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Skeptic Vs Believers?


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#181 JimDe

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 01:16 PM

Greetings all,

I’ve been enjoying this barrage of posts these past few days, I hesitated posting anything as I have neither the time nor the inclination to enter into a time consuming debate with anyone (my plate is full these days) and such a debate (which often turns into an argument due in no small part to my lack of people skills) would of course require ones full attention. I do however find PhenomInvestigator’s post very interesting and wanted to contribute what I’ve been reading lately.

http://www.pflyceum.org/10.html
http://www.pflyceum.org/28.html
http://www.pflyceum.org/111.html
http://www.pflyceum.org/32.html
http://www.pflyceum.org/65.html

I of course maintain a very healthy respect for the legitimate scientific/academic community and have usually been a willing participant (I’m not a scientist) when prompted for my cooperation regarding methods of capturing/producing (and re-producing) physical anomalous phenomena (It’s not my problem if anyone else cannot produce (or re-produce) similar results (both quality and quantity) under similar conditions. As a matter of fact I prefer to keep it that way.

That being said, after ten years of visually recording said phenomena I’m satisfied to let the (real) scientists figure how/why it works… I’m retired.

Let’s leave it at that.

~best

JD
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#182 OMPRDave

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 03:06 PM

The early SPR and ASPR accounts are very fascinating...they were the true skeptics of the paranormal of their time.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#183 chestnut

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 04:24 PM

The early SPR and ASPR accounts are very fascinating...they were the true skeptics of the paranormal of their time.


They really were. As far as I know, though, they didn't find all that many incidents that they believed to be of paranormal origin. On some things they were split--some members remained skeptical while others felt that the events were unexplainable.

#184 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:00 PM

Hello all, and am somehow not surprised that this thread is still going. Trying to deal with it is the main reason why I dropped out of GV for the past 2 years. I think that what finally did it were those who said that no matter what they experienced it would have no impact on their belief. There was NO proof strong enough to alter their belief system.

MY "science days" had two types of skepticism. One was the sort of professional debunker that we hear so much of lately. Mythbusters is not a bad example really. They're congenial, and funny and they set out to educate us and set the record straight. The first night I watched the show, (not a big TV guy. Sorry.)they were "debunking the notion that one sword could cut another sword in half". This is supposed to be a big movie myth I guess. They disproved this mostly, but proved that breaking the blade was pretty common. Well, folks, I had ALWAYS assumed that breaking is what I had seen at the movies. So, what had really been disproven? Did ANYONE think that cutting them in half was what was going on? What I think that Mythbusters was doing was setting up a strawman to boost ratings. There were other episodes where they disproved that historical events "couldn't have happened", and I stopped watching. The other type of skeptic was myself. A person that examined the evidence with a critical mind looking at all alternatives. We hear too much from the first kind.

During the past two years I ran across a set of psychic experiments that are factual and repeatable devised by Rupert Sheldrake. The mechanism of the tests/experiment is based on the ability of people to detect being watched. If I was more computer literate I would provide you with a link, but the man's website is up and running. These experiments have been conducted by professional scientists and highschool science fairs. His last two books on pets, and being watched (respectively) are very worthwhile reading.


I know I've said it before, and I do sound like your personal cheerleader, but Markway, I've always enjoyed reading your posts.

#185 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 22 April 2009 - 11:05 PM

A true skeptic will accept the evidence once proven, a cynic will argue the point regardless of how much evidence is presented, and a believer will accept anything with no proof whatsoever. I would contend that truth is going to come from the skeptic; neither the cynic nor the believer approach can be taken, as each will lead off the path and into arguments which prove nothing and go nowhere. The skeptic requires proof from both sides before accepting either.



:) :) :clap:

#186 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 12:01 AM

The early SPR and ASPR accounts are very fascinating...they were the true skeptics of the paranormal of their time.


To touch on this, there's an excellent book called "Ghost Hunters" by Deborah Blum about the early days of psychical research and the SPR and the ASPR.

