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"Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.

Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 29 Mar 2010, 07:52

Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby wjbeaty » 29 Mar 2010, 09:43

-----------------------------------------------
((((((((((((( ( (O) ) )))))))))))))
Bill Beaty Science Hobbyist
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby Nostradamus » 29 Mar 2010, 10:37

Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 29 Mar 2010, 10:49

Well put, wjbeaty. I did not know that about the Wright Brothers, another neat tidbit example of people they laughed at before they became famous. On that note, isn't that what all those silly inspirational feel good movies are about? Doing the thing that everyone says is impossible, against all odds, going against the grain to achieve something great? I have chosen to be a parapsychologist just on that.

I did also want to clarify a point I made earlier before I gets misinterpreted. It may seem like I was implying that the lack of results in parapsych is due to the lack of resources. Not totally true. It would certainly help to have more labs doing more varieties of research, though. But also, a lot of times, stuff gets done in science because some large agency goes, "Here's a bunch of money. Put a man on the moon ready set go," or whatever target they feel is important. But also look at the examples of "Here's a bunch of money; cure cancer." Some problems are just more difficult to solve than others, and throwing more money at the problem may or may not make it go away.

Even if some rich eccentric millionaire went "I have 5 million dollars for five labs to work together, collaborating proponents with skeptics in order to run 1000 Ganzfeld trials using an identical procedure," I'm not sure that would change anything. If it came out positive, the skeptics would most likely declare that there must have been a systematic flaw, and if it came out at chance, probably a bunch of parapsychologists would leave the field, but the ones that already believe psi is real, would keep on researching psi. We've already ran nearly 7,000 Ganzfeld experiments, giving an overall hit rate of 3% above chance (3% is nothing to sneeze at, especially considering all the crappy studies included in that lot. Would you like to drink a 3% solution of potassium cyanide?). And that's just ONE type of psi experiment. There are dozens of types of psi experiments already published that almost no one knows about.

I think right now parapsychologists are easing off, regrouping, and looking for what makes for a good psi experiment. When we have a good consensus as to what that is, we'll agree on conditions, and run it, and hope for the best. I think they want to make extra super sure that it'll succeed, because a high-profile failure would seriously cripple the field and probably render it a pseudoscience for good.

@Nostradamus - Yeah I know, I was trying to clarify, not talk down. Intonation doesn't work well on the internet. I decided to write that post not just because of that but because I've read people refer to it in a lot of posts.
Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby ciscop » 30 Mar 2010, 01:58

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: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 30 Mar 2010, 02:19

Last edited by NucleicAcid on 30 Mar 2010, 02:25, edited 1 time in total.
Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby ciscop » 30 Mar 2010, 02:23

what??
you are talking PK?
like moving objects with the mind?

i have never seen anybody capable of doing it for real
have you?
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: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 30 Mar 2010, 02:36

Yes, I believe so. Either psychokinesis is a real effect, or there has been one really long, continuous chain of strange coincidences of stable objects moving on their own in conjunction with someone trying to achieve exactly that effect with their mental state.

The first time I attempted PK, I tried to knock down a piece of paper rolled into a tube. I made sure the heat was off and I locked myself in my computer room. I sat there for about 20 minutes staring at this thing, and then it fell over. I've refined the technique a bit since then, though I haven't practiced in a while because I haven't had time. I used to be able to really control the psi wheel - it's sort of like a pinwheel, just search for it (there are also lots of fake videos out there too, and ones that there is no PK effect and merely wind or drafts going on)- really well, in ways that can't be explained by drafts or convection (E.g. I'll have someone watch and call out "Left...okay now stop it....now right" and follow it pretty well).

I have seen dumbbells set on their end fall over after being left stationary for several hours to make sure they are stable. Repeatedly.

One of the most talented people on the net with regards to (legitimate) PK is a user by the name of ShirakOmegaX. I realize a video is just a video and ALL of this could be faked. But I've Skyped with him and he's been able to influence sensitive equipment on MY end...so yeah, I know no manner of magic trick that can affect someone in the US from Australia. So just watch it with an open mind and a grain of salt:






I'm currently trying to come up with neat ways to test macro-PK in the lab.

Note that if you end up hopping around YouTube, 80% of the videos are going to be fake. The ones I have a high degree of confidence that they aren't tricks are ShirakOmegaX, mindfreak419666 , Peabrain, Not Important, Machina labs, Macbethlondon, Darryl Sloan, and that's about it right now.
Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby ciscop » 30 Mar 2010, 08:23

thanks for sharing the youtube videos
yeah.. i didnt take them as conclusive nor as evidence
but i guess they were ok
not the worst i have seen nor the best

hey
im curious, what´s the thing that guy did over the internet in your house?
what happened?
was it a noise of wood ?
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: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 30 Mar 2010, 08:56

Hahaha I know what you're talking about, and no, it was not a noise of wood :-P

What I have is a metal box with a geiger counter bolted to the bottom and a piece of Uranium Oxide fixed to a rail, so it can slide and be locked at a fixed distance. The geiger counter interfaces with my computer. I have written a program that animates a hot air balloon that goes up or down depending on how many counts the geiger counter is detecting, relative to its baseline (e.g. it will take a baseline for 60 seconds, then will run for 60 seconds). The first try was just a practice run, he did not achieve significance, but the second run he got a score which roughly corresponds to a p value of .05, right on the edge of signifiance. We're running more trials, this was mostly for testing purposes at the time. One of my friends contributed 16 runs, corresponding to an approximate p = .01.
Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby ciscop » 30 Mar 2010, 14:58

you build up a machine?
thats pretty impressive
good luck with your reserch
i hope you find something cool
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: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby really? » 30 Mar 2010, 21:54

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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 31 Mar 2010, 01:19

Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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Re: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby ciscop » 31 Mar 2010, 03:29

well
i just hope someday
it can be proven beyond chance

the claim is so extraordinary, it needs extraordinary data to confirm is validity

but right now as it is
it isnt conclusive :-s

so any other studies you want to post that support parapsychology?
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: "Parapsychology is a pseudoscience"

Postby NucleicAcid » 31 Mar 2010, 04:30

I have a bunch, but most of them are from the Journal of Parapsychology and similar journals, which you need some sort of subscription for. If you have any sort of access to an academic database, like Elsevier, through your school or what not, that will generally get you in. Some libraries might carry it, and if they don't, they are usually willing to import them from a library that does have them, for a small fee.

There are also literally thousands of papers out there, which is why I like to stick to the few big ones that are most rigorous and relevant. If you are interested in just gobs and gobs of large-scale studies, I highly suggest Entangled Minds by Dean Radin (you can rent it from almost any public library). It comes across as a tiny bit apologetic, but Radin has dealt with a lot of harsh criticism over the years. And the science is solid. He talks very in-depth about controls. The field of parapsychology has known for at least a hundred years that the primary types of threats to internal validity are sensory leakage and fraud, and have been controlling against those strongly from the get-go. A century of constructive criticism has led parapsychology to constantly refine their methods, pretty much to the point of air-tightness. Your typical parapsychology experiment, whether it be Ganzfeld, feeling of being stared at, EEG correlation, etc, isolates the subjects on opposite sides of a building in a sound-proof, electromagnetically shielded vault (more or less, don't worry, the subjects can get out if they need to :-P).

People think of psi experiments as this:
Image

In reality, they look like this:
Image
(that's a standard EEG lab)
Except parapsychology labs are much more comfortably furnished, with plants, artwork, etc, so it actually feels like a room, rather than a laboratory. People feel much more comfortable when they don't feel like a guinea pig in a stark white room :)
Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
User avatar
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Posts: 169
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