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Do Scientists Fear the Paranormal?


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#1    Render

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:32 AM

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The question has been asked for decades: why haven’t psychic powers been proven yet? Psychics have been studied for decades, both in and out of the laboratory, yet the scientific community (and the public at large) remains unconvinced.
In a recent book, “Science & Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics,” author Chris Carter insists that the reason that psychic powers have not been proven is because scientists are unaware of the research or refuse to take it seriously because “Clearly many scientists find the claims of parapsychology disturbing.”
This is a common charge leveled against skeptics and scientists: that they refuse to acknowledge the existence of paranormal phenomenon (psychic abilities, ghosts, etc.) because it would somehow challenge or “disturb” their worldview.
Skeptics and scientists, they say, are deeply personally and professional invested in defending the scientific status quo and cannot psychologically tolerate the idea that they could be wrong. This results in a closed-minded refusal to accept, or even seriously examine, the evidence.
But is this really true? Do scientists ignore and dismiss claims and evidence that challenge dominant scientific ideas? Let’s examine some recent examples.


Scientific Blinders or Lack of Evidence?
The reason that psychic powers, Bigfoot, ghosts, and other phenomena are not accepted by the scientific community is simply because there is little or no good evidence for them — not because scientists haven’t looked at the evidence.

http://www.livescien...paranormal.html


#2    Child of Bast

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 03:12 PM

My problem is that so many people on both sides of the argument believe their word is law.

'A phantom,' said my Uncle Mycroft, who had just materialised, 'is essentially a heteromorphic wave pattern that gains solidity when the apparition converts thermal energy from the surroundings to visible light. It's a fascinating process and I'm amazed no one has thought of harnessing it - a holographic TV that could operate from the heat given off by an average-size guinea pig.' ~ First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde

#3    scowl

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

Proof of the existence of paranormal would be a goldmine for scientists just like Quantum Physics has been. It would open up a whole area of scientific study and inquiry.

But there is no proof. In the 70's there was an attempt to study ESP with some very fundamental experiments. Some scientists astounded the world by declaring positive results. Unfortunately no one else was able to reproduce them. Further investigation showed that the experiments had happened in surprisingly uncontrolled conditions. Anyone who could perform some magic tricks would have been declared to have ESP abilities by their standards.

Even worse the scientists, who had become quite the celebrities on the daytime talk show circuit, ignored all criticism and continued to perform their experiments in these casual settings. They reported ever more incredible results bringing themselves even more fame. If scientists "find the claims of parapsychology disturbing", it's because in the past the claims have come from people who can't properly perform science.

All scientists dream of shaking the world with some great discovery. That would be their ultimate goal of their careers. There is no "scientific status quo" to protect other than proper science.

BTW is this "Chris Carter" the guy who developed the TV show "The X-Files" or is that just a coincidence?


#4    Render

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 05:39 PM

View Postscowl, on 16 January 2013 - 05:23 PM, said:

Proof of the existence of paranormal would be a goldmine for scientists just like Quantum Physics has been. It would open up a whole area of scientific study and inquiry.

But there is no proof. In the 70's there was an attempt to study ESP with some very fundamental experiments. Some scientists astounded the world by declaring positive results. Unfortunately no one else was able to reproduce them. Further investigation showed that the experiments had happened in surprisingly uncontrolled conditions. Anyone who could perform some magic tricks would have been declared to have ESP abilities by their standards.

Even worse the scientists, who had become quite the celebrities on the daytime talk show circuit, ignored all criticism and continued to perform their experiments in these casual settings. They reported ever more incredible results bringing themselves even more fame. If scientists "find the claims of parapsychology disturbing", it's because in the past the claims have come from people who can't properly perform science.

All scientists dream of shaking the world with some great discovery. That would be their ultimate goal of their careers. There is no "scientific status quo" to protect other than proper science.

BTW is this "Chris Carter" the guy who developed the TV show "The X-Files" or is that just a coincidence?

nice post.

And Chris Carter :D  didn't even think about it twice . Looked it up but according to certain book reviews it is not the same Carter.


#5    White Crane Feather

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:35 PM

There is repeatable and statistically significant experiments.

Sheldrakes experiments regarding the sense of being stared at are a good example.

There is a dogma in science




"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#6    pallidin

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Just an opinion, but I think there are increasing general scientific considerations of a "paranormal possibilty" than, say, in earlier years.


#7    scowl

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:37 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 16 January 2013 - 07:35 PM, said:

There is repeatable and statistically significant experiments.

Sheldrakes experiments regarding the sense of being stared at are a good example.

Sheldrakes has abandoned the world of science for the more profitable arena of writing popular books and making presentations to non-scientific audiences.

