Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 114 (8789 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 09-19-2017 6:38 PM
354 online now:
Coragyps, Coyote, JonF, Percy (Admin), Phat (AdminPhat) (5 members, 349 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Porkncheese
Happy Birthday: AdminPhat
Post Volume:
Total: 819,118 Year: 23,724/21,208 Month: 1,689/2,468 Week: 198/822 Day: 73/69 Hour: 0/5

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
2
3Next
Author Topic:   What do you think of the evidence for psychic abilities?
Diomedes
Member
Posts: 660
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 4.1


(2)
Message 16 of 37 (817000)
08-14-2017 2:49 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by caffeine
08-14-2017 1:36 PM


Tangle writes:

If there was such a thing as psychic ability we'd have known all about it long ago.
That kind of thing can't hide.


This seems a bit of a limited view.

If we're talking about somebody like Professor X existing in reality, then sure - the reality of his powers could easily be demonstrated experimentally if he chose to. We can safely conclude that people with psychic abilities on the order of X-Men characters do not exist in reality (or are very secretive).

Note that in the 1970s, various colleges started offering degree programs in parapsychology. I believe by the late 80s or early 90s, most of these programs were abandoned. The main issue is that none of them could verifiably demonstrate any evidence of any sort of tangible mechanism that confirmed things like ESP, telekinesis, clairvoyance, etc. I remember even reading about police departments hiring 'psychics' to assist in cold cases. And that never helped either.

Nowadays, there has been a small resurgence in things like 'noetics', which have tried to verify the existence of the soul or how thoughts might affect the physical world. From my knowledge, none of those things have provided any tangible evidence as well. At least, so far as I know.

For the most part, individuals claiming any sort of supernatural abilities and what not have been usually discredited quite easily by people like Randi and others. Houdini himself used to debunk claims of 'magic' and so forth because he was fully cognizant of the fact that everything he (and others did) were illusions.

From my perspective, looking at things this way is quite anachronistic. Because individuals often try to 'prove' the conclusion, which is backwards of how the scientific method functions. In the end, if anything is eventually discovered, it won't be supernatural. It will be natural. In the same way that someone isn't displaying any magical abilities when they touch a Van De Graaff generator and use it to send little shocks of electricity to objects or people.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by caffeine, posted 08-14-2017 1:36 PM caffeine has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by Faith, posted 08-14-2017 3:40 PM Diomedes has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 26273
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 17 of 37 (817002)
08-14-2017 3:40 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Diomedes
08-14-2017 2:49 PM


I have the impression that nothing has been positively proved against such claims either though, correct me if I'm wrong. All Randi can do is show that he can fake the same thing a person claimed happened, right? That doesn't prove that the person who claimed it faked it. Or you may be able to come up with a plausible alternative explanation. But that's not proof either.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Diomedes, posted 08-14-2017 2:49 PM Diomedes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Taq, posted 08-14-2017 3:46 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 19 by Tangle, posted 08-14-2017 5:04 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7139
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(3)
Message 18 of 37 (817004)
08-14-2017 3:46 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Faith
08-14-2017 3:40 PM


Faith writes:

I have the impression that nothing has been positively proved against such claims either though, correct me if I'm wrong. All Randi can do is show that he can fake the same thing a person claimed happened, right? That doesn't prove that the person who claimed it faked it. Or you may be able to come up with a plausible alternative explanation. But that's not proof either.

The burden of proof resides with the person claiming to have psychic powers.

James Randi and company (e.g. Penn and Teller) know how these tricks work. They have even performed these tricks. What they do is set up conditions where the claimed psychic can't use sleight of hand or other methods to make it appear as if they have supernatural powers. Wouldn't you know it, their magical powers suddenly disappear under those conditions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Faith, posted 08-14-2017 3:40 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 5038
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 19 of 37 (817010)
08-14-2017 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by Faith
08-14-2017 3:40 PM


Faith writes:

I have the impression that nothing has been positively proved against such claims either though, correct me if I'm wrong.

