Parapsychology is incompatible with physics

Discussion in 'Parapsychology' started by mikemikev, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    To me it can be stated as the following:
    With out regard to extraordinary issues such as parapsychology, paranormal or other extremes, "normal" human behavior is essentially unpredictable. Science is incapable of dealing with unpredictable events.
    Humans are also not that well equipped to deal with their own unpredictability, as well I might add.
    It is simply by virtue of this inability to predict in a scientific way human behavior that is refined enough to extend into the Laws of Physics that leads to this conundrum as per the OP.
    Having a thread title "Physics is incompatible with human behavior" would probably be a better start before considering extremes like parapsychology etc.

    A couple of the ways humans manage to cope with this essential unpredictability is an attribute call "Faith" and "Good will", and these attributes are considerably contentious for the scientific community until it applies to their own faith in what they are attempting to do.

    Thousands of years of employing the scientific method have lead to humans developing a significant degree of Faith in what they believe is going on in the inanimate "non-living" universe due to it's inherent higher degree of predictability. (no free will - for want of better terms) however when Freewill, self determination and infinite variable influences are involved unpredictability is strongly evident rendering the scientific method impotent to a significant degree.

    Question, claim;
    If physics can not adequately address normal human behavior how can it possibly expect to address unpredictable extremes associated with human behavior?

    As an aside: Recent human events in the world especially in the Middle east, Europe etc and the inherent unpredictability involved in Climate change have shaken that faith both in scientific and human terms.
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Physics is incompatible with the study of human behavior because physics isn't the study of human behavior. Metallurgy isn't compatible with the study of human behavior either.

    Nothing can (by definition) predict unpredictable behavior. There are some attempts at studying highly chaotic behavior such as chaos theory. Science is certainly a better tool for this than "faith" or making things up. That can't lead to anything useful.

    Good results from the scientific method doesn't lead to "faith" in science. Faith is the belief in something with insufficient evidence for that belief.

    There is a belief that the scientific method will continue to work just as there is a belief that the sun will come up tomorrow. I have a well substantiated belief that the sun will come up tomorrow. I don't make that assumption on faith.

    Of course science can study living things and not just inanimate's called biology. When you take science out of it it's called Voodoo.

    Climate change wouldn't even be a subject if it were not for science. We would be throwing goats into the pit in an attempt to make it stop.
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    Why do you have a belief that the sun will come up tomorrow when science can not predict the unpredictable?
    What makes you believe that you have considered all the variables known and all the variables unknown to form that belief?

    Given that we do not even know what is happening in our universe beyond our solar system due to light info delays how can you possibly hold that belief?

    Even what we know about the sun is 8 minutes 20 seconds obsolete by the time we receive it.
    8 minutes may seem insignificant but in the exacting science of Physics, 8 minutes of ignorance is quite significant.
    so belief or faith?
    btw the solar maximum was not as per prediction this time round... any ideas why?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2015
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

    so you agree with the thread title then?
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I have confidence that the sun will likely come up tomorrow because it's not unpredictable. I suspect (but am not certain) that you share that same confidence.

    What does the speed of light have to do with whether the sun is going to come up tomorrow. If it doesn't come up I won't realize it for another 8 minutes but that has nothing to do with the probabilities involved in it coming up or not.

    Why draw an arbitrary line between our knowledge of our solar system and the rest of the universe? The informational delay is a continuum but so what?

    I think the sun will be there tomorrow and if it's not I won't know it for an additional 8 minutes. I think Alpha Proxima will be there tomorrow night but if it's not I won't know for another 4.2 years.

    I have no reason to think that they won't both be there tomorrow as neither is near the end of their expected lives.

    Actually if the sun "went out" tomorrow I think it would be much longer than 8 minutes before we would know. Although it takes 8 minutes for light to reach Earth from the sun's outer layer (corona) it takes thousands of years for a photon to makes its way to the surface from the core.

    It's a moot point (to me) anyway since the sun isn't going to suddenly "go out". By the time it reaches that stage life on Earth will already be extinguished by the red giant stage of the Sun's existence.

    Why weren't sun maximum predictions accurate this time around...who knows. There's an 11 year cycle but it's not like clockwork. We don't have all the answers. That's why science is interesting.