#187 OMPRDave

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 01:55 PM

The early SPR and ASPR accounts are very fascinating...they were the true skeptics of the paranormal of their time.


To touch on this, there's an excellent book called "Ghost Hunters" by Deborah Blum about the early days of psychical research and the SPR and the ASPR.

One of the finest books in my collection on the subject. I recommend anyone wanting to research any facet of the paranormal pick this one up and get an idea of the history behind it all.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#188 Deth Angel

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 06:06 PM

The early SPR and ASPR accounts are very fascinating...they were the true skeptics of the paranormal of their time.


To touch on this, there's an excellent book called "Ghost Hunters" by Deborah Blum about the early days of psychical research and the SPR and the ASPR.

One of the finest books in my collection on the subject. I recommend anyone wanting to research any facet of the paranormal pick this one up and get an idea of the history behind it all.


as long as there are no cheesecloth ecto photos (joke)

tom

#189 PHANTOM MONK

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Posted 26 July 2009 - 03:10 PM

Is somebody keeping score with body parts? It's a no sense argument, I won't dignify it by using "debate". Both sides think they are right, more than likely, and deny the possibility of the other existing, anywhere, anytime. I can relate it to a cat fight. Neither one will do much damage, hopefully but brother the fur will fly.

#190 Markway

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 04:28 AM

I have to agree with Deth Angel about the SPR output. I especially recommend the 2 volume set by FWH Myers, "Human Personality and it's survival of bodily death". It's a work of genius an offers insight into dysfunctional psychology as well as deep thought and case studies on the paranormal.

This book segue's quite nicely into what I wanted to say tonight.

Anyone interested in scientific investigation of the paranormal almost immediately runs into a major roadblock. "What is it! What is it !" you beg. The problem is a world view sometimes called "Rational Materialism". This worldview is taught by word and example at most major universities around the world.In this world view everything in the universe is essentially inanimate, and our consciousness merely an illusory byproduct of brain neurons.

Actually, this position has always puzzled me a bit. Consciousness and the mind seem to argue that there is something more, but oh well, there it is. Despite a degree in history I hav never nailed down exactly when or how this philosophy came about. Despite propaganda to the contrary, Darwin did NOT meet a storm of criticism with his publication of "on the Origin of Species". Rather the whole European intellectual corp seemed primed and waiting for it. No conspiracy surely, but a real change in thought had occurred during the 19th century and Darwin was as much a product of it as he was a cause.

The important thing to take away is that after 1880 the supernatural was under attack by scientists and after say 1920, the topic was off limits except for derision. SO, if you want to read scientific, GIFTED scientific minds contemplating the void writers, investigators and scientists like Myers, were the last to write about these things. (Until Sheldrake anyway)

Contributors like Plindboe have my respect. They are holding up rationality as they were taught it. I suspect that they do not understand the huge journey some of us have undertaken to look into the abyss, and I DO wonder why they are HERE. Do they suspect something? Seen something? Have to wonder.
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
This much let me avow---
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away In a night,
Or in a day, In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

#191 canuck

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 11:12 PM

Hi Markway:

I have a question for you:

On June 14, 2007, you posted the following:
"
My sister is an Anthropologist. They ROUTINELY clean their digs from "intrusive material" prior to writing up a site. What's intrusive material? Anything that they didn't expect to find. Why did they do this? Because if the "intrusive" objects were mentioned either her site would be declared contaminated, or she would be subjected to severe peer review for suggesting that such things were contemporaneous with the other objects at the dig. This is largely why no one hears about the Iron age in pre-columbian America, Middle Eastern intrusions into the Mississippi river valley, or the extensive mining and smelting of copper in the new world."

Could you please elaborate on these comments, or provide a reference or two for further reading?

