1. lee h oswald

    lee h oswald Banned Banned

    Yes. It's an interesting way of looking at it. I think the bottom line of that story is that people have been brought up to 'expect' or be 'entitled' somehow. And that they're greedy mf's because of the environment we've created. Everyone's chiselling off everyone else. (If you haven't read Raymond Chandler's Marlowe books..have a try, I think you'll enjoy them)
  2. lee h oswald

    lee h oswald Banned Banned

    I think that is the definition of 'mind over matter', but your more prosaic view seems acceptable to you.
  3. lee h oswald

    lee h oswald Banned Banned

    more autonomic than subconscious it's not, but that doesn't matter - what matters is this: whatever label we want to stick on it, in the form of a word or words, a man can create, through the power of his unconscious mind, the essence of life.
  4. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Seems few here believe in paranormal activity of any type. . . How about the work done by research groups testing pattern recognition on flash cards, etc. . . ?

  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Sagan also thought they were not true.
    He's a scientist, so he thinks we should test things just in case. He did not think they are true, but they were the least implausible of the various ESP claims, so if we were going to test anything, that's what we should test. You should read the book that came from, Demon Haunted World. It's a wonderful book.

    And the institute for Noetic Science is a huge pile of confirmation-bias nonsense. Consider their chocolate experiment, where they worry that skeptics in the future may read about the experiment, and make it retroactively not work by sending negative vibes back through time.

    Sagan was wrong on one count though. I know exactly how computer random number generators work. I know they are strictly mathematical, they are pseudorandom, one number follows from the other in the same sequence. They can no more be changed by the mind that words in a book.

    I remember 30 years ago, writing a program on the ZX81 to test for ESP, that used random numbers and a graphic of a dot that went randomly left or right. At the time I did not know that the random numbers were pre-determined, and I imagined I was actually making the dot on the screen go in the direction my mind wanted it to go in. When I actually discovered what the random number algorithm was, I felt rather silly.

    Fast forward a few decades, and based on that experience, I designed a competition to design a program that made people think they had ESP, based largely on that ZX81 experience.

    Here are the results:


    There's no statistically significant evidence that ESP works. It often feels like it works, like you feel like you are making meaningful decision when playing roulette. But it's just randomness that occasionally matches our expectations.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  6. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member


    How about a poll here to see how many participants feel different aspects of paranormal activities or unexplained rare events exist and are mediated by powers science cannot identify. . . . Like the following*

    In the list below select the activities that exist and are orchestrated by powers beyond scientific explanation . . .*

    2) Extra Sensory Perception
    3) Telepathy
    4) Clairvoyance
    10) Astral Projection
    11) Reincarnation
    12) Out of body experiences*
    13) survival of consciousness after bodily death
    14) near-death experiences

  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It might be simpler to ask "do you think that anything in the universe is orchestrated by powers beyond scientific explanation". But then, what does that actually mean?

    Debunkers tend to be scientific skeptics. That means that we base our belief in things on verifiable scientific evidence. We know there are things that not adequately explained by current science (like rashes, and alien abductions), but that we can form reasonable theories about.

    Regarding your list, any scientific skeptic would simply point out that there is no evidence to support that any of the items on your list are "orchestrated by powers".

    So maybe a better question would be: "are you a scientific skeptic?"
  8. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    To ask if some one is a scientific skeptic on the forum would be a waste of effort . . . Why don't we just ask, in their opinion, which items in the list exist? How they exist is a different question . . .
  9. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The problem is that "orchestrated by powers beyond scientific explanation" is meaningless. We know there are things in the universe that are currently beyond scientific explanation. We do not know if they will remain that way.

    Obviously if any of the things on the list exist, then they are beyond current science. So are you asking if they will NEVER be explained? Or that they are "orchestrated" by a sentient power? What does "orchestrated" mean here? What does "powers" mean? Something like the ether, or something like a god or "The Force"?

    Define your terms when asking questions. Not everyone thinks like you.
  10. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    Are you asking if the supernatural exists?
  11. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    1) One step at a time . . . I simply want to know if the readership on this forum acknowledge the existence of any of the items on the list . . .

