#: 250342 S10/Paranormal Issues 04-Mar-92 23:25:26 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Brought

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#: 250342 S10/Paranormal Issues 04-Mar-92 23:25:26 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: ALL For anyone interested in CSICOP and the folks who run it: "CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview" by George Hansen in the _Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research_, Jan 92, V 86, No 1, pp 19-63. This is probably the most detailed and thoroughly documented exposition of CSICOP, its aims, tactics, and leaders entertainingly written by a long- time CSICOP watcher. Hansen is not "bashing" CSICOP. He just "lets it all hang out" in a way that CSICOP probably would not have liked to see. This is _must_ reading for all whose interests have caused them to run afoul of CSICOP and is highly recommended to those who subscribe to the CSICOP cause. The journal is not easily accessible but larger academic libraries may have it or be able to get a copy. Some public libraries in larger cities may also have it. Teachers and researchers writing "officially" might be able to obtain a reprint from the author at Princeton Arms North 1, Apt. 59, Cranbury, NJ 08512. Keep in mind that his supply is probably limited and presently he is not affiliated with an institution that can pick up the postage tab. #: 250343 S10/Paranormal Issues 04-Mar-92 23:25:53 Sb: Meta-analysis & parapsyc Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: ALL For all who are interested, an important paper and commentary have recently been published: "Replication and Meta-Analysis in Parapsychology" by Jessica Utts, in _Statistical Science_, 1991, V 6, No. 4, pp 363-403. (Utts is an Assoc. Prof, Division of Statistics, UC Davis.) Quoting from the abstract, "This paper presents an overview of the use of statistics in parapsychology and offers a summary of the meta-analyses that have been conducted." Utts reviews the early use of statistics in parapsychology and provides an useful discussion of the connection between statistical power and "successful" replication. She then reviews the successful "ganzfeld" experiments and highlights the set of successful experiments that followed the careful guidelines set forth by parapsychol- ogist Honorton and critic Hyman. Utts concludes, "...the overall evidence indicates that there is an anomalous effect in need of an explanation." The paper is followed by commentaries by Bayarri & Berger, Dawson, Diaconis, Greenhouse, Hyman, Morris, Mosteller and an extensive rejoinder by Utts. The commentaries range from the predictable defenses of their well-known positions from Diaconis and Hyman to support and thanks to Utts for an excellent summary, along with some heavy-going discussions on the applicability of Bayesian methods to parapsychology. #: 251815 S10/Paranormal Issues 07-Mar-92 17:32:06 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 What's CSICOP? #: 252110 S10/Paranormal Issues 08-Mar-92 14:18:44 Sb: #251815-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm 100015,514 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, Commitee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. The "Amazing Randi" & Co. Malcolm M. There is 1 Reply. #: 252165 S10/Paranormal Issues 08-Mar-92 16:56:47 Sb: #252110-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Malcolm 100015,514 Thanks. #: 252633 S10/Paranormal Issues 09-Mar-92 16:30:33 Sb: #252110-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Malcolm 100015,514 > Commitee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. The "Amazing Randi" & Co. Randi is not on the committee. Best Regards, Rick M. There is 1 Reply. #: 252715 S10/Paranormal Issues 09-Mar-92 20:56:20 Sb: #252633-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Who is on the committee? There is 1 Reply. #: 252770 S10/Paranormal Issues 09-Mar-92 22:25:32 Sb: #252715-CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 I see your question has been answered, save to note that "Scientific" in their name is a bit of a misnomer. They aggressively debunk anything that does not fit into their framework of accepted science, which includes much of what comes up for discussion in this forum. As the article I referred to indicated, their methods are hardly scientific, though quite effective. Randi resigned from the committee (or was asked to resign, depending on the source) to spare the organization the financial vicissitudes of the lawsuits he is fighting. The committee seems to have something between 100 and 200 members, most of which are listed on the cover of their journal Skeptical Inquirer. The actual power and direction comes from a small executive council consisting of James Alcock, Barry Beyerstein, Susan Blackmore, Kendrick Frazier, Martin Gardner, Ray Hyman, Philip Klass, Paul Kurtz, Joe Nickell, and Lee Nisbet. That is probably more than you wanted to know. Richard #: 253126 S10/Paranormal Issues 10-Mar-92 15:55:16 Sb: #252715-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) > Who is on the committee? As far as I know, it consists of the people this guy Broughton listed at the bottom of his post. (He is, however, incorrect about the "100 to 200" stuff, those being "Fellows" and "Scientific and Technical Consultants", rather than committee members.) The committee puts out a quarterly journal (about 100 pp.) called _The Skeptical Inquirer_, which runs articles from all perspectives, often mutually contradictory ones. Its aims are listed on the back cover, those being (I lossely paraphrase) to encourage and assist in the scientific investigation of paranormal claims, without a priori decisions as to the claims' merits, but rather an eye towards producing competent evidence. CSICOP plainly has, over fifteen years, annoyed a lot of people inclined towards the use of mudslinging, who cannot fault the merit of its results, and therefore resort to impugning its _motives_, instead. (They invariably deny in the same breath that they are engaged in "CSICOP-bashing, curiously enough.) Since the value of CSICOP's work is quite apparent from its journal, on its own merits, I'll just refer you to it, since it should be available from many libraries. James Randi resigned from the Committee about a year ago, because he's been the target of many expensive lawsuits, over a period of some three years, from Uri Geller and an associate. Many of those suits are still ongoing, and Geller has tended in the past to name CSICOP as a co-defendent. Randi says that he wishes to avoid any further financial burden to CSICOP from any additional suits. I don't profess to speak for any of these people, but just wanted to pass along such information as I have. Best Regards, Rick M. There are 2 Replies. #: 253236 S10/Paranormal Issues 10-Mar-92 20:30:36 Sb: #253126-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Thanks. #: 253412 S10/Paranormal Issues 11-Mar-92 00:18:00 Sb: #253126-CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Rick, Sorry, but since you are into "authoritative" sources I should point out that it was Barry Karr, CSICOP Executive Director, who gave the figure of 200 to Hansen during an interview. Hansen notes that this contradicts Kurtz who regards the 55 fellows and 58 consultants as the official "members" of CSICOP (letter to Hansen 8/14/91). Can you give me the source for your claim that I am wrong? Rick's comments suggest a great experiment for you Meryl (and anyone else). Get yourself a couple of copies of SI, and also get a copy of Hansen's article. Then decide who is doing the mudslinging. Best regards, this guy Broughton #: 253128 S10/Paranormal Issues 10-Mar-92 16:01:14 Sb: #252770-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 (X) > Randi resigned from the committee (or was asked to resign, depending on the source) to spare the organization the financial vicissitudes of the lawsuits he is fighting. All right, I'll bite: What specific person says that Randi was "asked to resign" from CSICOP, and on what authority? I'm interested in finding out what credible source you have for this ('though I'm not going to hold my breath). I realise that many people on this forum seem to have a problem with the idea of specific, verifiable evidence, but I would appreciate an actual name, publication details (if applicable), and some idea of how this postulated source would be in a position to know about this. In other words, convenient rumour is not _my_ idea of a good source. Best Regards, Rick M. There is 1 Reply. #: 253393 S10/Paranormal Issues 10-Mar-92 23:53:33 Sb: #253128-CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Rick, I didn't say it was a good source, just a source. It was not in print that I am aware of, just rumor as you say. The official word from CSICOP was that Randi resigned to keep CSICOP from being named co-defendent in any subsequent suits that he might attract (he already has several pending from different plaintifs, and CSICOP is named in them), and so be it. What may have transpired or have been discussed at the relevant committee meeting has not been made public. In the absence of hard evidence to the contrary undoubtedly we should accept CSICOP's position at face value and not give in to idle speculation as to whether Randi jumped or was pushed. We do that all the time when corporations announce that this or that executive has "resigned" don't we? Best, Richard Broughton #: 253237 S10/Paranormal Issues 10-Mar-92 20:30:49 Sb: #252770-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 (X) Thanks for your informative message. I want to get hold of their publication. As a scientist myself, I'm very curious about their methods of investigation, and quite able to judge them. If you have access to a copy of the Skeptical Inquirer, could you post their address & subscription price? I'd like to subscribe to it, because I don't have time to look for it in the library. Do you know anything about the people on the executive council? Their occupations, etc.? There is 1 Reply. #: 253392 S10/Paranormal Issues 10-Mar-92 23:53:15 Sb: #253237-CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 I know a bit about the members of the executive committee, and at least one of them is a personal friend, but I think it best to consult Hansen's article in JASPR that I cited in the original message if you want details. One of the sections in Hansen's paper is entitled "Key Personalities" and it makes for more interesting reading than I could do it justice. I'll post the Skeptical Inquirer address when I remember to bring it home, but don't count on that as a basis to evaluate the organization's scientific credentials. It is not a refereed scientific journal by any stretch of the imagination. It is more like FATE magazine for the skeptic. The editor, Kendrick Frazier, is reported to have argued that "the magazine's purpose is not to consider what the best evidence for anomalous claims might be but to argue against them." (RM note: H.H. Bauer, Jnl Scientific Exploration, 1989, V3, N1) CSICOP itself conducts no scientific explorations since the well documented scandal that erupted over their "Mars Effect" study in which one member of the Executive Committee, Dennis Rawlins, (who was handling the statistical analysis) charged that Kurtz was fiddling with the numbers and had attempted a Watergate style coverup when he (Rawlins) tried to alert the rest of the committee. Not long after Rawlins went public CSICOP instituted a policy of not conducting research (SI, 1982, 6(3)). Richard Broughton #: 253618 S10/Paranormal Issues 11-Mar-92 13:34:11 Sb: #253393-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 (X) Richard -- I can't help noticing that you are conspicuously NOT answering the question: WHO says that James Randi was "asked to resign" from the CSICOP Executive Council, and on WHAT authority. The answer to the latter may well be "no authority at all" or, as you say, "just rumor". However, you allege that you HAVE a source for this. I would assume that this source has a name, and that you are capable of typing it. Please do so. You are incorrect when you say that CSICOP's article said that Randi resigned because of lawsuits "he might attract", by the way. There was no imputation that Randi _attracted_ lawsuits, merely that Geller had been filing a number of them. I assume that you have something to offer on this topic aside from errors, appeals to prejudice, and derogatory rumours. On the other hand, your listing of the CSICOP Executive Council membership appears to have been correct, not counting the erroneous reference to "100 to 200" others, and for that I thank you. Best Regards, Rick M. There is 1 Reply. #: 253915 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 00:20:31 Sb: #253618-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 (X) Rick, Sorry, but I shall not let you put words into my mouth. I merely said that some source(s) had indicated Randi's resignation was asked for, not spontaneously offered as the official position has us to believe. I never said that the source was an authoratitive one and in my last letter I made it clear that I have no way of knowing whether that source was correct, or whether CSICOP is correct. Quite frankly, it is of no importance to me. It was clever of you to notice that I did not give any names. That is not something I choose to share. Rick, if I wanted to quote CSICOP's article I would have put quote marks around it. I was paraphrasing what I recall reading some weeks ago. If you think that "attract" is not an accurate representation of CSICOP's position, fair enough. However, as you no doubt know, Randi's (and CSICOP's) worst legal exposure comes not from Geller's lawsuits, but from the suit by Eldon Byrd. Randi, both in print and at a meeting of the NY Area Skeptics, said that Byrd was a child molester and in prison. Unfortunately for Randi, that is an allegation easily checked: Byrd was not in prison and has no record of being a child molester. You may think otherwise, but it falsely accusing another person of being a child molester ain't "attracting" lawsuits, I don't know what is. I have lots to offer on this topic, and I find your characterization of it marvelously revealing. Regards, Richard Broughton There is 1 Reply. #: 253965 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 01:35:33 Sb: #253915-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > Sorry, but I shall not let you put words into my mouth. I merely said that some source(s) had indicated Randi's resignation was asked for, not spontaneously offered as the official position has us to believe. I never said that the source was an authoratitive one and in my last letter I made it clear that I have no way of knowing whether that source was correct, or whether CSICOP is correct. Quite frankly, it is of no importance to me. It was clever of you to notice that I did not give any names. That is not something I choose to share. Ah, a big secret, then, as to who gave you this "not authoritative" (so to speak) piece of non-information. In a nutshell: I ask you WHO said this nasty little invention, and you decline to state. I believe this speaks volumes. > If you think that "attract" is not an accurate representation of CSICOP's position, fair enough. No, the issue is not what I "think", but rather what the _facts_ are. You're familiar with the latter concept, I hope. However, when someone's inaccuracies are consistently on the side of the derogatory, one has to wonder. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 253701 S10/Paranormal Issues 11-Mar-92 19:40:10 Sb: #253392-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 (X) Fascinating! Now I'm truly curious! CSICOP doesn't do any research but just has 'scientific' opinions? This I've got to see! Or do their 'consultants' do research & publish it in the SI? #: 253628 S10/Paranormal Issues 11-Mar-92 13:48:36 Sb: #253412-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 (X) > Sorry, but since you are into "authoritative" sources I should point out that it was Barry Karr, CSICOP Executive Director, who gave the figure of 200 to Hansen during an interview. Hansen notes that this contradicts Kurtz who regards the 55 fellows and 58 consultants as the official "members" of CSICOP (letter to Hansen 8/14/91). Can you give me the source for your claim that I am wrong? Yes, I can. (1) Any issue of _Skeptical Inquirer_ correctly lists the people you speak of as "Fellows", not as members of the Committee. (2) Dial 716-636-1425, and ask to speak to Barry Karr or Paul Kurtz. CSICOP has been extremely clear about this for its entire fifteen years of existence. For that same length of time, I have known several members of the Executive Council, and three Executive Directors, and they, too, have been extremely clear about this. I can only speculate that either Hansen got it wrong, or you got Hansen wrong. I don't really know about this interview you speak of, and so cannot fairly comment further on it, but I _can_ address the _facts_ of this matter with no hesitation whatsoever. Fortunately, you can verify this very quickly with one telephone call. Best Regards, Rick M. There are 2 Replies. #: 253695 S10/Paranormal Issues 11-Mar-92 19:03:22 Sb: #253628-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 (X) You can verify it with one telephone call if they tell the, uh, truth. There is 1 Reply. #: 253818 S10/Paranormal Issues 11-Mar-92 23:28:58 Sb: #253695-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 > You can verify it with one telephone call if they tell the, uh, truth. Why, yes, in the same way that you can find out my telephone number from the San Mateo operator if he tells the truth. One does not ordinarily, however, expect directory assistance staff to have any special incentive to lie about listed telephone numbers. One can, of course, also call all the CSICOP Executive Council members, and ask _them_ who constitute the Council's membership -- they're not hard to reach -- but then, they might also be lying for inexplicable reasons about membership in this fifteen-year-old, very public committee. So, I suppose you could call Uri Geller's New York attorney, Mr. Donald J. Katz, and ask him. I could theoretically conceive of someone distrusting the honesty of all the above people on this one, simple, non-controversial question. For such a paragon, there is always the Secretary of State's office for New York State, where CSICOP is incorporated, and where its annual filings are a matter of public record. Unfortunately, that would be taking the _government's_ word for it, and we know what They're like. 'Can't be too careful about fifteen-year-old public information. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 253916 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 00:20:47 Sb: #253628-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 (X) Rick, Of course I know that there some 55 fellows and 58 consultants listed on the inside cover of SI. That is one of Hansen's _facts_ too. On August 14, 1991 Paul Kurtz told Hansen that those are the "members" of the commitee. On that same day, Mr. Karr told Hansen that there were about 200 members, which included the 113 plus unnamed others. I know Mr. Hansen and have no reason to doubt the accuracy of his reporting. If Kurtz and Karr represent things differently now, then they may have a credibility problem, but it certainly won't be the first for them. Presumably you took your own advice and called 716-636-1425. What did Paul and Barry tell you? Regards, Richard Broughton There is 1 Reply. #: 253967 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 01:43:38 Sb: #253916-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > I know Mr. Hansen and have no reason to doubt the accuracy of his reporting. Well, I have reasons to doubt either Hanson's accuracy or yours, and I've already given them. > If Kurtz and Karr represent things differently now, then they may have a credibility problem, but it certainly won't be the first for them. The conclusion proceeds from a false premise, and is therefore worthless. ALL of CSICOP's officers _consistently_ know and state the plain, simple, non-controversial fact on this matter. For fifteen years, it has always been the exact same answer. Kapech? > Presumably you took your own advice and called 716-636-1425. What did Paul and Barry tell you? It is not necessary for me to call CSICOP, as you know full well. I've been straight on this decidedly minor, thoroughly-cut-and-dried factual matter for fifteen years, from any and all of the large number of sources I mentioned to you. If you the slightest bit interested in testing your understanding from this redoubtable Mr. Hansen, then all of those same sources are open to you, as well. I won't hold my breath, though. Best Regards, Rick M. READ THR STA:253968 #: 253968 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 02:21:52 Sb: #253392-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > CSICOP itself conducts no scientific explorations since the well documented scandal that erupted over their "Mars Effect" study in which one member of the Executive Committee, Dennis Rawlins, (who was handling the statistical analysis) charged that Kurtz was fiddling with the numbers and had attempted a Watergate style coverup when he (Rawlins) tried to alert the rest of the committee. This is completely wrong, as you would know if you consulted the original writings, instead of just quoting derivative works from habitual and careless CSICOP-bashers. (Even they don't have the devotion to anonymous, bad-mouthing rumour that you've been displaying in these parts.) You can hear the other side of the story in many places, including P.J. Klass's "CRYBABY" article, the reply to Rawlins's "sTARBABY", 1/10 the length of the article it responded to, that _Fate_ refused to publish (along with any other dissenting views). It's available in this section's file library as "CRYBAB.PJK". Best Regards, Rick M. #: 253991 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 03:34:31 Sb: #253916-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > I know Mr. Hansen and have no reason to doubt the accuracy of his reporting. Well, I have reasons to doubt either Hansen's accuracy or yours, and I've already given them. > If Kurtz and Karr represent things differently now, then they may have a credibility problem, but it certainly won't be the first for them. The conclusion proceeds from a false premise, and is therefore worthless. ALL of CSICOP's officers _consistently_ know and state the plain, simple, non-controversial fact on this matter. For fifteen years, it has always been the exact same answer. Kapech? > Presumably you took your own advice and called 716-636-1425. What did Paul and Barry tell you? It is not necessary for me to call CSICOP, as you know full well, although I have done so in the past and heard in passing the simple truth on this simple subject (which does _not_ accord with your account from this Mr. Hansen). I've been straight on this decidedly minor, thoroughly-cut-and-dried factual matter for fifteen years, from any and all of the large number of sources I mentioned to you. If you are the slightest bit interested in _testing_ what you understand from this redoubtable Mr. Hansen, then all of those same sources are open to you, as well. I won't hold my breath, though. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 253969 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 02:23:15 Sb: #253915-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > [representations about a lawsuit omitted] I'm omitting a quotation from the above in part because what you wrote might be actionable libel against one or more of the parties you mentioned. I don't care to be a party to such a deed. Now, I notice that your account differs from some of the others I've been seeing bandied about. Getting reliable information about lawsuits is always difficult, because the interested parties are busy promoting their own viewpoints, not to mention the contributions of ill-meaning commentators in the peanut gallery (CIS, for example). _You_, of course, have just shown on this forum a partiality to anonymous derogatory rumour. Others, on the other hand, make some effort towards getting _verified, reliable_ facts in advance of slinging stories about, persuant to a preference for fair comment. (You've heard of those concepts, I hope.) I, for example, am trying to get copies of actual court documents, both for those complaints that have been dismissed by the judges, and those that have not yet been adjudicated -- even though I'm not at all connected to the cases in question, but just to see what the actual facts are. I would also greatly appreciate having Mr. Geller come to speak before my group, in order to hear his side of the story, and am hoping that will be possible. What I will not do is repeat _anyone's_ unverified yarn about such court cases -- nor will I take seriously those who tell them. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 253992 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 03:41:42 Sb: #253915-CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > Sorry, but I shall not let you put words into my mouth. Words put in your mouth, of which there were _none_, as you well know. I merely _asked_ if you had a "credible", "good" source. I didn't say you had claimed to have one. Moving right along, I also asked _WHO_ said this, which brings us to... > I merely said that some source(s) had indicated Randi's resignation was asked for, not spontaneously offered as the official position has us to believe. I never said that the source was an authoratitive one and in my last letter I made it clear that I have no way of knowing whether that source was correct, or whether CSICOP is correct. Quite frankly, it is of no importance to me. It was clever of you to notice that I did not give any names. That is not something I choose to share. Ah, a big secret, then, as to who gave you this "not authoritative" (so to speak) piece of non-information. In a nutshell: I ask you WHO said this nasty little invention, and you decline to state. I believe this speaks volumes. > If you think that "attract" is not an accurate representation of CSICOP's position, fair enough. No, sir, the issue is not what I "think", but rather what the _facts_ are. You're familiar with the latter concept, I hope. However, when someone's inaccuracies are consistently on the side of the derogatory, one has to wonder. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 253989 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 03:23:39 Sb: #253701-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) > Fascinating! Now I'm truly curious! CSICOP doesn't do any research but just has 'scientific' opinions? This I've got to see! No, CSICOP does not have scientific (or any other) opinions. > Or do their 'consultants' do research & publish it in the SI? Yes, they and others do. CSICOP doesn't engage in its own scientific research, but it publishes, encourages, assists, and sometimes commissions such research by individuals (including its members), in the same fashion as does _Nature_ magazine, for example -- and as does the Parapsychological Association. The policy statement in _Skeptical Inquirer_ Mr. Broughton refers to makes that clear, but also goes on to state that this is not intended to preclude more active involvement in research when its resources permit. For the time being, CSICOP is mostly a publisher: Its quarterly journal, _The Skeptical Inquirer_, presents news, many very assorted and diverse views, and a significant amount of scientific research within its tightly-budgeted but well edited 100 pages or so, under its very capable editor, Kendrick Frazier, formerly editor of _Science News_. It is indeed not peer-reviewed, but has never claimed to be, and yet it presents some high-quality work, as you will see when you read it. To comment on Mr. Broughton's polemical comparison: _SI's_ scientific standards of evidence are, I think, impressively high, while _Fate's_ seem absent and even unwanted. [cont'd] There are 2 Replies. #: 253990 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 03:24:33 Sb: #253989-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 [cont'd] Per its aims statement on every issue, CSICOP "attempts to encourage the critical investigation of paranormal and fringe-science claims from a responsible, scientific point of view, and to disseminate factual information about the results of such inquiries to the scientific community and the public." Now, in a similar spirit, I've been urging you to investigate _SI_ and judge for _yourself_. From other quarters hereabouts, you've gotten inaccurate polemics and anonymous mudslinging. Please do judge for yourself, and please do consider who on this forum has favoured fair and open inquiry. Best Regards, Rick M. There is 1 Reply. #: 254415 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 22:05:35 Sb: #253990-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Rick -- I'm not quite sure in what spirit you've been urging me to investigate SI & see for myself. In fact, I don't recall you urging me to do that. I'm not aware of any polemics or mudslinging by others, either. Keep in mind that other people have a right to their opinions, and a right to express them. Having an opinion contrary to yours doesn't automatically qualify as either polemic or mudslinging. You, in fact, seem to me to be the person who does most of both on this forum. And, by the way, insisting 'I do too have the facts and you don't' does not share the facts. I'm not convinced that a list in the magazine of the board & consultants is a membership list. No organization lists its members in that fashion, as a list of all the members. If you do have the facts, how about presenting them to the rest of us? In a simple, unemotional manner without denigrating anybody else? #: 254413 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 22:03:19 Sb: #253989-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Oh, yes. Science News. They reported on some of my research once. Didn't quite get it, and misquoted me. But then, even Time Magazine is notorious for that, if you talk to the people they write about. #: 254265 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 16:38:07 Sb: #253701-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Some personal comments: 1. Came across CSISOP/SI when I was looking at the shroud of Turin developments. Got a bit interested in Randi's stuff on Geller, and the Bermuda Triangle stuff. Followed CSISOP/SI stuff for a while but lost interest because, unlike the Turin/Geller/Bermuda issues, most of the stuff they deal with is so obviously outrageous and nonsense that it does not deserve ANY attention, let alone scientific investigation. Whatever their scientific quality, when applied to such nonsense it is overkill. I have recently joined Nat's Capital Area Skeptics, and found them suffering of the same problem. I understand their rationale, but I simply can't muster enough interest. 2. An argument made by Randi/CSISOP is that physical scientists, whose research subjects don't lie/cheat/trick, may not be the best investigators of paranormal claims. Having read some examples of prominent scientists were readily fooled, I think the argument has merit, and the combination of a magician with a scientist is a better alternative. 3. It's always a good idea to be skeptical (sic) when it comes to self-appointed bodies, especially when their declared objectives appear "altruistic" (science, the public good, etc). From the Amway matter to the exchange here (which is news to me), such skepticism seems validated. For what it's worth. #: 254416 S10/Paranormal Issues 12-Mar-92 22:05:52 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) One of my areas of expertise is fakes, frauds & forgeries in the fine arts. Although one doesn't usually publish one's findings in this area (why enlighten the forgers?) the work I did on Caravaggio got rather extensively published & reviewed & is often footnoted when articles are written about his work. I didn't get involved in the Turin shroud matter (it's not fine art). I'm not sure that definitive conclusions were reached, though. I've also been involved in international debates about ancient textiles, during which I've gotten nastier than I should have about the quality of data & the rules of scientific evidence. This, too, is an area where pseudoscience abounds, & I'm extremely interested in the causes & effects of pseudoscience as a phenomenon in itself. I'm also curious about why presumably otherwise rational people get so violently outraged & passionately involved in attacks on whatever is defined at the moment as 'paranormal' -- and so outrageously self-righteous about it. (Keep in mind that the territory shifts; hypnosis & magnetism for example were both once considered paranormal & subject to disbelief & attack as fraud and stage tricks.) Why the investment in 'proving' certain kinds of phenomena can't exist -- I think you're noticing the extremes to which they go; thus your comment that 'the stuff they deal with is so obviously outrageous & nonsense that it does not deserve ANY attention.' But if something truly irrational is going on with them & it's all one horrifying, scary blob to them, of course that's how they'd respond. Fascinating psychology. What's the threat to them? I don't believe it's going to be possible to do any meaningful research in this area until this question is answered. For one thing, no one in his/her right mind who experiences anything now defined as paranormal is going to submit to examination, which seriously skews the data! Your reaction -- loss of interest -- is what I consider normal. #: 254603 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 05:34:55 Sb: #254416-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) What is stranger is that the same person who would accept your word as final authority on whether a piece of painted linen was worth $15K or $1500K, will say that they don't believe you when you tell them a simple (but inexplicable) thing that happened to you yesterday. Will trust my handshake on a deal it will take four lawyers ten months to work out, but won't trust my word that I am occasionally clairvoyant. Would trust another member of this forum to put electrical drills into their mouths, but question her honesty when she says her office is haunted. I suppose it's just a sub-set of the "If you don't like the message, discredit the messenger" method of attack. You can see that pretty plainly elsewhere in this section. There are 2 Replies. #: 254643 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 09:33:44 Sb: #254603-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) Yes, at some museums I've been the final arbiter and no art could be purchased unless I approved the purchase. The Director & Board members couldn't override my decisions. Especially for art priced in the high millions. Such decisions don't make me well loved, but they indicate that they trust my integrity. Here's a little UFO story for you. I was having lunch at the FAA in Washington, idly contemplating a large cigar-shaped object hovering outside the window not too far away, trying to figure out what made the thing fly. Some kind of new helicopter? A group of guys at the next table fell into silence, also contemplating it. One of them said: 'Is that thing what they call an unidentified flying object?' 