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Why scientists are skeptics about psychic phenomena


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#16 CaveRat2

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 08:24 AM

A specicific case? Consider this.

Suppose you take a cheap digital voice recorder out and capture what sounds like an EVP. Now suppose three of your friends also take out their cheap digital recorders and also capture what sounds like EVPs So you tell your scientist friend you've caught proof of EVPs and he wants to see for himself. So he takes out some highend scientific equipment, well designed and shielded against outside interference. and captures nothing. What does this prove?

The first conclusion is that you can't use good equipment, you have to use cheap stuff, based on only the evidence at hand. After all, three of you captured something and one of him didn't. There's proof in numbers, right? But the scientist also can explain why all of your cheap stuff is subject to all sorts of interference resulting in false positives that his good equipment is immune to. He uses scientific reasoning to support his case.

So now the quandry begins, do you discount what the scientist can prove in order to support what is evidennt only because everyone else is doing it, using cheap stuff for research? Or do you accept the proven aspects of science and build on them, admitting most so called "evidence" out there (not all, just most) is the result of poor investigation practices and equipment use?

Therein lies the reason science has problems accepting the paranormal, especially when investiagtors make claims using boxes that create noise, and EMF meters that speak random words (Ovilus) and call that stuff research. We need to get out of the dark ages ourselves before we can expect any serious consideration from the scientific community.

Edited by CaveRat, 05 April 2009 - 08:26 AM.


#17 hippityhoohaa

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 10:10 AM

Perhaps CaveRat, if science could explain, beyond a reasonable doubt, exactly what those odd interferences were (for the sake of argument, let's say an electromagnetic interference) then that would go to show that the cheap recordings were indeed just pointless noise.

I think it's perhaps best to err on the side of caution anyway, and say something isn't proper evidence, in which case I'd go with the better scientific instruments, even if the interferences on the cheap recorders were not explainable.

#18 CaveRat2

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 10:26 AM

Perhaps CaveRat, if science could explain, beyond a reasonable doubt, exactly what those odd interferences were (for the sake of argument, let's say an electromagnetic interference) then that would go to show that the cheap recordings were indeed just pointless noise.

I think it's perhaps best to err on the side of caution anyway, and say something isn't proper evidence, in which case I'd go with the better scientific instruments, even if the interferences on the cheap recorders were not explainable.


It is not an "if". Science can explain that interference. Aliasing, A to D conversion errors, compression techniques can all be explained mathematically and duplicated in the lab with repeatable results. Yet investigators continue to use these things and claim scientific results. That is an area of contention with me.

It always amazes me how some can go out on an investigation and come back with several EVPs, a bunch of supposedly paranormal pictures, and all kinds of evidence every time. I on the other hand have been researching for years and to get any evidence at all is rare, maybe an EVP once out of hundreds of hours of recording. And as for pictures, I might get a mist every once in a while, but along with that I also have the background data on the event and usually find something little mundane fact like the dew point standing in the way of calling it a paranormal picture. Point is the paranormal is rare to say the least,those who seem to find it everywhere lead me to question their methods.

#19 hippityhoohaa

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:10 AM

I notice you say the paranormal is rare. Is this to say you've come across evidence of paranormal activity that would have no reasonable scientific explanation? I'd be interested to find out.

#20 CaveRat2

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 08:43 AM

I notice you say the paranormal is rare. Is this to say you've come across evidence of paranormal activity that would have no reasonable scientific explanation? I'd be interested to find out.


I have one such case outlined on my website.under "Case Files" in the Ghosts and Hauntings topic. Another involving possible UFO activity backed up by measurements using a magnetic anomaly detector can be found under the UFO topic there.

The data presented cannot be eplained by normal means, the equipment used is of a level not subject to false positives. Of course from a purely scientific point of view it could all be hoaxed, anything can be fabricated and you weren't there to witness it firsthand. But I was, and you will have to take my word that it is related exactly as it happened. After all, if one were to take a totally cynical view, how can you prove you are real, and how for that matter could I? We both could be a couple computer programs hammering out comments to each other! A certain level of trust must be present, otherwise it is all for naught! So you will have to believe me when I say what is presented is exactly as it happened, the evidence is unaltered.

In the case of the EVP there were five people present, all were accounted for and can vouch for each other. The UFO case is somewhat subjective in that neither of the parties involved knew of the other at the time of its occurrance. But consider the similarities in the evidence and the probability of coincidence when making a determination.

Read them and let me hear your comments.....

The website is Jim's DESTINATIONS - The Paranormal Destination

(You can also click the More Destinations button for some other non-paranormal topics if you want.)

#21 chestnut

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 08:44 PM

That's pretty impressive, CaveRat--not just the story and the outcome but how much work went into those investigations. Definitely the kind of exhaustive work that should satisfy anyone!

So is Angela still not bothering the family and the daughter?

Also, how many activities in the house were you not able to find a common explanation for in the end?




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