NDE and the race problem: a retrospective, and some new thoughts

#61
My guess might be that blacks tend to have at least folk memories of beliefs such as Voodoo, that they want to suppress. Could it be that NDE's scare them in some way, and they suppress them.

I think people here have contributed enough examples to indicate that it is only a question of relative frequency, and that could easily be explained by cultural differences.

BTW, is anyone here black, and can they comment?

David
David, the "question of relative frequency" is precisely THE question...I don't see an "only" about that. The difference in relative frequency is so large in visible reports that there has to be a powerful explanation. What is that explanation, and more importantly, what research can and should be done to discover what it is? This is my question. In the fullness of time, I believe that a professional academic interested in NDE experiences, but coming from an AA background, is bound to ask these questions for her/himself.
 
#62
David, the "question of relative frequency" is precisely THE question...I don't see an "only" about that. The difference in relative frequency is so large in visible reports that there has to be a powerful explanation. What is that explanation, and more importantly, what research can and should be done to discover what it is? This is my question. In the fullness of time, I believe that a professional academic interested in NDE experiences, but coming from an AA background, is bound to ask these questions for her/himself.
Well I'd certainly like to see more research on NDE's and OBE's, but I think I'd put that particular research topic lower down the list, because I think the ultimate answer will be mundane - something to do with culture. I mean when I was young, NDE's were never ever mentioned - I think we too must have suppressed the phenomenon. NDE's don't fit too well with religion, and I would guess that is the root of the difference.

I am interested that you have begun to take on board the arguments you have read here, and are more positively disposed to ψ phenomena and a non-physical mind than you used to be. Has anything in particular changed your point of view?

David
 
#63
Well I'd certainly like to see more research on NDE's and OBE's, but I think I'd put that particular research topic lower down the list, because I think the ultimate answer will be mundane - something to do with culture. I mean when I was young, NDE's were never ever mentioned - I think we too must have suppressed the phenomenon. NDE's don't fit too well with religion, and I would guess that is the root of the difference.

I am interested that you have begun to take on board the arguments you have read here, and are more positively disposed to ψ phenomena and a non-physical mind than you used to be. Has anything in particular changed your point of view?

David
Yes, there are a number of things, including a personal feeling that my time is better spent in this life exploring possibilities than trying to shut ideas down. Indeed, that's a problem I start to have with "skepticism" broadly defined...it's not a mental pattern likely to lead to new discovery. I still have that desire to probe a question from all sides, in a sometimes neurotic, intuitive sense when something isn't quite right (this thread for instance) but there is now a difference in emphasis.

I also think it is very important that no one particular lobby group ("skeptics" for instance) be allowed to monopolize these debates, because once more that is a situation likely to suppress discovery rather than open up the possibility of it. I think we stand near the threshold of some new range of discoveries that is subtle in some way...it's not just "more of the same" and some open-ness about the world and nature may be required to get there. Science has largely been based on the assumption that we can ignore agency in nature, for example. It has largely been based on the idea that the world is neutrally "examinable," that even such apparently straightforward concepts like "energy" are "objective" and "neutrally examinable", that broadly speaking simple realism prevails, and so on. All of these may turn out to be approximations that have been useful enough for past utilitarian purposes, but are not much useful for future progress.
 
#64
Yes, there are a number of things, including a personal feeling that my time is better spent in this life exploring possibilities than trying to shut ideas down. Indeed, that's a problem I start to have with "skepticism" broadly defined...it's not a mental pattern likely to lead to new discovery. I still have that desire to probe a question from all sides, in a sometimes neurotic, intuitive sense when something isn't quite right (this thread for instance) but there is now a difference in emphasis.
Well I have a lot of sympathy about that - sceptics do seem to want to shut down ideas. Perhaps the idea of distinguishing between blacks and whites (plus other races) in this context seems racist, and that makes us uncomfortable with it. So suppose you have indeed found a genuine distinction, what would you want to do with it?

