Re: Science and Nonsense

From: justin corwin (
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 10:25:57 MST

On 12/31/05, Richard Loosemore <> wrote:
> For anyone who, like me, is really fed up with the recent debate about
> parapsychology, I want to make some comments about science and nonsense,
> and also make an announcement.

I'm not sure if you're just being hyperbolic, or if you actually
believe the things you're saying here.

I've noticed, out of the corner of my eye, the discussion going on
here, and I decided not to become involved in it, but I do want to
comment on this, the capstone of the debate(seemingly).

One, you make sweeping statements about the conduct and membership of
this list, when you have been interacting with largely two people,
John K Clark, and Jeff Medina. This is silly, and a little insulting
to the many other members.

Two, the arguments thus far have had very little to do with scientific
conduct, scientific method, experimental design, etc, so please don't
try to make it sound more grand. The participants have been slinging
assertions at each other, in a seeming attempt to find the assertion
which is uncomfortable enough to silence the other person, there has
been little to no talk of experiments, no effects or processes posited
or disproven.

Three, most people don't believe in psychic phenomena. I can't imagine
you haven't encountered that before. The idea that any group is going
to suddenly accept it because you mention scientific trappings it has,
and invest it with your personal authority(when to most of us you are
an abstraction, a name on the internet) is a little weak, and I find
you getting huffy about a poor reception kind of unbelievable.

Finally, this is SL4. In case you haven't noticed, nearly no one is
participating in this argument, likely because it's not interesting to
them. If psi phenomena had robust theories that had effects on
ultratechnology of any stripe(remote viewing for example, supposedly
gives the user the ability to percieve anything at any scale, when I
read about it I immediately thought of nanotechnology and MEMS) it
would be a better topic.

Justin Corwin
P.S. This isn't really germane, but I also have to mention that I
really dislike anecdotal generalizations like "in my experience,
dentists are much nicer people than emergency medical technicians".
It's lazy, and doesn't actually give much information, unless you
somehow have managed to scrub all the bias and selection effect from
your personal experience, which is unlikely.

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