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lestatdelioncourt

Response to "no scientific evidence" of ghost

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pallidin

This is a curious subject.

The "scientific method" allows suggested proof of existance without direct evidence of it. In those cases it's evidence of "effect", which is allowable as suggested proof of existance.

For example, gravity has been well established as quite real for, obviously, many years due simply to "effect" The Higgs Boson may offer more insight.

The same for the magnetic field itself. It is NOT understood at all, even now. The generation of a magnetic field is partially understood, but the underlying mechanism behind it remains elusive. The extended field itself remains a total mystery. The closest mathematical "proof" involves "virtual particles" which of themselves CAN NOT be detected.

Quantum entanglement is another mystery. It's effects are very well established, but the superluminal "connection" is poorly understood, with it's evidence confirmed by effect only yet also aggressively accepted by mathematical theory.

Precognition(think knowing what a card is before it has been shown to you) has been shown in numerous studies to seemingly exist within some individuals with a "hit-rate" higher that statistics can account for. The effect is repeatedly proven(in some cases), but the "physics" is unknown.

In short, I think it's improper to base belief solely on "pure" evidence. As has been shown in those few examples, it can also be based on "effect"

Edited by pallidin
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sinewave

No, no, and again, no.

Let me be plain, because you keep misunderstanding me.

You are not supposed to believe in ghosts because scientists have been mistaken.

In fact, you are not "supposed to believe in ghosts" at all.

In fact, let's be even more clear than that: I do NOT want you to believe in ghosts.

In fact, I'd prefer that nobody "believed" in ghosts. Belief is a concept best kept to religion. I don't actually "believe in" ghosts; I just don't dismiss the possibility.

My only purpose in talking about the major mistakes of science is to point out a couple of consistent patterns: that dismissing evidence because it challenges a theory is foolish (because it's doing things backwards), and that saying that anything is "impossible" is foolish (because we don't know everything that's possible, and probably won't for many centuries).

I think the most sensible attitude toward ghosts (or any paranormal phenomenon) is one of open-minded doubt: doubt the concepts because there's not enough evidence to prove them, but remain open to the possibility that evidence could someday emerge. Until then, I don't see the point in worrying about them.

Generally when people use the expression open-minded they are advocating a singe hypothesis. Science, on the other hand, is open to all hypotheses but ranks them according to the weight of supporting evidence. All of the ghost evidence ever produced is anecdotal or some form of pseudo-science. Science is not damning the hypothesis, the lack of supporting evidence is.

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sinewave

This is a curious subject.

The "scientific method" allows suggested proof of existance without direct evidence of it. In those cases it's evidence of "effect", which is allowable as suggested proof of existance.

For example, gravity has been well established as quite real for, obviously, many years due simply to "effect" The Higgs Boson may offer more insight.

The same for the magnetic field itself. It is NOT understood at all, even now. The generation of a magnetic field is partially understood, but the underlying mechanism behind it remains elusive. The extended field itself remains a total mystery. The closest mathematical "proof" involves "virtual particles" which of themselves CAN NOT be detected.

Quantum entanglement is another mystery. It's effects are very well established, but the superluminal "connection" is poorly understood, with it's evidence confirmed by effect only yet also aggressively accepted by mathematical theory.

Precognition(think knowing what a card is before it has been shown to you) has been shown in numerous studies to seemingly exist within some individuals with a "hit-rate" higher that statistics can account for. The effect is repeatedly proven(in some cases), but the "physics" is unknown.

In short, I think it's improper to base belief solely on "pure" evidence. As has been shown in those few examples, it can also be based on "effect"

But what if that "effect" is exclusively perceptual and not physically measurable?

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pallidin

But what if that "effect" is exclusively perceptual and not physically measurable?

Exactly, that's the point. Virtual particles, for example are NOT physically measurable at all, but is highly favored with "explaining" the "effect" phenomenon of many quantum mysteries.

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pallidin

But what if that "effect" is exclusively perceptual and not physically measurable?

Sorry, forgot to address your question directly.

Yes, there are "exclusively perceptual" events which are solely emotional/cultural/psychological and have zero basis in reality other than "perception"

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sinewave

Exactly, that's the point. Virtual particles, for example are NOT physically measurable at all, but is highly favored with "explaining" the "effect" phenomenon of many quantum mysteries.

Yes, readily observable and consistently reproducible phenomena which the paranormal is not.

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pallidin

Yes, readily observable and consistently reproducible phenomena which the paranormal is not.

That is it's definition, per se.

However, recall that "readily observable" is dependent on the ability to observe, NOT whether it's "real"

Again, one than looks at "effects" to determine viability to go forward in such special cases.

Reproducibility is the crowning jewel, to be sure, and is the mainstream of modern science.