I also remember how Hans Eysenck stirred up a furore by claiming that blacks had on average a few percent lower IQ than whites. I remember thinking at the time that this wasn't a very useful line of research. After all individuals of both communities had IQ's that fell on a bell curve, so an employer (say) would do far better to measure the actual IQ of a potential employer, than to make use of Eysenck's research. Also, just as in this case, there were loads of cultural factors that couldn't really be corrected for.

Personally, I suspect many conscious creatures have their own NDE's. Remember the discussion about the burst of activity in rats' brains about a minute after their heads were cut off. Obviously that burst could represent the moment when the NDE starts - when the mind breaks free of the brain (permanently in the case of these unfortunate rats, temporarily in the case of NDE experiencers).
I also think it is very important that no one particular lobby group ("skeptics" for instance) be allowed to monopolize these debates, because once more that is a situation likely to suppress discovery rather than open up the possibility of it. I think we stand near the threshold of some new range of discoveries that is subtle in some way...it's not just "more of the same" and some open-ness about the world and nature may be required to get there. Science has largely been based on the assumption that we can ignore agency in nature, for example. It has largely been based on the idea that the world is neutrally "examinable," that even such apparently straightforward concepts like "energy" are "objective" and "neutrally examinable", that broadly speaking simple realism prevails, and so on. All of these may turn out to be approximations that have been useful enough for past utilitarian purposes, but are not much useful for future progress.
Exactly - that is one way of saying that "Science is wrong about almost everything"!

David
 
#65
David, I think that science is very good at what it does, and most especially at what it *has done* over the last few hundred years. So I wouldn't go as far as to say that it is wrong about almost everything. But I would say that it habitually deploys a particular abstraction of nature, an abstraction that is true only up to a given point. For the most part, I think, up to that threshold where phenomena of life and consciousness clearly begin. However, even that threshold, is, I think an artifact of the same abstraction, by which I mean science assumes that the rest of nature is "not alive" so that it can work with it according to approximations that have served it well enough in recent times, but which amount, imo, to "simple cases" at the end of the day. Imo, "life" is what the universe is doing. And a future way of relating to the cosmos is likely to show this forth.

This is where I differ with science, in that I believe that its task is almost done. The abstraction it deployed is more or less mined out, I think. There may be one or two nuggets left here and there, but overall I think the big diamonds possible to hack from bare rock under this abstraction were all brought out long ago.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#66
This is where I differ with science, in that I believe that its task is almost done. The abstraction it deployed is more or less mined out, I think. There may be one or two nuggets left here and there, but overall I think the big diamonds possible to hack from bare rock under this abstraction were all brought out long ago.
Wow. This "future way of relating" is so unscientific that it can't be investigated by science? I mean, all we've got in science is a few common sense assumptions. What is so diabolical about this new way of relating that those assumptions won't work? And if they don't work, why would you trust that the new way of relating tells us things that are true?

~~ Paul
 
#67
Wow. This "future way of relating" is so unscientific that it can't be investigated by science? I mean, all we've got in science is a few common sense assumptions. What is so diabolical about this new way of relating that those assumptions won't work? And if they don't work, why would you trust that the new way of relating tells us things that are true?

~~ Paul
Where did I say anything was "diabolical" Paul? But even if you look back at the history of thought, the notion that any approach just "arrives" and then stays in place forever just doesn't describe the situation. Every era has its version of the claim that "we are right." Our present version is the notion that all future grasping will consist of as-yet-unfulfilled "science."
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#68
Where did I say anything was "diabolical" Paul? But even if you look back at the history of thought, the notion that any approach just "arrives" and then stays in place forever just doesn't describe the situation. Every era has its version of the claim that "we are right." Our present version is the notion that all future grasping will consist of as-yet-unfulfilled "science."
It must be diabolical if science can't accommodate it. But perhaps you didn't mean to suggest that science can't deal with it. Yet you said "... its task is almost done" and "... may be one or two nuggets left here and there."

