Some Parapsychology researchers claim: It's a given: PSI ability exists

PCWilliams

Senior Member.
I was sorting some computer files and thought i'd throw this out there before i forget.

I was in the mood for doing some debunking of parapsychology claims. To try and find hardcore claims of psi i went to the Rhine Research Center Institute for Parapsychology website. I really wanted to find their claims of detectable psi and, more importantly, i wanted to research their test conditions. Instead, this is what i found:

View attachment 305

I found it interesting that demonstrating psi ability is now secondary to explaining "how" psi works … as if the existence of psi is a given and has been adequately proven? Am i reading this wrong? Do i need to "modernize" my thinking?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So where is their demonstration?

Seems like they are putting the cart before the horse, and simply indulging is wishful research. It they can demonstrate that PSI works, they they should go and claim Randi's $1,000,000 prize.

They are simply true believers, indulging in confirmation bias.

My favorite woo researchers are the Institute for Noetic science, who once, in all seriousness, said that researchers should not, in the future, discuss the positive results of their research with skeptics, or their negative thoughts would travel back through time and stop the experiment from working in the first place.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/175-Debunked-Effects-of-Intentionally-Enhanced-Chocolate-on-Mood
 
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PCWilliams

Senior Member.
So where is their demonstration?

Exactly.

I just finished a book titled In Search of the Light: The Adventures of a Parapsychologist (Susan Blackmore Ph.D). It's about a diehard believer in psi who slowly becomes a skeptic as she investigates psi and finds nothing to substantiate the claims.

One of the things she stressed was how the "effects" of psi disappeared in direct proportion to how strict psi tests were controlled to avoid cheating. After 30 years of research and finding nothing to support the existence of psi, she finally threw in the towel in 2000.

I thought i'd take what i learned and find some psi claims, read up on the nature, controls and results of the tests and do my own investigating. Where better to find high-quality claims of psi demonstrations than the Rhine Institute? Now i find out i'm not a "modern" thinker. Silly me.

For the record, this is where i found the PDF file i referenced in my previous post:
http://www.rhine.org/research_docs/popular/Evaluation_for_Psi_Ability.pdf
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This is kind of reminiscent of the "test your own water" chemtrail people:

Past history with special subjects has shown how difficult it is to expect ESP
performance upon demand especially in a laboratory situation. It is best
measured by oneself in home-testing, such as with the ESP test card kit or by
other free-response tests that can be devised in a home setting.

In other words, it can never be shown to work, only to seem to work, under lax and subjective conditions.

That sounds like a very interesting book, pity it's not available on the Kindle.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
General opinions on PSI . . . and other Paranormal concepts . . .

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1874089/pg1

POLL: Which of items listed below exist?
1) All of the items listed below exist 48.6% (142)
6) Twelve or less of the items below exist 14.7% (43)
5) Nine or less of the items below exist 14.4% (42)
4) Six or less of the items below exist 8.2% (24)
3) Three or less of the items below exist 7.5% (22)
2) None of the items below exist 6.5%(19)

Blank (View Results)(78)

Non-Blank Votes: 292

Which of items listed below exist?
1) All of the items listed below exist
2) None of the items below exist
3) Three or less of the items below exist
4) Six or less of the items below exist
5) Nine or less of the items below exist
6) Twelve or less of the items below exist

1) Psychokinesis - the ability to move or manipulate objects with the mind
2) Extra Sensory Perception - the ability to gather information without the use of the 5 senses
3) Telepathy - the ability to communicate with others with the mind
4) Clairvoyance - the transfer of information without the use of the senses
5) Pyrokinesis - the ability to ignite or extinguish fires with the mind
6) Psychometry - ability to psychically “read” information from objects
7) Precognition - the ability to foresee events. 00%
8) Bilocation - ability to be in two places at the same time
9) Postcognition - ability to see an event after it has occurred
10) Astral Projection - the ability to travel distances with the mind alone
11) Reincarnation - being born again after death
12) Afterlife: Survival of consciousness after permanent bodily death
13) Near-death experiences of a none-hallucinating nature


http://listverse.com/2007/09/21/top-10-paranormal-abilities/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parapsychology
 

PCWilliams

Senior Member.
A very limited but interesting video . . .

