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What do you think of paranormal investigaters?


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#31    lee77

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 09:46 AM

regmanabq, I have named—not once. but twice—Dave Oester and Sharon Gill of the IGHS (International Ghost Hunter’s Society), as charlatans and con artists, and you still don’t know who to stay away from?

Also, you haven’t told me how ghosts “drain” batteries or “draw energy”?  I would really like to know why ghosts, which are as old as the human race, have suddenly become dependent on batteries and electrical appliances.

You’re missing the point about scientific investigation.  Electricity, unlike ghosts, is not supernatural.  There were certainly those who referred to the inventions of people such as Bell, Thomas Edison, et al. as cockamamie, and there are still people who scoff at inventions they do not fully understand.  However, when Ben Franklin flew a kite with a key attached to the string during a thunderstorm, he did so to see if lightning could pass through metal.  None of the famous inventors would have attempted to “prove” the existence of God—or ghosts—because they had the good sense to realize it would be an exercise in futility.

In an earlier post, you indicated “ghost-hunting” doesn’t hurt anyone.  This is untrue.  A local cemetery which had remained unlocked, day and night, for more than a hundred years, is now locked at all times because of “ghost hunters.”  An IGHS-affiliated group trampled plants and flowers, left soda cans and other trash in the cemetery, blocked the driveways of nearby residents, etc.  One day, some members of the group strung an electrical cable through the cemetery, presumably for use that night.  That afternoon, an elderly lady taking flowers to the grave of a loved one, tripped over the cable, fell and fractured her arm.  Following this incident, the City locked the cemetery and now, in order to visit, one must first obtain a key from the Dept. of Public Works.  This has inconvenienced a lot of people.

Prior to the above-described incident, I gave this same group permission to “investigate” a local apartment complex.  They were very rude and condescending toward residents (who knew more about the paranormal than all the members of the IGHS combined) and had to be ordered off the property.  A few weeks’ later, a member of the group was discovered hiding in the bushes with a pair of binoculars.  He was looking into the window of the bedroom of a teenaged girl.  

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident. One well-known ghost-hunter in Chicago was charged with voyeurism.  When arrested, he was wearing a raincoat with nothing under it!

Finally, can’t you respond without quoting almost the entire post of the individual to whom you are responding?  Repetition is unnecessary and, like ghost-hunting, a waste of time.

Shai Hulud, I have already explained what I meant by “cockamamie" devices.  Also, I find it difficult to believe a reputable scientist would claim “supernatural” is not a word.  Scientists, after all, are interested in science, not semantics.


#32    Shai_Hulud

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 12:45 PM

Supernatural is not a word accepted by scientists you cannot have a natural law be defined by "supernatural" and I am not respectable not yet at any rate. See there are various device that can be used to measure the ghostly phenomenon, I described a few examples of their phenomenon in my previous post. A ghost that is visible has mass, it can be identifiable as a human shaped, it has organizing capability, how is it organized, by electric field? Magnetic field? how is the force generated? If a ghost affects the temperature we measure the heat density of the area where the ghost is wont to appear. Is a ghost detectable by an increase of certain radiations? Those are experiments that can be performed easily.


#33    lee77

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 02:11 PM

Okay, please show me evidence where any scientist indicates he/she does not accept the word "supernatural."

If all these tests you claim apply to ghosts can be performed so easily, why haven't they been performed?  You mention the usual electric fields, magnetic fields, temperature changes, etc., however, there is no proof whatsoever that any of them pertain to ghosts.  There have been claims that ghosts cause a change in temperature, but many things may cause a temperature change and, again, not all ghosts cause a drop in temperature.  Not everything that can be seen has mass.  For example, shadows, light reflections, mirages, etc. can certainly be seen, yet, they have no mass.    Don't you get it?  Ghosts never have, and never will, conform to the laws of nature and, therefore, when it comes to the paranormal, all the test equipment in the world is useless.




#34    aquatus1

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 02:43 PM

Shai Hulud, you are on the right track.

You are quite correct.  To the average scientist, 'supernatural' and 'paranatural' are words that, at best, indicate a certain line of knowledge which we have not yet stepped beyond, but at worst, and most often, convey a simple ignorance of already existing natural laws and logical deductions.  One must have credibility firmly in hand prior to proposing any theories having to do with these subjects, or you risk destroying whatever respectability your experiments might have had.

