Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by Vladimir, Apr 23, 2007.

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  1. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    You provided an incorrect example and it was an attempt to justify that people taking the shot don't know if it missed or hit... despite the fact that I proved that the last action you take is remembered quite well especially when you're paying attention to it.

    I don't think I ever stated that all things are certain. What I did state was I don't think you realize how much certainty there is around you.

    Of course there is data. It rehashed the experimental process. That's what I needed it for. And yes I was picking out specific information that was relevant. I would go to a 150 page financial analysis document just to pluck out a single objective forumula on ammortization regardless whether the analysis was true or false.

    I know you understand what I am after. No taste, smell, touch, sound, or sight between the experimenter, sender, and receiver... in any way or form.

    It's a good thing some non-fundamentalist tried to reproduce the auto-ganzfeld experiment results:

    There's your falsification.

    I would accept data absent of the human senses NOT being tested for. I think most 'skeptics' would.

    Would you feel bad if someone made critical life decision that backfired on them because you convinced them that psi existed?

    I disagree that's the message you communicated, but I will agree with this last message... assuming that it's not blindly applied (i.e. ignoring the knowns).
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  3. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Fair enough, subjectivity wasnt probably the right word to use in that instance - what i meant QM puts the observer right in the firing line, it seems we can never take ourselves (as observers) completely out of the loop.

    Well how do you know it cant? it appears critical research into psi has only just got off the ground.

    Er, youre telling blatant lies again, if youre talking about the Ganzfeld Experiments then there quite clearly were very stringent controls.

    I really dont know why you insist on lying about these sorts of things, especially when we've gone over the evidence together - so you know that i know that isnt true.

    So youre finally admitting you use intuition and some innate feeling of 'knowingness' to arrive at your conclusions?
    Again, i as ive said countless times - i really have no problem with this, but you really have to accept that it puts your opinions and feelings on this issue outside of any critical debate.
    Fair enough? make sense?

    Whats fantastic about it? ive already demonstrated to you that action at a distance and communication without an apparent two-way physical medium is just really basic science, there nothing fantastic about it whatsoever.
    Again, id be interested to know how you arrived the infered infeasiblity of psi but i know from experience you dont really have any sort of conscious critical process to point to.

    Well when i say consciousness or phenomenal experience is non-physical, what i mean is you cant ever spacially locate my experience of say smelling a flower.
    You can sort of point to a group of neurons where you think it might be generated but that isnt the physical experience, the experience itself doesnt have any physicality, in and of itself the experience has no precise spacial location.
    All we will ever be able to objectively measure is the physical processes/generators that create the experience, which isnt the same thing as finding the experience itself.

    No i absolutely agree with what youve said there, all im really trying to get across is no matter how fantastic or counter-intuitive something might seem it really doesnt stop it from occuring or being a valid part of our reality.

    The problem is psi (assuming it is real) is by its very nature transitory and dependant on the most complex and delicate piece of matter known to man - the human brain.
    It is very much like getting a group of novices to play a pitch-perfect concerto together, and then concluding that musical skill doesnt really exist because alot of people were off here and there.

    I agree though, these other ganzfeld experiments dont really back up the original claims, what i do find interesting is that all the beliefs held about women being more intuitive, people who share a relationship having a stronger connection, and people who claim to have an ability in psi being able to produce better results all rang absolutely true, if you look through the satistics.

    Youre waging a war that doesnt even exist in modern scientific circles anymore.
    You cant dump anything anomalous all into the same basket and attack it for being an affront to rationality, this isnt the 1700's anymore we've moved on.
    Like alot of people on here i think youve simply created a very ingrained mental association for yourself with things that are anomalous coupled together with belief that they must by definition be anti-science and anti-rational.

    All interesting questions, i think you should address your own lack of a critical process and want of knowledge to actually understand the things youre atempting to debunk before anything else though.
    If you want to expose frauds and delusionists i say good on you, go right ahead, but if you want to expose fraud without any methodology or background in things like cold-reading and nlp then youre really not going to prove anything to anyone, or be taken remotely seriously.
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
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  5. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    We cant take human or mechanical observers out of the loop when trying to make observations. Quite correct.

    What is being researched? WHAT?


    1 - (1 / 3) = .66666666~ = 66%


    I'm using existing knowledge backed by a mound of evidence and applying it. It might seem like intuition to you.

    Humans have 5 senses and you're introducing a 6th that enables long range communication, observation, knowledge sharing, and manipulation of reality.

    Humans have not demonstrated any such ability and have demonstrated a strong desire for such abilities to be true... to the point of going to great efforts to delude each other. This isn't a matter of feasability, this is a matter of delusion.

    Your perspective seems to be that the subjective will never ever ever be measurable. I disagree, I think it will be some day.

    I agree. Psi doesn't appear to be one of those things.

    Seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, smelling are all dependent on the most complex and delicate piece of matter known to man... yet they don't appear to be transitory and ellusive.

    I see it more like getting a person to show that their instrument exists.

    I agree. Right there you have a 'what'. Like mindedness, similar experiences, social syncing, etc. could all feed into those results. I would say that to invoke magic like 'psi' would be the least likely 'how'.