    Do I agree that parapsychology is incompatible with physics? Sure, it's incompatible with logic, experimentation, knowledge and most everything else other than fantasy. Santa Claus is incompatible with physics.

    Everything that isn't real is incompatible with physics.
  9. Dany Registered Member

    Magical Realist when you quote somebody you should use a quote-box. It seems most of your posts on this forum are pseudoscientific spam or attempting to pass off material from others as your own. But here you were quoting from Chris Carter, he is a well known pseudoscience promoter and spiritualist:
  10. Dany Registered Member

    Yes there may be other weak forces that we have not discovered. But you are wrong in the context of parapsychology because there would need to be a strong and long-range force but there is no evidence for one, if it existed it would have been observed by now but it hasn't. As the article below I quote points out "Since the human brain consists of ordinary matter, there is no possibility of explaining the phenomena claimed by parapsychology with the aid of new and unknown forces". Now some parapsychologists like to quote quantum quackery or stuff about quantum physics but that doesn't help because any force at a quantum level is not strong enough to explain the claims of parapsychology.

    Please read this article:

    And Sean Carroll discussed it here:

    There is no possible force for paranormal phenomena or parapsychology because they would be too weak. But anyway what we do know is that every single psychic or medium has been discovered to be a fraud or failed their test under scientific conditions. So psi has no scientific data and no theory. There is no psi. Why would there be? There is no magic. Parapsychology is wishful thinking. It is no different than religion and yes all of its claims are in contradiction with physics.
  11. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Wrong. Here's four classes of studies that proved the existence of esp and precognition:

    "There are presently four classes of published and carefully examined ESP experiments that are independently significant, with a probability of chance occurrence of less than one time in a million.

    1. Remote Viewing. Princeton University Professor Robert Jahn (Dean of Engineering) and his associate Brenda Dunn oversaw two decades of remote-viewing experiments with Princeton students as subjects. Students in the laboratory were asked to describe their mental impressions of what they saw at a site where someone was hiding at a randomly chosen distant location. “These remote-viewing students had to fill out a thirty-item questionnaire to quantify their perceptions in this game of psychic hide-and-go-seek. Their findings—spanning several years and comprising a series of 411 trials—showed that it is no harder to remote view hundreds of miles in the distance than it is to describe a person around the corner. Furthermore, it is no harder to describe a randomly chosen hiding place to be selected in the next hour, day, or week than it is to describe a hidden event underway at the same moment. Modern physics would describe these phenomena as nonlocal, in that they are experimentally found to be independent of space and time. Nonlocality and entanglement, which were first described by Erwin Schrödinger in the late 1920s, are now hot research topics in modern physics. This intriguing phenomenon is explained very clearly and amusingly by Anton Zeilinger, one of the world’s leading experimentalists in quantum optics, in his 2010 book Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Teleportation. Zeilinger writes:

    Entanglement describes the phenomenon that two particles may be so intimately connected to each other that the measurement of one instantly changes the quantum state of the other, no matter how far away it may be . . . this nonlocality is exactly what Albert Einstein called “spooky”; it seems eerie that the act of measuring one particle could instantly influence the other one.2

    Robert Jahn’s highly significant results were published in the Proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1982 as a replication of our original SRI remote-viewing experiments published in the same journal six years earlier.3 These data show odds greater than a billion to one (1.8 x 10-11) against chance expectation—strong evidence for the existence of nonlocal mind.

    2. Distant Mental Influence. In the 1970s and 1980s, William Braud and Marilyn Schlitz carried out nineteen successful experiments in what they called Distant Mental Influence on Living Systems (DMILS).4 In these experiments, a precursor to other distant-healing experiments supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the researchers showed convincingly that the thoughts of one person can affect the physiology (heart rate, skin resistance, etc.) of a distant person in another laboratory. Braud was able psychically to calm or excite the physiology of a person hundreds of feet away. Marilyn Schlitz is now the president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Petaluma, California. Braud, who is now teaching at the Institute for Transpersonal Psychology (ITP) in Palo Alto, California, has published twelve of his highly significant formal experiments in an excellent book called Distant Mental Influence.5

