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Garrette
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[quote]On 2010-11-14 10:20, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
Everytime we prove a bit of 'supernaturalism' wrong, they simply change their definition of what a psychic can do. For example if we prove they are merely blowwing on the paper (by putting bits of styrofoam infront of it) then


Actually, in this specific case (as in many like it) the person doing the testing is doing the redefining. In this case the test was to move the page without moving anything around it. That was never the claim of the person being tested.

The "control" would not have proven anything, had the page moved. If an energy, any energy, is causing the page to move; then it is entirely logical that this same energy would cause other similarly light weight objects around it to move. It would have been poor science to deduce anything from the styrofoam moving other than "a force has been applied in the direction of the page." The source of the force would still be uncertain.[quote]In the sense that Randi's test of Hydrick was not scientific, you are correct, but Randi never claimed it was. It did, however, make use of scientific principles, such as attempting to eliminate the possibility of other explanations.

Your statement that it is "entirely logical that this same energy would cause other similarly light weigh objects around it to move" does not seem at all logical to me, so if you could explain that, please do. Regardless, Hydrick himself did not make that claim. Interestingly, he did not manage to move both the page and the styrofoam peanuts around it; he said his power wasn't working, and he tried to blame the fluorescent lights.

I admit that Randi's demonstration did not prove Hydrick has no powers, but your post-hoc rationalization of it is exactly that, and it ignores the fact that the phenomenon was not Randi's to disprove; it was Hydrick's to prove. He could not, and at no point did he use your justification.
Tony Iacoviello
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 10:20, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
Everytime we prove a bit of 'supernaturalism' wrong, they simply change their definition of what a psychic can do. For example if we prove they are merely blowwing on the paper (by putting bits of styrofoam infront of it) then


Actually, in this specific case (as in many like it) the person doing the testing is doing the redefining. In this case the test was to move the page without moving anything around it. That was never the claim of the person being tested.

The "control" would not have proven anything, had the page moved. If an energy, any energy, is causing the page to move; then it is entirely logical that this same energy would cause other similarly light weight objects around it to move. It would have been poor science to deduce anything from the styrofoam moving other than "a force has been applied in the direction of the page." The source of the force would still be uncertain.

The ploy worked for me because it showed that the person exhibiting this ability, and professing great familiarity with it, did not understand this basic truth. He grasped the first non sense which came to mind instead of realizing the simple truth. That is the sign of someone caught unexpected. Someone familiar with the ability would not have been deterred and would fully expect the styrofoam to move.

Like any good detective, if you can get a person thinking in one direction while your attention is actually focussed in another, you can see into their true intentions by looking around their claimed intentions.

***********************************
Now let's consider this "we have enough examples to disprove..." and I mean aside from the obvious logic of the inability to prove some doesn't exist.

I'll simply put forth as evidence the long illustrious history of examples in which popular science (by which I mean scientists and the so called scholarly minded) has shunned and ridiculed ideas which later in history would be found to become scientific "truth". Round Earths, Sun centric solar systems, and things of similar ilk. This history places enough weight on the scales to cause me to believe that it is just as likely as it is unlikely that through the Forrest of Fakers some true "psychic ability" will come to light.

Science has quietly and somewhat recently added a taste to our human abilities and removed a planet from our solar system.



I find the cited example funny. Yes, this person was using a method other than what was claimed, but the "actual" method as claimed by those testing the individual is silly and illustrates your point:
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The ploy worked for me because it showed that the person exhibiting this ability, and professing great familiarity with it, did not understand this basic truth.

If one studies the films of the exhibitions previous to the “test”, one would see that the method attributed by the examiners did not fit. (This is not to say that they were wrong on the force, but were wrong in the origin of the force.)

The person being tested, fraud that he was, latched on to the method ascribed by the “examiner” and subsequent documenters as this “proposed” method as it attributed a mastery of another technique (a physical skill), one that cannot be replicated by the way (as it was not the true method), in effect making him superhuman.

Yet as preposterous as the proposed explanation was, it was a “physical method” as opposed to a “non physical method” so it was accepted and embraced by those wishing to expose the individual of fraud. It seems the proponents of the “explanation” do not understand the “basic truths” of the explanation as it might have applied in the exhibitions. Instead, it was accepted because the individual failed to accomplish the task under the test conditions. What Tom stated about the individual being tested appears to be true as well. Neither party understood what was going on.

