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Something Believers need to keep in mind...


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#1 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 10:05 AM

Something everyone actually, should keep in mind is how the scientific community works.  There's the food for thought.  I will return to this thread once I have finished my gatherings, interviews and thoughts!

I will give you a sneak preview. It covers the mentality of the scientific community and how they work towards their goals.  

It's just hard to get down thoughts after talking to someone when you didn't record the conversation.
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#2 krcguns

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Posted 12 November 2003 - 01:15 PM

I think that when it comes to scientific research of any kind you have to have an open mind.  I think that this includes being able to accept when it is or isn't paranormal.  I do keep an open mind and if I shoot a pic of a light across the street from the cemetery I won't say that it is paranormal and I accept that.  I have been skunked on investigations and found nothing more than the mundane.  I also feel that on the other hand you need to be receptive to what really is paranormal.  You need to take each piece of evidence and evaluate it on it's own and say yes, this is mundane or yes, it's paranormal.  I don't think that has to do with believing so much but whether a believer or not you have to keep the open mind.  You can't say that everything you see is paranormal but you also can't dismiss everything as mundane either.  You must stay objective. ;D
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#3 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 07:11 AM

Yup yup...

What makes you want to roll your eyes at the scientific community is the fact that they have worked their butts off to prove the Theory of Relativity wrong, yet they prove it right EVERY time.  After being a repeatable, provable theory, you know what? It's still a theory.  They don't nail it down at all.  To physicists, everything is just theory and they work towards testing them to see if they can break em'.

You know what's funny?  Quantum machanics have also been proven to work under a barrage of test to prove them wrong.  LOL! the best part is, Theory of Relativity and Quantum Machanics (chaos theory) do not work together.  They can't.  yet they are both provable on a consistant basis.  Einstien basically was saying that God doesn't use dice.  Where as the Chaos theory people say that's exactly what God did LOL!

Scientists built the particle accelerators to try and prove or disprove theories. The problem we have in proving life after death is that if we were to accelerate two human beings and smash them together, it would probalby raise an eyebrow or two   ;D

Another thing.  The scientists that are coming up with new ideas or theories are the young, right out of school people.  Once they have the funding, the backing and the knowhow, they stick with their theory for the rest of their lives.  To go against that would threaten their money, their jobs, and most importantly, their reputation in the commnunity.  When these new theories claw away at the older ones, you start seeing sparks fly in the community.  Seems silly when everything is a community don't you think?  Why do they refuse to nail themselves down to anything?  anyway, there is more of a preview for you.
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#4 Gregory

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:21 AM

[quote]

What makes you want to roll your eyes at the scientific community is the fact that they have worked their butts off to prove the Theory of Relativity wrong, yet they prove it right EVERY time.[/quote]

That's the point[/]. To see if a theory holds water, you do everything you can to shoot it down, and if you can't, it provided support for the theory. Far from making me roll my eyes, this is the best system I can imagine.

[quote]After being a repeatable, provable theory, you know what? It's still a theory.[/quote]

Theories aren't provable. But they can be supported until they're so probably true, you'd have to be intentionally perverse to doubt them (I think I'm paraphrasing someone here, but I'm not certain who. Maube Gould?)

[quote]They don't nail it down at all.[/quote]

Most theories are "nailed down" fairly well, I think. What exactly do you mean?

[quote]To physicists, everything is just theory and they work towards testing them to see if they can break em'.[/quote]

[i]Just
a theory? The fact that something is called a theory doesn't imply any uncertainty. As I understand it, the only difference between a theory and a law is that laws can be written down in concise mathematical form. Although I've heard other definitions, too.

[quote]You know what's funny?  Quantum machanics have also been proven to work under a barrage of test to prove them wrong.  LOL![/quote]

So what's your point?

[quote]The best part is, Theory of Relativity and Quantum Machanics (chaos theory) do not work together.  They can't.[/quote]

Correct. Quantum mechanics and the Theory of Relativity function on different scales. But just because they haven't been unified into a single theory doesn't mean they can't be. And even if they can't, so what?

[quote]yet they are both provable on a consistant basis.  Einstien basically was saying that God doesn't use dice.  Where as the Chaos theory people say that's exactly what God did LOL![/quote]

On a microscopic level, yes. On normal scales, the universe is predictable.

[quote]
Scientists built the particle accelerators to try and prove or disprove theories. The problem we have in proving life after death is that if we were to accelerate two human beings and smash them together, it would probalby raise an eyebrow or two.[/quote]

I'm sorry, but this makes no sense. Particle accelerators are relevant only to the fields of physics having to do with subatomic particles. They have nothing to do with ghosts.

[quote]Another thing.  The scientists that are coming up with new ideas or theories are the young, right out of school people.  Once they have the funding, the backing and the knowhow, they stick with their theory for the rest of their lives.  To go against that would threaten their money, their jobs, and most importantly, their reputation in the commnunity.[/quote]

I'm no scientist, but I don't like to see them slandered, either. If you're going to make statements like this, I think you'd best support them.