    2) By establishing whether any item on the list may exist via the opinions of the participants . . . the next question could be . . . can we explain how they operate and the theories that support their process . . .

    3) Whether there is a Force or power or god is quite a different question . . .
  12. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    That could be a question eventually . . . as one option to the theory for the existence of the listed items, but I think we are far from that discussion . . .
  13. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    According to oxford the supernatural is something that is "attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding".

    This definition sounds very much like your references to things that are "mediated by powers science cannot identify" or "orchestrated by powers beyond scientific explanation."

    So if you're not talking about the supernatural, then what are you talking about?
  14. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    George, explain them what you mean by "mediated by powers science cannot identify". How exactly does that differ from a mysterious rash?
  15. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    It may not . . . however, when something happens we cannot readily explain there is a possibility that a factor, force, energy we were unaware of or could not observe or measure may have been involved . . . that is not saying we will not find a way to measure or observe the factors in the future . . . thereby initiating a search for data and theories on how some 'thing' can happen . . . first by speculation and later by scientific investigation . . .
  16. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Seems electricity and radiation were originally powers beyond scientific explanation . . . possibly psi falls into that category for us now at our level of understanding . . .
  17. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    At that time, electricity and radiation, were not explained by science, but they were never beyond scientific explanation. Electricity and radiation are measurable phenomenon. The same cannot be said for the things in your list.

    There is a difference between what is unexplained by science and that which is beyond what science can explain.
  18. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    I just don't see the point of the poll.

    It doesn't take much investigation to conclude that this forum is mainly populated with skeptics whose world view is framed by scientific understanding. Why ask if they believe in paranormal activities that, by definition, lie outside the range of known scientific laws? What are you getting at?

    Absolutely anything can be explained by opinions. In fact, that's the only tool left at your disposal if what you're trying explain is beyond what science is capable of explaining. In the absence of evidence, then one opinion is as good as any other. If you're looking for theories about how the paranormal operates then attributing these events to Midichlorians, Cthulhu or magic are all acceptable opinions.

    AFAIK, there is no scientific evidence that anything in your list exists, so why speculate about the essence of things that are not known to exist. Next we'll have a poll on what people think Santa Clause's feelings are about the Easter Bunny because some day we may discover that Santa is real.
  19. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    I see you have concluded the above list cannot be explained by science and thereby is not acceptable for discussion on this forum . . .
  20. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Hmmmm. . . so if one could not measure electricity or radiation or guarantee when one might observe, for example, lightning in the 1500s then they were forbidden to be discussed within the scientific community . . .
  21. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    By definition the paranormal is beyond science. Otherwise it wouldn't be called paranormal, it would be called normal.

    Speaking of the paranormal, Diablo III is calling me.
  22. Trigger Hippie

    Trigger Hippie Senior Member

    People always got sun burns and witnessed lightning strikes, these have always been observable phenomenon. Unlike the things in your list.
  23. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    I am amazed at the lack of intellectual curiosity . . . sorry, it is too hard to investigate or discuss issues that are studied at two well known Universities and has a long history of scientific curiosity over the last 100 years . . .

    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
    Galileo Galilei
    Italian astronomer & physicist (1564 - 1642)
  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Your suggested poll conflates two things:

    A) Evidence for the existence of various things
    B) If they are supernatural or not.

    Scientists are incredibly intellectually curious. But the things you list simply have no evidence for existence. If there was some, then you can bet the scientists would be all over it. Scientists seek to explain things that have some measurable impact on the universe. Not things that are purely speculative.
  25. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    I have long since suggested the removal of 'B' above . . . I have mentioned that two well known Universities are presently studying some of these issues . . . I was advocating for an experiment (poll) to see how your readership would respond to the existence of the items on the list . . . IMO doesn't seem to be too radical of a suggestion . . .
  26. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Alright, but I'd removed or rewrite the last three:

    As they are (as written) things that clearly and undeniably happen. Maybe:

    And I'm not try to be obstructionist, I just think polls need to be unambiguous. It's going to be a small sample, so best to remove other inexactness.
  27. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Sounds fine to me . . . are you going to create the poll or do I need to do something . . .
  28. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  29. PCWilliams

