Discussions about Psychics and Psychic Phenomena, Extra Sensory Perception, Telepathy, Psi, Clairvoyancy, 6th Sense, Psychokinesis, etc.
Hi folks, new member. Skeptic. Things seem slow around here so thought I'd toss out a topic.
Proponents: please link to what you would consider to be the best scientific evidence for psi. Let's limit this for the time being to articles which are publicly available on the internet, rather than ones that require subscriptions to journals or paid sites.
I'm not a scientist, and admit to getting lost in the stats. But I do find it interesting to delve into this stuff to evaluate for myself whether I think there's something too it. Then we can look at it together, critique it, and see how well it withstands scrutiny. Hopefully there are some stat guys on this site who can help with the math!
OMG! Someone barfing up the same worn out challenge cynics have been leaning on for decades.
What I find interesting is that there is nearly as much proof existing, that such things "don't exist"... every bit of conjecture produced through the "scientific" and "Academic" communities is nothing other than assumption/supposition, not "Proof" and more importantly, not the same level of proof said communities demand of the believer or those that purportedly have such abilities.
My brazen stance here stems from one simple fact; folklore and mythos stem from some form of reality. Given the limited abilities of our distant and even not so distant ancestors to explain or better describe certain phenomena it was very much valid and real to them. What we have when it comes to the quasi-explanation side of things, is little more than an understanding to how a mage performs the cups & balls or linking rings; we've found the secret of a conjurer. This does not make the magic any less affective/effective, it just lends to those "with eyes by which to see and ears by which to hear" the ability to use the technology for the sake of creating good or bad.
Within established mystery societies everything is dealt out to the neophyte based on their personal "rank"... how they learn, adapt and evolve as well as the traits they display as a human being. The purpose is to preserve certain knowledge so that only the pure of heart -- those that would focus more on the needs of the masses vs. the self -- come to know the "inner-mysteries"... the very things "science" and the anal-retentive, keep throwing at the public as proof to fraud and foolishness... even proof that God doesn't exist and miracles aren't real. To doge public contention they boldly attempt to place the onus on the shoulders of the believer stating that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" forgetting that it is they who are making the extraordinary claim... taking a position NOT SUPPORTED by roughly 85-90% of humanity. The anecdotal record, personal experiences and the fact that things truly "Miraculous" are such simply because they aren't an everyday happening, aren't predictable nor even repeatable... why else would we call them "Miracles"?
As I've proven to many, just because you know the mechanics behind an effect does not mean you can create "Magic"... I know tons of self-described skeptics that know about "Cold Reading" but who couldn't apply the theory, let alone the many techniques associated with it, if their lives depended on it; they simply couldn't be believable enough to CONvince someone that they are "more" than mortal... but then we can say the same about many a book learned psychology students... which is just a contemporary variant to the same exact thing... especially when we consider the FACT that the fields of human behavioral science evolved out of the Gypsy's craft, the study of symbolism at the anthropological level, etc. Again, a bunch of kids gloating over the fact that they know how the tricks are done and then striving to ruin the show for everyone else, simply because;
B.) The Can't Do It and Will be Damned if Anyone Else Can Out-Do Them with It
C.) They're Spoilt Children who Demand Attention No Matter What
D.) Anger Over the Fact that they Feel Cheated... that the magic isn't real.
When it comes to our current era, the majority of people that were the founding parents of parapsychology and psychic investigation weren't those that flat our denied the existence of such things but who wanted to encounter it first hand so as to validate their faith in it... to have unshakable evidence that could sustain their desire to believe. Some refer to this as a Doubting Thomas Syndrome in that like Thomas, we simply will not allow ourselves to belief until we've stuck our fingers into the nail scars and even then, we'll question the "tangible facts presented"... circumstance (disappointment) makes us jaded and so we begin down the path of eternal doubt... what the Buddhist refer to as the "Philosophy of "Why?"... think of anything and ask why... once you resolve that first question ask why that is so and then seek answers but once that side of the issue is resolved you ask why about, still about the very same thing, but moving deeper and deeper and at the same time, further away from the original question or issue... we might learn but we likewise change the issue in ways that allow us to see in and around it, what we WANT to view... and BTW... EVERYONE is guilty of doing it.