You're wrong ;-)

All Randi can do is show that he can fake the same thing a person claimed happened, right? That doesn't prove that the person who claimed it faked it.

No Randi had the people that claimed psychic powers demonstrate them under test conditions - they could never do it. Watch the video, they agree the test is fair, they know how it works and they're surprised and confused when they fail.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Faith, posted 08-14-2017 3:40 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1751
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 20 of 37 (817011)
08-14-2017 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Faith
08-13-2017 12:49 PM


...the evidence is hard to come by and pretty spotty except for those who've had such personal experiences.

That is the thing about evidence. It needs to be confirmed in order to qualify as evidence and so personal experience falls a bit short. At the same time it cannot be entirely discounted because it is actually a personal experience. So an anecdote doesn't qualify as evidence but is worthy of investigation. In fact, it is usually the odd event that spurs most discoveries. So far, they have all been discoveries that reveal some natural process at work.

So again, isn't it far more likely that some perceived psychic event is really a result of some hard to spot natural cause than it is the result of some undiscovered force? I think that there is more to be discovered about the ways that people can communicate perhaps with pheromones or body language but I doubt that we will find anything like telepathy or the spirit realm.

Then again, how would the supernatural go about interacting with the natural?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Faith, posted 08-13-2017 12:49 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 08-14-2017 6:41 PM ProtoTypical has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 26273
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 21 of 37 (817013)
08-14-2017 6:41 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by ProtoTypical
08-14-2017 6:25 PM


Does investigation actually "reveal some natural process at work," or is it just that if the investigator can dream up a plausible naturalistic explanation it's accepted without actual evidence? Not to say that there isn't enough fraud in this arena to justify such dismissal in many cases, but this way of approaching such unpredictable phenomena isn't justifiable in itself.

I don't know why anybody would expect psychic phenomena to be produceable on demand, but since it isn't, that is made an excuse to dismiss the whole idea.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-14-2017 6:25 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-14-2017 8:25 PM Faith has responded
 Message 26 by Taq, posted 08-15-2017 11:07 AM Faith has not yet responded

    
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1751
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 3.2


Message 22 of 37 (817014)
08-14-2017 8:25 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Faith
08-14-2017 6:41 PM


Does investigation actually "reveal some natural process at work," or is it just that if the investigator can dream up a plausible naturalistic explanation it's accepted without actual evidence?

No, the investigations do reveal truths and they are confirmed and that is how we know that they are truths.

Not to say that there isn't enough fraud in this arena to justify such dismissal in many cases, ...

It is the explanations that are dismissed and not necessarily the events.

I don't know why anybody would expect psychic phenomena to be produceable on demand, but since it isn't, that is made an excuse to dismiss the whole idea.

I agree that that is not a reasonable expectation and that some forces are sporadic. My question however, remains. Why is the whole idea more plausible than the employment of natural forces?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 08-14-2017 6:41 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Faith, posted 08-15-2017 2:46 AM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 26273
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 23 of 37 (817028)
08-15-2017 2:46 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by ProtoTypical
08-14-2017 8:25 PM


I don't think the investigations do very often "reveal truth" as you say, I think it's as I put it, a plausible naturalistic explanation is sometimes all you get but that's enough for many.

agree that that is not a reasonable expectation and that some forces are sporadic. My question however, remains. Why is the whole idea more plausible than the employment of natural forces?

