View Active Topics          Latest 100 Topics          View Your Posts          Switch to Mobile

In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 27 Nov 2011, 05:38

really? We're talking about people reporting their experiences. Belief is not the issues.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula






Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 27 Nov 2011, 06:36

huh? we've been talking about whether people have accurately assessed their experiences and whether a lot of people believing their experiences are psi lets us conclude that it is actually psi.

We stipulated from the start that people have had and reported these experiences!
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 27 Nov 2011, 10:43

It's not necessary to determine whether people are accurately assessing their abilities and it's not possible in this case anyway, as you pointed out. When you reach the huge numbers, such as with psi experiences, you have to treat them as a group, and this requires a shift in tactics. You can't just assume that they might be mistaken because the obvious retort to that is: All of them? If even one person is right and has had an actual psi experience, there you go. Psi exists. If you are going to insist that they are wrong, then you need an answer that works extremely reliably because if several billion people are wrong about their experiences, there has to be an extremely good explanation for that.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 27 Nov 2011, 11:35

First of all, you're acting as if no one has ever discussed the reasons why people believe things that are wrong. They have.

But again, your problem here is that you're committing a logical fallacy. I hate to keep on repeating it, but you are basically carving out a special pleading for psi. We don't assume they are wrong. We simply won't assume they are right - at least not without good reason. You've shifted the burden of proof in addition to the logical fallacy.

Maybe read the wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 27 Nov 2011, 19:56

craig weiler wrote:We are talking about billions, where did you get the impression that we aren't?

Because as it's been pointed out to you,...oh, the hell with it. I think I'm just going to give up trying to debate you. You keep bringing up billions, but there's not even one valid and replicated psi experience. When you stated that you group spoon bening with clairvoyance, it should be obvious to the casual reader that you are grasping for straws with your numbers.
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 28 Nov 2011, 11:51

Well, let's see: The staring studies are replicated, the ganzfeld studies are replicated, the psychokinesis studies are replicated. So don't give me this skeptic line about un-replicated psi studies. If you choose to believe the skeptic version of these studies that's fine. But they are just opinions, just like yours. You might not believe that the replications prove psi, but they are replications all the same. If you read all the skeptical literature you will not find anywhere that any of these studies has been proven to be unreliable. All you will find is opinion. And opinion does not change the fact of evidence. The evidence is still there regardless of how you spin it. Don't give me skeptic talking points, I'm so tired of that crap.

Sampling methods have determined that billions of people will report psi experiences when polled. Now that I finally have a normal internet connection I can provide better info:

A survey was conducted in 2006 by researchers from Australia's Monash University. The study was conducted as an online survey with over 2,000 respondents from around the world participating. The results revealed that around 70% of the respondents believe to have had an unexplained paranormal event that changed their life, mostly in a positive way. About 70% also claimed to have seen, heard, or been touched by an animal or person that they knew was not there; 80% have reported having a premonition, and almost 50% stated they recalled a previous life.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranormal#Belief_polls

If you wish to explain how billions of people can report all these psi experiences and be wrong, I'm willing to entertain your explanation. It just better be an extremely good one that can be reliably demonstrated to affect over three quarters of the world's population and not skeptics.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 28 Nov 2011, 13:26

I'm not saying that there aren't a lot of people who have reported paranormal experiences, but I think you have to be wary of any study that suggests that 50% of people recall having past lives. Even Ian Stevenson, arguably the most studied parapsychologist on this issue, noted that its rare, and involves mainly young children who forget about it by the age of 6 or so.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 28 Nov 2011, 23:24

If you wish to explain how billions of people can report all these psi experiences and be wrong, I'm willing to entertain your explanation. It just better be an extremely good one that can be reliably demonstrated to affect over three quarters of the world's population and not skeptics.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 29 Nov 2011, 00:05

But it does affect skeptics!

On a regular basis, for example, I'll think I see a monster spider walking across my bed. My heart starts to beat like crazy, I'll stare intentenlty trying to find it and will on ocasion even swat at it! Sometimes I'll even turn on the light. After I get over my groggy haze, I realise that it is tricks of the light and shadown, and my mind. There really was no spider. But at the time I clearly (well not clearly, its blury and I'm not using my glasses) saw something critering across.

I've sometimes though I've seen people too, just standing there, and again sometimes I'll turn on the light. no-one there.

I'll sometimes get bad feeling about things, and sometimes they are right, sometimes they are wrong. I'll sometimes think of a friend and have them call. A few years ago as I was getting to walmart, I suddenly had the idea to call an old dear friend who I hadn't spoken to in awhile - I had a whole conversation with him, hung up, Then he called me back and he told me: "hey, you didn't wish me happy birthday!"