What the skeptic needs to accept is that there are people in the Psychic/paranormal world that really do have one that is much bigger than their own and some of those folks are more than willing to bend them over and prove it. I happen to fit that mode in that I've learned to actually SEE the bigger picture and in so doing find ways that bridge the chasm between belief and non-belief; doing so for the sake of generating a connection vs. division, which is what a good 75% of skeptics/cynics make happen. That other 25% are the "Cake & Have it Too" group; they are persons of supposed faith that basically promote the idea that most miracles are fake with the exception of those that meet particular criteria with a direct tie to which ever cult that person belongs to... and I've always found it interesting just how many miracles seem to happen to Catholics vs. any other faction of the christian world. But the Hindu, Muslim and other faiths have known their own miracles while members of the Abrahamic faiths go out of their way to prove them "fraud" or worse, demonic -- demonizing the gods of other people however, has always been a favorite tactic by these 3 religions and it's served them well. But then, they too employ many of the same deceptions and psychological manipulations their would be "foes" employ, if not more.
Assembly is one of the cruelest of all "High Magick" in that it allows you to impose those manipulations onto a larger group be it for religious/cult or political agenda... but we don't hear many skeptics arguing against such applications, do we? We don't see them attacking marketing firms, lawyers, preachers, politicians, etc. for using the same exact techniques they keep screaming about when it comes to the Psychic/Mystic even though these power players are being more usury, predatory and hurtful than any charlatan Reader has ever been, bar none!
In closing this little rant my question or "challenge" would be that you show me proof as to where the integrity exists within those elements of society and why it makes them more "right" and "moral" than what Psychics do?
For me its a matter of nature; if one is born of a continence in which you are caring, giving, selfless, etc. chances are that no matter what industry you move into vocationally, your actions will echo that spirit and you will do far more good in the long run, than evil. However, if you are predisposed towards selfishness, cruelty, the believe that suckers exist to be taken advantage of... then you will do just that, finding the vocation that lends itself best to you for getting away with such antics. The vehicle or "tool" does not matter, it's the energy behind it.
Regardless of the crap that believers say about skeptics demanding proof, blah, blah, blah, it still boils down to the simple fact that if someone claims to be psychic, they need to prove it. I could claim to be the 3-legged food fairy from the planet Krypton all day long, and no one would believe me unless I present my evidence...assumably via actually feeding the hungry.
Craig states there is "nearly as much proof existing,..." yet in the entire post, I didn't see any evidence presented.
To get on topic, would that "proof," come from Dean Radin's experiments? The Stanford Research thingy? Gary Schwartz' experiments? How about anything that Scepcop posts? Something else? To sumarize, people keep saying there is all sorts of proof, yet when push comes to shove, there never is any presented. Sorry. Just haven't seen it yet, and I've been looking.
Wow. Nice to meet you too! I'm not a cynic. But I do heavily distrust personal experience (even my own). I believe humans are great at fooling themselves. There has been a bunch of scientific research done on psi that some people suggest is strong (even irrefutable!) evidence that psi is what proponents think it is. I think its interesting to discuss the research, and draw some conclusions. Kind of thought that's what this forum is all about. I am new here, so if a thread has already been done on this then I'd be happy to review it and bump it if I have anything to add. There are lots of studies out there and I doubt they've all been discussed here, so I'm sure there's of potential discussion to be had. This site accuses skeptics of being pseudo-skeptics: I think bunkering down and going over the studies would be defined as pure skepticism, wouldn't you? Why would you call that cynicism? Cynicism would be me saying: I don't care what report you put forward, its all bunk!
Could you clarify this, I don't know what you mean here. The scientific method has been shown to be an exceptionally reliable system of determining how things work and what's going on. I'm open the possibility of other systems being equally or more reliable, but I haven't come across one yet. There are a number of parapsycholgists who clearly agree!
I'm not talking about claims of yore, I'm talking about current claims: ganzfeld, remote viewing, mediumship, etc.
I'm sorry, I'm not following how this is relevant to my OP. I'm not talking about doing a study. I'm talking about discussing studies that are already done! By people who clearly felt that was useful! Now, if these things are not predictable or repeatable then the scientific method may indeed not be the best way to approach psi, but clearly a number of scientists do believe that the scientific method is appropriate and have gone out and done experiments. Many proponents point to these as evidence of psi. I think it would be interesting to discuss them. I could even be convinced by one, should it be reliable enough. that's my questioN!
