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The belief effect in psychokinesis

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Brendan D. Murphy: Have you ever noticed how closed-minded skeptics (CMS) rarely if ever have any experiences with the siddhis (psychic faculties) or “the paranormal” in general? Soviet research into psychokinesis involving Nina Kulagina demonstrated qualitatively that a skeptic’s mere presence does have an effect on a psychic’s ability to function properly. Hence, with a CMS (or several) in the room or otherwise involved in the experiment, a psychic is more likely to “fail,” thus “proving” the CMS right (at least in his own narrow reality tunnel). It is merely a case of self-fulfilling prophecy.

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Posted (edited)

Another case of charlatans blaming those who call them out.

But I've noticed how kooks will cling to any made up BS to support their position. Like this;

New-science researcher and film maker David Wilcock has suggested that if consciousness creates all known energy, can manipulate matter, and is ultimately a vibrational movement of aetheric/zero point energy, then the level of consciousness, intelligence, or love present is directly proportional to the vibrational speed of aether/torsion in that locality. Higher speeds invite higher degrees of intelligence and/or love because there is then more energy available, meaning will has more fuel for exerting effects on “external” systems.

Unsubstantiated drivel.

Edited by Rlyeh
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Exactly. It's the old "You just don't believe hard enough" nonsense I hear from the peddlers of woo.

Either something works or it doesn't. Period.

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It's a really childish explanation to explain the failure of their "powers"

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If one is trying to provide proof for the efficacy of paranormal phenomena, please do not be willfully ignorant of the physical laws you're verbally abusing in order to support your claim.

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...open-minded skeptics who simply considered it possible that psychic ability actually exists...

As an "open-minded skeptic" I would have to first be shown that there exists any measureable force generated from/by the brain/body that is capable of manipulating matter, apart from the action of our bodies, before contemplating the possibility of psychokinesis existing.

The "open-minded skeptics" referred to in the articles are not skeptics at all, but speculationists putting the cart before the horse.

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In other news if you believe in bigfoot or ET's hard enough you can actually see them in blurry photos!

Hillarious justification of why a psychic's powers wouldn't work.

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Brendan D. Murphy: Have you ever noticed how closed-minded skeptics (CMS) rarely if ever have any experiences with the siddhis (psychic faculties) or "the paranormal" in general? Soviet research into psychokinesis involving Nina Kulagina demonstrated qualitatively that a skeptic's mere presence does have an effect on a psychic's ability to function properly. Hence, with a CMS (or several) in the room or otherwise involved in the experiment, a psychic is more likely to "fail," thus "proving" the CMS right (at least in his own narrow reality tunnel). It is merely a case of self-fulfilling prophecy.

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To echo Rlyeh, what drivel. Please show scientific evidence of the following:

Soviet research into psychokinesis involving Nina Kulagina demonstrated qualitatively that a skeptic's mere presence does have an effect on a psychic's ability to function properly

You can't, because it is non-existent in any blind tests in a scientific environment. You are making things up. And there is a very obvious reason for why a skeptics mere presence inhibits the ability of a psychic to function - simply because a psychic is not really a psychic, but merely a pretender and naturally, a skeptic will inhibit the charade. Should be rather obvious for even the less than intelligent.

Cheers,

Badeskov

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Mr. Murphy: Pay no heed to the trolls who infest this site. I post articles here myself, but your articles, especially this one, are so well researched and so well written that I consider you to be the best writer here. William B Stoecker

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Posted (edited)

You can't, because it is non-existent in any blind tests in a scientific environment. You are making things up. And there is a very obvious reason for why a skeptics mere presence inhibits the ability of a psychic to function - simply because a psychic is not really a psychic, but merely a pretender and naturally, a skeptic will inhibit the charade. Should be rather obvious for even the less than intelligent.

I do not know about a skeptic-effect kind of experiment but clearly Nina Kulagina has been tested on many occasions in rigorous conditions by Russian scientists in the 1960's and 70's. A well known documented experiment undertaken by Leningrad physiologist Genady Sergeyev was when she apparently showed the ability to stop the beating of the heart of a frog. The experiment has been replicated on a skeptical psychiatrist as well and gave very interesting results.

