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#31 AnnieV

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 01:08 PM

Oh, I would like to add that these are not necessarily my beliefs on the subject of ghosts. I just find all of the theories and new ideas fascinating. To be honest, I don't even know what I DO believe ghosts are...just that they are a real occurance :P

And...all of the things I've said in the previous posts also rely on an acceptance of other theories as well (i.e. a linear quality of time). I, in no way, intend to argue my point in an effort to make someone else believe my statements...I just enjoy playing Devil's advocate :P ...and besides, that would take years of debating ;)

Edited by AnnieV, 06 August 2008 - 01:09 PM.

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#32 canuck

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Posted 06 August 2008 - 07:44 PM

The question of whether ghosts are really dead people walking is a particularly interesting one, and has intrigued me for a long time.

I have been involved in numerous events in which ghosts appeared, and “communicated” with those present. This is in addition to the two that lived in our family home, and made general nuisances of themselves.

The thing that really interested me was the fact that whenever I asked a ghost a direct question, which required a verifiable answer, the ghost ALWAYS gave an evasive, content free, non specific answer.

I have never got a straight answer to a straight question from a “ghost”.

In the experiments that I have attended, ghosts that claimed to be the spirit of a specific dead person have NEVER given specific information which would be known to that person, and verifiable. They ALWAYS speak in riddles and vague generalities, and NEVER provide anything useful, informative, or interesting.

This has led me to wonder whether or not ghosts are really just creations of the people present.

This led to the thread last year in which I was asking for help from people on this site in establishing a protocol in which we could definitively determine if a ghost was a creation of the individuals involved in the experiment, or is an independent entity. To date, no-one has come up with any definitive ideas.

So, I raise the question again: how can we definitively determine whether or not a ghost is an independent entity, or just a creation of the observer?

#33 JimDe

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Posted 07 August 2008 - 02:06 AM

The phenomenon requires that both be true, IMO. I don’t see a problem with that.
I imagine the technical cause of the phenomenon is a naturally occurring chemical reaction between human beings and typical (or not so typical) ‘atmospheric elements’.

Btw, thanks for keeping us on track.

The initial intent was to discuss alternative theories regarding the origin of ‘spooks’. Problems often occur when you mention ‘spooks’ and evidence in the same sentence, there’s bound to be controversy.
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#34 stevenedel

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 02:33 PM

Simply because an individual claims to be unaware of existing credible data is certainly not cause to continue to claim it doesn’t exist. Who made you the evidence police?

I question anyone’s ability academic or not to be in a position to judge critical data as to its authenticity, simply stating that one is qualified to do so gets us nowhere, so if you are qualified to determine evidence of a paranormal nature please be so kind as to direct that information to me!

And while I agree with your observation that this and many other boards are typically loaded with so called evidence merely lends credence to the statement that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The lack of respect for the ‘pseudo-scientists’ tells me that a less than well intentioned examination of data is to be expected on your behalf.

Furthermore, if you recall, I offered to share with you in a PM access to data and a published analysis (albeit from pseudo-scientists) but you saw fit not to respond to my offer. Once again that tells me that your lack of respect and disdain for the pseudo-scientific studies of such phenomena exposes you as a less than well intentioned individual and not one seeking an accurate resolution.

Finally, as I’ve stated, all members are welcome to participate in this discussion on ghosts... However, it would be appreciated if you had something to offer the readers other than unsubstantiated opinions (either pro or con).


What an amazing and revealing reply. Why would you want a 'well-intentioned examination of data'? Data ought to be scrutinized as critically as possible. The person evaluating your data should be doggedly determined to disprove your claim. If your data are good, he won't succeed. If your data are good, the intentions of the person checking the data are irrelevant. If you need leniency and good intentions, that simply means your data won't stand a real test.

But looking at data isn't even worthwhile until a critical look has been taken at the methodology of the research. Photographs, EVPs or whatever may be utterly hair-raising, yet if your story about how you got them is all there is, we're still not beyond plain anecdotal evidence.

I'm not the evidence police, I simply notice that all the evidence I've seen so far is not evidence. It's a picture or something with a story attached.

