Science and philosophy gave him something he never thought he’d find… respect for religion |312|

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    But that was only part of your criteria, wasn't it? Your criteria was:

    What happened to the bolded part?
     
  2. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    Nothing happened to it.
     
  3. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    Indeed, it seems to have popped out of your equation. I'm surprised you don't see that as a problem, I was hoping you would explain further, but you don't seem to be so inclined, which is your prerogative of course.

    The values of Wiseman's paper is to demonstrate how what can appear to be a pattern supporting Sheldrake's hypothesis may not actually be so. In Wiseman's data, we can see that there are other likely reasons for the dog to have gone to the window other than anticipating PS's coming home. Wiseman suggests that this should be included in the analysis. Sheldrakes re-analysis of Wiseman's data does not seem to do this.
     
  4. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    There is no issue with using Shekdrakes analysis of Wiseman's data.

    I doubt Wiseman would bother proposing 'inadvertent communication' and 'increasing frequency over time' as explanations for Sheldrakes experimental results, if they were not significant.
     
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  5. Adam, Eve, and the Fall into self-reflection

     
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  6. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    Well, I've already mentioned some, which you haven't addressed. I'll take a closer look, but as far as I recall, his graphs do not exclude the times there were other distractions at the window, which is what I thought you were initially suggesting should be part of the test.

    Well, aside from the fact Sheldrake hadn't even published his results yet when Wiseman wrote the first paper, that doesn't seem like a valid scientific objection. And even Sheldrake acknowledges that there was some evidence of "increased frequency over time" IIRC, he just didn't think it could fully explain the pattern he was seeing.
     
  7. billw

    billw New

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    I've not looked in any detail at these experiments, but I think I heard (or read) either on the Skeptiko interviews or elsewhere, Sheldrake say that he conducted a large number of trials and Wiseman only conducted 4. Is this the case?

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
  8. Arouet

    Arouet Member

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    Wiseman' study only had 4 trials. It was really more of an exploratory study, in terms of developing a protocol. I'm not sure how that number was decided on. I understand he was asked to do it by Sheldrake, IIRC. I don't know if he was offered to do more work with the dog or not.
     
  9. billw

    billw New

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    Ah, I see. Thanks. So I read Wiseman’s paper. Experiments 1 and 3 were both deemed failures because the dog visited too early, but both showed that he was at the area for longer periods during the trip home. Number 2 should be discarded because of “noise.” Number 4 may have been successful because the dog visited at the right time, but most likely left because he was sick.

    The most significant thing about this ‘study’ and Wiseman's handling of it is that it speaks more to Wiseman’s primary motivation than anything else.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2016
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  10. Arouet

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    I assume that means that you disagree with his decision making process in choosing, developing and applying his protocols. Can you elaborate?
     
  11. billw

    billw New

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    You aren’t seriously suggesting that I elaborate further on Wiseman’s method of “developing and applying protocols” from these 4 single “exploratory” trials that I commented on above, are you? I find it hilarious that he is still even talking about this as recently as the introduction to his 2010 book on “why we see what isn’t there” (yeah, like he sees coincidence in the single trial with Natasha Demkina when there is a 2 percent likelihood that was the case). I can’t decide who I get a bigger kick out of, him or Shermer (and his single paranormal experience or single trial 'experiment' with Jeffrey Armstrong).

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
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  12. Arouet

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    Considering it's the most important part of the paper and really the only way to assess your comment above? I do.

    He developed it in consultation with Pam Smart, who is Sheldrake's coauthor. He explains his reasoning in detail. I'm inferring that you disagree with it but it's difficult to guess on what basis without asking you.

    Note, I'm not referring to the 4 trials, or the results , which I posit mean little, given the tiny sample, but rather the methodology in and of itself.

    That's the bit that would hopefully have been addressed if not incorporated in Sheldrake's future work. Unfortunately, Sheldrake did neither.


    I don't have the book so I can't comment on the exact quote. However, from what I can see the data I summarized above shows a good deal of coincidence going on, in terms of other distractions in front of the window around the time PS sets off. Do you disagree?

    This discussion can only be productive if we dive into the details. I think it would benefit us all.
     