Despite the fact that it was difficult for Western researchers to have acess to what went on in the Soviet era, some newspapers at the time did had some interest about some of the Kulagina's experiments as reported in The Palm Beach Post in June 29, 1978:

http://news.google.c...pg=1315,5301926

Edited by sam_comm

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Posted (edited)

I do not know about a skeptic-effect kind of experiment but clearly Nina Kulagina has been tested on many occasions in rigorous conditions by Russian scientists in the 1960's and 70's. A well known documented experiment undertaken by Leningrad physiologist Genady Sergeyev was when she apparently showed the ability to stop the beating of the heart of a frog. The experiment has been replicated on a skeptical psychiatrist as well and gave very interesting results.

Experiments such as this were often nothing more than Cold War propaganda exercises. A kind of metaphysical "one-upmanship" between the USSR and the USA, with the intent of 'spooking' the other side into thinking 'your side' was developing some kind of "psychic super-weapon".

It is telling that such results have never been duplicated recently - outside the Cold War environment. For science to be accepted as such, it must be repeatable and the results allegedly demonstrated in one set of experiments duplicated by other independent parties. In the case of numerous 'psychic experiments' of the '60s and '70s (in both the USSR and the USA) this has not been possible.

Edited by Leonardo
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I do not know about a skeptic-effect kind of experiment but clearly Nina Kulagina has been tested on many occasions in rigorous conditions by Russian scientists in the 1960's and 70's. A well known documented experiment undertaken by Leningrad physiologist Genady Sergeyev was when she apparently showed the ability to stop the beating of the heart of a frog. The experiment has been replicated on a skeptical psychiatrist as well and gave very interesting results.

Despite the fact that it was difficult for Western researchers to have acess to what went on in the Soviet era, some newspapers at the time did had some interest about some of the Kulagina's experiments as reported in The Palm Beach Post in June 29, 1978:

http://news.google.c...pg=1315,5301926

I would rely on scientific journals rather than a newspaper clip using "scientists" with claims that cannot be verified. Frankly, it sounds to me like a made up newspaper story for selling..tata...newspapers. Plenty of scientific journals from the Soviet Union were available outside of the Soviet Union and despite what people think, there was plenty of scientific collaboration despite of the Cold War. Yet no mention of this anywhere in anything even remotely close to science.

Cheers,

Badeskov

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Mr. Murphy: Pay no heed to the trolls who infest this site. I post articles here myself, but your articles, especially this one, are so well researched and so well written that I consider you to be the best writer here. William B Stoecker

Interestingly, very few columnists here have actually been able to post any coherent counter-arguments to rebuttals posted by members here. Instead we see whining and complaining that someone actually has the audacity to try and start a discussion - oh, the horror. Seems like a blog where such rebuttals could be controlled would be a better venue for some. Frankly, it is embarrassing to see the whining instead of someone either being man enough to accept being wrong or having the intellectual means to construct a well argued and well researched counter argument. Either seems exceedingly rare on these very pages.

Cheers,

Badeskov

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Posted (edited)

Experiments such as this were often nothing more than Cold War propaganda exercises. A kind of metaphysical "one-upmanship" between the USSR and the USA, with the intent of 'spooking' the other side into thinking 'your side' was developing some kind of "psychic super-weapon".

Yet Western scientists have been able to see her in action. In 1970 American Psychologist Josepeh Gaither Pratt went to Leningrad and eventually made his own film about Kulagina moving things at distance. In 1973, Scientists from England, Herbet Benson and Manfred Carrier have been able to test her with very interesting results in a laboratory made up in a hotel room in Leningrad. This is pretty much established facts.

I don't doubt that Kulagina has been taken advantage of in the Soviet era to some extent but that does not mean her abilities were baseless. BTW, Kulagina was not friend with everyone in the USSR either, as evidenced by an article of Vladimir Lvor in the communist newspaper Pravda.

''Naturally, Kulagina was not without her critics, but sometimes it went beyond criticism. In the Moscow paper Pravda there was a vicious attack on Kulagina, demonizing her and calling her a fake and a cheat. It was said that she performed her tricks with the help of concealed magnets and threads, though how magnets could move nonmagnetic things like glass, eggs, apples and bread was not explained.''

