Re: Actually, Psychological Bulletin is a mainstream publication

From: Russell Wallace (
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 15:52:50 MST

On 12/31/05, fudley <> wrote:
> Yes, just become a billionaire through the lottery and the debate is
> over, I was wrong and psi is real. We all know that will never happen,
> but why? The fact that these standard tests you mentioned work
> remarkably well everywhere EXCEPT parapsychology where they always fall
> flat on their face leads me to conclude that the problem is not with the
> tests but with the skill and integrity of the tester.

The comment about the lottery is a good one, but I think you're being a
little harsh - the field of paranormal research is certainly full of
charlatans and the mentally ill, but there is a minority of scientists who
are genuinely after the truth, whatever that turns out to be.

I used to be interested in it as a teenager. Humanity lives in a streetlit
town surrounded by a dark forest, albeit one whose frontier retreats each
generation, and looking into the darkness I still wonder what might be out
there. In one particular direction, there are persistent reports of eyes
glinting in the light, just on the edge of vision, so the obvious thing to
do is to go there with a flashlight to see what might show up.

The problem is that each time you shine a light where you thought you saw a
glint of eyes, there's nothing there - but you again see eyes glinting at
the edge of the new circle of light.

Eventually I concluded the most reasonable explanation is that it's just our
own eyes playing tricks on us, and that my efforts are best spent in other
parts of the forest, where at least some of the things half-glimpsed in the
shadows turn out to be real when you shine a light on them. If other people
choose to continue chasing the glint of eyes in the first area, well, I wish
them luck, but I'm not optimistic about their chances.

Happy New Year everyone!

- Russell

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