In your PM you did not offer to share data but merely asked if I would be interested in some pages from a parapsychology magazine. If these pages contain data/research that is in your view compelling, I'd gladly take a look at them. By now I probably won't need to warn you that it will be a critical, not a 'good intentioned' look. The e-mail link is in my profile.

Finally, if you don't want skeptics voicing an opinion on your thread, you might have considered not posting it on the skeptics board.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#35 JimDe

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 05:50 PM

Welcome back stevendel,

You’ve managed to skirt several points entirely (intentional?). You still haven’t established that you possess any credible experience working with paranormal data. As far as I know you are simply another self proclaimed internet skeptic preying upon anything that you happen to come into contact with and particularly that which opposes your stance. Personally speaking I consider that nothing more than a necessary annoyance (no offence meant). To be more specific, your comments about ‘what you have seen’ is quite sufficient in informing me that you are simply not aware of what you are critiquing.

As far as informing you or for that matter anyone about the methods I employ to produce said phenomena, you gotta be kiddin... I think you may have confused me with someone else. I have exposed my methods with credible members of the scientific community in the past (obviously), and I can assure you that exposing my techniques over the internet to a complete stranger without credentials is not going to happen in your lifetime.

However, the scientific membership that have publicly supported said data are not difficult to find, they are associated with well known universities and continue to be extremely active in their fields. May I suggest that you (as a scientist) take it up with them? May I also suggest that you not reference a parapsychology journal as being a ‘magazine’, that might put a few people off (y’know what I mean?).

My interpretation of a ‘well intentioned examination of data’ is necessary in order to reach an accurate determination, whatever that conclusion may be. However, in the case of an individual who adamantly claims that paranormal phenomena does not exist – then one cannot accurately determine said phenomena as being paranormal in nature if such is the case(hence the need for credible experience and training). In such a case (you - skeptic) are no different than the ‘ghosthunter’ who jumps to the conclusion that when all else fails it must be a ghost (I disagree with that as well since I’m a bit of a skeptic myself).

One other thing, I’ll take for granted that you are a competent ‘scientist’ and well versed in your own field. I’m sure that by doing a little research you will find adequate resources of said material that has been released publicly. Please feel free in any attempt to ‘debunk’ my work as you see fit. I haven’t been debunked yet and I don’t expect to be anytime in the future, because as competent as any skeptical scientist may be, science still can’t prove a negative.

Thanks for your comments...

We were discussing alternative theories regarding ‘spooks’, I did not intend for the discussion to once again evolve into a debate over credible evidence and the fact that it has been identified and recognized by credible members of the scientific community. Does that need to be established every freakin time I want to engage in a serious conversation? I hope we can get back on track as I was enjoying the seriousness of the discussion. Next...
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#36 CaveRat2

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:36 PM

I will have to agree that all data should always be examined in a manner as to disprove it, in other words critical. I examine my own in just that manner. it is only after EVERY possible common explanation has been refuted that one can take the stand that possibly something paranormal may be going on. And I should add that examination must not only take into account the methodology of obtaining the evidence, but also the equipment used and its limitations.

There are too many still who call themselves investigators who have no idea what they are doing. Example, in another thread it was just pointed out to me that cheap recorders should be used to record EVPs because expensive equipment does not admit the "frequencies" that contain EVPs. Now consider the absurdity of this statement. Cheap recorders generally pass audio frequencies between 300 - 2,000 Hz The electronics in these recorders lacks the bandwidth to extend beyond this.

Good recorders will capture audio between 40 - 12,000 Hz. The last time I looked, 300 - 2,000 Hz falls within that region, therefore common sense says the better recorder will capture more, not less EVPs. But they don't, simply because the better recorder does not capture all the garbage that makes a false EVP.

Yet we have "experts" who know so little about what they claim to be studying that they promote this kind of logic to others and have their share of believers. And we wonder why the paranormal field is considered a pseudo-science.......

These same people will swear that spooks are spirits of the dead, they know it, there's no other explanation. But when asked for their proof, you get a personal attack, not evidence. that is sure sign of someone who is closed minded. The open minded person, whatever their stand will counter with supporting evidence. And if such evidence is not available, the concept proposed is still a theory and should not be considered factual until such time as the proof is obtained.