Source: Brian Haughton, in a thorough file on Nina Kulagina http://www.mysteriou...a_Kulagina2.htm

For more interesting informations on the Kulagina case you can also take a look at: Parapsychology, Philosophy and Spiriuality: A post modern exploration by David Ray Griffin

Of course there are some who believe it was a conspiracy by the U.S.S.R including many Soviet phycisists, physiologists and psychologists of the Academy Of Science as well as Western scientists and that Nina Kulagina must be a faud though no proof of that was ever found. As for myself, I don't see it as impossible that Kulagina had some sort of ability and the U.S.S.R officials made sure it was used to their advantages in this Cold War climate.

Edited by sam_comm

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Yet Western scientists have been able to see her in action. In 1970 American Psychologist Josepeh Gaither Pratt went to Leningrad and eventually made his own film about Kulagina moving things at distance. In 1973, Scientists from England, Herbet Benson and Manfred Carrier have been able to test her with very interesting results in a laboratory made up in a hotel room in Leningrad. This is pretty much established facts.

I don't doubt that Kulagina has been taken advantage of in the Soviet era to some extent but that does not mean her abilities were baseless. BTW, Kulagina was not friend with everyone in the USSR either, as evidenced by an article of Vladimir Lvor in the communist newspaper Pravda.

''Naturally, Kulagina was not without her critics, but sometimes it went beyond criticism. In the Moscow paper Pravda there was a vicious attack on Kulagina, demonizing her and calling her a fake and a cheat. It was said that she performed her tricks with the help of concealed magnets and threads, though how magnets could move nonmagnetic things like glass, eggs, apples and bread was not explained.''

Source: Brian Haughton, in a thorough file on Nina Kulagina http://www.mysteriou...a_Kulagina2.htm

For more interesting informations on the Kulagina case you can also take a look at: Parapsychology, Philosophy and Spiriuality: A post modern exploration by David Ray Griffin

Of course there are some who believe it was a conspiracy by the U.S.S.R including many Soviet phycisists, physiologists and psychologists of the Academy Of Science as well as Western scientists and that Nina Kulagina must be a faud though no proof of that was ever found. As for myself, I don't see it as impossible that Kulagina had some sort of ability and the U.S.S.R officials made sure it was used to their advantages in this Cold War climate.

Here is a

.

Issues which immediately spring to mind:

1) The conditions involved are extremely conducive to fakery.

2) Why the use of her hands to effect a "psychic force"? Presumably, this "psychic force" is a product of her mind and no gesticulation is necessary to effect the interaction with other objects? Such gesticulation appears to be theatre, which calls into question the validity of her "psychic powers".

3) Has she ever been documented (scientifically, in proper experimental conditions) moving non-metal objects, or is this simply anecdote? And I am not interested in a "laboratory made up in a hotel room". I want a proper laboratory with proper conditions.

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Yet Western scientists have been able to see her in action. In 1970 American Psychologist Josepeh Gaither Pratt went to Leningrad and eventually made his own film about Kulagina moving things at distance. In 1973, Scientists from England, Herbet Benson and Manfred Carrier have been able to test her with very interesting results in a laboratory made up in a hotel room in Leningrad. This is pretty much established facts.

I don't doubt that Kulagina has been taken advantage of in the Soviet era to some extent but that does not mean her abilities were baseless. BTW, Kulagina was not friend with everyone in the USSR either, as evidenced by an article of Vladimir Lvor in the communist newspaper Pravda.

''Naturally, Kulagina was not without her critics, but sometimes it went beyond criticism. In the Moscow paper Pravda there was a vicious attack on Kulagina, demonizing her and calling her a fake and a cheat. It was said that she performed her tricks with the help of concealed magnets and threads, though how magnets could move nonmagnetic things like glass, eggs, apples and bread was not explained.''

Source: Brian Haughton, in a thorough file on Nina Kulagina http://www.mysteriou...a_Kulagina2.htm

For more interesting informations on the Kulagina case you can also take a look at: Parapsychology, Philosophy and Spiriuality: A post modern exploration by David Ray Griffin

Of course there are some who believe it was a conspiracy by the U.S.S.R including many Soviet phycisists, physiologists and psychologists of the Academy Of Science as well as Western scientists and that Nina Kulagina must be a faud though no proof of that was ever found. As for myself, I don't see it as impossible that Kulagina had some sort of ability and the U.S.S.R officials made sure it was used to their advantages in this Cold War climate.

