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Evo

Scientific Possabilities for PsychicPhenomina

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eqgumby

As a skeptic that's been hammered a few times for my stance on "psi-stuff". I would pose this question:

How do dogs find their way thousands of miles over rough country? Or Birds for that matter?

There are some things in nature that are not fully understood. But they are natural...

In one of the first posts here, there was talk of sight and sound and naturally occurring senses somehow leading to what could be perceived as paranormal...and that I think is worthy of investigation or at least discussion.

What if...

...the sense that allows birds to navigate is just a natural sense, as we perceive sight, sound, taste...something that involves the laws of physics like sight and sound and taste does...personally I think this is quite likely and not overly fanciful at all. Now lets say that in some manner or form, a person is able to perceive whatever birds do at some level, minute though it may be...could that then be perceived by US as "paranormal"?

Here is a weird example of heightened perception: I have a friend that is hyper-sensitive to...of all things...dog whistles. He has an eardrum that was repaired as a kid, and if you get one of those dog clickers or whistles they use for training, he can not only hear it, but it drives him nutty.

So is it possible what we see as paranormal or see as "abilities" is actually just an enhanced version of some sensitivity, some sense, that we all have naturally?

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Hamlyn

I doubt that existing scientific models show any promise of explaining psi and related phenomena.

For example: Attempts at explaining such things fundamentally in terms of EM do not seem to lead anywhere. Materialists correctly point out that according to accepted physical models, you need some kind of tangible power source to generate an EM field. EMF do not just float around freely like ghosts, according to physics. So you can't just say, we can't see ghosts (for example), and we can't see EMF, and therefore ghosts may be EMF, and now we are doing science. A currently acceptable physical model of the proposed thing would have to include a power source you can (theoretically) put your hands on.

So where's the battery, or where's the generator, that makes a ghost, if ghosts are EMF energy?

We have had pretty good descriptions of EM energy for a while now, and it has not led to a better understanding of psi phenomena-- or of the mind or consciousness in general. So this kind of reductionism seems like a dead end to me.

But it does seem true that EM phenomena accompany "ghosts," whatever those may be. How can this be, if we don't see a battery or a generator? It can't, according to current physics.

To me, the hope of explaining such things lies in directions like this:

David Bohm's Implicate Order

The idea here is that the physical universe "unfolds" from (is caused by) a deeper order that we have not yet discovered and that we cannot discover by focusing solely on materially observable cause-and-effect relationships.

The latter focus is monistic materialism. In that view, the only things that exist are materially observable things, and all observed effects must have observable material causes. Consciousness, for example, must be a sort of side-effect, a result of purely material processes that can be quantified by chemistry and physics. In this framework, phenomena such as psi are inexplicable and are practically ruled out of existence.

But what if we suppose instead that consciousness (whatever that may be) comes first, and that it somehow causes the material world, instead of the other way around? In other words, what if the correct view of the universe is not monistic materialism but monistic idealism?

In such a framework, psi phenomena begin to seem explicable. I must acknowledge, however, that no model, description, theory, etc. of this sort has been fleshed out to the point where we can validate or falsify it. We might suspect that something like it must be true because of observations that tend to falsify monistic materialism, but we are only speculating based on circumstantial evidence. So it's not quite an explanation yet. Just a promising direction.

As for monistic materialist explanations for paranormal phenomena, well: when a theory fails to explain the observations it is supposed to explain, I believe the thing to do is to discard that theory and look for another one that works better in the context. But people who are devoted to the theory feel just the opposite: they discard the observations. They throw away the data. Then they say that there is "no evidence whatsoever" for anything that casts doubt on their theory. It is easy to say you have a good theory when you've dustbinned all the observations that invalidate it. That, I think, is why we see what we see on this forum, viz: all topics immediately devolve to contesting the proposition that no evidence for the paranormal exists. According to a certain viewpoint, it cannot exist, and it must not exist. The pet paradigm must explain everything, and anything it doesn't explain cannot be allowed into discussion.

So it comes to pass that some people don't see the appeal of a David Bohm kind of viewpoint. To them, it doesn't explain anything, because there isn't anything to explain. This, I accept.

What has always puzzled me, however, is the prevalence of that viewpoint on a board called Unexplained Mysteries. Why join a forum devoted to that topic only to insist ad nauseam that no such thing exists?

Anyway, something like this idea of Implicate Order seems like a promising direction to me, while I don't expect much out of attempts to reduce "paranormal" phenomena to current physics or chemistry.

Edited by Hamlyn

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The Skeptic Eric Raven

What has always puzzled me, however, is the prevalence of that viewpoint on a board called Unexplained Mysteries. Why join a forum devoted to that topic only to insist ad nauseam that no such thing exists?

