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Good news, Everyone!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my girlfriend sent this to me last night, it's an interesting read, also kinda wordy to the point of being infuriating. It's an essay/theory on how external stimuli from the environment (among other things) can cause people to experience/sense things they believe to be Paranormal, including but not limited to Ghosts, Spirits, and God. Perhaps this means that there's a Neurological predisposition to believing in God in some people, but not others?

The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences -- Persinger 13 (4): 515 -- J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci

also, please note that while the author has a PhD in psychology, I have no real measure of his credentials, so take from this what you will.
 

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Chromaphonic Invader
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I saw something similar to that on Morgan Freeman's show. Pretty cool and it does make sense, but I'm not sure if I feel confident in the methods of psychological research.

You don't need credentials man, you just need curiosity and a willingness to learn :yesway:.
 

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Good news, Everyone!
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, my point was that since I'm unfamiliar with the doctor, he might have an inherent bias against religion, (also paranormality, etc) that would sway his opinion of the methods or his interpretation of the results.
 

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Party Röcker
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The researcher is well-known for going after paranormal things (including inducing in a well-noted 'parapsychologist', whatever the hell that's supposed to be, feelings like these) and is not going after religion specifically.

You should be very careful with statements like that, as actually accusing someone of letting his bias get in the way of his research is a *VERY* serious accusation and could be seen as an attack on not only him but also the journal's reviewing (and, as a result, the journal) - further, since *you* are the one singling out religion when an entire collection of experience (neither necessary nor sufficient to constitute religious *anything*) is at stake, and you clearly didn't spend much time making yourself familiar with the doctor, you might want to reword that. If a problem with his credentials were to exist (a doubtful proposition at best) it would rear its ugly head exactly when faults in his work were found, so leaving that judgment to the peer review process - which exists solely to find such - is preferable here.

Jeff
 

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Jigsaw?
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The origins of paranormal phenomenon will not be solved from an office chair. And just because someone has that office chair doesn't mean there are special rules when it comes to calling bullshit on them.
 

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Good news, Everyone!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oh, I'm certainly not accusing the doctor of bias, I was just unfamiliar with him so I didn't know if it may have been present or not, and freely admit that I didn't do much research on him. Thanks for letting me know. :yesway: I also did some more reading on him and there's a few more great essays out there, too.
 

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Party Röcker
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The origins of paranormal phenomenon will not be solved from an office chair.
... if they exist, and aren't just figments of the imagination like what he studies (from an office chair).

And just because someone has that office chair doesn't mean there are special rules when it comes to calling bullshit on them.
It's not about the office chair, it's about his position as a publishing researcher - and there are special rules for anyone who respects science and doesn't just want to fall back to playground namecalling.

Jeff
 

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Jigsaw?
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... if they exist, and aren't just figments of the imagination like what he studies (from an office chair).
I can tell you with all certainty that they are real. Whether or not you believe me is another question entirely. From my perspective his experiments are doing nothing for me. Don't get me wrong. I do believe that some of these experiences can be explained by fluctuating brain waves or electromagnetic fields. But it doesn't begin to cover some of the things I've seen and experienced.

Sure, there may be "rules" for how scientists play their game of back and forth. But I fail to see how that has anything to do with this little corner of the internet. That if we say the wrong things in this thread we have no respect for science.:ugh: He is simply a man like the rest of us.
 

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Party Röcker
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Sure, there may be "rules" for how scientists play their game of back and forth. But I fail to see how that has anything to do with this little corner of the internet.
It's part of the same 'integrity and honesty' thing we're all supposed to share - for the same reasons that you (hopefully) wouldn't arbitrarily and needlessly slander individuals (especially without learning more about them and going deeper than a quick browse into their work), you shouldn't accuse people of manipulating science for their own political or spiritual purposes.

If there is an actual problem or actual evidence for a bias by the research group, let it be announced; if not, don't aimlessly dance around accusations like that - this isn't like saying that a newspaper columnist has a liberal bias, it's like saying that said columnist fabricates evidence and that the newspaper harbors liars.

That if we say the wrong things in this thread we have no respect for science.:ugh: He is simply a man like the rest of us.
Science is supposed to go beyond men and their motives, and the statement that this has failed to happen should not be made lightly. In the same way that screaming claims of dishonesty, murder, and high treason at a political event would be called disrespect for political discourse, so would an accusation of bias *interfering with science* have to be seen as disrespect for those involved in the results and their announcement. (When I said 'special rules', I was being mostly sarcastic.)

Jeff
 

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Premium Member
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... if they exist, and aren't just figments of the imagination like what he studies (from an office chair).
:agreed:

The mind is far to powerful, and we know far to little about it AND the physical universe surrounding us, that it simply makes no sense to explore the paranormal without exhausting more logical avenues of research first. I'm far more interested in finding out if life existed on Mars, still exists under the ice sheets of Europa, and beyond the reaches of our solar system, than if some unseen force tossed a Steven King novel across a room.
 