Before jumping to conclusions, one can actually pull this off with trickery. As in this

. Hmm, maybe the skeptic effect works too? Nonetheless, just as it would be wrong of me to instantly conclude that the claim is fake based on the short clip I linked, it would be equally mistaken to instantly conclude that it wasn't. It is exactly in these cases skepticism comes in handy in order to give the claim a fair chance to pass or fail, or - as in this case - weigh up the supporting evidence for both sides, and then use logic and physics to conclude the veracity or falsity of the claim.
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Randi can do it too and he's not even a psychic.

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Randi can do it too and he's not even a psychic.

Indeed he can. Or maybe he is a psychic and just doesn't know it himself!

:P

Jokes aside, I must admit that I have a hard time with such claims using unverifiable scientists with no documented history. And then having the audacity to claim that a skeptic's mere presence is inhibiting the abilities of the psychic. It is outright laughable. Of course the skeptic is inhibiting the psychic, as the skeptic will ask the questions and not just blindly believe. Questions the psychic naturally cannot answer nor has a will to from past experience.

It is honestly mind boggling to me how people can believe this male bovine manure.

Cheers,

Badeskov

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Posted (edited)

Before jumping to conclusions, one can actually pull this off with trickery. As in this

. Hmm, maybe the skeptic effect works too? Nonetheless, just as it would be wrong of me to instantly conclude that the claim is fake based on the short clip I linked, it would be equally mistaken to instantly conclude that it wasn't. It is exactly in these cases skepticism comes in handy in order to give the claim a fair chance to pass or fail, or - as in this case - weigh up the supporting evidence for both sides, and then use logic and physics to conclude the veracity or falsity of the claim.

I totally agree with you, just as I cannot conclude that Nina Kulagina had any ''real'' psychic ability, I am very skeptical I must say, I cannot conclude that she was a fraud either since there is no proof that trickery was involved. It's easy to say that she was pulling threads and using magnets in her arms and maybe she did fooled all these scientists but without any proof it remains allegations. It would have been nice to see Randy in your video move objects encased in a glassbox too. Here's another interesting video on Kulagina: h ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L61RptUUEqU

As an open-minded who accept the possiblity that psi phenomenon might exist, I suppose it might easier for me to consider this option as a valid hypothesis, without actually commiting to it based on current evidence. I admit that I do not know and wish there was even more documented experiment in tightly controlled environments made available to the public concerning the Kulagina case.

Jokes aside, I must admit that I have a hard time with such claims using unverifiable scientists with no documented history. And then having the audacity to claim that a skeptic's mere presence is inhibiting the abilities of the psychic. It is outright laughable. Of course the skeptic is inhibiting the psychic, as the skeptic will ask the questions and not just blindly believe. Questions the psychic naturally cannot answer nor has a will to from past experience.

There are some scientists involved in the Kulagina case that are of online verifiable sources, if you care to research about it. But getting a detailed picture may involve more than a Google research, since many of those where Soviet scientists not well known to the Occident and the ressources to research all of them does not seem easily accessible from here. I can help you for a starter though:

Dr Zdenek Rejdak, a Czech scientist of the Prague Military Institute, (http://cs.wikipedia....saquo;k_Rejdák) Dr Leonid L. Vasiliev, Soviet physiologist and parapsychologist (http://www.answers.c...dovich-vasiliev), Dr Gennady Sergeyev, a well-known psychologist in Russia (http://www.sacredsci...html?1029281647), Dr Edward Numov, Biologist and Parapsychologist (http://paranormal.ab...uman-Magnet.htm), Dr V.F Schvetz, Physicist (http://www.amazon.co...06300900&sr=1-2) Dr Joseph Gaither Pratt, an American Psychologist (http://en.wikipedia....h_Gaither_Pratt)

As for the idea that a skeptic's presence may have a negative impact on a 'psychic' performance, it seems to me like an interesting hypothesis, if psi phenomenon are indeed real. It may be no different than the psychological effect of a sports team underperforming on the road, in an hostile environment. It's no wonder why a team may prefer to have the field advantage, to have a cheering crowd behind them and increase it's chance of performing well and winning the game.

