Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#21  Postby twistor59 » Feb 26, 2011 9:51 pm

iamthereforeithink wrote:No, sorry. I didn't get it. How exactly does the quantum thingy explain psi?

For example, the collection of random number data at time t=0 could be "affected" at any subsequent time as long as it was not observed at t=0. ESP then becomes the selection of the system to correspond to the prediction.


Let me try to understand this. Let's say I have a precognitive dream that the neighbor's car got stolen. Now according to this, my brain (a quantum state thereof) then selects outcomes that are consistent with the dream, thereby showing that I had advance knowledge of the event? That strikes me as being completely weird and without any basis in science. How about "remote viewing"? What quantum thing happens there?


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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#22  Postby jerome » Feb 27, 2011 12:20 am

Section 2 on OBE is much better; Wiseman's wit shines through, there is a lot of good stuff in there, and while it does basically talk about Dr Susan Blackmore's ideas and stuff Sue was doing in the early 90's, it does get bang up to date (well 2008 vintage AFAIK) with a discussion of the latest tendencies in this research, body image stuff. Section 3 is enjoyable too - so long as you accept it is a pop science book, not a parapsychology text. Buy Irwin & Watt's Introduction to Parapsychology or Etzel Cardena (ed) Varieties of Anomalous Experience if you want a serious academic overview of the themes covered, but for Flim Flam style psychology of deception well Wiseman is the world authority really (Derren Brown is better known - but Wiseman blazed the path, doing much of it first.)
OK I'm warming to the book now

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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#23  Postby iamthereforeithink » Feb 28, 2011 1:55 am

jerome wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:No, sorry. I didn't get it. How exactly does the quantum thingy explain psi?


I don't think it does personally, but if you want to look at QM models of psi (shudder) I'd recommend Dean Radin's book Entangled Minds. (I wrote a fairly negative review on the RDF, but that is nothing unusual for me. I'm very hard to please apparently! ). Or have a look at this - http://www.neuroquantology.com/journal/ ... nt/showToc

It's really not my thing, but if you find something of interest do share :)

j x


:thumbup: Will take a look at the book, but I don't plan to spend $100 to subscribe to that journal. Do you have a link to your review of the book on RDF?
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#24  Postby iamthereforeithink » Feb 28, 2011 1:56 am

twistor59 wrote:
iamthereforeithink wrote:No, sorry. I didn't get it. How exactly does the quantum thingy explain psi?

For example, the collection of random number data at time t=0 could be "affected" at any subsequent time as long as it was not observed at t=0. ESP then becomes the selection of the system to correspond to the prediction.


Let me try to understand this. Let's say I have a precognitive dream that the neighbor's car got stolen. Now according to this, my brain (a quantum state thereof) then selects outcomes that are consistent with the dream, thereby showing that I had advance knowledge of the event? That strikes me as being completely weird and without any basis in science. How about "remote viewing"? What quantum thing happens there?


Quantum is weird. Psi is weird. Psi is the notation for a quantum wavefunction. Jesus don't you know anything ?


Ohh.... Thank the Good Lord. Now it all makes sense. :drunk:
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#25  Postby VK-machine » Feb 28, 2011 11:21 am

jerome wrote:NOTHING on Roy and Robertson (2001;2004) - which is the research that needs addressing. It's very well written and fun, but it ignores the utterly bizarre positive evidence of that series of experiments, and hence is worthless, as the methods we read about again simply do not apply in those double blinded trials. Maybe it gets better later.

Wiseman generally avoids saying bad things about people. That earns him respect among parapsychology fans, I expect. OTOH it means that he cannot talk about some issues. At least not honestly. Then again perhaps he just figured the subject too boring for the intended audience.

The problem with these papers should be obvious to anyone caring to read them. Here's a hint: What was the result of these "triple blind experiments"?
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#26  Postby jerome » Feb 28, 2011 12:28 pm

VK-machine wrote:

The problem with these papers should be obvious to anyone caring to read them. Here's a hint: What was the result of these "triple blind experiments"?



Why would the results have any bearing on methodological issues Louie?

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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#27  Postby VK-machine » Feb 28, 2011 12:39 pm

jerome wrote:
VK-machine wrote:

The problem with these papers should be obvious to anyone caring to read them. Here's a hint: What was the result of these "triple blind experiments"?



Why would the results have any bearing on methodological issues Louie?

j x

Didn't say they had.
Also I'm not a Louie.
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#28  Postby jerome » Feb 28, 2011 1:32 pm

Sorry VK, I was writing to someone else (Louie) and interrupted to reply. My apologies. OK, I am baffled by your hint. Where is the methodological issue in the papers then? I have like pretty much everyone who read them been waiting for a proper response for a long time: there may have been one published, but if so it's a mystery to me (and the authors as far as I know?)