Telephone Telepathy

http://youtu.be/UdOi3s-tBzk

Somewhat interesting, i guess.

At the end of the video they said the results of this test group were "one of the highest" out of "more than a thousand" of such tests.

My first thought was, statistically speaking, out of "more than a thousand" of such tests, how many can be expected to show "higher than chance alone" results? See what i mean? If he runs 50,000 of these experiments and 500 of them show "higher than chance alone" results, is this significant?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
A very limited but interesting video . . .

Telephone Telepathy
http://youtu.be/UdOi3s-tBzk

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

I seriously doubt this, simply because it has not been repeated. It's such an easy test o perform, and it would radically alter the entire scientific view of the universe if true. So why in 20 years has it not been repeated?

The most likely explanation is that every time someone else has tried to repeat it under controlled conditions, then they get the expected 25% rate, so the don't publish their results.

I strongly suspect that Sheldrake is being either selective or deceptive with his results, and he's benefitting from it.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but when all the evidence to support something comes from one person, and nobody has managed to replicate it (a trivial experiment) in 20 years, then it's very suspicious.
 

Spongebob

Active Member
James Randi has a cool $million to hand over to these boffins then. Best hop on over to JREF and give them the bad news?
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_Telepathy

I seriously doubt this, simply because it has not been repeated. It's such an easy test o perform, and it would radically alter the entire scientific view of the universe if true. So why in 20 years has it not been repeated?

The most likely explanation is that every time someone else has tried to repeat it under controlled conditions, then they get the expected 25% rate, so the don't publish their results.

I strongly suspect that Sheldrake is being either selective or deceptive with his results, and he's benefitting from it.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but when all the evidence to support something comes from one person, and nobody has managed to replicate it (a trivial experiment) in 20 years, then it's very suspicious.

I suspect . . . If he was able to prove a 40% success rate over 1000 total attempts under controlled conditions it would be published . . .
 

PCWilliams

Senior Member.
I suspect . . . If he was able to prove a 40% success rate over 1000 total attempts under controlled conditions it would be published . . .

The test: Flip a coin 4 times.
Success: The coin comes up heads 50% of the time or more.

Do the test 1,000 times. How many successes will you have and are the successes PSI or pure chance?
 

Vinncent

New Member
I can't believe how people have missed the irony of accusing "psi researchers" of biased research, while defaulting on the authority of someone who stands to lose all credibility in his business, and $1,000,000 in accepting any of their (or literally any counter) research in any way, shape, or form.

http://rense.com/general50/james.htm

Randi can be attacked as biased to an equal extent, but neither says much about the research itself ("Poisoning the Well" fallacy). The attachment posted at the beginning of the thread is no longer available, but there is an established and growing body of research which show's "consciousness is able to remotely interact with reality" (which is a decent working definition for the vast number of different psi/esp/etc experiments). I don't recall all the sources of psi research, but there's Dean Radin, Daryl Bem, the Rhine Institute already mentioned, The Cognitive Sciences laboratory, and Jessica Utts does a lot of work with psi meta-analysis:

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~jutts/air.pdf

Probably the longest train of research has been the Ganzfeld Experiments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganzfeld_experiment). It's a tad messy digging through the decades of results, null results, improper replication methods, and meta analysis from both sides, but has been near-consistently significantly replicated to take into account the various criticisms from the last run of the experiment.

I can't say much about Sheldrake's research... I know of it, and the "psychic dogs" thing was thoroughly refuted, and as Mick noted, his "telephone telepathy" research currently lacks replication, either positive or negative that I know of. Certainly not enough for me to shout "Yes! Morphic fields are definitely a thing!", but there is a difference between "no one has bothered replicating it" and "it has consistently failed replication".