Thanks

Canuck

#192 Markway

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 05:42 AM

Hi Markway:

I have a question for you:

On June 14, 2007, you posted the following:
"
My sister is an Anthropologist. They ROUTINELY clean their digs from "intrusive material" prior to writing up a site. What's intrusive material? Anything that they didn't expect to find. Why did they do this? Because if the "intrusive" objects were mentioned either her site would be declared contaminated, or she would be subjected to severe peer review for suggesting that such things were contemporaneous with the other objects at the dig. This is largely why no one hears about the Iron age in pre-columbian America, Middle Eastern intrusions into the Mississippi river valley, or the extensive mining and smelting of copper in the new world."

Could you please elaborate on these comments, or provide a reference or two for further reading?

Thanks

Canuck

Okay, so you know something about me? My Anthro background and so forth? All right, I'll play along although it gives me the creeps a bit. Where do you folks find this stuff out?

Archeological digs employ a variety of specialists. There are Archeologists who are usually specialists in another speciality first, There are Geologists, Historians and of course, Anthropologists. The money comes from a variety of places including property owners, Universities, rich amateurs and school districts, to name some of the more common. If a dig is accused of sloppy or incompetant work the money is usually pulled. This can be to protect the site or to ensure that the site is not used to promote a platform that others disapprove of.

During the late to middle of the 19th century it was decided among American Historians and Ethnographers that no pre-columbian contact with N America had occurred. (For an eye-opening read plus details read, "Lost America" by Arlington Mallery.) Holmes and others felt guilt over the usurpation of N America by Europeans and did not want any First Nation acheivement to be ascribed to Old World contact.

Nevertheless. on an almost monthly basis soapstone oil lamps common to the middle east are turned up in the Mid West. The copper deposits of Lake Superior have no First Nation tradition and are immensely old. Frankly, I have felt that this was a likely source of copper for the Bronze Age in Europe, just as walrus ivory was the main source of of European ivory.

There is considerable evidence to show that there was extensive settlement of N America's East Coast by Celtic and Norse. Large evidence for iron age smelters for example.

But getting back to your question, if you have a dig and find this sort of evidence you had better lose it in a hurry, unless you want to be shut down. As it stands if you find anything that you aren't supposed to find the usual course of action is to write it off as "intrusive".

In Africa during the '90's there were a number of early Homo Sapiens sites that were shut down because they were "too early" If you find Homo sites you had better find advanced artifacts too. The current belief is that man's appearance went hand in hand with intellectual acheivement. My ownspeculation is that man's intellectual boost came as a result of hybridization between proto-Neanderthaalers and "Modern"-type humans in Eastern Europe-Central Asia. All scientific heresy of course.

Hope that this helped. Please do not explore my background.
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
This much let me avow---
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream:
Yet if hope has flown away In a night,
Or in a day, In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

#193 Vampchick21

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 08:31 AM

Asking for clarification on something you PUBLICLY posted is not an attempt to dig into your life or your background.

Krafted with luv

by monsters


#194 canuck

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 09:41 PM

Hi Markway:

I have a question for you:

On June 14, 2007, you posted the following:
"
My sister is an Anthropologist. They ROUTINELY clean their digs from "intrusive material" prior to writing up a site. What's intrusive material? Anything that they didn't expect to find. Why did they do this? Because if the "intrusive" objects were mentioned either her site would be declared contaminated, or she would be subjected to severe peer review for suggesting that such things were contemporaneous with the other objects at the dig. This is largely why no one hears about the Iron age in pre-columbian America, Middle Eastern intrusions into the Mississippi river valley, or the extensive mining and smelting of copper in the new world."

Could you please elaborate on these comments, or provide a reference or two for further reading?

Thanks

Canuck

Okay, so you know something about me? My Anthro background and so forth? All right, I'll play along although it gives me the creeps a bit. Where do you folks find this stuff out?

Archeological digs employ a variety of specialists. There are Archeologists who are usually specialists in another speciality first, There are Geologists, Historians and of course, Anthropologists. The money comes from a variety of places including property owners, Universities, rich amateurs and school districts, to name some of the more common. If a dig is accused of sloppy or incompetant work the money is usually pulled. This can be to protect the site or to ensure that the site is not used to promote a platform that others disapprove of.

