Parapsychology: Science or Pseudoscience?

#62
Well that poses a real problem. How can this be a valid criticism of it is virtually impossible to detect? That makes it a criticism that could always be thrown out as "it could be this" that could never be falsified; it would be a criticism immune to response.
First of all, let's not forget who has the burden of proof. If parapsychologists want to convince anyone other than parapsychologists that their effects are real, then they need to find convincing methodologies to do so. With the likes of Bem and Radin representing themselves as experts, but running around p-hacking the field to death, a reasonable response to the field, whose hypotheses are considered highly implausible, is that all psi studies with positive effects are false, either due to random or systematic error. Given the highly visible examples of p-hacking, selective reporting of exploratory results, and willful omission of ones own studies from ones own meta-analyses on the one hand, versus the sheer scientific implausibility of every psi hypothesis on the other hand, and the inability for non-parapsychologists to reproduce psi effects experimentally on the other, other hand, it is far more believable that positive psi results are due to shenanigans than to psi.

Indeed, in my opinion, given the history of the field vis a vis paranormal implausibility, there is nothing that parapsychologists can do alone to produce convincing experimental evidence for psi. On the other hand, if skeptical scientists alone, or in adversarial collaboration with parapsychologists were to start consistently reproducing psi effects experimentally, I would have to start taking psi results more seriously.
 
#63
For our purposes, a believer relies on faith and a proponent is convinced by evidence. You are required on this board not to insult us by implying that we rely on faith.
I'm not insulting anyone. The subheading of this particular forum states: "Discussion of research, news and BELIEFS that inform the divide between those who accept status quo science's view of consciousness and those who do not." And that's exactly what I'm discussing here - "the BELIEFS that inform the divide."
 
#65
This has been addressed in the parapsychological literature and many skeptics have gotten positive results in a wide variety of studies. This is commonly known. Have you done any research at all? I'm beginning to doubt that you've read what you said you have. You're spouting a lot of nonsensical talking points.
I actually was a PROPONENT of parapsychology, but I had a discussion with a skeptic who brought to my attention the article that I have listed in the OP. After reading it, I had to rethink my position. I still believe (I don't know what other word to use here) in the reality of psi. But I am now questioning the legitimacy of parapsychology as a science. Hence the thread.
 
#67
I actually was a PROPONENT of parapsychology, but I had a discussion with a skeptic who brought to my attention the article that I have listed in the OP. After reading it, I had to rethink my position. I still believe (I don't know what other word to use here) in the reality of psi. But I am now questioning the legitimacy of parapsychology as a science. Hence the thread.
You argue strongly from a skeptical point of view against parapsychology and you don't seem open to being wrong about that. You come across as a die hard, completely biased skeptic, exactly like the others we encounter here. I have run into many previous skeptics who were convinced by the evidence, but never the other way around. It just doesn't happen because anyone who looks deeply enough into the evidence starts to doubt the skeptical position. That's where the evidence ultimately takes you. So no, I don't trust that you're being honest.
 
#68
You argue strongly from a skeptical point of view against parapsychology and you don't seem open to being wrong about that. You come across as a die hard, completely biased skeptic, exactly like the others we encounter here. I have run into many previous skeptics who were convinced by the evidence, but never the other way around. It just doesn't happen because anyone who looks deeply enough into the evidence starts to doubt the skeptical position. That's where the evidence ultimately takes you. So no, I don't trust that you're being honest.
I think Dillinger has challenged positions held at both ends of the spectrum.
 
#69
So then perhaps it is just her interpretation of what someone said when they mentioned the sheep-goat effect. She hasn't shown herself to be the most consistent person with what she claims.
It's not just her interpretation; it's also Kennedy's interpretation. And if you think about it, if psi effects are real, then the experimenter's attitude (belief or skepticism) could very well affect the outcome of an experiment. Of course, PROPONENTS of parapsychology will argue that this is what happening in these unsuccessful experiments (as Kennedy has done). Skeptics of parapsychology will argue that the experiments are unsuccessful because psi effects are not real (which is the conclusion that Blackmore has come to).
 
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#70
You argue strongly from a skeptical point of view against parapsychology and you don't seem open to being wrong about that. You come across as a die hard, completely biased skeptic, exactly like the others we encounter here.
I just told you that I believe in the reality of psychic phenomena. I have never come across a die hard skeptic who would make such an acknowledgement.

So no, I don't trust that you're being honest.
Are you implying that I am dishonest?
 
#71
First of all, let's not forget who has the burden of proof.
Parapsychologists having the burden of proof doesn't absolve you from rules of scientific discourse. The fact that the burden of proof is not on you does not mean you can throw out un-falsifiable criticisms as evidence against parapsychology.


