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Thread: Which theory may explain paranormal phenomena?

  1. #1 Which theory may explain paranormal phenomena? 
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    To those who are open to PSI existing.Which theory do you believe may explain PSI (paranormal phenomena) such astelepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences or apparitionsetc?

    John Beloff a well known parapsychologist concluded that PSI occurs becuase ofdualism ie the mind and brain are separate. Amit Goswami however in his book“The Self-Aware Universe”, lists some studies on quantum physics that may leadto an explanation of psi that agrees with the theory of a nonphysical andconceptual world. He explains that in quantum physics, objects are not seen asdefinite things. Instead, objects are possibilities, viewed as something called“possibility waves”. Of course his interpretation due to his research inquantum physics has lead him to formulate idealistic monism, that onlyconsciousness exists in the universe and everything is part of it, he arguesagainst dualism and materialism.

    Others however have disagreed and put forward physical and materialistictheories to try and explain PSI.

    Michael Persinger claims that much of paranormal phenomena can be explained bylow frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves.

    Brian Josephson has claimed that the explanation of PSI may be found in quantumphysics. Gerald Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle thattravels faster than the speed of light has been advocated by someparapsychologists who claim that it could explain some PSI phenomena.

    Charles Tart however believes PSI is completey non-physical and does notoperate to material laws.

    There are many theories which try and explain PSI. Which one do you advocateand why? If any?



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    No theory explains it. it's pure pseudoscience.


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    Did you read this bit?
    To those who are open to PSI existing.
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    No theory explains it
    Millions of people have claimed to of experienced apparitions, ghosts, UFOs, out of body experiences, near death experiences, ESP etc etc

    To say that no theory explains it must be a pseudoscience itself. Even skeptics theorize that many of these things are due to hallucinations, optical illusions etc, you must be the first on the planet to believe that no theory at all explains it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    Did you read this bit?
    To those who are open to PSI existing.
    Yes I did. But the question you asked is not limited to fools like that. They can't be helped (except under very rare circumstances)
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    some studies on quantum physics that may lead to an explanation of psi that agrees with the theory of a nonphysical and conceptual world.


    Anyone who tries to transfer concepts like quantum physics into biology, psychology or realms beyond has to step very carefully. This is strictly still in the regions of analogy, metaphor or maybe philosophy.

    There is no hypothesis or logic or any other useful process for extending quantum physics nomenclature or reasoning beyond its own limits. The fact that some day, someone, somewhere might be able to advance a reasonable argument is no excuse for latching onto any argument of any kind that just uses these ideas as buzzwords. Amit Goswami may be a theoretical physicist, but he's also one of those scientists (Paul Davies is another) who wants to link their science with religion rather than leave them to their separate domains as most scientists of faith do.

    As a bit of general advice. Any book (that's not a textbook), article or advertisement that touts words like quantum, resonance or vibrations should be examined very, very carefully or, preferably, dismissed without further thought.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    To those who are open to PSI existing.
    I am open to the idea. However as there is absolutely zero evidence I would assume, currently, that it doesn't exist. Therefore no explanatory theories are necessary. No explanations could be plausibly developed in the absence of evidence for the phenomenon. You might as well say it caused by invisible pink flying unicorns whispering in your ear. That has just as much support as any "quantum vibration energy resonance" hokum.

    Michael Persinger claims that much of paranormal phenomena can be explained bylow frequency (ELF) electromagnetic waves.
    Or elves.


    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    As a bit of general advice. Any book (that's not a textbook), article or advertisement that touts words like quantum, resonance or vibrations should be examined very, very carefully or, preferably, dismissed without further thought.
    I just thought that was worth repeating as a bit of very sound advice.
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    Gerald Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle thattravels faster than the speed of light
    Emphasis on "theoretical". There is no evidence whatsoever that tachyons exist.
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    I don't know.... I always say time travel explains it the best. If you own a time machine, you don't have to push the button to activate it. You just have to make up your mind that you will push it at some point in the future.

    So, the "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" hypothesis of the paranormal is:

    1) - Someday in the future mankind achieves a Utopian society.

    2) - They discover time travel.

    3) - Well.... it's a time machine, right? So no reason they can't give the gift to their ancestors as well. Just so long as they're careful to avoid creating temporal contradictions. This leads to the possibility of resurrecting their ancestors from the dead (kind of), by going back in time and - Maybe scanning their brains???? --- Something like that.