'Yes, I guess so.' 'You going to report it?' 'Hell, no! You think I want to get fired?' I didn't report it either, of course. This is the first time I've ever mentioned it. There is 1 Reply. #: 254706 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 12:49:40 Sb: #254643-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I am not sure that seeing something which is not clear what it is is automatically an UFO, or that people should not report it. But you see, if there were no CSISOP's around, HOW would you KNOW whether it is or isn't? The premise of CSISOP is "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence", and that is reasonable. That's precisely why they DON'T consider ANYTHING false, but are willing to investigate. Yet you seem to accuse them of trying to "prove those are not true". That's inconsistent. The fact of the matter is that there is not ONE paranormal claim that has withstood the test of science. Until ONE does, anybody can make claims, but this does not give them any special truth or even likelihood status. #: 254705 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 12:49:33 Sb: #254603-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) You can't be serious. You mean "being occasionally clairvoyant" and "haunted office" claims are not AT ALL different than "what happened yesterday", "deal handshake" or "allowing a dentist to drill"? I am not saying that one should trust the latter blindly (and most of us don't, if we're smart) but aren't the former more OBVIOUSLY questionable? There is 1 Reply. #: 254874 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 22:13:56 Sb: #254705-CSICOP revealed Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I'm not sure what you are talking about. What I said was: that someone who is willing to trust me on a matter of considerable financial and legal consequence is perhaps not willing to afford me the same amount of trust when I give my word on the subject of clairvoyance. In the same manner, I believe the Meryl Johnson is equally precise and thoughtful when she testifies to a matter of authentification of artefacts as when she writes here of her seeing a UFO while she was lunching at the FAA. The absurd discrepancy is not between her expertise in art history and her experience with the paranormal; the difference is in how her testimony is treated in the one case, and how it is treated in the other. And "questionable"? That's questionable to you. Certain aspects of the paranormal are to me about as questionable as the neighbors' barking dog. Sometimes the barking is very loud, sometimes there's hardly any barking at all, and sometimes I can even forget that the neighbors have a loudly barking dog. And animal annoys me -- just as a great deal of the paranormal phenomena I've experienced greatly annoy me. I don't care whether you believe in the existence of that dog or not, and I'm not going to take the trouble to record his barking. For despite your doubting, I dealt with the paranormal yesterday, and it will annoy me again tomorrow, and I'm going to count myself lucky if I don't have to deal with it tonight. #: 254691 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 11:53:28 Sb: #254416-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, true scientific rules of evidence are seldom used. Reality and human nature work against it. Science is the only field where one must always QUESTION what he does, to be true to it, and that is psychologically incompatible with the concept of achievement which requires one to BELIEVE in what he does. So more frequently than not scientists succumb to their natural tendencies, and start believing in what they do or say. And those are people who were TRAINED in the scientific method. Of course that most, who are not, have no corules of evidence are not even an issue. Only a few of us, who seem to be intrinsically capable of continuous questioning, are frustrated by it. The tests on the shroud were somewhat inconclusive, true, but reading its history, modern and ancient, it is clear that it was KNOWN AT THE TIME OF ITS ORIGIN THAT IT WAS A FAKE, some very likely methods of creating it were suggested and emulated, and the tests could not reject (and even somewhat showed) them. All in all, it was sensationalized by the media and others, without serious justification. Of course, I assumed that from the beginning (I'm an atheist), but it was interesting to follow. There is a case to be made for DISproving the claims (they are NOT proving anything), because they can cost the uninitiated (e.g. healers, etc.). However, many of the cases are simply not interesting, but it does not mean that they should not do it. I am not entirely sure that your fear theory is correct. They're just intrinsically interested in this stuff, and it gives them some notoriety. I don't think they do any damage. There is 1 Reply. #: 254701 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 12:35:52 Sb: #254691-CSICOP revealed Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) The damage that is done is simply this: that evidence does not come forward. There are some who will read Meryl's UFO story and say that she made it up as a trap or a joke, or that it was embellished, or that not having told it before it became magnified and distorted in her mind. On the other hand, if we questioned the FAA, I tend to think that the incident would be denied and dismissed. But Federal Agencies have a track record of duplicity, outright lies, coverings-up, and knee-jerk denials. Meryl on the other hand, in public appearances here, and in some private correspondence, has never given me any impression other than that she is honest, straightforward, thoughtful, and precise. It would be foolish of me not to believe her, exactly as she writes of the incident. The testimony of an honest woman or man is much harder evidence to fake than a photograph, than a graph, than an official pronouncement. But because of the reception that such testimony is likely to receive, we do not get the evidence of many honest men and women. That is harm. #: 254677 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 11:29:35 Sb: #254415-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) > I'm not quite sure in what spirit you've been urging me to investigate SI & see for myself. Simple: Read it and see for yourself. > In fact, I don't recall you urging me to do that. Three times, now. Best to re-read your forum mail. > I'm not aware of any polemics or mudslinging by others, either. Best to re-read recent forum postings. > Keep in mind that other people have a right to their opinions, and a right to express them. Having an opinion contrary to yours doesn't automatically qualify as either polemic or mudslinging. Absolutely true, but irrelevant. Polemics and mudslinging are what they are without regard to various opinions. > You, in fact, seem to me to be the person who does most of both on this forum. Care to give a few specific examples? > And, by the way, insisting 'I do too have the facts and you don't' does not share the facts. True, and that's exactly why I didn't do that, but instead listed numerous additional sources of information. > I'm not convinced that a list in the magazine of the board & consultants is a membership list. No organization lists its members in that fashion, as a list of all the members. The people this other gentleman claimed are CSICOP committee members are plainly listed in the magazine as "Fellows... names listed for identification only" and "Scientific and Technical Consultants". I merely pointed this out. As I said, you can see for yourself. > If you do have the facts, how about presenting them to the rest of us? In a simple, unemotional manner without denigrating anybody else? Saying that someone is incorrect is not denigrating him, and I have more than amply presented the plain facts. Why is this resisted so strongly and called "emotional"? Best Regards, Rick M. There are 2 Replies. #: 254703 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 12:49:21 Sb: #254677-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Heh, heh, heh. It's fascinating to see you ask "why is this resisted so strongly and called emotional" just after I was trying to explain that human nature interferes with the scientific method, and its rules of evidence. There is a tendency to see emotionally held positions by others, but not one's own. And in many cases it is genuine too. #: 254924 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 23:42:00 Sb: #254677-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 I think Fabian's comment covers it all. #: 254704 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 12:49:26 Sb: #254413-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Do you know of ANY magazine that DOES understand correctly and does NOT misquote? I am a writer and I can tell you that it's really luck when they do it right. There is 1 Reply. #: 254922 S10/Paranormal Issues 13-Mar-92 23:35:06 Sb: #254704-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I'm a writer, too, among other things. And speaking from experience, no magazine or newspaper, including the NY Times, has ever written about my work & not made some mistake. I'm not going to try to speak for EVERY magazine. Some at least try harder than others. #: 254965 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 02:30:04 Sb: #254691-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Part of being a scientist is the acceptance of the responsibility to use true scientific rules of evidence. Hundreds of thousands of scientists are 'intrinsically capable of continuous questioning'. Those who aren't mature enough don't stay in the field very long. DUPLICATING AN EFFECT PROVES NOTHING UNLESS THERE IS STRONG CORROBORATING EVIDENCE THAT THE METHOD USED TO DUPLICATE THE EFFECT WAS USED TO MAKE THE ORIGINAL OBJECT. I put that in caps because it seems self-evident but the problem keeps turning up. Even an atheist can't automatically rule out the existence of a historical Jesus who inspired followers, whatever one might personally think of the rest of the claims made for him. There were plenty of similar characters around. (There still are.) Too many valid questions about the shroud received inconclusive answers. A lot of harm is done. Paranormal phenomena are experienced by people. First, if evidence isn't presented by credible witnesses, because for whatever reason they're reluctant to present it, reliable conclusions can't be reached. Secondly, when people experience paranormal phenomena, it can be terrifying. Open discussion of paranormal phenomena by people who experience them is impossible without shrill disbelievers jumping in to tell them it's fraud, they're nuts, & demand that they prove it. This forum is an outstanding example of that. There are times when people desperately need to know that others have had similar experiences. I despise censorship. It has always been antithetical to scientific advancement, and to the advancement of knowledge of any kind. I don't care whether it's the church, self-interest in the scientific community, as in the attacks on Pasteur, or self-appointed CSICOPs. There are 2 Replies. #: 255091 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 13:04:51 Sb: #254965-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) 1. Yes. That was my point. Those who understand science do accept questioning and come forward with evidence, even if not popular. As you can see from my last message, I was telling the guy that it's the paranormal claimers that tend not to want to subject to questioning, and the evidence not coming forward this way is not of much concern. 2. Yes. I agree on duplication too. This goes back however to my reality/psychology argument. Sometimes people take shortcuts, others just do a sloppy job, in other cases exact duplication is not possible or affordable. But this is why the scientific process must be open and only collective results judged. The major problem with the paranormal claims is that they are DEFINED as not being testable directly, i.e. if a skeptic is present, it does not work. Not exactly conducive to science, is it? 3. I am not ruling out an historical Jesus. But I've seen no scientific evidence which is convincing to me, and I am not sure if such can be obtained, given the circumstances. However, such a Jesus would no longer be a paranormal claim anyway, so the whole point goes away. 4. Re paranormal experiences, you are prejudging the issue, which is not scientific. You ASSUME that they ARE experienced, CREDIBLE. Now, CSICOP came up and says yes, fine, we'll respect that, we are willing to scientifically check every such claim, regardless of credibility level, but you find fault with them trying to "prove those experiences wrong". The fact is that ALL cases forwarded, NONE could withstand scientific scrutiny. You interpret that to mean that ONLY the "credible" ones did not come forward. That is not reasonable to me. More reasonable is to have a working assumption of very low paranormal probability, then wait for a case that withstands scrutiny. Otherwise the harm would be indefinitely higher. 5. I have no idea what censorship you're referring to, and if there's any I deplore it. CSICOP is not in the psychology/comforting business, and they do not PROVE people nuts, they try to DISPROVE paranormal claims. If you have technical problems with their methods, let's hear them. There is 1 Reply. #: 255263 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 20:02:43 Sb: #255091-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 You didn't get what I'm saying at all. 1. It's impossible to even estimate the level or volume of paranormal experiences because people are afraid to talk about them. It's not that people wouldn't submit to credible and reasonable scientific inquiry; people do that all the time in medical research, and people don't suddenly stop being people just because they've had a paranormal experience. It's that what they're asked to submit to isn't credible and is extremely hostile. As any epidemiologist would tell you, under those circumstances the lack of data should be of extreme concern. 2. I repeat: duplication of an effect has no bearing whatsoever on the original event or artifact. Duplicating an effect is in no way scientific evidence of anything. (How do you think we catch forgeries, huh?) The effect being duplicated may or may not have been created by the method used to duplicate it. This has nothing to do with reality/psychology. It has to do with wasted effort, if one is trying to use it as scientific proof of anything. Duplicating an effect is NOT testing anything. 3. There is historical evidence of a historical Jesus. The Roman historian Josephus wrote about him, among other arguments for this. I don't see why this would require scientific evidence. I also don't see why whether or not a 'historical' Jesus would or would not be a 'paranormal' Jesus has anything to do with anything. Either the shroud is old enough & was a grave cloth, or it isn't. 4. I don't assume that phenomena which are defined as paranormal are experienced by credible people. I know it. I didn't make any of the claims or assumptions you attribute to me. I'll admit that I don't believe that CSICOP would publish any 'research' which did withstand scientific scrutiny. And I am going to investigate the level of their 'science'. I don't think scientific objectivity is their goal. I'm not going to assume a 'very low paranormal probability'; i'm going to assume that we don't know the level. There is 1 Reply. #: 255283 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 21:12:39 Sb: #255263-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) RE: The shroud. I read, in a novel called *The Body*, what struck me as a reasonable deduction that the image on the shroud is not that of Jesus. I don't recall the author's name, and the book is over at the house, but I'll look it up if you or anyone here wants to know. Also, I haven't checked the author's alleged facts and can neither endorse nor dispute them. I just think it's an interesting bit of reasoning and am passing it along for what it's worth: 1. Nowhere in Christian literature or tradition is there any physical description of Jesus. Had there been anything remarkable about his appearance, e.g., had he been unusually tall or short, surely that would have been noted and we would know about it. Since there are no references to his appearance, we can assume that it was unremarkable. 2. In the first century c.e. the average man was about five feet two inches tall. Since there was nothing remarkable about Jesus's appearance, we can assume that his height was within the range of normal - say no shorter than five feet and no taller than five feet four or so. 3. The image on the shroud is of a man who was five feet ten inches tall. --Terry There is 1 Reply. #: 255362 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 23:52:39 Sb: #255283-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 Actually, that's not correct. There was an extremely strong tradition of the physical appearance of Jesus & the rest of the 'cast' which persisted from early Christian times to the early Renaissance. In fact, the tradition persists today among Eastern church icon painters. The rules for depicting them were extremely strict & can be found in handbooks. I haven't read the rules for years, so I can't quote them; look at some Byzantine paintings. The tradition was based, supposedly, on 'eye witness' accounts; or at least on accounts of those who had spoken to eye witnesses. #: 255092 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 13:05:01 Sb: #254965-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Again, I suggest you 1st educate yourself on CSICOP's research and if you find them at fault, let's discuss it. What they are doing is precisely trying to avoid the things you're talking about, so that this accusation of intimidation and discouragement is not forwarded as a reason why paranormal claims never seem to withstand scrutiny. As I was telling you, what I found to be the problem with them is that they go out of their way to investigate the least credible claims, which I would not do, and be happy to call the claimers nuts or profiteers, or whatever. I think credible people think twice about what may seem to them some inexplicable experience, not because they're intimidated from coming forward, but because they are intelligent enough to question their assumptions of what happened themselves. There is 1 Reply. #: 255264 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 20:02:55 Sb: #255092-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I think CSICOP's 'research' is a wonderful illustration of the ancient Chinese law of opposites. If one strives too hard in one direction, one is in serious danger of achieving the opposite. In their determination to fight pseudoscience & irrationality (as defined by them) they have become pseudoscientific & irrational. Yes, credible people do, in fact, qwuestion their assumptions of what happened to themselves. Credible people would also like to be able to discuss things that happen to them without being put through a modern version of the Spanish Inquisition. I take it you've never experienced anything inexplicable. I hope you do, and soon. Then you'll have some idea of how unsettling it can be. #: 255185 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 15:59:49 Sb: #254691-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, But scientists BELIEVE in gravity! And so many other things. And isn't it true that a scientist has to formulate a theory and BELIEVE in it in order to test it? I mean, if he formulates a theory and doesn't believe it, he's not going to go to the trouble of testing it, is he? Guy walks down a circular staircase and gets a flash of insight into DNA. That's science? IMHO, the religious and metaphysical must also be approached scientifically. One should question what he does until all questions are answered. "Seek and ye shall find." Isn't that as true for scientists as it is for theists? Malcolm #: 254966 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 02:30:19 Sb: #254706-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) A UFO is simply a flying object that isn't identified. It's irrational that reporting phenomena puts people's jobs at risk, not the other way around. I really don't need any kind of organization to tell me whether anything is or isn't what I think it might be, and I strongly suspect that you don't need an organization to give you that kind of information, either! If we give organizations that kind of authority, we'd still believe that the world is flat. What's an extraordinary claim? At one time, the claim that the earth revolved around the sun was extraordinary. Heresy. I'm not accusing CSISOP of anything; I haven't been able to get hold of their publication yet. The title of their publication seems to me to indicate that their stance is negative. Scientific investigation is neutral; isn't it amazing to have to point that out? I'm not the one who's being inconsistent. And what in the world does 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence' mean? Why is this demand only applied to certain kinds of phenomena? Ten or so years ago, the claim that an unknown virus was beginning to kill everyone infected by it was an extraordinary claim; no special rules of evidence were set up before one could investigate the AIDS virus. The fact of the matter is that A LOT of paranormal claims have withstood the test of science, if one looks at this historically. Magnetism and electricity are so accepted that it's boring. Hypnotism is used as a medical technique. Quite recently, 'healing' was renamed the 'placebo effect'. The tendency is, once something has been scientifically explained, to then make the unspoken decision, 'Oh, well, then that wasn't really paranormal,' That is not legitimate. Undoubtedly ALL phenomena now considered paranormal will eventually 'withstand the test of science', as science develops in scope. The error lies in the assumption that science is somehow now complete, our present level of knowledge is the final word. There is 1 Reply. #: 255093 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 13:05:13 Sb: #254966-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, seriously, I think you are doing your own positions - which are basically valid - a disservice because you do not have a very good notion of what CSICOP does. Ditto for lumping together magnetism and all that with paranormal claims. The reason why magnetism and other things withstood the test in the LONG RUN is precisely because they were continuously subjected to what CSICOP tries to do with paranormal claims (which did not!). I suggest you first educate yourself on that, THEN if you think there's a problem with what they do, let's discuss how your arguments APPLY TO THEM. Otherwise, I can only agree with you in the abstract, so what? For example, I know of no one in CSICOP who assumes science is complete, but this does not mean that paranormality is, therefore, a VERY LIKELY phenomenon. Of course their stance is negative. Again: science can only disprove, it can NEVER prove (only paranormal claimers think that once they think they experienced something, they "proved" a larger thing). And again, there is a psychological incompatibility between the need to question and to believe. If you can show HOW their negative expectations affected their investigations, then yes, I would be concerned. But working hypotheses are legitimate as long as they don't affect the methods. There is 1 Reply. #: 255265 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 20:03:14 Sb: #255093-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I have several advanced degrees in several fields, and I'll take care of my own education, thank you. Let me ask you in what fields of science you regularly read REAL scientific journals? How familiar are you with various kinds of scientific data? Are you familiar with the philosophy of science? How can you say 'science can only disagree, it can NEVER prove'? That kind of statement is antithetical to science as the rest of the world knows it. Would you really say that one can't prove that the earth revolves around the sun? Working hypotheses are the basis from which one chooses one's methods of investigation. Of course working hypotheses affect one's methods. I think the notorious 'Mars Effect' case is apretty good illustration of that. #: 255183 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 15:59:23 Sb: #254706-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, -> The fact of the matter is that there is not ONE paranormal claim that has withstood the test of science. This seems an entirely pompous statement. In my own case, telepathy is a standard part of life. Most of the time it happens with my significant others. It has even sometimes distressed those who didn't "believe in" telepathy. I have one friend with whom the channel is always open and sometimes I have trouble telling us apart! Now this is so common and mundane that it does not need to "withstand" any "test of science" any more than a sneeze or a bowel movement does. I don't have to have my sneeze velocity measured to validate for me; though maybe someone else does. But why should I care? Malcolm #: 255094 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 13:05:23 Sb: #254874-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) I was aware you may not know what I'm talking about, which is part of the problem here. Do you have any background in science? "Treated" by whom? The press, the public? Yes, that's a problem, but you can't blame the scientific community for that, and certainly not CSICOP. In fact, what CSICOP did was to say forget about how the world is treating your claims, WE are taking it seriously, let us investigate. And I don't think that CSICOP would treat her badly for seeing SOMETHING INEXPLICABLE. 99% of the paranormal claims are nothing like this, they are obvious crappola and CSICOP should be lauded for dignifying those with research. Look, you can hold whatever opinions you want about paranormal stuff. But unless you can offer specific examples of how the methods used to investigate those claims were flawed, they really mean nothing. This is the fundamental problem with most claims: they are just "allergic" to skepticism per-se, even though there's nothing specific which can be pointed out as flawed in their investigation. And I know exactly why. There is 1 Reply. #: 255130 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 14:47:15 Sb: #255094-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Michael McDowell has a considerable background in science, on a professional level, as well as a Ph.D. in English and several successful novels and screenplays to his credit. You're walking on quicksand here. #: 255184 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 15:59:32 Sb: #254705-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, Of course he's serious! They ARE not at all different. The former are only more obviously questionable TO YOU (or others who choose to disbelieve). Between the last message and this one, I sneezed. Honest! Maybe someone should send a team to investigate the truth of the matter? Malcolm #: 255053 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 11:06:20 Sb: #254701-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) You've got it wrong, my friend. If people do not forward evidence because somebody wants to investigate it, than it's not the investigators' problem. Now, if you can show that the investigator is not up to par, that his methods are flawed, then you have a case. But as far as I can tell there is not one such case in CSISOP, and most of the claims proved to be fakes (although perhaps not so in the minds of those making them). Forget Federal agencies, it's irrelevant, and there is no serious scientist who would reject a claim based on governmental claims alone; that would NOT be science. But if every extraordinary claim would be judged on the sheer merits of the perceived quality of the person making them, you would be out of science too, period. There could be all sorts of explicable reasons for what intelligent, honest people claim, and one should not be so eager to accept the possibility of extraordinary phenomena. And there is continuous evidence that the most intelligent people can be fooled, or get illusions not less than any other man. The point is that questioning somebody's extraordinary claim is NOTHING BUT how science operates. If you are unwilling to accept that, than you deny science, and that's fine, but understand that that is what you do. What is somewhat bothersome is that Meryl, who makes a living off disproving fakes (a form of extraordinary claims) does not understand why CSISOP would wanna do the same (for no profit) with others. There are 2 Replies. #: 255100 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 13:25:55 Sb: #255053-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 It is very much the investigator's problem if the investigator doesn't have good data. If the investigator doesn't have enough sense to know the data isn't good, or is skewed, then the investigator is doing pesudoscience, not science. If the investigator conducts 'investigations' based on biased assumptions, that isn't science, either. There are plenty of people running around in the art field, too, screaming 'Fake! Fake!' There is no important work of art that hasn't been called a fake. Art is not a level playing field. There is such a thing as genius & inspiration. No act of God or law of nature dictates that an artist make every work exactly the same way. The really great, important works are usually technically different in some aspect, both from the other work of their period & even from other work by the same artist. Even living artists can find themselves defending their own work against charges that individual works are fakes. Every important discovery is called a fake by some scholar & then someone like me has to put together the evidence for and against the work. Science doesn't necessarily answer all the questions in the art field, either. There are plenty of other valid methods of investigation. Historical research often provides the most important evidence. I don't make a living off disproving fakes. I have identified some fakes and demonstrated the methods used and the data obtained. I have had to spend far more time disproving other people's pseudoscientific methods for calling works fake. And laying a scientific basis of methods and data to use for this kind of work. If I find CSICOP is pseudoscientific, then that's what I'll proceed to do to them. I could use a change of scene. I've had this discussion on this forum before, and don't necessarily feel like spending my money and my time repeating myself again and again. #: 255129 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 14:47:10 Sb: #255053-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 RE: "Now, if you can show that the investigator is not up to par, that his methods are flawed, then you have a case. But as far as I can tell there is not one such case in CSICOP. . . Well, I'll give you one. When Ed Walters and his controversial Gulf Breeze, Florida, UFO photos made the news, my friend Phil Klass immediately "debunked" them without any investigation at all, his method amounting to no more than attempted character assassination. Phil announced that Walters was a charlatan, and was a "familiar figure in the bars of Gulf Breeze". Having never met Walters or been to Gulf Breeze, or even bothered to find out anything about them from reliable sources, Phil had no way of knowing that there are no bars in Gulf Breeze. It's in a dry county. Phil used the same method to"debunk" the Lonnie Zamora UFO landing case - a case that is accepted as genuine not only by CUFOS but by the U.S. Air Force. This is one of many UFO cases that my wife and I have discussed with Phil over meals and drinks, and he has no scientific argument at all. In most cases his argument boils down to this: "If *I* had seen what this person claims to have seen, *I* would not have behaved as this person claims to have behaved. Therefore this person did not see what he claims to have seen." When CSICOP favorably reviewed my brother's book *Science and Creationism* (Prometheus Books 1990), it didn't even get his name right. (Ronald L. Ecker). #: 255090 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 13:04:36 Sb: #254922-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Perhaps they do, but the result is always who has done the least bad work. #: 255186 S10/Paranormal Issues 14-Mar-92 15:59:55 Sb: #254677-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Gee, Rick. Do you have to take weenie pills each day or does it just come naturally? Malcolm #: 255379 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 01:34:53 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 > 'Can't be too careful about fifteen-year-old public information. Rick, I agree completely that one should really check the _facts_ at the source. I am appalled at how frequently True Believers will accept the most blatant nonsense and error from their gurus without even doing elementary checking of easily available facts. Certainly all of this can be resolved by checking the By Laws of CSICOP, Inc. That way we can all find out who has been spreading error and falsehood and who has been telling the truth. It would be a bit troublesome for each of us to contact the NY Secretary of State's office for that, so why don't you just post the relevant section of the By Laws for us. Surely you must have a copy, or perhaps one is on file with the Bay Area Skeptics. It is Article 4, Section 2. Regards, Richard Broughton There is 1 Reply. #: 255563 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:05:28 Sb: #255379-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 I am confused now. Who are accepting blatantly stuff, the skeptics, or those who make paranormal claims? There are enough ignorants on both sides. But as a rule of thumb, I know on whom I would put my probabilistic trust. #: 255380 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 01:35:16 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 >The conclusion proceeds from a false premise, and is therefore worthless. ALL of CSICOP's officers _consistently_ know and state the plain, simple, non-controversial fact on this matter. For fifteen years, it has always been the exact same answer. Kapech? Yup, I kapech, at least as far as agreeing that they may have been saying the same thing over and over again for fifteen years. I am glad that you keep emphasising the unanimity of CSICOP officers on this point and that this is what you apparently regard as one of the indisputable _facts_ about CSICOP. I guess the proof will be there for all to see when you post the relevant text from CSICOP's By Laws as we are all hoping you will. You _may_ want to call them now, Rick. Perhaps you might want to call Phil Klass, too. I understand he had offered a challenge to anyone who could demonstrate that the Fellows and Consultants were the members of the committee: $100 to a charity of choice. I also understand that a favorite charity of one Mr. Tom McIver is $100 better off. Just an unverified rumor, Rick, but you might want to check it out. Regards, Richard Broughton #: 255381 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 01:35:51 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 >This is completely wrong, as you would know if you consulted the original writings, instead of just quoting derivative works from habitual and careless CSICOP-bashers. Completely wrong, eh? Rather categorical, but not unexpected. How do you know what I am quoting? Seems to me as you are making malicious and unsubstantiated allegations about the quality of my scholarship. What are your facts? As a matter of _fact_, I have right here beside me: 1) The original sTARBABY article by former founding member of the CSICOP Executive Council, former associate editor of Skeptical Inquirer, and planetary motion specialist Dennis Rawlins in which he claims that CSICOP not only demonstrated gross scientific incompetetance but also engineered a "Watergate" style cover-up in its handling of a study to test Gauquelin's Mars Effect claim. (Rawlins is no friend of the paranormal!