Do you have a proposal for the post-scientific investigation of reality? Looking at it another way, do you have a list of aspects of science that are causing problems?

~~ Paul
 
#69
Paul, I already mentioned above certain aspects by which I think the scientific abstraction of nature will in future prove unproductive. I certainly don't agree with your assessment that something is "diabolical" if science can't accommodate it. I do not know what the post-scientific mode will be, or I would already be doing it. But I am inclined to believe that private and shared experiences will feature in much stronger terms than they do now. Perhaps, even, what can be known with relative "certainty," at least in a "scientific mode" is a very limited subset of the world.
 
#70
Perhaps, even, what can be known with relative "certainty," at least in a "scientific mode" is a very limited subset of the world.
Perhaps.

And perhaps I should clarify my stance a bit regarding your OP. You do bring up a valid question, and I too would be interested in reading about any research done into clarifying this seeming disparity. However, I have a "hunch", (very scientific indeed) that this disparity would reveal itself to be an artifact of the points I made previously.

I am not a research scientist, and by no means have the means nor desire to persue such research myself. I do think that sometimes the answers really do come down to the simplest of explanations. But, I do not believe Occams Razor applies every time.

Science as a method has served us well. I think it can continue to do so well into the future. What I think must change is the ideas and biases science has boxed itself into. Ideas and biases about what science is and is not, and what it is and is not capable of.

Science in and of itself has never inherently been a methodology that has limits to what in nature it can elucidate. Nor does it limit how this can be done. It is humans that place these limitations. Not the method itself.

This is the very issue that led me down this path from a fairly serious materialist/atheist. The moment I realized that open inquiry in science had died, giving way to dogmatism, was the moment I started to question many of the things I had taken at face value.

Science can continue to give us the answers we seek, but how we view science, how we apply science needs to change.
 
#71
Perhaps.

And perhaps I should clarify my stance a bit regarding your OP. You do bring up a valid question, and I too would be interested in reading about any research done into clarifying this seeming disparity. However, I have a "hunch", (very scientific indeed) that this disparity would reveal itself to be an artifact of the points I made previously.
And you might be right. In my view *(I have a different hunch) the answer is elsewhere. But I am certainly up for the proper research being done. Like you, I do not have the time / connection / resources to do such studies.

This is the very issue that led me down this path from a fairly serious materialist/atheist. The moment I realized that open inquiry in science had died, giving way to dogmatism, was the moment I started to question many of the things I had taken at face value.

Science can continue to give us the answers we seek, but how we view science, how we apply science needs to change.
I think that's a tad romantic, to be honest. No offense intended. A sort of "idealized" version of what science is supposed to be, that in fact is rarely if ever what it actually is in practice. There are certain core assumptions fastened hard to the scientific way of looking at the world, inherited from the time of Descartes. While they may not formally be part of scientific methodology, they are fellow travellers by deeply ingrained and habitual association. For example:

1) There exists a value-neutral "objective world" out there.
2) When one group observes "objective phenomena," this is the same basic situation as when another group observes them, if they are "trained" in the right way.
3) The value-neutral world is open to inspection and does not "push back" with its own agency. In other words, it is inanimate.
4) Quantity and measurement are the primary ways to glean truth.
5) Mind and consciousness are secondary to the value-neutral objective world and do not have authentic agency.
Etc.

There are others. But this list is a good starter for ten of some of the cryptic assumptions hidden inside scientific methodology (as actually executed). In reality, not a single one of those assumptions is secure.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#72
Paul, I already mentioned above certain aspects by which I think the scientific abstraction of nature will in future prove unproductive. I certainly don't agree with your assessment that something is "diabolical" if science can't accommodate it. I do not know what the post-scientific mode will be, or I would already be doing it. But I am inclined to believe that private and shared experiences will feature in much stronger terms than they do now. Perhaps, even, what can be known with relative "certainty," at least in a "scientific mode" is a very limited subset of the world.
I'm sure you are right about private and shared experiences, but I see no reason why we won't learn how to study those objectively. And possibly inter-subjectively, by allowing me to experience your experiences. I'm not as pessimistic about the range of the "scientific mode," and I'm probably much less optimistic about the certainty of knowledge gained without some form of objective verification.