Just beause we don't believe it, doesn't mean we aren't highly interested in it. We just don't believe without proof. Blind faith just doesn't cut it. Its called using the mind rationally to look at ideas.

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Hamlyn

Just beause we don't believe it, doesn't mean we aren't highly interested in it. We just don't believe without proof. Blind faith just doesn't cut it. Its called using the mind rationally to look at ideas.

Fair enough. :D

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Hamlyn

As a skeptic that's been hammered a few times for my stance on "psi-stuff". I would pose this question:

How do dogs find their way thousands of miles over rough country? Or Birds for that matter?

There are some things in nature that are not fully understood. But they are natural...

In one of the first posts here, there was talk of sight and sound and naturally occurring senses somehow leading to what could be perceived as paranormal...and that I think is worthy of investigation or at least discussion.

What if...

...the sense that allows birds to navigate is just a natural sense, as we perceive sight, sound, taste...something that involves the laws of physics like sight and sound and taste does...personally I think this is quite likely and not overly fanciful at all.

Right. It probably has mainly to do with some apparatus for sensing the Earth's EMF.

Perhaps there is also a kind of geospatial memory that we do not have. Squirrels, for example, tend to remember exactly where they bury stuff with a precision that humans cannot reproduce. But we have no reason to think that it is anything but a specialized kind of ordinary memory that lets them do it.

So while we don't have complete descriptions of these faculties, they at least seem somewhat reducible to materialistic causes that we do understand.

Now lets say that in some manner or form, a person is able to perceive whatever birds do at some level, minute though it may be...could that then be perceived by US as "paranormal"?

Here is a weird example of heightened perception: I have a friend that is hyper-sensitive to...of all things...dog whistles. He has an eardrum that was repaired as a kid, and if you get one of those dog clickers or whistles they use for training, he can not only hear it, but it drives him nutty.

This is unusual, but it involves the exact same mechanism as ordinary hearing. It's a quantitative and not a qualitative difference.

So is it possible what we see as paranormal or see as "abilities" is actually just an enhanced version of some sensitivity, some sense, that we all have naturally?

Yes, I believe so.

The question to me is: is this sense reducible to natural phenomena as we currently understand them, or must our scientific models undergo radical revision before they can come to grips with psi?

By "radical revision," I don't necessarily mean anything more revolutionary than what physics underwent in the last century with the transition from Newtonian mechanics to relativity and quantum mechanics. These two frameworks represent fundamental shifts in how we perceive and describe the universe, and such a shift is very likely to happen again.

I think that the key to describing and explaining psi phenonema lies in just such a revision and not in current models. :D

In this very specific way, I think that psi differs from the (probably) electromagnetic sense that guides migrating animals in navigating the globe.

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eqgumby

Right. It probably has mainly to do with some apparatus for sensing the Earth's EMF.

Perhaps there is also a kind of geospatial memory that we do not have. Squirrels, for example, tend to remember exactly where they bury stuff with a precision that humans cannot reproduce. But we have no reason to think that it is anything but a specialized kind of ordinary memory that lets them do it.

So while we don't have complete descriptions of these faculties, they at least seem somewhat reducible to materialistic causes that we do understand.

This is unusual, but it involves the exact same mechanism as ordinary hearing. It's a quantitative and not a qualitative difference.

Yes, I believe so.

The question to me is: is this sense reducible to natural phenomena as we currently understand them, or must our scientific models undergo radical revision before they can come to grips with psi?

By "radical revision," I don't necessarily mean anything more revolutionary than what physics underwent in the last century with the transition from Newtonian mechanics to relativity and quantum mechanics. These two frameworks represent fundamental shifts in how we perceive and describe the universe, and such a shift is very likely to happen again.

I think that the key to describing and explaining psi phenonema lies in just such a revision and not in current models. :D

In this very specific way, I think that psi differs from the (probably) electromagnetic sense that guides migrating animals in navigating the globe.

Could be, could be.

I've often wondered if "psi", at least in passive cases, is the combined input to several ordinary senses at once. Not just what you see, or hear, or smell, but a combination of all the senses acting at once, producing an output (to our brain I guess) that we can't compute as "natural", therefore forcing us culturally as humans, to assign it as "super-natural".

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Hamlyn

Could be, could be.

I've often wondered if "psi", at least in passive cases, is the combined input to several ordinary senses at once. Not just what you see, or hear, or smell, but a combination of all the senses acting at once, producing an output (to our brain I guess) that we can't compute as "natural", therefore forcing us culturally as humans, to assign it as "super-natural".

I do think that we often process ordinary sense impressions at an unconscious or preverbal level, and the result is that we arrive at certain perceptions or conclusions without being aware of having done so or understanding how we did it. Sometimes this process is so complex as to defy any attempt to analyze or articulate it, or it may be that doing so would kill the process. Anyway, to me, that is the ordinary sense of the word "intuition."