[quote]When these new theories claw away at the older ones, you start seeing sparks fly in the community.  Seems silly when everything is a community don't you think?[/quote]

No. Members of communities disagree all the time. We're both members of Ghost Village, an online community, and yet we seem to disagree about a great many things.

[quote]Why do they refuse to nail themselves down to anything?[/quote]

They don't. Weren't you just complaining about how scientist stuck to their beliefs and never backed down? Anyway, I think you'll find that the things they don't agree on are generally pretty eclectic. You won't find many scientist arguing about the laws of motion, for example.
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#5 Paul_G

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 10:55 AM

I think a large problem we have when dealing with the scientific community is that there are too many people who collect pictures, etc, and claiming them to be apparitions without checking all of the mundane things first. You have to be sure it isn't mundane before making a claim. I think many ghost hunters start out with the premise... 'I believe that theres something out there and I'm gonna do whatever I can to prove it'. Which is the opposite of the more skeptical approach that science usually takes.

As a result, if you click on a lot of ghost sites you'll see a lot of pictures which might well actaully be mist, or turn out to be cigarette smoke and so on. This makes what we do that much less credible. Also, we have an interest in something which naturally is going to generate a lot of tall tales and exaggeration from people. You won't see a scout leader telling his scouts a 'theory of relativity' story around a bonfire.

Anyway, I think debate and disagreement make for more careful investigation and clearer thinking on a topic. Getting mad over someone not agreeing with you on the topic of ghosts isn't much better than someone who doesn't believe in them blindly thinking we must be crackpots.

The scientific method and approach isn't the fastest way to get things done sometimes, but it has been proven over thousands of years to work with every other field of study. It will work with this one too.

But there are two types of people here I think. Those that approach this from a spiritual standpoint and those that approach it from a scientific standpoint. I doubt the two sides will ever agree when it comes to scientific technique.

#6 JimTheBrit

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 11:54 AM

But there are two types of people here I think. Those that approach this from a spiritual standpoint and those that approach it from a scientific standpoint.


I see it differently. There are those who have evidence of what they see as paranormal activity and regard it as conclusive proof, and there are those who find that same evidence flawed and do not accept it as proof. The 'standpoint' from which you approach evidence of the supernatural is neither here nor there, surely? The significance of the evidence should be measured by how it stands up to scrutiny.

#7 stevenedel

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 12:37 PM

You need to take each piece of evidence and evaluate it on it's own and say yes, this is mundane or yes, it's paranormal.

How, exactly, do you do you arrive at the evaluation that it is paranormal?
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#8 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 12:49 PM

Thanks for the input guys  :)

The particle accelerator was kind of explaining the difficulty in testing the theories as to where the energies of a living human go after death.  Of course Biology seems to explain this rather well along with the Law of conservation of Energy.  I can't completely answer you on the particle accelerator statement yet concerning only sub atomic particles yet, for that I apologize.  It has been mentioned or written by some that the same events hold tru on any scale.  particles should behave the same whether you are on the sub atomic level or smashing two shopping carts together.  Again I apologize if I cannot elaborate further.  :D  This is after all only a preview.

When it comes to theories, both sides of the coin need to understand that's exactly what ghosts are. A Theory.  This statement was not meant as a slap in the scientific community, more of a throttling for skeptics and beleivers alike to remember that much in the logical scientific community is STILL in theory stage.  To claim either direction as fact is questionable.  Steven said it best when he concluded his own thoughts.  it's not provable that they exist, it's not provable beyond a shadow of a doubt that they don't, yet his theory is that they don't.  his theory can then be presented to the other side of the coin to test.  Just as much as a believer's theory is presented to be tested.  Believers have to understand that their theory requires being shot at to see if it will hold water and viceversa.

What I mean by nailed down is a examples like Moore's Law, mathmatical rules and so on.  We as a race (humans) are trying to figure out how the world around us works.  It's so immense and so complex that we can only put things in perspective of theories.


The point about both Qauntum mechanics and Relativity being proven right so far, is that both believers and Skeptics should keep in mind both side of the fence could be right at some point.  Close mindedness seems fruitless. Yet, sometimes I am amazed at what seems (I said seems, not it is) to be close mindedness in the scientific community.

I certainly agree with you that they disagree on things that are pretty eclectic.  I also see where I can be seen as contradicting myself.  I think that may be the point I am trying to make.  The scientists seem to be rather contradicory in their reaction.  Scientist A beleives whole heartedly in the theory of Relativity and has staked his life's study  of it.  Trying to poke wholes in to it to find it's weakness.  But, when Scientist B comes along and says Quantum mechanics is the way to go, why does it seem that Scientist A feels threatened or scoffs at the new theory?  This is of course perception, but don't take the human mind and it's frailties out of the equation.  To say that scientists don't feel their work threatened or their very reputation in jeopordy at times is seemingly close minded as well.  