Yes, the individual, in subsequent interviews, did claim that he had spent considerable time mastering control over the physical method, taking credit for this method, impossible as it was. But this admitted fraud and liar’s words were accepted this time as it was what was wanted to be heard by those questioning him. The best lies have a bit of truth in them, and if you say what the people want to hear, it will more than likely be accepted by them.

BTW, if you don’t agree, put an open book on the table, have a friend place their hands in front of your mouth, now try to turn a page in the book using the “stated method”.

Tony
Garrette
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Tony, it is entirely possible that doubters and skeptics latch onto incorrect explanations, just as it is entirely possible that those who believe latch onto other incorrect explanations.

The point as I see it, though, is that the claimant failed to prove the claim. Those who believe what you say is the incorrect method do not now go about trumpeting it as a major find except in the context of demonstrating that Hydrick could not prove his claim.

Regardless if you can irrefutably paint every skeptic as a cynical nay-saying blinkered close-minded liar, the fact remains that the claim was not demonstrated. This is the case in general for psi.
Tony Iacoviello
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 11:19, Garrette wrote:
...
Regardless if you can irrefutably paint every skeptic as a cynical nay-saying blinkered close-minded liar...


I never made that claim!
entity
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 07:00, IAIN wrote:
my questions:

a) can we say categorically NOW, that psychic ability definitely doesn't exist?


No. Just like you can't say that flying reindeer, or any other reported phenomena can't possibly be true. All you can do is test claims or hypotheses and report the results. Some things have mathematical "proofs" that science accepts, as with black holes, some aspects of atomic research, etc.

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b) if yes, why?


See above.

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c) do you feel we have given it proper testing for a decent amount of time? (bearing in mind we gave nearly two thousand years to arrive at the mere beginnings of atoms)


The difference is that scientific method, technology and understanding have advanced to a greater degree of proficiency in the past couple of hundred years that in all of our previous existence. You might as well say that it took 2000 years to develop the frizbee.

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d) is the way we test for psychic ability wrong? could it be we are testing the wrong abilities in the wrong way and it all needs to be looked at again?


Perhaps. But isn't that a bit like saying: "Are we looking for flying reindeer in all the wrong places?"

Your statement assumes that there will be results if we only do a better job of looking for them.

- entity
Garrette
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 11:27, Tony Iacoviello wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-11-14 11:19, Garrette wrote:
...
Regardless if you can irrefutably paint every skeptic as a cynical nay-saying blinkered close-minded liar...


I never made that claim!
I know. I wasn't trying to imply you did. I was showing a best case scenario for psi proponents and a worst case for doubters.
Tom Cutts
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Jon, some beautiful words about science. Thank you for sharing them.

Garrette, he did what he said he could do. He moved the pencil and he moved the page. I'll just repeat, the addition of styrofoam would have proved nothing as to the source of the force.

Anyone can latch onto a false belief, it's just so much more telling when those who claim to be above it do so... and in the name exposing a false belief. But yes it does happen.

As to my example of how forces work, maybe a reproducible experiment would be best. Take some various size leaves, small twigs of differing weights, and a rock to a sizable body of water. Set the leaves and twigs afloat within close proximity of each other in the water. Now toss the stone into the water to create energy waves. Do these waves affect all the objects, or just certain ones?

Quote:
On 2010-11-14 11:30, entity wrote:

Quote:
d) is the way we test for psychic ability wrong? could it be we are testing the wrong abilities in the wrong way and it all needs to be looked at again?

Perhaps. But isn't that a bit like saying: "Are we looking for flying reindeer in all the wrong places?"

Your statement assumes that there will be results if we only do a better job of looking for them.

- entity
They are questions, not statements. Part of the problem with discussions like this is the mis-inferences which are made about what is written. For instance, many non-believers lazily lump those who state the scientific fact that the existence of "psychic abilities have not been categorically disproven" into the "believers" group. To me, it casts as much doubt on their ability to be logical as all the fakers of such abilities casts doubt on the existence of any such abilities.