If you actually do accept the phenomena called psychic, that is, the knowing of something you couldn't know by normal means, just by definition I don't see how you could explain it naturalistically. (Strictly speaking I don't think psychic knowledge is "supernatural" however, if it exists it would be a function of the mind and therefore natural. But it would still involve knowing something in a direct way that we don't normally experience.)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-14-2017 8:25 PM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by Diomedes, posted 08-15-2017 9:28 AM Faith has responded

    
Diomedes
Member
Posts: 660
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 24 of 37 (817036)
08-15-2017 9:28 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Faith
08-15-2017 2:46 AM


If you actually do accept the phenomena called psychic, that is, the knowing of something you couldn't know by normal means, just by definition I don't see how you could explain it naturalistically. (Strictly speaking I don't think psychic knowledge is "supernatural" however, if it exists it would be a function of the mind and therefore natural. But it would still involve knowing something in a direct way that we don't normally experience.)

But their effect is something that can be tangibly quantified. Even if the mechanism wasn't understood.

If someone claims to have psychic capabilities, they should be able to demonstrate that capability in a testable environment. That is what many of the studies that parapsychologists performed were trying to demonstrate. An example might be someone that claims to have telekinetic powers. They should be able to demonstrate that ability in a testable environment; i.e. if they can pull off a Yoda and levitate a chair or a book, that would be a demonstration of the ability.

Ultimately, none of the tests that were performed ever demonstrated any innate psychic capability. It literally became tantamount to just 'guessing' or turned out to be clever tricks to fool the eye. Keep in mind that DARPA and the CIA also did tests on this type of phenomenon back in the 1960s. And in those cases as well, nothing demonstrable ever materialized.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Faith, posted 08-15-2017 2:46 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Faith, posted 08-15-2017 10:24 AM Diomedes has not yet responded
 Message 27 by LamarkNewAge, posted 08-15-2017 5:30 PM Diomedes has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 26273
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 25 of 37 (817039)
08-15-2017 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Diomedes
08-15-2017 9:28 AM


Nobody should make such claims; I don't know why they do. They can only have such experiences sporadically it seems to me, there isn't anything predictable about them so there isn't anything testable about them. But maybe something else is going on here I need to think about.

But I've accepted the pastor's (Watchman Nee) view of psychic ability as something left over in some of us since the Fall, sometimes stirred up by spiritual experience, so I think of it as a mere shadow of what it must originally have been and therefore unreliable in our present condition. He himself as a new Christian claimed to know what people were thinking and at first assumed it was a gift from God until he came to realize it wasn't and then was determined to put such thoughts out of his mind. He wrote a book about it warning Christians not to mistake it for the work of the Holy Spirit. He called it "soul power."

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Diomedes, posted 08-15-2017 9:28 AM Diomedes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Taq, posted 08-15-2017 5:35 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7139
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 26 of 37 (817053)
08-15-2017 11:07 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by Faith
08-14-2017 6:41 PM


Faith writes:

Does investigation actually "reveal some natural process at work," or is it just that if the investigator can dream up a plausible naturalistic explanation it's accepted without actual evidence?

In this case, it is a matter of the magicians knowing natural processes that can produce the same observations. In fact, they can demonstrate that those natural processes can produce those observations. Houdini was another famous magician who exposed the tricks that supposed psychics, mediums, and mentalists used. Randi, Penn, and Teller are continuing the tradition that Houdini started. What Randi does is set up an experiment where those sleights of hand, misdirections, and other tricks are taken out of the equation.

For example, Randi and most magicians can make a card appear out of thin air, or at least that's what it looks like to an untrained eye. There are several sleights of hand that allow you to do this. What Randi would do to see if this really were a supernatural event is have the magician strip down to limited clothing, examine the magician from head to foot, and then have the magician attempt to make the card appear. I can almost guarantee that no magician could make a card appear out of thin air if Randi set up the experiment.

I don't know why anybody would expect psychic phenomena to be produceable on demand, but since it isn't, that is made an excuse to dismiss the whole idea.

