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Saru

Does telepathy conflict with science ?

59 posts in this topic

More scientists and skeptics than ever consider psychic phenomena to be a possibility on some level.

Recently, journalist Steven Volk was surprised to discover that leading skeptical psychologist Richard Wiseman has admitted that the evidence for telepathy is so good that "by the standards of any other area of science, [telepathy] is proven. "

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More scientists and skeptics than ever consider psychic phenomena to be a possibility on some level.

I thought this part was rather interesting:

It is even more puzzling when surveys show that a large proportion of scientists accept the possibility that telepathy exists. Two surveys of over 500 scientists in one case and over 1,000 in another both found that the majority of respondents considered ESP “an established fact” or “a likely possibility”—56 percent in one and 67 percent in the other.
from Saru's link above.

which is it? accepting the possibility is rather different to 'established fact' or 'a likely possibility'

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Let us not forget the historic and monumental pomposity of Lord Kelvin, who declared, in his 1900 address to an assemblage of physicists at the British Association for the Advancement of Science, that: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement." Scientists are like any other group - a few gifted visionaries amongst a mass of dreary, albeit educated, windbags.

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I thought this part was rather interesting:

from Saru's link above.

which is it? accepting the possibility is rather different to 'established fact' or 'a likely possibility'

Well, being that the article is basically a stranger on the internet posting an article on a public webzine and referring to to statistics without any reference as to who or where they can be found, over and over again...really, he might as well have posted it here on UM, for all the credibility it can be given.

Heck, the article can't even be refered to as well-written. Look at this paragraph:

In fact, the most prominent skeptics of psychic abilities today—such as Wiseman, French, James Alcock, Susan Blackmore, and Ray Hyman—are psychologists. An exception is biologist Richard Dawkins, but like Wiseman and French, he is also on record as saying that the existence of telepathy would “turn the laws of physics upside down.”

Exactly why are psychologists (people who study behaviour) supporting parapsychology any different from veterinarians supporting parapsychology (assuming they actually do, because...well, again, we don't actually get any references). At least he does have a biologist, Richard Dawkins no less, claiming that telepathy would turn over what we understand of physics. Of course, so would pretty much any sort of fantastical power. And let's not mention that the previous sentences that Dawkins made it pretty clear that he did not know of any valid evidence for telepathy.

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just because we don't understand why something works doesn't mean there's no good science behind it. If testing can prove ESP then you think scientists would be salivating at the chance to understand why instead of just dismissing it. Who knows maybe the answers will completely alter our current understanding of physics and lead to even greater possibilities for prosperity.

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Exactly. If there was any credible evidence that indicated any paranormal event had a statistically significant chance of existing, scientists would be all over it. They have nothing to gain by ignoring such things, and a chance at intellectual immortality to lose if they do.

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Let us not forget the historic and monumental pomposity of Lord Kelvin, who declared, in his 1900 address to an assemblage of physicists at the British Association for the Advancement of Science, that: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement." Scientists are like any other group - a few gifted visionaries amongst a mass of dreary, albeit educated, windbags.

Or one of my favorite categories, gifted windbags. Everyone has a talent!

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There seem to be plenty of people who experience ESP as some level, almost all of them by accident, with little ability to control or manipulate it. I know anecdotal evidence is the weakest kind, but there's plenty of it. A thing doesn't need scientific evidence or explanation to exist, i.e. dark matter. It's out there (or in here!), science can't explain it, didn't even know of it's existence until the last 20 years or so, so I think the reasoning that "science can't explain it so it doesn't exist" is flawed. Don't get me wrong, I think science, particularly quantum physics, is exciting and can tell us a lot about the world we live in, but so can our own experiences. I've come to a time in my life where I think very carefully about denying my experiences and putting my trust solely in the experts.

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Well, being that the article is basically a stranger on the internet posting an article on a public webzine and referring to to statistics without any reference as to who or where they can be found, over and over again...really, he might as well have posted it here on UM, for all the credibility it can be given.

Heck, the article can't even be refered to as well-written. Look at this paragraph:

Exactly why are psychologists (people who study behaviour) supporting parapsychology any different from veterinarians supporting parapsychology (assuming they actually do, because...well, again, we don't actually get any references). At least he does have a biologist, Richard Dawkins no less, claiming that telepathy would turn over what we understand of physics. Of course, so would pretty much any sort of fantastical power. And let's not mention that the previous sentences that Dawkins made it pretty clear that he did not know of any valid evidence for telepathy.

You are absolutely correct, there isn't a bit of factual reference in this article that any sound minded person could investigate. Isn't the point of journalism to be able to have credible sources the readers can review, as well as, put some merit into what the journalist is conveying?

Exactly. If there was any credible evidence that indicated any paranormal event had a statistically significant chance of existing, scientists would be all over it. They have nothing to gain by ignoring such things, and a chance at intellectual immortality to lose if they do.

Again, I agree completely with your comment here. The scientific community would be spending great amounts of funds and time researching this subject if there actually was any sort of factual evidence to warrant said research. If not for any reason but the bolded part in your post.

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

Murphy wrote in 1968: “… the difficulty is at the level of physics, not at the level of psychology.

I suspect that this is the central concept to appreciate.

When we think we know all that there is to know about any subject, we are confined. It is only when we speculate about the potential for expanded understanding(s) that new concepts can be considered.