    So, people in the present can think thoughts and see them happen because our descendants are planning to give us all access to their technology, and a strongly formed intention will remain in your mind until whenever it is that you have the chance to complete the cycle of events. That would explain prayer (including the perception that some prayers are occasionally "answered"), along with most psychic phenomena you can imagine. It also explains ghosts - as well as the limitations ghosts appear to experience in trying to interact with people in the present (they're not allowed to create any serious temporal contradictions.)
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    Talking of Bill and Ted, have you noticed how they come to know Rufus's name?
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    I don't know.... I always say time travel explains it the best.
    Explains what best ? There is no scientific evidence whatsoever for anything in the way of psychic phenomena. Thus no wild speculative theories are needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Gerald Feinberg's concept of a tachyon, a theoretical particle thattravels faster than the speed of light
    Emphasis on "theoretical". There is no evidence whatsoever that tachyons exist.
    You seem to have a problem with theoretical science concepts, bit of a contradiction as theres no evidence your hypothetical "dark matter" of the Big Bang exists either, nobody has ever seen, touched, weighed, observed or experimented on it yet you believe in it dont you?
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    You seem to have a problem with theoretical science concepts, bit of a contradiction as theres no evidence your hypothetical "dark matter" of the Big Bang exists either, nobody has ever seen, touched, weighed, observed or experimented on it yet you believe in it dont you?
    Where in this thread did I even mention "dark matter" ? Please point it out, or stop making ungrounded accusations. This is not about dark matter. My exact words where :

    Emphasis on "theoretical". There is no evidence whatsoever that tachyons exist.
    And I say it again to you : tachyons are hypothetical. There is no evidence that they exist, nor are they required by any current theory. I have no problem at all with theoretical science concepts, I only have a problem with people coming on here to make wild speculations about PSI and psychic phenomena, the existence of which is completely speculative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    You seem to have a problem with theoretical science concepts, bit of a contradiction as theres no evidence your hypothetical "dark matter" of the Big Bang exists either, nobody has ever seen, touched, weighed, observed or experimented on it yet you believe in it dont you?
    Why do you think dark matter was hypothesized if it weren't for the evidence?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    You seem to have a problem with theoretical science concepts, bit of a contradiction as theres no evidence your hypothetical "dark matter" of the Big Bang exists either, nobody has ever seen, touched, weighed, observed or experimented on it yet you believe in it dont you?
    Why do you think dark matter was hypothesized if it weren't for the evidence?
    What evidence?

    Too many Hypothetical Entities--Dark Matter and Energy, Inflation
    The Big Bang theory requires THREE hypothetical entities--the inflation field, non-baryonic (dark) matter and the dark energy field to overcome gross contradictions of theory and observation. Yet no evidence has ever confirmed the existence of any of these three hypothetical entities. Indeed, there have been many lab experiments over the past 23 years that have searched for non-baryonic matter, all with negative results. Without the hypothetical inflation field, the Big Bang does not predict an isotropic (smooth) cosmic background radiation(CBR). Without non-baryonic matter, the predictions of the theory for the density of matter are in self-contradiction, inflation predicting a density 20 times larger than any predicted by light element abundances (which are in contradiction with each other). Without dark energy, the theory predicts an age of the universe younger than that of many stars in our galaxy.

    No Big Bang : Contents

    No room for dark matter
    While the Big bang theory requires that there is far more dark matter than ordinary matter, discoveries of white dwarfs(dead stars) in the halo of our galaxy and of warm plasma clouds in the local group of galaxies show that there is enough ordinary matter to account for the gravitational effects observed, so there is no room for extra dark matter.
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    What evidence ?
    These ones :

    1. Galactic rotation curves
    2. Velocity dispersion of galaxies
    3. Galaxy clusters
    4. Gravitational lensing
    5. CMB
    6. Baryon acoustic oscillations
    7. Type Ia supernovae distance measurements
    8. Lyman-Alpha forest
    9. Large-scale structure formation

    I could go on, but you probably get the idea.
    Oh, and just for the record : I am not a fan of dark matter. It seems very ad-hoc to me. However, I do realize that it is the most fitting explanation for the above observational evidence, so for the moment I am happy enough to advocate the idea until it is either proven, or someone comes up with a much better explanation. There are other approaches, like this one :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_fluid

    However, they are not yet sufficiently developed to be able to replace the dark matter model.
    Last edited by Markus Hanke; March 11th, 2012 at 06:20 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    What evidence?
    What Markus said. Also:

    1) It is good form to provide a reference when you quote things.
    2) It is normally sensible, in a discussion of science, to cite scientific sources (ideally peer-reviewed papers) rather than made up nonsense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    What evidence ?
    These ones :

    1. Galactic rotation curves
    2. Velocity dispersion of galaxies
    3. Galaxy clusters
    4. Gravitational lensing
    5. CMB
    6. Baryon acoustic oscillations
    7. Type Ia supernovae distance measurements
    8. Lyman-Alpha forest
    9. Large-scale structure formation

    I could go on, but you probably get the idea.
    Oh, and just for the record : I am not a fan of dark matter. It seems very ad-hoc to me. However, I do realize that it is the most fitting explanation for the above observational evidence, so for the moment I am happy enough to advocate the idea until it is either proven, or someone comes up with a much better explanation. There are other approaches, like this one :

    Dark fluid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    However, they are not yet sufficiently developed to be able to replace the dark matter model.
    We dont need any of this magical dark fluid or dark matter, most observations can be explained by electromagnetism and plasma, some of those especially the early number on your list can be explained by the plasma theory. Why not use things that we do know exist to explain the observations, why invent magical inventions instead?