    Another way of looking at it as that I understand the psychology of delusion better than you.

    I'm not a debunker. Proving a negative in matters of existence is a waste of time. Randi for example has spent 30+ years of his life doing that. You can fight the tide of delusion with debunking but you can't beat it that way. What you can do is place an evidence filter on claims and grant power and resources to supportive evidence and remove the same from insufficient / absent evidence.
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  7. grover Registered Senior Member

    What you asked for was a phenomenon where someone doesn't know if they are right or not. Memory is such an example. Talking about something that just happened isn't a good example of memory. Just ask any psychologist how accurate witness memories are...totally inaccurate and yet the person having them will report that certainty that their memories are accurate.

    I don't think you realize how much uncertainty there is around you.

    There is no data. If there is show it to me. And why you still are picking and choosing. You pick one little speculative thing that you think suppports your case and dismiss the fact their conclusion that the Ganzfeld results can't simply be dismissed.

    Its a double-blind study. The experimenter has no information to give away.

    Once again - you should actually read the things you post as supporting your cause. That study actually supports the ganzfeld research :"The emotionally close subgroup in the replication that was expected to produce above-chance hitting on the basis of a review of the PRL data, did succeed in replicating this finding with a respectable hit rate of 37.5%. It is immediately apparent from Table 2 that within the EC group, the spouses were not in the same class as the parent/child and sibling pairs. This leads to the speculation that perhaps consanguinity may be important.(6) Combining the blood relatives yields 15 hits in 30 trials for a hit rate of 50% (ES[Pi] = .75, h = .52, z = 9.78, p = .006, two-tailed). While it is tempting to invoke genetics or some other aspect of the familial relationship as the key factor, observations of the actual experiment suggest that the picture may be more complex. Of all the participants in these experiments, the parent/child and the sibling pairs seemed to bring the greatest amount of enthusiasm to the experiment and derived the greatest level of satisfaction when hits were scored. These results certainly confirm the commonsense notion derived from spontaneous case reports that ESP is especially "good" amongst family members, but it will take much additional research to address the usual nature vs. nurture issues. Dalton (1997, p. 130) has recently reported an independent confirmation of the unusually high scoring amongst biologically related sender-receiver pairs in ganzfeld experiments. " Their conclusion:
    "Although this project did not provide a straightforward replication of the PRL findings, several aspects of the data conform to findings from other studies and provide important indicators as to the many sources of variance that must be accounted for in the continuing quest to bring a higher level of reliability to ESP research. "
    Very damaging to your case when you post something that has the opposite conclusion than what you think.

    First you wanted double-blind and now your changing your tune. Double-blind means the experiumenter cant affect the study because they are blind - they don't have any information that could contaminate they study. What you are asking is impossible.

    No. Psi doesn't change anything from life as we kow it. Its not some comic book superpower that allows them to know what tomorrows lottery numbers will be.

    BUt see when you start talking about the "knowns" you are just betraying what a run-of-the-mill fundamentalist you really. Only fundamentalists "just know" things.
  8. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    The possiblity of 'closed-communication channel' communication i believe.

    Apolagies, posting before bed obviously isnt a good idea, i thought you were referencing one of the ganzfelds when you made reference to the 'absense of controls' my mistake.

    Well it is intuition, youve alluded to just 'knowing' in the place of reason about 5 times now.
    Its what you consistantly do when ever i try to pin you down to specifics, or get you to demonstrate your reasoning.
    If you cant demonstrate the outcome of your beliefs (in this instance, sally morgan was 'definitely' commiting fraud and the production company were clearly helping her) then im afraid you simply dont have a critical process when it matters most.
    Thats the very meaning of intuition - its knowing without being able to specificially show or rationalise how you came to that understanding or belief.

    Unfortunately youve not really answered the question, if you belief its all delusion at least engage in this hypothetical - assuming psi does exist, why should we assume it is a 'fantastic' process, what is it about the nature of the process that makes it so incredible?

    Only if we can inter-experience one anothers subjectivity, thats really the one way you can ever accurately measure its qualia/the quality of someones experience.

    Oh at one point in evolution all of those senses would have been very much ellusive and transitory, we just take it for granted that theyre now a complete part of our physical and psychological makeup.

    You dont agree with the assertion that if psi exists it is as much a skill than anything else?

    There's nothing magical about closed-communication causality, its part of the natural world, youre really going to have to get used to that. Irrespective of whether you believe there's reason or not to extend the process to humanbeings.
    Im not sure what you mean exactly by 'social syncing' though, can you elaborate? and how would this factor into women get higher results than men?

    You dont even know how the processes that people are 'supposed' to be delusion about actually work (if they are being fradulent), therefore theres a critical flaw to yor reasoning and the assertion that you are capable of measuring delusion as it pertains to this instance.

    Well, speaking personally im not against debunking or people being exposed.
    But the central point to it all is you really have to know what youre doing to go around debunking - randi's very good at spotting slight of hands and very basic cold reading, because those are skills that the average magician has to know to master his craft.
    It does break down of course when he atempts to go beyond his means, as he has quite a few times in the past (we're talking about barging into laboratories and shaking beakers around and man-handling bits of equipment he doesnt understand).
    But for all of Randis flaws and Epistemological pit-falls he does at least have some degree of expertise and can point to a continuous thread of reasoning.
    This is really all i ask of anyone, im not out to 'protect' anything - all im interested in is the truth and rigourous methodology.

