Esp trick

#2
I don't have time to watch the video but magicians cannot do what psychics do UNDER THE SAME CONDITIONS PSYCHICS DO THEM.

The excerpts below are from the following web page (which has links to references and sources):
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/skeptical_fallacies#skeptical_fallacies_magic

The following quote is from "Is There an Afterlife" by David Fontana
Will Goldston, one of Europe's leading professional magicians, author of 40 works on sleight of hand, and founder of the Magicians' Club of London, testified in a national newspaper (the Daily Sketch) that 'I am convinced that what I saw [at a Rudi Schneider séance organized by Harry Price] was not trickery. No group of my fellow- magicians could have produced those effects under such conditions.' Goldston also spoke up for independent voice medium Hazel Ridley and for Helen Duncan (who may have been another who used mixed mediumship) and was sufficiently impressed by physical phenomena actually to become a spiritualist. Both David Abbott and Howard Thurston, contemporaries of Houdini and two of America's best-known magicians, confessed their conviction in the genuineness of physical phenomena (like Goldston, Thurston also became a spiritualist).
...

The following quote is from "Magicians Who Endorsed Psychic Phenomena" By George P. Hansen
http://www.tricksterbook.com/ArticlesOnline/MagWhoEndors.htm

Samuel Bellachini was the Court Conjuror for Emperor William I at Berlin. Bellachini investigated the controversial American medium Henry Slade. The sittings were not only held in darkness, but some were in full daylight. Bellachini was convinced that the results were not due to trickery.

The famous historical medium, Eusapia Palladino, readily admitted herself that she used trickery when she could. Skeptics have often thus dismissed positive reports of her phenomena. But no less than Howard Thurston [a well known magician] believed in some of her results and said so in the New York Times. Thurston was nevertheless well aware of her trickery.
...

According to Chapter 8 Scole Experiment proves the afterlife of A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife by Victor Zammit, during the Scole Experiments, "James Webster, a professional stage-magician, ... who has more than fifty years experience in psychic research ... [on] three occasions he attended sittings with the Scole group and published reports. His conclusion was clearly set out in a recent letter to the English newspaper, Psychic World (June 2001):"
I discovered no signs of trickery, and in my opinion such conjuring tricks were not possible, for the type of phenomena witnessed, under the conditions applied….
...
The following excerpt from the zerdinisworld.com article on the medium Elizabeth Blake states that "Two expert conjurers David P. Abbot and E. A. Parsons" validated the mediumship of Elizabeth Blake.
Two expert conjurers, David P. Abbott of the ASPR and E. A. Parsons, investigated Blake in 1906 and became convinced of the identity of the spirit communicators. Blake used a 2-foot long double trumpet; putting the small end to her ear and the larger one at that of the sitter, it appeared as if the voices came from her ear. If she covered the small end with her palm, the result was the same. The voices grew from whispers to such loudness that occasionally they were heard at a distance of 100 feet.
The zerdinisworld.com article on medium Alec Harris quotes from The Mediumship of Alec Harris By Isa Gray to show that magician A.G. Fletcher-Desborough was unable to explain Harris' phenomena by means of tricks.
A.G. Fletcher-Desborough described his “unique” experience in Liverpool Evening Express.
I examined the cabinet which he used. Having been on the stage as an illusionist and magician, I knew exactly where to look for such things as panel and floor escapes, and ceiling and wall slides.
I was satisfied nothing could make an exit or an entrance in any way. There was no chance for deception."

