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Scientist claims proof of Afterlife


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#16    spectral

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 02:53 PM

Workmonkey, all paranormal discussion has to be, to an extent, speculative, it does not have the certainties of empirical science based fact because if it did it wouldn't be discussed in paranormal terms. That's why there are so many theories floating around some more bizzarre than others. I suppose it comes down to the fact of whether we veiw a willingness to consider such theories as a sign of stupidity or open mindedness, is there even a clear cut defining line. Some believe nothing others believe anything, neither attitudes are healthy or productive.

One thing that seems clear is that materialist science has not been able to adequately explain certain anomolies within our world so therefore I tend towards open mindedness albeit keeping my own hopes and fears distinct from that as best I can

As to whether or not humans and aliens are spiritually and consciously connected, if you take a the eastern veiw that all things in the cosmos are interconnected at some level then it is not such a conciet as it first seems.


#17    WorkMonkey

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:13 PM

QUOTE (spectral @ Mar 26 2004, 02:53 PM)
Workmonkey, all paranormal discussion has to be, to an extent, speculative, it does not have the certainties of empirical science based fact because if it did it wouldn't be discussed in paranormal terms.

And this is the problem with it, all these people can claim they have paranormal powers and such but when asked to proove it under controlled conditions are unable, blaming the chair they were sitting on or some such its too much based on believing what people say, without any hard figures to proove it.

The Proposer - "there is well documented evidence of eyewitness acounts of god."


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#18    aquatus1

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 03:35 PM

I honestly think people do not give science enough credit.  There have been some particularly wild theories proposed that initially caused derision among the scientific elite, but were eventually accepted due to the validity of the data that was presented.  This data was gathered through the exacting methodology of science, not through speculation or assumption.

There seems to be the foregone conclusion that the only way to test paranatural powers is to ignore the rules of science, but frankly, that is a cop-out.  If there is a law of nature that we are to discover, then it needs to be done in the exact same way that every other law of nature has been discovered; through hard work, repeated testing, and peer review.

As for 'anomolies', the great majority of events that I have seen claimed as such turn out to be well documented phenomena ranging from self-delusion to misunderstanding of statistical information.  It may well turn out to be that there are no anomolies at all, and that we do not need to turn to the supernatural to describe events that do not exist in the first place.

Edited by aquatus1, 26 March 2004 - 03:38 PM.


#19    spectral

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 04:13 PM

QUOTE
And this is the problem with it, all these people can claim they have paranormal powers and such but when asked to proove it under controlled conditions are unable, blaming the chair they were sitting on or some such its too much based on believing what people say, without any hard figures to proove it.


And that's what they did, but then the data and methodology is criticised as not being stringent enough, (which has been refuted by the way) meanwhile similar experiments are carried out by Archie Roy at Edinburgh university and come up with similar results using carefully controlled experiments and again it's methods are called into question as not being strict enough. Perhaps the problem lies with this perception of an awe struck and childlike scientific community standing their wide eyed and pleading 'show me these wonders' then being continiually frustrated rather than the more cynical reality of a community riven by petty rivalry, peer pressure and a basic intolerance of anyone willing to stick their neck out and investigate 'fringe subjects', God forbid any peer review would be slanted or the investigator slated. Of course that's not true of all scientists but it's more prevalent than it should be in a discipline that is based on objective and unbiased observation. It's not only the paranormal field that is full of the disingenious and corrupt.

QUOTE
As for 'anomolies', the great majority of events that I have seen claimed as such turn out to be well documented phenomena ranging from self-delusion to misunderstanding of statistical information.


The great majority may be just that, but it's that significant minority that's of real interest.


#20    PsychicPenguin

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Posted 26 March 2004 - 05:46 PM

Back to topic....

I think Ray Hyman brought a good point in his critics.