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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#29  Postby VK-machine » Feb 28, 2011 2:20 pm

jerome wrote:Sorry VK, I was writing to someone else (Louie) and interrupted to reply. My apologies. OK, I am baffled by your hint. Where is the methodological issue in the papers then? I have like pretty much everyone who read them been waiting for a proper response for a long time: there may have been one published, but if so it's a mystery to me (and the authors as far as I know?)

j x

Really?
Just to be sure. We are talking about these papers?
Robertson, T. J. & Roy, A. E. (2001). A preliminary study of the acceptance by non-recipients of medium’s statement to recipients
Roy, A. E. & Robertson, T. J. (2001). A double-blind procedure for assessing the relevance of a medium’s statements to a recipient
Roy, A. E. & Robertson, T. J. (2004). Results of the application of the Robertson-Roy protocol to a series of experiments with mediums and participants.
All in JSPR?
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#30  Postby jerome » Feb 28, 2011 2:26 pm

Yep. So where is the response?
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#31  Postby VK-machine » Feb 28, 2011 2:34 pm

jerome wrote:Yep. So where is the response?

If you like I can dig up my old notes and give you a review but you should be able to figure it out yourself. Just look for the results of the experiments following the prescribed protocol.
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#32  Postby jerome » Feb 28, 2011 2:45 pm

If you have time I would love to see your notes, but I appreciate you are busy. I have spent a lot of time on the articles, and had them read by a number of statisticians and a few experts in experimental design. There are a few oddities in the design, but nothing that explains the results. I have spent years trying to find a solution; I even offered to replicate the two year sequence with the same participants PRISM used, but I could not get any funding to try it, and that is something I just can't do with my resources. Annoyingly LEXSCIEN cuts out in the middle of the discussion, and I don't have the only JSPR where a serious critique could have been raised - however, I am not aware of any.

Each iteration of the experiment was created and developed with sceptics providing advice, and Skeptic Report was very positive about the research - that has been taken down now, perhaps Larsen has left the field of scepticism; I have asked on the JREF, but still no critiques. I might try writing to James Alcock, Ray Hyman and Wiseman, as no one has yet published anything that explains Robertson Roy as far as I know.

So if you have a critique, yes I'm VERY interested. It is the strangest research in it's implications that I have seen for a very long time.

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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#33  Postby VK-machine » Feb 28, 2011 3:52 pm

jerome wrote:If you have time I would love to see your notes, but I appreciate you are busy. I have spent a lot of time on the articles, and had them read by a number of statisticians and a few experts in experimental design. There are a few oddities in the design, but nothing that explains the results. I have spent years trying to find a solution; I even offered to replicate the two year sequence with the same participants PRISM used, but I could not get any funding to try it, and that is something I just can't do with my resources. Annoyingly LEXSCIEN cuts out in the middle of the discussion, and I don't have the only JSPR where a serious critique could have been raised - however, I am not aware of any.

Really??!?

What I can tell from memory is this:
The first paper was rubbish. Flawed premise, bad methodology. Evidently the 2 simply had no clue of the subject they wanted to study.
The 2nd one is irrelevant. You're interested in the third paper, of course.
How to explain the results? Which results! They aren't in the paper.
You want an explanation for why this protocol got positive results? There is no explanation. It probably never happened. After all, if it had then why do all these variations and why not publish the results.
Much of the statistical analysis was pointless and seemed contrived to hide this fact rather than to elucidate. I can't recall the details there, though. I do recall having been quite annoyed.
Perhaps you can understand my incredulity. How can a dedicated reader fail to notice that the results are missing?

Do I still need to dig up my notes and the paper? There's not much more to be said, I think, but maybe I'm misrecalling something.
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#34  Postby HPrice » Feb 28, 2011 3:52 pm

jerome wrote:Oh for those interested in my critique of "anomalous psychology" as a discipline and a discussion of Wiseman's work, Prof Chris French of the APRU is going to be talking at Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub in March, and will doubtless be surprised to find me in the audience looking forward to a full and frank discussion.


What's your problem with anomalistic psychology? As I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, AP examines psychological mechanisms for phenomena that resemble, or would be taken by most people to actually be, paranormal. Where's the harm in that?
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#35  Postby jerome » Feb 28, 2011 11:14 pm

HPrice wrote:

What's your problem with anomalistic psychology? As I understand it, and correct me if I'm wrong, AP examines psychological mechanisms for phenomena that resemble, or would be taken by most people to actually be, paranormal. Where's the harm in that?