    3. The Ganzfeld. Over a span of thirty years, several researchers at five different laboratories here and abroad carried out telepathy experiments in which one person was in a situation of sensory isolation called ganzfeld, which is German for “whole field isolation.” This person was asked to describe his or her ongoing mental impressions of an interesting video clip being watched by a friend in a separate part of the lab. In a published meta-analysis of seventy-nine studies comprising hundreds of individual trials, the probability that the results of the experiments were chance was almost one in a billion (2 x 10-8), meaning that the isolated receiver was extraordinarily successful in describing what his distant friend was seeing.6

    4. Feeling the Future. Recently, Professor Daryl Bem at Cornell University carried out a series of nine precognition experiments. In this remarkable five-year study, he showed that the future can affect the past in surprising ways. That is, the elephant you see on television in the morning can be the cause of your having dreamed about elephants the previous night: Saturday morning’s elephant caused Friday’s dream. We call that phenomenon retrocausality. For example, students in Bem’s experiments reliably favor and choose one of four possible pictures of people, even though they are shown that one only after they have made their conscious choice and even though the one shown has been randomly selected only after the students have chosen.

    In 2010, Bem’s sixty-page paper presenting his meta-analysis of these retrocausal experiments was accepted for publication.7 This meta-analysis [which generated a firestorm of debate as reported by IONS’ Dean Radin and Cassandra Vieten] shows a statistical significance of more than six standard deviations from chance expectation (1.3 x 10-11), which equals odds of more than a billion to one against chance. I am entirely convinced by this analysis—and so is distinguished statistics professor Jessica Utts from the University of California–Davis. In all his experiments, Bem’s one thousand Cornell-student participants find themselves making free choices, guided again and again by the material they will see or experience in the future—but only after they have made their selection. Many people believe that precognition is the dominant phenomenon in all psychic functioning. All of Bem’s experiments have been carried out and published since the 1962 publication of the annoying Human Behavior: Inventory of Scientific Findings that I mentioned earlier. From his recent precognition experiments at Cornell and my own successful forecasting of silver commodity markets, it appears that we have the ability to expand our perceived “now” to include as much of the future as we choose to accommodate."====
  12. Dany Registered Member

    Wrong, you are not reading what has been cited. There is no possible physical force in existence that can explain psi phenomena because they would all be too weak. From a scientific point of view, psi is impossible. Even if we ignore non-existent mechanism. Psi is without evidence or theory.

    But again, you are not using quote-boxes. It seems you have noting to offer but spam in nonsense from paranormal websites and this is why most people on this forum have you on ignore or view you as a troll. You are flogging a dead horse. Ganzfeld experiments were discredited years ago.

    Ganzfeld experiment:

    So no independent replication, no positive results and sensory leakage problems. Hardly evidence for psychic powers is it?


    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  13. Dany Registered Member

    Do you actually bother researching anything you paste in? Remote Viewing is a pseudoscience and Robert Jahn's experiments with the PEAR lab are laughed at by the scientific community, they were never independently replicated and contained all kinds of faults.

    NOT evidence for psychic powers. Same ol' debunked nonsense which has been discredited for over twenty years yet paranormal believers such as yourself still cling to and regurgitate as evidence for magic.
  14. Dany Registered Member

    The biased paranormal website you quote from is not reporting the whole story.

    So again, the paranormal experiments you cited have been heavily criticised and not independently replicated. But you will ignore this and just present them all as having demonstrated your belief in magic. Everything you have pasted in has been debunked by scientists or in the skeptical literature - it is quite funny. Some of this information only a click away on the internet yet you ignore it. Ignorance is bliss I see. Regards.
    Aqueous Id likes this.
  15. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Wrong again. While there have been criticisms of Bem's experiments, noone has shown them to be flawed. Here's Bem's response to one of those criticisms. He mentions 2 more studies that replicated his results. Below that are 8 more replications and a meta-analysis confirming the results of 90 more studies. And you fail to address the other 3 classes of research conducted over the years consisting of hundreds of tests on subjects and confirming esp ability. So you are simply lying that everything has been debunked. It's a typical claim made by those ignorant of the field.