#37 canuck

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Posted 08 August 2008 - 08:58 PM

The concept that spooks are really a manifestation of a disturbance in the time-space continuum is an interesting one.

Recent developments in quantum physics have demonstrated that (on a quantum level) time is not necessarily a linear function, and that cause and effect are not one way linear functions.

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that effect can precede cause; that cause can produce an instantaneous effect far removed; that objects can be in two places at once; and that teleportation is possible

One logical extrapolation of these empirical observations is that time travel is possible; that is, assuming that effects that occur on a quantum level translate to the macro scale.

Putting it into the context of spooks:

We could assume that we are living entities in the current envelope of time. The spooks we observe are not “dead people”, but are really living people who are currently existing in another time. Ie: existence is not linear, there is no beginning or end, but everything exists simultaneously in parallel.

So, for example, when we see the spook of a civil war soldier, we are not seeing a dead person. We are seeing him as he is: a living entity in his own time. At the same time, he is seeing us, and getting the fright of his life.

This would explain why we see spooks dressed in period clothes; in fact, it would answer that question someone asked on another thread: “why do spooks wear clothes”?

However, this does not explain why we always seem to see either contemporary spooks or spooks from the past. Why don’t we see “The Jetsons”?

This is too weird; but it certainly is an interesting concept.

#38 JimDe

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 01:00 AM

I will have to agree that all data should always be examined in a manner as to disprove it, in other words critical. I examine my own in just that manner. it is only after EVERY possible common explanation has been refuted that one can take the stand that possibly something paranormal may be going on. And I should add that examination must not only take into account the methodology of obtaining the evidence, but also the equipment used and its limitations.

There are too many still who call themselves investigators who have no idea what they are doing. Example, in another thread it was just pointed out to me that cheap recorders should be used to record EVPs because expensive equipment does not admit the "frequencies" that contain EVPs. Now consider the absurdity of this statement. Cheap recorders generally pass audio frequencies between 300 - 2,000 Hz The electronics in these recorders lacks the bandwidth to extend beyond this.

Good recorders will capture audio between 40 - 12,000 Hz. The last time I looked, 300 - 2,000 Hz falls within that region, therefore common sense says the better recorder will capture more, not less EVPs. But they don't, simply because the better recorder does not capture all the garbage that makes a false EVP.

Yet we have "experts" who know so little about what they claim to be studying that they promote this kind of logic to others and have their share of believers. And we wonder why the paranormal field is considered a pseudo-science.......

These same people will swear that spooks are spirits of the dead, they know it, there's no other explanation. But when asked for their proof, you get a personal attack, not evidence. that is sure sign of someone who is closed minded. The open minded person, whatever their stand will counter with supporting evidence. And if such evidence is not available, the concept proposed is still a theory and should not be considered factual until such time as the proof is obtained.

Jim, the methods I employ are simple ones.

1. Stand alone in a dark place.
2. Click.
3. Do it again.
4. ...and again.
5. ...and again.

...it certainly sounds easy enough (even for a ‘scientist’ to understand).

:clap:
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#39 Meteorhunter

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 02:25 AM

I believe in Telepathy, I believe in Spirits, I believe in UFOs .....Ghosts, I think maybe are from another vortex or world and we see them and sometimes we can even feel a presence or hear something from them.
I think we pass into a new world..live a new life..and when we dream we are actually going back to that other time when we lived the old life.
I don't believe in Re-incarnation, I do think we go on to a new life and in the Bible it Say's:
God knows all and nothing is new, everything thing is the same...We are the only thing that changes and God knows that too!
I don't even go to church but that stands out and the proof is seen everywhere...what goes we do the land will re do it's self the world will live on but we will change only.The world does it's thing and we will will change.
Look at history..What is sinking? We are....What do they find when it comes to archeology...Cities under the ground, in the oceans and covered by volcanoes or taken out by disasters ect...and who goes away or dies..Humans do.. not the earth..So if you fit the pattern we are all going to go away but the earth will not, the earth evolves and renews itself! Time changes We do also but with time we go to our next lives..where ever that may be.
I believe even we are the UFOs being seen....a life in the future and maybe they are just coming back to the past...
Then again, I also think maybe our historical buddies of the past, are still alive and being hidden underground and they being used by the Goverment to produce our future, and they are what we see as UFOs and the entities that come from them. Somehow they where able to live into our own life time of now and are now more advanced because of it..and that is the Government's big hidden secret. If we find out the truth we will know all the government's secrets and how they created all thier weapons and other military systems.

I don't think spooks are fake ..I also don't think they are just that of fog and our imaginations...I believe something is there at different times for different reasons.

#40 stevenedel

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 03:44 AM

Welcome back stevendel,

You’ve managed to skirt several points entirely (intentional?). You still haven’t established that you possess any credible experience working with paranormal data. As far as I know you are simply another self proclaimed internet skeptic preying upon anything that you happen to come into contact with and particularly that which opposes your stance. Personally speaking I consider that nothing more than a necessary annoyance (no offence meant). To be more specific, your comments about ‘what you have seen’ is quite sufficient in informing me that you are simply not aware of what you are critiquing.

As far as informing you or for that matter anyone about the methods I employ to produce said phenomena, you gotta be kiddin... I think you may have confused me with someone else. I have exposed my methods with credible members of the scientific community in the past (obviously), and I can assure you that exposing my techniques over the internet to a complete stranger without credentials is not going to happen in your lifetime.

However, the scientific membership that have publicly supported said data are not difficult to find, they are associated with well known universities and continue to be extremely active in their fields. May I suggest that you (as a scientist) take it up with them? May I also suggest that you not reference a parapsychology journal as being a ‘magazine’, that might put a few people off (y’know what I mean?).

My interpretation of a ‘well intentioned examination of data’ is necessary in order to reach an accurate determination, whatever that conclusion may be. However, in the case of an individual who adamantly claims that paranormal phenomena does not exist – then one cannot accurately determine said phenomena as being paranormal in nature if such is the case(hence the need for credible experience and training). In such a case (you - skeptic) are no different than the ‘ghosthunter’ who jumps to the conclusion that when all else fails it must be a ghost (I disagree with that as well since I’m a bit of a skeptic myself).

One other thing, I’ll take for granted that you are a competent ‘scientist’ and well versed in your own field. I’m sure that by doing a little research you will find adequate resources of said material that has been released publicly. Please feel free in any attempt to ‘debunk’ my work as you see fit. I haven’t been debunked yet and I don’t expect to be anytime in the future, because as competent as any skeptical scientist may be, science still can’t prove a negative.

Thanks for your comments...

We were discussing alternative theories regarding ‘spooks’, I did not intend for the discussion to once again evolve into a debate over credible evidence and the fact that it has been identified and recognized by credible members of the scientific community. Does that need to be established every freakin time I want to engage in a serious conversation? I hope we can get back on track as I was enjoying the seriousness of the discussion. Next...


FYI Jim, I am a professional researcher with a PhD in psychology. That is not professional experience in working with paranormal data, but I reiterate my point: if the data and the method are good, they will tell their story regardless of what my experience is. I do think however that I am fully qualified to judge whether the method and the data allow the conclusions you draw from them. So when I read:

"Jim, the methods I employ are simple ones.

1. Stand alone in a dark place.
2. Click.
3. Do it again.
4. ...and again.
5. ...and again.

...it certainly sounds easy enough (even for a ‘scientist’ to understand)"

...I get rather worried. You stand alone in a dark place, take a lot of pictures... and then? If you see an anomaly in any of them, how do you knwo what it is? And why alone? And why in a dark place (it has always puzzled me why ghosts would care if it's day or night; the main reason that so many 'sightings' occur at night would seem to me to be that at night most photocameras don't work very well, and nor does human perception).

I would also like to point out that one essential basic of good research is sharing your data and methods. Science only evolves by researchers critically scrutinizing their colleagues' work. To claim you have undebunkable evidence and then refuse to share it is bizarre. What are you afraid of? If it is good, I can't debunk it no matter how skeptical I am. And once again, to come up with convincing evidence you need the scrutiny of confirmed non-believers most of all! I am not a believer, but I am fully open to good evidence.

It is also good practice when directing someone to relevant literature to supply a reference or a link; how else am I going to find it?