~) 2) Crybaby, CSICOP's response written by Philip Klass (but never received the official endorsement of the Executive Council which is why Fate refused to publish it.). CSICOP Fellow Richard Kamman described Crybaby thusly, "Although it offered to refute the cover-up charge, it ignored practically every specific point that Rawlins had made. Instead it offered a blatant _ad hominem_ attack on Rawlins' motives and personality, bolstered with rhetorical ploys--including crude mis-quotation." 3) "Research on the Mars Effect" by Patrick Curry (a historian of science). This was a detailed analysis of the CSICOP investigation of the Mars effect that was done independently of Rawlins, but came to the same conclusions about CSICOP's handling. Published in _Zetetic Scholar_, 70+ references, much of it correspondence between the principals. Plus nine commentaries. 4) "The True Disbelievers: Mars Effect Drives Skeptics to Irrationality" by Richard Kamman, CSICOP Fellow (who resigned in disgust over this), psychologist and severe critic of parapsychology. Long, two-part analysis of the Mars Effect controversy and CSICOP's handling of its own investigation which concludes, "When the whole record is examined over five years, there is almost no instance in which merit wins out over There are 2 Replies. #: 255382 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 01:36:06 Sb: #255381-CSICOP revealed Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 self-serving bias." Published in ZS. 5) "Inside the starbaby coverup: The planners' private words." Privately circulated document by Rawlins which documents the campaign to discredit and harass him citing correspondence, conversations and published documents. 5/11/83. There's more, but I think the point is made. I doubt these documents are uploaded here, but if any really needs a copy of a published item, let me know and I'll see what I can do. rumour that you've been displaying in these parts.) I think I'll let the readers of this thread be the judge of that, Rick. Regards, Richard Broughton #: 255550 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:03:31 Sb: #255381-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 Richard, I am not familiar at all with the Mars Effect and this controversy. Appears it's something I would certainly like to look at, as I am keenly interested in science methods. Any way you would be kind enough to mail me copies of the CSICOP research and the reactions you refer to? You see, if the exchanges in SI were usually like this it would have been worth reading. But it is usually weak cases which, even if the investigation is not that strict, it's still obvious what is nonsense. #: 255545 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 13:40:34 Sb: #255263-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, Well, _I_ wouldn't "submit to credible and reasonable scientific inquiry" for my telepathy. Why should I? I'm not only not trying to convince anyone, I'm not even interested in how they feel about it particularly. Any more than I'm interested in proving to someone that I can communicate orally or in writing. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 255657 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 17:02:56 Sb: #255545-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 If the scientific inquiry were credible and reasonable, you wouldn't have to submit to it. Telepathy has been too well documented for that! #: 255553 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:05 Sb: #255263-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I understand, but am not persuaded. The problem is precisely that: people are advancing stories about personal experiences which CANNOT be OBJECTIVELY replicated by others AT WILL. That makes it difficult to investigate scientifically. So what appears to you as as "hostile" is nothing but the nature of the beast. I have seen a whole lot of "scientific studies" done by paranormal proponents who relaxed ALL scientific requirements just to be able to support the claims. Well, heck, what do you know, they did! When the relaxations were dropped, guess what, no more "proofs". That prompted the "powerful" to complain that the sheer presence of a magician or skeptic creates "bad vibes" and kills the phenomena. Give me a break. You are ABSOLUTELY wrong about duplication, and you also misunderstand what it means. If you do not believe in duplication, you are out of science. That's OK, if that's where you wanna be. But you cannot have it both ways. What makes catching of forgers scientific is that ANYBODY, following the SAME EVIDENCE and METHODS that one has used to find a forgery will come to the same conclusion. If you conducted your research in secrecy and simply declared that based on it you caught a forger (or not) that would NOT be science, even if accurate! It is nothing but the fundamental value of duplication in science that allows you to criticize CSICOP or anybody else on their poor or inexistent research. If you don't see "why a scientific evidence is required", and consider Josephus enough, there is nothing for me to say. But my point was that as a paranormal i ssue, THAT Jesus is not an issue at all. The God Jesus, and the claims made as to the TRANSFER OF THE IMAGE to the shroud are. There is 1 Reply. #: 255656 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 17:02:45 Sb: #255553-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 O.K. So you're the only person in the world who understands science. Can't argue with that. I will not give ground on the issue of duplication. That is not equivalent to repeating someone's experiment, which is an absolute requirement of science. When duplicating an experiment one has full knowledge of the method by which the experiment was originally conducted. When duplicating an effect, one has no knowledge of the original method used to create the effect. It is totally unscientific to duplicate an effect and then assume that's how the original effect was created. There is also absolutely no scientific requirement that it be possible to duplicate anything at will. I can't duplicate a quasar or black hole at will. Can you? #: 255554 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:14 Sb: #255263-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) ANYBODY WHO DOES NOT ASSUME BUT !KNOWS! THINGS, AND PARTICULARLY THE ACCEPTS CREDIBILITY OF PEOPLE AS SCIENCE, IS NOT ACCEPTING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AS CURRENTLY DEFINED!!!! Anybody who does accept it is serious enough to admit they !DK ANYTHING!, but have only working hypotheses that seem to be useful, and have withstood the sound, collective set of systematic public attempts to disprove them. Here is what I suggest: take the best credible case you can think of, which has been unfairly "disproved" by what you claim pseudoscience, and where both the claim and the investigation have been documented in writing, let us read the evidence on both sides, then let's discuss the implications. That would be the best way to deal with this stuff. But I have to be frank and tell you that, given your concept of science, I have grave doubts. #: 255557 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:36 Sb: #255264-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) That may well be. As I said, reality and human nature has nasty effects on scientists too. But even if true - and I have seen nothing IN WRITING to proove that, except personal ccounts - it does NOT prove paranormal claims to be true. It may only prove that they have been incorrectly investigated, or not investigated at all. So Meryl, if CSICOP messes up, it does not mean that your position on science is correct. #: 255558 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:47 Sb: #255185-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 You are wrong again. Scientists do NOT believe in gravity. They have observed phenomena and hypothesized about a force called gravity, then conducted research to see if its empirical implications could be defeated. OVER AND OVER AGAIN they could not, and the experiments have been in the public domain and open for scrutiny. As long as they cannot disprove any of its implications they have a WORKING HYPOTHESIS that gravity is a valid theory. They don't KNOW gravity to be true, it's just an useful assumption which predicts reality well. Let me reiterate: it is I who said that the psychology of constantly questioning oneself is a difficult one for humans, so scientists frequently succumb to too much beliefs in their theories, encouraged by the reality of careers, grants, notoriety, etc. But that is precisely why REPLICATION is so crucial, and why science is a collective, open, ongoing endeavor, not judged on this or that scientist at a particular time. Yet this is what you deny. The flash of DNA insight is great, but what will determine it as part of science is the empirical tests of its IMPLICATIONS by many. I don't want this to turn into personal matters, but I see no way out of warning you and that you don't have a correct understanding of science, and it is handicapping your position. In order to identify pseudo-science you must first understand what science IS. I don't think you do. #: 255559 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:55 Sb: #255265-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Then it is a mystery to me where you got the positions on science you have. I do no longer read scientific journals, but in my former academic incarnation I was. One of my concentrations in my Ph.D. program was in research methods, including philosophy of science. In fact, I got so interested in it, that it almost excluded anything else from my span of attention. That statement is NOT antithetical to science. The only way you can do science is to formulate an empirically testable hypothesis and devise tests for it AND ITS IMPLICATIONS (this is important!!!!). As long as they DO NOT FAIL the tests, you assume there is no basis to discard it, you assume it true i n a practically useful sense, but NOT ever totally proven. Hypotheses are a probabilistic matter, depending on how DIRECTLY they can be tested. There are claims which have a prob. of close to 1 (such as the earth around the sun you mention), or close to 0 (somebody having had sexual intercourse with a martian, or reading minds ability). Neither is a full 1 or 0, though, but nevertheless they are not exactly equivalent, as you seem to suggest. #: 255560 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:05:06 Sb: #255183-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 That is such nonsense. 1st: you must accept the scientific method as a basis for rules of evidence. If you do not, we cannot have an intelligent dialogue, because we are talking past each other, using different concepts of what the rules of evidence are. You seem to be out of science, and that's fine, but then don't argue with me on scientific grounds. 2nd: "in my own case" is NOT scientific evidence, and neither is "standard part of life", which is truly pompous. Do you have any specific WRITTEN evidence of a paranormal phenomena which HAVE withstood the test of SCIENCE, as defined by the scientific community? If so, let's see it, that would be a valid, scientific refutation of my claim. 3rd: if you do not have sound experimental controls, anybody can claim everything and there is no way to disprove. This is precisely why all paranormal claims, including telepathy, do not withstand scientific test. 4th: There are many possible logical explanations of what you consider to be "telepathy", and people can genuinely BELIEVE (or be delluded by, if you will) anything. That's what scientific controls are for. As to your last comment, I cannot respond to it without sounding insulting, so I will refrain. #: 255561 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:05:13 Sb: #255130-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) I am not impressed with any "considerable backgrounds in science", "novel and screenplays successes", whatever that means. I have personally interacted with professors, Ph.D. students and scientists for about 15 years and I can tell you that it is apalling how little understanding of the scientific method, or philosophy of science they have. It is NOT the "popular" (read ignorant) notion of science I espouse. I can only judge by a person's quality of argument and evidence. So who is on quicksand here is highly questionable. Note that I do not throw my qualifications around (unless asked for them), although they are quite impressive. There is 1 Reply. #: 255707 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 18:49:59 Sb: #255561-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Re: "I am not impressed with any 'considerable backgrounds in science'... Then why did you ask Michael if he had any, and why are you berating me for providing you with solicited information? Re: "Note that I do not throw my qualifications around (unless asked for them), although they are quite impressive. I hope they are more impressive than your condescending sophistry. #: 255562 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:05:19 Sb: #255184-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 1st, it is not ONLY to me! That is ludicrous too. 2nd, I think the damage in anybody believing the "sneeze matter" is so low, that I am willing to let those who wana believe in it, do. 3rd, I am refraining from responding what I really wanted to, because I don't want to fall into the trap of being accused of "character assassinations". If you really believe in what you say you do, I think you have enough problems as it is. #: 255551 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:03:43 Sb: #255100-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, again, you are making valid points that do do not happen to be relevant to what I was saying. 1. You are lumping together collecting bad data with badly interpreting data. They are not the same. 2. If somebody does it KNOWINGLY, then that is indeed wrong. But ultimately, whether it is, or just genuine mistake, the COLLECTIVE, OPEN scientific process of replication and testing will prove it wrong. So, you cannot ensure each individual effort is correct, only the long-term collective outcome. 3. I am not familiar with the area of art fakes, but I have no reason to question what you say. The point is that when what seems to be a work of art appears, we want to PROVE it is one indeed. The only thing that we CAN do, though, do is try to DISPROVE it is not. As long as we cannot, we make a working assumption that it is an original, but we still have not really PROVED it. The cases where there is direct and incontrovertible evidence are rather rare in most cases, e.g. shroud. Moreover, you always - whether you deny it or not - have a hypothesis prior to testing. The real question is how it affects your tests. If somebody can show that it did - that's what science is all about. 4. That is absolutely right: FIND them pseudoscientific. Do I believe that can be such? You betcha. This is precisely why I prefaced everything with how reality and psychology interferes with true science. And they do so for ALL of us, nobody escapes, so one has to question onesel too all the time. Tough to do. Much easier to do to others. There are 2 Replies. #: 255621 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 16:21:59 Sb: #255551-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 This is ridiculous. All you have to do to prove that a work of art is a work of art is to look at it. #: 255655 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 17:02:35 Sb: #255551-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I've been doing some rapid research of my own this weekend, and I now know a lot more than I did before. The Skeptical Inquirer is not a refereed journal. It is ideologically based, with a major axe to grind. I can't take it seriously as a scientific publication. I don't find it amusing as an unscientific publication. CSICOP was founded to attack the paranormal & by extension the New Age movement. Its major activities have centered on gaining publicity for itself & on intimidating the media to try to prevent serious discussion of the paranormal. This is profoundly documented; the most recent documentation being 'CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview' by George P. Hansen in the Jan. 92 issue of the 'Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research' which is, by the way, a refereed publication. As such, CSICOP, and its off-shoot groups or organized Skeptics, closely parallels the Right to Life movement. Both are ideological, and both were formed at about the same time, from the same kind of impetous. Both make scientific claims. The activities of both groups are essentially propagandistic & political. One important difference is that, at least, the Right to Lifers aren't sitting in abortion clinics claiming, 'You ain't pregnant. There's no such thing as pregnancy.' I am not going to submit to organized harassment. I am not responding to any more messages from you or other organized Skeptics. #: 255552 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:03:53 Sb: #255129-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) If that WERE the case - and if you are asking me here to believe you without investigation, which would be the same you're accusing Klass of - then I would accept that as pseudoscience. I would then insist on a real scientific investigation, if possible, to draw any conclusion. But I would still maintain my skeptical working HYPOTHESIS. I DK what is "accepted as genuine". I could not vouch for what USAF accepts as genuine. I am talking about science here. The fact that somebody does not do it, or does it poorly does NOT prove the claims. It only means that they are still unverified. Phil Klass is not important per se. His is just one input into many others which in the LR will reveal the truth. And if he PUBLISHES the type of arguments you describe, he will open himself to the same criticism as he has for others. This is precisely why I do not ever ever consider anything but WRITTEN material as basis for discussion. I can also understand what Klass says about drawing conclusions from an experience. There IS something called "scientific" or "skeptical" temperament, and it is not difficult to detect it or its absence. But it should not be substituted for scientific investigation. There are 2 Replies. #: 255708 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 18:50:07 Sb: #255552-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 >. . . if you are asking me here to believe you without investigation, which would be the same you're accusing Klass of. . . No, it's not the same, and you're evading the subject. Klass libeled a man about whom he knew nothing whatsoever except that the man claimed to have taken photographs of UFOs. That he lied - and whether anyone believed him - is quite important because a man's reputation is involved. What I told you is an easily verified fact, and it matters not to me whether you believe it or not. But the subject, from which you digress, is not whether Ed Walters's UFO photos are genuine or fake - (and I believe them to be fake) - but CSICOP's methods and credibility. As I think I message made clear, and in reply to your request for an example of poor work by CSICOP, I consider its methods both sloppy and dishonest, and its credibility nonexistent, and I gave verifiable examples. >I could not vouch for what USAF accepts as genuine. Neither can I, but I assume the USAF can. The Zamora UFO landing incident is presented as genuine in an Air Force Academy textbook. That's enough to persuade me that the AF accepts the incident as genuine. That acceptance by the AF does not constitute scientific proof is both true and irrelevant - and this is a point that you can't seem to grasp./split #: 255709 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 18:50:15 Sb: #255552-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 This is not a science forum. As its name indicates, it is a paranormal forum. We come here to exchange and discuss news, ideas and opinions about seemingly paranormal events. We do not come here to be harassed and made sport of by skeptics, and particularly not by self-appointed experts who waste our time and money with long and meaningless sermons about what science is or isn't, and how dumb we are for not accepting their definitions and explanations of things that they claim don't exist in the first place. Given your mindset, and your self righteous insistence that you and only you can define the words and concepts discussed here, it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation with you. You can't lose an argument because you define the terms. Why are you here? #: 255556 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:29 Sb: #255362-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Maybe, but that is totally irrelevant to the issue of the shroud, as I just answered Terry. #: 255555 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 14:04:23 Sb: #255283-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Be that as it may, there is much more relevant evidence on this than a novel, or the absence os Jesus msmt in history. The controversy evolved around the METHOD OF TRANSFER of the image to the shroud, which seemed to be inexplicable. Well: 1st: there is a letter by a priest from the time the shroud was created that informs his bishop it WAS A FAKE, implying he knew how it was done. 2nd: a certain method has been suggested and emulated to create similar images, which is known to have been used in the times in which the shroud originates. True, not identical images, but similar enough to assume that an artisan of those days and aging could have done better. 3rd: the scientific investigation could not rule out the possibility in 2, (some material was found to be possibly paint), even though conclusive evidence would require a techniques not yet available. Now, under this set of circumstances, it is incomprehensible to me that anybody would hold a "paranormal transfer" hypothesis with any degree of strength. There is 1 Reply. #: 255628 S10/Paranormal Issues 15-Mar-92 16:31:13 Sb: #255555-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 What evidence do you have that the message from the priest wasn't a fake? #: 256085 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:06:26 Sb: #255545-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) That is OK with scientists too, Malcolm. It's only public claims made for either profit, or to convince the public, that science is interested in. Nobody can or should force you to test your beliefs. However, let me point out to you that if something like telepathy was happening to me I would have been intellectually very keen in understanding and testing it. The attitude "why should I" is not characteristic of science and, again, you can choose to be outside of it, as long as you do not claim you're in. #: 256087 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:06:52 Sb: #255656-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) No, that is not what I said. There are MANY others who understand it, and even better than I do. But MANY MORE don't, and you appear to be one of them. I could refer you to better authorities, but since you question most of the scientific community anyway, what's the point? You are right in your assumptions, but wrong in your conclusions about REPLICATION (not duplication). It is true that one needs the full knowledge of the method. And HOW does one acquire it? By PUBLICNESS of the method and circumstance, so that other can either criticize the method, or replicate it. The problem with most paranormal claims is that they involve phenomena which (a) can occur only when the person is alone (b) when there are no controls (c) when a skeptic or magician are in the room, etc., or all sorts of "by-definition" control-defeating conditions. Now, how under these circumstances is there ANY methodology to evaluate/judge/replicate escapes me. If you read the CSICOP/members writings you would see cases of people claiming powers which would not subject themselves to tests, or which could not display the power when they did. The writers describe their method and you can evaluate and criticize it at will. But what you cannot do is claim, like you did last time, that replication is not anything in science, because that is ludicrous. As I said, there are things which cannot be EXPERIMENTALLY tested DIRECTLY. We then do tests of implications, and attach probabilities of <1 when there is no controlled environments. But this does NOT mean, like you imply, that it does not matter whether the TESTS should not be controlled, documented or replicated at all even when they obviously can be. There is 1 Reply. #: 256104 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:39:42 Sb: #256087-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I am not going to put up with your harangues & harassment. Don't address any more of your ridiculous postings to me. #: 256089 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:07:09 Sb: #255621-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Oh, really? You mean, there are NO disagreements whatsoever about what IS a work of art in general, and a specific item in particular? Art is art, and science is science. Let's not confuse the two, shall we. What needs to be proven is usually whether it's a GENUINE work of art, not a fake (the fake can be in itself a work of art, but that's a different point). Some art may go into deciding that, but a LOT of science. In fact, I am just reading an interesting article in the W Post on the scientific research done on a Polish DaVinci work. #: 256114 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 15:03:33 Sb: #255621-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Alex Krislov [SL13] 76703,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, "All you have to do to prove that a work of art is a work of art is to look at it"? Huh? I think you and Fabian are talking about two different things. He seems to be addressing art forgery, which is what I, too, thought was under discussion. But if I, for one, look at a well-done forgery of Blue Lady, I gravely doubt I'd know it to be a fake. --Alex There is 1 Reply. #: 256146 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 16:33:53 Sb: #256114-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Alex Krislov [SL13] 76703,243 (X) What Fabian said is: 'The point is that when what seems to be a work of art appears, we want to PROVE it is one indeed. The only thing we CAN do, though, is try to DISPROVE it is not.' Sorry, but that reads to me as saying that all works of art should be immediately suspect, and that's silly. That's not talking about forgeries. If you looked at an excellent forgery of the Blue Lady for sale, (more probably a copy -- no forger would waste his time duplicating a well known painting) you'd immediately know something is wrong because you know that painting already exists elsewhere. You do have to be careful in the marketplace; know your dealer, and when in doubt talk to a museum curator before you spend a lot of money. If you want to buy art, educate yourself on the artists you like, including what their work normally sells for. In the art market, you usually get exactly what you pay for. There are no bargains. If you spot a Raphael for $3,000, it's undoubtedly a late copy. This is true in every country. A copy is not a forgery, by the way. #: 256090 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:07:20 Sb: #255655-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Gee, that's funny. For a person accusing others of ideological bent, you seem to do a lot of attacking just based on what you perceive to be the context and motivation of CSICOP. Have you read ANY of the articles based on research and can you point out their flaws? That would be refereeing its content, no? SI was never CLAIMED to be refereed, and a scientifically trained person should be able to read it, understand the distinction, and be skeptical, that's all. Incidentally, for a person so concerned with flaws of the scientific community, you should not be as eager to trust refereed journals either. I can refer you to some interested books on what some of the refereed world is capable of too. And which of the refereed journals, BTW, does support paranormal claims, can you tell me? Forgive me, but I have no better reaction to your equating pro-Life with skeptics, and pregnancy with paranormal events than: poppycock. #: 256091 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:07:30 Sb: #255708-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) No, it IS the same and I did NOT evade the question, you just don't accept or understand my answer. 1st, I said that IF he did those things, he is guilty of all that. 2nd, since it is only on your claims that I have to go by, I stand behind the similarity of rules of evidence. Remember that I expressed my preference for PUBLIC evidence? 3rd, IF he did that - again, based only on your word - he is only one CSICOP member, and as I started my arguments here, reality and psychology interferes with pure science all the time. That's why it's SKEPTICISM that is being so much emphasized. 4th, you would still have to demonstrate some the research done by CSICOP people (be they members, consultants, fellows, whatever) is flawed in similar ways. 5th, I do not base my working hypothesis on the paranormal ONLY on CSICOP. So even if turns out that ALL CSICOP activities are a mess - which I do not believe - the only thing I will say is that there is still no scientifically validated evidence of paranormal phenomena. But you can choose your own hypothesis, OK? #: 256092 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:07:38 Sb: #255708-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Irrelevant? C'mon, let's be serious. 1st I have Meryl here telling me you should NEVER EVER let organizations and govt dictate what is the truth (that's because she refers to the govt's disbelief in the paranormal). 