217. DR. GARY MARCUS SANDBAGGED BY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE SCIENCE QUESTIONS

#81
Well, you can say that there's no such thing as colour from a materialistic viewpoint, but there certainly is such a thing as the impression in our minds that "certain wavelengths of light" make. That's expressing things in the usual materialistic terminology; however, that reflects the materialistic paradigm that everything is caused by interaction of particles and forces, and that is the very point that I as an idealist would challenge.

To my mind, particles and forces have no reality: they're just useful models. The real causality doesn't reside in particles and forces, but in processes occurring in universal consciousness which happen to present an appearance to perception of something we can model as particles and forces.
I'm sympathetic to Idealism, but the bolded part here seems an extremely convenient piece of circular special pleading. But, granted, it is a beautiful way to armour the model against falsification. I am reminded of the Young Earth Creationist who insists that dinosaur bones happen to present an appearance of being much older than six thousand years, but have been placed there to model an older earth.


I don't agree with what you say here: We filter these wavelengths of light through our retinae and subsequent visual pathways to represent colour, but these colours (or qualia) are illusions." Again, that is based on a materialistic viewpoint, on accepting models of reality as actual reality. As a matter of fact, the only things we perceive are qualia: everything else is an interpretative model. It is the qualia that are nearest the real: if they're illusions, then all of science is an illusion since it is based on the qualia we empirically observe. I believe it's rather the case that what's unreal are the models which physicalism reifies and arbitrarily gives precedence over qualia.
I think you might misunderstand the mainstream view; It is entirely consistent with Hoffman's talk. A model of reality is not considered as actual reality. Everything we experience, our entire awareness, is a representation, an illusion. This is why the colour example is so important to understand as a first step. Our entire reality is our experience - this is a point of agreement between ontologies. However, the nagging question remains: Is that experience all there is or is there "stuff" outside of that experience (as it appears)? I wonder if it's a little early to discount that possibility?


This is a conceptual trap, which materialists have the greatest difficulty avoiding; having constructed what are, after all, only models of reality, they then argue their case based on the assumed concrete reality of those models -- and that's a form of circular reasoning.
Heh. We both see circular reasoning I guess. I haven't met any materialists who deny QM so I'm not sure what you mean by concrete reality?

Here's a simple test for an Idealist, qualia as fundamental, model. Under that model we have, as often quoted, "the redness of red"; it is an experience, a fundamental of shared consciousness. Now an idealist would deny that the red experience comes from an interaction with external wavelengths of light (indeed, you have just done this). Yet we have significant individuals who suffer from deuteranopia, and do not "experience" redness to any degree, if at all in extreme cases. It's curious that a fundamental component of shared experience looks less fundamental and less shared than we might have expected. We also have solid detailed biological and histological explanations of how these anomalies occur and it involves the direct interaction between wavelengths of light interacting with central nervous system cells.

Sure, we can come up with all sorts of explanations that may or may not model a situation well, but the fact is, no physical model of the universe is completely consistent, one of the most egregious examples being the fundamental inconsistency of general relativity and quantum theory. You may get a stack of physicists a mile high swearing that one or the other is correct, but none of them can say both are correct, and to my mind that tells me there's something wrong with physicalist interpretations of the world. Quite possibly, both GR and QT as currently understood are incorrect, albeit good enough for purposes of modelling working technologies.
Yes, no model is complete. We have to assess the merits, usefulness and completeness of all competing models if we want to play this game.
 
#82
I'm open to other suggestions.

You're saying that a null result (no significant reports of the numbers) would not prove the non-existence of immaterial souls leaving bodies and somehow seeing without eyes. You're right. Proving a negative is difficult, and the experiment is not designed to prove the negative. A null result is inconclusive, but a positive result is conclusive. That's the point. If you want conclusive evidence of the hypothesized phenomenon, a positive result from this type of experiment could provide it while the anecdotes described in Holden's lecture are also inconclusive.
Nah - if someone reported the numbers correctly, it would be dismissed as a lucky guess/the law of large numbers, or the nursing staff were talking about the numbers and the patient subconsciously overheard, etc, etc, etc.

Because materialism is true and all else is wooo. So it has to be one of those explanations.

You are going to have to try harder. This ain't our first rodeo.
 