Jay said:
If parapsychologists want to convince anyone other than parapsychologists that their effects are real, then they need to find convincing methodologies to do so.
What methodologies are wrong with the autoganzfeld experiments? This has been refined an awful lot through debate and criticism over many decades including the skeptic Hyman. You can't just throw out a vague criticism like this explicit suggestion that the methodology is flawed.


Jay said:
With the likes of Bem and Radin representing themselves as experts, but running around p-hacking the field to death,
So you want to tell me that they are "p-hacking to death" but I am supposed to then accept that you say it could be almost "impossible to detect?" If you can't demonstrate or quantify this in some way, then it is an invalid criticism.

Jay said:
a reasonable response to the field, whose hypotheses are considered highly implausible,
An implausible hypothesis is not any evidence against it. History is absolutely full of "implausible" hypotheses that ended up being major advances. How plausible was quantum theory? Einstein thought it was highly implausible. Big discoveries are by definition improbable. That doesn't make an improbable hypothesis correct, but it doesn't make it wrong.


Jay said:
is that all psi studies with positive effects are false, either due to random or systematic error. Given the highly visible examples of p-hacking, selective reporting of exploratory results, and willful omission of ones own studies from ones own meta-analyses on the one hand, versus the sheer scientific implausibility of every psi hypothesis on the other hand, and the inability for non-parapsychologists to reproduce psi effects experimentally on the other, other hand, it is far more believable that positive psi results are due to shenanigans than to psi.
In various analyses done by analysts outside the field such at Saunder or Utts, they do not find this to be the case. I would rather put my trust in highly respected statisticians than in vague unfalsifiable criticisms or criticisms that have already been falsified.

Non-parapsychologists rarely attempt to replicate experiments, and if going outside the Ganzfeld category, you even have critics like Wiseman replicating research and then misrepresenting it as not replicating. I have so far in my research seen far far more "shenanigans" from those critical of psi than from parapsychologists.

Jay said:
Indeed, in my opinion, given the history of the field vis a vis paranormal implausibility, there is nothing that parapsychologists can do alone to produce convincing experimental evidence for psi. On the other hand, if skeptical scientists alone, or in adversarial collaboration with parapsychologists were to start consistently reproducing psi effects experimentally, I would have to start taking psi results more seriously.
I suppose this is your position in a nutshell, which is quite unreasonable.
 
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#72
It's not just her interpretation; it's also Kennedy's interpretation. And if you think about it, if psi effects are real, then the experimenter's attitude (belief or skepticism) could very well affect the outcome of an experiment. Of course, PROPONENTS of parapsychology will argue that this is what happening in these unsuccessful experiments (as Kennedy has done). Skeptics of parapsychology will argue that the experiments are unsuccessful because psi effects are not real (which is the conclusion that Blackmore has come to).
1. Saying beliefs can affect the outcome is very different from saying you must have faith to get any results.

2. We already know this effect to be well established in psychology. This is not something parapsychologists made up.
 
#73
1. Saying beliefs can affect the outcome is very different from saying you must have faith to get any results.

2. We already know this effect to be well established in psychology. This is not something parapsychologists made up.
The difference between science and pseudo-science is not black and white. It lies on a spectrum. This is very well known in the philosophy of science. It's called the "demarcation problem."
 
#74
The difference between science and pseudo-science is not black and white. It lies on a spectrum. This is very well known in the philosophy of science. It's called the "demarcation problem."
Certainly there is controversy in this, but that is the case with almost anything in philosophy of science.

Parapsychology is a field that tests falsifiable hypotheses using empirical methods and has built on a body of research over the last 80 years, with a decent level of replicability and making predictions, testing, and confirming them. They have far higher use of double-blind methodology than other areas of science, have better replicability than other sciences, and the big journals have better standards such as publishing replications and null results.

Why would this not be considered science? Which part is pseudoscience?
 
#76
I have already given you my reasons. Why do you think that parapsychology has not been accepted by mainstream science?
I think the small to medium effect size plays a role in that it isn't so obvious as to be beyond question, which then allows for a highly sociological aspect.

Sociology of science has played a role in many areas of science, including the hard sciences, but in parapsychology the sociological aspect is very dominant. Associations with religion, the occult, and the New Age movement creates a major barrier with respect to possible acceptance.
 
#80
I just told you that I believe in the reality of psychic phenomena. I have never come across a die hard skeptic who would make such an acknowledgement.



Are you implying that I am dishonest?
I always leave room to be surprised, but I do suspect you of being dishonest, yes. I don't think that you actually believe in the reality of psi and that you're just saying it as a cover to bash parapsychology, but appear reasonable. It's weird, but it's been done before.
 
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