2nd I have you telling me that AF's book inclusion is some sort of evidence for something - I still DK what (because it seems to believe a paranormal claims). I mean, who CARES what an AF book says. They just had a piece on TV on how many textbooks are full of hundreds and thousands of mistakes, and they come from the private, NOT govt market! #: 256093 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:07:49 Sb: #255709-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Is this a private or public forum? My impression is that it is public. If so, it does not have any sort of restrictions as to whether one does believe in paranormal or not to discuss the subject. I understand how comfortable it is to have a "yes" environment, where everybody agrees with you, and nobody questions you. But I will submit to you that when I by chance discovered this forum, the 1st thing I saw was a caricature of science, and an attack on the whole scientific community based on sheer ignorance. That was offensive to me, as a scientist, as much as my opinions may be to you. The difference is that I never INITIATED PERSONAL insults, you guys did. I use concepts and words that are publicly defined and agreed on. It is you guys who seem to have no well-defined, testable definition of anything, and you just simply attack a science strawman out of frustration that, correctly, it does not take you seriously. Now, there is a difference between ignorance and stupidity. I thought that it would be useful to you to at least UNDERSTAND what science is, before you opine on it. But attacking from a state of ignorance, while refusing to learn, borders on the latter. That's not an in sult, just a statement of fact. #: 256349 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 23:13:51 Sb: #255560-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, -> You must accept the scientific method as a basis for rules of evidence. No, I don't. You do! _You're_ the scientist; I'm the Zen trickster. If I get some info telepathically IT'S ALL THE EVIDENCE I NEED! I don't have to do anything about rules of evidence, any more than you would for a phone call from a colleague asking you to go to lunch. I am definitely NOT arguing with you on scientific grounds (or even arguing generally). I'm just presenting a philosophical viewpoint that differs wildly from your own. 2nd: I didn't present "in my own case" or "standard part of life" as being scientific evidence. It's just my own testimony and I present it as such. Also, whether there is written evidence of anything will not change my testimony at all. Nor am I interested in making a "valid, scientific refutation" of your claim. Claim as you will. Study documents as you will. Determine and conclude what you will. Be it unto you as you will. 3rd: Sound experimental controls. Well, I'm not performing experiments! I'm just living. (Can't resist ) Consider the kind of work that DaVinci might have done if he'd had a dozen art critics looking over his shoulder while he painted. (HAR! Sorry, couldn't resist.) -> There are many possible logical explanations of what you consider to be "telepathy". Yes! And the simplest and most logical is that it IS telepathy! Whatever it might be called or whatever it is, it is what it is; and I have to deal with it. Not important to me what others think about it. And that's the whole point I intended to make to you in this exchange: that often those who have "paranormal" experience have no interest in proving it to someone. I might tell you I'm a good guitar player. You may or may not believe me and I may or may not be interested in demonstrating it to you. And establishing it before a panel of music judges may not be interesting to me if my only desire is to be better at it (or rather, if my desire is NOT for recognition). [ MORE ] #: 256350 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 23:14:03 Sb: #255560-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 [ continuation ] Malcolm #: 256348 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 23:13:07 Sb: #255562-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, Oh, I know it's not only you. That's why I put the parenthetical information in. My point is that if YOU had experienced meeting aliens, you would be less disinclined to doubt that testimony coming from others. Michael was just making the point that otherwise credible people suddenly become less than credible depending on what they talk about and that a person's credibility _shouldn't_ be in question just because their experience extends to the non-standard. Course, I'm sure that you understand that but don't agree. Malcolm #: 256347 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 23:12:49 Sb: #255558-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, -> Scientists do not believe in gravity. Well, I look forward to that day when I meet a scientist who says, "We have a working hypothesis that gravity is a valid theory, but personally, I don't believe it." :) If replication is so crucial, why aren't today's physicists bouncing apples off their heads? Empirical tests of implications WOULD NOT EXIST were it not for that flash of insight. What was that? Can it be quantized? Duplicated? Replicated? And yet a lot of scientific work proceeded from it. And what about the scientists doing the work? Don't they have a desire to know? A goal? Even a predisposition that is different from that of a painter? What bothers me is scientists putting aside their human nature or, rather, downplaying the absolute NECESSITY of their philosophy or metaphysics or whatever you want to call what goes on inside their heads. I used to be totally into science but I let it go cause it seemed to be handicapping me even more. Now it's my nature to be a Zen trickster, to put vegetable concepts into a CuisineArt, show the provider the V-8 juice and ask them, "What does it look like now?". Most will try to separate the carrots from the celery. I express; not to establish or uproot convictions, but only to offer such as a possibility. To prompt new thought. Any convictions established or uprooted may or may not be ones I've ever thought of before. I think I know what science is: the reigning dogma of our day. As far as I'm concerned, all are as welcome to it as they are to any other dogma. And I truly wish that it serves the purposes for which they adhere to it. At this point, it occurs to me that you may take this in a perjorative sense. None such is intended (even though I occasionally tease in such a way). Malcolm #: 256088 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:06:59 Sb: #255707-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Uhuh. I always can predict who is gonna get personal/resort to invectives, by sheer inability to sustain a substantive argument. Congrats on validating my theory. I asked Michael to see if he had ANY scientific background. I treat people who OUGHT to know better differently. My judgement is based on what the person says, and the quality of argument/evidence, but the level and style of my response varies based on the background. I think that condescending sophistry is your attempt to "warn" me of being on quicksand here because of somebody's "impressive" background (yet vague), not when I asked a person simply if he had any scientific background. #: 256094 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:08:00 Sb: #255628-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I DK what priest you're talking about. But I think that whatever you meant, I can safely respond that scientists never claim they KNOW ANYTHING with complete certainty, only paranormal believers do. What we have is only the lack of ability to disprove certain hypotheses. Anything for which we generally use the term "true", we mean IT DIRECTLY, AND AS MANY OF ITS PREDICTABLE, TESTABLE IMPLICATIONS (the more the better) have withstood sc. tests. Until one does not withstand, we will "assume that it is true for all practical purposes". (Incidentally, quantum theory is controversial in the scientific community for this very reason: its complexity, and unintuitive, hard to understand nature makes some scientists (Einstein was one) uncomfortable, but it has withstood all tests thrown at it and so until there is a disproving one, we regard it as usefully valid). Similarly, we say that paranormal events are either defined as untestable, or when submitted to controlled tests, they failed. Therefore, we have NOT proved them to be untrue, but rather that they were either untested scientifically, or failed the tests. And since there is no other method known to be an alternative to science, until we find ONE case which withstands scientific tests, we will "assume that it is not true for all practical purposes". These are working hypotheses, based on usefulness. #: 256086 S10/Paranormal Issues 16-Mar-92 14:06:38 Sb: #255657-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Really? So it's no longer just CSICOP, you are declaring ALL scientific inquiry "incredible and unreasonable" if it does not support telepathy, which is "obviously valid". Quite a strange criterion for judging science. "Telepathy well documented"? Oh, sure. But how about "validated" in controlled experiments? But lemme ignore that. If that were true, wouldn't it suggest that there is SOME scientific inquiry which WAS credible and reasonable? And wouldn't that contradict your position that one should not submit evidence in the first place because ALL scientific inquiry is not? The only other possibility is that the "documenting" inquiry was NOT scientific, and that one SHOULD submit to that. Well, gee whiz, no wonder you'll get plenty of documentation. Lookit, Meryl, you can choose to believe whatever you want. But I think you are confusing abuse of science by some who should know better with validity of paranormal claims. Even if the former were true - and you have not shown me one bit of evidence yet even for CSICOP - it would only mean that those claims were not yet scientifically tested at all, it would NOT mean that they were validated "by default" so to speak. You have fallen victim to the exact problem you accuse scientists of: you WANT to believe, and you rationalize it. #: 256916 S10/Paranormal Issues 17-Mar-92 22:36:33 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Actually, it is a very scientific position to take. She's not interested in wasting her time with the discussion, so she cut it off. Very simple, and scientifically sound. Are you *sure* you understand science, Fabian? * Vic There is 1 Reply. #: 257255 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 13:23:16 Sb: #256916-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) Gee, that's funny. First I am being told here that the scientific community has a closed mind and does not want to genuinely listen. Then, as a scientist, I do try to clarify to a paranormal believer what the scientific community sees wrong with paranormal claims, and she is cutting me off, saying she is not interested. Trust me I will live, but as an implicitly declared better understander of science, you don't see ANY inconsistency here, not even a bit? (you heard of consistency, I assume). Seems to me this is exactly why a scientist would refuse to listen to paranormal believers, and she is on shaky grounds to criticize it. There is 1 Reply. #: 257751 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 04:03:08 Sb: #257255-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, You seem to be assuming that a good scientist would have to be willing to follow the path of inquiry you are interested in at the moment, since you are a good scientist, or he is not really being scientific. This is nothing more than the height of vanity. From #256670> This sounds like a really scientific position to take. < Instead of worrying about consistency, let's talk about absurdity. Do you see any in this statement? If not, then I will declare that perhaps you know less than science than you think. * Vic #: 256943 S10/Paranormal Issues 17-Mar-92 22:54:30 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) You're not talking about the paranormal, you're talking about a debating society. Even if that is interesting to others, it is not interesting to me. And I'm afraid, also, that in continuing this discussion with you here would succeed only in putting off some who might otherwise come forward with information that actually deals with the paranormal. It would be an interesting experiment in the openness of the scientific method if you initiated this same discussion on the Science Forum. Perhaps you can get them to come up with an experiment which would either convince your true believers that their belief was false, or else convince the skeptics that there is something to the paranormal after all. Suggest an experiment that is dignified, and some researchers who are skeptical of the skeptics to the degree they are skeptical of those who believe in the paranormal. For everyone: there are several files in the Issues Libraries relating to CSICOP, and they are instructive. I especially recommend the two archived threads relating to a UFO sighting on an icy lake. There is 1 Reply. #: 257254 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 13:23:08 Sb: #256943-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) 1. Science IS a debating society. That is the main point. If it is not, it is not science, but closed minds. Now, again, I am talking about GENUINE science, not necessarily that corrupted in practice by many. 2. Since you imply that you or others here are NOT interested in debate, I see no reason why the SCIENCE forum should be interested in the issues, although I personally would not mind it at all. 3. I have just visited there and somebody just came up with just such a test you're referring to for telepathy. I have not evaluated it myself, but the point is that I doubt believers will subject themselves to ANY tests proposed there, because they will be DEFINED as anti-paranormal, and refuse to come forward as you say. 4. As I said initially, there is reality/psychology which affects science. Well controlled research costs money, and scientists have priorities. They target research based on some probabilistic notion of what's important. Given the past experience with paranormal claims and the attitudes of believers toward science, they usually make a practical assessment that they must focus their research elsewhere. This is why CSICOP's offer to do it is quite important. 5. It is one thing to accept science, but claim it is being corrupted by scientists (with evidence), and another to say that science is irrelevant. Since you seem to take the latter position, you cannot expect scientist to treat you differently. There are 2 Replies. #: 257398 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 19:13:05 Sb: #257254-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) > As I said initially, there is reality/psychology which affects science. Well controlled research costs money, and scientists have priorities. They target research based on some probabilistic notion of what's important. Given the past experience with paranormal claims and the attitudes of believers toward science, they usually make a practical assessment that they must focus their research elsewhere. This is why CSICOP's offer to do it is quite important. In fact, CSICOP's journal in particular, and the organised skeptics' groups in general, are distinctive in that they are prepared to take psychic claims seriously, and will publish articles by articulate proponents of same, from all points of view. This is in sharp contrast to working scientists, who almost unanimously (with some honourable exceptions) are unfairly unwilling to give paranormal claims so much as the time of day. Similarly, refereed science journals will at long intervals publish token pieces on fringe-science claims (such as _Science's_ pieces, with rather condescending prefatory paragraph's, on Targ & Puthoff's research, and more recently on Jacques Benveniste's quasi-homeopathic claims), but basically also won't give such work the time of day. These background conditions make it all the more ironic that so many advocates of paranormal claims waste their time slinging mud at CSICOP (while inevitably denying that they are "CSICOP-bashing"), while passing over working scientists who _do_ tend to summarily dismiss them. However, this is easier to understand if you watch how many of these proponents habitually attack _one another_ on personal grounds: If you read the BBS UFO echos, or _MUFON Journal_ , for example, you'll see UFOlogists enthusiastically ripping one another up -- which may account for their perspective on what "bashing" is. Best Regards, Rick M. There is 1 Reply. #: 257600 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 00:01:02 Sb: #257398-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 (X) I absolutely agree, and is exactly what I was trying to explain in more than one message. I did emphasize that CSICOP is the worst case that paranormals could pick to criticize, and it weakens their case considerably, giving a lot of ammo to those who don't pay attention to them. In fact, I must admit that having read several issues of SI I lost interest simply because I thought myself that they were paying too much attention to some obvious nonsense. I have yet to see one example here of flaws in CSICOP related/published findings which resulted in questionable results. I get: personal knowledge of CSICOP "attitudes", purported historical and ideological origins of CSICOP (with unwillingness to even read SI), flipflopping between acceptance and rejection of the scientific method as is convenient, incorrect notions of science, attempts to intimidate with inexistent scientific backgrounds, and personally-oriented dismissals. It is fascinating to see the total asymmetry between the criticism they apply to science and the total suspension of faculties when it comes to paranormal claims. #: 257759 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 04:03:39 Sb: #257254-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, I could be the greatest scientist in the world, but if an apple falls on my head, sciences explanation (or lack of) could very well be irrelevant to me. I could still be a scientist, even while exclaiming, "I don't care WHY it hit me, all I care about is it hurts!" * Vic #: 257141 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 08:03:18 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Sysop Ran Talbott 75300,2302 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, "Personal comments" are _never_ "fair game" around here: we have very explicit rules against making personal attacks. If you feel someone else has violated them, feel free to ask the Forum staff to intervene. But make no mistake about it: "(s)he started it" is never accepted as an excuse for one's own violations. Sysop Ran Talbott There is 1 Reply. #: 257256 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 13:23:24 Sb: #257141-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Sysop Ran Talbott 75300,2302 (X) If that claim is not acceptable, then please make sure that you catch initiating messages as well as you caught mine, and respond accordingly. I reiterate that at least on a couple of occasions I explicitly refrained from stating genuine opinions because they were personal in character. This has not stopped others in the forum, though. #: 257257 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 13:23:32 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) Sorry, but I was trying to explain to you that I sometimes infer logical conclusions from what people say explicitly, but given the nature of this medium words being used are not always 100% acurate. In this particular case, declared was "implicitly declared". Now, she could correct me by saying (1) I did not SAY that, to which I would have clarified my meaning (b) show me why that inference was unwarranted. She did neither, but simply preferred to cut me off. That's entirely her prerogative, but then she should not complain about the same thing being done to her. As to emotional involvement, you're accusing ME of this in a PARANORMAL forum? Are you serious? There is 1 Reply. #: 257752 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 04:03:13 Sb: #257257-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, The inference was on the incredible side, based on my reading of Meryl's simple statement. The kind of thing where it's often best to just shrug and say nice talking to you... > As to emotional involvement, you're accusing ME of this in a PARANORMAL forum? Are you serious? < Umm, seems kinda self evident. * Vic #: 257259 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 13:23:41 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) I do not consider telling somebody she's wrong haranguing, nor an insult. An insult is "you are stupid, an idiot, can't think straight" It is your interpretation that is laughable to me. 1. The only reason the conversation was "civil" as you call it was because this was a mutually comforting society, agreeing with one another instead of questioning anything. The heat turned on when somebody started questioning. 2. I have already admitted my duplication/replication glossing over, which is substantively irrelevant to the main points of the exchange, and i can explain why. 3. Re declaring "two scientists" ignorant about science (a) they are (b) do you know how many scientists DO KNOW the scientific method? (c) the scientific background in Terry's intimidation effort evaporated upon closer inspection. 4. Again, you've got it backwards: it was Terry using "condescending sophistry". So please. There are 2 Replies. #: 257754 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 04:03:19 Sb: #257259-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, A harangue is a tirade. The fact that your detailed explanation of why Meryl was wrong missed the point yet went on for several messages and included declarations of her scientific incompetence all tilt the balance towards harangue, IMHO. Regarding 1. It was you who turned the heat on, in message #255553. In fact, the most "heated" thing in the whole exchange I could find that Meryl said to you was, "O.K. So you're the only person in the world who understands science. Can't argue with that." Gee Fabian, hope you were wearing protective goggles. * Vic #: 257886 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 12:35:03 Sb: #257259-CSICOP revealed Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Hi Fabian. This isn't always a mutually comforting society. We've been known to get into quite a few arguments here. We do question a great many things and I'm the trouble maker quite often. Just ask Vic, or Malcolm or Terry E. about me. Do you mind a question? You say that Science doesn't prove anything? Can you elaborate a little. Reading over previous threads I still don't understand. Thanks. -Frank- #: 257325 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 16:21:05 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) Hi, Vic. Without getting into this stuff between Fabian and Meryl, I was intrigued by a couple of the things you said. (Apparently, most of the recent discussion here of the past five days since I was last on, because of this forum's incredible scroll rate, but there's always something new popping up.) > Call me not so wise, but, before you stomp off in a huff convinced of the unreasonable, anti-scientific temperament of "paranormal" believers.... The idea of a "paranormal believer" has always struck me as an odd one. For example, I'm quite sure there _are_ experiences that people are inclined to call paranormal. (that doesn't make me unreasonable and anti-scientific, does it?) How most properly to _interpret_ those experiences seems to me something to be decided on a case-by-case basis, preferably carefully weighing the widest possible ranges of theories as candidate interpretive methods. That being the case, I've never understood why _belief_ enters into it at all -- unless you're looking for a new religion of some sort. > ...because CSICOP apparently uses the bad science of duplication (not replication) as a method of debunking. This is not apparent to me at all, for two reasons. First, and fundamentally, CSICOP doesn't do research; it publishes research by a wide range of other parties. (The committee itself lacks the resources.) Second, when the researchers published in _SI_ duplicate an effect, I _never_ recall them stating that such effects can be produced _only_ via their means. They in fact state merely the fact that they actually established, that of _duplication of effect_. Now, some readers will elect to conclude that ostensibly psychic feats are likely sleight-of-hand, if the latter is known to produce the same effect; others won't. It's up to the reader. The more thoughtful will want to elimimate that possibility in future tests. There are 2 Replies. #: 257653 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 01:02:26 Sb: #257325-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 (X) Regarding duplication/replication: CSICOP: As far as I recall, many cases published in SI and by Martin Gardner that I read were on claimed paranormal powers which the holders agreed to submit to controlled tests. I don't see why those could be considered only duplication and not replication, and now that the effect could not be duplicated, it is claimed that they were doing duplication research. Ha! Shroud: here the paranormal claim was of an image transfer method not duplicable by known means. Thus, duplication of effect by known means was the proper way to reject the paranormal hypothesis. In addition to other evidence, the method WAS duplicated by means KNOWN AT THE TIME, and this method could not be refuted by the scientific tests applied to the shroud (pigment similar to the one used in the duplication was found in the image, although this was not very conclusive). When, at that point, somebody says "yes, but duplication does not prove anything", they are playing fast and loose with the rules of the game. Science in general: it is true that duplication does not prove anything, because, as I said, science cannot prove anything period. But neither does the fact that not everything can be replicated prove that paranormal phenomena exist. And neither does it mean that it does not MEAN anything, which is what is frequently meant when this is invoked after a claim was refuted by being duplicated by normal means. #: 257761 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 04:03:49 Sb: #257325-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 (X) Hi Rick, Please take my comment about CSICOP with the same grain of salt as it was given. That being that I've never read SI, only some of the limited reporting that goes on about them here. I really don't know how much the reader is left to their own conclusions, and how much they are "led" to them, etc. I have seen Phil Klass on the tube, though, and if he has ever been a respected member of the team, well... I agree with you about interpretation, but "belief" is not necessarily married to "religious". Even so, religion can be useful, where science cannot/hasn't tread. If you get off the golf course because the gods are angry, you are just as safe as the guy who is running from lightning. The guy who stands in the middle of the fairway because he doesn't believe in gods would be better off being religious. * Vic #: 257341 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 17:00:09 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Alex Krislov [SL13] 76703,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, Thanks for the art lesson--it was interesting!--but I think we've sorta lost the thread here. I did know about the multiple copies by the same artist, but, reasonably speaking, they are ALL originals. Similarly, a set of lithographs is considered "all original." Me, I don't spend over a thousand bucks on a piece of art, so I'm pretty safe in any case. But I once saw, represented as an original, a copy of a piece that I owned. I alerted the artist, who raised hell. Forgeries may be rare as hen's teeth on the lower echelons of the art world--but they do exist. Similarly, there was once a counterfeit edition of the first issue of CEREBUS, a very well-regarded independent, creator-published comic book. Real copies of the comic were worth hundreds of dollars--and a lot of people got rooked. --Alex #: 257728 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:25:39 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, Yes, it does _very much_ depend on what one means by belief. For example, you seem to have an unshakable belief in the scientific method. Your comments about religion lead me to think that you are unfamiliar with the _religious_ concept of "demonstrations" (though I will admit that they wouldn't fit your requirements re controls). Not to worry, I think many religious believers hold similar ideas. Myself, I think that the world has too much science and not enough religion. The most interesting line in your message was the one stating that "it would be nice" to replicate the DNA insight. I agree completely! I think we REALLY need to study how to foster such experience MUCH more than we need to study its content. We need to be able to turn ourselves into Einsteins much more than we need to study his material. I used to think of science as empowering but it couldn't teach me to become an Einstein or to awaken creative intuition. This in spite of the fact that EVERYTHING we do as human beings really flows from our humanity, science included. So, somewhere along the line, I made a philosophical choice to investigate something else, which seemed to be neatly placed outside science's realm. Science can have its scientific method for its own realm. This other realm has its own methods (some of which are called scientific). The current apparent lack of congruence between the two troubles me not at all. And, really, I favour the investigation of both; principally because of the personal satisfaction to be gained by both groups of investigators. I won't claim it as equivalent to science; I'll claim it superior. :D But that's to be expected considering the nature of the philosophical choice I've made. Science loses me cause it almost seems to want to take the awe, wonder and mystery out of life. That fusion powers the sun is not remotely as important to me as that it shines on me and creates day from night. I understand my modem scientifically but I prefer to think of it as magic. [ MORE ] #: 257729 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:25:46 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) [ continuation ] It makes life more human and, maybe, romantic. Chaqun a son gout. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 257855 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 11:09:58 Sb: #257729-CSICOP revealed Fm: Russ Ranshaw 70000,1010 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 Malcolm, Have you read: "Use Both Sides of Your Brain" by Tony Buzan "Mindmapping" by Joyce Wycoff The Wycoff book is a "how to" of Buzan's "Mindmapping" techniques. The purpose behind it is to free one's self from the shackles of rigid, linear, "left brained" thinking which we have been steeped in throughout our educational experience. The technique is simple, and does seem to foster flashes of insight. They rely heavily on the use of free flowing form, avoid being bogged down in details too early, rejecting any information too early, etc.. Very interesting stuff! More and more people are starting to realize the importance of multi=sensory experiences, such as reading something while listening to an audio presentation, reading out loud, the use of color and highlighting more as a recall mechanism, etc. Several years ago I heard a presentation by Gabe Campbell. Gabe is basically a psychologist. He worked with mentally retarded children at the time. He related how he fostered the use of physical activity as part of the learning process. S a "pass the ball around the ring" game and when someone had the ball, they had to add the next piece of something they were trying to memoriae. He said it worked wonders for spelling and arithmetic, helping increase the ability of most of the children. Yet the "powers that be" still reject Buzan and Campbell's works. Pity. -Russ #: 257730 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:26:39 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, It's true that there are people who would wish that paranormal claims be taken seriously by science. I don't think that I'm one of them particularly. I suppose that I would generally be favourably disposed to such, but I wouldn't push for it particularly (my penchant for exposing a different viewpoint notwithstanding). I don't feel that I confuse since my messages are of a philosophical nature and don't appear scientific at all (or if they do, it's entirely an accident). :) While I certainly wouldn't criticize science for not taking ME seriously, I feel completely justified in taking it to task for not taking IT seriously. Still, this is more a criticism of the attitudes of individuals who contend themselves to be scientists rather than science, per se. See, as you have pointed out all along, scientists are human, and their human predispositions influence them (even though they may tell themselves that, logically, it shouldn't). So we see 3 kinds of scientists: 1) those who are open-minded about such things and actually would undertake such studies; 2) those who would not undertake such studies, feeling that it would be a waste of their time since the results are (to them) a foregone conclusion; and 3) those who are aggressively (and publicly) concerned with refuting all paranormal claims out of hand because their convictions are so strong. Now the sad fact is that, when someone makes a paranormal claim, the first group of "scientists" that it attracts is group 3! Consequently, if I make a claim of UFO's and someone gets national exposure saying that I'm a habitue of bars, that is likely to cause my family and myself such embarrassment that I decline to come forward again! That my county does not have bars may only be known by locals. People in NYC may well be completely unaware that I have been the target of a smear campaign. But the campaign has real effects nonetheless. Human factors are REAL and they have mostly served to polarize the two sides of the issue. Sad, perhaps, but true. [ MORE ] #: 257731 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:26:46 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) [ continuation ] Malcolm #: 257732 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:27:41 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, -> there is only one known method to EVALUATE those phenomena: science Not at all. There are innumerable methods of evaluation. There may be only one method known _to science_. And the elimination of any other betrays your "faith" or "belief in" the scientific method. Science is empowering perhaps; but only within its own framework. When that framework is removed, it may well flounder. Let's imagine that I teach you a ritual of Magick. You perform the ritual exactly as instructed and it works. You perform it repeatedly and it always works. You then go to work and meet with a group of scientists, tell them that you can perform magic, perform the ritual exactly as instructed and it fails. Surprised, you perform it again and again it fails. You then go home and perform the ritual again and it works. You do it again, and it works. Next day, you go to work and discover that your co-workers now look at you in a different way and they treat you differently too. You get re-assigned. Sometime later you get fired on a trumped up charge that's absolutely false, but you can't prove it. Through all of these follow-up effects, you're trying to figure out why it works in one environment and not the other but you can't. You might then need to conclude that there ARE different frameworks and that you need a more comprehensive viewpoint. Now you may say that this is impossible but you can't be sure until such time as you develop your magickal skills. Let's also imagine that I tell you that by performing a certain kind of meditation each day, you will develop psychic powers. They may manifest in 6 months or 35 years depending on certain conditions existing within you. I also inform you that every time a doubt rises in your mind, you effectively return to day 1. Can you suspend the doubt facility of your mind for the 6 months or 35 years? Can you focus your attention well enough to practise the technique properly? And, most importantly, isn't that sort of self-mastery as valuable to a scientist as it is to an [ MORE ] #: 257733 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:28:22 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) [ continuation ] artist? My whole point here is: How will the scientific method serve you IF you encounter this situation and how can you be sure you WON'T encounter this situation (aside from refusing to be part of it; i.e. Magick is bogus, therefore I won't perform the ritual). -> paranormal believers are not always treated with respect Absolutely! And ignorance or carelessness are no justification for that treatment. When I teach word processing, all my students come to me ignorant and careless. If I don't treat them with respect, not only won't they learn, they'll beat a hasty retreat and have choice words for me. And I will have richly deserved them. If I treat them in a condescending fashion, I'll fare little better. You state that a prerequisite for an intelligent exchange is the agreement that the scientific method is the best we've got. I think our exchange here is intelligent (even somewhat captivating ), but I'm not prepared to make that agreement. Still, I recognize and respect that that method is important to you. A previous "that's fine with me, Malcolm" has led me to conclude that you also recognize and respect my philosophical viewpoint and so our exchange can continue - and to good end! So, to me, the real gold of this exchange is NOT the agreement (which is not forthcoming) but rather the recognition and respect. Without those, the agreement will avail us not at all. Malcolm #: 257734 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:28:42 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) Michael, Yeah, there's something to that. We all tend to labour under the blinkers of accustomedness - even when we know we shouldn't. It often even takes a whack on the side of the head to make us realize we're doing it! I thought of an analogy: "A" comes from a culture in which all music is based on vibrating strings. "B" tells him that it's possible to make music by means of horns. A says it's the most ridiculous thing he ever heard. B takes him to a concert performed by a brass quartet. A turns to B and says, "You call THAT music?!" B replies, "Well, I didn't think yours was either. I was just taking your word for it." :) Malcolm #: 257735 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:29:10 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, Ask yourself this: What is the reality of an illusion? You may say, "Nothing". Then ask the follow-up question: What is the reality of THE EFFECTS of an illusion?" You drive a bus full of people up the coast. You see a Sasquatch on the road, swerve to miss it and go off a cliff into the Pacific. Everybody dies. Even if it was an illusion with no "objective reality" (I love that expression!), it now becomes VERY important. I first got onto this sort of idea from reading Jacque Vallee's "The Invisible College". He makes the point that even if there are no aliens from outer space, when enough people believe that there are, it can have a vast influence on the mass consciousness and social dynamic and those effects are very real. But this is more likely to be studied by pollster than by scientists, in large measure because of the human factor of denying the seed phenomenon itself. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 257856 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 11:10:03 Sb: #257735-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Russ Ranshaw 70000,1010 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 Malcolm, In my daughter's high school there used to be a large mural, painted by some long forgotten students. It was a picture of a unicorn. Above it, on a flowing banner, was written: "If you will believe in me, I will believe in you." I always liked that mural, now covered by a layer of new plaster as part of the high school's recent renovation. It reminded me of the discussion a while back concerning paradigms. What I like about looking at "reality" issues as paradigms is the idea that one cannot use the tenets of one paradigm to prove or disprove those of another. For example, we can't use the tenets of science to prove or disprove the tenets of religion or visa versa. Another paradigm pair I like to look into is that of Chinese healing vs. western medicine. The Chinese paradigm is based on 5000+ years of observation and involves a holistic view of body, mind, and spirit, all involved in both the dis-ease situation and the cure. Western medicine, on the other hand, insists that the doctor is god, the patient is merely a vessel in which to pour a mixture of chemicals and in which a battle is waged with the abnormal agent of the disease. Both paradigms are self consistent, both effective TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THEM. I think everything is an illusion. We _think_ we see objects, but we really don't see them. What we do is sense the photons they emit or reflect. Ne never actually touch anything, because atoms don't really want to be in contact. So our view of the entire universe is a subjective illusion. -Russ There is 1 Reply. #: 258097 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 19:25:05 Sb: #257856-CSICOP revealed Fm: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 To: Russ Ranshaw 70000,1010 Russ: Sorry to "butt in", but I have found that reality exists only in our PERCEPTION of it. Something like the ten blind men exploring the elephant. When we react to "reality" what we are really reacting to is our perception of it. Claudine #: 257736 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:29:30 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, Well, I'm not convinced that you accept human weaknesses more than I do. :) Still, if you DID do that and were subjected to the ridicule and were thwarted in your attempts to have it subjected to GOOD science, you might act differently thenceforward. You may have put too many zeros in there. :) The claims themselves are pretty rare. Malcolm #: 257737 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:29:39 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) Vic, Yeah, I took Meryl's point on duplication to mean: Just because someone might duplicate it with a laser that doesn't prove that the shroud is a fake. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 257865 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 11:35:16 Sb: #257737-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 Malcolm, You read well old chap. Here, let me pat you on the back. * Vic #: 257738 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:29:58 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, Again, if paranormal experience were the norm for you, you would also assume that it was true and, perhaps, feel some frustration with regard to science. Particularly, if the paranormal was routine for you even in childhood, before you'd had any exposure to science. Don't you think you'd feel that scientists were keeping their heads in the ground by dismissing such out of hand. Which brings up another point that I forgot to make before. It's not so much "because you don't believe me, science is wrong"; it's more a case of "because I keep being dismissed out of hand, I don't think much of the practitioners." Malcolm #: 257261 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 13:23:59 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) Why do you think I got more out of shape than anybody else in this forum? It is not me who cut off anybody else, despite the kind of arguments I get. I hate to use this expression, but you did not watch my lips: science cannot PROVE anything, so this was never my point. The point is that duplication is necessary to increase truth probability and usefulness of that truth, even though it is not absolute proof. On the other hand, the paranormal side have nothing to replace duplication with, and thus have no tool to validate their theories. Some say it's so obvious, self-evident, like religion. Neither did I ever assign to Meryl specific support of the shroud's paranormal claims. In fact, my shroud messages were quite isolated from my argument with her. However, since we are sitting in a paranormal forum, where people take paranormal phenomena for granted, it would not be totally unjustifiable to think that many would tend to assign fault to the scientific evidence on the shroud, and consider the paranormal theory palatable. If that is not accurate, all they have to do is say so, and my question was intended to see if they do. Apparently only you did. There is 1 Reply. #: 257757 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 04:03:32 Sb: #257261-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) > Why do you think I got more out of shape than anybody else in this forum? < Ah, now there's the rub. Did I say you *were* getting more bent out of shape than _anybody_ else here. Nope. Fact is, I think egos tend to get a little inflated on all sides when the Skeptics come to town. I try to stay out of it, whenever possible. Which is why I hope you and I can close this out real soon now. But you have to realize that when a Skeptic comes along, and like any hot to trot Fundie, expects that everyone should approach the problem from the Correct tack, and then another, and later another, well, it gets annoying. I have no problem with anyone's skeptical nature, as long as they don't get too preachy about it. I also have No problem with disagreement. More of a problem is when people disagree with a false notion of my position. That gets tiresome very quickly if not rectified. And it happens a lot. That's life. > However, since we are sitting in a paranormal forum, where people take paranormal phenomena for granted...< Please explain (do me a favor and take this rhetorically ) why giving something credence to something (to *any* degree) is "taking for granted". Your accusation is a shallow caricature of what takes place on this forum. Perhaps it would have been wiser to lurk a bit longer before jumping to conclusions. That said, you seem to forget that "taking for granted" has it's place in scientific exploration. When you (rhetorically) explain how degree, ask yourself why you assume that is not the extent of the "belief" in some or many paranormal "believers". Take care, Fab. May the Force be with you. * Vic #: 257739 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 03:30:08 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, FWIW, I first became aware of the shroud when I saw a TV program about it in the 50's or 60's. That show stated that science was at a loss to explaing the image. Malcolm #: 257424 S10/Paranormal Issues 18-Mar-92 20:02:02 Sb: Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: All I just found the following message from Fabian Pascal posted in the Science forum & thought you would want to know about it: 'I have recently stumbled upon the Paranormal Issues section in the ISSUES forum, and got involved in some exchanges with people there who were accusing scientists of being close-minded, and treating paranormal phenomena in such a way as to discourage evidence to come forward. Of course, I find much of their stuff qwestionable, and they are as guilty of closing their minds to science, but I thought some of you may be interested in coming there, to dispell their accusation, out of sheer interest, or to have a more balanced discussion. 'Seems to me that "mutually agreeable" sections should not be the only interesting way to discuss science.' #: 257654 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 01:02:35 Sb: Paranormal Issues Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: all I interpret the "telling" of Meryl Johnson to be sort of "beware" or warning or something. Accusations were made in this forum that scientists in general, and in the ISSUES forum in particular were ridiculing paranormal evidence/believers, to the point that evidence does not come forward; that I have my own concept of science (if any). In addition, I see people here agreeing with one another, people there agreeing with one another, and each in their own world accusing the other side. It seems to me that talking TO one another is more interesting/useful than building little isolated worlds at odds. That was the simple reason for that message, and for somebody who explains CSICOP's willingness to test as due to some "terrible fear" from the truth of paranormal, it is quite telling that she posted such a warning. Perhaps projection from oneself to others? #: 258272 S10/Paranormal Issues 19-Mar-92 22:41:30 Sb: CSICOP Members: a _fact_ Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: ALL Wow, this forum does have a fast scroll rate, and the "CSICOP REVEALED" thread has taken some interesting turns. Perhaps the fast scroll rate is why Rick did not take up my challenge to post the relevant section of the CSICOP by laws so all could see just who are the real "members" of the committee. Recall that the Hansen paper cited many messages ago claimed that the "Fellows" and "Consultants" were, in fact, the "committee", as in the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims Of the Paranormal. This was, shall we say, vigorously disputed by Rick M., who denied that the Fellows and consultants were actually members and that this _fact_ has always been made clear by CSICOP and could be easily checked: "ALL of CSICOP's officers _consistently_ know and state the plain, simple fact on this matter. For fifteen years, it has always been the exact same answer. Kapech?" Well, here is the "plain, simple fact." ************************************************************************ * extract from: BY LAWS OF CSICOP, INC. * * ARTICLE 4, SECTION 2: * * _Regular Members_ - Regular Members of the Committee without * * vote are: * * (a) All persons designated as "Fellows of the Committee." * * (b) Scientific Consultants -- members with expertise in special * * areas. * ************************************************************************ So what does that tell us about "ALL of CSICOP's officers," and perhaps its supporters as well? READ THR STA:258288 #: 258461 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:56:11 Sb: Science Flaws? Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: all I have come elsewhere across a message which, despite its specific context (psychology) contains several general points about the scientific method that are very pertinent in general, and to some of the exchanges here in particular. And, since these are not MY points, people may be willing to at least consider them. Only the emphasis is mine. -------------------------------------Prof. Stone admirably attempts to back up his earlier assertions of the problems with psychological research by ACTUALLY GOING OUT AND READING SOME OF IT HIMSELF. In his discussion of the article he chose to examine, it's clear that he confronted many of the problems psychologists face every day when conducting research. He talks about the differences, for example, between fear of consequences and fear of coping with consequences. Good point. However, Prof. Stone is willing to walk away with his hands in the air saying "Well, it can't be done, might as well not try." "Might as well spend my time doing something that's do-able." I must say that I vehemently argue that such an approach is not helpful. Sure one can choose to walk away, but then nothing would ever get done. Someone should at least try, so future people can learn from the mistakes. Psychology rarely gets things right the first time, RESEARCH INVESTIGATIONS BUILD ON EACH OTHER, AND EXTEND EACH OTHER. Which leads to the second point, that Prof. Stone makes. He suggests that the sample used was biased. Of course it is! UNLIKE PARTICLE PHYSICS, PEOPLE ARE VERY DIFFERENT. We can't look at the whole population of all people! We can only look at relatively small samples! The hope is that FUTURE RESEARCH will use different samples, and if one does, and IF ONE FINDS DIFFERENT RESULTS from the first sample, well then, knowledge has been gained and psychology moves forward. But don't raise your hands, walk away, and say it can't be done! [cont'd] #: 258462 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:56:22 Sb: #Science Flaws? Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: all [cont'd] Stone's next complaint is that ANY NUMBER OF THEORIES COULD HAVE EXPLAINED the results. This is almost a moot point since THIS IS TRUE OF ANY SCIENCE. The important point here is that only one theory was used. This theory made PREDICTIONS A PRIORI (I'm assuming since I haven't read the article, but this is typical practice in science), and the empirical results could have but DIDN'T REFUTE the theory. The idea that other theories could've worked too is not a problem specific to psychology. But it's very important to the author that the OBTAINED RESULTS WERE IN THE DIRECTION APPROPRIATE TO THE THEORY of interest (see Kuhn, 1970). Stone's last complaint is that psychologists should acknowledge the limitations of their methodology. Again, I believe Stone speaks from lack of experience in the psych. literature. Perhaps ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MEANS THROUGH WHICH TO MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF IS TO SHOW THE SHORTCOMINGS OF OTHER PEOPLE'S RESEARCH. This means PREPARING FOR THE ATTACK IN YOUR RESEARCH EVEN BEFORE IT COMES. PSYCHOLOGISTS ARE PROBABLY THEIR OWN WORST CRITICS WHEN IT COMES TO METHODOLOGICAL EVALUATION. OUR METHODOLOGIES MAY NOT BE PERFECT, BUT IT'S ALL WE HAVE, and I suggest that this is at minimum better than walking away saying it can't be done. There is 1 Reply. #: 258951 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:53:33 Sb: #258462-Science Flaws? Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) >OUR METHODOLOGIES MAY NOT BE PERFECT, BUT IT'S ALL WE HAVE, and I suggest that this is at minimum better than walking away saying it can't be done. You're right, Fabian. Psychologists should have stuck with phrenology. Now there was something they could measure, test and evaluate. Once they got inside the head they got lost, and haven't found their way out yet. But what about you? Let's see. You say you've "personally interacted with professors, Ph.D. students and scientists for about 15 years and I can tell you that it is appalling how little understanding of the scientific method, or philosophy of science they have." More than once you've mentioned "philosophy of science" - a bonehead course for nonscientists. And you say you're "not impressed with any 'considerable backgrounds in science'". And you say you don't throw your qualifications around (unless asked for them), "although they are quite impressive." Of course, whether one's qualifications are impressive is a judgment that can be made only by the impressee. Okay, I'm asking: exactly what are your quite impressive qualifications? From your messages here we can only guess that you are at least fifteen years old and not a scientist, and your penchant for capitalizing entire words and sentences - the equivalent of shouting - suggests that you're afraid you won't be taken seriously. Your last message, so full of capitalized sentences that it came across as raving, suggests that you may be a psychology student. Enlighten us. #: 258463 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:56:40 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) >>you seem to have an unshakable belief in the scientific method. Until some better method is found, yes. Not a perfect one, by all means, but the best we've got. >>Myself, I think that the world has too much science and not enough religion. Gee, that's funny. To me the opposite is true. >>I think we REALLY need to study how to foster such experience MUCH more than we need to study its content. Yes and no. We do need to study it and it is being done here and there, but whether it will generate more Einsteins is, at best, a real tossup. And, with scarce research resources, it may well be that we should take whatever content we can get and go with it. Besides, the whole point was not to confuse the two insofar as scientific replication is concerned. >>I used to think of science as empowering but it couldn't teach me to become an Einstein or to awaken creative intuition. Perhaps you expected too much from it. Question is, what else is there that WILL make you an Einstein, so that you can afford to give it up? Seems to me Einstein was pretty much into science himself, no? [cont'd] There is 1 Reply. #: 259138 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:06:43 Sb: #258463-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, -> Until some better method is found... the best we've got .. to achieve the end that you are seeking. My goals may be different. If that is indeed the only method you will accept, well, then it's the one you must work with. I may work with the same one or others. This is fine. It's all a matter of where we've applied our faith. Yes, faith! You have faith in your method, you apply it, get some results and say, "OK, now I have something I can work with." I do the same! I don't think we're as different as we might seem. -> To me the opposite is true. No doubt. You, I believe, take blind belief to be religion. I think of that in the same way that you do bad science. :) -> Yes and no. We do need to study it but not too much. If anything gets found out, it'll be used against us. IMHO, too much of science is used to find more and better ways to kill ourselves. Discover the atom and destroy Hiroshima. Whopee, I'm so impressed. Aren't we advanced. On a more positive note, since all of science is mediated by our minds, I'm surprised that science doesn't recognize that the mind should be studied above all. It may be that some of it was held up by blind belief and now it is being held up by bad science. In any case, it takes a while to get smart evidently. -> WILL make you an Einstein... can afford to give it up Oh, I wouldn't give it up entirely. It's an effective operative methodology for a particular group of goals; so use it for them! No problem there. What will make me an Einstein? THAT's a question more worth answering to me. I'm much more interested in learning to operate my mind than operating physical laws; but that's just me. Seems to me Einstein had firm faith in God, yes? Malcolm #: 258464 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:56:57 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) [cont'd] >>So, somewhere along the line, I made a philosophical choice to investigate something else, which seemed to be neatly placed outside science's realm. That's absolutely fine, as long as (1) you don't claim it's science (2) you don't criticize science for considering you out. You seem to understand this, and I have no quarrel with that. The problem is that many, if not most, in the paranormal camp want to have it both ways. >>I feel completely justified in taking it to task for not taking IT seriously. Still, this is more a criticism of the attitudes of individuals who contend themselves to be scientists rather than science, per se. I agree up to a point, but you must also agree that there are many in the paranormal camp who have the same attitudes towards science, and who invite such attitudes from scientists. Moreover, as Rick and I said, attacking CSICOP which was founded to resolve that precise problem weakens this claim considerably. >>So we see 3 kinds of scientists Probably true, but I would bet that the vast majority are 2's, but not because of a foregone conclusion, but rather as a practical matter. 1's and genuine 3's are very small minorities, but the problem is that the paranormal community confuses the former with the latter. [cont'd] There is 1 Reply. #: 259139 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:07:11 Sb: #258464-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, I don't claim it's science (though I would claim it's scientific ). I don't criticize science for considering me (or it) outside; but I may criticize it for HAVING an outside. We perceive in ways independent of the senses (the DNA insight). Why hasn't science worked to explain it, understand it, enable it? I don't know. This is inexplicable to me. There must be money in it somewhere for someone. ;) It's the FIRST thing _I_ want to know. It's obviously key to so much more. Don't you agree with that? There may be paranormalists who want to have it both ways. I'm not sure what that means but I'll try to understand. -> have the same attitudes towards science Oh, absolutely! But I won't defend science. It does well enough on its own in its own defense. (I KNOW you'll agree with that! ) and that's fine. The antagonistic nature of the two sides is non-productive for both. Still, the paranormalists can still enjoy the benefits of science; while scientists are missing out on the benefits of the paranormal. (Won't stick out my tongue here. ) -> paranormal community confuses [1, 2, and 3] No, the problem is that there ARE 1, 2 and 3 in a discipline that is supposed to be transcendental to such things. This is a problem that you have acknowledged; i.e. human factors leading to bad science. Malcolm #: 258465 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:57:08 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) [cont'd] >>if I claim of UFO's and someone gets national exposure saying that I'm a habitue of bars, that is likely to cause my family and myself such embarrassment that I decline to come forward again! Let's keep a correct perspective on things, shall we. If something like THAT happened to me, I would not even think about who is gonna say I'm a drunk or not. But perhaps I am more secure than you are. In any case, if you are alluding to the Klass story in particular, please note that such accusations were not made publicly, but rather PERSONALLY to somebody, and that would not have embarassed you publicly even if true. I do realize that there is cost for coming forward, but there should be an equal courage to stand up for oneself and submit to scientific inquiry. Tough, but no more so than women who get raped, or whistleblowers who get fired. >>There are innumerable methods of evaluation. Name one which is generally accepted, has produced better results, and why. The question is not whether they are known to science, but are they better than science? >>When that framework is removed, it may well flounder. It is the framework which is empowering. [cont'd] There is 1 Reply. #: 259141 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:07:42 Sb: #258465-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, -> bars It's not a matter of _my_ security. Anyone can hold any attitude they like about me and I hope that it serves the purpose for which they hold it. I can keep my head just fine. The "family" was the key there. If someone ridicules me, I am not diminished. However, if I have a six-year-old who is taunted all day at school, how the hell am I gonna convince him to stay in school and be a scientist? :) THAT's much more important to me than the stuff directed at me personally. I'm sure you understand the point: that my actions and experience impact others, over whose emotions I have no control (or little). -> Name one with is generally accepted... better results, and why. No, find one! I'm speaking about the inner man. You must find one for yourself. Science, insofar as I'm aware, can't define, synthesize or generate aspiration, inspiration and so many other things - love! Yet every scientist IS an inner man. He knows these things; aspiration, inspiration, love. Yet he doesn't know them scientifically; he knows them personally. And he must find a method that works for him. For the simple reason that, despite what we may have in the way of science and technology in this or any other age, we are ALWAYS with ourselves, in heaven, in hell or on earth. Isn't this a fact? Whether or not heaven and hell are part of your philosophy? -> It is the framework which is empowering. OK, cool. Run with that ball. No problem here. Just don't pass to me - I'm a cheerleader. :) Malcolm #: 258466 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:57:19 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) [cont'd] >>Let's imagine that I teach you a ritual of Magick. Poor example, because it seems to equate some physical phenomenon in nature with a human's ability to perform a task. The latter may be intermittent, but the former usually is not. Now, it is in principle possible to have intermittent natural phenomena too, but the problem with the paranormal ones is that they tend to be SELECTIVELY so: they are alergic to scientific controls, magicians, skeptical attitudes, etc. Not to the general public, like in your example. >>How will the scientific method serve you IF you encounter this situation and how can you be sure you WON'T encounter this situation (aside from refusing to be part of it; i.e. Magick is bogus, therefore I won't perform the ritual). Malcolm, seriously, it is fascinating to see to what people resort to make sure that paranormal phenomena can exist, but BY DEFINITION escape science. Not very persuasive to me, sorry. >>Absolutely! And ignorance or carelessness are no justification for that treatment. Yes, but it also depends on the students. If they come in and tell you that what you're teaching has no value and they demand something else, which you know won't help them at all, you may change your attitude. Bad, but human. [cont'd] There is 1 Reply. #: 259142 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:08:16 Sb: #258466-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, Whether it's a poor example or not is not perhaps important. I just pulled one of the air for you to consider. And you seem to have considered it scientifically rather than humanly. OK, your choice. Strike the example, no points. -> The latter (human's ability) may be intermittent I think we should first work to eliminate or minimize that. -> allergic to scientific controls Well, this is the point that I responded to in a previous message (unparanormally ). How would DaVinci paint with art critics looking over his shoulder? -> it is fascinating to see to what people resort.... Maybe so. But your paragraph was non-responsive. You didn't answer my question, you took exception (or something) to my posing it. Be it so. Strike the question; again, no points. My comment is that what will really be fascinating is the changes you will go through if you ever DO see a ghost or meet an alien. And not fascinating to me, to you! -> Not very persuasive to me, sorry. Well, I'm not trying to persuade you! I try to practise a full-bore ecumenism :) Everybody is welcome to their own universe. I just asked you to consider the universe of another (or one that might be yours sometime). You chose not to. No big deal. -> depends on the students Certainly, for learning to occur, both sides must be in an appropriate condition. IMHO, the student should be shown respect, even if he profers none. Without this, the student will never improve (nor, probably, will the teacher). Malcolm #: 258467 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:57:39 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) [cont'd] >>I think our exchange here is intelligent (even somewhat captivating ), but I'm not prepared to make that agreement. Well, not ALL of it . I meant something different, more specific by intelligent exchange, however. If we want to have one on the validity of paranormal claims, we can only have it based on the scientific method, because I know of no other valid way to validate such claims. Otherwise, we will be talking past each other, and that's not very intelligent. >>you also recognize and respect my philosophical viewpoint and so our exchange can continue - and to good end! I respect it in the sense that you are entitled to it, but the above problem still remains. >>Then ask the follow-up question: What is the reality of THE EFFECTS of an illusion?" If you try to convince me that paranormal claims may be illusions, I will accept that. But I do not think that's what is being claimed. [cont'd] There are 3 Replies. #: 258948 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:53:10 Sb: #258467-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) >You must accept the scientific method as a basis for rules of evidence. and >If we want to have (an intelligent exchange) on the validity of paranormal claims, we can only have it based on the scientific method. The first statement is false, and the second is fallacious because it uses the first as a premise. You're also operating on another false assumption: that there is a "paranormal camp" about which you can generalize. We discuss a rather wide range of topics on this forum, and I doubt that any of us are "believers" in all of them. And while some paranormal claims are by their nature testable by scientific method, other are not and can only be evaluated by the rules of evidence. Not the same thing at all. Example: A UFO in apparent distress lands just outside a USAF base, and three diminutive crew members get out and make repairs. The craft is surrounded by about two hundred USAF security troops and a smaller number of civilian police. The base commander approaches the UFO and has a "face-off" with the leader of the crew, but nothing happens. They make their repairs and depart. The entire incident is filmed, and reports of it are published. Now, it can be established beyond doubt, by the rules of evidence, that the incident occurred. A good Hollywood F/X team could even duplicate it, proving nothing. But how do you suppose a scientist might go about /split There are 6 Replies. #: 259159 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:16:27 Sb: #258948-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) >>The first statement is false, and the second is fallacious because it uses the first as a premise. If you bothered to read my clarification of what I meant by "intelligent exchange" at somebody's request, you would have perhaps realized that you are jumping to scream "falsehood" too soon. And if you did read that, and still think I'm operating under a false assumption, I'm afraid I can't help you. >>You're also operating on another false assumption: that there is a "paranormal camp" about which you can generalize. That was a figure of speech, and promoting that to a level that enables you to throw yet another "falsehood" at me is not very serious. I use "scientific community" too. >>We discuss a rather wide range of topics on this forum, and I doubt that any of us are "believers" in all of them. And while some paranormal claims are by their nature testable by scientific method, other are not Absolutely true, but what's your point? Did I ever say that everybody here is a believer? I only said there's a lot of them here. And I did say, if I recall, that I know some para claims are not testable. [cont'd] #: 259160 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:16:40 Sb: #258948-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) [cont'd] >>and can only be evaluated by the rules of evidence. WHAT rules? That is precisely the point. >>Now, it can be established beyond doubt, by the rules of evidence, that the incident occurred. You're jumping the gun. TO THE SCIENTISTS YOU PRESENT THIS, the occurrence of the incident is a THEORY, because they have not tested it yet. >>But how do you suppose a scientist might go about Assuming there IS such a report and film and the concurrence of those involved? Possibly something like this: *Theory: an UFO was here and all of the specific details occurred *Predictions by theory: 1. possible marks in the location 2. possible noise, lights heard, seen by people in the area 3. 