Finally, and I repeat myself again: if you don't want skeptical comments but just want to discuss random hypotheses without evidence, don't post on the Skeptics board.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#41 CaveRat2

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 12:37 PM

Jim, the methods I employ are simple ones.

1. Stand alone in a dark place.
2. Click.
3. Do it again.
4. ...and again.
5. ...and again.

...it certainly sounds easy enough (even for a ‘scientist’ to understand).

:blush:


I will agree that such a proceedure produces results, and assuming the results are repeatable you make a claim for a scientific fact. At least that is the way most would perceive it.

But I want to throw another factor into the equation. Suppose for sake of discussion you are taking a photograph. Now suppose your photograph shows an anomaly. You repeat it with the same result each time. Is that considered proof the anomaly exists? Can you make a claim for proof of the paranormal?

Not neccessarily. Suppose also, upon examination after taking multiple repeated photographs you find a scratch on the lens of your camera. This is why it is important to test ALL aspects of ANY scenario before drawing conconclusions. Repeatable results are not in and of themselves conclusive, because any flaw in the equipment used or in the proceedure can lead to false results. It is why EVERY known characteristic or defect in the equipment MUST be minimized. It's why EVPs from cheap recorders can't be trusted. It's why, when we see a typical orb in a photograph we can say "dust". Only after some other characteristic is found that rules out the common explanation can we even begin to consider the paranormal.

#42 OMPRDave

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 01:12 PM

Jim, the methods I employ are simple ones.

1. Stand alone in a dark place.
2. Click.
3. Do it again.
4. ...and again.
5. ...and again.

...it certainly sounds easy enough (even for a ‘scientist’ to understand).

:blush:


I will agree that such a proceedure produces results, and assuming the results are repeatable you make a claim for a scientific fact. At least that is the way most would perceive it.

But I want to throw another factor into the equation. Suppose for sake of discussion you are taking a photograph. Now suppose your photograph shows an anomaly. You repeat it with the same result each time. Is that considered proof the anomaly exists? Can you make a claim for proof of the paranormal?

Not neccessarily. Suppose also, upon examination after taking multiple repeated photographs you find a scratch on the lens of your camera. This is why it is important to test ALL aspects of ANY scenario before drawing conconclusions. Repeatable results are not in and of themselves conclusive, because any flaw in the equipment used or in the proceedure can lead to false results. It is why EVERY known characteristic or defect in the equipment MUST be minimized. It's why EVPs from cheap recorders can't be trusted. It's why, when we see a typical orb in a photograph we can say "dust". Only after some other characteristic is found that rules out the common explanation can we even begin to consider the paranormal.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-men!
"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

#43 JimDe

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 03:37 PM

Steven, I am aware of your PhD in psychology as you’ve mentioned that before. I on the other hand do not hold a PhD and therefore am not your colleague. You may find the links to a ‘peer reviewed parapsychology journal’ implanted on my website, as a courtesy I provide an easy enough link in my signature graphic below. I do recall in a recent post (by you?) reading about the importance of published findings in peer reviewed journals (hence my annoyance at your reference to said journal as a ‘magazine’, …clearly the attempted indication to alter the facts is most unbecoming a professional scientist), I imagine that your impressions of such a distinction have not changed in the past six weeks.

The analysis of evidence regarding ‘ghost’ photography recognizes a single individual for providing compelling ‘evidence’ of paranormal activity, to be more specific spirit photography. Needless to say such a distinction would have required providing substantially overwhelming evidence as well as disclosing the methods and procedures for acquiring said evidence. The author of the article, a psychologist with a PhD in parapsychology is more typically your scientific colleague which is why I suggest any serious inquiries concerning his published findings be addressed to him.
http://www.parapsych...rs/l_storm.html

If I may continue; in another examination by one of your colleagues, a PhD and professor of psychology as well as the Director of the VERITAS Research Program: University of Arizona publicly stated said material was in his opinion ‘credible spirit interpretations’. VERITAS as you may/may not know also performs research on alleged psychic mediums and their claims of abilities. If as you state the basics of good research is to share data and methods with ones colleagues then contacting VERITAS should not be a problem for you.
http://veritas.arizona.edu/

The insinuation that I am afraid of a thorough and competent examination is hardly the case as I have obviously undergone several that have ‘gone my way’.