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#83
I'm sympathetic to Idealism
Wow - I hope I can quote you on that. Perhaps you have been with us so long that some of our ideas are rubbing off on you!
, but the bolded part here seems an extremely convenient piece of circular special pleading. But, granted, it is a beautiful way to armour the model against falsification. I am reminded of the Young Earth Creationist who insists that dinosaur bones happen to present an appearance of being much older than six thousand years, but have been placed there to model an older earth.
Well I think perhaps you have landed on one of the weaker aspects of Idealism - we just aren't ready for it!
Don't forget that nobody here (I think) is a Young Earth Creationist - indeed, most of us aren't religious at all - so we don't argue from a dogmatic belief.

David
 
#84
I'm open to other suggestions.

You're saying that a null result (no significant reports of the numbers) would not prove the non-existence of immaterial souls leaving bodies and somehow seeing without eyes. You're right. Proving a negative is difficult, and the experiment is not designed to prove the negative. A null result is inconclusive, but a positive result is conclusive. That's the point. If you want conclusive evidence of the hypothesized phenomenon, a positive result from this type of experiment could provide it while the anecdotes described in Holden's lecture are also inconclusive.
The ideal situation is where you test phenomena that people naturally report. I don't think they typically remember seeing numbers in an OBE - indeed I have read accounts that say this is particularly difficult.

Possibly pictures of emotional topics would be a better bet. Numbers are seductive because the statistics build up quickly - but imagine if you saw binary numbers in your dream or even Sexagesimal numbers (look them up) - could you remember them?

Also remember that vision in an OBE is different - some people report 360 degree vision!

David
 
#85
3. Your protocol is very sensible. In order for the test to be double blind however, only a few actual instances will discover the number, because the number would be sufficiently concealed and the medical team could not be led, nor lead the patient there (double blind). Such veridical cases would and should be few and far between.
Agreed. A number could be generated randomly by a remote authority after the patient is unconscious. As described, the experiment doesn't rule out telepathic communication between the patient and a sighted also person in the room, so it doesn't establish the observation of a disembodied soul, but evidence of this telepathic communication would also be significant. Since Holden claims that ND experiencers can see through walls, the number could be displayed behind a wall to prevent others in the room seeing it.

If the tennis shoe story were well attested, it would be more compelling, but it was first published (in 1985) eight years after it allegedly occurred (in 1977), and we have only one person's word for it. This sort of evidence wouldn't stand up in court. Many similar accounts of telepathy, precognition, alien abduction and similar phenomena exist, but you can't expect scientists to build a standard model of immortal souls on this evidence. It can motivate more careful, systematic investigation, but simply collecting similar anecdotes is not this investigation.
 
#86
The ideal situation is where you test phenomena that people naturally report. I don't think they typically remember seeing numbers in an OBE - indeed I have read accounts that say this is particularly difficult.
Distinctive words or pictures, chosen mechanically, might also provide compelling evidence, but numbers lend themselves to precise statistics. We know precisely the probability of guessing a random four digit number. Why would a number be particularly difficult for a disembodied consciousness to observe, compared with the color of a tennis shoe for example? We aren't discussing binary or sexagesimal numbers. Arabic numbers are very familiar to the patients we're discussing. They have phone numbers and zip codes and remember many others.
 
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#87
If the tennis shoe story were well attested, it would be more compelling, but it was first published (in 1985) eight years after it allegedly occurred (in 1977), and we have only one person's word for it. This sort of evidence wouldn't stand up in court. Many similar accounts of telepathy, precognition, alien abduction and similar phenomena exist, but you can't expect scientists to build a standard model of immortal souls on this evidence. It can motivate more careful, systematic investigation, but simply collecting similar anecdotes is not this investigation.
But you must remember, we are not at the 'peer review/conclusive evidence' step of the scientific method with this. We do not even have a hypothesis yet - so 'standing up in court' is a false equivalency - there is not even a crime accusation yet. 'Court' is not relevant yet. Of course this evidence is not sufficient to petition for concensus or proof - but such a contention, while true, is a red herring. It is like quipping to a high school athelete, 'well you haven't landed a million dollar contract - so what good are you'. It is true, but irrelevant and unproductive - ignorant of the scientific method.

This and several hundred other cases bring a thing called consilience: a body of evidence sufficient to petition for plurality under Ockham's Razor - the way a professional research organization does this. Just because an observation lay fallow, does not serve to emasculate it, especially if it is falsifying in its inferential potential. It is probative. What the fake skeptic does - is falsely imply that 'reliable proof' (little of science actually hinges on this at all) is the burden which these observations must bring. And without proof, then they should be left untouched. This is a procedural fallacy of science.