Medium reading:
QUOTE
The first thing being shown to me is a male figure that I would say as being above, that would be to me some type of father image. . . . Showing me the month of May. . . .They're telling me to talk about the Big H-um, the H connection. To me this an H with an N sound. So what they are talking about is Henna, Henry, but there's an HN connection. (p. xix)


is definitely a different task than the control reading (the experiment performed by non-mediums to compare the medium's accuracy over random guessing).
QUOTE
What was the relation of the deceased to the sitter?
What was the name of the sitter's husband?
In what month did he die?
How was he described by his friends?


Therefore the control reading has no value to provide a baseline for the medium result.

However most of his article is trying to discredit the experiment, and must be dealt with skepticism (yes, be skeptic to skeptics).

For example, is the case of "white crow" sitter:
GD (George) is the sitter
Campbell is the medium
QUOTE
Campbell apparently stated that the recipient of the reading was named George (true) even though she was supposedly completely blind to his identity. She also correctly indicated that the primary deceased person for GD was a male named Michael (true). She also provided the name "Alice" and later, during the interactive part of the reading, correctly stated that this was GD's deceased aunt. Among the list of names she included in her reading was one that she said sounded like Talya, Tiya, or Tilya. GD has a friend that he calls "Tallia." Campbell mentioned a deceased dog whose name began with an "S." GD had a beloved dog with an "S" name (but not the name used by Campbell). Other names were also relevant including that of GD's father "Bob." The researchers cite other qualitative hits that they believe provide powerful evidence that Campbell is getting information from a paranormal source.

This paranormal source, the authors argue, is not simply extrasensory perception based on GD's thoughts. This is because in the interactive phase of the reading "not only were each of the four primary people described accurately by Campbell, but four additional facts not known by GD and later confirmed by sources close to GD indicated that exceptionally accurate information was obtained for GD's deceased and close friends."

This is indeed a breathtaking reading. In the article Hyman said that GD may lied to Schwartz about the four additional facts, since Dr. Schwartz didn't confirm it directly. However we should note that GD could not lie about the direct hit on his name "George."

Schwartz then performed a double blind experiment, where the sitters are given two readings, one is his real reading, and the other one is the reading for another sitter. They are supposed to rate the readings, and decided which one is supposed to be his/her own reading.

It is said that only 4 out of 6 chosed the correct reading (very close to 3 out of 6 by coincidence) and the other two do not give significant difference in the rating. Statistically speaking, this study is inconclusive. However with the case of the "white crow" sitter GD, we have this anomaly:
QUOTE
they discovered that in the case of GD, who had been the star sitter in a previous experiment with Campbell, he not only successfully identified his own transcript but also found nine dazzle shots in this transcript and none in the control.


Hyman failed to explain this, but rather divert the attention of the reader that this is not significant as the experiment did not meet its designed goal (where 6 out of 6 sitters are supposed to choose correctly), and mentioned that the first and the 2nd reading are significantly different (although both of them are accurate).

I would say that the experiment is still inconclussive, but it is definitely not useless as Hyman claimed: "Probably no other extended program in psychical research deviates so much from accepted norms of scientific methodology as this one."


#21    spectral

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 05:18 AM

Isn't asking CSICOP flunkie Hyman to review this a bit like asking Osama Bin Laden to rewrite God Bless America.

Gary Schwartz rebutts Hyman here,

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Edited by spectral, 27 March 2004 - 05:20 AM.


#22    Kismit

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 05:48 AM

I seem to have been ignored . Work monkey I redirect you to my post . Any coments?

Edited by Kismit, 27 March 2004 - 05:49 AM.


#23    aquatus1

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 03:00 PM

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Isn't asking CSICOP flunkie Hyman to review this a bit like asking Osama Bin Laden to rewrite God Bless America.


Are you seriously comparing a skeptical review to a religiously fueled diatribe?

We aren't talking about someone stating their opinion in a patriotic song and dance, we are talking about the analysis of the scientific methodology used in order to validate the conclusions arrived at from the data.


