why science is wrong… about almost everything — review by Society for Psychical Research

Discussion in 'Why Science Is Wrong... About Almost Everything' started by alex.tsakiris, Jan 12, 2015.

  1. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Science itself is not immutable. Even Einstein refused to believe that two entangled particles could effect each other at any distance - without any kind of physical communication. And yet we now know he was wrong.

    And we still have no idea in science why photons stop acting like waves as soon as they are observed.

    With psi phenomena - science has not even reached square one. Mainstream science, especially the materialists are adamantly opposed to admitting any psi phenomena, and dismiss it regularly, often without even examining 100+ years of empirical research. Square two - how does psi phenomena work? Well, there hasn't really been any kind of substantial scientific theory that everyone can agree upon at the moment. Probably the best theoretical framework that was established was a psychological one via Carl Jung. Frederic Myers did provide very clear categorization of psi phenomena in his book "Human Personality".

    Other than that - there hasn't been a whole lot else. There is too much bigotry toward psi phenomena to begin with - to the point now where scientific research is being discouraged, people are being ostracized or their biographies (at least on Wikipedia) are being libeled if they have had anything to do with psi research.

    I think quantum physics may provide some clues regarding how psi phenomena might work. Whereas Carl Jung provides a pretty seminal picture of the psychological implications of psi phenomena, and even when it can become more prevalent in an individual's life, and NDE research points to the possibility consciousness is actually more aware and more comprehensive when the brain is no longer active (which confirms what Frederic Myers theorized early on in Human Personality) - quantum physics might provide some kind of physics underpinnings to psi phenomena i.e. the relativity and flexibility of time and space, the non-local attributes of the most fundamental particles we know exist, and the apparent intertwined relationship between consciousness and the reality we observe (although there are other interpretations but they seem even more far fetched IMO).

    But no- we still do not know how psi works. But science does not exclude psi. That is a completely erroneous assumption by David Fontana. Heck in science, we still don't even know what gravity is. And we got scientists walking around today saying dark matter exists - just so certain equations that astronomers and physicists have had about the universe now for decades - continue to be valid, even though no one has a clue what this dark matter really is - and no one has observed it. Dark matter may turn out to be yet another Hidden Variables faux pas - and wouldn't that be pretty amusing?

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
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  2. Lightlover

    Lightlover New

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    Although I agree with almost all your post, Fontana did not say that science excludes psi, as I read it, rather that mainstream science can offer no explanation of macro paranormal phenomena in it's own scientific terms of reference at the present time. Fontana was a great proponent of all kinds of psi evidence and had experienced a lot of it himself.

    Best regards,
    Lightlover
     
  3. Lightlover

    Lightlover New

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    Science is good at observing and collecting facts, but often will only interpret them as fitting pre-existing theories. However, there is always the chance that science will self-correct, as it is the methodology which I subscribe to, not the mainstream scientists themselves.
     
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  4. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Ah - ok, I agree given that materialism right now is "it's own scientific terms of reference". The problem right now is consciousness, and the assumption it is simply a local product of the brain IMO.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
  5. Typoz

    Typoz Member

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  6. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    The funny part is the materialists may be right in a way they don't suspect i.e. it may be that everything down to the electron is in some fashion conscious or is consciousness. Call me a rebel?

    But arguing it is purely mechanical, non-teleological randomized structure - no way in hell. heh

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
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  7. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think there is a problem with this - because QM forces each type of elementary particles - such as electrons - to be identical. So if electrons were conscious, they would all have the same consciousness!

    To me, the only possibility would be if consciousness were in some way built in to the system at a lower level.

    Science down the ages has progressed best by taking small steps at a time - such as Newton's gravity. Later Newton's laws of gravity were shown to be an approximation, but we clearly needed that intermediate step to get to General Relativity centuries later.

    I think a science of consciousness would have to develop in a similar way. Since consciousness seems distinct from matter, that is probably the best theoretical approach to adopt right now - even if some unification of mind and matter turns up down the road. You only have to read a bit of Bernardo Kastrup to see the problem about jumping directly to what may eventually become the theory of consciousness - Idealism. Everything becomes extremely vague - wrapped in metaphor - and his ideas don't seem to be refutable, or indeed to predict anything definite.

    David
     
  8. Lightlover

    Lightlover New

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    As one of those who accepts by empirical means that the consciousness of 'spirit people' can communicate with the consciousness of 'people in the physical' , it seems to me to imply that consciousness is distinct from matter and applies to other dimensions of existence as well as ours, but connected in some way. I haven't discovered a scientific theory of the interface as yet. It's interesting that you say 'To me, the only possibility would be if consciousness were in some way built in to the system at a lower level'. This makes sense to me, and scientist Ron Pearson's 'Big breed theory' seems to theorise on something similar in parts. I would like this theory to be properly peer reviewed by mainstream science so that it could be either discredited or taken forward.
     