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pallidin

If I may approach this in a different way:

Consider my dog. When I call her name, she always hears me, but she DOES NOT always come to me. Some dogs are like that.

Therefore "reproducibilty" has failed, but it doesn't make my dog any less real.

Edited by pallidin

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sinewave

That is it's definition, per se.

However, recall that "readily observable" is dependent on the ability to observe, NOT whether it's "real"

Again, one than looks at "effects" to determine viability to go forward in such special cases.

Reproducibility is the crowning jewel, to be sure, and is the mainstream of modern science.

We are talking about something people claim can be seen, heard, smelled, and even felt. They also assert they can record them with audio and video devices. Further, there are those who believe EMF meters are reliable ghost detectors. All of these things suggest ghosts, if real, are physical in nature. However, when it comes down to real analysis, they claim science is not advanced enough to understand ghosts and that our understanding of the Universe does not apply.

Edited by sinewave

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pallidin

...they claim science is not advanced enough to understand ghosts and that our understanding of the Universe does not apply.

That would be correct. Except that, more correctly, our understanding of the Universe is not complete. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest of understanding, I would give us a 2 at best; more like a 1.1

But hey, we are getting there, slowly but surely.

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sinewave

That would be correct. Except that, more correctly, our understanding of the Universe is not complete. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest of understanding, I would give us a 2 at best; more like a 1.1

But hey, we are getting there, slowly but surely.

Right but that still does not in any way validate the hypothesis. The assertion of many here is, because we don't know, it must be true. That is how churches work, not how progress is made.

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Angel1510

Right but that still does not in any way validate the hypothesis. The assertion of many here is, because we don't know, it must be true. That is how churches work, not how progress is made.

I disagree, I think the main assertion is that we do not know but we don't rule it out.

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aquatus1

It may well be that ghosts, spirits, and the like exist (unfortunately, through sheer definition, faeries, elves, and such, tend to fall into the same descriptive category). It may well be that the key to the entire phenomena lies in some external element humanity has not yet discovered, in the same way that the discovery of genetics or gravity answered hundreds of questions that could only be speculated on before. Perhaps the source of psychic phenomena is not humans or ghosts, but some sort of media both can occasionally use to some effect.

I can't say that I believe in ghosts, although I have to admit that I find it remarkably easy to entertain the notion of their existence. Similarly, I don't believe in paranormal phenomena. However, I do bear in mind that much of what was once thought to be supernatural has become well-known natural phenomena, and it would not greatly surprise me to find ghosts falling into that category.

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sinewave

I disagree, I think the main assertion is that we do not know but we don't rule it out.

It's not ruled out, it is just considered extremely unlikely.

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sinewave

It may well be that ghosts, spirits, and the like exist (unfortunately, through sheer definition, faeries, elves, and such, tend to fall into the same descriptive category). It may well be that the key to the entire phenomena lies in some external element humanity has not yet discovered, in the same way that the discovery of genetics or gravity answered hundreds of questions that could only be speculated on before. Perhaps the source of psychic phenomena is not humans or ghosts, but some sort of media both can occasionally use to some effect.

I can't say that I believe in ghosts, although I have to admit that I find it remarkably easy to entertain the notion of their existence. Similarly, I don't believe in paranormal phenomena. However, I do bear in mind that much of what was once thought to be supernatural has become well-known natural phenomena, and it would not greatly surprise me to find ghosts falling into that category.

Yes, mental illnesses were often considered to be demonic possession. When a sensible explanation is not available, people tend to fabricate fantastic ones from imagination. It is human nature. That kind of thinking was not getting us very far. Hence the evolution of science.

Edited by sinewave
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NewAge1

It does to the person who hasn't experienced the phenomenon and until there is verifiable proof that there is an objective authenticity to this phenomenon that is how it will remain. I don't doubt that some people do actually think they see ghosts but whether or not this is something externalised outside their own perception and separate from their own minds I don't know.

Let's make something clear though, paranormal phenomenon are rare. This is not common. Most people in their lives will never have any experiences. I never had one. Most claims of alleged ghost activity can be explained by mental health issues, pipe creaking, wind blowing, hoaxes ect. There are however, some cases which do not fall into any category. The documentation of such cases is consistent throughout history. The first case of poltergeist activity was recorded in the first century B.C. Rock showers, banging sounds, movements of objects ect. In many instances, these phenomenon can be corroborated by multiple witnesses, pictures, recordings ect. Some are in the opinions that there is nothing more to it than dellusions, illusions and wishful thiking but I am not one of those. This seems to be simplistic at best and a complete disregard of the testimonies, evidences and patterns.

