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Thread: Paranormal Topics and Scientific Method

  1. #1 Paranormal Topics and Scientific Method 
    Forum Sophomore Vaedrah's Avatar
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    The paranormal arena currently contains a wide range of topics for investigation,

    1. Astral Travel (as discussed on another thread); possibly a self guided dream state with a specific entry and exit procedure (hypnagogic images, vibration, entry)

    2. Near Death Experiences (NDE); often reported by people passing through a transitory "near death" state during medical operations.

    3. Out of Body Experience (OBE) - witnessing external events from a remote position

    4. Remote Viewing - structured multiple viewer methodology to assess future and distant outcomes (used apparently by USA and USSR for possible military advantage)

    5. Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) - ghost voice acquisition on analog or digital tape recorders

    6. Shadow People - ephemeral, fleeting images that are caught out of the corner of the eye

    7. Abductions - self explanatory

    8. Implants - as above

    9. - "UFOs" - as above

    10. Aliens - apparently many types e.g. "greys" etc

    I am sure there are many more.

    Science, perhaps, has two main phases; phase 1 is conjectural and requires imagination and foresight prior to formulating a more solid framework. This phase has many false paths and is experimental. The second phase is one of refinement. In this phase, theories can be proposed and tested, used to corroborate ideas or to reject ideas.

    Quantum mechanics, for example, didn't get invented overnight; it must have taken a lot of preliminary conjecture before it could be formulated as communicable ideas.

    Even in science though, people are not always rational. From memory, Pythagoras had a student Hisspassis (excuse my spelling) who proved that the square root of two could not be rational i.e. not p/q where p and q are integers with no common factors. This infuriated Pythagoras - surely numbers must be "perfect". Pythagoras needed a solution and thought long and hard on the problem at hand. Then he had an idea. One day Hissapassis was sailing on the ocean. Pythagoras had Hisspassis thrown overboard. Hisspassis drowned. The problem was solved.

    The difficulty with paranormal research is that it remains in phase 1 and is difficult to replicate. This is not necessarily a permanent situation. Further, some phenomenon may be associated with intelligent agents that do not wish for their presence to be discerned. This could be a "cop out" as science has no obligation to prove theories; it just follows a useful methodology that has secure progress. It is not strong on imagination per se, but it is strong on process.

    There may be many things that exist that evade immediate observation. "Dark matter" is one such example; presumably proposed as an alternative to Einstein's "cosmological constant" - a fiddle factor introduced to "stabilize" the evolution of the universe (predictive theory). However we can only infer its existence but not infer "dark matter" as representing a sole explanation. Is "Dark Matter" therefore in the same category as many paranormal phenomena?

    It seems sensible to me at least that theories should progress from a conjectural phase to one of refinement and testability. I have heard that Princeton University has a number of EGGs (I forget the acronym) scattered around the world generating random numbers. These are communicated back to a central site and analyzed for probability anomalies, like unexpected correlations. It has been claimed that correlation "spikes" occur when certain major earth events occur, e.g. prior to large earthquakes, the twin towers incident etc.

    So science sometimes takes "paranormal" concepts seriously - at least for the purpose of experiment. Again, from Einstein wrt particle entanglement, "spooky action at a distance" is one of his quotes I read on the subject :wink: [/i]


    "The sky cannot speak of the ocean, the ocean cannot speak of the land, the land cannot speak of the stars, the stars cannot speak of the sky"
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  3. #2  
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    Vaedrah

    One thing about this Universal Mind as I call it, is not something you can use 'on command' as science requires.

    Also, to be aware of this phenomenon, you can ba aware of it by the mind only, as far as I am concernered.

    You become aware of separate events that coinside and defy the probability of happening.

    Cosmo


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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Vaedrah, you wrote a nice post - I missed it first time around - but you didn't express any clear opinion on any aspect, nothing to get ones teeth into. It was more like an observation - nice waether today. Could you say what you think of para-normal phenomena? Should science investigate them nore thoroughly, for example?
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  5. #4 Re: Pain is a paranormal phenomenon 
    Forum Masters Degree pavlos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Post-Science
    Subject: Pain is a paranormal phenomenon

    I sympathize with the non-response to your thoughtful post, which in the opinion of post-science touches an advanced topic in post-science life science.