Onward! Let's see where we go.

~~ Paul
 
#73
And you might be right. In my view *(I have a different hunch) the answer is elsewhere. But I am certainly up for the proper research being done. Like you, I do not have the time / connection / resources to do such studies.



I think that's a tad romantic, to be honest. No offense intended. A sort of "idealized" version of what science is supposed to be, that in fact is rarely if ever what it actually is in practice. There are certain core assumptions fastened hard to the scientific way of looking at the world, inherited from the time of Descartes. While they may not formally be part of scientific methodology, they are fellow travellers by deeply ingrained and habitual association. For example:

1) There exists a value-neutral "objective world" out there.
2) When one group observes "objective phenomena," this is the same basic situation as when another group observes them, if they are "trained" in the right way.
3) The value-neutral world is open to inspection and does not "push back" with its own agency. In other words, it is inanimate.
4) Quantity and measurement are the primary ways to glean truth.
5) Mind and consciousness are secondary to the value-neutral objective world and do not have authentic agency.
Etc.

There are others. But this list is a good starter for ten of some of the cryptic assumptions hidden inside scientific methodology (as actually executed). In reality, not a single one of those assumptions is secure.
I totally agree, it is a romantic notion. That's why I don't necessarily believe humans, at this point in physical time anyway, will get close to what the truth is about reality any time soon.

I am a believer that mind/consciousness is primary, and everything else stems from that.
 
#74
I'm sure you are right about private and shared experiences, but I see no reason why we won't learn how to study those objectively. And possibly inter-subjectively, by allowing me to experience your experiences. I'm not as pessimistic about the range of the "scientific mode," and I'm probably much less optimistic about the certainty of knowledge gained without some form of objective verification.

Onward! Let's see where we go.

~~ Paul
I think we have already learned to study them 'objectively' but this does not yield fundamental progress or satisfactory conclusions, in my opinion because it is too skinny an abstraction for what the world is. What is "objectifiable", for instance, about near death experiences or reincarnation memories in children, is not sufficient in any sense to derive secure conclusions for what these things are.
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#75
What is "objectifiable", for instance, about near death experiences or reincarnation memories in children, is not sufficient in any sense to derive secure conclusions for what these things are.
But certainly we agree that we cannot derive secure conclusions from subjective considerations. The subjective aspect of NDEs is just a matter of interpretation. We need objective evidence that people can in fact leave their bodies and even stronger objective evidence that they are seeing an afterlife realm. Otherwise what stops us from simply deciding that something special is going on?

As far as reincarnation memories are concerned, I think it's all wishful thinking and the inability to calculate probabilities.

Of course, I could be wrong.

~~ Paul
 
#76
But certainly we agree that we cannot derive secure conclusions from subjective considerations. The subjective aspect of NDEs is just a matter of interpretation. We need objective evidence that people can in fact leave their bodies and even stronger objective evidence that they are seeing an afterlife realm. Otherwise what stops us from simply deciding that something special is going on?

As far as reincarnation memories are concerned, I think it's all wishful thinking and the inability to calculate probabilities.

Of course, I could be wrong.

~~ Paul
One of the problems is that genuine possibilities don't often or really present themselves (even in thinking) until we are prepared to think of a situation in a different way. It seems to you that reincarnation memories are about "calculating probabilities" because this is a way you are used to thinking about complex physical problems, where the physical abstraction is (broadly speaking) workable. Again, I don't intend this as a criticism, but I recognize in you a tendency I have seen in myself over the years of my life (thus far) and can spot its colors when I see it.