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Party Röcker
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It would be one thing if there were some massive conspiracy on the part of Big Evil Science Inc. to cover up all things paranormal, but the simple fact of the matter is that *every attempt to bring these things to science have failed*.

It would be simply amazing to have these things handy - whether ESP, UFOs, or fire-shitting magical wizard-demons with unusual obsessions over hygiene and reproduction of different species - and there is not a scientist in the world who wouldn't jump on a 'paranormal' event *if it were real*. So far, though, explanations from the worlds beyond are batting .000 and there's a better hitter waiting to swing.

Jeff
 

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Premium Member
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It would be one thing if there were some massive conspiracy on the part of Big Evil Science Inc. to cover up all things paranormal, but the simple fact of the matter is that *every attempt to bring these things to science have failed*.

It would be simply amazing to have these things handy - whether ESP, UFOs, or fire-shitting magical wizard-demons with unusual obsessions over hygiene and reproduction of different species - and there is not a scientist in the world who wouldn't jump on a 'paranormal' event *if it were real*. So far, though, explanations from the worlds beyond are batting .000 and there's a better hitter waiting to swing.

Jeff
:agreed: Amen.

I love disproving people who believe in UFOs in particular. When they say "I know what I saw," I just reply with, "No, you don't know what you saw. And that's the problem." Roswell, for example, is one of the most widely believed pieces of nonsense that was largely manufactured by Hollywood and conspiracists long after the fact.

Scientists aren't out there to prove what they believe. For the most part, they are out there to find out what it true and prove it using logic.
 

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Jigsaw?
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For me the problem is scientists aren't any more reliable than the tv executives feeding us Roswell reruns. They set out to prove their hypothesis (I think it's this) and provide evidence. We can pretend that scientists are some sort of special breed of human but the reality is they are infallible as the rest of us. For every life saving vaccine, computer, or big screen tv we've also gotten fun things like the atomic bombs, freakish prescription drug side effects, and depleted uranium. And you can't tell me every scientist despite being human is magically without bias or personal belief.

If every attempt to bring these things to science has failed then how do we tell the difference between a failure of science or the phenomenon itself? Just because science can't prove or explain something doesn't make it false. Or in this case just because you stimulate the brain to experience something doesn't disprove it. I'm sure he could also cause a response similar to eating a candy bar but does that disprove the existence of candy bars?

I agree with Naren in the fact that people who see ufos have no idea what they saw. But what exactly are you disproving? It's still an unidentified flying object of unknown origin and humanity up to this point is powerless to explain it.
 

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Premium Member
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For me the problem is scientists aren't any more reliable than the tv executives feeding us Roswell reruns. They set out to prove their hypothesis (I think it's this) and provide evidence. We can pretend that scientists are some sort of special breed of human but the reality is they are infallible as the rest of us. For every life saving vaccine, computer, or big screen tv we've also gotten fun things like the atomic bombs, freakish prescription drug side effects, and depleted uranium. And you can't tell me every scientist despite being human is magically without bias or personal belief.
There is such a thing as a misuse of science and there is such a thing as "bad scientists." But even the worst scientist in the world is better than a conspiracy theorist-supporting TV executive.

No one has ever claimed that scientists--or anyone else, for that matter--is infallible. But if you put someone who is just saying "Nothing can explain it! It's a miracle!/It's aliens!/It's ghosts!" up to someone who is logically analyzing the situation and seeing what the actual real cause could be (sometimes spending hours every day for months or years, as opposed to the "It can't be explained!" person who didn't give a second to thinking about the explanation, just throwing a copout explanation of just "It's paranormal!"), you will find the "scientist" to be a lot more reliable.

Science is not some crazy way to make things. It is a way to figure out how our universe works and how to apply that knowledge.

If every attempt to bring these things to science has failed then how do we tell the difference between a failure of science or the phenomenon itself? Just because science can't prove or explain something doesn't make it false. Or in this case just because you stimulate the brain to experience something doesn't disprove it. I'm sure he could also cause a response similar to eating a candy bar but does that disprove the existence of candy bars?
The failure to bring what things to science? You'd have to be more specific than that. Because science has disproven a lot of things that were thought to be "paranormal activity," many of them that no one believes in anymore specifically because science was successful in explaining them. You could speak of the "failure to explain" a specific thing that has not been adequately explained yet, but this overarching generalization shows a lack of knowledge. There is a propogation of misinformation out there where people claim that "science has never been able to explain XXX" when actually the thing has been explained, but the people who believe in it do not want it to be explained.