Uri Geller could make a spoon bend on demand, and he claimed it was due to psychic powers. Uri Geller was one of the first psychics that Randi exposed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Faith, posted 08-14-2017 6:41 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 879
Joined: 12-22-2015


Message 27 of 37 (817184)
08-15-2017 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by Diomedes
08-15-2017 9:28 AM


U.S. government use of psychics.
quote:

Ultimately, none of the tests that were performed ever demonstrated any innate psychic capability. It literally became tantamount to just 'guessing' or turned out to be clever tricks to fool the eye. Keep in mind that DARPA and the CIA also did tests on this type of phenomenon back in the 1960s. And in those cases as well, nothing demonstrable ever materialized.

There is some controversy as to whether recently declassified documents present the whole truth.

I just found this out doing a google search (based on a N. Y. Post Story I read months ago, infact I saved the actual story in a plastic ziplock bag), but the sites wont let me paste.

The initial story I read is here from February 10, 2017.
http://nypost.com/...ychics-to-help-with-iran-hostage-crisis

This article referenced a Miami Herald story (from the same Feb 10 day), and the story quotes a psychic from the Operation who says that the government is holding back the successes stories but not telling us about the omissions. Here is the Herald story.

http://www.miamiherald.com/...national/article131827589.html

Sorry it couldn't paste but it has lots of good quotes (from good sources) and information, plus links. Hyperlinks to official government sites with transcripts and databases.

I got another article to paste a single paragraph. It has links.

quote:

If you ever wanted to know the CIA's secret recipe for invisible ink, how to spot spy messages hidden in suspicious fruit, or which top American spy was asked to appear in Penthouse magazine, you're in luck. Millions of pages of once-classified agency documents are now available for the first time on your home computer after the agency moved one of its data bases online.

http://www.miamiherald.com/...on-world/article129632384.html


Another really good New York Post article that has very important relevant interviews that seem to be based on original research from the nations oldest paper (as the Post is).

http://nypost.com/...that-helped-get-us-hostages-out-of-iran

Sorry I cant get pasting to work, I hope the links at least work.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Diomedes, posted 08-15-2017 9:28 AM Diomedes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Tanypteryx, posted 08-15-2017 5:41 PM LamarkNewAge has responded
 Message 32 by Phat, posted 08-16-2017 8:02 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7139
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 28 of 37 (817187)
08-15-2017 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by Faith
08-15-2017 10:24 AM


Faith writes:

Nobody should make such claims; I don't know why they do. They can only have such experiences sporadically it seems to me, there isn't anything predictable about them so there isn't anything testable about them. But maybe something else is going on here I need to think about.

That is exactly what we would expect from someone who falsely claims that they have psychic powers.

Let's use an example. I claim that I can use psychic powers to predict which card you are thinking of. However, those psychic powers only work some of the time. As it turns out, my psychic powers only work about once out of every 52 tries. Are you amazed by my psychic powers?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by Faith, posted 08-15-2017 10:24 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 879
Joined: 12-22-2015


Message 29 of 37 (817192)
08-15-2017 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by New Cat's Eye
08-14-2017 2:10 PM


quote:

I have a cousin that I literally grew up along side. Sometime we wonder if we have a psychic connection, or something.

I have heard about stories like these (a man in Houston, who has a twin in San Diego, has told me stories), and they seem to possibly have something to them.

Some people get angry when asked for evidence though. They have this attitude that their personal experiences need no validation.

I am convinced that people believe their claims.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by New Cat's Eye, posted 08-14-2017 2:10 PM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply

    
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 1577
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 6.1


Message 30 of 37 (817196)
08-15-2017 5:41 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by LamarkNewAge
08-15-2017 5:30 PM


Re: U.S. government use of psychics.
how to spot spy messages hidden in suspicious fruit

So, you're talking Kiwi and Pomegranate here, right? Everyone knows they're suspicious, but the MOST suspicious are tomatoes and corn.


What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by LamarkNewAge, posted 08-15-2017 5:30 PM LamarkNewAge has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by LamarkNewAge, posted 08-15-2017 6:10 PM Tanypteryx has not yet responded

    
Prev1
2
3Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017