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the.truth.is.out.there.x

Do All People have Psychic Abilities?

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NewAge1

Here and here are examples of why Ganzfeld experiments (as an example) are useless as formal scientific tests... so why not post one that shows a proper scientific test - ie ones that (f'rinstance):

The first link your provided on the skeptic forum seemed to contain some interesting elements, until it happened to be a thread bashing Parapsychology, (woo-believers as they call it there) providing lecture by Ray Hyman and... Susan Blackmore (http://archived.para...re_critique.htm). I'll have to pass on this one, ChrLz.

- use OBJECTIVE not SUBJECTIVE analysis of results

- have PROPER controls, (eg double blind, null hypothesis, falsifiability, etc)

Care to show some concrete exemple that does not apply this standard? Study, paper? There has been some flawed experiments in Parapsychology, that's for sure (Susan Blackmore a former parapsychologist did made quite a few herself) but that is not restricted to the field of Parapsychology as Human mistakes are part of science. As it stands right now you seem to make more of a hasty generalization than anything else.

It seems to me that your only reference point seems to be revolving around Ray Hyman. While Ryman has pointed flaws in psychical research (which thanks to him has been adressed) he also did make some serious technical errors in his methodology.

As George P. Hansen points out in an interesting piece of paper:

Despite his contributions to the understanding of methodological issues, Hyman’s work is not flawless. He has made a number of mistakes on technical matters, some quite serious. This is ironic because he has incessantly complained about the technical errors of others, and he has billed himself as having a special interest in “human error, especially ‘mistakes’ made by highly competent individuals.”5

Source: http://www.trickster...HymanReview.htm ( with concrete exemple provided.)

I'll tell you why - such tests ALWAYS show no statistical effects whatsoever. It's only the highly questionable, usually over-complicated ones done by fringe 'researchers' like Radin, Sheldrake and Utts, which are the ones where serious flaws and 'cheating' can creep in either knowingly or unknowingly, and that rely on the flawed experiment designs, subjectivity and poor controls to skew the results.

Again such inaccurate statement prove that you are not informed of the research done in this field. I refer you to the paper of Lance Storm, Patrizio E. Tressoldi and Lorenzo Di Risio that disprove your assumption:

http://www.psy.unipd...ce_Storm012.pdf

Edited by sam_comm

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NewAge1
Again such inaccurate statement prove that you are not informed of the research done in this field. I refer you to the paper of Lance Storm, Patrizio E. Tressoldi and Lorenzo Di Risio that disprove your assumption:

http://www.psy.unipd...ce_Storm012.pdf

I just want to add that this research paper belongs to Dr Tressoldi's wesbite and can be found here: http://www.psy.unipd...etical-evidence

Edited by sam_comm

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Simatong

I believe that the vast majority of human beings do not possess psychic abilities (which annoys me when parapsychologists try testing your run-of-the-mill person, because if psychic abilities, however theoretical, are usually only claimed by and/or found among an extremely small number of the populace, then trying to find them in random people instead of targeting the specific claimants or those who have seemingly experienced a slough of phenomena is a bit counterintuitive). I genuinely do believe psychic abilities exist, but I believe that they are, again, extremely rare and misunderstood, a problem confounded by the fact that many people associate easily explainable phenomena with psychic/psionic abilities without thinking about things from a rational perspective. As for the person who asked what use would these abilities have, it really isn't about an evolutionary advantage; many gifts (referring to the mundane here) are not really advantageous to the human race, if you want to be technical; being a good singer, a good writer, or even a good linguist isn't evolutionarily necessary; doesn't mean the gifts aren't valuable to someone~~to some people in general. Just my two cents.

Edited by Simatong
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ChrLzs

So that's it? A META-study (did you read the requests at all?) that is ONLY 'published' in the 'Journal of Parapsychology' (an esteemed organisation if I ever saw one - see below) and that is not peer-reviewed... and includes - apart from unbounding enthusiasm and claims (not at all supported) that no bias was found in the experiments - these words:

We stress, however, that effects on average are very weak for precognition, clairvoyance, and even telepathy ..

OK, then. But forgive my sarcasm..

I repeat - the only place that paper has seen light of day is the Journal of Parapsychology, agreed? Now, is this an accurate list of the members of the board of that organisation? (hint, yes):

Daryl J. Bem, Ph.D.

Roger Nelson, Ph.D.

John Palmer, Ph.D.

Dean Radin, Ph.D.

Jessica M. Utts, Ph.D.

Refer back to my post above and look at who I named - Geez, the only one missing is Sheldrake. I'll be going into some detail about these pretenders later (I am off to work right now) - plus I can prove conflicts of interest, quite apart from what we shall see when I get time to go over that paper...