    Dr.Daryl Bem: Well, I think the flurry of activity in the popular media will just sort of die down. When I look at Google News on it there are still four or five articles that pop up in which it just shows how successful Wiseman is at getting his point of view out. I have been replying to people who’ve asked me to reply to blogs and things of that sort.

    Without accusing him of actually being dishonest, he has now published the three studies that he and French and Ritchie tried to get published in several journals that rejected it. I replied with a comment on that. If there’s anything dishonest there, it’s when you publish an article, even if it’s of your own three experiments—they did three experiments that failed trying to replicate one of my experiments—you always have a literature review section where you talk about all the previous research and known research on the topic before you present your own data.

    What Wiseman never tells people is in Ritchie, Wiseman and French, the thing they published, their three failures, is that his online registry where he asked everyone to register, first of all he provided a deadline date. To be included in that you had to have completed it by December 1st. Well, that’s six months after my article appeared. I don’t know of any serious researcher working on their own stuff who is going to drop everything and immediately do a replication.

    Alex Tsakiris: And why would there need to be that kind of deadline to begin with? I mean, it’s completely contrived to work only in support of his effort.

    Dr. Daryl Bem: Unless he just underestimated or overestimated how many people were going to drop everything and try to replicate it. Anyway, he and Ritchie and French published these three studies. Well, they knew that there were three other studies that had been submitted and completed and two of the three showed statistically significant results replicating my results. But you don’t know that from reading his article. That borders on dishonesty.

    Alex Tsakiris: Right. What do you think the future holds for this research? Do you think there will be other attempts to replicate it? Will this…

    Dr. Daryl Bem: Oh, yeah. There are some. There are, already ongoing. I think it will probably settle down. There won’t be this immediate thing and at some point there will be enough studies that we could actually begin to figure out exactly what’s causing replication successes and what causes replication failures. One of the points I make in my commentary and I really believe is I think the experimenters’ attitudes and expectations about the effect affect the results."
    "There are, in fact - and this seems not to be widely known - quite a few positive replications of Bem's research. I was hoping you could bring these replications to light, so that public audiences interested in this matter will get all the facts regarding the issue of replicating Bem (2011), and recognize the bias in the view propagated by many pseudoskeptical journalists. If this information was more widely available, the "climate" surrounding the Bem controversy would, perhaps, be a bit different.

    Here is a list of several positive Bem replications - these are not all extant conceptually similar "implicit precognition" experiments (which Dean Radin says are under meta-analytic review, presently), but only those studies that specifically replicate the experimental paradigms in Bem (2011):

    • Batthyany, A. (2010). Retrocausal Habituation and Induction of Boredom: A Successful Replication of Bem (2010; Studies 5 and 7).Social Science Research Network, Working Paper Series.

    • Franklin, M. S., & Schooler, J. W. (2011). Using retrocausal practice effects to predict online roulette spins. A talk presented at the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, Washington D.C., U.S.A., October, 2011.

    • Franklin, M. S., & Schooler, J. W. (2011). Using retrocausal practice effects to predict random binary events in an applied setting. A talk presented at Towards a Science of Consciousness, Stockholm, Sweden, May, 2011. {more recently: Franklin, M., and Schooler, J. (2012). Using retrocausal practice effects to predict random binary events in an applied setting. Toward a Science of Consciousness, Tucson X}.
    • Tressoldi, P. E., Masserdotti, F., & Marana C. (2012). Feeling the future: an exact replication of the Retroactive Facilitation of Recall II and Retroactive Priming experiments with Italian participants, Universita di Padova, Italy
    • Subbotsky, E. (2012). Sensing the future: The Non-standard observer effect on an ESP task. Lancaster University, UK
    • Bijl, A. & Bierman, D. (2013). Retroactive training of rational v.s. intuitive thinkers. Proceedings of the 56th Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association. (Link)
    • Parker, A., & Sjödén, B. (2010). Do some of us habituate to future emotional events? Journal of Parapsychology, 74, 99–115.