Has science discovered more new species by looking where it has already looked, or by looking in remote, unsearched areas of the globe? Furthermore, do you believe the next 200 years of science will see exponential growth in the techniques used, discoveries made, and knowledge drawn upon or will it flatten out?
Garrette
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 11:53, Tom Cutts wrote:

Garrette, he did what he said he could do. He moved the pencil and he moved the page.
He also said he could do it with the styrofoam there. He didn't.

But okay. He did what he said he could do: a magician's trick executed very well. No evidence for psi. Certainly not proof that psi doesn't exist, but worth exactly nothing as evidence for it.

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I'll just repeat, the addition of styrofoam would have proved nothing as to the source of the force.
Who was trying to prove anything about the source of the force? The styrofoam was to cut down on non-psi possibilities.

I'll say it again in case it wasn't clear before: He didn't move the page AND the styrofoam when it was there; he said he couldn't move either one for reasons that had nothing to do with the styrofoam.

And I'll say this again just so we don't forget: He didn't do what he said he could do because what he said he could do was move the page even with the styrofoam there.

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Anyone can latch onto a false belief,
Absolutely.

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it's just so much more telling when those who claim to be above it do so...
Who claims to be above it? Not I. Not Randi.

Tell me in the following scenario which one may have a false belief (not definitely, just maybe):

Person A: I belief X

Person B: I don't believe X

Person A: Why not?

Person B: Because X hasn't been shown to be true and could be explained with Y or Z or something else.

Person A: You haven't shown X to be wrong.

Person B: That's true.

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and in the name exposing a false belief.
This is more accurate. There are skeptics, and I am occasionally among them, who do expose or attempt such exposures.

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As to my example of how forces work, maybe a reproducible experiment would be best. Take some various size leaves, small twigs of differing weights, and a rock to a sizable body of water. Set the leaves and twigs afloat within close proximity of each other in the water. Now toss the stone into the water to create energy waves. Do these waves affect all the objects, or just certain ones?
So what you are doing is defining the nature of the force that even Hydrick did not define and which no one else has defined. Can you tell me, please, how you came to this conclusion and whether it is the accepted definition within the parapsychological community? Or are we just dealing with a possibility? A possibility that does not change the fact that Hydrick moved neither the page nor the peanuts.

Posted: Nov 14, 2010 12:43pm
Quote:

On 2010-11-14 12:15, Tom Cutts wrote:

Has science discovered more new species by looking where it has already looked, or by looking in remote, unsearched areas of the globe?

The difference is extreme.

Biologists have met with repeated success in finding new species in poorly explored areas. Parapsychologists have met with repeated failure despite looking in the same areas with better tools.

Quote:

Furthermore, do you believe the next 200 years of science will see exponential growth in the techniques used, discoveries made, and knowledge drawn upon or will it flatten out?

Not sure of your point here.
entity
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 12:15, Tom Cutts wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-11-14 11:30, entity wrote:

Quote:
d) is the way we test for psychic ability wrong? could it be we are testing the wrong abilities in the wrong way and it all needs to be looked at again?


Perhaps. But isn't that a bit like saying: "Are we looking for flying reindeer in all the wrong places?"

Your statement assumes that there will be results if we only do a better job of looking for them.

- entity
They are questions, not statements.


Let me rephrase -- Your QUESTIONS assume there there will be positive results if we only do a better job of looking for them.

- entity
funsway
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Most posts thus far desire to prove phychic ability as a measurement against soem standard -- but noone has defined what that standard is. If paranormal means "other than normal" or "beyond what most people can do" then "being psychic" is proved every day. If you do something that causes another person to say, "You must be psychic," then "psychic" must exist as being more than that person considers "normal."

Who then is to decide what is the standard for comparison? If indeed a particular skill/attribute is found to be common or trainable then it will not be "other than normal" and will no longer be psychic. Thus, you can never "prove" psychic ability for the proving will invalidate the label for the phenomenon.

So, if you want a percentage, then decide what percentage of the world pupulation must acknowledge an ability as "paranormal" without effecting what "normal" means.

Alternately, everyone could agree that if a large number of randomly selected viewers of an event would consider it to be "paranormal," then it is regardless of any percentage of accuracy.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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entity
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Nonsense.

Perception has little to do with reality.