#24    PsychicPenguin

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 07:58 PM

Despite his extreme bias, Hyman brought several good points. However Schwartz' study is definitely not worthless as Hyman claimed. More research must be done.  


#25    spectral

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 09:25 PM

[QUOTE]Are you seriously comparing a skeptical review to a religiously fueled diatribe?

We aren't talking about someone stating their opinion in a patriotic song and dance, we are talking about the analysis of the scientific methodology used in order to validate the conclusions arrived at from the data.

It's a little sarcastic comparison (don't take it quite so literally) the point being that neither  individual can be counted on to approach the relevant task without heavy negative bias.

Edited by spectral, 27 March 2004 - 09:27 PM.


#26    aquatus1

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 10:56 PM

Well, yes, finally having read the article, I do have to agree that Hyman was not quite as objective as he should have been.  A shame, that.  Especially after he agreed that Schwartz submitted his work for review and incorporated new data.


#27    WorkMonkey

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Posted 27 March 2004 - 11:16 PM

QUOTE (Kismit @ Mar 27 2004, 05:48 AM)
I seem to have been ignored . Work monkey I redirect you to my post . Any coments?

Yeah I just cant be bothered because this whole exercise is interlectually bankrupt.

The Proposer - "there is well documented evidence of eyewitness acounts of god."


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#28    spectral

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE
Yeah I just cant be bothered because this whole exercise is interlectually bankrupt.


And who's been kidding you you're an 'interlectuall'. whistling2.gif

Kismet the whole 'rising population undermines reincarnation' argument has been pretty much dealt with on numerous occasions but if its the best defense hardline skeptics have then so be it. Their objections no more disprove anything than supporting theories put forward to explain it do and IMO it's a bit of a red herring but leave them their little conciet.

As to Schwartz experiments I still think we can only say it's a bit too early to acclaim them as proof of an afterlife. Proof of the existence of psi and ESP almost certainly, suggestive of life after death possibly but no more than that.


#29    WorkMonkey

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 11:38 AM

QUOTE (spectral @ Mar 28 2004, 10:30 AM)

Kismet the whole 'rising population undermines reincarnation' argument has been pretty much dealt with on numerous occasions but if its the best defense hardline skeptics have then so be it. Their objections no more disprove anything than supporting theories put forward to explain it do and IMO it's a bit of a red herring but leave them their little conciet.


It hasn't been dealt with at all, alot of theories that have absoloutly no base at all are shoved forward in an attempt to deal with it, such as the "Aliens on another world" or "Pool of Spirits" this kind of argueing has no place in a serious (if this can be called that) discussion, its relying on the existance of something that in itself is not prooven to exist. Circular reasoning? On this forum? Never!

These objections rationally disproove the afterlife, addressing numbers, population changes caused by social and economic fluctuations etc.

While the only way to "proove" the afterlife is to get around these argument with whatever you can make up, and I'm not wanting to insult anyones beliefs, but you are making it up, because you haven't seen it, I haven't seen it, no one has seen it, so the whole idea of this concept is coming from living people, none of who have seen it or have any reason to think they know it exists. It's just an idea with no base.



The Proposer - "there is well documented evidence of eyewitness acounts of god."


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#30    spectral

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Posted 28 March 2004 - 07:48 PM

Workmonkey I and for that matter no one on this board has said they have or can prove the afterlife, as I pointed out in my first post the very nature of this subject means it is all speculation, some thought out, some not so. Speculation is what everyone even scientists do until such a time as something can/cannot be verified, if we didn't speculate we'd have found out absolutely zilch. I don't regard the close minded 'oh it hasn't been proved therefore it's rubbish' approach as true skeptism more a lazy cop out. At the end of the day it may all be self deluding crap but science hasn't managed to adequately explain these various anomalies as such and until it has the questions/speculation remain. Sorry it's not all cut and dried but if people need it to be why bother posting on a board such as this.

I also stand by my earlier post, the population angle does not of itself disprove or occlude the possibility of rebirth.





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