200 security troops, including commander, and some civilian police each separately describes the same (within reason) details 4. genuine film 5. genuine/accurate/consistent report, fits the interview descriptions etc. *Tests: 1. analyze location and surroundings 2. interview each of the troops/police (check: what opportunity has been there for them to coordinate the story/read the report/have incentives to concur, etc.) 3. review/analyze film (check who made, developed it, lab analyses, etc.) 4. read/analyze the report (who wrote it, etc.) etc. * Do it by a team of independent scientists. [cont'd] #: 259161 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:16:57 Sb: #258948-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) [cont'd] >>trying to replicate it? Or construct a hypothesis to predict when and where a similar incident will occur? Sorry, but as you can see, you have a very narrow and poor concept of predictions (as well as replication, but that's a bit more involved, so I'll ignore it here). >>It is a paranormal event that happened No, to science this is an event that is CLAIMED to have happened, requiring investigation. >>that can be proved by the rules of evidence that a court would apply Legal rules of evidence are just a political mechanism to resolve disputes. I could sit here and list for ever its flaws not only from a scientific, but even from a JUSTICE perspective. The fact that some of the investigation done in both cases is similar, does not mean that they're the same thing. >>and that cannot be tested, proved or disproved by scientific method. Obviously wrong. [cont'd] #: 259162 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:17:07 Sb: #258948-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) [cont'd] >>For most - not all - of what is discussed here the rules of evidence are appropriate. The scientific method is not. The fact is you can't even tell those cases that ARE out of the scientific realm. And this is not one of them. >>Your repeated insistence that we must stop doing what we've been doing and henceforth discuss phenomena by your rules is less than courteous and less than appreciated. Speaking about falsehoods, can you point out to me when and where did I ever say you must stop what you've been doing? You can discuss phenomena by whatever rules you choose, but don't complain that science is bad because it does not take it seriously, or because it takes it seriously and disproves it. >>You're right, Fabian. Sorry, but as I stated, it was not my stuff, and I can't take credit for it. I happen to agree with it. [cont'd] #: 259163 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:17:17 Sb: #258948-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) [cont'd] >>Psychologists should have stuck with phrenology. Now there was something they could measure, test and evaluate. Once they got inside the head they got lost, and haven't found their way out yet. I would have responded to that, but won't risk being accused of being discourteous just to defend psychologists. I'm sure that they can fend for themselves. >>And you say you're "not impressed with any 'considerable backgrounds in science'". Particularly if they are thrown to "intimidate", and evaporate upon examination. >>And you say you don't throw your qualifications around (unless asked for them), "although they are quite impressive." Absolutely true. I don't. And when I am asked for them in a genuine manner, I do offer them. >>Okay, I'm asking: exactly what are your quite impressive qualifications? I doubt that anything I have will impress YOU, so what's the point? >> you are at least fifteen years old and not a scientist Not even close. [cont'd] #: 259164 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:17:26 Sb: #258948-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) >>your penchant for capitalizing entire words and sentences - the equivalent of shouting -suggests that you're afraid you won't be taken seriously. Your last message, so full of capitalized sentences that it came across as raving, suggests that you may be a psychology student. I sometimes use capitals for emphasis, and sometimes for people who do not get it (a few of them here). In the case of the many sentences in caps, I explained that I picked that up from elsewhere, and I marked those parts that were particularly pertinent to some of the exchanges here. Whatever rules of inference you use, they are shaky and show your fears, hatreds and ideological bias. That's about the only raving I see. As to me being taken seriously, certainly it can't be done by you, because you don't look serious to me. >>Enlighten us. Enlightment is in substance, not background. I know it's tough, but try. [cont'd] #: 258950 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:53:23 Sb: #258467-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) trying to replicate it? Or construct a hypothesis to predict when and where a similar incident will occur? It is a paranormal event that happened, that can be proved by the rules of evidence that a court would apply, and that cannot be tested, proved or disproved by scientific method. For most - not all - of what is discussed here the rules of evidence are appropriate. The scientific method is not. Your repeated insistence that we must stop doing what we've been doing and henceforth discuss phenomena by your rules is less than courteous and less than appreciated. #: 259143 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:08:46 Sb: #258467-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, -> we can only have it based on the scientific method, because _I_ know of no other valid way to validate such claims. [My emphasis, of course.] Well, you may say that I can't study superconductors without using that method. Someone else might say that you can't study levitation without some other method. I'm fairly sure that you are right; why shouldn't I be equally sure that that someone else is also right? -> in the sense that you are entitled to it Wonderful! That's all I'd ask and yet there are some who would not grant me that simple kindness. That a problem remains is incidental. There will always be problems (and solutions (and new problems)). I say again that the essence is that recognition and respect. We can still discuss our problem, and that is good. Without those, we wouldn't talk to each other and that is not-so-good. -> try to convince me that paranormal claims may be illusions No, I'm not trying to convince you of that. I contend that WHATEVER the truth of them may be, the effects on the person experiencing them are real and need to be treated in as forthcoming (couldn't thing of a better word) a manner as the effects of anything that IS scientifically verifiable. You may or may not accept the Sasquatch but there is not much you can do about a bus full of victims. If I can convince you of that, both sides will benefit. But I won't try to convince you beyond the efforts already made. I've made the statement and clarified it. It's up to you what you do with the idea. Malcolm #: 258468 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:57:51 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) [cont'd] >>Well, I'm not convinced that you accept human weaknesses more than I do. :) That's too bad, because my basic philosphy is one of "people are basically weak". I am an exception . >>Still, if you DID do that and were subjected to the ridicule and were thwarted in your attempts to have it subjected to GOOD science, you might act differently thenceforward. That's a big if and cannot be 100% sure, but the overriding effect on me would be the experience itself, not the ridicule. Maybe because I can take and dish it quite well. If it were bad science, I would try to expose it, but remember that I understand GOOD science and I accept it. You don't accept it and many paranormal believers don't understand it. >>The claims themselves are pretty rare. Some of your colleagues here may disagree; and I've seen quite a few of them being floated. But then, if they are quite rare, many zeroes ARE correct! >>Again, if paranormal experience were the norm for you, you would also assume that it was true and, perhaps, feel some frustration with regard to science. That may well be, but so posed the phenomenon defies validation. We will be forced to consider things true only because people say so, because if we don't they get upset. Well, tough, but that's life. [cont'd] There is 1 Reply. #: 259144 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:09:23 Sb: #258468-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, Well, my basic philosophy is "Be thou perfect". YOW! Tough one! Not even close! Many lifetimes; still, what else might be worth doing? -> That's a big if It sure is. But I liked your response. It suggested that you would be willing to chart the uncharted (or something like that). Good on ya! Take some points, as many as you feel like taking. -> your colleagues here may disagree Hey! They're _our_ colleagues! Work with me on this. :) Since the topic was alien abductions, I think even abductees would concede that the incidence across the world population is accurately described as "rare". But even at that, I think there were too many zeros. :) -> the phenomenon defies validation Well, if you say you got a phone call, I don't need to check your phone records to believe you. I can just accept that you DID get such a call; I don't have to hear it myself - even if it's of a highly unusual nature. -> forced to consider things true only because people say so Well, the experiencer is forced to consider them true. That needs to be respected. People will be upset if you consider them false simply because they're highly unusual. (You've stated that some will get upset if you don't consider them true. This may be and such people have a problem of their own, which may be compounded depending on who they talk to.) The point is: Treating such people with the respect you would want to receive yourself. If someone says they saw an alien, you don't have to believe that it's true; just withhold the conviction that it's false. That is, say to yourself, "Well, I don't believe there are such things but if I did believe that this had happened to me, that belief (or non-belief) would be shattered all at once. How would I wish to be treated." If that's not enough for someone, you probably can't do more for them. Malcolm #: 258469 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:58:07 Sb: #257728-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) [cont'd] >>it's more a case of "because I keep being dismissed out of hand, I don't think much of the practitioners." Some oclaims SHOULD be dismissed out of hand. Some claimers refuse to submit themselves to scientific controls. Some claims cannot be replicated; some effects are duplicated by normal means. Moreover, to reiterate a point, when CSICOP says "we are not dismissing you out of hand", it's being attacked for trying to disprove claims. Again, let's keep everything in perspective. >>That show stated that science was at a loss to explaing the image. I saw it 1st time on ABC with Geraldo (yuckh!). Media sensationalism strikes again. There was enough info by that time to question the paranormal theory, but that did not stop them, for good ratings. In any case, because this was clearly a scientifically testable theory, there was a point in investigating, even though my working hypothesis was 'normal'. There is 1 Reply. #: 259145 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:09:47 Sb: #258469-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, -> Some claims SHOULD be dismissed out of hand. Yeah, I guess so. There ARE people who are just out to jerk your chain but knowing who they are can be real tough, I guess. -> let's keep everything in perspective We have to! It's all we have! We need to keep it wide though. -> 1st time on ABC with Geraldo I don't think Geraldo was even writing for Rolling Stone when I first heard. Show I saw said that there wasn't even a scientific guess; just that it was unexplained. To me, the results of the investigation into the shroud aren't particularly important to its value as an object of veneration. DON'T go crazy on that one, OK? (BTW, I may not be in here thick for the next little while. I'm getting into some Masonic discussion on another forum in a big way and that's gonna be catching my time soon the way this has.) Malcolm #: 259136 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:05:57 Sb: #257855-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Russ Ranshaw 70000,1010 Russ, No, haven't heard of either of them. They sound like good reading though. I know my left brain is out of control. :) Malcolm #: 259146 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:09:57 Sb: #258097-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 Claudine, Right on! Perception (sensory or otherwise) is all we have; I'd say all there is. Butt in anytime. It can be fun! ;) Malcolm #: 259172 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:22:32 Sb: #258097-CSICOP revealed Fm: John Eshleman 73767,1466 To: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 What's a 'perception'? #: 259137 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:06:05 Sb: #257856-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Russ Ranshaw 70000,1010 Russ, Yeah, I'm right with you on paradigms, Chinese medicine and illusion. The one I like to throw out from time to time is: There is no external world. Five words to go crazy over. :D Malcolm #: 259147 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:10:03 Sb: #257865-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 Vic, Aw, thanks, Vic. Let me pat you on the back too. :) Malcolm #: 258470 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:58:18 Sb: #257751-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) >>You seem to be assuming that a good scientist would have to be willing to follow the path of inquiry you are interested in at the moment, since you are a good scientist, or he is not really being scientific. This is nothing more than the height of vanity. Poppycock. I have no idea how you inferred that. While I certainly won't do paranormal research myself, I do not consider CSICOP bad scientists because they do it. And I don't have any particular preferences otherwise. Good scientists are not measured just by WHAT they research, but also by the questions they ask, the quality of methodology and results, insight, inferences, etc. >>Instead of worrying about consistency, let's talk about absurdity. Do you see any in this statement? If not, then I will declare that perhaps you know less than science than you think. I meant inconsistency between her complaints of others' behavior towards her, and hers towards others. If you did not see any, but rather absurdity in that statement, then I'm afraid there is a more serious problem than just knowledge of science. >>The inference was on the incredible side, based on my reading of Meryl's simple statement. The kind of thing where it's often best to just shrug and say nice talking to you... Again, ignoring the incredibility nonsense, isn't this the kind of attitude that Meryl and others here accuse scientists of? [cont'd] #: 258471 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:58:28 Sb: #257751-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) [cont'd] >>Umm, seems kinda self evident. Oh yes, I know, paranormal believers tend to have a knack for these things. Too bad it's self-evident only to them. >>IMHO. Darn, my opinion is also humble, but different. >>It was you who turned the heat on, in message #255553. I don't know how you measure heat, but when I tell somebody she's wrong, I do it cooly, matter-of-factly. As to her initial message, not that big a deal of a difference. >>Fact is, I think egos tend to get a little inflated on all sides when the Skeptics come to town. But it is also a fact that you said that only to me. [cont'd] There are 2 Replies. #: 258912 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:01:00 Sb: #258471-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) > But it is also a fact that you said that only to me. < Fabian, Not true. Like I said, perhaps you should have lurked around here a little longer. That comment is typical of our whole discussion, I'm afraid. Even if it were true, so what? If I said, "Fabian, you're human", would you then infer that I consider you alone to be human? You're arguing with caricatures cooked up in your own imagination. * Vic There is 1 Reply. #: 258929 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:24:19 Sb: #258912-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) I've been around CIS and other electronic media for a very long time and I am speaking from experience. If you consider the problem to be one shared by many, all you have to do is address your messages to ALL. But if there is an exchange in an environment where there is a local group and I am sort of the "enemy", such messages are always addressed to me, and then when I ask why, I am told that, in fact, it was not MEANT for you in particular. Give me a break, will you? It seems you're very adept at demagoguery. The "human" comparison, had I given that to you, you would have immediately cried "absurdity". There is 1 Reply. #: 258946 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:50:24 Sb: #258929-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, I never said anything like "it was not MEANT for you in particular". Not even close. I guess the problem is simply, you don't read very well. Take care. * Vic There is 1 Reply. #: 259157 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:16:07 Sb: #258946-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 Perhaps I read between the lines. That's very accurate reading here. #: 259148 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:10:12 Sb: #258471-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Fabian, With respect, the "kinda self-evident" thing was NOT the paranormal but rather that he WAS accusing you. Malcolm #: 258472 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:58:41 Sb: #257751-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) [cont'd] >>But you have to realize that when a Skeptic comes along, and like any hot to trot Fundie, expects that everyone should approach the problem from the Correct tack, and then another, and later another, well, it gets annoying. Sorry to hear that expecting for correctness is annoying >>I have no problem with anyone's skeptical nature, as long as they don't get too preachy about it. I don't have any problem with anyone's unsubstantiated beliefs, as long as they don't blame scientific "flaws" for their being unsubstantiated. >>More of a problem is when people disagree with a false notion of my position. That gets tiresome very quickly if not rectified. Gee, I feel exactly the same. >>Please explain why giving something credence to something (to *any* degree) is "taking for granted". Let's be serious, shall we? First of all, there ARE people here who say that (a) telepathy is "well documented" (b) they "know", science or no science, that paranormal events are real (c) attack the only scientific group which is prepared to seriously investigate para claims. Second, it is not unreasonable to base my above position not on just this forum, but the para community in general, and based on what I've seen and read, my position is an accurate one. Science is criticized and attacked not for flaws in SPECIFIC methods/findings, but basically on its inability to validate paranormal effects. #: 258473 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:58:51 Sb: #257751-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) >>That said, you seem to forget that "taking for granted" has it's place in scientific exploration. Perhaps, but it's not the results of the investigation that are taken for granted. >>I could be the greatest scientist in the world, but if an apple falls on my head, sciences explanation (or lack of) could very well be irrelevant to me. I could still be a scientist, even while exclaiming, "I don't care WHY it hit me, all I care about is it hurts!" True, but absolutely irrelevant. >>Take care, Fab. May the Force be with you. You too, Vic. But here you may have an advantage over me, as there is no Force with me, except science [cont'd] #: 258474 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:58:58 Sb: #257886-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Frank Turner 72540,736 (X) Hi, Frank. Always glad to meet another "trouble maker". Are you a bad boy "in the family", or an enemy, skeptic like me? Re proof, the point is that science cannot actually prove anything, but only submit theories (or, more precisely, their predictions) to tests. As long as the tests cannot DISPROVE a theory, it is held true with some degree of confidence. The more predictions are generated by a theory and the more tests fail to disprove it, the greater the degree of confidence. But in principle there could be other theories that could predict the same, hence there is never absolute proof, just practical degrees of confidence. Take a look at the 2 messages I am uploading titled "science flaws? There is a good refutation of some criticism of science which covers this issue too. There is 1 Reply. #: 258616 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 10:52:14 Sb: #258474-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) Hi Fabian. Thanks for the info re: proof. I think I understand what you're saying now. Isn't it akin to the argument between Einstein and Bohr re: the underlying nature of reality? a deterministic vs non-deterministic unviverse? I hear Einstein lost that debate. I'd like to explore this at a later date. Actually I alternate between skepticsism and "true beliver". I'm skeptical about a lot of paranormal claims and yet I've been involved with one particular paranormal anomaly for nearly 15 years. I'm sure you've heard of OBE (Out-of-body-experiences) aka Astral projection. Well I'm the resident OBE'er around here. Let me contact you via email to explain my position further because I have to type on-line and this could get expensive. Talk to you there and then maybe we could come back here. -Frank- There are 2 Replies. #: 258698 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 13:00:41 Sb: #258616-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Frank Turner 72540,736 (X) Pardon my butting in, but I would like to hear more of your OBEs. I have attempted OBEs on a few occasions and got nowhere. Thanks, Anson There are 2 Replies. #: 258699 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 13:05:46 Sb: #258698-CSICOP revealed Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Hi Anson. I don't have the time today but can talk to you in detail next week sometime. Remind me. -Frank- #: 259149 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:10:24 Sb: #258698-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 Anson, Frank has uploaded a text file that will inform you as to his own experience and more than that. Go to LIB 10 and BRO OBE*. The numbered ones are his. Not knowing if he'd add more numbers, my comments on the material is named OBEX.TXT. Do read Frank's. He's much more well-versed than I. Only read mine if you really can't resist. :) Malcolm #: 258928 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:24:11 Sb: #258616-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Frank Turner 72540,736 I don't think the Einstein/Bohr argument is an example of what I was referring to. There the issue is whether reality itself is probabilistic, while I was talking about the probabilistic confidence in a theory's validity. They may be somehow connected, but I have not given that a lot of thought. Einstein's famous words were "God does not play dice with the Universe". There was more to his lack of comfort with the probabilistic nature of the quantum view of reality than just that. To date, quantum theory has survived every possible test they threw at it, but the problem remains that it is "weird", even though it predicts all sorts of things correctly. Scientists tend to dislike weirdness. I've suggested to you some better books on this subject. I've also responded to your OBE private message. The gist of it is that, if true, there may well be a psychological explanation for it, rather than a paranormal one. There is 1 Reply. #: 259005 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 21:24:27 Sb: #258928-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 (X) In a message (#258928, 20-Mar-92 20:24:11) to Frank Turner, you said, "I've also responded to your OBE private message. The gist of it is that, if true, there may well be a psychological explanation for it, rather than a paranormal one." Forgive me for butting in, but is was this comment really appropriate? I mean, if you're carrying on a private e-mail discussion, is it proper to bring it into a public debate on another subject? Granted, OBEs were brought up publicly, but my impression was that subject was going to go "private" (or at least into another thread). It's been my experience that things discussed via e-mail are not generally taken public without compelling reasons to do so. Just my 0.02. Later, Anson There is 1 Reply. #: 259158 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:16:15 Sb: #259005-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 I think you do not realize that the person himself posted a public message to me in which he mentions his OBE connection and says he's gonna contact me by MAIL on it. Then, in his MAIL message he informed me that the reason he went MAIL was that he does not have Tapcis, and he did not want to type a long message on-line in the forum. From that I inferred that there was no intention to keep the matter private, and since I did not give any details, and my comment was not negative, and he himself accepts what I was saying, I saw no problem commenting. However, if he himself considers it such, I am prepared to apologize, as I had no intention to violate privacy. #: 258475 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 03:59:04 Sb: #258272-CSICOP Members: a _fact_ Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 >>So what does that tell us about "ALL of CSICOP's officers," and perhaps its supporters as well? Exactly, Richard, what? You spent so much time, effort and messages on this, and I cannot figure out the significance. Rick or no Rick, can you perhaps show effects of whatever your finding means on SPECIFIC methods and findings of their published research? #: 258476 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 04:02:37 Sb: #Paranormal Issues Fm: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I seem to think that the Paranormal Section was doing quite a good job at encouraging people to come forward with their experiences and discussing them. Then the CSICOP folks showed up and everybody went away. There are 4 Replies. #: 258511 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 07:04:58 Sb: #258476-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 Everybody went away? Of course that's CSICOP's methodology & what they are trying to accomplish. All this prattle about science has nothing whatsoever to do with science. They're trying to convert us. Who wants to be proselytized? It's strictly an ideological stance, like Animal Rights, Right to Life, & other groups of this ilk. They consider themselves the ONLY people capable of investigating the paranormal, and then dismiss the existence of other groups of scientists who investigate the paranormal without bias: university departments, and the various societies for psychical research. Not to even hint at the vast amounts of goverment research, or government programs to TRAIN people to use paranormal methods based on their research. They also dismiss other publications than their own. There are 3 Replies. #: 258737 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 13:57:44 Sb: #258511-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Well, there were a couple of real questions here during this smoky business, and one or two of us have told of a paranormal experience or two -- and not one objection or questioning of those. And for good reason: they'd be put to the task of coming up with real explanations, or of declaring 'coincidence', or 'freak of the atmosphere', or more likely, would have come down to 'you were dreaming', 'your memory has become enhanced through retelling', or 'it was actually suggested to you by your husband afterwards', or 'you're not telling the truth'. Sorry, I left out, 'I have no explanation, but this evidence is purely anecdotal, and therefore not scientific at all.' I was unjust to them, however, for in the case of the military ghost that appeared to the couple in their bedroom on the beach, I fully expected someone to come forward with the explanation that 'it was a real man, in a costume, and they were doing it for publicity purposes, and the shadows in the room made you think it was a ghost. Or maybe there was a costume party and he got lost.' (Or even Scientific American's somber: "Fraud cannot be entirely ruled out.") What they do here is what I have seen others do elsewhere: they set up an argument they stand a chance of winning. That is, an argument about philosophy and perspective and intent. And when necessary they will bludgeon evidence to death. And to employ the terms that Fabian specified, the Trouble Makers can win the Debate. That is puerile. It is also at the expense of those whose interest in the paranormal is not that of a training camp for the Oratorical Olympics. There are 2 Replies. #: 259048 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 22:00:59 Sb: #258737-Paranormal Issues Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) 1. The fact that "two of you have told of a paranormal experience of two" and there was "not one objection or questioning of those" has more mundane explanations than what you choose to infer. Perhaps it was not credible, or there was no way to validate the occurence, or that it was not deemed that important to anybody other than yourselves. 