Back to the main point, though... if you want to take an earnest skeptical stance on various "psi" phenomena, then you should look at what research/evidence supports it (followed by counter-points to those studies, followed by counter-points to those counterpoints, ad infinitum until you're blue in the face). There are valid and invalid criticisms done on both sides, but the body of evidence as a whole has convinced me that there is more to it than "all researchers are lying". I certainly wouldn't tell anyone to "believe" in it (that wouldn't be very skeptical), but to actively discount it, one should have a far more logical argument than "Randi says no".

(I'm also a fan of Susan Blackmore... I picked up her "Sense and Nonsense of Prophecy" from a used book store, and was pleantly surprised to see her tear into various "psychic scams")
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Back to the main point, though... if you want to take an earnest skeptical stance on various "psi" phenomena, then you should look at what research/evidence supports it (followed by counter-points to those studies, followed by counter-points to those counterpoints, ad infinitum until you're blue in the face).

No I don't think that is right.

You should look at ALL the tests of "psi" phenomena, whether they conclude with support or not.

And you should evaluate all of them for their technique, validity, etc.

Just looking at the ones that support it - even if you then look at arguments against their conclusions - smacks of being somewhat biased.
 

Vinncent

New Member
I mis-spoke... counter-points should have included "counter studies/replications".

To my knowledge, there aren't any experiments conducted on the stand-alone premise "psi/esp/etc doesn't exist, and here's how I'll prove it", but rather, "Here is an experiment that purports the existence of "psi"... here's what's wrong with their methodolgy, and ideally here's a replication of the experiment that takes into account what was wrong with the original study, and watch as the results vanish." (And, again, arguments/studies against those results especially in cases of improper replication, etc).

My point was, both "sides" should be examined as fully as possible... not just immediately defaulting on the original experiment, or one criticism. I tend to enjoy the counterpoints, as they can point out logical flaws in the experiment... but they're not always logical.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think MikeC was suggesting that a meta-study would be more meaningful than looking at individual studies.

Even if a study shows a 95% certainty of significance, there are still 1 in 20 such studies that will occur by chance. Plus not all studies have the same degree of rigor. Hence it's generally going to be possible to find studies that seem to show PSI ability. This does need to be set into a broader perspective. And then of course even meta-studies are not immune to error, bias, and incorrect interpretation. Here's an example meta-study. While they do talk about significant experimental biases, they still conclude there's evidence of a slight effect. I think it's more likely they have just not eliminated the bias. But it seems odd that such a simple effect should not be easily demonstrated one way or the other - although it was really quite a tiny effect.

http://www.scientificexploration.org/journal/jse_05_1_radin.pdf

However, what would actual prove it eventually would be a consistently repeatable experiment that is carried out under proper conditions.

I've not been that interested in debunking PSI etc, partly because it devolves into this niggling over statistics. I think that's best left to JREF, et al.
 

lotek

Active Member
just like in medicine people dont tend to publish negative results.... scews the whole field.
 

Vinncent

New Member
Mick:

There have been much meta analysis done on various types of "psi" experiments, and combined, show an even greater level of significance across the board... some showing p values in the range of 10^-8 to 10^-20. Furthermore, the reason these studies spend so much time discussing potential forms of bias or alternative explanations, is because, well, see your own post. They are often dismissed without critical examination by sweeping generalizations such as "they're probably biased" or "they're probably just cherry picking data" or "I have no idea what, but it's probably just something else". Modern "psi" researchers seem to scrutinize their own work much more heavily for possible errors, and deal with them in detail, so that their results can't logically be brushed off by claiming any of the above.

To tie this back into the original post, though:

"I found it interesting that demonstrating psi ability is now secondary to explaining "how" psi works"

The meta analysis of the body of research combined, totaling some hundreds of thousands of trials, with p-values orders of magnitude smaller than what's required for "statistically significant", is enough for researchers to conclude that it is a real effect. At this time, continuing to repeat the exact same experiments that have already been shown to be statistically significant many times over doesn't seem like a good use of time.

As Mick noted, the effect is incredibly tiny. So, to notice the effect at all, it typically requires an abnormally large number of trials, which is time consuming, and can also be expensive. "Psi" researchers have established (at least to themselves, fitting scientific criteria) that the effect(s) exist, but there doesn't appear to be any solid theory as to "how" it exists/works, that fits nicely with everything else we know about consciousness and the universe.