    • Savva, L., Child, R. & Smith, M. D. (2004). The Precognitive Habituation Effect: An Adaptation Using Spider Stimuli. The Parapsychological Association Convention 2004, pp. 223 – 229. (Link)
    {Regarding Savva (2004): In 2003, Bem presented preliminary data for this paradigm that would later be subsumed in his now infamously controversial 2011 publication, under "Experiment 5". The latter citation above by Savva et al. was a replication of this.}

    There are several important findings in some of these studies (besides the fact that they are positive). Franklin and Schooler (especially the latter) are two distinguished, mainstream scientists; in their research, they demonstrate an ability to utilize the precognitive habituation effect in "real world" events. Subbotsky found evidence of a psi-mediated experimenter effect. In Parker (2010), only participants who showed a standard habituation effect showed psi-mediated precognitive habituation. The correlation between the two was highly significant."====

    Here's the results of a 2014 meta-analysis study.

    "In 2011, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published a report of nine experiments purporting to demonstrate that an individual’s cognitive and affective responses can be influenced by randomly selected stimulus events that do not occur until after his or her responses have already been made and recorded, a generalized variant of the phenomenon traditionally denoted by the term precognition (Bem, 2011). To encourage replications, all materials needed to conduct them were made available on request. We here report a meta-analysis of 90 experiments from 33 laboratories in 14 countries which yielded an overall effect greater than 6 sigma, z = 6.40, p = 1.2 × 10-10 with an effect size (Hedges’ g) of 0.09. A Bayesian analysis yielded a Bayes Factor of 1.4 × 10^9, greatly exceeding the criterion value of 100 for “decisive evidence” in support of the experimental hypothesis (Jeffries, 1961). The number of potentially unretrieved experiments required to reduce the overall effect size to a trivial value is 547. Several tests demonstrate that the database is not significantly compromised by publication bias, selection bias, or by “p-hacking,” the selective suppression of findings or statistical analyses that failed to yield statistical significance. An analysis of p–curve, the distribution of significant p values (Simonsohn, Nelson, & Simmons, 2014a; 2014b) estimates the true effect size of the database to be 0.20, virtually identical to the effect size of Bem’s original studies (0.22). We discuss the controversial status of precognition and other anomalous effects collectively known as psi."=====
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    LOL! You have 7 messages in this forum. I have 5,242. You can tell me how to post here and what to say and what people are thinking when hell freezes over.

    Ganzfield replications:

    "Radin summarizes the results of the autoganzfeld experiments as follows: (page 86)

    “The bottom line for the eleven series, consisting of a total of 354 sessions, was 122 direct hits, for a 34 percent hit rate. This compares favorably with the 1985 meta-analysis hit rate of 37 percent. Honorton’s autoganzfeld results overall produced odds against chance of forty-five thousand to one.”

    Further replications beyond the ganzfeld and autoganzfeld experiments include the following: (page 87-88)

    “The next replications were reported by psychologist Kathy Dalton and her colleagues at the Koestler Chair of Parapsychology, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. The Edinburgh experiments, conducted from 1993 through 1996 (and still ongoing), consisted of five published reports and 289 sessions using an improved, fullyl automated psi ganzfeld setup. It was based on Honorton’s original autoganzfeld design and implemented in stages first by Honorton, then by psychologist Robin Taylor, then by me, and finally by Kathy Dalton. Other replications have been reported by Professor Dick Bierman of the Department of Psychology at the University of Amsterdam; Professor Daryl Bem of Cornell University’s Psychology Department; Dr. Richard Broughton and colleagues at the Rhine Research Center in Durham, North Carolina; Professor Adrian Parker and colleagues at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and doctoral student Rens Wezelman from the Institute for Parapsychology in Utrecht, Netherlands.

    While only the 1985 meta-analysis, the autoganzfeld study, and the Edinburgh study independently produced a hit rate with 95 percent confidence intervals beyond chance expectation, it is noteworthy that each of the six replication studies (after the autoganzfeld) resulted in point estimates greater than chance. The 95 percent confidence interval at the right end of the graph ois the combined estimate based on all available ganzfeld sessions, consisting of a total of 2,549 sessions. The overall hit rate of 33.2 percent is unlikely with odds against chance beyond a million billion to one.”

