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Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby Scepcop » 02 Sep 2009, 07:48

ProfWag wrote:The following quote from a review of Entangled Minds by R.T. Carroll speaks volumes of the results of Dr. Radin's work (bold and italics mine):
"Entanglement is a concept from quantum physics that refers to connections between subatomic particles that persist regardless of being separated by various distances. Radin notes that some physicists have speculated that the entire universe might be entangled and that some Eastern mystics might have been on to something cosmic. His speculations are rather wild, but his assertions are rather modest. For example: "I believe that entanglement suggests a scenario that may ultimately lead to a vastly improved understanding of psi" (p. 14, italics added) and "I propose that the fabric of reality is comprised [sic] of 'entangled threads' that are consistent with the core of psi experience" (p. 19)."
The way I read that is essentially, he hasn't found anything to prove the existance of psi. Yet.
Since I get so many book suggestions thrown at me, would you read my suggestions if I proposed them?


That's a lame attempt at discrediting someone. Radin is being modest. What do you expect? You fail to see the big picture. Radin is proposing a theory that EXPLAINS ALL THE DATA, and it does. That is logical. And that's what researchers do. What have you and Dr. Carroll done to explain all the data? Nothing. You simply deny the data, which is contrary to the scientific method. Your materialistic explanations do not fit all the data that we have, so it needs to be updated, but you don't do that, instead you reject the data that doesn't fit into your model of the universe. Illogical. The bottom line is that Radin is making a real contribution to science, whereas Bob Carroll is not.
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby Scepcop » 02 Sep 2009, 07:58

quantumparanormal wrote:
Scepcop wrote:ProfWag,
If you really want evidence, read this book.


Scepcop, There's no point. He dismisses Radin's research outright, having not even read his book, "Entangled Minds." These people don't want to believe psi is real. It's that simple.


Exactly my point. Here is a similar example from Richard Dawkins. I wonder how these people can be so blind to their own super obvious faults? It's incredible and I often wonder if they are just playing devil's advocate.

“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby Scepcop » 02 Sep 2009, 08:00

ProfWag,
Sit back for 90 minutes and listen to this presentation on EVIDENCE!

“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby Scepcop » 02 Sep 2009, 08:30

ProfWag wrote:
quantumparanormal wrote:
Scepcop wrote:ProfWag,
If you really want evidence, read this book.


Scepcop, There's no point. He dismisses Radin's research outright, having not even read his book, "Entangled Minds." These people don't want to believe psi is real. It's that simple.

I appreciate people putting words in my mouth again. I do not and did not dismiss his research outright. I have not read his book, (I will, but haven't had the time in recent weeks/months) but have read info on his research, both positive and negative. I use critical thinking and form an opinion. For you to say that I don't want to believe psi is real is hogwash. I do. In fact, I probably want to believe more than you. But I'm not going to look at one persons test results and proclaim success in the paranormal. For anyone to do that is shallow on their part.
Quantum, you appear to be an intelligent person. I'm sure you know that for science to accept someone's test results, they must be able to be duplicated. As of yet, that hasn't happened to my knowledge, hence why I am asking for references.


You want to believe? Then why do you look for excuses to dismiss anything outside of your beliefs? If you do read his book will you require that it be 100 percent flawless in order for you to accept the evidence (nothing is flawless) or is "probable cause" enough?

It's not just one person, but many persons. What kind of evidence do you require? Ganzfeld was replicated many times for many years. Just cause some skeptics failed doesn't debunk it. That's conjecture. Remember there are studies where skeptics get consistently BELOW CHANCE as well, which is meaningful and indicates a negative psi result.

Here is Dean Radin's take on why psi hasn't been accepted into the scientific community despite robust evidence and repeatability which would normally pass for anything else. Listen to him in these videos.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=40
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby Scepcop » 02 Sep 2009, 15:20

ProfWag wrote:
quantumparanormal wrote:That said, the preceding quote shows your lack of knowledge about the data/evidence that's available (no offense intended).

BTW, no offense taken. You're not totally wrong. I have an M.B.A. and am a professor of management so I'm not a total dumbass, but I am fairly new to paranormal research (serious researching for only 6 months or so) and as I've stated many, many times, I am on this forum to learn. I am skeptical of practically everything. If someone claims something that to me is illogical, I'm going to see if there's another side to a story. So far, from what I've seen, there appears to be. Radin's work is not without its critics. Niether is Schwartz', ganzfeld, and so on. You can give me books and articles to read until the cows come home, but there are people in this field a hell of a lot smarter than me that follow this stuff rather closely so if there is a hint at psi success, it will be reported as such. I will, however, read these books in due time. I am a firm believer that one can't deny something without experiencing it firsthand so trust me, I will become more informed.
One last thing, it was said by either you or Winston that we skeptics don't want to believe. That is a total farce. We do, but skeptics want to see absolute proof before we believe in something as important as parapsychology. That's just our nature. I was born that way and can't change this trait about me so please don't criticize me for questioning things and presenting a counter-argument.