    Pain is a paranormal phenomenon. Post-science believes pain is an illusion.
    What a complete bunch of BS, you've got it wrong, it's empathetic pain which is a paranormal phenomena.
    Pain is not paranormal, please talk sense.
    A logician saves the life of a tiny space alien. The alien is very grateful and, since she's omniscient, offers the following reward: she offers to answer any question the logician might pose. Without too much thought (after all, he's a logician), he asks: "What is the best question to ask and what is the correct answer to that question?" The tiny alien pauses. Finally she replies, "The best question is the one you just asked; and the correct answer is the one I gave."
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  6. #5 Re: Pain is a paranormal phenomenon 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pavlos
    What a complete bunch of BS, you've got it wrong, it's empathetic pain which is a paranormal phenomena.
    .
    You think empathetic pain is paranormal? That is just ludicrous. Would you care to defend your position?


    Jumpulse, please be careful when posting. Instead of replying to Pavlos you started a whole new thread. I have merged your post this time. Next time I may just delete it - so much easier. Thank you.
    O.
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  7. #6  
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    bah, just because you don't understand something, doesn't neccesarily mean its paranormal.
    read some books on the subject before you make up your mind.
    you'll find a lot of our feelings are based on very complex chain of chemicals.
    it all might seem confusing because our body has the ability to link pleasure and pain chemicals based on nerve impulses stored in the brain.
    so whenever we experience it again, or sees something that reminds us of that event, the body rewards you, or punishes you.
    just take nostalgia for example. things that happened early in life seems to give the strongest impulses, and the very fact you don't remember a lot of your early life just
    gives you that feeling of deja-vu, and no way of explaining why something makes you feel such and such. i'm not an expert in the field, but i'm sure someone more knowledgeable on the subject will be able to fill in gaps, or correct potential errors in my post.
    when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth
    A.C Doyle
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  8. #7 Re: Paranormal Topics and Scientific Method 
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    Excellent post. I think the point you are making is that so-called paranormal stuff must move beyond the conjecture stage into the refinement stage (i.e. experimental stage) before a valid scientific theory can be developed. Even at the most advanced stage, new tests and challenges should be made.

    If regular predictions can be made, then you have something greater than tarrot cards or speculative science--you have value. :-D
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  9. #8  
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    The mind is capable of immensities when pushed to extremes. Most 'paranormal experiences' are observed by people in the first instance (I'm not including 'poltergeists')...perhaps, the link between the observer and the spectre is more intimate than is widely thought...? Perhaps, string theory permitting, another universe/reality is utilised by both parties - but only seperated by time.

    just a thought
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  10. #9 Re: Paranormal Topics and Scientific Method 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaedrah
    The paranormal arena currently contains a wide range of topics for investigation,

    1. Astral Travel (as discussed on another thread); possibly a self guided dream state with a specific entry and exit procedure (hypnagogic images, vibration, entry)

    2. Near Death Experiences (NDE); often reported by people passing through a transitory "near death" state during medical operations.

    3. Out of Body Experience (OBE) - witnessing external events from a remote position

    4. Remote Viewing - structured multiple viewer methodology to assess future and distant outcomes (used apparently by USA and USSR for possible military advantage)

    5. Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) - ghost voice acquisition on analog or digital tape recorders

    6. Shadow People - ephemeral, fleeting images that are caught out of the corner of the eye

    7. Abductions - self explanatory

    8. Implants - as above

    9. - "UFOs" - as above

    10. Aliens - apparently many types e.g. "greys" etc

    I am sure there are many more.

    Science, perhaps, has two main phases; phase 1 is conjectural and requires imagination and foresight prior to formulating a more solid framework. This phase has many false paths and is experimental. The second phase is one of refinement. In this phase, theories can be proposed and tested, used to corroborate ideas or to reject ideas.

    Quantum mechanics, for example, didn't get invented overnight; it must have taken a lot of preliminary conjecture before it could be formulated as communicable ideas.

    Even in science though, people are not always rational. From memory, Pythagoras had a student Hisspassis (excuse my spelling) who proved that the square root of two could not be rational i.e. not p/q where p and q are integers with no common factors. This infuriated Pythagoras - surely numbers must be "perfect". Pythagoras needed a solution and thought long and hard on the problem at hand. Then he had an idea. One day Hissapassis was sailing on the ocean. Pythagoras had Hisspassis thrown overboard. Hisspassis drowned. The problem was solved.