2. No good scientist worthy of his profession will jump with "explanations" for every para claim forwarded. If the complaints about dismissal are based on the notion that each and every reported inexplicable occurrence should be automatically considered and investigated by science, then one cannot possibly take them seriously. I mean, one could go bankrupt doing this in about a month and there would be nothing to show for it. 3. But even if I ignore all that, and assume that there IS no "current obvious" explanation, even then it does not automatically mean that the occurrence WAS paranormal. It only means that we DK whether it was or not. 4. It seems amazing to me that you criticize science for abuses, yet the kind of response you require from it for your "paranormal interests" is so much worse, that nobody serious would touch it with a 100 feet pole. 5. There is only one argument that can be won on MERIT, and that is the scientific one, simply because it has clear rules. The paranormal argument always "wins" by definition, because it does not have any rules. 6. You go around critcizing abuses in science, but the kind of things you expect science to do for your paranormal purposes would be much worse abuses than the current ones. #: 259095 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 23:19:17 Sb: #258737-Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) Ah, yes. Have you ever tried to argue with a Right to Lifer? It's the same kind of thing. Whatever one thinks of the views of fanatics, whichever side one might actually be on, one can't help being turned off by the tactics. Of course there's been no comment on actual experiences! Reality can't be allowed to interfere with theory. Does anything that's been going on here remind you of the Spanish Inquisition? It seems to me that we have as much right to free speech as anybody else, and thus a right to express facts as we see them without being bludgeoned, denigrated, & insulted. In fact, such insulting things have been posted about me as a scientist that I'm considering consulting an attorney about a libel suit. This is a public forum, and posting insults here may well constitute publication. What do you think? #: 259047 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 22:00:46 Sb: #258511-Paranormal Issues Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Sorry, but I just cannot sit here and let this nonsense pass. 1. WHO exactly is trying to "convert" you? To what? In what ways? 2. Strictly ideological stance like Animal Rights, Right to Life, etc.: are you serious? Can you explain why? 3. Can you offer any evidence that: a. they "consider themselves the ONLY people capable of investigating the paranormal"? They are just people WILLING to investigate the paranormal. b. they "dismiss the existence of other groups of investigators without bias" WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION? c. they "dismiss other publications" WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION? 4. Weren't you the person who warned me not to let govt agencies "dictate what is the truth" or something like that? Then how, all of a sudden, when it does para research, the govt is somebody to believe? How about the RESULTS of that research. If published (and one of the complaints here is that it's not), do findings have any bearing on whether one should pay attention to them or not? The fact that they do not cover all the para research does not mean all this ridiculous stuff that you chose to infer from it. #: 259193 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 01:01:14 Sb: #258511-Paranormal Issues Fm: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 RE: "Everybody went away?...Of course that's CSICOP's methodology & what they are trying to accomplish. All this prattle about science has nothing whatsoever to do with science. They're trying to convert us." You had it right the first time. They don't care about conversion, but just that everyone go away. I'm tempted. #: 258605 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 10:26:48 Sb: #258476-Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 "Then the CSICOP folks showed up and everybody went away." Hmm, I've been lurking here for some time. It seems that someone first posted the original "CSICOP revealed" message in an apparent attempt to expose the alleged abuses of CSICOP. It was only after that that the fur started flying. Please don't blame everything on the "CSICOP folks." Oh, I forgot. CSICOP bashing is a favorite hobby here. #: 259046 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 22:00:33 Sb: #258476-Paranormal Issues Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 First of all, I am not "CSICOP folks". As I stated, I could not care less about that. And I don't think Rick is either. Incidentally, I had an exchange with Frank here who claims personal OBE, and he can testify that I did not ridicule, insult, or dismiss him at all. That's because he genuinely tries to to evaluate what appears to be OBE to him, rather than assume "self-evident" things. #: 259192 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 01:01:10 Sb: #258476-Paranormal Issues Fm: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 Interesting you should say that Terry. I posted my message tonight before reading yours. See "Why secrecy wins." I agree with you but once the argument gets started, the general tone is as damaging as any individual's position. Both sides share some blame. #: 258949 S10/Paranormal Issues 20-Mar-92 20:53:16 Sb: CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) #: 259150 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:10:31 Sb: #257757-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 Vic, Well, I'll confess to taking paranormal phonomena for granted (or, at least, my own). :) Malcolm #: 259177 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 00:31:17 Sb: Why secrecy WINS! Fm: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 To: all I just TRIED to make myself follow the CSICOP thread here and failed once again to make it through all this electronic text I have paid good money for. Sometimes it seems as if I possess some of the human race's most stubborn weaknesses: reality, once revealed to me, must be reinforced over and over and over again for me to remember it. Those who wish UFO stories to remain quiet (be they government or other spooks or whatever) are **DESTINED** to continue to win. Why? Witness the CSICOP thread on this board. Very little is said of the issues at hand. Everything degrades into arguments over "truth" and "lies" and personalities and personal attacks. Do any of you really expect UFO witnesses and abductees to come forward, *vulnerable*, into such a poisoned environment????!!!!! Well-meaning people who defend the attacked and criticize or attack the unjustified attacker fall into the easily-laid trap with revolting predictability. It doesn't matter who wins or loses the game: the truth will lose every time--the only winner is secrecy! It really seems blatent to me. So many of you seem to unknowingly do the government's work for them. All they need do is have some smiling, cordial spook like Klass say one or two things designed to challenge the emotionally cherished BELIEF SYSTEMS of UFO believers or the faithful debunkers: instantly, the atmosphere is poisioned and secrecy is secured. It doesn't matter who wins or loses the battle: the fact that there is war means that we all lose. Sometimes passive resistance is such a superior offense. #: 259254 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 03:17:42 Sb: #259157-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Not very scientific of you, dude. And Inaccurate - but I'm sure I could duplicate it. ;) * Vic #: 259441 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 13:21:21 Sb: #259158-CSICOP revealed Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 I probably knee-jerked on that message. On another service (not Compuserve) I had an e-mail discussion unceromoniously taken into a public forum by the other person. An action I did *not* appreciate. So when I saw your message I reacted. My apologies. Later, Anson #: 259349 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 09:07:40 Sb: #259005-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Anson, Although your point is well-taken, I can tell you that Frank has been quite forthcoming in his uploaded text files and we have discussed these things in public messages with him here before. I feel confident in saying that Frank won't have any problem with a public discussion (aside from the fact that things can get expensive when you're working the forums manually. ) Malcolm #: 259348 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 09:07:30 Sb: #258928-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, Think there might be a psychological explanation for the quantum "weirdness"? Malcolm #: 259255 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 03:17:46 Sb: #259147-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) Thanks, Malcolm. And while I'm at it, here's a pat for Meryl. And a big hug, too. * Vic There is 1 Reply. #: 259355 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 09:22:50 Sb: #259255-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) I needed that! A pat and a hug! Gee, thanks. I hug back! There is 1 Reply. #: 259581 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 17:45:45 Sb: #259355-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Mmmm. Thanks! What a Fun Section! * Vic There is 1 Reply. #: 259623 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 19:13:54 Sb: #259581-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) It is a fun section! I really enjoy it here. #: 259373 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 10:26:53 Sb: #259172-#CSICOP revealed Fm: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 To: John Eshleman 73767,1466 If you want a definition of perception, then you must be willing to accept one. And that's it in a nutshell -- acceptance of what we believe we see. There is 1 Reply. #: 259389 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 11:12:30 Sb: #259373-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 (X) I don't know. I had a friend, hallucinating during a psychotic break, who said, 'But I have to believe the evidence of my senses!' There is 1 Reply. #: 259455 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 13:58:36 Sb: #259389-#CSICOP revealed Fm: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I get the distinct impression that any definition I offer you would be debated. Let me ask you -- How do you define "perception" (if that is the word we've been tusslin' over)! And then let's get to the point of your argument. [smiles] <> /exit There is 1 Reply. #: 259540 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 16:56:43 Sb: #259455-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 (X) I don't have any argument with your defiition of perception. But when my poor friend, who was listening to voices coming from the radiator, said what she did, it stuck in my mind as a terrible warning. Being human perceptions, they can be affected by pathology in extreme circumstances. There is 1 Reply. #: 259636 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 19:40:21 Sb: #259540-#CSICOP revealed Fm: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl: You are absolutely correct. I might add that because our perceptions of reality are based solely on our personal experiences (not to mention pathology), it is wise to examine our paradigm perspective (I love that phrase!) when advocating an action that will impact on others in a meaningful way -- recognizing that all actions impact on all others to some degree. <> There is 1 Reply. #: 259677 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 21:12:51 Sb: #259636-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 (X) Very true. There is 1 Reply. #: 259691 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 22:05:48 Sb: #259677-#CSICOP revealed Fm: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl: I'm going to save your reply because it is likely to be rare that I get such an unqualified affirmation. [hugs] Claudine There is 1 Reply. #: 259699 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 22:33:05 Sb: #259691-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: CLAUDINE BOUCHARD 76640,116 (X) O.K. I saved yours, too. #: 259396 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 11:32:16 Sb: #259138-CSICOP revealed Fm: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) Re self-evident: c'mon Malcolm, take it easy, I was just being sarcastic. I have responded to about 15 messages today and then I got your 8. I am going away for 2 weeks on business, and will possibly move, so I am saving your as well as any other messages to me and will try to reply to them, if humanly possible, after the dust settles. #: 259448 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 13:44:51 Sb: #259139-CSICOP revealed Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) > There may be paranormalists who want to have it both ways. I'm not sure what that means but I'll try to understand. < Malcolm, The truth of the matter is, you can have it both ways. A good scientist can believe in The Paranormal (again, whatever that is). One can operate both within and without the Scientific Framework simultaneously (in fact, the better a scientist you are, the better you would be able to do that). To think less is to sell the human capacity short. * Vic #: 259311 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 04:47:04 Sb: #259095-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I did some research into this a few months ago -- asking questions on the Legal Forum, reading their archived files, talking to lawyers, even receiving some official opinions when charges were brought up in an organization I'm a member of. So, with that experience behind me, a few various points: 1] You might well consider the accusations and the characterizations libellous, especially as they would tend to injure your professional reputation as a scientist. 2] Your suit would be against the person who made the remarks, but not at all against CompuServe, this forum, this section of this forum, or any SysOp. 3] It is significant that after the remarks were made, you (and others) objected to them, their validity and their inappropriate nature. Yet the remarks were neither removed, retracted, nor apologized for. Essentially, the originator of the remarks re-emphasized them by his failure to correct their deliterious effect. The pattern of Msg>Rpy>Msg etc shows that the originator was aware of your objections to his description and evaluation of you as a scientist. 4] I would like to emphasize that it is not the job or the duty of SysOp's to remove such messages. In fact, case judgments indicate the opposite: those services which keep a very close eye are much more likely to be found responsible. While those who remain at arm's length from the Forums are not to be considered liable in such matters. And neither should they be. There is 1 Reply. #: 259381 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 11:07:51 Sb: #259311-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) If I file a suit it would have nothing to do with Compuserve or this forum's SysOps. They haven't done anything but provide a service. (And very well, too. Might as well sneak in a little praise & thanks for them while I'm at it.) It's not their fault if the service is abused. In the messages he's posted in the Science forum, Fabian doesn't use my name, but it still counts. Anyone there curious enough to go the the Issues forum & read his messages would figure out quickly enough who he has in mind for them to attack as a bad scientist. And he's used my name freely in messages to others on the Issues forum (all of which I've kept) to convince them I know nothing about science. So I think I may have a pretty good case. I'm not THAT famous that I'm fair game. I don't think. I've been reported on in the press, including the New York Times. I don't think he could argue that I'm a public figure. There is 1 Reply. #: 259743 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 23:38:26 Sb: #259381-Paranormal Issues Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 1) He does not have to have mentioned your name on the Science Forum, for it is the totality of the messages that would be of issue. Besides, I had already mentioned you in several messages there, identifying you by name as the scientist who appeared most often on the Paranormal section of Issues Forum. 2) Your public persona derives entirely from your professional expertise, and it exactly that expertise that was attacked. Take the phrase, "The man knows nothing about Faberge." You could have said that, not with accuracy, but with impunity, about Malcolm Forbes. But you can't say it about the man who runs Vielle Russes, because it would be not only inaccurate, but possibly libelous as well. #: 259362 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 09:40:16 Sb: #259095-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl: Posting insults here does constitute publication, and according to CIS there is no immunity from lawsuits. However, while I agree with your sentiments, I suspect we're dealing with a kid here. He's too cocksure of himself to have lived very long, and too careless with his language to have had much education. You probably have noticed that he won't tell us anything about himself except that he knows more than the rest of us combined. --Terry There is 1 Reply. #: 259383 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 11:09:04 Sb: #259362-Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Even kids can get themselves in trouble. The kid might have a Daddy. #: 259380 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 11:07:37 Sb: #259193-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 (X) Please don't go away. I'm not going to go away. We have as much right to free speech as anyone else. I'm sorry I didn't respond to your message sooner. I think you can guess why. I'm sure you have CSICOP to thank for the lack of response to your posting. It's good to meet you. I'm really sorry to hear that you had such a battle with cancer, but delighted to hear it's over and you've won! I had a heavy overexposure to radiation in a lab accident. I had a 50/50 chance of survival, and that was over 20 yrs. ago, so I seem to have won, too. I mention that because I learned a lot about life & living from that experience, and you probably have, too. There's an up side to the worst downers, but it can take a while to find it. You've got a double-header going, first as an abductee, & then as an abductee in print! Have you been able to sort out how all this is changing your life? I'd love to hear more about your experiences. There is 1 Reply. #: 259710 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 23:06:52 Sb: #259380-Paranormal Issues Fm: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 Oh, I'm not going anywhere. I enjoy this place too much. I agree totally with "...learned a lot about life & living from that experience, and you probably have, too. There's an up side to the worst downers." What kind of radiation were you exposed to? 50/50!!! Wow! Must've been heavy stuff (heavy metals??--ha, ha. Not funny, I guess). Do you know what are the rates of cancer risks from radiation exposure? A friend of mine from St. George, Utah (the irridated desert town) said that non-Hodgkins lymphoma, the cancer I had, was the #2 cancer in St. George behind thyroid, which has obvious radiation links. I'd really like to learn what cancers in order are made more likely from radiation exposure. The healthiest thing about the abductee business is that it doesn't change your life. That's when you know you're adjusting healthily. At one of the "abductee socials" at David Jacobs house, we were all talking about it all so casually as if we were discussing a walk to the corner store. Afterwards, a group of us were laughing about it and we all agreed that the casual nature of the discussion was very healing for all of us. The raw TERROR doesn't completely go away, but in large part it is a stage. I really should upload some text about my experiences. I've discussed them in detail so many times here. I even saw where someone had saved something I wrote and I was later given it by Jacobs (so even though he STILL isn't on the board, he has some exposure to it). If anyone out there has any saved, please let me know & go ahead and stick it in the library. Feel free to ask specific questions, Meryl. #: 259802 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 01:23:57 Sb: #258605-Paranormal Issues Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 >Hmm, I've been lurking here for some time. It seems that someone first >posted the original "CSICOP revealed" message in an apparent attempt to >expose the alleged abuses of CSICOP. It was only after that that the fur >started flying. Perhaps you were not lurking long enough to see the original "CSICOP revealed" that was posted by me. It was simply a reference to a recently published, thoroughly documented paper dealing with that organization, its leaders and its strategies. It is not a "bashing" article in the sense of making unsupported derogatory statements about CSICOP. It simply makes statements, supports them well, and lets one draw one's own conclusions. Early on some points from that paper that I noted in subsequent postings were vigorously, but unsuccessfully, disputed by one or more apparent supporters of CSICOP. And then it took off. I bet it did cause a bit of a blip in the forum usage statistics for CIS. #: 259350 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 09:07:46 Sb: #258949-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Terry, Your message to me was empty. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 259361 S10/Paranormal Issues 21-Mar-92 09:40:11 Sb: #259350-CSICOP revealed Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) Well, Malcolm, I wanted to keep in touch but didn't have anything to say. :-) Actually, while splitting a two-part message to someone else, in response to a message from him to you, apparently I got off key and sent you a nonnote. Sorry. Worse things could happen to a fellow. --Terry #: 259799 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 01:23:39 Sb: #258475-CSICOP Members: a _fact_ Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 >I cannot figure out the significance. Odd that your ability to read between the lines that you touted in an earlier message has deserted you now. Falsification of data, no matter how trivial, should not be tolerated in any organization purporting to deal with science. If the very leaders of an organization have no qualms about doing this on a small scale, what might they try with something really important? (I think their well-documented behavior in the "Mars Effect" scandal mentioned in earlier postings answers that question quite well.) CSICOP does not publish "their" research since they have done none as an organization since the above mentioned scandal. What I understand as scientific publishing takes place in peer-refereed journals. The Skeptical Inquirer is no such thing and what appears in that does so at the whim and pleasure of an editor who has admitted that his magazine's purpose is not to consider the best evidence for anomolous claims but to argue against them. As such it is just like _Fate_ magazine with a different perspective. (And I say this as one whose own research was the subject of a feature article in SI and praised rather highly, I might add.) In the absence of the normal checks and balances of peer refereeing that scientific journals employ, flawed though that system may be, we can expect CSICOP's publication to reflect simply the attitutes (and ethics) of its leaders. Thus the effects of my finding may be far reaching. READ THR STA:259803 #: 259843 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 03:22:43 Sb: #259177-#Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 To: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 Absolutely right Cos. I would like to see the arguing about which is the right way and which is the wrong way to investigate paranormal and other type of phenomenon end. To me the purpose of this forum is to discuss the phenemenon in an open and friendly environment, kind of like a group of friends talking around the diningroom table, and leave the investigative methods to each individual to contact those groups that do that sort of stuff if they wish. God knows it's not hard to find out who to contact just by asking. So I suggest that we all just take a break from the nit-picking and get back to discussing the paranormal (and the not so paranormal). All in favor say AYE. AYE.... There are 4 Replies. #: 259898 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 07:51:22 Sb: #259843-Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 AYE #: 259919 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 10:19:43 Sb: #259843-Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Bob Trevithick 73567,2675 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 Terry, AYE!!! And just in the nick of time, too. I was seriously thinking about removing this forum from my TAPCIS forum list, waiting a couple months, and then trying it again..hoping that crap would have blown over by then. I may not contribute much here, not really having much to contribute, but I'm a serious lurker. :-) Bob #: 259968 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 11:55:08 Sb: #259843-Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 AYE! #: 260263 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 20:47:59 Sb: #259843-Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 Aye #: 259844 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 03:22:54 Sb: Paranormal Issues Fm: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Anson, CSICOP bashing was never even done here before last October when some folks showed up and started in on everyone. Up until then the discussions on this forum ranged from UFO's to OBE's to JFK and all points inbetween. There was never any kind of fighting at all. This BS that has been going on lately is causing most of the interesting discussion to be lost in the smoke. I'm not blaming everything on the CSICOP folks as those who wish to talk with them should know by now what they are in for. As far as I am concerned if the CISCOP folks and other SKEPTICS want to get into long drawn out discussions about the whos, hows and whys of investigating then let them start their own section where they can talk to their hearts content and leave this section to discuss paranormal issues. I'm tired of having to pay for all that crap. Terry #: 259845 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 03:23:10 Sb: #259046-Paranormal Issues Fm: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, I never said that you were a "CSICOP folk". You do defend them quite heavely though. I believe that in one of your earlier postings you said that you are not really interested in doing research on the paranormal, but you came here none the less. I would guess that you have some interest in the paranormal then, otherwise why are you here. I can't believe that it is just to defend science. As for Rick, He is a member of the local SKEPTICS group in the area he lives. I know this because he used to sign his messages with the name of them in parenthesis. Ask him, he will tell you who they are. I know Frank Turner also. If you were able to have a friendly conversation with him by Email, then why do you feel that you must fight a major war here in public? If you have a problem with something said why not take it to Email also and see if you and whoever can straighten it out privately. I don't like having to pay to download all this stuff when I am not really interested in hearing about it. I have my own standards with which to judge what I hear and I don't feel a need to go around making a big to do about them anymore that most others here do. You seen to have mistaken this to be a technical forum when it is not. No one ever said that it was. People come here to talk about their experiences, not analyze them ten different ways. If you wish to add your backgroud to the discussion then that is fine, but if you wish to just blast people because you don't believe them then this is not the place for you. So give the rest of us a break and either add to the discussions or keep quite while others share their experiences. Who knows, you might even find someone willing to let you try your ideas for deeper research on them that way. Terry #: 259918 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 10:15:50 Sb: #259381-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Thanks for the "thanks" Meryl. Normally I would have been a bit more involved but I have been on the road the past two weeks. Maybe I should post a "Cool it!" message [however the last time I did that suddenly I became the target - well it comes with the territory.] There is 1 Reply. #: 260047 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 14:02:05 Sb: #259918-Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 (X) Maybe the CSICOP types should have their own section & stay out of ours? I had suggested that facetiously, but maybe that's not such a bad idea. Or maybe there should be a closed section for those who want to have serious discussions of the paranormal, leaving this section to those who want to debate? In a way, that's not that great an idea, because I suspect that people get up the courage to share their experiences by lurking for a while first. It's not fun to suddenly find onself reviled & one's reputation damaged on several forums because one has dared state that duplicating an effect isn't scientific proof of anything. That's Nazi tactics. I really am thinking of taking that guy to court. I guess I really hit a nerve there, though! #: 260046 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 14:01:03 Sb: #259710-Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: CosmicThAng/SanBernardCA 73200,3613 I was exposed to gamma radiation from something left in my lab unshielded because they didn't realize how hot it was. I'm afraid I rather carefully don't know what the incidence of cancer is. I was expected to get it long before this. By now, there'd be no pinning down the cause to the exposure because too much time has passed -- other life events could be the cause. Also, since then I've worked with neutron activation analysis & X-rays for years. Can't seem to stay away from the stuff! The strangest thing of all is that my health was terrible before the exposure, wasn't exactly great for about a year afterwards (naturally), but then became SUPERB & stayed that way. Tests show that my immune system was effected; it is slow to respond to a challenge, but then responds several times more than a normal response. Or did when tested years ago. I hope it stays that way. Anyway, I learned that the quality of life counts for a lot more than the quantity, and began to live the life I wanted to live. With a lot more courage. Its very interesting that the abductee business doesn't change your life. Yet, why should it? My hunch is that you're headed towards a period of extreme good health, both mentally & physically, & when you look back 20 or so years from now you'll see that these experiences simply made you stronger & your life richer. #: 259927 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 10:43:25 Sb: #259802-Paranormal Issues Fm: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 Richard, seeing the amount of discussion and interest your original posting created maybe it would be a good thing to have it in our Library 10. Perhaps you could even add a bit more detail. Would you care to share that with us? Online connect time charges are suspended while uploading files to the library. Thanks, Ted #: 260212 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 18:58:15 Sb: #259802-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 Yes, I've been lurking long enough to have seen your original "CSICOP revealed" message. I also realize that, in it, you stated you were not bashing CSICOP. However, I couldn't help but wonder why you posted that message with the titillating subject "CSICOP revealed," as if CSICOP was hiding something. It wasn't so much the specific statements you made in that message, as the implication of the subject I was refering to. Why not something more in keeping with the article you referenced, like for example "CSICOP and Skeptics." That would have gotten the message across without implication of "CSICOP revealed." It might also have kept the tone of the subsequent messages a bit more civil. On another note, I wonder how many people who've been participating in that thread have actually read the article, besides you? I've had a hard time locating the journal, and have finally resorted to writing the author for a reprint this weekend. Later, Anson There is 1 Reply. #: 260251 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 20:36:40 Sb: #260212-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Since I'm undoubtedly the person to whom you refer, I'll answer for myself. I have read the article. I have a copy of it right here. It is extremely well researched. It has 12 1/2 pages of bibliography. There is 1 Reply. #: 260285 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 21:10:36 Sb: #260251-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Actually, I was wondering if Fabian or Rick had read it. I had assumed from your message of the fifteenth (in which you said, "I've been doing some rapid research this weekend...") that you had read the article in question. I just didn't want to single anyone out. From your "Since I'm undoubtedly the person to whom you refer" comment, I think this subject is *far* too touchy at this point to continue. It sounds like you might be reading an attack into something from which no such thing was intended. Please note, my only comments have been regarding the complaints about "CSICOP folks" coming in and raining on everyone's parade. At least as far as the "CSICOP revealed" thread is concerned, I think it brought the "CSICOP folks" down on itself. This is neither an attack nor a defense, just an observation. However, if and when I *do* get to read the article, I would like to discuss it. I'm just not sure now if this forum is the place to do it (even though it was first brought up by one of the "regulars"). Later, Anson There is 1 Reply. #: 260354 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 22:16:56 Sb: #260285-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Why do you want to discuss it, and with whom? There is 1 Reply. #: 260424 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 23:26:09 Sb: #260354-Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 "Why do you want to discuss it, and with whom?" Ah, a loaded question (or at least one with a few mines in it). :-) Well, I figure anything which has spawned so much controversy at the very mention of its existence (I think that I am correct in assuming that even you did not read the article until the debate had gone on for at least a week, correct me if I'm wrong) is deserving of discussion. *Informed* discussion, that is. At this point in time, I'm not sure *who* I'd like to discuss it with. Like Fabian, I don't think a discussion consisting of "I agree," "Yes, I agree too," "Me too!" is all that productive. So I guess I'd have to say someone who has a different opinion about the article than I do (not that I have an opinion on it right now, I haven't read it yet). At least that way, I might gain some better insight into the "other side" (whichever one that may be). I'm not going to jump to one side or the other until I've read the article. Have I beat around the bush enough on that one? :-) Later, Anson #: 259952 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 11:41:05 Sb: #259799-CSICOP Members: a _fact_ Fm: Terrell Gibbs 73030,2416 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 >>What I understand as scientific publishing takes place in peer-refereed journals. The Skeptical Inquirer is no such thing Some scientific publishing takes place in peer-reviewed journals, some does not. For obvious reasons, publications peer-reviewed journals are generally held in higher esteem than publications in journals that do not use peer-review. But absence of peer-review does not make something "unscientific." #: 259987 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 13:08:51 Sb: CSICOP Members: a _fact_ Fm: Paul S.C. Suliin 76366,3514 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, Whether or not I accept paranormal claims (and in most cases I do not), I have to say that I have not been impressed with CSICOP. Their methodology seems more inclined toward grandstanding than scientific investigation. For example, I recall a convention at which a CSICOP member claimed that she could "prove" that Uri Geller's infamous "spoon-bending" was a trick by doing it herself using sleight of hand. I pointed out to her that this would only prove that it *might* be a trick, unless she could demonstrate that Geller was doing it the same way she was. I asked her if she could prove that. She said no, she couldn't, but insisted nevertheless that her demonstration was a conclusive debunking of Geller. I was underwhelmed. --Paul #: 260115 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 16:48:29 Sb: #259361-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Terry Ecker 71207,1165 (X) Terry, Oh, OK. -> wanted to keep in touch but didn't have anything to say Good one! I'll have to remember that one. :) Malcolm #: 260116 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 16:48:36 Sb: #259396-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Fabian Pascal 73677,3306 Fabian, OIC. Well, enjoy your trip (and your move if it happens). CU later. Malcolm #: 260117 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 16:48:42 Sb: #259448-CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 (X) Makes sense to me, Vic! Malcolm #: 260119 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 16:49:00 Sb: #259540-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, Oh, OK, voices from the radiator. I would probably suggest to her that she consider them in exactly the same way as she would voices from a television. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 260200 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 18:32:22 Sb: #260119-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 Have you ever been with somebody going into an acute psychotic break? You don't suggest much! You just try to help the person hold on a little longer. #: 260118 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 16:48:52 Sb: #259389-#CSICOP revealed Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) Meryl, Well, I think even the hallucinating faculty has to be believed; but in a different respect. Requires being able to distinguish between hallucination and the "evidence of the senses" brought about by "objective reality". Might be an idea worth presenting if the situation arises again. Malcolm There is 1 Reply. #: 260198 S10/Paranormal Issues 22-Mar-92 18:30:17 Sb: #260118-CSICOP revealed Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 It's an interesting problem, isn't it? She really startled me when she said that about her hallucinations. Poor thing. #: 260518 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 01:45:41 Sb: #260424-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Is this the article about the Mars Effect? Having read the rebuttal, which Mr Moen uploaded to the library here, I'd like to read the original article. There are 2 Replies. #: 260588 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 09:00:41 Sb: #260518-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) No, not the Mars effect stuff. It's the article which started the whole "CSICOP revealed" discussion. "CSICOP and the Skeptics: An Overview," by George Hansen in a recent issue of the _Journal_of_the_American_Society_ _for_Psychical_Research. Regarding the Mars effect, I too have read the rebuttal, but not the original. Later, Anson There is 1 Reply. #: 260986 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 23:47:07 Sb: #260588-Paranormal Issues Fm: Michael B. 76427,3257 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 Rebutting CSICOP is a thread I'm not particularly interested in; it would give the appearance that those on the Paranormal section are in agreement about the paranormal, and we certainly are not. I'm afraid I'm mostly a skeptic myself, and I don't believe generally in the persistence of consciousness beyond death, or visits from extra-terrestrials, or the Mars Effect, or reincarnation -- for the simple fact that I have not experienced them, and no one whose word I trust has experienced them. On the visits, I remain more often, simply because of the wealth of testimony. On the other hand, I do believe in ESP, apparitions of the dead, physical and auditory psycho-kinesis, clairvoyance, speaking-in-tongues, auras, OBEs, and to use a term that ought not to have gone out of fashion, mind-reading. The only one of these I've not had myself is the Out-of-Body-Experience, but my father had them, as did a former business partner, and neither knew anything at all about parapsychological phenomena. I am on the fence in regard to the existence of what is usually called ectoplasm, but it would probably take personal experience finally to convince me -- or the personal experience of someone whose veracity and observational exactitude I trust. I don't want to participate in a debate between Those Who Will Believe Anything and Those Who Will Believe Nothing, because that itself is irrational. I'm not sure I know what more rigorous proof is possible than demanding personal experience; after all, a published scientific paper in a reputable journal requires more than a little faith in the trustworthiness and the competence of a very large system, and the honesty of a whole series of individuals. #: 260869 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 21:45:28 Sb: #260518-Paranormal Issues Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) > Is this the article about the Mars Effect? Having read the rebuttal, which Mr Moen uploaded to the library here, I'd like to read the original article. Hi, Michael. No, but the original "sTARBABY" article by Dennis Rawlins is said to be available as a reprint directly from _Fate_ magazine. You could find out details from their editorial address. I have to warn you, though, that it's very long and a bit of a muddle. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 260526 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 01:57:58 Sb: #260424-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Sorry. My weekend's research consisted of checking a lot of the references in the article. Don't make assumptions about me. I believe that the regular members of this forum would very much prefer that it not be turned into a debating society. I think that has been made quite clear. Since the article itself is not, properly speaking, about the paranormal, this would not be the proper place to discuss it. There is 1 Reply. #: 260589 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 09:00:48 Sb: #260526-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) I apologise for making assummptions about you. No insult was intended. I think you took my comment *way* too personally, BTW. Obviously I was right, your question *did* have mines in it. I never said I wanted to "debate" the article, just discuss it. What has been made quite clear here is that, even though this is in the ISSUES forum, no issues are to be discussed here. Sounds like the NEW AGE forum. Certainly at least one of the "regulars" thought the article belonged here, since he was the one who first brought it up. And from what little I've gathered of the content of the article from the discussions, it sounds like it does raise issues pertinent to the paranormal. So, if issues are not discussed here, what IS? And who decides? Later, Anson There are 2 Replies. #: 260624 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 11:30:51 Sb: #260589-Paranormal Issues Fm: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) I don't think I am taking your comments too personally. I think you are the kind of person who makes assumptions. Don't accuse me of emotionalism, either. I think that, if you were to read most of the other comments now appearing on the forum, you will see the membership of this forum expressing its desire to move on to other topics than CSICOP & other branches of the Skeptic movement. There is plenty of debate and argument here. But it focuses on the paranormal, not on fringe issues related to the paranormal. If you want to discuss your experiences with the paranormal and/or your interest in it, you will find a very receptive audience waiting to respond. If you don't want to do that, what are you doing here? I am sure that the CSICOP article was pointed out to us to alert us to an authoritative text. The 'debate' was instigated by two people who are members of organizations which are offshoots of CSICOP. #: 260815 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 20:08:49 Sb: #260589-Paranormal Issues Fm: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 > What has been made quite clear here is that, even though this is in the ISSUES forum, no issues are to be discussed here. What do you mean by that Anson? #: 260868 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 21:42:10 Sb: #260251-Paranormal Issues Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Meryl Johnson 73770,1015 (X) > Since I'm undoubtedly the person to whom you refer, I'll answer for myself. I have read the article. I have a copy of it right here. It is extremely well researched. It has 12 1/2 pages of bibliography. Meryl -- Does this mean you judge how well researched an article is by how long the bibliography is? Does the question of whether the included statements are accurate or not enter into the picture? Just curious. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 260866 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 21:39:24 Sb: #259802-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 (X) > Early on some points from that paper that I noted in subsequent postings were vigorously, but unsuccessfully, disputed by one or more apparent supporters of CSICOP. And then it took off. Actually, I simply pointed out that your claim about the membership of CSICOP was in error, that the actual membership has been a thoroughly unexceptional matter of public record for fifteen years, and that you could verify that simple non-controversial fact by telephoning or writing any of a very large number of people (that would include, in fact, all of the large number of Scientific and Technical Consultants and Fellows you erroneously classed as "members"). In the grand tradition of a man with _one book_, you, however, announced that you already had your authoritative source, which coincidentally allowed you to continually and rather fervently suggest (in a "non-bashing" sort of way, of course) that CSICOP is therefore in some way dishonest. You thus declined to make a 50 cent telephone call to any of those people to test your hypothesis. CSICOP has in fact always been careful to keep clear who is a "member" (and thus might be seen to be authorised to speak for the Committee), but particularly so since the harassing lawsuits against it of the last few years began. Best Regards, Rick M. There is 1 Reply. #: 260947 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 23:12:29 Sb: #260866-Paranormal Issues Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 >In the grand tradition of a man with _one book_, you, however, announced >that you already had your authoritative source, which coincidentally >allowed you to continually and rather fervently suggest (in a >"non-bashing" sort of way, of course) that CSICOP is therefore in some way >dishonest. You thus declined to make a 50 cent telephone call to any of >those people to test your hypothesis. >CSICOP has in fact always been careful to keep clear who is a "member" >(and thus might be seen to be authorised to speak for the Committee), but >particularly so since the harassing lawsuits against it of the last few >years began. Rick, I think you have been off line a while and either missed some messages or missed some points, but that was settled a while ago when I merely posted some of that "fifteen-year-old public information" that you ed about in an earlier message. With apologies for being repititious (but apparently necessarily so) -- ********************************************************************** * Extract from BY LAWS OF CSICOP, INC. * * Article 4, Section 2 * * _Regular Members_ -- Regular Members of the Committee without * * vote are: * * (a) All persons designated as "Fellows of the Committee." * * (b) Scientific Consultants -- members with expertise in special * * areas. * ********************************************************************** Your "one book" comment suggests you also missed my substantial bibliography of sources on the CSICOP's Mars Effect scandal, but I'll be uploading that for the library later. Regards, Richard Broughton #: 260613 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 10:47:27 Sb: #259844-#Paranormal Issues Fm: michael houdeshell 70004,1044 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 Indeed. This section has turned into a "metaforum" of sorts, in which only the merits of various factions' disputes are disputed with Talmudic exactitude and querulousness. I've refrained from commenting until now, but it's all beginning to bore me, too. There is 1 Reply. #: 260614 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 10:55:32 Sb: #260613-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: michael houdeshell 70004,1044 (X) Hi Mike. Where have you been. I was just gonna ask about you! -Frank- There is 1 Reply. #: 260701 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 15:36:15 Sb: #260614-#Paranormal Issues Fm: michael houdeshell 70004,1044 To: Frank Turner 72540,736 (X) Frank: >>where have you been? Lurking. And sick the last week, so when I logged in I was confronted with a mind-bending number of messages in the "tu quoque" category. Sort of like delayed broadcast of a street brawl. Drove home the perception that the section has become little more than that. --mike There is 1 Reply. #: 260707 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 15:51:05 Sb: #260701-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: michael houdeshell 70004,1044 (X) Good to hear from you again. Keep in touch. Hope you feel better. -Frank- There is 1 Reply. #: 260742 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 17:44:02 Sb: #260707-Paranormal Issues Fm: michael houdeshell 70004,1044 To: Frank Turner 72540,736 So have you been following Dan Smith's peregrinations on the Service? His return to these environs would be welcome if only for the likelihood his exfoliation of his Master Plan (Dan, if you're lurking, I capitalize with tongue not entirely in cheek) might break the sniping gridlock that has paralyzed this section in the last couple weeks. #: 260872 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 21:53:08 Sb: #259845-Paranormal Issues Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 > As for Rick, He is a member of the local SKEPTICS group in the area he lives. I know this because he used to sign his messages with the name of them in parenthesis. Ask him, he will tell you who they are. Hi, Terry! Having not achieved godhood, though, I have to decline the capitalised "He". ;-> Best Regards, Rick Moen Vice-Chair, Bay Area Skeptics (but not purporting to speak for anyone but himself) [Also, it's a skeptics' group, not a SKEPTICS group. We have, incidentally, parapsychologists and UFOlogists among our activists, have no creed, and invite participation from all points of view.] #: 260945 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 23:11:57 Sb: #259927-Paranormal Issues Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 Ted, No problem, save for finding the time. I'll see if I can put together a file or two for your perusal this weekend. Richard #: 260616 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 11:00:58 Sb: #260117-CSICOP revealed Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) Hey Malcolm how've you been. Just thought I'd cut in here to say Hi. There's a heck of a lot of messages to sort through. talk to you later. -Frank- #: 260622 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 11:22:24 Sb: #CSICOP revealed Fm: Frank Turner 72540,736 To: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 (X) Malcolm - I've found you again! What point was well taken. I must have missed something. Regarding my files - I had asked Ted to delete them a while back. Don't know if they are still there. If so, I'm gonna take them out of the library - too personal - however, I don't have any problem in discussing my experiences - expect for $$$ Am I the only one who doesn't have TAPCIS? Is it really that good? See ya. -Frank- There is 1 Reply. #: 260814 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 20:08:46 Sb: #260622-CSICOP revealed Fm: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 To: Frank Turner 72540,736 Frank, Tapcis cut my CI$ bill to 1/3. Paid for itself in three months. #: 260683 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 15:11:21 Sb: #259843-Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 The All-Seeing AYE. Malcolm #: 260858 S10/Paranormal Issues 23-Mar-92 21:24:09 Sb: #259987-CSICOP Members: a _fact_ Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Paul S.C. Suliin 76366,3514 (X) > Whether or not I accept paranormal claims (and in most cases I do not), I have to say that I have not been impressed with CSICOP. Their methodology seems more inclined toward grandstanding than scientific investigation. For example, I recall a convention at which a CSICOP member claimed that she could "prove" that Uri Geller's infamous "spoon-bending" was a trick by doing it herself using sleight of hand. I pointed out to her that this would only prove that it *might* be a trick, unless she could demonstrate that Geller was doing it the same way she was. I asked her if she could prove that. She said no, she couldn't, but insisted nevertheless that her demonstration was a conclusive debunking of Geller. Paul -- Who specifically was this CSICOP member? The reason I ask is that all the writings by CSICOP Executive Council members I have read, such as those by Klass, Hyman, and Randi, when they speak of duplication of effects by normal means, go out of their way to point out that this is _one_ way the effect might be achieved. The only female member of CSICOP is parapsychologist Susan Blackmore, of U. of Bristol, U.K. Is this whom you have in mind? Best Regards, Rick M. READ THR STA:260987 #: 261103 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 01:38:47 Sb: #260947-Paranormal Issues Fm: Rick Moen 76711,243 To: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 > Rick, I think you have been off line a while and either missed some messages or missed some points... You are correct that I was off-line. I'm afraid I only check in here at intervals. > but that was settled a while ago... Was it indeed? We shall see. > ...when I merely posted some of that "fifteen-year-old public information" that you ed about in an earlier message. With apologies for being repititious (but apparently necessarily so) -- > Article 4, Section 2. _Regular Members_ -- Regular Members of the Committee without vote are: (a) All persons designated as "Fellows of the Committee." (b) Scientific Consultants -- members with expertise in special areas. This sounds realistic, and I thank you for the reposting. However, I submit that a "regular member _without vote_" is not a member within any meaningful sense of the term. Fellows and Scientific & Technical Consultants do not participate in the decisions of the Committee, nor do they bear responsibility or legal liability for the Committee's affairs. This being the case, one must continue to wonder at your repetitive insistance on this un-controversial membership matter somehow showing the Committee to be "dishonest" (or various words to that effect)... but you aren't "bashing", naturally. God forbid. > Your "one book" comment suggests you also missed my substantial bibliography of sources on the CSICOP's Mars Effect scandal, but I'll be uploading that for the library later. It does not suggest that, but, no, I did not see your bibligraphy. However, I have seen more more writings on this so-called scandal, most derivative from Rawlins's long rant in _Fate_, than I care to recall -- but then, some people never tire of slinging sixteen-year-old mud. Best Regards, Rick M. #: 261149 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 04:19:32 Sb: #260872-Paranormal Issues Fm: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 Rick, Thanks for the clarification on the Bay Area Skeptics group. Got TO waTch thaT Shift KeY :) Terry #: 261255 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 10:54:25 Sb: #260815-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Sysop Ted Markley 76012,3361 My point was that comments like "this is not a debate society," etc. make it seem that questioning attitudes are not allowed. I am interested in the objective reality of OBEs. Does that questioning make me somehow anathema to the "regulars" here? From the types of messages I've seen recently, I don't think I'll try to find out. Later, Anson There are 2 Replies. #: 261378 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 17:03:07 Sb: #261255-Paranormal Issues Fm: Malcolm O'Brien 76703,4243 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Anson, -> Does that questioning make me somehow anathema to the "regulars" Absolutely not. If someone responded to you about OBE's and you told them, "Poppycock! There's no such thing as OBE cause it hasn't been scientifically proven.", THAT would result in a collective groan. What gets to be annoying is dismissal of people's SUBjective reality. When that is not respected, hackles can rise. Malcolm #: 261647 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 23:56:16 Sb: #261255-Paranormal Issues Fm: Vic Weatherford 76646,352 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 Anson, I've had OBE's, and fully believe in their reality as a non-physical experience. Yet I'm also very interested in their "objective" reality, and whether they can ever be scientifically proven (or disproven). I wouldn't know how to start a discussion on the matter, but I am always open to alternative explanations - I am more interested in truth in the end. And Frank has been openly questioning all along, and everyone likes him a lot. It's all in how one says it... :) * Vic #: 261151 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 04:20:50 Sb: #260589-#Paranormal Issues Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 (X) Rebutting CSICOP is a thread I'm not particularly interested in; it would give the appearance that those on the Paranormal section are in agreement about the paranormal, and we certainly are not. I'm afraid I'm mostly a skeptic myself, and I don't believe generally in the persistence of consciousness beyond death, or visits from extra-terrestrials, or the Mars Effect, or reincarnation -- for the simple fact that I have not experienced them, and no one whose word I trust has experienced them. On the visits, I remain more often, simply because of the wealth of testimony. On the other hand, I do believe in ESP, apparitions of the dead, physical and auditory psycho-kinesis, clairvoyance, speaking-in-tongues, auras, OBEs, and to use a term that ought not to have gone out of fashion, mind-reading. The only one of these I've not had myself is the Out-of-Body-Experience, but my father had them, as did a former business partner, and neither knew anything at all about parapsychological phenomena. I am on the fence in regard to the existence of what is usually called ectoplasm, but it would probably take personal experience finally to convince me -- or the personal experience of someone whose veracity and observational exactitude I trust. I don't want to participate in a debate between Those Who Will Believe Anything and Those Who Will Believe Nothing, because that itself is irrational. I'm not sure I know what more rigorous proof is possible than demanding personal experience; after all, a published scientific paper in a reputable journal requires more than a little faith in the trustworthiness and the competence of a very large system, and the honesty of a whole series of individuals. There is 1 Reply. #: 261256 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 10:54:29 Sb: #261151-Paranormal Issues Fm: Anson Kennedy 71167,2435 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) I wasn't talking about rebutting the CSICOP thread (it's been beaten to death anyway). Later, Anson #: 261190 S10/Paranormal Issues 24-Mar-92 09:02:46 Sb: Why secrecy WINS! Fm: Russ Ranshaw 70000,1010 To: Terry Rodemerk 76357,405 Terry, I'll add my "AYE!" to the chorus. :) --Russ #: 261659 S10/Paranormal Issues 25-Mar-92 00:12:57 Sb: CSICOP Fm: Richard Salts 71570,2420 To: All Hello all, Well, seeing as how I am at present unable to get online at GEnie with SKEPTICS there to talk about certain paranormal topics in the new PSI-NET Rountable there, I come here on this service to see what's going on in Paranormal Issues and, lo and behold, what do I come across but discussions about CSICOP! It so happens that during the last several months I had been conversing with CSICOP'ers on GEnie as well as reading past and present copies of the CSICOP journal, Skeptical Inquirer, to see what CSICOP was all about (in their own words). There were no surprises as I had been keeping track of the sayings of that group through the magazine OMNI's Anti-matter column, while it was being published and I had a good idea of what that group ACTUALLY stands for, as opposed to what it SAYS it stands for. If someone asks me if there is a difference, I am going to answer now and say unequivocally YES, there is a BIG difference! I have downloaded the most recent messages and realize (darn!) that I may have missed most of the fun here. I haven't checked in here for a long time and it looks as though I got in at the tail end of the CSICOP discussions here, or are they still going on somewhere else by people still interested in talking about that subject? Cuz if so, I may have some thoughts to share on "skeptical" angles on paranormal subjects. So I can get caught up on what transpired before now, have these conversational threads been uploaded to a library in this forum? If so, what is the library # and what is the thread filenane? This inquiring mind(me) would like to be able to read them, if possible. Thanks, Rich READ THR STA:261660 #: 261757 S10/Paranormal Issues 25-Mar-92 03:52:35 Sb: #261659-#CSICOP Fm: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 To: Richard Salts 71570,2420 (X) I am afraid that there is no fun to be had here on that subject, and rather than preserving the threads, many will be happier when they've all scrolled off. The Paranormal Section works most effectively when it deals with phenomena on a case by case basis; data is more interesting than philosophy. Many were chagrined when the traffic here centered on an inaccurate dichotomy between 'belief' and 'skepticism', an exchange which kept away some people who had experience paranormal phenomena for which they wanted commentary, or enlightenment, or just sympathy. A full-throated argument about ways and means and perspectives and interpretations is not a welcoming mat for the people who want help. This is a far more interesting place to me when I am attacked because of what I believe about crop circles, than when I am attacked on the basis of my interpretation of the Scientific Method as it relates to Paranormal Phenomena. You may not find that your excitement is seconded here, and I write this much to explain why that should be so. There is 1 Reply. #: 262271 S10/Paranormal Issues 25-Mar-92 21:03:22 Sb: #261757-CSICOP Fm: Richard Salts 71570,2420 To: Michael McDowell 76207,1247 (X) Your response was interesting and am I right by inferring from your message that the conversational exchanges were, at times, not all that cordial? My reason for wanting to read the threads, if they are still around, is that, aside from what the paranormal may or may not be, is our human reactions to what is very likely outside (for the present) our understanding of ourselves and the world in general, and, to me, that is as important to understand as the phenomena itself. A study, if you will, of a part of human psychology not accessible in any other way. Its like the paranormal also functions as a "mirror" of sorts that we see an image of ourselves that may be quite strange to our eyes. So instead of greeting it as an opportunity for further understanding, we view this image in terms of fear and threats, threats to our present "understanding" of how our culture believes the world and us works. "Why is this?", I ask. The "Why" is what I find fascinating. Data is interesting but what is it and how does it relate to what we call "reality?" This is what I am asking and I do not believe I am causing any harm by asking these questions. I can understand that some people may need help in sorting out strange experiences they have had but I think there is (or should be) room in this section for other types of discussion as well. Thanks for your thought. Rich #: 262429 S10/Paranormal Issues 25-Mar-92 23:23:32 Sb: #261103-Paranormal Issues Fm: Richard Broughton 72070,1677 To: Rick Moen 76711,243 >one must continue to wonder at your repetitive insistance on this >un-controversial membership matter somehow showing the Committee to be >"dishonest" (or various words to that effect)... but you aren't "bashing", >naturally. God forbid. Rick, you seem not to have noticed that it was I who had the facts correct from the first time I answered a simple and straightforward question, and it was your repetitious, and at times offensive, insistance that I was wrong which prolonged the matter. If the by laws of an organization define some one as a "member", then they are a member in my book. And I'm happy to close that book now. >derivative from Rawlins's long rant in _Fate_, than I care to recall ->but then, some people never tire of slinging sixteen-year-old mud. What you describe as sixteen-year-old mud has been a subject of interest to sociologists and historians of science for some time. Not to be repetitious in this forum, I'll send you that misssed posting by e-mail pending my uploading a more detailed bibliography for the library. Regards, Richard Broughton #: 262272 S10/Paranormal Issues 25-Mar-92 21:03:34 Sb: CSICOP Fm: Richard Salts 71570,2420 To: [F] SYSOP (X) Are there any threads from previous discussions on this subject still around? If they have been archived for a library in this section could you please tell me what library and the thread filename? I had been conversing with some GEnie CSICOP people on paranormal subjects and there is a RoundTable there called PSI-NET which has attracted many people of skeptical thought and I am curious about what transpired on this service regarding the paranormal and skepticism. I certainly DO NOT want to rehash any old hard feelings that previous threads on this subject may have caused, I am just curious as to how people on this service treated the subject(s) i.e., paranormal and skepticism, as opposed to what is going on at GEnie. Would anynoe still like to talk about this subject (even privately?) or is it considered closed and off limits now? Rich

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