In order to investigate the supernatural and the paranatural, there are certain questions that must be answered.  The primary one, of course, is wether ghosts exist or not in the first place.  We are, however, at a point in our knowledge where we cannot find that extremely necessary component of repeatability and verifiability that would allow us to answer with an emphatic "Yes".  So what do we do?  We work the solution backwards.  

QUOTE
A ghost that is visible has mass, it can be identifiable as a human shaped, it has organizing capability, how is it organized, by electric field? Magnetic field? how is the force generated? If a ghost affects the temperature we measure the heat density of the area where the ghost is wont to appear. Is a ghost detectable by an increase of certain radiations?


Every single one of these questions must be answered, but must be answered not as explanations of what a ghost is, but rather as a starting point to confirm that ghosts exist in the first place.  In other words, it is like having multiple choices in a math problem.  If you have absolutely no clue how to get the answer, you can plug in the possible answers, but your goal is not simply to declare one answer correct, but to be able to understand and explain the original question.

Once you have an equation that works, you are still responsible for an explanation of how the equation will work without any answers to choose from.  That is the science.  A one-shot will not work; it must be repeatable and verifiable, so that anyone who wishes to confirm this equation of ghosts may do so.  In order for that to happen, the hypothesis must meet the demands of scientific methodology; only then will it be submitable to peer review and publication.

Shai Hulud, you are heading in the right direction, but be very careful of your way.  You must have a working knowledge of research and methodology, or else you will find yourself, like so many other unfortunates before you, suckered into the pseudoscience that pervades what has the potential to be a brand new, valid, field of science.


#35    HowdyDoo

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 03:47 PM

What about TAPS?  I've been watching the show on SCI-FI Channel lately and find it refreshing in its approach to researching paranormal activity.

The goal of these investigators seems to be to disprove the paranormal in each circumstance, and if they can't disprove the happening with science, they're left with a possible supernatural experience.

Science is absolutely necessary in these investigations simply to rule out any other reason/cause for a supposed supernatural event.  But after you've dissected the situation with the natural laws of physics, etc., what are you left with?

You're left with a true paranormal event.  We may not possess the science laws or equipment or intelligence necessary to evaluate it at this time. (Even if we did, where's the fun in that?  I like believing in the possibility of ghosts and things that can't be explained away by man.)




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#36    aquatus1

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 04:02 PM

QUOTE
Science is absolutely necessary in these investigations simply to rule out any other reason/cause for a supposed supernatural event. But after you've dissected the situation with the natural laws of physics, etc., what are you left with?
You're left with a true paranormal event. We may not possess the science laws or equipment or intelligence necessary to evaluate it at this time. (Even if we did, where's the fun in that? I like believing in the possibility of ghosts and things that can't be explained away by man.)


Not necessarily.  You also be left with a single coincidental occurrence.  Or you could even simply have a non-event, as in one that did not occur.  Unexplainable does not mean that you know have license to claim any possibility that pops to mind.  The rules of methodology still apply.  If ever you wish to make a supernatural or paranatural claim, you must first create and validate the science laws pertaining to them.  Only theories explain.  Possibilities do not.


#37    HowdyDoo

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 04:42 PM

[quote=aquatus1,Jan 5 2005, 04:02 PM]
[quote]
Not necessarily.  You also be left with a single coincidental occurrence.  Or you could even simply have a non-event, as in one that did not occur.  Unexplainable does not mean that you know have license to claim any possibility that pops to mind.  The rules of methodology still apply.  If ever you wish to make a supernatural or paranatural claim, you must first create and validate the science laws pertaining to them.  Only theories explain.  Possibilities do not.
[right]View Post[/right]
[/quote]

To say that simply because we don't have the scientific ability to evaluate something it doesn't exist is short-sighted and close-minded.

Coincidental occurrence?  Okay...say a chair moves across the floor of it's own volition.  All scientific causes were considered and ruled out.  So, what you're left with is "it didn't happen" or "it was a coincidence."  Yeah, that really explains it away logically.


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#38    lee77

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 07:24 PM

aquatus 1, you claim, “To the average scientist, 'supernatural' and 'paranatural' [sic] are words that, at best, indicate a certain line of knowledge which we have not yet stepped beyond, but at worst, and most often, convey a simple ignorance of already existing natural laws and logical deductions.”  I don’t know what kind of, or how many, scientists you know, but I know quite a few and don’t recall any of them having a problem with the words “supernatural” and “preternatural” (I assume you meant preternatural as paranatural is not a word.)  Scientists deal with facts and proof, but so do a lot of professions.  Are you saying “the average scientist” is an atheist?  Or that if someone thinks scientifically, he doesn’t believe in God?