    Agreed, what pro-psi advocates or anti-psi advocates cannot do however, it appeal to what they feel to be the truth on the matter, as it places the phenomenon outside of critical debate.
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
  9. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    Why is it a possibility?

    Hahaha, that'll teach ya

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    Unless I explicitly state it in every sentence, it seems the knowledge behind the understanding that psi is delusion is simply whisked away. Lets look at a slightly expanded list of knowns:

    * People *want* psi to exist.
    * People go out of their way to deceive people into thinking psi exists.
    * People are deceived into thinking psi exists.
    * The claim of psi has been around for millenia.
    * People who make claims about personal ability can demonstrate their ability.
    * The best psi experiments to date have inadequate controls and the results cannot be trusted.
    *The best results from these flawed experiments is a ~35% hit rate (10% over chance... which is an 87% failure rate after removing the chance percentage).
    * All receivers in such experiments never know if their 'shot' is a hit or miss.
    * It is a behavior of people whom discover an important phenomena to share the discovery with the world, be recognized for it, and help lead the application and enhancement of the discovery. The best all 'psi practicioners' have done are circus acts.

    That's alot of information so I'll stop there. Now compress it all in your mind... make it so that you comprehend each bullet all at once. Now apply Sally to it. How does she fit in?

    It's fantastic because it doesn't fit with existing human experience and knowledge and if true would drastically change comprehension of reality. Relativity was a fantastic claim once and then Einstein backed it up with real testable evidence. Fantastic evidence for a fantastic claim and it changed everything.

    Well we don't know that's the only way. I can forsee a time where humans consistently validate the inter-experience of technology that measures subjectivity; after which, the technology can be trusted as a raw measure without human verification. Point the subjectivity detector at a roach and it says 'yep, he's having a subjective experience'. Point it at a rock and the detector say 'sorry, no subjective experience here'.

    I would suspect that if a blind life form was suddenly able to detect photons in a rudimentary way, its advantage would be so immense that the variation would become the norm within the species very quickly. Someone with 'psi' would have massive advantages across the board. Heck, I can see sperm banks making a killing off of telepaths, telekenetics, remote viewers, etc.

    I think if someone playes the guitar, they can do so extremely well, extremely poor, or anywhere in between... but they have a guitar to play.

    I don't know what "closed-communication causality" is. If you're alluding to entanglement then there is no evidence that the particles are communicating (i.e. transferring information to each other). If you're alluding to something else then please expand on that.

    To the first question, have you ever been with a friend for long periods of time (maybe working with him) and then state something completely unique that he simultaneously states? You're training each others thought processes to sync up through social interaction.

    To the second question, perhaps women attain a higher quality of social interaction.

    You're sidestepping the knowledge of all the numerous frauds that have been exposed, all the challenges in controlled environments that have been avoided, and the complete and utter absence of any utility of psi.

    The evidence isn't merely absent of the existence of psi, it's contradicted by the knowns. What this means is that EVERY claimer whom cannot provide a self-evident demonstration in a controlled environment is lying.

    Randi has actually done a bit more. He has set up a challenge that is administered by real scientists with a protocol agreement between the experimenter and the experimentee. All it takes is one claimer to provide a self-evident demonstration and viola. Instant million and very likely a nobel in the near future. If 100,000 people claim to see color, and you ask them all to point out the red dot, surely at least one of them will be able to point out the red dot?

    I would be careful with the language because to place a phenomena outside critical debate means a phenomena exists to place there. It boils down to evidence... and its just not there. I think it was the U.S. millitary whom issued some statement that after reviewing the past 130 years of scientific research into psi, there is no evidence it exists in the first place. I personally think its sad that 130 years was wasted chasing the delusion.
  10. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    So, some adware that infected my computer redirected my browser after I responded to all your posts. So... I am only going to repond to one item this time around.

    It's not damaging in the least.

    "All sessions combined (N = 209) resulted in a nonsignificant hit rate of 25.8%."

    What that means is that the autoganzfeld results were non-reproducible... i.e. it failed the test. As far as the emotionally similar hit rates are concerned, there looks to be an actual 'what' to study concerning that group of people. I suspect its the result of like like mindedness, similar experiences, social syncing, etc. The only thing the data shows is that emotionally similar people achieved higher than chance hits. That's a 'WHAT'. It doesn't show 'HOW'.

    The damage done is to the autoganzfeld and what's left is not evidence for psi. Showing that emotionally similar people can yield higher than chance autoganzfeld-ish hit rate (and a massive overall failure rate without knowing whether the shot is really a hit/miss without being told) is far different from people being able to demonstrate self-evident telepathy, remote viewing, telekensis (or any other fantasy that is part of psi).
  11. grover Registered Senior Member

    The last resort of the anti-psi fanatic. When they finally get that the tests show that people know what is in other peoples heads more than chance allows they finally say "well something is happening, we just don't know what that something is." Cop out.
  12. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Well it works on the quantum level, we already know that.
    And we also know that QM effects or 'quantum weirdness' can bleed through into our 'world' as well now, so action at a distance doesnt have to be something that only works on the quantum level.
    Couple that with psychologists who believe that there is a process of information exchange in humans that goes beyond the classical methods that we would useally imploy.
    And of course add-in personal related experiences of said phenomena and theres definitely a possiblity there.
    You can certainly say you dont believe, or you think it's all fraud - but thats something entirely different from possilbity.

