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Everything posted by JillSwift

  1. Why did the young physics student run from the M theory symposium? He mistook them for zombies: People were all shuffling around, mumbling something about "branes".
  2. Argument from authority. Appeal to popularity. As "Telepathy" is nothing more than transferring information though means other than verbal, visual, or tactile, the medium used to control what information is to be transferred is utterly irrelevant. Repeating an idea does not make it true. The Aether has long since been discarded due to lack of evidence for it, and theories that fit the facts better without postulating it. Comic strips? Um... if the human brain has not evolved telepathy, then telepathy does not exist. If telepathy does not exist, how can we start talking about what parts of the brain are responsible for it? Can you not see the circular reasoning you are using? And that is why this got moved to the speculation forum.
  3. I would like you to notice that the thread linked has a grounded question: Also, a clear definition of what was meant by the term "ghost" was provided in the link on that thread's OP. See the vast and important difference? <grin>
  4. Thankies! == As it stands, my hypothesis does not address "apparition" photographs at all. However, I'm going to go ahead and expand it again, adding "all photographic 'evidence' thus far produced can be explained by mundane means, including lens reflections, film or digital storage artifacts, depth-of-field artifacts, peridolia, or trickery."
  5. If there is no claim, what is there to discuss? No, it does in no way work that way. Meaning, it fails to work if done that way. Disproving something is neigh impossible, so the scientific method concerns itself only with the gathering of evidence - observations - and drawing conclusions from that evidence - hypothesis - then testing that hypothesis and expanding it as the testing gathers new evidence until you have a working theory - something that explains the facts observed - which is itself the tested and reviewed and re-tested. One "hit" is meaningless, because there is the possibility of a chance guess being right. We take the misses and the hits both and have a look at whether or not the hits occur with significantly greater frequency that random chance would allow. If so, we considered there may be a real phenomenon. In the case of remote viewing, there was never a greater number of hist than chance would allow, and in several of the studies done for the CIA, the hits were fewer than what chance would produce. This means there is no reason to think there is a phenomenon of "remote viewing". It does not "disprove" it, however, because there is always those 'what if' questions: "What if it only works on certain times o the year. What if it only works when the subjects are intoxicated. What if..." We can't test every possible what if. We can look for evidence, then draw conclusions from it, however, and make real progress. If you don't present a claim, what is it you are "hosting"? The question you asked: There is no evidence supporting remote viewing. Without evidence, there can be no theory. That's it. That's where the scientific method leads us. What else is it you want?
  6. Well, I can't speak for everyone, however: I don't feel like debating a web site. If you have an argument or hypothesis you'd like to talk about, present it yourself. The reason you're just getting "no" as an answer is that's all there is to say - there is no known evidence for "remote viewing". It's not up to us to go hunting for it ourselves, it's up to whomever wishes to present the idea of remote viewing as a real phenomenon. The burden of proof is always on the claimant. On that: Asking us to examine a "hit" then try to disprove that hit by coming up with alternative explanations is placing the burden of proof on us. It doesn't work that way. However, what we can do is examine an argument or hypothesis for weaknesses. Essentially gauging whether or not the burden of proof has been met satisfactorily. That still requires you to present something that can be examined. And once again, I don't want to debate a web site.
  7. You're the one who wants to talk about ghosts, how is anyone to know what it is you really want to talk about if you can't define it yourself?
  8. Y'know, as a matter of the purest speculation, I have to admit it seems perfectly plausible that a species somewhere could evolve a mechanism to pass information that was non-verbal and non-visual and non-audible. Of course, I see this sort of speculation the same way I see good fiction writing. Fun, sure. Useful, not so much.
  9. No. The very studies you mention found nothing. (Reports to the contrary are baseless.)
  10. Wait... I just posted a (admittedly weak) hypothesis in favor of ghosts. I believe in ghosts, as a psychological phenomenon. As you avoided giving a definition for "ghost" when asked for it earlier in the thread, my definition stands. Personal bias does not invalidate a hypothesis. Only contrary evidence, or fallacious reasoning invalidates anything. Personal bias can be (but is not necessarily) the source of fallacious reasoning. My hypothesis did exclude claims that did not involve anxiety. I'll expand my hypothesis to include "reports by people interested in perpetuating the idea of ghosts as an external phenomenon." Studies and similar hypotheses supporting my hypothesis: http://psycnet.apa.org/?fa=main.doiLanding&uid=1991-23832-001 http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=b39Udl6qY30C&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=related:SJ7qrpjLzB8J:scholar.google.com/&ots=BTHQk7onjQ&sig=2vW3FcxrAMZMs7uPD3jj3iD_BJs#v=onepage&q=&f=false http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=info:RYYiX0qw2RAJ:scholar.google.com/&output=viewport&pg=1&hl=en http://www.geocities.com/skepdigest/15VisionsHallucinationsChapter.pdf [PDF] http://www.laurentienne.ca/NR/rdonlyres/30DE8955-053D-49F8-B725-0CDC33F4B5DC/0/1990_125.pdf [PDF] Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
  11. He makes that claim, but you have to look at the construction of his overall argument. He spends little time presenting evidence and his hypothesis and a lot of time critiquing plate tectonics. His conclusion dismisses plate tectonics then carefully asserts that, to fill the vacuum left, expanding earth. In short, there is no evidence presented backing of the expanding earth hypothesis. Thus, the article does not back your point. His credentials are irrelevant. His claims are irrelevant. Evidence is everything.