  13. billw

    billw New

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    No, you mistakenly assumed that my comment was about the protocol, but it was not. I joined the conversation because I was having a hard time believing Wiseman could have possibly made this big a deal about not finding any evidence of psychic pets after only 4 trails (duh!). You answered my question, thank you. I should have anticipated the reality of the situation, because their behavior is always 100 percent consistent, but always try to give even "media skeptics" like Wiseman and Shermer the benefit of the doubt.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
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  14. Arouet

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    In the post I was replying to you had just written that you read the paper, summarized some of the findings and wrote that the most significant thing it showed was how biased the study and wiseman' handling of it was.

    I've already acknowledged that some of his later statements were offside. But those are not related to the paper itself, which is what I'm much more interested in.

    What do you think of wiseman's protocols? Do you think he approached them in a unfair manner (taking the account in the paper at face value). Do you think he raised some legitimate points? Where do you think his reasoning is off?

    Please, anyone else join in!

    I'm going to alert David to see if possibly he can move this discussion to a new thread.[/QUOTE][/QUOTE]
     
  15. billw

    billw New

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    Yes, I summarized the 4 trials in two sentences, which is just about all that any reasonable person can say about them. Two of the trials showed longer intervals spent at the window during the trip home, and two showed noise (fish trucks, bitches in heat, and puking on Wiseman's shoes).

    Not much, and I wouldn't even call it "Wiseman's protocol." Why the heck did he even need to get the pet owner's input to develop it!?

    I think his approach was unfair and the paper at face value is pretty much worthless.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
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  16. Arouet

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    Do you disagree with the reasons he gave in the paper?

    I get that's your conclusion. It's just not clear to me upon what you base it. I was hoping we could maybe dig a bit deeper into the why, and get into specifics. You have no obligation of course, its just that I think it would be a worthwhile enterprise. But it takes putting aside preconceived notions and starting from scratch.

    Is there anyone else who is interested? If you don't feel comfortable doing it publicly we could bring it to PM.
     
  17. Max_B

    Max_B Member

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    Lol...
     
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  18. billw

    billw New

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    I agree that the 7 normal explanations listed at the beginning of Wiseman's 'paper' need to be accounted for, but I don't think Sheldrake needed Wiseman to point those out. And I think it is pretty much useless to continue to discuss them in the context of Wiseman's 4 trials, carried out on 2 sets of consecutive days (June, Dec), which it seemed to me you were doing. I think you would do best with discussing those in the context of Sheldrake's paper, which discusses the issues (including 'noise') and has a much bigger pool of data to go by.

    It's really simple. Based on those 4 trials, Wiseman has no real basis to make claims one way or the other, but clearly he continues to do so, as recently as in his 2010 book. He is not being honest. His handling of the situation, as a media-skeptic debukner is damaging, and I heard you agree. No further need for us to discuss Wiseman, or his 'paper.'

    If you have specific issues with Sheldrake's work, I suggest you Email him.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
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  19. Arouet

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    I wasn't talking about the 7 factors listed at the beginning of the paper. Those aren't the actual protocols. The protocol discussion starts with the section "Initial experimental design."

    Actually, I think the protocols should be evaluated completely separate and without any regard for the results.

    The important question is not: Is Wiseman biased? Of course he is. And so is Sheldrake, so are you, so am I! It is through the experimental protocols that experimenters seek to control and counter their biases. That's what we should be discussing. The rest is just window dressing, politics, and US/Them BS.

    His claims outside of the paper must also be evaluated separately from the paper. The paper, and each part in it, must stand or fall on its own merits.

    If Sheldrake joins this forum, I'd be happy to converse with him! But in the meantime I'm hoping some people on here might be interested in joining me in taking a deeper look at these papers. It's not about having a specific issue with one or the other. I enjoy discussing papers, as well as challenging my own opinions. But I hear you, you're not interested. That's cool. Hopefully someone else is! If not, oh well!
     
  20. billw

    billw New

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    Yeah, I understand, but I don't know why you're asking me if I agree or disagree with the "Initial experimental design," because even Wiseman disagreed with it and attempted to modify it. Unfortunately, he didn't stick around long enough to evaluate the modifications or get any useful data (that's not going to change, as was obvious from his long Email exchange with Alex). Sheldrake's paper discusses the noisey vs non-noisy trials.


    Exactly, and the negative impact of his claims and behavior outside the paper greatly outweigh any 'contributions' in his paper.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     

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