This may happen if you meet somebody and get a gut feeling about him without knowing why. It could be that some verbal or nonverbal cue triggered an unconscious association in your mind, or something,

And yes, people who tend to think everything is psychic will feel very confident that this was not caused by sense impressions and unconscious mental processes but by psychic perception. :D

The real test of that would be: can you sense things about a person without seeing, hearing, etc. anything about that person?

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eqgumby

I do think that we often process ordinary sense impressions at an unconscious or preverbal level, and the result is that we arrive at certain perceptions or conclusions without being aware of having done so or understanding how we did it. Sometimes this process is so complex as to defy any attempt to analyze or articulate it, or it may be that doing so would kill the process. Anyway, to me, that is the ordinary sense of the word "intuition."

This may happen if you meet somebody and get a gut feeling about him without knowing why. It could be that some verbal or nonverbal cue triggered an unconscious association in your mind, or something,

And yes, people who tend to think everything is psychic will feel very confident that this was not caused by sense impressions and unconscious mental processes but by psychic perception. :D

The real test of that would be: can you sense things about a person without seeing, hearing, etc. anything about that person?

Agreed.

Now cut it out and make an outrageous claim so I can pick on you!

:lol:

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Hamlyn

Agreed.

Now cut it out and make an outrageous claim so I can pick on you!

laugh.gif

I can call spirits from the vasty deep!

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aquatus1

Pshaw...Big deal. Anyone can call on spirits. The questions is, "Do they answer?"

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Hamlyn

Pshaw...Big deal. Anyone can call on spirits. The questions is, "Do they answer?"

i-dunno-lol.jpg

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Evo

As a skeptic that's been hammered a few times for my stance on "psi-stuff". I would pose this question:

How do dogs find their way thousands of miles over rough country? Or Birds for that matter?

There are some things in nature that are not fully understood. But they are natural...

In one of the first posts here, there was talk of sight and sound and naturally occurring senses somehow leading to what could be perceived as paranormal...and that I think is worthy of investigation or at least discussion.

What if...

...the sense that allows birds to navigate is just a natural sense, as we perceive sight, sound, taste...something that involves the laws of physics like sight and sound and taste does...personally I think this is quite likely and not overly fanciful at all. Now lets say that in some manner or form, a person is able to perceive whatever birds do at some level, minute though it may be...could that then be perceived by US as "paranormal"?

Here is a weird example of heightened perception: I have a friend that is hyper-sensitive to...of all things...dog whistles. He has an eardrum that was repaired as a kid, and if you get one of those dog clickers or whistles they use for training, he can not only hear it, but it drives him nutty.

So is it possible what we see as paranormal or see as "abilities" is actually just an enhanced version of some sensitivity, some sense, that we all have naturally?

I couldn't agree better. Not everything is known, and thats exactly why I started this thread-to find answers. The theory with birds, btw, is that they have a part of their brain that lets them use earth's magnetic field to navigate. How is it possible that we, having birds for century's as well, have still not found the answer to something as simple as this? Although we are getting cloer to finding the answer to this simple problem, there are things that would still be unknow, even if we knew how it worked. How do they know that the south is warmer? How do birds even know that the earth is round? Even if they used Earth's EM waves to know direction, it does still not answer the question of how they have a certtain kind of geographical knowledge. Same with psychic abilities. They may be used, but we simply do not know how they work. Remember- there is much left unknown. We do not fully comprehend the mind, so there may lie many answers there. We have not discovered everything about physics, leaving more answers lying there. We do not even know everything about our own bodies in Biology. When you shed light on how little we truly know, it raises the chances of such things as psychic powers exsisting. It could be that, just like with the birds, we may not have the technology to discover the truth. So for now, using what we have and wht we know, hopefully we may find a possibility that such a thing exsist. And for that, we will need the help of everyone- the skeptics, the psychics, the scientists, the educated, and so on.

Here's the info on the birds:

http://www.lifeslittlemysteries.com/how-do-birds-navigate-0430/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Livesciencecom+(LiveScience.com+Science+Headline+Feed)

Edited by Evo

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Evo

Just beause we don't believe it, doesn't mean we aren't highly interested in it. We just don't believe without proof. Blind faith just doesn't cut it. Its called using the mind rationally to look at ideas.

It is thanks to forums like these that we may be able to move foward. If skeptics work with belivers, we may get somewhere. The key to finding the answer is for skeptics to accept that this is possible and for believers to accept that this can be scientifical. And yes, you certainly do have a point- lets look at this rationally, as that is all it may be.