As mentalists/magicians we should know that.

If I perform a spoon bend on television, and the spoon appears to curl up and bend, and millions of viewers witnessing the effect see it as a supernatural event, that doesn't make it a supernatural event.

As mentalists, were we to honestly believe that our own performances (that are based upon deceptive or demonstrably natural methods) are supernatural, we would simply be delusional.

- entity
Tom Cutts
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 12:35, Garrette wrote:
He also said he could do it with the styrofoam there. He didn't.
I'd like to view the footage of him saying that. Best I can find is tacit agreement in that he continued the attempt. Maybe you have a different video or maybe you don't recall the video as precisely as you believe. I'm not claiming that anything psychic took place, I'm just keeping with what is factual. If you have footage of him saying "I can move the page and the styrofoam.", I'd like to view it.

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Who was trying to prove anything about the source of the force? The styrofoam was to cut down on non-psi possibilities.
In what possible way would it cut down on non-psi possibilities? It couldn't even expose a non-psi possibility. All it could do is say a force was used and probably the direction could be show as well. Couldn't discern between a breath or a psychic energy flow... I suppose he might have spit on it. Believing the styrofoam was definitive evidence as to the type of force would be as flawed as believing the deceptions performed.

But it is interesting to see Randi twice make rather unscientific claims on television only after the statement admitting that he was unqualified to make such statements. In one case a scientist even passively refutes Randi's mis-statement.

Quote:
he said he couldn't move either one for reasons that had nothing to do with the styrofoam.

In the clip I have he explicitly implicates the styrofoam. We must have two different clips. I have the one where the styrofoam is creating electricity (static) caused by the heat from the lights. While I don't believe the statement, it does directly come as a result of adding the foam bits.

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Person A: I belief X

Person B: I don't believe X

Person A: Why not?

Person B: Because X hasn't been shown to be true and could be explained with Y or Z or something else.

Person A: You haven't shown X to be wrong.

Person B: That's true.
Why doubt either one? Is it that big of an issue to simply say "I can't say for sure and it really only is of value when I can say for sure.". Is anyone telling Person A they are wrong based on a differing opinion going to change A's belief? From what I have seen, probably not. And that is why much debunking has no sticking power.

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So what you are doing is defining the nature of the force that even Hydrick did not define and which no one else has defined. Can you tell me, please, how you came to this conclusion and whether it is the accepted definition within the parapsychological community? Or are we just dealing with a possibility? A possibility that does not change the fact that Hydrick moved neither the page nor the peanuts.
You are tightly wrapped aroung the fact that when the styrofoam was added he was unable reproduce his "ability". He admitted later that he was a fraud. Whoop dee doo! What I did was research his demonstrations, his practices both real and fake, and listen to him discuss what he claimed to be doing prior to admitting it was all fake. It all points to energy in the conventional sense like one lands a blow. When someone claims to be able to cause one specific feather from within a full down pillow to move with psychic abilities let me know. My own abilities are not that well honed.

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On 2010-11-14 12:43, Garrette wrote:
Parapsychologists have met with repeated failure despite looking in the same areas with better tools.
Is one possible scientific explanation for this that they are looking in the wrong place?

Quote:
Quote:
Furthermore, do you believe the next 200 years of science will see exponential growth in the techniques used, discoveries made, and knowledge drawn upon or will it flatten out?
Not sure of your point here.
Point is exponential growth of knowledge and science seems inevitable, disregarding another dark ages of course. It is natural and not proof at all that anything specifically should have been discovered by now. Some things go thousands of years believed extinct, and then appear in a fishing net.

Posted: Nov 14, 2010 2:47pm
Quote:

On 2010-11-14 13:28, entity wrote:

Let me rephrase -- Your QUESTIONS assume there there will be positive results if we only do a better job of looking for them.

- entity

Interesting, I just see questions, no assumptions. Are you encouraging a position that psi abilities don't exist and we should stop looking? Because I get the sense your response assumes there could only ever be one result, that being negative.
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On 2010-11-14 14:21, Tom Cutts wrote:
I'd like to view the footage of him saying that. Best I can find is tacit agreement in that he continued the attempt.
I will conceded he did not actually say it; the tacit agreement is what I was referring to.