John

Edited by John from Lowell

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Posted (edited)

There is plenty of room for ESP like effects to exist in nature. It's proving would not go against science at all. There are quite a few discoveries of natural phenomenon that are not understood and "fantastical". There are probably more that we have not discovered yet.

Im quit sure plenty of money has been spent on parapsychology and will continue to be so.

In addition, just saying something would go against science shows that the person saying it dosn't understand science at all. Things don't go ---against science--- science is a methodology. Things can contradict theories but not science.

Edited by Seeker79

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Posted (edited)

There seem to be plenty of people who experience ESP as some level, almost all of them by accident, with little ability to control or manipulate it. I know anecdotal evidence is the weakest kind, but there's plenty of it. A thing doesn't need scientific evidence or explanation to exist, i.e. dark matter. It's out there (or in here!), science can't explain it, didn't even know of it's existence until the last 20 years or so, so I think the reasoning that "science can't explain it so it doesn't exist" is flawed. Don't get me wrong, I think science, particularly quantum physics, is exciting and can tell us a lot about the world we live in, but so can our own experiences. I've come to a time in my life where I think very carefully about denying my experiences and putting my trust solely in the experts.

Very well put my friend. I agree with that.

As long as consciousness is concerned, I think it would be accurate to say that we haven't entirely figured out how it works. From what I understand, we can't explain how the electrochemical activity generates it although we know it affects it. So saying out loud that telepathy and/or other "psychic phenomenons" don't exist is so far not necessaly true.

Sort of makes you wonder. John Eccles, Nobel prize winning neurophysicist once stated: "I want you to know that there are no colors in the real world, there are no fragrances in the real world, that theres no beauty and theres no ugliness.

Out there beyond the limits of our perceptual apparatus is the erratically ambiguous and ceaselessly flowing quantum soup. And were almost like magicians in that in the very act of perception, we take that quantum soup and we convert it into the experience of material reality in our ordinary everyday waking state of consciousness".

Edited by JayMark

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Great article. That's why I'm skeptical of Philosophical Materialism as being an integrated system of thought capable of carrying forward the mission of science into the new frontiers of science which present themselves especially at the quantum level.

From the article: "Psi is certainly incompatible with the old scientific worldview, based on Newtonian mechanics and behaviorist psychology. It is not incompatible with the emerging scientific worldview based on quantum mechanics, the neurosciences, and cognitive psychology."

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Too funny, just right here on the main page of UM, on the right hand side, a very good explanation is provided in the Torsion Field article. http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/column.php?id=224227 in case you're in the forum section. I found the article convincing enough, worthy of serious consideration.

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Too funny, just right here on the main page of UM, on the right hand side, a very good explanation is provided in the Torsion Field article. http://www.unexplain...n.php?id=224227 in case you're in the forum section. I found the article convincing enough, worthy of serious consideration.

Apparently so did the Soviets, they wasted millions on this garbage.

http://humanism.al.ru/en/articles.phtml?num=000059

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IMO, telepathy can be proven by science. How many of us have had brushes with telepathy? Has science not explained other instances that were supposedly bunk? What about lunatics? People who went crazy when the moon was full? Now, scientists have come to the conclusion that the metals in our body and the gravity of the moon can affect some people more than others and alter their persona during a full moon. I think that we used to use telepathy a lot more before technology took off.

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Posted (edited)

*sorry double post*

Edited by glorybebe

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Great article. Very relevant to cryptozoology as well with people experiencing the 'feeling of being watched' by spooky shadows in the woods etc.

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IMO, telepathy can be proven by science. How many of us have had brushes with telepathy? Has science not explained other instances that were supposedly bunk? What about lunatics? People who went crazy when the moon was full? Now, scientists have come to the conclusion that the metals in our body and the gravity of the moon can affect some people more than others and alter their persona during a full moon. I think that we used to use telepathy a lot more before technology took off.

Nice post. I also think our technology, despite beeing awesome and useful, dumb us down at some level. Animals for instance seem to have a much more developed "sixth sense" that most of us do. And they certainly do not watch TV like we do and try to make their life so much easier with technology like we do.

Just a thought. Nothing too scientific there I concur.

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We are not advanced enough to even think about trying anything to do with it. Our technology has not reached its full potential yet. I heard a while ago there's some small part of our brain that could maybe get humans to have some sort of telepathic powers. But it seems far too out there at this point in time.

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Interesting article. Nice read.

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So ... "Does telepathy conflict with science?" Apparently not. Does telepathy conflict with materialistic ideology? Now that's another question! wink2.gif

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Apart from the article in the OP (which is an opinion piece and devoid of any actual references) I can't find any mention of sceptics of PSI being converted to believers - and certainly not Richard Wiseman.

Other than that, it's a bit of a 'nothing' article.

Does the idea of telepathy conflict with Science? Probably not. But it should be investigated with same rigour and standards of 'proof' as any other scientific phenomenon.

And why would the existence of telepathy turn the laws of physics upside down? The universe and it's 'laws' have proven to be "not only stranger than we imagined, but stranger than we can imagine". I'm no expert (not even close), but I'm aware that we don't have a comprehensive view of all the laws of physics that knit all of it together right down to the smallest sub-atomic particle - which, incidentally, is something else we're currently ignorant of, in all probability.

So, why wouldn't anyone accept the possibility of extra sensory experiences? Of course, accepting the possibility and believing it likely, are two very different things.

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"Garbage."

"Wasted money."

It never ceases to amaze me.

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