A short stout man materialised from the cabinet, walked straight to him and mumbled the sitter’s name, Bertie. “It was my father and, in his mumbling way of speaking, gave my family pet name used by my parents. No one but the family knew it.
"The Geller Papers" edited by Charles Panati:
http://www.uri-geller.com/books/geller-papers/gpap.htm
includes articles by magicians who endorsed Uri Geller's psychic abilities.
The "Official Report: Society Of American Magicians, Assembly 30, Atlanta Chapter" by Artur Zorka, Chairman of The Occult Investigations Committee says:
... it is the unanimous finding of this committee that although we, as magicians, can duplicate each of these test results using methods known by us, under the proper conditions . . . there is no way, based on our present collective knowledge, that any method of trickery could have been used to produce these effects under the conditions to which Uri Geller was subjected.
http://www.uri-geller.com/books/geller-papers/g14.htm
Leo Leslie, a Danish magician wrote in his book "Uri Geller":

The judgment of all of us who were present for what occurred was one of total endorsement of Geller's paranormal claims: both his ability to bend metal and his talent for receiving telepathic signals.
http://www.uri-geller.com/books/geller-papers/g23.htm
 
#3
Regardless of ESP, how can a magic trick disprove anything?

Suppose I couldn't swim, but I created an illusion to make it look like I was swimming. When I revealed that it was a trick, would it be right to say that I had disproved swimming? And then to say that all who have ever claimed to swim are frauds?
 
#4
Funny you should mention that there is lol I used it when I was younger and wasn't a strong swimmer in which you put your hands on the floor of the pool/ocean and hold your body up whilst kicking your legs and crawling forwards making it seem as though you are swimming. Now I'm gonna start a one million dollar challenge for someone to prove to me that swimming is not woo. Excuse me, gonna go debunk Tom Daley as a charlatan
 
#5
Regardless of ESP, how can a magic trick disprove anything?

Suppose I couldn't swim, but I created an illusion to make it look like I was swimming. When I revealed that it was a trick, would it be right to say that I had disproved swimming? And then to say that all who have ever claimed to swim are frauds?
I agree on the whole. However, what if you claimed that you could walk on water...? Would it be useful if someone else recreated that as an illusion?

Isn't the point that ESP 'looks' magical to begin with?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
Regardless of ESP, how can a magic trick disprove anything?

Suppose I couldn't swim, but I created an illusion to make it look like I was swimming. When I revealed that it was a trick, would it be right to say that I had disproved swimming? And then to say that all who have ever claimed to swim are frauds?
I think a lot of this comes down to what people think of as implausible. Going to back to Weisman's quote, that remote viewing is already proven but ECREE, it's not clear that many people in the world would think remote viewing was necessarily revolutionary or extraordinary.

For some the idea that consciousness can come from non-conscious matter would be the more implausible claim.
 
#7
I agree on the whole. However, what if you claimed that you could walk on water...? Would it be useful if someone else recreated that as an illusion?

Isn't the point that ESP 'looks' magical to begin with?
Sure, I don't mean to say it is useless to show that there alternate ways to do things. My only issue was with the idea that one could dismiss a claim (or call it disproved) just by creating an illusion that simulates the effect. I intentionally used a very basic skill (swimming) to demonstrate how that logic doesn't work. Any claim (ESP, water-walking, etc) would need to be evaluated on its own merits, regardless of the illusion.
 
#8
I agree on the whole. However, what if you claimed that you could walk on water...? Would it be useful if someone else recreated that as an illusion?
There is no difference at the conceptual level between disproving swimming and disproving water walking. The only thing that makes a debunk attempt a failure is when people accept the absurdity of the attempt, which is based on a bias that says you know people can swim. Biases are at work to remind one that a claim seems more silly than the other, perhaps because you have swam in the past but are not willing to re-run the test right now to verify that. If someone were to believe in water walking and swimming, they might see the debunking attempt to be just as silly as someone trying to prove swimming didn't exist.

If I say that x = 3 + 1 and you say that x = 6 - 2, the perceived result may be that x = 4 however this does not prove the means I used to reach 4 involved a 6. All you have done in that situation is prove that there is another way of creating a 4.

With common aphorisms like "correlation != causation" and "you can't prove a negative" being tossed around in other contexts, it amazes me that so many people are keen on passing around debunking attempts for anything. Debunking is explicitly trying to prove a negative, and saying that if two results correlate then they must have been caused by the staged event.
 
