Re: Actually, Psycholgical Bulletin is a mainstream publication

From: Jeff Medina (
Date: Fri Dec 30 2005 - 15:30:20 MST

On 12/30/05, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
> She is not "formerly one of the top parapsychologists," she
> was doing some parapsychology in the early 80s, then became
> disillusioned after a personal fracas/dispute with another
> parapsychologist, Carl Sargent.

I'm a bit confused at your email, Richard, because your claims and
implications (that she wasn't highly regarded among parapsychologists,
and that only worked on parapsychology during the early 80s) are
demonstrably false, and very easily so. Her CV, publication list, and
various other relevant data are readily available on the web.

To save the trouble of everyone browsing through
on their own (but you can verify all I say below at that site), here's
a quick overview of the facts, which demonstrate how very wrong your
suggestions are:

## Susan Blackmore has nearly 50 (fifty) essays in peer-reviewed
journals on parapsychology, not including reprints, to her credit,
over 20 (twenty) book contributions, and 5 related books. As anyone
familiar with academia knows, over 75 publications in a field is
rather strong evidence that a person is

## Of her 47 or so peer-reviewed para-publications, 25 (twenty-five)
were published between 1985 and 2002, and 14 (fourteen) between

## She has appeared many times on television and radio to discuss ESP,
ghosts, reincarnation, and alien abduction, among other subjects.

## She has published in 4 of the 6 journals you mentioned earlier, and
has refereed for 5 of them.

## A number of her publications were also reprinted, which is another
indicator of her work being rather well-received in the field.

That said, I'll leave readers to make their own judgments on my and
your claims in this regard. I've better things to do, so I don't plan
to respond on the subject of parapsychology again in the near future
(to put it mildly).

> What always amazes me is the ferocity of amateur scientists when dealing
> with these issues. I use the word "amateur" advisedly: people who know
> nothing about the actual experimental research work that has been done
> in the parapsychology field seem perfectly happy to pronounce themselves
> experts and hurl the most amazing torrents of abuse at scientists who
> know a great deal more than they do. People who do that are not
> scientists, they are scientist-wannabes.

This is pretty hilarious, given the parapsychological credentials &
evidence of knowledge that Sue Blackmore has in comparison to your
lack thereof, Richard. By your own measure, welcome to
scientist-wannabe status.

It's also ignorant of the completely acceptable division of epistemic
labor that humans practice. If physicists say John Doe's Unified
Theory is junk, you're not a scientist-wannabe (or any other slur) for
dismissing John Doe's claims without being a physicist.

To assert that phenomena so remarkable and world-changing as the
paranormal would remain supressed because of some Grand Conspiracy of
bigotry by The Scientists is so laughable and sad it hurts. If you
can't see how implausible this is, I'm afraid you've just written off
your cognitive credibility completely.

Jeff Medina
Community Director
Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Relationships & Community Fellow
Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies
School of Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London

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