ProfWag, thanks for admitting that you don't know much about this topic and that you're new to it. But if that's the case, then you should SUSPEND JUDGEMENT, as Pyrro, the founder of Skepticism, said.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptic

That is, until you study more evidence. It's fine to ask questions, but please read the stuff recommended to you, not only in books but in websites too. If you don't have time to read a whole book or order one from amazon or half.com, then look up the links that were given to you. See the links section of this site for example: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Links.htm

Don't don't expect heavyweights like Radin or Tart to come on here and spend time showing you stuff or explaining it to you. They are published authors and expect you to read their work, which is their contribution to the field. Does Randi go on his forum and try to explain stuff to believers? No. People who post on forums are those who have free time to spare. Heavyweights don't have that. Plus they know it's a waste of time to get into debates with every single person out there that wants to debate them.

Of course Radin's work is not without its critics. Whose work has no critics? Nobody! Even the greatest films in the world have critics who say that the film sucks. Even the film "The Godfather" or "Gone with the Wind" has critics saying they suck. That's what a critic does, it critiques and usually thrases what it's criticizing. Movie critics do the same, to most movies. But just because there are critics that exist does not mean the topic is false or debunked. You understand that right?

There are critics of the round earth theory too, but that doesn't mean that the earth is not round, right?

You say you are skeptical of all sides. Then how come you've shown ZERO skepticism toward Randi, materialists, and even the government? Explain that one. Or explain what you are critical of them about.

And how do you explain stories like these, by Larry Dossey?

Amanda, a young mother in Washington State, was awakened one night by a horrible dream. She dreamed that the chandelier in the next room had fallen from the ceiling onto her sleeping infant’s crib and crushed the baby. In the dream she saw a clock in the baby’s room that read 4:35, and that wind and rain were hammering the windows. Extremely upset, she awakened her husband and told him her dream. He said it was silly and to go back to sleep. But the dream was so frightening that Amanda went into the baby’s room and brought it back to bed with her. Soon she was awakened by a loud crash in the baby’s room. She rushed in to see that the chandelier had fallen and crushed the crib -- and that the clock in the room read 4:35, and that wind and rain were howling outside. Her dream premonition was camera-like in detail, including the specific event, the precise time, and even a change in the weather.


Do you just pretend they're not there? If so, why? Why can't you just say "Ok maybe stories like that prove that there's something out there?" and admit that it's POSSIBLE at least, without jumping to any conclusions? Why is that so hard?
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby ProfWag » 02 Sep 2009, 21:09

I'm not so sure why you and many others have this deep facination with Randi. He's a magician who wants to educate people on "the other side of the story." He continued the tradition of Houdini and others. I tend to agree with most of what he states. Everything? No. Most, yes. I have mentioned on here before that I don't like his use of the word "woo." There are people who truly believe that they can do what they state. This is not "woo." If one says they can do something that hasn't been proven before, then they should have to prove it. Science is about repeated successes. So, they should have to do it twice (hence the preliminary test before the big challenge.) He has done much more good than bad. Just my humble opinion, but I'm sure you'll slam me for tending to believe most of what he says. I just think it's silly for people to get their underwear in a knot over his work. Just silly.
As for the government, I believe that a nation should stick together or otherwise, it will fail. Our government is our leaders, like it or not. If we don't like what our government is telling us, then we (as in the US, UK, and other democracies) can choose to replace them or we can move to another country (I hear Iran, North Korea, and Somolia are lovely this time of year). There is a checks and balances system in our government which makes it extremely difficult to "get one over" on the public. Is it a perfect system? Absolutely not. Does the government hide things from us that maybe they shouldn't? Absolutely. Do I lose sleep over it? Absolutely not. I spent over 24 years defending your right to say what you want and believe what you want. For me to believe that the government is a disaster goes against everything I fought so hard to uphold. I'm just not going to sit back and let people say and do things that could hurt my great country without them having some sort of valid reasoning behind it. It appears to me that many of the subjects of this forum include a personal agenda to get our military out of Iraq (9/11 specifically). You watch (and remember me saying this), once 2010 comes around and we have all of our military out of Iraq, these conspiracy theorists will start to go away.
Finally, I have seen people fall pray to scams and other things too many times in the past. I have family members who have spent thousands of dollars on things such as psychics and fortunte tellers and for what? They are unlicensed counselors in my opinion.
As for your Larry Dossey story, it could very easily be just that, a story...
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby ProfWag » 02 Sep 2009, 21:22

