Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1981  Postby TopCat » Oct 06, 2018 3:03 pm

Fallible wrote:Sorry, it's sad what happened to your dog.

Aww thanks. He was a rescue dog - a Jack Russell I took over when he was 13 so he was already oldish. He'd had a life that had been mostly indoors (his elderly owner should never have had a Jack really), and he was quite fat. The first time I let him run he started off way too fast, and keeled over after about 150 yards - thought he'd had a heart attack!

But no, he was just horribly unfit. After a few weeks of proper food and exercise, he was up for four energetic walks a day, and was super smart. You really can teach an old dog new tricks, and we did loads of things together.

It was a fantastic two years - he died of kidney failure after what was definitely the best two years of his life, and pretty much the best two of mine too. I was very sad to lose him, but very, very glad to have had those two years with him. I can ramble on for hours about the antics he got up to.

It was pretty intense when he died - hence the weird mind-tricks for a few days. Nothing paranormal though :)
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1982  Postby Fallible » Oct 06, 2018 3:15 pm

Yes, I can see why your mind had that reaction to losing him. I love Jack Russells. I'm glad that both he and you had an excellent two years.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1983  Postby Alan B » Oct 06, 2018 5:35 pm

Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

No. Any personal experience, whether explainable or not, is a product of normal brain function otherwise it would not be a 'personal experience'. The brain can sometimes impose past memories in 'real-time' or confuse a 'trick of the light' to suggest something real and tangible. The more, er, 'sensitive' a person is the more they are convinced that they are experiencing something that exists in reality, in present time.

'Mediums' and other con-artists have been using this 'brain function' for years to extract money from the gullible. Religions are a prime example of this tom-foolery. Only, with religions, some go a step further and actually kill people who try to uncover their façade.
I have NO BELIEF in the existence of a God or gods. I do not have to offer evidence nor do I have to determine absence of evidence because I do not ASSERT that a God does or does not or gods do or do not exist.
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1984  Postby Thommo » Oct 06, 2018 5:55 pm

I would state the opposite. Personal experience can be evidence of the paranormal, in the same way personal experience can be evidence of the ability of people to quit smoking.

It's just that low quality evidence that can't be repeated, tested or scrutinised and for which there are numerous better explanations and interpretations isn't.

Part of the trouble is separating out background knowledge from evidence. We know that there's some rate of people making mistakes about what they have experienced and we know that there is some rate of people claiming that they have had direct experience of the supernatural. Any new claim is effectively already weighted in our conclusions, whether for or against the proposition.
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1985  Postby fluttermoth » Oct 06, 2018 6:29 pm

TopCat wrote:

It was pretty intense when he died - hence the weird mind-tricks for a few days. Nothing paranormal though :)


What a lovely story, despite the sad end, it's wonderful you were able to give him such a great last couple of years :heart:

I experienced something similar after one of my cats got run over; twice I distinctly felt him jump onto my bed, and once I heard him coming into the living room (he often made a little chirping noise).

I also don't think it was in any way paranormal, I've always thought that I heard a similar noise, or had a little muscle twitch, and my subconscious filled in the details, due to wishful thinking. I could even have been asleep for one of the 'bed incidents'; although I would swear I was wide awake, I have no proof, and it could well have been a very vivid dream or, even more interestingly, a hypnogogic hallucination. I don't think the border between sleep and awake is as clear cut as many people think.
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1986  Postby Fallible » Oct 06, 2018 7:48 pm

My grandmother had her own mother living in her house as she was nursing her. My great-grandmother frequently called to my grandmother in the night, for help with one thing or another. When she eventually died, my grandmother would wake up frequently during the night to the sound of her mother calling 'Phylis!' Clearly she'd got so used to that noise that she carried on hearing it after my great-grandmother was gone. I think this is a fairly common phenomenon.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1987  Postby Wortfish » Oct 08, 2018 6:03 pm

Thommo wrote:

Grey - peripheral vision where you can't see colour. Two seconds - your eyes move to see something in your periphery and trigger chronostasis.


Seeing the colour grey does not mean impaired vision. In any case, I have perfectly normal eyesight.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronostasis

These are exactly the kinds of facts that fit, consistent, testable, known optical illusions.


Chronostasis occurs when you are staring at something. The apparition did not appear on what I was focusing on which was my penis as I was peeing into a toilet bowl.

How exactly they are supposed to fit ghost cats (don't think cats have souls, or at least souls that wander Earth, in Christian theology) as a better theory I can't even begin to fathom.


