Mod+ 251. PATRICIA PEARSON, MAINSTREAM MEDIA JOURNALIST TACKLES SURVIVAL OF CONSCIOUSNESS

#2
What do you make of Patricia's explanation for the willful ignorance of the science media, and in particular what do you make of her idea that one of the main impediments to the acceptance of some of these ideas is the prestige that goes with basically acceptance in the club, so whatever the science club believes, we better go along with or we'll lose that prestige.
I think Patricia is right to a large extent. But I would not call it the science club because the fear comes from the ridicule and persecution that materialist, atheist, pseudo-skeptics use to censor people who have different beliefs. It is really the materialist, atheist, pseudo-skeptic club who are hijacking science to promote their metaphysical beliefs. There are plenty of scientists who believe in paranormal phenomena.
 
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#4
Well done, Alex, really nice interview. Things are changing, I've waited nearly forty years but I really do think the end of critical rationalism/materialism is in sight if a journalist of Patricia's standing can put out a book like this.
I am beginning to agree with this point of view. For a while now I have been asking cynically what is different now that could allow for a paradigm shift that hasn't existed since the beginning of psychical research 150 years ago. But now I see what is different is that there are many independent factors all leading to the same place. There are mediums on TV. Parapsychologists studying psi. Near-death experience research in hospitals, and because of improved medical technology, more people are surviving near-death experiences. And experiencers of all types are reporting their experiences. There is research into intelligent design in cosmology and biology, and mainstream materialist scientists are also running into the limits of materialism in cosmology and biology and are willing to say the old theories are not good enough and I think that is an important sign. There is also quantum mechanics, philosophers studying consciousness, and ufology, plus the internet to facilitate communication. There was a time when you had to listen to late night radio to learn about these subjects. Now you can watch PhD scientists talking about their original research on youtube and click on a link to read their peer-reviewed papers. It is beginning to look like the tipping point to me.
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
Good interview.

I like the idea of looking at the anthropological side of things, as Pearson did. There are definitely some interesting stories out there that, unless we assume the person is lying, are not easily dismissed.

On that note still waiting to hear back from Jack Hunter of Paranthopology. Josephson said he was too busy right now, but to ask again in a few months time.
 
#6
Great interview Alex, this is the quintessential Skeptiko interview :) I would probably use this one as an introduction to the topics and tone of the website to anyone new to these subjects.
@alex.tsakiris You could even take this interview and put it in a special section for newcomers, something along the lines of "New to the website? Listen to this interview to get a feel for how we tackle the subject of consciousness and psi over here" ;)

I enjoyed the the guest very much. I saw Mrs. Pearsons' presentation on TED last year, I think, and I was impressed with her balance and knowledge of the subject. Talk about rational thinking: someone who can deal with the "strange stuff" without overreacting with the usual derision tactics or resorting to the pseudo-skeptic "authorities". Instead she takes the time to the dig the subject and research and forms and informed opinion. (Which is what you'd expect from any journalist!)

I think I'll get her book and maybe give a couple of copies to some skeptic friends :)

cheers
 
#7
Great interview Alex, this is the quintessential Skeptiko interview :) I would probably use this one as an introduction to the topics and tone of the website to anyone new to these subjects.
@alex.tsakiris You could even take this interview and put it in a special section for newcomers, something along the lines of "New to the website? Listen to this interview to get a feel for how we tackle the subject of consciousness and psi over here" ;)

I enjoyed the the guest very much. I saw Mrs. Pearsons' presentation on TED last year, I think, and I was impressed with her balance and knowledge of the subject. Talk about rational thinking: someone who can deal with the "strange stuff" without overreacting with the usual derision tactics or resorting to the pseudo-skeptic "authorities". Instead she takes the time to the dig the subject and research and forms and informed opinion. (Which is what you'd expect from any journalist!)