For some reason, the people on this message board seem to habitually forget that God is supernatural and dismissing the supernatural, or the word supernatural, is dismissing God.  I don’t know what, if any, church you attend, but the Episcopal Church has many members in scientific fields.  Every year, we have haunted tours (of local haunted locations), cemetery tours (which includes ghosts and other interesting information), and a lot of people in scientific fields (researchers, medical professionals, a nuclear physicist [who also visits, researches and writes about haunted locations], etc.) take an active part in these tours and, not once, have I ever heard any of them express contempt for the supernatural.  In fact, some of them have had encounters with the unexplained.

Instead of attempting to second-guess scientists, maybe you should talk to some of them and find out what they really believe.

Edited by lee77, 05 January 2005 - 07:58 PM.


#39    Sariegn

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 08:46 PM

QUOTE(lee77 @ Jan 4 2005, 01:23 AM)
So-called “paranormal investigators” are wasting their time.  Ghosts are supernatural, therefore, the laws of science do not apply.  Accordingly, they cannot be investigated and there is no way to prove their existence.

When questioned about the absurdity of their quest, paranormal investigators inevitable make vague references to “energy.”  I’ve heard them talk about how ghosts “drain” batteries and “draw energy” from electrical appliances, etc.  Could anything be more ridiculous?  Ghosts were around--and much more prevalent--before the invention of batteries or the discovery of electricity.  What did they “draw energy” from back then?

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I dont beleive in this electricity thing you are talking about. Ghosts arent able to draw energy from outlets? Thats very absurd.

"There are many mysteries in this universe big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?"

#40    Sariegn

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 08:49 PM

QUOTE(aquatus1 @ Jan 3 2005, 09:35 PM)
QUOTE
'kay then, you think what you want. I dont expect everyone to beleive me, heck i'm only 14. happy.gif


Well, that is a point in your favor then.  You are quite correct that I do not believe you, but that is the result from many people of your age coming to this site and claiming extraordinary powers, but being unable to provide any sort of proof (or even a decent definition).  I hope you understand that it is nothing personal.

However, my statement still stands, in regards to your credibility.  I am a scientist, and as such I have very specific guidelines and methodology that needs to be followed in order to present a finding.  This methodology is extremely crucial, for it is the basis of verifiability and credibility.  By properly following scientific methodology, I show that I am able to put together a logical argument with imperical evidence, and when such a study is presented, the scientific community has no choice but to treat it as they would any other study.  This is not to say the scientific community has to automatically agree with my findings, or even pronounce them correct, but, assuming that none of my evidence or conclusions are faulty, they must agree that it is credible.

I encourage you, then, to learn what you can about proper research and scientific methodology.  It is crucial for investigation, no matter which kind, and absolutely irreplaceable in regards to credibility.  While I do not believe in such things as ghosts or mediums, I am willing to give you any assistance in learning how to sep up proper tests and research to verify wether your findings can be considered credible.

Incidentaly, a proper foundation in scientific methodology can only help you in regards to academic pursuits.  I hope you will give its study consideration.  Good luck.

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Thanx, But my reaserch is pretty old fashioned. I tend to use logic when explaining it to adults who have to compare these theories to their own knowledge. Its easier to talk to a child about the paranormal. They dont ask questions, or compare.

"There are many mysteries in this universe big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?"

#41    Sariegn

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 08:53 PM

QUOTE(psychic boy @ Jan 4 2005, 10:15 PM)
there is only one thing i wonder about being a paranormal investgator ....                      How much is the pay.




cuz i wanna be a paranormal investigato

View Post



Pay? I guess you get paid for what you uncover? I am not old enough to have it as my job, its my 'hobby' for now. When i turn 16 i am moving to arizona to check out the many ghost sightings there. But unles you are in some kind of top-secret organization then you wont get much of a pay.


"There are many mysteries in this universe big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?"

#42    Diebytheflyguy

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Posted 05 January 2005 - 11:02 PM

QUOTE(psychic boy @ Jan 4 2005, 11:15 PM)
there is only one thing i wonder about being a paranormal investgator ....                      How much is the pay.




cuz i wanna be a paranormal investigato

View Post


laugh.gif Most people do it for free and they basically just get a camera and start snapping pictures in some random places, or in places that are said to be haunted. Most amateur, or even "professional" ghost "investigators" hardly do any investigating. If they capture something they are convinced, and don't bother to look at all the angles.