You say that "we cannot derive secure conclusions from subjective considerations" which is true of course up to a point, but not a point the experiencer might be too troubled with, and in some cases at least I can see the issue. To take a simple case, if I knew I was in pain, I *couldn't care less* what some physician telling me that it is "physically impossible" for me to be in pain, because the nerves were severed in the accident (or whatever) has to say about the matter. It's the idea that truth is only truth if it is "objectifiable" that somehow lurks near the core of the problem.

I'll give a practical example, and I'd be interested in hearing how you think "science" as currently practiced can progress this particular situation any further. There are far too many honest human tales of time-slip like "ghostly phenomena" in certain locations. Assuming these to be a real signal of a phenomenon that we do not understand (i.e. not reducible to one or another 'Shermerism') how do you propose that we use the present model of objective science...i.e. 'quantity and measurement'...to elucidate that phenomenon? It has already been tried. Indeed, parapsychologists following an "ologist" model in the hope that it would bear fruit for them...have already, for decades, been drifting in and out of haunted houses with infrasound monitoring equipment, static electricity guages, geiger counters, thermistors. Even given an IDEAL circumstance...what, in your opinion, do you imagine that these people would stumble upon?

Now I *do* think, for the reason given above, that there is indeed a sense in which the "environment" is capable of retaining and holding, and in some cases of expressing forth again (or as people are fond of phrasing it "playing back") an incident that at one time occurred at that location, hundreds, and in a few cases, thousands of years ago, especially emotionally laden or trauma laden events. Yes...I think there is enough prima facie evidence to suggest, strongly, that there is a feature of "the environment" here that we do not understand yet. When it does this, it (and possibly we ourselves in the mix) are "doing something" that we do not yet understand to call forth these phenomena. I also believe it is a great shame that they are "Shermerized" as the default reponse, because I suspect that lurking within them somewhere are real clues to major things we do not understand...the nature of consciousness, the nature of time, for instance, just to take two of the most pressing. Also, the nature of memory, the nature of agency, the nature of story...I could go on.

Now my problem is that I view coming into this situation with a set of thermistors and a Geiger counter to be roughly equivalent to opening up Shakespeare's Hamlet and trying to decode its meaning with a general practitioner's reflex hammer. How is that going to work?

In short, I don't think that our present conception of "environment" is large enough, subtle enough, or ontically appropriate to the task of finding out what this is, and that the solution is not "more sensitive thermistors" shipped to the site. Indeed, that's actually just likely to make our ignorance worse rather than alleviating it. How can it be elucidated "objectively" if such things as belief and agency and narrativity are part of the actual phenomenon itself? These things are freighted with what scientific method considers to be "subjectivity" which it has always assumed to be ontically derivative and which it has no tools for. How can this same "method" investigate a subjectivity that has authentic agency in some sense, when the "method" itself would need to entirely change the leopard of its spots for that to *even* be a doable task?
 
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#77
Kai. I may have missed it as I don't read the forum religiously--when did your mind change on the nature of "psi" events? Can you explain what brought the change about?
 

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos

Nap, interrupted.
Member
#78
You say that "we cannot derive secure conclusions from subjective considerations" which is true of course up to a point, but not a point the experiencer might be too troubled with, and in some cases at least I can see the issue. To take a simple case, if I knew I was in pain, I *couldn't care less* what some physician telling me that it is "physically impossible" for me to be in pain, because the nerves were severed in the accident (or whatever) has to say about the matter. It's the idea that truth is only truth if it is "objectifiable" that somehow lurks near the core of the problem.
I would certainly care to some degree. I might learn that it is some sort of phantom pain, which is useful to know. I agree that if I'm having the sensation of pain, I don't want someone to tell me I'm not actually experiencing pain, but I doubt anyone would say that.