    Aye, need to keep the sciforum debating strictly for the daytime (when im wide awake) from now on.

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    The problem if youre using prior knowns (none of those add up to psi being impossible i might add) to make a judgement about a specific 'current' situation.
    Now, i believe it's fine to use previous knowledge in making a judgement - but i dont believe prior experience should be used as a substitute for 'of the moment' examination. The two should be used in conjunction.

    In short your approach is basically - 'i know some previous psi practioners have been exposed as frauds'
    'Therefore i know all psi practioners are frauds, therefore i know this specific psi practioner is a fraud without explaing or demonstrating how or why they have commited this act of fraud'.

    Its like me saying 'i know some bankers help criminals launder money, therefore all bankers launder money, therefore the banker i met to day was a money launderer - i do not have to prove this for it to be true'

    At the very least an accusation - in this case 'sally morgan is a fraud' should be bolstered by some form of specific observation as it relates to her actions. Otherwise the accusation is entirely empty and without logic.

    In what sense 'doesnt fit', im not sure what you mean here.
    So any assertion (not matter what it is) untill it can be proven to a percentage of around the high 90s - is by its very nature a 'fantastic claim', is that what youre saying?

    The problem of subectivity isnt whether or not something has subjectivity (which can useally infer if it does or it doesnt) its getting to grips with the quality of that experience.
    Thats really all subjectivity is, its the quality of sensation or thought.
    You cant really measure the quality or feeling of an orgasm, just as you cant accurately measure the actual sensation 'rage' or the feeling of lust.
    Do you see what i mean? you can only ever understand these things by actually inhabiting them.

    Youre right, there's a definite evolutionary advantage there, evolution would certainly favour a pre-determining consciousness or mind over one with a strictly linear sense of causality and time.

    Not sure what youre getting at here.

    Closed communication causality just means that two seperated systems can affect and or communicate with each other in the absense of an open physical communication channel.
    It doesnt really matter if the particles are or arnt exchanging information to be honest, i think youre getting a bit too hung up on that aspect of it.
    The point is they are causally connected at a distance.

    So how would this social syncing manifest or work when the individuals are seperated (as in the ganzfeld experiments) ?
    Does that explain their higher rate of hits than the males though?

    Really? you do know the US government and police departments have used psychics with a sucess rate well above random chance, id say that counts as 'utilising psi'.
    No it doesnt - this is the fundamental flaw in your leap of logic.
    All it means is that your criteria for acceptance of psi has not yet been met, youre really switching the burden of proof onto yourself by suplanting a negative conclusion 'i dont believe psi has been proven in these instances' for a postive claim of 'all practitioners of psi are lying'.
    If youre going to make claims of your own - you have to prove them, thats what ive been trying to get across to you from the start.

    So if you believe Sally morgan is lying (i.e. this is your claim) then you should at least atempt offer up some reasons specific to her case for believing this to be true.
    It really would be much simpler if you just concluded that 'there really isnt evidence enough for me to conclude that psi is real, my standards for belief here have not been met'.
    Instead you want to make positive claims in and around these forums that anyone involved in psi is a liar and a fraud - without ever explaining how you came to these conclusions.
    See why people have such a problem with you on this one..

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    Randi's million is one extended scam, same as other people who offer up prizes for proving things theyve made a career out of not believing in.

    You know there's creationists offering millions out to people who can prove evolution to be true without a 'shadow of a doubt' now?
    Just like Randi they use the unclaimed million to create alot of public fuss, its all very devicive and generally abit silly for grown men to be indulging themselves in, ah well.

    link for that statement? and didnt they say the same thing about ufos recently?
    Last edited: May 16, 2007
  13. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    "All sessions combined (N = 209) resulted in a nonsignificant hit rate of 25.8%."

    Hardly. You're ignoring the fact that the Ganzfeld results were not reproducible. You're ignoring the 25.8% final result... which is NOT statistically significant. You're also ignoring that the data is showing emotionally similar people getting higher than chance hit rate, but MASSIVE overall failure rate.

    The only 'what' that appears to be established is that emotionally similar people get better results. The 'what' that has not been established is the existence of some magical form of pure mental communication but you're trying to pass it off as a 'how' to the real 'what'.
  14. grover Registered Senior Member

    What is absolutely amazing to me is that you keep presenting this article as if it shows that the Ganzfelds were non-reproducible when the authors of the study present it as the opposite: "Although this project did not provide a straightforward replication of the PRL findings, several aspects of the data conform to findings from other studies and provide important indicators as to the many sources of variance that must be accounted for in the continuing quest to bring a higher level of reliability to ESP research."
    Now you're going to try some kind of odd logical contortion that doesn't even make sense. If the positive Ganzfeld results don't provide proof of telepathy then why have you been fighting tooth and nail against them? You have just shown that you will never accept any evidence? It would actually be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.
  15. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    The existence of entanglement doesn't seem to provide any connection to humans being able to communicate with each other using nothing but pure thought, or seeing the future, or moving objects with their mind, or etc. IMO, its used as an excuse to bring 'psi' into the land of possibility.