#43    aquatus1

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 12:43 AM

QUOTE
aquatus 1, you claim, “To the average scientist, 'supernatural' and 'paranatural' [sic] are words that, at best, indicate a certain line of knowledge which we have not yet stepped beyond, but at worst, and most often, convey a simple ignorance of already existing natural laws and logical deductions.” I don’t know what kind of, or how many, scientists you know, but I know quite a few and don’t recall any of them having a problem with the words “supernatural” and “preternatural” (I assume you meant preternatural as paranatural is not a word.) Scientists deal with facts and proof, but so do a lot of professions. Are you saying “the average scientist” is an atheist? Or that if someone thinks scientifically, he doesn’t believe in God?


No, I meant paranormal, not paranatural.  My mistake.

I hope you take me at my word that I know quite a few scientists as well, or we shall have to start counting our aquaintances, and frankly, that seems a rather childish way of evaluating a discussion.  All of them, regardless of their personal beliefs, tend to take a small sigh wether the words supernatural or paranormal enter into the conversation, for the simple reason that the vast majority of proof or evidence regarding them tends to lack a great deal of credibility.

Now, how the devil you get "Are you saying “the average scientist” is an atheist? Or that if someone thinks scientifically, he doesn’t believe in God?" from my post is beyond me, and I will not dignify what sounds more like an accusation than a question with a response.

QUOTE
For some reason, the people on this message board seem to habitually forget that God is supernatural and dismissing the supernatural, or the word supernatural, is dismissing God. I don’t know what, if any, church you attend, but the Episcopal Church has many members in scientific fields.


The supernatural is dismissed as unscientific, not as unreal.  Science has very strict guidelines as to what and how something may be considered credible, and if those guidelines are not met, then it cannot be given the authority and credibility that science has.  All scientists know this, and all scientists abide by it, be they Episcopalian, Muslim, Buddhist, or atheists.  Science does not make any exceptions for personal beliefs or biases.  If someone wishes for the supernatural to be considered scientific, then their explanation must be scientific, not faith based.  Faith has no place in science.

QUOTE
Instead of attempting to second-guess scientists, maybe you should talk to some of them and find out what they really believe.


Like I said, what they believe is irrelevant.  Their beliefs are their own business, and more power to them for having them.  Their beliefs, however, have no place in science.  Science is not about faith, it's about credibility.  It's not about talk, it's about evidence.  It's not about making claims, it's about supporting them.


#44    Sariegn

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 12:45 AM

QUOTE(Diebytheflyguy @ Jan 5 2005, 05:02 PM)
QUOTE(psychic boy @ Jan 4 2005, 11:15 PM)
there is only one thing i wonder about being a paranormal investgator ....                      How much is the pay.




cuz i wanna be a paranormal investigato

View Post


laugh.gif Most people do it for free and they basically just get a camera and start snapping pictures in some random places, or in places that are said to be haunted. Most amateur, or even "professional" ghost "investigators" hardly do any investigating. If they capture something they are convinced, and don't bother to look at all the angles.

View Post



There isn't that many that would actualy get deeper into the reason why the ghost is there, that true. But me and my friends would gather any info and stories about the place and people as possible. We even record info on the ghosts. I so far solved a mystery that occured many years ago. It was a murder but it doesn't matter because it was a farm house in the early 1800's or so. Its sad what had happened and that the innocent ghosts still linger around.

"There are many mysteries in this universe big and small. Like, why do clowns make us laugh? Why do we love puppy dogs? And why, why do little blue midgets hit me with fish?"

#45    aquatus1

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Posted 06 January 2005 - 01:22 AM

QUOTE
There isn't that many that would actualy get deeper into the reason why the ghost is there, that true. But me and my friends would gather any info and stories about the place and people as possible. We even record info on the ghosts. I so far solved a mystery that occured many years ago. It was a murder but it doesn't matter because it was a farm house in the early 1800's or so. Its sad what had happened and that the innocent ghosts still linger around.


Okay, see, here's where the misunderstanding is.  The questions isn't about the ghost's identity, or wether it should be there or not.  The question is wether it is a ghost in the first place.  Most paranormal "investigator" take a pic of something unusual and promptly declare it a ghost.  The key is to first eliminate any other possibilities.  The ultimate goal is to find out why ghosts appear at certain times and not at others.  Without this repeatability, we cannot get any farther as a science, because the eternal question that will dog every step or theory will always be "yeah, but is there such things as ghosts to begin with?"  Taking a picture is not enough to prove the existance of ghosts; what is needed is an explanation.





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