Radin and Utts in particular are no scientists and are an embarrassment - again, I will show why, with cites and links to their very own words...

We are certainly off to a flying start... Just remember that you chose that one, Sam.........

BBL

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the.truth.is.out.there.x

the.truth.is.out.there.x -

This is somewhat of a misconception. We use 100% of our brain, though at any one time we're only "actively" using about 10%.

If you're interested in another perspective on psychic ability, I recommend "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin deBecker. He explains how our subconscious minds can almost instantly size up a situation and provide insight.

For example, I had a situation that I might have attributed to psychic ability if it had occurred prior to my reading deBecker's book. One of my coworkers was married to a man whose company had a contract with the company I worked for. She had foot surgery and was recovering at home, when one day she stumbled and fell, striking her head on the cement edge of an ornamental pond in the yard. She died soon afterward. About two months later I ran into her husband. I was instantly filled with a sense of dread, and I thought, "Oh My God, he killed her." I was absolutely certain he had murdered his wife. Not long afterwards he was arrested, found guilty, and is serving a life sentence for murder.

Using the guidelines I'd learned from "The Gift of Fear", I went through my experience frame-by-frame. I recalled that in every conversation I'd had with the husband, I'd noticed his emotionless tone of voice and aloof demeanour; some people might call him "a cold fish". I'd talked to his wife about six months before she died, and she had mentioned how different their personalities were: he was a rugged, outdoors kind of guy (camping and mountain-biking), while she leaned toward a more "princess" kind of lfestyle. She was concerned about the two of them finding common ground in their marriage.

My brother-in-law had a thick beard, but after he fell in love and got married, he shaved his beard. He told me, "I used to hide behind that beard. I don't have to hide anymore". When I saw my cowworker's husband two months after his wife's death, he had grown a thick beard that covered half his face. His aloof demeanour had also changed: he now had a slight smirk about his mouth, and his eyelids were narrowed. He'd become arrogant.

All of those clues were added up in my subconscious, and a conclusion was reached before I even knew what was going on.

Having said that, there are two other incidents in my life that seem to have been actual psychic occurences that I have no explanation for. I'd be happy to share those two incidents if you're interested.

That would be cool. I'm always interested in a good paranormal story :)

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NewAge1

So that's it? A META-study (did you read the requests at all?) that is ONLY 'published' in the 'Journal of Parapsychology' (an esteemed organisation if I ever saw one - see below) and that is not peer-reviewed... and includes - apart from unbounding enthusiasm and claims (not at all supported) that no bias was found in the experiments - these words:

Do you even read the posts on this thread? If you had, you would have noticed that I provided in my message adressed to Emma_Acid some of the best Nonlocal mind Empirical and Theoritical evidence (peer-reviewed cumulative) according to Dr Emmanuele Tressoldi at the University Di Padova, Italia.

But then you might have ignored it, it's not unheard of when presenting such materials to die-hard ''skeptics''.

Just in case: http://www.psy.unipd...etical-evidence

OK, then. But forgive my sarcasm..

I find it a bit sarcastic I must admit to cherry-pick a sentence in a research paper and taking it out of context. In case you have forgotten what was written before:

Our meta-analysis on the forced-choice database of studies from

1987 to 2010 and subsequent tests on possible alternative sources for

the statistical anomaly indicate that the forced-choice domain generally

produces significant psi effects above mean chance expectation.

Source: http://www.psy.unipd...ce_Storm012.pdf

From: http://www.psy.unipd...etical-evidence

I repeat - the only place that paper has seen light of day is the Journal of Parapsychology, agreed? Now, is this an accurate list of the members of the board of that organisation? (hint, yes):

Daryl J. Bem, Ph.D.

Roger Nelson, Ph.D.

John Palmer, Ph.D.

Dean Radin, Ph.D.

Jessica M. Utts, Ph.D.

You forgot people from the Board of Directors:

President: James C. Carpenter Ph.D

Vice President: Gerd H. Hovelmann, M.A

Secretery: Hoyt Edge, Ph.D

Source: http://www.parapsych..._directors.aspx

Refer back to my post above and look at who I named - Geez, the only one missing is Sheldrake. I'll be going into some detail about these pretenders later (I am off to work right now) - plus I can prove conflicts of interest, quite apart from what we shall see when I get time to go over that paper...

I am curious to see some concrete exemple indeed, as I don't find an Anti-parapsychology thread on a skeptic organisation forum that much convincing to be honest.

Radin and Utts in particular are no scientists and are an embarrassment - again, I will show why, with cites and links to their very own words...