    Thats much different than claiming two people can communicate with a new sense in the absence of all others.

    Do your personal experiences hold the most weight? Just curious.

    You are correct, those knowns don't make psi impossible; however, they do render all claims of psi as false unless a self-evident demonstration in a very controlled environment comes along.

    Closer. It's more on the lines of here are the knowns and they lead to a strong absence of supportive evidence over massive amounts of time... which in turn becomes strong evidence of absence; therefore, any claimer is immediatly a fraud unless they can actually prove their claim in a very controlled environment.

    She's a fraud because it is a known that people can't do that. The 'how' really doesn't matter unless you want to waste your time and if you do then what happens with the next Sally, and the next one, and the next one? When do you wake up to reality and say, "ok the last 3 million Sally's were frauds... this is evidence that the claim is generically false and all further Sally's don't warrent further investigation unless they can prove their claim"?

    Do you make use of your '6th' sense on a daily basis? Is it well established what area of the brain and / or organs are involved with processing information from that sense? It doesn't seem to fit with our experience and knowledge.

    Not quite. A claim is 'fantastic' if it doesn't fit with our experience / knowedge and would drastically change humankind if it were true.

    If we learn how to use technology to inhabit them then there is no reason we could not use technology to differentiate and measure the quality of orgasms, rage, lust, or even states that don't exist for humans. It might take a human to program a machine to regonize difference... but there is no reason that the machine from that point on couldn't measure away just fine. Then of course we might figure out how to create artificial consciousness and use that to aid in subjective measurements.

    Think about telepathy and telekensis in a time of war against an enemy whom didn't posess such abilities. The war would be over before it even began.

    It's self-evident that the guitar exists of course

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    Ahh I see. IMO the 'hows' of entanglement is very important.

    Well take the strongest emotional relationships... siblings and parent/child. They've spent alot of time with each other throught their lives just syncing away. Separating them in rooms for an experiment isn't going to undo years of sync.

    It might. I really don't know; however, I have observed social commonalities in 'girl talk' so there might be a level of sync provided genetically by gender.

    Yeah, it's more fraud and delusion. Here is an example:

    I understand what you are saying. Absence of evidence over long periods of time coupled with the knowns actually becomes evidence of absence on its own... and that is the supportive evidence for the positive claim that 'all practitioners of psi are lying'.

    Hopefully the last response covered this as well.

    His offer seems pretty reasonable to me and he appears to really be on the ball. Is he doing something incorrect?

    I didn't know that. That's awesome. I did a quick check on the internet and didn't find such an organization. If they are simply looking for supportive evidence that is 'self-evident' then hell I could do that for millions of dollars. Drug resistant bacteria, sexual speciation, and a fossil record of fanged carnivorous kangaroos would be perfect.

    If I had psi, I would so get that million.

    5th paragraph

    I don't know what they said about UFO's.
  16. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Hello, humans = particles, we're composed of the exact same stuff.

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    Add to that the fact that current QM theory strongly suggests that quantum pheonomea should be observable on the macro-scale as well, and its really not a stretch to put two and two together and see that reported psi-phenomena/remote viewing could simply be action at a distance.
    Also google 'retro-casuality' in QM, basically its starting to look like the future may already be determined long before we subjectively experience it.
    With that in mind, certainly doesnt put pre-cog out of the picture, infact the more we learn about time and pre-determinism, what would be weird would be if we only ever experienced time as a sequencial sequence of linear events.

    In any case i dont know why you think such speculation and theorising is 'making excuses' its just finding patterns that correlate with each other, which is what science, psychology, philosophy etc is all about.
    I have to be honest i really really think you just have some serious hangups about all this that prevents you from considering the full range of possiblities on offer here.

    To me they do, that probably goes without saying - would i ask someone to take my word alone in order to believe or consider something? no.

    Thats like saying innocent untill proven guilty, or - 'theres a chance you may be fraudlent, i dont have the expertise to know how but i have a feeling you may be - therefore im going to drag your name through the mud and label you a fraud untill you can prove to me youre not'
    Its just not rational man.

    Your logic just seems to go round and round in concentric circles, i think what you mean is youve simply assumed at some stage in your life that humans cant do that, without bothering to check to see if psi really would violate any known scientific laws.
    Thats really what youre saying isnt it?

    3 million? i think there's probably around 4 or 5 people (tops) that youve probably seen debunked. I think youre vastly over-estimating what you actually know.

    Scientifc knowledge rests entirely on the questions youre prepared to ask - as far as im aware noone ever ran a subject through a cat scan while they were engaged in telepathic thought, so we really dont know what parts of the brain are active during these processes because noone ever asked the question.

    Im still not sure you get the subjectivity problem!