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Evo

Now here's an idea/observation I'd like to put out there-

In the beggining, belif in magical things was very high and great. Of course, this has much dissapated thanks to science, since it showed with proof how things worked. With science, though, people began to work harder to explain things and invent new items. As time passed, Science predominated because of it's usefulness. Yet, the belief of the paranormal has not only persisted, but some has even changed itself. Even the belif of psychic abilities is more scientific than what it was in the beggining- in fact, not many call it magic. As time passes, the attention of the paranormal as and continues to increase. Why? Well, there is more unexplained evidence, such as photos and recordings, than there was before. and also, people are now more comfortable and has met more basic needs throughout the world, giving them time again to think and make these observations more. Even Pictures, have found unexplainable phenomenom of what has been believed in for centuries. A new technology that has now increased the possobility of the paranormal to exsist.

Now that I've put that out there, I would like to say an opinion I have about future sight that I had posted in another thread before. What if future sight is actually the ability to combine many elements at once, and use math at the same time, to be able to predict the future? After all, much information is processed unconcsiously in the brain, and the brain works parrallellaly. Vision, for example, combines diffrent kinds of elements, such as color, depth, motion, and more to form and image. In fact, it is known that everyone constantly sees the future. While the image goes from the brain to the eyes, some time passes. So what the brain does is use a filler image of what is going to be the next frame of the picture to fill in the gap. Thats why we are able to catch a ball and dodge a punch. We foresee it a tiny amount of time before it happens (this also explains how some optical illusions work). Sadly, I couldn't find the article with this info, so if someone finds it for me, I will be much obliged. I believe that some of those who predict the future, or at least some of them, have an advanced form of what the average person does. So then, Now I'm wondering if what people have to say about this, and if anyone can think of a way to experiment this idea. And heck, if they are able to make an experiment to test this, it would be even better!

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Evo

I do think that we often process ordinary sense impressions at an unconscious or preverbal level, and the result is that we arrive at certain perceptions or conclusions without being aware of having done so or understanding how we did it. Sometimes this process is so complex as to defy any attempt to analyze or articulate it, or it may be that doing so would kill the process. Anyway, to me, that is the ordinary sense of the word "intuition."

This may happen if you meet somebody and get a gut feeling about him without knowing why. It could be that some verbal or nonverbal cue triggered an unconscious association in your mind, or something,

And yes, people who tend to think everything is psychic will feel very confident that this was not caused by sense impressions and unconscious mental processes but by psychic perception. :D

The real test of that would be: can you sense things about a person without seeing, hearing, etc. anything about that person?

The thing is, if being able to read someone this way(by processing unconscious cues) is true, then there is a slight chance for the psychic to be wrong if he recieves incorrect data from the person. Also, the fact that he knows he is being watched may put some stress. We would need a controlled enviroment in which he not only is unawre of being watched, but unaware he is being tested, and the situation must be normal, for a volunteer may give off unaccurate data.

Edited by Evo

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Mattshark

It is very much not true in the slightest mate. Emotions show nothing of reprogramming our DNA in the slightest, Dr. Pjotr Garjajev is a fraud and nothing more (and his background is fictitious) and the same goes for Poponin. Neither of whoms claims have ever been verified, and neither are listed with the RAS at all or the New York Academy of Science and even making up papers that don't exist.

Sorry mate but that page has no scientific value what so ever, it is lies and pseudo-science I could spend a long time going through everything that is incorrect on there, but I would be here all day.

Edited by Mattshark

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eqgumby

It is very much not true in the slightest mate. Emotions show nothing of reprogramming our DNA in the slightest, Dr. Pjotr Garjajev is a fraud and nothing more (and his background is fictitious) and the same goes for Poponin. Neither of whoms claims have ever been verified, and neither are listed with the RAS at all or the New York Academy of Science and even making up papers that don't exist.

Sorry mate but that page has no scientific value what so ever, it is lies and pseudo-science I could spend a long time going through everything that is incorrect on there, but I would be here all day.

Yup, it's all "spiritual" stuff and it all costs money...like to have your DNA remotely activated...it's faith healing, using scientific terms to legitimize it.

By the way...the whole "Russian Genome Project" appears to be a fraud, perpetrated not by Russia, but by people with Russian sounding names...

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Hamlyn

Yup, it's all "spiritual" stuff and it all costs money...like to have your DNA remotely activated...it's faith healing, using scientific terms to legitimize it.

By the way...the whole "Russian Genome Project" appears to be a fraud, perpetrated not by Russia, but by people with Russian sounding names...

How dare you impugn the reputation of Dr. Scienceski?

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eqgumby

How dare you impugn the reputation of Dr. Scienceski?

:lol:

Oppsie, so sorry! I'll be contacting Dr. Spock ASAP to facilitate a press conference and retract my comments.

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