The task of the discovery research effort is to assemble probative evidence and thereafter work to increase its reliability - not seek reliable evidence and work to increase its probative potential. The latter is called a 'streetlight effect' and is the reason science can only change by Kuhn-Planck Paradigm shifts.

When an observation set offers falsification level evidence - it is the first thing one should study. And if one avoids it, then the ethics of such an action can be called into question. If someone in my lab left falsifying tests untouched and cost me a shit load of money chasing low-probative-value tests for weeks on end - I would have their ass on Monday morning.

This is why religious monists HOPE for these observations to lay untouched for decades - as that is exactly their goal in the first place. Prevent science from being done at all costs. Any apothegm in a storm.

Plurality has been achieved. Not a hypothesis, but plurality. One cannot insist that monism or materialism is the only alternative now. And both stand in grave danger of being falsified - if science were ethically allowed to study this phenomenon.

Right now we live under a religious insistence that such study cannot be done. Therein lies the actual problem - one of ethics, and not yet evidence.
 
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#88
Actually books do play chess, drive cars and translate English into Spanish - but they do so via printed or electronic image static schema.
Books record methods of doing these things. Computers (or robots) are not simply algorithms. They're organizations of matter performing operations in the material world isomorphic to the operations on symbols described by algorithms. Books don't literally drive cars, but computers do, however imperfectly. Algorithms are immaterial and static. Computers are material and dynamic.

I am doing the same exact sets of disciplines and calculations as the book.
Comparing yourself to a robot acting out disciplines recorded in a book makes sense to me. Comparing yourself or the robot to the book does not.

I am selling a small static framework of my knowledge, ...
Your software fits this description, but a computer is hardware.

Yet they were far still closer to a book, than they were even remotely near the mind of a savvy 30 year executive developing novel practices and groundbreaking new understandings inside that same discipline.
Brains are far ahead of artificial computers in most respects and may always be. I'm the last to deny it.

I do associate brain with hardware and mind with software, but I associate this "mind" with intelligence, not consciousness. Spiders don't play chess, drive cars or speak, much less translate, human languages, but they may well be conscious while I doubt that any artificial computer is conscious at this point. I'm not prepared to say that artifacts cannot be conscious, but I doubt that any existing artifact is.
 
#90
Books don't literally drive cars, but computers do, however imperfectly. Algorithms are immaterial and static. Computers are material and dynamic.
But any algorithmic body can be printed on stacks of line-print (Java, C#/C++, Python), and be compiled 100% in this fashion, and that is a book nonetheless. There are no exceptions to this in computation - yet. Even with machine learned ephemeral code - just because the code is lost, does not mean it cannot be 'booked'.

In the old days, we used to have to print this entire 6 ft stack of code (the book) out and hold it in a vault for documentation. Fortunately we do not have to do that any longer.
 
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#91
Nah - if someone reported the numbers correctly, it would be dismissed as a lucky guess/the law of large numbers, or the nursing staff were talking about the numbers and the patient subconsciously overheard, etc, etc, etc.
If ten people out of a thousand report four digit numbers correctly, the law of large numbers provides little relief. This observation has a well-defined statistical significance. The null hypothesis (that the reported numbers are guessed) is rejected with strong significance. If skeptics deny it anyway, the experiment is repeatable.

Because materialism is true and all is wooo. So it has to be one of those explanations.
But if you play their game by their rules and they overturn the table when they lose, you make progress. All scientists are not zealous materialists. If some people are never convinced by any evidence, these people are not scientific and don't matter definitively.
 
#92
If ten people out of a thousand report four digit numbers correctly, the law of large numbers provides little relief. This observation has a well-defined statistical significance. The null hypothesis (that the reported numbers are guessed) is rejected with strong significance. If skeptics deny it anyway, the experiment is repeatable.


But if you play their game by their rules and they overturn the table when they lose, you make progress. All scientists are not zealous materialists. If some people are never convinced by any evidence, these people are not scientific and don't matter definitively.
Martin,
I can't tell if you are so obstinate that you appear lazy, or so lazy that you appear obstinate.

It isn't a big deal to turn a picture into quantifiable elements that can be statistically analyzed.