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    We can already measure the difference between rage and lust incredibly well through brain activity, body temperature, differences in outward behaviour.
    Its about knowing the quality of the experience itself - even if you could get a machine to measure subjectivity on an infinite scale of complexity, we are still as human observers locked out of the feeling or quality of the experience.
    However if the machine could transmit the measured experience into our brains for us to experience, then we could measure/understand subjectivity - but as i said that would really be inhabiting the experience itself.
    Although even then youd also have all kinds of issues like - has the machine, accurately replicated the experience? how can we know our experience matches up perfectly with the measured experience etc.
    This is why subjectivity perplexes the greatest minds.

    Anyway, we should probably leave that one - it is quite a tricky one to wrap your head round i'll admit.

    Its been done, you should read up remote viewing, used extensively throughout the cold war in particular i believe.
    There's not as much call for it these days of course, satalite imagery is much more reliable as a method of espionage.

    So you think there's some sort of sync still in effect even when theyre seperated? interesting, wouldnt have had you down for speculating along those lines. Its certainly a possiblity id agree.

    Ouch you really do need to stop using skepdic as one-stop source for information you know.
    Skepdic has a terrible reputation of assuming the defualt position of disbelief on anything that isnt accepted science, as soon as something does become accepted of course - the pages commited to debunking it all magically disappear, theyre like the largest online community of pseuds going.

    But youre also making a specific claim by calling individuals out on lying, i believe its reasonable for me to ask for specific details that provide evidence for this belief. If you cant speficially provide any (which you havent) and dont feel you need or should have to prove anything, then i think youve got a very questionable method of aquiring truth.
    Not much else i can say on the matter!

    Quite a few things yes - see the James Randi love thread on sci forums for more info.

    I read it in nature originally i believe and this is the thing - self-evidenacy (much as it relates to your demands on psi) in this instance relates to absolute proof.
    I dont know the exact details but id imagine theyre looking for things like unbroken chains of fossils showing every evolutionary stage of one creature evolving into another.
    Basically theyre looking for fact not theory, and using the unclaimed million (Much as randi is) to prove to the easily led that it cant be true if noones claimed the money yet.

    I think the general lesson in all this is - you cant really prove anything to somone who has invested alot of time effort and money into not believing in it.

    Nah you wouldnt, noone will ever, just as noone will win any of the current spate of 'here's a wad of cash, prove me wrong!' experiments.
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  17. shaman_ Registered Senior Member


    So when has this happened before?

    I have noticed many believers refusing to read any criticism written by a skeptic. That doesn't sound very open minded. From now on I am refusing to read anything written by a believer in psi because I don't want to find out I'm wrong

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    We can learn from that thread how believers will attack Randi and the challenge with anything they can think of in a desperate attempt to deal with the fact that no one seems to have psychic powers.

    It must be a scam because I just know that psychic powers exist!!
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  18. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    This was from a documentry i saw, cant remember what police station it was now as it was several years ago (might have been philadelphia). But they had used psychics regularly and recieved enough positive hits to continue using them.
    I'll do abit of digging latter on to see if i can find anything specific.

    Firstly im not a believer, im a skeptic.

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    Secondly i do have a gripe with skepdic as i feel they grossly misreprensent what it means to be skeptical - being skeptical isnt taking the default position of disbelief on anything anomalous, its being skeptical of every side of the argument, even extending skepticsm towards your own natural biases (what ever they may be).
    My other problem with skepdic (and this is probably less to do with the site itself to be fair) is that people use it as a one-stop-shop for balanced enquiry.
    The flaw here is that skepdic will very rarely if ever, offer balanced views and an even handed voice to the evidence (something that a site like wikipedia manages to do quite well).
    In short alot of the stuff of skepdic is propaganda material, which is fine but you really need to balance that out with the opposing propaganda thats floating around to get any realistic sense of whats going on.

    Btw, i did actually read the skepdic article that crunchy linked me to never the less.

    Well your logic is flawed from the out-set since im not a believer, i only really deal in degrees of possiblity.
    Secondly the problems that people have with Randi is his methods, to use a case in point, like Randi i cant say im really sold on homeopathy.
    But i still dont think the best way to find out whether there's really something in it or not is to let an ex-magician lose in a laboratory environment without a clue about any of the apparatus hes fiddling with.
    Its just bad science, i'll attack poor methodology regardless of whether it supports or contradicts my biases and will continue to do so.

    I know psychic powers dont exist - therefore it doesnt matter how bad the methodology or implementation is!
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  19. grover Registered Senior Member

    I can't for the life of me wrap my head around why you keep posting articles that actually argue against your case. It's hilarious. The actual point of that paragraph is that the NAS report is biased and unreliable.