    This is from Eric Lerner:

    The existence of "dark matter"

    Dark matter, or "non-baryonic" matter is a hypothetical form of matter different from any observed on Earth but which is nonetheless required by the Big Bang. Current versions of the (ever-changing) theory require that total gravitating matter density be equal to 0.3 of the critical density but that of ordinary, baryon matter be only 0.05 of the critical density. This means that 0.25 of the critical density has to be in the form of some undiscovered, non-baryonic matter, generally described as Wimps, weakly interacting massive particles.

    This "cold dark matter" or CDM, was hypothesized as essential for the Big Bang theory back in 1980--23 years ago. Since then physicists have searched diligently with dozens of experiments for any evidence of the existence of these dark matter particle here on Earth. Oddly enough every one of the experiments has had negative results. In fields of research other than cosmology this would have long ago led to the conclusion that CDM does not exist. But Big Bang cosmology does not taken "NO" for an answer. So the failure to find the CDM after so many experiments does not in any way shake the faith of Big Bangers in such CDM. This is evidence that what we are dealing with here is a religious faith, not a scientific theory that can be refuted by experiment or observation.

    The idea that neutrinos might form a bath of Hot Dark Matter has also been undermined by experiments that indicate that while neutrinos do probably have some mass, it is of the order of 0.1 eV (energy equivalent), which means that total neutrino mass in the universe is likely to be around one tenth of the mass of ordinary matter.

    Wright argues that the existence of dark matter if proved by the difference between the total gravitating mass inferred for galaxies and cluster of galaxies and the mass in observable stars. But this is an absurd non-sequitor. Observations have demonstrated that stars constitute only a small fraction of the total mass of ordinary matter that can be observed. In clusters of galaxies we can observe by X-ray emissions huge clouds of hot plasma, which have masses far greater than that of bright stars.

    There is extensive observational evidence for ordinary matter in two other forms that are relatively dim, One is white dwarfs in the halos of spiral galaxies. Recent observations of high proper motion stars have shown that halo white dwarfs constitute a mass of about 1011 solar masses, comparable to about half the total estimated mass of the Galaxy [R.A. Mendez and D. Minnitti ,Astrophys. J., vol. 529, p.911; B.R. Oppenheimer et al Science, 292, p. 698]. While these observations have been sharply criticized, they have been confirmed by new observations [R. A. Mendez ,arXiv:astrop-ph/0207569].

    Observations of ultraviolet and soft x-ray absorption has revealed the existence of "warm plasma' with a temperature of only about 0.2keV, which amounts to a mass comparable to that of the entire Local group of galaxies.(Nature 421, 719). If we adds up the warm plasma, which is sufficiently dim to be observable only as it absorbs radiation from more dim objects, the hot plasma, and the white dwarfs, we have enough matter to equal that which is inferred by the gravitational mass of cluster of galaxies. So there is no need for non-baryonic matter and there is no room for it either.

    Conclusion: the evidence against the existence of non-baryonic"dark" matter is stronger than ever. Ordinary matter is only the only type of matter that exists.
    It is good form to provide a reference when you quote things.
    I did, see here: No Big Bang : Contents

    It is normally sensible, in a discussion of science, to cite scientific sources (ideally peer-reviewed papers) rather than made up nonsense.
    Its not made up nonsense, and the majority of his work has been reviewed and appears in scientific papers.
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    most observations can be explained by electromagnetism and plasma
    Unfortunately any such model must be able to explain not just most, but all of the above observational evidence.
    Also, how do explain the dark energy effects via plasma ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    Its not made up nonsense, and the majority of his work has been reviewed and appears in scientific papers.
    Really? Not bad for a popular science writer. Care to list all these peer reviewed papers he has published? And, perhaps more importantly, how many other papers (not by the same author) cited them?

    But I am not going to argue about plasma cosmology as I don't know enough about the physics (I suspect that is true of you as well). It is prima facie nonsense and not accepted by any cosmologists.
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    Non-Locality. It sees all, knows all, feels all, at all times, in all places. But it's not God .. just another creation of God's, another tool, another sense, another window.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Non-Locality. It sees all, knows all, feels all, at all times, in all places. But it's not God .. just another creation of God's, another tool, another sense, another window.
    Reported for fairly blatant preaching
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Amit Goswami may be a theoretical physicist, but he's also one of those scientists (Paul Davies is another) who wants to link their science with religion rather than leave them to their separate domains as most scientists of faith do.