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There is a dogma in science




Do people read books and magazines any more or do they learn everything from youtube?


#8    Hasina

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:38 PM

Afraid? You have scientist studying volcanos by getting into them, scientists being shot into space on rockets, going into jungles, messing with atomic particles themselves and you think the 'paranormal' would scare them just because it may debunk some of their theories? Pfffft.

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#9    scowl

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 08:49 PM

View Postpallidin, on 16 January 2013 - 07:46 PM, said:

Just an opinion, but I think there are increasing general scientific considerations of a "paranormal possibilty" than, say, in earlier years.

Science was very receptive to ESP as a possibility in the late 60's and early 70's, but the inexcusable behavior of scientists performing extremely uncontrolled experiments and parading the results in the popular media poisoned the field for decades. Studies have continued but like the paper cited in the article by Dr. Bem at Cornell, they've found that positive results have been caused by errors in the experiments or the results are just expected statistical anomalies. It hasn't been a profitable field of research.


#10    NiteMarcher

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 09:54 PM

View Postscowl, on 16 January 2013 - 08:37 PM, said:

Sheldrakes has abandoned the world of science for the more profitable arena of writing popular books and making presentations to non-scientific audiences.

Do people read books and magazines any more or do they learn everything from youtube?

Since mainstream media is heavily controlled and censored concerning content, at least "youtube" offers one an alternative platform in which to communicate to the masses.

Edited by NiteMarcher, 16 January 2013 - 09:55 PM.

Believe what you want and I'll believe whatever I want...it's an open field, and
everyone is given a chance at making a home run...

#11    NiteMarcher

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:23 PM

Cuban-born journalist and author Alex Abella ("Soldiers of Reason") was allowed exclusive access inside the RAND Corporation to view their archives. What he discovered was a plot driven by mad scientists, behaviorists, and generals who were intent on starting world war three and fleecing the American people in the process. Once he was a skeptic on the subject of conspiracy theories and the new world order, but after his work with the RAND Corporation he is now convinced that this top secret think tank has been pulling the strings of American government for at least 60 years.



Believe what you want and I'll believe whatever I want...it's an open field, and
everyone is given a chance at making a home run...

#12    Hasina

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:30 PM

View PostNiteMarcher, on 16 January 2013 - 10:23 PM, said:

Cuban-born journalist and author Alex Abella ("Soldiers of Reason") was allowed exclusive access inside the RAND Corporation to view their archives. What he discovered was a plot driven by mad scientists, behaviorists, and generals who were intent on starting world war three and fleecing the American people in the process. Once he was a skeptic on the subject of conspiracy theories and the new world order, but after his work with the RAND Corporation he is now convinced that this top secret think tank has been pulling the strings of American government for at least 60 years.


In other words, 'wordswordswordswords' without solid evidence.

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#13    Crikey

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:24 AM

Things get complicated when we throw James Randi's One Million Dollar Challenge into the discussion.
He says he'll pay it to anybody who can demonstrate psychic/paranormal/supernatural powers, yet even though its been up for many years, nobody has won it and there have been a number of failed attempts.
So why hasn't anybody won it?

http://skepdic.com/randi.html


#14    Ashotep

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:56 AM

I really don't think scientists are afraid of the paranormal.  I think its one of those things that you have to experience it to believe it.  Its hard to put a ghost under a magnifying glass and as far as being physic I think its one of those things for most people it happens at random.


#15    Judeaous

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:51 AM

Science can never accept anything supernatural!!  The proof it demands has to be so "consistent" in testing, thus making anything supernatural a
"Natural Occurrence"  by the standards of science.  The naturalistic viewpoint of science lends no room for anything supernatural to exist, they cannot exist together.  
Yet!!  We all know the supernatural is there!!!  There is just too much evidence.  Every reader out there has probably had some kind of experience at some time!!   Police agencies enlist the use of diviners to find bodies and killers.  (Police Science uses the supernatural  "lol")....  Scientists themselves flock to the local tabernacle's on Sunday to pray to the god they denied existed all week while at work.  Many of them, anyway.  
It all works out for the better, in that...To deny the existence of the supernatural, is our best defense AGAINST it.   It's when we believe in it, we lend ourselves to spiritual attack.  Loot at the
witch trials....   The spirits had a field day with the minds of the people of Salem.
Ps great article, kudos to the poster.


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Today's paranormal researchers err....by clinging to the skirts of science, who's naturalistic viewpoint CAN NEVER allow for the bearing of any fruit.
Not unlike studying the fundamentals of American Democracy, by referencing MEIN KOMPF.




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