Five hard to swallow facts about paranormal research

#3
My opinion? The guy is a moron. I seriously doubt he has engaged with Stevenson's research, and his comments about Garrett, Piper, and Leonard are laughable. I am really looking forward to Andreas Sommer's book on early psychical research that should be out later this year (Stanford University Press). One of his main arguments is that early debunkers like Jastrow, Hall, Munsterberg, et al. were intellectually dishonest and duplicitous in order to rid psychology of what they considered to be superstition. It should rustle some feathers in history of science/psychology circles.

Sorry, I won't be jumping into the fray. I used to do that, but all I had to show for it afterwards was anger and wasted time.
 
#4
My opinion? The guy is a moron. I seriously doubt he has engaged with Stevenson's research, and his comments about Garrett, Piper, and Leonard are laughable. I am really looking forward to Andreas Sommer's book on early psychical research that should be out later this year (Stanford University Press). One of his main arguments is that early debunkers like Jastrow, Hall, Munsterberg, et al. were intellectually dishonest and duplicitous in order to rid psychology of what they considered to be superstition. It should rustle some feathers in history of science/psychology circles.

Sorry, I won't be jumping into the fray. I used to do that, but all I had to show for it afterwards was anger and wasted time.

Got any sources I can use? I want to take these so called 'skeptics' on haha.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
Thanks for the heads up on the upcoming book Troy.

Kripal went through some of the debunker history in Authors of the Impossible as well.

Prescott gave me a list of best books on afterlife research, will try to find the post as sadly I apparently didn't save it or at least can't find it on my storage device. I know Braude's Immortal Remains was on there, also IIRC Stop Worrying There Probably is An Afterlife.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
Prescott's reply to me:

I put together a preliminary list in 2006. Some additional suggestions were made by readers in the comments thread.

http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2006/10/words_words_wor.html

These days I would substitute Greg Taylor's "Stop Worrying: There Probably Is an Afterlife" for David Fontana's book. I would also include "Irreducible Mind," by Kelly et al.

This is a ten-year-old list, so I encourage people to add their own favorites.
 
#8
Hey guys and girls. Please give me your thoughts on this and reply to the author too. He replied to me and some support would be good - he's making some pretty big claims.

http://thepierianelement.com/2016/0...ranormal-research/comment-page-1/#comment-253
Roberta, the author has expressed some frustration as to the fact that your responses didn't address what he wrote in his article. I'd like to suggest that regardless of whether he is right or wrong on the substance of his post, I think he kind of has a point there.

This is a problem that often plagues these kinds of discussions, leading to participants talking past one another and causing nothing but frustration. And that's what I think we're seeing here.

I'm going to go through your post to show you what I'm getting at.

R.E point 5, clearly you haven’t done any research on the subject and you don’t know what you’re talking about.
I'm first going to suggest that this kind of start is not a good set up for a productive conversation. Neither for that matter, is the snark that he used. But aside from the fact that you have no idea what kind of research he's done, what is this likely to accomplish other than to piss him off thus triggering an emotional reaction to your post and make him defensive?

My suggestion: address the arguments, not the person.

There is the research into Leonora Piper, Gladys Osborne, Eileen Garrett and the R101 case. Then there’s modern mediumship research. Such as that done at the Windbridge institute, the 2011 Kelly study, the Brazilian brain scanning of mediums whilst doing Psychography which revealed intriguing results and a real process.

Then there’s veridical NDE’s and those where the person learnt information they didn’t previously know, saw people they didn’t know were dead etc.

Then there’s the reincarnation research into children’s memories of Ian Stevenson and now Jim Tucker. Deathbed visions, people seeing lights and strange phenomenon at the time of a persons death, and things suggestive of survival because they challenge the mind = brain narrative such as terminal lucidity.
The problem with simply listing all of this is that his post acknowledged that those studies were out there. It is implied in the first paragraph of section 5. That first paragraph indicates that he thinks that research is lacking.