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Maybe you have a different video or maybe you don't recall the video as precisely as you believe.
Entirely possible (the bit about not recalling it as well). It doesn't change the point.

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I'm not claiming that anything psychic took place, I'm just keeping with what is factual.
Okay. Perhaps I misunderstood your entire point. If so, my apologies.

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If you have footage of him saying "I can move the page and the styrofoam.", I'd like to view it.
See above.

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In what possible way would it cut down on non-psi possibilities?
It eliminated the ability to use his breath. That's clear.

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It couldn't even expose a non-psi possibility. All it could do is say a force was used and probably the direction could be show as well. Couldn't discern between a breath or a psychic energy flow... I suppose he might have spit on it. Believing the styrofoam was definitive evidence as to the type of force would be as flawed as believing the deceptions performed.
Then you gravely misunderstand.

Let's assume Hydrick did move the page with the styrofoam there, and that in doing so it also moved the styrofoam. This would not prove that he breathed on the page; Randi did not claim it would. To turn your request back on you: I'd like to see video that he did say that.

What it would have shown was that his ability was indistinguishable from using his breath. And since it would be indistinguishable, there would be no reason to assume it wasn't breath.

That difference is key.

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But it is interesting to see Randi twice make rather unscientific claims on television only after the statement admitting that he was unqualified to make such statements. In one case a scientist even passively refutes Randi's mis-statement.
Is it interesting to see anyone express an opinion, honestly admit their qualifications are not sufficient to make that opinion sound, and admit a mistake when someone better qualified points it out later? Or just Randi?

Frankly, we all express opinions on things outside our expertise; those who are intellectually honest about it admit such limitations up front; further, they admit they are wrong when their opinions are demonstrated as such.

You have proven that Randi is imperfect. I'm not surprised.

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he said he couldn't move either one for reasons that had nothing to do with the styrofoam.

In the clip I have he explicitly implicates the styrofoam. We must have two different clips. I have the one where the styrofoam is creating electricity (static) caused by the heat from the lights. While I don't believe the statement, it does directly come as a result of adding the foam bits.[/quote]I'll concede this, too. See above where I talk about the styrofoam not being intended to prove breath but to demonstrate that the claim is indistinguishable from breath.

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Why doubt either one? Is it that big of an issue to simply say "I can't say for sure and it really only is of value when I can say for sure."
Actually, that's the perfect answer when there is no further information.

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Is anyone telling Person A they are wrong based on a differing opinion going to change A's belief? From what I have seen, probably not. And that is why much debunking has no sticking power.
And this is where it strays from perfect (not trying to imply that I am; I'm far from it). Much of the debunking is only presumed to be based on opinion when in fact it is based on much more than that.

If we were to add to my vague scenario about Person A and Person B some history about Belief X it would change things. For instance, Belief X has been around for a long time, but even Person A won't define what it really is, and almost every time someone tries to test it the test results either in fraud or negative results, and the few times it results in positive results it is never replicated. Then add to the mix that there are other explanations for the phenomenon which do not require Belief X, and those explanations do have proof.

At that point, it may be semantically true that Person B is expressing an opinion, but it is not true that his opinion has no more weight than Person A's belief in X.

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You are tightly wrapped aroung the fact that when the styrofoam was added he was unable reproduce his "ability".
"Tightly wrapped?" Not in the slightest.

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He admitted later that he was a fraud. Whoop dee doo! What I did was research his demonstrations, his practices both real and fake, and listen to him discuss what he claimed to be doing prior to admitting it was all fake. It all points to energy in the conventional sense like one lands a blow. When someone claims to be able to cause one specific feather from within a full down pillow to move with psychic abilities let me know. My own abilities are not that well honed.
I'm not sure we will ever agree on the specific case of Hydrick, but on the general principle of "test what is actually claimed" I am with you one hundred per cent.

Quote:
On 2010-11-14 14:34, Tom Cutts wrote:
Is one possible scientific explanation for this that they are looking in the wrong place?
Yes. Are you suggesting the obverse that one must assume psi exists because parapsychologists haven't found it yet?