    Altho' I may be "off thread" here I would be interested in any opinions about Paul Davies. I have read some of his popular science books and, as a layperson, was quite impressed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Non-Locality. It sees all, knows all, feels all, at all times, in all places. But it's not God .. just another creation of God's, another tool, another sense, another window.
    Reported for fairly blatant preaching
    Preaching involves concept of right and wrong, good and evil: I merely differentiated between scientific non-locality and the person of God. Paleo you have failed very badly in any measurement here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    Did you read this bit?
    To those who are open to PSI existing.
    Yes I did. But the question you asked is not limited to fools like that. They can't be helped (except under very rare circumstances)
    I am open to the possiblity of PSI existing as I am open to the possibility of G varying over time, the Big Bang not having occured and plate tectonics being a fatally flawed model. If I close my mind to any possibility then I am no longer a scientist. Am I a fool. Meteor your automatic rejection of the extreme and what is traditionally pseudoscience has all the hallmarks of the dogma that you rightly despise in others. It ill becomes you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Non-Locality. It sees all, knows all, feels all, at all times, in all places. But it's not God .. just another creation of God's, another tool, another sense, another window.
    Reported for fairly blatant preaching
    Preaching involves concept of right and wrong, good and evil: I merely differentiated between scientific non-locality and the person of God. Paleo you have failed very badly in any measurement here.
    Non-locality can't convey information. It does not work like that AiE.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    Did you read this bit?
    To those who are open to PSI existing.
    Yes I did. But the question you asked is not limited to fools like that. They can't be helped (except under very rare circumstances)
    I am open to the possiblity of PSI existing as I am open to the possibility of G varying over time, the Big Bang not having occured and plate tectonics being a fatally flawed model. If I close my mind to any possibility then I am no longer a scientist. Am I a fool. Meteor your automatic rejection of the extreme and what is traditionally pseudoscience has all the hallmarks of the dogma that you rightly despise in others. It ill becomes you.
    It's not automatic rejection John. Show me some evidence and I'll be interested. Instead, what we get is pseudoscince from crackpots that don't have a basic understanding of what real science is. In profusion. So I do get a bit testy (pun intended) at times
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    It's not automatic rejection John. Show me some evidence and I'll be interested. Instead, what we get is pseudoscince from crackpots that don't have a basic understanding of what real science is. In profusion. So I do get a bit testy (pun intended) at times
    I would tend to agree. The problem with the entire area of PSI is that there isn't any documented, repeatable scientific evidence that it even exists at all, never mind a good model for how it might work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    It's not automatic rejection John. Show me some evidence and I'll be interested. Instead, what we get is pseudoscince from crackpots that don't have a basic understanding of what real science is. In profusion. So I do get a bit testy (pun intended) at times
    I would tend to agree. The problem with the entire area of PSI is that there isn't any documented, repeatable scientific evidence that it even exists at all, never mind a good model for how it might work.
    However, if we assume that such evidence can never exist and therefore automatically reject anyone who claims to have such evidence or that such evidence might arise then we are close minded and engaging in the same reliance on dogma that we rightly condemn in creationists and the like. Wayne assumed that this was another nonsense case and jumped to a concussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    It's not automatic rejection John. Show me some evidence and I'll be interested. Instead, what we get is pseudoscince from crackpots that don't have a basic understanding of what real science is. In profusion. So I do get a bit testy (pun intended) at times
    I would tend to agree. The problem with the entire area of PSI is that there isn't any documented, repeatable scientific evidence that it even exists at all, never mind a good model for how it might work.
    There is TONS of solid real life evidence. Those who accept it as evidence know it as reality, those who don't accept it call it fantasy or dream or coincidence. Until it happens to a person it is hard to accept, but once it happens, that person is at least very open to the reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post

    There is TONS of solid real life evidence.
    Such as...?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post

    There is TONS of solid real life evidence.
    Such as...?
    Any evidence presented would be considered unworthy of a science forum by some participants on this forum, but would be totally accepted by others. Why present it? It would result in more 'he said she said' endless nonsense.
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    In short Aristarchus, the evidende ia anecdotal, personal, sujective, not able to be replicated and basically a pile of bull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    In short Aristarchus, the evidende ia anecdotal, personal, sujective, not able to be replicated and basically a pile of bull.
    Well, except for the 'pile of bull' part, your description is apt, and places the evidence at status about 1000 times higher than Big Bang.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Well, except for the 'pile of bull' part, your description is apt, and places the evidence at status about 1000 times higher than Big Bang.
    Don't be silly.

    Paranormal phenomena have no objective, measurable evidence in their support and the field is populated by con artists and poor stage magicians.

    Cosmology is based on quantitative data, repeatable (and repeated) objective measurements, review of work by others, a sound basis in theory, many predictions which have been confirmed by observation and experiment, and healthy discussion of alternative possibilities.

    Which of those really sounds like it has the higher standards of evidence?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    Well, except for the 'pile of bull' part, your description is apt, and places the evidence at status about 1000 times higher than Big Bang.
    Don't be silly.

    Paranormal phenomena have no objective, measurable evidence in their support and the field is populated by con artists and poor stage magicians.