In order to move the discussion forward you need to address the concern that he raised, which is found in the third paragraph:

So for those in search of human souls, ghosts and spirits… to officially claim that you have contacted the dear departed, you must first establish with complete certainty (not just with opinion) that life does go on beyond this mortal veil. That there are dis-incarnate “beings” there to contact. Do this and the rest will go down the scientific gullet like a candy coated gumdrop. Until then… well… you know.
That's his sticking point and that is the issue that needs to be addressed in order to have a productive discussion - if you're not addressing that specific point then you're not really responding to point 5 but moving on to other issues that are not the subject of the blog post.

He's making a specific point about the hypothesis and design of these experiments, suggesting that they do not answer that question. He's also making a statement about the burden of scientific proof (setting it too high in my opinion - it should be high, but not that high!).

If you're going to bring in those studies, you need to relate it directly to those questions, otherwise he is correct that what you're writing is irrelevant to the article - not irrelevant for all purposes - but irrelevant to the article.

There’s much more that we can discuss but to say there is NO evidence is untrue and misinforming your readers.
The author noted that this wasn't what he wrote, and he's right on that. He gave a bit of a response anyway (which can be debated of course) but then ended with emphasising that regardless it still didn't address what he'd said in the article.

Neither of your responses acknowledged that which can lead to further frustration.

For the record, I think some of his language was also unnecessarily inflammatory which also leads to what happened: the discussion breaks down.

And note: none of what I've written is meant to make any comment about the substance of his post: some of which I agree, some of which I don't. My point is that if you're talking past one another, the chances of a productive substantive discussion is pretty slim.
 
#13
Huh? She asked specifically for feedback on that!
She? ;)

I do appreciate the feedback by the way, I have left it for now with that specific conversation but I'll bear it in mind for future posts!

I read the authors post as suggesting that there's nothing substantive at all - and I disagreed. But I could have expressed myself much more clearly and I will do that in the future. No issue here :).
 
#14
Sorry, did I presume too much by your user name?

I do appreciate the feedback by the way, I have left it for now with that specific conversation but I'll bear it in mind for future posts!

I read the authors post as suggesting that there's nothing substantive at all - and I disagreed. But I could have expressed myself much more clearly and I will do that in the future. No issue here :).
:)
 
#17
Ah right, I didn't take Arouet's post badly. It was meant constructively from what I can tell, no issue here :).
Heh, I was literally in the middle of writing a clarification post to make sure you knew I meant it constructively and not to "dress you down"!

I'm glad that's how you took it!
 
#18
Is he...? I can't see anything 'hard to swallow' in a very brief glance at the authors five points.
Well I took issue with point 5 and the way it came across to me but maybe I was in a bad mood or took it the wrong way!

If you read his comments to me he says some false things. For example that the Windbridge Institute did phone readings instead to eliminate cold reading (they didn't) and other things he said are very, very misleading and biased. Probably purposefully.
 
#19
Point 5 reminds me of something from many years back. At the time I was generally pretty sceptical. A 'scientist' on the TV opined that "There was absolutely no scientific evidence for psychic phenomena." I happened to know that there was a body of peer reviewed ψ research, and I felt that, this being the case, the speaker was exaggerating his case to the point of telling lies. Had he simply said that he didn't agree with the published research (preferably with a reason) I would have felt differently, but as it was, I realised that he was simply putting out propaganda in favour of his 'cause' - not behaving as an impartial scientist.

Unfortunately I don't remember the name of the scientist - it might have been Wiseman, I don't know.

This was one tiny nudge that helped me to change my view of these matters.

David
 
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#20
Well I took issue with point 5 and the way it came across to me but maybe I was in a bad mood or took it the wrong way!

If you read his comments to me he says some false things. For example that the Windbridge Institute did phone readings instead to eliminate cold reading (they didn't) and other things he said are very, very misleading and biased. Probably purposefully.
IIRC I was worried about small preselected pools at Windbridge, but can't remember now.
 
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