Yet Jessica Utts is a respected statistician, as her background quickly reveals. She even worked with one of your reference point, Ray Hyman:

''Collaborated with Professor Ray Hyman (University of Oregon) to prepare a report assessing the statistical evidence for psychic functioning in U.S. government sponsored research. The report was part of a review done by the American Institutes of Research (AIR) at the request of Congress and the CIA.''

Source: http://archived.para...s/j_m_utts.html

As for Dean Radin, as an non-materialistic scientist, no doubt his views are not well received in the 'skeptics' materialist ideology.

We are certainly off to a flying start... Just remember that you chose that one, Sam.........

You choose to emphasize on this paper and somehow forgot everything else I writted. I posted it here to demonstrate matter-of-factly that your assumption: ''such test only ALWAYS show no statistical effect whatsoever'' is an innacurate statement based on prejudice and misinformation.

A flying start, if say so, but I think it's flying low.

Edited by sam_comm
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ChrLzs

Thanks for that, sam, but before I address the new stuff you have posted (you *seriously* need to widen your search on Utts...), I would like to commence looking at the paper that YOU nominated. Let's see how this goes. Feel free to interject with countering cites and quotes...

First up, a brief comment on 'meta'-analyses and/or 'meta'-statistics. For those who don't know, these are studies where the results of other studies are collated, looking (hopefully in an unbiased fashion) for significant trends or evidence. Naturally, such studies have to be done very carefully, as not only is the methodology of the 'meta-' study itself up for scrutiny, EVERY study it includes needs to be valid, in terms of methodology (and documentary proof thereof) and freedom from bias. Plus, the way in which the studies were chosen needs to addressed in detail.

Frankly, meta analyses should raise a red flag with the reader - they really need to look carefully not at just that study, but also every study beneath it. A small aside here - does anyone here think that all science is perfectly done and above reproach? Of course not. So it matters NOT whether you are looking at 'mainstream' science or fringe science like paranormalcy - if you want to be taken seriously, then you must abide by the rules and do things properly and methodically. Your study/ies must be fully documented, beyond question in terms of subjectivity and all of the usual controls (I'll list them later) must be there to ensure there is no bias, opportunity for cheating, or just simple errors and misinterpretations.

Now, if we accept that science is not perfect, and that some folks on the fringes might desperately *want* their results to be taken seriously (especially if the existence of their organisation depends on it, eg the Journal of Parapsychology (of which Jessica Utts is a board member) or ..say .. the International Remote Viewing Association (yes, I'm serious.., and of which Jessica Utts is .., yes, you guessed it!), then it might just be possible that they would simply set up their own organisation, call itself a peer-reviewed journal, and get their results published that way, focusing of course on meta-studies that can hide the flaws two levels (or more) down... No surely that would never happen... but call me a conspiracist - I take no-one at face value...

Anyway, my point with all that is to re-iterate - do NOT believe everything you read, no matter what side you are on, and research the claims thoroughly if you don't want to be scammed by pretenders and charlatans - some of whom, I might add genuinely believe their analyses are sound. Dean Radin is a good example of that, and I shall, in a later post, give several examples of stuff that come direct from Dean himself... Some of it will amaze (or perhaps disgust..) you, coming from a supposed scientist.

So with that in mind, and also remembering that we asked for a NON-meta-study so as to make it easier to check the original research at it's source... but sam posted one anyway.... let's start to look at that study he gave as a state-of-the-art example of the best evidence....

Here's the link again..

META-ANALYSIS OF ESP STUDIES, 1987–2010: Assessing the Success of the Forced-Choice Design in Parapsychology, Storm, Patrizio, Tressoldi, DiRisio

I'll leave the abstract and conclusions and a discussion about whether this can claim in any way to be peer-reviewed, until last - let's jump right into the study itself... (but first I'm having my afternoon coffee - I shall return in 20 minutes or so for the first instalment...)

The study begins with a rather interesting 'history lesson' about J.B. Rhine and K. Zener, inventor of the 'Zener Cards'. Strangely, it leaves out a very important footnote about that....

(to be continued after I caffeinate...)

P.S. Sam (or anyone else), in future, if you wish to counter or dispute anything I say, can you please be specific and fully quote me, in context? Thanks for debating in good faith....

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simplybill

That would be cool. I'm always interested in a good paranormal story :)

I'll try to get back here tomorrow.

The two stories are interesting to me, but they could be written off as coincidence.

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ChrLzs

OK, as I mentioned above, the study starts by referring to J.B. Rhine and K. Zener. Rhine was responsible for many studies commencing back in the 30's, and helped Zener design his cards...