The media through various paranormal TV show have given us the sens that laranormal activitoes are everyhere and that most of us experience it. That is untrue. It much more difficult today than 30 years ago to sift through the informations, allegations and evidences in an investigations because now people are quick to deem all sort of things paranormal.

Edited by sam_comm
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pallidin

One thing I like about you, sinewave, is that you challenge belief in a responsible manner consistent with your "take-on-things"

You do not "blast" differing thoughts like some people do. Rather you respond in a relaxed way with your own opinion AND questions.

I feel that position to be both healthy and progressive. As well as honest and mature.

Advanced science surely could not progress without it as part of a "team" effort", say, in a DARPA lab.

Edited by pallidin
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Avallaine

Scientific method challenges everything, even things that seem so obviously correct today. That is the vetting process in action. Nothing is accepted as probable without harsh trials. The fact that some theories had a hard road to acceptance does not in any way make other hypotheses like ghosts anymore likely.

I never said it did. I clarified it in my last post, but since you may not have read it, I'll just repeat it here:

My only purpose in talking about the major mistakes of science is to point out a couple of consistent patterns: that dismissing evidence because it challenges a theory is foolish (because it's doing things backwards), and that saying that anything is "impossible" is foolish (because we don't know everything that's possible, and probably won't for many centuries).

That's really all there is to that.

The concept of free floating energy clouds stands in direct conflict with thermodynamic.

Who said ghosts were "free-floating energy clouds?" That's only one popular theory among layfolk, and "folk theories" are about as useful as folk etymologies.

Taking it a step further, the ghost hypothesis suggests for each person some quantity of "life force" comes into existence but never dies. This implies energy is being added to the Universe every time a person is born. The very essence of your argument is inconsistent with the mechanics of thermodynamics.

The "ghost hypothesis" does not imply any such thing. Where did you get a silly idea like that? You might as well say the fact that a baby grows from a microscopic fertilized egg implies that matter is being added to the universe every time an egg gestates.

Even the most out-there New Agers I know tend to think that each person's soul already exists long before they are born, and that a physical body is only a temporary housing. So, there: no energy is said to be "created," and the first law of thermodynamics is perfectly safe.

Einstein's work in no way contradicted Newton's work, he simply expanded upon it,

That's...exactly what I said previously.

I'm glad we agree on something.

That is why there is peer review. Even scientists can be wrong. That does not make this hypothesis any more acceptable. The lack of evidence is not a failing of science but a failing of the idea.

A lack of evidence is not always a failing of an idea. Sometimes (as with continental drift before seafloor mapping) it's just a failure of our ability to gather all the evidence. The real shame in that case was that the geologic and fossil evidence was sufficient to prove the continents did move; but the evidence was ignored because it seemed "impossible."

Dismissing an idea because you won't even look at the evidence without prejudice is most certainly not a failing of the idea.

.

People claim to have seen and heard ghosts. People claim to have recorded ghosts using consumer grade video and audio equipment. People claim to be able to detect ghosts using EMF meters. All of these things are accepted as fact by believers but somehow our understanding of the Universe cannot be applied? You cannot have it both ways. They are either detectable or they are not.

Some phenomena are not constant, but intermittent; before we know what causes them, there's no way to predict when and where they'll be observed. Think of how many decades rogue waves were deemed a "myth" just because the only evidence consisted of random eyewitness reports. But when we finally caught one good photograph, the idea was taken seriously enough that we turned satellites on the ocean's surface; not only did we see rogue waves existed, but they were more common than anyone had imagined.

Now, that's not a perfect analogy, because rogue waves, while being random, are still perfectly visible. But they depend on a confluence of so many random factors that if we couldn't monitor vast swaths of the ocean via satellites, detecting one would still be a matter of being in the right place and the right time with no idea of where or when either one would occur.

Postulating they are beyond the scope of science instead of accepting the possibility they are imaginary is a null hypothesis.

But I do accept the possibility that they are imaginary. I also accept the possibility that they are "real." I accept both possibilities...because that's the essence of "the unknown." No one knows for sure, so either might turn out to be true.

...Science deals in probabilities not absolutes. By not stating much as immutable fact, the door is left open for further understanding as our knowledge grows. Based on the evidence so far, the probability of ghosts existing outside of human imagination is very, very low.

My estimate of the probability is a little bit higher...but then, I've been reading the evidence for years, from a number of standpoints: that of an uncritical believer (when I was a child), of a materialistic skeptic (in my late teens to early twenties), and a thinking "believer" (one who is open to the possibility of ghost phenomena but, skeptically cautious about each specific case). Having gone from one extreme to the other, as it were, I've settled in the middle because, once you've ruled out the problems of eyewitness reports in general, along with high emotion and sensationalist reporting specific to ghost encounters, there's still some interesting patterns in the reports that seem to occur independently of time, place, and culture.