The Stargate program had remote viewers drawing pictures of obscure targets that defy the statistical probabilities of being attributable to random chance. Indeed all kinds of psi has passed the test. Yet skeptics still concoct reasons to explain why the calculations they live by suddenly don't mean anything when non-materialism is involved.

You aren't aware of the history of the research and critiques?

You're overturning the table because you want your way with the research and you won't understand that the phenomena won't play by your rules, yet those damn people keep telling their stories about experiencing the phenomena.

You and your precious methods aren't the center of the universe and the universe laughs at your puny attempts to rule and keeps on sending revolutionary counter signals - and you can't stop it.
 
#93
Martin,
I can't tell if you are so obstinate that you appear lazy, or so lazy that you appear obstinate.

It isn't a big deal to turn a picture into quantifiable elements that can be statistically analyzed.

The Stargate program had remote viewers drawing pictures of obscure targets that defy the statistical probabilities of being attributable to random chance. Indeed all kinds of psi has passed the test. Yet skeptics still concoct reasons to explain why the calculations they live by suddenly don't mean anything when non-materialism is involved.

You aren't aware of the history of the research and critiques?

You're overturning the table because you want your way with the research and you won't understand that the phenomena won't play by your rules, yet those damn people keep telling their stories about experiencing the phenomena.

You and your precious methods aren't the center of the universe and the universe laughs at your puny attempts to rule and keeps on sending revolutionary counter signals - and you can't stop it.
Eric, I see you battling against some pretty ‘out-there’ conspiracy theories in other parts of the forum. Theories that have a sound base of anecdotal data. Reliance on that type of evidence has a much higher chance of leading us astray and I think you know this. I would strongly recommend the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman to take that understanding to the next level.

Every NDE story you have heard has passed through at least one, sometimes several unreliable, messy, malleable filters/brains/consciousnesses before it enters yours.
 
#94
If ten people out of a thousand report four digit numbers correctly, the law of large numbers provides little relief. This observation has a well-defined statistical significance. The null hypothesis (that the reported numbers are guessed) is rejected with strong significance. If skeptics deny it anyway, the experiment is repeatable.
If you keep your interest in all this long enough, you will, I suspect, reach the same conclusion that I did many years ago - the 'other side' doesn't play fair. I remember when I first became aware of this. I watched a TV show about the paranormal, and at the end of it, a scientist was brough to to give the scientific position. He (sorry I do forget who it was) said that there was no scientific evidence for telepathy. At that time I knew that there were peer reviewed papers showing positive results in various respectable science journals. I guess I'd expected the guy to say something interesting about those papers, but instead he just mislead the audience.

This was one of the key moments that made me realise that science can, and does play dirty when it doesn't like a conclusion.

When investigating paranormal phenomena it is vital to investigate what is there, not invent something else, such as remembering numbers - however convenient that might be. From much that I have read, the non-material realm is mental, but greatly different from our realm. They seem to use telepathy to communicate, not words, spoken or written. I suspect that they also don't use numbers to base 10, and maybe they conceive of numbers directly - not split into digits to any base. That is just off my head. I think,since you seem interested, and since you yourself have experienced mental phenomena that are suggestive, I would recommend you read some of the literature about this subject. Reading the literature is not the same as committing to any position, but if you want to get into electronics (say), there isn't much point in joining a forum and arguing about Omm's law and what a resistor does! OK - that is not an exact analogy, but I hope you see what I mean.

David
 
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#95
Eric, I see you battling against some pretty ‘out-there’ conspiracy theories in other parts of the forum. Theories that have a sound base of anecdotal data. Reliance on that type of evidence has a much higher chance of leading us astray and I think you know this. I would strongly recommend the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman to take that understanding to the next level.

Every NDE story you have heard has passed through at least one, sometimes several unreliable, messy, malleable filters/brains/consciousnesses before it enters yours.
Malf,
The thing is that I have had my own OBE experiences and in some of them I was able to demonstrate to myself that they were real by perceiving idiosyncratic events distant from the physical location of my body while OBE and then verifying when not OBE. I was able to do this more than once - and, no, I'm not talking about seeing my friend who likes cheeseburgers eating a cheeseburger.

So I don't have a problem with the concept of NDEs being exactly what people say they are.