    Cosmology is based on quantitative data, repeatable (and repeated) objective measurements, review of work by others, a sound basis in theory, many predictions which have been confirmed by observation and experiment, and healthy discussion of alternative possibilities.

    Which of those really sounds like it has the higher standards of evidence?
    I have to say, Strange, that your view of paranormal study is my view of consensus cosmologists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aristarchus in Exile View Post
    I have to say, Strange, that your view of paranormal study is my view of consensus cosmologists.
    The only possible explanation for your view can be ignorance.

    I am not imagining the data from observation; I am not imagining the thousands of peer reviewed papers analysing the data; I am not imagining the mathematics. It exists, it is real. You can look at it and evaluate it. (Which is slightly different from evidence for paranormal phenomena which doesn't exist outside of your imagination.)
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    Paranormal phenomena have no objective, measurable evidence in their support and the field is populated by con artists and poor stage magicians.
    Yes I agree with lots of paranormal claims is filled with con artists and hoaxsters looking to make money but there is some interesting data involved, it would be ignorant to just say none of it exists before actually looking into it. Parapsychology (look it up) is an attempt to explain the paranormal with the scientific method.

    Now millions of people for 1000s of years have claimed to observe and experience apparitions, ghosts, poltergeists, forms of ESP etc etc. Even if one believes that all of these things just result from a psychological basis, it is neverless interesting to sometimes ponder about.

    The brain is attracted to the unknown and mysteries. We all at some time or another have thought in our heads if there may be an afterlife and what it may be like, or question reality and ponder if paranormal things actually exist. So there is no harm in openly discussing this stuff now and again.

    Back to the original post, is there any theory that you would avocate? Notice how dark matter has actually been argued by some parapsychologists to explain cases of psychokinesis!
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    Still waitng for actual EVIDENCE supporting it, as I have been for oh, 4 or 5 decades...
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    [Back to the original post, is there any theory that you would avocate? Notice how dark matter has actually been argued by some parapsychologists to explain cases of psychokinesis!
    There's no phenomena to explain, other than psychological ones. When wireless was invented, electromagnetism was invoked to "explain" paranormal phenomena. Then came quantum theory, whose complexity stimulated a woo explosion. Dark matter is just the latest in a long run of sad attempts to explain that which does not exist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Still waitng for actual EVIDENCE supporting it, as I have been for oh, 4 or 5 decades...
    Which psychical journals have you read. If you dig up the SPR reports you can find 1000s of cases of witnesses of apparitions dated from 1880 to the present day, they are still publishing reports of this stuff daily even. The evidence is there, just many people don't bother to search for it. You have not read into this topic and that is the problem, I am not saying these claims have been scientifically confirmed, but the reports are there, you can find them online.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne View Post
    Still waitng for actual EVIDENCE supporting it, as I have been for oh, 4 or 5 decades...
    Which psychical journals have you read. If you dig up the SPR reports you can find 1000s of cases of witnesses of apparitions dated from 1880 to the present day, they are still publishing reports of this stuff daily even. The evidence is there, just many people don't bother to search for it. You have not read into this topic and that is the problem, I am not saying these claims have been scientifically confirmed, but the reports are there, you can find them online.
    Hearsay isn't evidence. Lots of people claim to have seen Santa Claus, fairies, Satan, Elvis, Salem witches, etc. Repeated hearsay isn't evidence. Witnesses aren't reliable, either, as has been demonstrated countless times.

    Psychical journals are notorious for their low standards. To cite them as a source of data is folly.
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    The brain is attracted to the unknown and mysteries
    .

    And modern brain science tells us that we are 'primed' to recognise, even to seek out, patterns and the like. Very helpful for primitive people to work out seasons, un/familiar faces and circumstances, life or death observations indicating the presence or absence of predators. And pretty harmless if it also allows idle minds to 'recognise' patterns in clouds and stars.

    Not so harmless when modern people fool themselves and others into fruitless mysterious maunderings which obscure rather than explain the real, amazing wonder and mystery which surrounds us in our natural and social world.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    Which psychical journals have you read.
    I think what MeteorWayne was referring to is real evidence in real scientific, peer-reviewed publications.
    If you could reference even just one of these, we would have something to discuss here. Everything else is just pure speculation at best, and hogwash and worst.
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    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    I am not saying these claims have been scientifically confirmed
    And there's your problem. You seem to think that rumour, speculation and gossip have equal standing with scientific evidence. They don't.
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    We perceive reality based on templates, the brain manufactures your perception of reality based on approximations and extrapolations. If you dont think a house is haunted you might not even notice a noise or that a stain looks like a crying jesus, but if you think a house is haunted, you will be on the look out and find anything you might not otherwise have noticed to be suspicious. So imo, the best explanation for paranormal is psychological. Remember its not because that its idiotic to think theres a devil and that it is horrible to burn a human being at the stake, from our perspective, that it prevented people from actually thinking there was a devil and that a poor old woman was a witch responsible for Ebrahim's cold and that she was seen flying on a broom stick by drunken Joe, people have and do believe in crazy shit, it doesnt make the crazy shit true, oh wait, omg, I just saw a witch flying on a magical sham-wow out the window of the office building, maybe there are witches flying on cleaning objects after all! Add to this the fact that a number of charlatans make money or take advantage of BS like astrology, and that others find it interesting enough or it makes interesting elements to spice up fictional stories (creating a cultural background/reference). These references replace older ones, if you loose a sock in the laundry you wont say its because a leprechaun stole it or its because the old lady next door is a witch(which you might have thought 500 years ago), but you'll use new references and say its a ghost, ET's abducted the sock, there's a psychic disturbance, or that you had Bermuda pants in the dryer which resulted in a localised mini-Bermuda triangle, etc. If a lady at work is spooked by a ceiling neon thats flickering, which is utterly trivial, imagine if you told her that someone died in the building and since then 'some people' say the 14th floor was haunted, she would be going out of her mind with everything that other people would never even notice or notice but not give a crap about.