So, how did that go for them? Well, strangely, this study doesn't comment at all on what happened.. First up, it should be noted that Rhine had to change several of his techniques, starting with one as basic as you could possibly imagine, namely his shuffling of the cards...This, along with the fact that the cards were initially printed on card stock that was thin enough that the shapes could be detected under some light conditions by those with keen eyesight, and then that the cards were held up vertically at eye level by the presenter (whose face, inc. eyes and glasses....... was visible at all times) so that those with keen observation could spot the reflection of the shape (which, on Zener cards is very large, how convenient..).

And what were the results like, after all those were 'fixed', and in subsequent, properly controlled Zener card studies? Go on, take a wild guess. Well, I s'pose this was the 30's and 40's, so it was a pretty naive time.. but seriously? Now let's walk forward thru history a little and see what became of Rhine and his associates...

In 1974, Rhine presented a paper to the Journal of Parapsychology (more about them later), namely:

Rhine, J.B. (1974a). Security Versus Deception in Parapsychology. Journal of Parapsychology, 38, 99-121.

In it, Rhine righteously (ironically as it turned out) attacked those who had been busted for fraudulent science in parapsychology in 15 cases that he chose, where fraudulent results had been generated and published. He stated:

Fortunately, the culprits have thus far been caught (at least in our ‘known’ cases) before serious damage has been done

and then..

we have been able to do quite a lot to insure that it is impossible for dishonesty to be implemented inside the well-organized psi laboratory today

Oh, really? Sadly for Rhine, later that year he had to (and I'll concede this must have taken quite some bravery and a huge swallowing of pride) post this paper:

Rhine, J.B. (1974b). A New Case of Experimenter Unreliability. Journal of Parapsychology, 38, 215-225.

In this paper he had to admit that the man he had worked with and appointed as the director of research in his laboratory, W.J. Levy, had now been exposed by coworkers as committing fraud. This was a preliminary report - the final report (again, by Rhine himself) was even more damning:

Rhine, J.B. (1975). Second Report on a Case of Experimenter Fraud. Journal of Parapsychology, 39, 306-325.

In this, Rhine had to admit the level of fraud by W. J. Levy was found to be so extensive that all research involving him was dismissed. Levy had been one of 'those' who somehow managed to get 'significant' results on almost every experiment...

What makes this even more shocking is that before this unfortunate, but revealing, occurrence Rhine himself argued that "only certain experimenters have the knack" for 'successfully doing' parapsychological experiments, that they should only be done "by those with the knack for obtaining significant results" - those without the 'knack' "should find something else to do" - from Rhine, J.B., & Pratt, J.G. (1957) - Parapsychology: Frontier Science of the Mind.

I'd suggest that there are some other, more apt but less kind, words for that 'knack'...

Does that sort of talk, and then the later proven cases of fraud, not raise alarm bells??? Is anyone going to suggest I'm out of line for digging a bit deeper to check on these supposedly statistically significant results in each study cited?? You'd have to be crazy if you took these people at face value...

Anyway, all that stuff about Rhine, Zener and co was strangely absent from this new study, but they thought it fit to mention him initially - perhaps as a guide to the credibility of the rest of the report? :D

Now, again, these facts do NOT, in themselves invalidate the study. But they do show that there are charlatans and frauds in this field, and that it is obviously important to thoroughly check all the data being used in any meta-analysis..

I shall return later to continue...

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NewAge1
Frankly, meta analyses should raise a red flag with the reader - they really need to look carefully not at just that study, but also every study beneath it. A small aside here - does anyone here think that all science is perfectly done and above reproach? Of course not. So it matters NOT whether you are looking at 'mainstream' science or fringe science like paranormalcy - if you want to be taken seriously, then you must abide by the rules and do things properly and methodically. Your study/ies must be fully documented, beyond question in terms of subjectivity and all of the usual controls (I'll list them later) must be there to ensure there is no bias, opportunity for cheating, or just simple errors and misinterpretations.

That's right, but you seem to be implying here that Parapsychologists are somehow unaware of this, which couldn't be more wrong.

As parapsychologist J.E Kennedy points out in his paper: Can Parapsychology Move Beyond The Controversies Of Retrospective Analysis?

''The most convincing evidence for a meta-analysis occurs when all included experiments are well

designed with adequate power and obtain reliable effects. If some experiments are underpowered or have

flaws, or the effects are heterogeneous, observational synthesis-generated analyses are used to attempt to

compensate for the weaknesses in the original experiments.''

Source: http://jeksite.org/psi/jp13a.pdf

Now, if we accept that science is not perfect, and that some folks on the fringes might desperately *want* their results to be taken seriously (especially if the existence of their organisation depends on it, eg the Journal of Parapsychology (of which Jessica Utts is a board member) or ..say .. the International Remote Viewing Association (yes, I'm serious.., and of which Jessica Utts is .., yes, you guessed it!), then it might just be possible that they would simply set up their own organisation, call itself a peer-reviewed journal, and get their results published that way, focusing of course on meta-studies that can hide the flaws two levels (or more) down... No surely that would never happen... but call me a conspiracist - I take no-one at face value...