If they can find out "how" it works, then it's a relatively short leap from there to develop ways to increase the effect. So far, the only real relevant increase in the effect seems to be between "meditators" vs "non meditators", but much like "psi", little can be empirically said about meditation itself... only its effects can be measured (I think usually in terms of blood pressure, emotional mood, physical therapy, etc). The "psi abilities" of random participants (although statistically significant) is too small to have any practical applications, unless there is some empirically valid way to "increase" or "train" it (assuming it is an "ability").

Outside the actual field of research, there's many explanations ranging from "unsupported" to outright quantum woo woo... one of the most popular is that there is some sort of "psychic energy" that, itself, has been unseen and undetected throughout the entire time of research. Prof. Stenger explains why it's a bad theory here:

http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/RelSci/Breath.pdf
 

Quantumbeliever

Banned
Banned
I'm new to the forum here and find the conversation interesting. In like manner, I find Rupert Sheldrake's work to be some of the most carefully crafted in the field of "psi". I'm not sure why all of you have such a hard time accepting the possibility the our mind might have influence or be influenced “outside” of our skulls? I’m assuming that you accept quantum entanglement and the idea of non-locality? I’m also assuming that you accept the idea that quantum particles/waves have the ability to penetrate substances we consider “solid”, like the skull. Why is it such a stretch to think that our thoughts, which are thought to be made up of these whirling bits of energy, cannot also be measured or shown to have an effect, outside of the brain?
I also find it revealing that the moderator automatically jumps to the conclusion that a scientist (Sheldrake) is being "selective or deceptive" when the results a scientist presents do not fit with the moderator's own view of the world. I'm not claiming that Professor Sheldrake's experiments conclusively show that psi is a real phenomena, but it seems like if we are to further science, one must be open to new ideas and critically attack the evidence rather than following the somewhat predictable pattern of ad-hominem attack and personal derision. I mean no offense to the esteemed moderator. I appreciate such an open forum where ideas can be expressed freely, but throughout the ages science has shown itself to be vulnerable to new ideas that seemed outrageous at the time they were presented.
Also, what study was it that completely debunked his test of dogs in relation to ESP?
Thanks for allowing me to post in the forum.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I'm perfectly open to the possibility of psi, but what I see lacking is repeatable evidence that it exists, and also a plausible mechanism by which it might operate. I'd be interested to hear about either of those.
 

Chew

Senior Member.
I’m assuming that you accept quantum entanglement and the idea of non-locality? I’m also assuming that you accept the idea that quantum particles/waves have the ability to penetrate substances we consider “solid”, like the skull. Why is it such a stretch to think that our thoughts, which are thought to be made up of these whirling bits of energy, cannot also be measured or shown to have an effect, outside of the brain?

It's a stretch because every psi experiment that has produced positive results did so regardless of the distance between source and receiver; i.e. it worked with no correlation to the inverse square law.
 

lotek

Active Member
its preposterous because the idea did not come out of science, you(people) had the idea, then found science to vaguely fit it.

like scammers and their aura detecting ir camera products. or creationist scientists using advanced electronics equipment to model flood impact/look for ark spot.

1. I Believe in blank
2. Here is some science words that sort of fit
3. suspension of disbelief
4. Here is why psionics is real because quantum science!

its rather backwards and not really how science works. To build upon the idea that somehow people can do all this theoretical physics lab stuff at a cellular level is like painting the mona lisa on a helium balloon. too many leaps and stretches at once to be worth giving credence.
 

Vinncent

New Member
Quantumbeliever:

I actually wrote a paper last month detailing the problems in using "entanglement" as an explanation behind "PSI" phenomena. I'll probably post it here for more critique after I've edited it a bit more, but the three main problems I dealt with are:

1. The brain must contain and utilize “quantum particles”, in some state of quantum superposition, to become entangled with other quantum particles.
2. These quantum particles must have some way to “make contact”, or become entangled with other quantum outside of the brain.
3. Consciousness must be able to break down quantum states in such a way as to force a specific outcome to occur, not simply force the particle(s) to take on arbitrary values.