I forgot to comment on your last sentence about admitting things are possible.
Please refer me to where I said something was IMPOSSIBLE. I don't think I have. That's a pseudoskeptic and I'm trying to avoid that moniker. I do believe that anything is possible, but I also believe that most these things are just highly unlikely until proven with valid and unbiased experimentation.
On the flip side of the coin, now that I freely admit that things are possible, would you admit that it's possible that parapsychology, ghosts, UFOs, or 9/11 conspiracies may not be real?
I'll be waiting...
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby ProfWag » 02 Sep 2009, 22:24

Scepcop wrote:[
ProfWag, thanks for admitting that you don't know much about this topic and that you're new to it. But if that's the case, then you should SUSPEND JUDGEMENT, as Pyrro, the founder of Skepticism, said.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptic

Suspending judgement is a philosophical skeptical view. I believe I tend to fall in the scientific/empirical skeptical view which states: "Empirical or scientific skeptics do not profess philosophical skepticism. Whereas a philosophical skeptic may deny the very existence of knowledge, an empirical skeptic merely seeks likely proof before accepting that knowledge."
(Taken from the same reference you provided. Thanks for sharing that. It helped.)
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby quantumparanormal » 02 Sep 2009, 22:48

ProfWag wrote:Whereas a philosophical skeptic may deny the very existence of knowledge, an empirical skeptic merely seeks likely proof before accepting that knowledge."
(Taken from the same reference you provided. Thanks for sharing that. It helped.)


That, too, is a philosophical doctrine, and it's a slippery slope, as what qualifies as proof for an individual is typically determined by psychological constraints, constraints that are typically subjective in nature. Empirical skepticism is philosophical per se if we accept that "philosophy" means "A belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school," "The rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics, " or "Any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation."

Regardless, I, too, practice empirical skepticism.
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby quantumparanormal » 02 Sep 2009, 22:57

ProfWag wrote:On the flip side of the coin, now that I freely admit that things are possible, would you admit that it's possible that parapsychology, ghosts, UFOs, or 9/11 conspiracies may not be real?


I think that's too broad of a question, a list of phenomena. If that question were directed at me, I'd ask you to be more specific. For example, parapsychology hosts a very broad array of phenomena: psi (PK, telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.), NDEs, OBEs, DBVs, reincarnation, etc.

I believe that parapsychology, ghosts, UFOs, or 9/11 conspiracies may not be real, but since reality is constructed via our minds, from a philosophical standpoint, it's difficult to substantiate anything experienced is real, yet I'm convinced otherwise. My experience, my analysis of the empirical data convinces me that some of the phenomena on that list indeed are "real" in the sense that they have occurred as events and perceived as experiences in the mind. What they mean, however, is another issue. Are UFOs extraterrestrial? Are ghosts spirits? That's where evidence comes in. Evidence might or might not "prove" to someone what the experiences mean. Again, proof is a very subjective attribute.
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby ProfWag » 02 Sep 2009, 23:19

quantumparanormal wrote:I think that's too broad of a question, a list of phenomena. If that question were directed at me, I'd ask you to be more specific. For example, parapsychology hosts a very broad array of phenomena: psi (PK, telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.), NDEs, OBEs, DBVs, reincarnation, etc.


Quantum, I feel like you pick on me quite a bit. Not sure why as personally, I think scepcop's posts could actually use quite a bit of criticism as well. In this case, I was merely redirecting scepcop's comment to me back at him. He posts links and opinions to everything under the sun from homeopathy to 9/11 without one comment or hint of a possible alternate explanation. He asked me to admit that things are possible (which I did). I wanted to check my hypothesis that he won't do the same. I will wait and see, but in the meantime, to clarify my question, perhaps this is a better way of asking:
Scepcop, can you admit the following may not be real:
Ghosts: Yes or no
OBE: Yes or no
Contacting dead people: Yes or no
Reincarnation: Yes or no
Aliens from another planet visiting earth: Yes or no
9/11 Conspiracy theories: Yes or no
Bigfoot: Yes or no
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby ProfWag » 02 Sep 2009, 23:21

quantumparanormal wrote:
ProfWag wrote:On the flip side of the coin, now that I freely admit that things are possible, would you admit that it's possible that parapsychology, ghosts, UFOs, or 9/11 conspiracies may not be real?