The Parapsychological Association (PA), the main body of Parapsychology (including the Rhine Research Center and the Journal of Parapsychology) is an affiliated organisation of the American Association For The Advancement of Science (AAAS), The world largest general scientific society.

http://www.aaas.org/

So yes, despite your speculation, it does meet the criteria of scientific research and scholar inquiry. Surely you know that science is not restricted to specific points of views and ideas?

As for Professor Jessica Utts, yet again a guilt by association it would seem but is it really strange that a researcher interested in remote viewing studies will collaborate with The international Remote Viewing Association as an advisor?

What if a respected physicist collaborated on board with the International Organization For Medical Physics (IOMP)? It's perfectly normal to me.

Anyway, my point with all that is to re-iterate - do NOT believe everything you read, no matter what side you are on, and research the claims thoroughly if you don't want to be scammed by pretenders and charlatans - some of whom, I might add genuinely believe their analyses are sound. Dean Radin is a good example of that, and I shall, in a later post, give several examples of stuff that come direct from Dean himself... Some of it will amaze (or perhaps disgust..) you, coming from a supposed scientist.

That should also be applied to these skeptics associations whose main goal, it appears to me, is to discredit every research that does not fit with a materialistic, physicalist type of science. They tend to throw the baby with the bathwater on everything that contradict that ideology.

I thought important to mention it, since the only reference you provided to support yor claims is a link refering to the forum of one of these associations.

So with that in mind, and also remembering that we asked for a NON-meta-study so as to make it easier to check the original research at it's source... but sam posted one anyway.... let's start to look at that study he gave as a state-of-the-art example of the best evidence....

Did you even took the time to look a the best Nonlocal mind evidence provided on Dr Emmanuele Tressolidi's website? There are various experimental evidence, studies on nonlocal interactions and theoritical contributions.

Also as stated above, I think it's important to rehiterate that there is no absolute, definite proof of psi phenomenon but there are very interesting data that suggest it might exist to some extent. You might choose to ignore or dismiss them, that's your choice but some beg to differ. ;)

Edited by sam_comm
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NewAge1
So, how did that go for them? Well, strangely, this study doesn't comment at all on what happened..

What seems strange to me is that you took the introductory paragraph (6 lines) of the paper and forgot about the remaing 31 pages. Did you not notice that this research paper is not about J.B Rhine and that this was but a short introduction to explain how early parapsychological studies started? Seriously...

First up, it should be noted that Rhine had to change several of his techniques, starting with one as basic as you could possibly imagine, namely his shuffling of the cards...This, along with the fact that the cards were initially printed on card stock that was thin enough that the shapes could be detected under some light conditions by those with keen eyesight, and then that the cards were held up vertically at eye level by the presenter (whose face, inc. eyes and glasses....... was visible at all times) so that those with keen observation could spot the reflection of the shape (which, on Zener cards is very large, how convenient..).

That's true and parapsychologists no longer use card-guessing studies due to methodogical problems (such as sensory leakage). These were the early times of parapsychology and even when Rhine redesigned the Zener cards and decided to use an automatic card shuffler, it was very difficult to prevent cheating.

Anyway, all that stuff about Rhine, Zener and co was strangely absent from this new study, but they thought it fit to mention him initially - perhaps as a guide to the credibility of the rest of the report? :D

Dr. J.B Rhine is seen as the Father of modern Parapsychology, the first to have dedicated his career to psychical research and really spur the interest of academics for this field. You'll find a lot of references to J.B Rhine and his wife Dr Louisa E. Rhine, in the annals of Parapsychology.

Now, again, these facts do NOT, in themselves invalidate the study. But they do show that there are charlatans and frauds in this field, and that it is obviously important to thoroughly check all the data being used in any meta-analysis..

Obviously they do not and the research in not about Rhine's biography. Your analysis seems to have drifted to the point of irrelevance.

Edited by sam_comm

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ChrLzs

What seems strange to me is that you took the introductory paragraph (6 lines) of the paper and forgot about the remaing 31 pages.

What seems very obvious to me is this DELIBERATE goading (or is it simply a complete lack of reading comprehension, or perhaps rudeness?) to not notice all the comments I made about the work "to be continued" - I'll be back when I can.

SERIOUSLY, Sam_comm, do you expect me to go through the entire thing immediately and on your time schedule? How long did it take YOU to actually nominate a study, and now you want it done instantly - is that in the hope that I'll miss stuff? Not going to happen, and I will proceed at my own pace.