I've had feelings of spirituality. I've sometimes thought that I felt that someone was staring at me.

I'm a person just like any other, and have these same experiences. I think I just analyse them differently. It's not about intelligence - again, we are hardwired to spot these things. Paradolia plays a huge part. Confirmation bias. and ohers. Not too mention our relatively poor perceptive abilities (both visually and auditorily) along with relatively poor memories.

Now, none of that definitevely proves that psi is not real, but it helps explain why people do perceive these things and reduces out confidence that thy are correct.

Many people believing one thing may be evidence in favour of that thing - but its weak evidence, and generally unrealiable. I get why it has an impact on you - I just thnk you should keep its probabative value pretty low.
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 29 Nov 2011, 00:33

craig weiler wrote:Well, let's see: The staring studies are replicated, the ganzfeld studies are replicated, the psychokinesis studies are replicated. So don't give me this skeptic line about un-replicated psi studies.

Not to be skeptical here, as we've discussed this thoroughly before, but when one of the leading ganzfeld scientists switches from belileving there may be something there to no longer believing, then as an outsider looking in, that plays a part in how I base my opinion.
Ganzfeld has been replicated and "unreplicated" several times, but the bottom line, if the results were such that the experimenters had solid evidence of it's existence, then we would no longer be calling it "paranormal." Just keep that in mind please.
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 29 Nov 2011, 00:42

craig weiler wrote:If you wish to explain how billions of people can report all these psi experiences and be wrong, I'm willing to entertain your explanation.

Assuming you're not just saying that and really will entertain an explanation, which one would you like me to start at explaining? Premonitions? Ghosts? Something else? As I've pointed out, they are all different and can't be grouped together.
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby Arouet » 29 Nov 2011, 00:58

ProfWag wrote:Not to be skeptical here, as we've discussed this thoroughly before, but when one of the leading ganzfeld scientists switches from belileving there may be something there to no longer believing, then as an outsider looking in, that plays a part in how I base my opinion.


I might have missed something here. Which leading ganzfeld scientist did this? You're not talking about Blackmore are you?
User avatar
Arouet
 
Posts: 2544
Joined: 07 Aug 2010, 03:07

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby craig weiler » 29 Nov 2011, 01:04

Who is this leading scientist you speak of? I'm not familiar with that. Wiseman? Blackmore?

The ganzfeld has never been unreplicated. There was an extremely poor meta analysis done by Wiseman, that appeared to cast doubt on the studies, but it has been thoroughly discredited. Otherwise all of them have been positive. The experimenters have solid evidence, they just can't get anyone to look at it. Do you do no research at all on this subject? That's rather common knowledge.

Getting back to the subject, can you definitively demonstrate a psychological mechanism that both triggers people to have experiences that they mistakenly believe to be psi and show that skeptics are somehow protected from this mechanism?

Psi comes in many forms, but it is all psi, whether we're talking seeing ghosts, poltergeists, crisis apparitions, reincarnation, near death experiences, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychic healing or what have you. I am not interested in the opinion of psychologists, but rather studies that clearly show a psychological effect known to create certainty about these effects.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
User avatar
craig weiler
 
Posts: 386
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 12:08
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 29 Nov 2011, 03:37

Arouet wrote:
ProfWag wrote:Not to be skeptical here, as we've discussed this thoroughly before, but when one of the leading ganzfeld scientists switches from belileving there may be something there to no longer believing, then as an outsider looking in, that plays a part in how I base my opinion.


I might have missed something here. Which leading ganzfeld scientist did this? You're not talking about Blackmore are you?

I was. Why? Is that bad? Here's the website to which I was referring: (though looking at it again from a few weeks ago, perhaps the term "leading ganzfeld scientist" may be a bit misleading, but parapsychologist she is/was.)

http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Books/A ... t%2029.htm

"Perhaps I should be convinced by all, or some of these. The trouble is that my experience teaches me not to be. Everywhere I have looked psi has seemed to slip away from me. And I cannot look everywhere.

I can only hope that, if psi is real, it will jump up and down in front of me and shout “change your mind”. And, since I have changed my mind more than once in the past -and survived, I know I can do it again."
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

Re: In defense of the JREF Paranormal Challenge

Postby ProfWag » 29 Nov 2011, 03:41

craig weiler wrote: I am not interested in the opinion of psychologists, but rather studies that clearly show a psychological effect known to create certainty about these effects.

Are you also interested in studies that clearly show the opposite? Because if not, then perhaps it would benefit your personal research if you were open to everything.
User avatar
ProfWag
 
Posts: 3843
Joined: 05 Aug 2009, 03:54

PreviousNext

Return to JREF / Randi Challenge

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest