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skeptics say the darndest things


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#16 Caniswalensis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:07 PM

In other words, itís a desperate attempt to overlook evidence recognized by esteemed members of the scientific/academic community as credible, unique and paranormal in nature.


Hello JimDe,

I find it unfortunate that you would refer to other members posts as "drivel." It's a little on the rude side, don't you think?

Please do not just make appeals to athority to make your point. (as quoted above) They are not worthy of a serious disussion. I would appreciate it very much if you could actually cite some of the evidence you are referring to.

I especially am interested to know of studies that have rendered repeated results.

Regards, Canis

"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha


#17 JimDe

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:56 PM

Hey Canis,

Itís no ruder than repeated deliberate misleading statements such labeling all evidence as non credible when in fact that is not nearly the case. One simply cannot undo the findings of a scientific analysis because they do not agree with the results. Under the circumstances I believe itís necessary to remind others of that fact.

There is ample documentation here on the GV forums referencing the published findings that have been distributed to the international scientific/academic community regarding said evidence. Iím confident that others who have been members here for awhile could point you in the right direction, but to be accommodating:

http://www.psi-mart....?Id=0&IdArt=390
http://www.parapsychology.org/

I hope that helps,

JD
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#18 Caniswalensis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 05:00 PM

Hey Canis,

Itís no ruder than repeated deliberate misleading statements such labeling all evidence as non credible when in fact that is not nearly the case. One simply cannot undo the findings of a scientific analysis because they do not agree with the results. Under the circumstances I believe itís necessary to remind others of that fact.

There is ample documentation here on the GV forums referencing the published findings that have been distributed to the international scientific/academic community regarding said evidence. Iím confident that others who have been members here for awhile could point you in the right direction, but to be accommodating:

http://www.psi-mart....?Id=0&IdArt=390
http://www.parapsychology.org/

I hope that helps,

JD


Hi JimDe,

Unfortunately, These links do not help much at all. They seem to be pretty much just adds for a magazine & website. I hope that I do not have to resort to buying a magazine to have access to scientific evidence. I searched throughout these sites, but failed to find any information about findings produced by controlled scientific experiments. Did I miss something? Findings from case studies are not really the same thing. Also, do you know if the International Journal of Parapsychology undergoes any sort of peer review process? I could not find any indication that they do on these sites. I appreciate your trouble in posting the links though. Thank you.

The reason I am asking is that I have never been able to find any reports of correctly controled scientific experiments that indicate the there is any thing to paranormal phenomena. I would very much appreciate it if you could just cite one for me, or set me on the right trail. Thanks again.

Also, not to beat a dead horse or start an argument, but I do not agree with your assessment of the other posts here or the motives behind those posts. I do think it is rude to call someone elses post "drivel" and even more so to say that someone is making "repeated deliberate misleading statements." I do not understand how you can be so sure of someone else's motives. For instance, I find a lot of your points to be not valid, but I give you the benifit of the doubt when it comes to intentions. I proceed as thought you are sincere in what you say, and I hope to have a polite & benificial conversation about your viewpoints. I doubt that I would get very far by doing otherwise. that's just my personal philosophy, though.

Honestly, I found most of what was said in this thread to be engaging, thought provoking and worthy of my time. Many of the points that were made on the skeptical side are completely valid. I do not understand how you can dismiss them as drival. I wonder if you would be willing to elaborate and refute the points you disagree with using reason instead of rhetoric. that would be much more conducive to convincing people that you are correct, I think.

regards, Canis

Regards, Canis

"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha


#19 JimDe

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:40 PM

Hey Canis, I appreciate the civil response; Iíll try and be as friendly as possible. Unfortunately, from past experience I have absolutely no interest in engaging into a conversation with an individual who refers to an established parapsychology journal as a magazine. I believe that is a deliberate attempt by an admitted skeptic to disregard the importance of the work done by the parapsychology community and Iíll have no part in supporting that. I would suggest that you utilize your own status within the scientific community and contact the Parapsychology Foundation yourself; perhaps they will put you in contact with the author of the study who is currently a practicing professor at a well known university. Good luck.

Jim
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#20 Caniswalensis

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 09:43 PM

Hey Canis, I appreciate the civil response; Iíll try and be as friendly as possible. Unfortunately, from past experience I have absolutely no interest in engaging into a conversation with an individual who refers to an established parapsychology journal as a magazine. I believe that is a deliberate attempt by an admitted skeptic to disregard the importance of the work done by the parapsychology community and Iíll have no part in supporting that. I would suggest that you utilize your own status within the scientific community and contact the Parapsychology Foundation yourself; perhaps they will put you in contact with the author of the study who is currently a practicing professor at a well known university. Good luck.

Jim


Hi Jim,

Likewise, thank you for your very civil & friendly response to my post. Although we are clearly not sympatico on this topic, I appreciate that you have taken time to phase your posts to me in this fashion.

I suppose I really should have said journal. Sorry if my choice of words offended. I assure you it was not meant as a slight. I tend to use the two words interchangably, even though it's not right. Had the link been to something from The Lancet, I would have probably used the same turn of phrase. I also assure you I am not trying to disregard the importance of the work, I am sincerely trying to comprehend the importance of it. That's what my posts to you have been all about.

You seem to be in doubt about my motives now. That's fine, but I am begining to wonder if you take a dim view of skeptical thinking in general? I find that unuisual, sense you seem to be very much pro-science in ways as well. I tend to think that we are are all skeptical of something. Surely there is something you do not take at face value? I am sure that you feel you have good reasons for that too. Like-wise, I have a believe or two that I do not have actual data to support. I think most people are part skeptic and part believer. Just different ratios of the two.

You seem to have access to some kind of imperical knowledge about this subject, and I would like to know more. If you are going to withhold that information because I seem to have the wrong attitude, that is your priviledge. I just find it confusing that you posted in this thread at all if you aren't willing to discuss the subject with an interested skeptic.

It is probably just as well, though. I feel like we are off topic in this thread now. I hope there are no hard feelings. Please PM me if you change your mind. I really would like to now if there is scientic evidence that supports anything paranormal. I keep looking for it, but with no success so far.

Regards, Canis

"It is proper for you to doubt ... do not go upon report ... do not go upon tradition ... do not go upon hear-say." ~ Buddha


#21 OMPRDave

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 11:17 PM

All the articles I've read from anyone in the "Scientific community" have all come from medical professionals and psychologists and each and every one dismissed any and all PSI abilities or spirit/ghost/haunting phenomena through their own studies. I take it all in as a skeptic should. There has been more to the contrary to support natural and physiological causes, period.

Still, I am not about to disallow the study done by others - most of whom are not considered to be in the "scientific community". People who are knowledgeable in their field, such as audio technicians, home and building inspectors, photographers and videographers, ad infinitum. Because one does not hold a PhD or teach at a major college does not limit their own perception and ability to conduct careful studies. I don't necessarily feel one groups results are more potent than the others. As long as the study is conducted correctly and they are able to support their findings after getting the same results each time they conduct a test it should be entertained by anyone else who is trying to find answers.

I'd also like to know what "psychic adventures" my $35 a year will get me at the Parapsychology Foundation? I don't need psychic powers to see that for all the jargon and ten-dollar words in those reports the only thing that will come of it is I'll be out $35. I'm not saying these studies in their libraries are bad - I've never read them - but it seems some of the best studies I've read have all come from people and teams who do not charge a yearly fee to access their results. This also goes for sites like Flamel College and the like that openly misuses all the so called "theories" behind all sorts of paranormal phenomena - if money is involved, I tend to stay away.

It makes no sense to call what people here post as drivel, either. If it's below your belief system or isn't scientific enough you've set your bar WAY too high. I can't speak for anyone else who posts here regularly, but I didn't particularly like it. I'm sure there are plenty of forums available that will hit the mark for you if the drivel here isn't up to your standards :ghost:

Edited by OMPRDave, 04 November 2009 - 11:19 PM.

"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

#22 tommyhancock

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:46 AM

first let me start by saying that the title of this was to grab attention as opposed to start trouble. what im asking for is exactly what the topic states though. also if im post something on here, anyone and everyone has a right to agree or disagree with me any way they like, so long as theyre willing to discuss it (nod to stevendel). i would like everyone to know that so far i have taken nothing personally, and i hope none of you have either. i would also like to point out that nothing in this post so far in my opinion has been a waste of time, i've found everything fairly interesting weither i agreed or not.
i would also like to say that if anyone is going to respond to my posts, or in fact talk to people in general, to please treat other peoples believes with some amount of respect. i realize that might sound somewhat hypocritical considering some o fthe things stevendel and i have said back and forth to eachother, but i respect what the guy has to say an dim thankful he took the time to say it. do i agree with everything hes said?no i dont.has it given me something to think about?some nuggets of it have, an di dont think he is the type of skeptic that i spoke of when i posted this thread, i have problems with only a few things hes said(we'll get to that steve!), but i also have a better understanding of his beliefs and why they are so.

for the record i respect everyones beliefs and to me this forum and general is more or less for entertainment value.i do not expect to prove to anyone that ghosts exist, or for anyone to prove to me otherwise. i also dont expect to see anything on here that will change anyones views one way or the other, just potentionally make them think. not that thats bad, but if youre searching here for validation one way or another, waste of time.

to my knowledge there is no SCIENTIFIC evidence to support the existence of ghosts. atleast not hard evidence, if there is can someone please point me in the direction in which i can check that out and not have to pay money haha.id love to see it but i am broooke!
but on the flipside, skeptics: you dont need proof to BELIEVE in something, you need it to prove something.respect that. believers: just because you've gone through something so extreme that it has made you personally believe, or even if youre just naturally open to the notion, respect that not everyone else has had that experience and has seen their share of hoaxes. respect eachothers views. i believe in god, i cant prove that he is real, but i believe it. that doesnt make me wrong because i cant prove it to you, doesnt make me right either. its a personal belief, if you do or do not believe in god, ghosts aliens, mermaids, whatever, just respect that theres another point of view that you can not realistically beat and will be lucky to debate to a stand still.

anyway heres to all of you

STEVENDEL:
your post is very long so let me pick at it haha

"First of all I'd say that the main reason for this is the fact that the paranormal isn't the object of much serious scientific study. Which isn't surprising, as systematic observation hasn't yet yielded any questions that necessitate the assumption of the supernatural. The evidence presented thusfar is very weak and can easily be explained through known mechanism such as (self)-suggestion, misperception, coincidence, memory lapses, dream states, hallucination, jumping to conclusions ('it looks like a human shape, so it is a human shape, so it has to be a ghost'), hoaxing, etc."

with all the problems in the world today, ghosts(real or not) should stay at the bottom of scientists lists haha. i get angry when i hear some of the things scientists pour tons of money into when so much else is going down the drain. my only comeback to this is that not all the evidence is THAT weak, some of it no one has a single clue what it can be, making it not exactly strong, but you also cant lump it into the easily explained categories that you have listed. these examples are the only ones that catch my attention. unless they can be proven as a hoax or otherwise i dont think they should be 100% written off

"This is where we fundamentally differ. None of my alternative claims are more ridiculous than a ghost. Like a ghost, each one is a hypothesis lacking any evidence. Stories about ghosts may be more common than stories about inhabitants of Jupiter playing with our furniture, but just beacuse one story is told more often than another doesn't make it more true (incidentally, here in The Netherlands a popular 'medium' has been active for years who claims she gets her instructions from the inhabitants of Jupiter, and thousands believe her. Does that make it true? Or even a realistic possibility requiring investigation?)"

my first thought would be to have HER checked haha. and i would say its worth thinking about looking into, like as of now i dont want to judge it cause i dont know anything about the lady you know? and youre right, far as i know pixies could exist, and i hope they do haha. maybe rediculous was the wrong word...madeup would be the better word. because i have seen things to show there COULD be ghosts, nothing hard and overly scientific as most on this site would want to see. again i dont count personal encounters in this im talking things iv seen from investigations. its atleast more plausible than pixies.

"But where does your idea of what is migt BE come from? After all, all you see is a 'humanoid shape mass'. A vague shape resembling a human. All you see is this appearance; how can you deduce from that that you may be dealing with a ghost? How do you know it isn't just a random pattern that happens to look vaguely human, something we humans are very much predisposed to recognize? (Why, indeed, would you assume a ghost would appear in a human form? It is after all immaterial, isn't it?)"

some of what i have seen isnt vague at all, its clearly human shaped. and i know our brains work to "connect the dots" if you will, thats why i wont even think about orbs, or smoky wisps or anything like that. and i personally cant say theyre definitely immaterial. that would be to definitely say they exist. you have to admit that if you think people may be wrong in thinking ghosts exist period then they could be wrong as far as how said ghost would "work" so to say. i have no clue as to what their physical limitations could be.do you? and if so how sense there is no hard proof that they exist at all?

"There are many ways to do this. I've given several examples in other posts. In general, what you need is repeatability. What you need are independent observations from non-believers. What you need are control conditions (bring believers and non-believers to six different places, one of which has a reputation of being haunted. Make sure nobody knows where they are going or why. And just ask them to record anything unusual they notice.) Evidence gathered in such a way may offer some support for the assumption that MAYBE there is a ghost. Even such evidence, however, doesn't PROVE there is a ghost. For that, you need a theoretically strong (and eventually proven) mechanism that compellingly links such evidence to the spirit of a deceased person and to nothing else. I think that will be very difficult to achieve. But as long as the evidence itself is so weak as it is, we won't need to worry about that much yet."

there has been repeatability, not on science experiment levels that im aware of, but there has been people in the same locations, of countless beliefs in spirits, religion, afterlife, music theory, etc. and many of them have experienced the same unexplained things. im not saying that is proof of a ghost, im saying that is proof that things like this happen. which again brings me to the only problem with anything you've said thus far, which is that things like furniture etc. moving on its own is fiction and does not really happen. its in a situation like that where youre crapping on someones belief system or their word, not on their scientific evidence, where i think you better have BAD_WORD good evidence that said events do not happen.
why serious controlled tests havent happened on some places yet i do not know, but theres definitely enough word of mouth for someone to go in and check many locations. and PLEASE dont come back and say they all expected to see something, its not always the case, some things i have seen happened at a place i had no thoughts about previous and then heard stories about afterwords. to assume everyone sees/experience the same things without a preconceived idea of "what is there" is at least as rediculous as someone immediately thinking some strange noise is a ghost.

"That's the burden of proof issue again. If you say you experienced something out of the ordinary, I will believe that you had that experience. But your subjective experience is not evidence for an objective fact, and you cannot require me to accept it as a fact. If we had to take for a fact everything people say they experienced, we would have to accept a host of religions even though they are mutually exclusive, we (you included) would have to accept orbs and the inhabitants of Jupiter, and our mental hospitals would be full of real Jesuses and Napoleons."

this is where i can say, with all due respect, you give good example of said "crazy skeptic" this post refers to.not because you dont immediately buy into what i say as hard fact, that is totally fine. i dont think every story should be taken as 100% evidence, the majority of what you say is unarguably true. BUT for you to say that things are just fictional because they lack proof is quite narrowminded.you can say they COULD be totally fictional, or even say theyre highly and almost completely unlikely, but to say theyre total works of fiction makes you come off as disrespectful and narrowminded on the subject. again thats with all due respect and im sure that the way you said it wasnt totally the way you meant it(otherwise why would you still be talking to me or admit that ghosts could ultimately be real but you see no proof)
sorry if anything i said here is found to be rude in anyway, not my goal, just have to point out that it cant be said that something isnt real just because you dont believe it.

"You seem to forget that we have very well tested and proven theories of physics that predict with a great measure of certainty that these things don't happen. Furthermore, we have no evidence to the contrary, so no reason to doubt these theories. And while lack of data indeed doesn't equal proof of nonexistence (this is exactly the reason why it is mostly impossible to disprove the existence of something), lack of data certainly doesn't mean that therefore anything goes, that you can just throw in a random theory that upsets lots of other, well-founded and time tested theories and demand it to be taken seriously without evidence to back it up."

if ghosts are indeed real i dont think its fair to assume that physics would apply to ghosts the same way they do to us. again im not asking for anyone to take me seriously, let alone demanding. what im simply stating is that, on a case to case scenario, theres times where physics and studies wield no solid results.making it unknown, could that be a ghost? possibly. but again im stating that theres no way as of now to scientifically prove it, even if we did your controlled 6 building thing, and 1 has a reputation, whose to say one of the others isnt just because there isnt stories, or whose to say you can get a ghost to react a certain way? not to mention, say ti does go all perfect, and the 1 haunted location shows unarguable results, what does that PROVE? nothing at all, and then what do you do to PROVE it, not just back up the suggestive power of it?nothing. even believers in the big bang theory say that the universe as we know it will come to an end, and then at some distant point, another big bang can occur and the physics in this universe could be 500% different than anything we know now. how do we know how physics apply just in distant parts of this universe? with that said, i think its safe to say that scietists could be going about things less than 100% correctly. if you cant admit that theres a chance its been gone about in the wrong way, or simply incompletely, i see no hope in there ever being progress, not to mention proof.

and if i believe, as i do, that scientists are looking at it wrong, me being someone who is nowhere near their level of intellect am gonna have a hell of a time proving anything.

JIMDE:
"If I didnít know better, I could almost believe this drivel; in my book it gets an A for effort but not much else simply because itís a subjective opinion with an obvious personal agenda that is inaccurate, misleading and typical of a failed belief system whose followers have proven thus far to be incapable of producing competent results. In other words, itís a desperate attempt to overlook evidence recognized by esteemed members of the scientific/academic community as credible, unique and paranormal in nature.

"The problem IMO is that now some of these so called skeptics/scientists will have to get off their butts and produce similar results under similar conditions (repeatedly as has been accomplished) or admit failure of a belief system that now has cracks in its armor. Apparently, the easy way out is to deny the existence of anything potentially supernatural rather than face the fact that there is an unknown/undiscovered/undocumented force of nature in the universe that the poindexters canít comprehend."

tone it down amigo haha. its all about respect here, his points were directed directly at me, and i asked for them (literally). i do appreciate your alternative point of view, and it doesnt hurt that youre backing up the main point of the topic haha. but just remember anyone has a right not to believe, and a right to be ignorant to said EVIDENCE that shows the contrary. i am infact guilty of this and would like to see it, but only for free haha.

but look at what the post says, could you give me any examples of things youve gone through and what skeptics have said that you find crazy? if so i would be interested. if not feel free to debate at your leisure haha, but respectfully.

OMPRDave:
you seem very sensible, thumbs up.

furthermore, feel free to call what i say whatever you want, as long as you are willing to not tattle if i do the same haha. i dont take anything personal, and i hope no one else does either

incidentally, thanks for all the replies, i have a red folder now haha :]

#23 CaveRat2

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 10:02 AM

I believe that, to sum it up in one word, the solution is repeatability, as you stated.

That is when we do A and B we will encounter a ghost. (assuming one is present of course!). That would be the conclusive proof the skeptic would need to be convinced. Right now our problem as scientific researchers is not to prove the existance of ghosts, rather it is what constitutes A and B.

Assuming A is the equipment needed, and B is the methodology, then some hypothetical combination will result in conclusive proof of a ghost. As scientists then our job is to determine what exactly A and B are.

This is why I stress the use of quality equipment. If we continue to use and misuse electronics, ignoring areas that have been proven to create false positives we will never get past the hypothetical. What is needed is to take what we know, toss out the areas which are proven false by science, and concentrate instead on the truely unknown. Experiments and observations in those areas likely will reveal many new false starts. But in doing so the elusive truth is also becoming more apparent. At some point we should attain that level of understanding.

I would also point out that the medium and psychic are a part of this as well. They too are a tool. As such they should be analyzed and either proven or disproven. Their methods should be studied using scientific procedures. Some will be debunked, some may be explained. But just as we calibrate scientific equipment using known parameters, the medium should also be put to the test. That may involve EEG monitoring, or other physiological testing. But it should also be done, just as we test our electronic equipment.

In other words a concerted effort on all fronts may eventually lead to explanation. And maybe the final proof of the existence or nonexistence of ghosts. But as long as either side continues to dig their heels in and not open up to research and testing either way, nothing will be accomplished.

#24 stevenedel

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 01:41 PM

Tommy, first of all my apologies for making your topic spin out of orbit. For now this narrowminded, drivel-producing crazy skeptic will rest content with addressing just a few of the many things said above.

First, I donít take offence very easily, so nobody needs worry on that account (though Canis, thanks for your great support!). Actually, I felt quite flattered that Jim was ALMOST prepared to believe my drivel. Weíre getting in the right direction. In fact, Jim, you donít even have to believe it, many of my points are statements of fact, you can look them up if you feel so inclined. But I fear you wonít.

BTW, I loved the phrase Ďan admitted skepticí.

Second, personal motives are completely beside the point. All this is about sound reasoning and sound evidence; what the personal motivations are of the individual producing them is irrelevant.

Third, I share Canisís frustration about the fact that we are always told about the compelling evidence there is for the paranormal, but we never get to see it. The table of contents of the International Journal of Parapsychology surely doesnít look promising, to put it mildly. Inspection of the abstracts from the Ďcurrent issueí (2001, howís that current?) confirms the impression http://www.parapsych...mic/070103.html. We get an historical overview of the Parapsychology Foundation; a biography of a researcher who died in 1938; an opinion-piece about why established academia doesnít like spirit-talk; an e-mail survey among a non-random sample of Ouija-board users which (as far as I can gather from the abstract) if it proved anything at all, proved that solo board users showed heightened levels of suggestibility and epilepsy; an essay on the journalís founder who was (ooops) a medium and a psychic; a self-report piece from an ex-military man about his and his fellowsí paranormal experiences in combat; and finally one piece that may possibly have some true empirical meaning, but if so suggests that the impression of feeling a presence or seeing an apparition can be caused by infrasound, which has an effect on brain chemistry. In all, no empirical studies in support of the paranormal, two empirical studies that find natural explanations for supposedly paranormal experiences (whose inclusion is of course greatly to the journalís credit), and a preponderance of anecdotal and essayistic material. So, thatís 20+ dollars Iím going to keep in my pocket.

For Tommy:
- Iím not writing evidence off 100%. I just look at it and wonder what the most likely explanation for it may be. I donít think Ďa ghostí is the most likely explanation for a human-shaped blur on a photograph. Especially not if I thereís no way of checking under what conditions that photograph was taken. There are many ways such a shape can appear in a photograph that do not require the extensive revision or complete overthrow of well-evidenced theories.

- I donít quite say things are fictional because there is no proof; I say that I fail to see any reason to assume the existence of something that flies in the face of all the evidence we do have if that something itself isnít supported by any evidence.

- Repeatability is not a criterion that is met when a dozen believers visit a Ďhauntedí site and experience something there. You need unbiased, independent observers.

- If our physics wouldnít apply to ghost we would never be able to see them and they would definitely not be able to move our furniture about. Our physics apply to ourselves and our love seats, and therefore has to apply too to anything able to interact with us and that famous love seat.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#25 JimDe

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 05:44 PM

Steven, I actually agree with you more than you realize, in this one particular instance I certainly do not quite simply because I cannot. I do however applaud your decision in not perpetuating the abuse of Tommyís thread with a more volatile response as I expected and I offer my apologies for the derailment as well.

Under the circumstances I will express my dismay at the dismissal of distinct 'humanoid' shapes and features as pareidolia or as a common and explainable occurrence. If that were the case then science can readily duplicate the process without trickery, deceit or any type of interactive manipulation. Then Iíd like to see it, because itís all about the 'humanoid' shapes ÖIMO.

Canis, I appreciate your candor, as Iíve stated in prior postings, my free time is not what it used to be and I donít often post but Iím sure weíll talk againÖ

omprdave Ė it sounds like you might have a personal problem with me, Yeah, I maintain high standards, theyíre also called facts, I suggest using the ignore feature provided by the user CP if you donít like what I have to say. Period.

Edited by JimDe, 05 November 2009 - 05:46 PM.

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#26 OMPRDave

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Posted 05 November 2009 - 06:37 PM

I actually listen to everyone who posts here whether I agree with them or not...I'm not astute enough to call what others say drivel....not personal at all, JimDe. Someday you may offer something that enlightens me in an area I've been noodling in. Just not so warm on the idea of labeling what folks say here is drivel when they are all entitled to their own opinions on a question asked.

Nothing personal, though.
"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

#27 tommyhancock

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 07:06 AM

wow this topic got heated...then died haha.first of all all apologies accepted reluctantly.i appreciate the willingness of them but do not find them necessary.imo the topic hasnt been too drastically strayed from.i apologize for being gone for a while,been bus with some writing lately and so internet time has been highly monitored haha. i do agree with jimde that if the picture was said to have not been tampered with in anyway by a respected expert in the field of photography, and no one scientifically or otherwise can reproduce the same or similar effects without tampering with the image that it should be taken seriously,maybe not as proof but certainly more serious than it tends to be by some.and to be fair less serious than it is taken by some.it is weird and totally unexplainable yes.but i still have to admit it is not proof of a ghost if you want to get technical.i dont think someone leaning towards that opinion based on said pictures(as long as they are certainly not doctored)to be foolish either.for me as i say often,i saw more than this and its personal and unprovable and this is why i believe in this kind of stuff and not so much in others.let be known that i can not think of a single photo/video that has completely swung me in the direction of personally believing that image is a ghost.there are some however that make me think "maybe".but certainly not that it is definitely a ghost.and there are tons as well that i can not say it's definitely not a ghost.

the drivel statement is a bit much,but in my mind so is saying that all claims of objects moving in your home do not happen and are simply fiction.period. both are out of line i think especially since i dont think at all that all these claims are fiction,nor that stevendel was jusr rambling on nonsensically. but i seem to be the only one who said something about both accounts. but,i was not offended,stevendel was not offended,lets move on from that then no?

CAVERAT:
"I believe that, to sum it up in one word, the solution is repeatability, as you stated.

That is when we do A and B we will encounter a ghost. (assuming one is present of course!). That would be the conclusive proof the skeptic would need to be convinced. Right now our problem as scientific researchers is not to prove the existance of ghosts, rather it is what constitutes A and B.

Assuming A is the equipment needed, and B is the methodology, then some hypothetical combination will result in conclusive proof of a ghost. As scientists then our job is to determine what exactly A and B are.

This is why I stress the use of quality equipment. If we continue to use and misuse electronics, ignoring areas that have been proven to create false positives we will never get past the hypothetical. What is needed is to take what we know, toss out the areas which are proven false by science, and concentrate instead on the truely unknown. Experiments and observations in those areas likely will reveal many new false starts. But in doing so the elusive truth is also becoming more apparent. At some point we should attain that level of understanding."

I would also point out that the medium and psychic are a part of this as well. They too are a tool. As such they should be analyzed and either proven or disproven. Their methods should be studied using scientific procedures. Some will be debunked, some may be explained. But just as we calibrate scientific equipment using known parameters, the medium should also be put to the test. That may involve EEG monitoring, or other physiological testing. But it should also be done, just as we test our electronic equipment.

In other words a concerted effort on all fronts may eventually lead to explanation. And maybe the final proof of the existence or nonexistence of ghosts. But as long as either side continues to dig their heels in and not open up to research and testing either way, nothing will be accomplished."
let me begin by saying that of the people i have spoken to on here thus far you and ompr dave make the most sense to me on a consistent basis.i feel you have the right outlook on wanting to prove or disprove if this is real rather than just believe or not believe.
that said this whole repeatability is just fine and dandy dont get me wrong,it is certainly the best we have so far.but i think to expect said repeatabilty might be a bit hard.it is my belief that if ghosts were spirits of dead people then said ghosts could be as different as any 2 given dead people,and theres a whole lot of those.i dont think this can be attained as of now.
the A&B method is certainly the most honest way of going about it.it takes out believer/skeptic and just goes to work.i dont think the A being the technology is there yet,im not saying this is due to idiocy,i certainly couldnt make anything better than what is out there,but regardless i dont think we have the sort of equipment that will be taken seriously enough by the thick skinned sort of skeptics,anything i can imagine would still be either believed/not believed. also the methodology will have to be put to serious test that wont be either scoffed at or immediately believed. the main thing is the stubbornness on all sides.also i think we may have to think a little more outside the scientific box than anyone i have witnessed thus far.

STEVENDEL:For Tommy:
- Iím not writing evidence off 100%. I just look at it and wonder what the most likely explanation for it may be. I donít think Ďa ghostí is the most likely explanation for a human-shaped blur on a photograph. Especially not if I thereís no way of checking under what conditions that photograph was taken. There are many ways such a shape can appear in a photograph that do not require the extensive revision or complete overthrow of well-evidenced theories.

1. I donít quite say things are fictional because there is no proof; I say that I fail to see any reason to assume the existence of something that flies in the face of all the evidence we do have if that something itself isnít supported by any evidence.

2. Repeatability is not a criterion that is met when a dozen believers visit a Ďhauntedí site and experience something there. You need unbiased, independent observers.

3. If our physics wouldnít apply to ghost we would never be able to see them and they would definitely not be able to move our furniture about. Our physics apply to ourselves and our love seats, and therefore has to apply too to anything able to interact with us and that famous love seat."
1st off let me start by admitting what i have been admitting all along.there is certainly no such thing as 100%, or even 80% for that matter, undisputable evidence for ghost especially not on the internet.these types of things for me personally are just fun to look at haha.

1. you did literally say that these claims were all fiction,to me that is as wild a claim as saying that there is ghosts since there's literally no possible way you could know this,certainly you can not apply the scientific methods to that claim and prove it.if so i would love to see this.to me ignorance is ignorance and an unsupported claim to something as an outright fact is simply ignorant and/or refusal to admit you just might possibly be wrong(which you could or could not be).what makes jimde's claims that there is definitive proof you can see online any more outrageous than than this claim that was certainly more than " I fail to see any reason to assume the existence of something that flies in the face of all the evidence we do have if that something itself isnít supported by any evidence."what you did was not refuse to assume the existence of something,it was to say all of these claims are in fact fiction.big difference.but as i said,lets move past this,i only brought it up becuase it was a direct response to something that you said.no offense taken,but the absence of supernatural beings in a statement does not make it any less true or supported.oh,and to say all these claims are pure fiction isn't writing off evidence 100% then what is? if there is evidence to something like this happening(note:not evidence of a ghost,just evidence of the object moving in a video that is proven undoctored) which there is,some of which im sure you havent seen,yet you said literally that it was ALL simply fiction and simply does not happen PERIOD(look back at your posts this is what you said)then how has it not been written off 100% in your eyes? not upset,just curious.

2. if you actually read what i said it wasnt along the lines of"but all kinds of people go to known haunted locations and have the same famous experiences that they've read about so it MUST be true!"what was said was along the lines of(bear with me i havent checked on this subject in awhile it might not be an exact quote,scratch that i'll copy/paste to make sure i get it right

"there has been repeatability, not on science experiment levels that im aware of, but there has been people in the same locations, of countless beliefs in spirits, religion, afterlife, music theory, etc. and many of them have experienced the same unexplained things. im not saying that is proof of a ghost, im saying that is proof that things like this happen."

skip middle part and on to this:
"why serious controlled tests havent happened on some places yet i do not know, but theres definitely enough word of mouth for someone to go in and check many locations. and PLEASE dont come back and say they all expected to see something, its not always the case, some things i have seen happened at a place i had no thoughts about previous and then heard stories about afterwords. to assume everyone sees/experiences the same things with a preconceived idea of "what is there" is at least as rediculous as someone immediately thinking some strange noise is a ghost."

3. what i was getting at is that our physics can apply to it in a different way.im at a loss of words(due to loss of sleep) for how to word this at the moment but basically i believe it is possible that there is something going on scientifically,and physically,that we dont grasp as clearly if we are looking from a purely scientific standpoint.again this is not an assumption at all,just a thought.one that i dont think is as ridiculous as im sure you are going to find it to be. and its only a maybe assumption.if the things are there and cant be grasped by science so far,maybe its beyond our scientific and phsyical understanding.our physics could possibly apply to it differently as opposed to just a complete lack of physics.

im sure i could find more to pick at from some person or another but that will be all for now i suppose

#28 juliet_keller

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 01:10 PM

I have to go with Jim De on this....while it hasn't been proven scientifically that ghosts/spirit/the paranormal realm (or what ever you want to call it) actually exists....that it has not been reliably disproved either for whatever lack of resources.

Billions of our American dollars are being spent on nonsense and useless projects, such as microsoft using 6 million to construct a bridge to connect the company from one side of road that the company resides on to other side. If microsoft was so smart they should have put their company on one the same road and they are connected by computers..so I see this bridge as senseless money being spent...or even the study of animal droppings (3 million) in Alaska?!? Wouldn't life after death be more fascinating in putting our research money too?