But thinking that there might be a real phenomenon beneath ghost sightings doesn't mean I think that ghosts are necessarily disembodied, formerly-human spirits. Again, that's only one theory among many, and the fact that it's the most popular doesn't mean it's the most likely. The only conclusion about ghosts that I lean toward is that there's something happening there that can't be fully accounted for by misperception, fraud and exaggeration. But I'm fully open to the possibility that I might be completely wrong about that.

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Avallaine

Let's make something clear though, paranormal phenomenon are rare. This is not common. Most people in their lives will never have any experiences. I never had one. Most claims of alleged ghost activity can be explained by mental health issues, pipe creaking, wind blowing, hoaxes ect. There are however, some cases which do not fall into any category. The documentation of such cases is consistent throughout history. The first case of poltergeist activity was recorded in the first century B.C. Rock showers, banging sounds, movements of objects ect. In many instances, these phenomenon can be corroborated by multiple witnesses, pictures, recordings ect. Some are in the opinions that there is nothing more to it than dellusions, illusions and wishful thiking but I am not one of those. This seems to be simplistic at best and a complete disregard of the testimonies, evidences and patterns.

Very well said. :)

The media through various paranormal TV show have given us the sens that laranormal activitoes are everyhere and that most of us experience it. That is untrue. It much more difficult today than 30 years ago to sift through the informations, allegations and evidences in an investigations because now people are quick to deem all sort of things paranormal.

All too true. And worse: they're quick to label anything that might be paranormal as Evil, which almost guarantees that witnesses to possibly-paranormal events are going to be in a highly emotional state, making their perceptions that much more open to error.

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sinewave

One thing I like about you, sinewave, is that you challenge belief in a responsible manner consistent with your "take-on-things"

You do not "blast" differing thoughts like some people do. Rather you respond in a relaxed way with your own opinion AND questions.

I feel that position to be both healthy and progressive. As well as honest and mature.

Advanced science surely could not progress without it as part of a "team" effort", say, in a DARPA lab.

Thank you very much! I sincerely appreciate your comment.

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sinewave

I never said it did. I clarified it in my last post, but since you may not have read it, I'll just repeat it here:

That's really all there is to that.

The argument for ghosts is made entirely of speculation and pseudo-science. The only thing you can state with any certainty is some people believe ghosts exist. That belief is predicated on the assumption some part of us survives death. An assumption not everyone is willing to accept. Our mortality is frightening so it is no wonder over the millennia we have fabricated so many mythologies about it. Other than fervent belief there is nothing to support the hypothesis. Rather than reaching conclusions based solely on faith, some people choose to set the matter aside until more evidence arrives. The topic of discussion is whether there is scientific evidence to support the notion. To date there is none.

There is certainly nothing wrong with belief for the sake of belief as long as no one gets hurt. There is little room for belief in science. It may serve as a starting point but without evidence is not tolerated very long.

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Angel1510

The human race has only been around for a pinhead of time compared to the age of the Universe. How could we possibly claim to know everything there is know about science and how the Universe works? One day, maybe thousands or millions of years from now (if the planet has not been destroyed by technological advances in warfare) we will have better knowledge but until that day, I am willing to believe in infinite possibilities of things which science just haven't a clue about now.

Edited by Angel1510
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sinewave

The human race has only been around for a pinhead of time compared to the age of the Universe. How could we possibly claim to know everything there is know about science and how the Universe works? One day, maybe thousands or millions of years from now (if the planet has not been destroyed by technological advances in warfare) we will have better knowledge but until that day, I am willing to believe in infinite possibilities of things which science just haven't a clue about now.

No one is claiming that. The statement is simple. There is no science to support the ghost hypothesis. That does not imply we know all there is to know. It does not mean ghosts don't exist outside of the imagination. It simply means the best available evidence is not acceptable as science. Have I really not said all of those things enough times in this thread?

Edited by sinewave

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aquatus1

Science is like a fishing net with inch-wide holes. With it, we can verify the existence of all fish larger than one inch. Does this mean that science refuses to acknowledge the existence of fish smaller than one inch? Not at all. It simply means that we are unable to currently verify it. Incidentally, the physical senses are neither the primary, nor even the preferred type of evidence for a theory. Science requires objective evidence and a logical path, not 'seeing is believing'.

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Angel1510

No one is claiming that. The statement is simple. There is no science to support the ghost hypothesis. That does not imply we know all there is to know. It does not mean ghosts don't exist outside of the imagination. It simply means the best available evidence is not acceptable as science. Have I really not said all of those things enough times in this thread?

I know how you feel! I have not said ghosts exist but I am open to the possibility.

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