I'll give a practical example, and I'd be interested in hearing how you think "science" as currently practiced can progress this particular situation any further. There are far too many honest human tales of time-slip like "ghostly phenomena" in certain locations. Assuming these to be a real signal of a phenomenon that we do not understand (i.e. not reducible to one or another 'Shermerism') how do you propose that we use the present model of objective science...i.e. 'quantity and measurement'...to elucidate that phenomenon? It has already been tried. Indeed, parapsychologists following an "ologist" model in the hope that it would bear fruit for them...have already, for decades, been drifting in and out of haunted houses with infrasound monitoring equipment, static electricity guages, geiger counters, thermistors. Even given an IDEAL circumstance...what, in your opinion, do you imagine that these people would stumble upon?
I think time-slip phenomena are separate from ghostly phenomena. For the latter, I expect we will learn that we are abusing the equipment. I think we might also learn more about pareidolia. If ghosts are real, then eventually we may discover a way to detect them more reliably. But if we don't, I'm not sure why we should jump to any conclusions about actual ghosts.

As for time-slip phenomena, I think there is some fascinating physiology/psychology waiting to be discovered. Some will be people misinterpreting their experiences, others will be fraud. If time slips can actually occur, I think that physicists will eventually have an explanation.

Now I *do* think, for the reason given above, that there is indeed a sense in which the "environment" is capable of retaining and holding, and in some cases of expressing forth again (or as people are fond of phrasing it "playing back") an incident that at one time occurred at that location, hundreds, and in a few cases, thousands of years ago, especially emotionally laden or trauma laden events. Yes...I think there is enough prima facie evidence to suggest, strongly, that there is a feature of "the environment" here that we do not understand yet. When it does this, it (and possibly we ourselves in the mix) are "doing something" that we do not yet understand to call forth these phenomena. I also believe it is a great shame that they are "Shermerized" as the default reponse, because I suspect that lurking within them somewhere are real clues to major things we do not understand...the nature of consciousness, the nature of time, for instance, just to take two of the most pressing. Also, the nature of memory, the nature of agency, the nature of story...I could go on.
Absolutely fine. But I'm not sure why you think science has somehow innoculated itself against investigating this. Take morphic resonance. If there is something to it, doesn't there need to be a morphic field? Why can't science investigate the field, its composition, it's laws, and so forth? What could there be about the field that has an effect on the world yet is walled off somehow from objective analysis?

Now my problem is that I view coming into this situation with a set of thermistors and a Geiger counter to be roughly equivalent to opening up Shakespeare's Hamlet and trying to decode its meaning with a general practitioner's reflex hammer. How is that going to work?
If I can see the ghost, then so can a detector. If I can see the ghost but no detector ever manages to, then why would I conclude anything other than delusion? The appropriate response, however, if you are convinced about ghosts, is to suggest that physicists need new kinds of detectors.

In short, I don't think that our present conception of "environment" is large enough, subtle enough, or ontically appropriate to the task of finding out what this is, and that the solution is not "more sensitive thermistors" shipped to the site. Indeed, that's actually just likely to make our ignorance worse rather than alleviating it. How can it be elucidated "objectively" if such things as belief and agency and narrativity are part of the actual phenomenon itself? These things are freighted with what scientific method considers to be "subjectivity" which it has always assumed to be ontically derivative and which it has no tools for. How can this same "method" investigate a subjectivity that has authentic agency in some sense, when the "method" itself would need to entirely change the leopard of its spots for that to *even* be a doable task?
I disagree that science has no tools for subjectivity. And I certainly don't see why it can't have tools even in principle.

It is certainly possible that scientists don't yet know how to investigate these things. It is remotely possible that there is no way for them to do it. But I don't think it's yet time to throw in the towel. I would beware of deciding that it is time to throw in the towel for the reason that I like the idea of the existence of something but science hasn't yet found it.

~~ Paul
 
#79
I would certainly care to some degree. I might learn that it is some sort of phantom pain, which is useful to know. I agree that if I'm having the sensation of pain, I don't want someone to tell me I'm not actually experiencing pain, but I doubt anyone would say that.
It's a toy example for illustrative purposes. But I think there have been enough instances in medical history of people being told "they can't possible have (something)" that it is worth pondering.