    PCWilliams Active Member

    Why? To see where belief based on science blurs into unproven belief, if at all, among this crowd. As an example, i'd be interested to know how many of the scientific-minded members on this forum believe we have a soul (not typically categorized as paranormal, but ...).
  30. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Based on the Poll results so far . . . I would say they do not believe in the existence of a soul . . .
  31. anonymouspost

    anonymouspost New Member

    Mick West,
    I have never believed in anything regarding this site. BUT, for some reason my life has been inundated with people with these beliefs. Why does this concern me? Well, they have harassed me everywhere I have moved across the States. I cannot get away from them. I have quit jobs, lost jobs, have experienced long-term/maybe permanent family estrangements, financial losses, unable to root into a community, and have unfortunately attracted potential partners who believe this....one of which currently I am trying to prepare for an ended relationship so I can move on and have a better life. Why does this happen? I brainstormed for 20+ years figuring what category these people are so I could avoid them. I would research the internet certain behavioural traits hoping to find cities, towns, or states which I had more in common with. But, it never failed. I would somehow experience a setback due to one of these types, have to relocate in areas I did not want to. And, then to add insult to injury have to tolerate more of them .....and then the cycle begins. I had actually considered emigrating to another country. And, believing in Jesus seems to be very important to these types. I am a good person with no criminal charges or histories. I believe in God. I don't attend any temple or church. I just do my thing. But, I would love to just meet people according to my preference and just avoid these types altogether. Why, Mr. West, does this happen? What should I do about it? Thank you.
  32. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    (I know your question is for Mr West, here's my take on it......)
    I hope I understand you.....Are you saying you don't believe in the claims and ideas that many people believe-in, the type which we often discuss and debunk here ?

    If so, then perhaps understand that everyone at some point (in anyone's life) will believe in something they likely cannot "prove", and may-or-may-not feel the need to prove it to others.
    There are varying degrees of their need to engage in these beliefs, from private....to...proselytizing (and anywhere between).
    These beliefs may be lightly significant, or life changing in their effect on those persons.

    My advice is to allow people to explore their suspicions.**
    I'll distance myself from people that refuse to accept a calm discussion of these beliefs...
    .....such as when these people turn angst-driven, feeling that everyone they deem as "unbelievers"....is now part of their judgmental angst, and integral in their personal paranoia.

    In other words, a respectful attitude toward anyone's beliefs should be reciprocal (in a perfect world). That is not always the case.
    You might set certain boundaries as to what you will accept, At the same time.....don't let the way other people think, change the way you think, act, or respond. Don't let them "rent space in your head", as the common expression goes.....it may drive you batty !!

    ** (unless they are dangerous to themselves or others.)
    • Like Like x 2
  33. anonymouspost

    anonymouspost New Member

    Thanks for responding.
    I would say their behaviours are very dangerous. I am a fairly strong and resilient person. If I have to blog "what can I do?" for brainstorming answers or seriously consider leaving the U.S. for hopefully more educated, balanced and less defensive people, then that denotes a serious and dangerous problem. These people have cost me beyond repairs. It's concerning to me how many people in the States believe in conspiracy theories, the apocalypse, the illuminati, aliens, ESP, witches, mediums, aggressive and nonaggressive proselytizing, and that the weather is controlled by the 12 or 13 (?) elite families of the world .......taking the world over.

    For example, transitioning a career change I worked in a chain print and copy shop temporarily. I was working in the copy shop with one other employee working there since the store opened. I had just arrived back to this region of U.S. from the South. So, I was relieved and excited to be away from the South. It had been about two weeks. On my job a couple walks in from Africa. Beelines it to me. Does not shop or order anything. Preaches and proselytizes to me while my coworker is doing his job and mine. I politely tolerate this for 15 minutes until they leave without speaking to anyone else or purchasing anything. My coworker stated that he had never seen anything like that before. This is one of countless scenarios for over 20 years. And, they ALL believe in one of the above stated paranoias.

    I would say behaviours like these are quite dangerous and violate any opportunity I have for freedom. They cross many lines. Saying, "No," does not work. They don't empathize or listen. Their problem should not have to become my problem. I have enough responsibilities.