Some scientists against global warming have litterally been given threats by others. That they better back down or else.

To think this doesn't happen seems close minded to me.

Historically, it seems that it's the younger (young is probably a bad word, maybe "new" better applies here)  scientists that have nothing to lose, no history behind them  that could suffer, are the ones that make the bold new claims against the tried and true theories or devise new ones.  Where does the coflict come from?  I suspect it's those that have much to lose if their theory is found to have holes in it.  That's a just an observation, not a slander.  is it true?  I dunno prove it one way or the other.... it's just my theory  ;D

I also apologize about the comment on communities, that was just error in wording on my part.  I don't expect a community to agree whole heartedly.  The Skeptics board is a perfect example of the idea working- have a skeptics board on the forum so that ideas and theories from both side of the fence can be looked at and played with.

I think what I really am trying to get to is, even in a community that is seen as the logical model we all should apply to our conversations here, also has the same frailties. They are not super human logical computers.  They also have an emotional drive created by many things well beyond just pure logic of science.

I agree with you Paul.  It's these kind of claims that cause the groans from the skeptics.  I too feel a sense of "ugh" sometimes when I go to sites.  On several occasions I have felt compelled to e-mail them and give them insight into some of their photos.

One thing that Skeptics need to keep in mind is that most sights do make the statement that this is their opinions only, not one held as truth by any stretch of the immagination.  
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#9 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 01:05 PM

Something else to add here.  Kind of a question for the beleiver.  Who water proof are the tools that investigators use?

Apply this to the theories being studied in the scientific community.  The scientific community uses other theories to conduct experiments, but don't think they also haven't been tested over and over and over again.  SOme are pretty concrete.

Oh and Greg,  certainly see your point about Chaos and Relativity.  Whay can't they?  I don't think they can't either.  Enter the new theory that many researchers scoff at and this is unprovable- String Theory.  This is supposed to be the link to put the two conflicting theories together.  This of String Theory as the Ghost Theory.  People see things, feel things, hear things... that's the detail side of the question of what happens when we die (Chaos theory?) The theory of the small?  Theory of Relativity is the simple large piece.  The theory of the Big.  We die and the energy of the body is recycled through the environment via gases, heat, chemical reactions and so on.

Or is it the other way around... hmmm.... that was more of a brain fart really.
 
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#10 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 01:06 PM

My apologies, I can't spell today or apparently proof read, sorry for wrong wordage and bad spelling.  Hopefully the message can still get though and the questions still understood.
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#11 krcguns

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 01:14 PM

How, exactly, do you do you arrive at the evaluation that it is paranormal?


When it can't be anything mundane, what then would you call it?  
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#12 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 01:31 PM

I understand that question as saying, when the explanation of the mundane fails to fill in some of the blanks or holes if you will, how can it be used to truly explain it?
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#13 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 01:36 PM

This may be a bad example, but....

Using this point of view "It walks like a duck. looks like a duck, must be a duck", how would we explain the Platipuss? (probably bad spelling once again)... no offence Whisper  ;)

It has a bill, it has webbed feet, it lays eggs, that's pretty dar close to a duck.  But that doesn't fill in the gaps.  It has fur, it has a pouch... there's even more strange about it I can't even think of.  What did they do? They pretty much don't know what class to stick it in.

W
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#14 krcguns

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Posted 13 November 2003 - 06:52 PM

That is very true, there are oddities that really don't fit into the "norm" of things.  I am referring though, to things such as an apparition pic, or something of that nature.  I do realize also that there can be a small percentage of "flukes" that could occur in any given situation and make it neither mundane or paranormal.  That small chance could be there at some time.  Now, if you took 10 different apparition pics, you would have to admit that the chances of every one being one of these "flukes" would be minute!  Then you are kind of stuck with either explanation.  Just my opinion and my logic. ;D
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#15 NocturnalCantaloupe

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Posted 14 November 2003 - 05:32 AM

OH, I see your point, which is exactly why this particular (points to self) skpetic thinks there is more to these anomolies or "huanted" locations that just a "duck".  I want to see all of the data colelcted, all of the witness reports, all of the evidence.  I'd love to be able to examine all of it from every investigation that has been conducted.

Hallucinations, mind altering conditions created by a location and other it's in your head theories fall short when it comes to reported interaction, phyical movement of objects, "held" objects (group if investigators witnessed a part to a puzzle standing on it's end.  They picked it up, but then found it odd and could not recreate the effect.)  Strange "pig oinking" noises waking up the baby, doors opening and slamming on their own when the effect cannot be reproduced using air current, weight, or other means.  It's these kinds of events that go beyond the photo of an orb.  they go well beyond the theory of it all being in your head.  When a group of people in a house, that once never ever beleived in ghosts are all of a sudden witness to an object take off from a shelf and land several feet away or move to another table, it's really pushing the theory of the mundane past its limits.  The mundane should be looked at first.  But then what?  What if you cannot create it using the mundane?
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