UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

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UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#1  Postby Blackadder » Oct 31, 2012 8:23 am

That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#2  Postby Thommo » Oct 31, 2012 8:31 am

In related news, rock fails defying-gravity test? :lol:
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#3  Postby Blackadder » Oct 31, 2012 8:35 am

I know, but I'm studying for my Masters degree in the Bleeding Obvious and this is part of my course work. :grin:
That credulity should be gross in proportion to the ignorance of the mind that it enslaves, is in strict consistency with the principle of human nature. - Percy Bysshe Shelley
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#4  Postby Thommo » Oct 31, 2012 8:39 am

Blackadder wrote:I know, but I'm studying for my Masters degree in the Bleeding Obvious and this is part of my course work. :grin:


Haha, awesome!
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#5  Postby John P. M. » Oct 31, 2012 8:40 am

Why did she agree to go through with it when she afterwards says the set up conditions wouldn't work?
Didn't she know this going in? :think:
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#6  Postby chairman bill » Oct 31, 2012 9:18 am

John P. M. wrote:Didn't she know this going in? :think:


Do you think she might be psychic or something?
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#7  Postby quisquose » Oct 31, 2012 9:26 am

This is quite spooky, because the results were exactly as I predicted.
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#8  Postby chairman bill » Oct 31, 2012 9:34 am

quisquose wrote:This is quite spooky, because the results were exactly as I predicted.


I'm convinced. Clear evidence of psychic ability. But then you knew I was going to say that.
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Psychic pair fail scientific test

#9  Postby HomerJay » Oct 31, 2012 9:36 am

A scientific experiment has found that two mediums were unable to demonstrate that they had special psychic powers.

The test by researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, tried to establish whether mediums could use psychic abilities to identify something about five unseen volunteers.

The results, carried out under test conditions, did not show evidence of any unexplained powers of insight.

But medium Patricia Putt said this experiment "doesn't prove a thing".

This Halloween challenge was an attempt to investigate whether professional mediums could demonstrate their psychic powers in a controlled setting - by inviting them to deduce something about people they had never met and could not see or hear.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20145664

It's Chris French again, always worth listening to.

You wonder which psychos would even turn up, unless you have your excuses prepared before hand and intend to show that the tests prove science can't prove everything?
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Re: Psychic pair fail scientific test

#10  Postby Scar » Oct 31, 2012 9:38 am

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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#11  Postby quisquose » Oct 31, 2012 9:53 am

chairman bill wrote:
quisquose wrote:This is quite spooky, because the results were exactly as I predicted.


I'm convinced. Clear evidence of psychic ability. But then you knew I was going to say that.


Exactly.

I also predicted that the charlatan, on being shown to be a charlatan, would say "doesn't prove a thing" and "scientists are very closed-minded".
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#12  Postby Jumbo » Oct 31, 2012 10:03 am

John P. M. wrote:Why did she agree to go through with it when she afterwards says the set up conditions wouldn't work?
Didn't she know this going in? :think:

If she had lucked out and by chance managed to get the right answers she could go on and try and claim to be a psychic who has been verified by science.

If as happened she failed then she can come up with some stupid ad hoc reason why the experiment was a setup. The latter doesn't lose her many supporters because plenty of the people who support her before will agree with the setup idea and argue as she did that scientists are being closed minded and then they all carry on as before.

Perhaps its not a win - win situation but its a win - don't lose the hardcore supporters situation.
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#13  Postby mattthomas » Oct 31, 2012 10:23 am

John P. M. wrote:Why did she agree to go through with it when she afterwards says the set up conditions wouldn't work?
Didn't she know this going in? :think:

I honestly think some of these people believe their own shit, so she thought she could do it, or at least thought she could blag it.

Saying the test was bollocks is just the old fall back, I recall watching the water dowsers on Richard Dawkins' documentary who all failed to demonstrate any ability. I remember the one saying the test was bollocks and that if they'd been allowed to walk OVER the barrels or some shit.

It's all laughable.
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#14  Postby BlackBart » Oct 31, 2012 10:33 am


"Scientists are very closed-minded," she said.


How original.


She said there were fraudsters operating as psychic mediums - but that it was wrong for scientists to think that such mediums "were all the same".


How do you tell the difference then?

Fail.
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#15  Postby quisquose » Oct 31, 2012 10:44 am

BlackBart wrote:How do you tell the difference then?


Err, a scientific test?

But that would be closed-minded I guess. Unless it proves her to be valid I predict.
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#16  Postby jerome » Oct 31, 2012 3:58 pm

Kudos to Chris French and the APRU. I like Chris French. The excuses are amusing - I assume before agreeing to be trialled they actually agreed to the conditions? Then not afterwards the time to complain. They both identified one in five correctly? That's exactly chance.

To be fair, the psychics were probably shocked too. They may well unconsciously read people (cold reading) and the conversation may well provide a lot of info. I think the use of people who genuinely want to get in touch with the other side, believe they have made contact, and then use of proxy sitters (a normal procedure for testing mediums from 1890ish to 1920) would have been fairer. Or letting the psychics handle something the communicator was associated with maybe. :)

Actually Chris and Ciaran have used exactly this protocol before - you can find it online - with similarly negative results.

However my sympathy for the psychics is based on the fact they came forward and agreed to be tested, unlike most of them. You don't get Psychic Sally etc agreeing to this! So they failed (as we all expected, but hey they were willing to put their claims to the test, and that is something. :) They may be deluded, but not fraudsters I think!

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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#17  Postby jerome » Oct 31, 2012 4:00 pm

Incidentally I shall make a claim. I have psychic powers, and will prove them under scientific conditions this very Halloween if any one wants. :) In fact I am proving it right now! :)
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#18  Postby laklak » Oct 31, 2012 4:08 pm

I predict I'll have a hangover tomorrow. Will let you know the results.
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#19  Postby jerome » Oct 31, 2012 4:14 pm

:) Have a great night!

j x
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Re: UK psychics fail controlled scientific test

#20  Postby Shrunk » Oct 31, 2012 5:12 pm

jerome wrote:Kudos to Chris French and the APRU. I like Chris French. The excuses are amusing - I assume before agreeing to be trialled they actually agreed to the conditions? Then not afterwards the time to complain. They both identified one in five correctly? That's exactly chance.

To be fair, the psychics were probably shocked too. They may well unconsciously read people (cold reading) and the conversation may well provide a lot of info. I think the use of people who genuinely want to get in touch with the other side, believe they have made contact, and then use of proxy sitters (a normal procedure for testing mediums from 1890ish to 1920) would have been fairer. Or letting the psychics handle something the communicator was associated with maybe. :)

Actually Chris and Ciaran have used exactly this protocol before - you can find it online - with similarly negative results.

However my sympathy for the psychics is based on the fact they came forward and agreed to be tested, unlike most of them. You don't get Psychic Sally etc agreeing to this! So they failed (as we all expected, but hey they were willing to put their claims to the test, and that is something. :) They may be deluded, but not fraudsters I think!

cj x


A theoretical question: It does seem quite likely that "cold reading" works, and it might well be that some people are better at this than others. So, if we just stick with the phenomenology without regards to whether it is evidence of some supernatural force or ability, couldn't it be said that "psychic abilities" exist under those circumstances? What exactly are we trying to demonstrate when we attempt to determine whether this ability is "paranormal"?
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