    Finally, at the end of the chapter, Radin concludes what the findings of the ganzfeld experiments and others before it suggest: (page 88)

    “Now jointly consider the results of the ganzfeld psi experiments, the dream-telepathy experiments of the 1960s and 1970s, the ESP cards tests from the 1880s to the 1940s, Upton Sinclair’s experiments in 1929, and earlier studies on thought transference. The same effects have been repeated again and again, by new generations of experimenters, using increasingly rigorous methods. From the beginning, each new series of telepathy experiments was met with its share of skeptical attacks. These criticisms reduced mainstream scientific interest in the reported effects, but ironically they also refined the methods used in future experiments to the point that today’s ganzfeld experiments stump the experts.”

    Thus from all this, it is indisputable that we have solid scientific and statistical evidence that one of the most successful and controlled series of telepathy experiments in history, the Ganzfeld experiments, were definitely replicable. Therefore, the skeptical challenge has been met, and it’s up to them to accept the obvious data or reject it. Radin’s book describes many other replicable psi experiments as well, including ESP, clairvoyance, remote viewing, and psychokinesis. So I highly recommend it. For more details about the Ganzfeld and Autoganzfeld experiments, see the following detailed articles which can be viewed online:
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  17. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    Oh contrare. The Pear Lab RNG Studies were already replications of previous studies done in remote viewing. Dean Radin explains:

    "Other than the flub about a lab closing in 1970 that opened in 1979, again we see a cavalier dismissal of decades of research, implying that the work was systematically sloppy or methodologically naive or both. Nothing can be further from the truth. I was at Princeton for three years and spent enough time in the PEAR Lab to know that the research conducted there was as rigorously vetted and executed as any scientific project you will find anywhere. There weren’t just “several replications.” There were hundreds. The PEAR Lab’s RNG research replicated and extended Helmut Schmidt’s studies, and their remote perception research replicated and extended the SRI/SAIC remote viewing research. PEAR successfully and independently replicated both of those study designs, again and again. Even Jeffers, who Alcock cites to suggest that the PEAR RNG work could not be replicated, was later involved in a successful RNG experiment."===

    Here's an article by statistical expert Jessica Utts and physicist Brian Josephson:


    by Jessica Utts and Brian Josephson

    "Those who recognize that significant discoveries in science are very often prompted by observations that do not fit expectations will find a stimulating challenge in accumulating evidence that it is possible to elicit psychic functioning in experiments with ordinary volunteers acting as subjects. Even more convincing results occur with specially selected subjects.

    Remote Viewing: The Experiment
    In one type of experiment, a “target” photograph or video segment is randomly chosen out of a set of four possibilities. A “sender” attempts to transmit it mentally and a “receiver” is then asked to provide an account either verbally or in writing of what she imagines it might be. She is then shown the four possibilities, and selects the one she thinks best matches her perception. By chance alone, a correct match is expected on average one time in four, whereas the experiments typically show the considerably higher success rate of around one in three.

    The recent declassification of the US government’s psychical research programme (experiments on “remote viewing”, similar to the type just described except that it used independent judges to assess the matches rather than having the subjects judge themselves) has permitted a comparison to be made of the results of this programme with those described in the open literature.

    Despite the different judging procedure, similar success rates were found. In addition, many of the governmental experiments used gifted subjects. The success rate was then even higher, typically over forty percent. The few experiments in the open literature that used gifted subjects found similar success rates.

    Remote Viewing: Extensive Repeatable Results
    In the past, critics have attempted to discredit positive results in psychical research on grounds of lack of repeatability. But, as anyone with a training in statistics knows, even where an influence exists, an isolated experiment with an insufficient number of trials may not demonstrate a statistically significant effect. Accordingly, without a more sophisticated analysis, “failure to reproduce an effect” does not demonstrate its absence.

    Suppose, for example, psychic abilities, in line with the results already described, increase the chances of a successful match from 1/4 to 1/3. Then (according to the accepted statistical theories), an experiment with 30 trials, which has been typical of these experiments, would have less than a 17% chance of achieving a result of statistical significance. The more recent larger experiments still utilize only about 100 trials, and have only about a 57% chance of achieving statistical significance.

    Detailed analysis of the complete collection of experiments on this type of phenomenon shows that what holds, despite changes in equipment, experimenter, subjects, judges, targets and laboratories, is far greater consistency with the 1 in 3 success rate already mentioned than with the 1 in 4 chance expectation rate. Such consistency is the hallmark of a genuine effect, and this, together with the very low probability of the overall success rate observed occurring by chance, argues strongly for the phenomena being real and not artifactual.