I think that's too broad of a question, a list of phenomena. If that question were directed at me, I'd ask you to be more specific. For example, parapsychology hosts a very broad array of phenomena: psi (PK, telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.), NDEs, OBEs, DBVs, reincarnation, etc.

I believe that parapsychology, ghosts, UFOs, or 9/11 conspiracies may not be real, but since reality is constructed via our minds, from a philosophical standpoint, it's difficult to substantiate anything experienced is real, yet I'm convinced otherwise. My experience, my analysis of the empirical data convinces me that some of the phenomena on that list indeed are "real" in the sense that they have occurred as events and perceived as experiences in the mind. What they mean, however, is another issue. Are UFOs extraterrestrial? Are ghosts spirits? That's where evidence comes in. Evidence might or might not "prove" to someone what the experiences mean. Again, proof is a very subjective attribute.

And yes, real and pereceived real are two different things. I have stated as such on several occasions in this forum. Do I believe that people will go to their grave believing they were abducted by aliens? Yes, absolutely. Do I believe that aliens from another planet have abducted people on earth? No, not likely.
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby quantumparanormal » 02 Sep 2009, 23:27

ProfWag wrote:Quantum, I feel like you pick on me quite a bit.


No, it's not picking, just commenting, opinionative. Trust me, I reply to Scepcop, too, sometimes in a way he doesn't like, but it's intended as healthy debate, not offensive. I have nothing against you personally.
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby ProfWag » 02 Sep 2009, 23:31

quantumparanormal wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Whereas a philosophical skeptic may deny the very existence of knowledge, an empirical skeptic merely seeks likely proof before accepting that knowledge."
(Taken from the same reference you provided. Thanks for sharing that. It helped.)


That, too, is a philosophical doctrine, and it's a slippery slope, as what qualifies as proof for an individual is typically determined by psychological constraints, constraints that are typically subjective in nature. Empirical skepticism is philosophical per se if we accept that "philosophy" means "A belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school," "The rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics, " or "Any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation."

Regardless, I, too, practice empirical skepticism.

According to wikipedia.org (the site Winston referenced), they are different. It says that scientific (or empirical) skeptics do not profess philosophical skepticism. Since anyone can update wikipedia.org, why don't you. However, if you are using the term philosophical doctrine to mean philosophy in general, then yes, it all qualifies as a pursuit for wisdom and knowledge.
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Re: Brian Josephson, Nobel Prize Winner, joins SCEPCOP!

Postby quantumparanormal » 02 Sep 2009, 23:35

Scepcop wrote:And how do you explain stories like these, by Larry Dossey?

Amanda, a young mother in Washington State, was awakened one night by a horrible dream. She dreamed that the chandelier in the next room had fallen from the ceiling onto her sleeping infant’s crib and crushed the baby. In the dream she saw a clock in the baby’s room that read 4:35, and that wind and rain were hammering the windows. Extremely upset, she awakened her husband and told him her dream. He said it was silly and to go back to sleep. But the dream was so frightening that Amanda went into the baby’s room and brought it back to bed with her. Soon she was awakened by a loud crash in the baby’s room. She rushed in to see that the chandelier had fallen and crushed the crib -- and that the clock in the room read 4:35, and that wind and rain were howling outside. Her dream premonition was camera-like in detail, including the specific event, the precise time, and even a change in the weather.


Do you just pretend they're not there? If so, why? Why can't you just say "Ok maybe stories like that prove that there's something out there?" and admit that it's POSSIBLE at least, without jumping to any conclusions? Why is that so hard?


Experiences like that do happen. However, pseudo-skeptics will require claims to be tested in a lab environment. They typically don't accept anecdotal evidence. Their threshold for what constitutes evidence supporting a claim is molded around their psychological constraints, unfortunately. Even if they do consider anecdotal evidence, they will typically challenge their meanings and validity. One could speculate that the story is untrue or that the interpretation of what was perceived in the experience is flawed. To me, that story demonstrates the rare and unpredictable phenomenon of precognition (more formally called "dream precognition"). I have to take it on faith that the experiencer indeed perceived such events, but I admit that's my bias. What does it mean? To me, it indicates precognition (aka premonition), but I admit it's not an empirically founded conclusion. But then again, how can one demonstrate the story is true in a lab environment? One can't. There's only one observer here, the dreamer, the mother. We choose either to believe her or not. It's that simple.
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