm going off an old memory...

Well, according to Skeptics, skilled cold readers should be able to score just as high and as convincingly as alleged Mediums, so testing BOTH alleged Mediums and skilled cold readers in the same experiments with the same protocols, sounds like it could end that debate.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 23:41

Eteponge wrote:Are those universities also conducting triple-blind experiments with mediums?


If you were confident in your abilities to speak with dead people, wouldn't you want to be tested by someone who isn't in the controversial limelight and wouldn't you demand that the experiments be as rock-solid and legitimate as possible?
So, to answer your question, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic by implying that Schwartz is conducting triple-blind experiments so why go anywhere else or are you seriously asking if there are other university conducting triple-blind experiments on mediums or if you are asking something completely different. Again, my stance is that if I could talk with dead people, I would go knocking on Harvard's door and demand to have experiments be tested on me in a triple blind, quadruple blind, or nanodruple blind test. If I could communicate with the dead, it wouldn't matter what protocol was set up or by whom. THAT is my point.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 23:46

Eteponge wrote:Well, according to Skeptics, skilled cold readers should be able to score just as high and as convincingly as alleged Mediums, so testing BOTH alleged Mediums and skilled cold readers in the same experiments with the same protocols, sounds like it could end that debate.

Similar to what you've said, if I claim to be psychic and I won tonight's lottery, would that show I have psychic abilities? I would, of course, claim that it would but my skeptical friends would say it was chance. However, if I come forward right now and say, hey, I'm psychic. Here are the numbers for tonight's drawing, for Saturday's drawing, and next Wednesday's drawing and I hit them all, then we would be on to something.
I would like to see Derren Brown get tested by Schwartz in the same manner as he tests the Edward's of the world and see what percentage accuracy rate they each have, however, if they were to score the same, I'm not sure it would end the debate of psychic mediums however.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby Eteponge » 05 May 2010, 23:47

ProfWag wrote:If you were confident in your abilities to speak with dead people, wouldn't you want to be tested by someone who isn't in the controversial limelight and wouldn't you demand that the experiments be as rock-solid and legitimate as possible?
So, to answer your question, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic by implying that Schwartz is conducting triple-blind experiments so why go anywhere else or are you seriously asking if there are other university conducting triple-blind experiments on mediums or if you are asking something completely different. Again, my stance is that if I could talk with dead people, I would go knocking on Harvard's door and demand to have experiments be tested on me in a triple blind, quadruple blind, or nanodruple blind test. If I could communicate with the dead, it wouldn't matter what protocol was set up or by whom. THAT is my point.

Replicability is very important in science. What I'm saying, is if someone else, at another big university, is also conducting triple-blind medium experiments with very tight controls, they should ALSO be going to them. As long as the right controls are in place, it wouldn't matter who conducted the experiments or where. I do want to see other researchers at other universities conducting these types of experiments with mediums.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby Eteponge » 05 May 2010, 23:49

ProfWag wrote:I would like to see Derren Brown get tested by Schwartz in the same manner as he tests the Edward's of the world and see what percentage accuracy rate they each have, however, if they were to score the same, I'm not sure it would end the debate of psychic mediums however.

I'm not talking about just one experiment, but many over a period of time, with not just one, but multiple cold readers and multiple high hit rate psychics, to see how each ranks under the same controlled conditions. Just one test wouldn't be sufficient.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ProfWag » 05 May 2010, 23:56

Eteponge wrote:Replicability is very important in science. What I'm saying, is if someone else, at another big university, is also conducting triple-blind medium experiments with very tight controls, they should ALSO be going to them. As long as the right controls are in place, it wouldn't matter who conducted the experiments or where. I do want to see other researchers at other universities conducting these types of experiments with mediums.

