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backinblack
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On 2010-11-16 03:29, MichaelCGM wrote:
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On 2010-11-16 00:48, shamsiel wrote: Psychic abilities ARE real! Just not what you might imagine. We do it every day. We divine through facial expressions, body language, body heat, body smell, clothing, ethnicity, race, speech patterns, and many, many more cues, what we believe that person in front of us is thinking at this instant!

Your assessment can only be accurate IF you redefine the term "psychic." The thread is based on the current, acceptable definition of psychic. You can change the definition if you want, but then you are arguing apples and oranges. No offense intended.


agreed. what this gentleman was talking about is gesture etc. this is - in communication - part of psychology - not of parapsychology.
kazuba
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We know psychic abilities MUST be real because Dean Radin, a past four times president of the Parapsycholgy Association, said, and it has been recorded, Eastern yogis could see into the past, present and future, read another person's mind, and levitate. Certainly since he is a scientist Radin can not be wrong in his conclusions. Dean Radin lecture Entangled Minds at Theosophy Hall, NYC Part 1 of 2
*[http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4101652548153526244] Dean Radin Lecture Entangled Minds at Theosophy Hall, NYC Part 2 of 2

According to TIME magazine 788 English language science papers have been retracted since 2000.
70% for error, most of the rest for fraud. [TIME magazine 29 Nov 2010, page 17] Since pharmaceuticals can aid, and in some cases, cure the mentally ill it is doubtful this has anything to do with quantum physics. More likely it is just plain old chemistry. In a personal letter to me the famous Dr. Oliver Sacks kindly told me in all his years of practice, which at that time numbered over 60, he had never encountered anyone with a psychic ability. I was curious. Dr. Sacks seemed like the right person to ask about psychic abilities.

Earlier in his career Radin stated in an interview that the famous Indian Rope Trick where the rope shoots up into the air and a climber disappears into the sky was real. But since Western viewers "minds were melted" they saw nothing.[http://www.enlightenment.com/media/interviews/radin] Enlightenment Interview with Dean Radin See: ''The Weight of Credulity'' How could a very well educated scientist be wrong? Are there really crackpot high intellectuals and scientists in parapsychology and spiritism like our noted magicians: Harry Houdini, David Abbott, Joseph Rinn, Martin Gardner, Milbourne Christopher and James Randi warned us about? If there are then why don't we recognize them? After all we are supposed to be the masters of deception.
ibm_usa
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On 2010-11-13 09:08, rjs wrote:
Many years ago Richard Dawkins came up with an interesting theoretical argument against the scientific validity of psychic ability.
If this ability were genuine, it would give significant advantage to the individual, and these psychic traits would spread throughout the population.
This has clearly not happened.


That is a very good arguement against the existance of such ability.

HOWEVER

A hypothetical thought came to me not to long ago...Do people still consciously understand and go with that "gut instinct"?

Hypothetically, what if Extra-Sensory Perception was a survival mechanism for early early man?
In that case Richard Dawkins stands correct in that it will give us great advantage.

But as Evolution has shown us, we can become adept to no longer need a reliance on certain primitive traits. We have plenty of useless appendages.

Now we are much advanced and have safety in our numbers to no longer need ESP if said ability once existed. But we have a lot of times suffer from Dejavu and intuitive thoughts about danger.
What if these feelings are reminents of a ancient skill our ancestors used to survive in the wild millions of years ago?


There is another problem with my hypothesis.... If said ability did exist, our brains would still show it. Unfortunately no brain scan image has yet to show such an ability "exists."

There are several loop holes in the arrogant thinking that ESP does not exist... How do you explain the instant connections between two lovers or two soon to be lovers?
Dejavu?
That gut feeling that you are about to encounter some danger?

As you can see there are plenty of conflicting views on this issue but what it boils down to is... Scientific Evidence based upon the scientific method! There have been some close calls, but none have passed the tests.
"You may think that i only talk of things from the past, you know, history, well magic is history"

-Guy Jarrett

"Curiosity isn't a sin Harry, but it should be exorcised with great caution."

-Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
http://www.jordanallen-mentalist.webs.com/
kazuba
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On 11 September 2001 there doesn't seem to have been much of a gut feeling that the twin towers of the World Trade Center were going to be attacked either by the military authorities or by 2606 people who died there. The US Navy was in for a big suprise on 07 Dec 1941. 1177 sailors were killed just on the USS Arizona. On 01 Feb 2003 the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle, those who launched it, and those who watched it ascend into the sky, were in for a big suprise when it exploded. The same goes for the assassin of Ted Kennedy. Where was that gut feeling of danger then? If we have a gut feeling of danger it would seem it kicks in a little too late. Like when you find the automobile you are driving spinning around and around, traveling backward on the freeway and you blurt out,"Oh S**t!" ,if you have the time.
kazuba
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Is that instant moment when two lovers connect remembered and have much value when the drunk husband is beating or murdering his wife and using his kids for punching bags?
MichaelCGM
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On 2010-12-04 02:08, kazuba wrote:
On 11 September 2001 there doesn't seem to have been much of a gut feeling that the twin towers of the World Trade Center were going to be attacked either by the military authorities or by 2606 people who died there. The US Navy was in for a big suprise on 07 Dec 1941. 1177 sailors were killed just on the USS Arizona. On 01 Feb 2003 the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle, those who launched it, and those who watched it ascend into the sky, were in for a big suprise when it exploded. The same goes for the assassin of Ted Kennedy. Where was that gut feeling of danger then? If we have a gut feeling of danger it would seem it kicks in a little too late.

Does it kick in too late, or is it defined in such a manner that allows only certain information to be disclosed? As a Bible-believing-Christian, I have to believe is paranormal activities. But, on what basis can we say that all psychic ability provides all information at all times, whether scientifically proven or not?

During a recent study of Jim Callahan, I started thinking about Chris Angel's challenge to both Callahan and Geller. Angel appears to believe that, if physic ability actually exists, then why wasn't 9-11 foreseen. Angel's argument assumes that we can know, specifically how much information is available, if psychic power is accepted. If we can't prove that paranormal abilities exist, then how on earth can we establish what such abilities can or cannot know? Does not knowing about 9-11 prove that one cannot know about other future events?

Back to the OP, scientists can be scammed (Piltdown Man, et al), so how will we know if and when actual proof has been discovered? What level of evidence will we need to be comfortable?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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kazuba
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Do not confuse the stories in the Bible with real life. They are not the same, even when it comes to such things as miracles, prophecy, necromancy and most likely immortality. The world of the Bible is a different world than the world we live in. Theology is taught in story form using the language of myth.
Myth is not something that is not true. Myth seems to be prescientfic sacred traditions that are the product of preliterates. The world of science and critical history does not exist in myth. The world of the Divine and heroes populate myth in many, many cultures in and outside the Bible.

Science is based on human observation. Science does not and probably will never get all the answers. The universe is stranger than we can imagine. Do not look for comfort. Learn to enjoy and be astonished by wonder and the unknown. Life is always uncertain and full of good and bad surprises. To some it is very difficult to do, but get used to it. Humans try to learn from their mistakes. Sometimes they do and some times they don't. This is what I have learned from the real magicians.
MichaelCGM
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On 2010-12-04 13:24, kazuba wrote: Do not confuse the stories in the Bible with real life.

Do not confuse opinion with fact. But, this is not the forum for religious argument, so I won't respond to the rest of your opinion.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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shamsiel
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On 2010-11-16 13:00, backinblack wrote:
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On 2010-11-16 03:29, MichaelCGM wrote:
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On 2010-11-16 00:48, shamsiel wrote: Psychic abilities ARE real! Just not what you might imagine. We do it every day. We divine through facial expressions, body language, body heat, body smell, clothing, ethnicity, race, speech patterns, and many, many more cues, what we believe that person in front of us is thinking at this instant!

Your assessment can only be accurate IF you redefine the term "psychic." The thread is based on the current, acceptable definition of psychic. You can change the definition if you want, but then you are arguing apples and oranges. No offense intended.


agreed. what this gentleman was talking about is gesture etc. this is - in communication - part of psychology - not of parapsychology.


Michael, I'm not offended at all. I agree. I am sure that psychich abilities have been explained by science and have a natural explanation behind them. I don't think there is anything "outside" nature. Even something as abstract as consciousness is part of nature. Even us, little biological robots full of complex little bio-computer programs are as natural as the little programs that make cats chase after mouse.

If parapsychologists find a few "real" psychics and psychologists are able to explain the phenomena as people with a heightened awareness of gestures, evolutionary adaptations to identify mood and other things on people by look, smell, and verbal communication, parapsychologists need to let go of the "psychics" (since they have been explained or debunked) and move unto other unexplained phenomena. Psychics will still be amazing beings in my book, superhumans. Kind of like comparing a regular swimmer to Michael Phelps.