It's not that these "disprove" the existence of any "PSI" phenomena, or even disprove entanglement as being the "fundamental mechanism" that allows psi phenomena to take place... it's just that they need further investigation before we can just point to entanglement as an explanation behind psi phenomena. For example, particles can become entangled if they're subject to the same field. The human body produces a small EMF field, but its range is far too short to account for most cases of psi phenomena. Rupert Sheldrake proposes a "Morphic Field", or basically a type of field that is produced by "consciousness" itself. However, it's merely something he proposes. There is no evidence of this field existing, other than as a sort of "placeholder" explanation behind various telepathy experiments.

I don't recall the research group that debunked his one experiment with dogs, but the essential point was that the dogs would randomly run up to the window all throughout the day, not just when their owners were returning.

Mick:

As far as I can tell, there's no generally accepted theory as to the mechanism behind their results... they just create experiments which control for everything that's not the "meditator" or whathaveyou themselves, so naturally conclude there's something about the meditator (consciousness) remotely interacting with the environment.

Personally, the mechanism is what I've been getting most interested in... as even if we disagree about some of the points, I think we can agree that the effects are incredibly small, and take many repetitions to even see that they exist in most cases. This makes "PSI" abilities/phenomena pretty useless, until we can figure out -how- they work, so by extension we can find a way to make them work better, to make them useful.

(I'll get to the other posts, just didn't want to write too much in one.)
 
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Vinncent

New Member
Chew:

You're correct. One study I've seen mentioned elsewhere (but have been trying to find the original paper without luck) said that psi phenomena was able to take place even when isolated by a faraday cage... ruling out tons of explanations people have proposed in the past.

Regardless of our stance on the issue, I think we can agree that any valid explanation behind psi phenomena should be consistent with everything else we can show to be true about reality. A good theory can't "only be true for psi, regardless of everything else we know." What you mentioned is why I'm against the whole "psychic energy" idea... if "it" doesn't act like energy, or behave like energy (all forms we know of), why call it energy? If you haven't read it yet, this is a good piece of work:

Wait, I think I already covered this in an earlier post. Anyway, it's still good:

http://www.colorado.edu/philosophy/vstenger/RelSci/Breath.pdf


lotek:

I kind of sympathize with what you're saying, but your arguments are just bad.

To start, I don't think there's any branch of science that begins and ends in itself. Science seeks to explain and predict reality, based off what we "experience". Experience comes first... but in the past hundred years, saying it's "based off of experience" sounds kind of misleading. We don't "experience" particles, for example, but we've developed means of indirectly experiencing them. "PSI" research is difficult, because it deals with things that either everyone doesn't necessarily experience this type of phenomena, or else perhaps they are simply unaware of if or when these things do happen (intuition and all that jazz). It's similar to how it took such a lengthy period of time for "science" to acknowledge things like lucid dreaming, or the female orgasm (This isn't an argument for psi in itself... just pointing out the difficulty in studying this type of phenomena).

To your next point... I forget the name of the fallacy, but it doesn't make sense to say "psi is bullshit, because creationism is bullshit". Psi is not creationism, regardless of your personal beliefs on each issue. If you want to debunk "PSI", then it helps to actually point out the problems with the studies, rather than just compare it to an unrelated idea.

About your list... it doesn't necessarily start with "belief". Many people have had weird experiences... whether they be telepathy, clairvoyance, seeing dead people, etc. Now, I don't take any of these true at face value, other than I doubt that everyone who has ever experienced these things is lying. It is, however, more than possible that there is an alternative explanation for any or all of these things.

To your last point, it's not theoretical. Comparatively little about "PSI" research is theoretical... its primarily composed of experimenting in various ways how conscious may/can/not remotely interact with reality, and barely any papers theorizing on the mechanism which allows the results to occur (because, as stated earlier, there currently isn't a good explanation. There are loads of results, but no one has been able to work out the "How?" yet).