Refering to as ''less than intelligent'' those giving thought to such hypothesis, among others, does not make your point any more valid.

Edited by sam_comm

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So, it's like the skeptic is using psychokinesis by his beliefs to hinder the other one's ability to outwardly use psychokinesis.

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So, it's like the skeptic is using psychokinesis by his beliefs to hinder the other one's ability to outwardly use psychokinesis.

In reality, not as much as critical thinking, but I like the idea :P

Cheers,

Badeskov

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No seriously, it's all so real - my hero is this guy, after Kulagina does her oh-so-convincing act...

[media=]

[/media]

Good Grief. The willingness to accept this crud as evidence astounds me.

As for the idea that a skeptic's presence may have a negative impact on a 'psychic' performance, it seems to me like an interesting hypothesis

Of course it would - That's WIN-WIN, no matter how many real tests show failure, you can cling onto your unshakable belief and excuse anything... Or invert a glass bowl over your fishing line...

BTW, I see Dean Radin being mentioned again, can I bring over my favorite Radin stuff and present a rebuttal and expose of his unbelievable anti-science? (not that it needs one, it is so ridiculous..)

But yeah, there are skeptics around, so there will clearly be nothing happening on this thread. This stuff needs to be hidden on a blog, where it can be fenced off from negative feelings.....

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Posted (edited)

Of course it would - That's WIN-WIN, no matter how many real tests show failure, you can cling onto your unshakable belief and excuse anything... Or invert a glass bowl over your fishing line...

Please, do quote the intergrity of my point made above, not just part of a sentence cutted out from the rest.

As I pointed out, such hypothesis would be interesting to consider on a psychological basis over a particular performance, if psi phenomena are indeed real, which may or may not have been proved at this point depending where you stand on the matter. I have yet to see solid evidence that a skeptic's mere presence can have consistent negative effects on psychical experiments. In fact, for exemple Charles Honorthon invited skeptics and critics on occasions to supervise (Auto)Gandzfeld experiments and it never had any significant impact on the results.

As for myself, I do not have what you refefer to as an ''unshakable belief'' on psyckokinesis (PK), so clearly you seem to be mistaken about my position.

BTW, I see Dean Radin being mentioned again, can I bring over my favorite Radin stuff and present a rebuttal and expose of his unbelievable anti-science? (not that it needs one, it is so ridiculous..)

Wrong thread.. :hmm:

But feel free to start on a bashing rethoric, for those who care to read such thing.

But yeah, there are skeptics around, so there will clearly be nothing happening on this thread. This stuff needs to be hidden on a blog, where it can be fenced off from negative feelings.....

There was an interesting discussion, as far as I can see.

Edited by sam_comm

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Please, do quote the intergrity of my point made above, not just part of a sentence cutted out from the rest.

If you feel that was unfair, then I would have to ask why you raised it as an issue - so, let's cut to the same old chase..

As I pointed out, such hypothesis would be interesting

OK, so let's do it...

In fact, for exemple Charles Honorthon {sic} invited skeptics and critics on occasions to supervise (Auto)Gandzfeld experiments and it never had any significant impact on the results.

Right, let's start with that claim - can you cite the experiments, articles, whatever to support that claim? And what were the actual results - how statistically significant were the 'new' results and where were they published?

You see, I'd love to look at these handwaves and see just what is behind them. But it seems when it comes down to properly documented experiments with statistically significant results, the cupboard is rather bare - and believe me, I have looked very closely into every corner. I think you are going to find it *very* difficult to back up your claim that Honorton had his experiments properly vetted..

Now you have already conceded that there are charlatans and 'bad' science tangled up in the web of paranormal claims, so isn't it important to look at the experiments and claims properly? I mean, if I want to verify say, the Michelson-Morley experiment (grin), I can look up all the necessary stuff and even do it myself. That's how real science works. Testable, repeatable, falsifiable, controlled, and fully open to criticism.

Compared to what seems to be the norms in paranormalcy claims, which are... take-my-word-for-it, it-worked-once, there's-gotta-be somethin-to-this-just-look-at-all-this metadata, we-need-to-do-it-this-way-or-it-won't-work, just-generalise-and-don't-anyone-ask-for-details.