Yes, I am sure that if one goes to, say, Dr Long's web page and reads the NDE accounts there, that probably 50% of them are fake or exaggerated. I'm sure that most of the books about saved by the light blah blah blah are BS designed to make money.

However, the NDE has been long documented. It's a common phenomenon all over the world. Many plain simple people have honestly reported their experiences. I think that people who had NDEs have often reported, accurately, what was going on in the hospital room at a time when they were unconscious. If people like you want to imagine all sorts of brain processes doing things that brains have never been proven to be able to do in order to explain how, at a time when science says that brains shouldn't be doing anything, NDErs are perceiving all this stuff, then that demonstrates that you are either a materialist fanatic or suffer from analysis paralysis.

This is not the same as conspiracy theories at all. NDEs are simply a huge body of people, across time and across geography reporting that when they were "dead" they perceived things going on in the operating room, in "heaven", etc.. It's a body of reporting of personal experiences. Conspiracy theories are people using lousy logic and low thresholds of proof, incomplete information, information filtered through biases, outright lies, innuendo and non-confirmable alleged eye witness reports, to connect data points and tell a story. Totally different.

Even if I didn't have personal experiences, I wouldn't hang my hat on the sneakers story. I agree with what you say abut that. My sense is that it's true, but, there's no way to know and it is indeed flimsy evidence from a court room standpoint. There is no need to rely on that. Plenty of phsyicians have reported their patients knowing what was happening during attempts to resuscitate them. This is common. Again, if you want to resort to any of the brain based theories to explain those, then it is you who are way out of the limb of desperation. None of those explanations is based on solid science.
 
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#96
I'm sympathetic to Idealism, but the bolded part here seems an extremely convenient piece of circular special pleading. But, granted, it is a beautiful way to armour the model against falsification. I am reminded of the Young Earth Creationist who insists that dinosaur bones happen to present an appearance of being much older than six thousand years, but have been placed there to model an older earth.
Come on, Malf. That's a sophist's argument. You're linking two entirely different things merely because I happened to use the same grammatical construction that you have used in the dinosaur example -- and I've just used it again. I'm not a creationist, and you know it; you're just attempting to discredit me by using a scurrilous association. It's a typical materialist ploy and unworthy of you.
think you might misunderstand the mainstream view; It is entirely consistent with Hoffman's talk. A model of reality is not considered as actual reality. Everything we experience, our entire awareness, is a representation, an illusion. This is why the colour example is so important to understand as a first step. Our entire reality is our experience - this is a point of agreement between ontologies. However, the nagging question remains: Is that experience all there is or is there "stuff" outside of that experience (as it appears)? I wonder if it's a little early to discount that possibility?
Really? The mainstream view is entirely consistent with Hoffman? Well blow me down, I guess I've misheard the eliminative materialists who maintain that consciousness doesn't even exist, not to mention many other materialists who scoff at the very idea that the world might not be WYSIWYG. Malf, do I detect a smidgen of uncertainty in you? Might you be projecting that onto materialists in general? Are you teetering on the edge of a conversion experience?
Heh. We both see circular reasoning I guess. I haven't met any materialists who deny QM so I'm not sure what you mean by concrete reality?
If you haven't met any materialists who deny QM, that means, presumably, that they all must necessarily reject general relativity. Both theories can't be correct, after all. Maybe some of them consciously accept QM but not GR (regarding it as only a model), or vice-versa, or regard both as only models? Color me sceptical: to hear most materialists talk, they're the high priests of certain knowledge. Because materialism works (at least to some extent), that means it must be right. That's what their argument boils down to.

Well, it can't be right, can it? Especially if, as you maintain, they're so open to ideas like Hoffman's. They're all terribly nice crypto-idealists who would never think of excommunicating the odd dissenter who had ideas differing from their own. Anyone would think there had never been anyone like Peter Duesberg, Halton Arp, Pons and Fleischmann, Michael Behe, Eric Laithwaite...
Here's a simple test for an Idealist, qualia as fundamental, model. Under that model we have, as often quoted, "the redness of red"; it is an experience, a fundamental of shared consciousness. Now an idealist would deny that the red experience comes from an interaction with external wavelengths of light (indeed, you have just done this). Yet we have significant individuals who suffer from deuteranopia, and do not "experience" redness to any degree, if at all in extreme cases. It's curious that a fundamental component of shared experience looks less fundamental and less shared than we might have expected. We also have solid detailed biological and histological explanations of how these anomalies occur and it involves the direct interaction between wavelengths of light interacting with central nervous system cells.
Dear lord. For the thousandth time, there is definitely a correlation between the thing that appears as a brain and certain aspects of consciousness. When a person can't perceive a certain colour, then of course there's going to be brain (and/or other organ) correlates of that. A blind person can't perceive any colour, but that doesn't mean that the rest of us are having the mere illusion of colour, that we can't share experience of the same qualia. The question is, whence originates the causality? Do brain/organ defects cause certain perceptual problems, or does the causation go in the opposite direction? Is a person born with a brain defect that causes blindness, or is their blindness reflected in the appearance of their brains/organs?