I think time-slip phenomena are separate from ghostly phenomena. For the latter, I expect we will learn that we are abusing the equipment. I think we might also learn more about pareidolia. If ghosts are real, then eventually we may discover a way to detect them more reliably. But if we don't, I'm not sure why we should jump to any conclusions about actual ghosts.
I'm not sure they are as separate as all that. There may be nuances, but there seems to me to be a deep overlap. Aside from this, I don't really know what you mean by this comment. "Abusing the equipment"? You are kind of skirting round the core problem I think...what if there indeed will be a way to "detect" ghosts more "reliably"...but it involves, for example, altered states of consciousness?

As for time-slip phenomena, I think there is some fascinating physiology/psychology waiting to be discovered. Some will be people misinterpreting their experiences, others will be fraud. If time slips can actually occur, I think that physicists will eventually have an explanation.
I did try to say...avoiding the use of Shermerisms. Misinterpretations/fraud etc is like criticism in vacuo. One can use it for *anything* whatever that one doesn't like.


Absolutely fine. But I'm not sure why you think science has somehow innoculated itself against investigating this. Take morphic resonance. If there is something to it, doesn't there need to be a morphic field? Why can't science investigate the field, its composition, it's laws, and so forth? What could there be about the field that has an effect on the world yet is walled off somehow from objective analysis?
Again, it would depend, for example, on the ontic nature of this "field". Because we don't have, at this point in time, a proper empirics of investigation for anything other than the "value-neutral-objective-world" assumption, an assumption that could easily be wrong, and for my money at some point of departure at least, almost certainly is wrong...we can't know what we would need or mean by way of such phrases as "investigate," "composition," "laws" etc. I can't emphasize this fact enough.

If I can see the ghost, then so can a detector. If I can see the ghost but no detector ever manages to, then why would I conclude anything other than delusion? The appropriate response, however, if you are convinced about ghosts, is to suggest that physicists need new kinds of detectors.
See, I remain fascinated by the assumptions underneath your statement, which seem "invisible" to you, like cultural commonplaces. "If I can see the ghost, so can a detector." How do you know this? What if the phenomenon induced the perception directly in your mind? What if our mind is such a "detector" that is spatio-temporally much more elastic and capable than any of our instrument-appendages we have yet come up with?

I disagree that science has no tools for subjectivity. And I certainly don't see why it can't have tools even in principle.
I don't think it has tools for treating subjectivity as authentic agency. I think it imagines it has such tools, but the tools are really a disguised claim that the agency isn't authentic and is actually "physical processes"...in other words, their world view hasn't really been opened to challenge.

It is certainly possible that scientists don't yet know how to investigate these things. It is remotely possible that there is no way for them to do it. But I don't think it's yet time to throw in the towel. I would beware of deciding that it is time to throw in the towel for the reason that I like the idea of the existence of something but science hasn't yet found it.
Who is throwing in a towel? It's only a particular approach, with particular sponsoring assumptions, that I am claiming cannot get us much further than we have already been brought. I think that a different kind of empirics will act in the future...an empirics that grants authentic agency to acts of consciousness. That will quite drastically alter what we mean by "science" imo...if that word will still be used. Again, that which moves forward is that which will prevail...in any venture.
 
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#80
Kai. I may have missed it as I don't read the forum religiously--when did your mind change on the nature of "psi" events? Can you explain what brought the change about?
Long before I was known...probably wrongly..for being a 'skeptic' I was kind of a believer. Some of that "old DNA" is just resurfacing. There may also be a sense in which a long journey into deepest skepticism was necessary for me, before it was even possible to arrive back again in a domain of more open possibility. Again, I am only talking about a personal journey here. I am not suggesting this as a necessary sequence or process for everyone...or indeed for anyone (else).
 
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