    Reexamination of other types of psychical investigations reveals that they too achieved replicable effects, which went largely unappreciated because of a poor understanding of statistics. For instance, an analysis of experiments in precognitive card guessing and related “forced-choice” experiments, published by Honorton and Ferrari in the Journal of Parapsychology, found that gifted subjects were able to achieve consistently about a 27% success rate when 25% was expected by chance. Similar U.S. government experiments have been revealed to have achieved the same 27% success rate over thousands of trials.

    If chance alone were the explanation for these results, it would be truly remarkable to achieve a 27% success rate over thousands of trials, and it would be even more remarkable to see identical results in the government work. For further details about the recent evidence, including both a favorable and a skeptical assessment of the U.S. government experiments, consult the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 10(1), or on the Internet.

    Remote Viewing: Take a Step back all you Critics
    Strong statistical results are of course meaningless if experiments are not properly conducted. Debunkers of parapsychology are fond of showcasing the very few experiments that have been found to have serious problems. But that ignores the fact that the vast majority of experiments were done using excellent protocols, paying close attention to potential subtle cues, using well-tested randomization devices and so on. For the past decade the U.S. government experiments were overseen by a very high-level scientific committee, consisting of respected academics from a variety of disciplines, all of whom were required to critique and approve the protocols in advance. There have been no explanations forthcoming that allow an honest observer to dismiss the growing collection of consistent results...."===
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    I use quotation marks to designate quotes. Perhaps you should learn about their use and what they mean..
  19. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

    How physics evolves:

    The contention that psi, confirmed in hundreds of experiments and anecodotal accounts, cannot exist because it violates the current model of physics is invalid. The history of science shows us that when science comes up with experimental results that contradict its theories, it is the theories that have to change. (See article below). The continuous attempt of career skeptics to deny and discount scientific evidence of psi only points to the need for modifications regarding the theories, or at least further elaboration of what is possible at the quantum level. Consciousness itself and information appear to exist at a fundamental nonlocal level, as demonstrated by the measurement effect and quantum entanglement.
  20. Buckaroo Banzai Mentat Registered Senior Member

    I think that the contention is better expressed along the lines that the supposed confirmations are very dubious and can more parsimoniously be dismissed as such taking in consideration that it would be basically "magic", not having basis in known physics, which is incomparably more certain, and postulating alternative explanations (sometimes merely statistics, methodological mistakes) that don't require anything beyond ordinary physics.

    If findings become more robust then things would need to be more carefully examined, whether they require changes or additions to physics or not. For while it's just like ghosts.
  21. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

  22. Russ_Watters Not a Trump supporter... Valued Senior Member

    Interestingly, only one of those examples is less than 100 years old.

    Anyway, yes if a new scientific result is found that doesn't fit existing theory, then the theory needs to change. But since the positive results of PSI research are typically not from scientific tests, no such confirmed/scientific results exist. So the the theories are not being challenged by PSI woo-wooism.
    No. Here's the conclusion of the first study:
    You'll find that is about the best that can be said about PSI research: at its best, it is lots and lots of nothing.
  23. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Sometimes the theoretical framework undergirds the operation of a science to such a degree that it's much more difficult for challengers to find a sustainable foothold.

    Richard Lewontin: [...] it is repeatedly said that science is intolerant of theories without data and assertions without adequate evidence. But no serious student of epistemology any longer takes the naive view of science as a process of Baconian induction from theoretically unorganized observations. There can be no observations without an immense apparatus of preexisting theory. Before sense experiences become "observations" we need a theoretical question, and what counts as a relevant observation depends upon a theoretical frame into which it is to be placed. Repeatable observations that do not fit into an existing frame have a way of disappearing from view, and the experiments that produced them are not revisited. In the 1930s well-established and respectable geneticists described "dauer-modifications," environmentally induced changes in organisms that were passed on to offspring and only slowly disappeared in succeeding generations. As the science of genetics hardened, with its definitive rejection of any possibility of the inheritance of acquired characteristics, observations of dauer-modifications were sent to the scrapheap where they still lie, jumbled together with other decommissioned facts.