You bring up some topics that are worthy of discussion, but really, its not at all what this thread is about: which is to discuss the scientific work that has already been accomplished - preferably the most convincing research out there.
This would be one of the reasons I joined this forum to begin with, to learn about the scientific work that supports psi. However, when this subject is brought up, not much happens with it (though almost a year ago now, quantum paranormal brought up some interesting stuff, if he could just have gotten over me using the word "fact.") Could it be that there just isn't any convincing research out there to discuss? Just sayin'...
That surprises me on site like this, as did Craig's virulent reaction to my suggestion. This site, as far as I can tell, is focussed on criticizing skeptics who don't fully look into these issues. I would think the proponents here would be all over these kinds of discussion. Reviewing the data can't possibly be deemed "pseudo skeptic" can it? Isn't this exactly what they want skeptics to do?
That's the difference between wanting to believe vs. wanting to actually review the facts.
Unfortunately the link the he gave in that thread, now says this:
Oops, we couldn’t locate the page you are looking for.
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/error.aspx?ETOID ... z0wJMXd9sm
Something mustv'e happened. Gee, I wonder what it could have been?...
As to my being "item specific"... it's never been something I was good at. Partly due to actual brain damage in my younger days and no, how much worse that damage has gotten with age I really do miss my mind
I do know that the CSICOP group got caught a number of years ago, changing data on a study they were sponsoring because the information was supporting the psychic side of things. CSICOPs aren't alone in this, we can find other such instances including but not limited to some of the requisites sat down in so-called "Scientific Studies" by certain fanatical cults out there (that are headed up by grumpy old disowned Canadian closet-cases), not to mention literal physical abuse, the encouragement by such groups and their affiliates to harass local Readers and more.
UNDERSTAND AROUET, that as someone who holds a belief toward such things and not being too abashed about saying so, I've been the paddle boy for many an ardent skeptic... or, I should say, armchair experts. Amazingly, I actually get along great with a good number of the more noted personalities of that world including Rick Maue and Banachek. But part of the reason for this centers on two things; the venom by which I go after the con-artists and cult types that are being predatory; and the fact (as I said before) that my goal is to create a bridge between the world of the believer and that of the non-believer in that BOTH have a good deal of validity when it comes to their position with things.
Nothing is more frustrating than going to a New Age function and hearing all the airheads spew pure horse pucky rather than dealing with something resembling reality. Just as I ripped into the cynics in my previous post, I apply an even hand when it comes to the fools that choose to walk blind and with cotton in their ears. This is why I try to spoon feed them in ways that help them take off the rose tinted glasses they were handed when first getting to the party... it's no easy task, especially when you're one of the very few doing it (and of course, breaking all kinds of traditional "laws" in the process; information I share is typically reserved for the "elders" and the more learned of such societies).
So yes, I get on the defensive when I see a post such as yours. So please don't think I'm attacking you personally, just the essence of the question and how it was stated. My retort being more of a condensed overview and "explanation" on things; insight to factors typically ignored, overlooked or never before considered by the skeptical.
My apologies for coming off so calloused, I hope you can understand.
I would be very interested in learning more about this. Any idea where I could look for it or terms I could search under? I'm fairly certain I won't find it on their website...
Sorry to hear that...
Do you know which study? That's a pretty strong accusation. Is there reliable evidence of this?
I support this too, hence this thread.
I accept your apologies, of course, but to be honest, I'm still not certain where you are coming from. Was my OP rude or flippant? My invitation was to start some dialogue over what believers consider to be the best scientific studies (which to me is better than picking some study at random, let's start with the strongest and best cases!).
I'm not really clear on what your criticism of my OP is. Perhaps you think parapsychologists should not be studying psi. Fair enough, I guess. But given that several are, and given that the scientific evidence is cited often by proponents as evidence of psi, I would think that any good skeptic should give these studies a good critical review. Especially since skeptics are accused all the time of not doing precisely that. Isn't that that this site wants? Skeptics to really look at these issues from all sides? :confused:
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