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Point is exponential growth of knowledge and science seems inevitable, disregarding another dark ages of course. It is natural and not proof at all that anything specifically should have been discovered by now. Some things go thousands of years believed extinct, and then appear in a fishing net.
See above and add this question: What is the limit of things on which we should continue to seriously consider because someday they might be proven?
entity
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General Science doesn't offer proofs, to my knowledge. Mathematics does, in some forms.

Nor does it proffer preferred beliefs.

Science examines claims and theories, and presents findings based upon results or lack of results.

- entity
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Q. how do you know when a thread has run its life-span?
A. Randi gets mentioned...you can scientifically test that theory...

nevermind...i'm off to push a reindeer off a roof...
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Reminds me of Godwin's Law. Smile

At least the thread hasn't yet degenerated that far.
You can purchase my works at: http://www.GetMindTricks.com
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Well, Entity, I notice you stillnot define "paranormal" -- so from the dicionary.

impossible to explain scientifically: unable to be explained or understood in terms of scientific knowledge

therefore, being paranormal is relative to the person observing and doing the understanding, and limited to their scientific knowledge and trust in alledged experts. What constitutes "scientific knowledge" for a "normal person?" Why should a posted Internet study by some unkown scientist be more valid that a story of a psychic experience by Aunt Lucy?

Youignored my second claim/query. Look at the definition again. If a phenomena can be understood in terms of scientic knowledge then it is no longer paranormal. If, for example, a person who can accurately tell the temperature of the outside air without mechanical assistance is found to have a brain tumor. When it is removed he no longer has the ability. Then, scientific knowledge would at least support the theory that ability was natural and activated by pressure on the brain. A study is done and other people with similar brain tumors also have the ability but didn't recognize it. In this case this strange ability could no longer be considered paranormal.

The point here is that any validation of a perceived paranormal ability is sufficient to change the classification, and seeking some percentage serves no purpose.

Like "magic" you can't define it for someone else, only yourself
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entity
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More nonsense.

"Impossible to explain scientifically" doesn't mean impossible for any given person to explain scientifically. It means that those who understand the science involved in the event can explain it in terms of science.

To suggest that ignorance is somehow proof of the supernatural is ludicrous.

I didn't address your second query because it seems self-evident, if somewhat convoluted. You wrote:

Quote:
If indeed a particular skill/attribute is found to be common or trainable then it will not be "other than normal" and will no longer be psychic. Thus, you can never "prove" psychic ability for the proving will invalidate the label for the phenomenon.


First, your statement implies that "psychic" equates to "supernatural". You don't define your terms, so there's not much to respond to in this statement.

In my opinion, if psychic abilities were proven to exist, they would still be psychic abilities, although not thereafter seen as "supernatural".

The entire argument you make is specious, though, and only serves to detract from the question of what is real and that which is only perceived (or presented) as being real.

- entity
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I particularly like when a question gets asked and someone jumps to the "you must believe something exists to even question if a negative result is due to not looking in the right place.". You've tipped your hand. It's just a question.

What is there to disagree on about Hydrick? He's a fraud. He stupidly continued the fraud when the odds were stacked against him. I've never heard that he knew in advance the test conditions nor even that Randi would be there. Anyway, fortunate for him he followed his stupid move with more foolishness in trying to get out of it all. The only point worth discussing is if he thought he could do it in the moment.

Something confuses me, you seem to want to disagree with me that the styrofoam can't prove the source of the force, but your words confirm it is proof of nothing definitive. If I get your take it is just proof that other things, some quite natural could be the cause. As such it proves nothing other than Randi might be clever at finding a misleading ruse which might sway in his favor scientists who were mostly unqualified, like Randi himself, to make such judgements. Not surprising from a magician, I'd say.

As to something psychic being replicable by normal means and that nullifying the need to research, I will have to disagree strongly. The styrofoam would not in any way have been enough evidence to consider this indistinguishable from blowing. (and don't get me wrong, Hydrick blew). But simply accepting the movement of styrofoam as dismissing the whole investigation makes me wonder if you were on the OJ jury. OK, I kid but the point remains.

I once saw a lecturer having trouble with his mic. Every time he came near the flagpoles on stage he got static. He did it until people started shouting out to avoid the flagpoles. Luckily that was just after the third time, which coincides with a human trait, but I digress. Turns out he was triggering the static and explained that and the lesson it holds. So whenever someone takes the simple answer without due research, they are in grave danger of being misled. Surely you magicians should know that. Being misled by your disbelief in something is just as problematic as being misled by your belief in something. When a debunker makes this mistake, his credibility goes down the tubes.