#9
There is no difference at the conceptual level between disproving swimming and disproving water walking. The only thing that makes a debunk attempt a failure is when people accept the absurdity of the attempt, which is based on a bias that says you know people can swim. Biases are at work to remind one that a claim seems more silly than the other, perhaps because you have swam in the past but are not willing to re-run the test right now to verify that. If someone were to believe in water walking and swimming, they might see the debunking attempt to be just as silly as someone trying to prove swimming didn't exist.

If I say that x = 3 + 1 and you say that x = 6 - 2, the perceived result may be that x = 4 however this does not prove the means I used to reach 4 involved a 6. All you have done in that situation is prove that there is another way of creating a 4.

With common aphorisms like "correlation != causation" and "you can't prove a negative" being tossed around in other contexts, it amazes me that so many people are keen on passing around debunking attempts for anything. Debunking is explicitly trying to prove a negative, and saying that if two results correlate then they must have been caused by the staged event.
I get that... but it's the 'magicness' of esp and walking on water that makes us gasp and enjoy the trick. Nobody gasps at somebody swimming and there is the difference.

I guess it comes down, at least in part, to the absence of a mechanism. If we are to postulate esp without a mechanism, only for a magician to come along and show us a mechanism to acheive the same effect, can we be forgiven for invoking friar William and his blade.
 
#11
Reproducing an alleged psi effect by ordinary means does not disprove psi, but it does negate the claim "it could only be psi".

Pat
 
#13
Here's the crux of the question. Why consider in the first place psi?
I think probably because of the commonality of experiences which seem to challenge ordinary explanations. Things like dreaming about your Uncle, then finding out he was involved in an accident, or thinking about a friend just before they call you on the phone.

Then there are the more dramatic but less common claims, like macro PK. Personally, I can't take such anecdotes as being evidential, but neither can I dismiss them out of hand.

Finally, there's the results obtained by parapsychologists. There are knowledgeable people on both sides of the divide concerning the validity of those results, but again I can't simply dismiss them.

Oh, and also, it's fun. :)

Pat
 
#16
I think probably because of the commonality of experiences which seem to challenge ordinary explanations. Things like dreaming about your Uncle, then finding out he was involved in an accident, or thinking about a friend just before they call you on the phone.

Then there are the more dramatic but less common claims, like macro PK. Personally, I can't take such anecdotes as being evidential, but neither can I dismiss them out of hand.

Finally, there's the results obtained by parapsychologists. There are knowledgeable people on both sides of the divide concerning the validity of those results, but again I can't simply dismiss them.

Oh, and also, it's fun. :)

Pat
The best answer among laypeople of them all you gave is that it's fun. The people I wonder about are folks like k9. I read her reply and I constantly wonder why they think that? She and folks like her see only one possibility.
 
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#18
She and folks like her see only one possibility.
Is this a joke? This is the most ironic thing you have ever said. Or can you really not see you are perfectly describing yourself? Jung would call this an example of projecting your shadow onto others.

I swear, I could print out all of your posts and build a monument dedicated to closed-mindedness - You are the pillar of faith in materialism - the avatar of model-theistic thinking - the patron saint of small-mindedness. There is no one on this forum who even comes close. You show as much blind faith as any fundamentalist religious believer I know.

After 900+ posts, you still speak as if you just found this forum and have no idea what it's about. I know you read the words, but I can't see any evidence that you think about any of them. Every single post you make is an affirmation of your prior beliefs. Most of us are here to learn and explore ideas. If you aren't into that, maybe this isn't the forum for you. Fundamentalism doesn't go over very well here.

I have seriously (no really, seriously) wondered if your account is meant as some type of satire to make fun of skeptics. I am still not sure that it isn't.

(For some ungodly reason, I clicked the button to "view ignored content" - a decision I regret.)
 
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