  12. This is an appeal to authority. His ideas are a very convoluted but never the less classic excluded middle fallacy. Essentially "if plate tectonics is wrong then the expanding earth must be right". Not being a geologist, I can not speak to the specifics. However, the argument itself is poorly constructed and even if I granted total veracity to his critique of plate tectonics I could in no way accept his conclusion because of the obvious fallacy.
  13. Hypothesis: "Ghost" is a term commonly given to situations where a person or persons felt detached anxiety upon entering large and poorly lit enclosed spaces, or where observing visual illusory phenomena combined with an anxious instinctive reaction. This occurs in individuals, but tends to be more intense in small groups as each other's reactions seem to confirm each other's fear. Evidence: As ghosts are reported, common features of the experiences include setting, emotional state of the reporter(s) before these events, and "priming" of experience (i.e. "This place is haunted.") Conclusion: "Ghosts" exist as a psychological phenomenon. Falsifiability: Evidence in contradiction to current evidence. Ghost phenomenon outside psychological realm or without immediate observation not attributable to mundane sources. Hows that?
  14. A theory - in the context of the scientific method - is something that explains observed facts. For instance: The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection explains the observed fact that there are a great number of species. Keeping that in mind, what is this "null theory"? What facts were observed? What methods were used to make these observations? What is the theory itself? In what way is it falsifiable? What predictions does it make that can be tested? I ask only because I prefer to know what it is that's being speculated on. Context is everything
  15. Science does not dis-prove things. Science only gathers evidence, makes hypothesis, and tests those hypothesis to make theories, which are in turn tested and re-tested as new evidence is found. Dis-proving something is effectively impossible. There have been folks who have used measuring devices of all sorts to examine claimed ghosts. They followed science methodology rigorously. No evidence of ghosts was found at all. Cold spots tend to be ventilation or poor insulation. Changes in magnetic fields tend to be house electrical wiring. Ghost orbs tend to be dust. Etc. In short, when scientific methodology is brought to bear on ghosts, nothing shows up. Thus, there is no evidence for ghosts. Does this dis-prove ghosts? No. But it doesn't do much for their existence, either. And that leaves any useful speculation about ghosts rather empty. If we can't even establish the phenomenon of the existence of ghosts, what does one speculate about? "Do they exist?" "They might." Isn't much of a conversation. Speculation as to why people continue to believe in ghosts in spite of the lack of evidence - well, there's an established phenomena we can talk about.
  16. No, saying the brain does not actually emit Delta, Theta, Alpha, Mu, Beta, and Gamma waves is saying the brain does not actually emit Delta, Theta, Alpha, Mu, Beta, and Gamma waves. Specifically, meaning these electromagnetic emissions are so weak as to be undetectable from any distance - thus the need to attach electrodes directly to the person being measured. The brain interacts with the rest of the world through sensory (visual, audible, olfactory, tactile) and mechanical (gestures, voice, etc.) means. I'm not sure what this means. Studies are being done on what? Like I said, until you establish a phenomenon exists, you can't study its mechanics, you can only speculate. Now I'm confused. Does telepathy exist or not, by your measure? If you're saying that there is potential for telepathy to develop within the framework of what we know of the cosmos, then this is pure speculation (and there's a forum for that here).
  17. Useful speculation must be based on evidence gained by objective observation. Otherwise the conversation is a discussion of imagination - make-believe. Because, like the ghost orb photos, all the "samples" taken by these folks are badly skewed by various problems with methodology. Remove the pseudoscience and what science is there gives us no evidence of ghosts at all. With all due respect to iNow, pseudoscience never becomes science. Because science is a methodology. Pseudoscience is a failure to adhere to that methodology and use scientific-sounding, but otherwise unsound, forms of making an idea seem valid. Ideas with pseudoscience behind them do have potential of becoming ideas with science backing them, but only if pseudoscience is abandoned in favor of science, and only if the idea has an actual basis in reality. This is an important point, so I'll say it again: Pseudoscience is discarding methodology in favor of seeking ways to convince others of the validity of an idea or phenomenon without evidence or in spite of contrary evidence. Until and unless objective evidence is presented that suggests "ghosts" (which, by the way, also needs a definition that can be falsified) any discussuin about them is nothing more than fiction writing. All made up.