    While physicist Percy Bridgman curiously asserted that there's a lack of prior convention or systematic approach in actual research, the popular consensus is nevertheless that science does have its preconditions[footnote-1 at bottom]. Including historical connection to worldviews from which the conception of methodological naturalism fell out, the latter less concerned with the truth status of its intellectual forbears and an offspring like contemporary philosophical naturalism.

    Individual scientists, of course, don't unanimously adhere to such "glittering abstract objects" and their supplementary work-ethics, when it comes to fraud, increasing sloppiness, and [far more to the point here] going rogue or eccentric. [Rupert Sheldrake, examples provided in How does a scientist or doctor become a crank, etc.]

    Freeman Dyson did reveal his motives beforehand in going down a contrarian path, in regard to climate change. So perhaps there's the possibility of these antagonists / heretics serving a practical function after all: As figurative microbiotic invaders who either intentionally or unintentionally strengthen the "immune system" of the enterprise. By poking at any illusions of science having achieved such a privileged status that defense of itself now and in the future will be unnecessary; and in the course of that call-to-arms stimulating more than just casual awareness of its supposed preconditions as well as continuing re-evaluations of that "immense apparatus of preexisting theory".

    Dyson: [...] As a scientist I do not have much faith in predictions. Science is organized unpredictability. The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen. You might say that if something is predictable then it is not science. When I make predictions, I am not speaking as a scientist. I am speaking as a story-teller, and my predictions are science-fiction rather than science. The predictions of science-fiction writers are notoriously inaccurate. Their purpose is to imagine what might happen rather than to describe what will happen. I will be telling stories that challenge the prevailing dogmas of today. The prevailing dogmas may be right, but they still need to be challenged. I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies. Since I am heretic, I am accustomed to being in the minority. If I could persuade everyone to agree with me, I would not be a heretic.

    We are lucky that we can be heretics today without any danger of being burned at the stake. But unfortunately I am an old heretic. Old heretics do not cut much ice. When you hear an old heretic talking, you can always say, “Too bad he has lost his marbles”, and pass on. What the world needs is young heretics. I am hoping that one or two of the people who read this piece may fill that role.

    Two years ago, I was at Cornell University celebrating the life of Tommy Gold, a famous astronomer who died at a ripe old age. He was famous as a heretic, promoting unpopular ideas that usually turned out to be right. Long ago I was a guinea-pig in Tommy’s experiments on human hearing. He had a heretical idea that the human ear discriminates pitch by means of a set of tuned resonators with active electromechanical feedback. He published a paper explaining how the ear must work, [Gold, 1948]. He described how the vibrations of the inner ear must be converted into electrical signals which feed back into the mechanical motion, reinforcing the vibrations and increasing the sharpness of the resonance. The experts in auditory physiology ignored his work because he did not have a degree in physiology. Many years later, the experts discovered the two kinds of hair-cells in the inner ear that actually do the feedback as Tommy had predicted, one kind of hair-cell acting as electrical sensors and the other kind acting as mechanical drivers. It took the experts forty years to admit that he was right. Of course, I knew that he was right, because I had helped him do the experiments.

    Nicholas Dawidoff: Dyson is well aware that “most consider me wrong about global warming.” [...] Dyson says he doesn’t want his legacy to be defined by climate change, but his dissension from the orthodoxy of global warming is significant because of his stature and his devotion to the integrity of science. Dyson has said he believes that the truths of science are so profoundly concealed that the only thing we can really be sure of is that much of what we expect to happen won’t come to pass. In “Infinite in All Directions,” he writes that nature’s laws “make the universe as interesting as possible.” This also happens to be a fine description of Dyson’s own relationship to science. In the words of Avishai Margalit, a philosopher at the Institute for Advanced Study, “He’s a consistent reminder of another possibility.” When Dyson joins the public conversation about climate change by expressing concern about the “enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories,” these reservations come from a place of experience. Whatever else he is, Dyson is the good scientist; he asks the hard questions. He could also be a lonely prophet. Or, as he acknowledges, he could be dead wrong.


    [footnote-1] Richard Lewontin: [...] Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen. --Billions and Billions of Demons; January 9, 1997, NY Times Book Reviews

    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015

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