    Here is the paragraph:
    "Most of the criticisms have been leveled by psychologists. For example, a 1987 report of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences concluded that "The committee finds no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena" (Druckman and Swets, 1988, page 22). The chapter on parapsychology was written by a subcommittee chaired by a psychologist who had published a similar conclusion prior to his appointment to the committee (Hyman, 1985a, page 7). There were no parapsychologists involved with the writing of the report. Resulting accusations of bias (Palmer, Honorton and Utts, 1989) led U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell to request that the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) conduct an investigation with a more balanced group. A one-day workshop was held on September 30, 1988, bringing together parapsychologists, critics and experts in some related fields (including the author of this paper). The report concluded that parapsychology needs "a fairer hearing across a broader spectrum of the scientific community, so that emotionality does not impede objective assessment of experimental results" (Office of Technology Assessment, 1989)."
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  20. Crunchy Cat F-in' *meow* baby!!! Valued Senior Member

    When entagled, what happens when particle A changes direction? So does particle B. That would be slighly disasterous if chunks of two entagled brains / nervous systems start changing direction.

    The only pattern I see is that QM shows the existence of entaglement and people whom desire psi use it to justify the possibility of its existence in humans. It's putting the 'how' before the 'what'.

    The human mind both finds and invents patterns. I see psi as an invention motivated by desire.

    Have you ever questioned that the self-evidency of such personal experiences was illusion?

    I think you meant guilty until proven innocent

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    . It's more like saying the certainty that you are a fraud is so high that any inability or refusal to perform in a controlled environment will act as a proof that you are a fraud. In other words, the claim must be proven.

    Checking for such violations is really a waste of time. The onus of proof is on the claimer and all claimers have failed so misreably that their failed efforts have become strong evidence against their claim. That is why you see the illusion of circular logic.

    I think the point as been missed. How many Sally's do you debunk before their claim becomes falsified? You're implied answer is all of them... which means the claim will never be falsified... meaning the claim is protected by eliminating the outcome that it is 'not true'. That's the real faulty logic.

    That sounds like the question... 'How' does the 'What' work... problem is there is no 'What' to begin with; however, I see value in an experiment like this as it can show the brain activity of someone actively engaged in delusion... who knows, it could serve as the foundation for a delusion detector.

    What we can't measure at present the discreet information encoding.

    My question is that if we can tell a machine, "This experience you are feeding me is anger with an intensity of 7 out of 10", why couldn't the machine be able to rate the quality of anger on its own from that point on?

    Well we're not going to know until we get to that level of technology

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    Satellite imagary doesn't seem to do much for the global 'war on terror'. Why aren't remote viewers picking out suicide bomers and telekentics disarming their bombs from a distance?

    If two people train each other to think similarly, there is no reason that similarity wouldn't survive small periods of separation. That type of speculation doesn't invoke fantastic abilities / magic consequently.

    I seem to have a related point of contention with Grover. What matters in anything I post is the data... not the authors conclusions.

    Yes I am making that claim. When asked for evidence supporting the claim I point out the knowns and the absent evidence of the inverse claim. Maybe that approach seems odd to you because you are expecting specifics about what makes 'Sally' a fraud (for example) and what I am trying to communicate is that the Sally's never end and there is ample evidence to stop consideration of the Sally's permanently (while of course providing the window of opportunity for a Sally to step forth and prove her claim in a controlled environment).

    I saw everything from James Randi having psychic powers that prevent other psychic powers from working to James Randi not being a scientist and therefore not being qualified to administer scientific experiments. To the the latter, yep I know that, you know that, and he knows that... which is why he has real scientists do the work. To the former, well... um... yeah. Even with the thread I dont see anything glaringly incorrect about what he is doing.

    I honestly think it can be done using the criteria you specified. Evolution is pretty darn self evident and I do think there is enough data to show a significant change in a species genetic lineage. I unfortunately was not able to find these guys online. Maybe they revoked the challenge? If they are in the U.S. I could forsee them being shut down if someone accepted the challenge, proved evolution, was declined the money, and then took them to court saying the criteria was fulfilled and the money was not provided.

    Of course you can. You cannot make them accept the proof (which is a mental thing), but you can prove it and you can legally hold them accountable to any reward that is supposed to be given upon receiving proof.
  21. Yorda Registered Senior Member

    physics is pseudoscience.
  22. heliocentric Registered Senior Member

    Youre being too overly-litteral i think, its the underlying principles of QM that are important here (action at a distance, seperated yet linked causal relationships, closed-communication channel communication etc) noone is saying that the particles in one persons body are spinning in sympathy to another person's body.

    Im pretty sure ive made myself clear on what the correlation between psi and QM is, id just be repeating myself at this point - i really dont think i could make it any clearer (same as with the subjectivity problem that i keep going over again and again).
    Either youre just not getting this stuff or youre misrepresenting what im saying (for whatever reason).

    No it isnt, this is just really basic speculation - scientists regularly engage in thought experiments and speculative analysis simply to see what patterns can be found.
    Very often i might add in the absense of any hard data atall (i.e. multi-verse, m-theory).
    In regards to psi we actually have a mountain of data to go on in comparison to the majority of speculative deductions.
    In any case even if there was no evidence for psi, you still dont lose anything by engaging in abit of speculation - how might action-at-a-distance manifest itself in larger systems? what insights does QM gives us in regards to information distribution?
    Does QM suggest a unified universe in which seperated systems are all in fact fundamentally connected?

    These are all really important questions to ask, i think one of the biggest communication problems between yourself and i, is that you seem to believe empiricsm is self-refering and tells us everything we need to know in itself.

