Is there a place for woo in science?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by Magical Realist, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    He says as he accuses me of trolling. Gee, I wonder if I'll get banned for this too?

    I don't know..We shouldn't afterall rely on anecdotal accounts of the holocaust. Has there ever been any scientific proof of the holocaust? Has it ever been repeatable in a lab?

    OTOH, there are over 2800 paranormal investigation groups in the U.S. alone. That's over 2800 websites with photos and eyewitness reports of paranormal activity along with case study results. Sounds like massive corroborating evidence to me. Unless of course there's some worldwide secret conspiracy of paranormalists to deceive the world about such things. Hey, maybe it's the Masons! They're pretty wooish aren't they?
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  3. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    What you appear to be ignoring (perhaps because it's convenient for your stance) is that we don't RELY on anecdotal evidence.

    You're absolutely right!
    That's why we should let accused criminals go free, because they don't do their crimes in labs under strictly-controlled conditions.

    Is this some sort of insinuation that "number of investigators" relates directly to "veracity of claim"?

    Oh certainly.
    Over 2800 websites [sup]1[/sup] with posts of photos containing anomalies.
    But no hard evidence that the anomaly is a "ghost".

    Or alternatively: a large (but socially sustainable) number of people who are deceived (either by others or by themselves).

    1 Let's also add the rationality of websites and their users is highly variable. That not all "Paranormal Societies" are actually "Paranormal Investigators" and that, frankly, there are large numbers of websites (on just about any topic) that are so far gone even the majority of subscribers to [any given crank "theory"] think they're gaga.
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  5. Balerion Banned Banned

    Did he just ghosts = holocaust us?

    I have no words.
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  7. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    But at least no one mentioned Hitler.

    Oh. Shit...
  8. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    That's quite a claim coming from someone who said earlier: " I am not interested - at all - in seeing photos." So how did you arrive at this knowledge that all these photos and eyewitness accounts by experienced investigators are results of being "deceived"? How were they deceived? Do they not rule out mundane causes before suspecting the paranormal? Do they not crosscheck their results at a location with those of other paranormal investigators? Take Waverly Hills Sanitarium (see below) Many investigations have been conducted in this abandoned old bldg. and turned up similar results at the same locations in the bldg. How can all these groups be deceived in the same way about the same things? Have you even visited a paranormal investigator site? haven't have you? And yet you know all about it don't you? The mistakes they consistently make and/or the deceptive influences of sinister "others" on them. Are you psychic?
  9. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Yes, you're fairly consistent in ignoring context and the like aren't you?
    From various and numerous comments I've made my position should have been clear to you: a photo shows an anomaly.
    Exactly WHAT that anomaly is has yet to be determined.
    You - and many others like you - make the leap (as I have also remarked) "Anomaly = ghost".
    The fact is: "Anomaly = anomaly".
    (Which is why your only "rational" response when I asked how you could be sure it was "ghost" was, basically, "I just know").

    Oh, did you manage to miss what I actually wrote?
    Nowhere did I claim ALL photos and eyewitnesses [sup]1[/sup] ARE deceptions/ deceived.

    Ah, you mean the place with the VASTLY overblown myths/ claims attached to it?
    The one "investigated" by the fake TV series?

    You must be psychic!
    (Because few other people would make such an incorrect assumption and declare themselves to be right).
    In other words: you're wrong.

    1 You're also forgetting (conveniently) that many photos are accompanied with the claim "Well I saw nothing UNTIL the photo was developed". Ergo: no eyewitness.
  10. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    Indeed - photos exist of things that are not actually what they might appear to be (e.g. a photo seemingly of a concentration camp, and thus a crime, that is actually a still from a television show). That photo alone is not necessarily convincing evidence, but it is the corroboration of that photo with other evidence, and also the ability to refute other interpretations, that leads one to conclude on the veracity or otherwise of the scene depicted.
    Indeed. It is the ability to corroborate the evidence, and to be able to refute what may be more reasonable and rational explanations.
    Evidence is rarely proof because there is usually an alternative explanation. It is a matter of what one considers reasonable and rational as to how convincing we find the evidence.
    Why wouldn't they? Especially if they have a means of creating fake scenarios that give them a "positive" result. The matter is further murkied(?) by the publicity, reputation, prestige of a positive result - i.e. bias.
    Science attempts to remove such bias.
    People who spend time investigating usually have a vested interest in continuing the notion of the possibility.
    But I agree that corroboration helps strengthen evidence, but it is all relative.
    Further, you are still up against the notion of it being an extraordinary claim, and thus usually requires extraordinary evidence.
    If we capture something that we do not know what they are then we can say that we have captured something on film but don't know what it is. Too many people are afraid of saying "I don't know".
    The issue will arise when we try to say it is X when we have no means of knowing it is X other than wishful thinking, or desire etc.
    You say you know that they are ghosts... but not WHAT they are... so do you concede that they might be nothing more than tricks of the light or artefacts of the equipment? Afterall, if you don't know WHAT they are, why could they not be light or artefacts?
    Since you can't say WHAT they are, you are left to interpret without knowledge or without anything that suggests your interpretation is correct. But for some reason you then go with what most would consider an irrational interpretation.
    You thus make it an unscientific phenomenon, and to apply any science to it, and to try to justify it through science (i.e. pseudo-science) is to push up the potential for "woo" considerably.
    Sure, but in the approach I suggest you're not concluding without evidence. You are merely inviting opinion and, if you can, debunking their (hopefully rational) suggestions as to what it might be. If you can not debunk a conclusion that is more rational than "ghost" then to continue to conclude that it is a ghost would be irrational.
    The trolling, I imagine, is in persistence to claim without evidence that matches the extraordinary nature of the claim. This (accusations of trolling) can thus surely be overcome simply by not making claims?
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Knowing that a ghost is defined as a humanoid apparition, we can safely rule out smudges and light artifacts because these things don't consistently look like humans. Let me give you an example:

    Now this apparition has a known history of appearing at this location AND has photos confirming her existence. Should we really say that the pics are unknown as to what they are, just light artifacts that LOOK like a pink lady? No..that would be silly. One investigator captured the apparition in three consecutive photos, in addition to 2 separate locations. No light artifact could do that. We have corroborating evidence for the identity of WHO this is, but we don't have a solid idea about WHAT she is. Nevertheless, there she is.

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    Not when they are known to appear repeatedly firsthand and in other photos. The odds of the same light artifact or the same equipment malfunction resulting in the same shape and hue occurring over and over are beyond calculation. That it is indeed the same apparition that has a reputation of appearing there? Much less so..

    Because the same light artefact doesn't appear repeatedly in photos and to the naked eye.

    Actually the most rational explanation IS the paranormal one in those cases of repeated sightings and repeated photos and repeated audio recordings. Once again, corroborating evidence.

    Then we need a science of anomalous phenomena such that such phenomena can be investigated, confirmed, studied and integrated into our theoretical view of reality. Example: until only recently has the phenomena of earthquake lights even been acknowledged. But repeated photo evidence has made it so. While there are some theories about it, there is no conclusive explanation for it yet.

    Regardless of the credibility status of second-handed presented evidence and accounts, one thing we can say for sure: if anyone KNOWS the evidence is real it will be those who actually took the pics and saw the ghosts firsthand. There IS a way to be sure whether the paranormal is real or not, and that is simply to investigate it yourself. So it seems to me we should at least be listening to those who are doing just that if there is any hope in saying the paranormal is real at all. Or better yet, visiting haunted locations.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  12. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    It's articles by GH skeptics like this one that only confirm the authenticity of GH to me. Having read the so called debunker's 4 complaints, which amount to roughly that a third party could duplicate the result, I see nothing that suggests that GH is falsifying anything. I've watched this series intently since 2004 when it first aired, and have witnessed their results from over 100 investigations. If a skeptic can only find things like "well they altered the camera speed", or "the apparition was most likely an IR reflection", or "it could've been INVISIBLE fishing line", then I'd say that's pretty good proof GH is real. Surely in it's 15 odd years of being in business SOMEone would have come forward by now and exposed the Atlantic Paranormal Society as charlatans by now. But one has.
  13. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Why doesn't some psychic ask a ghost or other disembodied spirit to help him in a scientific experiment?
    Playing cards are turned over in a room next to the psychic.
    The ghost watches the cards being turned over then flits across and tells the psychic.
    The psychic says which cards were turned over with fantastic success.
    Much more than could happen through chance.
    Psychic communication, or ESP at least, is proven.

    Tell me why this never happens.
  14. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Ghosts are inherently unpredictable. What they do, if they even do anything, is up to them and whatever conditions enable them to manifest. It's like catching trout. You have to be patient and can't force them to do anything.
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Ah right.
    It's authentic because you believe it is.
    Any argument against it just means that you're right.
    And arguments like "One possible explanation is..." are obviously invalid because you KNOW what the real answer is.
    In other words (despite you posting on a science site) you're not only not doing science (what are the possible explanations here?) you're not interested in (or so deeply invested that you're incapable of) doing science.

    Regardless of the credence and any importance that YOU place on this society (or any other for that matter) the truth is that they are a very small blip on the radar of genuine science.
    In short, they haven't been thoroughly debunked because science has far better things to do with its time.
  16. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    No need for force.
    Out of the thousands/millions of ghosts, all you need to do is to contact with one of them who is willing to co-operate in a scientific experiment.
    Why is that a problem?
    Are ghosts incapable of acting rationally?

    If what they say cannot be relied upon to be true even above chance level, why listen to them at all?
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    To confirm their existence. Don't you want to know if they exist or not?
  18. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    An organization of ghost proponents should put up enough money for professional debunkers and a revered skeptic or two to hang around a "haunted site" for however many weeks / months it takes for something "live and direct" to finally happen. If the latter couldn't find any gimmickry that finally slipped through their trickster nets or provide a natural explanation for the event(s), then the former would at least have an anomaly with its foot tentatively caught in the doorway of respect. I expect the whole affair would still manage to be garbled and clobberered-up with confusion, however, by the time there were public accounts accessible to outsiders. Including a doofus or two in the ghost advocacy itself blunderingly doing / saying something to the media that later sabotaged their own "win". Spokesperson: Yeah, we unfortunately gave a Kramer and a Costanza in our ranks too much rope....
  19. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    I take back what I said earlier.
  20. Balerion Banned Banned

  21. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    This thread further damages my view of humanity as a whole... lol...
  22. Enmos Valued Senior Member


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    I hate to say it, but it doesn't damage mine any further

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  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Why is it a problem to ask Ghosts for specific information which is verifiable and testable?
    Such as the cards turned over in another room.
    Why will not a single spectre out of the many, do something which would prove their existence scientifically?

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