And on that subject, I have to disagree with your claim on debunkers and fact. Most debunkers in my area are just frustrated magicians who think spouting rhetoric can replace doing the actual work to catch the perpetrators in the act.

I am entertained anytime someone who claims to be fighting on the side of honesty uses dishonest tactics to make statements to you and then beg off them after they have been made. THAT is what Randi did. Not upfront, after the fact. He knew people would be nodding rather than listening when he begged off being qualified to make the statements. I just find it entertaining like seeing a slippery lawyer work his voodoo in court.
Garrette
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Quote:
On 2010-11-14 16:31, Tom Cutts wrote:
I particularly like when a question gets asked and someone jumps to the "you must believe something exists to even question if a negative result is due to not looking in the right place.". You've tipped your hand. It's just a question.
Is this directed at me?

Quote:
What is there to disagree on about Hydrick? He's a fraud. He stupidly continued the fraud when the odds were stacked against him. I've never heard that he knew in advance the test conditions nor even that Randi would be there. Anyway, fortunate for him he followed his stupid move with more foolishness in trying to get out of it all. The only point worth discussing is if he thought he could do it in the moment.
So we're agreed on Hydrick.


Quote:
Something confuses me, you seem to want to disagree with me that the styrofoam can't prove the source of the force,
No. I agreed with you that it isn't proof (I will disagree if you think it isn't strong evidence, though)


[quote]but your words confirm it is proof of nothing definitive.[quote]Correct


Quote:
If I get your take it is just proof that other things, some quite natural could be the cause.
Yes.


Quote:
As such it proves nothing other than Randi might be clever at finding a misleading ruse which might sway in his favor scientists who were mostly unqualified, like Randi himself, to make such judgements.
No. But I'm interested: who would be qualified to make those judgments?



Quote:
As to something psychic being replicable by normal means and that nullifying the need to research, I will have to disagree strongly.
I didn't say it nullifies the need for research (or if I did, I retract). What I said was that it nullified the need to assume a non-mundane explanation.


Quote:
The styrofoam would not in any way have been enough evidence to consider this indistinguishable from blowing. (and don't get me wrong, Hydrick blew).
I strongly disagree.


Quote:
But simply accepting the movement of styrofoam as dismissing the whole investigation makes me wonder if you were on the OJ jury. OK, I kid but the point remains.
I accept it as a joke (and I don't mind them; a well-crafted insult can be a pleasure, even when on the receiving end), but I don't accept the point.

Hydrick could perform when the conditions allowed blowing. He could not perform when the conditions did not allow blowing. That's it.

Quote:
So whenever someone takes the simple answer without due research, they are in grave danger of being misled.
Yes. And when they dismiss the simple answer without proper reason the danger is even more grave.


Quote:
Surely you magicians should know that.
I suspect that magicians are just as non-monolithic as skeptics and believers.


Quote:
Being misled by your disbelief in something is just as problematic as being misled by your belief in something.
Agreed.


Quote:
When a debunker makes this mistake, his credibility goes down the tubes.
Change "debunker" to "anyone" and you have the beginnings of a point. Change "makes this mistake" to "makes this mistake and does not acknowledge it when corrected" and you really have the point.


Quote:
And on that subject, I have to disagree with your claim on debunkers and fact. Most debunkers in my area are just frustrated magicians who think spouting rhetoric can replace doing the actual work to catch the perpetrators in the act.
And my experience is different. I suspect neither experience is truly representative.


Quote:
I am entertained anytime someone who claims to be fighting on the side of honesty uses dishonest tactics to make statements to you and then beg off them after they have been made.
Yes. Neither side has a monopoly on it.


Quote:
THAT is what Randi did. Not upfront, after the fact. He knew people would be nodding rather than listening when he begged off being qualified to make the statements. I just find it entertaining like seeing a slippery lawyer work his voodoo in court.
And I disagree that this is what Randi did, but I am not interested in a thread on Randi so I won't press the point. I'd rather stick closer to the thread topic.
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