The part I sympathize with is that I'm sick of all the shit you mentioned, and see it everywhere in the "new age/occult/spirituality/etc" circles. It's not that they are trying to use science to explain their beliefs... its the fact that they misrepresent science, to give undue validity to their beliefs. The paper I'll be posting shortly was prompted by the fact that no one has made a serious effort to actually use quantum mechanics to justify their beliefs, and instead write something like,

"The double slit experiment shows that consciousness shapes reality, therefore buy my crystals to increase your spiritual energy!"

Combined with copious amounts of attributing false quotes to Einstein and Tesla about shit they never actually said.

However, this is not something I have noticed among "PSI" researchers. Instead, this largely takes place among internet "psions", "occultists", "new agers", etc... which is so far removed from actual "PSI" research itself, its pretty insulting for these people call themselves "psions".
 
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Quantumbeliever

Banned
Banned
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_Telepathy

I seriously doubt this, simply because it has not been repeated. It's such an easy test o perform, and it would radically alter the entire scientific view of the universe if true. So why in 20 years has it not been repeated?

The most likely explanation is that every time someone else has tried to repeat it under controlled conditions, then they get the expected 25% rate, so the don't publish their results.

I strongly suspect that Sheldrake is being either selective or deceptive with his results, and he's benefitting from it.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but when all the evidence to support something comes from one person, and nobody has managed to replicate it (a trivial experiment) in 20 years, then it's very suspicious.

Interesting that Wiki has removed the Why doesn't someone who WANTS to prove it wrong do the study? Because of the inherent bias in science today and for the very fact that it WOULD change the way we think about the world. Your argument is completely without validity. You "suspect" something? Evidence? Surely if Sheldrake's experiment was fraudulent, as you suspect, he would have been shown to be a fraud. Honestly Mick, this type of argument is exactly the type of baseless, ad hominum, nonsense that you so often call other out for. Shame!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_Telepathy

I seriously doubt this, simply because it has not been repeated. It's such an easy test o perform, and it would radically alter the entire scientific view of the universe if true. So why in 20 years has it not been repeated?

The most likely explanation is that every time someone else has tried to repeat it under controlled conditions, then they get the expected 25% rate, so the don't publish their results.
I strongly suspect that Sheldrake is being either selective or deceptive with his results, and he's benefitting from it.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but when all the evidence to support something comes from one person, and nobody has managed to replicate it (a trivial experiment) in 20 years, then it's very suspicious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_Telepathy

I seriously doubt this, simply because it has not been repeated. It's such an easy test o perform, and it would radically alter the entire scientific view of the universe if true. So why in 20 years has it not been repeated?

The most likely explanation is that every time someone else has tried to repeat it under controlled conditions, then they get the expected 25% rate, so the don't publish their results.

I strongly suspect that Sheldrake is being either selective or deceptive with his results, and he's benefitting from it.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but when all the evidence to support something comes from one person, and nobody has managed to replicate it (a trivial experiment) in 20 years, then it's very suspicious.

As I have said before, Mick's claim above is mere supposition. Whenever someone says, "I suspect", that's code for "I have no proof but you should believe me". Since Dr. Sheldrake was not given the opportunity to defend himself, I gave him the opportunity by sending him the comments above. Here is his reply;

"Thanks for drawing my attention to this. I had never heard of this particular debunker before.
Typical combination of arrogance and ignorance.
My own papers are all online here
http://www.sheldrake.org/research/telepathy/scientific-papers-on-telepathy
And successful replications of the telephone telepathy work at the universities of Amsterdam and Freiburg are here:
http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/DoYouKnowWhoIsCalling.pdf
http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/WhoIsCallingAtThisHour.pdf
And if West actually wants to find out for himself ha and his skeptical chums can try the mobile phone telepathy test, freely avaialable to anyone interested:
http://www.sheldrake.org/participate/telephone-telepathy-test
But even if you point this all out on West's web site I doubt if it make much difference. It seems he is not interested in science, butis a true believer in a fundamentalist ideology."