Whichever is the case, no one is denying causality: only its direction. The materialists posit that the physical causes the mental, whereas idealists posit the reverse. And one advantage of that is that the Hard and Combination problems cease to be problems. No one has to run around pretending that consciousness doesn't exist, or wave their hands asserting that consciousness can emerge in some mysterious way from insentient matter. To me, it's much simpler to invert the materialistic view, and there's much less inconsistency.
Yes, no model is complete. We have to assess the merits, usefulness and completeness of all competing models if we want to play this game.
Well, you're saying that, but I don't hear many materialists talking in terms of mere "models". They usually speak ex cathedra in such terms as "we now of course know that...": the universe is 13.5 billion years old; dark matter and energy exists; there are such things as black holes; Darwinism is responsible for macroevolution; plasma has an insignificant role in the cosmos; God doesn't exist... on and on. They really believe those and many other things, and and like nothing better than to beat people over the head with them. Humility isn't one of their strong points.
 
#97
Eric, I see you battling against some pretty ‘out-there’ conspiracy theories in other parts of the forum. Theories that have a sound base of anecdotal data. Reliance on that type of evidence has a much higher chance of leading us astray and I think you know this. I would strongly recommend the book “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman to take that understanding to the next level.

Every NDE story you have heard has passed through at least one, sometimes several unreliable, messy, malleable filters/brains/consciousnesses before it enters yours.
However, there is a difference between the process of defending the validity of dissent and plurality, and the process of enforcing a standing pluralistic ignorance - both logically and ethically. There is also inferentially, methodically and ethically, a difference between an anecdote to the absence and an anecdote to the presence.

The Lindy Effect does not need advocacy - as it does its own work. To champion the work of the Lindy Effect is nothing but propaganda and never constitutes rationality - such activity is indistinguishable from impulse regardless of how fast or slow one executes it.

I did read the Amazon summary and through the table of contents, but I have not read his book. What I do know from deep experience is, if one writes to produce a treatise on "How to ensure you believe everything you are authorized to believe' - it is written to tickle academician ears and gain further personal acclaim - then it bears a conflict of interest. Most of these skeptic books offer up the same pathway to ignorance. Sit in your cubicle or armchair, don't go look, it's all just MiHoDeAL - here is why the bad believers are bad. Now go out there and tell them why they are flawed, and make sure no one thinks unauthorized thoughts.

For example, a statement such as this is fallaciously ad hoc: "Every NDE story you have heard has passed through at least one, sometimes several unreliable, messy, malleable filters/brains/consciousnesses before it enters yours." It explains everything, anything and nothing all at the same time. Such method of deliberating/filtering observations is not scientific/skeptical in the least. It is Lindy Championing.

Our focus should not be on 'Why wrong people are wrong.' Rather it should be 'How do we know what we know? And where are the risks present in imperious forms of knowledge?'

We are not stupid from having reviewed probative observations which are less reliable. We are stupid from having obsessed over reliable claims which are not probative.

________________________

Another aspect of this is that Kahneman is a psychologist.... We as at-risk stakeholders bear a problem in that - psychology bears little mechanism to falsify the work of psychologists. This is why they tend to speak with more appeal to authority than other branches of science. They are like two-year-out-of-school PhD's - their thoughts are infallible, because they are a PhD. Fake versions of skepticism which serve to catalyze conflict between layman and science, tend to artificially bolster the need for their books and input.