I apologise for confusing the threads, but Radin is a poster boy for bad science on this topic, and I will be happy to outline why. If you trust his approach then you clearly haven't looked at his stuff in the required detail. Anyway, I'll dig up the right thread when I have time and the inclination.

In the meantime, let's look at this Honorton stuff - fire away..

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Posted (edited)

If you feel that was unfair, then I would have to ask why you raised it as an issue - so, let's cut to the same old chase..

The thing is, by quoting part of a sentence and indeed 'cutting' it from the rest of my (now disformed) point raised above, it's easy take my words out of context and make me say whatever you want me to say.

Right, let's start with that claim - can you cite the experiments, articles, whatever to support that claim? And what were the actual results - how statistically significant were the 'new' results and where were they published?

After reverifying the source of which I had read this information, I realized I made a mistake as it was not Charles Honorton and the Gandzfeld experiment but actually physicist Helmut Schmidt and psychologists Robert Morris and Luther Rudolph of Syracuse University that invited Indenpendent observers (skeptics) to supervise RNG PK experiments in a tightly controlled environment. My bad and thanks to have brought this up.

It is from the Journal Of Parapscyhology, Vol 50, March 1986 in the research paper: Channeling Evidence For a PK Effect To Independent Observers

''The reported study represents our first attempt to confirm previously reported PK results under full supervision by independent observers. We had decided in advance to submit the results for publication no matter what the outcome would be.

With its moderate statistical significance (odds against chance of 300:1), this experiment in itself may not dispel all of the critics' doubts about the reality of psychic phenomena. Considering, however, that the work provides a confirmation of earlier reported results, one might not want to dismiss the result lightly.''

Source: http://www.fourmilab.../chan-evid.html

For more see also: http://www.fourmilab...pkp/observ.html

-----

To come back to Hornorton, while skeptics themselves might not have assisted the experiments, nonetheless in 1993 professional magicians did came to inspect the installations to ruled out any environmental factors that could be exploited for trickery:

''Ford Kross and Daryl Bem, both professional mentalist magicians (magicians whose specialty is simulating psi effects) examined Honorton's experimental arrangements, and pronounced them to provide excellent security against deception by subjects''

Source: http://psychology.wi...nt#cite_note-15 from: http://web.arizona.e...om=auto,-115,20

I think you are going to find it *very* difficult to back up your claim that Honorton had his experiments properly vetted..

Not at all. See above.

I will quote for you an extract of a joint communiqué published in 1986 and coauthored by Charles Honorton and psychologist Ray Hyman, the most ferocious critic of the (Auto)Gandzfield experiment. Let us look at what it says:

''We agree that there is an overall significant effect in this data base that cannot reasonably be explained by selective reporting of multiple analysis. We continue to differ over the degree to which the effect constitutes evidence of psi, but we agree that the final verdict awaits the outcome of futur experiments conducted by a broader range of investigators and according to more stringent standards.'' (Hyman & Honorton, 1986, p.351)

Source: http://web.arizona.e...om=auto,-115,20

Now you have already conceded that there are charlatans and 'bad' science tangled up in the web of paranormal claims, so isn't it important to look at the experiments and claims properly? I mean, if I want to verify say, the Michelson-Morley experiment (grin), I can look up all the necessary stuff and even do it myself. That's how real science works. Testable, repeatable, falsifiable, controlled, and fully open to criticism.

It is very important, if not crucial I very much agree. The problem here is that you only assume that trickery and bad science must be involved in just about any psychical research that yield significant statistical results since in your view psi phenomenon cannot exist. But just like in any field of science it's not enough to allege it, you have to demonstrate it convincingly otherwise it's not constructive critics only ''handwavings'' as you like to call it.

Compared to what seems to be the norms in paranormalcy claims, which are... take-my-word-for-it, it-worked-once, there's-gotta-be somethin-to-this-just-look-at-all-this metadata, we-need-to-do-it-this-way-or-it-won't-work, just-generalise-and-don't-anyone-ask-for-details.

And you claim to be familiar with experimental procedures, ethical and professional standards of Parapsychology? It's hard to believe indeed.

Edited by sam_comm

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