  18. Honestly, no. Remove the pseudoscience that surrounds ghosts and you have nothing to discuss. Without some sort of evidence to base speculation on, well, you may as well just write pure fiction - a form of speculation itself, just not the sort that opens new options.
  19. That's the nexus, right there. Pseudoscience is discarding methodology in favor of seeking ways to convince others of the validity of an idea or phenomenon without evidence or in spite of contrary evidence. To go with your ghost example: One common item held up as evidence is the photographic "ghost orb". However, such photographic effects can be produced at will by using flash photography in a dusty environment, where the dust particles sometimes reflect the flash into the camera lens, making for an out-of-focus bright spot. Pseudoscience ignores that there is a repeatable experiment that suggests an explanation other than ghosts, and continues to insist ghost orbs are evidence for ghosts no matter what other evidence there may be that fails to corroborate the conclusion. Science discards the evidence of "ghost orbs", until and unless further evidence corroborates the ghost explanation. My main point being that "ghosts" are not pseudoscience. Ghosts are just a concept. How one goes about proving the existence of ghosts is what can be pseudoscience.
  20. Just as a point of order, it's best to establish that a phenomenon exists first, then worry about the mechanics of it. Also, it is not given that just because something emits a radiation, does not mean it can "receive" that radiation - especially not necessarily in any meaningful way. So, besides the fact that brainwaves aren't emissions, even if they were that in itself doesn't mean anything. Additionally, even if they were emissions, that they hold any information about thoughts isn't a given, either. Anyways, if you really have a reason to believe that there is such a phenomenon as telepathy, your first step is to evidence it with solid and repeatable double or triple blind experiments. Once the experiments have been repeated by others (and assuming they demonstrate telepathy) then you can get to work on how it works. Anything before this step is pure speculation.
  21. I don't think the religious have any mental disorders (so far as being religious or just believing in a god or gods). One of the popular disorders to associate with religiousness is delusion. The definition would appear to match - the belief in something without or in contradiction with evidence. However, we see children having odd beliefs all the time - like the belief that what you see on television is being acted out by miniature actors right inside the box. This belief does not go away when presented with a look at the electronics in the box. (It does go away, however, as a general understanding of the world around that box increases. Belief appears to have a systemic facet.) We don't call these children delusional, even though the definition appears to fit again. This is because it's a natural part of the learning process. Religious belief also has a learned behavior facet. (This is an environmental factor as mentioned before in this thread.) They learn this belief from their parents and the other adults the parents associate with. In some respects this may be a sign of good parenting, only with the parents passing on unsubstantiated beliefs as the basis for their understanding of reality. Something they probably got from their parents as well, continuing on down the generations.
  22. I do not think there is a main purpose for the mind. In fact, I don't think the mind has purpose, it only has function. (Probably just being pedantic, but purpose suggests and intent for a tool or process, and evolution, wich gave us the mind, doesn't have intent.) The general term "mind" is multifaceted, and those facets interact with one another in complex ways. In fact, if you consider each facet is made up of smaller processes themselves, you see how this emergent system is so difficult to pin down. All of the smaller processes function to enhance survival - groups of the functions can be calsses in just that way: Social instincts give rise to group support, purposeful thinking gives rise to tool use, forethought and pattern seeking gives rise to planning, memory and purposeful thinking allows mistake repetition avoidance and other learning, etc. Combined as a whole the mind's overall function is still survival. Combine a lot of minds in a group and you get thriving survival. Combine a bunch of those groups and you get modern times Geez I hope I've made some sense in this post.
  23. I watched as much of the video linked in the OP as I could stand. What I managed to get through is awash in the typical conspiracy theory fallacies, and can only be believed by someone unfamiliar with basic critical thinking. Case in point: One of the first things done is quote-mine Dr. Wayne Evans, choosing a line that, out of it's context, sounds like a plan to rule the world. I doubt it ever got around to making an actual case. If it did, perhaps the OP could spare us the video and give us a summary.
  24. Hello there! Hey. I'm just a gal of limited education with experience in information technology and working with and around psychology based programs (from whence my interest in psychology stems). People say I'm very intelligent and I say for everyone's sake that I hope not Here's to science! Woohoo!
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