    Now if you wanted to make a story in which theres something actually going on, imo the best explanation would be aliens with advanced technology roaming around the earth unnoticed with some sort of cloaking or phase technology, but presumably such a situation would only explain a small part of sightings/claims to be plausible and there would still be room for claims by people tricked by psychology(perceptual/cultural templates) and unusual(but normal) events.
    Last edited by icewendigo; March 26th, 2012 at 01:01 PM.
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    I am new to The Science Forum and have been reading threads on this site for the last few days. Now I have decided to make a comment about something that I have seen in so many threads.

    The idea of science is to ask questions and to find an answer to. I find it very frustrating when a question is posed and then every man (or woman) and his keyboard strive to discredit whoever posed that question as it challenges their way of thought, or current conjecture. Science is very much an evolving system of knowledge that needs questions to be continually asked otherwise no new areas of thought could ever be discovered and we might as well live back in the dark ages.

    Consider Darwin for a moment. The world thought he was bonkers when he proposed evolution, where at the time the current conjecture was to believe in the almighty and powerful. He broke the mould in starting to make people see beyond what was their belief system for the entire age of mankind. A creationist world is not how this world came about etc.

    The likes of Copernicus and Galilei challenged the norm of a set idea that the Earth is not the centre of the universe.

    Also the idea from quantum mechanics of a possible multiverse is nothing but a theory yet I do not see every man and his keyboard disputing the facts behind that, because it can be possible. The reason science has barely touched on ESP is because to date for the majority of scientists it goes beyond their current system of logical thought.

    ESP has been cited in every culture that has graced this planet and is still strongly believed in many cultures of today. The Polynesian races, Buddhist cultures, Caribbean cultures just to name a few. So to say it does not exist is foolish. There is more to this world and this universe than just science.


    Quote Originally Posted by forests View Post
    John Beloff a well known parapsychologist concluded that PSI occurs becuase ofdualism ie the mind and brain are separate. Amit Goswami however in his book“The Self-Aware Universe”, lists some studies on quantum physics that may leadto an explanation of psi that agrees with the theory of a nonphysical andconceptual world. He explains that in quantum physics, objects are not seen asdefinite things. Instead, objects are possibilities, viewed as something called“possibility waves”. Of course his interpretation due to his research inquantum physics has lead him to formulate idealistic monism, that onlyconsciousness exists in the universe and everything is part of it, he arguesagainst dualism
    I am of the opinion that the body; mind; and brain are separate entities. For a person to pick up on ESP requires a heightening sense of awareness, that, just like our other senses takes time to develop. If you look at it like this: the body is the shell of the vehicle, the brain is the mechanics of the car and the mind is the battery. You can still have the shell of the vehicle and the mechanics but without the battery it is only but a shell. That battery is what gives it life.

    It is amazing at how consciousness is so adapt to our environment that it evolves as we live to deal with our conditions. Psychologically, to those that are medically trained will undoubtedly believe a drug will fix the problem.

    however, I believe it is this yet unscripted idea of an extra sensory perception that will become the next evolution in mankind. Maybe due to todays commercialisation of media, be it social or scientific, there seems to be more cases of ESP occurances. I will put a lot of it down to hoax but the overwhelming evidence of ESP existing is too great to ignore.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    The reason science has barely touched on ESP is because to date for the majority of scientists it goes beyond their current system of logical thought.
    No, the reason it has been barely touched on is because there is no scientific evidence for this phenomenon to even exist. By "scientific" I mean that the evidence comes in the form of a repeatable, documentable experiment. We just don't have that.

    By the way, welcome to The Science Forum, RJC.
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    What Markus said. And...

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    The idea of science is to ask questions and to find an answer to.
    And to find those answers using objective, measurable and repeatable evidence.

    Whenever the claims of ESP are tested in this way, they just ... fade away... Almost as if they don't exist. If something does an almost perfect imitation of not existing, I think we might as well assume it doesn't exist.