    The difficulty with paranormal research is that it remains in phase 1 and is difficult to replicate. This is not necessarily a permanent situation. Further, some phenomenon may be associated with intelligent agents that do not wish for their presence to be discerned. This could be a "cop out" as science has no obligation to prove theories; it just follows a useful methodology that has secure progress. It is not strong on imagination per se, but it is strong on process.

    There may be many things that exist that evade immediate observation. "Dark matter" is one such example; presumably proposed as an alternative to Einstein's "cosmological constant" - a fiddle factor introduced to "stabilize" the evolution of the universe (predictive theory). However we can only infer its existence but not infer "dark matter" as representing a sole explanation. Is "Dark Matter" therefore in the same category as many paranormal phenomena?

    It seems sensible to me at least that theories should progress from a conjectural phase to one of refinement and testability. I have heard that Princeton University has a number of EGGs (I forget the acronym) scattered around the world generating random numbers. These are communicated back to a central site and analyzed for probability anomalies, like unexpected correlations. It has been claimed that correlation "spikes" occur when certain major earth events occur, e.g. prior to large earthquakes, the twin towers incident etc.

    So science sometimes takes "paranormal" concepts seriously - at least for the purpose of experiment. Again, from Einstein wrt particle entanglement, "spooky action at a distance" is one of his quotes I read on the subject :wink: [/i]
    Well I certainly don't believe in paranormal science -- it is a contradiction in terms. Either something has a scientific explanation and thus is usable (manipulable) by anyone (because a scientific explanation based on what is observable by anyone), or it is spiritual and subjective and thus irrelevant to scientific inquiry and thus unreliable by comparison.

    Some of these things may be possible via some future technology in which case a scientific investigation of them may be fruitful, but in that case it has nothing to do with religion or spirituality. However all of these phenomena display the classic characteristics of spiritual phenomena which means they are quite subjectively perceived and easily debunked by the rigorous skeptic. In other words, I think it has been shown that none of these will stand up under objective scientific scrutiny, but I don't that necessarily means that there is nothing to them -- not that I have a great deal of interest in actually pursuing such phenomena either way.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  11. #10  
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    The paranormal items fascinate me for the same reason I'd be fascinated by, say, someone's unaccountable phobia of worms. There's something under there, a secret door. Something actually very important and worth solving.

    Some paranormal items are just side effects of local zeitgeist, like the culturally preferred modes of insanity, so easily explained, but a few seem hard-wired and universal. Dragons for example. Even the Inuit had dragons. What's that all about?
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  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Dragons for example. Even the Inuit had dragons. What's that all about?
    Dinosaur bones providing the seeds for imaginative story telling? Long traditions that continue to be told even when they have migrated to a new area?
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

    I now have a blog too: http://astahost.blogspot.com/
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Dragons for example. Even the Inuit had dragons. What's that all about?
    Dinosaur bones providing the seeds for imaginative story telling? Long traditions that continue to be told even when they have migrated to a new area?
    I was thinking we mammals might be wired to fear a (larger) reptile when we meet it, thus the innate image. Kinda like a bunny needn't see a boa to just know that's bad news, and perhaps imagine a boa-like menace in its domestic little bunny dreams.

    If the instinct carried from early mammals to homo sapiens, we may still envision the serpent in proportion to ourselves, large enough to cram us down its throat. Can instincts carry so far?

    Maybe just big crocs and gators, given recent exposure.

    There's something to prehistoric finds of dinosaur bones though. For more than 3,000 years Chinese apothecaries have been grinding "dragon bones" for medicine. The hunks of fossilized bone are passed down through generations, some intact enough we know now they are in fact dinosaur not dragon. The bones are supposed to come from forgotten times. Some are etched with spidery, prehistoric "oracle script" so their relic value is fantastic. Prehistoric people must have examined exposed skeletons and astutely understood them to be reptiles... dragons. Then for three millennium the Chinese stubbornly upheld an often ridiculed belief that dragons were in fact real.
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  14. #13  
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    Vaedrah

    My opinion on this subject is that you have to 'experience' an event to prove it to yourself .

    Well, I have experienced many events that proves this Universal Mind as I call it to be real.

    But you can prove it to yourself with the Law of Probability by linking two events that have similaraties in time to rule out a simple cooincidence.

    So this may appear that your friends or family may be your enemies, so do not taker these events too sreiously.

    Cosmo
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