Mick, I don't seem to be able to follow posting guidelines so if you feel Dr Sheldrake's reply to your comments warrant a new thread, feel free!
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Interesting that Wiki has removed the Why doesn't someone who WANTS to prove it wrong do the study? Because of the inherent bias in science today and for the very fact that it WOULD change the way we think about the world. Your argument is completely without validity. You "suspect" something? Evidence? Surely if Sheldrake's experiment was fraudulent, as you suspect, he would have been shown to be a fraud. Honestly Mick, this type of argument is exactly the type of baseless, ad hominum, nonsense that you so often call other out for. Shame!



As I have said before, Mick's claim above is mere supposition. Whenever someone says, "I suspect", that's code for "I have no proof but you should believe me". Since Dr. Sheldrake was not given the opportunity to defend himself, I gave him the opportunity by sending him the comments above. Here is his reply;

"Thanks for drawing my attention to this. I had never heard of this particular debunker before.
Typical combination of arrogance and ignorance.
My own papers are all online here

http://www.sheldrake.org/research/telepathy/scientific-papers-on-telepathy
And successful replications of the telephone telepathy work at the universities of Amsterdam and Freiburg are here:
http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/DoYouKnowWhoIsCalling.pdf
http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/WhoIsCallingAtThisHour.pdf
And if West actually wants to find out for himself ha and his skeptical chums can try the mobile phone telepathy test, freely avaialable to anyone interested:
http://www.sheldrake.org/participate/telephone-telepathy-test
But even if you point this all out on West's web site I doubt if it make much difference. It seems he is not interested in science, butis a true believer in a fundamentalist ideology."

Mick, I don't seem to be able to follow posting guidelines so if you feel Dr Sheldrake's reply to your comments warrant a new thread, feel free!

So, this Sheldrake fellow doesn't want to pick up a cool million dollars while making his point?

Randi's standing (and standing...and standing...) offer highlights one of my core beliefs:
"Put up or shut up."
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I stand by what I said, and I find his response quite amusing, given you call me out for "ad hom".

If it has been successfully replicated, then why is science unaltered?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
"Thanks for drawing my attention to this. I had never heard of this particular debunker before.
Typical combination of arrogance and ignorance.
My own papers are all online here
http://www.sheldrake.org/research/telepathy/scientific-papers-on-telepathy
And successful replications of the telephone telepathy work at the universities of Amsterdam and Freiburg are here:
http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/DoYouKnowWhoIsCalling.pdf
http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/WhoIsCallingAtThisHour.pdf
And if West actually wants to find out for himself ha and his skeptical chums can try the mobile phone telepathy test, freely avaialable to anyone interested:
http://www.sheldrake.org/participate/telephone-telepathy-test
But even if you point this all out on West's web site I doubt if it make much difference. It seems he is not interested in science, butis a true believer in a fundamentalist ideology."
ok what am I missing. I didn't look at sheldrakes test result because after looking at this one... pfft ..http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/DoYouKnowWhoIsCalling.pdf
so basically the ONE maybe telepath got lucky the first time with 50%. but dropped to normal levels (30%) when the #of calls increased.

if these results REPLICATE his. then his are bunk. and prove nothing.

and I did click http://www.sheldrake.org/participate/telephone-telepathy-test cause it sounds like fun (and I'm good at this stuff, I almost always know who is calling) but its ridiculous. 2 callers? and pfft to the alphabetical order. that's not how people remember who is where in their phone.

even 4 callers who are super close friends i can remember who is where. this sounds like just silliness.
 

Quantumbeliever

Banned
Banned
ok what am I missing. I didn't look at sheldrakes test result because after looking at this one... pfft ..http://www.sheldrake.org/files/pdfs/papers/DoYouKnowWhoIsCalling.pdf
so basically the ONE maybe telepath got lucky the first time with 50%. but dropped to normal levels (30%) when the #of calls increased.

if these results REPLICATE his. then his are bunk. and prove nothing.

and I did click http://www.sheldrake.org/participate/telephone-telepathy-test cause it sounds like fun (and I'm good at this stuff, I almost always know who is calling) but its ridiculous. 2 callers? and pfft to the alphabetical order. that's not how people remember who is where in their phone.

even 4 callers who are super close friends i can remember who is where. this sounds like just silliness.