  9. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    The problem nowadays is that science is so narrow-minded that these theories never get examined closely - so it is very hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. I tend to take the view that at this point there is little point in highly mathematical theories of SpaceTimeConsciousness because:

    1) Nobody is going to reliably assess them (as already said)

    2) Anything that resolves to a set of equations, doesn't seem like a reasonable explanation for consciousness because it seems to suffer from the same problem as traditional materialism - how do you span the gap between a set of equations and consciousness awareness?

    3) Any modification of the equations of space-time is probably going to be very hard and expensive to test!

    David
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
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  10. Lightlover

    Lightlover New

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    I agree with you but at least this scientist is giving it a good go! He was a University lecturer. An extract about him:

    "His findings posit ‘mind’ and brain as separate entities, so when the physical body including the brain dies, the mind (some would say soul or spirit) continues as the `seat of consciousness’ - rendered immortal because it is part of the all-pervading intelligence medium of the iether.

    The Scientific Establishment in this country pays little attention to Ron Pearson’s startling claims, and not only because they prove that parts of Einstein’s theory of relativity are seriously flawed, but because they come under the scientific discipline of physics - and Ron’s background and qualifications are in mechanical engineering. His work has however, been published in the U.S. and acclaimed in Russia.

    Ron, now 77, devotes his time these days to promoting his work and to raising the funds for the experiments that he says will prove his theories.

    Together with Michael Roll, both through the Campaign for Philosophical Freedom and the International Survivalist Society, Ron links the subject of survival after death with the scientific discipline of subatomic physics and presents a secular, scientific case for life after death.

    Ron Pearson and Michael Roll seek to raise around £120,000 for experiments that will enlighten the world to the truth - a truth which they claim has been denied people for years."
     
  11. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Interesting enough, Carl Jung, a man who spent most of his life studying consciousness, speculated the two may be one in the same - matter and consciousness. Some of his ideas he claimed to have even been inspired from his lunches with Albert Einstein. He felt there were parallels in the discoveries of quantum physics at the time, and his own work with the human psyche.

    The puzzle really does lie in what is "consciousness". Ironically, many materialists give psychology short shrift, some of them don't even consider psychology a science. As if all psychology will eventually be subsumed under a materialistic explanation based on the firings of neurons in the brain, and electrochemical interactions producing ideas and emotions. And barely on the radar are the far more reaching empirical data in psychology regarding consciousness: its ability to produce symbolic meaning spontaneously, the breadth of unconscious activity which appears to sometimes involve a kind of relativity of time and space (i.e. precognitive awareness, telepathic intuition, etc.), its imaginative capabilities, etc.

    I agree with you that science should proceed in small steps. That doesn't mean though one cannot be spiritual at the same time, and choose to believe for ones self say, that NDEs are really what they appear to be i.e. a deep loving reality apparently does envelop our existence, and that death is simply a transition of consciousness (spiritually known as the soul), and that those we have loved can be present to greet us on our departure, and that our consciousness itself possesses a full panaromic memory of all our experiences in our lifetime. I think this a most hopeful scenario that of course, is a far cry from the nihilistic philosophy of the materialists (which has at present no scientific basis whatsoever). But again, I agree, we still do not know enough about consciousness or NDE research for that matter to say with clear certainty - NDEs are what they appear to be. And yet - personally, I suspect they are! heh. And as an aside, I had a good friend, who related his own NDE like experience to me - and would have no reason whatsoever to suspect he made it up just for fun.

    But I have become sidetracked from the discussion. As I understand you are approaching the subject in a more methodical and rational/philosophical fashion. Which should be the basis for any serious intellectual endeavor in science or philosophy. So - carry on.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  12. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    Well I guess my idea of small steps, is not as small as yours! My feeling is by analogy with gravity. We have Newton's laws, General Relativity, and (maybe) string theory. Suppose someone had suggested pre-Newton that GR was the ultimate explanation of gravity, this would not have generated an amazing advance - quite the opposite. The equations of GR are very complicated (at least in component form) - quite beyond me, I should say - and without years of mathematical development (as well as better measurements), probably nothing would have come from such a proposal. Science had to develop via what is an inexact, but simpler theory - Newton's laws.

    I think the same applies to consciousness. The simplest theory - Duality - would still be a huge step for science, and would encompass the NDE results, and most of what we discuss here. The flaw in Dualism is that there has to be some interaction between consciousness and the material layer - so it can't be the ultimate theory - but I think it is a step analogous to Newton's theory.

    It is worth remembering that quantum theory and General Relativity are famously incompatible, yet scientists re happy to use both these theories, knowing that the conditions where both would be applicable are very extreme - such as the first instants of the Big Bang (if there ever was one!). So just because Dualism can't be an ultimate answer, doesn't mean it isn't a great starting point to escape materialism!