Frankly I don't know why I bother with such rudeness, impatience and arrogance. Maybe you have hours on end to do this and wordily avoid the actual points being made, but I don't. And I just love your assurances that nowadays these problems have been overcome,... Well, your 'Father of Modern Parapsychology also thought that in 1974, and look what happened.

Did you not notice that this research paper is not about J.B Rhine and that this was but a short introduction to explain how early parapsychological studies started? Seriously...

Yes, I did notice it, and also your smarm. But unlike you I want to address EVERYTHING in that report and I won't be leaving out parts that people like you don't want to hear. And if the report tries to make demiGods out of people (like you also have just done with Rhine), then I think it is VERY appropriate and ontopic to show these 'Fathers' of this dreadfully flawed 'science' with the daylight shone on them. The writers of that study clearly and deliberately left out some very important information about these early 'studies'. By taking these people at face value you will be easily misled, and so far that is being shown very clearly by your replies.

If you wish to deny that and think it is irrelevant, then that is your biased right. Others however are reading this (and politely remaining patient) - I'll get back to the next part of the study as soon as I can - but I have mouths to feed.. And don't think your tactics are not obvious, anything but address the flaws and admit that there are huge problems in the subjectivity and lack of controls being applied to these studies - the ones where they are applied magically, inexplicably don't show even the "extremely weak" effects.

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NewAge1

I provided exemple of research and studies that suggest the existence of psi phenomenon as I was asked. At the end of day, what you do or don't do with them is none my concern. We can certainly debate and exchange ideas on these subjects though your ''I am a Debunker'' kind of rethoric does not make it very interesting or even possible to do so. One can at best try to respond to your monologue, which as I pointed out is thus far irrelevant to the 31 pages of the research paper on Meta-analysis I posted here. J.B Rhine is the first first empirical investigator of psychic phenomenon. That's simple fact. The introduction of the paper doesn't elaborate on Rhine's achievements and errors because it's not the subject of the paper.

I am not here to convince and sway die-hard skeptics that psychical research is legitimate. We all know it's a lost and fruitless cause on a discussion forum. I can only offer my opinions and references. I too have other things to do. ;)

Edited by sam_comm

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Professor T

Many people believe that all humans have special abilities; in many religions there are people who can perform miracles, and some people claim to have developed abilities. According to scientists, there is a large portion of the human brain that is not in use. Could that section contain special abilities? Can some people tap into an energy that results in psychic powers, or a sixth sense?

Yeah, IMO all people can actively address these latent hidden talents, abilities, gifts or whatever you want to call them.. Though a lot of people create limitations that prevent accessing them, or actively take charge in creating limitations in others by denying the possibility that these extra sensory perceptions occur.. Perception belongs to the self. And IMO, the first step to discovering our capabilities isn't about belief or outright faith that they exist, but is all about understanding your self and your own perceptions.. Trusting your higher self and your own experiences leads one to conclusions that our world and everything in it is spun by unseen forces one can tap into and experience.

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XenoFish
Though a lot of people create limitations that prevent accessing them, or actively take charge in creating limitations in others by denying the possibility that these extra sensory perceptions occur.

Then riddle me this batman? Why hasn't a hypnotist convinced someone that their telekinetic and they moved something without touching it? If it's all about removing mental barriers then shouldn't we have audio tapes that grant psychic abilities? Learn PK while you sleep, etc.

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Professor T

Then riddle me this batman? Why hasn't a hypnotist convinced someone that their telekinetic and they moved something without touching it? If it's all about removing mental barriers then shouldn't we have audio tapes that grant psychic abilities? Learn PK while you sleep, etc.

Have no idea.. Besides which, PK isn't a perception as far as my understanding of it goes. There's no riddle in this.. PK is manipulation of matter with mind, and not a Perception, which is what I was referring to.

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Lumpino

Many people believe that all humans have special abilities; in many religions there are people who can perform miracles, and some people claim to have developed abilities. According to scientists, there is a large portion of the human brain that is not in use. Could that section contain special abilities? Can some people tap into an energy that results in psychic powers, or a sixth sense?

Everybody have abilities. But, but mostly hidden. He does not know about them.

They may wake up them through meditations. For example by Yoga.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddhi

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ChrLzs

I apologise for being a bit slow getting back to this.. but I would like to point out that the first introductory section to this study pretty much made my main point. J.B. Rhine is being called a "Father of Parapsychology" and yet spent a LOT of his time firstly correcting many really basic (dare I say "beginner") errors in his own studies.. then spent more time criticisiing many other people's studies where false/faked results were published.. and then had to admit that even after all that, he was suckered by his own chosen laboratory manager. And not in a small way - the fakery and deceit was so ingrained that all of the research involving that person had to be dismissed. And you wonder why I say not to trust studies UNLESS they are properly documented and reviewable?