-

Jim, I believe science, paranormal research and potentially all professional fields are thoroughly competitive. This is the primary reason I continue to be evasive concerning my methods and techniques, particularly since my results have been confirmed and credibly identified as a system that (works). Why on earth would I disclose something that I consider to be a trade secret?

I’ll share this: I posses a 20+ year background in IBM mainframe programming, more specifically 370/BAL assembler language (and others) which among other responsibilities included training others and maintaining the integrity of data for literally billions of dollars worth of actuarial data (NYC). In my spare time (if any) I also build personal computers from scratch based upon my needs at the time. I appreciate your concern regarding knowledge of ones equipment and completely agree with your assessment of its importance.

Obviously, I make claims of unique paranormal interactivity, and thus far these claims have been substantiated as most reasonable by members of the scientific community who also possess not only the academic credentials but an in-depth working knowledge pertaining to the study of such phenomena.

I would imagine that you would find this interesting as well, note in paragraph one the current research and establishing of the ‘Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit’ at Adelaide University. http://www.parapsych...rs/l_storm.html

-

Clearly, I understand the concerns many people have regarding this subject, and I believe I have provided ample information and frankly more than I intended regarding myself. I don’t feel it necessary to continue to establish my credibility and achievements in paranormal research or in the contribution of evidence recognized by esteemed members of the scientific community.

Which leads me to this: If anyone wants to continue to bust my balls, please be so kind as to submit any similar achievements regarding paranormal evidence and more specifically any credibly recognized research regarding ‘spooks’.

...then we’ll talk.

In the meantime my participation in this discussion regarding alternative theories of ‘spooks’ is based primarily on an intimate knowledge of the above stated ‘evidence’ as well as my obvious attempt to share with members my opinions based on evidentiary assessment. The fact that certain members are now discussing potentials of quantum physics is a clear indicator the skeptic’s board is not simply a place to be continuously challenged when the term ‘evidence’ is mentioned, but also a forum to discuss potentially cutting edge research on spirit phenomena.

Am I wrong?
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#44 canuck

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Posted 09 August 2008 - 11:02 PM

OK. Now that we have all had our p****ng contest, and we all know who has the biggest one, can we now devote our time to things that are actually interesting?

Specifically, let’s stipulate the following:

1. There exists a collection of phenomena, currently unexplained
2. There is a vast body of data associated with these phenomena
3. We are all interested in determining what these data mean
4. Ultimately we would like to come to the point where we can demonstrate our understanding of these phenomena by being able to reproduce them on demand

So:
1. What are the characteristics of these individual phenomena?
2. What are the most effective and reliable means of capturing relevant data?
3. What do these data mean?
4. How does the interpretation of these data fit into our conventional understanding of the universe?

Now, what is a spook, why do they behave as they do, and how do they fit into the universe?

#45 JimDe

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Posted 10 August 2008 - 12:32 AM

OK. Now that we have all had our p****ng contest, and we all know who has the biggest one, can we now devote our time to things that are actually interesting?

Specifically, let’s stipulate the following:

1. There exists a collection of phenomena, currently unexplained
2. There is a vast body of data associated with these phenomena
3. We are all interested in determining what these data mean
4. Ultimately we would like to come to the point where we can demonstrate our understanding of these phenomena by being able to reproduce them on demand

So:
1. What are the characteristics of these individual phenomena?
2. What are the most effective and reliable means of capturing relevant data?
3. What do these data mean?
4. How does the interpretation of these data fit into our conventional understanding of the universe?

Now, what is a spook, why do they behave as they do, and how do they fit into the universe?

First, let me be blunt…
Assuming no deception on my part and my statements are thus far accurate and (true), then I would have expected a BAD_WORDing ‘congratulations’ from you guys. No one knows better than I except perhaps (you), the rarity of such a distinction.
Stipulate that!

If we agree then count me in.

What I find interesting is the possibility that distinct entities can appear simultaneously and in close proximity to each other. That may indicate communication skills, which in turn indicates intelligence. If so, what are the ramifications of this, if any?

Edited by JimDe, 10 August 2008 - 12:33 AM.

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