    Consider Darwin for a moment. The world thought he was bonkers when he proposed evolution, where at the time the current conjecture was to believe in the almighty and powerful. He broke the mould in starting to make people see beyond what was their belief system for the entire age of mankind. A creationist world is not how this world came about etc.

    The likes of Copernicus and Galilei challenged the norm of a set idea that the Earth is not the centre of the universe.
    These examples are irrelevant because ...

    ESP has been cited in every culture that has graced this planet and is still strongly believed in many cultures of today.
    ... and there is still no evidence for it. If something has been discussed for so long in so many cultures and yet there is still no sign of its existence, it seems reasonable to doubt its existence.

    I am of the opinion that the body; mind; and brain are separate entities.
    You can have whatever opinion you want. However, we are discussing science here. Opinions don't count. Evidence does.

    It is amazing at how consciousness is so adapt to our environment that it evolves as we live to deal with our conditions.
    And it is amazing that the hole a puddle sits in is perfectly shaped to match the water.

    I will put a lot of it down to hoax but the overwhelming evidence of ESP existing is too great to ignore.
    Could you cite some of this "overwhelming evidence"? And note, because this is a science forum, "overwhelming evidence" does not mean newspaper stories, TV shows, so-called spiritualists using cold reading techniques, books written by people to make money, etc. I mean scientific evidence: measurable, objective, repeatable, etc.
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    Hi JC, welcome to the forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    The idea of science is to ask questions and to find an answer to. I find it very frustrating when a question is posed and then every man (or woman) and his keyboard strive to discredit whoever posed that question as it challenges their way of thought, or current conjecture.
    I am delighted that you argue for an open approach to science. May I ask you to take another look at the instances you find so frustrating. I suggest that if you do so with an open mind you will find that the responses are actually based on one or more of the following:
    1. The proposed 'idea' is offered with no meaningful evidence in support of it.
    2. Such evidence as is offered is anecdotal, or unidentified as to source, or previously refuted, or incapable of being replicated.
    3. The entire concept has been previously debunked and refuted and the proposer is bringing nothing new to the table.
    4. The proposer indulges in woo-woo language ('It's a conspiracy of silence; scientists are trapped by dogma; they used to think the world was flat; etc.)

    The debunkers on this and other forums are actually longing for the day when one of science's current paradigms is overturned. Think of the excitement surrounding the possibility of FTL neutrinos. I would love for somone to demostrate that plate tectonics is false: what a glorious new era of research that would inspire. But no matter how much we long for the excitement of a paradigm shift there is no bloody way we'll compromise the scientific method by setting the bar low when it comes to standards of evidence and logic. (Any members out there who feel you've been unfairly characterised just pitch in.)

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    Consider Darwin for a moment. The world thought he was bonkers when he proposed evolution, where at the time the current conjecture was to believe in the almighty and powerful.
    Well, there it turns out you are mistaken. There had been several decades of an undercurrent in educated circles where the possibility of evolution was acknowledged and its probability argued for by many - including Darwin's own grandfather. What Darwin offered was a convincing argument for a particular mechanism. The idea enjoyed pretty broad acceptance in the science community within ten years, which is about the norm for a paradigm shift.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    Also the idea from quantum mechanics of a possible multiverse is nothing but a theory yet I do not see every man and his keyboard disputing the facts behind that, because it can be possible.
    Here's a quick tip - please don't get upset at the patronising tone. I'd talk to Stephen Hawkins the same way. Don't ever use the phrase 'nothing but a theory' on a science forum if you want to be taken seriously. Only creationists and teenagers with attitude use that. A theory is the highest level of certainty we achieve in science. Demeaning the concept as 'nothing but' shows you are ignorant of this fact and calls into question your knowledge of anything scientific.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    The reason science has barely touched on ESP is because to date for the majority of scientists it goes beyond their current system of logical thought.
    Well know. for most scientists it lies completely outside their field of interest. And those considerable number of studies that have been conducted have pretty well turned up precisely nothing, or - as the case with J.B. Rhine's pioneering work - were later refuted. Scientists are not going to waste their lives investigating something that all indications will turn out to be nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    ESP has been cited in every culture that has graced this planet and is still strongly believed in many cultures of today. The Polynesian races, Buddhist cultures, Caribbean cultures just to name a few. So to say it does not exist is foolish.
    Interesting. You said earlier that this world did not come about through creation, yet every culture that has graced this planet has argued for an act of creation by god, or gods and this is still strongly believed in many cultures today. So how come you reject the popularily held myth of creation even though many people believe in it, but wish to seriously consider ESP because many people believe in it. That, RJC, is wholly illogical.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    I am of the opinion that the body; mind; and brain are separate entities.
    This was a popular belief in Victorian times when, to use your words, the tendency was to "believe in the Almighty and Powerful". There is no significant evidence to support this contention. I understand it is an opinion, but opinions count for very little in science.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    For a person to pick up on ESP requires a heightening sense of awareness, that, just like our other senses takes time to develop.
    If ESP exists then this could very easily be true. I spent several years attempting to develop my clairvoyance, telekinesis and telepathy. I know it's only anecdotal evidence, but I drew a complete blank. I know of many others who had the same disappointing experience. (I still hope, but I see little possibility of the hope being realised.)