    I think that Bernardo Kastrup's writings may be interesting, but they are shrouded in metaphors (his word) and vagueness because we simply have to explore the possibilities - theoretical and experimental - of Dualism before we can possibly move on to Idealism.

    David
     
  13. donsalmon

    donsalmon New

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    Hi David - just stopped over, on your invitation. Perhaps not a bad time - i'll start with my own preference - the integral non dualism of Sri Aurobindo. But I'll add, in sympathy with your last post, that one of the people I most admire in physics - Ulrich Mohrhoff (a student of Sri Aurobindo) - thinks that interactive dualism is a great starting point for science - though he takes it further to integral non dualism. So perhaps that's not a bad starting point.

    I should also add that Bernardo has admitted that he only uses "idealism" as a kind of shorthand, and is really quite sympathetic with non dualism. The finny thing is (these things always get a little fuzzy at the edges) that if you admit that non dualism goes beyond idealism (or, not "beyond" but is simply a more accurate account of things) one often is left with accepting dualism as a conventional account of things.

    Almost everyone, when speaking of ordinary things, is always left in some way with "awareness' (which is not the same as "mind") and form or content of some kind. Which, I guess, is a kind of dualism!
    Anyway, I shouldn't close with that abstract philosophizing. My personal interest is in finding a way to open up psychology (I've never cared for the way Wilber does it). So I spent 5 years working on a book about it: "Yoga Psychology and the Transformation of Consciousness: Seeing Through the Eyes of Infinity", which I co-authored with my wife, Jan.

    Anyway, nice to be here. Thanks for the invitation.
     
  14. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Von Neumann argued that it had to be consciousness causing the quantum wave function collapse, because it was the only thing that he could think of that could possibly lie outside Schrodinger's universal wave function. He never described how consciousness could do this.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
  15. Michael Larkin

    Michael Larkin Member

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    Definition of Idealism (Wikipedia): In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial...As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit.[2] Idealism thus rejects physicalist and dualist theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind.

    Definition of non-duality (wikipedia): primordial, natural awareness without subject or object.​

    Also, from http://www.mountainrunnerdoc.com/page/page/5303855.htm:

    He [Sri Aurobindo] spoke of constant remembrance leading to Union, and also advised, for the jnana aspect, to always keep aware that one is not the body, vital, or the mind but an eternal, immortal entity that contains and at the same time transcends the universe. This sounds non-dual, except for the entity part. I may be nitpicking, but the idea or suggested idea that there is an 'entity' or a 'something' that achieves Union seem like the weak points in the philosophy, more of which will be discussed later.​

    It seems to me, Don, that the two definitions are pretty close, or at least not mutually exclusive. Maybe I'm missing something, though.
     
  16. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I tend to agree - physical reality contains an irreducibly a random component, which seems likely to be a good place to look for a link to a non-material realm. Perhaps the randomness is the default behaviour if no influence is being brought to bear.

    David
     
  17. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    It seems as if "randomness" is not even random. It has well defined characteristics that the casinos in Las Vegas depend on.

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
  18. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I find it interesting that in a way, you could have almost predicted the need for QM some time before it was discovered. Remember, back then people thought of electrons orbiting the nucleus rather like planets orbiting a star. The problem with that idea, was of course, that matter would have a continuum of properties - no two samples of an element or compound would be the same! One way to get repeatable properties is to have a wave structure that sets up standing waves! It is hard to see otherwise how we could have explained the consistency of matter.

    David
     
  19. Bertha Huse

    Bertha Huse New

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    Max Planck was hardcore in the continuous properties camp. But in his struggle to find a mathematical formula for blackbody radiation, he desperately, and at almost the very last moment, considered what Boltzmann and other physicists were advocating at the time. And thus was born the quanta, and the 6.626 divided by one thousand trillion trillion Max Planck constant - although he failed to fully understand it's radical implications at the time. It was Albert Einstein who would let us know just how radical the quanta was. But ironically enough, it was Einstein who also would later propose Hidden Variables ... and so - science moves forward with fits and starts.

    I think the next great scientific break-thru in physics will be regarding consciousness. There are already some very good proposals on the table. Penrose and Hameroff's microtubule consciousness theory appears to be feasible and theoretically possible IMO

    My Best,
    Bertha
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
  20. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I think there are so many threads on Skeptiko that inevitably some fizzle while others become interesting!
    I should look up Sri Aurobindo.
    I am sure that the first step for science - which it has yet to take - is to accept Dualism as a much better theory than materialism, but possibly not the final theory.
    Have you read Irreducible Mind (not so terribly expensive if you read it on a Kindle).

    David
     

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