I think I'll get her book and maybe give a couple of copies to some skeptic friends :)

cheers

Hi Bucky, could you please provide a link to that TED presentation by Mrs Pearson?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Pearson mentioned Crisis Apparitions - There's a Paranthopology article on the subject (pp. 62-67):

A Study of Several Reported Cases of Crisis Apparitions during the American Civil War

What do we make of such accounts? Do we dismiss them outright, or do we allow ghost stories like this, however well documented, to positively impress upon our will to believe in them? Certainly incidents such as this intrigue us and inspire deep thought. Was the alleged sighting of Washington an elaborate hoax used to instill the losing Union regiment with an added sense of drive? Was it some sort of mass hallucination brought about through the confusion and hysteria of the battle? Or was it possibly an objective experience, vouched for by many credible witnesses? When one considers the fact that the story was taken seriously enough to prompt an investigation of the witnesses from within the government, the occurrence gains added weight.
 
#10
Great interview.

Glad to hear her book is selling well, here in the UK at least. I really enjoyed reading it, and her interviews confirm my 'trust' in her. Patricia Pearson is honest and determined, you just know that she won't be fooled either way - she is genuine and I think books on these subjects by her are invaluable in tipping the scales, I look forward to the next one.

Great stuff Patricia and Alex!
 
#11
Well done, Alex, really nice interview. Things are changing, I've waited nearly forty years but I really do think the end of critical rationalism/materialism is in sight if a journalist of Patricia's standing can put out a book like this.
I totally agree!

There are so many people who have had these experiences, and they are tired of being bullied by the "science club", which isn't really about science at all.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#12
I totally agree!

There are so many people who have had these experiences, and they are tired of being bullied by the "science club", which isn't really about science at all.
I think the bullying attitude actually helps ensure the (pseudo)skeptical movement's ultimate demise, seeing as the primary force behind it is aging fanatics battling a religious culture that is also on its way out.

The problem with the "skeptical" movement is a good deal of it seems to rest on a victim mentality - at least once you clear out the ones simply hiding behind a cause to sublimate their life frustrations and insecurities. Because they had a bad experience with religion, or were cheated by fake psychics they believe these experiences trump anyone else's and justifies the vitriol, shaming tactics, and excessive paternalism of their movement.

Consumer protection and secularism don't require one to cling to a delusional and excessive battle against immaterialism, and in truth the latter cause at least is probably hurt by vitriolic skeptics' involvement.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#13
Great job Alex!

But now I see what is different is that there are many independent lines of investigation going on all leading to the same place. There are mediums on TV. Parapsychologists studying psi. Near-death experience research in hospitals, and because of improved medical technology more people are surviving near-death experiences. And experiencers of all types reporting their experiences. There is research into intelligent design in cosmology and biology, and mainstream materialist scientists are also running into the limits of materialism in cosmology and biology and are willing to say the old theories are not good enough and I think that is an important sign. There is also quantum mechanics, philosophers studying consciousness, and ufology, plus the internet to facilitate communication. There was a time when you had to listen to late night radio to learn about these subjects. Now you can watch PhD scientists talking about their original research on youtube. Youtube. It is beginning to look like the tipping point to me.
Good points. And I think the internet is a huge factor.

Just a thought though. I still wonder if it would help "tip the scales" (address some of the blocks) if people, journalists or other writers, like Patricia, writing to the mainstream, would write books specifically addressing the "culture" issue (like what Alex is asking in the quote below), instead of "just" (I don't to minimize the value of this) "presenting the evidence again"?

As a journalist, don’t you have to say, how can this be? How did I not know about this? And how can I talk to these other esteemed academicians, neuroscientists, other people, and they’re just completely, willfully ignorant of just the first round of probing that you do?
 
#14
Just a thought though. I still wonder if it would help "tip the scales" (address some of the blocks) if people, journalists or other writers, like Patricia, writing to the mainstream, would write books specifically addressing the "culture" issue (like what Alex is asking in the quote below), instead of "just" (I don't to minimize the value of this) "presenting the evidence again"?
I would like to see journalists asking questions about why ridicule and persecution is such an integral part of the pseudo-skeptics' tactics. Skeptic Ray Hyman said, "As a whole, parapsychologists are nice, honest people, while the critics are cynical, nasty people." Why is that?
 
#15
Great job Alex!

Good points. And I think the internet is a huge factor.