There is nothing that can't be explained. We may not have the technology to explain certain things at the moment, but everything is capable of being explained.

I agree with Naren in the fact that people who see ufos have no idea what they saw. But what exactly are you disproving? It's still an unidentified flying object of unknown origin and humanity up to this point is powerless to explain it.
Because most of the time it ISN'T an unidentified object of unknown origin. People just claim that the scientists or the government who provided the answer to what it is are using it to cover up something.

The majority of "famous UFOs" have been explained adequately with all the supporting evidence. Roswell is the best example of a case where we are 100% sure it was a weather balloon and yet people desperate to believe in conspiracy theories blew it up into a crashed alien spaceship government coverup.
 

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Reverend Secret Flower
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no offence fathead, but it sounds like YOU have a predisposed notion that paranormal activities are real even though there is NO evidence to support it.

I know you say you've seen things, but I thought i have seen tons of stuff only to be proven wrong. The brain is infalliable, just like you mentioned with the scientists. For some reason people dont believe that THEIR brain is infalliable or can play tricks on them.

For some reason, science has split the atom, cured lots of illnesses, made the internet, yet for some reason people act like science is full of shit when it comes to disproving something that THEY have a predisposed notion(or bias) to be true
 

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Jigsaw?
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The failure to bring what things to science? You'd have to be more specific than that. Because science has disproven a lot of things that were thought to be "paranormal activity," many of them that no one believes in anymore specifically because science was successful in explaining them. You could speak of the "failure to explain" a specific thing that has not been adequately explained yet, but this overarching generalization shows a lack of knowledge....
I was referring to Jeff's previous comment.

There is nothing that can't be explained. We may not have the technology to explain certain things at the moment, but everything is capable of being explained.
But sometimes those explanations are incorrect and disproved later. The earth is the center of the galaxy for instance. So until proved otherwise we were simply misinformed.

Because most of the time it ISN'T an unidentified object of unknown origin. People just claim that the scientists or the government who provided the answer to what it is are using it to cover up something.

The majority of "famous UFOs" have been explained adequately with all the supporting evidence. Roswell is the best example of a case where we are 100% sure it was a weather balloon and yet people desperate to believe in conspiracy theories blew it up into a crashed alien spaceship government coverup.
I'm with you that Roswell is useless to us. But remember who was behind the original story. It wasn't some conspiracy nutters it was our own military. They have since changed their explanation numerous times and this proves fertile ground for conspiracy.

I'll give you a little background on my take on UFOs. I live in an area where these things happen regularly. I've seen them many times up close with my own eyes. Many people living here have seen them and they are just regular folks who have seen something extraordinary. What they are and where they are from is unknown. After all these years I still have no idea what they are. But the things seen here at low altitude are not some chinese lanterns or a misidentified hang glider.
 

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Jigsaw?
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no offence fathead, but it sounds like YOU have a predisposed notion that paranormal activities are real even though there is NO evidence to support it.
It's not a predisposed notion. I've come by it quite by accident over many years. I ask myself the same questions you are asking me now. This isn't something I've come by reading books and surfing rense.com. But from many, many direct personal experiences. And even if I discount everything that has happened without a witness I'm still left with lots of things where a group of us all saw the same thing. And I completely agree with you that the brain is not infallible. Do I have any evidence to hold up and say here? No. Even if I did only a certain percentage of people would believe it anyway. But what I do have is a lifetime of experiences with as of yet no explanation. I'm clueless as to why it happens or what is behind it and I've spent the better part of 30 years with no answer.
 

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Premium Member
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For me the problem is scientists aren't any more reliable than the tv executives feeding us Roswell reruns. They set out to prove their hypothesis (I think it's this) and provide evidence. We can pretend that scientists are some sort of special breed of human but the reality is they are infallible as the rest of us. For every life saving vaccine, computer, or big screen tv we've also gotten fun things like the atomic bombs, freakish prescription drug side effects, and depleted uranium. And you can't tell me every scientist despite being human is magically without bias or personal belief.
I take exception to this. As Naren pointed out, yes, their are bad scientists, but to compare them to a television executive? You don't go into research for profit, just ask any astronomer.

Scientists don't set out to prove their hypothesis. They actually do the exact opposite, trying to disprove their hypothesis by attacking it from every conceivable angle. Then, when they are done, they put it out there for everyone else in their field to try and tear apart. There is also an excellent chance that new evidence ten, twenty, thirty years down the road is going to prove it wrong (steady state universe, anyone?).

Finally, as others have already pointed out, there is as of yet zero proof for paranormal activity. Yes, this does not prove that it doesn't exist, but it makes the case pretty difficult. After all, we haven't disproved the existence of little green men on Mars, but we're all pretty convinced that they don't exist.
 
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