I would like to see that as well. Sooooo, if Schwartz' experiments are so valid, why don't we see other researchers jumping on the bandwagon and administering these tests themselves for replication and validity? Perhaps when I said earlier that Schwartz was laughable, I was a little harsh and worst case. However, at best, Schwartz is highly controversial. My point being is why do mediums continue to use Schwartz when he is so controversial? Wouldn't you want validity from someone who isn't so controversial?
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ciscop » 08 Jun 2010, 02:06

just read again eteponge´s blog
i found it hilarious

i like the idea
that he does accept that in his side of the fence there´s crazy people (the new agers that got owned by brown)
but he still manages to deceive himself that althought they hold out the same belief system, they are the crazy ones but there are ¨real¨ people that can actually do it... always the same.. the ones getting owned are the worst ones.. and the ones that not get owned is only because they wont put their so called abilities to a test..

it is amazing how believers think
i love it
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby Eteponge » 08 Jun 2010, 07:38

ciscop wrote:just read again eteponge´s blog
i found it hilarious

i like the idea
that he does accept that in his side of the fence there´s crazy people (the new agers that got owned by brown)
but he still manages to deceive himself that althought they hold out the same belief system, they are the crazy ones but there are ¨real¨ people that can actually do it... always the same.. the ones getting owned are the worst ones.. and the ones that not get owned is only because they wont put their so called abilities to a test..

it is amazing how believers think
i love it

"If some things are bullshit, everything must be bullshit. If a lot of money is counterfeit, then all money must be counterfeit." That's your mindset.

If you can tell me how a Psychic I went to, without me saying anything, tapped into an old black man I knew in my childhood who worked in a restaurant, dressed in a captain outfit, with a beard, smoking a large pipe, (he even saw him in a restaurant with that full physical description) described the exact memory I have of him taking me into the back room, cooking me food, giving it to me on a small table back there on a tray, and saying, "Here you go little feller, something good for ya!" word for word with my memory, then I'll believe there's nothing to any Psychic.

My memories of this were never written down, I only had a few interactions with this man in early childhood. No pictures of us together or anything. This wasn't something you could check up on, just obscure events from my early childhood that were never written down.

Another intriguing thing that happened in this same session:

Several months earlier, I had been looking through my old yearbooks, Elementary School, Middle School, and High School. I came across a picture of a childhood friend of mine who had died when I was 11 or 12, who had been a very close friend of mine. I focused on her picture, and memories flooded back of her. I told NO ONE of this incident, just a private moment.

When I had the session with the psychic, without saying anything, he said a childhood friend of mine was coming through, gave her exact name, physical description, etc. He even got the dress she was buried in. She told him that a few months earlier, I had been looking through old yearbooks and that I saw her picture in there, and when I focused on her, she recognized it and tried to connect with me, and she tried speaking to me while sitting at the end of my bed, but, "I couldn't unstop his ears!". She told the psychic about a specific addiction I have, about specific personality issues I have, about me always determined to get a college education and never going through with it, among other private things that really only my close family would know.

Pretty much blew me away.

Then my grandmother who passed came through a gave a specific memory, one where she described herself sitting on the far right of the living room in a chair, with a spit can beside her on a table, with my grandfather smoking in a chair in the middle of the room, and me sleeping covered up in a blanket as a teenager on the couch on the far left corner of the room. That was totally accurate. I slept in the living room as a teenager, on a couch, and the layout of the room was totally correct, including the spit can location, and the local of my grandfather and grandmother's chairs.

After this, the Psychic said, "I'm getting that your house that your grandmother shown me use to be apartments?", that shocked me, because in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, this house was a two house apartment. Now it's one house merged together.

Personal experience like that is why I'm open to some Psychics being legit, as well as indepth research on certain Psychics where I feel the Skeptic's arguments don't fit the data.
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Re: Indepth Review Of Richard Dawkins' "Enemies Of Reason" Film

Postby ciscop » 08 Jun 2010, 07:57

great stories eteponge!
thanks for sharing

do you have the transcript or audiorecord of that encounter with a psychic?
did all that she told you was a hit? did she got misses? where did you found this psychic?

and stop with the ¨explain to me¨
i wasnt there i dont know if she even told you that
is the old ¨i dont know how a trick is done, so if it fooled me, its gotta be real¨
bs nonsense
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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