I'd compare this sort of thing to a couple of other areas of science. First up, how about Relativity? It could easily be said that much of Einstein's Special and General Theories of Relativity were also quite controversial when first proposed. They contained much information that was counter-intuitive - and not just to Joe Average, many scientists were strongly opposed to some aspects of his theories.. But as time passed, every single prediction he made (with a couple of extremely minor exceptions) was borne out and verified by other scientists checking and re-checking and testing the predictions and observations. These tests ranged from simple observations (eg involving Mercury and the Sun - look'emup), imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope, some of it has even crept into GPS systems.. All of it is measurable down to incredible levels of accuracy. Given all of that, I'm pretty happy to call Einstein the "Father of Relativity" even though he himself happily admitted that he was standing on the shoulders of giants and just happened to put it all together... Relativity is pretty much proven beyond reasonable doubt and accepted by mainstream science. If something does 'overturn' it, it will only *refine* his theories, as they work perfectly fine for everything we have managed to test so far.

But now let's consider Psychology... Psychology is a very different sort of 'science' - it is a study of human behavior, social interactions, mental states and feelings. Now I'm no student of this 'science', but I'm sure that Freud and others have done some very fine work defining the science as best they can - but can you see that this is TOTALLY different to Relativity? You cannot objectively measure feelings, social behavior, mental disabilities - indeed that is reflected by terms like Autism Disorder Spectrum - where a label can be applied across a wide range of symptoms or behaviors. So, in psychology, subjective measurement IS largely justifiable, simply because much of it is not measurable with rulers or precise instruments...

But what about parapsychology - in particular claims of ESP, or telekinesis or precognition? THINK about it!!!!!

Sure, the MECHANISM by which any of those might happen may be immeasurable, for reasons similar to that in psychology. But now we are NOT talking about the internal mechanisms that might allow such abilities to exist, but the existence of the abilities themselves. Those abilities do NOT require subjective measurement! If they truly exist, they should be measured OBJECTIVELY.

To be very specific, and I'll come back to this as I progress through that 'study', there is NO excuse for incorporating subjective tests when simple and truly objective tests are available! Indeed, one of the basic tenets of science is that you ALWAYS use the simplest approach /simplest tests - KISS.

The classical example of this deliberate use of subjective testing in order to skew the results (be it deliberate or otherwise), is using interpretations of pictures, as is done in Ganzfeld 'tests' - I'll have a LOT more to say about that when we finally get to Radin who is the poster boy for ridiculous experiment design. WHY couldn't they use truly randomised numbers or patterns? They will say it is some sort of problem where it needs to be something from the real world... I say (and will backup) that quite apart from the later subjective interpretations of the pictures, just the fact that pictures have been chosen as a supposedly random set of data is completely and utterly flawed. If you don't know why that is, then I will be hoping to educate you as this progresses - but while waiting for me to get to it - why not think really hard and see if you can think why a set of pictures (no matter *how* they are procured) is NOT a properly randomisable data set.

When setting up a test for psychological 'powers', there is that and much much more to think about. (Gee, you'd think that J.B. Rhine might have at least known right from the start that the way he shuffled the cards just might have been important....)

Anyway, enough ranting.. I'll try to get onto the next section later tonight, depending on where my life goes and/or what's on telly.. :D Don't be holding your breath, but I will be back to continue...

Edited by ChrLzs
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enigma7

ChrLzs, sorry I'm not really seeing how psychic "abilities" are outside the realm of psychology? It's something that takes place in the brain no different than human emotions. So that's kind of like saying we should question whether or not everyone has the ability to love since it can't be proven scientifically. Even with studies created that measures love, attraction, etc. by the chemicals released by the brain when feeling these things, you'd have to expect some of the results will show the participant was NOT experiencing those emotions at the time. But no one would write the entire concept off as a fluke, so what's really so different about psychic abilities?

In my opinion, just like we won't fall in love or even be physically attracted to every person we meet even if the conditions are "manipulated" to encourage it, we also aren't going to have a telepathic connection with every person we meet. So those experiments were a little silly to begin with, but disproving their validity doesn't disprove that psychic abilities exist in general...

Edited by enigma7

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aquatus1
ChrLzs, sorry I'm not really seeing how psychic "abilities" are outside the realm of psychology?

Psychology is generally regarded as the study of mental functions as they relate to behavior. Something like psychic abilities would be a bit more structural in definition, so it would ironically be more accurately describe by the broader term of "neuroscience".

It's something that takes place in the brain no different than human emotions.

What leads you to this conclusion?