During the late to middle of the 19th century it was decided among American Historians and Ethnographers that no pre-columbian contact with N America had occurred. (For an eye-opening read plus details read, "Lost America" by Arlington Mallery.) Holmes and others felt guilt over the usurpation of N America by Europeans and did not want any First Nation acheivement to be ascribed to Old World contact.

Nevertheless. on an almost monthly basis soapstone oil lamps common to the middle east are turned up in the Mid West. The copper deposits of Lake Superior have no First Nation tradition and are immensely old. Frankly, I have felt that this was a likely source of copper for the Bronze Age in Europe, just as walrus ivory was the main source of of European ivory.

There is considerable evidence to show that there was extensive settlement of N America's East Coast by Celtic and Norse. Large evidence for iron age smelters for example.

But getting back to your question, if you have a dig and find this sort of evidence you had better lose it in a hurry, unless you want to be shut down. As it stands if you find anything that you aren't supposed to find the usual course of action is to write it off as "intrusive".

In Africa during the '90's there were a number of early Homo Sapiens sites that were shut down because they were "too early" If you find Homo sites you had better find advanced artifacts too. The current belief is that man's appearance went hand in hand with intellectual acheivement. My ownspeculation is that man's intellectual boost came as a result of hybridization between proto-Neanderthaalers and "Modern"-type humans in Eastern Europe-Central Asia. All scientific heresy of course.

Hope that this helped. Please do not explore my background.

Let’s not get carried away here.

I don’t know you from a bar of soap, and I have no interest in you whatsoever beyond what you have contributed to this forum.

The primary benefit of forums such as this is that individuals can, in anonymity, enter into discussions which could in the workplace or similar exposed forums lead to the destruction of careers, or worse.

The cloak of anonymity provides both protection and the means for open exchange of ideas.

As a case in point: your reference to the misrepresentation of archaeological data, and its significance to what we believe we know about history. Where else could you raise this issue?

I certainly have no interest in, or the inclination to investigate you or your background.

From time to time I teach courses on campus as a “Guest Lecturer”; during the day I work at my regular job, which involves supervising the work of a herd of PhD’s.

In the evenings I work to maintain my sanity by teaching courses in subjects that interest me, and help to purge my brain of the nonsense I have to deal with all day.

Last year I taught a “Science and Spookology” course. Next year I will be teaching a course in the history and philosophy of science, which will be entitled “Myths, Legends and Fraud in Science”.

In this context, I remembered the posting you made a few years ago, and feel that it has relevance to the course I will be teaching. While I have no shortage of material already, a contribution from Archaeology would round things out.

Incidentally, in your previous post you asked the question as to how “science” dug itself into its current hole of materialist determinism: that topic occupies three lectures of my course.

So given the above, do we now understand each other?

#195 canuck

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 09:02 PM

Hi Markway:

Interesting comments you have made:

First, the sanitisation and cherry picking of scientific data is nothing new; it is a time honoured practice in science that has been in place since time immemorial.

But more to the point:

What do you mean by: “The copper deposits of Lake Superior have no First Nation tradition and are immensely old.”

Are you talking about copper mines? Are you talking about accumulations of copper artifacts? Are you saying European miners arrived in North America, worked mines and shipped their product home? Or what?

You say: “Nevertheless, on an almost monthly basis soapstone oil lamps common to the middle east are turned up in the Mid West.”

What is the significance of this? Are you saying that the Mid West was visited by people from the Middle East?

Alternatively, why is an oil lamp of a particular shape or form indicative of a particular origin?

Oil lamp technology is not exactly rocket science, so I can see lamps being developed independently all over the world.

Since form usually follows function, I would not be surprised that a common design has evolved independently from various disparate groups.

So finding a lamp of a particular design or construction does not, in itself, prove a particular history.

Please explain?




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