1. Psychologists rarely perform any form of discovery prosecution or deductive science. They are Lindy Champions, only.​
2. Psychologists are over-represented in the skeptic base (and that should be a warning flag)​
3. Club quality does not work - and inevitably decays to a religious pitch. To wit, our 81 most prominent critical thinkers and rationalists are broken out below:​
Skeptic Analytics 1 yellow.png
 
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#98
If you keep your interest in all this long enough, you will, I suspect, reach the same conclusion that I did many years ago - the 'other side' doesn't play fair.
People on every side of every controversy don't play fair. Unfairness is not concentrated on one side of the NDE controversy. Unfair attacks appear in this thread. Either I'm so obstinate that I appear lazy or I'm so lazy that I appear obstinate. That's called a false choice fallacy.

This was one of the key moments that made me realise that science can, and does play dirty when it doesn't like a conclusion.
Individual scientists can play dirty. They're not superhuman.

When investigating paranormal phenomena it is vital to investigate what is there, not invent something else, such as remembering numbers - however convenient that might be.
People remember numbers routinely. If a nearly dead person experiencing an OBE can remember the shape of strings on a tennis shoe sitting on the ledge of a hospital window but can't remember a zip code displayed on the wall of the surgery, what explains this difference?

From much that I have read, the non-material realm is mental, but greatly different from our realm.
But veridical perceptions reported during NDEs are not greatly different. They involve candy bars and tennis shoes. You may discount the significance of these perceptions in favor of other NDE phenomena, but distinguishing NDEs from more common experiences (like dreaming) is difficult without the veridical perceptions. Hardly anyone denies that ND experiencers experience something, but are they experiencing a disembodied, immaterial soul somehow perceiving sights and sounds in the material world without the benefit of eyes and ears? Do we need an entirely new theory of vision and hearing to explain the experience?
 
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#99
People on every side of every controversy don't play fair. Unfairness is not concentrated on one side of the NDE controversy. Unfair attacks appear in this thread. Either I'm so obstinate that I appear lazy or I'm so lazy that I appear obstinate. That's called a false choice fallacy.


Individual scientists can play dirty. They're not superhuman.


People remember numbers routinely. If a nearly dead person can remember the shape of strings of a tennis shoe sitting on the ledge of a hospital window but can't remember a zip code displayed on the wall of the surgery, what explains this difference?


But veridical perceptions reported during NDEs are not greatly different. They involve candy bars and tennis shoes. If you're discounting the significance of these perceptions in favor of other reported NDE perceptions, that's fine, but distinguishing NDEs from more common experiences (like dreaming) is difficult without the veridical perceptions. Hardly anyone denies that ND experiencers experience something, but are they experiencing an immaterial, disembodied soul somehow perceiving sights and sounds in the material world the benefit of eyes and ears?
Martin,
Now it is you who are making a false equivalency. You are saying that a happenstance noticing and recalling of a tennis shoe is the same as noticing and recalling of a zip code on a hidden card.

I don't expect you to believe me, but I have experienced a number of OBEs. The first couple of times it happened it was spontaneous and I didn't even really know what an OBE was. I'm pretty sure I had never heard of such a thing previously. I can't say for sure because this occurred 35 years ago and my memory is not totally clear about what I had heard or read.

The first OBE scared the living daylights out of me. I thought I had died (of a heart attack even though young and healthy?) and was stuck in limbo due to my lapsed Christianity. I had no conscious control over the experience. The things I saw and felt were totally random (although true of what was in the room), but, in your favor, I did remember them clearly afterward.

It was only after I survived two spontaneous OBEs that I did some research in the library (this was pre-internet) and figured that I was not dying and began to deliberately induce OBEs that I gained enough control to direct the experience and obtain information that could be verified afterward.

Yes, I suppose if there were zip codes hidden in every ICU room that eventually someone having an NDE would see them and report them. I still say that you would then just shoot down that report as law of large numbers, subconscious cues from staff chatter who were discussing the numbers, etc etc ad nauseam.

I am saying you're lazy or obstinate because you are ignoring that NDEs regularly accurately report what was happening during attempts to resuscitate them at a time when materialist ideology says that the brain should not be able to assemble anything, let alone such coherent images. The concepts tossed out by debunkers are all about the brain doing things that brains have never been proven to be able to do. That represents laziness on both accounts - failing to consider the OR/ICU reports or failing to develop an explanation of them that is based on accepted science - and ten failing to admit that accepted does not have an explanation.

Also, because you fail to recognize how easy it is to "digitalize" pictures and images such that statistical probabilities can be derived from the identification. In fact, that is how facial recognition software works. You're stuck on statistics 101. Not impressive.
 
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