From the Open Psychology Journal:
We cannot say with absolute certainty whether the positive results of study three represent a true effect, but we are confident that they do based on the fact that they replicated the findings with this participant in study two.
40% hit rates on an expected random hit rate of 25% is anything but silliness. It doesn't matter if it was just ONE participant. All it takes is to prove that ONE aspect of PSI exists and the current paradigm crumbles. In my mind, Sheldrake, Radin, and Dr. Daryl Bem's research published in one of the most prestigious psychology journals (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) has shown conclusively, without a doubt, no questions, that some type of what is traditionally called "psi" exists. I really don't understand the hesitation for so many to accept this. Then again, if one accepts that our minds extend beyond the confines of the skull, many of the assumptions upon which much of modern science has been built will have to be questioned.
 

MikeC

Closed Account
it is not "40% hit rates" it is one person out of 20 with a 40% hit rate.

Which sounds like it's probably on the bell curve from 25% "average" - just like you have a 40% chance of getting 4 heads in a row some time in a sequence of 20 coin tosses.

there are ALWAYS "some people" who will get more right than others -but claiming they represent a significant deviance AFTER the test is cherry picking - and essentially fraudulent.

Proper testing provides a hypothesis BEFORE the test, and then sees if the test fits.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
has shown conclusively, without a doubt, no questions, that some type of what is traditionally called "psi" exists.
hardly. people don't except the 'study' because the numbers rot. As I said I could easy hit 80% in 20 calls with the 4 closest people to me and it has nothing to do with telepathology.

Plus, luck is luck. it happens. certainly this doesn't Prove any such thing.
 

Svartbjørn

Senior Member.
From the Open Psychology Journal:
We cannot say with absolute certainty whether the positive results of study three represent a true effect, but we are confident that they do based on the fact that they replicated the findings with this participant in study two.
40% hit rates on an expected random hit rate of 25% is anything but silliness. It doesn't matter if it was just ONE participant. All it takes is to prove that ONE aspect of PSI exists and the current paradigm crumbles. In my mind, Sheldrake, Radin, and Dr. Daryl Bem's research published in one of the most prestigious psychology journals (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) has shown conclusively, without a doubt, no questions, that some type of what is traditionally called "psi" exists. I really don't understand the hesitation for so many to accept this. Then again, if one accepts that our minds extend beyond the confines of the skull, many of the assumptions upon which much of modern science has been built will have to be questioned.

A single point does not a data set make @Quantumbeliever... you give me hundreds or thousands of data points, under labratory conditions AND a control group, and then I can start to go along with it. Im not opposed to the idea of ESP or PSI, but I am opposed to the idea of people going "oh hey, Im psychic' and using that BS cover to their own ends.

IF this DOES exist, those trying to prove it have got to get it done in such a way that it can not be refuted, and it has to be done scientifically, taking every conceivable precaution to prevent contamination. Too much damage has been done by those that have been proven to be absolute fakes (Ms Cleo, for one.. that chick that used to go on Montel etcetcetc) for people to 'just accept it.' There's a lot in this vast universe we dont understand, but Im not going to just go along with something because its "possible" unless there's data and REAL evidence to back it up... experiments that can be repeated over and over and over and over AND come up with the same results EVERY time.
 

WeedWhacker

Senior Member
plus that Randi guy

Hang on a tick!!! ;)

I really respect James Randi. He has a long background in magic (another of my fun hobbies), so he knows a "Flim-Flam" when he sees one.

Also....well at the risk of an "off-topic" ding....James Randi exposed a particularly VILE creature, named "Peter Popoff":

 

jonnyH

Senior Member.
I think Randi's Project Alpha is relevant to the topic

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

You know, the one where he slipped a couple of stage magicians into a parapsychology study to highlight bias and the resultant shonky methodology.

 
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