Shamsiel
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On 2010-11-15 14:58, bobser wrote:
In order to answer the question we need to check out premise. And scientific premise suggests that science doesn't prove a thing. Rather it disproves thing after thing after thing, until somebody, normally called Orville, proves that that same particular thing actually works, but by using a different method.
Oh, nearly forgot; sometimes Orville brings along his brother as a witness.


Yes sir, you are absolutely right. Science is not about proving things but about debunking claims. When diferent branches of science fail at debunking a claim it becomes a theory (I know its more complicated than that but lets not turn this into a long winded discussion on the beauty, or horrors, of The Scientific Method). A scientific theory, is not some scientists half-baked guess, it is the explanation for something that has been kicked, punched, and slashed, by the experts of many branches of science in a sinister effort to destroy the discovery and so far such discovery withstands said abuse to the point that it is accepted as the "best explanation" until this day.

Can a theorie change, or be corrected? of course it can... Science is not a religion. Theories are not written in stone. If new discoveries are made that can put bullet holes in the accepted "best explanation" scientists will have to look closely and either edit the theory or scrap it and begin the search for a better explanation.

And talking about Orville... he also makes great Popcorn.
Respects,
Shamsiel
MichaelCGM
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On 2010-12-04 15:01, shamsiel wrote: I am sure that psychich abilities have been explained by science and have a natural explanation behind them. I don't think there is anything "outside" nature. Even something as abstract as consciousness is part of nature. Even us, little biological robots full of complex little bio-computer programs are as natural as the little programs that make cats chase after mouse.

Again, with all due respect, your assessment can only be accurate IF you redefine the term "psychic." Good ol' Merrium defines "psychic" as:

1: of or relating to the psyche : psychogenic
2: lying outside the sphere of physical science or knowledge : immaterial, moral, or spiritual in origin or force
3: sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences : marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding.

If we accept the extant definition, then once an ability is "explained by science," it is no longer "psychic," by definition (2). Further, if we accept the definition, then science cannot address the issue, at least from my ol' college prof's definition of science. That is, science is the study of the "natural world," which makes sense to me. Ergo, science cannot address the supernatural (3). About all that science CAN do is what you said yourself (when responding to bobser), "Science is not about proving things but about debunking claims. So, unless we change the generally accepted definition of "psychic," we're left with some strong limitations on what science can and cannot say about it, aren't we?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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kazuba
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Michael,
I guess I didn't come across. I have watched and studied the selective history and strange goings on in parapsychology for about 45 years.
No one can, or has ever told the future. It is like wishing yourself to levitate or stop time. You can not wish your arm to turn into diamonds, shoot webs from your hands, stretch your neck as long a giraffe, run faster than a speeding bullet, turn yourself into a talking mule, stop growing older, and escape death. These are things that just do not happen.
There are physical limits to our biological bodies and brains. Seeing into the future happens to be one of them.
Though it is doubtful many of you who read this will believe it. Like the fellow who believes wrapping himself in aluminum foil will let him escape being followed by a sputnik shooting out infa red beams aimed just at him - you cannot trust your experiences. As magicians, we especially should know we are easily deceived by our senses, all of us. Gee, how could I have married such a creep? I was so sure...
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On 2010-12-06 19:47, kazuba wrote: I guess I didn't come across.

I believe you came across as you intended. I just disagreed with your opinion of the Bible. In response to my statement, that I am a Bible-believing-Christian, you postulated about the nature of the Bible. I simply pointed out that your opinion doesn't equate to accepted fact.

Quote:
On 2010-12-06 19:47, kazuba wrote: There are physical limits to our biological bodies and brains. Seeing into the future happens to be one of them.

Though I agree with your first sentence, I find your second sentence just more of your opinion, with no evidence to support it. Though I am willing to cede that there are limits to our brains, I am not prepared to assume what those limits are, without support. There are recognized studies of circumstances that occur between twins, even when separated by great distances, even when they are completely unaware that a twin exists, which could be considered paranormal, and are (thus far) unexplained by science.

I'd be glad to examine whatever actual evidence you have for your claims that paranormal powers do not exist. After all, even though I found the paper cited in the OP lacking, the thread is still about whether science can prove psychic abilities or not. If one doesn't believe in the existence of any psychic abilities, then the argument is moot to that person, isn't it?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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Well said Kazuba.