So that's kind of like saying we should question whether or not everyone has the ability to love since it can't be proven scientifically.

Wouldn't it be more like saying we should question where the the ability to love originates from, if not the the brain?

Even with studies created that measures love, attraction, etc. by the chemicals released by the brain when feeling these things, you'd have to expect some of the results will show the participant was NOT experiencing those emotions at the time. But no one would write the entire concept off as a fluke, so what's really so different about psychic abilities?

The lack of an undeniable phenomena.

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enigma7

I agree it would fall under the category of "neuroscience", but it could be argued that something like telepathy is a form of social interaction, pre-recognition is a mental function that could influence behavior, etc. so of course it's all debatable. And honestly I'm not sure where else it would originate from other than the brain either? I didn't know that was something you're questioning... But my point was just that yes we've been able to study the chemicals that are released in the brain when someone feels love, but even something like love can't really be "proven" by the same criteria you're demanding of psychic phenomenon.. Researchers have to seek out participants that are already experiencing "love" to collect information and publish data about it, rather than choosing random people and seeing if they can force a connection.

Edited by enigma7

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aquatus1

I agree it would fall under the category of "neuroscience", but it could be argued that something like telepathy is a form of social interaction, pre-recognition is a mental function that could influence behavior, etc. so of course it's all debatable.

Eh.

And honestly I'm not sure where else it would originate from other than the brain either? I didn't know that was something you're questioning...

Not so much a matter of questioning it as pointing out that it is an assumption made without support to begin with.

But my point was just that yes we've been able to study the chemicals that are released in the brain when someone feels love, but even something like love can't really be "proven" by the same criteria you're demanding of psychic phenomenon..

Is there anyone who doubts that love, as an emotion, exists?

There are certainly competing theories as to just how the mechanics of love work, but the existence of love itself is beyond question.

Researchers have to seek out participants that are already experiencing "love" to collect information and publish data about it, rather than choosing random people and seeing if they can force a connection.

Exactly. The phenomena of love is repeatable and consistent. We know under which environments it tends to appear and the sorts of behaviours it influences. We can very reliably point to a given set of circumstances and predicate the probability of love to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the defition we use.

Pretty much all phenomena follow the same pattern. We don't have to know the details of exactly how they work. We aren't really sure just how gravity is generated. We can, however, predict how much of it will present in a given environment and the behaviour it has.

We can't really do that with psychic powers. It isn't the explanation of the phenomena that is the problem. It is whether the phenomena itself exists that hasn't been determined yet. We aren't even at the point where science would have to take an active role. Psychic abilities haven't yet met the pre-requisites to be considered scientific, the same prequisites that every single other scientific topic in the history of mankind has had to meet (even the ones made prior to the advent of modern science).

Edited by aquatus1

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enigma7

Not so much a matter of questioning it as pointing out that it is an assumption made without support to begin with.

Ok so just to be clear, you believe that psychic abilities don't exist at all, or that if they do they would originate from somewhere other than the brain?

Exactly. The phenomena of love is repeatable and consistent. We know under which environments it tends to appear and the sorts of behaviours it influences. We can very reliably point to a given set of circumstances and predicate the probability of love to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the defition we use.

Pretty much all phenomena follow the same pattern. We don't have to know the details of exactly how they work. We aren't really sure just how gravity is generated. We can, however, predict how much of it will present in a given environment and the behaviour it has.

We can't really do that with psychic powers. It isn't the explanation of the phenomena that is the problem. It is whether the phenomena itself exists that hasn't been determined yet. We aren't even at the point where science would have to take an active role. Psychic abilities haven't yet met the pre-requisites to be considered scientific, the same prequisites that every single other scientific topic in the history of mankind has had to meet (even the ones made prior to the advent of modern science).

Ugh I considered writing out a long response but basically, predicting and analyzing love can only be taken so far in the world of science. If there's no consensus that psychic powers exist that's fine, but I'll still say everyone has access to them regardless...

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aquatus1

Ok so just to be clear, you believe that psychic abilities don't exist at all, or that if they do they would originate from somewhere other than the brain?

The latter, with more of a leaning towards the former.

Ugh I considered writing out a long response but basically, predicting and analyzing love can only be taken so far in the world of science. If there's no consensus that psychic powers exist that's fine, but I'll still say everyone has access to them regardless...

Personal opinions are fine, of course, but science does require an actual repeatable and verifiable phenomena prior to being able to explain it.

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enigma7

Personal opinions are fine, of course, but science does require an actual repeatable and verifiable phenomena prior to being able to explain it.

Right, time will tell I guess... But even if you just think "some" people have these abilities, there still must be a scientific correlation in that case. Which I guess brings up the whole science vs spirituality debate, but I don't think they're all that separate.

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