    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    however, I believe it is this yet unscripted idea of an extra sensory perception that will become the next evolution in mankind. Maybe due to todays commercialisation of media, be it social or scientific, there seems to be more cases of ESP occurances. I will put a lot of it down to hoax but the overwhelming evidence of ESP existing is too great to ignore.
    Excellent news. Please post some of this evidence here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    For a person to pick up on ESP requires a heightening sense of awareness, that, just like our other senses takes time to develop.
    If ESP exists then this could very easily be true. I spent several years attempting to develop my clairvoyance, telekinesis and telepathy. I know it's only anecdotal evidence, but I drew a complete blank. I know of many others who had the same disappointing experience. (I still hope, but I see little possibility of the hope being realised.)
    If such abilities existed, and if they differed from individual to individual, then they would offer a survival advantage. In which case they would have been selected for by evolution. That doesn't appear to have happened. Why might that be?

    Also, if they could be enhanced by training, then wouldn't you expect people to be competing in developing and showing off their skills - as they do with running, jumping, swimming, writing, performing... Why isn't there an "ESP Olympics"?
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    Why isn't there an "ESP Olympics"
    There would probably be a lot of cheating involved.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    If such abilities existed, and if they differed from individual to individual, then they would offer a survival advantage. In which case they would have been selected for by evolution. That doesn't appear to have happened. Why might that be?
    Very interesting argument, Strange. This never occured to me before, but you are absolutely right in postulating this.
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    They don't want to reveal themselves in case the Illuminati track them down.
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    Thank you to all that replied to my post and for pointing out a few errors on my part. I have taken what you have said and will endeavour to choose my words more carefully and I retract my last post as a result.

    Though the idea is still there.

    PS: still trying to figure out how to quote multiple posts etc... That would make this so much easier.
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    I was lucky to purchase over 600 books on the paranormal, ESP etc a few years ago on ebay. Over the years I have been going through all of them. Firstly the main problem with parapsychology is that there is no agreed theory behind it.

    You might want to read this section on wikipedia:

    Parapsychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Lets look at these theories, most may only make it to the hypothesis stage.

    Firstly dualism is philosophy not a science, and if the brain and mind are separate I think that would actually would entail the violation of physical laws, such as the conservation of energy. Also the idea that every is consciousness ie idealism is philosophy not science.

    Undentified particles - is a fascinating idea, but this is all hypothetical we have never discovered or tested these particles.

    Observer effect of Quantum physics - A major misunderstanding by new age and paranormal writers. This is not going to explain anything.

    Dimensional theories - This one is one of my favourites, for example what if a fourth dimension did exist, not only would this be able to explain apparitions and stuff like that but also ESP and telepathy. Unfortunately we can not test any of this (yet). But based on indirect evidence we may have a case?

    Psychological - Interesting stuff, and there is a valid case here, depending on which theorists are read.

    Electromagnetic - One of the only physical theories of parapsychology ever proposed. Has been tested with results by Persinger, but little other research has been done currently.

    the overwhelming evidence of ESP existing is too great to ignore.
    Yes there is overwhelming evidence in the animal and plant kingdom for this and there is nothing paranormal about it, just other senses than the traditional known five at work. The problem is there is no (currently) repeatable evidence for its existence in humans, now the reason this might be is becuase of regressive evolution, and man has lost it, I think that the pineal gland is the origin for ESP - most humans have it currently inactive, but can be activated through certain training.
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    I think that the pineal gland is the origin for ESP - most humans have it currently inactive, but can be activated through certain training
    Do you have evidence for this? Why the pineal gland?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    Thank you to all that replied to my post and for pointing out a few errors on my part. I have taken what you have said and will endeavour to choose my words more carefully and I retract my last post as a result.

    Though the idea is still there.

    PS: still trying to figure out how to quote multiple posts etc... That would make this so much easier.
    My hat is off to you RJC. Most people at this point dig in their heels and start defending the indefensible. You have absolutely adopted the scientific approach and paid heed to new information and new pespectives. Nice job!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    Thank you to all that replied to my post and for pointing out a few errors on my part. I have taken what you have said and will endeavour to choose my words more carefully and I retract my last post as a result.
    Though the idea is still there.
    RJC, you have no idea how glad I am to see a statement like this on here. Kudos to you. A very refreshing change from the usual "you don't want to think outside the box !" crackpot drivel.
    Once again, welcome to this forum.
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    RJC:
    I echo the sentiments of John and Markus. I am impressed. Looking forward to further contributions.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
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