I know what I saw. It was the shape of a cat and it rubbed against my leg. I wasn't in a state of extreme grief or emotion. I am prepared to countenance that my subconscious mind generated it, but I haven't had this happen before. A few days later I came back from work and saw the tail of a cat disppear into a wall. I regard these as "paranormal" experiences.
Last edited by Wortfish on Oct 08, 2018 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1988  Postby Fallible » Oct 08, 2018 6:05 pm

No one gives a shit.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1989  Postby Thommo » Oct 08, 2018 6:10 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Thommo wrote:

Grey - peripheral vision where you can't see colour. Two seconds - your eyes move to see something in your periphery and trigger chronostasis.


Seeing the colour grey does not mean impaired vision. In any case, I have perfectly normal eyesight.


What? How does that relate at all to what you said. I was assuming you have normal eyesight and didn't say "seeing the colour grey means impaired vision" or anything remotely like it. :lol:

Humans cannot distinguish colour in the corners of their vision, because the cells that identify colours are concentrated in a small region of the retina. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3953765

Wortfish wrote:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronostasis

These are exactly the kinds of facts that fit, consistent, testable, known optical illusions.


Chronstais ioccurs when you are staring at something.


That's completely wrong. Chronostasis occurs when you move your eyes to look at something.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronostasis
Chronostasis (from Greek χρόνος, chrónos, "time" and στάσις, stásis, "standing") is a type of temporal illusion in which the first impression following the introduction of a new event or task-demand to the brain can appear to be extended in time.[1] For example, chronostasis temporarily occurs when fixating on a target stimulus, immediately following a saccade (i.e., quick eye movement).


Wortfish wrote:
How exactly they are supposed to fit ghost cats (don't think cats have souls, or at least souls that wander Earth, in Christian theology) as a better theory I can't even begin to fathom.


I know what I saw. It was the shape of a cat and it rubbed against my leg. I wasn't in a state of extreme grief or emotion. I am prepared to countenance that my subconscious mind generated it, but I haven't had this happen before. A few days later I came back from work and saw the tail of a cat disppear into a wall. I regard these as "paranormal" experiences.


Sounds like bullshit from top to bottom to me.
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1990  Postby Wortfish » Oct 08, 2018 6:24 pm

Thommo wrote:
That's completely wrong. Chronostasis occurs when you move your eyes to look at something.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronostasis
Chronostasis (from Greek χρόνος, chrónos, "time" and στάσις, stásis, "standing") is a type of temporal illusion in which the first impression following the introduction of a new event or task-demand to the brain can appear to be extended in time.[1] For example, chronostasis temporarily occurs when fixating on a target stimulus, immediately following a saccade (i.e., quick eye movement).


Do you want to actually read the wiki-junk that you cite? You move your eyes and then fix on something. At the time, I was just concentrating on peeing. Illusions can happen. But I have never experienced the grey outline of a cat rubbing against my leg. NEVER. That's why I can safely rule out some optical illusion. Now, whether it was some sort of grief-induced halluncination generated by my mind...I am open to this.
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1991  Postby BlackBart » Oct 08, 2018 6:35 pm

So now we've gone from a shadow to 'it rubbed my leg'. Embellishment much?
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1992  Postby SafeAsMilk » Oct 08, 2018 6:42 pm

It's funny how the story keeps changing, isn't it?
"They call it the American dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it." -- George Carlin
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Re: Can personal experience be evidence of the paranormal?

#1993  Postby Thommo » Oct 08, 2018 6:51 pm

Wortfish wrote:
Thommo wrote:
That's completely wrong. Chronostasis occurs when you move your eyes to look at something.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronostasis
Chronostasis (from Greek χρόνος, chrónos, "time" and στάσις, stásis, "standing") is a type of temporal illusion in which the first impression following the introduction of a new event or task-demand to the brain can appear to be extended in time.[1] For example, chronostasis temporarily occurs when fixating on a target stimulus, immediately following a saccade (i.e., quick eye movement).


Do you want to actually read the wiki-junk that you cite?


I already did. Not only that, I also read what I was replying to. It was the referent of my first sentence you're quoting there. You cut it out, it was your claim:
Wortfish wrote:Chronostasis occurs when you are staring at something.

Which I disagreed with, calling it completely wrong. It occurs after you move your eye and then fix (just noting at this point that "fixate" and "stare" connote quite differently) on something. A completely different scenario than occuring while you stare at something.

If you want to say that you clearly remember that your eyes did not move, and that you were not staring (although you did just inform us for no particular reason that you remember having been staring at your penis :dunno: ), then... well I guess I just don't find you plausible. This is an impression formed, in part, from the constantly shifting story and the irrational degree of confidence with which previously missing details suddenly appear as they suit the current twists of the thread.

Wortfish wrote:Now, whether it was some sort of grief-induced halluncination generated by my mind...I am open to this.


Didn't you just get done emphatically assuring me you weren't grieving? :scratch:

This does not feel like a straight story to me.
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