The Two Questions [WAS Re: testing psi.]

From: Richard Loosemore (
Date: Tue Jan 03 2006 - 13:18:12 MST

Giu1i0 Pri5c0 wrote:
> Scientific methodology says that, if the result of the experiment is
> that the apple falls, then the apple falls, and if the result of the
> experiment is that the apple does not fall, then the apple does not
> fall.
> Unfortunately in this field (it is not the only one of course) there
> is disagreement on what experimental statistics have actually shown
> and how future experiments should be designed.
> I would be interested in seing some experimental result that actually
> proves something one way or another. I can imagine hundreds of
> possible scientific mechanisms for psi effects, or in other words
> hundreds of possible universes with psi, of course the issue is not
> whether I can imagine a universe with psi, but whether psi actually
> happens in our universe. I would say to the experts, try to design and
> perform more and better experiments.
> But I sense some "religious fervor" in both camps that does not seem
> too scientific.
> G.


You have just said two things that many others have said in this
discussion, with various different choices of phrasing:

1) "I would be interested in seing some experimental result
      that actually proves something one way or another."


2) "I sense some "religious fervor" in both camps that does
      not seem too scientific."

My responses are:

1) Damien and I have repeatedly stated that there are enormous numbers
of experimental reports published in journals, any of which could be
read by anyone on this list if they wished. There are literally
hundreds (and quite likely thousands) of reported experiments, of
varying quality, but all conforming to the best standards of the
research that you would find in, say, the mainstream psychology
literature. But in spite of the fact that Damien and I have said this,
the responders have carried on repeating the myth that there are no
reliable experiments, and that they would like to see some.

All sorts of objections have been raised, but these have either been
addressed by Damien and I (mostly by Damien, who has had more patience
than I), or we have pointed out that the objections are well known and
have been considered in great depth in the parapsychology journals.
Some of these objections, while sincere and carefully considered, are so
easy to refute that it is almost embarrassing. (Would anyone like to
succintly summarize what the objections are, btw?).

So: people request an "experimental result that actually proves
something one way or another" and we point out where those results can
be found and mention the degree of reliability you will find when you
read the reports. But then what happens? We find ourselves getting hit
with the same question, over and over, as if we had said nothing!

2) Ummmm .... where is the "unscientific religious fervor", exactly?
When have Damien and I been doing this? All we have tried to do is
summarize what people would find if they read the published scientific
literature on the subject.

Please, if you would, catalog the examples of "unscientific religious
fervor" that you find objectionable in the two camps and give us a
summary of percentages. The percentage of ad hominem abuse? The
number of times that someone has said something that does not involve
pointing people toward empirical data?

[NO, please don't: it would be a monstrous waste of your time! The
request was rhetorical.]

Richard Loosemore.

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