There are also many, for better words...idiots... out in the world trying to pass off fradulent manufactured evidence as true paranormal evidence...which hinders true paranormal evidence for being taken seriously.

Just because one is a skeptic and can come up with some off the wall, ridiculous, phoney balogna theory...does not mean that these true experiences did not happen.

Much has been proven in our history, that stories and long ago made up creatures did not exist, but luck, sometimes using funds,time, and knowledge has proven that sometimes these stories did become self evident that existence is possible such as the Giant Squid...not discovered until washed up on shore in the early 1900's and the duck-billed platypus mid 1900's. Even unbelievable stories as long ago civilizations thought only to be mythical places only to be found underwater be research teams to be proven that they actually existed.

So, much is documented that in every cultural religious aspect that life after death exists.... that in the future, one day it will be proven. So until then, Skeptic or Believer even with every theory and stories both may have....will eventually be proven.
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#29 tommyhancock

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 07:10 AM

i agree that it hasnt been disproved,well duh of course i do or else why would i have went on and on on this post? but there is unarguably no proof that ghosts exist scientific or otherwise,unless of course you experienced something undebatable,meaning more than orbs or something moving unexplainibly,but then it is only proof to you. mainly before anyone talks further we should definitely seperate what is proof and what is evidence. lets put it in a court room perspective. say theres a murder and at the scene a mans watch is found.that is evidence,but is it proof that he killed them?no.also a doctored piece of evidence still counts as evidence unless it can be PROVEN otherwise.meaning that i cant by any means say that orbs in a picture is just dust,thats my opinion on most cases but that doesnt make it fact unless we can reproduce it easily and the results are unarguably similar.so yes there certainly is evidence of supernatural occurrences,hal fthat i have seen isnt exactly strong evidence,but its undeniably evidence.myths are in fact not evidence or proof of supernatural.things lik the giant squid are insane,and they do prove that that particular myth is indeed undeniable fact,but the giant squid turning up so late,where many people wrote it off as fantasy and fiction,certainly can not be used as evidence of any other myth and/or legend.what it does give other myths is a leg to stand on,if that was true,who knows?

but yes there is evidence,but if you look from someone like stevendels perspective,which is strictly from a scientific standpoint,you can see where this evidence would not be overly impressive.and he does pose a good point when he says"ok it cant be explained,but how does that prove it is a ghost?"the answer:it doesnt.so as much as i am on your side that ghosts do indeed exist,i still have to admit that there is in fact no proof,and any evidence i have seen in no way singles out that it must be a ghost.

back to the evidence/proof thing.good evidence can lead to proof,which can only be called proof once it is undeniable from atleast most vantage points and not just people who have seen or who have claimed to see things first hand.testing of good evidence can lead to proof.i for one dont think we have the means of testing good ghost evidence if it is out there,which is why pictures are explained logically to be mundane occurences or they are unexplainable.we dont have the tools or the approach to get past that unexplainable phase,which i still think science based perspectives should consider more seriously.if we can't explain it then why not admit the possibility?that is my argument.and admitting the possibility does not mean jumping to a conclusion and saying its a ghost,it means NOT jumping to the conclusion that it isnt a ghost.just keep in mind that something is happening atleast in some instances that your science can not account for no matter how hard you try.this is just fact.

#30 zuehl

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 02:25 PM

That's why as a skeptic and a researcher I don't consider what anyone says as crazy when it comes to the paranormal. Sure I've heard some things that I would just consider impossible on first hearing it, but it would do them no justice if I didn't listen and then do my best to help them figure out what was happening.

And here in a forum what you are going to get are basically just uninformed decisions. There is no way to properly examine the situation in a physical way, so therefore it's impossible to give an properly examined and informed opinion. This makes for great arguments, but does little in the way of helping answer the question.

Also, many folks already have their explanation in hand when they pose the question to the skeptic. And unless the questions posed back or ideas given match that preconceived idea it won't matter. I've seen plenty of this in the evidence sections of every forum I belong to, and is part of the reason I am pretty choosy in who I will give an opinion to in them. It can be as bad as arguing politics or religion in my book, and about as big a waste of time.

What it comes down to is if anyone is ready to ask for an opinion that they also be ready and willing to listen to the explanation given. Test the ideas given by the skeptic and see if it helps explain what may have happened before calling the skeptic closed minded. It makes no sense to ask an opinion with one's own answer already firmly in place.

And the door swings both ways...sometimes believers say the darnedest things. A good skeptic will not question what is said, however outrageous, without first examining all possibilities.



I really like your explanation here. It is well written and I think it sums things quite well. The one thing I have really noticed about this field and people who have had enough of their own personal experiences to reach out to a paranormal team in their area is that the biggest thing they are looking for is an ear to listen. If you listen to peoples claims and then go forward and investigate they are much more receptive when presented with reasons that certain activity (or possible as) is not or may not be paranormal.
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