Hey Harry, I have touched on this in my review. :) Good to see you here btw, remember you well from UK Skeptics, lovely to meet again - I was cj.23 there. The Inquisitor is around too and as clever and sharp as always. I am in favour of Anomalistic Psychology (see my APRU links earlier) but my review details more - part one here - http://jerome23.wordpress.com/2011/02/2 ... ited-book/
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#36  Postby HPrice » Mar 01, 2011 11:25 am

Is your main objection, then, that AP is not addressing the central question of, does psi exist? I look at it the other way round. People do picture guessing with golf balls on their eyes while listening to white noise to see if psi exists. But surely they are only doing that experiment because people report spontaneous cases of psi. I think it is much more interesting, and informative, to see what is behind those spontaneous cases rather than construct a lab experiment that is nothing remotely like it. Even if you get positive results in the lab, who says that is the mechanism involved in habing a premonition or seeing a ghost? For me, it is the spontaneous experiences themselves that are interesting not the lab stuff.

In a previous post you quoted lots of theories for psi. In mainstream sciences there are also usually several competing theories around but there is always a consensus one. Which one, of the examples you quote, would you say was the consensus theory? And what evidence makes it more successful than the others?
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#37  Postby jerome » Mar 01, 2011 2:53 pm

Here is my short review I wrote for Amazon.I gave it 5 stars in the end --
I have written quite a bit over the last few days about this book, on my blog, on Facebook, in emails. It has made me laugh, irritated me in places, and kept me up till 3am reading it. As a book debunking the paranormal it is a failure - the promotional poster which asserts "we can not see the future; why do people believe we can?" or similar for the book led to my response "because the precognitive habituation studies of Daryl Ben suggest we just might" - and this book doesn't go there. In fact it does not engage with the parapsychological literature at all really - I mean yes many researchers are mentioned in passing from Harry Price to Houran and Lange - but given the book is dedicated to Wiseman's partner, Dr Caroline Watt, who is head of the Koestler Parapsychology Unit at Edinburgh University, Perrott-Warrick Senior Researcher in parapsi, a parapsychologist with over 50 publications including with Irwin the current standard textbook for parapsychology students, one might have expected the latest in the parapsych literature to be addressed. But no, mediums are all bunk - not a word on Schwarz, Beichel or Roy & Robertson's modern double blind studies with alleged mediums. In fact this comes over as a faith based book, isolated from the parapsychological discourse, perhaps even from the tiny fragment of the discipline currently packaged as Anomalistic Psychology, and targeted at the New Atheists and Skeptics in the Pub crowd who are happy to learn some interesting psychology findings in to how our brains trick us,and except that probably explains a a lot (and it does) but who are unwilling to go further to explore the literature and wider issues.

So why do I rate it so highly? Because Wiseman is a master at what he does - exploring deception, taking potshots at daft targets - he was softer on "infrasound are ghosts" assertions than I expected, but I was pleasantly surprised to see the whole God Helmet Persinger/Grandvqist thing discussed by a sceptical author, and here Wiseman and I are full in accord - he skewers bad sceptical research and claims more I think than he goes for the parapsychologists, who he ignores. Sue Blackmore in her interesting pre-memes days gets a good section, and there ar emany fascinating anecdotes that are new to me, or have sparked al kinds of ideas and research ideas. It certainly does nothing to debunk the paranormal - Ray Hyman and James Hyman's critiques of parapsychology experiments get little attention, though there is a passing reference to Richard's work with Jaytee and the spat with Sheldrake over the psychic dog -- but the book is a fast, exhiliarting, exciting and enjoyable read.

But when I go to Skeptics in the Pub next month, and someone says "but your research interests - it's all nonsense - Wiseman says so in his new book", even if they have memorised chapter and verse, they will be ill prepared to meet with my actual knowledge of the literature that Richard knows so well, and skates round without much comment in this fun, infuriating, exasperating book. Highly recommended.

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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#38  Postby ersby » Mar 01, 2011 3:30 pm

jerome wrote:Talking of Chris French, the superb APRU invited speaker podcasts which combine scepticism with the highest standards of research can be found here http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/anom ... d394249539

Recommended!
j x


Interesting. I'll try and come along.
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#39  Postby jerome » Mar 01, 2011 4:11 pm

ersby wrote:
jerome wrote:Talking of Chris French, the superb APRU invited speaker podcasts which combine scepticism with the highest standards of research can be found here http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/anom ... d394249539

Recommended!
j x


Interesting. I'll try and come along.



I'm planning to ask Matthew Smith of various ganzfeld experiments and jaytee fame over for an afternoon soon, or maybe just to give a talk. Perhaps we could all meet up?

j x
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Re: Paranormality by Richard Wiseman

#40  Postby VK-machine » Mar 02, 2011 8:36 am

VK-machine wrote:Do I still need to dig up my notes and the paper? There's not much more to be said, I think, but maybe I'm misrecalling something.


Well?
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