Just a thought though. I still wonder if it would help "tip the scales" (address some of the blocks) if people, journalists or other writers, like Patricia, writing to the mainstream, would write books specifically addressing the "culture" issue (like what Alex is asking in the quote below), instead of "just" (I don't to minimize the value of this) "presenting the evidence again"?
Yes
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#16
Just a thought though. I still wonder if it would help "tip the scales" (address some of the blocks) if people, journalists or other writers, like Patricia, writing to the mainstream, would write books specifically addressing the "culture" issue (like what Alex is asking in the quote below), instead of "just" (I don't to minimize the value of this) "presenting the evidence again"?
Expanding my thought a bit. Say psychiatry, like Patricia says, is part of the problem. What about a book addressing Psychiatry head on and saying, "Hey, you, Psychiatry, why are you willfully ignoring this evidence? And hey, you, Society, why are you letting Psychiatry get away with this willful ignorance, given this evidence?" Something to grab the attention of Psychiatry, and the larger society, and "force" a response (?).
 
#17
I think the bullying attitude actually helps ensure the (pseudo)skeptical movement's ultimate demise, seeing as the primary force behind it is aging fanatics battling a religious culture that is also on its way out.

The problem with the "skeptical" movement is a good deal of it seems to rest on a victim mentality - at least once you clear out the ones simply hiding behind a cause to sublimate their life frustrations and insecurities. Because they had a bad experience with religion, or were cheated by fake psychics they believe these experiences trump anyone else's and justifies the vitriol, shaming tactics, and excessive paternalism of their movement.

Consumer protection and secularism don't require one to cling to a delusional and excessive battle against immaterialism, and in truth the latter cause at least is probably hurt by vitriolic skeptics' involvement.
I think this feeds into the fact that people are losing respect for the value of science, not because science is a bad thing, but because some people who call themselves scientists are being either willfully blind or terribly dishonest. People know when they are being lied to. So when "science" tries to convince them that they are either dumb, deluded or dishonest about these very profound and intensely personal experiences... they wonder deep down if "science" can be trusted anymore.
 
#18
Expanding my thought a bit. Say psychiatry, like Patricia says, is part of the problem. What about a book addressing Psychiatry head on and saying, "Hey, you, Psychiatry, why are you willfully ignoring this evidence? And hey, you, Society, why are you letting Psychiatry get away with this willful ignorance, given this evidence?" Something to grab the attention of Psychiatry, and the larger society, and "force" a response (?).
Maybe it's enough that more and more people are having NDEs and coming forward about them. I think it was a bid deal that Eben Alexander came forward because that makes it easier for others to do the same. I was at a party recently in which someone started talking about his recently deceased mother, how he was convinced she was still with him and his family. No one at that party thought he was a nut. He's a well educated man, with a loving family, who is very successful at what he does for a living. And everyone at that party seemed to have similar experiences to share. We all agreed that you have to be careful who you tell this stuff to, because people might think you are nuts. But everyone had a story. Every last one of us. This guy just happened to be the one who broke the ice. It was an amazing party.
 

Ian Gordon

Ninshub
Member
#19
Right this minute, I'm just taking a look at my local paper, and what do I see but an article on the subject of how hallucinations happen regularly in normal people (not just in schizophrenics). What does the psychiatrist interviewed include in there? "Half of widows or widowers manifest hallucinations concerning their deceased partner, especially in the 10 years following the death. Research show this is especially the case if the marriage was long..." etc. I wish I could be more optimistic.

It's gonna take a lot of Eben's and Mary Neal's. ;) Again, hopefully, I'll be proven wrong!
 
#20
I think this feeds into the fact that people are losing respect for the value of science, not because science is a bad thing, but because some people who call themselves scientists are being either willfully blind or terribly dishonest. People know when they are being lied to. So when "science" tries to convince them that they are either dumb, deluded or dishonest about these very profound and intensely personal experiences... they wonder deep down if "science" can be trusted anymore.
People are more likely to believe in ESP if they are told that it has been disproven by scientists.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2013/05/study-suggests-more-people-willing-to.html
An article on alternet.org published in 2010 discusses a scientific study that showed people are more likely to believe in ESP if they are told that it has been disproven by scientists.
...
Why would people be so distrustful of science? There are good reasons for them to be:

Most published scientific research findings are false.

Many of the most important scientific discoveries, including some that eventually were awarded Nobel prizes, were initially ridiculed by scientists.

Many materialist pseudo-skeptics make misleading claims denying ESP and they incorrectly say that their claims are backed by science. This might create suspicion that science is not reliable.
 
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