I've been looking for evidence of ANYTHING psychic for about 30 years or so. (Not quite as long as you!) Mostly, I encounter the "transcendental temptation" (as Kurtz coined it). Wouldn't it be so ***ed exciting just to find ONE genuine example.

Benny
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+Author: Machinations (Vanishing Inc, 2020)+
EVERYTHING BEN HARRIS
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MichaelCGM:
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I am not prepared to assume what those limits are, without support


What support, if not science? And if science, what more evidence do you need?
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On 2010-12-07 06:33, brody wrote: What support, if not science? And if science, what more evidence do you need?

I didn't say, "not science." As for "if science," what evidence are you citing, if indeed you are citing actual evidence?
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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MichaelCGM: You misunderstand. I'm not saying you SAID "not science", I'm asking you what you will use for "support". What will you use in lieu of science that will give you understanding of the "limitations"?
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Michael, I have always been a wait and see type of person. Some of my favorites were to watch the view of dinosaurs and ancient humans change, track psychic detectives, contact police agencies and watch my children and the universe grow. I studied the selective history of parapsychology and psychical research going back for at least a hundred years and much, much more. So far zilch. Like my mentor Martin Gardner, and even James Randi, I am willing to CHANGE MY mind. Are you willing to CHANGE YOUR mind? Your conclusion on the twin things is a common error. There is no scientific data to support it. Believe me I looked for it and at it. You may be interested in looking into emotional contagion and folie a deux instead of psychic abilities. I have found these fascinating. People part seas, follow flaming columns (for forty years), have talking snakes and asses, accurately tell the future, have virgin birth, walk on water and fly away into the sky in myths, not in real life. There is nothing wrong in learning larger than life lessons from myths. That is what they are for. And that is why they were taught, existed and are still cherished. [James Randi never learned that. Randi comes to his conclusions rather hastily.] Myths still fill our fiction, movies, plays and many many biographies, autobiographies, and not so good history books. (We are always finding and learning something new about the past.) I studied at a Religous university with real Biblical scholars, the ones who translate the Bible and write very very scholarly papers and books. I read books borrowed from religious seminary libraries that had not been taken out for a decade. I wanted to know if someone in the Bible really predicted the future. I learned they did not. Things were taken out of context and sometimes written after the events had already occurred. Not every one knows that. Or wants to.

To Ben Harris, I did historical research for Paul Kurtz as he wrote the "Transcendental Temptation". He sent me chapter after chapter as he wrote his book. He wanted my criticism. I was used. I was very angry. That is when I first corresponded and spoke with Martin Gardner. Martin told me Mr. Kurtz had strange ideas. As puzzlers Martin and I understood each other. He was very kind to me. I owe Martin and his dear Charlotte my faith. Somehow I kept it. Doing magic over the phone with Martin was a real treat. I miss them. Martin was really sharp and very very curious. Martin's last request to me was for me to send him information on the tomb of Jesus' mother, Mary. As usual with Heroes and Heroines there was more than one in some very interesting locations, if you go in for that kind of thing, like Martin and I did.
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I knew Paul Kurtz years ago and had the opportunity to see him in action more than once. You won't get any argument from me about your opinion of him.
MichaelCGM
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On 2010-12-07 22:42, brody wrote: MichaelCGM: You misunderstand. I'm not saying you SAID "not science", I'm asking you what you will use for "support". What will you use in lieu of science that will give you understanding of the "limitations"?

Nothing "in lieu" of science. The point I was making was directed to Kazuba. Kazuba makes numerous opinionated assertions about limitations of the mind, without any real support. Your question seems to be assuming "limitations" as well. That puts me into a tight box. Here's why:

First, science deals with the natural world. So, science is unlikely to admit supernatural causes for any given effect (including God). Scientific method requires that tests must be repeatable. Some so-called psychics claim that they can't control when their ability occurs… a ploy, I'm sure, but that raises a question nonetheless.

Second, science can only answer to limitations within a given period of time and when the limitations are stated. One cannot legitimately argue "limitations" on such a broad scale, without testing each limitation one asserts… which brings us back to the first point. However, for one to boldly state, "No one can, or has ever told the future," is naive at best.

Finally, I can only accept evidence (scientific or otherwise) that certain claims by certain people have been proven false, under certain circumstances. As Shamsiel said, "Science is not about proving things but about debunking claims." That, of course, only debunks those claims presented and only at that time. Kazuba's assertion, that "No one can…" tell the future is tantamount to asserting that there are no unknown planets beyond what our scientists can prove today.
Magically Yours,

Magical Michael

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