    Since you guys here had some of these beliefs, then I was hoping that some light could be shed regarding why you have done this to other people? Why are your behaviours allowed to hurt others beyond repair? Why can't these beliefs be kept while leaving me with my freedoms? What can be done to get through to these types? What can be done to stop it? And, proving violation of labour laws in the States is almost impossible regarding workplace discriminations. And, good luck if these types are in the majority and I am in the minority in a town. I will not be able to get, keep or maintain a job or decent resume.

    Yes, I would say this is quite dangerous.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  34. JRBids

    JRBids Senior Member

    I know one person in real life who believes in conspiracies to the point where I think they are mentally ill. Other than him, other than the person here or there who thinks crystals have healing properties or horoscopes tell the future, I don't know anyone who believes in conspiracy theories. I don't know why you attract them.
  35. anonymouspost

    anonymouspost New Member

    I don't think I attract them. I think there are so many people in the States to believe this stuff especially in smaller towns, suburbs or rural areas. And, I think they use the laws in this country to abuse others. So, they know they can get away with it. Others have had the same experience but not on the same scale because they could afford to reside in major cities such as Chicago, NYC, LA, etc. I could not as I was a single-parent. Now, my children are young self-sufficient successful adults. But, i am older now and prefer the more tranquil rural areas. Some areas are also more faith-based than others and not very diverse in background. This causes a problem as those types lean more towards cultic behaviours. My coworker at the copy and print shop was one who had never encountered it. He was originally from Montreal. But, there are others as well who have had to endure these types. I've met them while traveling across the States. And, because they had developed networks and niches in the major cities, then this of course decreases the chances of dysfunctional encounters.
  36. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I doubt you will ever escape fanatics of any sort, whether it be conspiracy stories, or hardcore religion.
    Ways I've I deal with their insistence on discussing it, is to listen without replying.......they usually tire when they don't get a reply (or argument).
    Or say you don't agree "but hey, everyone is entitled to opinions and beliefs".
    Then there's the changing the topic method.
    Or plain and simple, "I'd rather discuss something else, it really doesn't interest me."

    Be careful though......worrying too much about other peoples strange obsessive beliefs.....can itself become obsessive, and can otherwise consume your productive time.
  37. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    What are you talking about? Who on here has done anything like that?

    I always thought these beliefs were fringe - maybe they are more widespread than I thought or maybe you just attract a certain type of person.

    Perhaps you have some kind of charisma or aura that tells people you are a good listener or something, so people feel they can approach you. Sounds like an unwanted gift.
    Try cultivating an aura of 'don't talk to me.' Maybe wear antisocial t-shirts, get some facial piercings or tattoos.
    Don't make eye-contact.
    Really quite a weird situation, sounds like an x-files episode.
  38. Mackdog

    Mackdog Active Member

    I second that. I think it would be good to start a thread here where people could talk about how they got into the conspiracy culture and how they eventually got out of it and why. I'll even volunteer myself to share my story as the first one if you like.
  39. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There's a whole sub-forum for that:

    I'd be very interested in hearing your story - feel free to start a thread there.
  40. Igrokush1

    Igrokush1 Member

    About those people.... More importantly they had a piece that our creator instilled in all of us, a computer, able to gather data, and create! Human imagination has fueled the drive for those great innovators, it's the mind itself that can push the realm of the supernatural, thus it's only natural to think super. I mean, when Star Trek came out it was sci fi to have a shooting laser and flip phones. It's that type of wacky imagination that has taken us beyond natural, and that's super! Take the Japanese, who invented the worlds first invisibility cloak, a dream into reality with reflection. And yes, unexplainable things occur frequently, but I'm a believer of thinking outside the box, into the realm of pure imagination. And I think that's how our forefathers thought, the chemists and inventors, philosophers and astronomers. Human imagination. But yes, although there are more things in the universe than humans will ever know, we can only go by what we do know and why we know it, but still preserving the gene that instilled upon us imagination, because truly without that, we'd still live in a cave pondering of how to cook the rancid meat.
    Then there was fire. I personally have been working on teleporting, but haven't quite got the hang of it :D
    Thanks for the motivation to expand my mind to all those in the above threads....puff puff..ahhhh
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