    Most of the time it doesnt, empiricsm mearly gives you a basis on which to conduct further speculation and analysis.
    Something which you do seem particularly opposed to for some reason.

    Well then show its all just latent desire, or at least expand upon it.

    Well, ive experienced things beyond what i know are achievable via cold-reading and nlp i'll say that much, thats all i can say with any degree of certainly. Anything beyond that is of course speculation.

    Well i dont know that Sally Morgan has refused to perform in a controlled enviornment, so im not sure how youve arrived at that conclusion.

    In any case the production company itself has imployed quite a few contols to trip her up - subject in a seperate location, information on subjects with-held at times prior to the meeting, blind-folding + total ban on verbal communication to factor out the possiblity of nlp and colding reading.

    There's actually quite a few contols going on there, you might find this interesting actually - ive watched tv shows where Randi has blind-folded psychics also and banned verbal communication also. So theyre imploying the exact techniques that debunkers use to expose this sort of thing.
    Again i think it comes back to this thing of assuming that because positive results have been achieved there must by definition be a flaw in controls - this of course is based on the assumption that psi is impossible - something to this date youve never once been able to articulate as to why this might be the case.

    Again i dont think the claimers have failed miserably - psychics have worked as remote viewers for defense departments with impressive degrees of sucess. We've seen that psychics can still perform under quite stringent controls, and acheive above chance statistics in controlled experiments.
    Look if you really dont think the evidence is strong enough to satisfy your own criteria thats fine. I just dont get what is achieved by going around saying people are liars and frauds and there's 'no evidence for any of it' and 'its all delusion'.
    Its like you can only ever deal in these absolutes - something is either absolutely true or absolutely false, there's never any shades of grey inbetween for you.

    Again im not sure what youre talking about, Sally hasnt been debunked - infact we've seen the very same techniques Randi uses to debunk psychics fail to make her abilities disapear.

    It could - but it would be rating from its own position of experience (subjectivity) it like me judging the quality of affection i believe another humanbeing is beaming out to me and assigning it a number.
    I still wouldnt know how their experience of affection feels for them.

    Like i said it probably worth leaving because im not sure you fully grasp the problem.

    Well i dont know that remote viewers arnt doing just that.
    I really dont have much of any idea which (if any) members of the coalition are still running remote viewing programs.
    As for telekenetics - ive not heard of any government agencies employing those sort of attributes (if they exist atall).

    I could certainly buy into that as a possible explaination.
    Huh? ive not seen anyone in this thread invoke magic to explain anything, not sure atall what youre refering to.

    Ive no problem with that - if thats how you interpret the data, but its a leap and half to go from that to labeling everyone as liars and frauds without even looking into individual case studies - that is really all im getting across. And i dont believe im being particularly unreasonable in making that assertion (although obviously you may disagree).

    You can definitely provide evidence for evolutions existance - what you cant ever do is prove it exists absolutely and without a single grain of doubt. They want a 100% accuracy rating - much as you want in psi experimentation.
    Its actually a quarter of a million hes offering though - not a million, although i believe Randis challenge started out as a couple of hundered grand as well.
    So they'll probably increase the pot overtime.

    A good quote from that article actually that i think sums up these sorts of challenges perfectly.
    Hes basically saying it stands as little more than a public smear - entirely devicive and probably little too do with honest acquisition of truth either way.

    Ah but the problem is - the acquisition of proof and what constitutes proof atall is defined by the person with the money themselves.
    Thats why these sorts of tests are flawed from the out-set, theyve sort of got every base covered. People who offer up these amounts of cash arnt stupid theyve got loop-holes and clauses hidden in places that you wouldnt even imagine to look.
    Last edited: May 19, 2007
  23. shaman_ Registered Senior Member

    But think about what you said - "you do know the US government and police departments have used psychics with a sucess rate well above random chance..." How is random chance calculated for these successes? Are we talking about finding lost children who are near water, a bridge or a church? How do we know that these great results are not due to selective thinking and subjective validation? It doesn't sound like the most reliable source for a statistical examination.

    You don't need to chase down the source. There certainly may be some police who use psychics but then again there are probably many police who swear that astrology works. Can we know for sure that these cases are actually being solved due to psychics and not police work or luck?

    There are also many police departments who are sick of their time being wasted by psychics...

    Yes the US government wasted 20 million of taxpayer money on project stargate (remote viewing) but eventually closed it down because it was not working.

    So which articles have been taken off after they became generally accepted by the scientific community? Were you making some assumptions here heliocentric? :bugeye:

    It is fairly simple - provides a skeptical point of view. It is there to counter all the nonsense that is out there on the internet. So when you complain that it is biased (sceptical) or that it doesn't offer a balanced view it just appears that you don't like it because it is critical of something you wish to believe in. It is providing a sceptical point of view which is exactly what it should do.

    Actually I think many of the articles do present both sides of the debate with the facts.

    My logic is sound regardless of what you call yourself. My comments were also an observation on believers in general. Although you appear to believe that psi exists. If so then you are a believer in regards to this subject.

    Is Randi testing for homeopathy himself now? First I have heard of this. Source? Assumptions?

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    I have never said that I know that they don't exist.
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